December 17, 2017

Our Next Women’s Online Bible / Book Study Begins March 24th!

GWS

 

“Lisa Bevere is one of God’s most powerful voices for this time in our history.” — Sheila Walsh, core speaker of Women of Faith

“As you read Girls with Swords, you’ll be empowered to face your challenges with boldness and learn to live like a hero.” — Robert and Debbie Morris, pastors, Gateway Church, Dallas-Ft Worth, TX

“Read this book with fair warning: You are about to engage in a powerfully courageous life!” — Christine Caine, author of Undaunted and co-founder of The A21 Campaign

“In Girls with Swords you will be challenged to join the ranks of Christians who are already moving forward in their faith.  Don’t be taken out of the fight! Stand firm and experience spiritual victory!” — Pastor Steven and Holly Furtick, Elevation Church, Charlotte NC

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I’m a huge Lisa Bevere fan.  I’ve been a fan of hers for years, all the way back to “Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry.”  I had the privilege of seeing Lisa and John in a conference, here in Wisconsin, several years ago.  It was one of the most empowering, invigorating, spiritual conferences I’ve been to!  Lisa and John both have an amazingly strong desire to reach others with the Gospel!

When I first heard about this new book Girls with Swords I knew immediately that I had to get it!  I immediately felt God say “This is your next GCH study!”  Even though we continued to discuss other studies, I always came back to this book!

The day I got the book, I wanted to read it right away; but I put it aside until I could really focus on what I was reading.  I’m so glad I did because this is a book that you don’t want to just skim through.  You will want to study this book!  It is that important!  If you take this book and really study it, it truly will bring you victory!  Promise me that you won’t just skim through this book!  I want  to see victory in your life, just as much as Lisa did when she wrote this book!

So, how do you sign up, you ask?  That’s the easy part!

There are three steps to take to make sure you get the most out of this study:

1) Buy the book.  You will find links on our sign-up page for the hardcopy and the Kindle version of Girls with Swords.

2) Sign Up HERE

3) If you are on Facebook, you will need to send a Friend Request to our GCH Admin, so we can add you to our secret Facebook group where we will dig deeper into this book as a group.  You do not need to be on Facebook to follow along with this study.  BUT, you will get so much more out of it, if you can join our study group!  As soon as you complete the registration process, we will email you further details.

Before I close, I want to share one more thing with you.  This is shared on the inside cover of this book.  It will give you an idea of what you can expect from this book.

“Creatively forging the imagery of swords, the Word of God, and the Cross, Girls with Swords will teach you:

  • How to speak the language of heaven on earth
  • What it means to intercede
  • What it means to carry your cross
  • What it means to be discerning
  • How to disarm the enemy
  • Why women are the enemy’s target-and why God needs them to be heroes

It’s time to take up your sword and be a hero!”

 

We hope you will join us for this amazing study!

 

God’s VICTORY is waiting for YOU!

Christi Wilson, Founder of Girlfriends Coffee Hour

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To send Christi a private email in regards to this website, blog, or ministry, you may email her at: Christi@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Life’s Healing Choices: Chapter 5 – The Transformation (Reading Assignment)

Choice 5: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

“God blesses those people who want to obey Him more than to eat or drink.  They will be given what they want!” (Matthew 5:6 CEV)

The hardest part for those of us who like to be in control of our circumstances (and lives) is surrendering ALL to His authority, and being willing to submit to EVERY change He brings to us.  John Baker starts Chapter 5 by describing how it’s against our nature to change our behaviors.  It’s so much easier to keep doing what we’ve been doing.  It’s been said that changing a habit takes around 30 days of consistent behavior to make it stick.  How many of us actually try for that long?  Here we are in February, how many of you are holding firm to the New Year’s resolutions you made?

The scars we bear from our life experiences did not happen overnight, and we cannot expect change to be rapid.  Over the past four weeks, we’ve been preparing our hearts and minds for the changes God wants to do in our lives.  He’s been working in us through this time, but it’s also been a time of preparation.  Romans 12:1, 2 says that we are to “be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (NLT).

Do you take the time to read a passage in different translations?  Sometimes you can get more insight, clarification, and direction by what the various translations offer.  From The Message, we read the same passage in Romans, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your every day, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

How awesome is that?  God is helping us.  God wants the best for us.  He will change us inside and out.  Another promise of The Father we can hold on to when we don’t think we can keep on this journey.

Chapter 5 will discuss where our character defects come from, why it takes so long to get rid of them, and how we cooperate with God during this transformation process.  A key point for me in this process is to remember my identity in Christ, who He says I am.  Baker says, “Notice their identity is in their belief in Christ…they do not allow character defects to become their identity” (pp 133, 134).

Almost 17 years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  It’s a chronic pain syndrome that many don’t fully understand.  Even with almost 11 years together, my husband still doesn’t “get it” on many days, though he has learned to be more patient and tolerant of my episodes.  Pain, muscle tenderness, weakness and tingling are common place for me.  On a daily basis something hurts, usually my back, hips and shoulders.  But I also get tingling and swelling in my feet and hands; and fatigue…oh boy, do I get tired!  Some days I feel like I over-exerted myself the day before.  Other days, I feel like I’m battling the worst flu virus ever.  And, the only thing I can do is manage symptoms; there is no cure.  I have medications to take.  I give in to the afternoon nap.  I opt to sit as an observer than push my body in an activity I know I’ll regret later.  I get massages (much too infrequently) from a therapist who knows how to treat my body.  And, I try to enjoy walking as an easy, low-stress exercise for my body.  Keeping it moving helps keep it from tightening up even more.

Now, I know there are people with fibromyalgia who are truly affected more severely than I am, so this is not meant to disregard the severity of their situations.  Many are unable to work, enjoy activities, or function on a normal level.  I’ve never been affected so badly that I cannot “do life.”  I may not want to do something, but it’s a mental attitude not a physical limitation.  But what if I gave in to my pain and let it determine who I am?  If I focused on what I have, rather than who I am, how much different would my life be?  I might refuse to leave my bed.  I might quit my job because it’s just too much effort.  I might refuse to care for my family; instead asking them to tend to my needs.

But I am a person with fibromyalgia.  It does not have me.  Just like I am a child of Christ with sin, sin does not have me.  I have freedom in Christ.  And, it’s His freedom that also provides comfort during my fibro-flares (periods when it is worse).  It is His strength that pushes me through.  It is His wisdom that guides my doctors for management.  And, oddly, it’s a blessing in my life at times because the flares cause me to rest, and be thankful that my infliction truly isn’t that bad in the scheme of things.

So what defines you?  Do you believe you cannot change because it’s “just the way you are?”  Do you see yourself as the addict or victim?  Or do you see yourself as God sees you.

James 4:10 

Humble yourselves before the Lord,

and he will lift you up in honor. (NLT)

Reading Assignment for Week 4: Chapter 4 of Life’s Healing Choices

Monday: Laurie will discuss Principle 5: The Transformation Choice
Tuesday: Leslie will discuss Why Does It Take So Long?
Wednesday: Kim will discuss How Do We Cooperate With God?
Thursday: Amy will discuss Make The Choice
Friday: Laurie will bring it all back home with a recap of our week

Let’s Pray:

Lord, so many times we view our scars and afflictions as bad things in our lives.  Help us to see these as tools used by Your Hand to change and transform us into the daughters You want us to be.  You desire only the best for us.  You gave Your very best to us in Your Son, Jesus.  Show us the defects within that keep us from freedom and peace.  Allow us to humbly bow to You wisdom and correction in this process.  Amen.

 

Power Verses for Chapter 5:

Psalm 37:5

Matthew 5:6

Romans 12:1, 2

Philippians 1:6

James 4:10

1 Peter 1:13, 14

1 John 1:9

2 Thessalonians 3:3

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If you are interested in joining us for the amazing online Bible study, and would like to join our private Facebook Discussion Group, click HERE to sign up.  Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details.

If you would like to send Amy a private email in regards to this blog, please email her at: Amy@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

GCH:decaf – Letting God Into Our Study

Hello there everyone!  

I know that we have been doing interviews and that is probably what you are expecting from me today.  I know you are probably wanting to get to know another friend that will be doing this study with you, but truth be told I was unable to interview someone this week.  I was nervous about what I was going to do, kind of feeling like a failure.  I was praying about it a lot and then God gave me an idea.  One thing I have learned in my life is that no matter what – God always comes through.  When I think there is no solution, the Lord opens my eyes to HIS solution!  Just when I was worried about my blog this week, God came through with the most perfect idea for a blog post for you.  I may not have a decaf friend to introduce to you this week, but I have another friend who I would like to share with you this week, Jesus!

I am wondering how many of you have done a Bible study before.  My first study was in 6th grade.  We did a study on Job at church.  I still remember things from that study.  One thing I really liked about the study was that we prayed before we discussed the study.  The leader would welcome God to our study that day.  Being eleven years old, I was kind of confused as to how God can be in our study with us.  I believed that God was there, but I could not see Him so if it were not for that prayer, I would have completely forgotten that God was really there with us doing the study with us.  He was the most important part of our study.

Let God In

God is the most important part of GCH: decaf.  God has placed each and every one of you here for a reason.  God desires to be apart of not only this study, but our lives too.  Without God, there is really no point in doing a Bible study.  As we start our new study, Not A Fan, let’s think about what God wants this study to be.  What do you think He wants you to learn?  What do you think He wants to you say?  There is something for each and every one of you that God has prepared for you in this study.

I have done this study years ago.  When I did this study, my take away moment was learning to picture myself following God everywhere I go.  This has made my relationship with God even closer.  It has helped me remember that even though I cannot see God, He is there, desiring to have me make Him the most important part of every aspect of my life.

I want to dedicate this blog to honoring God for bringing us together and giving us this opportunity to make new friends and grow closer to Him.  I want to invite God into every aspect of our group!  Giving God control of this study can only guarantee one thing: It will be better than anything we can picture or imagine!  Letting God into our study, we let Him transform this study into something HUGE, something better than we could ever do on our own!  I do not know about you, but I am really excited to grow closer to God with all of you.  Would you like to get to know God more and more?  I hope you see Him as your friend, comforter, and Savior.

For me, God is where my heart is.  God is the reason why I am here.  I love God so much.  I look to Him as my Father, and Protector.  He is the most important thing in my life.  Let’s share today who God is to us.  I thank God so much for being exactly what we need!  I thank Him for being a part of this group!  I thank Him for loving us!

Love and Prayers,

Diane

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If you are interested in sending a private email to Diane, you may email her at:  Diane@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

 

GCH:decaf — Meet Miss Amber!

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Has anyone started a countdown for the start of our new study, not a fan??  I love countdowns but always mess the days up somehow — so someone help me out here please  —  how many days till our next study begins??!!!

Anyway, this past week I have absolutely loved reading the blogs.  Getting to know you all is so much fun!  I am so glad that we have a whole month of these blogs!  More excited that we have an entire study coming up where we will have such amazing opportunities to not only get to know one another but get to know our God in Heaven even better!

I am so excited to introduce you to Miss Amber.  This young lady is pretty amazing.  We did the last study together and through that study I have learned that she and I have/ had similar experiences in life.  It is nice because you know there is someone else out there that can relate with you and understand where you are coming from.  I appreciate Amber so much because through her opening up in our last study, I was able to realize this — The more you share with others the more you can relate!  I hope going into our next study as we learn more about each other and grow in our relationships, we are all able to open up, relate to, encourage, and love one another.

Now, here is some info on Amber…she is totally a lady after my very own heart (when we get to favorite clothing apparel you will see why!)  Amber is twenty years old and comes to us from Hendersonville TN.  Her favorite Christian band is Tenth Avenue North, which also happens to be my favorite band!  Her favorite singer is Mat Kearney.  Amber’s favorite movie of all time is Titanic.  That brings me back to days of laughing with my girlfriends repeating, I’ll never let go….I’ll never let go!  Honestly though that movie is one of my personal faves and just oh so sad.  When it comes to television it is Grey’s Anatomy all the way for Amber.

When it comes to fashion, I feel like we could share a closet…a very large walk-in closet filled with pink sparkly shoes (ummm…what size shoe do you wear Amber??).  In fact I bet Amber’s closet looks a lot like mine!  Her favorite style of clothing is sweaters.  As for shoes it’s her pink sparkle ones, and accessories is her birthstone necklace.

When Amber is with her friends her favorite thing to do together is play the battle of the sex’s game.  I have never played that game before but she assures us it is super fun!  Her favorite restaurant is Logan’s Roadhouse, never heard of it; they do not have that here in Pittsburgh!

This is by far my favorite question we are asking.  I am blown away by the responses to this question that we are getting from you all.  The question is: What is one thing that changed your life?  Amber’s answer: One thing that changed my life was getting the believer baptism, for the right reason. I felt like that was a moment where the time stood still and things finally seemed real to me, and I opened my heart, mind, and soul, to God and only God.

Ah!  My heart is smiling, is yours?  I am so so happy for that moment in Amber’s life.  The moment where believing in God and having a relationship with Him finally makes sense and you do not know how you have been doing it up to that point without Him; and you do not want to live one second of your future without Him!  I know God has HUGE things in store for Amber and I am excited to stand alongside of her.  Praying for her, encouraging her, and getting to know her more and more!

Much love to all of my decaf friends!

Love, Diane

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If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

We’ll be starting our next online Bible study soon! So be sure to keep checking back for sign-up details to be posted soon!

If you are interested in sending a private message to Diane in regards to this blog, please send it to:  Diane@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

 

FAN OR FOLLOWER? and MEET MISS RACHEL!

acceptJesus_NewHey ALL! It feels so good to blog again for my sweet friends at GCH: decaf!! I have been going through withdrawal! I hope everyone has had a beautiful Christmas and I pray everyone has a safe and happy evening ringing in the new YEAR! I am so pumped to start the not a fan study! I am even more pumped to introduce to you one of our very own Online Bible Study participants and my new friend, Rachel! If you are wondering what not a fan is all about and if you are just as excited as I was to get to know Rachel a little more then read on dear readers…
“not a fan”…those words bring back some really great memories for me! I did the not a fan study with my small group a while back. It was brought into my life at just the right time-thank you Jesus. It makes me laugh because as we were doing this study and even after it was over you could constantly hear me say to just about everyone I encountered that this study changed my life! Some friends constantly teased me that I was being so dramatic. However, what those friends seemed to not realize is saying that this study changed my life was an understatement. You see, during this study, I learned to let God into this study with me. I let God change me! People can think what they want, dramatic or not, when God changes you there is this huge desire you get to let everyone know what it is God has done in your life, right?
There were so many burdens in my life that I was carrying on my cross when I did this study. I wanted so desperately to be free from these burdens, but they were so much a part of me I did not know how to break free. Then, I did it. I followed God into therapy. I gave Him EVERYTHING even the parts of me I had been holding onto for so long for fear that if I gave them up I wouldn’t be “me” anymore. The best thing happened, I put everything that belonged on His cross there and I finally became the “me” I was so scared of becoming…the “me” that God created me to be. That same day I vowed to take up my cross each day and follow Jesus just like it says in the Bible in Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.
This verse is mentioned a lot in the not a fan study. It is one of those verses that make you stop what you are doing and think to yourself, “am I a follower of Jesus? To be a follower we must turn from the things in our life that are keeping us from God, we must give up our entire life for God as He did for us on HIS cross that dreary day, and follow His desires and plans for our lives, follow His truth that is shared with us in His Living Word. Rachel explains this perfectly when I asked her what her thoughts were, so read on!
I can confidently tell you (without an ounce of convincing) that I am a follower of Jesus. Pre-study, I would not have been able to say that with confidence—can you see why I was so excited to share what God changed me to be through this study; one of his followers? Now, your turn, can you say with confidence and without an ounce of convincing that you surely are a follower of Jesus? Whatever your answer may be, I am excited to start this journey with you. A journey in which we give up our lives to receive God’s strength, healing, and freedom through what Jesus has done for us on HIS CROSS.
One of the girls going on this journey with us would be Miss. Rachel. I had so much fun talking back and forth with this amazing GOD GIRL earlier today. She inspires me. She is only 15 and ¾ (even though she told me 15 1/2) and she really gets God. She knows the importance of having a relationship with God and embraces that. I am so glad to have “met her” even though we have never really met! I had some very important questions to ask Miss. Rachel and it just so happens that through her answers I learned we have a lot in common (especially our frustration with prematurely hitting enter while sending a facebook message, they really need to change that)! Any time I meet a sister in Christ I can be guaranteed that we will have one thing in common: our love for Christ and that is just the best thing to have in common! Here is how our conversation went. Enjoy getting to know Rachel, she is one fascinating young lady! Thank you Jesus for bringing her to GCH: decaf!
ME: What city and state do you live in?
RACHEL: Murfreesboro, TN
ME: Who is your favorite Christian artist?
RACHEL: Flyleaf
ME: What is your favorite movie of all time?
RACHEL: Meet the Robinsons
ME: What is your favorite style of clothes, accessories, shoes, etc?
RACHEL: Sophisticated stuff medium length flowy dresses
ME: What is your favorite thing to do with friends?
RACHEL: Sleepovers and mainly just talking—-this is Diane speaking: oh ya, girl after my own heart!!
Ok this is the question that Rachel answered which made my heart smile HUGELY
ME: What is one thing that changed your life?
RACHEL: One thing… well I started going to World Outreach Church last May. At first I wasn’t excited, but I think it’s helped in my relationship with God, with me going there and stuff I hope that’s good!
Good?? Rachel, that is amazing!
Here are Rachel’s wise thoughts on what it means to be a follower of Jesus and what it means to be a fan of Jesus…We would love to hear what your thoughts are, share in the comment section below or in our group…can’t wait to hear from you!
A follower? Well we just talked about that last month at church. For me, I guess, a follower of Christ would be choosing to be like Him. Of course, perfection is out of the question but that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to make yourself better, with God’s help. A fan is “an enthusiastic admirer.” They aren’t willing to give EVERYTHING up for Him.
I do not think I could say it any more perfectly Rachel!! Thanks for sharing with us!! I had so much fun talking with Rachel. As we prepare our hearts for this study, I am excited to continue to get to know each and every one of you!

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If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

Lord, Teach Us to Pray – Week 13

Last week we concluded our series on prayer entitled Lord, teach us to pray! Each week we asked with that same desire as Jesus’ disciples did — ”Teach {me} to pray.” And graciously He did, didn’t He? This week, I would like to join in as we finish this part of our journey together.

We have now completed our study A Daughter’s Worth from the book by Ava Sturgeon. All week we have been focusing on God and the optimism that our hearts have as we do so. We have been SO encouraged and exhorted!

  • On Monday, Diane shared about giving honor and praise to God.
  •  On Tuesday, Teresa reminded us that God is holy and that we can live holy lives.
  •  On Wednesday, Jordan talked about having happiness and joy.
  •  On Thursday, Tonya communicated about trusting in Him, knowing He cares for us.
  •  On Friday, Tina shared about our eternal Hope of life with God.

As such our focus has been all about God!  Nothing wrong about that, hmmm?  Every day we have so very much to be thankful to God for and to voice our praises to Him!  Whether by ourselves in our own hearts as we pray…or when we fellowship in our small groups or Bible studies (like this one!)…or perhaps when we gather to corporately praise and worship in the churches we belong to…we are living our lives right NOW praising our God and our Lord. AND we look forward to raising our praises forever! That’s right…we will be right along with the angels and the host of heaven!

Revelation 5:11-14
Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels on every side of the throne and of the living creatures and the elders, and they numbered ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands,  Saying in a loud voice,  Deserving is the Lamb,  Who was sacrificed, to receive all the power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and majesty (glory, splendor) and blessing!  And I heard every created thing in heaven and on earth and under the earth [in Hades, the place of departed spirits] and on the sea and all that is in it, crying out together, To Him Who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb be ascribed the blessing and the honor and the majesty (glory, splendor) and the power (might and dominion) forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities)!  Then the four living creatures (beings) said, Amen (so be it)!  And the elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin] prostrated themselves and worshiped Him Who lives forever and ever.

We SO look forward to this time…it is our HOPE!  We wait for the return of our Lord to gather His church together.

Revelations 22:20,21
He Who gives this warning and affirms and testifies to these things says, Yes (it is true). [Surely] I am coming quickly (swiftly, speedily). Amen (so let it be)! Yes, come, Lord Jesus! The grace (blessing and favor) of the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with all the saints (God’s holy people), those set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively His). Amen (so let it be)!

Yes, come, Lord Jesus, come! Amen!

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In this final week of our study A Daughter’s Worth, we have focused on living optimistically because of how great our God is…honoring and praising Him…living holy because we CAN BE holy…having true joy…resting in Him, trusting Him…looking forward to eternal life with Him. All of which are great reminders of how much worth we truly have!

Instead of a question this week, I ask you to proclaim this TRUTH,  ‘I, _________ (insert your precious name here) am a daughter of the Most High God, and to Him I am of SUCH worth! One way in which my Father shows me just how much worth I have to Him is ________________________________!

(Please share with us in the comment section what you wrote…I’ll post mine, too.)

Oh. How. He. Loves. Us. So. <3

The following is a video of a beautiful rendition of the Lord’s Prayer being sung by the Martins.  enjoy!  perhaps this might become your favorite  way of praying this prayer that Jesus instructed His disciples (and us!) when He answered their plea, “Lord, teach us to pray!”



Our next study “Not a Fan – Teen Edition” will begin in February, 2013.  Please check back often for more details.  If you have a question about GCH:decaf, please email us at GCH_decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 12 / Day 1 – Give Honor to God

GCH_Eph2_10

In order to give someone honor, don’t you think you have to know that person or at least know what they have done in order to receive honor?  God is more than just a “someone” He is the Creator of the world we live in.  Without God there would be nothing.  If there were ever a time to give honor, God should be at the top of the list, don’t ya think?

Do you know who God is personally? 

  • God created YOU for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.)
  • God loves YOU so much that He sent His only Son to die on a cross for our nasty sins that we continually commit (John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)
  • God is our help in times of trouble.  He did not just create us to watch us suffer through this cruel world alone.  He promises to be with us and to hold our hands and hearts and to help us in every struggle we face in this world.  (Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.)

I honestly would love to just go on and on about how amazing God’s love for us is.  I would love to share with you every single thing that I possibly can to showcase God for who and what HE really is!  There are no words this side of Heaven to be able to do this for you though.  It is not enough to say He is good, He is amazing, and my words do not even come close to just how perfect God is.  So, I am turning to the Bible for help!  This scripture is one of my favorites; I can just close my eyes and picture God as my safe place, the Rock I run to when this world tries to bring me down.  Psalms 62:7-8 My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. {8} Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.  Instead of me going on and on, why don’t you think of some ways to describe who God is to you!  Write them in your journal and thank Him for being who He is to us!

Let’s read Revelation 4:9-11

Whenever the living creatures (that’s us!) give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever (that’s God), the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever.  They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

YOU ARE WORTHY OUR LORD AND GOD

TO RECEIVE GLORY AND HONOR AND POWER

FOR YOU CREATED ALL THINGS

AND BY YOUR WILL THEY WERE CREATED

AND HAVE THEIR BEING

The first time I read that I cried.  Really think about this for a moment.  Every single time we thank God for our many blessings HE gives us, or give Him the glory for something amazing that happened in our lives, or honor His name in everything we do: 24 elders fall to their knees in worship to God!  How utterly amazing is that?  Close your eyes….picture this!  I don’t know about you, but I want this to happen all day long for God.  I never want there to be a time when those elders are not on their knees singing praises to God!

Let our hearts desires be the same as those elders in Heaven.  Let us strive to not go ONE moment without remembering our GOD in praises, worship, prayers of thanksgiving, and HONOR.  For when we do this we will be reminded that God is getting all of those praises in Heaven!

Let’s Pray:  Lord, I thank You so much that Your love and Your very being are indescribable.  I pray that we all are able to find out who You are personally for us.  I pray that each girl set their heart’s desire to give You honor and understand just why we are to give YOU honor.  Today and always Lord, I give You honor because You are my Savior.  You have blessed me and saved me from a life of misery and You have given me hope!  Much love to YOU!  I picture the praises in Heaven and they motivate me to keep on giving You all of my honor and glory that You so perfectly deserve!  I love You so much!  Amen.

Let’s all think of ways we can HONOR our KING in HEAVEN today and always,

Diane



If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, we invite you today to ask Him into your heart.  Please pray with us:

Lord Jesus, I come to You today and ask You to be my Lord and Savior.  I have learned who You are through this bible study Lord, and I want to know You personally.  So today, Lord, I confess the sins that I have in my heart, and I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness.  I ask You now to come into my life, as my personal Lord and Savior.  AMEN!

If you prayed this prayer today with us, would you send us an email?  We’d like to pray with you.  You can reach us at GCH_decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.  

A Lady In Waiting: A Reflection

Here is a little fun fact about me…up until two years ago I have NEVER finished reading a book.  Sometimes I would only get two chapters in, other times I got to almost the end but never made it to the last page of the book.  The first book I have ever finished reading completely was A Lady In Waiting! I remember thinking to myself this must have been a really good book because I actually read the entire thing!  That thought was confirmed when I decided to read it a second time with all of you ladies!  One thing that foolishly kept me reading, the first time around, was thinking if I made it to the last page once I flipped it over I would be guaranteed a husband.  In a way that was such a false thought, but in another way I found out what this book did guarantee for me and it proved to be way better than a husband!

For a girl who really struggled with everything that goes along with men, this book was just what I needed-a Godsend if you will.  When I read the title alone I knew I needed it.  I felt God saying to me, buy this book now!  So I did, and from that moment on I went on a journey with God.  One in which He showed me that my love story is not about just any man I may meet one day, it is about ME and GOD.

The first night I started reading the book I could not stop reading.  I highlighted so many words and sentences, I took notes feverishly; you would have thought someone would be quizzing me the next day on what I was reading.  I honestly could not get enough of GOD’S truth that I was reading on each page.  God used this book to draw me closer to Him.  It was through this book that I learned being single is not about me finding my husband, it is about me finding my God.  After the first night I started reading I decided to really find out all I possibly could about who God was to me.

When I first read this book, I was just fine waiting on my husband.  In fact, I still had such a sour taste in my mouth about all men; I was perfectly fine waiting forever.  The second time around that was not the case.  Two years later I found myself completely healed from past hurts with men (thank you Jesus).  Honestly, my heart was ready for a relationship and simply got tired of waiting.  This book has helped me learn what I am supposed to be doing while I wait.  Patience is not all about waiting; it is about our attitude as we wait.  Are we sulking in self-pity because we are alone or are we enjoying and making the most of the time we have alone with God?  This book is filled with the joys of singleness-having time with God.  I have found that when serving God that is when I am closest to Him.  I have decided to serve Him every chance I get and not missing out on those chances because of feeling like I am missing out on my husband.

A Lady In Waiting is overflowing with Godly advice on waiting for a relationship, being in a relationship, and the man you will be in that relationship with.  That is the main reason why I sort of kind of believed that I would finally have a ring on my finger after reading.  The fact of the matter is this book is not our life story.  It does not even come close.  God has written a perfectly thought out and breath-taking story for each and every one of us!  He knows our hearts, thoughts, souls, and desires.  He knows what is best for us and wants us to feel His love every moment of every day.  Singleness may be just a season for some and it may be a lifetime here on Earth for some; but thankfully a relationship with God is not just a season and it lasts longer than a lifetime here on Earth.  Our relationship with God takes us into eternity to be with our Bridegroom in Heaven forever and always!  That is where our joy is found, in a right relationship with God.

Being single does not accurately define us ladies in waiting.  In fact we are not single at all we are in a relationship with God.  With that truth shining so bright I am almost embarrassed of what a worldly demand I had when I first sat down to read this book-to have a ring on my finger afterwards.  What a unfulfilling desire to work towards.  The second time I read A Lady In Waiting with all of you I think I finally got “it”.  This book was not created to guarantee a ring on our finger after completion of the last word on the last page of the book.  Quite the contrary, this book was created to guarantee a stronger, closer, more personal relationship with our God!  It is not about the accessory of a shiny ring, it is about the accessory of the love of JesusRings will not last forever but HIS love will! 

I pray that after completion of this book, you accept and show off the most beautiful part of your story, JESUS’ LOVE.  I pray this book has guaranteed the same for you as it has for me, a closer more personal relationship with the complete love of your soul: Jesus Christ!


Let’s Pray: 

Lord, thank you for the study of A Lady In Waiting that you have brought into each of our lives.  I pray that each woman in this study leaves this study with a closer, stronger relationship with you.  I thank you for your many blessings you pour out on us daily.  Help us to remember the beautiful accessory you are in our lives each and every day.  Thank you for the story you have created for us and we trust you to write every page just the way you want!  We love you so incredibly much, Amen.

Your Assignment: 

Spend time reflecting on this study.  Has this study brought you closer to God?  Do you find fulfillment in the accessory of Jesus’ love or are you still waiting for that ring?  Let us know how we can be praying for you!



Our Next Single Women’s Online Bible Study

“Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul”

by John & Stasi Eldredge

Begins January 6, 2013

Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

To sign up for this Online Bible Study, click HERE and follow the instructions. You will also be given a link to where you can purchase this bible study. We’re looking forward to studying “Captivating” with you!!

Winning Him Without Words: Start When They are Young

Train up a child in the way they should go,

and when he is old he will not depart from it. 

Proverbs 22:6

Raising a child can be a daunting thing, especially when we know that we are responsible to God for that little life! I know before I even conceived, I prayed for them. I prayed for them during my pregnancy. I asked God that He would guide me in raising them for Him. After they were born I prayed for wisdom to know them like He did and know how to raise them for His purposes. I felt so privileged to be able to do it, yet scared to mess it up!

I knew that God wanted me to start out showing them Him as soon as they were born. Even the youngest little person can learn to fold his hands in prayer. Children learn by repetition and imitation.  I remember doing this with them when they were just little toddlers of 2 or 3. Then they would also want to pray out loud too. Even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying, God did. And it was so cute!

You see, I think our faith should be lived out in every aspect of our lives, every day of our lives. Our kids see it, and they should. If it’s real, they will see it in every little area and all the things you do. I don’t think anyone, having encountered the Lord and come to the saving knowledge of Christ, can live a life that hides your faith. Your kids know that and see it from their birth. Children are very smart and perceptive. They know when you are sincere and when you’re not. They can spot a fake a mile away!

When my oldest daughter, Heather, was born, we didn’t have a television. We pretty much listened to Christian radio all the time. She learned all kinds of songs and stories by listening to the radio. And did she love to sing! She would go around singing them to her hearts content when she was playing outside or in. There were kid shows then on the radio like “Odyssey” in the evening. We had tapes (yes, cassette tapes!) with “Bullfrogs & Butterflies” that helped teach her, in kid language, how to become a new creature in Christ. We had videos (VHS!) of Psalty who taught her God’s word in song too. When she had a hurt or a scrape we prayed for healing and that God would take away the hurt. I read her numerous books about all the Bible heroes that taught her God’s word, like Daniel in the lions den. We bought her a Children’s Bible because she would see us reading ours and want one of her own. I was able to lead her to the Lord at the age of 3 because she understood by that age that she needed a Savior, I had taught her that. I believe that God speaks to children, no matter what age, if you bring them up to hear His voice. But I also believe that just living your faith in front of them makes the most impact on them.

There are so many things that you can do to start your children on the right path to God, you just have to look for them. And then pray for God’s guidance to implement them. He’s there waiting for us to ask for His hand, and He loves those little babies more than we do. Trust Him to do it and stand back and watch how these little ones respond to the things of God. It is amazing!!

Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives during this study. I pray God has touched you and helped you with your walk with Him and with your husbands. I have enjoyed sharing it with you.

In Christ’s love,

Donna

Let’s pray: Father we are so honored that you have given us the privilege of raising our little ones for you. I pray you guide us and direct our teaching so that our children will come to know you at  an early age. Give us opportunities to share your love for them often. May you open their hearts to your saving knowledge as soon as it can be taught. Thank you Lord for letting us do this. In Jesus Name Amen!

Your assignment: Share some ideas of how you shared Christ with your children when they were young to help them understand God and His word. We as mothers can use all the ideas we can get!

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Our next Women’s Online Bible Study

“Crazy Love” by Francis Chan

Begins January 6, 2013

To sign up for this new Online Bible Study, click HERE and follow the instructions. You will also be given a link to where you can purchase this bible study. We’re looking forward to learning about this “Crazy Love” with you!!

We would LOVE to have your feedback on this study! Will you take a few minutes to complete the following survey? Your responses will help us create the best online bible study experience for you! CLICK THIS LINK to fill out the short 10 question form. Your responses are completely anonymous, I promise!! Thank you so much!

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 11/ Day 1 – Be Ready to Hear God’s Voice

Phil 1_9_10

The first question Ava asks us this week is have you ever heard the voice of God.  When I was your age I don’t think I ever thought God had a voice.  I surely never heard Him talk to me.  For as much as I prayed to God I never thought of it as a communication; one in which God would actually talk back to me!  As I grow in my relationship with God my favorite moments with Him are when He is talking to me.  Do you believe God talks to us?  Have you ever thought what His voice sounds like?

I have come to find out that His voice sounds like a powerful song full of God’s truths.  His voice sounds like scripture found in God’s living Word.  His voice sounds like my mother, sister, or godly friend who speaks God’s truth and encouragement to me from time to time.  His voice sounds like my grandmother’s letters to me.  All of the ways he talks to me have one thing in common.  God’s voice is found in His truth.  There are lots of things in this world that are filled with God’s truth we just have to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to them.  God’s voice is found differently to everyone, but when you find it you will hear the same thing, His truth!

How do we go about opening up to hear from God?  I just recently have figured this one out, and I continue to learn as I spend time with God.  It is all about the relationship that we have with God.  When I was your age I did not understand what having a relationship with God was.  When I found out that God desired to have a relationship with me, it changed my life!  When I started embracing the relationship I could have with God, I started to open my heart, eyes, and ears to what the Bible had to say about this relationship.  I started knowing God as my God and not just as a God.  I also found the truth of what this relationship is like through lyrics in a Christmas song by Amy Grant.

Fragile finger
Sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart
Whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

I have heard this song over and over again for the last 10+ years, never feeling my heart ever so gently touched by the sound of these words. Last year when I heard these lyrics for the first time in the Christmas season I actually shed a tear knowing the Lord was speaking to me through these words. How beautiful, how precious is our Savior. Tiny heart whose blood will save us and it has, and it will forevermore. How blessed I am to have accepted such a sacrifice. I thank the Lord for bringing me to the point where I am today; as hard as it was. I am to the point where I understand that I will never fully understand the depth of those words, the pain and love behind every one of them.  Have you accepted the beautiful sacrifice of Jesus’ blood?  Are you living in a personal relationship with God?

Are you wondering what a relationship with God looks like?  The relationship itself is different for everyone but there is one factor that is the same with everyone-God.  The only places we can go to find out who He is and what He is like is in the Bible or in praying to Him.  The more time we spend with Him the more we are ready to hear from Him.  When we believe who God is, when we are confident in His truths that is when we are ready to hear from Him!

Really think about how amazing it would be if you could hear from God all of the time.  Wondering what you should do about a situation in your life?  Wondering what is right and what is wrong?  Wondering who you should talk to about this or that?  God has all of the answers for you.  He is willing to tell you what to do, what is right, and is the one we should be talking to about everything in our lives.  It may seem too good to be true.  Do we really have access to a perfect best friend?  One who will always be there for us, and always lead us towards Heaven.  It is true, we do have access daily to our perfect best friend, Jesus.

It is my prayer that you find your relationship with God.  It is my prayer that you desire to hear God’s voice in your life, daily.

Philippians 1:9-10 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.

Think about where you need to hear God’s voice in your life.  What are you unsure of or needing answers for?  Do what the Bible tells us to do, grow in Christ’s love gaining HIS knowledge and HIS depth of insight so that you may be able to hear HIS voice in your life!

Let’s Pray:  Lord, I thank you for the privilege we have in prayer.  We get to communicate with the creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  Even better, we get to hear back from you!  Thank you for guiding us and speaking to us exactly what we need to hear.  I ask that the hearts of these girls are open to accepting your love and voice in their life.  We thank you for the relationship we have with you!  We love you so much, Amen!

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If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.