October 23, 2017

Wonderful, I Know That Full Well

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I praise You
because I am
fearfully and wonderfully made;

Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14

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Ancient Words

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Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God’s own heart
Oh let the ancient words impart

Words of life, words of hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world, where ’er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home

Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart

Holy words of our faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh heed the faithful words of Christ

Robin Mark
written by Lynn DeShazo

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I am not sure if you might be like me…at times it can seem to be so difficult to keep thinking the TRUTH of what God says about myself.  Do you struggle with this too?  Somehow, by God’s grace, we muster up the fortitude and remind ourselves,

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5

At times, when I am struggling to believe the truth…and not the lies…I like to tell these thoughts, “I do not believe that!  You <ugly thought> must be obedient to Jesus Christ.  God’s Word says ______ .”  (And then I speak or read the TRUTH of God’s Word.)

We are in charge of what we think!  We control the thoughts that we allow to live in our hearts!  We determine to put the TRUTH into our hearts and minds!   That is exactly what this verse reminds us to do!

Have you ever thought or said any of the following to yourself?

“I look _____ <fill in the blank> … no one could ever love me like this.”
The TRUTH is: I am wonderfully made!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made and wonderful are Your works…
Psalms 139:14

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“I am not important…I have no value to anyone.”
The TRUTH is: I have great worth to God!

Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.
Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted.
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows!
Luke 12:7

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“I can never forgive ____ for  __________!  They don’t deserve it.”
The TRUTH is: I have been forgiven of so much!  Forgiveness has nothing to do with what is ‘deserved;’ it is all about trust and obedience to God.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive others for their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Matthew 6:12, 14, 15

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We all have occasional thoughts that are lies.  Sometimes they are long-buried words that have spoken to us in our past.  Sometimes they are strongholds that are in our hearts that we have not dealt with.  Sometimes they are vicious deceptions that the enemy of our souls speaks to us.  It really isn’t too important where the lies/thoughts originate.

BUT what we do when we think those lies/thoughts is vitally important!  We could dwell on those lies/thoughts, harboring them in our hearts and allowing them to fester and grow.  NOT a good idea!  Or instead we could recognize those lies/thoughts for what they are, and choose to refute the lie by replacing it with the truth of God’s Word, and have peace and joy.  A REALLY good idea!

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—
practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8 and 9

This is one way to replace those lies/thoughts, “…think about these things.”  These are the things that God wants us to fix our minds on!  Just look at them: whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, of any excellence or worthy of praise…and when we do…we will have God’s peace.  Just what we so desire, yes?  Amen.

Are there lies in your heart that you believe about yourself?  Take a moment…write down two lies on a piece of paper.  Now, bring them to the Light—the light of God’s Word.  Find the Truth in the Scriptures about what He says about you.

{Perhaps you are not quite sure how to go about this…try this:  google ‘God says I am worthy’  Now, try it putting into the Google search engine a phrase that you desire to find what God’s Word says is the TRUTH.  And, if you need help, come back here and let’s work together on it, ok?  I would love to work through this with you!   ♥ }

Thankful For Life Itself

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Praise the Lord!
I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with His godly people.
How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in Him should ponder them.
Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
He causes us to remember His wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our Lord!
Psalms 111:1-4

Let me ask you a question:  How often do you thank God for your life?

I myself thank God for the lives of those He has graciously placed in my life.  I thank God for my three best friends.  I thank the Lord for my awesome boyfriend.  I thank the Lord for my wonderful mother.  I imagine that you have people in your life that you are so thankful God placed in your life, but what about your own life?

I seldom thank God for my life.  I thank Him for my health, job, food, money, peace of mind, guidance (and the list goes on), but I don’t think to thank God for my actual life.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
Psalm 139:14

Think—how often do we combine the words wonderfully and complex?  Complex typically has a negative connotation.  This verse blows that connotation out of the water, saying that we as human beings are “wonderfully complex.” We know to thank God for all good things.  Therefore, should we not stop to thank God for making us?

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Thank You, Lord for taking the time out to make me.  Among all the unfathomable amount of people that You have masterfully crafted, thank You for including me.  May I honor You with this amazing opportunity to live among Your creation and point people back to their Mighty Creator.  I am so thankful to be here on this Earth as Your ambassador.  Amen.

Why Would We Want to Honor God with our Body by How We Eat and Exercise?

Why

Last week, in my blog, I encouraged you to think of the way you exercise and eat as an opportunity to honor God.  It can be motivating to do it unto Him and not out of our own desires and needs.  However, what if that is still not motivating enough?  How do we even get to the point of wanting to honor Him in all that we do, including how we eat and exercise?  If it is still a struggle, let me share with you what I have learned from my own experiences and why I now want to honor God with my body by how I eat and exercise.

God’s Love and Grace

My friend, when I think about where I would be without God’s love and grace in my life, I am overwhelmed with appreciation toward Him. He has set me free from the bondage of sin and shame and given me a life of joy and peace.  Let us not take for granted John 3:16 and remember that God sent His ONLY son to die for us. Ephesians 1:4 says He chose us to be ‘holy and blameless.’  In verse 6 he reminds us that He “freely” bestows on us His grace.  I am so blessed to walk in His amazing grace everyday that I want to honor Him in EVERYTHING I do.

By accepting and understanding the fullness of His love, grace, and forgiveness, you may discover you have a heart to give back to God.

My Confidence is in Him, Not Others 

Have you gone on crazy diets or tried to stay motivated to exercise because of what you, others around you, or someone from your past has said about the way you should look?  Ladies, we do not have to be imprisoned by the media, what others say, or the voices in our head.  Those pressures can lead to yo-yo dieting or extreme exercise which finally leads to quitting because of a lack of motivation.  How beautiful is it to hear God tell us that we are wonderfully made.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.
Psalms 139:14

Once we can become confident in who we are in Christ, and believe what He says about us, our motivation is for Him and not for ourselves or others.

If you are struggling to stay motivated, I encourage you today to stop “trying” to eat healthy and exercise on your own.  Take some time and devote yourself to learning and accepting two things that can change your life.

  1. God’s love, grace, and forgiveness He freely gives you

  2. What God says and feels about you

When we understand these truths, God’s says in John 8:32 that the truth will set us free.  Through this freedom, our motivation can change to give back and

 Honor God with our Body by How We Eat and Exercise

In Good Health,

Crystal

CHRISTLife – Two: Our Best Mirror

1545826_412714308860313_985682540_nI am not sure if you might be like me…at times it seems to be so difficult to keep thinking the TRUTH of what God says about myself.  Do you struggle with this too?  But, somehow by God’s grace, we muster up the fortitude and remind ourselves,

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5

When I recognize I am thinking these negative thoughts (lies), I try to remind myself, “I do not believe that!  That lie <negative thought> must be obedient to Jesus Christ.  God’s Word says ______ .”  (And then I speak or read the TRUTH of God’s Word which pertains to that situation.)

We are in charge of what we think!  We control the thoughts that we allow to live in our hearts!  We determine to put the TRUTH into our hearts and minds!   That is exactly what this verse reminds us to do!

Have you ever thought, or said, any of the following to yourself?

“I look _____ <fill in the blank> …no one could ever love me like this.”
The TRUTH is: I am beautiful in His sight!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made and beautiful in the eyes of the Lord.
Psalms 139:14

“I am not important…I have no value to anyone.”
The TRUTH is: I have great worth to God!

Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.
Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted.
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows!
Luke 12:7

“I can never forgive ____ for what they’ve done! They don’t deserve it.”
The TRUTH is:  I have been forgiven of so much!  Forgiveness has nothing to do with what is ‘deserved;’ it is all about trust and obedience to God.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive others for their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Matthew 6:12, 14, 15

We all have thoughts that are lies; for some of us they are ocassional…for others of us we suffer under these thoughts.  Sometimes they are long-buried words that others have spoken to us in our past.  Sometimes they are strongholds that are in our hearts that we have not dealt with.  Sometimes they are deceptions that the enemy of our souls speaks to us.  It really isn’t too important where the lies/thoughts come from.  What we do when we think those lies/thoughts is vitally important!  We could dwell on those lies/thoughts, harboring them in our hearts and allowing them to fester and grow.  NOT a good idea!  Or instead we could recognize those lies/thoughts for what they are, and choose to refute the lie by replacing it with the Truth of God’s Word, and have peace and joy.  A REALLY good idea!

Finally, <sisters>, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—
practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8 and 9, paraphrase mine

This is one way to replace those lies/thoughts, “…think about these things.”  These are the things that God wants us to fix our minds on!  Just look at them: whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, of any excellence or worthy of praise…and when we do…we will have God’s peace.  Isn’t that just what we SO desire? Yes?  Amen.

Are there lies in your heart that you believe about yourself?  Take a moment…write down two negatives thoughts, or lies, on a piece of paper.  Now, compare them to the Truth; shed light—the Light of God’s Word on them.  Find the Truth in the Scriptures about who He says you are.  And write the Truth out on this same piece of paper.

Perhaps you are not quite sure how to go about this…try this:  google ‘God says I am worthy’  Now, try putting a phrase that you want to know the Truth from God’s Word into the Google search engine.  And, if you need help, come back here and let’s work together on it, ok?  I would love to work through this with you!   

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Lord, we really want to believe with our whole hearts that ‘I AM what God says I am!’ In some areas of our lives, we regret that we believe lies.  Please guide us to Your Truth, Lord; please help us to change the lie into Truth.  We recognize our great need for Your help, Your guidance, Your healing, and Your deliverance.  We know that with You…all things are possible!  Thank You for helping us, Lord!!!  We thank You for it and look forward to praising You for our deliverance!  In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

 

Captivating: Chapter 12 – “Your Irreplaceable Role” – “In Your Relationships”

We are not all cut from the same cloth, we do not have the same background, we do not have the same personality, and we don’t always see things the same way. Some of us may be more outgoing; some of us prefer to be center stage while others of us would rather stay behind the scenes. Women come in different shapes, sizes, personality type, demeanors, etc. We are a creation of variety and of differences. Yet despite the various aspects of us and our lives that make us different there are things that we as women share; and one is “a heart that is alive and passionate.”

God desired and designed women to have this heart, a heart that “keeps relationships a priority.” At times this may seem like a burden, especially when the relationships seem one-sided, or the relationships seem to cease to exist. And these relationships are not only romantic relationships, but friendships and family relationships. I’ve said before that when I study a book like this I try to find one or two things that stand out to me and touch my heart, today it was this: “No one can be to the people in your life who you can be to them. No one can offer what you can offer there are many things God calls us to do, but loving well always comes first.”

Sometimes what God asks of us can seem that it “requires more of our heart and soul than we thought possible.” Sometimes being who God is asking us to be in our relationships can seem overwhelming.  By saying “yes” to God, and by going where God is asking us to go, and doing what God asks us to do, we are also acknowledging that we have faith in His covering—faith that by saying “yes” to Him, He will take care of everything else.

Ladies, don’t ever doubt that we are “unique feminine” don’t ever doubt that we are “designed differently,” and that we are beautifully and wonderfully made.

Ps139_14

Let us remember that we “need to be as cunning as a Rahab, an Esther, and a Tamar.” We are captivating, we are beautiful, and we are created by the Creator of all things; we are made on purpose, for a reason, and made with love.

With Love, Tonya

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Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You, thank You, thank You. You have made us uniquely feminine and  You made us for a reason. Sometimes these reasons can seem overwhelming, sometimes they can seem too much to handle. But thank You for being there, thank You for Your covering, thank You for Your unique design.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:

Look at the stories of Rahab, Esther, and Tamar again. Look at their characteristics. How can we learn from their cunning; how can it apply to our world today?

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Our next Women’s Online Bible/Book study has begun!!

GWS

To join us, click on the picture above and complete the registration form.

Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details!

We hope you will join us!

 

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 3 – Embracing True Beauty

 

My dear sisters….

We’ve made it to week 3 and this week we get to dive into embracing our true beauty! This is something I struggled with so much as a teen and into my adult years as well. It wasn’t until very recently that I finally feel good in my own skin and have embraced me for who I am. I pray that the Lord shows you through our lessons this week how to embrace your divine true beauty and be confident in how God do wonderfully and perfectly created YOU!!!

Monday, Diane will be posting all about appreciating God’s handiwork. Teresa will be bringing a message about refuting Satan’s lies to you on Tuesday. On Wednesday, you will hear from Jordan about watching what you see. Tonya will be blogging on Thursday about concentrating on your inner beauty and on Friday, you will hear from Edwina about being able to see your eternal value. I also hope that you have been enjoying Coleen’s Saturday blogging series about prayer. What a blessing! She will be back with another installment this Saturday as well!

Let’s pray:

Lord, we come to you this week asking you to help us to appreciate how you divinely made us. We ask You to show us so clearly how You want us to combat the lies that satan fills our heads with and replace those lies with Your promises and truths. Help us to find our acceptance only through You, Father, and help us to concentrate on our inner beauty… the way you so divinely created each of us. Lord, we seek to find our eternal value in You and we thank you so much for all You will show us through this week’s lessons. It is in Your Son’s mighty name we pray, amen <3

Be a blessing,

<3 Megan

Jonny Diaz…. “A More Beautiful You”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ks3R2BwyO0

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For the A Daughter’s Worth 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! Our new study is A Daughter’s Worth! Please email megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information

A Daughter’s Worth Week 1: Handling Stress at School

 

Growing up I had a pretty easy, happy childhood for the most part. My only stress at the time was my friends. They used to tease me endlessly about my long legs and small frame; I became ‘daddy long legs’ to them, which hurt me terribly. I used to hate going to school, at one point I requested to change classes, but that did not happen, I just could not handle the name calling anymore. Until my late 20’s I was under-weight, I remember wanting to donate blood, but couldn’t because of my weight. That however was my only stress at the time.

As a teacher, I see many students under different types of stress. As educational requirements get more stringent in all levels of education, students everywhere experience considerable school stress. You have to make good grades to attend good schools after high school. You have to make honor roll in order to participate in extra-curricular activities, to get that iPod touch, new phone, dress, watch, etc. Your teachers, parents, coaches, youth leaders, they all seem to expect so much of you! Sometimes you just want to yell,” Give me a break you guys, I’m only a kid!”

Now academics are not the only stress you have to deal with. Extra-curricular activities can also become extremely daunting, especially when one of your parents excelled in a certain sport and they want you to follow in their footsteps. The other stressor that is becoming quit alarming is that of bullying. Bullies come in different forms and they are all pretty harmful. You might be hurt by your so-called friends who bad mouthed you just to get some type of recognition; enduring the teasing by the popular click at your school for not wearing the latest fashion, wearing your hair in a certain style, playing in the school band or just being real clever. Whatever it might be, there will always be someone who find fault with what it is you are doing, how you do it. The Bible tells us in Psalms 139:14 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

At times when you might feel like everything is coming undone, remember that you don’t have to suffer alone; you can talk to your parents, youth pastor, a trusted friend or a teacher. If you need extra help with your school work, you can ask a teacher to assist you before or after school, you can also work out a study plan that will help you understand and remember facts and formulae’s. You might even get a study buddy who is stronger in a specific subject and can help you.

Remember that changing your wardrobe, wearing your hair in a different style might not be the answer. Surround yourself with people who like you for who you are, people who love God. All the world’s potatoes were not going to fatten up my skinny legs, I had to accept myself for who I was, skinny, long legs and all.

It might seem that as a teenager a lot is expected of you, but believe me,” You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you”!

Let us pray:

Father, thank you for every girl represented in these groups. Thank you that we can give You our stress and that You will deal with it accordingly. Thank you for Your promise that no weapons formed against us shall prosper. You are in control in our lives and we love You very much. Amen.

Be blessed my friends!

Edwina

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For this Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. We will begin the devotional part of this study next week, so really, you have until NEXT MONDAY to get your book! You can even order it 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! Our new study is A Daughter’s Worth! Please email teens@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.