Sunday, October 21, 2018

Remember...


Does it seem to you that the human mind is like a sieve when it comes to remembering our blessings, but like a steel trap when it comes to remembering our hurts, offenses against us, or our problems and cares?  Likewise, why are we so quick to forget God's faithful care for us when we face a time of need, test or trial? I don't know why that is, but it seems to be a common human condition.

To me, Psalm chapter 78, is the quintessential chapter that addresses this issue. God, through the psalmist Asaph begins the chapter by reminding the children of Israel that they are to remember God's deeds and wonderful works and to be sure to pass them on to the succeeding generations so "that they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God but might keep His commandments".  God did not want them to be, "as their fathers-a stubborn and rebellious generation", who forgot God's works and the wonders He had show them - their deliverance from Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the pillar of cloud by day and the fire by night to guide them, the water from the rock in the wilderness. Yet, whenever a test or trial came their way, they would forget all that God had done and begin to grumble and complain, question God's faithfulness, and demand their own way. But, God, He would remember. In His grace, He "remembered that they were but flesh" and would show them merciful compassion and forgive them rather than give them the punishment they deserved. Yet the children of Israel still "remembered not [seriously the miracles of the working of] His hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy" Ps. 78:42. God is asking Asaph's generation, and us as we read His Word today, to not be like them but to make sure we are people who remember His goodness, His faithfulness, His care, His covenant, and His commandments and to train the generations to come to be people who remember.

Two practical ways to do this are to WRITE and to RECITE.

WRITE -
Keep a gratitude journal, a journal of answers to prayer, or some sort of diary of God's faithfulness in your life.
Write down things like -

  • your salvation story
  • stories of God's provision in your life
  • answers to prayer
  • God's healing in your life
  • ways God delivered you from sin and bondage
  • times God clearly guided you
  • times God protected you
RECITE -
Tell your stories of God's goodness and faithfulness in your life to your children and your grandchildren. Tell them to those you disciple and mentor. Tell them to your small group. Spread the Word of God's goodness everywhere and to everyone you can.

The more you write and recite God's goodness, the more it will help you remember God's goodness and faithfulness the next time when you face a test or trial.

still following,

Friday, October 19, 2018

How the Holy Spirit Moves in Your Life







The Holy Spirit has been actively moving in my life this week. How about yours?

Do you recognize when the Holy Spirit is moving in your life?

My friend Suzie Eller wrote a beautiful book about The Spirit-Led Heart, and I highly recommend it to you if you don't know much about the Holy Spirit.

Today I'd like to discuss a special verse that describes how the Holy Spirit lives in us.

For in him we live and move and have our being.
Acts 17:28 NIV


I learned this verse as a child, because it's my mom's favorite Bible verse. We didn't talk much about the Holy Spirit in my church growing up, as I feel is common among traditional, conservative denominations.

But learning about the Holy Spirit was important to my mom, so on Sunday evenings, we watched Dr. Charles Stanley preach on television. His platform exposed me to the Holy Spirit in so many blessed ways.

When I was 15 years old I had a "born again" experience, when I submitted my will to God and invited the Holy Spirit into my heart. I've watched Him work in amazing ways ever since that time.

This verse gives me hints about how the Holy Spirit works. You can look up verses on biblegateway.com to learn the roles of the Spirit, which include teaching us, advocating for us, counseling us, and reminding us of scriptures. 
He helps us live, move, and have our being...let's break that down.

Live--He teaches us how to live according to God's plans. He convicts our consciences and leads us in the path God chooses.
Move--When we need direction on how to proceed, the Holy Spirit shows us what to do next.
Have our being--He ministers to our spirit and soul, the parts of us that will last in eternity.

This is how the Holy Spirit worked in my life this week:
  • He moved me to pray after an intense conflict, revealing spiritual truths I hadn't seen before.
  • When I sent a prayer request to friends, He moved through their responses to help me pray differently.
  • He showed me a life-changing book in another friend's Facebook post.
  • When I read the book, He gave me direction on a new action to take.
As I look back over the week, I see ways the Holy Spirit worked that I could have never determined myself. 

When you seek the Holy Spirit to live and move in you, and you give yourself over to Him, He will mysteriously and wonderfully reveal truth to you.


If you want to share how the Holy Spirit is working in your life, please leave a comment below. You can always share at my site if you have any trouble leaving a comment here.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,



Photo from Canva.com

Reflection questions:


1. How do you feel about the Holy Spirit's relationship with you? Close or far? Why?

2. In what ways has the Holy Spirit recently worked in your life?


3. How can you develop your relationship with the Holy Spirit this week?


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

This Book of the Instruction

By: Jenifer Metzger

This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to
meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything
written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.
Joshua 1:8

In Joshua chapter one, Joshua has just taken over as leader after Moses died. He instructs the people telling them to be bold and courageous. He also tells them to live by the Word, encouraging them to meditate on it and obey what is written. This is his formula for success.

This is our formula too. We need to be in the Word, meditating on it day and night, and obeying it.

There is a saying that goes, "The Bible is our daily bread, not cake for special occasions." We can't pull our Bible off the shelf for Sunday service or Easter morning and expect to know the heart of God. We need to read it daily and meditate on the words we read.


Here are a few tips to making this Book of Instruction part of our daily life:

Set a time.

Set a time that you will read your Bible each day. If you set a time, such as an appointment, you are more likely to stick to it. So decide what time works best for you, whether it's first thing in the morning, lunch break at work or while the kids nap at home, after dinner, or before bed. Whatever it is, set the time and stick to it. There will be times you need to be flexible with your time, especially if you have little ones, but sticking to your time for the most part will prove to be helpful in Bible reading.

Leave your Bible open.

When you are done with your daily reading, leave your Bible out and open. If the Bible is open, as you walk by throughout the day you can read a Scripture. When things feel stressful, what better help than to walk past your Bible and read a verse or two!

Find an accountability partner/group.

When you have a support system it is easier to follow through. Think of when you are going to the gym, when you have a partner there waiting on your, it is easier to make the move and go. Having an accountability partner who is waiting to hear from you will help. Woman to Woman offers private Facebook groups for this purpose. To join a Morning Reflections group, click HERE.

Remove distractions.

When you are reading the Bible, remove distractions. Turn off the tv and silence your phone. If possible, find a place that is quiet. Remove distractions will help you to focus on the Word.

Be intentional, not lackadaisical.

When something is important to us, we are intentional about it. The Bible is eternally important to us. It is our lifeline. We must be intentional about it. When it's hard to read, read anyway. When you don't feel like reading, read anyway. When life has you down, read anyway. When you are grieving, read anyway. And when it's too hard to read, cling to the Word and seek your accountability partner to help you through.

Let the Bible, the Book of Instruction, be a part of your life. A part of your every day.


**********

I am loving the new (in)Courage Devotional Bible! This Bible takes God's Word and adds color with book intros and verse highlights, devotions by amazing and Godly women, has journaling space on each page, and has themed reading plans. The (in)Courage Devotional Bible comes in four beautiful cover options that you will love.


I love God's Word. I love the beauty He created in this World. The two together are amazing.





To purchase the (in)Courage Devotional Bible, click HERE. To enter to win an (in)Courage Devotional Bible from Front Gate Media, click the banner below:

Simplified Planner, Emily Ley, Daily Planner




Disclosure: I received this Bible in exchange for my honest opinion.




It is time for the Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories in their comments.

On social media, use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday!

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. Please link back to W2W somewhere in your post. (Feel free to use our button if you'd like!)
3. Visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.


Woman to Woman Ministries

Monday, October 15, 2018

Lessons From An Ant Farm

By: Joanne Viola



Going to Grandparents Day at the school of my granddaughters is always been a delightful time as the girls show off their classrooms, their teachers, their friends, and their work.

This year proved to be no different except in one way.

Jocelyn showed me the class "ant farm".

She proudly explained how they tunneled, kept busy, who the leaders were, and then the area where the "cemetery" ones were to be found.

The surprise came when left with my thoughts and the Scripture came to mind:
"Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter." 
(Proverbs 6:6-8, NLT)

The ant farm continued to stir my thoughts for several days and with a little “research” I discovered:
  • They work independently. Without someone watching over them, or giving them instruction, they are motivated to work.
  • They plan for the season ahead. They know to watch and plan for the days ahead.
  • They work hard. They make the most of their days, working hard in the current season in order to store up for the next season.
After visiting the first grade classroom, I found myself thinking on this small ant farm and the lessons they were speaking to my heart.

The Lord gave us the ants as a visual, an example by which we can learn and live wisely. May we work diligently as the seasons of life demand, so that we will always have the provisions needed.

Lord, help us to remember the ways of ants,
and may they keep us from becoming lazy.

In His Love,
Joanne Viola
Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

Sunday, October 14, 2018

RESIST!


I was listening to the news the other day when I heard yet another prediction of impending gloom, doom and despair. I thought about how surrounded we are by words and thoughts that fuel our fear, worry and anxiety. God's Word says in 2 Timothy 1:7,"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spiritof power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control." The enemy wants to intimidate, manipulate and control us through fear.  In contrast, God enables us to be courageous, powerful, loving, calm, well balanced, disciplined and self controlled even in the midst of our chaotic world.

The enemy's weapon-FEAR, WORRY, ANXIETY
The weapon of God's Word-
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. Isaiah 41:10 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Philippians 4:6 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

Another thing that I noticed is that we are surrounded by words and thoughts that feed a victim mentality, that fuel feelings of hopelessness and despair. We are told that we can never get ahead, never overcome, that our race, or our gender, or that awful thing that happened to us in our past will forever be a millstone around our neck keeping us from wholeness and healing, happiness and success. This too, becomes a weapon that the enemy uses to keep us down, to keep us a cowering, whimpering victim instead of a strong, determined overcomer.

The enemy's weapon-VICTIM MENTALITY, HOPELESSNESS, DESPAIR
The weapon of God's Word-
Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11, Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
Phillippians 4:13 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

Lastly, I noticed that the we are surrounded by words that fuel division and strife. Black versus white, democrat versus republican, men versus women. The enemy knows that a house divided against itself cannot stand. I think he's standing back in glee watching us bite and devour one another. These things ought not to be! We might not be able to control the disunity that abounds in our society as a whole, but we can refuse to let it get a foothold in our own hearts, in our own homes, in our own churches.

The enemy's weapon-DIVISION, STRIFE, UNFORGIVENESS, OFFENSE, BITTERNESS
The weapon of God's Word-
 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment poured on the head, that ran down on the beard, even the beard of Aaron [the first high priest], that came down upon the collar andskirts of his garments [consecrating the whole body]. It is like the dew of [lofty] Mount Hermon and the dew that comes on the hills of Zion; for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, even life forevermore [upon the high and the lowly]. Psalm 133:1-3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

It is an honor for a man to cease from strife and keep aloof from it, but every fool will quarrel. Proverbs 20:3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. Colossians 3:13 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. 1 Peter 4:8 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

God's Word admonishes us to not let satan get an advantage over us by being ignorant of his wiles and intentions. The good news is that God has given us every spiritual weapon we need to overthrow and destroy every one of the weapons the enemy uses against us. We don't have to just stand there and take whatever satan throws at us. God has strengthened and reinforced us within with His own Holy Spirit! "May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]." Ephesians 3:16 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition I think it's time for us to form our own resist movement! "So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you." James 4:7 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition  Don't be overwhelmed by fear, worry and anxiety! Don't remain a victim, full of  hopelessness and despair! Don't be consumed by division, strife, unforgiveness, offenses and bitterness! RESIST! God's weapons combined with your willingness to stand up and resist the enemy and all of his lies, tricks and schemes is a winning combination!

still following,