Be Quiet and Listen

Taking time to listen to God and to discern what He’s calling us to do is a discipline we all can embrace. Sometimes in our great need to be heard we forget that listening allows God to be heard. I believe I’ve learned more in the silence, listening to Him, than I’ve ever learned as I prayed and begged Him for answers. At times I wasn’t even asking the right questions, but when I quieted my mind and listened, really listened, I heard what I needed to hear.

Contemplative listening is a rich experience for those willing to make time to be still in God’s presence. Set aside ten minutes and just be quiet. Turn off the music, the phone, and the television. Be quiet and invite God to speak to you in your spirit. As you grow comfortable with the silence and learn to hear God’s voice, I think you’ll want to set aside longer periods of time in which you deliberately listen for His counsel.

When I actually get quiet and listen, I find that God usually...

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Supernatural Surprises

supernatural surprises Jan 12, 2015

In general, I’ve discovered there are two types of women: those who love women’s conferences/retreats and those who do not. I fall into the former category. I absolutely love women, hearing from them, learning from them, being challenged by them. Tell me when/where, and I’m there.

A friend of mine (a fellow conference-attender) flew into town to join me for the OKC Women of Faith conference. We’ve been before. In fact, I’ve been many, many times. I go expecting to love it. And this time my expectation was no different.

But this year my expectations went no further than that. Time away from the demands of life, surrounded by godly women, awesome music, and some good speakers/storytellers. My idea of a good weekend. I didn’t expect what happened.

God. That’s what happened. I mean, He’s always there. But this time He was in my stuff. Before we left the opening session Friday night I knew this was no ordinary weekend conference. And by the...

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My Father’s Love

my father’s love Jan 05, 2015

One morning I was alone in my room confessing (yet again) the sin I had walked into. I was really struggling and beaten down by the accuser hurling my sin in my face, telling me the familiar lie that God could not, did not love me. I cried out to God for forgiveness and begged Him to in some way show me He loved me that day. I needed visible, concrete assurance of His love. I got up from praying and, with the activities of being a mother of four, I soon forgot my request and went about my day.

We were living in Lancaster, PA at the time, roughly a five-hour drive from my parents in New Castle, PA. In the afternoon I was having a conversation with my oldest son when I was surprised by the front door opening. When I turned to see who was entering the house, I was surprised to see it was my dad. Usually there would be phone calls and coordination before a visit. Not this time.

When I asked why he decided to visit, his reply was touching. He said, "I just woke up and was overwhelmed by...

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Miraculous and Human Collide in The Christmas Candle


From bestselling author Max Lucado comes The Christmas Candle, a timeless holiday film for the entire family.

Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries-old legend may come to an end.

When David Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness. While David's quest to modernize Gladbury sets him at odds with the old world candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks). Now, the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of...

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The Organic God

The Organic God

. . . More often than not, I find myself compartmentalizing God. He is more welcome in some areas of my life than others. Prayer, Bible study, Scripture memorization, journaling, and other spiritual disciplines become like items to be checked off a to-do list that is eventually crumpled up and thrown away rather than savored and reflected upon. The result is that my understanding and perception of God is clouded, much like the dingy haze of the pollution that hangs over most major cities. The person in the middle of a city looking up at the sky doesn’t always realize just how much their view and perceptions are altered by the smog. Without symptoms such as burning eyes or an official warning of scientists or media, no one may even notice just how bad the pollution has become.

That’s why I describe God as organic. While it’s a word usually associated with food grown without chemical-based fertilizers or pesticides, organicis also used to describe a...

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Joni and Ken: What a great calling that is...


Dear Women of Faith,

What a great calling that is, isn’t it? To be women of faith—wives of faith, daughters of faith, sisters of faith, mothers of faith. I can imagine God smiling as he sees all of his beautiful daughters exercising their faith in all of their various roles.

And sometimes it is an exercise—not a walk in the park, but a struggle to lift heavy burdens or push against hard things. We all experience these times, and often, in our closest relationships.

I want to share with you all some things I’ve learned along this journey in my relationship with my husband Ken…

It’s funny, but I have a hard time these days just writing “Joni.”  I always want to write “Joni and Ken.”  No, not as though it were stamped on a wedding napkin or written on a house mortgage document. It’s more visceral than that. Thirty years have passed since Ken and I began our journey together, and God has used every...

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The Typical Pastor's Wife is Dead

We think the “typical” pastor’s wife or woman in ministry is dead. You know, that woman who had it all together, never seemed to struggle, played the piano, attended every event, and met everyone’s expectations—although she could have had some help with her wardrobe.

Those of us in ministry have heard, read and said “I’m not the typical pastor’s wife” so many times, we’ve started to wonder if she really ever existed at all, or if she really only existed in people’s minds and expectations. We spend mass amounts of time, energy, emotion, and effort comparing ourselves to a myth. And the problem is—we fall short. Our attention turns to our shortcomings and failings instead of staying focused on God and who He created us to be.

But the truth is, God knew exactly what He was doing, exactly who He was calling. He knows our shortcomings and our struggles, and He has extended His call to leadership and ministry anyway.

...
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There’s No Way

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV 1984)

I put my head against my bedroom wall, closed my eyes, and whispered, “There’s no way.” 10 years ago, my world collided with what seemed like an impossible invitation from God: adopt two teen boys from war-torn Liberia.

No matter how many times I whispered, “there’s no way,” this nagging sense of possibility wouldn’t leave me. It wove its way through every fiber of my being until I stood up and shifted everything I thought my family would be with one weakly whispered, “Yes.”

I can honestly say, there were moments of sheer joy where I felt reassured that I’d heard God right.

But there were many other moments where life felt chaotic, messy, and really hard. There were tears. There were times I wondered if I’d heard God wrong.

There were more times even after we adopted where I said,...

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Amy Grant shares on her family, future and Women of Faith

Grammy-winning Christian pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant performs twice in the Charlotte area this weekend: The youthful 51-year-old will join fellow gospel artists Sandi Patty and Mandisa, plus other Christian authors and speakers, Friday at the Women of Faith Conference at Time Warner Cable Arena. She’ll also headline at Wingate University’s Austin Auditorium Saturday.

Grant says the Women of Faith show came at the right time for her.

“My mother passed away last year, and she was such a consistent voice in my life,” she says. “During the time right around her death, I was involved with Women of Faith on the West Coast and then this year working closer to home on the East Coast. It has been truly a godsend.”

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Women of Faith speaker Pat Smith supports husband at 'DWTS' premiere

DALLAS, TX (AP) - On Monday, September 24, Women of Faith speaker Pat Smith, will reenter the grand ballroom arena once again, to cheer on her husband Emmitt as he keeps his eye on the mirror ball prize.

The former NFL star will compete in the All-Star season of Dancing with the Stars, hoping for the first ever two-time champion title.

"I remember the first time Emmitt got the call to be on Dancing with the Stars," said Pat Smith, former actress and beauty queen. "I thought they were calling for me but when I watched him I was amazed, thinking, this brother can dance! Look at my man go!"

In 2006, when Emmitt, along with dance partner Cheryl Burke, was named the Mirror Ball Trophy winner of the hit ABC reality show, Pat supported her husband each step of the way.

"I am so happy to be married to such a great man," said Pat. "Despite our busy schedules, he always makes his family his priority, supporting our goals and dreams. I am thrilled that he has another opportunity to show the...

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