Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Are Gifted By God...Just The Way You Are!

"There are different kinds of "gifts" but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 (NIV)

"God's various gifts are handed out; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they originate in God's Spirit . God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God Himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful..." 1 Cor. 12:4-5 (msg)

What a beautiful bouquet of giftedness God has created in The Body of Christ! Each believer is Gifted by God with at least one or more gift by The Lord for His Purposes to unfold around the world for His Glory. Do you know what your gift/gifts are? Just like in the picture of this beautiful bouquet, you have been placed in the Body of Christ when you become a believer for specific purposes that will cause you to "Know Christ~Share Christ~Lead Others To Do The Same"! (words that Jaye Martin often uses to sharpen and cheers us on like a Flower Gardner!)

As we look at this beautiful bouquet do you see yourself? You may have gifts that God uses behind the scenes like the beautiful greenery and accent flowers that make this beautiful bouquet balanced in many ways! You may have gifts that God uses out front like the flowers that our eyes are drawn to that make this beautiful bouquet eye catching! No matter where we see ourselves, behind the scenes serving or out front leading, just like in this beautiful bouquet, "each person is given something to do that shows who God is" 1 Cor.12:5 (msg)!

As we look at this beautiful bouquet do you need some extra help discovering and/or sharpening your gifts God has given you? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jaye Martin or anyone on her Gifted2Go team so that we can serve you with the encouragement God has given us as we continue to study and learn about how we are all Gifted By God...Just The Way We Are!!

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the "fragrance" of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those that are being saved ..." 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NIV)

Monday, June 28, 2010

God is Faithful and Forever

“Lord, Your word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven. Your faithfulness is for all generations; You established the earth, and it stands firm” (Ps. 119:89-90) .

“God is faithful to all people at all times and to all generations. He is faithful forever. People are not faithful. Sometimes people believe that God is not faithful so we strive to show faithfulness in all we say and do. Faithfulness is about being loyal and true and trustworthy and consistent. It means being devoted, dedicated and committed. Being faithful is who God is and we are able to be faithful because He is faithful. Women need to see that leaders can be faithful servants in all walks of life.” [except from Women Leading Women, chapter four, B&H Academic, Martin & Stovall].

Lord, make me faithful today.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dealing With Excuses and Obstacles in Evangelism

"A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready. But they all alike began to make excuses" Luke 14:16-18).
In dealing with excuses we must first consider WHY people make excuses. First it could be a defense mechanism. Some people don't want to admit that they may have a need for Christ in their life. Secondly, it could be a stalling technique to try to put off the conversation that might make them have to confront the truth. Thirdly, it could be an unwillingness to forsake sin. They may realize that if they accept the truth, that they would have to make some significant changes in the way that they live. Then, fourthly, it could be that they have some legitimate questions--an honest expression of doubt and confusion.
Francis Schaeffer says in the book Reaching All, "It is not more spiritual to believe without asking questions. It is not more biblical. It is less biblical and eventually will be less spiritual because the whole man will not be involved." Faith in Jesus is NOT a leap in the dark. John Stott says: "We cannot pander to man's intellectual arrogance, but we must cater to his intellectual integrity."
As we consider WHY people make excuses, we must never think that someone is too far away from God to be reconciled to Him. Sometimes those who seem to be the farthest away are really the closest to the kingdom. As we look at people's lives, we must remember that ALL things are possible with God and that it is ONLY by His grace that we are His children.
"Lord, thank You for your unspeakable gift."

Monday, June 21, 2010

“The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9) .

"God is the definition of patience. When no one else is enduring and tolerant, He is. When others have had their patience run out, He is still there with staying power. He is patient. People are not always patient. All too often, we give up on people. Not only do we give up on them coming to Christ, but we give up in lots of ways. We lose patience with people even in little ways. As women leaders, we learn patience and show patience to all. Even if we are flustered with people, we learn to persist in God’s loving patience for them and for the situation." [from Women Leading Women, chapter four, B&H Acacemic, Martin & Stovall]

Let's not give up praying for people to come to Jesus. Let's be patient with those we meet and minister to.

Oh Lord, help me live Your patience in my life today.

Tired Yet?!

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

The year is half over! Can you believe that?! It seems just yesterday that we welcomed a new year and a fast 6 months has since passed, which means we're looking at the beginning of the end of the year. New Years' Resolutions are a distant memory and much resolve has since faded from the spirits of some.

It's a busy time isn't it?! Your life is busy just like mine. It's as if we find some sort of satisfaction in the fact that our schedules are too hard to handle, as if that fact indicated that we are doing things that are Kingdom oriented and eternally lasting. We know that such is not the case. The busyness can actually suck the joy, fruitfulness, and clarity out of our lives. The busyness can fool us.

In the latter half of this year let's be busy about the things that God has ordained for us to do. Let's do good and while we're at it let's not get sick of doing it! Let's persevere so that when the month ends, the summer ends, and when the year inevitably closes we can look back and thank the Lord that weariness did not overcome us.

We will reap a harvest if we faint not.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dealing With Excuses and Obstacles in Evangelism

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20)
People constantly make excuses about why they should not consider Christianity or why they should not go to church. The following is an illustration written by Rev. Winn Allison in Liberty Missouri called "No Excuse Sunday" that you may be able to use as an opener at one of your women's meetings.
"To make it possible for everyone to attend Sunday School and church next Sunday we will have a special 'No Excuse Sunday.' Costs will be placed in the foyer for those who say, 'Sunday is my only day to sleep in.' Murine will be available for those who have red eyes from watching TV too late on Saturday night.' We will have steel helmets for those who say, 'The roof will cave in if I ever come to church.' Blankets will be furnished for those who say, 'The church is too cold,' and fans for those who are hot. We will have hearing aids for those who say, 'The pastor speaks too softly,' and cotton for those who say he preaches too loudly. Score cards will be available for those who wish to list all of the hypocrites present. Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sundays. There will be TV dinners for those who can't go to church and cook dinner the same day. One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to seek God in nature. Finally the sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the Church without them."
The next few Fridays we will be looking at HOW we can deal with excuses and obstacles in evangelism.
"Lord, continue to equip us to be bold ambassadors for You and the message You have entrusted to us."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Daddy's Day, LORD!

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him;" Psalm 103:13

God loves you, and as His child, He has compassion on those who respect with awe His Holiness!

Who do we know that needs compassion from their "Abba, Daddy" GOD HIMSELF!?

There is no one like God and no love like His Love & Mercy that is New every morning!

As Father's Day is celebrated this coming weekend, join me thanking and celebrating our heavenly Father and His forever unconditional love that someone needs today!!

What are some ways that we can share God's Unconditional Love & Compassion with others that need Him?

They will know we are Christians by HIS ♥LOVE♥

Monday, June 14, 2010

God is peace

“Since God is not a
God of disorder but of peace”
(1 Cor 14:33) .

God is the author of peace.

God is peace.

He is not the God of disorder.

"Inner peace is one of the most important things that women can have and God is the only one who can bring peace in this troubled world that we find ourselves in. Leaders learn to come to the God of peace and allow Him to transfer His peace to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Leaders also look to bring peace to troubled people in troubled situations. His peace is one of order and He is the peace of promise that we can depend on."

When we don't feel peace, we need to take a few minutes and remember that peace comes from God and is God. Life is a bit hectic these days. There is no summer break in ministry! There is need for us to come to the Father in prayer and all Him to be our peace. With all the things happening in the convention and in my life, it is easy to get distracted. Let's stop and remember who He is.

Lord, be my peace. Let me bring your peace to others this week.

(Excerpt from chapter four, Women Leading Women, B&H Academic, Martin and Stovall.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Other Key Evidence for rhe Resurrection

"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time" (I Corinthians 15:3-6a)

There are many other significant evidences for the resurrection which further support the FACT of the resurrection.
  • The believers who felt depressed, defeated, and discouraged by Jesus' death were filled with a boldness after the resurrection that made them even be willing to die for their faith.
  • The worst persecutor of the church, Saul, saw Christ on the road to Damascus as He revealed his plan for him to become one of his followers.
  • The social structures were extremely important to the Jews and their culture to the point that they believed if they did not include all the structures in their lives they would go to hell. YET just five weeks after his death, over ten thousand Jews became followers of Jesus and were willing to give up "all five of the social institutions that they have been taught since childhood" (Lee Stroebel, The Case for Christ, p. 250)
  • Baptism and communion became a standard part of the church. Both are representations and celebrations of Jesus' resurrection
  • The Christian church started Jesus' ascension and spread very quickly. The reason for that is that the followers were absolutely convinced of the fact of the resurrection.
  • The evidence that accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior can change lives and give hope beyond what anyone else can experience.

Lord, thank You for letting us experience the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Equip us to share your message of salvation so that others can do the same.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ways To Support Our Troops For The Summer

"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officer." 2 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)
Summer is here and we are all making summer plans that may include some new adventures and some needed vacation time. As we all make our plans, would you be able to join us in supporting our troops that are serving at home and away?
Here are some possible ways that we can all be used by the Lord to support our troops for the summer:
  • Pray
  • Encourage
  • Affirm
  • Care
  • Evangelize

As our troops serve to keep our Freedom we can be used by God as "PEACE-makers" as they serve! We can Pray for them and their families, Encourage them with supportive notes, words and actions of Affirmation, take time to Care, and ask the Lord for souls to be saved through the witness of Military Chaplains and Christian troops that God has place in strategic places across our world!

If you would like someone specific in the military to support for the summer, or even longer, please e-mail me and I would be glad to share the address of one that we know personally!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Undivided Heart

The man after God's own heart. David. This wonderful king, leader and servant of our God. While he made some mistakes and chose sin over the Lord at times, he is forever branded as the man who longed for God's heartbeat to be the rhythm of his own heart and life. Over the years I have done several studies on David that talked about his worship, service, obedience, sacrifice, faithfulness to the Lord as the pivotal reasons why he is called such a man. And while I definitely see those traits in David's life that define him as a godly man, I believe the reason he is known as the man after God's own heart is because he asked God for it! All throughout the Psalms, we read David pray "give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name" (Psalm 86:11). In my own life, I will many times pray that God would cause me to worship with more passion, serve with more humility, obey with less hesitation, sacrifice more quickly, choose faithfulness to the Lord more readily...but as I have been studying these prayers of David, I am realizing it is rare that I just pray, "Lord, give me your heart.". "Lord, give me a heart that seeks you." "Lord, let your heartbeat be mine". It is so easy for me to focus on lists, traits or characteristics. I can pray for patience, peace, humility, self-control, kindness, mercy, my speech, purity, forgiveness to others etc. However at the root of all of these prayers truly is the single minded prayer of David who pleaded with the Lord to give him a heart that would mirror the Lord's very own. Now Scripture still teaches us the importance of interceding for other people's needs, praying for forgiveness and provision, crying out for mercy and deliverance, begging the Lord to bring His salvation to those around you. But before you pray today for specific people to share the Gospel with, pray first that God would give you a heartbeat for the lost that mirrors His very own.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Remodeling Me

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10, ESV).

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV).

Some of you know that we have spent literally months living with remodeling in our master suite. Just imagine everything from my husband’s office and everything from the master bedroom piled in the living and dining rooms. Now see if you can picture a new bathroom, almost complete less painting the trim, a new huge walk-in and workout area, and a great master bedroom – with piles of things still waiting to be put up. No, I’m not going to post a photo for you. : ) It is so exciting to know that our old, gross shower has been replaced with a new, tiled, walk-in shower with plenty of room and a seat! There is much left to do and it has taken months (let’s pray we don’t have months to go), but it was been worth the effort.

I’m wondering if I am spending as much time on allowing God to remodel me? Am I letting him get rid of some old habits, and things in my life that need to go? Do I allow God to clean out my life, throw out the old, and renew me? Do I realize that this is a process? Sometimes there are so many things to change in our lives that we let it overwhelm us. As I have learned with remodeling, it takes just doing one thing at a time and sticking with it until it is finished. It took several days to hang ten closet shelves but we stuck with it and we finally finished. It may take months before all the little things are completed, but tackling each project is the only way it will happen. In our lives, we have to let God work on us, one thing at a time. While a total renewal is happening, sanctification is still a process.

Today, let’s agree to let God work on us and remodel us into the new image that He wants us to be – one step at a time. One day, maybe many months down the road, we will see a new image forming. When we do, we will look back and not even miss the old.

“For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation" (Galations 5:17, ESV).

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I am a proud Southern Seminary Alum. Going on two years ago I walked across the stage of a chapel I'd sat in dozens of times and received a degree, by nothing short of God's grace! It took 3 and a half years to accomplish all that was required to get my Mdiv, so during that time I grew to love Southern in a unique way, kind of like family. I still look back on those days with joy. I was and still like to think of myself as a Southern Seminary Ambassador. We got to wear the coolest shirts (ha!), talked to hundreds of former alums (joy!), visit college campuses (fun!), and things like this. In a real way we were the face of Southern Seminary to the outside world. I don't know about you, but when I represent someone other than just myself, there's an added sense of honor, care, and thought that goes into it. It's not just your name on the line. It's your name and you fill in the blank.

When we belong to Jesus the same is true in an even greater sense. 2 Corinthians 5 says it like this:

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

If we are in Christ Jesus we are ambassadors. It's not just our name on the line. It's our name and Jesus'. There should rightly be an added sense of honor, care, and thought about this in our everyday lives. We want to use our position to glorify Jesus as much as possible, even reconciling a lost world to Him by the power of the Gospel of His Kingdom. God wants to make an appeal through us! So, I suppose what I'm asking you today is how good of ambassador are you? Are you just going through the motions and paying lip service to the King, or are you, by grace, pouring out your life and everything in it for Jesus? Being an ambassador in His kingdom goes beyond any other calling you could possess in all of life. Do it well!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Appearances of Jesus After the Resurrection

"So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. 'Greetings,' he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, there they will see me'" (Matthew 28:8-10)

The appearances of Jesus to to others give further proof to the validity of His resurrection (the crux of the Christian faith!). He appeared to the women at the tomb in the above passage, Mary Magdalene, Cleopas and another disciple, to all twelve disciples at various times, and to over five hundred witnesses at his ascension.

  • These appearances could NOT have been hallucinations because that many people do not ever have the exact same hallucination.

  • There was not enough time for this to become a legend.

  • "Even the more skeptical historians agree that for primitive...the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was a real event in history, the very foundation of faith, and not a mythical idea arising out of the creative imagination of believers" (Carl Braaten as quoted in The Cast for Christ by Lee Stroebel, p. 240)

  • Nothing fits all the evidence better than the explanation that Jesus was alive" (Stroebel, p. 240)

"Lord, let us all firmly grasp the evidence of the resurrection and share that exciting news with others."