When was the last time you felt like you were stuck in a rut spiritually? It happens to most of us and in light of that, I had the opportunity to share a lesson on what we can do to avoid the dangers these spiritual ruts. It is a short video that was shared as the Tip of the Week over at womensministry.net–here is the link Tip of the Week: Video – How to Get Out of a Spiritual Rut http://conta.cc/x3J5fy
Feel free to check it out and let me know if you have any other better ideas to share:) I’ve noticed that there is a great temptation to let the fact that we, as ministry wives, live in such public ministry become a substitute for strong private devotion–and that isn’t what I want for my life or yours.
Let’s don’t be those women who are satisfied with our spiritual walk as long as it looks good to the outsiders watching–may we never be more in public than we are in private (some time ask me to tell the story of the spanx at the wedding to remind us that although we might look good on the outside–it’s whats underneath that reveals the truth)
Many blessings on you and your ministry…
How are your holidays going? Are you being a light? Are you staying focused on Jesus and actively resisting the culture? How you answer probably depends on the day–right? some days we are doing a great job at reclaiming the holidays and ‘lightening up’ while other days are more of a struggle.
Can I share with you something that I just read in Ephesians that really spoke to me? It was in chapters 4-6 where we are told not to give the devil a foothold then we see instructions for anger management (because we will have times that we get angry so how do we handle that in a godly way) and then the armor of God passage.
When you put all those together, it really boils down to some hard truth–when people get on our nerves or make us mad (can anyone relate?) how we respond will either allow the Enemy a place in our lives or not.
It seems to me that sometimes because of the amount of things that we have to get done in a day (have I mentioned that my shopping is not even close to done), that we have a short fuse with people about now. Sometimes it isn’t even about our busy day but how ridiculous some people we are in contact with act (that’s why we need to spread the lighten up challenge around:)
I love what the armor of God passage in Eph 6 has to say “Put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and when you have done everything—to stand”…wow!
How appropriate is that? I have a friend who always reminds me when situations come up that frustrate me-”remember who the Enemy is”–that’s such good advice and lines up exactly with Ephesians. Who is our battle against? not the person in the next car, not the obnoxious shopper near you, not the stressed out store employee,not your boss—especially not fellow believers—we have one Enemy and when we put on the full armor of God then we will be able to stand against His schemes and be the lights that we are called to be.
Take a few minutes to check out Eph 5-6 today. Pray that armor onto your life and “be strong in the Lord and His mighty power”
ps–a friend told me in a meeting yesterday that her kids have been loving the lighten up challenge book and that they look forward to reading the verses together on the way to school as they talk about being a light! -that is such a good idea to do with your kids and what a blessing to hear how God is using His Word:)
sometimes I want to throw in the towel on this techno crazed world we live in—it’s definitely not Mayberry:) and although I am the first to appreciate all that new and unbelievable technology has brought to us I can get a little frustrated with it all. Can you relate to me when I can’t figure out the details of another evite, forgot my password to twitter yet again, can’t find my cool friend on pinterest, I still haven’t figured out linked in and the biggest reason why I still resist new or different technology is because the thought of having to remember yet another screen name and password is beyond what I am capable of(yes I have heard those who suggest that i use the same name and password for everything—BUT that doesn’t work!!!)
You can take that previous paragraph a bit tongue in cheek and although there are many ways in which technology has had a negative impact (if I hear about another person who leaves their family because they reconnect with an old high school friend I’m gonna scream) but the truth is that technology is a tool and we are all responsible for how we choose to use it. Just like anything else it can be positive or negative–our choice.
One choice that we don’t really have is to ignore technology and hope that it goes away (can you imagine people giving up their iphones?!) if you really think that can happen be sure and post a blog on what the world looks like through the sand where you have your head buried:)
Jeff, my sweet hubby, and I were out on a walk last Sunday afternoon. It was a bright, beautiful, sunny day. We were walking and talking and every kid in the neighborhood was out playing or riding bikes-it was feeling a little like Mayberry…until we happened by a group of kids with bicycles gathered in a group on the sidewalk. They were inspecting one kid’s bike and the comments were flying around as they dissected the situation. We heard one kid say “the tire is just flat” to which another immediately responded “better just call onstar” they were dead serious. Jeff and I looked at each other with “did that just happen?” looks on our faces and laughed our heads off.
We kept walking and reflecting on what a different world we live in today. Not worse-just different. These are the times we live in, the question is “how will we respond as people who want to make a difference and share the gospel with a lost and dying world?”
It’s not Mayberry but people are still people and they still need Jesus. What are we willing to do to make sure they hear about His love and grace??? I guess I can remember one more password….
Have you ever felt like the holidays are less about Jesus than they should be? Even in our church circles this is a problem and I have made plans every year to ‘reclaim the holidays’ for celebrating Christ and making Him known.
This year I have been convicted and inspired to do something more. Together with some friends, we planned out a holiday themed event that is designed to help women ‘lighten up and reclaim the holidays’. We made a schedule, great graphics for shirts etc and I have prepared a teaching time all designed to bring Jesus back in to the main focus of the holiday season (meaning Thanksgiving to New Years).
There are two versions available for booking. One that is way heavier on the funny—with a straight up gospel presentation to conclude. The goal with this is to invite all kinds of women from the community from lost to unchurched to regular attenders, then get them laughing and relaxing so that they are more open to hearing the gospel. People actually seem more receptive to hearing about Jesus during this time of year so why not invite them to church and give them an opportunity to respond to the gospel???
The second version also uses humor but has more biblical teaching on Jesus the light of the world and will challenge women to shine brighter and ‘lighten up’ the places they go.
If this is something you may be interested in for your church or community group email my friend firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to see dates available.
If its not for you I would ask you to pray for us and specifically for “Lighten Up” that Jesus would be made famous and women would come to know Him and know Him better through it!
ps here are the graphics we are using–can’t you see this on some super cute shirts??? (available soon)
Wow. I just got back from Montana- big shout out to all the ladies at the c’mon inn-where i had the privilege of serving with some friends from Indian Rocks Bapt Church. We went to minister to the ministry wives in the Yellowstone Association by hosting them at a retreat.
It was such a blessing to be part of this group and to get to minister to all the sweet, godly ladies who are serving our big God in Big Sky country!
Although I had the opportunity to speak to the women, God taught me a few things myself. Does that happen to you as much as me? Whenever I study and prepare to teach, I invariably find more and more lessons for me…isn’t that cool?
I think that’s one of my favorite things about leadership in ministry. If we will submerge ourselves into the Word we will always find it to be relevant to our own lives.
The big lessons for me had to do with how big God is–do I ever limit what He does by my own low expectations? and how much I love and respect women everywhere who do what I do!!!! We are all so similar and yet so unique–I love each of you and am so thankful that God brings us into each other’s lives in His timing.
What has He been teaching you lately? Are you studying to teach or so that your own life will be transformed and then you can share about your own life change? Knowing the answers to these will make all the difference:)
An interesting and challenging thought rose up in my mind during time in the Word. I was in 2 Kings 13:14-21 about Elisha (i love Elisha and all the stories of his life) anyway, this particular time he was talking with King Jehoash who was on his deathbed. Elisha told the king to shoot an arrow out of his window as the Lord’s arrow of victory. Now the king was interested in victory so no problem-he did exactly what he was told and a devastating defeat of the Arameans was prophesied as a result.
Then Elisha told the king to take his arrows and strike the ground. Which he did but only 3 times. This upset Elisha because he knew that the number of times the arrows struck the ground represented the number of defeats of the Arameans. Interesting.
When the king knew what was at stake he jumped in and did what he was told. When he was told to do something that he didn’t really have all the details to, he stopped short. I wonder how many times I have limited God’s activity in my life, or His glory being revealed because I stopped short? Do you have a tendency to obey less enthusiastically and energetically when you have less details?
I was struck anew with the concept that you and I just don’t know what decisions we are making that could possibly be HUGE for ourselves or other people. Could that mundane everyday option to obey or not obey God be the choice that sends you into another level of spiritual maturity or responsibility??
It comes to this for me. I have to be willing to obey God wholeheartedly and with great expectation even when I have no idea whether the task holds huge significance or not. I just don’t ever want to miss out on the many years of victory because I picked a small number without really understanding what I was doing. Don’t you bet Jehoash was like–whoa, wait a minute let’s run through that one more time and he would still be striking the ground today if he had known that each hit was a victory. Too bad he didn’t have that knowledge in advance of his choice BUT he did know he was dealing with his God and he did know that his God was powerful so somewhere in that whole story is the lesson that when God is involved, and He always in, we need to be careful not to limit what he can do by our expectations or lack of them….
let’s live like every decision we make could have radical consequences–after all they can
When we read in 1 Samuel about the lives of David and Saul not only is it interesting reading, there are some good lessons for us as leaders. It makes me wonder which one I am more like–David or Saul? now most of us know the correct answer to that question, we should be like David because he was a man after God’s own heart. Although that’s true and I hope to be the same, the truth of the matter is that sometimes I make some of the dumb mistakes that Saul made.
Think about it. Saul was King and yet he became so focused on 1 little man that he lost all reason. (is that starting to work for you?) His one track mind and obsession with finding David caused him to neglect the big job that God had given him. He ignored his responsibility until God took that away too….hmmm- good warning for us.
David on the other hand, was continually seeking God and trusting in Him and His timing. if you read the Psalms David wrote during his days running from the crazed king you will see that David showed us how to seek God. he asked for intervention from God, trusted Him, responded to correction (Saul’s robe in the cave) even listened to a woman’s intervention (Abigail) and really displayed a heart that worshiped and loved God in both the good times and the bad. Do I do that?
Which are you more like? Have you gotten distracted by the one person who complains, or the situation that won’t go away? Have you neglected the calling that God has placed on your life because the little details have weighed you down? Saul did and it wasn’t pretty.
It can happen to any of us at some point or another—the key is that we recognize our mistake and become more like David. Seek after God. Trust Him. Wait for His timing. Take advantage of the opportunities. Keep your eyes on Jesus and do what you know to do. Live your purpose.
Enjoy the privilege of serving Him today!