September 15, 2014

Girls With Swords: Chapter 7 Weekly Review – “Forging a Sword”

 

Welcome to Campground USA

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Paddle Boats, Bikes, Fishing

Trivia anyone?  Aren’t we having so much fun in the midst of our study on Girlfriends With Swords by Lisa Bevere!!  I know I am.  This Christian life wasn’t meant to be drab, that’s for sure.

But, let’s get serious for a moment (if that’s possible with this gang) while we do a recap of where we are in our study.   In Chapter 6, our status changed: we went from being just an enlisted soldier in Basic Training to being a Warrior.  Oh yes, we are now on the front line of duty! 

My four girlfriends explained  our promotion in this way.

  • Teresa:  Using the teaching of the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 6, Teresa added:  Once a new believer understands the basic lessons, it is time to practice what was learned and “move forward” toward spiritual maturity. 
  • Jennifer reminded us that warriors are not hired, they are called.
  • Tonya emphasized the importance of being tempered to form character.
  • Diane talked about the importance of warriors getting rid of fear.  She reminded us that where God’s love is, fear doesn’t stand a chance.

That takes us up to tonight’s study on Forging a Sword, being led by my 4 girlfriends. Aren’t they amazing writers and speakers?   Let’s head on down to the bonfire and see what they have to say about Chapter 7. 

 Teresa 

What does it take to “Forge a sword?”  The word forge is a verb for a process much like the word mold. The dictionary defines these words as:

  •  Forge: (1)Make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire or furnace and beating or hammering it.  (2)Move forward gradually
  • Mold: (1)A hollow container used to give shape to molten or hot liquid material (such as wax or metal) when it cools and hardens.

To mold a product, the product has to be melted, or softened, from its original form and poured into the mold to obtain the desired shape and size.  The mold then has to be shaken to remove all air bubbles from the finished product.  These bubbles can cause the product to crack, fall apart and ruin the end result.   

To forge something, take separate metals, heat them to a molten liquid, burn off the impurities, and prepare to meld them into the final product.  This intense heat leaves a liquid virtually free of imperfections and no “bubbles.” The original metal is not changed from what it originally was, but is so much more useful now. 

What does this have to do with you and me?  If we have made the commitment to follow Jesus, it’s time to submit to the original Blacksmith and let Him forge you into the character He needs you to be.

(Martha’s Note:  Lisa states that FIRE, WATER, and PRESSURE are the tools used to refine metal, temper steel, and create swords.  “The process of making a sword is a whole lot like the process of making a life.”   Jennifer, Tonya, and Diane speaks to each one of these ‘tools.’)

Jennifer

Fire and Water:  What does the Bible tell us to do when trials come into our lives?

  • Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:1-2)         

Refinement is painful.  But these trials will strengthen us and, in turn, help us to forge the sword we will ultimately wield – the Word of God.

Friends, God is our Source of power and strength. He is trustworthy. What affliction are you struggling with today that you need to bring to God’s feet?

Tonya

Pressure:  What does the Bible tell us to do when pressures come into our lives?

“Count it all joy.”  (James 1:2-8)

  • Pressure and joy are not two words that are normally paired together in the world, but we need to remind ourselves that we only live in this world, we don’t think like it.
  •  Joy is something that is unaffected by circumstances.
  •  It is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart.
  • Joy is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope.
  • Joy doesn’t mean that it is going to be easy.
  •  Joy isn’t happiness; it’s the knowledge that we are where we need to be for a season in order for us to be formed into the woman He wants us to be.

Lisa said:  “God wants us to thrive whether we are under pressure or free floating” and in order to thrive in all situations we must be prepared, we must be tempered. Tempered daughters of God are resilient.  We have the capacity to flourish under all types of trials in every season.

Diane

Pressure:  As Lisa tells us about her “doubtful moment” (John’s faith to give away 250,00 books) it brings me back to one of my very own doubt-filled moments.

It had been several months after my very last therapy session. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was healed, but as I stepped into my counselor’s office that day, the doubt that had been filling in my heart since the last time I was in that room followed me in.

As I was explaining all of my doubts, my dear counselor asked me a simple question. What are the things that you know that you know that you know are true?”

  • I am safe (Proverbs 18:10)
  • I am loved (John 3:16)

Knowing the truth is just not enough to keep the doubt away. The more we “know” something, the more Satan tries to convince us that we don’t know anything at all.

As a princess warrior in training we cannot let doubt consume us. We must empty ourselves into God so that He can consume us. No two princesses of the King are the same. We are all created for a unique and important purpose.

  •  It is time to wash away the doubt caused from past hurts or current hurts and hold tight to God’s promises that will never shift.
  • All we must do is empty our hearts of the doubts that have been filling up at His feet.
  • He will fill our hearts with HIS blessings. No more room for doubts, only His love.

*********

After Diane spoke, Praise and Worship began.  As I lifted my hands and face toward heaven, suddenly my mind took me back to a children’s church program my girls were in years ago.  Like the rest of the parents, I sat in the audience beaming from ear to ear as we watched our children singing and marching to a song. 

Tonight, I became that little girl.  I stepped away from the bonfire, and began softly singing and marching to the same song.  No longer was it just a cute little song to me.  It was as though I was coming to God as a little child, accepting His call on my life to be on the front line of duty in His army.  I could hear Him whisper in my ear:  “I yoke myself up with you and the way you go, I’ll be there to hold you up!”

Will you join me in singing this song?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDIy5TUXovo

Let’s pray:  Father God, I come into agreement with my sister, Teresa, for the prayer she has already prayed over this group:  “We thank You for loving us enough to want to forge us into a unique creation and not just a molded image like so many others.   We submit our lives to the refining fire of Your love.  Remove the impurities and make us strong. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.”

***** 

Last Day of our Anniversary Giveaway!!

I hope you have enjoyed this week of celebration with us!  It has been such a blessing to see so many of you come out and post your comments on our blogs! I know it has truly blessed our bloggers!  Your words of encouragement have blessed all of us!

As we pray Martha’s prayer above, this brings me to the giveaway that we have for today.  It couldn’t have been scheduled for a better day. Between Teresa’s prayer that started our week, and Martha’s agreement in prayer with her that ended our week, this giveaway just fits perfectly!

As you go before the Lord each day, we would like for one blessed winner to cover herself with this amazingly beautiful, handmade Prayer Shawl that was made by one our very own Leadership members – Amy Butterfield.  Amy was such a blessing to put her crochet hook to work and get this gift ready for our Anniversary Giveaway!  Thank You so much, Amy!!  It is beautiful!!

PrayerShawl(2)

PrayerShawl(1)

How do you enter to win this beautiful Prayer Shawl?  All you have to do is read today’s blog and make a comment in regards to what the Lord said to you in today’s message.  That’s it!  

One blessed winner will be chosen and all winners for this week will be announced on our Facebook Community page TOMORROW!!!  So be sure to check out our page to see if YOU are one of the blessed winners!

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE COMPLETED BY 8PM CST TONIGHT.
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OUR FACEBOOK COMMUNITY PAGE ON MAY 11th.
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About Martha Bush

Martha Bush — Blog Contributor
Martha has been married to her amazing husband for 46 years. Together they have two grown daughters, and three grandchildren, of whom she is very proud of! She lives in Orange, Texas. Martha has been involved in ministry with her church for 20 years. Some of her favorite hobbies include reading, walking, and playing with her grandchildren.

Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    This is the first blog I have had a chance to read this week and almost didn’t because I am behind in reading and knew that it related to what I had yet read and I wanted to read the chapter first. I am SO glad I didn’t stick with that “logic”. Tears streamed down my face as I read this post…and that hasn’t stopped yet, so there may be typos, haha.

    Anyway, this post is SO my life the past couple of years. I have faced the most intense heat, the heaviest pressure…the greatest pain…I have never faced anything more difficult in my life. However, I have seen and felt the forging…and that is a beautiful thing! To think of it that way brings hope and peace…and purpose. To know that He has been making me into who created me to be, He is making my husband, our marriage, our family all into what He created us to be…all for His glory as He will use us for His purposes just as He has intended all along.

    Without this process, we were still His, but with this process, we are His and the evidence will shine like newly forged swords as victory becomes reality…daily…in us and as He works through us against the darkness.

    I am thankful for the forging and the pressure that has served an eternal purpose in my heart…and will serve an eternal purpose in this marriage, in this family, in this home, this community, this nation, this world as He uses us to touch one life, which will touch another…and another…and another. This is what we’ve been called to. God is making us warriors. Truly…it is an honor. No tears can wash away that glory that will be revealed in it all.

  2. Martha, I have a Cedarmont DVD with that song. It has been sung in my home over the years by our six grands–and me so many times that I can hear it in the air right now. :-)
    No, I don’t like the afflictions of life, but YES I do want God to forge me through water, fire, and pressure into the joy-filled warrior He planned me to be long before time. The word that kept coming to my mind this morning is “choice.” It’s been said before but He reminded me again that He gives me, each of us, the choice to allow Him to forge me/us during those times of affliction, or I/we can choose to just go through the fire (can’t avoid it) and come out without allowing Him to finish the work He intended to do in me/us. How miserable I am when I don’t allow God to do His work in me, but oh what Joy unspeakable when I have chosen to go through the refining and have come out looking a little more like Him!
    I loved reading Jennifer’s blog. It was meant to be shared around the campfire today. Thanks, Jennifer.
    “I pray that God, the source of Hope, will fill you completely with Joy and Peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident Hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Amen. (Romans 15:13)

  3. Lorraine Tomlinson says:

    I thank you Lord for your Word and Spirit that purifies and forges us for your purpose. Thank-You for your patience and mercy Lord!! Help me to surrender to you daily !! You are my rock and salvation that brings me safely through the water, fire and pressures of life!! You are an amazing God!!!!!

  4. Martha you have done it again! Thank you for the trip down memory lane as well as the teaching. Forging is not fun, but I am thankful that He cared enough to work with me, to make me the person I am today. I didn’t really like myself when this journey began, but now I can be in the same room with myself and even enjoy it.

  5. Without a doubt this week has taught me a lot. Forged heated to the highest temperature – mixed with other metals & purged of imperfections then cooled off by living waters and allowed to set. No longer fearing the new day dawning but loving the light peaking in. Standing up to pressure knowing I am safe & loved just as it is written in the scriptures -oh what joy to know I am a warrior of God hand chosen & paid for all in full. My heart is full knowing you are ALL my back ups. Realizing we are all at different ranks in God’s Army ready to be called forth to help & support each other!!

  6. serving in the Lord’s Army (and singing) along with y’all, my sisters! thankful to be know we are CALLED! thankful that He has prepared us as He purges and forges and forms us! thankful for His guiding us through both the fire and the water—for His purposes! thankful to be able to ‘count it ALL JOY!’ by His grace and mercy! <3

  7. amy boyd says:

    great song! i have never heard that before. i kept signing it to the baby and he laughed and loved it. thanks for sharing that. today is a good day ladies…every day just gets better and better. believing is the key! have a great weekend…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z29h7HUcJus
    JOY

  8. Martha, thank you so much for this! I always look forward to the weekly wrap-up! I think the big lesson for me (reminder) is that the power/emotion behind the forging is God’s Love/eternity and the response from my side has got to be trust/surrender – remembering who is holding the tools. God bless!

  9. Love this recap ending with “The Lord’s Army,” song. How many of us remember singing that as a child or with our children, and admittedly not realizing at that time the full significance of being a part of the Lord’s army. I think, for the first time, Lisa has really brought it home (for me, anyway) with this book and gives us a picture of, not only holding the sword, but BEING the sword!!

  10. Another amazing recap, Martha! Bloggers, you have ALL done an amazing job this week with your blogs! The Holy Spirit is truly speaking through each one of you!! I am blessed by each blog this week! Can’t wait to see what next week brings!! I know it’s another awesome chapter!!!!

  11. Thanks for the reminder, Martha! It’s so much fun to travel with you gals. Next week we take another step deeper, higher, and stronger. Let’s forge on!

  12. “Yes sir!!” And I’ve been singing Amy’s song all week. Lovin’ Fridays with our Martha! :)

  13. love T’s prayer. Thanks for the review Martha!!

  14. Tina Marin says:

    God is so good in His timing. We just have to be a willing vessel for Him to mold, shape and fire us through our life. How many times I have fought against the pressure and still do. The ‘old woman’ in me refuses to be quiet. Thank you for the reminders to not fight what He is trying to perfect in my life. Wonderful writing and great recap Martha!

  15. Thank You for sharing today Everyone. I’m filling in for Martha today. I’m sure she will appreciate your comments. God bless you!!! :)

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