Recap of Women of Faith 2011

What a weekend!  I have been to Women of Faith on two different occasions but this is the first real getaway with my family (mom, aunt, sister, and cousin).  We had so much fun in Kansas City!  I was excited to see some new faces on the lineup (as well as some old favorites) and I wasn’t disappointed.

There are several speakers that share throughout the weekend.  They all have different backgrounds, stories, and messages.  There really is something for everyone.  Women of Faith speaks into the hearts of women of all ages in all stages of life!  God is using Women of Faith to encourage, instruct, and love on women everywhere.  I encourage you to look for an event coming up near you and bring a friend or two or three…. 🙂  You will laugh and you will worship and you will probably cry a little too…  You will walk away encouraged! http://www.womenoffaith.com/events/

Some highlights from the talented speakers:

Patsy Clairmont: Sometimes God allows us to be in places of darkness to illuminate Him.  The enemy wants us to feel alone.  Our issues are common.  God has designegd us with a will that is stronger than our emotions!  We don’t have to be victims of our emotions.  We can act differently than we feel.   Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath.  Change doesn’t always come packaged in the way we anticipate.

Andy Andrews: Live intentionally.  What you put into your mind and heart matter.  We can’t filter it.  Choose wisely.  God feeds the birds but he doesn’t put the worms in the nest.  Get up, get out, and do.  Smile when you talk.  Share God’s love before you even open your mouth.  Everything you do matters.  Everything you don’t do matters.

Lisa Whelchel: Share your heart with others.  There is a difference between being transparent and being vulnerable.  Be a good friend.  Be a good listener.

Brenda Warner: Our circumstances do not determine who we are, God does.  I choose to have faith.  I choose God.  I will worship God no matter what.  We are the head and not the tail.  We are above and not below.  We will find favor with man and God.  we were created in the image of God to do good things and love people.

Sandi Patty: We must pick up God’s word every single day and believe it.  Do not operate as though the world’s lies are true.  We are enough for God and God is enough for us.

The Women of Faith worship team is awesome.  We also heard pretty songs from Sandi Patty and Amy Grant!

My December baby…

We decided it was time to make our family of 3 a little bit bigger.  Apparently, we are super fertile and I conceived within the month.  We were surprised but so excited!  I created a Shutterfly photo book and the last picture was a baby announcement photo.  We surprised our immediate families by having them look through the book and figure it out themselves.  After an ultrasound the due date was set to December 26th and everything looked great around 7 ½ weeks.  We went in four weeks later for what should have been the 11 ½ week appointment but the Dr. couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat so we had an ultrasound done right away.  The baby had died around 9 ½ weeks and my body just wasn’t reacting.  We were heartbroken. I looked at the calendar and realize the baby died around the same day that my Beloved Grandmother also left this world.  That made it harder but I also had the image of my Grandma loving on my unborn baby in Heaven with Jesus and teaching him or her some of her little sayings like, “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”  That was comforting but made me miss my Grandma even more.

We knew of other close friends that had gone through miscarriages but just didn’t expect this happen to us.  We were praying for this baby before he or she was even conceived.  Everything seemed perfect.  I had a D&C done the next day.  Walking around with a dead baby inside of you is a very awful feeling.  Walking around with an empty womb when there should be a baby growing inside of you can be even worse.

They say the instance of miscarriage is around 50% with many miscarriages happening so early the mother doesn’t even know she conceived.  Some of my very best friends have experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage.  Some friends have had “natural” miscarriages, some “missed” miscarriages like me in which a D&C was required, and some have even had ectopic pregnancies.  I’ve seen their heartaches and walked through some of the grief with them.  They did the same for me.

It’s hard to explain what I felt after this happened.  I was shocked, dismayed, sad, angry, disillusioned, and at peace in a very short time frame.  One minute I wanted to try to conceive again as soon as possible and after a few weeks I realized my body needed time to heal and so did my heart.

I talked to my friends that had gone through miscarriage a bit and that helped because they knew exactly what I was feeling.  I leaned on my family.  I cried with my Mom.  I allowed myself to be sad but I didn’t stay there.  I knew that God was in control and his plan was much better than mine.  I trusted in Him even when I was hurting.  “For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

I just rested in God’s love and peace.  I placed my hope in Him, again.  I’m still sad about my December baby but I’m not broken.  God took care of me.  I want to encourage others to reach out and find healing if they have experienced miscarriage and have a hard time dealing with the emotions that inevitably parade through our hearts.  Sometimes it takes longer to heal and some of us need a little extra support.  That’s ok.  We’re all in this together.  You don’t have to grieve alone.

Be Glad

I have been studying Revelation with my friend Sara this summer.  Thanks to Beth Moore, many Bible Scholars, and God’s revelation we have learned so much!  Revelation is full of daunting events and strange word pictures but overall, in general, we “get” it.

Yesterday, during our lesson Beth Moore taught on the wedding supper of the Lamb and the raucous praise that will occur when Babylon falls.  We are told in Revelation 19:7 to “..rejoice and be glad and give him glory!”  The only other time we have this term “rejoice and be glad” in the New Testament is found in Matthew 5:12.  This is found in the Beatitudes and the people are told to “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”    Now Revelation has quite a bit to say about the blood of the persecuted saints but that isn’t where I am going today…

The Greek word for “glad” is agalliao (ag-al-lee-ah’-o) and means from again (much) – to exult, rejoice exceedingly, be exceedingly glad.  We are told to hallomai (hal’-lom-ahee), to leap!  We so often say things like “I’m so glad….I made it on time, the sermon/lecture is over, we don’t  have to wait for a table….”  This is not the same type of glad mentioned here!  Are we spinning and leaping in delight for the Lord?  Are we praising him with exuberance?

My husband, son, and niece came home from the Downtown Farmer’s Market after Sara and I were finished with our study yesterday.  They had picked out a beautiful flower to give me and guess what kind of flower it was -a  GLAD!  Enjoy and be reminded to serve our AWESOME GOD with true gladness!

Ramblings on Heaven

Maybe I didn’t pay attention to the sermons and teachings about Heaven as I was growing up but they were certainly few and far between.  Why don’t we (the church) talk about Heaven?  I think many of us believe that Heaven will be a place full of disembodied spirits floating around singing hymns for all eternity.  It sounds kind of boring doesn’t it?

Through reading the Bible and Heaven by Randy Alcorn I’ve come to understand that Heaven is truly all about God.  When we are in Heaven we are literally in God’s presence.  God is not boring therefore we will never be bored!  I’m excited about the fact that sin will not exist in Heaven.  We will finally be free of sin and of the fallen world we currently live in.  God will RENEW our earth and we will all reign here.  A renewed earth with our resurrected/redeemed bodies…  There will not be a single soul void of purpose and fulfillment.   How cool is this?!  I’m just really excited about Heaven… I definitely recommend searching the Bible for truths on Heaven and reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn.  My mind has completely been challenged and transformed in this process.

2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 22:5 (and so many others….)

 

 

Categories God

Trading June Cleaver for Carrie Bradshaw

Trading June Cleaver for Carrie Bradshaw hasn’t worked out so well for us.  We are trying to define who we are outside of God’s plan.  Our Creator is a designer.  When creation goes against the Creator we have problems.  No wonder we aren’t happy!  Mary Kassian’s musings on women is a short article that prompted me to reflect on my own journey and desires.

You can read it here:

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/hear-me-roar-musings-on-womens-history-month

Categories God

Rachel Hauck’s, The Narrow Road of Salvation

With permission from Rachel Hauck, here is her latest blog post on The Narrow Road of Salvation:
Last Friday night I sat in a small, elegant prayer room, Open Door House of Prayer, in Ft. Pierce listening, tapping notes on my iPad, as a man shared about Jesus, about the things the Lord was speaking to and showing him.
I was filled with awe, stirred to know and love Him more. As the man spoke, scripture opened up in my own heart. (Note: Always a good sign the man speaking is not about himself but the God-Man, Jesus.)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14, New International Version, ©2011)
We quote this verse in the church as a salvation passage. Those who are saved are on the narrow path, and those who are not are on the road to destruction.
And that is true. Right. Jesus is the only way to salvation.
But yet, Jesus also said many are called but few are chosen. As I sat in the prayer room Friday night the reverent fear of the Lord began to stir my heart. The world is trying to make salvation wider, easier. The church is going along with eager enthusiasm. “Like us, like us! Sure, we’ll agree Jesus isn’t the only way.”
Danger! It’s the exact opposite. We need not be finding a way to widen the road to heaven, but opening our eyes to realize how very narrow it is!
We must go THROUGH Jesus. Not around Him. Not in front or behind him. But through Him which means we are completely lost in Him.
Rachel Hauck, You (insert name here) must be lost in Him. Not found any other way than IN Him. Meaning, who is Rachel Hauck? Only who He says I am and I don’t care about finding myself or being defined any other way.
Jesus loves humility. The Father loves Jesus and He is the only one in whom the Father is well pleased! Does Love Win?
Yes. In fact, Love already won. At the Cross. End of sentence. Some things in God are defined, exact and we can know! This idea that God is so awesome, wise and infinite we can’t understand Him is of the world.
We can know Him. How do I know? He sent His Son, THEN gave us the Holy Spirit. If you’re not knowing Him, maybe you need to ask the Holy Spirit to invade your world.
Jesus is the one whom the Father wants to glorify and magnify. And nothing, nothing will get in the way of His will — to glorify His son.
Not our fame, or well being, or will, or desires, or right to pursue happiness will distract the Father from making His Son’s name known in all the earth. Nothing! The Father WILL glorify His Son to the Nations!
Only God can reveal God.
We are called to be like Jesus. You know what He did? “Made Himself of no reputation.”
And what do I see in people, in me? Wanting to be of a reputation. Seeking to expand, broaden, redeem, polish, hone, care for and coddle MY reputation.
But Jesus is longing for HIS nature to be formed in me. In you.
See? The road is narrow!
Jesus is to be the center of everything. God is not going to allow His Son’s name to go on much longer as a powerless name.
Christianity has to be about a person, the Man Christ Jesus, not about performance, or oy! doctrine or theology.
We focus more on our doctrine than scripture. We give more credence to theology than Jesus.
We are so busy trying to “get out of here,” and we’re missing that He, Jesus, is trying to get into us and create perfect vessels!
John the Baptist said this, “He must increase so I can decrease!”
We have to let Him increase in us so we can decrease, so He can be formed in us.
Every day we live and breathe is precious to the Lord! Oh, how that makes my heart sing. We are here for a purpose. He is incredibly intentional!
In Christ is hidden all the wisdom and revelation. The New Testament is a revelation of the purpose of Jesus the Christ.
We must know the Word. We can’t rely on the doctrine’s and traditions of men. Not John Calvin. Not Rob Bell.
The road is narrow. To pass through we must let Christ be formed in us. We must ask Jesus to increase.
How can you tell if you’re choosing yourself or Him? What’s the focus of your want, belief, goal, or desire? If it’s not Jesus, pure and simple, it’s about you.
Same with me. Daily I have to lay down my wants. Yet, oh, how extravagant His love, His will, His desires for me. For all of those who love Him.
Love HIM! He’ll do the rest. And His best is beyond our wildest imaginations.
——————————————————————
What I think:
Rachel says, “Some things in God are defined, exact and we can know! This idea that God is so awesome, wise and infinite we can’t understand Him is of the world.  We can know Him. How do I know? He sent His Son, THEN gave us the Holy Spirit. If you’re not knowing Him, maybe you need to ask the Holy Spirit to invade your world.”
So often when I hear lies about the Bible I am immediately drawn to what the Bible says about that particular matter.   We use all sorts of excuses to not follow Scripture.  Scripture is truth because God says it is.  It really is that simple.  In addition to what we have as a physical reference, I KNOW God.  His Spirit lives in me and I have a relationship with Him.  So often we push truth away and we try to limit the power of the Holy Spirit.  Why?  We’re human and the nature of our hearts is selfish.  We want to believe what WE want to believe and live the way WE want to live because it works for us (or so we think…).  We need to stop and pray that God reveals sin and lies we believe which then affect our actions and every part of our lives.  We CAN walk freely in Christ.  We CAN know Him.
Some of my favorite references pertaining to the subject:
(Galations 5:1 NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Jeremiah 24:7 NKJV) ‘Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, {17} that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.