November 21, 2017

Wise Men

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Three believed without a doubt
Saw a guiding light
Found Him in a lowly place
And knew He was divine
Wise men, wise men, wise men
Still look for Him

Giving gifts of thanks and praise
They called Him a king
Feeling joy that knew no bounds
They fell down worshiping
Wise men, wise men, wise men
Still look for Him

Surely angels still sing when someone comes so far
Traveling the distance from the depths of one’s own heart
Searching for salvation, they need not wear a crown
He’s still here for all who seek and He wants to be found

Letting God’s Word be their guide
They went home again
That’s where their story leaves us
And where ours begins
Wise men, wise men, wise men
Still look for Him

Allen Krehbiel
written with Trish Matthews

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Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”
After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

Matthew 2:1-12 NLT

As Christmas has passed and we are all cleaning up and getting back to our routines, it’s possible that we may unintentionally be leaving our focus on Jesus behind.

We say that we want to keep our minds on Jesus…but do we?

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

We don’t know the details of the lives and work of the wise men, but it is fair to say that they studied the stars. They were knowledgeable enough to recognize that something new and important had appeared in the night sky. They were scholarly men who studied various literatures, which included what we refer to as the Old Testament, specifically the prophecies. We could say that they were ‘full of knowledge.’ What made them wise was how they accepted that knowledge and used it for good. With their knowledge, they wisely committed to look for…and find…the prophesied Messiah. According to the prophecies, the King of the Jews had been born; and not an ordinary king, but one so great that He was worthy of their time, their gifts, and their worship.

{Here is an interesting article from the Institute for Creation Research…}
When They Saw The Star

I know some of us are saying, “I took time out from my daily life to focus on Christmas. Now I need to get back to my family and work routines to keep things running smoothly.” God knows all of that is necessary, and He certainly doesn’t condemn that. But He also knows that focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus is important to all aspects of our lives and the lives of our family.

This story of the wise men leaves us with a very good lesson. The wise men used their knowledge to personally seek the king of the Jews, the Messiah. That is wisdom. As we “travel” into the new year, 2016, let’s make the same commitment that the wise men did. As we daily study God’s Word, we will gain knowledge of God and His plan for us. With God’s Word as our guide, we will wisely seek Jesus in a more personal way, and our very life will reflect Him. “He’s still here for all who seek and He wants to be found.”

You will seek Me and find Me,
when you seek Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

Wise men—and women—still seek Him.

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Lord, many of us have heads full of knowledge, but we know that doesn’t equate to being wise.  In this coming year, please help us through Your Holy Spirit to be more committed than ever to study Your Word, and then use it wisely to grow closer to You, more like You, and draw others to You. In the Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen, It Is So.

Thankful Representatives

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And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.
Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives.
Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
And whatever you do or say,
do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:15-17 NLT

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According to Google.com, a representative is “a person chosen or appointed to act or speak for another or others.”  And at Dictionary.com it is also defined as “a typical example or specimen of a group, quality, or kind.”

This passage of Scripture gives us a lot to consider.  As one chosen by God, we, as Christians, are to represent Christ Jesus to those around us.  We are to be a “typical example of His quality.”  And how do we do that?  “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (verse 16).

What is “the message about Christ?”  It is the message that God loves us so much that “He gave His Son, His one and only Son.  And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16 MSG).  Does that good news fill your heart with thankfulness and joy to the point of singing?  It does mine!

“If thankfulness becomes a way of life, it will make it much easier to maintain a state of peace.  It helps us look on the bright side instead of focusing upon the events which can disturb our calm [our inner peace.]”

quote taken from The Complete Biblical Library,
The New Testament Study Bible Galatians through Philemon

God’s quality and quantity of love is beyond measure.  God is not asking us to “be Him” [which we know is impossible], but He is asking us to live and love “like Him.” When we choose to be the representative He wants us to be and in the place He wants us to be, we will have His peace.

In Philippians 4:1-9, Paul told Euodia and Syntyche to settle their disagreements, and he told the church to help them.  Paul wanted them to experience the joy and peace that God desires for His people, and to be the representatives God wanted them to be. When we live in peace, joy, thankfulness, and God’s wisdom, we will be representatives that show the world around us our God of love. With thankful hearts, we can sing, speak, and do that which draws others to Christ, and that also strengthens our sisters (and brothers) in Christ.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

A life that is full of Christ’s peace and His Word
is a life that is thankful, and rich and wise.
It will enrich everyone around you. Thank You, Lord.

(Many years ago I wrote this note in the margin of my Bible; I still believe it today.)

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Dear Lord Jesus, we come to You with thankful hearts.  Your Word—Your Good News—fills our lives with wisdom, peace, and joy.  Those are qualities people around us are looking for in their lives.  Lord, please help us to be Your representatives so that others will be drawn to You.  May our thanksgiving during this season of the year (and everyday) make people curious enough to ask why so we can share You with them.  In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

What Is A Peacemaker

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Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:18 NIV

I am a peacemaker by nature; a conflict resolver at any cost, or at least I used to be.  I don’t think that is the kind of peacemaker James is referring to.  He is actually talking about healthy peacemakers who are personally at peace with God‘s authority and willing to bring a sense of peace wherever they go.  It doesn’t matter who they are with…they just have that gift.

Turn in your Bible to James 3:13-4:1

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.  What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? (New Living Translation)

What a hard question he is asking the people!  And what kind of answer do you think you would have given him?  What does cause the fighting among God’s people?  I think the answer comes in the second question that is asked: “Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?”  That answer is yes.

The fact is: conflict is part of our human condition.  It exists in most households, offices, and churches.  But just because there is conflict, doesn’t mean that there has to be fighting and quarreling.  However, they usually go hand in hand, especially if people are not willing to take responsibility for their own part in an argument.  They find someone or something to blame for their actions instead of just admitting the wrong that they did or the words that they said.

But God calls us to be different.  As His children, we pray for the wisdom to do the hard things—like admitting we were wrong and asking for forgiveness.  He calls us to be humble, knowing that we are human and will make mistakes. Read James 3:13 again.  The writer is reminding us that one who is wise and understands God’s ways will show it by deeds done in humility.  Saying we are sorry requires humility and that means admitting to others that we are actually wrong sometimes.  (We don’t like that very much.)  But in order to be the light that Jesus calls us to be and to be the witness that leads others to Him we must right our wrongs.

This is the kind of peacemaker that God calls us to be.  The kind that humbles themselves and shows love to others.  Seeking God’s wisdom delivers us from the need to be right all the time and helps us become the humble servant to those that we come in contact with.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:9

 { You are a child of God….  }

Do you know this God that loves you so much?  He is your Father and He wants so much to be in your life.  Or maybe you know Him but you’ve moved away from Him and need to get back on track.  If so, He is waiting and He will meet you right where you are.

I would love for you to pray this prayer with me today:

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and I need forgiveness.  I am far from You today and I want to change that.  I believe that Jesus is Your Son and He died for my sins.  I ask that Jesus come into my heart today and be Lord of my life.  Walk with me…gve me more knowledge of You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Trusting God {a prayer exercise}

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Dear Megan,

Lately I have really been struggling with trusting God and I feel horrible about it. In my heart, I know what I need to do, but my mind is fighting me every step of the way. I don’t know if you can help, but I just don’t know where to begin.

~T

My dear T, we have all walked through these seasons and I am so happy you have reached out for help. In addition to being in the Word daily and having as much quiet time with the Lord as possible, I have found this prayer exercise to be very helpful in training my heart to work with my mind in letting go and trusting God with every single little thing. I pray this is a blessing to you.

Trusting God {a prayer exercise}

A five-minute exercise you can do anytime you need to.

Your heavenly Father promises relief from adversity for those

who honor him, have faith, and trust him.

A word from scripture:

Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright. Psalm 112:4 (NIV)

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The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,

which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18 (NLT)

Meditation Guidance:

 1. Tell your Heavenly Father that you are looking to Him for relief, like the dawn, to come. Talk about your faith and trust in Him. Speak of your doubts also. Use these scriptures to shape your prayer:

I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.

I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.

In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; let me be revived

by following your regulations.

Psalm 119:147-149 (NLT)

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Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Psalm 31:14 (MSG)

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To you, O Lord, I offer my prayer; in you, my God, I trust. Psalm 25:1-2a (GNT)

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But even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting you. Psalm 56:3 (CEV)

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Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me.

Psalm 23:4 (GNT)

2. Talk to your heavenly Father about the despair and darkness in your life. Cry out to God. Use these scriptures to help you:

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.

Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.

Psalm 5:1-2 (NLT)

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Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: “Be good to me! Answer me!”

Psalm 27:9 (MSG)

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Hurry with your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope.

Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!

Psalm 143:7 (MSG)

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Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.

Psalm 13:3 (NIV)

 

3. As you wait for your heavenly Father to answer your prayer, meditate on these scriptures to strengthen you:

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (NIV)

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Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him. Psalm 62:5 (CEV)

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You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass.

You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.

Psalm 23:1-3 (CEV)

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I can lie down and sleep soundly because you, Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalm 4:8 (CEV)

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I know that I will live to see the Lord’s goodness in this present life.

Psalm 27:13 (GNT)

4. Repeat as often as needed and let each and every word in the Scriptures penetrate the depths of your soul. Breathe  in the truth of God’s Word and let satan’s lies tumble on out.

Your assignment: give one thing over to God today to trust Him with.  It can be as small or as big as you want it to be…just give it to Him.  Once you do, it is not yours anymore.  Do this exercise to keep that thing out of your imperfect hands and safely in the magnificent hands of our Lord and Savior!

Blessings,

Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Changing Your Heart from Critical to Caring

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Dear Coach Megan,

God has really been working in my heart lately and, whether I like it or not, He has shown me that I have a really critical spirit with the people closest to me. I don’t like it and I want to do my part to change, but I’m not sure where to begin. Can you help?

~ DJ

Dearest DJ…

In my experience, anyone with a critical spirit is an expert at finding fault and focusing on it! Bless you for not only admitting this, but being willing to let God in and work on your precious heart to make an impact {in a good way} on all the lives you touch!  I pray that this blog post will be a blessing to you and your family, and I would love to hear how God fills your heart with His supernatural caring!

A critical spirit does not reflect the heart of the wise, nor does it reflect the heart of God.  Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man  brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him”  {Matthew 12:34-35}.

A critical spirit is an excessively negative attitude with harshness in judging.  A person with a critical spirit gives unfair criticism by fault-finding, nit-picking, carping, quibbling, and complaining.  The Bible is clear about those who are judgmental:

Romans 14:10

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?
For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

On the flip side… a caring spirit is a thoughtful, attentive attitude with a heart to help.  One of the most important needs we all have is for someone to care about us; someone to be attentive to our dreams and disappointments, our joys and sorrows, our successes and failures, our strengths and weaknesses, our vices and virtues.  How blessed we are when we have caring people in our lives!  Those who have a caring spirit reflect the heart of our caring Savior.

Nahum 1:7

 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him

How to change your heart from critical to caring:

Identify your shortcomings {Psalms 139:23-24}

  • Humble your heart to see your own sin, your imperfections, and your immense need for God’s mercy.
  • Help others see their significance in God’s eyes.
  • Pray: “Lord, may I see my sin as You see it…may I hate my sin as You hate it.”

Practice compassion for others {Colossians 3:12}

  • Look closely at the life of Christ to learn His compassionate way of confronting the truth.
  • Pray that you will not be a critical stone thrower, but a compassionate need-meeter.

Draw out the heartfelt needs of others {Proverbs 20:5}

  • Don’t listen to only what people say on the surface. Listen for the needs and feelings beneath the surface… feelings of being unloved or feeling insignificant or insecure.
  • Pray that God will give you a discerning spirit as you seek to draw others out.

Offer acceptance to others {Romans 15:7}

  • Realize that everyone has an innate fear of rejection and a deep yearning for acceptance.
  • Choose to be a channel through which God extends His acceptance to others.

See the God-given worth in others {Luke 12:6-7}

  • Treat every person, especially the one most problematic to you, as someone with God-given worth.  The truth judges our hearts, attitudes, and actions towards others.
  • Pray that the Lord will not allow you to despise anyone whom He created and loves.

Praise the positives in others {Philippians 4:8}

  • Avoid the temptation to try to catch people doing something wrong.  Instead, comment on what they are doing right.
  • Pray that you will see something positive in every person, then faithfully make that your focus.
  • Pray that you would see others as God sees them and value them as He values them.

Refuse to wound others with words {Colossians 3:16}

  • Consider the fallacy of the saying “talk is cheap.” Talk is costly when it tears others down. Prayerfully consider the possibility that what you are criticizing in someone may be something God wants to deal with directly, and that God may want you to pray and remain silent.
  • Before speaking words of criticism, ask a wise friend to evaluate the content and tone of your words.  Realize that after critical words are spoken, you can never take them back.
  • Inspire those who need to change by sharing with them your belief that they can change. Encourage them by saying “Don’t give up. Trust God to guide you in the way you should go. I know you can make the right decisions. I believe you can experience God’s best!”
  • Present your words to God as His instrument for good, and pray that He will put His words into your mouth.

See the unmet needs of others {Philippians 4:19}

  • Instead of judging the inappropriate actions of others, seek to understand the need behind each action.
  • Realize that people who speak forth cutting words reveal that they have unmet inner needs {for love, significance, or security.}
  • Realize that people don’t always mean what they say nor understand their own deepest needs.
  • Pray that your critics will allow the Lord to meet their deepest inner needs.

Rely on God’s Word and God’s Spirit for wisdom

  • Seek God’s wisdom by reading a chapter a day from the Book of Proverbs.
  • Write down every verse from Proverbs that pertains to the tongue.  Check your words against this list and see if you are being wise with what you say.
  • See God at work in every circumstance and trust Him for wisdom to know how to respond {wisdom is the ability to look at life from God’s point of view.}
  • Pray that God’s Spirit will teach you spiritual truths and lead you to speak these truths in love.

1 Corinthians 2:13

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom 
but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂 

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 9 – “Loving Fallen Men” – “Good Men That Do Not Belong To You” (pp 161-167)

Wow, ladies…I have to say, this section of the chapter really hit close to home in many ways.  And to be honest, part of me started to balk as I was reading this.  “I can’t write about that!  I can’t talk about that!”  or  “I don’t know what to say!”  Of course, I know this is a ploy of the enemy to try to get me to shy away from a difficult topic, so here I humbly sit writing this post for me, as much as every reader out there.  I pray you are blessed.

You Will Find Me

Seek me with all your heart.  How many of us long to have a man who is willing to do just that?  Exactly what does that look like?  And how do we cultivate that in our relationships? This is no easy question.  I believe that we have to walk a delicate line when we are attracted to a man.  In the book John and Stasi state, “Don’t offer everything, but don’t offer nothing.”  How do we know what is too much…not enough?  This is something we cannot do on our own.  This is when we must lean into the arms of Jesus and seek His guidance. Fervently pray for discernment and wisdom when entering into any relationship.

We also need to remember that “don’t offer everything” not only includes the physical, but also the emotional.  I have had some trials in my life, like most of us, and in the past I have found myself spewing forth every detail of my past to someone who, in reality, I barely knew. We have to realize that this isn’t necessary; as with anything else, the reveal should be slow and based on increased intimacy with a man.  When we find ourselves sharing so much so soon, we also have to look at our motivations for doing it.  Are we longing for intimacy so much that we are forcing the issue?  Are we sharing every skeleton in our closet to scare any potential mate away?  Or are we just not using good judgement?

We deserve to be valued, and not every man deserves all of us ladies.  Guard your treasures—physical, emotional, and spiritual—to share with the man the Lord provides.  We cannot avoid this challenge in our journey but, when we trust in our Lord and seek His guidance completely and fully,  the results will all be worth it.  Remember the words in Matthew 6:33 (NLT) – “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

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LET’S PRAY:

Father, I ask You to guide us.  You know this journey isn’t an easy one.  It can be so hard to know how much is too much when we delve into the world of dating.  We pray that we always keep You first, because then all that follows will be pure.  Guard our hearts, mind our tongues, and keep us close as we learn to discern Your voice in the chaos.  Thank You for loving us with a love like no other.  In Your Heavenly Name we pray.  Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

In which aspect do you find it hardest to find the balance between “not enough” and “too much?”  Is it spiritual?  Physical?  Emotional?  In what ways do you turn to God for guidance?

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GWS

Our next online Bible study begins March 24th!

Click on the picture to sign up TODAY!! 

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 If you would like to send Michelle a private email in regards to this blog post, you may email her at:  Michelle@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

A Daughter’s Worth Week 9: Finding God at School

Happy week 9 thoughts from Megan…

Without a doubt…. school “looks” different for every single girl in our Bible study. Some are homeschooled, some are in public school…. while some have already started college and others are taking a break after high school and are living the school of life! One thing is for certain…… no matter what school you attend, even if it is at home, if you seek your Heavenly Father through the difficulties you face, you WILL find His wisdom!

This week, we will be covering just about everything! Take a look…..

Monday: Academic Expectations are High

Tuesday: Extracurricular Activities are Stressful

Wednesday: Teacher relationships are Challenging

Thursday: Peer Relationships are Difficult

Friday: God’s Presence is Unmistakable

….and Saturday Coleen will bring us week 10 of her series Lord, Teach Us to Pray!

Which lesson looks like it might be challenging for you? Is there a certain lesson you can’t wait to read? I am thrilled to be on this journey with you, dear heart, and know that we are walking this road together this week as my Vicky’s school is our home!

Here are a few words from Morgan as we begin week 9 ….

Hey girls! I hope everybody is having a great week! This week we’re talking about school, which I know can be tough and be so time-consuming but this week we will find out how we can always make time for God, and how He can help us get through the tests and the quizzes! This week we talk all about how we have so many things we do at school, how we even have stuff after school, and it is all so demanding. We always want to make sure and check and see what we are doing when we could be reading our Bible or praying. We always should strive for a closer relationship with God, and as the holiday season comes up I know that it will get harder to keep our focus….. but we always need to have Jesus first, others second, You last.

It spells out JOY. 🙂

Hope you have a super great week! -Morgan

Let’s Pray:

Lord, you know each of our individual school situations and the challenges they represent for up. Please give us Your wisdom this week as we seek to grow closer to you. Help us discern how to best serve you and hear from you throughout our busy weeks. We know that we fins ourselves in every situation and circumstance for a reason and we pray we can be salt and light through it all… with Your help! We love you and thank you for this provision, Lord! Amen <3

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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 5 / Day 1: God Helps You Deal With Disappointments

 

I had to think back to my teenage years for this blog. For most things from my teenage years, it is difficult to remember the details of excitement surrounding certain events.  Prom, I know it was great, I remember the dress I wore, but who all went with us, what car did we take, where was the prom, where did we go afterwards??  I am just not sure of these specific details.  School, I remember the good times, I remember the papers I wrote, the classes I hated, all of the information I learned though I am not too sure about.  In fact I think I told myself to forget if ice cubes are a solid or a liquid…it worked because I still am not too sure.  But certain things I can try to forget but I never will be able to.  The disappointments that I went through in my teenage years, I remember them all.  I can tell you very specific details of just about every disappointment I faced as a teenager.  I am sure you can think of several disappointments you have gone through or are going through right now.

When disappointments come into our lives they cause so much pain and hurt.  But, when you are finally able to look back on them you can be thankful for those disappointments and where they brought you-closer to God.

How many of you desire to be close to God?  How many of you desire to hear from God?  How many of you desire to feel love from God every moment of every day?  I know when I was your age, I desired those things.  I would hear older, wiser women talking about their time with God and what He spoke to them, and I always wondered how to get that with God.  Yes I want to hear from God, but he is not talking to me.  I believed that because I was younger than the women who I heard these tales from God was unable to communicate with me and be close to me.  What a lie-if we open our hearts to God no matter what age we are God will make Himself known to us, we will feel His presence.

If I really think about why these women were able to hear from God and I was not I believe I know the answer.  It was how I was handling my disappointments when I was younger.  I was trying to fix all of my problems on my own.  I was not asking God for help through the pain, I was hiding it all inside.  There were even times I was disappointed in God because of the trials I was constantly going through.  By taking God out of the equation for fixing disappointment I was pulling myself further away from God.  I was making it impossible to hear from Him.  I was avoiding hearing from Him simply because I thought I could not.  I did not know God was capable of helping me.

Do you believe God is able to help you?  Romans 8:26 insures He does!

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 

One thing we can be certain of is that disappointments will come our way.  There is no way to avoid disappointments in this world.  But, take heart because God has OVERCOME THE WORLD.  When disappointments do come into your life, ask God for help.  Tell Him your desires to grow closer to Him and to feel His presence more through this disappointment.  Use this disappointment to hear from God.  Instead of turning away from God, run into Him will all of your strength, help, and love.

When I look back on each disappointment I do not feel pain, I see God working to make my life just how he intends it to be.  I see the Lord’s love in each one of the trials I have been through.  I get to experience HIS comfort.  I am thankful that what was intended to cause me pain, God used to bring me closer to HIS comforting arms.  Just a little fun fact for you: an ice cube (not melted) is a solid.

Let’s Pray:  Lord, I thank you so much for each one of these girls in this study.  I ask that you make yourself known to them.  I pray that they are able to see YOU and feel YOUR comfort, and know YOUR help in the midst of disappointments.  I ask that you use these painful times in our lives to draw us closer to you.  Thank you for praying for us when we are just not able to.  We love you so much and we thank you for each disappointment we face, because we trust you are there through them with us, each step of the way.  AMEN.

Much Love,

Diane

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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

Resolution for Women: Ok

“For the law was given through Moses,

grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

John 1:17

 

Some of you know that my oldest son James (who I CANNOT believe will be 21 this month!!!) has Asperger’s Syndrom. One of the characteristics typical to Aspies is that they tend to not show a whole lot of emotional about things and can even have a robotic-type of sound to their voice when they speak.

My Aspie is no different and it used to drive me crazy when I would be really upset with him about something and the only response I would get from him would be “ok.” You see, I am an extremely passionate person… when I am happy, I am super happy. When I am upset, I am super upset. SO, to have someone simply say “ok” in response to one of my epic rants would just drive me insane…… but it always instantly got me to calm down and it diffused the situation.

I know I say this all the time, but it’s true…. EMOTIONS ARE DECEIVING!!!! Ladies, we don’t always HAVE to be right, or get the last word in, or be in the driver’s seat for every conversation. We need to just STOP and simply say…

Okay.

That’s it.

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.

On page 235, Priscilla writes:

“Truly the wise woman doesn’t always seek to be heard or validated but sometimes- in order to protect and preserve relationships, in order to invite peace back into her home- chooses a soft, delicate, gentle response in place of one that’s harsh and explosive, harmful and wounding. She is resolved not to tend the fire of quarrelsome conversations, knowing she’ll only be covered in ashes long after the embers have burned out… she is patient. She brings calm to the storm.”

Choosing to respond in this way, and NOT react makes you wise and graceful… not a pushover or a doormat. I cannot think of a more intentional way to show grace, respect and honor in conversation than to be so careful with your words. God calls us to this, but it is up to us to obey and show this grace.

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Let’s Pray:

Lord, help us to temper our tongues and show grace in every conversation today. We need you to work within us from the inside out to get out-of-the-way be graceful in all circumstances. Help us to model this in our homes, in our work places and in our communities. Help us be difference-makers, Father! Give us the courage and wisdom to know when to be silent or only mutter the tiny word “ok.” We thank you for this provision, Lord! In Your Son’s matchless name we pray, amen <3

Your Assignment:

Prayerfully consider how you can apply the message of these verses in your life today:

  • A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
  • Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.” (Proverbs 25:15)

Resolve to respond with “ok” as much as you can in the next 48 hours in order to begin to make this a habit. Take note of the impact it makes in your closest relationships <3

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Reminder… on October 1st, we will begin our brand new Online Bible Study, entitled “Winning Him Without Words” by Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller.  If you are in an unequally spiritual marriage, you won’t want to miss this study!!

To sign up for this study, please send an email to:  Womens@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com and we will send you all the details you need to get started!

Now jump on over to our Facebook Group for the daily activity!! If you do not yet belong to this group, and would like to, send us an email at GirlfriendsCoffeeHour@gmail.com with FB GROUP in the subject line, and we’ll be glad to add you!

Be a blessing,

Megan 🙂