January 22, 2018

The Bible as a Teacher

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Since my youth, O God, You have taught me and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds.
Psalm 71: 17

David had to recount throughout his life what had been happening to him.  How he has excelled in life, how he has been protected, etc.  And he came to a point of realizing that it was not about him but that the Lord was with him always.  And so it is for us today to have a recount of our own lives.

How does God teach us?

He teaches us through His very own Words in the Bible.  And the Bible is the true book where the wisdom of our wise God is revealed.  God spoke the Word and breathed into it and it became life.  We thank God for the Word that is life today.  The Word that is changing our lives for the best disciples.

I have learned in life that I can only learn better as long as I study much. Learning is a process which goes step-by-step.  Looking at myself I have passed through a nursery school (kindergarten) through a higher level and now a profession in my field.  All this is achievable through teachings, studies etc.

And so the Word of God teaches us—from a Sunday School kid and now a born-again Christian who is not merely born again but also a disciple of Jesus Christ.  In Isaiah 8:11, “ The Lord spoke to me with his strong hand upon me warning me not to follow the way of this people, he said….”

Why does God teach us?

• So that we can walk in the right way: Isaiah says His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. Isaiah 28:26
• That we may know what God have freely given us: We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit Who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. I Corinthians 2:12
• That we know the truth that is in Jesus : Surely you have heard of Him and were taught in Him that is in Jesus. You were taught with regard to your former way of life to put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires. Ephesian 4:21-22
• Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you for you yourselves have been taught by god to love each other. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
• All these teachings urge us to appreciate the marvelous deeds God has done. 1 John 2:27

Let us be Christians who are not only mouthing the words but rather renewed in our minds and able to study the Word of God and observe to do what it says we should do. Joshua 1:8.

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Father, we thank You for Your Word. You’ve give us the grace to be true disciples that are willing to be taught by a great teacher.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

CHRISTLife — Chapter 15: Knowing My Need

CLfridaygraphicBefore Christ, I was “spiritually dead, defiled, disobedient, and deceived.” I was “empty, enslaved, and self-willed.” Then at the age of six, I knelt at an altar of prayer, and those things were washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. Yes, it’s true, I was all those ugly things. Psalm 51:5, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Romans 3:10, “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one;” No matter at what age you got saved, I know you are saying with me, “Praise God, He saved me from all of that and so much more!”

However, I am still needy. How about you? In our flesh we are still prone toward “doing evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21, ESV). As humans we still have our limitations, and we still sin. So we must continually “acknowledge our deep need for God and cast away our self-centered pride.” God can only work in us when we admit that we are His child, and as a child we are dependent on Him to care for us and help us in our weaknesses. Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Even though we have many wonderful qualities, we can’t take personal credit and think too highly of ourselves. Instead, we must see that it is not by our works but by His mercy that we do anything good.

He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:5 NLT

If we never had any needs—emotionally, physically, psychologically, or spiritually—we would never realize just how needy we are for God. He created us for Himself. Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness….’”

Adam and Eve spent time in God’s presence. But as I think about them, I’m not sure they truly understood their need for Him until they had sinned and realized they weren’t “presentable” anymore.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He (Adam) replied, “I heard You walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
Genesis 3:8-10 NLT

After God told Adam and Eve how their sin would affect their lives from then on, He forgave them and, through the sacrifice of animals (Genesis 3:21), He provided for their need. Life wasn’t easy (verses 22-24), but the good news is that it kept them humble and in relationship with Him.

For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people.
Psalm 69:33 ESV

He stands beside the needy, ready to save them.
Psalm 109:31 NLT

The more we study God’s Word and spend time with Him, the more we will recognize our shortcomings and our great need for Him to reign in our lives. We will find our help is in the Lord, as God tells us in Isaiah 41:17-20, “When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.”

As pride is gotten under control, God doesn’t want us to think too lowly of ourselves either. David said (Psalm 40:17 NLT) that even though he was needy—God was thinking about him! Please meditate on this Scripture because it shows us just how significant we actually are to our Father God. He is thinking about you and me!

Yes, we are needy. I know I personally need more love, more patience, more self-control, more—you name it. As I grow in God’s Word, I will see how He is providing for me, protecting me, guiding and guarding me. I will see more clearly how much He loves me. How about you? Have you taken time to see your needs? Have you looked into God’s Word to see how much He wants to help you? Do you know today that God loves you, my friend, and He wants only His best for you? That’s His message to you right now. Our Lord is saying to you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

May these Scriptures be your heart cry today:

The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord.
The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 29:19 NLT

Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to Your truth!
Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor You.
With all my heart I will praise You, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to Your name forever, for Your love for me is very great.
You have rescued me from the depths of death.
Psalms 86:11-13 NLT

Whom have I in Heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth.
Psalm 73:25 NLT

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Dear Lord and Savior of our souls, thank You for loving us beyond our comprehension. Thank You for loving us enough to save us. Thank You for continuing to show us Your love by revealing to us our areas of weakness so we will repent, be forgiven, and become more like You. We acknowledge our need for You. May we always hunger and thirst for You, Lord, for You promise to answer us and never abandon us. We love You, Lord. In Jesus’ Precious and Holy Name, Amen.

CHRISTLife—Five: Acknowledging Wrong Images

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Wouldn’t we all like to pretend that there are no negative and unhealthy images of ourselves hidden in our hearts and minds!?  But the fact is that there probably, almost assuredly, are.  I would prefer if the bad self-images would run off like water on a duck’s back, and the good self-images would be like water on a sponge, which soaks into the core of the sponge and still remains visible on the outside.  Former experiences and people from our past all have an effect on us, whether good or bad.

Our emotional reactions to situations are often “clues to negative images of ourselves” due to past experiences, whether we remember those experiences or not. They influence our attitudes and behaviors.  2 Corinthians 13:5 (AMP) tells us to: “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves….”  To better understand ourselves and our “inner identity album,” we need to examine our viewpoints and beliefs.  They have been formed either from previous bad experiences or from good experiences. We need to separate the bad from the good so we can get rid of the wrong images that distort the truth.

An example might be that as a child in school your teacher gave you a hard time because you were left-handed, you wore hand-me-down clothes, and/or you couldn’t see the blackboard from your seat.  That experience might have distorted your view of those in authority.  It might also have caused a negative self-image to grow in you that has led you to believe you aren’t good enough and you can’t do anything right for those in authority over you.  Your emotional reaction might be to withdraw or to be defensive.  Ruth Myers says this, “We need to become more objective in our viewpoints and beliefs. We must learn not to color the facts with our misguided conclusions and opinions” (pg. 23).

Do you ever hear yourself say, “If only…?” Yes, I know I have said that at times and I’m sure you have too. When those negative, unrealistic “If only….” thoughts come into your mind and even on your lips, you (and I) need to begin to replace them with reality and God’s Word.

“If only my situation would change…”
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

“If only I hadn’t committed that sin in my past…”
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

“If only my parents had been better examples…”
…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Romans 12:2

Recently I saw the movie, “The Guardians” for the first time.  Although just a whimsical, fictional story (of which I will probably forget most of it in short order), there was one line that popped out at me.  Jack Frost asks, “How can I know who I am, before I know who I was?

Obviously, I am contemplating this question from the perspective of this study as well as God’s Word.  Check out Psalm 139.  Here are just a few verses in response to that question:

O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me…
You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion…Every day of my life was recorded in Your Book…
How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God.

We are His!

In Jeremiah 31:3, God tells us, “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love; with unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself.”  Because He loves us so, He wants to help us.  Let’s not waste time wishing the past had never happened.  We have today, and we have God’s Word.  Let’s take on the privilege, the responsibility, the hard work, and the joy of rejecting all the unrealistic and false images in our “inner identity albums.”   With God’s help, let’s replace the lies with truth—His Truth.  How freeing and uplifting that will be when we aren’t carrying around the burden of those lies anymore.  Then, too, our negative reactions will be replaced with responses that bless and glorify Him.

I want to encourage you to go back to chapter 5, page 25, and read again the Scripture references and answer the questions in light of God’s love for you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends You,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalms 139:23-24

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Dear Lord, thank You for this first week of our study. Already, You are revealing to each of us wrong images from our past that still produce negative emotions. We thank You that Your Word is The Truth. As we study together, help us break down the negative past and rebuild our lives based on the truth that is Your Word. ‘I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath’ (Psalms 116:1-2). In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

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Place the Bible in my Hands

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God’s Word is a precious gift.  If ever our Bibles become dusty due to lack of use, let’s cry out to God to forgive us.  Within its pages are God’s great messages and truths..stories of His love, hope, forgiveness, and His Presence as Lord and Savior unfold there.  From God’s Word you gain wisdom, knowledge, and insight into how God wants you to live.

With my Bible in my hands, I sat on my comfy couch and read all of Psalm 19 to soak up all God wanted me to gain from David’s words in this chapter.  David writes,

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
Psalms 19:7-10

Let it be written and let it be proclaimed: God’s Word trumps ANYTHING that any mere man could ever say.  Why?  It is inspired by God, and it is this:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Never let dust gather there.  Open God’s Word!  Read it, absorb it, and live it!!!  It continues to be a precious gift, as it—through the power of the Holy Spirit—teaches, encourages, convicts, and reveals the plan of salvation through Jesus.  It will remain as truth for all times! 

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8

Contemplate:

Imagine you have to be on a deserted island by yourself for one year.  You are told you will have bread, water, and shelter.  But you have to make an important choice.
First option:  Each day you can have a cup of the best-tasting honey ever and gaze into a huge cave filled with bars of pure gold, which you can have at the end of the year. —OR–  Second option: You can have a Bible with you to read daily.

What do you choose?    Place the Bible in my hands!!!

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Dear Lord,  let us treasure Your Word!  Allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate its truths deep into our hearts so that our desire is to live it and, only by Your grace, bring You great glory in our lives.  Daily, we desperately need You!  Please may we all desire to read Your Word every day!!!  In Jesus’ Precious Name,  Amen.

Fixing Your Eyes on Him

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Psalms 141:8-9
But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord; in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me and the gins of the workers of iniquity.

Our God is a Sovereign God who by His mercies offer His divine protection to His very own. If you are born of Christ you are called His sons. We can ask God anything at anytime as long as we are able to realize who He is and how great He is. If we make God too small in our lives He will be as such; but if we live with faith and trust in Him we can pray and He will answer us and deliver us from workers of iniquity.

We have all experienced situations that seemed impossible to handle at the time. When things seem hopeless and you feel you are at your worst, that is the time to turn to God and seek Him with everything you have. You may feel you are alone in your circumstances but God is a ‘very present help in times of trouble’. While the facts of your situation may look bleak, the truth of God’s Word brings light, hope and deliverance. As long as we fix our eyes on Him…as long as we depend on Him. You can’t handle life’s challenges alone, and God doesn’t want you to. He loves you and as long as you believe this in your heart, you have access to His Divine intervention.

Let us pray to this faithful God. When we pray it is like we are calling Him to intervene in our situations the way David prayed. Don’t allow the devil to deceive you that God won’t help you. The enemy wants to steal your confidence in God.

I want to encourage you today, that no matter what you’re going through or facing, God knows your situation. He is willing and able to provide for you, protect you, and bring you to an expected end.  All you have to do is take refuge in Him and trust Him. Ask God today to help you and fix your eyes on Him. Look away from everything that distracts and focus on God. Never give up! Never throw in the towel! Never surrender! God will help you. God will see you through and you CAN live and walk in victory.  You can avoid and overcome the snares and gins of the workers of iniquity.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your loving kindness. May You help us today to fix our eyes on You for You are the solid ground. In Jesus name I pray… Amen.

Girls with Swords: Chapter 9 – “New and Ancient Paths” / “Change Environments” (pgs 142-147)

New and Ancient Paths

But my people have left me to worship the Big Lie. They’ve gotten off the track, the old, well-worn trail, And now bushwhack through underbrush in a tangle of roots and vines. (Jeremiah 18:15 MSG)

Ouch! I don’t know about you, but this picture of being tangled up in roots and vines and trying to plow through on my own does not sound very pleasant. But such is what happens when we leave the path and seek our own interests and desires instead of God’s. This isn’t anything new. We as humans have been doing it for centuries. But, let me ask you this…isn’t it time that we get back on the well-worn trail, the path that leads to holiness and righteousness? The path that leads to LIFE? Isn’t it time to make a new way, to let God lead us down difficult paths even if we do not understand them because we KNOW that HE does?

Are you stuck? Do you not know where your path is? Do you have trouble seeing how you can get over the mountain that faces you?  Sister, God always provides the answer to our entanglements.  “Just as a machete clears paths in the wild, the sword of God’s Word has the power to sever what entangles us” (pg. 142, emphasis mine).  Take it to the bank.  It is a promise. You might be facing a mountain right now. It may be something of your own doing or it may be something God has allowed in your life for a divine purpose.  Whatever the reason, you must know that the Word of God will light your path every step of the way. Your path may seem confusing and senseless to you but it makes complete sense to God because He sees the whole picture. He knows it all because He is sovereign. With God, we have the chance to walk in a new and living way.

By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. (Hebrews 10:20)

If you want to know what to do next, go to His Word.  Pray.  Talk with Him.  LISTEN.  WAIT.  He will speak to you but you must give Him the opportunity!  “Through the power of His Word, He makes a way where there seemed to be no way.” (pg. 145)

Change Environments

I am going to quote an entire paragraph from this section because it really spoke to me and I think it is so very important!

Sometimes you need to make a radical environmental change – turn off your television, get off the Internet, and hang up the phone. When all these voices are silenced, you have a chance to quiet yourself as well. However, this isn’t an invitation to meditate on a deeper revelation of YOU but to experience a deeper revelation of HIM.

When Jesus came in and cleared the decks of your life, the enemy did not disappear; he just moved aside. He was not gone; he was simply out of sight, watching for an opportunity to reestablish himself. To avoid a hostile reinvasion, you must firmly establish a new lifestyle and environment (pg. 146, emphasis mine).

Wow, right? In order to forge our way and return to the ancient path, it might be necessary to make a radical change to our current life. Remember, we are called to be IN the world but not OF the world (1 John 2:15-17). What changes do you need to make today in order to return to the ancient path…to be a trailblazer like Jesus? This section was very convicting for me and I know I need to spend some time in prayer to see what my Lord would have me do. It is very difficult to change our environment, especially when we are comfortable. But God does not really want us to be comfortable. He wants us on a mission, to reach the lost and hopeless, to be trailblazers for His Kingdom.

What does it mean to you to be a trailblazer?

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Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Holy Word. Thank You for teaching us and convicting us, guiding us and leading us. Continue to show us the way we should go, to be trailblazers for Your Kingdom. Help us to make environmental changes where You want us to, even if those changes are difficult, Lord. Give us strength and courage to push through our entanglements, leaning on You every step of the way. You alone know all and are Sovereign. We can trust in You. Thank You, Father, for Your love. We love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Girls with Swords: Chapter 8 – “Warnings” (pages 134-137)

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Jesus’ life fulfilled the Word of God.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”  Each day He arose with God; He knew what was ahead.  He knew what God’s will for His life was.  He prayed God’s will for His life.

Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  After reading this verse in the Bible, I am awed by Jesus’ prayer.  ‘This cup’ is the terrible agony Jesus knew He would endure.  ‘This cup’ was separation from God so that He could die for your and my sins.  This is what Jesus prayed for.  I know we bloggers have been asking a lot of questions this week, but let me pose another one to you today:  When was the last time you prayed God’s will for your life over your own desires?

As Lisa explains on page 136, our Father gave us Jesus to be the example of how to live what we speak.  There will never be anyone who will be perfect—as Jesus is perfect—but we can all strive to live a life pleasing to God as Jesus did while He walked the Earth.  Jesus lived out God’s will for His life.  We can lay down our plans at Jesus’ feet and strive to fit into God’s plans.  We can find God’s will for our lives by reading the Word and praying to God.  One thing I have learned in doing this is that God surely has created us to share His love through the ends of the Earth.

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

I think one of the greatest things about reading the Bible is it lights a fire in my soul.  In reading, I find this huge desire to share God’s truths with every single person in the entire world.  When telling someone this once, the response was, “Oh no, at trick-or-treat time you would totally be one of those people that hand out tracts instead of candy!”  My response: “Absolutely, inside the tracts are the words people need to find God.” Do you desire to be the tract lady for Jesus, giving people His words they are in desperate need of?

Isaiah 55:8-11 in its entirety is absolutely beautiful, let us focus though on verses 10 and 11:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

What words are we using when we fearlessly share the saving grace, love, and power of Jesus Christ with the lost and the hurting?  When we use God’s words instead of our words there will be victory every time in Heaven.  We know it is truth that God’s word shall not return to Him empty.  The words He sent out will fulfill His plan and not return void.  It is our job to be the messengers.  We are called to make God’s word known to others.  This means we must know His words.  We must not only know how to speak them to others, but we must also know how to live out God’s words with our actions.

We are the only Jesus some people will ever see.  That is not something to take lightly.  That is something to remind ourselves of daily.  When you are at home, at school, at work, in the grocery story, at the mall, (insert other here)…be Jesus.  Someone is always watching.  Let them see Jesus through you, let them see the TRUTH.  When you are a princess-warrior-in-training for the King of Kings, your actions matter just as much as your words matter.  Both are used to bring others to our Father in Heaven.  Others must see Jesus in us; we cannot get in their way from finding Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Let His words transform your actions to line up with what He is showing us to do.  We know what to do through His word, through prayer, and through Jesus’ life.  Let’s thank God for giving us the Bible, giving us access to Him through prayer, and giving us an amazing example of how to live a holy life, through His son, Jesus.

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Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Holy Word.  Thank You for giving us the privilege of prayer where we can meet with You and hear from You.  Thank You for giving us Jesus’ life as an example for us, daily.  Thank You for giving us the desire to fulfill Your will for our lives.  Lord, I ask that You give us the strength and desire to lay aside our plans, and to fit into Your will for us. Lord, we give You glory for all You do in our lives and in the lives of those we encounter.  You are an amazing Savior!  Amen.

Lisa has one more question for us, and I encourage you to journal about your answer: “Do you want to do His will so all that was written of you will be something to behold?”  (Page 137) ~SELAH

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If you would like to join us for the “Girls with Swords” Online Bible/Book study, click HERE to be taken to our sign-up page.  Once you complete the enrollment process, we will email you further details.  We hope you will join us!

Girls with Swords: Chapter 7- “Pressure” (pages 115-117)

As Lisa tells us about her “doubtful moment” it brings me right back to one of my very own doubt-filled moments….

It had been several months after my very last therapy session.  I knew in my heart of hearts that I was healed, but as I stepped into my counselor’s office that day, the doubt that had been filling in my heart since the last time I was in that room followed me in.  Even with a beautiful sign from God’s heart to mine that I truly was healed and made new, I still somehow let doubt get in the way.  As I was explaining all of my doubts my dear counselor asked me a simple question, “What are the things that you know that you know that you know are true?”

I am safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

I am loved. (John 3:16)

These were the only thoughts that I was able to muster up, but somehow they proved to be just enough!

Each truth above comes from God’s Word.  Apart from Him we have nothing, we are nothing.  God’s Word is our source for confidence.  He is our Source for power and protection.  He is our all in all.  He is our portion forever and ever.  He is all we ever need and He has come to RESCUE YOU AND ME from doubt and all of the hardships of life!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26

Knowing the truth is just not enough to keep the doubt away.  I have found that the more we “know” something, the more Satan tries to convince us that we don’t know anything at all.  Prior to this moment in counseling I had found the more confidence I had, the more doubt consumed me.  How does that even make sense?  It makes sense because my confidence used to come from the wrong source.  Think to yourself, do you find confidence from the shifting sands of circumstances or do you find confidence in our Mighty Rock?  It is still a struggle from time to time for me to let go of the false advertisements for confidence we find ourselves surrounded by in our world.  We think we know what we need—the best make-up, the finest clothing, the right man, the popular friends—the list goes on and on.  These false eye-catching traps just leave our hearts filled with doubt.  Truth be told, even the best this world has to offer will never give us the confidence that we can find in God alone.  Again, I know this is true because Scripture backs it up!

Proverbs 3:26 assures us, “…for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.”

We can have confidence in God because of His Word! When we fill our hearts with God’s truth, His confidence seeps into every crack and crevice of our soul!  God’s confidence in us will enable Satan’s lies to stay tucked under our feet as we press on in our journey with the Lord of our lives!

It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put His hand on you for something special.  When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words.  Something happened in you.  The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.  (1 Thessalonians 1:5 MSG)   

Knowing God’s Word will not suffice in the spiritual battle at hand.  I know this personally. Since I have started this study, God has been using many hardships to show me just how true it is that knowing scripture is not enough, and we must be trained to use it.  God’s Word is our training manual.  Everything we need to know is found in His Word, not the lies of Satan.  Our sword must be filled with the truth—God’s truth—which has the power to strike down Satan’s consuming lies and doubts.  As a princess warrior in training, we cannot let doubt consume us.  We must empty ourselves into God so that He can consume us.

The more we know who God is, the more we have confidence from Him in who we are created to be.  No two princesses of the King are the same.  We are all created for a unique and important purpose.  It is time to wash away the doubt caused from past hurts or maybe current hurts and hold tight to God’s promises that will never shift.  It is time to call out to God…He promises to answer.  All we must do is empty the doubts that have been filling up our hearts at His feet.  When we seek God with our whole empty heart, He will fill our hearts with HIS blessings.  No more room for doubts, only His love.

When I left therapy that day, I was supposed to write what I knew on a rock, to remind me of the solid hope I have in God alone.  I never did find a rock big enough to write down all the truths God has reminded me of since that night as I spent some time seeking Him.  Spend some time today thinking about the truth that you know that you know that you know God is craving to fill your heart with.

(From Christi & Colleen Dent:  Here is your Rock, Diane!  We made this especially for YOU!)

Rock_Diane

Let’s all echo Lisa’s prayer for us on page 117:

Dear Heavenly Father,

May we, Your daughters, be one with Your heart and heaven’s purpose.  May our very lives be an intricately woven expression of all that You long for us to live, touch, see, hear, and have.  Make us one.  We submit to Your process.  Have Your way in the fiery forge and in the baptism of water.  Shape us into something so fierce and flexible that every facet of our lives would declare Your love and power to save.  In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Thank You Jesus!

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Day 4 of our Anniversary Celebration!

Well, have you enjoyed our week long celebration so far???  We sure have!  I can’t wait to tell you what our next giveaway is! Another exciting gift!!

How many of you struggle with taking care of your body physically?  If you are like me, you want to, but maybe you just don’t know how to get started!  You don’t know the first thing about eating healthy, or what exercises may be right for you, and so on!  Well, we want to bless one lucky winner with a ONE-HOUR SESSION with Wellness Coach / Fitness Designer Crystral Breaux!!

Breaux Announcement

I am so VERY EXCITED about this giveaway.  Crystal is new to Girlfriends Coffee Hour, but she is not new to wellness, fitness, or blogging!  She not only blogs for GCH, she blogs for CreatedWoman.org, as well.  She offers some amazing wellness tips and fitness advice in both blogs!  Beginning in June, Crystal will begin taking your personal questions and answering them on her blog right here on Girlfriends Coffee Hour!  No matter what your question is about (food, or fitness, etc.) she will address them on our At Home with GCH blog the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

The question of “where do I start” is just one “comment” away!

All you have to do to enter this drawing is read today’s blog and then make a comment below in regards to what God spoke to you in today’s blog!  That’s it!

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE COMPLETED BY 8PM CST TONIGHT.
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OUR FACEBOOK COMMUNITY PAGE, ON MAY 11th.

Girls With Swords: Chapter 3 Weekly Review – “You Might Be A Hero”

Click Here for Next Week’s Reading Schedule

What a road trip this has been for the five girlfriends—Jennifer, Teresa, Tonya, Diane, and Martha—who started out going to a women’s retreat!  As they traveled down the road toward their destination, their “side-splitting giggles,” suddenly came to a halt as they saw a road sign that read:

Prince of Darkness

 

Voting unanimously to continue their journey, despite knowing they were a TARGET, they realized the key to being victorious in battle against the enemy was choosing the right WEAPON.  To get their thoughts together, they pulled over at a rest stop.

It was here that they had a surprise visit by approximately 125 women.  “We’ve heard about your decision to enter into the Prince of Darkness Territory, and we want to join forces with you,” Christi said.

Much discussion went on between the two groups about the choice of weapon, ranging from the purchase of  heavy artillery guns to God’s Word.  The five girlfriends stood their ground about their choice of weapon—God’s Word.

Finally, Christi stepped up on top of a picnic table, and gave a roaring speech:

“We should be seeing the sick healed, the lame walk, the blind see, cancers falling off of people, lives miraculously changed because of Him!!  We should be laying hands on the sick and through the power of the Holy Spirit, see them become whole again!  We should be spreading the gospel so much more than what we are.”

It was then that the two groups were united and a choice of a weapon was decided upon:  God’s Sword (God’s Word).

After a time of worship under the moonlight in that roadside park, these two groups, who had met as strangers in the night, realized that this had not been a chance meeting. It was as though God, Himself, had ordained this meeting, and they all felt that their previous plans should be canceled, and they were to spend an extended time together.

It was decided that they would check into a nearby campground, and study Lisa Bevere’s book, Girls With Swords, which some of them had brought along with them on their trip.  The others, whipped out their Kindles, and quickly ordered it.

And so it was, on the first night they gathered around the campfire at the campground,  their discussion centered on Chapter 3 in Lisa’s book, You Might Be a Hero. Lisa defined a female hero as:  superwoman, champion, conqueror, star, protagonist, lead, and brave woman.

Jennifer started the discussion off by giving her own personal testimony:

“At age 24, I was told I would never bear a biological child. Too stunned to form a coherent thought, the next eight years of my life went by in a haze of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. I was lost, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. My lifelong dream was to have a baby who looked like me with my husband who loved me. I had plans! I had dreams! I had hopes! In an instant, all seemed lost.  But, He alone rescued me the moment I turned my burden of infertility over to Him, and decided not to carry it on my back anymore.

Just as Lisa says: “Your journey toward becoming a hero begins when you simply grant God permission to have His way.”

Ladies, I share my story with you because I need for you to know something very important:  “Right now, where you are, you are living part of God’s story.”

Teresa:  I don’t know about you, but when I read Hebrews 11 and recount the heroes of the faith, the last thing I see is ‘nobodies.’

Each of the people listed in the Hall of Faith died not even knowing the impact their life would have on the world.  All they knew was that they were chosen by God to go wherever He asked, do whatever He needed them to do, protect whomever He needed them to protect, feed whoever was hungry, build what He said build, stand when He said stand and FIGHT when God said fight.

THESE are our ancestors.  They passed the torch on to us normal people of God to continue the fight.  This mild-mannered Jesus girl may look ordinary on the outside, but I have a HERO living inside me that needs to save the world.  We cannot lead people spiritually where we have not gone. 

Tonya:  What does it take for us as women to feel like heroes?  Is it our ability to multi-task throughout our day, our ability to utilize the sixth sense that women are said to possess?

It all boils down to this:

Zechariah4_6

Yes, we are called to be heroes in our day, to wield swords, to be superhuman, and to be brave. This can be terrifying. But, our superhuman abilities come from—His Spirit, the power of our sword comes from—His Word and, in times of fear, we need to remember who we can run to, who we answer to—the Lord.

Diane:  Each night before I close my eyes for the day I am reminded of these words: TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, FAITH, and SALVATION  with the words, “live by these, apply these” underneath.

Some days I imagine myself with the prettiest pink, bedazzled sword you could ever imagine.  I picture my perfectly pink armor filled with sparkles, and I get this joy deep down in my heart because I imagine so clearly God’s words and actions of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation covering every inch of that bedazzling pink armor and weaponry He has handpicked for me to use.

Ephesians 6 says:

  1. God is strong, and He wants His daughters to be strong.
  2. His weapons are supreme.
  3. With these weapons in hand, nothing the enemy throws at you will knock you off your course.
  4. You are in a spiritual battle between life and death.
  5. If you prepare now, you won’t be caught off guard.
  6. You can’t do this in your own human strength.
  7. True, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are life’s applications.
  8. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.
  9. Prayer is not optional.

I picture all of us: swords in hand, shields in place, bedazzled in GOD’S TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, FAITH, AND SALVATION; standing tall, shouting prayers of all kinds to our Holy God in Heaven, as we leave behind all of Satan’s lies that kept us tied down from the something we have been craving:  God Himself.

 After Diane spoke, other women in the group spoke up:

  • What I loved about Jennifer’s story was that, not only are our lives a gift, but also the story that we are in.  God has already written us into the story of faith heroes—we all have a story He can use.
  • I liked what Lisa said about having to fight a battle more than once to win. Most of us want to give up when we don’t succeed the first time.
  • Tonya’s words were spoken like a true hero.  Sometimes it is hard to remember that we do have the source and strength to be superheroes if we would just ask.
  • I’m not going to be able to envision putting on my armor again without it being pink and bedazzling!

And on into the night, as these women sat around the campfire, many women spoke out about their desire to be a hero. They agreed to meet back the next night to continue their study. This group who were once strangers in their natural habitat, had now been united “in one accord as sisters in Christ.”

*****

Let’s Pray:  Father God, we are so grateful that You have united us together. As we study Your Word, may we become “doers of Your word, and not just hearers.”  As we do, we rest with assurance that we can quench all the fiery darts of the enemy.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

*****

If you would like to join us for the “Girls with Swords” Online Bible/Book study, click HERE to be taken to our sign-up page.  Once you complete the enrollment process, we will email you further details.  We hope you will join us!