August 18, 2017

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Guarding Your Heart

 

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Dear Megan,

I am really struggling lately and everywhere I turn I hear “guard your heart,” but I don’t feel like I really know what that means. I want to just shut my heart down so it won’t hurt anymore, but I know that isn’t what God is calling me to do. HELP! Any guidance would be appreciated!

~S.

This is such a great question, S, and it is so important to get our heart around it to truly be living the abundant life God calls us to! Thank you for reaching out!

So….What does it really mean to “guard your heart?”

I keep coming back to the same verse: “… and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).  There’s so much meat in this verse; but today I want to talk about a particular piece – “guard your hearts.”

It seems to me, the best way to protect ourselves in this world, in relationships, jobs, dreams, or whatever, is to keep our expectations in check.

There are two verses people often quote with regard to guarding one’s heart. The first is Proverbs 4:23. In the NIV it reads “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The King James and the NASB, however, choose a slightly different word than “guard.”  NASB says “watch” and KJV says “keep.” And we must remember that in the Hebrew, “heart” actually means far more than the seat of our emotions. It’s our mind, our soul, our inclinations, etc.

When we consider this, and look at the verse in context, it’s not telling us to guard, in the sense of how we might use this word in modern English. It’s not telling us to clamp down, be closed off, walled apart…it’s just telling us to be wise.  Solomon is imparting wisdom to his son and is telling him to remember his words, embed them in his heart and try to keep himself from going astray. It means that we should pursue the truth of scripture, such as that God loves us, is trustworthy, and is for our good, so that we make wise decisions. I don’t believe it means we’re to tense up in self-protection…. But that is what we tend to do, isn’t it?

If we only consider this first verse, we might be inclined to actually forget the truth of God’s ways, His sovereignty, and His love, and take too much into our own hands. We’ll try to desperately control our environment, and every thought and emotion, thinking we’re doing the right thing. We are told to take every thought captive, but here’s where that, in excess, falls apart and ceases to be of God.…

How much angst and stress are you putting into trying to figure out how to guard your heart?

How crazy are you making yourself trying to figure out what to do and not do, so that you won’t get disappointed or disappoint someone else?

 That is not God’s will for you. God wants you to trust Him, be in the moment, and seek His wisdom and guidance ALONG the way…not build a fortress around you so you can’t experience anything! Do you realize that if you guard your heart too much…you may actually miss what God has for you? You may entirely sideline His will and plan because you’re too busy protecting yourself. We need to learn to be okay with uncertainty and just go with it, maybe even open our hearts up a little, remembering that God is good no matter which way things go.

This is where we bring in the second verse. Philippians 4:6-7 reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This is a little different than in the first verse, and they have to be taken together.

Here, it is God’s peace that guards your heart. It is a work of God…not a work of you. God doesn’t want us to live in anxiety and worry. And uncertainty sure causes this, doesn’t it? But instead, God wants us to lay our requests at His feet, thank Him for who He is and what He has already done…and leave it at that, knowing He’ll continue to do good in the future.

We don’t pick it up again. We let the peace of laying it down guard our hearts. This submission is based on that constant insistence that God loves us and is for our good. I’ll say it 1000 times because it IS the most important thing for us to EVER understand. God loves us with an immeasurable love. God loves us so much in fact, that we may not get our way, because He knows better. He will do what is for our good. Pray this deeply into your heart. Confess and release all your fears that are keeping you from this truth in the wholeness of your life. That is where you’ll find peace and how your heart will be guarded in a way that you can experience all God has for you, in wisdom, joy, and grace.

You see…the enemy wants us to miss out on all the good things God has for us by getting us to worry and doubt. Sometimes we need to sit in uncertainty when we want to RUN!!!! But if we run, we will miss God. We will miss what He wants to show us in the situation, things He wants to teach us, ways He wants to bless us, and ways He wants to use us to bless others. God just wants us to believe Him and go with it. He wants us to have the freedom to experience what He has for us without fear. That may mean living in a lot of uncertainty, but don’t wall yourself up to avoid getting hurt. Just be at peace, let God be God, and take it all one day at a time.

Where might you be wrestling with expectations today? Is it a struggle at work? A living situation? A family situation? A relationship that you just don’t know which way it’s going to go?

Release it.

It’s going to work out exactly as God has planned and it WILL be good, any which way. Just enjoy today. Enjoy God. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the uncertainty with great expectations of what God will do through it. Submit to trusting God, ask Him for discernment in wise actions, and leave the rest to Him. Remember, His ways are not our ways, so we probably won’t be able to figure it out anyway.

AMEN!….. and blessings to you,

Megan 🙂

Captivating: Chapter 8 – “Beauty to Unveil – The Essence of Woman” (pp 128-132)

But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Isn’t it amazing that when God created man and woman, He gave them different characteristics that are unique, but at the same time represent His nature?  When we look at the essence of a man, it is portrayed in strength. This is shown when men take their rightful role to provide for us, protect us, speak up for us, and shield us from emotional harm and spiritual attack.   A strong man represents the Warrior characteristic of God.

Stasi shares that strength is what the world longs to experience from a man.  “The strength of a man is first a soulish strength—a strength of heart. And yes, as he lives it out, owns it, inhabits his strength, he does become more handsome. More attractive. As the fruit of an inner reality.”

The Essence of a woman on the other hand is Beauty, which represents the Captivating side of God.  In the Captivating study guide Stasi notes that “Beauty is a hard subject for women to talk about.  Our desire for beauty has caused us countless tears and untold pain.  The world’s view of beauty is unattainable for the majority of women… and yet we long for it.”

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Our longing to be beautiful has led us to compare ourselves with others.  We have bought countless magazines, tried every diet ever created, bought beauty products just because our favorite actress or model is advertising them, our hair has gone through different phases (some days we want it short and straight; other days we want it long and curly).  Still at the end of day we feel the same—we don’t feel beautiful enough, tall enough, slender enough, and the clothes don’t fit the way they did on the mannequin.

It is not wrong to look beautiful.   We decorate our homes and put flowers on the table. We wear perfume, paint our toenails, color our hair, and pierce our ears, all in an effort to be ever more beautiful.  However, much of our struggle to accept who we are comes into play when we have bought into the ideologies of the world which idolizes outer beauty.

The Bible teaches that every woman is made in the image of God.  Every woman bears His image in her heart and carries within her the very essence of Beauty.  Apart from God, beauty gets twisted, used, and abused.  Being beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean a woman has a beautiful heart.

I heard this profound statement from one of the sermons of Bishop T.D. Jakes, “What is happening on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on the inside.”

Girlfriends, Beauty starts on the inside—deep down your heart.  When you believe that you are beautiful from your heart, it comes out on the outside and it doesn’t matter whether you are wearing yesterday’s fashion or today’s trendy clothes.  Your beauty radiates on the outside and it is seen by the way you carry yourself, the smile on your face, the way you talk, and the way you view life.

Beauty that comes from the inside is what this world longs to see from us.  It is such Beauty that speaks and people listen, it invites others in and makes them want to stay forever.  It is beauty that nourishes, comforts, inspires and it is transcendent.   It is this Beauty that draws us to God.

I want to bring us to the verse in 1 Samuel 16:7.  “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.‘” God gave Samuel an assignment to go to the house of Jesse to anoint a king.  Jesse brought out seven of his sons and paraded them for Samuel to choose.  Jesse felt that they were suitable for the job but each and every one of them was rejected.  I am sure these men were tall and handsome, muscular, and probably had a military training as some had been part of Saul’s army.  As much as their looks and build were concerned,  they should have made the cut.  However, that’s not what God was looking for.  Apparently, there was another son, the youngest of them, who was out in the wilderness taking care of sheep.  No one remembered to call for him when Samuel arrived so they had to send someone to get him.  When David came, the Lord told Samuel to anoint him as king.

David was the least among his brothers and no one took notice of him.  But the Lord did.  The Lord saw David’s heart as he took care of the sheep, the way he rescued them from the lions and the bears.  David spent his time talking to God and getting to know Him.  This time was not in vain because it was what prepared David for the role of a lifetime, Israel’s king.

This may be your story, no one has noticed you and has not seen how beautiful you are.  You are the last to get the invitation to a party—if the invitation is even sent.  You are considered as a chaperone for your sisters, the least to be offered anything.  You long for someone to see the true you.  Do not be discouraged because the Lord knows and sees your heart.  He sees how beautiful you are and He calls you His beloved.  Let your beauty shine because that is the essence of who you are.

Beauty is the most essential and, yes, the most misunderstood of all the feminine qualities. We want you to hear clearly that it is an essence every woman carries from the moment of her creation. The only things standing in the way of our beauty are our doubts and fears, and the hiding and striving we fall to as a result.”  – Stasi Eldredge

Be Blessed!

Jackie

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LET’S PRAY:

Dear God, You are beautiful and I believe I bear Your image.  But You know that I don’t feel very pretty let alone beautiful.  Would You please come to this place in my heart…this core place…and reveal to me Your own beauty?  Please heal the places in my heart that have been assaulted and hurt regarding beauty, and establish Your truth here.  Do You think I am beautiful? How? Why? Please help me, Jesus.  It’s in Your name that I pray.  Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

When we speak of strength as being the essence of masculinity, we are not talking about big muscles.  In the same way, when we speak of beauty as being the essence of femininity, we are not talking about a woman’s outward features.  If God dwells in your heart by faith, and God is altogether lovely, what does that say about your new heart?


If you are interested in sending Jackie a private message in regards to this blog, please email her at: Jackie@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

GCH:decaf – Friends are IMPORTANT! and so is FAMILY

We have been having a most AWESOME time getting to know each other these last three months.  We began our Teen Ministry with the hopes that we would be able to reach young women all over the world with the love of God and for them to see how much they are worth to the Father.  In the process, we got to know many new hearts and smiles.

Yesterday Diane shared with us about her friend, Jesus.  How many of you truly think of Jesus as a friend?  Does He have a place in your heart like your best friend does?  When bad stuff happens to you, who do you run to?  Is Jesus first, or do you go to a friend, or a parent?  Sometimes Jesus is the LAST person we go to – and only because we couldn’t figure it out on our own.  That’s not cool.  That is not how Jesus wants us to think of Him.  How long would we have a best friend if we only talked to them when we were bored or in danger?  Not long, I think.  Friends need to be cared for even when things are fun and good.

It is a FACT that bad things will happen in our lives.  It is a FACT that we need other people to walk along side of us for support.  It is a FACT that Jesus wants to be that person that we go to FIRST…even before our friends or our parents.

Through this teen ministry of GCH:Decaf I have met some pretty amazing women, teens and friends.  We have been introducing you to some of the girls that responded to our interview questions.  Today, I would like to introduce you to a pair of sisters who I met while doing the first study and preparing for things to come.  It is truly amazing how God works miracles in our hearts and lives when bad things happen to us.  Some things girls go through are just too awful to survive, let alone use that terrible thing as a ministry opportunity.

These sisters reminded me of the scripture in Psalms 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”   Through our online study group I met Trinicia and Carlia.  They answered my interview questions very honestly, just like the other girls did.  I love these girls so very much that I want to get to know them in person.  I want to watch their ministry unfold as they walk out the path God has laid before them.  The events in older sister’s life affected the life of the younger sister.  That is the way we were designed to be.  We bear each other’s burdens and joys.  I love that they are sisters and support each other.  I love that they have a heart for God.  Here is their story:

CarliaI first want to introduce you to Carlia.  She is 13 years old and lives in Memphis, Tennessee.  She likes the group One Direction (much like many of our girls here at :decaf) and this girls LOVES LeCrae.  I have to say that I am loving me some LeCrae myself these days.  I got a new CD for Christmas.  J  Her favorite movie is “Home is Where the Heart Is” and her favorite TV show is House of Payne.  By these choices alone you can tell Carlia values “home”.

 Carlia loves to dress eccentrically and to do that she needs to SHOP with her friends. When asked about food, she responded that all things “Rafferty’s” was her fave.  I have eaten at a Rafferty’s and I would have to agree that they have good food.

 Now here is the answer to the question:  What is one thing that changed your life?

“The day my oldest sister told my Mom that my dad had been touching her in a bad way.  It was hard because that was my dad and he was a part of me, but so was my sister and she was a girl, so I could feel what she was saying and it was hard for me to deal with.  It still is sometimes.  It did bring us closer as a family and it has made all of us stronger and more protective of each other.  I love her!”

Carlia loves her big sister, Trinicia.  God truly came close to these brokenhearted sisters, daughters and friends.  He has begun to heal the wounds that have crushed their spirits and out of these precious hearts, a ministry has been born.

 Trinicia

Let me introduce you to 19 year old, Miss Trinicia.  She goes to college in Nashville, Tennessee.  Her favorite singer is Beyonce and her favorite Christian artist is also LeCrae.  Oh, yeah, and he is CUTE, too.  Trinicia said that Disney’s Pete’s Dragon is her all-time favorite movie and she likes to watch Criminal Minds and Cold Case on TV.  Don’t mess with her, she’s analytical.  LOL  Trinicia likes to be casually dressy.   She sounds pretty classy to me.  Her favorite thing to do with friends is go out to eat and her favorite is Chinese food.

 So here’s the kicker for me; when Trinicia was asked about one thing that changed her life she responded:  “Meeting my best friend Devin at a time when I had to disclose to my mom that my stepdad… had been molesting me and raped me.  God has used that horrible time in my life to help other girls and women get through such a horrific moment in their life.  God has really given me a ministry!  He has used something bad and is using it for His good!”

Trinicia could have said that the action was the thing that changed her life, but what really changed her was the friendship of Devin who stood by her when she needed support to talk to her mom.  Do bad things happen to good people?  Absolutely.  Is it fair?  I don’t think so, but life isn’t fair.  The thing that matters is how Trinicia responded to the bad thing that happened in her life.  She gave it over to God to use as He saw fit and now Trinicia has a ministry helping other girls and women recover from these crushing blows of life.

Did you notice that not only did the bad stuff affect Trinicia, it affected Carlia?  Did you notice that Carlia said that their family is “closer” now than before they found out about the “bad stuff”?  How can that be?  I can understand how these sisters were reluctant to join us in our study “A Daughter’s Worth”, but getting to know them I see that they know the Father loves them and they return that love.  They have turned their pain into ministry to others who are hurting.  I truly love these young ladies.

In Matthew 22:37 it says, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”  That verse sums up what we were trying to learn in our last Bible study.  We want to seek God with everything in us, make HIM a part of us that we cannot live without.  We would be lost without our HEART, our SOUL or our MIND.  Make it a point to get to know Jesus this year like Trinicia and Carlia have.  Make 2013 the year you become a true FOLLOWER of Jesus!

I love all my girls,

Mama T

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 If you are interested in sending a private message to Teresa in regards to this blog, please email her at: Teresa@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

Seeking Him by Coleen Hayden

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Each Saturday for the next four weeks, we will look in-depth at a few of the most important aspects of having a dedicated, purposeful quiet time.  Last week I had the privilege of sharing with you a few thoughts from some friends about their own quiet time.  Gathering from their experiences, there seem to be a few basics which include:

Bible reading
Prayer
Praise Songs
Meditation
Seeking the Lord

This week in our current series, Seeking Him, we are focusing on one of the most important building blocks of a devotional time—spending time reading the Bible.  If we are to come to know God, we must begin to seek Him where He has made Himself known…and that is in His written Word, the Bible.

I would venture to say that almost every single one of us owns a Bible (at least one).  Did you know that the Bible continues to be the best-selling book in the world?*  One reason the Bible is so popular is that it is God’s Rule Book. He reveals Himself within the pages of the Bible.  In the words of His written Word, we find that:

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:7-11

So, we learn that the Bible—which contains the Lord’s law, testimony, precepts, commandments and judgments—is to be desired!  It can be, as the Psalmist wrote, more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey!  And, in keeping (obeying) the words of the Bible (the Lord’s law, testimony, precepts, commandments and judgments) there is great reward!  Such encouragement then to spend time reading the Bible, wouldn’t you agree?

One of my oh-so-very favorite Scripture passages is Psalm 119.  (And, yes, it directly correlates to the psalm we just read—Psalm 19!  You noticed that, hmmm? Watch, you’ll see!)  Psalm 119 is the longest chapter of any of the 66 books of the Bible; it totals 176 verses.  Each of these 176 verses communicates a truth about the Lord’s law, testimony, precepts, commandments and judgments along with His ways, statues, and ordinances.  I find it so amazing (our Lord IS so amazing!) that every single verse tells us something new and different!  Reading and considering and meditating upon the dynamic truths contained in this ONE chapter could be a continuing study for your quiet time.  Perhaps these three verses would be a good place to start:

With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O Lord;Teach me Your statutes.
Psalm 119:10-12

Our desire, our intention, our focus, our goal, our purpose, our heart is to seek God!  He is what we yearn for…being with Him!  And these three verses express that desire so simply.

Here is a link to a cd that I think you will find a useful tool for your devotional time.  It is called Psalm 119 in Song by Susie Kimbrough,  a compilation of the 22 songs from Psalm 119 all of which are original musical compositions.  Listen to each of the selections and meditate on the Scriptures being sung.  http://www.shepardmusic.com/ps119cd.php

Keep Seeking Him and enjoy your quiet time with your Lord!  As you do, He will keep you from wandering, help you not to sin, and will teach you His statutes.

Praying for each of you!  I know that the Lord will answer your heart’s cry as you are Seeking Him with all your heart!

<3 coleen

*The Bible is the best-selling book in the world:

http://www.booksellerworld.com/bestselling-booksever.htm

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/1/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction



If you are interested in more information about GCH:decaf, email us at: GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen concerning this series, you may email her at: Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

 

A Daughter’s Worth Week: 10 / Day 1 – Have a Story to Tell

When I was younger I was never certain I was going to Heaven.  I asked Jesus into my heart when I was five, but I could not say without a shadow of doubt that I would go to Heaven one day.  I was not ready for what that simple prayer I prayed at the wee age of five would do for me.  Though, I soon found out what I was not doing for that prayer.  There were days I would pray that prayer over and over, worrying that I said it wrong or didn’t mean it and had to keep saying it to make sure that there was no chance I was missing out on Heaven.  I spent a decent amount of time praying that God would save me, but from what I was not sure, and from where I was praying-no clue, all I was sure of was it was not coming from the sincerity of my heart.

Today, I can confidently say that I belong to God, and that I will be in Heaven one day.  It took me a long time to believe those words in my heart.  What about you?  Do you believe that you will be in Heaven one day?  Do you belong to God’s family?  If there is even a hint of doubt in your answer to those questions will you please reach out to a leader or pastor!  I cannot begin to explain to you the importance of praying with your heart the prayer of Salvation.  Simply believing that God sent HIS ONLY Son to DIE on a CROSS for YOU AND ME and then ROSE from the DEAD three days later; asking for forgiveness of your many sins and accepting JESUS into your HEART to help guide you and follow HIM, will not only guarantee your entrance to the gates of Heaven one day BUT it is also the start of the perfect story you have with the GOD of the UNIVERSE!

Have you ever thought about your story?  God already has a beautiful story written for you and Him to share together.  In this story you will grow closer to Him, learning to depend on Him for all of your needs.  Everyone’s story is different.  Everyone’s story has potential.  We are the ones that have to choose to embrace the pages of our stories.  It is not enough to just sit back and watch the pages turn.  We must act out on what we feel in our hearts.  We were told to read Acts 22:15-16 today.  Let’s take a look at it.

You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.  And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

Do not get discouraged if you have not seen or heard from God lately or ever!  It is never too late to change your path and go another way…leading to Jesus.  The more time you spend with Him in prayer, reading the Bible, getting involved in church, etc. the more you will see Him and hear His gentle whispers in your life.  This life is short.  Those of us who know Jesus and call on His name, we are all saved by the blood of Jesus.  We will all get to live the life we were intended for in Heaven with Jesus one day!  Until then, we MUST flee sin and run into the Lord’s arms!  We must take advantage of this life as short as it is and use it as an opportunity to share our stories with others.

I know for certain God did not save me from a life of complete misery just to leave my story on a pretty shelf.  He saved me so that I may share my story; being a light to others and helping others find Jesus as they hear each chapter.  Today, I leave you with a piece of my story; I pray that you share pieces of yours in our discussion group!  One thing I know is that when we let God into our hearts, he transforms our stories into something amazingly beautiful!  I cannot wait to hear what God has done and will do in each and every one of your lives!

Little Tid-Bit of my Love Story with God

I am so thankful that I asked the Lord into my heart when I was 5.  Even though I was not certain what that meant, the Lord heard my words and he never ever left my heart especially when I turned from Him.  When I turned from Him it was the worst time in my life.  One night after too much heartbreak, I cried out to Him and asked Him to help me.  I was not expecting anything but to my surprise, God heard my cry, and helped me.  He protected me and saved me from a life of misery.  He is faithful!  I rededicated my life to the Lord. He is the love story I was always searching for.  I always thought I needed a man, but they all left me feeling empty inside.  When I embraced God, I found His love that fills every possible crevice in my heart and overflows into the lives of so many others that need so desperately to find HIS love.

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Let’s Pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, thank You honestly does not seem like enough to show the gratitude I have in my heart for what You alone have done for each and every one of us.  I ask that any girl who is reading this post and does not know You as her personal Savior, will find You and start embracing Your story for herself.  I ask that each one of these girls feels confident in the salvation You have given them, freely.  I pray that these girls truly live out the story You have prepared for them.  Bring opportunities into their precious lives to share their stories with others.  We love You Lord, oh so much and we cannot wait to see You in Heaven one day!!  Amen.

Love to my dear sisters in Christ,

Diane

For the A Daughter’s Worth Online Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage.

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.

A Pure Heart

 

A Pure Heart

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

I’m sure you’ve all heard this verse, and maybe you even know the song… But what does this really mean? And how do we achieve a pure heart?

In Proverbs 4 verse 23 it says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.” When it says “heart”, I think it means to be cautious of your thoughts, words, and the things you seek after. Notice in the verse in Psalms that GOD is the one who is creating the pure heart. Apart from the Lord, we are anything but pure. But because of JESUS, we have the privilege and the opportunity to walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. We can walk in righteousness and purity, because we have been made righteous and pure through Jesus’ sacrifice.

This also takes some work on our part. Hear me when I say this, you do NOT have to work for Jesus’ love. You have NOTHING to earn. But it is our responsibility, as believers who have been made new, to walk in freedom from the enemy. It is our responsibility to live a life that is holy, so that people will see Jesus in our actions and will want to know Him.

Here are some things you need to think about….

The movies & television shows you watch:

  • Do they portray things that are pleasing to the Lord?
  • Or do the story lines and actions that take place in the movie reveal things that are impure?

The music you listen to:

  • Do the songs exalt the name of Jesus?
  • Do they celebrate the things He has done?
  • Or do the words of the songs reflect the things God asks us to stay away from?

The words you use:

  • Are they encouraging?
  • Or are they sarcastic and intended to hurt people?

Girls… we HAVE to be realistic here. We must take practical steps in order to FEED our spirit and STARVE our flesh.

In order for the Lord to reveal to you what it means to have a pure heart, you have to spend time with Him. I know that life is busy, especially in junior high and high school. I promise you, it will NOT kill you to wake up an hour early to spend time with Jesus. Here are some other things you can do throughout the day to spend time with our Lord and Savior:

  • Whenever you have a free minute in class, pull out your devotional book.
  • Say little prayers throughout the day.
  • Be in communication with Jesus. He LOVES to hear from you, and He LOVES to speak to you, too.
  • Find some good worship music. I listen to worship music all the time. It helps you fix your gaze on Jesus, to fix your heart on Him.
  • Get in the habit of reading your Bible every day.
  • Put notecards inside your locker with lyrics to a worship song or a Bible verse so you can be encouraged throughout the day.

The more time you spend doing things that remind your spirit to worship, and the more that you do to fix your heart on Him, the more you will see your heart beginning to transform into a pure one.

Pray with me~

Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for redemption, and thank You for allowing me to have a relationship with You. I ask, Lord, that You would begin to change my heart, and that You would reveal the things in my life that I need to lay down in order to be more like You. Give me wisdom and discernment to know what You say is best for my life. I love You, and I worship You. Amen

~Jordan

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Our secret fellowship group on Facebook  is OPEN, so join us to make some new friends who love the Lord!!!! :)

Please “like” our Facebook Community page here to stay up-to-date on all we are doing for teens over here at GCH: decaf: https://www.facebook.com/GCHdecaf.

Be sure to email our lead barista, Megan, if you would like to join a small group or if you have any questions about the study or this ministry. She would love to hear from you!  Teens@girlfriendscoffeehour.com .

Our first study will start October 1st! We will be studying A Daughter’s Worth by Ava Sturgeon.

Resolution for Women – Chapter 9, My Heart – PLUS … BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!

“He has showed you, O man, what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and

to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

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This week we deal with the heart.  What does God want from our heart?  This scripture above gives us a clue:  He requires us to pursue justice; love mercy; and walk humbly with Him.   He wants our hearts to break for what breaks His heart.   He wants us to have a revelation of what His will is.  He wants us to respond to what God has called us to.  He wants us to have His heart.

This week, we are going to see the heart of God and what He wants our heart to look like!  It reminds me of a song that I will post below…..  READ the lyrics and let them sink deep into your heart.  Pray these lyrics as a prayer to our Lord & Savior!

What stirs compassion in your heart?

What tugs at your heart?

Your Reading Assignment for this week:

  • Come to our blog on Monday, where Christi will do a preview of this weeks topic “My Heart”
  • Come to our blog on Tuesday, where Megan will be discussing pages 164-168 “Look Again.”
  • Come to our blog on Wednesday, where Kelley will be discussing pages 169-173
  • “How Do You Heal an Unbroken Heart”
  • Come to our blog on Thursday, where Beverly will be discussing pages 174-179, “Mercy Me”.
  • Come back on Friday, where we will do an overview of the week, AND sign this weeks resolution!

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Now for our BIG ANNOUNCEMENT….

 Our Next Women’s Bible Study

Girlfriends Coffee Hour is so excited to announce the next brand new Online Bible Studies that will begin October 1st!

If you are struggling with being in an unequally yoked marriage, this study is for YOU!!

“Winning Him Without Words –

10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage”. 

To join this study, please send an email to GirlfriendsCoffeeHour@gmail.com with “Winning Him” in the subject line.  We’ll send you all the details you need to get signed up!

This book is based on the scripture from 1 Peter 3:1 “…they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.”   This Online Bible Study will be led by Christi Wilson, Founder of Girlfriends Coffee Hour.  Beverly McCormick and Donna Day will help with the blogging for this study.  You won’t want to miss this study!! It is AMAZING!!!

If your husband does not share your faith, you may feel like you are walking a tightrope of spiritual survival – guarding the flame of your belief in Christ, yet unable to share it with the person you love most in the world.  But your spiritually mismatched marriage can be a vibrant, blessed relationship where you’re free to grow in love with God and your man! 

Winning Him With Words, written by Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller, both Christian women married to unbelieving husbands, is your invitation to thrive instead of survive!  This study begins October 1st right here on our website:  GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com.

PLUS, YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS OUR OCTOBER CONFERENCE CALL!!!

Mark your calendars also for October 2nd when Lynn Donovan,

one of the authors of this book, “Winning Him Without Words”

joins us for our monthly Conference call!!  More details to be given soon!! 

If you’ve made it this far, GREAT!  Because I am actually giving away a FREE copy of  “Winning Him Without Words” to ONE person.  This person will be randomly chosen.

All you have to do is:

1.  Comment below WHY you want to win a copy of “Winning Him” 

and

2.  Comment on our FACEBOOK Community Page why you love Girlfriends Coffee Hour! (Click HERE)

You MUST do BOTH in order to be entered into this drawing!

We will announce the winner on our FB Community Page Monday Morning!!!

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Be sure to check out our Teens & Singles blogs, also, for details on their next study, as well!   Go back to our front page … CLICK HERE …  and you will see the Teens & Singles blogs under the Featured blog.  This is going to be an amazing time with GCH!!

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If you haven’t signed up for our Online Study Groups on Facebook, and you want to be a part of this amazing trend, send us an email at GirlfriendsCoffeeHour@gmail.com, and we’ll email you the details that you will need to get added to these groups!  You will have a blast with women all across the world who loves the Lord, and enjoys studying His word!

Wow! I’m tired just from typing all this!  We have some AMAZING things happening here at Girlfriends Coffee Hour, and we hope you are enjoying the ride, as well!  Stay tuned for more announcements this week!

Living Intentionally to Be My Very BEST for Him,

Resolution for Women — Chapter 6 Overview

Weekly Review

Our Memory verse this week was Luke 6:45

“out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”.

This has been an eye-opening chapter for me.  I realized this week just how much I talk, and just how little I listen!  I also learned just how much I talk “over” people…in other words, how much I interrupt others!  As much as I do not like others doing that to me, I realized I do that to others, too!  This is certainly something I need to work on!!

So, what did you think of this weeks chapter?  What were your ah-ha moments?

Where did the Lord gently nudge you and say “We need to work on this?”

I think I highlighted the whole chapter.  I think I needed to highlight the whole chapter!  I know I have so much more to learn in this area, and it will truly be a chapter that I re-read over and over again!

So, let’s take a look back and see what the Lord was showing all of us this week:

Monday:  Priscilla shared her words with us on the art of listening and edifying others, and the importance of both.  She talked about the importance of “learning” how to listen to others.  The art of really intentionally putting aside any our own thoughts, the distractions, and whatever else may prevent us from intentionally listen to another.  Intentionally listening to others shows them they are important to us; they are valued; they are worthy of our time.  It builds them up and encourages them.  It feeds their self-worth.  The art of listening is a discipline that we all need to work on.  Listening is the most valuable gift we can give anyone.

Wisdom has two parts:

One part is learning what to say.

The second part is learning when to say it.

Tuesday:  Megan talked to us about the gift of intentionally listening to others.  The chapter also shows us how the gift of intentionally listening can lead into other gifts — the gifts of self-worth, significance, personal satisfaction.  The kind of gifts that we all want to be known for.  We learned how to bless others by really leaning into what they are saying, and forgetting about anything and everything else around us and giving our “all” to that person at that very moment.  It is truly our gift to them, and a blessing!

The Gift of Listening

is the most valuable gift you can give someone.

Wednesday:  Kelley shared with us about the habit of talking too much and how that can get us into trouble.  Proverbs 10:19 says “Too much talk leads to sin.  Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”  Pretty much puts it all in to one nutshell, huh??  The art of listening enables us to think before we speak.  Weighing out our words before they are spoken.  Waiting for the right time to say the right thing.  Not sitting while someone is talking and contemplating what you will say next.  Or not allowing the other person to express their own opinion, and thinking our opinion is the only one that counts!  

 Listen.  Learn.  Contemplate.  Consider.

Weighing our words.  Waiting.

The Blessing of Silence!

Thursday:  Beverly shared with us the importance of the power of our tongue and guarding our hearts.  Our heart is our inner being (the foundation)….the place where our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs are kept.  A reservoir for every thought, attitude, belief we’ve either placed there, or allowed to hang out there!

What are we allowing to hang out in our hearts????  Our heart is the essence of who we truly are, or who we are becoming.  Out of the abundance of our heart, our words flow.  Are we quick to offer an opinion?  Are we constantly critical or demeaning to others?  Do we frequently argue with others?  Do we gossip?  Do our words often speak of negativity, doubt, and skepticism?   These are all conditions of the heart.  The foundation of our being.    So we have to ask ourselves what we are putting inside?  What treasures are we storing in our hearts?  Insecurity?  Anger?  Judgmental attitude?  Low in faith and belief?  No peace?

The author of the this book, Priscilla Shirer suggests that if we don’t know the answer to these questions, we need to just listen to ourselves for a couple of days.  Listen to our topics of conversations.  Then ask the Lord to forgive you for the words you have spoken, and to help you guard your hearts, making sure that you do not allow your heart to become filled with anything that will hinder you from being conformed into the likeness of Christ.  Stay in the word.  The more you stay in the word and in His truth, the more your words will then be filled with wisdom, kindness, and humility!

A woman whose heart is full of gratitude and humility, who is certain of God’s favor on her, and who genuinely prizes the worth of those around her will release a steady stream of graciousness that will refresh others through her conversation.  Others will desire her company.  She will invite the opportunity to listen to others.  She will humbly offer wisdom that comes from a treasure box filled with a wealth of good things!

It’s not all about watching your mouth….

It’s about watching your heart!

Are you ready to sign this weeks resolution?  Before you do, picture the people in your life who most need to receive this gift from you.  Consider what changes you can make to become a person who is “quick to listen and slow to speak.”  Be willing to make some of these practical and necessary adjustments so this resolution doesn’t just “sit on a shelf” in your life and become reality.  THEN, when you’re ready, prayerfully read the statement below and sign your name.

Resolution #6

My Blessing

I will be a woman who is quick to listen and slow to speak.

I will care about the concerns of others and esteem them more highly than myself.

Signed: ____________________

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Next week, Priscilla walks us through the art of forgiveness into a resolution to release others from the prison of our hurt and anger.  I can’t wait! Another AWESOME WEEK ahead of us!!!

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YOUR READING ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT WEEK CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING >> HERE

Be Blessed & Be a Blessing to Someone Else Today!