Monday, February 21, 2011

The Future

Last night our board members had a discussion about the future and how ministry can be effective. It was a great conversation. The world situation was discussed, the fact that we are sort of all in limbo---waiting to see what will happen----feeling some hesitation to buy, go or do a lot of things we have been doing in the past. The economy of our country is especially unstable and that causes a lot of anxieties about our families, jobs, gas prices, food prices and a myriad of other personal things. If we probe deeper into these thoughts, we see the nations of the world in turmoil, revolt, fear, and danger. A study of prophecy would probably shed some light on our position in God's view too. What is the best thing for us to do? Rest and wait on the Lord.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Leadership of the Church and Women's Ministries

Women's Ministries is always a topic of conversation where I go. Questions about how to set it up, how to get women involved and how to get the leadership to show interest and give the ministry value. Today I am pondering the leadership element. It can be discouraging when the ministry is not recognized as viable. It is frustrating when new ideas for growing the church eliminate specific ministry to women. How do you feel about this topic and what ways do you use to communicate with the leadership?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mission Trips for Women to Women

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19 (NKJ)
This last two months there have been opportunities for mission trips to Romania, Mexico, and French Guiana. When these came up I was excited and eager to participate in encouraging women in the Lord. It is a great adventure to take a team of women to the mission field to teach and share.

Before I arrived in Lexington, Kentucky in 1997, I had never been on a mission trip. Furthermore, I was “not called to missions”! Oh, pride is a terrible thing. The Matthew passage doesn’t say I will call you when I need you, it simply says “Go”. It became apparent that God was pushing me to take short term mission trips to speak to the women in different countries and He was relentless. My first mission trip was to Northwest Haiti Mission where there were five days of women’s retreats in different churches, five nights of Bible study at the mission church and many service opportunities with women of all ages. Three months later I was off to Jamaica for the same type of activity with women there. The next year, it was Nigeria. These experiences were life-changing and I have had repeat visits.The first and foremost fear for me was the culture; would it be dangerous, would I be sick, would they like me, would we be kidnapped? As you will notice, it was the typical “all about me” questions. So I said, “Ok God, I will do this” and began planning and packing. Curious what the women would be like and what the differences between us would be, I studied every book and web site I could find to gain knowledge. Lo and behold! We arrived and they were all just like me! That was the case in every area that I went. Developing countries have more hardships, hunger, and poverty, but their personal needs are the same. We are all striving to find the answers to our life situations and build a relationship with the Lord. It was a delight to study the Word together with these women and to exchange our personal life experiences and how God walked through them with us. I would like to challenge you to seek God about your involvement in mission trips with your Women's Ministries.Jesus taught the disciples while He was on earth how to be the church and how to reach how to share the gospel with others. The focus was not just on making disciples out of the church attendees, but disciples of the unchurched on a global plane. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news” Romans 10:15b (NIV)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


In solitary silence we listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls us the beloved God speaks to the deepest strata of our souls.
.....Brennan Manning

In all the years I was growing up I woulld hear pastors say they were "called" to the ministry and it was always a vocational call. I never heard anyone say that they were to called to do ministry. I'm so glad that there is now more discussion and teaching on being called into an area of ministry. God wants us all to find our place of fulfillment and that doesn't mean, that we have to stay in one place of service for our entire life or in one location. Part of my joy in Women's Ministries is watching women as they grow and as God calls them to new and bigger ministries. Then the thrill of seeing their apprentices move right into leadership of the area that was vacated. There a some steps of identification to a call that I gleaned from Henry Blackaby's teaching that clarifies a calling:

*Call comes from another person
*Call becomes confirmed by the Holy Spirit
*Call requires action following confirmation
*Call will bring disbelief--"who me?" or "I couldn't do that"
*Call will separate you from someone people who discourage and also provide some encouragers, but the peace of God will be powerful when it is His call.

It takes solitude to be aware of God's leading. When we begin to sense that He wants us to do something, a restlessness begins and grows into a burning desire. This is the critical time of the calling. At this point you are to wait for the next set of instructions! Don't try to open the doors or move the obstacles that will allow you to "do" something. Henry Blackaby in "Experiencing God" states: "God always will give you enough specific directions to ddo now what He wants you to do. When you need more directions, He gives you more in His timing....don't try to skip over the relationship (with God) to get on with the doing". In the above steps, action is only taken when the calling becomes confirmed by the Holy Spirit. God can open doors for us, but we can't open them for ourselves.

"I will wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more thatn watchmen wait for the morning." Ps 130:5-6

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Remain In Him

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from Me you can do nothing”. John 15:5

How simple life would be if we didn’t struggle with releasing ourselves to remain in Him and realize we can do nothing apart from Him. If often is a struggle to release because we don’t see God for who He is, and we put characteristics on Him from our experiences in life.

When we are asked, “Who are you?” our response is usually something like, I’m a wife, a mother, a nurse, a teacher or some other description of what we do. We seem to base our worth in possessions, achievements or jobs. Others see us the way they think we should be based on their opinion of our successes or appearance. Both views are loaded with misconceptions because of our own personal life experience. The person God sees is totally different from the way we see ourselves or others see us.

To God we are uniquely fashioned…made in His Image with His potential in us. Validate this truth about yourself: God says you are precious in His sight. The thoughts you have about your self develop into words and then behavior which will either build up or destroy your self-image.

I encourage you today to put the greatest weight into determining self-worth in what God says about you. Release yourself from “who you are in terms of success” and abide in the vine to begin bearing fruit of God’s spirit asyou remain in Him.

Monday, January 5, 2009

How Do I Find My Destiny

"He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. Isaiah 2:3 (NIV)
In childhood,, most women begin seeking their destiny with Prince Charming, their careers, their homes, and their dreams of success. Our society leads us to believe that destiny's pathway can be carved out, and if we do all the right things we will reach our destiny. As adulthood settles in, we find that our destiny does not always have the fulfillment even though we may have accomplished all of the dreams we aspired toward. Our dreams in reality may leave us with a hollow feeling. On the other hand, we may not have achieved succes in our minds and are unfulfilled.
So, that brings us to the question: "How Do I Find My Destiny?" Destiny does not come through tea leaves or horoscope readings. It comes by following the spiritual pathway that God has set out for us. We were uniquely created to be who we are and where we are today, at this time.
The spiritual pathway is found by first, seeking God and asking for direction and guidance in our lives. Secondly, we surrender everything to Him. When we ask and surrender, God will give us the road map to our Destiny in Him, the life that He created for us to have and the peace that comes in that life. However, the big stumbling block with this road map is that it requires obedience. Some of the crossroad markers on the map this year will be Bible study and prayer, learning to know God as a friend and stepping out in faith to stay on the road.
I made a move to Kentucky in 1997, in direct obedience to God's call. It was such a big step to move so far rom home and familiar surroundings in the western part of the country. I didn't have any idea what would happen, how it would work or how we would survive, but God said to move and we did.
It took a long time for me to come to the point where I could just up-and-move on that kind of a call from God--years of pulling off the spiritual pathway, trying to turn around and go back, kicking and screaming, and trying to hold my own destiny tightly in my hands. There was such a sense of freedom for me in the release of my own ideas and moving into the flow of following those road markers.
This can be an exciting New Year for us and for the women we mentor and lead to learn to recognize the call of God on our lives, leading toward what He has planned for us.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What are your desires?

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose wak is blameles, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path." Proverbs 2:1-9

In our pursuit to know God better we can see four directives in these verses that we should use to evaluate out lives. First, we must take in God's Word daily (verse 1). It is imperative to study and absorb God's word if we truly seek to know Him better.

Secondly, in verse 2, we see the need to give God our heqarts, accepting the correction,, teaching or direction Scripture gives us. Prayer is the third directive in verse 3--not quickly worded or repetitive prayer, but sincere conversation with God.

Conversation is a talking and listening activity. This may be the most difficult one of the directives to intensely pursue, but it will be the most rewarding and valuable aspect of our relationship with God. Passionate seeking is the fourth (verse 4).

What are you passionately desiring today? It could be a relationship with someone, a new house, or a dream vacation. Our first desire however, should be to know God, and to follow these directives until we have an intimate relationship with Him. There are provmises for us from these four guidelines: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, protection, righteousness, justice and euity. I encourage you to diligently seek Him as the Wise Men did!