Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We Are Designed To Pray {Link up & Giveaway}

By: Jenifer Metzger

Prayer is the lifeline of a Christian. Yet prayer doesn't always come easy. Sometimes we just don't know what to say, sometimes we feel as though maybe God isn't listening, sometimes we struggle to talk to Someone we can't see, sometimes we don't spend enough time pausing to pray. There are many reasons why Christians struggle with prayer. Whatever the reason, we must push past the
difficulties and grab hold of our lifeline.

In her new 8 week study, Designed to Pray, Kelly o'Dell Stanley says, "We don't need to know the right words, all we have to do is spend time in prayer and let God do His thing."


Kelly shares new and creative ways to talk to God. She says, "Your conversations with God can be as fun and creative as He is." Kelly gives daily activities from coloring pages, to writing prompts to doodles to help us find a space to let go and just engage with God.

If you are struggling with prayer or just learning how to pray or your prayer life is going great but you'd like to find new and fresh ways to communicate with God, Designed to Pray is a resource you'll want to have.

Today we are giving away a copy of Designed to Pray. To enter to win, complete each task in the rafflecopter below.








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.

Use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday

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

Woman to Woman Ministries

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The simple steps to renewing your mind...

by Elizabeth Stewart

In last week's Sunday Soul Food post, I wrote about tearing down the ungodly strongholds of wrong ways of thinking, reacting, responding and behaving in our lives and strengthening the godly stronghold of the Holy Spirit in our inner being.  We do this through cooperating with God using the tool of His Word to renew our mind.  Today I want to share the simplicity of God's plan on how this is done using Ephesians 4:22-25 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition).
22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.25 Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.
I hope you'll pardon me for using a simple word picture that will help you to remember these simple steps by relating the steps of renewing the mind to the steps involved in changing a baby's diaper.
Step One-Recognize that your thinking stinks and choose to take it off. (v.22) When we are born again we become a new creature in Christ Jesus.  But, our body doesn't instantly change does it?  Being a new creature in Christ doesn't mean we instantly become a perfect specimen of physical fitness and beauty does it?  Likewise, when we become a new creation in Christ, our old ways of thinking, reacting, responding and behaving are not instantaneously transformed either.  We have to cooperate with God by recognizing when our stinking thinking doesn't line up with His truth and choose to take it off. Why is this so vitally important?  It's because our thoughts become our actions.  
Step Two-Wash up. (v. 23) When you remove a baby's messy diaper, you must wash the baby up, right?  This could involve anything from a simple wipe down with a baby wipe to a whole body bath depending on the amount of mess involved.  Some wrong ways of thinking, reacting, responding and behaving in our lives seem to respond easily to the washing of the Word.  Some stubborn strongholds require a relentless power washing in the Word.  The point is, the Word of God is the washing agent that the Holy Spirit uses to get rid of our stinking thinking.  You will not experience a renewed mind and a transformed life without the Word!
Step Three-Put on God's Truth. (v. 24) After you remove a baby's messy diaper and wash the baby up the next step is to put on a clean diaper.  When we recognize a stinky stronghold in our life and take it off and wash our mind and heart with the Word, we have to follow up by putting on God's new way of thinking.  Trying to simply get rid of a wrong way of thinking by not thinking about it is like me telling you not to think about a pink elephant.  Immediately your mind envisioned a pink elephant, correct?  That old stinky way of thinking must be replaced, not just removed.  It must be supplanted by planting God's Truth in your mind and heart in its place.
Step Four-Sniff out falsity and reject it. (v.25) A mother doesn't just change her little one's diaper once and assume that she's taken care of the problem for good.  Her nose is attuned to the smell that alerts her to the fact that it's time for another diaper change.  Similarly, our spiritual nose, aka discernment, must be attuned to falsity, to all areas of thinking, reacting, responding and behaving that are not in alignment with the plumb line of God's Word.  We have to stay vigilant in order to stay clean and free of stinky strongholds!
I encourage you to highlight and study these verses in Ephesians 4:22-25 and to remember this simple word picture.  A renewed mind is key to an overcoming life!
still following,


Saturday, February 18, 2017

God is Our Constant

By:

Emily Miller

Everything in this world is passing and fleeting.

What may be calm, steady and consistent for us one day may be totally different for us the next day.



I don't know about you, but for me, I have a tendency to get upset when my "normal" gets interrupted.

Everything is going fine and dandy one day. You are taking a history class from an advisor you love for Jan term, and the next you are in the hospital for the second time in three weeks, having to get four units of blood and a unit of iron, and also being faced with the decision of having to drop your class for January.

The reality is, though, we cannot depend on any worldly thing to remain steady and consistent for forever. Things change from day to day with the passage of time in ways that are beyond our ability to control.

There is one thing, one Being rather, that we can continue to rely on and trust in fully no matter how the circumstances among us may change.

That Being is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Him is the only place where we can even hope to find any sort of thing resembling the normal consistency we desperately seek in the world around us.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

- Hebrews 13:8

In Christ, we can also find a steady, consistent love sitting right there waiting for us to openly receive it. All we have to do is continue to seek out Christ on a daily basis through prayer and reading our bible.

“I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me".

-Proverbs 8:17

If we actively seek God and rely on Him to fill our needs and to remain the only thing that can remain steadily consistent in our lives, the cares of this world may no longer appear to be as important to us as they once were.

What I mean by this is, nothing may be going right in the world around you, with your family, finances, job, schooling, or even your friends. These factors and whatever may be causing upset or tumult in various areas of your life will not seem so significant or problematic as long as you are in Christ, and trust that He will always have a handle on you and the events around you to the very end.

So, in a matter of speaking, run to God, allow Him to fill you up with his unconditional love, grace, and steady consistency, and trust that He will be there for you no matter what the world around you may look.

Blessings-

Emily

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Stop Reading Your Bible {Link Up}

By: Jenifer Metzger

This past Sunday a family friend and fellow pastor preached at our church. He said 4 words to our church congregation that probably stopped a few hearts for a moment. He said stop reading your Bible. Yep. A pastor actually stood in the pulpit and told the church to stop reading their Bibles.

Then he went on. Instead of reading the Bible, he challenged us to study our Bible.


Such a difference those two words hold, read versus study. We can read our Bibles, read the words from cover to cover, over and over again. Or, we can study our Bible, really dig into it.

So, what's the difference? This is what I have been learning and trying to apply to my life in the past few months.

Read the introduction to each book.

Each book of the Bible has an introduction that gives you insight to the book. It tells you the timeline the book was written, the author, and often has other important information. Before starting a book, be sure to check out that introduction.

Cross reference.

Many Bibles have these tiny center columns with a bunch of numbers. For years, I had no idea what these little numbers meant. As you read your Bible, some verses will have little marks that resemble a footnote. Match that with the verses in the center column. This will lead you to other verses relating to where you are reading.

Utilize your study Bible.

If you have a study Bible, utilize the study tools! If you don't have a study Bible, I highly encourage you to invest in one. I use the NIV Study Bible and every single page has study notes at the bottom. These notes always give great information. They share why an item was used or mentioned or they share customs of that time. Whatever the information is, it is always a great addition to reading and studying God's Word.

Take notes.

Take notes on everything you read. Make notes of verses that stand out to you and the verses you cross referenced that go together. Pray over those verses. When you have questions, ask your mentor or pastor.

Do you just read the Bible? Are you ready to stop reading and start studying? Do you already study your Bible? What are some other tips you have to encourage us to study?







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.

Use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday

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

Woman to Woman Ministries

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Raspberry-White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars



Recipe and Image Courtesy of www.MyRecipes.com
Ingredients:
  • 1 9-oz. box chocolate wafer cookies
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a food processor, blend wafer cookies until completely crushed. Transfer to a bowl, pour in melted butter and mix until crumbs are evenly moistened. Pour crumbs into a 9-inch square baking pan, and use your fingers to press into an even layer over bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Bake for 8 minutes, until firm. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 250ºF.
2. Combine raspberries and 1 Tbsp. sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar until smooth. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, beating briefly after each addition. Add flour and vanilla and mix just until combined. Fold in white chocolate.
3. Pour cheesecake mixture over cooled crust, spreading evenly. Drop spoonfuls of raspberry puree on top and, using a toothpick, drag raspberry puree through cheesecake to create a marbled effect, taking care not to drag in crust. Bake until edges are pale golden and cheesecake is just set in center, 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then cover and refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 2 hours. Cut and serve.