February 22, 2018

CHRISTLife — Twenty: Alive With His Life

cl alive with his life

When you were born again in Christ, did you sense that your innermost being was passing from death into life?  Ephesians 2:1 and 2 says, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air.  But….”  (read on, dear sister!)

But God—so rich is He in His mercy!
Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful
and intense love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead (slain)
by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses,
He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ;
[He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life
with which He quickened Him, for]
it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve)
that you are saved (delivered from judgment
and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
Ephesians 2:4 and 5 AMP

To satisfy His intense love for us, God through Christ made us alive in union with Him.  He gave us the same life He gave Jesus Christ so we could be saved!  Oh, what mercy and grace!

Alive” what does that mean to you?  To get a good perspective, I looked up the definition of “alive.”  Some definitions that struck me were—’not just living but alert…active…vital…and energetic’.  Romans 6:11 NLT, “So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive [alert, TLB] to God through Christ Jesus.

Then I found this quote from Adolf Deissman, a professor of theology in two major universities in Germany from 1897 to 1935.

“Just as all men live in the air, and cannot live without air,
so the Christian lives in Christ…To be in Christ is to live a life
in which Christ is the atmosphere which we breathe.”

Christ is the very atmosphere in which I “live and move and have my being” (Acts 17:28 NIV).  As Michael W. Smith’s song, “Breathe” states,

I’m desperate for You, I’m lost without You. You are the very air I breathe!

This union with Christ has given us full access to “the life-giving God” (1 Timothy 6:13 Message). Even Jesus refers over and over to God as His/our source of life:

…I (Jesus) live because of the Father…
John 6:57

For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself.
John 5:26

He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive.
Luke 20:38

John 17:20-26 records Jesus’ prayer for all future people who would become believers (that includes us).

I pray also for those who will believe in Me
through their (the disciples’) message,
that all of them may be one, Father,
just as You are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be in Us
so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
I have given them the glory that You gave Me,
that they may be one as We are one—
I in them and You in Me—
so that they may be brought to complete unity.
Then the world will know that You sent Me
and have loved them even as You have loved Me.

Do you see that, ladies?  Jesus asked His Father to spiritually unite us as He and the Father are united.  The only way that is possible is for each of us to have the same Spirit—“I in them and You in Me.”  Our spiritual aliveness is from the life of Jesus Christ Himself, “The very Source, the Author of life” (Acts 3:15 AMP), and our unity is because of that oneness in Christ.

When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He was determined that we would remain in Him—to be alive, alert, vital, and active—so He gave us the wonderful gift of His Holy Spirit to help us.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you
another Advocate, who will never leave you.
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…
you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.
John 14:16-17 NLT

It is the Spirit who gives life…
John 6:63 NASB

How do we continue to grow in this aliveness?  We need to renew our minds (Romans 12:2 KJV).  We do that by daily feeding on “The True Bread of God… anyone who feeds on Me will live because of Me” John 6:33 and 57 NLT.  This is Jesus’ promise to us.  The world would like us to think that if we satisfy our own cravings and lust that we will really live.  Oh, they are so misled (1 John 2:15-17)!  Those things will never satisfy the hunger that was placed in us when we were created.  It can only be satisfied by Christ, Himself.

I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life…”
John 14:6

…the man/woman who does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:17

As I learn and grow by spending time in His Word, I know Christ better.  As I know Him better, I fall more in love with Him.  In that love, I am alive, alert, active, and vital for Him.

“You are the God who preserves alive all living things (1 Timothy 6:13 AMP).
I acknowledge that all of my life—physical and spiritual—
is in Your hands and under Your control.”
—Ruth Myers, page 87

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Dear Lord, thank You for desiring us to be alive in You.  We are desperate for more of You.  You ARE the very air we breathe.  Help us to renew our minds and satisfy our hunger by feeding on Your Word daily.  Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who sustains, comforts, and guides us in our aliveness in You.  In the Name of our Living Lord, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.

 

Captivating: Chapter 11 – “Warrior Princesses”

“And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.  For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish.  Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:13 and 14

I love the story of Esther, I have read it many times, and I have watched the adaptation of the story in the movie that Tommy Tenney made “One Night With the King” countless times.  The movie was created beautifully, from the choice of actress to the setup to the beauty pageant and, of course, the colorful wedding of Esther to the King.  As much as everything else is beautiful, it does not take away the purpose of why Esther was chosen by God to be Queen.  She was to fight for her people and deliver them from Haman’s vicious plot.  After seeking the face of God through prayer and fasting, Esther used the only weapon that was available to her—food.  She prepared a feast for the King and Haman.  After they had eaten, Esther told the King what Haman’s plot was: to wipe the entire Jewish nation from the face of the earth.  Well, Haman’s evil plans did not succeed because of the courageous act of this Warrior Queen Esther.

Esther is a true example of the Warrior that we all are.   Just like Esther, each one of us faces battles in our everyday lives.  They may not be as enormous as preserving the existence of a nation, but we cannot deny that they weigh us down, causing us grief and many sleepless nights.

As long as we are alive, we will be required to put on our armor and fight.  We may be called the “weaker sex” but we are not weak.  We are warriors too.  We are in the war zone the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed and the next day is no different.  Some of the battles may seem mundane but still they give us stress.  We battle with our looks when we glance in the mirror; we battle with comparison just as soon as we walk out the door; we look at how others are dressed and we wish our clothes fit the same way.

Then there are battles that we face that are relational, such as misunderstandings with our families that distress us.  The workplace is no different.  We don’t agree with our colleagues, our bosses take us for granted, and we are overworked and unappreciated.

Throughout the day we are bombarded with decisions that we need to make whether we are at home, work, or school.  What happens during our day can make us feel great about ourselves or depressed.

So much of what happens in our day attacks our minds more than any other part of our body.  We need to guard what goes through our minds more than anything else.  Once a thought comes in, we think about it some more, it develops and the more we think about it the more it takes root and then it becomes an action.

No WarriorIt is so important that when we wake up in the morning, we should prepare for the battle that is ahead of us.  No warrior goes to battle without ammunition.  In the same way, we cannot wake up and begin the day without putting on the armor of God.  Just like Esther had to pray and fast to meet with the King, we, too, ought to prepare for what’s ahead of us.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.   

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.    In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.    Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 

Ephesians 6:10-18

Prayer should be part of our lifestyle as Warrior Princesses; we need not wait for a situation to arise that is beyond us in order to invoke a prayerful attitude.  Just like a soldier takes instructions from his superiors, we too need to meet with our Maker to take instructions for our daily living.  Our enemy is real and he is not chained.  He is “…like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).  If you are not dressed for battle then he will prey on your mind, body, and soul.

I pray that as we go through this chapter this week, we will be prepared to fight our daily battles knowing that we are more than conquerors.  Christ won the battle on the cross for us and we need not fear for THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD.  Face each day like a true Warrior Princess.  Not only are you beautiful, but you are also wise, cunning, strong, courageous, and victorious.

In closing let me leave you with thes words that Paul spoke to Timothy and permit me to change them to suit us Warrior Princesses.

“You then, my daughter, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.   Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.  Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.   The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.  Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this”   (2 Timothy 2:1-7).

Be Blessed

Jackie

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LET’S PRAY

Father, thank You so much for giving me Your armor so that I can wear it in readiness for the battles that I face each day.  I will face each day knowing that the battle is already won.  May I seek Your face so that I may not be unaware when trouble comes.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT

Read Ephesians 6:10-18 about the full armor of God.  Take time to know what each piece of armor means and literally practice putting it on.

Why would Paul tell us to put on the full armor of God?

 


 GWSOur next Women’s Online Bible/Book Study begins March 24th!  

Click on the Girls with Swords book to the left, complete the registration process, and we will email you further details!  We hope you will join us for this amazing study!

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

Crazy Love: Chapter 5 – “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God” (pp 95-98)

We all have a tendency to drift… away from God. It is just part of our sinful nature. Take the Israelites for example. They pleaded for God to rescue them over and over again. God heard them and He did rescue them; but then they grew restless and focused their eyes away from Him. They drifted. They looked only at the needs in front of them and not at the Promised Land to come. They even complained that they would have preferred to go back to slavery in Egypt rather than struggle through the desert period while getting to the coveted Promised Land! Can you imagine?! They witnessed numerous miracles with their own eyes, yet they still begged and asked for more.

(The Holy Spirit is screaming in my ear right now about the correlation between the Israelites and our present day lives.)

We do the same things that the Israelites did, don’t we? Our view is so limited that we can only see our present needs. It is so difficult for us to see beyond our difficulties sometimes, to know that this life is only temporary and we have our own “Promised Land” (Heaven) waiting for us. We just have to walk through these desert periods and fix our eyes on the Author and Perfector of our faith. And He promises we do not have to walk these desert times alone. He is with us through His Spirit. He will guide us and direct us. He will show us the path to take.

Exist-to-Glorify-crazy-love-francis-chan-F

With that said, it is so important to stress what our author talks about in the concluding pages of our chapter. Our faith must be intentional. Without daily, focused effort we will slowly drift away from our Lord. He is the only One who can help us through every trial we face, every fear we encounter, and each obstacle in our path. Chan suggests that spiritual drift is not a conscious choice, but it is happening because nothing else is propelling people toward Christ. If we do not make our faith intentional; if it is not a priority above everything else in our lives, then we should not be surprised when we wake up one morning and wonder, “where is God?”

God never moves. He never changes. He is always there. It is us that move and change and shift.

Does God take priority over everything else in your life? Does any earthly thing matter as much as your relationship with the Lord?

These are some tough questions. Many things in this chapter are convicting my heart and igniting a passion in me to dig deeper. How about you? Write out your thoughts. Journal what the Lord is speaking to you about. Answer these questions as the Holy Spirit moves you. Take the time to truly explore yourself, your time commitments, and your relationship with the Lord. If you want something to change, how can you be proactive and change it? Remember, with GOD all things are possible. Pray and commit your changes to Him and let Him have all the glory!

 

Have a blessed day!

Jennifer

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Let’s Pray:

Father, this book is opening up deep cuts and wounds that we have only covered with flimsy band aids. Help us to fully heal those wounds and to come to You in repentance for anything that we are discovering that is not pleasing to You. We all desire a full, rich, deep, abiding love relationship with You, Lord. Please reveal to each one of us the next step of faith we can take in pursuit of that relationship. We love You so much, Lord, and our heart’s desire is to please You always. Rid us of anything that is interfering with our time with You. Invigorate our quiet times with You. Renew a passion in us for Your Word and for living the full Christian life that Jesus speaks of in the Gospels. It is in HIS Holy, Precious, Matchless Name that we pray, AMEN!

Your Assignment:

What earthly things are currently taking precedence over God in your life?

 



If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study for Crazy Love, click HERE to sign up. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

If you would like to email a private message to Jennifer in regards to this blog, please email her at Jennifer@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Crazy Love: Chapter 3 Weekly Review

Weekly Review

WOW…. this past week had us digging into our past… living in our present AND looking with excitement and passion to our future! Let’s take a look back at this week’s lessons for a moment together…

Monday, you and I explored our relationships with our earthly father and how we can translate that onto our relationship with God. That can be good and/ or not so good…. but we learned how important it is to understand that God is above all humanity and it is dangerous to our relationship with Him to try to put earthly limits on Him.

Martha shared with us about coming to God with a reverent intimacy. I enjoyed that lesson so much as she walked us through the stages of childhood developement and how we need to look to our heavenly Father with a reverent fear out of the crazy love we have for Him.

On Wednesday, Donna shared with us about how no matter what rejection we might have faced on this earth, that God has wanted and loved us since he formed us in our mother’s womb. We are wanted by Him… always and He will never forsake or turn from us.

Jennifer shared with us on yesterday about what choice we have in all of this….. God will always love us, no matter what… but we all have a choice whether or not to love Him and live for Him in return. We need to know Him and love Him no matter what… unconditionally the way He loves each of us. He deserves nothing less from His children <3

Francis Chan has another amazing video for us this week. Please go watch it now…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xzrv0f-UMQ&feature=youtu.be

Are you just SO struck with the love of the father… SO struck with the love of Jesus that there are no words?

Chan challenges us  to live love-struck by the love of Jesus every day of our life. He challenges us to think about the cross in traffic, at the grocery store or in line at the bank…. to think about what HE did for you and for me and be completely broken again right there. I can’t think of anything more humbling or a better way to keep our focus on Jesus as we live our every day.

No one has ever or will ever love you like Jesus has and does…. HE IS THE greatest love of my life and your life. Do you feel it? Are you letting that fill every part of your heart and soul? This love is stronger than that of a parent/ child relationship because it is flawless…. without any earthly hang-ups and issues. The redemptive work of Jesus on the cross is the most pure love ever….

And its all yours <3

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, thank you for the lessons in this week’s chapter. For any of us who still have not been broken by the love you have for us, I ask you today to break our hearts either again or for the first time. Help us feel your love in every part of who we are… to not just want to do our best for you to do it, but because we love you THAT much and THAT completely! Thank you for this provision, Father, as we seek you more completely and fiercely than ever before. Amen <3

Your Assignment:

Do you remember when you “got it”… when you LOVED Him?  Let’s each share those experiences when you “got it.” When you feel in LOVE with Your Creator. Chan urges us to understand this part of the book. It’s not about trying harder to please God, but to REALLY be in love with him…. to make the cross central in your life. It’s about relationship… intimate relationship and not legalism.Please share with us in a comment below about the time in your life when you “got” the Love you have for Jesus!

Blessings,

Megan 🙂

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If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study for Crazy Love, click HERE to sign up.

Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

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

Crazy Love: Week 3 / Chapter 3- dad and DAD

 

Who’s your DADDY?????

Really….. I want to hear all about him.

Wether you have the world’s greatest earthly father or not, God entrusted you to him for a reason and I would love to know not only what he is like, but what your relationship with him is like.

My dad is a hoot!!! He’s a big old hot mess, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love him. Have you ever seen that movie “Big Fish” about the dad who tells the outlandish stories about his extraordinary life and drives his son crazy? Well, that’s MY dad…. but he doesn;t drive me crazy. I Love it and I know I learned how to communicate effectively with other people and how to have great relationships because of him and what an amazing “people person” he is. He has this incredible ability to make a new acquaintance feel like a long-lost best friend…. and it makes my heart happy to see it in action!

Growing up, my dad worked a lot. My mom would have dinner on the table when he got home from work. We would eat together then he would settle in his man-chair for the night and nap until he went to bed. We would sometimes do things together on the weekends, and I really enjoyed that a lot. Some of my best memories are with him at college basketball games or when he would hang out with my friends and I when I had some people over and he would tell them all his wild (TRUE) stories. My dad is a great man… but I never really went to him if I had a problem or needed help. I don’t know why I didn’t, but I always tried to handle everything on my own and really didn’t communicate much of anything about “me”  to my parents unless I really HAD to.

I KNOW I brought this to my relationship with the Lord. I could bring the prayer requests of others to Him like nobody’s business, but I kept feeling God impress into my spirit the question: “What about you?”

YIKES….. I was the one that everyone always came to for help and guidance and I learned at a young age not to share my burdens with my friends because it would always freak them out a bit and they didn’t know what to do. So, I just began to stuff it all down and try to deal with everything on my own. This caused me to not let God into many deep dark places inside me for way too many years. Until I finally let Him in, I wasn’t able to truly live how He called me to and fulfill His purposes on this earth that He intended for me to do. He was begging for me to cry out to him on my own behalf…… he needed me to need Him….<3 And then He helped me heal.

You see, it was a trust issue…. and as Chan says on page 56 “God is more worthy of trust than anyone else, yet for so long I questioned His love and doubted His care and provision for me.”

Matthew 7:11

11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,

how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

People of this earth and even your earthly father will fail you…. but your Heavenly Father never will. We need to immediately stop putting earthly hang-ups on our Great Creator! He alone is perfect and His love never fails!

Let’s pray:

Lord, help us see the areas where we are putting flawed human traits onto You. Open our eyes to this, Lord, and help us repent. We want to give all of ourselves to YOU whole and complete! Heal us of our earthly relationship hurts so we can fully begin to understand the depth of your love for us. Help us to trust and give you everything. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen <3

Your Assignment:

What hurts or hang ups are you still hanging onto from your relationship with your earthly father that you need to stop putting on your relationship with God? We want to pray along with you for healing in this area <3

Blessings,

Megan 🙂

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If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study for Crazy Love, click HERE to sign up. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

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

 

 

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 2 / Day 5: Your Father Gives Great Advice

 

Today’s blog post is by Tina Marin 

Growing up in the south has its advantages, unless you are in a really rural area. I was protected and very naive when I went off to college and I can tell you folks had fun with me. You see I was very trusting and took what folks said literally. I wanted to trust that what others said were true and that they were not being hurtful or mean. I mean, if an adult said something, you were not to doubt what they said correct? How old were you when you learned not to trust what an adult told you something. Well, guess what? There is an adult out there that you can trust. He is our heavenly Father.

Jesus stated in John 10:27 ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.’ How do I get to know Jesus and his Father? By making the effort to communicate with God and spending time thinking about how he created us to be unique and to have a special purpose that only we can fulfill.  By reading his word and getting it into my heart, I can give that love to others. I do not always succeed. Life gets in the way and I let it become too complicated. I try to find some quiet time and some way to show God how grateful I am that He chose me to be is child. How do I do this?  It may be as easy as saying thank you in the morning before you get out of bed. It  may be choosing to listen to music that does not irritate your parents.

Proverbs 2:1-6 Instructs us to receive God’s words and to seek wisdom, then we will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of the Lord. What may that look like to you? It could be as easy as listening to scripture and thinking about a verse that really stuck out while you were listening. It could be speaking with someone more knowledgeable than you in the Bible. Or it could be reading a book that speak about God’s love.

As we finish out this week, think about James 1:5. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Repeat this verse by inserting your name,  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let Tina ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given her”…. and see how it changes your thinking and your attitude toward life and others around you. It takes on a different meaning and feel. God does care about what you do, what you say and how you think. He wants you to be his daughter and to know that he is always there to help you when you reach out to him for guidance or to just say “hi” and tell him about your day.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, I thank you that you love me and that you want me to grow in wisdom and knowledge. Thank you for this opportunity to learn more about your character and build on mine. Help me be the young woman you have planned for me to be. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, AMEN!

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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 2 / Day 4: Your Father Forgives You

 

Your blog today is brought to you by Memphis T and Mama T <3

Oh My!  This has been a tough topic for me to think about in my lifetime.  Growing up, my dad was, and still is a very hard worker.  He always worked his full time job, grew acres of vegetables on our farm and was active in our church.  My whole family worked around dad’s schedule.  It was rarely easy to keep up and do everything the way he needed it to be done.  When we messed up, and we did mess up, dad would go silent…until he blew up…and then he was silent for weeks at a time.  Sometimes we knew what was wrong, most of the time we didn’t though and that was hard to try to fix.

Girls have a basic need to please.  We especially need to please our fathers.  That is why it is so hard when we have messed up for us not to know how to make it better.  As a young teen I tried very hard to win my dad’s approval and to see him smile or say, “Thanks, gal”, or something.  I needed that from him.  As an older teen I began looking for approval from my uncles and wanted to have a boyfriend to care about me.  I have some really cool uncles.  I messed up a lot in the boyfriend area, but that’s another story for another day.  I have learned a lot and been so blessed with the men God placed in my life.  I got the laughs and hugs and teasing I needed in that way; but not from my dad.

This is by no means a sad story, because I love my dad very much and I know he loves me.  It could be that we are too much alike to express ourselves well, or maybe he didn’t have a good example of a relational father either.  The main thing I learned from my home life was what I wanted to do LIKE my parents raised me and the things I wanted to CHANGE when I had my own family.  Mostly I learned how to lean on my Heavenly Father when I needed that ABBA, daddy, role filled.  God never let me down.  When I messed up, I could ask Him to show me what had gone wrong, where I had gone wrong and to forgive me for my sins.  He was always faithful to forgive me; I had a harder time forgiving myself.

As I have learned to parent my daughters, I have always told them to be honest with me.  Even if it is hard to say what they have done, I would rather know what happened from them than to hear it from someone else or be surprised by the truth later.  I have made them a promise to be patient and slow to anger with my words so that they will trust me with their hearts.  I like to think that this is a lesson I learned from my Heavenly Father.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me” (Mark 10:14), “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3) and in Matthew 19:13 we see that parents were bringing their children to Jesus so he could lay hands on them to pray for them and give them blessings.  I wanted to be that kind of mom someday.  I wanted to be the kind of mother that my kids could come to for comfort, talking, mutual respect and love and I wanted their friends to feel comfortable talking to me too.  It took breaking some bad learned parenting behaviors, but God has been faithful to bring me children and teens to love on.  He gave me a desire of my heart.

No matter what kind of earthly dad, or parents you were born with, God wants to be your FATHER.  With that comes love, guidance and, yes, discipline.  Discipline is not a bad word.  It means having self-control.  We don’t act on every whim and do what feels good, just because it feels good.  Our verse for today is:  Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”  God wants us to come to him and tell him what is on our hearts and minds.  Take some time today to think back to those “secret” things you have stuffed down inside your heart and tell HIM about it.  He already knows, but HE wants to hear you say it so you know you are clean.  No more guilty conscience.  No more beating yourself up about something in your past.  Just you and HIM.  God sees you through the filter of His Son, Jesus.  You look pretty good, you know.  Embrace the Father’s love.  You deserve it!

<3 Mama T (Teresa)

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There is nothing so horrible or terrible that God cannot or will not forgive you for <3 God sent His one and only son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we would have the opportunity to live in eternity with Him. How awesome is that?

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Have you ever did anything that you thought was so bad that you thought your parents would never forgive you for, and once you told them, they weren’t as mad as you thought they would be and things changed for the better? Well that is how God is J Satan would love to hold those old horrible things over your head, having you to think and believe that God will be angry with you for the rest of your life and never forgive you (while typing this, satan is trying to persuade me to not tell you all about what happened to me years ago because it was a very difficult time for me and my family, but it is part of who I am and it shows how God forgave me for something that I thought was so horrible at the time).  God is totally the opposite girls!! He is so loving and forgiving!!! He wants you to come to Him and repent (to tell Him that you are sorry and turn away from that thing that you were doing wrong) and live your life for Him. He is always waiting there with His big loving arms held open for you to run to Him. He desires to be there for you!

I can remember doing something that I thought was so bad. We are friends and we can be honest with each other here at GCH: Decaf. I was 20 years old, not married, working in ministry, and I got pregnant…yep, there it is…I said it, Ms. Tonya got pregnant. I felt like I had disappointed my mom and dad, my sisters, my boss, Pastor, friends…everybody, but most of all I felt like I had let God down!! I knew what God had said about getting pregnant before being married and I definitely was not married. Were the special, important people in my life disappointed in me? Yes they were. Did they ever stop loving me? No they did not!

It took me a while to heal from that time in my life. I had to really get to know who God was better than I thought I did. He wasn’t this mean old person who was going to point His finger at me and shake it and say, “Tonya, you make the biggest mistake ever and I am no longer keeping you as my daughter!” He was exactly the opposite. Our Heavenly Father loved on me! He sent people around me to comfort me, teach me more about His Word, and help me to get back on the right path of following and living a life for Him!

Remember this: When God forgives you. You are set free!!! You are free from being reminded of that thing that you did wrong and you are free to go to God whenever you need to!

When God forgives you, He forgives you and He remembers it NO More!! We are the ones who remember. God does not desire to torture us with reminding us of what we did wrong, He wants us to ask for forgiveness, turn away from that thing that were doing wrong, learn from it, and move forward. He is so forgiving!! Humans can hold grudges, God does NOT! Whatever it is that you think is so horrible that you think you cannot go to God about, think again, He wants you to come to Him! Try Him …Go to Him… Allow Him to show you who He really is! A loving Father who LOVES His daughters.. ALL of us 🙂

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for loving us for who we are. We are so grateful to be called your daughters. Thank you for being a loving, forgiving God and for reminding us that there is nothing so bad that You will not forgive us for. Please remind your daughters Lord that You are there for them, and that You still desire to have that Father daughter relationship with them. Let them know that You are waiting. In your Son’s Jesus name I pray. Amen.

<3 Memphis T (Tonya)

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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 2 / Day 3: Your Father Protects You

Psalm 91:4-10

His huge outstretched arms protect you– under them you’re perfectly safe; His arms will fend off all harm.

Fear nothing… No harm will even graze you. You’ll stand untouched…

Yes, because God is your refuge, the High God your very own home,

Evil can’t get close to you; harm can’t get through the door.

I don’t know about you, but I have had some friendships and relationships in my life that have ended. I have had some things I was passionate about taken away. I have experienced loss. And each time, it hurt.

One day I was madly “in love” with a guy, and the next day I was bawling my eyes out because he dumped me. Or one day “Suzy” was my very best friend, and the next day she was ignoring me. One day I was obsessed with cheerleading, and the next day, I was injured and lost the nerve to try any more stunts or tumbling. And with each loss, I experienced heartache and pain.

I can honestly say, though, with every break up, with every weekend I spent at home, with the activities I gave up, I found the purpose. Not the day after. In some cases, it took months. Other cases, it took years. Each time I found that the Lord was protecting me. From what, you may be asking? Most of the time, I find that the Lord is protecting us from ourselves. Here’s what I mean by that… We often turn boyfriends, friends, sports, grades, etc. into idols. We place them as first in our hearts. We seek THEIR approval. Sometimes we make EVERY decision with them in mind…. from how we wear our hair that morning to where we want to go to college.

We are setting ourselves up for heartbreak by allowing a person or an activity to dictate our lives. Sometimes boys change their minds. Sometimes friends have bad days and take them out on you. Sometimes you fail a test. Sometimes you lose a soccer game. But God doesn’t change His mind about you. God doesn’t have bad days. God is faithful. He is constant. He is the same… yesterday, today, and forever.

I think it’s safe to say that He knows what is best for us. After all, He created our hearts. And even when something precious to us is taken away, we HAVE to trust that He is making all things work together for our good. So let’s put Him first. Let pleasing Him be the reason behind all of our decisions.

Let’s pray~

Lord, thank You for loving us enough to protect us. You know that You are the only one who is constant, and You love us enough to protect our hearts. Continue to teach us to guard our hearts. Lord, when we place things above You, give us strength and conviction to lay those things down. And after we lay those things down, God, we will run into Your arms, we will return to our First Love.

~Jordan

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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 2 / Day 2: Your Father Delights in Your Existence

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save. 

He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love;

He will rejoice over you with singing.

Delight is a word that isn’t used very often.  Delight is one of those words with deep meaning.  I looked it up so we could know more fully how God feels about us and this is what I found:

DELIGHT

1) A Feeling of extreme pleasure or satisfaction; JOY

2)  To please greatly

3)  Something or someone that provides a source of happiness.

Growing up I can’t say that ‘delight’ was in my vocabulary.  Aside from a few pictures, the emotion of ‘delight’ was foreign to me.  So the thought that my Heavenly Father took delight in my existence was a little hard to grasp.  I have always been a “thinker”.  When I have questions about random, everyday stuff I ‘google’ it.  My head is full of trivial information that I don’t even know where it came from.  When I have BIG questions I go to “The Source”.  I ask God, himself, to give me the answers to my hearts questions.  As a result, my heart is full of TRUTH and I DO know where I got it; My Father!  Check out Luke 11:9: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Not only does He want us to ask, He wants us to KEEP asking.  Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find (what you are looking for).  Keep on Knocking and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds and everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Did you catch that promise directly from your Father?  So when we have questions and need answers we are to ask him and He promises to give us whatever we have asked for.  So if that is true – why don’t we know everything and have everything we need?  In James 4:2-3, we find the answer to that question (you see how I did that?  I took you back to the Source).

James said, “…You have NOT because you ASKED NOT.”  As a mom, there is nothing that gives me more joy, more delight, than to give my daughters something I know they really, really, REALLY want.  Most of the time, what my daughters want is not monetary.  They desire my time, my touch, my ears to listen to their hearts.  Sometimes I can show them I have really listened to them by remembering to do something nice for them.  I want to be the one who provides this very basic need for my daughters.  If it makes me that happy to please my daughters, how much more happy, joyous, delighted – must God the Father be to know that He provides for us exactly what we want and need?  Because we are God’s daughters, he wants to provide for us.

In Psalms 37:4 it says, “Take delight in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Because God created us, HE KNOWS US.  We may go through life feeling unloved, without friends, lonely, and well, UN-known.  But our heavenly father knows what we need and gives us a very specific example in the way He acknowledged Jesus on the day he was baptized.

Let’s look at that day in Jesus’ life.  He was about 30 years old, he knew what his purpose was on this earth and he knew it was time to begin the work.  I imagine the human side of Jesus was nervous to get started, anxious about what was in his future, and a bit overwhelmed at the sheer size of his job.  He had come TO SAVE THE WORLD! Where do you start?  Who do you start with?

Jesus started at the beginning.  He decided to do the job he came to this earth for.  The first public act of his obedience was to be baptized, so he went to see his cousin, John.  (You should really go read that story.  It’s awesomely cool)

Matthew 3:16-17 takes us to the next part of Jesus’ story.

16)  After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17) And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

God gave Jesus the 3 things everyone needs to hear:

1)       God claimed Jesus as His own son.  “This is my SON.”

2)      God proclaimed His love for Jesus.  “Whom I love.”

3)      God exclaimed His Joy, Delight, and Extreme Pleasure with his Son.  “I am very pleased with him.”

I imagine that Jesus needed to know who he belonged to; who loved him and who was pleased with him to be able to begin the job God sent him to do.  If Jesus needed it, so do we.  It’s OK to admit that we need to belong, be loved and be delighted in.

That’s how God made us!!!!!

“Realizing God’s delight in your existence is a wonderful ego booster.  Your Creator, the Father of everything, is always happy to hang out with you.”  (page 18, A Daughter’s Worth)  God delights in our delighting in Him.  God values our valuing Him.  Who can tell me where the verse is in the BIBLE where it says, “We love him because He first loved us”?  (Trivia Contest – Leave the answer in the comment section)  🙂

God already has claimed us as his daughters.  He has already proven he loves us.  He gives us the desires of our hearts because it brings Him joy and pleasure.  Now it’s up to us ….

Let Us Pray:

Heavenly Father, I thank you for being my dad, my papa, my ABBA.  Thank you for loving me, for telling the world that you love me and for providing everything that I need.  I am honored to be your daughter.  I accept the place you have reserved for me in your family.  My earthly family doesn’t always look or feel very loving and secure, but I know your love for me never fails. 

Father, continue to change my heart as I draw closer to you.  I love you daddy.  AMEN

<3 Teresa Bolme

VIDEO     Mighty To Save  sung by Laura Story (scripture taken from Zephaniah 3:17

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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 teens@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

A Daughter’s Worth Week 2 / Day 1: Your Father Wanted You To Be Born

Daddy’s Little Girl

This is for the girl whose heart aches to be “daddy’s little girl”.  This is for the girl who stands tall every day, as “daddy’s little girl”.  This is even for the girl who has been so hurt by her daddy that the thought of being “daddy’s little girl” angers her.   No matter which girl you wake up to be, I pray that you know in your heart the “daddy” that sees you as his little girl and loves you and WANTS you every day.  This would be your Abba (daddy) in Heaven.

Growing up, I was the girl whose heart ached to be daddy’s little girl.  I do have an amazing earthly father and I am blessed to have him because he fought for me, my mom, and my brothers and sisters every day.  He fought the battle of depression and unemployment every morning when he woke up in order to make sure we had the best life possible; the endless list of things we wanted and plenty of food on the table.  This took a toll on my dad that I didn’t understand.  His love was not perfect, neither was mine, but that was what I was looking for, love.  Today I know my dad loves me, but back then I went on a search for someone to love me.

Thankfully I have found that PERFECT LOVE in Jesus.  No matter what our earthly daddy’s are like, we all have access to the perfect love of our heavenly daddy!  The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 29:14 that we will all find our daddy in Heaven.  I remember the first day I found Him, it was the same day I felt wanted for the first time in my life.  I am very certain that God wanted me, because I read about how he fought for me.  He fought the enemy, and WON the same day He rose from the dead.  If God did not want us to be born, he would not have fought our battle for us.  Why did God fight for YOU?  Simply because He wanted you just as you are!  You did not need to be a certain way for Him to want you, all you ever have to be is the YOU he created.  He knows the plans that He has for you.  He wants to fulfill His plans in YOU.

It is hard sometimes to come to terms with God’s love, mainly because there are no terms to the love He always has and ever will have for us!  There are no conditions, excuses, imperfections, or manipulation in His love.  There is only hope, and grace, mercy, forgiveness, and complete joy in His love!  His love is better than an earthly father’s love for us, because it covers all of our hurts we go through in this life.  It even covers the hurts that have been caused by the father we have on Earth.  With God, we do not need to win Him or His love, He has already won us.  Even if we have the world’s best dad, there will be times that you just do not feel wanted or loved by him.  You never have to feel that way with God.  He wants you; He desires to hear from you, He aches for you to find Him.

Uncertainties will come your way, but when they do you can know without a shadow of doubt that you are God’s little girl.  Our Heavenly Father created YOU and chose YOU for good, (Isaiah 44:2) and has written YOUR life in His book, before YOU were even a thought in YOUR mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16)!  That is love.  That is something worth getting excited about!

Let’s Pray:

Lord, I ask that as we start really getting into this study, that we accept that you want us every day, just where we are Lord.  I pray that we are able to find you just where we are, every day.  I thank you Lord that you have chosen each one of us for a specific purpose.  I thank you Lord that your perfect love showers us daily!  Thank you that as your “little girls” we are loved, taken care of, wanted, and chosen! 

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 teens@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.