Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"think pink!"

The month of October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I think it is inspiring to see how people unite across America to support breast cancer awareness, from mailing Yoplait yogurt lids to participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. According to and, about 13% women and 1% men in the United States have the disease.

What does the Bible say about how we can live like Him in the midst of these statistics?

>We can show COMPASSION to those who suffer: When Jesus learned that Lazarus died in John 11, we see that He was "deeply moved" (verse 33) and "wept" (verse 35).
>He asks us to have COURAGE: "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world." –John 16:33 (HCSB)
>When we COME to and LEARN from Jesus, we will find REST: "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." –Matthew 11:28 (HCSB)

Do you have any verses that you would like to share to those who are going through struggles such as breast cancer?

"May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word."
-2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (HCSB)

Remember Your Christian Leaders!

"Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith." Hebrews 13:7 (HCSB)

"Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith." Hebrews 13:7 (NASB)

"Appreciate your leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn't change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself." Hebrews 13:7-8 (The Message)

Tomorrow, October 1st, begins a month of appreciation for ministers across our nation and world! Today my heart is gripped with an unending appreciation and thankfulness for all of the Christian leaders that have impacted my life, men of God and women of God, in countless ways! As a first-generation Christian God has been so incredibly generous and faithful to provide Christian role models in my life, and I NEVER get over the life-changing ways my life has been transformed by Him, His Word, & HIS LEADERS! Today, God has laid it on my heart to list my top five points of appreciation that are extended to every Christian leader that has impacted my life in order for my life to impact others for Christ Alone...I'd like to use God's Promises as each point as I challenge you to appreciate your Christian Leaders too!!!

  1. You are APPRECIATED for how you study God's Word in order to be prepared and model preparedness in the ministry of The Lord! ~ "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 (HCSB)

  2. You are APPRECIATED for how you follow God's Vision and share His Plans with a conviction of confidence in the ministry of The Lord! ~ "Then the Lord said to Paul in a night vision, “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent." Acts 18:9 (HCSB)

  3. You are APPRECIATED for how you model servant-hearted leadership in the ministry of the Lord! ~ "So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet." John 13:14 (HCSB)

  4. You are APPRECIATED for how you model reality through a consistent praying heart that is quick to forgive and be forgiven through intense prayer in the ministry of the Lord! ~ "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful." James 5:16 (HCSB)

  5. You are APPRECIATED for how you model evangelism in the ministry of the Lord with a "get up and go" consistent concern for others about where they will spend eternity! ~ "And Jesus said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark16:15 (HCSB) "The Lord replied, "But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of things you have seen, and things in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me." Acts 26:16-18 (HCSB)

God laid on my heart 3 worship songs to share as an appreciation tribute and prayer for all of the Christian Leaders in our lives!!! Click on these songs as we pray for and thank God that He created evangelistic leadership examples for our lives as we all follow Him as our greatest example and strive to be His example of servant-hearted leaders!! Please take this opportunity to thank the Christian leaders that are in your life during the month of October and throughout the entire year! A few ideas of ways to show appreciation: send a thank you card or express appreciation with your words, volunteer to serve in the ministry that they are leading, pray regularly for leaders and let them know you are praying, give a gift certificate, share something from your kitchen that you made just for them, babysit if they have small children so that your leader can enjoy a day or night out, ask how you can serve them.....please share your ideas of ways to show appreciation after you listen to these 2 worship songs!

Evangelistic Christian Leaders Are Making A Huge Difference For Jesus On The Frontlines & In The Trenches Of Ministry...THANK YOU For The Many Ways YOU Have Made An Impact In My Life For Jesus' Sake!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lost and Found

It is a pretty regular thing in my household to be looking for keys. I seem to have a...let's call it "special giftedness"...for losing my entire ring of keys. Now, if you could see how many keys I have all tangled together, this is no small feat to lose such a massive blob. In the first few months of our marriage, Will would help me and we would look quite diligently for those keys! Yet, it has become so common that my husband and I seem to think very little when I lose my keys "again"! We still look for them and spend a few minutes searching, but usually we just use the extra set and move on, not letting the lost keys slow me down. The other day as I was thinking about this, I realized that I think I do this with evangelism many times in my life. At the beginning of a particular evangelistic journey, I start off with passion and purpose. For example when I first moved into our neighborhood, when I first started working at a secular company, when I first started going to my specific grocery store or gas station. However, as time goes on and I am still encountering the same "issue", the same people with the same life and they are still lost, I tend to notice my passion wearing off. I still desire that the lost become saved. I might even spend a few minutes doing something about it. However, that initial, consuming passion to share Jesus Christ through every action seems to go away because here I am "again". In Scripture we are told of the rejoicing that takes place when the lost are found! Today as you go through your daily routine, take time to regain that specific passion and purpose for a lost individual. Share Jesus again with someone whom you may have been encountering for a long time and lost the intentionality that the Lord calls us to possess. Today, may you "be wise in the way you act towards outsiders and make the most of every opportunity!" (Colossians 4:5)

Monday, September 28, 2009

grass roots

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit" (Jeremiah 17:7-8, HCSB).

I believe that God's work is strengthened by grass roots movements. Jeremiah tells us that we are blessed when we trust in the Lord and place our confidence in Him. We are like trees planted by water that send our roots out to His stream and therefore, we don't fear when the heat comes. Our fruit and foliage remains green and we need not worry in case there is even a year-long dry spell.

In January 1985, I heard about the great awakenings and how individuals started them by praying for God to awaken His people. I heard someone tell a group about the difference that just one person who was fully committed to God could make. I told God that I wanted to be that person. Until recent years, I prayed daily for a great awakening. I don't care who starts it or how it happens but I want to go back on record that beginning today, I am praying for a great awakening.

I am praying for women (and anyone) who will join me in digging in and planting roots in Christ and in the ministry of helping women to be mobilized and leading people to Jesus. I believe that we need a grass roots movement of women who want to make a difference as they try to relate to a lost world. We need women who will pray for a great awakening among women. Let's pray that women will pray, arise, and go!

Will you join me?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

eco: gifted2go

"For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:8-10, HCSB).

I am on my face thanking God that He is continuing to open doors for eco: gifted2go to reach a wider audience. I have learned that there are no assurances in life and especially in publishing, but it looks like my passion of mobilizing women may be able to happen with a publisher picking up my new material. Can I hear a HUGE GLO-reh???!!!

For those who have not heard, the material is based on a study of Ephesians with the four sessions of the course focusing on: grace and salvation, unity and giftedness, spiritual gifts for sharing Christ, and families and warfare. Ephesians 2:8-10 is the meat of it all with a simple gospel message using the logo above of an empty box illustrating an empty life, cross symbolizing a Christ-filled life, and the infinity sign placed on top like a bow to show the eternal difference that Christ makes in our lives and the eternal difference we can make in the lives of others. We have The Gift of Jesus, are able to give The Gift and thus we are gifted2go! The eco becomes our theme song as it stands for evangelistic concern for others and we are hopeful that all products will be eco-friendly with recycled products and natural material. Save the World. Give the Gift! As women go to the ends of the earth, they should be challenged to share the message using their spiritual gifts.

At this point, I am working on a little book (point-of-sale) called gifted that would give the gospel message and challenge women to go. I am also working on finishing up chapter one on Ephesians 1 and 2 (grace and salvation). I seriously need to know what you think needs to be included in this course and any thoughts you have on what this first chapter needs to include.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Friday, September 25, 2009

How Can I Be Jesus to Someone Today?

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to ALL people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 6:10)

Last week I was challenging my students (and myself!) to "be Jesus to someone today." As I was thinking about this, I was trying to think of some ways to do this "as we go." These are just a FEW suggestions. You might want to share others through your comments!

  • Write an encouraging note to someone who seems discouraged

  • Take a gift card for pizza to someone who is overwhelmed or tired

  • Offer to watch some children for a couple hours to give a Mom a break

  • Serve your spouse even if you don't feel like it

  • Express appreciation to store clerks as you check out

  • Offer to pray for or with a friend

  • Listen to a friend who needs to talk

  • Go to your nearest Goodwill store and pay for the customer's purchase that is either in front of you or behind you (and give them a gospel booklet :) )

  • Think of a person or family who is financially stressed and put a few dollars in an envelope for them to use for a treat

  • Express appreciation to your family members for who they are

  • Offer to help one afternoon at a clothing closet or homeless shelter

  • Have a cheerful attitude when you are asked to do something at work that you don't want to do

  • Take some coffee or a Coke to a colleague

As I said before, these are just a FEW ideas. But, AS YOU GO, be Jesus to someone. Please add the things that come to your mind in your comments!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"free to dance"

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." -2 Corinthians 3:17

As this man was helping me the other day, he said that he did not think he could work in the church. He had learned that I was going to seminary. He explained that he was not consistently a good person - that, at heart, he was a sinner. I tried to explain that I am, wihtout a doubt, a sinner as well. I just have to keep on coming back to Christ and asking for repentance.

It is true that we are all sinners, and that we cannot live a good life following Christ on our own. In Ephesians, Paul reveals how he feels about himself as he says, "I am less than the least of all God's people" (Ephesians 3:8a). However, he presents to us something to celebrate, noting in Ephesians 3:12, "In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." By having faith in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit within ourselves, God can use us, no matter how sinful we may feel.

Lord, please help me to remember how mysterious yet unconditional your love is. Please help us to be able to explain to others how faith in you alone can bring us to a better life with you.

One of my favorite songs is, "Free," by Ginny Owens, and the passage below reminds me of it. If you want to read the lyrics, they can be found at

"And we have such trust through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." -2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Picture from

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Refreshed...Go Refresh Others!

"I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake. For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you."
Philemon 1:4-7 (HCSB

My husband and I just returned for a long weekend trip to Branson, Missouri (a town full of God and Country!) for some refreshment in the Lord! As we traveled 8 hours through small town after small town on our way from East Texas, we met so many precious new friends along our pathway! Our main goal was to receive refreshment from the Lord after a long hot summer that was fast and full of much to do as small business owners in the marketplace of ministry...what is so awesome about our refresher (GOD) is that He refreshes those that refresh others!
One specific new friend we had the joy and privilege of encouraging in the Lord was at one of the beautiful scenic cafe's in Branson; her name is Marge and she works just about everyday and that includes Sunday. As we enjoyed our breakfast with Marge as our waitress, God blessed us with a "fast friendship" as the "refreshment" began! With every word of appreciation and affirmation that my husband and I shared with Marge, we could see her countenance and heart being refreshed and lifted up right before our eyes! Her tiredness was transformed into refreshment with each word of encouragement and blessing that the Lord laid on our hearts to share with Marge!! Just like the picture above of the many BEAUTIFUL and REFRESHING scenic blessings that the Lord has provided in our country to enjoy, that same babbling brook feeling from His Living Water (His Word) saturated Marge's heart as He refreshed her through the refreshment that we were receiving from Him...isn't that JUST LIKE JESUS:-)!

No matter where we are today, God is placing people in the path of our lives to refresh with the refreshment that He provides? "The Living Water" that causes us to thirst no more!!! There was a woman at the well in John 4 that received The Living Water~Jesus...and she could not wait to go back to her town and share with EVERYONE what had just happened in her life!!! That was our prayer for Marge, that she would have a fresh touch from the Father that she is now sharing with EVERYONE that she serves so unselfishly as a waitress that refreshes others that are needing refreshment with the refreshment that she has just received...all because of Jesus & His Word~He speaks and He refreshes! Are you refreshing others in the Lord? Are you spending some special time receiving refreshment from the Lord? As you refresh others (witness~serve~encourage for Jesus) you need refreshment in the Lord! Even Jesus encourages special time of rest & refreshment in Matthew 6:31-32..Jesus said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place" (HCSB).. what more of an example do we need!:-) Sounds like you have just been given permission and encouragement from The Living Water Himself to take some time to be refreshed so that you can "GO & Refresh Others!"....if you need a special place to go ...Dogwood Canyon in Branson, Missouri would be a REFRESHING place to start:-)! Encouraging you to received refreshment!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

See You At The Pole!

Tomorrow is "See You At The Pole", a national day where Christian students gather around their flagpoles to pray for their schools, boldly declaring themselves as followers of Christ to everyone driving into school that morning. As our school is preparing for this, I am watching students rally together to plan and prepare how to pray for our school. I overhear conversations about the most effective way to mobilize students into small groups. I see posters and flyers encouraging students to take a stand. And while I think this is a wonderful event that we must encourage and support, I do wonder if the Lord looks down and finally sees a glimpse of the passion for prayer that was meant for the Christian life as we daily look to Christ. What if every day were surrounded with Christians intentionally praying for their schools, co-workers and friends? Many times I often feel that I need to finish praying so I can hurry up and "do something". Yet I have been reminded this week that one of the most exciting things I can do is to bring my burdens to the Creator of the world. One of the greatest priviliges I have is to meet with other believers at the foot of the cross to pray for our friends, families, schools, offices, states, nations. As you drive past these flagpoles tomorrow, grab a group of fellow believers and take a minute to stop and pray that the Lord would be brought much glory this week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went" (Acts 8:4, NIV).

Acts 8:26-40 is the wonderful account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip was sensitive to the Spirit’s leadership. Even though he had no idea what was about to happen, Philip listened to the voice of God and obeyed instantly and enthusiastically.

An angel of the Lord told Philip to go south to a desert road that went from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he did. He obeyed instantly. No discussion. No questions about why he should have had to go to a desert road. No “I’ll do it later. No “go ask Peter, he preaches great sermons.” He just went. When he obeyed, he met an official of all the treasure of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his Chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’ Then Philip ran (enthusiastic obedience) up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. Philip could have seen that this was a eunuch, a foreigner and decided someone of his own kind would have been better. He could have pointed out to God that this was a high official of the queen and why would this one listen to him. He even could have said, “Lord, he’s reading your Word. Surely he knows you.” However, Philip was anxious to please and obey His Creator God both instantly and enthusiastically.

Do we find ourselves following through and being obedient when God whispers to us to share about Him? Are we enthusiastic about those God gives us to witness to? Oh Lord, please make me instantly and enthusiastically obedient to Your still small voice.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Revive Me

“Revive me according to Thy lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Thy mouth” Psalm 119:88 (NAS).

I took this photo of some black-eyes susans that were at Ridgecrest in North Carolina. They were just a beautiful sight and seemed to be so perky and vibrant with color. There they were, standing there reaching toward the sun. As I looked at them, I was reminded of God and His creation...that He is the source of energy, vibrancy, color and life. Oh what a beautiful sight to see!

I could not help but think that they were a better testimony to the glory of God than I was. They could not utter a word, yet they were reaching toward their Creator and testifying by their very being. Romans 1:20 says, "From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse" (HCSB).

What is my testimony? Tired? Too tired to share about the love and passion of Jesus Christ? Am I so busy that I cannot stop to make an eternal difference in someone's life? Oh Lord, please "revive that I may keep the testimony of Thy mouth."

Be Jesus to Someone Today

"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands...Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." (I John 2:3,6)

I teach Bible to ninth graders at a Christian School. My specific subject is mainly about teaching them how to take a "ROAD trip" in the Bible. (This acrostic was the idea of one of my colleagues, Dr. Michael Nicholson.) First, they learn how to READ the Bible; second, they learn how to OBSERVE Scripture - who, what, when, where, why, and how; third, they learn how to ANALYZE - context, genre, literary devices, etc.; then they learn how to DO (apply). It is exciting to see them digging into the Scriptures, but I pray that they are not learning these things just to get puffed up with knowledge. The goal for all of us is not just to read and interpret the Bible for the head knowledge, but so that it overflows into our lives to make us more like Jesus. Therefore, as we "Go into all the world...." along the ROAD God has planned for us, we need to be Jesus to others. As I challenged my students the other day to "be Jesus to someone today: your mom or dad, your neighbor, a store clerk..." it was a good reminder to me that to keep the main thing the main thing is to reflect Jesus in everything we do to everyone we meet. As someone has said : "Out theology must become biography."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

support along the way

"They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers." –Acts 1:14 (NIV)

The above verse in Acts describes when Jesus' disciples gathered in prayer after Jesus was taken up into heaven. The power of prayer is a mystery to me, but it surely is life-changing.

A few friends of mine have been traveling, so I have been praying for them and about their prayer requests. Some of them are in busy cities, while others are traveling across the globe. They face different challenges, but God can help them face it all. One of my friends messaged me that her prayer was answered the very next day! It is amazing to see how God hears our prayers.

This past Sunday, I gathered in a group of four after our study in Sunday school. We shared our requests and then prayed for one another. Even last night, when someone at my table asked the waiter if he had any prayer requests, he smiled and told us that he his wife was pregnant. It can be such an uplifting experience to know that other believers were there to support each other and talk to God.

Sometimes, we cannot see our prayer's effects in full, but God does hear us. Psalm 34:15 (NIV) says, "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry." Do you have someone you can pray for or with today? I pray that we talk to the Lord today and see how we can pray for others.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nothing Will Ever Harm You!

Jesus said, "Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you."
Luke 10:19 (HCSB)

Imagine with me what it was like this month when my husband, an avid Christian outdoorsman, was getting ready for deer season. As he opened up our camper door (the deer hunter special) and was about to work on a leak under the sink, he was shocked to find a 4-5 foot rattlesnake skin...eeeekkkk! (see picture) Marshall called me right away on my cellphone and he said to me "I just had something VERY shocking happen to me..." What Happened? He began to describe to me what he found when he opened up the sink area of the camper there was this huge snake skin... but we couldn't help but wonder...where is the SNAKE!?! :-0
After looking around the camper (probably with a large baseball bat or gun, we could soon have holes in this camper) for the creature that shed his skin, Marshall realized that the snake used a small crack under the camper that led into the area under the sink to slink its way in and then slink right back out with the goal of shedding the skin and getting back into the West Texas cactus land...(no need to share with you that the deer lease is now in Arkansas-not only because it is closer to East Texas with the gas prices what they are, but surely there are not any rattlesnakes looking for a place to shed their skin!!)...
Then, my husband showed me the snake didn't matter how much I prepared myself... a snake is a snake...and a good snake is a dead snake to me!!! As I looked at the snake skin, Luke 10:19 came to my heart (as a HUGE comfort) and a vivid example of the TRUTH from GOD'S PROMISES that because of His Authority in and through our lives..."NOTHING will ever harm you"!!!

As a witness for Jesus Christ, there have been key times in my life that I have been reminded of this PROMISE! When we obey God and are obedient to share Jesus with will cause some people around us to feel uncomfortable and often act like a snake. As believers we will experience scare tactics/persecution from the enemy, often referred to as "the serpent" in God's Word, because he does not want us to be a witness for Jesus and he sure does not want anyone to be SAVED!!! The Good News is that God goes before us, with us, in us, behind us...and fights every battle and wins every spiritual war. I have experienced spiritual warfare from even some people that were acting like "snakes", why? One reason may be that something in their life was missing so they "shed their sin" off on me to try and stop the ministry that God was blessing in my life (if the enemy can't destroy us from the outside world he will try and destroy us from the inside The Body of Christ-The Church)...
What are some of the things that God taught me through all of those snake filled pits in my path? *Nothing will ever harm me! *Keep pressing on! *Keep forgiving! *Keep praying! *Keep serving God alone! *Keep sharing Jesus...and most of all leave the results up to God, your protector from all the serpents in this old world! One of the greatest things I prayed was that I ask God to keep me from being "a snake" in anyway! Dear Lord, please help me remember what it felt like to be in the snake pit and please keep me from ever attacking anyone else that is serving our King of Kings and Lord of Lords!! Let's be very careful in the Body of Christ to build each other up and cheer each other onward in Jesus...THANK YOU for sharing JESUS with others that need HIM and be assured that NOTHING will harm you!!! (one of my FAVORITE songs of PRAISE & THANKSGIVING that is also a tribute to one of the greatest evangelists~Billy Graham!!! THANK YOU LORD!! Keep Sharing Jesus~Nothing Will Ever Harm You!!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Right or Wrong?

On the street where my husband and I live, we could hold a world religions conference. All within one block reside a Morman family, Muslim family, Catholic family, Atheist family (strongly declared), Christian family and two families who “believe in god, just not organized religion”. With my job as mission coordinator, I consistently take students on mission trips around the globe to share the Gospel message. Even though I know the need for Christ is great on my very own street, so many times I often find myself too busy to be home…or too tired once I get there! I can easily fall into the trap of believing that I “deserve” to have some “me time”. Now, I do think that Scripture speaks to the importance of maintaining personal spiritual health, and this includes simply resting! However, in a recent article written by Dr. Tim Beougher (Professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and, most importantly, my dad! J), he speaks to the heart of the matter:

Paul gives us a key insight in [I Corinthians 9] verse 12: “we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ”. He makes clear he is not going to do or say anything that will hinder the gospel. What is the challenge for us today in a self-centered, self-focused culture? Paul speaks about surrendering our “rights” for the sake of the gospel. I’m afraid too often we surrender sharing the gospel for the sake of our perceived “rights.” For example, our “right” to only associate with people who are like us. Or our “right” to use “our” time as we want to use it.

Today as you interact with the people around you, choose the “RIGHT” of taking time to share Jesus! What a privilege we have in our country that we can do this freely and unashamedly. May this be the right that we choose to embrace as our foundation for life!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Servant leadership

Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and their men of high positions exercise power over them. But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many" (Mark 10:42-45, HCSB).

Servant leadership can be so easy to talk about and sometimes hard to achieve. This past weekend, it was my honor to serve North Carolina Baptists by leading a breakout at their women's prayer evangelism conference. God was at work all over the place and if I were to write about it all, I would never finish. It was incredible to connect with great men and women who faithfully serve the Lord. I was with Ashley Allen, the new Embrace women's leader who just came from Southwestern Seminary and with some sharp and servant-minded students from Southeastern Seminary. Being able to spend some time with the Rankins and Paula Hemphill from IMB and Alicia Wong from NAMB and to be with Southern's Mary Kassian again...well these were priceless moments. I am grateful for the invitation that came from Chris Schofield and to reconnect with him and others, as well as their wives.

It was when I was leaving that I happened back in the room where lunch had just been served, that I caught a glimpse of what ministry really is all about. There was a quick turn-around for the room because a session was going to be in there. In the middle of all the activity, there was Milton Hollifield, Exec Dir Treas of North Carolina Baptists, vacuuming the room. What a picture for us all. When is the last time you saw an Exec Dir or Pres of anything even attending a women's conference much less just helping behind the scenes and vacuuming? Needless to say, I was impressed. What an example that we should be following as leaders.

A true servant is not one that has to be asked what needs to be done, but one who sees the need and steps in to do it. There were many servants around last week who weren't noticed by me, but know that God always notices. He rewards those who faithfully serve. He rewards leaders who serve. Thanks Milton for the reminder.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Be on the Offensive Team!

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." (Eph. 6:10-11)

This week I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Chuck Lawless speak to a group of ladies about spiritual warfare. He challenged us that in dealing with spiritual warfare, we need to be on the OFFENSIVE team. We are intentionally engaging the enemy when we are witnessing or trying to build a relationship in order to love that person and share Christ. We must do it with the full armor of God.
We will get defeated when we try to get involved in evangelism in our strength. We are told in the Scriptures that we have already won the battle; therefore, we must keep on keeping on. Dr. Lawless challenged us to remember that the enemy wants us to either (1) Mess up (2) Give up or (3) Get puffed up. Let us stand firm together, not fall into those three lies of Satan, and stay on the offensive!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

fuel for the heart

"Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
-Hebrews 12:3 (NIV)

This past Saturday, I took a longer jog than usual on a trail that I had never seen before. Near my start, a cyclist breezed by me, and I was impressed by his fearlessness to pass so quickly over the trail's roots and creeks. As I came upon the last stretch of hill, before the sun's rays broke the shade, I realized that the cyclist's endurance had inspired me to keep moving.

We are blessed that every day we can look to Jesus as an example of one who pressed on through tough times. Recently, I have been feeling anxious about a test that is approaching. As I read the above verse in Hebrews about Jesus' trials, I remembered that He had much more that He could have worried about while He lived on earth. Yet, He kept loving others, proclaiming God's promises, and touching lives in the midst of His suffering.

So, the next time I begin to stress, I will pray and remember Jesus' incomparable sacrifice on the cross as an encouragement to release my worries and to press on in what is to come ahead (Philippians 4:6). I pray that we all are inspired by His dedication, so that we may love and live like our irreplaceable Savior.

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." -Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)

(Picture from


"The nations will put their hope in His name." Matthew 12:21 HCSB

As the anniversary of 9/11 is remembered this week, like you, I will never forget where I was, what I was doing, and the first person I called when I saw the breaking news unfold on the television...One of the first thoughts I had, perhaps because we were about to have a "HeartCall" women's evangelistic leadership training, many people went to heaven that knew Jesus as their Savior and how many did not as I prayed that thousands would turn to Jesus as a result of this heart was gripped with a fresh call to share Jesus with others! Today, what is God using to grip our heart to share Jesus in a fresh way with others?

Do you remember how full our prayer services at church were right after 9/11? Do you remember how God opened up doors to share Jesus & Heaven with others? I still have my hometown newspaper from the day after 9/ you know what word is on the entire front page? The word HOPE was on the front page of our local newspaper in the biggest boldest letters!

Our HOPE must come from JESUS and there are millions of people searching for that HOPE today! This week is another special opportunity to share Jesus with others right where we are in our lives doing exactly what we are doing even after these many years since 9/11!

What are some ways that we can reach out to others with Jesus? Our nation is still at war as a result of 9/11...How many military families do we know that could use Hope and/or our Prayers? To inspire us all, I have got to share this song with you about our Christian Military Soldiers that are serving our Nation Under God on the battlefield today. Dear praying friends let's stop right now and say a prayer as the Lord leads us as we cover them with the HOPE & VICTORY that is found in JESUS as they share Jesus with others through their service to our country that keeps us FREE!

Dear God, no matter what is going on in our lives you can cause each circumstance to fan the flame of The Holy Spirit in our hearts to Share Jesus~Our Greatest HOPE! In Jesus' Name~AMEN!

"But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones. And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them." Genesis 50:20-21 NKJV

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bread of Life

Martin Luther once said "We are all mere beggars, telling other beggars where to find bread". Wow. I believe that this must resonate with the heartbeat of the gospel. As you look at the early hymn writers, I think they understood this as well. You do not see the early hymns singing praise to the Lord that "I once was lost but figured out my way"! Instead, we hear the praises echo that we once were lost, but now are found. Inherent in the idea of "found" is that the missing object had nothing to do with this new resotration, and the "finder" is actually the one who is most important here. Yet when it comes to evangelism, sometimes the Enemy deceives and whispers that we should share what we know because we somehow were able to figure it out better than the rest of those lost people! As you go out and share, remember that you were FOUND. This week, take a moment to rejoice that you have the Bread of Life, and create time to offer another beggar the Way to this Bread.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Be Not Blown with the Wind

“Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit” (Eph 4:14) .

This verse follows Paul's discussion on the body of Christ. He states that we are to “walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us” (Eph 4:1b-3). He goes on to say that gifts of the Spirit were given to us "for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12). When we are growing believers, we are no longer infants and so are not going to be tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by the wind. I often see Christian women who are blown by the wind, rather than led by the Spirit.

There are those who change their minds constantly. It has a lot to do with emotions and feelings. It can have a lot to do with having too many irons in the fire. The truth that I can base this on is that God does not change. Numbers 23:19 is just one of many Scripture references that state that this is true: “God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?”

If God does not change His mind, then why do we as women, feel it is okay to constantly change our minds depending on our emotions or feelings? We need to sit down and really spend time with the Father, hear his voice and follow through on what He tells us to do. If we have not met with God on a subject, then we need to do so. Many women wait to see how they feel before they make a decision. That is why men see us as being wishy-washy. How would we feel if every other day, God changed His mind on what He had planned for us? It is amazing to me that anyone ever takes women seriously.

Spend some time with God, get His direction, and stick to it today : ).

Taken from Women Leading Women, Chapter 5, Jaye Martin, B&H Academic

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hospitality as a Family and Evangelism

1 Timothy 5:10 "....and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds."

This verse is talking about the honor of one over sixty being put on a "widow's list"as a godly woman. Continuing on from last week on the theme of hospitality and evangelism, God has placed two new families on our street (one of which was as of yesterday). As I have been thinking about this topic, God was saying to me: "Okay, Sharon, what are you going to do to be hospitable?" As I walked in the door from just meeting the new neighbors next door, my youngest daughter, Karisa, said, "Mom, I want to make chocolate chip cookies for them and take them over." I was thinking about how busy my week was and what I was going to do, but she piped up with her idea. That made me realize how neat it is to involve the whole family in hospitality evangelism. Kristi, my oldest daughter, always took cookies to one of the widowers on our street when she was home, and it struck me how I did not keep that up when she left for college. He is lost, and I know that a chocolate chip cookies would open the door back up to re-build the relationship. It is so easy to get so busy and so tired that we miss the opportunities that God has put right in front of our faces.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a golden sense

"The music is all around us. All we have to do is listen." –"August's Rhapsody," August Rush (Motion Picture Soundtrack)
This past Monday, as I left class on a mission to find water, a classmate stopped me to ask a personal question. The genuine sincerity of her response as I answered struck me. When we left our conversation, I felt that I could trust her.

How could I trust so quickly? I think it is because of the way she listened.

From the Bible's stories, we know that our God listens. In Luke 2:46-47, Mary and Joseph search for 12-year-old Jesus after a Passover feast in Jerusalem:

"After three days, they found Him in the temple complex sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all those who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers."

My roommate helped me find the Greek word for "astonish." It is pronounced existemi, and it means "to amaze... to astound out of one's senses."

In Luke's story, we see Jesus sitting with these men who taught the Scriptures, and they are amazed by this young boy's wisdom and understanding. John Maxwell explains in The Maxwell Leadership Bible, "He [Jesus] knew that to connect with people's hearts, He had to use His ears."

By listening to others, we can speak volumes about Christ's love. When the Holy Spirit shows us opportunities to use our gift of hearing, I pray that we show Christ's astonishing wisdom and love for others.

Do you have a story about the power of listening?

(Picure from

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A New "Season" to Share our Savior!

"A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is! The way of life winds upward for the wise, That he may turn away from hell below." Proverbs 15:23-24 NKJV

"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:..." Ecc.3:1 NKJV
I love how God created the seasons and how He causes them to change...just about every 3 months. Right now as we enter the month of September, "Autumn~Fall" is in the air! As we look at the calendar we are already beginning to prepare for the seasonal activities that we know are about to take place in our lives and in the lives of others around us. During this new season we are entering, let's ask God to help us see opportunities to share Jesus with some creative "seasonal" ideas.
God has created you with your creative thoughts and gifted you through His Spirit to share Him with others through His Strength & Courage! I would like to encourage all of you to finish today's blog by sharing 3 of your ideas with all of us! You can share your ideas in one of several ways; on this blog at the bottom, on my facebook page, or you can send me your ideas by my e-mail address and I will post them for we share ideas and read the ideas of others please put the ideas into practice as we are networking together to make this Season Full of our Savior:-)!
Ok, I will get us started with 3 ways that I have seen others share Jesus or ways that I have shared Jesus during the Autumn~Fall season of life:
  1. Back to School Backpacks: Shared with moms/children that are visitors of our church; the backpacks can be filled with school supplies-snacks & age appropriate witnessing booklets (1 for child & 1 for parent)!
  2. 9-11 Patriot Cups of Encouragement: Since the tragic attack that our Nation went through on September 11th, ask God to use this time of the year as an opportunity to reach out to military families-veterans-anyone that may serve our nation in anyway; you can use a coffecup/mug/teacup that you already have (if you are like me you have extras!) Fill this cup of encouragement with small tokens of God's Love (scripture cards/bookmark/candy/small lotion/tea bag/individual coffe bags/etc.) BUT most of all include the Good News of Jesus Christ through a witnessing booklet!
  3. Fall Festival of Faith: As your church or community has events around October 31st...what are some ways that we can take that day and make it "the Lord's Day" and fill it with ideas that point others to Jesus?

Praying that the new Season we are entering will be "A New Season to Share our Savior" in many new creative ways!!

(click on the youtube song above!:-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Good Tip

Over the years, I have been friends with many people who have waited tables for a living. They tell some great stories about all the various kinds of people they meet, and have an incredible ability to analyze a person just by the way they walk into a resturant and sit down. Due to all the personal interaction, it seems that waiters and waitresses can be pretty good a judging a person's character and personality. Yet over and over again, I hear such a sad truth: all waiters and waitresses hate being assigned the Sunday lunch shift because they know they will get shorted on their tip. The first time one of my friends mentioned this to me in college, I thought maybe it was just his particular resturant. Maybe there was one church in particular that always seemed to frequent to his tables and he had one bad experience.

Unfortunately, I can say that years later, I have spoken with dozens of waiters and waitresses, from staunchly atheist to strong believers in Christ, and they all have the same story. What a sad reality that as Christians we might choose to dress up for a day of worship, head into a church to corporately bring praise to our God, thank him for blessings, declare our love for Him, commit to live according to His word, and then to immediately walk into a resturant and choose to offer the very smallest possible amount to one who is choosing to serve us.
I can only imagine if the tables were turned. What if instead people were begging to be assigned the Sunday afternoon shift, knowing that Christians were notoriously the most generous with their tips. What if across the nation, it was widely known that those who come from church and profess to love their neighbor live that out first thing at their lunch tables! This week, may we be challenged to "not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." May our worship this week be accompained by searching opportunities to share Christ through our life.