Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 29 from Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms

This page is taken from the devotional book,
Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms,
published by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the fall of 2010,
Jaye Martin and Alyssa Caudill, editors.
Available at LifeWay Christian Bookstore on Southern's campus:
$25 goes to scholarships for women,
Gift packaging available as long as it lasts (see photo top right of this blog).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Making your Events Evangelistic

You can turn any event or Bible study into an opportunity for evangelism with just a few simple steps.

1. As you first begin to plan your event, be sure to plan how you will invite non-churched women to attend. The use of advertising can be very expensive; however, most women come because someone personally invited them. You can have the greatest evangelistic event in the world but if lost women are not there, you will have done it all for nothing. Begin by brainstorming with your leadership about the many creative ways to get women to come.

2. Spend more time inviting people than on planning. Most people spend more time planning than they do personally inviting women to attend an event. In the parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14, Jesus mentioned the banquet but spent more time explaining how to invite others. For more helpful information, refer to the chapter on events in the resource book, Women Reaching Women.

3. As you walk through your event, imagine you are a guest, don’t know anyone and are unfamiliar with the building and the traditions. Think about what would make the guest more comfortable. What would the needs of this woman be? Plan things that would meet her needs.

4. Before the event, train your women in how to use HeartTalk. Every woman who comes to the event should have the opportunity to be trained. This will help her to share Christ with the guests she brings. Your leadership should all go through the training as well. All your women but especially your leadership should look for opportunities to share HeartTalk throughout the event. Often, you will find that someone who comes to the training will want to accept Christ. Be ready!

5. At the event, you will want each woman to have a copy of HeartTalk. This can be done in several ways. HeartTalk can be included in registration packets, placed at the dinner table at each place or in the center of the table, given out by the hostess of seminars, given out during a worship service, or various other times. The important thing is to give them out and make sure each woman receives one. Those who already know Christ can be encouraged to share it with a friend. Those who don’t know Christ will know how to make Him their Lord and Savior if they choose to do so.

6. An effective method of finding out who responds to HeartTalk is to have everyone at the event to fill out a card. This enables everyone to respond and makes all feel more comfortable. Event cards or evaluation cards allow women to share their thoughts about the event and can be a valuable tool to gain feedback as well as a great way to find out who has made decisions for Christ.

7. Have the speaker or someone on the women’s leadership team to present HeartTalk to the group. Have those who pray to receive Christ to record their decision with a heart drawn beside their name on the event card or evaluation form. Having appropriate responses to check is also very useful and will help you to follow up with the women who attend. Most women will not respond to an invitation that asks them to come down in front of the crowd.

8. Provide a HeartTalk room where those interested in talking to someone about
spiritual decisions can go to for further discussion and prayer. Have some of your trained leadership ready to explain the plan of salvation and answer questions. If you would rather not have a room, you can have women in each section or at the doors to collect the cards and then follow up within a week following the event.

(Quoted from "HeartTalk Leader" by Jaye Martin.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thoughts from One Leader to Another: #2

   "Live as children of light...and find out what pleases the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8b 10)

 A second thing I have learned is that you can “please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.  Even though it may be in your nature to want to be a people-pleaser, it is not going to happen!  I am saying that as a person who struggles with being a people-pleaser. I thought I had to say ‘yes’ all the time to please people if they thought I should do something in the church; plus that carried over to me wanting my husband to please everyone in the church.  That is definitely not healthy or wise.  So – just accept that fact, smile, be sweet, and stay on your knees a lot – and learn to say “no.”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

heads up!

In volleyball and some other sports, when a ball is coming towards someone who is not looking, it's common to warn them by saying, "Heads up!"

Today, as I described something I admired about a leader, I wondered if it reflected God or not.  I was explaining how I admired some Generals of armies in history, who had gone into battle with the soldiers they led.  While I was cleaning later, I thought, "Does that reflect God, or does it reflect something else?"  The Holy Spirit leads believers through good and bad times, and I see I still admire that those Generals were there beside those soldiers.  It just made me think - am I keeping my eyes on God as I admire things about others, as I talk with people who may not know God?

In the first chapter of John, we learn that John the Baptist was sent to preach about the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  At first, some people asked John if he was the Messiah.  He seemed quick to explain, and we can read more about it in verses six through eight - "There was a man named John who was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light" (HCSB).

Who are we reflecting?  If we let God shine through us, then hopefully others will see Him, too.

Lord, thanks for loving us enough to die for us, to rise and to lead us now.  Please keep our minds focused on You so that others will know You, too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Christian Women's Job Corp = Gifted2Go Hearts Sharing Jesus!

There are so many creative life-changing Gifted2Go ways to share Jesus! Today we would like to share with you about Christian Women Jobs Corp! As you watch the above you tube link would you please join us in praying with and for Mary Callahan (Director of CWJC of Rankin Co Mississippi)! Mary and her CWJC team are Evangelistic Inspirations!!! As we thank God for the many ways that are available to serve the Lord through the giftedness that His Spirit provides each believer, what are some evangelistic ways you can share God's Heart with others this summer?!! ♥You Are Gifted2Go Share Jesus♥

Monday, May 23, 2011

We're Still Here!

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.(Matthew 24:26 and Mark 13:32, NIV)

He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority." (Acts 1:7, NIV)

We were at a graduation party on Saturday night when someone said, "We're still here!" The "proclaimed" time of the rapture of the church had come and gone and we were still here. Anyone who has read much Scripture knows that no one knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return for His church. From as early as I can remember, I have known that if someone says he knows when this will happen, we can be sure that it won't happen then. It all led to some good discussion and the need to know and study the truth of the Word of God.

We're still here for a reason: to proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God. You would think a respectable group proclaiming to know the date of the rapture would be telling people how to know God and trust Christ. We are still here and we are to use every available means to share how a personal relationship with Jesus is so important...not just to get to go to heaven, but to walk with Him daily.

The things we know are often new to others. Today, let's look for opportunities to share the truths of God with those who desperately need Him. We're still here to share the love of Jesus!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thoughts from One Leader to Another: #1

 "For you created my inmost being., you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.  I know that full well."  (Psalm 139:13-14)

The next few weeks I am gong to share some things with you that I have learned over the past twenty years in terms of being a leader.

First of all, God has made you unique!   You are not supposed to be like the lady who has been a member of your church for thirty years, like your friend in another town, or like the previous pastor’s wife of the church where you are.  Comparing ourselves to others can stifle the gifts, personalities, and jobs the Lord has for you in the church He has intentionally placed you.  Identify your own personality, gifts, passions, and abilities; then be confident of the purpose HE has for YOU.  Remember that God called you and and He knew what He was doing!!  If He has called you, He WILL equip you for the good work that He has called you to do.  Don’t depend on any human talents or abilities, but allow God to work through your distinct person.

"Lord, we thank you for the fearful and wonderful way you have created each of us.  Help us glorify you in and through our lives."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Your Forever Family!

"In Christ we were chosen to be God's people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with His plan. And He is the One who makes everything agree with what He decides and wants. We are the first people who hoped in Christ, and we were chosen so that we would bring praise to God's Glory. So it is with you. When you heard the true teaching - the Good News about your salvation - you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put His special mark of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that He had promised. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God promised for His people..."!Ephesians 1:11-14

Think about a time when you felt like you belonged to a group of people. Have you ever thought about how special it is to be chosen by God and given "His special mark of ownership" when you become a member of God's Forever Family?!

(Inspirational Words from The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent) "We all desire relationships in which we are accepted, valued, and wanted. We desperately long for this esteem from our peer group, but seldom experience the real thing. For the Christian, we belong, we matter, we have been accepted by God! No longer are we outcasts or second class citizens, we are part of His Forever Family when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior!"

Let's use these thoughts to dig deeper with God and answer a few questions just between you and The Lord:

  • Describe what it feels like to be unwanted

  • Describe what it feels like to be valued

  • What are some Spiritual Blessings that we have in Christ?

  • What is special about the truth that God specifically "chooses" us as His people?

  • What does it feel like to be "chosen" by God when we accept Jesus as our Savior?

Prayer of Thankfulness: Thank you, God for choosing us to be in Your Forever Family! Thank you for spurring us on by Your Love to share Jesus and Your Forever Family with others as Your Witness! Help us to remember that, no matter what we face in this world, we are CHOSEN by YOU and that YOU NEVER LEAVE US or FORSAKE US! Help us to see others, in the path of our lives, that are searching and needing their Forever Family & Your Forever Love! IN JESUS' NAME, AMEN!! (My Place In This World - Michael W. Smith)

Monday, May 16, 2011


7 Look at what is before your eyes. ...13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's area of influence. 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (1 Corinthians 10: 7a, 13-18, ESV)

Influence. It is interesting to me that some believers think that influence is just a secular word. Leadership is all about influence. In fact, my definition of leadership is that it is "visionary influence" (see Women Leading Women book). Living your life in such as way that others see Jesus and are influenced to know Him is what the Christian life is about.

In this passage in 1 Corinthians 10, we see that we are to look at what is before us. Who is right in front of us? What are they struggling with? How can we make a difference and reach out to them? We are to live our lives in a purposeful way in order to reach and influence others for Christ.

As I was serving at the preschool desk at church yesterday, I met many who needed someone to reach out and give a smile, a direction, and connect them to someone. People come as guests and need to connect. Sometimes I get to share the whole gospel, other times I connect them with different ministries. It is such a blessing to just be available.

As the Lord sends you on your way, look to see who is placed in your pathway. Stop and see how you can be of influence to help them to connect with Christ. We don't always see the connections but we know that God is using us. Don't waste your day, go and make a difference!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Faithful and Available

One of the most powerful true stories I have ever heard about God wanting us just to be faithful in what He has called us to do in evangelism is about a man from George Street.  It begins when Frances Dixon preached a revival in Great Britain and asked a man named Peter to share his testimony.  He shared how he was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia, when a man approached him and asked him "If you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven or hell?  The Bible says you can know."  So he proceeded to share how he found Christ as a result of that question.

Frances Dixon then asked Peter to share at another revival with him.  As he finished sharing, a man named Nowell stood up in the back and said that was his testimony as well.  He had been in Sydney, Australia, and a man on George Street stopped him and asked him the same questions, and as a result he became a Christian.

To make a long story short, Dixon found that in nine different places where he preached all over the world (including at a missionary conference in India) that has this same testimony.  So, he proceeded to arrange a trip to Sydney. Someone from Sydney led Dixon to his humble home where Mr. Genter was bed-ridden.  Dixon shared with Genter how he had found many people all over the world who were impacted b his questions.  Mr. Genter, with tears streaming down his face, said he told the Lord twenty-five years earlier that he would ask three people a day that question......but that he had NEVER known anyone come to the Lord as a result of his faithfulness. 

This story is SUCH an encouragement in evangelism in that God just wants us to be FAITHFUL to what He calls us to do.  We can trust God for results, but He just wants us to be faithful and available.  You can listen to the story as told by someone else on the attached link.

May all of us be faithful to do what God has called us to do!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Your Love is Strong

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:7-8, HCSB).

As I was reading Ephesians earlier this week, I admit I started out mostly thinking about how many things had to be done in the day.  Yet, this first chapter grabbed my attention.  Paul begins his letter to the church at Ephasus by reminding them of Christ who saves.  God knows what we have done against Him, but He has forgiven us anyway. 

That piece of truth has such depth - His grace is what brings us closer to being with God and bringing Him praise.  I thought, I hope I first remember how God showed mercy to me when I was lost in acting out against Him.  He has this rich grace, one that can't be matched, to forgive us every day.  He not only forgives but also gives us new hearts.  I pray I remember His power to change our lives.

So, I pray that we remember God's great kindness and that we help others see who He is.

"Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, 'This is what is written: the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.'" (Luke 24:45-47, HCSB).

Music video clip - link - Jon Foreman, "Your Love is Strong"

Monday, May 9, 2011

A New Thing

18 “Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

I love these verses. God wants us to know that He is always working and doing a new thing. If you know me at all, you know that I am all about the new thing. My problem is that I would rather do the new thing than finish the old thing. I have to pray for God to help me see the new thing, even in the midst of the old. Old things can be good but the new thing that God does is always better.

When we think about doing evangelism, we are usually looking for the new thing. What is working? What is that cutting edge event that will get people to see our risen Lord?

In this case, it is the same Gospel, the same good news. It may seem like an old thing but it never gets old. We just need to present Jesus in a new and fresh way. It is not that Jesus needs to be new, it is that our hearts need to be renewed to see what new thing He might be doing in someone's life.

Lord, do a new thing in my heart. I don't want to miss what new things you are doing!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pray for Open Doors

As I think about evangelism and try to encourage others to share Jesus with others, I am always challenged in my life to "practice what I preach."  A couple weeks ago I was at a local department store looking for cargo pants for my husband to wear to China.  (He likes the pockets on international flights.)  I was overwhelmed by the different sub-departments in the men's sections.  After looking to no avail, a lady named Sue asked if she could help me.  I told her what I needed and she went over the whole men's department to find exactly what I needed.

As I was checking out, I thanked her for her perseverance and told her how rare it was to find people like her in stores.  She immediately said she knew that values had changed in our culture and that she was worried about her grandchildren growing up in today's chaos.  I felt like she opened the door to say that I agreed that it was scary to raise kids in our society, but that I felt a good church youth group and a personal relationship with Christ helped my four children find good friends and make wise choices.  I asked her if she had a church.

Sue immediately said she was Catholic, but said she and her husband were thinking about visiting other churches (she did not attend a particular church).  I invited her to our church where my husband had just taken a new pastorate and gave her a gospel booklet I had in my purse.  She said they might visit and she accepted the booklet.

I hope she and her husband do come and I plan to visit her soon in the men's department. But through this, God reminded me to keep looking for opportunities and to "keep the main thing the main thing."

Paul said in Colossians 4:3  "And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ..."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

hope does not put us to shame

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5).

In the above verses, the goodness that comes from suffering, endurance, character, and hope is noted.  Why is it good?  Verse 5 explains, "because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." 

It amazes me how God gives us this love.  Jesus is alive, and the Holy Spirit has been given to us and poured into our hearts.  So, what?  By God's power, we can rejoice in times that are tough.  Will we help others see how we are able to rejoice through challenges?

Last week, I ran one of the furthest distances I have run yet.  It was painfiul during the last couple of miles for me, as I felt like my heart was beating in muscles that I didn't know existed.  Yet - I did not get through it alone.  Prayer helped for sure, as well as support from others.  And then I remembered it was possible to persevere and keep going.

Similarly, I think, our course in life to follow God will not always be easy.  We can take heart knowing that as believers and followers of Him that He is with us to guide us.  We can rest in remembering God's promises and the hope and strength that only He can give.  I pray that we tell others how His great love and power enables us to have faith in the midst of what may come our way.

Also, just a reminder of what Tracy wrote yesterday - today is the national day of prayer.

A link to "May Your Power Rest on Me" by Sojourn Music - - album link to play (click to left of track 8)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

There is HOPE in PRAYER!

Tomorrow is The National Day of Prayer! Joining you as we PRAY!

Pray for yourself, pray for others, pray for our world, pray for our nation, pray for those know the Lord, and most of all pray for those that need to accept Jesus as their Savior!

"My people who are called my My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from all their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 (National Day of Prayer 2011)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jesus is Coming Back!

Last weekend, I let my two oldest children (ages 3 & 2) watch "The Easter Story" animated movie. They are still enthralled by all things Easter right now, especially how the "big, shiny angel" moved that "giant rock" to "get Jesus out!"In preparation for Easter weekend, they have watched this movie a few times, and are constantly begging me to "watch Jesus' Easter again" even now that the official day has passed. However, last night when I went to put the movie on, I accidentally hit the power button instead of the play button on the dvd player, turning the movie off instead of starting to play. Immediately my kids let me know that their movie was NOT coming on and I needed to fix that right away. I turned the power back on, and the all blue screen filled my TV. All of the sudden, I heard my two year old little girl yell out "Momma - Jesus is coming back!!" Then she turned to her brother and said "See, He's coming back...See Him? See Him?". She continued to shout and clap and yell out "Jesus is back! Yay! Jesus is coming back!" As I smiled at her enthusiasm, I also felt quickly convicted about my own passion for the return of Jesus Christ. When I am confronted with the reality that Christ WILL return, many times I can react passively, as though this is a normal, known fact of being a Christian. However, this reality should be my driving hope, passion and fuel for living the Christian life. He is not dead; He is risen; He will return! Today, may we choose to live in the reality that Christ is coming back, and may that reality fuel us to excitedly share this truth with others!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Henna Parties

"Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits,
henna with nard" (Song of Solomon 4:13, ESV).

As women, we are always looking for ways to share the gospel of Christ in fun, meaningful, and creative ways. Within the last month, God has been showing me the way to use this Asian art form, Henna, to share the gospel. I admit that I was not really aware of it until one of my students wanted to do her research paper on henna evangelism with women. I looked into it and am amazed how many are already using it to share Christ. One of my other students hosted a henna evangelism party at her church this past weekend. The more I talk about it, the more I hear what others are doing! Below you will see two links to the ways henna can be used to share the love and stories of the gospel of Jesus!

Do you ever wonder what you can do? You can organize a henna party. If you do, plan to suggest that those who attend go and share the gospel with someone using henna. Who knows what God can do through the creative arts! You are gifted2go!