Giving Glory to God

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Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

Think of a time when something great has happened, or you’ve accomplished an impossible task. Did you pat your back and say, “Go me! I just did this great thing! I did it all by myself!”? I have done this more times than I can count. I love to take the credit and pretend that I deserve all the glory! Any other sisters? Well, let’s take a seat, beloved, because we don’t deserve anything!

King Herod and All His Glory

Today we’re looking at King Herod from the book of Acts who was an ungodly king. He persecuted the Christians and laid claim to every good deed. But look at what happened to ole King Herod:

“On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. The people kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.” Acts 12:21-23 NASB

He did NOT give God the glory. An angel of the Lord struck him down and he was eaten by worms and died! KING HEROD DIED BECAUSE HE DID NOT GIVE GOD THE GLORY!!! Sisters, we need to give God the glory in ALL situations, because God is worthy of it all! He has saved us, He created us, He loves us beyond measure. And what will happen if we don’t give God the glory? Our gracious heavenly Father may strike us down as He did King Herod. Maybe we won’t be eaten by worms, but our Lord will deal with us.

Praise Where Praise Is Deserved

Praise God for His merciful ways! Praise Jesus for His loving sacrifice! When you obey God, praise Him for allowing Him to use you. When you are in the midst of a storm, praise Him that Jesus is in the boat with you. The Lord is worthy of all our praise and glory, so let’s glorify God with all our hearts!

~Lauren Ray

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Be Still

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Posted on behalf of Lisa Moody:

My life has been total chaos lately. That seems to be a recurring theme for me.

In the last couple of months, my best friend’s teenage daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy after her first seizure occurred while in the airport in Orlando. That same friend’s husband has been passing out and is getting a pacemaker today (pray please). My family in Texas has moved to Chattanooga, which involved my going to Texas to help pack and drive my Mom to TN. As I write, I am in a hotel in Arkansas after driving to Dallas from Nashville – and half way back in 36 hours. I have a new grandbaby and another on the way. The church plant involves youth activities again and the many new opportunities for ministry. I have my own business and work for a non-profit.

I know that is nothing special. All of our lives look like that. If we are at all engaged in the lives of others, there are demands on our time and our energy.

The words of Psalm 46:10 were ringing in my ears as I drove around Dallas taking my Mom to multiple appointments. The constant traffic and navigating was anything but still.

How can we “be still and know” that He is God, when our lives are never still? We can take our Sunday and focus on who He is and listen to Him as He speaks truth and peace into our lives. What about the rest of the week? Our lives don’t just stop. We can’t stop all activity and sit. How can we be like the perfect Proverbs 31 woman who got up before the sun and was productive all day and be still at the same time?

It’s about my heart. I can be still in my heart, trusting in Him, listening to Him and allowing His Spirit to calm my soul in the midst of chaos. When I am still, I can be at peace in the midst of chaos, knowing that He is God. He is in control.

Take time to let your heart be still today.

Lisa

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Tell Them to Duck!

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When I told my preacher husband that I thought I’d write a short blog with Pastor’s Wives in mind, this was what he said: “Tell them to duck, because the bullets are coming.”

And after the laughter stopped, I knew he was right. We’ve had plenty of bullets of all different kinds fired at us in our years of marriage and ministry. If you’ve been in ministry more than a few minutes you’ve probably had some of them hit you too.

Far too many bullets are from Friendly Fire. Being shot at from those who are supposed to be on the same side hurts more than any other wound! And these bullets are the ones that can cause us to retreat and lose sight that ministry is to people.

Some are Self Inflicted. We can get too prideful and harm the work, and our testimony.  We can forget that the ministry belongs to Jesus, not to us.

Then there are those shots from the Real Enemy. He is out to kill, steal and destroy us. He will stop at nothing and uses all sorts of ammo. He’ll throw all manner of junk at us, and our families, to keep us from working in unity and stop us from reaching those who need Jesus.

Bullets don’t always kill, but they always wound. Even when we “duck” and stay on our face in prayer to God, some ministry wounds come. How do we handle that? You and I have to be quick to forgive. This is one of the most important ways to heal those painful wounds. We have to forgive those who take a shot at us, because we need a lot of forgiving too!

Yes, the bullets are coming. But you, sweet sister, are where you are by God’s design and it is He who will fight for you!

 

Serve the LORD with gladness   Psalm 100:2

Sara

Posted in Christian Living, Ministers' Wives, Women's Ministry | 8 Responses

The Struggle is Real

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The struggle is real.. The Apostle Paul knew a little about what it was like to struggle. In fact here in 2 Corinthians Chapter 11 we are given some insights to his struggle:

-Five times the Jews gave him thirty-nine lashes

-Three times he was beaten with rods

-He was stoned once

-Three times shipwrecked

-Endured one night and a day adrift at sea

-In danger of robbers, his own people, the Gentiles, in the city, in the wilderness, in the sea, in rivers, and danger of false brothers

-In toil and hardship

-Enduring sleepless nights

-Many times he was hungry and thirsty

-Cold and exposed to harsh elements

-Pressured by anxiety for all the churches

To all my sisters out there, that difficult relationship you’re in, those married couples you’re counseling, the exasperating child you’re trying to raise, it’s all part of the struggle. When God told Joshua, “Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you..” God didn’t just hand them the keys to the Promised Land and tell them to move on in. They had to fight! Once the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, they knew there would not only be a physical fight but a spiritual fight to face as well.

When the struggle is real in our lives, let us always remember what Paul closed with in 2 Corinthians 13:11-12:

  • Be joyful
  • Grow to maturity
  • Encourage each other
  • Live in harmony and peace
  • Greet each other with Christian love

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 Finding Strength in the Struggle,

~Shana

Posted in Christian Living, Devotional, Uncategorized | 1 Response

We Are Comforters

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I spent 2 days last weekend high on a mountaintop in Eastern Kentucky with  a group of other widows. While we all had different stories, different journeys in our grief, different backgrounds, and different skills, we were all members of the same “club”- widowhood.  A widows’ retreat may sound like a sad dreary occasion, but it was far from dull!  Instead it was a time of new friendships, bonding, and a newfound purpose!

During the retreat I was constantly reminded of this scripture.  As Christians we are to comfort others with the comfort we have received.  It is not necessarily an easy task. We often have to rip open old wounds in order to remember just how we felt going thorough our trials and truly respond to others.  But when we share how God has gotten us through the hard times with His guidance, His peace, and His joy, it resonates with others experiencing similar situations.  In our testimonies, we share hope and the assurance that we are not alone in our afflictions.

As we talked, shared, laughed, cried, sang, worshipped, and prayed, we were all strengthened in our own walks as we empowered others. Each one of us left that mountaintop blessed from the experience. We, each in our own way, “comforted those….with the comfort we…..have received from God”.

May we now go out into our churches, communities, state, and beyond seeking to comfort others enduring the same hardships we have encountered, sharing how God has sustained us through it all. We are blessed as we bless others!

Donna Coffey

Posted in Christian Living, Devotional | 1 Response

Praise for Prayer

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I love it when someone tells me that they are praying for me. What a gift that is! It causes me to look for God, to expect Him to move. To go about my day anticipating His goodness and to wonder how He will bring it all about. And it reminds me to be thankful for such a friend.

At a church where we used to serve there was prayer chain, and whenever a need was known about someone would start that prayer chain by calling others to pass along the info. (I asked once to join it but was turned down!) No doubt there were many sincere requests and prayers being offered up because of this group. But one thing concerned me. Almost weekly someone would stand and say, “thanks for all your prayers, it was all those prayers that healed me,” or whatever the need was.

I’m sure these people were well meaning, and sincerely wanted to thank folks for praying, but this was praising the people who interceded more than the God of heaven who worked out a miraculous answer.

Maybe I’m picking at nits…but the miracles that God works should bring praise to Him alone. No one else deserves His glory…it is He that has saved us and not we ourselves. So ask folks to pray for you, and always thank them! But save your praise for God alone, He alone is worthy of our praise!

Psalm 40:1-2

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.

 

Praising Him Alone!

Sara

Posted in Christian Living, Ministers' Wives, Prayer | 1 Response

The Voices in Our Heads

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·         I’m not equipped or skilled enough to do that!

·         The ‘in’ crowd never wants to invite me in.

·         I’m not bold enough or have an outgoing personality.

·         My marriage will never look like hers.

·         Why do I feel so unwanted in my own family?

·         Why don’t my kids look like hers? (Education, athletic abilities, personalities…)

Satan is a pro at bringing up every hurtful word spoken to us, every rejection, and all those times we wished we were this or that. The echoes can cause us to shrink back from our calling. We may withdraw from our church, friends, marriages, children, and probable relationships. Worst of all..our relationship with Christ may suffer.

So what do we do with all of these voices in our heads? How do we plow ahead through insecurities, bits of bitterness, fear of rejection, or the want for more?

Colossians 3:12 tells us something we can trust, believe and walk out:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Every day, I walk into my closet and choose what outfit I will wear for the day. I also choose to clothe my heart with things like compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

We often let discouragement speak louder than God’s Word. It will take some work, but with daily prayer, and by using Scripture to fight the battles for you, as Paul instructs us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Till next time, friends,

~Shana

Posted in Christian Living, Devotional, Ministers' Wives, Moms, Women's Ministry, Working Women | Leave a comment

Live the Truth Intentionally…Even in the Smallest of Ways

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Hi friends!

Happy June!

I’ve had this small thing on my mind lately.  It’s small in the sense that I could have easily dismissed it and perhaps missed a golden opportunity to lift up the name of Jesus to a complete and total stranger.

As I was reading in my NEW “She Reads Truth” Bible, I ran across a passage of scripture with a heading CONSISTENCY IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE that reminded me of a story I want to share with you.

I mean how easy is it to get caught up in other things and totally let the simple not so obvious things zip right past?  I’d say pretty easy, right?

 

Ephesians 5:15-16

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

 

I had boarded my flight home after a long and stressful work week.  Thinking ahead, I had booked a seat next to the aisle because a girl never knows when she might need to pee!  I always hate asking other seat mates to let me out if I’m hemmed into a window seat.  I was all settled into my space, bags tucked neatly under the seat in front of me, headphones were on with a free movie ready to go on the Delta movie studio!  I was all set to go!

Not so fast!  The middle seat between me and the guy occupying the window seat was vacant.  Sometimes you get lucky and fly with an empty middle seat, but not today.  I looked up and there he stood!  The very tall, lanky guy who owned the rights to this not so spacious seat for the next hour or so had arrived.  I graciously stood to my feet allowing him entry into our cramped little nook.  He smiled with reservations as he settled in with his tall stature in such confined space.  I felt bad for him and felt a strong nudge from God to show kindness in a simple way.  I turned to him with a smile and said, “When all these people get settled on the plane, I’ll trade seats with you so you’ll have more leg room.”  This man lit up like a Christmas tree at the mere idea that some stranger would offer this small sacrifice so that he might spend the next hour flying in more comfort!  He kept repeating how kind that was of me and how I was such a sweetheart to do that for him.

(I don’t tell you this to brag on me so please don’t interpret that as my intent in sharing this story.)

I consciously turned to him and said, “I love Jesus and I’m only doing what I feel like He would have me to do.”  He smiled and said, “That makes two of us, I love Jesus too!”  I shared how I can be quite dangerous without Jesus and he laughed as though he doubted me.

If feels really good to do something selfless for another person when you know it comes from a place motivated by the presence of Jesus in your life!  On my own accord, I most likely would not have been sensitive to this guys need.  Granted it wasn’t a huge thing, but it was a thing and God used it to show up in the mundane moment of being cramped on an airplane with strangers turned siblings in Christ.

Ladies, I hope you’ll join me in living TRUTH more intentionally in the everyday things of life.  It’s richly rewarding to be the hands and feet of Jesus in all the small ways;)

Blessings,

Kelli

 

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Joy in the Mourning

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This weekend, June 2 & 3, I will be gathering with a group of other widows from across Kentucky for a retreat.  We come from all areas of the state with different backgrounds & perspectives, but with one common thread….we’ve all lost our husbands.  We also share the same Christian belief that when we experience life, whether the mountaintops or the valleys, we should come alongside others experiencing similar situations as ours, sharing how God has seen us through and encourage others by sharing our stories. That is our goal this weekend as we come together as mostly strangers and leave as friends with a common purpose – to help other widows, minister to them, encourage them, and find ways to help others reach out and more effectively meet the needs of widows.

There is JOY despite the MOURNING, and an inexplicable peace that can only come from knowing God and His Son, Jesus.  Even in the darkest times, the saddest times, we can experience joy deep down in our souls knowing that God knows our deepest sorrows and pain and He loves us and will see us through the hard times if we will rely on Him.

Please pray for our retreat that we may discern God’s will for our group and the ministry to which He has called us.

Donna Coffey

 

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Flaming Arrows? Shield of Faith!

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“In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16, HCSB

It is so hard to have faith sometimes. We see a difficult goal to reach and immediately think, There is NO WAY this will happen in my favor. Well, sister, I have absolutely been there. I have been there when it was a job that I didn’t think I could get. I have been there when I was praying for a husband. I have been there when a medical emergency was involved. Faith is hard.

But I find encouragement from the above verse. Satan is roaming around like a lion seeking whom he may devour, so we have to be prepared when he shoots arrows at us. Not just arrows, flaming arrows. Satan’s lies are my flaming arrows, but God tells me, “In EVERY situation, take the shield of faith.” I need to have faith that the Lord has plans to prosper me. I need to have faith that the Lord is faithful. I need to have faith that one day Jesus is coming back and is taking me with Him! I need to take up the shield of faith everyday in every way to combat the lies that Satan likes to tell me.

Are you currently struggling to have faith? Let me remind you of a few simple truths:

  • The Lord is faithful: “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:22-24, HCSB
  • The Lord loves you: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, HCSB
  • The Lord is wise: “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.’ This is the Lord’s declaration.” Isaiah 55:8, HCSB

Beloved, take the shield of faith in every situation because God has got you!

~Lauren Ray

Posted in Christian Living, Devotional, Leadership, Prayer, Women's Ministry, Working Women | Tagged , , , | 1 Response