Friday, March 30, 2018

Let God's Light Shine in Your Dark Places


The Good Friday service at my church is one of my favorites of the whole year. The pastor slowly strips away items from the altar as portions of the Good Friday gospel accounts are read. The lights are dimmed, and we leave in near darkness, reverently silent, thinking about Jesus' ultimate sacrifice.

The service reminds me of the darkness that settled over the earth when Jesus was crucified. Even in bright midday, when temperatures are normally at their highest point, darkness cast a shadow over the Holy Land.

For a moment, it seemed as if the prince of darkness had won. The disciples huddled together in a dark room all weekend, confused and afraid, wondering if all they had hoped for was lost.

In the dark places of my heart, it sometimes seemed like the enemy won. Seasons of depression, when life didn't feel worth living anymore. Times when relationships faltered on the edge of failure. Periods when sin ran rampant through my heart, and I gave up fighting it. Hope seemed lost in all those dark places.

Jesus shines His healing light into all our dark places. Click to Tweet

But Jesus shone His light into all my dark places. In those dark times, His light was waiting to heal me, just beyond the horizon. Like a flower trapped underneath a rock, my heart was pale and weak in the darkness.

Jesus lifted the weight off of me, casting away the darkness and shining life-giving light to help me flourish. His light gave me the hope I was seeking.


On Good Friday, the temple curtain was torn in two (read Matthew 27:50-52). For the first time in the history of God's people, light shone from the Holy of Holies onto the path where people entered the temple.

God Himself tore that curtain so we could have access to Him, just like Jesus' body was "torn" so we could draw close to Him. He wants to shine the light of His glorious presence on you, so you can have free access to Him.

You may be suffering in a dark place right now. I encourage you to consider what Jesus sacrificed so you could draw near to Him. Open your heart and let His light shine on your dark places. Give them to Jesus, one by one, and ask Him to help you.

Let His light heal, strengthen, and uplift your heart.

Blessings and God's peace to you,



Sarah Geringer
Finding Peace in God's Word

Photo from Canva.com

Reflection questions:

  1. What dark place in your heart needs God's healing?
  2. How does Good Friday stir your hope?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Day 5 of Holy Week!

by Debi Baker

Today is Maundy Thursday.  It is day 5 of the Holy Week.  It was on this day that Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet before their last meal together.  Peter would declare that Jesus would not wash his feet because he wasn't worthy to have the Master wash him.  Jesus told Peter that "unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me."  Peter relented and let Jesus wash him.

I think I would be like Peter.  I am not worthy to have the King of Kings and Lord of Lords wash one toe much less both of my feet!  Yet, if Jesus were to say the same words to me that He did Peter, I know my response would be the same..."then wash my hands and head, too, Master!"

The disciples had no way of knowing what a weight Jesus was carrying!  Can you imagine knowing that this is the last time you will gather to fellowship with your closest friends on this earth?  Can you imagine knowing what lies ahead for you ... just some 24 hours or so ... that you will endure a horrific amount of pain and suffering?  



There is only one time where we see a small glimpse of the humanness of Jesus.  In Matthew 26:39 NLT we read Jesus' words, "39 My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will."  Who could blame Jesus for wanting a way out if it was possible!  Yet, he ended the plea to God, the Father by saying 'not my will, but yours.'  Jesus would have done anything to be the one final sacrifice for God's children!!!  That's a whole lot of love!!  I pray that I can love like that!

Just a short time later, the soldiers come.  Judas betrays the King of Kings with a kiss.  Jesus is arrested and tried in a mockery of a trial.  And in the end, Jesus is crucified because of peer pressure.  Pilate found no fault in Jesus.  He wanted to set Him free.  But because of the pressure of the crowds, he relented and ordered Jesus to be crucified.  The prophecy had been fulfilled!  All of heaven turned their back on Jesus as He freely gave His life for us.  

Oh, but aren't you glad that the story doesn't end there!!  On the third day, just as He had said, He rose from the dead!!!  He's alive!  He's sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you and me.  He makes sure that God sees the blood of His son covering our sins.  Praise God!!

As you move on through this Holy Week, remember the real reason we celebrate Resurrection Sunday.  Remember that Jesus died on that cross with YOU on His mind!!!

Have a blessed Maundy Thursday!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Be Persistent

By:

Emily Miller

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel as though prayer is a one way line of communication where you always get the busy signal at the other end. 





That imagery makes you want to stop praying altogether sometimes. It can for me! 

However, the Bible tells us that we need to be persistent in our prayer life.

Keep going to God and petitioning Him on your behalf! Wear out that line of communication down to the wire, and still keep petitioning Him further after that.

The more specific your prayers are, the more effective it becomes as a communication tool. Don’t just offer a “token prayer” that is a few sentences long before you go to bed at night. Make your requests detailed based on whatever situation you find yourself in or whatever needs you may have. 


18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
-Ephesians 6:18

This will help you to feel less anxiety through out the day as you constantly remind yourself that you have already taken your situation to God in prayer.

By no means does this indicate that you should stop praying for your needs. In fact, you should keep praying about them as the little bubble of anxiety starts to prick it’s way back to the forefront of your mind.

So let us today approach the throne of grace with confidence that our God is indeed all powerful, and will work great miracles for us!

Blessings,

Emily



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, March 27, 2018

Just Be Kind


Today as I take a look at the world we are living in, I am overwhelmed and shocked at the amount of hate we are facing. It's everywhere! In schools, in work places, on the streets, even in the church. We are literally drowning ourselves in hate. And I find that very sad. The world today is losing all grasp of a christian walk of any kind. God is disappearing in our decisions and our lives in general. Being kind should be human nature. It should come natural to respect eachother. But nowadays, people are more worried about proving a point and getting what they want, than being kind and respectful to one another. It literally costs us NOTHING to be kind. It takes just a little effort, but in the end, it's always worth it.

The Golden Rule:
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 
Matthew 7:12

The Bible is full of scriptures about being kind to one another, and showing God's love thru our words and actions. Sometimes, when people push our buttons, it's very hard to be kind back. However, we must follow the Lords example. We must be kind, even to those who, in our own eyes, don't deserve it. You never know what someone else is going through. You never know if they are having a hard time at home,work or school. Kindness matters! Lets clothe ourselves with kindness in every area of our lives and show the love of God to this world, which so desperately needs it!

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Luke 6:35

Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good. 
Romans 12:21

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 
Ephesians 4:31-32




Have a great day!



Monday, March 26, 2018

Preparing Our Hearts for Easter

By: Jenifer Metzger

In only a few short days we will be celebrating the day our Savior rose from the grave and conquered death. Everyone is getting their dresses and shoes ready, dying eggs, and putting together baskets. But what about preparing our hearts for Easter? With less than a week to go, now is the perfect time to begin preparing our heart for the holiday.


Pray

Spend time talking to Jesus. Even if you already have a prayer time each day, this week take extra time to just focus on talking to Jesus and listening to Him. Thank Him for what He's done for you, pray for others as He leads you, and tell Him how good He is.

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Repent of your sins

Jesus went to the cross for you. For you. Repent of all your sins. If there is a sin addiction you are struggling with, ask God to help you. Be real and lay it all bare for Him. Remember, He already knows, He is just waiting for you to hand it over to Him.

Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out.
Acts 3:19

Study the resurrection story

Spend the next few days reading and studying the crucifixion and resurrection stories from the gospels. Write it down. Pray over it. Sometimes when we've read a story in the Bible so many times, we tend to skim over it, not really focusing on the words and meaning. Pretend you've never read the story before and open your mind and heart as you let this love story sink in.

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

Easter is a beautiful season, it welcomes spring, nature comes to life again, it's all around a new beginning. Don't let the normality or excitement over warmer weather and candy push the true meaning aside. Prepare your heart for the resurrection of Jesus.











Sunday, March 25, 2018

Deep calls to deep...


"There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still" is a familiar quote by Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie and her family were put into a German concentration camp during World War II for hiding Jews.  Corrie is the only one that survived. What a horrible pit she experienced, but God's grace, love and strength carried her through it.  She traveled the world telling her testimony and is the author of many books.

Like Corrie, some of the pits we experience in this life are because of wrong done to us by others.  Some of the pits we face are because of our own wrong choices.  Regardless of who dug the pit we find ourselves in or how deep the pit is, God's love and grace is deeper still.

Today, however, I want to share about a third kind of pit we face in life. This is the pit we all have within ourselves. It's the deep place within us that longs to be fully loved, known, understood and accepted. It is the pit we too often try to fill with things that do not satisfy, be it people, possessions or position. We seem to always come up empty. People disappoint us. Possessions give pleasure for a moment and then become just more stuff to deal with. Positions rarely give us the accolades or appreciation our heart longs for.  The deep need in us needs a love that is deeper still. First Corinthians chapter thirteen verse twelve in the Amplified Bible, Classic edition ends this way. "...Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood by God]." There is One Who fully and clearly knows us and understands us. He understands the thoughts of our mind and the desires of our heart. He "gets us" even with all of our quirkiness, faults and foibles and, (oh marvelous thought!), He wholeheartedly loves us anyway.  Best of all, unlike a person who may have at one time or another told you that you're just too needy, (because, let's face it, depending on someone else to meet all of our needs is an unrealistic expectation to put on a mere human), God never sees us as too needy or bothersome. He actually wants us to come to Him with our deep neediness as often as we need to. No matter how often that is, He is always readily available to meet our need out of the abundance of His deep kindness and love. In fact, He is quite eager to do so.  Oh, marvelous thought, indeed!

still following,

Friday, March 23, 2018

A Time to Celebrate

By: Sarah Geringer


This week I'm pausing to celebrate. My oldest son is turning 14...how did the time go by so quickly? We are hosting his friends for a Friday night sleepover, then we will enjoy a special family supper later this weekend. We make a mini-fuss over each of our children's birthdays because we want them to know each year of their lives are worth celebrating.
Birthdays are a wonderful time to "force" us into celebrating. If your life is like mine, the pace is so hectic that it's easy to forget to celebrate. So much is on the to-do list that celebrating often takes a back seat.
Yet God is the author of celebration. I love my One Year Bible because it helps me read through the whole Bible every year. In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, God commanded the people to celebrate with various festivals. I love that God mandated celebration, because He probably knows we'd forget to do it if we aren't reminded, as with every other act of obedience, right?
In the Year of Jubilee, the Israelites celebrated seven cycles of setting the Sabbath rest aside. The jubilee happened every 50 years. Families returned home. Debts were canceled. Freedom and peace were celebrated in abundance.
The word jubilee is linked to the word jubilant. What ideas come to mind when you think of the word jubilant? Here's my list:
  • Joy
  • Glee
  • Happiness
  • Dance
  • Praise
Even though we don't celebrate a jubilee in our culture today, we can stop and celebrate because God wants us to be jubilant. He wants us to feel free to dance, jump and shout in praise. He wants to give us freedom from what burdens us, and allow us to enjoy one day in pure celebration.
Think back over the past few months. Has anything happened that deserves celebration? I'm not talking about anything earth-shaking. I'm talking about little things that need to be noticed and appreciated.
In my life, those little things look like this:
  • Exercising more often
  • Eating more salads
  • Conquering the clutter one day at a time
  • Having faith-based conversations with my children
  • Several much-needed dates with my husband
I have bigger things to celebrate too. But I'm not going to take space up here describing those to you. Consider what is worth celebrating in your life. Then plan to celebrate it with a praise and worship session, and maybe a planned celebration with others.
If you are experiencing hardships, I understand how hard it can be to celebrate. No matter what you're experiencing, you can always celebrate who God is and what He is doing in your life. You can throw a private party to celebrate God's goodness.
Praise God for being there for you always. Praise Him for being sovereign over this season of your life. Praise Him for guiding you, teaching you, and providing for you. He is always worth our celebration.
Blessings and God's peace to you,
Sarah Geringer
Finding Peace in God's Word
Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Thursday, March 22, 2018

F, A.T.

by Debi Baker

FAITHFULNESS is one of God's many attributes.  He is steadfast and loyal; He keeps His promises to us.  He always follows through on His word.  He can be counted on.  And because God is faithful, He desires that we, His children and followers, be faithful.  As we experience God's faithfulness in our lives, we gain a desire to be faithful in return.  As we grow in Jesus, we begin to look like Him.  To be more like Him we must get closer to Him.
"9 …the Lord your God is indeed God.  He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands."  Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT


To be AVAILABLE  holds the idea of being present and ready to use.  God is available…24/7/365!We are not our own.  We've been bought with a price; the precious blood of our Savior!  But, we've also been given free will which means we get to choose every moment of every day whether we are available for God to use.  God won't force us.  He's a gentleman.  He'll always ask and invite us to "come."
"1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble."  Psalm 46:1 NLT

God longs to impart His wisdom to us.  He desires that we gain knowledge about Him and His word.  And He wants us to take what we learn from Him and His Word and put it into practice.  It's called application.  It's called wisdom. If we never apply what we learn, it says we're simply not teachable.
"29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  Matthew 11:29 NLT

Are you faithful?  Can God count on you to follow through?  
Are you available?  Are you at God's disposal?
Are you teachable?  Are you eager to learn?  Are you willing and able to be taught?  Will you seek to apply what God teaches you?  Are you willing to learn from your mistakes?

I want to be a F.A.T. Christian...Faithful  u  Available  u  Teachable!  
What about you?

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Worship More, Worry Less

By:

Emily Miller

I may have mentioned this before, but untill recently I had the biggest struggle listening to Christian music. I dislike pop, and a majority of Christian music out there sounds a great deal like pop music to me.



This is kind of frustrating, as most of the anxiety and depression books I have read have said that worship is a key factor in overcoming both mental illnesses.

I have wanted to be able to learn how to worship the Lord in this way, but it can be extremely difficult for me to do if I cannot get into the music.

Worship creates an atmosphere of peace. The biggest way I have learned this is the music we play at the Christian bookstore I work at. I absolutely hated my first job in retail because the environment was nothing but stress-inducing. At this job I have now at the bookstore, I find the environment to be much more relaxing in general.

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
-Psalm 29:11

Not only does worship create an atmosphere of peace, it takes your mind off your worries as you are reminded of how much a great and powerful God that we serve is!

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.
- 1 Chronicles 16:23-31

I have found for me personally artists that I prefer more that have a more country sound or who have song lyrics that really speak to me. The following is a little sampler of music from these said artists. I hope you enjoy, and that these songs will help brighten your day just a little bit more.









Blessings,

Emily




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, March 20, 2018

I Must Become Less...

By: Melissa Baker

Sometimes we can easily make our lives all about ourselves. "I" want this and it's all about "me me me". We are too busy getting in our own way to realize, we need to step out of the way and let God take control. It seems like such an easy and simple thing to do, but sometimes it's not so easy. However, it is necessary. We must become less if we want more of God!

"He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth and speak earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else."
John 3:30-31

If Jesus is greater, than I know He can do much greater things than I ever could. He can take care of this tough situation better than I can. He can deal with those difficult people better than I ever could.  We need to give all the glory to God in every situation, and just let God be God in our lives. 




Monday, March 19, 2018

Why Is Her Grass Greener

By: Jenifer Metzger

I love grass. I know those three words grouped together sound silly, but they are true. I love the look of plush, bright green grass. In the spring when things begin to turn green, I get giddy with excitement. However, our lawn hasn't been plush nor has it been bright green. We've struggled with our lawn for a couple of years now, so when we drive around and I see these full green lawns, I think, Ugh! Why can't our lawn look like that? I want their beautiful grass. My husband always tells me the same thing. "They water and fertilize it." We've slacked on the watering and fertilizing these years, which has caused our not so pretty grass. The heat of the sun in the summer months and the lack of rain will quickly kill a lawn. In order for it to look nice, we must water and fertilize it.


What about in our life? We see a co-worker accepting a large bouquet of roses from the delivery man or a friend posting to Facebook about her big date night and we think why can't my marriage be like that. We see a husband opening the car door for his wife or a couple walking hand in hand and we wonder why can't we be like that. We've been beat down by this marriage thing. It's harder than we ever imagined. This meshing of two lives is taking a toll and you begin to wonder if it's worth it. You are your husband are constantly bickering with one another and days may pass without a single physical connection. Just like the hot sun and lack of rain will kill a lawn not watered and fertilized, the pressures of life will kill a marriage that has not been watered and fertilized.

In order to get our lawn greener and more full for summer, we had to begin in the dark winter months. Then, we must water and fertilize it regularly. In order to make our marriage work, in order to see a positive change, we must water and fertilize it regularly, especially in the dark times. Invest in your marriage friends. Don't leave it to happenstance. Greener grass has been watered and fertilized. A happy marriage has been watered and fertilized.
















Sunday, March 18, 2018

Chased by goodness and mercy...


Psalm 23 is one of those chapters in the Bible that most everyone has heard at some time or another. Perhaps you've heard the saying, "familiarity breeds contempt"? While our familiarity with this Psalm may not breed contempt it may blind us to some of its powerful truths.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" is the most common way we've all heard verse six of Psalm 23.  Recent translations more correctly translate the word follow as pursue.  The Hebrew word used there is "radaph".  It means to pursue, run after,  or to chase. Writer Ann Voskamp says that God hunts us down to show us His goodness and mercy.  WoW!  Those are much more aggressive words than the word follow.  God is serious about making sure His goodness and mercy get to us, reach us, and overtake us. God loves us so much that He is chasing us down with His goodness and mercy. What hope, comfort and encouragement that should give us.

still following,




Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Respect is Essential

By:

Emily Miller

It is a concept that we try to practice, yet struggle with doing so.



Everyone in our lives wants to be shown respect. They want to be told that their values, opinions, and ideas matter.

However, one of the ways in which I believe we fail in this aspect is by the fact that we can have the tendency, sometimes without meaning to, to use words that hurt the people we care about in our lives.

Sometimes, out of anger, we will chose words that we know will hurt the other person. Usually you regret these words later, if not the moment they come out of your mouth. This is because the devil LOVES it when he can wreak havocand conflict in our very own homes.

It is like it says in the Bible. The tongue can be the hardest part of the Body to control that we have to constantly keep in check.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
-Ephesians 4:29

We all want to strive to be Godly women who uplift and encourage each other. That may mean being in constant prayer when you do come into conflict with someone that it can be used as a healthy (yes, conflict is healthy) form of communication, and not a tool to tear each other down. 

Blessings,

Emily



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

Monday, March 12, 2018

I Need A Do Over

By: Jenifer Metzger

As a mom and children's pastor, I constantly hear kids say the words, "I need a do over." Whether they are playing a game or doing a craft, they mess up. All they want is another chance to start over. They know that if they can just begin again, things will be better.

Have you ever felt that way? Your day just isn't going as you hoped or planned and you just need a do over. The truth is, we've all felt that way at some point in life. Many of us have felt that way already today. We just want to start fresh.

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!
Lamentations 3:22-23


The good news is we can have a fresh start! We don't even have to wait until morning! You can start over, even right this moment. Here are a few ways to have a do over.

Breathe.

Close your eyes. Take a few deep cleansing breathes. When I get busy or stressed out, it feels as if I stop breathing. I know that is not the truth, I obviously continue to breathe. But it feels as if I stop, like maybe I am holding my breath. In those moments I have to close my eyes and remind myself to breathe.

Worship.

Nothing changes the attitude and atmosphere faster than worship. Put on worship music and let it move you. Maybe you need some slow music like Reckless Love or Tremble. Or maybe you need something upbeat like Worth More Than Gold or Out of the Dark. Whatever it is, turn it up and worship!

Give yourself a time out.

When our kids act up we put them in time out. It's a time, just a couple of minutes, to let them refocus and start over. Maybe you need a time out. Sit at the table or in your favorite chair or on your bed, close your eyes, and just sit there for a couple of minutes. Refocus and start over.

Pray.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, will give you a fresh start better than prayer. When we pray, we are aligning ourselves with God. When we are properly aligned, we have a beautiful fresh start. Spend a few minutes with the Father. Ask Him to forgive you of any actions, words, or attitudes that were not pleasing, and ask Him to help you start over.

What are other ways you give yourself a do over?











Sunday, March 11, 2018

Valley seasons...


Why is it that sometimes it seems as though winter is twice as long as the other seasons?  There have been years when it felt like spring would never come.  Yet, it inevitably did come.  There's never been a year that winter lasted forever. There's never been a year when spring didn't come.

There are times when a season of waiting on God for an answer to prayer or a season of testing and trial can seem to stretch on forever.  I call them the valley times.  No one chooses or enjoys being in a valley of difficulty but we all will face a valley season at one time or another.

There are two things that have helped me survive the valley seasons in my life.  The first is to keep on walking.  God never intended us to camp out or dwell in the valley. Time after time, God's word talks about us walking though the valley.  It never instructs us to pitch a tent or build a house and dwell there.  When we keep on walking, in spite of how tempting it is to lie down, give up, and quit, we will inevitably one day find ourselves walking right on out of the valley.

The second thing that has helped me to survive, and dare I say even at times to thrive, the valley season is to hold fast to hope. My hope is found in the truth and promises of God's Word.  They are my lifeline. I read them, underline them, memorize them, pray them and remind God and myself what He has promised.  I know that God is reliable, sure and faithful to His Word.  I also know that just as no winter lasts forever, no valley in my life has ever lasted forever.  Sure, some valley times lasted way longer that I would have liked, but eventually every valley season I have been through came to an end. I came out of some of the valley seasons with a few battle scars.  I came out of some of the valleys mourning losses - loss of a loved one, loss of a friendship.  But, I came out.  You see, the enemy would love to keep you living in the valley forever.  He'd love to convince you that you are a victim of the valley.  He wants you to believe that for some reason you are on the bottom of the list of God's kids.  The enemy would love to convince you that you are the Cinderella of God's family but there's no fairy godmother coming to bail you out of your awful circumstances. Remember, that the Bible is a book of opposite thinking than the world's thinking.  The world thinks an easy life is a blessed life.  However, God's family photo gallery is filled with the faces of those who went through the valley and came out victorious.  There isn't a main character in all of God's Word who didn't experience suffering. God included them in His Word for a reason.  He has given them to us as examples.  We, too, can come out on the other side of the valley victorious if we will keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep on walking, and hold on tightly to the hope that God has given us.


still following,


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Compromise is Key

By:

Emily Miller

It is a word that is becoming lost in today's society.


We have such a collective need to prove that we are right (maybe even more so for us ladies), that we forget that other people may not always think like us.

Sometimes you have to step away from your own viewpoint for a moment. Realize that you are not always right. There may be times where you and the other person BOTH may be right, as you both have good valid arguments on an issue.

When it comes to arguments like this, you have to agree to find some sort of a middle ground for someone. Be willing to compromise. Make concessions to the other side without compromising the values you hold.

It is more difficult than it sounds.

The rhetoric you utilize in your argument is also key. There are certain words or phrases, no matter how minor the issue may seem to you, that WILL trigger the other person into backing into a defensive mode. When you use words like this, nothing will get done. All you will end up doing is sitting in your opposite corners, hurling insults and accusations at each other. 

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
-James 1:19-20

Even after you try to sit down and have a mutual, constructive discussion, all you may end up doing is agreeing to disagree. You have to respect the other person's right to do so without accusing them of being wrong, as this following passage of scripture suggests;

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.  One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.  Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.  For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
-Romans 14:1-12

I think the passage above sums up the very idea of compromise beautifully. We all can have differences of opinion, but in the end, the only thing that REALLY matters, that we are ALL defined in Christ alone.

Blessings,

Emily


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

Monday, March 5, 2018

What Are Your Words Like?

By: Jenifer Metzger

Think about this: you start your day with a piece of paper divided into two columns. One column would be kind, encouraging, and loving words. The other column would be harsh or negative words, and discipline. Each time you speak to your family you mark a tally in the appropriate column. At the end of the day you go over your tallies. Which column has more tally marks? Is your kind and encouraging column heavy or a little light?

Friends, our words matter. The words we speak can bring life or death.


I am not saying to not discipline your child or to avoid difficult subjects with your husband. We must discipline our children. If we love them, we will discipline them, just as our loving Father disciplines us. And difficult subjects need to be lovingly discussed and worked through with our spouses. When it comes to our children, the more we show them love, use kind words, and build the relationship with them, the more they will listen to us in those times of discipline. This is not about being a friend to your child, we are the parent not the friend, it is about showing love to your child. The same for our husband, if we constantly use negative or rude words, eventually he will tune us out.

Let's see what the Bible has to say about our words:

Pleasant words are a honeycomb:
sweet to the taste and health to the body.
Proverbs 16:24

A gentle answer turns away anger,
but a harsh word stirs up wrath.
Proverbs 15:1

Her mouth speaks wisdom,
and loving instruction is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26

In those times when we are frustrated, tired, or hungry, you know, those times it's easy to be short tempered or rude with others, we need to make sure our words are gentle and loving.

Today as you communicate with your family make sure you are adding more tallies to the loving side than the harsh side.












Sunday, March 4, 2018

Looking for satisfaction...


Hunger and thirst for God is the homing device He places in our heart, 
drawing us back to the place of our origin, 
back to His great heart, 
back to His love.

We may try to silence the desperation within with
-people
-possessions
-position
and while these things may momentarily 
muzzle the hunger pains 
they never truly satisfy.

We may search for God among the gods of this world
thinking that our spiritual hunger and thirst will find satisfaction there.
But it all tastes like sawdust in our mouth,
 trying to love a god made in our own image who cannot love us back.

We are made with a hunger for the Love that loved us first. (1 John 4:19)

He desires a deep relationship with us,
and places within us desire, hunger, and thirst for Him.
He is both the Source of the hunger and the Satisfaction.

still following,



Thursday, March 1, 2018

J-O-Y

by Debi Baker

"Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, 
so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."
Romans 12:1 CSB

This ol' world is on a destructive path.  I guess you could say it always has been.  Every generation has had it's destructive behaviors.  I can't tell you all of them but there is always something that is most prevalent, good or bad...and from what I can remember, mostly bad, in that season.  For us in 2017-18, at least right now, it's all about gun control; being politically correct; not offending anyone.  No, we should NOT go about trying to hurt others.  No, we should NOT go about causing trouble.  But we also don't have to constantly believe that others are intentionally hurting us or being insensitive.

I'm so tired of everyone being offended about everything.  Yes, I get offended on occasion but not often.  See, being offended is a choice.  We can choose to NOT be offended.  We don't have to immediately jump to the conclusion that someone is purposely being mean.  However, it seems so many people decide TO BE offended.  The easiest way to choose not to be offended is to renew our minds.  Get into God's Word.  Let your opinions and ideals be shaped by the Word of God!

We need to stop jumping on this or that bandwagon when we've never before had an opinion on said bandwagon subject.  God gave us a brain to use not to just let it take up space between our ears.  Maybe I was blinded to 'grown-up' life when I was a child but I don't remember there being so much hatred and disrespect and disregard for others.  Honestly, to me, it seems that people today are purposely out for the blood of others!  

Everyone always seems to be looking for ways to hurt someone else!  Maybe I'm looking through rose-colored glasses which distorts my view of the times.  I'd rather think I'm looking through the-crimson-blood-of-Jesus-colored glasses...trying to see the GOOD in others.  I really believe that everyone of us has some good in us.  We've just squashed it down so long that the bad is all that comes out of us. 


It's as if we live in a ME world.  Everything is always about ME.  What can YOU do FOR ME?  How can YOU make ME feel good?  When we're all about SELF, we leave no room for anyone else in our life.  There seems to be no joy in anyone's life anymore.  I can tell you why...it's simply, really.  In order to have genuine JOY, we need to live our life like this:
J = Jesus
O = Others
Y = Yourself

If we would learn to put Jesus first in our life...ALL THE TIME...and others above ourselves, we would find joy, true, genuine joy!  And once we find that joy, we won't be so quick to jump to the negative!

Won't you give it a try.  Practice J-O-Y!  I think you'll find that there's something good in all of us!

Have a blessed day,