Dispelling Lies by Trish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s 2018 and what are we as women going to do differently this year to grow, to challenge and to “become”?  By now I’m sure there have been many to-do lists, goals, plans and vison boards created to help us stay on task with what we desire to see fulfilled in this year. Be mindful that as soon as you take that first step towards self-improvement and growth, there will be an enemy waiting to launch missiles your way to get you off course and discourage your faith. One of the greatest tactics used against humanity are lies planted in our thought lives. The more we allow these lies to marinate in our brain the more power we give it to grow. Like a weed, it grows, rapidly choking out what was meant to give life and beauty such as those dreams and goals.

For us as women, most of us are moved by words. We take to heart what is said and what is not said. Some may refer to it as being, “too sensitive,” when in fact we have a God-given gift of feeling things very deeply. Our heart is attached to how words make us feel. It’s part of our make up as women.  So when either a person or the enemy speaks lies we must dispel these lies and replace them with the truth of God’s Word. As I thought about penning this article I began to list some of the top lies used against women and I want to encourage you to disarm the enemy by dispelling such lies.

Lie: 1 You aren’t valuable//Truth: Your worth is far above rubies

Proverbs 31:10King James Version (KJV)

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

 Have you ever noticed that exquisite items aren’t visible? They are kept behind a locked counter out of sight and definitely out of reach. That is because the owner knows what has been invested to obtain such an item of worth and is not willing to risk it being mishandled or taken without its value being compensated for. Before I was married I would meet guys I was interested in or vice versa and it just never worked out. I felt like I was doing something wrong or being punished for something. I felt that way until God revealed to me I wasn’t being punished I was being protected. YOU ARE VALUABLE and you cannot rely on someone else to identify or validate this for you. You are not being “shelved” or set aside because you aren’t valuable. If you haven’t been “revealed” for a particular position or person, perhaps God is reserving you for those that can handle correctly the gift you are and value you bring.

Lie: You aren’t pretty//Truth: You are made in the image and likeness of God

 Genesis 1:27New International Version (NIV)

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

 What defines beauty? Let me remind you it is not in the hips, lips, booty and breasts. Those are temporal and going to change in time. Society has created a picture that beauty is all of these things and more. The beauty you carry should come from the inside of you and when you know your worth and where your beauty comes from it will show up in how you care for yourself and represent the God you serve. Notice I did say it would show up in how you care for yourself. Meaning beauty isn’t only having a good heart, but it also means caring for and presenting yourself like the queen you are. The essence of beauty is found in the image of who you mirror or represent.

To the young lady who is constantly comparing your waist size to someone else. Stop. You are enough.  Take care of who you are and walk in your beauty confidently whether size 2 or 22.

To the lady who has never been told, “You’re beautiful,” I’m telling you now that you are.  To the woman whose husband has eyes that have wandered elsewhere, don’t doubt yourself and mistake beauty for airbrushed images and fake body parts.

Lie: You’ve made too many mistakes//Truth: You can do all things through Christ

 Philippians 4:13New International Version (NIV)

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 I love reading about people who have failed in life and yet have had this amazing comeback moment that launched them into destiny and purpose.  Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Colonel Sanders to name a few. Then in the Bible we have those who were unlikely candidates for success.  Moses with a speech impediment, chosen to lead God’s people, David, a ruddy kid on the back side of the mountain chosen as King, Mary, an adolescent girl chosen to give birth to the Messiah. So, who are you to tell God and others what you’re not capable of doing?

You are created to win, to excel and overcome EVERY obstacle. No weapon formed against shall be successful.  You are a daughter of God, which means you are royalty.  Don’t allow a lie to cause you to question your role or forfeit your dream!

Photo Credit:ID 46088472 © Stepan Popov | Dreamstime.com

Re-Focus In 2018 by Sonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entering into 2018 made me think about what my focus will be for this New Year. I don’t want to live the same, but be changed by God in who I am in Christ. I realized at times I put God on the back burner not even realizing it and allowing my family to come first. Family is not bad in itself, but if I am allowing it to come before God then I am off balance and my focus is wrong.

As I reflect on 2017 and all of God’s goodness and blessings, it makes me realize my need and importance in Him. Re-focusing my goals and changing my priorities on what Christ wants me to do and live each day for Him. He only gives us so many hours in a day and I want to make the most of them and not sit back on the sidelines and watch. My desire for each of you and myself for 2018 is to allow God to use us in new ways and change the way we think.

Our focus should be on the things of heaven and not of this world. I am challenging each of us, and most importantly myself, to let God transform us and step out of our comfort zones and walk on new territory. It could be serving God in places that are uncomfortable for you like the homeless shelter or nursing home, or working with individuals that have special needs. God is challenging me to work more with human trafficked victims and go into hotels to build awareness. For each of us it will look different. Another way God can challenge us is to love in a new way toward people that may be unlovable. I have a few family members that are hard to love, but God is calling me to love them unconditionally no matter how they treat us. These are just a few areas that God can challenge us in the areas of serving and loving others.

My prayer for each of you is to refocus this year on the things that matter to God and draw near to Him through His word, through prayer and mediation. The deeper we get with God the more we look like Him and people will see Christ in us.  As 2 Corinthians 3:18 puts it, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2018 is the year for the change and becoming more like Christ. Are you ready? Let’s get started, don’t sit back, be the change!

More Than Enough by Trish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At church recently one of our leaders was sharing on allowing Jesus to be enough in our lives. I sat and listened and thought, “that’s a great little message,” and I appreciated it in the moment it was spoken to us. It wasn’t until days later when I had a few moments and was left alone with my personal thoughts and took inventory of some hurts in my life and even some losses that this “little message” hit me like a ton of bricks. My eyes could not hold back the tears and it was as if a dam broke and the floods came.

I just sat and prayed quietly asking God for His peace, His strength and then a simple, yet profound message was brought to my remembrance, “Let Jesus be enough right now, let Him be enough.”

I don’t use the “Jesus Card” as a pass or my faith as a crutch. Being a believer does not make life perfect or pain obsolete. Putting faith in God is not pixie dust that is sprinkled instantly turning hardships into rainbows and sunshine. It’s a very deliberate decision to trust God no matter what you see with your eyes and all the more what you feel.

In that moment where I felt alone and overwhelmed, I had a decision to make. I could either be “in my feelings” or activate my faith. Faith says, “I am never alone and that He will never leave me or forsake me.” Faith says, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Faith says, “I always win and I am more than a conqueror.” What more could I want or need in life? I’m on the winning team and serve a God who is all powerful and undefeated!

There is nothing wrong with having a moment and giving yourself permission to process what you feel but DON’T STAY THERE! In the areas where I sulk over what isn’t right in my life I’m actually demonstrating an ungrateful heart towards a Father who moved heaven and earth to restore love to my life.

I have so much to be grateful for and every good thing in my life has come from a loving Father. It is very true that I have things in my life today that I prayed about for years. There is always something more that is desired or a situation you wished were better, but no matter the circumstance, no matter the obstacle, there is someone who has all you will ever need. This year let Jesus be enough in all areas of your life!

Photo Credit:ID 50074678 Glebska | Dreamstime.com

Selective Amnesia by Kenika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philippians 3:13-14

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” 

The Apostle Paul writes a letter to the Church at Philippi from prison. Paul, the one who was actively changing the world, stayed on fire, started churches, wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, and arguably the most spectacular Christian who ever lived, humbly says, “I’m not perfect, I’m not even there yet.”  This should provide every one of us with a collective sigh of relief.   I mean after all, Paul was pretty much “the man” if you ask me.  He endured beatings, betrayals, shipwrecks and danger upon danger. He surely could have boasted of all he’s done for Christ and His mission.  Yet Paul chose not to look back on his accomplishments. He didn’t want them to steal or lessen his focus and entice him to complacency and indifference.  He didn’t even look back at his failures.  In essence he says it all amounts to nothing.

He’s encouraging the Church to look at their lives the same way.  All of your accomplishments were great and they brought you to where you are today.  But they are not where you end.  There is so much more that God wants to accomplish through you.  He wants to continue to use you for His divine purposes.  All of your failures were no doubt debilitating, but that’s okay, there is still so much more for you to do.

In verse 12 of Philippians chapter 3, Paul talks about knowing Christ in the fellowship of His sufferings and His resurrection power.  Do you know everything there is to know about Christ?  Only an immature person would say, “yes.” So assuming you’re mature and self-aware you answered “no” to that question.  When I answered “no” I realized then if that’s the case, there is no such thing as plateauing.  The concept of getting to a point in your life and having no further direction or getting stuck in the place of, “What’s next?” becomes absolutely powerless. Choose to have selective amnesia about all of the accomplishments and the failures of your past.  Forget about them. They don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of life in Christ.  He is the object of our affection. He is the goal of all of our efforts and striving.  Paul is saying, get to know Christ better.  Through suffering, through trials, through highs and lows, you have never been closer to Him.  As you seek Him you will find all of the purpose, meaning, and satisfaction your heart could ever muster up.

Photo Credit:ID 85374160 Mark Adams | Dreamstime.com