Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Feelings Over Truth?

I have had a couple “bumpy” days… I have noticed that some days I have a greater need of mercy… not only from God but from others too!  The thing with God’s mercy is that He has given me all the mercy I will ever need forever… given in daily doses! “Through the Lord’s mercy, we are not completely wiped out. His compassion is never limited. It is new every morning. His faithfulness is great.” Lamentations 3:22-23

The problem is so many times I don’t “feel” it because I am choosing to do things my own way.  Doing things my own way only helps me to put my trust in me & not Him! What a colossal mistake is that??? Yet I continue to do it over & over again!

Trusting in the Lord means I am surrounded by mercy (Psalms 32:10)  Being in a holding pattern of sorts right now in my life, some days it is not so easy to just trust that everything will work out!  There are many moments that I feel God will not come through for me, but because I trust Him with my whole life… I know He always will!  It is a funny thing about feelings… they can rarely be trusted!  God put feelings & emotions in us… that is true, but He put them there, I believe, as warning signals not as a way to live our lives!  I know for myself if I trust on how I feel to get things accomplished or to live my life… I would never do anything or go anywhere most days!  I heard a statement that courage is not the lack of fear but the faith to do it in spite of fear!  Some days I have more courage than other days!

For instance, if a person is afraid to fly they can get on the plane without too much anxiety, but as soon as the wheels come off the ground that is when trust has to kick in!  You feel like life is out of control… you may not have a clue about how the whole flying thing works, but it is then that you must trust that it will be okay!  God said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And that is why I know & can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear! What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Trust, faith, mercy… those are all great words! They seem so “holy”… we can use them when talking to someone about their problems.  “Trust in the Lord, He has got this!”  “Have faith that it will all work out for His good!”  “God has poured out His mercy on you in this situation!”  I am sure I have said a variation of these statements at one time or another. And I truly meant them!  But when it is me going through it… like I said those are great words, but do I really “feel” that to be true? 

I was reminded once again recently that trust is an all or nothing choice… either I trust God with everything or I really don’t trust Him with anything!  That may seem like a harsh statement, but trust is trust!  When we can’t see what the next 5 minutes might hold for us… can we trust God that it will be okay?  “I trust You with this 5 minutes, Lord!” If what it takes is to trust Him for 5 minutes at a time… then trust Him with your whole being for that 5 minutes & then repeat it over & over & over! I know that sound ridiculous, but if that is what it takes, then that is what it takes!  And FYI… I am writing this for me as much as for anyone else!

I was thinking about all the “changes of tomorrow” people are going through… the kids going back to school, the economy not doing so great, loss of a job, illness, and on and on. Those things are hard circumstances! In the middle of that you may not “feel” like God will come through… how do you trust & know that He will?

God sent His Son to the world as a sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9).  You can read in Matthew 26 how that even Christ asked for His Father to let the cup of death pass from Him, but He also said, “not as I will but as You will.” (v. 39)  If Christ was able to trust His Father even through death & knew it would be alright… how can I not trust Him through these circumstances of life? God gave His Son’s life for my sins… why would He not do what is best for my life now?

His answers may not always look the way we think they should look, but that is okay! Trusting Him has no limits!  It is through trust we can find contentment & through contentment we will bring Him glory!  Oh, how I want my life to bring Him glory!

Father, I thank You that no matter my feelings I know You are always with me & in control of every situation.  I praise You for Your goodness & faithfulness. When the world around me seems to be crumbling Your mighty arm is my shelter… I trust You for my salvation & I trust You with each one of my days. One step at a time is all You require of me & I can do that knowing You hold the plan.  Thank You for loving me! I pray blessings over each person that reads these words; shine Your light in those dark places. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Be a Girlfriend...

Today is National Girlfriend Day... it is a day to let those ladies in your life that have been with you through thick & thin how much you love & appreciate them!  I have been blessed with incredible women in my life! So I wanted to share this little article about women needing women.  I pray hurts of the past from not such good friendships will not leave you scarred & unable to be loving & transparent with some great women in your life! So here we go with "Why Women Need Each Other" from Anita Carmen:

“My husband is my best friend, but he could never take the place of the women who were and are foundational in my life,” says Anita Carman, Founder of Inspire Women. “God never meant for my husband to fill every role in my life. When I try to make him what he is not, all I do is drain him!”

The Bible speaks of women encouraging each other such as Mary the mother of Jesus going to visit her cousin Elizabeth after the angelic visitation,” says Carman. “Elizabeth had the discernment and spiritual maturity to affirm Mary in her calling.

God saw it fit to team women up in pairs or in groups. He designed women to be in each other’s lives as part of a biblically supportive community. Pastors have expressed the need for women to minister to the women. This is especially true in situations where women have suffered abuse.

The Bible speaks of the older women teaching the younger women. God values the experience of a longer walk of faith with Him and validates the impact of an older woman speaking truth to another.

Some say women are more effective ministering to women because they are natural nurturers. Others say it’s because they tend to be more relational.  The Bible does not attribute the results to nurturing or to relationship skills but simply evidences the structure of a biblical community. God designed women to help each other.

So what happens when a church does not have a women’s ministry? This means there is no intentional structure to foster relationships among women. Chances are, women do not have a structure in place where they can voice their needs and have those needs answered through the guidance, love, and support of other women.

When a woman is alone, her mind can easily become the playground of the devil. There is no voice of accountability in her life. There is no one who will walk beside her and keep her from making wrong choices.

I woke up at the age of 17 to find my mother had taken her own life. Had there been a woman in her life who was observing her depressed state, I believe someone would have intervened.

Instead, I was a teen who was oblivious to the seriousness of my mother’s pain. And my father was trying to use logic to respond to my mother’s wounded heart.

One of the most important women in my life was my spiritual mother. Her prayers carried me through my hardest challenges. When I was frustrated in building a ministry with few contacts, she would say, “Your heavenly Father knows your name.” When the ministry needed resources she would remind me, “Trust your heavenly Father. He has everything under control.”

Women helping women, women teaching women, women encouraging women, women praying for women enrich our lives with relationships that will feed our souls while fulfilling God’s purpose on earth.

In establishing the ministry of Inspire Women, I penned these words to express the ministry’s meaning in a woman’s life: “Imagine a world where every woman wakes up knowing her purpose. More than that, she has a friend who believes in her and will invest in her potential to change the world.”

“When women compete with women,” says Carman, founder of Inspire Women, “they are deviating from God’s design. When women help each other, we reach more than each could accomplish alone. Today God has called home my spiritual mother but I can still remember the many hours we talked on the phone.  I still recall how excited she was to receive my call and to listen to all that God had done to part a Red Sea. And then in her usual pattern, she would put the phone down on her lap. Then I would hear her clap while shouting the words, ‘Yeah Anita!’”

Happy Girlfriend's Day, you all!

As iron sharpens iron, so one person (woman) sharpens another (woman). Proverbs 27:17
Rejoicing in Truth!