PERSPECTIVE of PURPOSE. In order to fulfill our calling, we must be selective in the things we look for in life. I’ve been around the block more than once! I’m over 40, married, and have two beautiful kids. The more life I experience and circumstances I face, the more I'm convinced that if we as women truly desire to live out our God given purpose and destiny, we must follow God with our whole hearts and maintain a passionate faith walk. Yes, the perspective we maintain actually determines the purpose in which we walk in.
As women it's easy to become distracted and miss the plans and purposes God has for our lives because our focus is on unimportant, insignificant things (that just happen to be screaming the loudest for our attention!). Instead of focusing on the bigger picture and prioritizing what we are faced with, we often get side-tracked and distracted by the immediate, seemingly urgent elements of life, rather than the things that are actually...
She and her husband had been missionaries for over sixty years and led countless people to Christ. Now she was in her eighties and still serving. My friend Sheli and I were honored to stay with her for a week to minister alongside her.
After traveling thirty hours to her home in Takamatsu, Japan, we arrived late in the evening. She ushered us into her kitchen for a hearty meal, then prayed for us before we all went to bed. When the sun was barely up the next morning, we feasted on an enormous breakfast in her tiny kitchen.
The kitchen was crowded, her appliances old and worn, dishes piled high in the sink from her...
The Gift of Grace. The law of the harvest is explained in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Verse 15 says, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
Now if a gift is that good that it can’t be described, I want to know about it. So what is this gift that the Bible says is indescribable? We don’t have to wonder because the answer is right there in our passage,
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (verse 8). The gift that God has given to each one of us, the gift that is beyond Paul’s ability to articulate, is the gift of grace. Grace is the doctrine that separates Christianity from every other religion ever known to mankind.
Grace also operates according to God’s laws. In 2 Corinthians 9, the concept of grace occurs in the context of the law of the harvest, or the law of sowing and reaping. When it comes to the...
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.—Ephesians 6 :18
When we take a shower in the morning, we have space and quiet to pray and ask God to be present with us throughout the day. As the water cleanses our hair, we praise God for his great cleansing of us. And we pray for those who need to know that kind of wild grace.
As we prepare food, we pray for those who will taste it. As we add seasoning, we ask Jesus to please make us salt for this earth. As we fold laundry, we ask God to fold us into himself, and we intercede for those whose pants we fold.
As we run errands, we thank God for transportation. We pray for the angry driver cutting us off, asking for mercy. When we check out at the grocery store, we pray for the livelihood of the cashier, and we ask God for divine appointments to bless people we meet that day.
As we finish our day, we thank God for another twenty-four...
Have you heard the saying, “I’ve really been put through the wringer!”? Maybe this is a Midwestern term and maybe it is not used quite as often any more, but have you ever felt like you have been “Put through the wringer”?
In the, “ahem,” olden days, before our convenient washers with all the fancy selections of exactly the way we want to wash our clothes, women had to use a wringer washer. Perhaps you have used one or your mother or grandmother used to use one. I remember going to antique auctions with my mom, and she would explain how they worked. Clothes were washed and then cranked through the rollers so that excess water was squeezed out of it, making it easier to hang them on the clothesline. The rollers were called a mangle, as running the device could be dangerous. She shared with me the agony my grandma had using it with six children, she had her fair share of this laborious work. Her main point was: Don’t...
In a million unique ways—as we change diapers, eat dinner, return e-mails, pay the bills—we are to be evidence of God. Jesus factored in the mundane. . . . Embrace the common: a Sunday afternoon watching sports, Starbucks with a friend, cooking dinner for a neighbor, taking the dog for a walk, heading to a job that is making you more humble and needy because it is so unfulfilling. . . .
Do your everyday and your ordinary. Godliness is found and formed in those places. No man or woman greatly used by God has escaped them. Great men and women of God have transformed the mundane, turning neighborhoods into mission fields, parenting into launching the next generation of God’s voices, legal work into loving those most hurting, waiting tables into serving and loving in such a way that people see our God.
Jesus says the way we glorify God . . . is by accomplishing the work God gives us to do. Jesus glorified His Father on earth by doing that...
How many times have you said no to something simply because you lacked the confidence to do it? Granted, we don’t need to say yes to every crazy opportunity that presents itself, but there are times when we ought to step forward and have a little faith in our own abilities. In fact, that’s what the word confidence means – with faith. So how do we increase our belief in our own abilities? Let’s consider five ways:
Try New Things – You never know until you try. Your belief in yourself grows when you try something new and grow from the experience. Don’t be afraid of mistakes – they happen. What is important is that you step forward in courage and face the fear of the unknown.
Grow from Every Blunder – Instead of beating yourself up and thinking of yourself as a failure, use every mistake as a growth opportunity. Allow errors to make you smarter and stronger. Most success stories are built on the foundation of lessons learned from...
Soft Heart, Thick Skin. There I was standing on the playground, underneath the monkey bars, 10 years old, two long braids hanging down my back. This image is burned into my brain as one of the very first times my feelings were truly hurt.
I was standing there with two other girls waiting to find out which one of us would be chosen to be the girlfriend of the new boy in school. Needless to say, I wasn’t chosen that day. I walked away feeling hurt and embarrassed. Twenty-eight years later I could look back at that little girl and tell her it doesn’t matter in the long run, I could tell her that same boy would be her first kiss and once again break her heart 5 years later. I could tell her she would meet the man of her dreams in just a few short years and none of this would matter for her future. I could tell her all those things, but it wouldn’t ease her pain.
This was the moment that something shifted in me, it was the beginning of learning...
In our microwave, instant-messaging, drive-through-window, cell-phone world, one thing many of us are not great at is patience. More succinctly: we hate to wait. Yet in reality, many hurry up to wait. We want what we want and we want it yesterday!
When going through tribulations, we naturally want our trials to quickly be over and done. But let us learn to go through whatever’s before us (the good and bad) with joy, knowing that what the enemy may have intended for evil, God can and will use it for our good. Glory in the wait with the knowledge that, in the end, something good will come.
As a child, did you have a favorite blanket? Or, maybe you had a child that had a favorite blanket? A blanket that was needed to sleep or assist with anxiety. A blanket that if left somewhere, would cause great turmoil.
As adults, I believe the past becomes that comfortable blanket we had as a child. The past is what we cling to because it provides us comfort. The past is the secure and known.
The future on the other hand can cause anxiety and stress. The unknown of the future makes us feel insecure and scared.
In Matthew 9:14-17, Jesus is defending his disciples when he is questioned about fasting, but it goes even deeper regarding putting new wine into old wineskins. In verse 17, Jesus says “and no one puts new wine into old wine skins.”
The same is true for Christianity. Light and darkness cannot mix. Once we are saved, we can’t keep living the same way before we were saved. After we accept Christ, we are made new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore...