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 !

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Book Reviews

Talking to Jesus

Can you imagine a face to face conversation with Jesus?  How I long to meet Him face to face, to just sit and talk with Him.  What a day that will be!

In Talking To Jesus , Jeannie takes us on a beautiful journey through the many conversations that ordinary people had with Jesus.

They, like us today, are such a needy people.  Some sought him out for healing, some for miracles others for answers to the questions that burned within them.  She unveils each conversation in such a unique way,  you feel as if you are in the moment, listening in on every word.

After each conversation she reminds her reader that at any moment of any day, we too, can choose to have those same conversations with Jesus.  No matter the depth of our need or the questions we long to have answered, Jesus is right here waiting and willing to sit and talk with us.  The question is, will we make the time to sit and talk?

If your looking for a fresh perspective on prayer, this book is for you!

 

talking

 

 

 

Book Reviews

A Pocket Full of Seeds Review and Give Away

If you are are a person who loves to feel encouraged as well as spurred on this daily devotional is for you.

These little devotions are short and to the point, yet packed with ideas that encourage us to put our faith into action.  So often devotionals in today’s culture are more about receiving than giving.  Honestly, it is in our giving, where we will find ourselves filled the most.

Debbie does a wonderful job of opening our eyes to the seed planting ideas that are all around us.

You can find a copy of Debbie’s book here A Pocketful of Seeds. 

I’m also giving a copy away here on the blog, just share your favorite Bible verse in the comments here on the blog, on my Facebook page, or Twitter.   I’ll draw a name on Friday, November 10th!

Sorry, but US residents only.  

 

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.

Declare

Abide

To Abide is to remain, to stay, to dwell, to reside, to submit, to connect

Ever find yourself trapped in a frantic pace?  You’re running every night, your husband is complaining he never sees you, you can’t remember what your kids look like and you’re not sure when you all sat down to dinner together.  Oh yes… and you are tired, cranky and overwhelmed.  To top it off, you have convinced yourself that this is all in the name of ‘Serving Jesus’.

You’re working hard to produce fruit for Jesus, but you have never consulted Him about any of your decisions.  You’ve said yes to anyone who asks, because that’s what ‘Good Christians’ do and it’s left you feeling alone and empty.  You mt dear, have become disconnected fro the only one who can sustain you, Jesus.  Jesus warns us what will happen when we disconnect from Him –

The Vine & The Branches

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;for without Me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

 I am the Vine

Jesus declares that He is the Vine, the stem that is full of all the nutrients we need to produce fruit in our lives.

 You are the Branches

A branch is the subdivision, a limb, an off-shoot of the main stem.  The branches are dependent upon the stem to sustain life.  Jesus declaration is clear He is the Vine – We are the branches.

He (or She) who abides in Me

We choose rather our branch stays connected to the Vine or not, we choose to abide.

  • We choose to stay connected to Jesus
  • We choose to submit to His way of doing things
  • We choose to dwell in His presence
  • We choose to pray
  • We choose to listen
  • We choose to remain in Him
 Bears much fruit

Here is the promise for those who abide in Him- they bear, bring forth, produce, give birth to much fruit. 

What kind of fruit are we to be producing?

His Love 

His Joy

His Peace

His Patience

His Goodness

His Faithfulness

His Gentleness

His Self-Control

 

This is spiritual fruit and we cannot produce it on our own.  It’s impossible! It flows from the Vine into our branches that touch the world around us. We can try to muster it up ourselves, but we cannot sustain this fruit on our own.  Before we know it our branch is wilting.

 for without Me you can do nothing

In case there is any question, when you separate your branch from the vine, you may have some left over fruit for a time, but be assured apart from Jesus, there is no way to produce His fruit.

When we plunge into serving without staying connected to Jesus, we will find a whole lot of work, a whole lot of running that leads to one withered lady. The only place we’ll be finding fruit is in the produce isle.

Pray, listen, graft yourself into Jesus, say yes to the fruitful things and no to the fruitless ones.  Then you will feel him flowing through you, nourishing you, sustaining you.  Instead of feeling exhausted and cranky you will be healthy and vibrant, producing beautiful and delicious fruit, that draw all those around you to Jesus.

 

 

Declare

Peace

Peace

Peace is a state of harmony, freedom from distraction, anxiety, obsession and annoyance.  It is a place of well-being in mind, an inner calm. 

 We can have many things, but when we do not have peace we feel that gaping hole and try to fill it with anything we can grab a hold of.  The peace that Jesus offers surpasses any kind of worldly peace that we may try to chase down.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you

Jesus is speaking to His disciples and we, as followers of Christ, are included in this declaration.  Jesus was preparing hearts for His departure, He was leaving and Holy Spirit was coming.  As Holy Spirit works within us, the peace of Jesus steps into our lives.

My peace I give to you

Jesus clarifies by saying My Peace.  The peace that Jesus gives is an end to the brokenness within us from our sin.   Through Jesus’ gift, His sacrifice for our sin, He restores our relationship with God and fills us with His lasting peace.

Not as the world gives to you do I give to you

The world offers up peace as well.  Here is the problem with the world’s peace, it simply doesn’t last.

  •  Money will not bring us lasting peace.
  • Praise from others will not give us lasting peace
  • Landing the perfect job will not give us lasting peace
  • Attention will not give us lasting peace
 Let not your heart be troubled

A troubled heart is heavy; it taxes our body and our mind.  Jesus Declares – ‘Don’t allow yourself to go there, resist when you begin to feel anxious, nervous or worried.  Lean into My peace, it is always here.’

Neither let it be afraid

Fear can paralyze – fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of what other people may say or think, fear of world events that are beyond our control.  Jesus declares –  ‘Do not let fear to access your heart, choose to allow  My peace settle there.’

The moment we accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation, His peace was declared over us.  In the midst of life storms, you will find His deep peace, a peace that you may not be able to explain, it will be a daily anchor for your soul.

Declare

Believe

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. 

Do you believe this?”

 John 11: 25-26

In this verse we are slipping into a conversation between, Jesus and our busy friend Martha.  When Martha took the time to talk with Jesus, He poured out who He was, to her and to us.

 I am the resurrection and the life

 First, Jesus declares that He is the Resurrection – The One who would rise from the dead

Second, He declares that He is not just Life but – The Life – One who would die, but yet live again

The life that Jesus is offering here is not only our physical life, from our birth to our death, but a spiritual life that goes much further than this.

 He (She) who believes in Me

Here is our only action step.  Do we believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and The Life?

 Believe

 To accept something as true, genuine or real

To have a firm or wholehearted conviction or persuasion

 Do we believe that Jesus is the Resurrection, that He died and rose again?

  • Do we accept Jesus’ words as true, genuine, and real?
  • Do we believe wholeheartedly, that Life is really found in Him?
  • Can we simply believe?

 I’m not saying that believing is easy, many people struggle with placing their belief in Jesus.  His promise for our belief is huge.

 Though he (she) may die, he (she) shall live. 

 No surprise here, one look through old pictures will tell us that our bodies are aging and dying, life as we know it is dying.  Once we take our final breath in this life, we take our first breath in The Life, In Jesus.

 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.

We see that living and believing go hand in hand, as we believe, we live.

Jesus defeated death on our behalf, through his resurrection.  When we place our belief in Him we step into a life everlasting. It can be hard to wrap our minds around this thought of our life operating outside of time as we know it.

Do you believe this?”

Jesus asks us to overcome our unbelief as He leaves Martha and us with one final question, Do you believe this?  

 Martha declared “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

What do you Declare? 

 

Declare

Declare

 

Within scripture, Jesus spoke many declarations that fall upon believers today.    Sadly we often miss them or forget them, that can leave us far from applying them to our lives.

A declaration is a formal statement that is announced, avowed, or proclaimed.  Scripture is filled with Jesus’ declarations of salvation, promise, love, provision as well as His declarations of correction, wisdom and guidance.

Jesus was literally the living, breathing Word of God.  John states, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1

Hebrews reminds us that, The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

 We have the powerful, sharp, piercing Word of God, Jesus, declaring over our lives today.  Our thoughts and the intents of our hearts are laid bare before Him and He knows how to speak to us, if we will only listen.

What if we grabbed a hold of these declarations, studied them, memorized them, declared them over our lives and then lived them, would our lives change?  Would we find the peace, hope, direction and confidence we long for.  I believe we will.  Let’s take this journey together!

Each Sunday you will find a new Jesus Declaration post to Women of Worth Page. 

 Throughout the week:

 Use the Devotion to help you break down and study each Declaration

  • Memorize each Declaration (You can do it!)
  • Begin declaring Jesus’ Declaration over your life today
  • Ask the Lord to teach you how to live what you are declaring

Be free to post your thoughts in the comments.  Interactive study is the best kind of study!