Friday, March 28, 2014

Women of Influence......end of the study

Today is Friday and the last day of this Women of Influence mini-study.

A couple of different verses that we've read come to mind:

or if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

Esther had this amazing story. She went from being a commoner in Persia to being the wife of the King of Persia, a Queen. Then came the threat to the Jewish people of being annihilated due to Haman's trickery & evilness. This particular verse is when Esther is asked to take a stand and approach the King on this topic. This was such a big thing to ask of her because of the rules of engagement: if she went before the King without being summoned she could be killed if he was not pleased. Yet the entire situation was not about Esther herself but about her trusting God to take care of her and the Jewish people. Moredecai reminded Esther that God could have placed her in her royal position of Queen to be able to influence the King in a godly manner. 

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (2 Timothy 1:5)

As women of influence its our job to pass on our faith to our children. Even if you do not have children, you can become a mentor to other children (i.e. big brother big sister programs) to pass along your faith to them. For me as a mom its my job to pass along my faith in God to my children. Thus why we read the bible every morning and pray together 2-3 times a day. We have Q&A sessions after reading since I know my oldest has such an inquisitive mind. The goal is to teach them about God so they will want to have their own relationship with Him.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26)

This is probably the hardest verse to live by because its so easy to run off at the mouth. I think many women struggle with. When you're married this is doubled because women seem to have this innate thing to reject marital authority and submission. We are good for "going off" on our husbands and being hardheaded yet we don't experience marital bliss until we tame our tongues to speak wisdom and hate contention. As a wife this is one of the best things I can give to my marriage and family, to tame my tongue, speaking with wisdom & having faithful instruction on my tongue. This will happen when I, we, submit to God's authority which will enable us to submit to our husband's authority as head of the family.

These verses all are little nuggets to help women become more godly influences to those around them. 

Walk and Live as a Women of Influence. Trust God, submit to God, and be the godly influence your family needs!


(FYI: "Why Easter Matters" study begins on Monday 3/31, you are welcome to join us on Facebook. Just comment that you are interested and I will post the link to the group)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Women of Influence week 2

This is the last week of the mini-study, Women of Influence, before a 4 week study for Easter on GMG.
(FYI, not all groups are doing this study)

Today's passage: Acts 16:13-15

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Lydia, a woman of influence. I can guarantee if you have a women's study bible there's something about Lydia in it. Why? Because Paul sat down and delivered a message to a group of women, Lydia was one of them. As the Lord opened Lydia's heart to receive this message, she left there a changed woman. So changed that she took the message home! Through her heart's reception of Paul's message, Lydia was able to influence her entire household to receive, believe, and be baptized. 

That's HUGE. How many of us receive God's word and yet have a hard time translating that into influencing our family into believing? I don't know how Lydia did it but she did. Maybe it could have been the way she lived her life. Maybe she shared the message with them. All I can think of is that I want to be like Lydia being receptive to God's Word so that I can be a godly influence in my family's life.

There are more than enough ungodly influences in society. We have to combat that by being the godly influence in our homes. It is detrimental to the spiritual health of our family, our children and husbands. This isn't to say shove God in their face. This is to say model a life of living like Christ, be generous and gracious. Be loving and kind. Be forgiving and humble. Read where others can see and maybe even hear, who knows they may listen or have a question. Play worship music softly throughout your house. And always pray for them. Pray for their spiritual health. Pray for God's Will. Ask the Lord to use you to reach them.

Be the Women of Influence our families are in dire need of. 
Ask God to open your heart to be receptive to Him.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Women of Influence -Thursday

So sorry I am late...I intended on posting on Wednesday. 
Today's passage is Acts 9:36-41

"In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”
 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive."

This passage is about Tabitha/Dorcas a disciple who had died but was risen after Peter prayed over her. What's most interesting to me is not that Peter prayed over her and she rose in a similar fashion like Lazarus did but that the widows were grieving so much and that they were showing off the garments she had made for them. 
Think about like this, when a person passes away we tend to talk about the good they've done but how often can we show what they're hands have made for us.
Tabitha made these women clothing that they cherished because to do so requires her time and energy, giving of herself to them.

We are called to be that type of woman. To be the woman who gives of herself, of her time and energy to those around us. We can easily give of our money and think its enough. But its entirely different when we give people our time and energy because then they know that they mean something to us. That we are doing more than trying to meet a need but investing in them in a way that really matters.

What we want to leave behind when we leave this world is not just material things but things that matter. Memories that matter, lessons that are helping others in their walk in life. If we leave this world without leaving any non-material treasures then we have not really left them anything.

So strive to be like Tabitha, giving of yourself, of your time and energy. Give your attention to those around you but that's what truly matters and will last.

We are Women of Influence....we must live like it!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Women of Influence

Women of Influence is a mini-study that is two weeks long and seeks to encourage us in our walk as women of influence. Even if you are unaware of it, you are a woman of influence. Each and every day you have some influence over someone.

 I personally influence my children and husband on a daily basis with my words and actions. And because of this, I must be careful to guard my spirit against any impurities so that I do not influence them in a negative way. This is an on going thing, you won't get it right once and that's it. Nope it's a daily dying to self so that you can be a godly influence in the lives of those around you.

Today's passage is: Titus 2::3-5
 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (NIV)

This is one of those passages I need tied around my wrists and fastened to my forehead. Why? Because I fill both of those roles. For some I am that woman of influence who is to teach and encourage, to be an example of what a woman of influence looks like. And yet I am still a young wife and mom who has to be self-controlled and pure, to be submissive to my husband and humble. It's hard to be that person, but its definitely worth it.

It's easy to snap and be angry, to follow our emotions. It's hard to practice self-control and patience.
It's easy to point out your husband's mistakes, to try to usurp control. It's hard to praise his good and let love  cover the mistakes and submit to the authority given to him by God.
It is so easy to gossip and do what everyone else does. It's hard to mind your own business and put out love, to pray for those that others gossip about.
Choose what is hard for you now but is in your best interests and pleases God.

Ladies, I am NOT perfect. I will be honest just yesterday I allowed my emotions to lead me into being disrespectful and being offended. It's hard to rein in those emotions because those emotions tell us we're right, especially when we are wrong. But today I am thankful for a husband that puts on love. Today I am thankful for another chance to get it right and rein in these emotions (and the additional pregnancy hormones). 

So this is my charge to you, I am not telling you anything that I myself am not learning and everyday going to God for help with. Die to yourself and take up the mantle as a Titus 2 woman. You may be the seasoned woman who can help and counsel the younger woman, or you may be the younger woman who is seeking godly counsel. Or you may be like me a mixture of both and fighting to stay on track. Not just for myself but for those who I influence (whether intentional or not).

God LOVES you. Grab on to it and put it on EVERYDAY.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Where is God?

In life we all experience the ups, the downs, the hardships, the happiness. And in it all is God, as the Creator of all things, He is always somehow connected to what we experience.
Many times we see the good times and we scream how blessed we are. Yet what happens when we experience the bad? Do we say we are cursed, do we blame God for our misfortune, or do we blame the devil? Many times God will allow the bad to happen so He can get the glory for what happens next. 

The best example of God allowing the bad to happen so He can get the glory in the great happening next is the story of Joesph in Genesis. I chose Joesph's story because there was human free will involved in his story. His brothers chose to sell him into slavery. His father chose to display favoritism between his sons. Yet in that same manner, Joesph chose to do good and have honorable actions at all times.
The bad is that Joesph came from a wealthy family, yet the same brother who should have had his back were the same ones who sold him into hardship. 

Have you dealt with something similar? Where people who should have your back didn't? 
Guess what its OKAY. 
Because God will use what hurts you most, to give Him the most glory. 
You have to let Him have control of your situation, you have to lay everything that you go through, good or bad, at the altar. You have to leave yourself on the cross so that God gets the glory.
God took Joesph from being a slave in Egypt to being the second most powerful man in Egypt, all for HIS glory. It shows us that regardless to what happens, what God says will be, will be. And in everything, God will turn it around for His glory.

God is in everything that happens. Many times the bad happens so the better can happen. Sometimes God will allow something to happen just so that we can know to appreciate what comes next. Joesph was giving the prophetic dreams on what the outcome would be but he didn't know HOW it would come to pass. We know we have the victory, but we still have to walk the path to get there. So since we already know the outcome, we can walk the path with our eyes firmly fixed on Christ.

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