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Preview: CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE/ A PASTOR'S WIFE

Deborah Shank



DEBORAH SHANK *** Ministering, Coaching and Mentoring to inspire others to live large for Christ.



Updated: 2017-07-29T04:05:42.790-04:00

 



Busyness is a Tool of the Enemy

2016-04-18T13:37:22.435-04:00

I can honestly admit I have never heard the audible voice of God speaking to me but I have felt God speaking to my heart many times. Sometimes I was even tempted to ignore it but the Holy Spirit would not allow that to happen. God penetrated my heart and there was no peace until I acted upon His instruction. Ever been there?

The story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19: 11-19, reminds us that God doesn't only reveal Himself in powerful, miraculous ways. Elijah knew that the sound of gentle whisper was God's voice. To look for God only in something big like rallies, churches, conferences, or highly visible leaders, may cause us to miss Him. God is often found gently whispering in the quietness of a humbled heart.

Are you listening for the voice of God? Step back from the noise and activity of your busy life and listen humbly and quietly for His guidance. It may come when you least expect it.

Blessings!



Psalm 23 Revised.....

2016-02-17T20:45:30.157-05:00

My life at times seems absolutely overwhelming. Can you relate! When my week is packed with zero down time it is easy to become frazzled. I try to focus only on one day at a time. This seems somehow to help me manage my schedule easier. God is so good and He always seems to make a way for me to have a little "white space" in my life when I am facing a challenging week.


In conversation with a dear friend recently, she told me that she was reciting Psalm 23 each morning but not how we read it from our Bible.  She rewrote the Psalm in her own words to personalize the prayer.  For her it seemed to bring peace into her life as she navigates through her day. What a great idea!

I  have been doing the same thing for several weeks in my own life. It really has brought meaning to the madness of my convoluted schedule! I encourage you to try it. Pray over Psalm 23 asking God to give you the words to personalize the prayer so it is fitting for your life.   Make a commitment to read it daily. It has helped me to bring balance into my life as I often struggle with finding that "white space" that brings clarity to my overloaded mind!

Psalm 23 - My very own personalized version.......

1. Lord, remind me that you are my source, strength and provider. I must depend upon your guidance today and lean upon the promises in your Word. I know in my heart that you will not lead me astray.

2. Lord, help me allow you to guide my steps today. Allow your places of solitude to re-energize me today so that others will see you in my life.

3. Lord, when I learn to be obedient and place my total trust in your will for my life, I will be content.

4. Lord, help me today not to fear anything that may come into my life. With you all things are possible. Speak peace into my life today Father.

5. Lord, help me to rest in knowing that you have my back no matter what the enemy may bring against me today. When my cup spills out today Lord, I pray that it is good stuff; uplifting and not destructive.

6. Lord, help me to realize today that my time on this earth is limited. Help me to realize that you have a specific plan and purpose for my life while I am here. Help me to be the Godly woman you are calling me to be so I can influence others in a positive way for the Kingdom of God. May all I do today Lord glorify and uplift the Kingdom. Amen.

Have a blessed day friends!



God Is Bigger Than Any Mountain You Face!

2015-11-10T16:19:30.958-05:00



The enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy!  If he can find just one way to bring discouragement and confusion into our minds he thinks he wins the battle!  I know life can be challenging but let us remember that God is on the throne and is fighting the battle with us each day.  Nothing we face is too big for Him.  It is in the valleys that we learn how to be tough and solid rock Christians!

The devil, according to legend, once advertised his tools for sale at public auction. When the prospective buyers assembled, there was one oddly shaped tool, which was labeled "Not for sale." Asked to explain why this was, the devil answered, "I can spare my other tools, but I cannot spare this one. It is the most useful implement that I have. It is called Discouragement, and with it I can work my way into hearts otherwise inaccessible. When I get this tool into a man's heart, the way is open to plant anything there I may desire."

While the devil is busy doing his thing in order to discourage Christians, God is also at work encouraging us to be all we can be for His Kingdom. When the devil beats us down, God lifts us up. While the devil is convincing us to throw in the towel and give it up, God is cheering us on to finish the race!

Waiting on God to open the right door or patiently waiting for the right ministry opportunity to come our way is not always an easy task. Most of us are very impatient folks and we want results yesterday. Life isn't that way and God often uses this time to prepare, shape and mold us into the persons we need to be to complete the work He has called us to do. I am thankful today that God controls my future.

Have an awesome and encouraging week. When the enemy comes knocking on your life, allow God to answer the door!!!

Blessings!



A Dream List - Why Not?

2015-09-24T12:34:53.334-04:00




Many times I have been encouraged to write down my goals and dreams both personal and professional. It is interesting to review those goals and dreams several years later and evaluate the list. Some may be accomplished and others may no longer be important to you.

Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it. (Habakkuk 2:2 KJV)

Writing down our goals and dreams - whether personal or professional - is a great tool for keeping them in front of you. As time passes, it's a great encouragement. When you are going through times like you feel you are going nowhere, your list can remind you of everything that you've accomplished. God is the Author and Finisher of your life.

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 NIV). God knows the future, provides our agenda and goes with us as we fulfill his mission, we can have boundless hope.

Maybe today is a good day to review your dream list ...........

Blessings and hugs!



Who Is Shaping Your Identity?

2015-06-10T08:52:54.240-04:00

Each day the world around you commands your identity by attempting to tell you who you are - or who you should be - by telling you what is important, how to spend your time and resources, by shaping your dreams, and telling you what values you should have. What the world is telling you about who you are may be a lie!

I am reminded of a story I read about a rancher who had been hunting in the mountains of West Texas. Up high on a cliff he came across an eagle's nest. He took one of the eagle's eggs back to his ranch and placed it under one of his hens sitting on her eggs. Eventually the eagle's eggs hatched. The mother hen took care of the eaglet along with her baby chicks who hatched at the same time.

The eagle made its home in the barnyard along with the chickens. It ate, slept, and lived just like the chickens. One day an eagle from the nearby mountain swooped down over the barnyard in search of prey. Trying to get her chicks and the eaglet to safety, the mother hen squawked loudly.

As the giant eagle swooped low across the barnyard he also let out a harsh scream - a scream made only by eagles. The young chicks heeded their mother's warning, but the eaglet responded to the call of the eagle. He took flight and ascended, following the eagle to the mountain heights.

The little eagle didn't know who he was. He was trying to be like all those chicks that surrounded him everyday. He didn't have an identity until he heard the loud, harsh scream from another eagle. He was living as a copy and not an original.

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6 NIV

We are his children now, not just sometime in the distant future. (1 John 3:1) Knowing that we are his children should encourage us to live as Jesus. Reminding ourselves daily that God designed a unique plan for our lives. His design is not for us to be copies of anyone else. His design for our lives is an original plan.

Don't settle for the world to tell you who you are! Don't allow yourself to become a copy of someone else.  Listen for His call. Seek His face daily. Meditate on His Word and through Christ determine who you are and what your purpose is for the Kingdom of God.

I am so thankful today for God's love.  He created me to be an original.  His desire is not for any of us to become copies of anyone.  His plan for each of our lives is definitely not a cookie cutter plan.  His unique design for our lives has been purposed to fulfill His will for our lives.  Pursuing His plan is exciting and challenging.  With God every day is a new day overflowing with opportunities and achievements for the Kingdom!

Blessings as you seek Him more!!!



Vision

2015-06-09T14:09:53.295-04:00

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision."
~ Helen Keller ~
This is such an awesome quote. Many people struggle today in all avenues of life because they have no vision. Churches and ministries struggle today because somewhere along the journey they lost their vision. Vision is eternal goals and dreams rather than temporary benchmarks.

Many things can destroy vision. Lack of resources, lack of planning, and lack of effort can all sidetrack and hijack vision. It is so easy to become focused on simply doing what has always been done because it is familiar and easy. It is easy to get focused on the problems instead of exploring ways around the obstacles.

We live and move and make decisions by what we can physically see. Obstacles in our lives block our visions and our dreams. How many times have you wished that you would have done something that you knew in your heart God called you to do? But you hesitated. You reluctantly made every excuse imaginable as to why you could not be successful in that particular venue.
Too many obstacles in your path? Isn't God capable of overcoming those obstacles? They are only obstacles if we allow them to block our vision and hinder God's will in our lives. Obstacles often keep us in our comfort zone and absolutely wipe out any vision we might have for ourselves.
Obstacles such as fear is huge.Whenever we are treading on uncharted waters it is much easier for us to stay in the boat where we feel safe. Getting out of the boat means going places we have never been before. Vision is going places we have never been before. Vision is stepping out of the comfort zone. Walking into areas that we have never experienced. Vision is trusting God and exercising faith that we often give lip service too. Vision is demonstrating the hand of God upon our lives.
Our God is an overcomer and He provides all that we need to chase the vision He has placed in each of our hearts. Dream big dreams. Chase after those dreams with passion and perseverance. If God has given you a vision for your ministry, He will also equip and provide what is needed in order for you to accomplish the challenge before you.
Where there is no vision, the people perish........... Proverbs 29:18. To accomplish anything in this life we must have vision. If we are attempting to navigate through each day purely by sight we are in serious trouble. Vision instills hope within us and challenges each of us to pursue God's will for our lives no matter where that may take us in this life.




A Flat Camel

2014-10-20T11:05:20.579-04:00

 

(image)
Ministry, as we all know, can certainly be a busy place. Sometimes that busyness can bring overwhelming discouragement and unbelievable stress into our lives. Ever been there?

An article by Jill Briscoe emphasized being so busy that we find ourselves in a place where there is no time to spend in the Word. Her relationship with God had grown thin because she had not spent time in prayer, like she knew she needed to. Her one statement was awesome, "I felt like a flat camel! The nourishment that should have been stored in my hump was gone!! Keep fresh in ministry. I was busy with ministry stuff, but it was all output and no intake. The inevitable result was a desert experience."

How are you doing today? Are you feeling like a flat camel? Has the nourishment stored in your hump disappeared?

Ladies, we are very busy creatures but we cannot give out what we don't have. We must be intentional about spending quality time with our Lord daily. A flat camel is not going to be very productive for the Kingdom.

I pray that your week will be filled with "special" time with God. Let's face it friends....... Our soul is more important than anything. If we are not careful and intentional, busyness can deplete us spiritually.

Have a wonderful week!



Be Encouraged!

2014-09-09T11:15:36.836-04:00

Last week was one of those weeks and Sunday was the topper! A full week of activity and then some. I am sure you know what I am talking about. A week filled to the brim with all kinds of ministry and personal obligations. And then attacks on your ministry…… The end result is a very tired and weary pastor’s wife. Do any of you understand where I am coming from today? Ministry can at times be a very discouraging and challenging journey.


As I was praying the last few days God reminded me how much He loves and cares about His children. We preach to our congregations all the time about encouragement and how magnificent God’s amazing love is. Well, when the rubber meets the road, this is where we truly discover how spiritual we are and how strong our foundation in Christ really is. Weak foundations in ministry never succeed.  We and the church grows under persecution. So this morning I put on my big girl pants, grabbed hold of God even tighter and I am doing this thing! God is awesome and He loves you and I more than we could ever possibly imagine.


I encourage each of you today no matter what you may be walking through to focus on God and what He has for your life and ministry. His plan is awesome and I know from experience that life's busyness and the challenges of ministry often steal our joy. We become so overwhelmed with our daily routines and obligations that we forget our purpose and the mission God has placed in each of our lives for the Kingdom of God.


God has a plan and guess what... You and I are in it! Isn't that exciting? He wants to use you and He wants to use me to further the Kingdom of God. That makes my heart jump with excitement. Serving Him is challenging and exciting. We never know what tomorrow will offer but we can know with God-confidence that our God will be by our side walking with us no matter what the day may bring. Loving us and giving us peace and strength.  But we must lean on Him and ASK for that help when we are struggling.


Give Him priority today and thank Him for His awesome plan for your life. Tell Him how much you love Him. We owe God so much for the transformation He has been responsible for in each of our lives. Be encouraged. God loves you!



Blessed Be Your Name!

2014-09-04T08:20:24.809-04:00

"Blessed Be Your nameWhen I'm found in the desert placeThough I walk through the wildernessBlessed Be Your name..."~ Matt Redman ~Lyrics from "Blessed be Your Name" The lyrics of this song are amazing. Although the song has been in the worship circuit for a while, as a worship leader, this is still one of my favorite songs. God is awesome and His name is blessed! C.S. Lewis once wrote, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." It is easy to praise God when we are on the mountaintop but it can also be difficult to raise our hands and shout praises to our Lord when we are wading through the muck of life's deepest valleys. Becoming wounded and discouraged is an element present in each of our lives. What do we do when we are hurting and disappointed? PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD! This is truly the antidote to our pain.Job is a great example for each of us. He was persecuted and deeply wounded. In the world's eyes he had it all but ended with nothing. Throughout life's pain and one discouragement after another Job continually worshiped and praised God. He didn't become bitter and angry. During the numerous heartaches he continued to connect with God, blessing His name and trusting Him for everything. Job's relationship with God was stretched to the limit yet he continued to cling to the Lord. In spite of all the adversity in his life Job refused to let go of God. Even in the midst of his suffering and confusion he knew that there is no other place to take all his problems but to God.Do we praise and worship God when we are having a major bad hair day? Do we call out blessings to His name when we are sitting in a ten mile backup on the beltway and are already thirty minutes late for an appointment that took one month to arrange? Are we rejoicing in the Lord when we are tired and weary from a long day at the office, our house is a mess, the laundry is piled higher than the washing machine, our children are tired and cranky and everyone is waiting for us to prepare the evening meal? Do we praise Him when we are in the midst of spiritual warfare and a number of hurtful things have been repeated about us and our family to others in the church? Do we truly worship God when everything goes wrong in our lives? It is certainly an easy task to worship Him when all is going our way. It's easy to be a fair weather believer. But when things get tough and life becomes challenging where do we stand? Praising God turns our attention away from the problems and trials of this life. His name is blessed whether we are in the valley or on the mountaintop. He is certainly worthy of our praise in all circumstances.My hubby and I have walked through many valleys in our ministry but God never fails to be there for us with outstretched arms. Praising Him in the midst of the storms brings peace and comfort to the weary. Blessed be His name! God is awesome. He is everything to me. He is my life.............. Praise Him today for all life is offering you. God has a plan. What you are walking through today is not a mistake. Rejoice in it and be glad! Blessed be His name![...]



Resigned Into God's Care

2014-09-03T12:42:45.747-04:00

True freedom from fear consists of totally resigning one's life into the hands of the Lord.
~ David Wilkerson ~

This is an amazing quote and really makes you do some deep soul searching. Can we really say that we totally resign our entire life into the hands of the Lord and practice freedom from fear? If that were true there would never again be worry, fear or stress in our lives. As much as I would love to say that I am at that point in my walk with Christ, I know in my heart that I'm not. And honestly, I don't know if I have ever met anyone who can say that they have completely arrived at that place.

I am striving everyday to be more like Him. I trust Him more and more each day as my relationship with Christ grows deeper. But I am sure that many of you can relate to how difficult it is to sometimes lay everything at the foot of the cross and walk away - never to pick it up again....... especially when it is heavy baggage regarding our children or other family members. Do we think God cannot handle whatever it is we are asking Him to do? Or is it that we just don't feel in control if we are not carrying the load? Fear is a dreadful thing and as much as I love the Lord and am committed to Him, there have been times in my life that I could not sleep at night fearing what may happen in the days to come.

I love the Lord with all my heart and I do trust Him with my life but there are times when worry rears its ugly head into my thought pattern or doubt enters my mind. My faith is strong and I know my God can do the impossible. When I find myself in those places of doubt or worry I know I need to pour myself more into God's Word and spend more alone time with my Heavenly Father. How about you friend?  Do you really trust Him with ALL things in your life? Every detail? No doubts or worries........

Following Christ is a second to second choice and it is up to me to determine how Christ will be represented in my life.  I want His light to shine bright in my life. My prayer is that those around me will see Jesus in everything that I do. I want His will for my life - not mine - and that has certainly stretched me further than I ever imagined.  Trusting Him today for what lies ahead tomorrow..........

Blessings!



Living in Victory!

2014-09-02T08:35:54.630-04:00

Are you living in victory today or is the devil shouting with joy because you are proclaiming defeat in your life?Remember the song Victory in Jesus?  It goes something like this, Oh victory in Jesus, My Savior forever, He sought me and He bought me, With His redeeming blood!!!!! With Jesus,we are victorious in this life no matter how many bends in the road or potholes we have faced this week!No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NIV)Believers have always had to face hardships in many forms: persecution, illness, imprisonment, even death.  When we are facing trials and the fiery darts of Satan we often tend to think that we are the only people who are dealing with such challenges. We face discouragement and the enemies of darkness each week. Some trials are stronger than others but all of us are treading storms of some magnitude in our lives.Facing trials encourages us as Christians to exercise our faith. We should not pray away those trials. We need to ask God to manifest His power and love in us so we can respond with Christlike character when the enemy is pounding on our doors. Remember - people can only intimidate us if we allow them to use that tool. God is bigger than anything this world and the demons of hell can offer. No matter how much discouragement you and I may be dealing with, God is well aware of the circumstances. It may not be today or tomorrow but in HIS timing the Lord will resolve the issues that we are struggling with. If we trust God and completely hand it over to Him the enemy will be defeated. During these trials God is building our character and integrity. He is solidifying our foundation in Christ. The Lord is molding us and making us stronger for the bigger storms that are brewing in the seas of life. He continues to groom you and I for the work He has for our lives.The Message says it all: With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for you and I. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between you and Christ's love? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. Romans 8:37 PRAISE GOD, HALLELUJAH AND AMEN!God is our hope and our strength today, tomorrow and forever. He is our safety, our comfort and our encouragement. He loves His children and He always protects us. If we dread life and fear people how can we possibly say we are trusting God with our lives? If God is for you, who can be against you?We are victorious with Jesus Christ! Demonstrate that victory today to those around you. Allow them to see Jesus in you.Blessings![...]



Effective Leadership Is Not An Event

2014-08-28T21:22:09.768-04:00



For anyone who serves in a leadership position, you have an awesome responsibility to consistently develop and mature spiritually. Effective leadership in churches is a product of spiritually mature Christian leaders. This is a process which demands hard work, commitment and time. There is never a quick fix to spiritual growth.

Leadership is a broad term. Women are leaders and many often fail to recognize that concept. Just think about all the multi-tasking which is required of you daily. You take care of your children, grandchildren, hubby, home, finances, etc. Many women are SAHM but many also work outside the home. And still many women are care-givers for their parents. Do you teach Sunday School, Missionettes or Children's Church? If so, you are serving in a leadership role and impact lives weekly. Multiple responsibilities and numerous leadership opportunities are at your finger tips.

How do you remain sane and effective in your role? How do you determine that you will not become stagnant in your Christian walk? How do you determine that you will continue to cultivate and grow to attain spiritual maturity? What steps do you take to make certain you do not burn out, stress out or lose out spiritually in the ministry?

Setting aside quality time each day for you and God is a requirement. You will not be a success in your role as a leader if the relationship between you and God is not cultivated and nurtured daily. Paul compares spiritual maturity to a plant in Colossians 2. We don't just place a seed in dirt, add water and expect a plant the next day. In order for that plant to develop into its purpose, cultivation of the soil, sunshine and rain are requirements. Without these elements it will simply remain a seed and rot in the ground. Without spiritual maturity you will wither and die. Spiritual growth is a requirement in order for you to develop and bloom as God has planned for your life.

Sounds simple doesn't it? We know better! Satan will discourage you in your journey as you commit time to read your Bible and pray but God is your source, strength and the answer to all of life's challenges. If you are determined to be effective as a leader and a Christian, God will provide the tools for your success. Spiritual growth is not an event - it is a lifelong process.

Blessings friends!



Who Is In Your Driver's Seat?

2014-08-27T11:39:09.662-04:00

(image) "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am."
Matthew 16:24 MSG

Have you ever known a leader who everyone wanted to be like? He or she was a visionary, a wonder-woman, super man, incredible wife or husband, mother or father. Others would navigate to them and others followed what they did.

There will always be talented and gifted people who we will admire. We can certainly gain much from their expertise but ultimately Jesus Christ is the best role model you and I could ever have. His life is by far the greatest example of love, leadership, hard work, perseverance, humility, compassion and encouragement we could ever know. His life is the one you and I should desire to emulate.

Set your eyes on Him today and follow the leader, permitting His ways to become your ways. With Jesus in the driver's seat of your life, He becomes the ultimate role model. Following Him will allow you to become more and more like Him.

Blessings!



Lessons From the Raging Rapids

2014-08-25T14:58:04.577-04:00


A number of years ago Bobby and I were pastoring a church in Maryland and God called me to youth ministry. God certainly has a sense of humor doesn’t he? Anyway, we invited the youth group White Water Rafting one Saturday and what an experience that was for all of us!

As we navigated down the river our guides instructed us how to paddle the boat, especially when we encountered rapids. My hubby actually fell out of the boat at one point and was clinging to the side by a rope until we managed to pull him to safety. The river’s current grew fast and rough and we were challenged with some major rapids! The youth had an awesome time but I am not sure I will ever attempt that journey again.

I often think about that journey as we work diligently each week trying to keep some balance to our busy and over-scheduled lives. Many days I feel as though I am paddling as fast as I can to navigate down the river through those raging rapids.

Philippians 4:13 says, I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Can we really do everything? We paddle vigorously some days but are we truly getting anywhere?

The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do His will and to face the challenges that arise from our commitment to doing it. As we contend for the faith we will face huge rapids in the river like troubles, stress, and trials. I want MORE of GOD in my life!  I want others to see MORE of GOD in my life!  I want to know HIM MORE! I long to see more miracles and the supernatural this year....................

Pray and ask God daily to strengthen your paddles so that it will be easier to navigate those horrid rapids.We serve an awesome and powerful God. And for whatever reason, we often try to fix the problem on our own before using our paddles of prayer, seeking God’s face and asking him to help us. As we paddle through life we need to  remember who our source is. Allow Christ to take charge of the paddles and make the challenges you face much easier as you navigate those challenging rapids.

May God saturate your life with His power, anointing, blessings and love!



How Do You Respond to the Bark?

2014-08-21T09:02:52.294-04:00

"A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent." John CalvinI have had dogs as pets all my life. I love them because they are loyal and will love you unconditionally. Even when I arrive home after a very stressful day, they always greet me with wagging tails and are overly excited to see me. I know they will defend me no matter what the circumstance. They would protect me if someone attempted to harm me or my family. Can we say that about our faith in Christ? Where is our loyalty to the Lord? Do we defend our church, pastor and God no matter what situation we may be facing?Bobby and I have been pastoring for many years and ministry can be challenging. The one thing that frustrates me more than anything else is hearing about people whom consider themselves Christan's but choose to constantly bash the church, the pastor's, God's people and the Lord. How can we do that and think for a second that we are OK in our walk with Christ? And what about folks listening to these people complain and tear down God's Kingdom? How do they respond to the attack? Do they defend God or entertain the criticism? In my opinion, entertaining gossip and refusing to defend the church and pastor's places you on the same level as those who are barking!As Christians, we must defend the Word of God in all circumstances. To the world we are weird and different but didn't people look at Jesus the same way? He was criticized and ridiculed. Why do we think we will be spared that same type of treatment?Our world is full of corruption and compromise. People are hurting all around us. They feel hopeless and need Christ. We may be the only Jesus that some will ever see. What kind of Jesus are you portraying to the world? Is your life full of compromise or are you barking for Christ?Biblical faith is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". Regardless of the circumstance, faith in our Lord means that we believe that God can and God will deliver. It also means that we believe the Bible from cover to cover. This type of faith leaves little room for doubt. If we are truly demonstrating this type of faith in our lives we will automatically stand up and defend the things of God.Christians must demonstrate faith in their lives and believe that nothing is impossible when serving the Lord. If God said it, I believe it and that settles it! Tests of faith can be severe. They may involve things that deny logic. They may come in the form of a challenge or command that we may find almost impossible to accept. They may occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Our faith tests can involve things that seem to make little or no sense. They can even seem to conflict with things we have believed God for. But we can be confident that the one, the God who tests us also loves us. And He is all-knowing and wise. We can trust Him, even though the test we experience may seem to deny His love and wisdom.Tests can saturate our minds with questions of why. God holds the answer. We need to tightly embrace Him, trusting Him totally with everything in our lives. As Christians our lives become an example to others who are looking for a reason to hope and believe in this life. A famous hymn from the late 1800's urged Christians to "trust and obey." We may not understand what we are going through when we are tested, but we must trust God and continue to obey Him.I know without a shadow of a doubt that my God is the real deal. He has walked with me through the valleys and shared the victories on the mountaintop. I have placed[...]



God is My Provider, Protector and Everything Else......

2014-08-20T14:52:16.457-04:00

(image) I am thankful today for God's provision, protection and for always being there when life simply does not make sense. 


I will call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so I shall be saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:3


When I read this verse I don't necessarily think of my enemies in relation to people. I think of my enemies in the form of fear, doubt, discouragement, depression and lack of self worth or confidence. We tend to make the Bible complicated and that is not what God intended. God is our Rock and our Strength. God is our Refuge. God is our Deliverer. God is all things to everyone. As a Christian we have to tap into His resources in order to receive what God has for us. It is so easy but we tend to make it extremely difficult.

I am thankful today that I serve a simple God. Life can become complicated when we are trying to be patient waiting for direction from the Lord. But even in the midst of all the turmoil and confusion, God is there and He knows what tomorrow holds. He knows why we don't have the answer today for our future. And He knows why He is taking us on the scenic route to fulfill His will for our lives. Just plug into your resources. God is awesome and He invites you to experience Him in your own life in an awesome way!

Blessings!



Just a Word of Encouagement

2014-01-07T14:59:02.391-05:00

Happy New Year!  It seems like forever since I have had an opportunity to blog.  Life gets crazy busy if we let it.  Making some significant changes in my life this year to create margin.  

Just a thought of encouragement today!  Blessings!!




Be encouraged today. You are loved by God and no matter what challenges you may be facing, God's got this.





Persistence

2013-12-16T08:23:51.245-05:00

Good Morning Sweet Friends,


Here we are, just a little over a week before Christmas!! I bet your shopping is done, gifts are wrapped and cookies are baked right………….? Well I can tell you that isn’t the case in my life. So much to do and so little time to accomplish all the tasks on our plates. I love Christmas but every year is such a challenge for me to get it all finished by Christmas morning.

Persistence definitely has its rewards. We all have a zillion things to accomplish before Christmas morning and we will continue to work at it until it is all done. We have a responsibility to our spouse, families and our church family. But what about our persistence regarding what God has called us to do?

The lady with the issue of blood in the Bible was amazing. Have you ever really thought about how difficult it was for her to forge her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment? Jesus was on his way to Jairus’s house and people were all around him. Multitudes were surrounding him virtually making it impossible to get through. But one woman was persistent and determined to reach Him. Her faith was so strong that she knew if she could just touch the hem of his garment she would be healed. That friend is amazing faith!

I want that kind of faith in my life. When I am faced with overwhelming challenges I want to demonstrate faith that has no doubt . I want to demonstrate that same faith in my life when everything around me looks dark and hopeless. That level of faith will take us places we never dreamed were possible in our lives.

So, what will it be for you? We are quickly approaching a brand new year filled with many joys, doubts, challenges, and most likely some times of heartache. Our faith and trust in Jesus Christ will definitely carry us through to the end if we determine in our own hearts that no matter how difficult the journey to the hem of the garment – it will be worth it.

Be blessed friend. I pray for God’s amazing power to penetrate your life today. I pray for a special touch from God today for you and your family. God loves you so much. No matter what lies the enemy whispers in your ears, God’s plan is amazing and He longs to use you to further the Kingdom.








Stretch!

2013-09-19T13:51:31.401-04:00

(image)
Like rubber bands, our personalities, talents and gifts are different. We are not effective unless we are being stretched. There's no person who comes into this world fully equipped for success. Success is neither a magic nor a work of a genius. Success is due to our stretching to the challenges we face throughout this journey of life.

Many of us try to avoid STRETCHING. When something appears larger than we are, we tend to retreat. Why? Maybe it is FEAR. The unknown can really paralyze us. Maybe it is SATISFACTION. I believe when we really like where we are we become imprisoned within our comfort zones. Maybe it is LOW SELF-ESTEEM. Many people who experience low self-esteem have above average ability but they don't see themselves in that manner.

1 Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

I believe as we continue to serve Christ we find ourselves in a continuous mode of STRETCHING. Unless we are STRETCHED how can we possibly grow in the things of God? If we are going to serve Christ with everything we are we must be willing to step out of our comfort zone and allow God to STRETCH us according to His will. A rubber band serves no purpose until it is STRETCHED. When we totally surrender ourselves to God, expect the unexpected. We will be STRETCHED way beyond anything we ever imagined.

I wonder how many times in the past. when I refused to STRETCH for God out of FEAR, SATISFACTION or LOW SELF-ESTEEM the many blessings I missed because I didn't trust Him enough with my life?

My prayer today is that the Lord will continue to STRETCH me. I want to be used to reach unsaved men and women for the Kingdom of God however He chooses to do that. I want to connect with and encourage other pastor's wives and women in ministry who my be struggling in the ministry. Thank you Lord for the talent and the abilities you have given me. Thank you God for continuing to open doors of opportunity. You are so awesome!

STRETCHING never stops. Proverbs 16:3, Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. If we are not STRETCHING in our personal walk with Christ we cannot be as effective for Him as we really need to be. So STRETCH!

Remember - a rubber band is worthless unless it is STRETCHED.
Blessings and hugs!



Do You Dare To Make A Difference?

2013-07-30T11:05:09.308-04:00



For me, Monday is far more difficult to roll out of bed than any other day of the week! I am usually exhausted from the weekend and a full day of events on Sunday. My motivation when the alarm begins to "buzz' at 5:00 am seriously needs some help! I hear Starbucks calling my name!

Do you ever feel weary in the ministry? Have you ever questioned God about how you can really make any difference in the Kingdom of God?

God has a plan for you and I and that plan is huge. He tells us in His Word that we are to be imitators of Christ. That tells me that others need to see Jesus in me even when I am tired,weary and basically worn out!

All of us can make a difference for the Kingdom of God. I feel such an urgency in my heart for those who are unsaved. People need to know that God loves them and He is returning soon for His church. Christians need to continue being "busy" about God's business. People are searching for hope in a desperate world. God offers that hope and peace to those who surrender their lives to Him.

Preaching truth in church today is not popular. Those pastor's are often labeled "old fashioned and not relevant". Well friend, when the trumpet sounds, who really cares about being relevant. I just want to know that I know that I know, without a shadow of a doubt,  that I am washed in the blood of the lamb and on my way to heaven! How about you? Do you dare to make a difference in this world?





Let God Do It

2013-04-03T14:36:38.712-04:00



There are so many opportunities for ministry in the world today. 

A question has been resonating in my mind lately....... Is your ministry Me-Centered or God-Centered?  If God isn't the reason we are doing what we are doing, it has no value. We are nothing without Christ. He makes us everything that we are. He orders our steps each day. If we choose to be Me-Centered and focus on what we can do we will never accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God.

The enemy loves to bury doubt, insecurities  competitive spirits and lies into our minds. It isn't about us. It isn't about the size of our church or how well we preach.  It isn't about how popular we are in our circles. It isn't about comparing ourselves in ministry with one another.  It is about Jesus Christ and what He wants to do through you and me to accomplish His work for the Kingdom of God.  Let God do it!

Lord, help me to focus on YOU and your will for my life.  I pray that I will not allow the enemy to fill my mind with garbage that hinders what You are calling me to do.  May the joy of the Lord overflow from my mouth and attitude and may your anointing be evident in my life.  In your awesome name I pray. Amen
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Let's focus on being God-Centered women in all that we do. May you increase Lord and I decrease..... 





Beware of Those Traps!

2013-03-20T11:24:42.112-04:00

I was reading from Jude and verses 17-25 hit me like a brick! Verse 18 says, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." Oh my goodness! Does that hit home or what????There is so much confusion and turmoil in the church today. Many Christians are determined to follow their own ungodly desires which brings much confusion among others. The scripture goes on to say that these men divide you. Imagine that! Division in the church! Wow!So many want to wear that "Christian" banner across their chest but their lives certainly do not measure up to the characteristics God expects from His children.Satan is setting traps.  Christians often pursue their own agendas. Folks, when has it ever been about us?  It should be ALL about God and His Kingdom..... finding ways to reach the lost.  People are dying and going to hell daily and we are too busy nit picking about things in the church that really don't mean anything to God.  The enemy will do whatever it takes to bring division.  He will do anything he can to distract us from what is important.My hubby and I preach the truth from the Word of God and many become offended by God's Word. That isn't popular in our society today.  God's Word clearly states that sin separates us from our Heavenly Father and sin will not enter the gates of heaven. There is no maybe about that. The bottom line - if you have sin in your life you won't enter heaven. That may sound harsh to you but that is what the Word of God consistently tells us. Read it for yourselves. No where will you find in God's Word that you can live in sin and enter heaven. As Christians, we cannot compromise. We are to put on the characteristics of God daily. We are commanded to live by the ten commandments. They were written for you and I and still apply to our lives today.I know this isn't popular teaching but I also know we are truly living in the last days. The very elect shall be deceived and it is happening all around us. People who have served the Lord for years, pillars in the church, are turning away from the Lord. The enemy knows his time is short and he is setting traps for us. No matter how long you have served Christ beware of the traps. Don't ever think you cannot be fooled. Any one of us can fall if we are not careful.I encourage you today to read your Bibles and pray earnestly. Jude 20 says, "Build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit." God is our protector, our strength and our security. He loves us and He desires the very best for you and I. Satan hates us and our families. His only mission is to kill, steal and destroy and he is accomplishing that all around us. How many of us know people who are seriously struggling in deep sin? He has a tight grip on their lives and they have no desire to let go. He has filled their lives with blindness and deception to the things of God.To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy. To the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 24-25)Let's PERSEVERE in the name of Jesus!!  Don't fall in those traps!!Blessings friends![...]



Isolation is Dangerous

2013-01-29T14:28:45.487-05:00

Have you experienced loneliness in the ministry? Just sayin'.

As pastor's wives and ministry women, if we are not careful we can find ourselves in an isolated place where we feel we have no friendships with girlfriends who we can depend upon for encouragement and prayer. The kind of girlfriend you can text late at night or early in the morning because you are going through some heavy stuff and you need prayer.  A girlfriend you may not necessarily talk to every day but you know she is always there if you need her.

Loneliness is running rampant in the ministry among clergy and their spouses. Even when people seem to be around us all the time, we can experience a feeling of being alone. And the enemy loves it when he can bring discouragement and depression into our minds.Loneliness can manifest as an inner ache or a craving for affection. Its side effects include feelings of emptiness, uselessness, or purposelessness.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:7) NIV. 

Our true value is God’s estimate of our worth, not our peers’. Other people (even sometimes Christians) evaluate and categorize us according to how we perform, what we achieve, and how we look. But God cares for us because we belong to Him. So we can face life without fear and loneliness. Learn to guard your heart and don't isolate yourself.

God has promised to be with you always, and to never leave you or forsake you. Pray that God will send you genuine friends who are trustworthy and those who God Himself has chosen for you. Grasp His promise that He will comfort you and cause you to rejoice. Then get ready for the JOY and girlfriend chats while you are sipping your Starbucks coffee!





Be Grace With Skin On!

2013-01-24T15:32:26.838-05:00

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10).No one is a member of the body of Christ, the church, because they deserve to be. None of us grabbed God's attention by our perfection. We are sinners saved by the grace of God and although we are grateful for that we are not flawless.The church is actually a place for people who are needy, afraid, confused and sinful. Nothing is more contagious to the unchurched than to find a place where they can come and not be judged and intimidated by the false notion that the people all around them think they have it all together. No one can be more unapproachable than a group of Christ followers who have forgotten how they received God's grace. Nothing is more repulsive than a bunch of conceited religious sheep who are constantly biting other sheep.On the other hand, nothing is more contagious than a flock of humble sinners saved by the grace of God praising God for His love! Christians struggle also and it is refreshing to hear us admit that sometimes we wrestle with being obedient to the will of God in our lives. Sometimes we also make bad choices which effect our walk with the Lord.As Christians we need to focus on cultivating a contagious attitude so that the unchurched will want what we have regarding our relationship with the Lord. God allowed us to come to Him for salvation even in our imperfect state, while we were still sinners. He is perfect and Holy but He didn't wait for us to clean up our act and then allow us to come to Him. He accepted us just the way we were so we could ask God to forgive us right were we were of our sins. He cleansed us and made us white as snow at that moment. He wiped the slate clean. Our sins were forgiven and buried in the deepest sea.We must allow others to come searching for Him the same way. We must encourage them to come as they are. We need to destroy any barriers that stand in the way of the unchurched coming to God because they think they don't measure up to our standards or are not good enough. We must guard against sending out the wrong signals to others who don't yet know Christ. And we need to be mindful of the harm criticism regarding other Christians can do to those who may be listening.A contagious Christ follower, a contagious church , is one where we don't boast about our goodness but we boast about the greatness of God! When Christ followers honestly admit that it isn't their goodness that earned them a place at God's table - it's so refreshing that it's contagious!Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory (Romans 15:7 NLT). Be grace with skin on.If you've ever been to an art museum or art exhibit then you know what it's like to marvel at the work of master artists. Some of these works of art are worth millions and others are considered "priceless" because of the rare talent utilized in their composition. Who gets the credit for painting the great work of art? The Master! The one who created the masterpiece gets the credit - whether it was Michelangelo or Rembrandt or Van Gogh or Joe Schmo. You wouldn't walk into a museum and begin to take the credit for the work and dedication and talent of the artist wo[...]