Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Happy Purim! How to Celebrate

Happy Purim!  How to Celebrate
Carri Lynne Pratt

Join in the celebration!
8 Great Ways to Celebrate Purim:
1. Fast - The day before Purim is known as Esther's Fast
2. Hear the Megillah read aloud
3. Give gifts to the poor
4. Give food to friends
5. Cook traditional foods
6. Play Purim music
7. Dress up!
8. Host a meal

Read more details about the above at Purim Guide here

A few Purim Links for you:

Printable Megillah with Jewish laws  here Purim Mega Site here

One Night With The King - the movie about Esther  watch here

Purim in Jerusalem is a colorful and fun time to be in the 'city of gold' with events taking
place across town to celebrate the Jewish holiday which is a favorite among the masses.
A number of Purim events will take place around the city from carnivals to parties. 
There's something for every age and every interest. 

Lent Day 14 - Thankful the Bible is True

Lent Day 14 - Thankful the Bible is True
Carri Lynne Pratt

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness."
2 Timothy 3:16

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Esther; For Such a Time as This Celebrating Purim

Esther; For Such a Time as This Chapters 9 & 10
Celebrating Purim
Carri Lynne Pratt 

"Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the 14th and 15th days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies."  Esther 9:20

We finish up our study this week by reading chapters 9 & 10.  
Read here  Listen here

As we conclude our study we see that God is always in control.  We read in the last chapters of Esther about God's amazing ability to protect His people at all times.  Isn't that a comforting truth?  We are always being protected by God, especially when we are within His will.  

Doing things for God may seem scary. It is easy to be filled with fear when faced with the unknown, however, be brave and courageous!  This is your time! 

Tomorrow (February 28), at sundown, begins the celebration of Purim.  It extends to on March 1. 

Look for our How To Celebrate Purim post tomorrow!

Lent Day 13 Blessed with the Fruits of the Spirit

Lent Day 13 - Blessed with the Fruits of the Spirit
Carri Lynne Pratt

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.  Against such things
there is no law."  Galatians 5:22-23

Monday, February 26, 2018

Lent Day 12 Grateful for Coffee, Tea & Good Food!

Lent Day 12 - Grateful for Coffee, Tea and Good Food!
Carri Lynne Pratt

"For He satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things."
Psalm 107:9

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lent Day 11 Thankful for My Family

Lent Day 11  Thankful for My Family
Carri Lynne Pratt

"Children are a heritage from the Lord, 
offspring a reward from Him." 
Psalm 127:3

Friday, February 23, 2018

Respond Not React

Respond Not React

“Feelings should be indicators, not dictators.”  ~Lysa TerKeurst

Responding in complete faith, unconditional love, and sincere patience will be the only way we don’t put a wedge between our loved ones and us.

If you don’t have anything good to say, then you're not being led by the spirit.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace 
and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

(Recommended reading: UNGLUED by Lysa TerKeurst)

women encouraging women

Lent Day 10 Thankful to be a Child of God

Lent Day Day 10 Thankful to be a Child of God

"See what kind of Love the Father has given us, that we should be called Children of God; and so we are.  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him." 1 John 3:1 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lent Day 9 Grateful for Men of God like Billy Graham

Lent Day 9 Grateful for Men of God like Billy Graham
Carri Lynne Pratt

"For God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

Billy Graham's Favorite Bible Verse

Read more about Billy Graham here

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lent Day 8 Thankful For The Power of Prayer

Lent Day 8 - Thankful for the Power of Prayer
Carri Lynne Pratt

"The prayer of a righteous person has great power"
James 5:16

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Esther; For Such A Time As This Chap 8

Esther; For Such A Time As This   Chap 8
Carri Lynne Pratt
 "And in every province and in every city, wherever the king's command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, 
a feast and a holiday" Esther 8:17

This week our reading is from Esther chapter 8.  Read Here Listen Here

We read that Esther's people are in peril, even after Haman had been put to death. There was still an edict pending to put all of the Jews to death on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.  This was to be a genocide of the Jews as horrific as that of Hitler's decree.

However, once again Esther uses her position to plead for her people and get the king to create a new edict allowing the Jews to fight back in self-defense.

As you read/listen this week consider the following:

The Jews rejoiced at the news that they could fight back against the evil people coming against them.  Imagine the relief they felt.

It is easy for us to lose sight of the power we have through the Holy Spirit. This power makes us more than able to fight against Spiritual Warfare.  It might not be flesh and blood coming against us but we must always remember that  Satan and his spirits are real and want to destroy the people of God. 

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 

You can fight back!  Rejoice in the fact that you have been given power by God:

Spiritual Meditation: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. 
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7

Lent Day 7 The Lord is my Shepherd

Lent Day 7  Thankful that The Lord Is My Shepherd
Carri Lynne Pratt

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul."
Psalm 23:1-2

Monday, February 19, 2018

Lent Day 6 Thankful for My Witness

Lent Day 6 - Thankful for My Witness
Carri Lynne Pratt

"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem 
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The way we act around others is our silent witness to the world.  We are to clothe ourselves with kindness and draw others to God through the amazing love and truth He has given us.  

Thank you Lord for giving me the privilege of being set apart for Your Kingdom work.  Thank you Lord for the ability to make a difference in the lives of others.  The gift of Salvation is the most precious gift anyone can receive.  And although the Holy Spirit is the only one who can provide that gift, we can share the Good News with those in our circle of influence. 

Thank You Lord for the witness of Christians around the world who boldly proclaim Your name.  

Who can I show love to or tell about Jesus today?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Lent Day 4 Health Benefits of Thankfulness

 Lent Day 4  Thankful for Empathy, Connection, and Compassion
Carri Lynne Pratt

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience."
Colossians 3:12

Compassion: A feeling of deep sympathy for another person going through times of grief, pain or misfortune.

Jesus Christ is the greatest example of someone with compassion.  We read of  many times in Scripture that Jesus reached out to humankind with compassion. One of the most famous, and shortest, verses in the Bible tells us that "Jesus wept." John 11:35.

Being thankful helps us to be more like Jesus and to be a blessing to all.  We can also be very thankful when others are compassionate with us.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Walking Dead

Walking Dead

Think how many wounded people we have all around and continuing the cycle by hurting others. There is ongoing spousal, child, elderly, and animal abuse. 

Hurting others is a root, past issue that causes them to be hateful and out of control…

The root issue is almost always HURT or SHAME.

Not properly dealing with and processing hurts or trauma will cause the pain to be stored in your brain, in turn affecting your daily life, thoughts, health and relationships.

Dredging up a past hurt is never fun, and reliving it is hard, but the pain has to come out for one to be set free.

Ask the Lord to reveal what is causing you to be so angry or withdrawn. Confide in a trusted friend or counselor and allow yourself to feel and properly process the pain so you will heal and have peace.

Refusing to deal with past pain can make people walk around like a zombie causing more wounded people.

"Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story..." 
~Brene Brown author of The Gifts of Imperfection 

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
women encouraging women 

Lent Day 3 Thankful for Ability

"But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint." 
Isaiah 40:31

Thank you LORD for the unique abilities You have given 
to each of Your children.  May we use them wisely and
for Your Glory.

Read the story of the Super Bowl Champions at CBN Here 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lent Day 2 Thankful for My Comforter

Our hearts are broken for the families grieving in Florida today.
We pray the Holy Spirit would provide comfort during this
horrific tragedy.  We are thankful that He comforts us as well in 
our times of loneliness, grief and pain.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lent 2018 Valentines Day

"But God shows His love for us in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

Welcome to Lent 2018!

Ladies, we are so excited to begin another Lent Season with you and see what God has in store for us.  We have chosen Thankful, Grateful, Blessed for several reasons but the most important is to use this time to focus on how truly blessed we are to be daughters of the Most High God and loved/saved by Jesus Christ His Son! Amen!

The best way to make every day of Lent count for you personally is to begin a Gratitude Journal.  This does not have to be a time consuming activity, this is a simple, 'I am thankful for', type of journal.  I have given each of my children a composition book to use and each day they will write the thing they are thankful for and draw a quick picture.  This way they can look back on Easter Sunday and see just how blessed they are!

This journal activity could be as easy as opening a word / Google document right now and typing what you are thankful for each day.

Looking forward to being Thankful, Grateful and Blessed with you!
Carri Lynne Pratt

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Esther: For Such A Time As This

Esther; For Such A Time As This   Chapter 7
Carri Lynne Pratt

"Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther,
"Who is he, and where is he who has dared to do this?
And Esther said, "A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!"
Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen."
Esther 7:5-6

The Bible clearly tells us in Proverbs 22:8, You Reap What You Sow and we see in this passage that Haman has found out how true that is for him.  It also tells us in Proverbs that, "Whoever digs a pit will fall into it." Proverbs 26:27

This week we are reading Chapter 7     Read Here   Listen Here

We see that Haman was very proud of his plan up to this point. So what changed?  The biggest difference was his evil activities were exposed when he was confronted by someone more powerful than himself. Someone who had the power of life and death over him.

We can draw a comparison between Haman and King Ahasuerus to humans and The Lord Jesus.  It tells us in Philippians:

"At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11

We humans go about our daily lives engulfed in a sinful society, often times hardly noticing the evil of our ways.  However, when Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead His light will expose the darkness.  We will all bow our knee to Him and be forced to make an account for our lives.  Do you think there will be anyone on the earth who will be terrified to see Jesus in person?  

Actually, everyone who has not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should be terrified to see Him face to face.  Jesus has the power of life and death over  all.  The very Good News is that all who have "Confessed with (their) mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in (their) heart that God raised Him from the dead will be saved!" Romans 10:9 will not be terrified but be over joyed!

Spiritual Reflection: Consider what you are reaping and what you are sowing.  Jesus tells us we can recognize His disciples "by their fruit." Matthew 7:20  What kind of fruit are you reaping?

Monday, February 12, 2018

LENT 2018 - Thankful Grateful Blessed

"Giving thanks always and for everything,
to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 5:20

Lent begins this Wednesday!!! 

As we begin the Lent Season for 2018 we will be focusing on our blessings.
God is so good.  He cares for us in so many ways and He has even given us amazing health benefits for simply being grateful!  Learn about them, practice them and give all the glory to God for what He is going to do for you this Lent.

Lent Season for 2018 is February 14th - April 1st.

Looking forward to it Sisters!
Carri Lynne Pratt

Friday, February 9, 2018

Oh, To Live Fully

Oh, To Live Fully 

"If the enemy hands you a plate full of worry, fear 
and negativity, return it. 
You don't have to eat what you didn't order." 
~Dr. Tony Evans

"I am the Lord, and I change not." Hebrews 13:8

"...the man replied, I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!" John 9:25
women encouraging women

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Esther; For Such A Time As This

Esther; For Such A Time As This     Chapter 6
Carri Lynne Pratt

"On that night the king could not sleep.  And he gave orders
to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were
read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had 
(saved the king) . . . And the king said, "What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" Esther 6:1-3

This week we will be reading Chapter 6 - Read Here   Listen Here

We see great irony in this passage.  Haman is on his way to the king to ask him to murder Mordecai. However, God has already gone before him and set the stage to protect Mordecai and allow Haman to fall into the pit he had dug.  We read that the king could not sleep and through his servants reading to him, basically his diary, he was reminded of the great deed that Mordecai had done for him.  

This reminds us that "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

As you read this week's passage, keep in mind:

God is always in control.  Might it have been God that kept sleep from
King Ahasuerus? After all, was it simply by chance that the king was reminded of Mordecai's good deed moments before Haman was going to come in and ask for his death sentence?

God will use various circumstances to help His people

Consider the similarity to the story of Joseph and remember his famous quote,
"What man meant for evil, God used for good." Genesis 50:20

When has God intervened on your behalf?  What bad circumstance has God taken from your life and turned around for good?

Spiritual Discipline for this week:  Meditation

Here are the steps to Meditating on a verse of Scripture:

1.  Start by asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom
2.  Read the verse & Be still in God's presence  Listen for His prompting
3.  Consider what it is saying in context. In other words, read the verses before and after it to see what is going on in the text.
4.  Ponder the verse over time (a day or even a week)
5.  Ask, How does this apply to my life?  What can I take away and do differently in my life?

Practice Meditating on the following verse:

"Finally, (Sisters), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."  Philippians 4:8

Save the Date!!!
Purim March 1, 2018

We will be celebrating the Jewish Holiday of Purim,
which celebrates Queen Esther,
by posting the full movie of Esther
as well as the full reading of the book of Esther.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Momentum Works Both Directions

Momentum Works Both Directions

Daily habits either have you on an upward trend 
or they are taking you down on a slow spiral.

Which ever direction you are headed, every choice you make 
is creating more of the same.  

High achievers keep at it daily. Their habitual "get up and go/can do" mentality is what separates them from the mundane (Mundane: lacking interest or excitement; dull).

Are you ready to maximize your potential? 
Relationships? Work? Attitude? Spiritual life? 
It all has to start in your thoughts.

A Negative Mind Will Never Give You A Positive Life.

You do not really ever get accustomed to the effort, (it's not easy or fun to get out of a warm bed and hit the floor running) 
but you DO get addicted to the results. 

This is your Ah-Ha moment and 
....Here is where the upward trend begins.

Speak to your fear and tell it to leave! 
Faithfully speak your goals & dreams aloud to God each morning. Set goals and write them down. 

Mediocrity NO more!

"Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave..." 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Suggested Reading:
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
Push by Chalene Johnson

women encouraging women