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Hang on to your hair-nets, church ladies, because Kirk Franklin is in the house today. Do yourself a favor and listen to "Declaration" on his myspace page...it is the 4th song down on the playlist. It reminded me of one of my favorite verses, 2 Timothy 1:7.
The song's Declaration goes right along with the words of this scripture:
You see, nothing robs us of victory like fear does. Fear is like a cancer that eats away at your core of faith and destroys it from the inside.
I know all about fear. When I was little, I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid of things under the bed, the boogie-man, the anti-Christ, the end times, Satan and persecution. Later, I was afraid I would never get married, and never have children (due to the imminent end of the world, of course). Then when I did get married and had children, I thought they would be taken from me in some horrible way. Not to mention fear of failure, fear of success, fear of ruining my kids, fear of Y2K (remember that?), fear of financial ruin, fear of disappointment, fear of being out of the job market, fear of ......well, you get the picture.
But this scripture reminds me that God has not given me the spirit of fear. You see, many of my fears stem from what I choose to focus on. It's funny how when I focus on a great big God, my fears seem to disappear. Because He is bigger than anything I will ever face. He will always be with me. Just like He is with you. Faith dispels fear.
Oh, and look at this! It says that He gives us the spirit of power! POWAH! When I am facing something that seems bigger than what I can handle, I need to remember that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is AT WORK IN ME! The same God who made the universe is the One who empowers me to live and breathe and do His will. He even gives me the power to face the daily tasks that seem to drain my energy. You know, the dishes, the laundry, the bills. Amazing.
Which brings us to the next point...the spirit of love. Maybe you are afraid to love fully, completely and with abandon. There is a lot of risk involved in THAT kind of love. Husbands and children can disappoint you. Friends can let you down. We want to retreat into our shells and stay protected from the hurts that go along with loving. But when we walk in the spirit of love, we are able to accept, forgive and love in a way that is beyond our own understanding.
I'm so glad God threw "Sound Mind" in there because that's a promise I'm standing on. Ya'll know that sometimes I struggle to string two coherent thoughts together....that's what 24 years of child-rearing will do for you - ha! Not only that, but my mind is where battles take place. Skirmishes between thoughts of fear and failure versus faith and victory happen there every day. But when I stop and remember that God has given me a sound mind, the ability to have self-control and the victory over Satan's attacks, the battles come to an end.
What are you afraid of? Are you afraid that if you stay home to be with your children that you'll never get another good job? Or maybe you're afraid that if you take a job you really need, your children will be ruined. Maybe you've been disappointed by your husband and are afraid to trust him again. Maybe you are afraid of being alone, or getting sick, or not having enough money to pay your bills. Maybe you feel that God has let you down and you are afraid that He won't take care of you.
Today, I want you to NAME YOUR FEAR. Tell your fear, This. Is. It. You can't mess with my mind anymore. I'm not afraid anymore. I'm going to believe in a Mighty God. I'm going to trust in a Faithful Friend. I'm going to stand up and walk in the spirit of power, and love and sound mind!
Like the song says, This is your day, baby!
Check out this mountain of diaper packages that was collected for Daybreak Crisis Pregnancy Center, in Columbia South Carolina! It's so exciting to see women reaching out to the needs of other women - in something as simple as a pack of diapers - to share the love of Jesus. Daybreak is a great local ministry that is helping women during a very vulnerable time, when they are facing a pregnancy and may be trying to decide what to do next. They offer support, counseling, ultrasounds and other resources that a woman needs, in the hopes that she will choose life for her baby.
How are you (or how is your group) helping other women in need? We are always looking for ways that we can share with our sister "Going Beyonders", so that we can all be empowered to go out and help others, too. Love to hear your ideas!
We had an incredible time in Columbia, South Carolina this weekend at the Going Beyond conference. It was great to see ya'll there! Wow, God is good. We will post more about it later this week...stay tuned.
As we've done before, we asked women to text in their prayer requests so that, together, we can lift them up in prayer. Let me tell you, there are some tough situations that our sisters are facing. And we don't want them to face them alone - we want to join together and present these requests before our heavenly Father. We believe that God not only hears us, but is able to move mightily in each and every life represented.
The prayer requests are listed here. Would you take a moment to find one or two to pray over? If each of us takes a couple, than everyone will have lots of prayer going up for them today. Let's storm the gates of heaven for these dear sisters!
The Going Beyond Team
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. I John 5:14,15
Yesterday, Priscilla was talking about ways to spend the "preschooler days" and how to incorporate Biblical lessons and Godly principles into their lives. Have you had a chance to read the great suggestions by our commenters? I was so inspired, I was ready to adopt someone's 2 year old and start singing Jesus songs immediately!
More than anything, the thing that stands out is how ya'll are making faith just a natural part of daily life. While driving, eating, playing, doing chores, enjoying nature, talking, walking...God is brought into every aspect. And isn't that what it's all about?
Several of you mentioned specific resources that you use, and we thought we'd highlight those. If you have a special worship CD, book or other resource, feel free to put them into a comment so we can add to the list. If you make your resource a link, it will make it easy to find.
Hide 'Em in Your Heart cd's by Steve Green
Read N Share Dvd's
Children's Bible - wow, too many to link to!
Have a great weekend everyone, and we look forward to seeing what you add!
We're talking about 2 year olds today. What do I do all day long? Watch and find out....then I'd like to hear your ideas for:
1. What do you do with preschoolers to help pass the time?
2. How do you start to instill scripture and Godly principles into their lives?
Jump in! Can't wait to hear your thoughts.
(Panera Bread is always a good choice)
Outside, on a Fall day
(Priscilla and Linnae)
With people you love to work with!
(Rachel and Priscilla)
Speaking of meetings....have we told ya'll how much we love to meet up with you here on the GB Blog? It's such a great way to connect with you, hear your hearts and share in the journey together. We pray HUGE blessings on you today!
Priscilla, Linnae and Rachel
This past week, I partnered with my parents at the Church Development Conference that is hosted every year by their ministry, The Urban Alternative. Church leaders gather from all over the country and abroad to gain insight and encouragement for their ministries.
Every evening, as I sat in the sessions, I was floored by the solid Biblical teaching. Each guest speaker offered an encouraging word that stirred the hearts of all who listened and spurred them on in the ministries God has entrusted to them. And I felt proud. . .proud of the ministry that my mom and dad have had investing in the lives of others for such a long time - 34 years to be exact. One by one, night after night, people who took the stage honored my parents for their many years being faithful as spouses, parents and leaders in ministry.
And on the night Henry Blackaby spoke, I was moved. I've admired him from afar for so long. His ministry has blessed millions for more decades than I've been alive. His wife of more than 50 years accompanied him, and the words he shared were a stirring reminder of the importance of having integrity in your ministerial and personal life.
The Blackabys and me.
What a rich heritage of family and faith.
So today, I thought that you and I could continue speaking highly of the faithful people that we seen serve in ministry for a lifetime. I'm grateful for my parents and for the Blackaby family today.
If you haven't already, hop on over here and read this month's Jewelry Box article.
There's blessing that comes with pain . . . . I can only imagine that between those of us reading this blog post today, we have been through quite some hard things, or are currently going through some very painful situations. Maybe you've experienced loss lately, or the doctors keep telling you that you are a medical mystery, or you have never been this stressed before in your life, or your marriage isn't quite looking quite like you thought, or maybe you just keep having one bad day after another.
Whether you are currently in a hard place or have come out of a hard place, I wonder if we might bring peace and encouragement to each other today by sharing what we've learned/are learning about God's character, His heart for His people and how our lives have been forever impacted by the pain that we have experienced?
What has God done for you or what truths/verses/blessings do you have to share about your journey through the pain? I think that your words can bring life and hope to someone that needs encouragement today. . .
Can you believe that it is already October?! I have decided that October is by far my favorite month of the year in Texas. It’s cool in the mornings, mid 70s during the day, sunny all the time. I think I’m just a cool-weather girl, so Fall gets me all excited about the months ahead.
My favorites about Fall:
- Boots! I cannot wait to take out all my winter boots. Ok, so I actually wore my boots this week. Big mistake. I was all excited about it being cool when I left the house in the morning; however, by the time I got off work it was 85 degrees and I was sweating bullets. But hey, at least my outfit was fun!
- Pumpkin - I love all things pumpkin. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin decor . . . it’s all so fantastic!
- Best running weather - I’ve been so used to needing a gallon of water after 1 mile in the summer heat, so now that it’s cooler I feel like I can breathe again and just keep on going.
- College football - I went to an SEC school in Mississippi so our whole first semester was based around football. I have to admit that I love to watch college football. I’m one of those gals who would gladly sit on a couch all Saturday afternoon and watch football.
I could go on, but i’ll stop there. I’m so thankful for new seasons, changes in scenery outside, and a break from the Texas heat. So what about you? What are some of your Fall favorites?
"The pew is supposed to lead to a daily experience. Special times with God do not simply create fuel for us to burn until we can connect with Him down the line, when we feel the need to stop by again for a fill-up. Intimacy with God is like carrying our energy source around with us at all times, continually replenished, never lacking for what we really need.....
"Bottom line: staying close to God - the way we were when He met us at our lowest point, at our Sinai - must remain a priority if we expect to keep experiencing Him. Abundant life is not borrowed from yesterday's surplus; it's rekindled by today's consistent supply."
Priscilla, One in a Million, p. 159
How is your supply today??