Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thanks Sharon!

Read the great reminder on yesterday's post from Sharon Beougher. Sharon Beougher will be a regular on this blog. She is an experienced leader in women's evangelism and ministry and her input in valuable. Welcome Sharon!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Gifted in Faith Through Prayer

My parents were very faithful in taking me and my two sisters to church and activities my whole life, but I never knew that a person had to invite Jesus personally into his or her life to be Lord and Savior until I was fifteen years old. I visited a little church down the street as a result of an invitation from some neighbors for whom I babysat. The first Sunday I went I sensed a warmth and sweet atmosphere that I could not describe. I met the pastor's wife, Mrs. C. C. Warren, a godly lady in her seventies. I went to the youth Bible study, which consisted of two other youth; they asked me if I had ever been saved. I did not know what they were really saying, but they explained the plan of salvation and I personally invited Christ to my Lord and Savior. Two years later, I headed off to UNC to major in music and then on to seminary at Southwestern Baptist to get a master's in Christian Education. While in seminary I received a letter from Mrs. Warren telling me that she had started praying for me when she met me that first Sunday I visited her little church and that she had prayed for me every single day for the previous eight years! She told me she prayed that I would come to know Jesus and to follow His will for my life.

The realization of her commitment to prayer touched me then as well as now. Prayer is vital to evangelism. Mrs. Warren demonstrated to me God's power through prayer in evangelism as well as challenged me in my own prayer life to pray for lost people in my circle of influence to come to Christ. Someone once said Satan fears nothing from prayerless work, prayerless church services, prayerless activites, but he trembles when we pray. May we all learn a lesson from Mrs. Warren to PRAY that we would have the maximum amount of influence on the maximum amount of people around us and that they would come to a saving knowledge of Him who loved us and gave His life for us.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Help please. Need Bible stories of women who used gifts to share Christ

The SBC in Louisville was awesome...yes, seriously! So many women serving in many ways to make it all happen. Some leading, some managing things, some serving by keeping children, some working with the booths, food, and the list goes on! It is an honor to serve at Southern Seminary and an honor to serve with everyone who is connect there! But, if you know me, you know I am on to the next thing! In about a week and a half, we will test the new evangelism material that I am working on called ECO: gifted2go. I need help...

What are some Bible stories and examples of women who used their spiritual gifts for the purpose of evangelism? For instance, someone who while serving, shared the gospel of Jesus Christ? maybe one who gave money so that others might come to know Him? or one who through teaching, taught evangelistically? Please, help me search the Scriptures and give me the references! Thanks so much!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mary, Martha, and the others

Of course I should be packing! The Southern Baptist Convention starts tomorrow (at least the Pastors' conference all other meetings) and tomorrow my family will be in Louisville, KY for the annual meetings. There has been a bit of spring cleaning at Southern so we are ready for lots of guests! I will see if I can't share a few thoughts here and there as we go through the week.

For now, here's the question...what about the other women? Remember the story of Mary and Martha. Mary was spending time at the feet of Jesus while Martha did the preparations. I'm guessing we have all heard it taught over and over again. My husband and I were enjoying all the festivities at a wedding today and got to talking about it. There must have been other women there. Maybe there weren't...but in real life, every woman doesn't fall into the category of Mary or Martha. Yes, some of us are worshippers and some are worker-bees. I like to think of myself as a Martha-turned-Mary. I love to work and be productive but I do know when to throw it all out and sit and worship. Anyway, have you ever noticed: there are some who just sit? They are not worshipping and they are not serving, not Mary or Martha. I wonder what Jesus would say to them? As I think about so many situations in churches, at conferences, and the like, I think there is a whole lot of sitting going on. I think we need to pray like Mary would about these sitters and be like Martha and try to get them plugged in. Just imagine if every women we knew were mobilized for the good of the kingdom!

God, please help me to be Mary or Martha or a combination but don't let me be one of the others!

Gotta go. Right now I need to be Martha!

Friday, June 19, 2009

1:30am thoughts on giftedness

So it's 1:30am and i am up. (What's new?) i'm doing the final edits for the new website pages. I'm just amazed at how God uses spiritual giftedness within the body of Christ. What's easy for one is not easy for another. The one with the gift of mercy knows how to comfort while the one who is a natural shepherd can teach/encourage/instruct someone over and over in the same disciplines and never tire of it. I just thank God for how He is using women and their spiritual gifts for Kingdom work.

For instance, take Jana as an example. I can't even remember when we met but chances are that i heard her sing before i knew her personally. She has the voice of an angel and a genuine worshipful love for the Lord and people flows from her when she sings. I met her years ago at Houston's First Baptist, probably when i served there as Minister to Women. I don't know if I changed jobs or she moved but for some reason, she and i have not seen each other for at least 12 years...and it may have been 15 or 20. Anyway, not too long ago, i posted one of those panics on Facebook about how i needed someone to do my website. i've been praying about that for over a year and frankly, just did not have the huge amount to shell out for professional website designer to take it on. Jana sees the posts and insists on helping. Turns out she is doing an incredible job and has taken one small template and turned it into something that looks great! Now whether it is a gift or a talent, i'm not sure but certainly she is talented in music and creativity but she is certainly a servant and i am on my face thanking God for her, her talents, and her awesome servant leadership. She already has a full time job and sings many weekends so how she has accomplished this, i don't even know but what a gift to me and to the Kingdom! Because she is using her serving gift, she is now helping women to learn to share Christ through our ministry. i pray that God will bless her in every possible way!

As we venture together on the new blogging experience, i'm just wondering...what if every woman would use her gifts toward Kingdom work? What if every woman would think of how she could serve but not just serve at church but serve to bring people to Christ? Who do you know that is serving in Jesus name?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Women Leading Women

It's like birthing a baby, but it took a lot longer. Twenty-five years for me and a few less for Terri but well worth the wait. Our desire in combining our experience in leading women is to make it a bit easier for you. Basically, our new baby, Women Leading Women, is our gift to you so that you don't have to learn it the hard way like we did.

Real babies kick and cry but they give lots of love too. We can attest to the fact that there were a few wiggles and tears during the writing but for the most part, there was a huge amount of love poured out. Both in the learning over the years as well as in the writing. If just one person out there learns from our experience, then it was all worth it.

We'd love to share it all with you. Can you believe that B&H Academic actually wants to be paid for it? You know we'd love to give it away. From the bottom of our hearts, we just want you to know that you are loved by God and gifted for His purpose. So help us if you will, and buy a copy for yourself, your women's ministry leaders, your pastor and ministry staff, and anyone who you think might benefit by all those years of how the Lord has taught us what ministry and evangelism and leadership with women is all about.

During the week of the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, the convention LifeWay store will feature it for only $19.99 so get it there if you can. Southern Seminary's booth will hosting a signing on Wed June 24 at 11:30am. If you can't make it, you can always go online and buy it at http://www.amazon.com/ or http://www.lifeway.com/ or a host of other places.

I used to think that when someone wrote a book, that was all they had to say. I have learned that books just scratch the surface of learning. So while I write some other things, I thought I'd share with you some things that I have learned along the way about evangelistic leadership with women. I've invited my dearest partner in ministry, Tracy Jones, to blog some ideas with me. There will be some others who join us. Our heart's desire is that you learn that God has you gifted2go!