Faith

4 Reasons To Come to a Women’s Bible Study

Chances are you have a Women’s Bible study happening at your local church.  Maybe you have been invited, scanned over the blurb in the church bulletin, or have seen it promoted online and you thought, “I should go to this.  Yes, I’m going!”

Within that same moment you also begin to think of the one hundred and one reasons why you can’t go.  Your lack of time being number one, followed by, ” I don’t want to go in there by myself,” to the standard, “I’m just too busy”.

We are busy, oh so busy, in a world that has more modern conveniences than ever before.  How is that possible?

My good friend always says this about being BUSY

BEING undersatan's yoke

Oh so true.  He loves to keep us BUSY, wasting our time on things that will not catapult us toward God.  He wants to keep us status quo, so he can wear us down to the point where we won’t even remember the last time we opened our Bible.  The last time we simply sat in the quietness of God’s presence, where God’s grace, mercy, hope and peace flow.

As a Women’s Ministry leader I am always coaxing women to come to Women’s Bible Study and here are my top four reasons:

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You will Increase Your Bible Knowledge

The more time you spend in something, the better you will know it.  As you devote yourself to learning more of God’s Word, that knowledge will take up a residence within you, that you carry for the rest of your life.

Your Faith Will Grow 

As you read and study God’s Word and the lives of the people within the pages of the Bible, you will see two things:  Their Lack of Faith, or Their Great Faith.  Your faith will grow by studying both.

You Will Become a Woman of Prayer

Prayer will take on a fresh meaning to you, as you pray for the needs of the women around you and they pray for you.  You will wonder how you’ve made it this far in life without it.

You Will Find Community 

You will sit around a table with women who you may have not met otherwise, and you will laugh and cry together.  They will become your friends, your confidants, your sisters, and you will find the wonderful bond of community.

As Women’s Bible studies are kicking off in churches all over this Fall, answer the call dear friend, dear sister, you will be happy that you did.

If you are in my area, I would love to have you at our Women’s Bible Study, kicking off this week at Bethel Life Worship Center, in Greenville, PA

Here are your bulletin blurbs!

Bible Study Promo

WOW Bible Study

 

Faith

America Is Great – Because We Give

The truth is, we all need it from time to time, a wake up call.  I have to say that since my last post  When You Can’t Unknow  I’ve been wrecked.  I’ve been angry, crying and filled with desperation.

Something happened within me that night as I listened to Christine share about something as simple as sanitary kits for women. Something that every woman should have, the ability to keep herself clean.

It was if God slapped me in the face, it stung, it is still stinging and just won’t stop. I’m grouchy about it. I find myself in daily conversations with people and everything seems silly and small in comparison.

I honestly felt like there was no good thing I would ever have to say again, at least nothing that would make any kind of a difference.  I would sit down to write something and nothing would come.  Until tonight.

For whatever reason, the Lord wanted me to see poverty and the despair it brings in a new light.  In a real light.

  • We live in a world where some are cherished and some are thrown away like trash. 
  • Where some are fed and some are left starving. 
  • Where some have excellent medical care and others loose their eye from something as curable as pink eye.
  • Where some have indoor plumbing and others share a hole in the ground with hundreds of others.  
  • Where some women have any an all means to keep themselves clean and others bleed on a bale of hay.

I’m currently reading a book titled Find Me Unafraid.  Jessica Posner finds herself in the largest slum in Kenya, called Kibera, a slum of over one million people.    She shares a conversation that she had over a meager meal with a few young boys, they are five and six.

They begin to ask her questions about America and they want to know if it is true that dogs and cats get fed every day?  Is it also true that Americans take their dogs and cats to the doctor?

She tells them, “Yes these things are true.”  The five year old, says these words…“I wish I were a cat in America.”

I want you to pause here for a moment, dear friend, and I want you to let that slice your soul, as it did mine.

I don’t share this with you, to make you feel bad or sad.  I share this with you on a beautiful Sunday evening in America, where most of us us have enjoyed plates full of food all week.  We have swam and played in oceans, lakes and pools of clean water.  Our children have enjoyed fun, games and fireworks.  We have celebrated something coveted by the world, Freedom.

We are all busy, running this frantic race, trying to make our lives and our Nation great.  The truth is we are already great, yet we are never satisfied.  We want bigger, better, more.

In these past weeks I have come to know this…

 White American Flag Memorial Day Wishes Instagram Post

Never let anyone fool you into believing different.

I have been asking myself so many questions:

What can I do?

How can pray?

Can I really make any kind of a difference?

Today a man from my church sent me a book titled, Moving Mountains, by John Eldredge.  He said that he had bought ten copies and the Lord directed him as to who to give them to.  The Lord put my name on his list. Funny how God works, isn’t it?

I know this, the Mountain of Poverty is a mammoth mountain.  Far too big for me or for you, but together with God, is there a mountain too big?

I want to do more than read about what to do, I want to do.  I want to be a woman who is making a difference in the places where the need is desperate.  That place may look different for each of us, but God is big enough to show us where and what small thing we can do.

Let’s Begin to Ask God to Show Us How 

Will you pray for those who would find it a joy to be a cat in America? 

Will you ask God how you can give, and where you should give?

Will you welcome the opportunity to open your door to the poor, when everyone else is closing theirs?

Will you obey, even if it requires sacrifice?

Will you press on and not be deterred, even if it gets hard?  

Are we willing to push against this mountain, with God…until the job is finished?

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Faith

When You Can’t Unknow

It sit in circles with women every week, and yeah, we have problems, heartbreaks even. Our trials are real, painful and nerve wracking, to us.

Today I have to, I must be, honest with you and with myself. If you are a woman, like me, who is living in a home with running water, heat, and fridge full of food, you are living in the top quarter of the world. There is nothing wrong with that, we are simply living what we know. That’s just it, it’s what we know.

Every once in awhile someone breaks into our life, the little bubble in which we live, and gives us information that we don’t know. For some reason the Lord has decided that in this moment it is time for us to know something new, something that will change us, the way we think and what we do.

Today, my friends, I’m going to do this for you. Maybe you’ll thank me, or maybe you’ll want to unknow, but you see there is no unknowing.

Pink Black and White Simple Eyes Illustration Hobbies Facebook Post

There is a tiny woman who goes to my church, she wakes before the sun comes up and goes to her basement. She is not going to her computer, or her treadmill, but she sits down at her sewing machine and begins to sew.

Surrounded by bolts of fabric and spools of thread and the biggest ironing board I’ve ever seen, she sews. She isn’t sewing curtains or crafts, she sews menstrual kits. Yep, you heard me, menstrual kits, washable, reusable ones.

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She has chosen the fabric with care, the most beautiful prints she can find, the thickness and softness of the fabric is of the utmost importance. You see with each kit she sews she is changing one life, really changing it.

You can see what my friend Christine is up to here.

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Women living in Africa, Nepal, India and other third world countries have no products for feminine hygiene.

Imagine with me-

  • Imagine, having your period and sitting on a piece of card board, hay, or dirt for the week.
  • Imagine be exiled to a hut, in the heat and the cold as you sit. The blood calling out to every animal or serpent near.
  • Imagine being so desperate to go to work that you try to stop your flow with rocks, corn husks, even dried feces, anything that will absorb the flow.
  • Imagine the disease and infection that could ravage your body.
  • Imagine the pain.
  • Imagine if you are lucky enough to go to school and have access to some product, but you have to allow your principal to rape you in order to get it.

Women are beaten down, stripped of their dignity because of the flow of blood, a flow that God created to carry life into the world.

Women living in South America, Canada and Europe where the cost of product is five times what it is in the US. Meaning a box of tampons can be as high as $28 dollars. You are forced to miss work or school, family celebrations, worship, because you are home on rags having your period.

There are many women with the US who cannot afford product for themselves or their daughters, women who are living on under $12,000 a year. Not to mention the limited access to products for girls in foster care or women in prison. They have no money to buy it for themselves and US or State governments do not, where will they get it, and worse yet, what will they have to do to get what they need?

Imagine with me, If you were one of these women, how a washable,
reusable feminine hygiene kit would change your life.

Days for Girls 4

My friend is on mission sewing as many kits as she can, changing a life with every one. Giving women and girls freedom and dignity. She is faithful to sew and an organization called Days for Girls is faithful to get them to the women and girls who need them.

Ever since my friend shared all of this with me, I wake each morning thinking of the girls, alone, disgraced and suffering because their bodies are doing what they are designed to do. There is no where for them to turn, no help to be found. They suffer as their mothers have suffered.

I don’t know the first thing about sewing, I don’t have much to offer, but now I know and I can’t unknow.

I start with this, spreading the news and praying that God will show me a way I can help, and that I will be willing to sacrifice my own comfort to do it. It’s a heart searching, a soul searching really.

Am I willing to see the suffering of others through the eyes of Christ?

Am I willing to wake before the sun?

Am I willing to go to bed late?

Am I willing to give up a meal out, and give that money away?

Am I willing to travail in prayer?

Am I willing to not do one great thing, but one small thing to change a life?

I hate to do this to you, I really do…

Now, you know, and just like me, there is no unknowing.

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Faith

Living and Loving the Commands of Jesus

If you love me obey my commands.  Jesus said that.

Jesus My…

 Savior

 Redeemer

 Peace

 Joy

 Comfort

Faithful Friend

Teacher

Strong Tower

Refuge

The One I Claim To Love

I do love Him, at least I thought I did.  Until this list…I feel like it has left me pretty much undone.  If you really want it to sink in, read it out loud, then read it again.

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Now let me ask you, do you love Him?  

I’ll be honest, it has been so long since I have taken a long hard look into the commandments of Jesus that I had forgotten many of them.  It’s as if they existed in the background, when they should have been in the forefront.

Most often I’m looking into God’s Word seeking out what He has for me, not something  I can do for Him or those around me.  Most times I come to God’s Word taking, not giving.

This list has got me to wondering… 

When we live His commands, will we really start living?   

When we live His commands, will we really know the abundant life? 

When we live His commands, will we we really start seeing? 

When we live His commands, will we really start knowing? 

When we live His commands, will we really start loving?

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Faith

He Is

I love celebrating New Year! It is time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the New Year.

As I sit here with my 2018 planner, I can’t help but wonder. What will 2018 hold?

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If I were to take a guess – 2018 will hold joy and heartbreak, hope and disappointment. There will be days I’m annoyed, grouchy and cold. Other days that I will be expectant, filled with peace and warm.

Only God knows what the days ahead hold.

I can rest assured in this – He IS Constant, HE IS Able, HE IS my Joy, HE IS my Peace, He IS Understanding, HE IS Wise, HE Is Faithful and the list will go on and on.

Every year I ask the Lord to give me His theme for my year. Every year He is faithful to give me direction. The words HE IS have been rolling around in my mind ever since.

My heartbeat for 2018 – That I will take my eyes off of myself, off of others and set them fully on Him. That I will purpose to know my God and all that HE IS.

What about you? What is your heartbeat for 2018?

Faith

Waiting is Not Wasting

Simeon was a man who was on a waiting mission. I don’t know about you, but I find that waiting is one of the most difficult missions in life.

We feel like things are happening if we are doing something… anything.

What we and our friend Simeon didn’t know at the time was…

While We Are Waiting – God Is Working…

 God would send an angel to tell Zacharias that the son he would have in his old age would become John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for the coming Messiah

 God would send and angel to Mary to reveal His news that she would carry His Son

 God would convince Joseph to take Mary as his wife

 God would move upon Herrod to tax the Israelites, which would begin Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, the City of David.

 As Mary and Joseph traveled, the Lord would guide their way to Bethlehem.

 Once there, God would make sure that there was no room in any inn, His Son would be born is a lowly stable.

 As Jesus was born God would have angles fill the sky heralding the Good News to shepherds nearby – those shepherds were the first to come and worshiped the Savior of the World.

 God would fill every part of prophecy to perfection

We must reassure ourselves that…Waiting is not Wasting.

No matter what you are waiting for …

When you are Waiting – God is Working.

We do not see that Simeon became discouraged in his waiting. Instead he was just and devout as he prayed and waited.

Let us not become discouraged or give up either!

Instead let’s be women who press in to Him as we wait…
In prayer, In trust and In wonder.

Merry Christmas !

Faith

A Year of Small Things

All of my life I felt that I had to do something BIG. Big is better you know, at least that is what the world tells us.

Once I became a Christian, what the world thought didn’t matter to me any more, or at least I thought it didn’t. My desire for BIG remained, now I wanted to serve God in big ways, I wasn’t interested in anything small.

I have been walking this Christian walk for almost 30 years and I have yet to do anything big. After years of seeking big, I found myself middle aged and utterly disappointed with my small self.

The truth is, I’m surrounded by small – I live in a small town, work a small job, attend a small church. If I were to be honest – I live a small life.

These past months I have been in a season of searching my soul, sitting quiet with the Lord. Wondering what big thing He was calling me to and how was I missing it?

That’s when I heard it, the whisper, “The Small Things Matter to Me.”

Small Things

Can I love big – in small ways?

I pulled a tablet out of my desk drawer and began a list, across the top I scrawled…

A Year of Small Things

At first I had more questions than answers

Would small things make any kind of difference? I don’t know

Would I dare to love great in the small things for one year, 365 days? I can try

Do I have the time? Nope

The energy? Some days

The creativity? None

As doubts filled my head, ideas poured in, in greater measure

small things 4

Washing dishes

Sitting in a waiting room

Holding a grieving friend’s hand

Small things 6

Sending a card

Faithfully praying, really praying for others

Making and taking a meal

Driving someone to a doctor’s appointment

Inviting someone over for dinner

Small Things 5

Changing bed sheets

Scrubbing a bathroom

Smiling and acknowledging people as we pass by

Paying a visit to a home bound friend

Small things 7

Baking (or buying) a birthday cake

Making coffee

Sending flowers

Listening, really listening

Send an encouraging message or text

Care packages from our garden

And this is just the beginning …

I found myself in Matthew chapter thirteen as Jesus talks about how God’s Kingdom will grow through tiny seeds.

Seeds like mustard seeds, seeds that are the smallest of seeds, when they are sown they grow, not into a plant or a bush, but trees. Trees large enough that birds will come and rest in their branches.

Small things, done with great love can be sown into the hearts of people. Tiny seeds planted into God’s Kingdom that are the smallest of all, but grow big.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

Matthew 13: 31-32

The procrastinator within me says, Start in the New Year.

The Holy Spirit whispers within me saying, start today.

Today it is !

Follow along with me, in a year of counting small things, given with great love.

Faith

What Are You Doing?

Last week my husband and I were chatting about the book of James.  Specifically these verses…

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;  for once he has looked at himself and gone away,he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.  But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  James 1: 23-27 NASB 

They call us to live out our faith.  To become doers,  putting our faith into action, action that is effectual in the lives of others.

I began to list out to him friends who were doing just that.  Friends who are living out their faith in orphan care, foster care, special needs care, even refugee care.  I proceeded to tell him how I wanted to highlight each of them in our women’s study next year.

Then he said this, “What are you doing?”

I defended myself, “My part is telling their stories.”

“Oh, Okay,”  He nods

The air between us gets thick and quiet.

End of conversation, but those words… What Are You Doing?  They have been ringing in my ears, hounding me ever since.

I had a long conversation with myself, well it was more of a doing list.

  • I lead Women’s Ministries
  • I teach Bible Study
  • I serve on a few Boards

Then I look again into the mirror of God’s perfect Word and I clearly see my imperfections:

Am I an effective doer?

Am I doing because it meets my own selfish emotional needs?

Am I doing for those who cannot do back?

Am I doing sacrificially?

Am I doing for those who are in distress?

Am I worried that doing will be messy, hard and emotional?

I have known for awhile what I am called to do, but you see, it involves all of the above. 

I have found myself in the wrong group, I have joined in with all of the talkers.

Talking is everywhere, turn on your TV, your radio, you social media outlets.  We are all so busy thinking and giving our opinions, but who is doing?

Who are the ones that their hands and feet speak more than their mouths?  I want to join that club, no… I am going to to join that club. 

Let me ask you my friend, the question that stopped me in my tracks…

What are you doing?