Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thankfulness Log 2015, 4

As Thanksgiving has passed into Advent, I am realizing how busy life can get. Yet in these moments is where God brings some of the gifts you don't expect or didn't plan. As I finish up these thankfulness blogs for 2015, I'm reminded and want to encourage you to keep being thankful. Be thankful for the unexpected. Be thankful in the waiting. Be thankful in the unknown. Be thankful in the still. Be thankful in the chaos. Be thankful in the Lord. Be thankful despite circumstances and because of circumstances.  I pray thankfulness would rule in our hearts because of a God who gives us a reason to be thankful! Over and Out.

Nov 22: Today I'm thankful for time with my friend and her children. I'm thankful for a drive to think. I'm thankful for a peace that comes from being with God and hearing God. I'm thankful for a side conversation with a girl who will wrestle with trusting God and I believe will walk forward in faith.

Nov 23: I'm thankful for a very diverse ethnic day. For french crepes at a restaurant in a cuban restaurant run by a Greek owner. I'm thankful for time with a mission loving girl I enjoy so much who is discipling high school women. I'm thankful for my friend Lauren who is sharing discipleship plans with the world through her blog and that I could encourage this mission loving girl to use with girls she meets with.

Nov 24: I'm thankful for some space. I'm thankful for a quiet house. I'm thankful for a clean house. I'm thankful for time. I'm thankful for a home to go home to and a beautiful Mom who loves me.

Nov 26: I'm thankful for being cared for, despite an impinged nerve. I'm thankful for a lack of anxiety. I'm thankful for old people and young people. I'm thankful for being kept in check in how I love people.  I'm thankful for my funny, spritely, smart little nugget of a niece.

Nov 27: I'm thankful to get to go to see the Peanuts Movie with my mom. I'm thankful for a bit of time with just my dad. I'm thankful I've learned to believe truth about who I am in Christ and how that isn't shaken as easily as it use to. I'm thankful to not feel like I need to shop on Black Friday.

Nov 28: I'm thankful that I have friends to watch the FSU game with.

This Blog brought to you by the FSU Seminoles, the state champs of 2015.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thankfulness Log 2015, 3

Thankfulness is something I'm realizing has a root in the Lord, the source of all good things. But out of that there are little stems. One of those stems is my attitude. One of those stems is perspective.  As I've thought a lot of these two things, I'm struck by how attitude and perspective are what keep my eyes open to the things that warrant gratitude.

Nov 15: I'm thankful for Kyle and Nicki and how they know me and can pray for me. I'm thankful for Dave and Martha and their part in my life. I'm thankful to be able to go to Epcot with some super fun ladies and remember the God of this world who cares about all nations. I'm thankful for laughter and giggles with the single ladies at our post conference. I'm thankful for Shayna and her love for little baby things.

Nov 16: I'm thankful God wants us to be us. And that he doesn't want us to be "not us." I'm thankful for clarity. I'm thankful we are creative beings. I'm thankful for the people that let us ladies have the gift of a dinner at the Colombia. I'm thankful for cultures.

Nov 17: I'm thankful for a night off. 

Nov 18: I'm thankful for Deb E, who helps me process my life and affirms the things that are of God and those that are not.  I'm thankful for Jamie and how she is trusting God. I'm thankful for the Gospel choir coming to Navs.

Nov 20: I'm beyond thankful for the staff team. I know I mentioned them already, but I really am so thankful for having time with them and learning who they are and seeing us become more vulnerable and real with each other. I'm thankful that Jesus answers his people. That he speaks to direct situations.

Nov 21: I'm thankful for the 65 students that are here to explore how God is calling them to participate in his purpose for our lives. I'm thankful for how they are exercising faith.

This blog brought to you by the Fall weather that finally showed up this week and lets me have my windows open.

Thankfulness Log, 2015 2

In true November fashion, the last few weeks have been a flurry of crazy! But, as I stop today for the first time and sit at my home with fall candles burning, about 2 weeks of laundry piled high in my room, and a burnt out lightbulb in my bathroom that needs to be replaced that somehow is a bigger task than it needs to be, I realize amidst the chaos are little gifts here and there that the Lord has given me.

Nov 8: I'm thankful today to see so many of the young staff in our country desiring to see if going overseas for the Lord is part of what he is calling them too. I am thankful for a meeting ordained by God with a wise friend who helps me think well about how to follow Jesus with my life.

Nov 9: I'm thankful God has given me time with a new friend from Iran and that I get to help her with her English.

Nov 10: I'm thankful today to catch up with a the wife of the leader of our program this summer. I'm thankful for her heart for the Word and how she shares it. I'm thankful for a short drive to our national conference and time away to think on God's goodness.

Nov 11: I'm thankful that falling in the middle of a room of people (oops) is something I could laugh at a few hours later. I'm thankful to run into Florida staff that feel like family everywhere I go. I'm thankful for Laura who listened to my freakout moment and reminded me of truth.

Nov 12: I'm thankful for Jecka. That we can eat PBJ's on trays in a hotel room and catch up on real life.
I'm thankful that this organization is on that cares about diversity and is willing to seek the Lord saying "we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you."

Nov 13:  I'm thankful for Bob. Ive always been thankful for Bob but I'm thankful that he is a friend, a shepherd, and advocate and a father figure. I'm thankful to see him smile and be excited about this life God has given him. I'm thankful for reunions. I'm thankful to meet a girl who labors in Chicago that was impacted generationally through a girl I discipled in NE. I'm thankful for Don and Susan who are so generous, giving, thoughtful and kind.

Nov 14: I'm thankful for friends that are real friends and not just staff friends. I'm thankful for pool time. I'm thankful for a regional director that cares about me as a person. That is willing to advocate for me. I'm thankful for the ability to worship God with 1500 people knowing we have all been called by God to be part of his heart. I'm thankful to have had a fun dinner out with friends. I'm thankful what God calls us to is always an affair of the heart and not just a discipline for life.

This Blog brought to you by the Disney Arm Band, where the magic happens apparently.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Thankfulness Log 2015, 1

Though a common type of blog in November, sometimes I find I need to be thankful. Not need like  I worship thankfulness, or I'm not remembering who gives all good gifts,  but more that I need to stop and take time to remember who God is; what he is up to; who I am in light of his plan and his grace. I need to remember and to think on and to recognize my Savior.  This is one place I can record those thoughts this November:

Nov 1: Today I am thankful for having courage to interact with acquaintances and the emotional energy to initiate with friends. Today I am thankful for a weekend where I got to share a moment with my family over how cute my little niece was as a lady bug for Halloween. Today I am thankful for my pastor talking about loving each other practically, personally and outside of the box. I am thankful Jesus loves us this way too, and that his love is what we invite people into who have yet to know Jesus. I am thankful for a walk at dusk with a neighbor and I am thankful for time to rest. I am thankful for leaders that care about my life and not just my role in ministry.

Nov 4: Today I am thankful that we are chosen and adopted by God, that we are mercied and ransomed by Jesus blood, and that we are messengers of hope and love and joy to a dying world. I'm thankful for Pastor Eric gave this message at our large group tonight and how much he interacted and loved the students. I'm thankful for the lovely senior girls I meet with and how they want to follow Jesus with their whole hearts. How they laugh and love and think deeply. Today I'm thankful for my amazing staff team that I have the privilege of working with everyday and who I'm so blessed by and who make me laugh. And who feel like an actual team and who I also can call friends.  I'm also thankful for those far away friends that can talk for 10 minutes or ten hours and, in both cases, leave feeling encouraged.

Nov 7: Today I am thankful I didn't die rollerskating with the ministry women last night. I  am thankful for women like Sue who feel more like a real friend than a staff friend. I am thankful for a national conference coming up and that today I woke up looking forward to it. I'm thankful to live in a cute house not too far from campus. I am thankful that God is working on the diversity factor among our freshman class. I am thankful I have a day to process and pack and think and watch FSU vs Clemson football.

This blog brought to you by the Author of all good things in my life and my 80's black tights with pink and purple hearts.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

GSP Hall of Faith: Reflection on a Global Summer

This summer, I met some amazing people at an International student program where I had the privilege to serve as a staff person for a ministry I work with.

As I think about these 48 people from 20 countries, I  am struck by their faith. Here's a little tribute to these international friends that became family to me.

GSP Hall of Faith:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith the Global Student program was formed, trusting God's command, so that the Gospel would be spread to the ends of the earth. By faith each student filled out an application, believing that God exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 
By faith the Sandquists believed God. By faith they sorted through applications, trusted God to bring the exact people from the exact places for this exact summer.
By Chiti despite her fears, came in courage believing God could use her life to impact Zambia.
By faith Prisca, when denied a visa the first time,  reapplied, and trusted God to work on her behalf. By her faith she condemned the world's powers and trusted God as her ultimate authority. By faith she led her team and discipled well.
By faith Natasha drove to a remote place and prayed for housing in America. By faith she came early to the US, learned English and allowed God to speak into her life in unhindered ways as she encountered more of her Heavenly Father.
By faith, Hengi, when called to go to the USA, a place she didn't know ,obeyed and went, even though she did not know where she was going.  By faith she boarded 8 planes and left Tonga to come to Colorado to grow in discipleship. She was looking forward to the Lord using her to invest in the people at her company, that they would know God and labor for him
And by faith David K, accepted being a team leader, trusting that God could use his life to produce descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. By faith he translates letters for Compassion to impact children in his country.
All these people, and others arrived in Colorado Springs and trusted God to receive the things promised; they arrived in a foreign land and  admitted that they were foreigners and strangers on earth and it was worth it to trust God for the summer.
These students who walked in faith in these ways are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would not have sacrificed their summers, money, comfort, and time.  Instead, these students long for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Trista, Ianna and Wendy came to America and trusted God to speak to them, despite their language barriers and class schedules. By faith they brought joy and love to those around them.
By faith Josue dedicated his summer to growing in discipleship and evangelism, so he could impact a generation of students through mathematics in french speaking Africa.
By faith Romans allowed Jesus to mature him in a community of believers. And by faith he grew a beard and composed songs about his beard.  By faith he will marry a Christian girl from the Baltic States.
By faith Robert trusted God to use his life to impact Tanzania. Starting with each member of his family, God raised up believers out of his trust that God could do and will do impossible things. By faith he will be the first full time staff in Tanzania.
By faith Don and Susan, served behind the scenes and committed to love those from other nations, when they could have decided retirement and lounging around for a summer was more appealing. They served fruit, taught English, and loved students that needed the tender care they could offer.
By faith Rachel trusted God for cheese curds, goat meat, ground nut paste, hibiscus leaves, white corn meal and other crazy food items used for cultural nights, to give a glimpse into the nations. By faith she had the privilege to work among people that will change the world, believing in faith and hope again the vision for this life.
By faith Levina matured into a strong leader, trusting God to use her.  She chose to not let her age or past determine her worth, but allowed God to use these things to strengthen her as a leader. She regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than popularity because she was looking ahead to her reward in heaven.
By faith Jonathan left his car in the middle of Kansas after it broke down and persevered to arrive in Colorado springs. By faith he led worship and will return to Witchita with a strong vision to labor.
By faith the Barbus uprooted their whole family to America to learn how to more effectively and strategically reach their campus in Germany. By Faith, Finn accepted Christ in his heart. By faith they fought off bees and birds, and smiled through all of it.  By faith Tom ate a lot of American food without complaining.
By faith Wei Shan decided it was better to rely on God than rely on people to fill her deepest needs. By faith she will impact woman in East Asia as others have impacted her.
By Faith David S killed rattlesnakes with the rest of the groundskeepers. By faith the groundskeepers worked long, hot hours with attitudes of joy. By faith they sang songs and smiled as they planted, weeded, carried rocks, and beautified the Glen.
By faith VJ will reach India and Kenya. By faith he encouraged Galatians and Gentiles alike  through the word and humor.
By faith Doug used his wisdom and leadership to call men to a higher calling. By faith he fought off parasites and trusted God to use his life even in his weakness. 
By faith Kari left her job and applied to GSP. By Faith she helped others discover the giftings and personalities that God gave them and how they could be used effectively in the kingdom.
By faith Jecka decided to hope. By faith she let God use that Hope to influence her outlook on her future.
By faith Ola, Kevin, and Daniel always had smiles on their faces, spreading the Joy of the Lord to all they encountered. By faith they served at many cultural dinners behind the scenes.
By faith, Anna H didn't let her anxiety keep her from following Jesus to GSP. By faith she blogged and shared with others the amazing things that God did in her life.
By faith Sarah allowed the Lord to grow her heart for the world and her outlook on the nations as an American in an international student program.
By faith Kasper led his team of men with joy, believing God could multiply his life. By faith, he was hungry to grow in how to effectively reach people from all nations within his own nation.
By faith Tereza stopped working as a caregiver in Norway to allow Jesus to rock the foundations of her faith. By faith she now rests in Jesus arms instead of holding on to Jesus by her own effort.
By faith Breanna trusted God in her running training schedule to not just train physically, but to run the race towards Jesus.
By faith, Mindy waited for a letter saying she could return to Canada for school. By faith she accepted Christ in a land far from her home and trusted God to come to GSP.
By faith Andrew came to GSP, depite his father's illness. By faith he grew in trusting God, even when his Father passed away during his summer. By faith, he made amazingly great food just using the T-House kitchen. 
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Julia, Evan, Muraya, Natalie, Matze, Anna from Ghana, Shelby, Yvonne, and Kendrea who through faith climbed mountains, led worship, flew across oceans, greeted guests at Glen Eyrie; made hard decisions to honor God, left boyfriends at home, pursued growth, rode bikes, hiked Pikes Peak, loved others, whose weaknesses were turned to strength; who art journaled, grew in purity,  and who became powerful in battle against the enemy.  
Women like Quingling and Juhyun who let the truth of God speak louder than lies in their lives. Who grew in confidence as they believed God for their identities. 
There were others who were watering flowers, driving golf carts , praying for countries, learning skills to disciples, writing songs, and sharing the Gospel around town. Some faced guitar playing hippies, rodeo cowboys, Alaskan hikers, and undercooked rice. They were worshipping the Lord, studying 1st Peter and its impact world wide, memorizing scripture and art journaling.  They are world changers, but the world is not worthy of them. 
They wandered on trails, explored through the glen, ate at camp creek, served at Glen Eyrie, lived in Aspen, the Chalet, Echo Rock and T-House. They had times with God in the carriage house, the coachman's lounge, the Garden of the God's overlook, Agia Sophia Coffee shop and Lady Bug Outlook. They traveled to SMR, learned how to Salsa and Swing Dance, went on a boat on Grand Lake, fed Giraffes, went to Walmart, rode roller coasters  ate S'mores and rode a cog railway up Pikes peak.
These are all commended for their faith, and are believing God for their promises  since God has planned something better for us as a community than we could have ever had alone. They are still trusting God for his promises to be fulfilled across the globe.

This blog inspired by dead rattlesnakes and Hebrews 11. Often referred to as the Hall of Faith, this blog models that Biblical chapter and captures a glimpse of some of the amazing people I met this summer.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Summary: Run Like a Girl

In summary of the womanhood series, I wanted to recap what the last 6 blog posts have been saying about the difference between a woman of God, who lives with His strength, or a wimpy woman, who lives out of her own ability. Here's what we've covered:

A Wimpy Woman:
  • Tries to be like a man.
  • Only helps herself.
  • Has no long term impact.
  • Is foolish with her words.
  • Is fearful to commit and only does things that benefit herself.
  • Lets the world determine her value.
A Woman of Strength:
  • Appreciates men & womens’ roles & strives to live out of her God-given feminitity.
  • Ia Helper to those around her.
  • Leaves a legacy of influence on the next generation.
  • Is wise with her words.
  • Is commited to courageously act on behalf of God and others.
  • Lets God determine her value.
As you ponder this,  I wanted to share this video below, that gives me a good picture of a wimpy woman and a strong woman. It is the video that  Always ran during the Superbowl this past year. Though Always uses this video for a different purpose, I love the picture of a women wrestling with what it means to do things like a girl. 

Hebrews 12:1-2 says 
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and perfector of our faith."
Ladies, don’t let the world determine what it looks like to run like a girl. Let God determine it. And when he defines it in your life. Run. Run with all your might like a girl. Run like a woman with a Noble Calling. Run as one who serves as a Helper and a Life Giver. Run as one who reflects the Lord in wisdom, beauty, courage and commitment. Run as a woman who shows to the world that Christ is her all, her Hope, her Life and her Glory! 
And for goodness sakes, Run like a girl! Racing towards Jesus in your God given design as a woman.
This blog inspired  by a sign that hangs in my Mom's house that says: Here's to strong Women: May we know them, May we be them, May we raise them.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Woman's Value: More than Skin Deep

A wimpy woman lets the world determine her value. But a woman of strength lets God determine her value.
I want to specifically address the area of Beauty here, as often I think this is one of the first things that can affect our idea of our worth.
1 Peter 3:3-5 says:
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful."  
That doesn’t mean that you can never wear cute scarves or earrings or braids in your hair. As you know, we love these things and I think that we reflect God’s character in having a love for beauty. 
What this verse is saying is that your definition of beauty should not COME from these things. Rather your beauty should come from this inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.  
Many women, including myself, have struggled with the term gentle and quiet. Yet I think it means something different than you think:
Gentle, according to Theologian Wayne Grudem:
“’Not insistent on one’s own rights’ or ‘not pushy,’ ‘not selfishly assertive, not demanding one’s own way.’” 
Likewise, the root of the word 'gentle' stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. It’s the idea of strength in God under control in me.
Quiet here doesn’t mean volume wise, but it means at peace, living with a sure confidence in who you are and who the Lord has made you to be. 
We rest in what Col 1:21-22 says that through the Blood of Christ you are holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Picture courtesy of http://becuo.com
Proverbs 31: 30 says:
 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
The only way we can live in this confidence is to have this spirit of selflessness and strength under control, appreciate others around us without feeling threatened, jealous or inadequate. It means to turn our eyes to Jesus, and live out of who he says we are. The beauty that comes from a secure heart does not spoil, fade, or leave. And it surpasses all earthly beauty making us more unique, lovely, and true. Its what people close to us talk most about in us and its what makes us look different from the world.
I pray that we would embrace this confidence and faith and focus more on what the Lord is to us then what we look like coming to a fellowship time! That we would prepare our hearts to see God more than prepare what the world will see in our make-up, clothes and hairstyle.
That is the kind of beauty that shines beyond our outward appearance

This Blog inspired by all the fun, more than skin deep, beautiful ladies in the collegiate ministry I get to work with on a daily basis.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

High Dives and Belly Flops: Courageous Commitments

Photo found on https://revlesblog.files.wordpress.com/
One day when I was 6, I slowly climbed a ladder. Rung by rung, I could hear my breathing with every step.  As I looked at the pool water on either side of me, and looked back at the line of people, impatiently waiting for me to go faster, I remember thinking, this is it. This is the day that I step out and stand for all 6 year old girls that we too can be like the big kids and dive off the high dive! 

In my short life, the high dive had always given my little heart a faster beat and  a pang of fear. Only 8 year olds and 10 years olds could jump off the high dive. But 6 year olds? No way! 

But today, on this day at my friends birthday party, I made a commitment. I was going to jump. I wasn't going to back down like last time. I was going to go for it, despite my fear. As I stood on the ledge, I heard my dad coaching me from below and counting. 1…2…(deep breath and shaky knees)..3…JUMP!

And as I hit the water, I swam up and let the smile fill my face! Courage and commitment had won! I made a name for all 6 year old girls! And it sure felt great (despite the fact that my dive was actually a belly flop).

A wimpy woman is fearful to commit and only does things that benefit herself. A strong woman is commited to courageously act on behalf of God and others.

The Prov 7 woman gives a terribly, clear disgusting picture of being a woman that is non-commital and does things to only benefit herself.
  • She uses her looks to manipulate people. 
  • She is dressed immodestly and it says she has crafty intent
  • She was a busybody never slowing down and never taking time to spend with the Lord. 
  • She pursued man rather than pursuing Jesus, and she brought death to her world.
  • She tempts men with her words. 
  • She uses her womanhood to deceive and bring others down.
  • And its says in vs. 27 that Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. 
Yikes! I don’t ever want to be known as the woman who’s house leads others to the chamber of death! She is not committing to anything but her own pleasure. She is flaky. She says she will do something and then doesn’t show or doesn’t commit.

God says in Matthew 5:37-“Let your yes be yes and your no be no. 

I see this very much in our society currently. Women are not women of their word. They are not dependable. They say “I might come..I’ll let you know.” 

Why are we so non-commital? I think it has the same roots as what Satan was using to tempt Eve...”What if I miss out?” “What if there is something more?” Even more, I think it really resonates in our fear. Its easier if I control the world around me cause then I won’t get hurt. And in the mean time, you shut out real, meaningful relationships and you only act out of fear.

In the next chapter of Proverbs we see the woman of courage. In contrast to the Proverbs 7 woman, the Proverbs 8 woman is
  • Inviting towards people and men but not taking the role of crafty purser,
  • She takes her stand for what is right, but is not overbearing.
  • She has trustworthy things to say and is a speaker of truth 
  • and it says in verse 15 that she is a helper to Kings. 
  • She detests wickedness. She walks in paths of righteousness.
  • Her instruction is helpful and priceless.
  • Just like the Provbers 31 woman, the Proverbs 8 woman is more precious than Rubies. 
  • And she brings life and hospitality and joy to those around her
Ladies, I wish I could recount to you all the brave women of the Bible that acted on behalf of what was Noble, Right, True.  Rahab, Jesus’ mother Mary, Deborah, Abigail. I also wish I could share countless examples of women I know that live in this way!  Women who have stood up on behalf of God and his purposes, faced their fears with courage, and left a mark on history and lives by their commitments to follow through to honor God.

You will either serve God or you will serve fear. Please, choose today to Serve God! 

What are you afraid of tonight? What is keeping you from serving God and living for his purposes? Can I encourage you to cast off your fear, and courageously step out, take the leap, and  impact others and the world? To have courage to serve God rather than your own desires? To let your yes be yes and your no be no? Commit today to serve God rather than yourself. 

This Blog brought to you to by all the 6 year olds in the world that took the leap off the High Dive, and bore the sting of a belly flop followed by the courageous smile of commitment winning out.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Word Crimes: Foolish Speech

 A wimpy woman is foolish with her speech. But a strong woman is wise with her words.
Picture from www.salon.com
This weekend my friend Brittney was telling me about how Weird Al (who knew that guy was still around!) made a song based off the popular hit song "Blurred Lines." Weird Al's version is called "Word Crimes," discussing the faux pas of grammar misuse. With a simple google search, and a click of your mouse, you can hear it too!  
But it did make me think about the word crimes we can commit when we use our speech for evil not good. 
When we use words in a sinful way they come out as gossip and slander, harshly tearing down those around us. On the flip side, words used for God’s glory come out as amazing encouragement and truth.
James 3:9-13 says
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, (or my sisters) this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers (or sisters) can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 

Likewise Proverbs 18:21 says--The tongue has the power of life and death

Listen ladies, Gossip is when we talk to another person about someone else’s issue when that person can not or is not helpful to the solution of the situation. 

 Picture from https://www.mylilybell.com
I see often that we mask our gossip by forming it into a prayer request. You have all heard them : "Hey would you pray for Susie, she’s really struggling with purity right nowbecause she got back with her Ex, who is so not attractive and..blahblahblah."

Not ok!

Can I challenge you women to be women of strength by bringing life with your words. Do not slander and tear down. Do not talk about others. Don’t be overly critical and cover it up by joking. Be different

The world has enough gossipers and slanders. Be a conversation changer. Be a woman that speaks of life.

Eleanor Roosevelt said this:
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." 

Lets be Great minds and discuss ideas, not people.
Build up people that are living worthy lives, even when they are not around. Speak well of your brothers and sisters and honor them when they are out of earshot. It will eventually get back to them and bless them!
Proverbs 31: 26 says a woman of Noble Character  is one who speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  

Let your words be beacons of light and truth, not death and destruction. Be wise in your speech.

Also, be a woman of the Word! All wisdom starts and ends with God and His words of truth. Why not look to his book for wisdom? 

“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom..” Proverbs 9:10

This blog brought to you by Brittney's ten year old daughter, Audrey, who also informed me that "Batman" can now be used as an adjective, synonymous with the word "awesome." 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Discipleship: A Legacy of Influence

John 12:24--Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Wimpy women live only for themselves. But strong woman are life givers, leaving a legacy that impacts the world! 

Sophomore year, I went to a conference with a collegiate ministry, mainly because it  was at the beach and my friends would be there. I don't remember who the speaker was or what he spoke on. But i do remember after one of the sessions, making a bee line for the beach around 10pm.  I remember God challenging me with the verse above and just being cut to the heart. If I didn't die to myself, I wouldn't have a lasting impact. But if I died to myself, God could use my life to impact generations of people.  And I just cried and cried. I heard the Lord calling me to die to my little dreams, my little life plans, my American dream, and to let him take over.  He was saying, like he said to the rich young ruler in Mark--Rachel, will you sell all you have and follow me? And I sat on the beach  until about midnight just praying and  processing what this meant.
One story comes to mind as I wrestled with this decision. Its a story of a loving Dad who gives his 6 year old daughter as strand of fake pearls for her birthday. The daughter loved those pearls (even though they were of little value) and she would wear them every day. She wore them to school, in the pool, while playing soccer, while trying on dress up clothes, even to bed. Then one day, her dad said to her, "Daughter, I have a surprise for you! Its something that you will love! Its something beyond what you can even imagine!" The little girl squealed with delight! "Daddy! Can you give it to me now?" And he said, "Honey, I can definitely give it to you know. But one thing. This gift will cost you your pearls." The little girl looked at him with horror and said "No! I don't want you to have my pearls" and she ran to her room. As she sat there, she thought "I love my pearls! My dad knows this! Why would he ask me to give them to him?" As she sat there, she thought, there are two things I know: My dad loves me and If he says it will be better and worth it, then it must be better and worth it." So she went back to her dad and said "Dad, I will give you my pearls! And with tears in her eyes and a slowly opening first, she dropped her fake pearls into his hand. Then her Dad looked at her and loved her and said "Thank you for trusting me." And he put in her now open hand the gift. A strand of real, authentic pearls that he bought especially for her.
For me, the wrestling on the beach was to give up my fake pearls, for the real pearls. And that night, I let the fake pearls slip out of of my hand and received the peace that the Lord was going to give me something better! And how amazing! He really has! 
A wimpy women lives only for herself and her dreams. She is quick to brush asides sacrificing anything. She closes her ears to God’s voice. She holds her dreams with a closed clenched fist. But a strong woman says..I trust my father. I want the real life..the real pearls. And Jesus says..yes! Give up that small idea of life and I will give you real life..lasting life..life that produces many seeds.
One way this looks is for us to be Life Givers.
Discipleship--Obviously, every woman is physically designed to be a life giver, in that we can birth babies. But I think we can also carry this out into other aspects of our lives.

Right now you are not bringing children into the world physically. But part of being a life giver is raising up Godly generations and discipling women in their walks with God! There are millions of Christians in this world, but few women that take up the call to be Disciple Makers. 

There are plenty of pew sitters and women that can plan ladies desserts and craft nights, but we need women who will take on the raising up of the next generation. Will you be that woman?  Rise up women! And raise up other women with you!! The task at hand is every Tribe tongue people and language for the glory of God. 

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." ~Matt 28:19-20

Will you help someone in her walk with God? Will you get help from an older woman who can teach you how to help another women with their walk with God? This it not just a Navigator calling, nor is it just a calling for college. 

Embrace this and pray for Godly generations out of your life. Let go of your small life plans, die to yourself, and embrace the call of discipling and being discipled. And see the Nations come to know the Lord. Be part of a larger grander purpose!

Picture from Greenacres.com
A wimpy woman has no long term impact. But a strong woman leaves a legacy of influence.
This blog brought to you by Laguna Beach Retreat Center, where I left my fake pearls for some real ones.