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Get up! Sister…
We need you to rise and take hold of who you are in Christ. We need you! We need your voice; we need your words, we need your personality. We need your hands and feet to proclaim Jesus. We need you to realize who you are in Christ. You are not a mistake, a joke, a failure. You were purposed to be a solution in our world. Your life and the events that have happened were not so you could roll around in ashes, NO, you were created to overcome the ashes for beauty.
You have not been through it all in vain, you have been through it all and have remained. You are still intact not with a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and sound judgment. You are not defeated, Get up! Sister
Rise and take hold of what God has put before you. Do not back down now! You are not weak-willed you have been trained and sustained so that you can stand with confidence. You chose to endure when no one saw; you chose Jesus when everything in you wanted to jump ship. You chose the good portion, and it will not be taken away from you, just like Mary at Bethany. At the feet of Jesus trusting and believing, listening and learning. Instead of busyness, you chose Him.
You filled your lanterns with oil, trimming the wick so the flame would not go out. Yes, maybe at times the flame has waned, but it has never gone out. Get up! Sister. There is still more oil to store. There is a wick that needs trimming so the flame can burn bright once again.
Get up! Sister and read your Bible out-loud when the enemy whispers His lies. Fight him with the word of God and he will flee. There is no other way!
Get up! Sister and dismiss the voices of others who do not have any oil for this time. Dismiss the Martha’s who are bitter because they chose to be busy when Jesus was inviting them to sit and learn. We need you, girl! We need you standing full of confidence in Jesus with us; there is plenty of room, we saved you a seat. Take it!
Get up! Sister and find your identity in Christ for yourself. Fill your vessels with oil, the word of God. We need you, we are waiting for you to rise up.
We must be broken in order to be made whole.
A Sociologist named Brene Brown said, “We are ‘those people.’” The truth is… most people in our world are one paycheck, one divorce, one addiction, one mental health diagnosis, one serious illness, one hurt, or one bad choice from becoming “those people”— the ones we don’t trust, the ones we pity, the ones we don’t let our children play with, the ones we don’t want living next door, the ones we know deep down need our love and God’s love more than anyone, but we can’t approach “those people.”
Our minds are so sensitive to the quiet voices telling us to keep up appearances, keep ourselves busy if we don’t think about it; it’s not really there, it will eventually get better.
Our generation has become artists of illusion, masters at covering pain, self-medicators, slaves to their finances, and lost in loneliness even when we are surrounded by those we love. All because we can’t seem to realize that the only solution for being broken is… brokenness.
We can never truly be whole until we’ve been broken. Those in this world that can make the most significant difference have not only risen to the top but have also fallen to the bottom.
Jesus makes the broken whole again. He takes the overlooked, the undervalued, the left out, the written off, the damaged and devastated, and then He does what only He can do.
I know this may not sound like it makes much sense, but brokenness is the first ingredient in a miraculous transformation. I am living breathing proof of that. The fact that I am alive, sober, full of peace and joy, and madly in love with Jesus Christ is all the proof I need. But in order for God to build me up and bring me this far, I first had to be broken down. Through loss, pain, anger, doubt, and tears I was not only broken…I was shattered, fractured and in pieces.
It was in that darkness that Christ’s light shone the brightest — illuminating each piece, gracefully fitting them together to form a new creation. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Not only that but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence.” Colossians 1:20-23 (The Message)
The best part of all, the part I still can’t believe most days, is that time after time God chooses to use the broken things. The ones that when asked how they have made such a miraculous transformation, they can only point to Him. That is why I am thankful for every tear, every heartache, every circumstance that broke me.
“If grace was a kingdom
I stopped at the gate
Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made
Oh but I heard a whisper
As Heaven bent down
Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown”
Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours
The pages of history they tell me it’s true
That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use
It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me
Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours
Grace is a kingdom
With gates open wide
There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside”
Broken Things – Matthew West
Last Saturday while moving a section of fence on our property I noticed that there was this wild rose bush. We have tried to kill the thing numerous amount of times. Just because it was growing in an inconvenient spot, the spot is right at the corner post of our fencing. What kind of fencing you ask well it is electric fencing for horses. You see the issue? It would eventually grow so big that it would ground out the current and render the fence useless.
So, as we removed the corner post and I saw this one small thorny green branch and thought, How in the world could you take all that uprooting and hacking and not die? Figuring that I would come out the next day and find it dead as a doornail. That is not what I found to my surprise I found the wild rose bush doing just fine. As I looked at it again, I said: “Well, if you made it through THAT! Then grow little rose bush! In my books that one little stem deserved to grow!
As I stared down at this little thorny stem, I heard Jesus say to my heart, ” Kinda like you!” I giggled back and said in my heart ” I guess so, Lord.” I looked back down and realized this little green, prickly, stem was a whole lot like me. Since Saturday I have been thinking about what Jesus said to me. I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. So I decided to look up all I could find about a wild rose bush. I mean who could blame me if Jesus is comparing me to it, I want to know the good, bad and the ugly!
I learned that a wild rose bush only blooms one time a year, those blooms typically only have five petals. The flowers are simple but stunning. Just like those rose bushes, we flourish in season. I love that these roses only have five petals, the number five represents grace in Hebrew. It is the grace of God we bloom at all.
I also learned that these rose bushes are where we get all roses from. They are a completely original, you and I are original; there will never be another human like us.
1 Corinthians 12:25-28 English Standard Version (ESV)
25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
In Verse 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individual members, you are original. Even though wild rose bushes can vary from white to pink, there are a million different hues, and each one is unique. We are all different, we have had different situations to create pigment in us. Those situations and circumstance are used to develop our personalities, they are what gives us our shade of color.
A wild rose doesn’t control its color or where it is placed, all the rose does is grow and wait to bloom.
I found out through my research that wild roses thrive on neglect and are exceptionally hardy, they can grow in poor soil, wet soil, good soil. How many times do people, jobs, friends neglect us but we have come to the understanding that even in the worse case scenarios our God never forsakes us. This makes us emotionally hardy to handle relationships, circumstances, loss and gain, sickness and health. I look at this beginning of a wild rose bush and realize that it is in rocky soil has been cut and abused. It has taken all that, and the little stem keeps coming back waiting to bloom. It has a purpose, it has roots deep down in the rocky soil. Just like this wild shrub we are all planted in different lands, pastures, in dry places, in soaking wet areas, in urban and rural locations. We might not even like the places we are, but we are still there no matter how many times someone has taken a swipe and widdled us down to a nub. We always come back knowing that one day we will bloom and complete our purpose. In His timing and for His glory.
I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the LORD your God.
You and I are planted purposefully and will not be uprooted out of the land that God has set us in. We don’t have to understand everything to remain. Once a wild rose bush is allowed to reach it’s full potential and blooms it not only is uniquely beautiful, but it leaves something vital behind, rose hips. These rose hips carry over into the winter months providing food for the birds.
Matthew 6:26 ESV
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Psalm 50:11 ESV
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
Every single bird, hill, and field is His. He knows exactly the time to allow us to bloom so that we can feed those around us. That our lives in full bloom leave necessary provisions for others to come and feed off of while in a winter season. A beautiful picture painted by God himself, that while we are growing. While God is sending the rain, sun, the wind. Every single branch, stem, leaf, every bud we are strategically positioned to open and display His glorious grace. This grace was intended to give life to a searching heart, and a hungry soul that see’s the grace of God in the wild rose bush. In a God who purposed such a beautiful bloom to provide food for another soul.
Not for a second does the Father not see how many times we have been cut down, trampled, misused, abused, forgotten, weed-ridden, planted in poor soil, and neglected we have grown through it all, by the grace of God. We have grit and tenacity that only comes from the Holy Spirit. I see now why Jesus said we were like wild rose bushes, growing in a pasture in a fence row, in poor conditions, in poor soil. We are hardy and exceptionally resilient.
No matter what comes, I am determined to bloom where I am planted so that my blooms will one day feed a hungry little bird searching for food. I want to be the vessel that God uses for that task. I am reminded more than ever when I am weak, I am strong. My current sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory in Christ Jesus that one day my face will behold.
Romans 8:18 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
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In His Service,
(Photo Credit: Cristen Smith https://www.facebook.com/cristen.smith.1656)
Last night, Monday to be exact I have been having a home Bible study for local women. I have really enjoyed the past two weeks we have gathered. Some are old friends some are brand spanking new. As I was listening to them speak, I repeatedly heard them bring up these words. I am lonely, I have little or no connection to my fellow sisters in the faith, I have never been mentored or discipled by another woman. To me, someone who is called to minister to other women realized at that moment that Jesus was giving me just what I prayed for and what I believe they had also longed for. Women’s Ministry is important, and I want to stress that. Women need ministering to, and there are important issues that need to be talked about and prayed about with other women.
I can’t be the only girl that seems like this? I can’t be the only hungry girl for scriptures? I can’t be the only girl that wants mentorship? What I have found in six years of ministering to women is this:
- Women acknowledge that they need Jesus on a more intimate level.
- Women want to understand and rightfully divide scriptures.
- Women want discipleship, fellowship, and friendship.
(Photo credit: Cristen Smith https://www.facebook.com/cristen.smith.1656)
Those are the three major points I hear over and over again. Today I really want to address godly friendships and the scriptures that really give us insight into healthy and meaningful sisterhood relationships. I am reminded of this scripture
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
This is how we navigate life, we store up the word in our hearts, so we know what the standard of relationships is and even when we choose wrong to help us navigate our way back to Jesus’ standard.
So here we go…
The first point I want to make is this:
Friendships can be essential or detrimental
Here is scripture to help us have wisdom in our friendships with each other. Remember, iron sharpens iron. We can help each other with these guidelines and standards. Remember no one is perfect, but if we see these qualities, we can understand that these relationships will be detrimental to our hearts.
Proverbs 20:19English Standard Version (ESV)
19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.[a
- Point being don’t associate with a gossip
Proverbs 28:7English Standard Version (ESV)
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
- Don’t associate with self-indulgence
Proverbs 29:3English Standard Version (ESV)
3 He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
- Don’t associate with immorality
Proverbs 4:23-27English Standard Version (ESV)
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder[a] the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.
- Most importantly watch over your heart <3
Proverbs 13:20English Standard Version (ESV)
20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
- Don’t associate with the fool
Friendship is a beautiful and an excellent thing, but they can be destructive and deadly too. Building godly friendships means we need to forget ourselves and ask ourselves these questions.
- How can I build them up?
- How can I meet their needs?
Another point I want to draw out is this are we willing to risk rejection? Sometimes we when we won’t settle for less we will get rejected by others. Are we prepared to risk that? Are we willing to love sacrificially? Another question I ask myself is this: Am I ready to love them at whatever costs? Am I willing to commit myself to their spiritual growth?
Friendship is not just taking, but a large part is giving your time, energy, and love. I am praying today we take each scripture and not apply them to others, but to ourselves and ask ourselves this question: HOW DO I MEASURE UP AS A FRIEND TO THESE SCRIPTURES?
Lord, help us be good to one another. Lord, help us to cultivate beautiful and meaningful relationships with our fellow sisters. Help us, Lord, to be honest with you and ourselves on our weaknesses. Lord, I thank you so very much for setting the standard of love. Lord, I pray for each one of my sister-friends today. I ask that you would touch them and give them wisdom in how to be an excellent friend. Heal our broken spots, Lord so we can walk in love with one another. In the mighty name of Jesus, I ask these things. Amen!
Friend, remember today in all of our weakness His power is made perfect through those weaknesses
You don’t have to have a particular prayer
You don’t have to look a certain way
You certainly don’t have to be “good enough.”
All you have to do for God to use you is have a dependency on Jesus.
I asked the Lord a couple of weeks ago to heal a broken place in my life. I heard inside my heart “My Grace is Sufficient for you.” I smiled and said “Amen.” That answer was not No, or I don’t care. This reply was telling me to lean on Jesus, He will sustain us (Colossians 1:16-17 )
So, as Paul says in
2 Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Friend, I don’t have all the answer’s. There are thing’s that make me scratch my head and even wonder “Why?” but I know to the core of my soul. God’s Character is only good and no darkness lies (1John1:5) (James 1:17) (Daniel 2:22) Why do I believe that? Not because of my own heart, but because of God’s heart toward man. That’s found in the Bible. That beautifully bound book reveals Him and only Him. Sometimes we have to get over ourselves to see the bigger picture. All roads lead to Jesus. He is the center of the universe, and if God says it in His Word, then He will do it. He stands guard over His word watching, making sure it comes to pass. Jeremiah 1:12
Keep praying the Word of God over yourselves and declaring His Word even in our weaknesses. After all, His word says He has loved us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
Silence is a strange thing in today’s time. We have so many ways of communication and staying in touch. Sometimes they are wonderful and sometimes they can fuel the biggest commotion and ruckus we have ever seen. I am reminded this morning of
Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
In Mark 15:4
Pilate asked Jesus: “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against YOU!”
I LOVE verse five
But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.
Oh! If we would just be still and quiet. I believe with all my heart even in the midst of our trials or triumphs, remaining still and quiet means we are firmly residing on the cornerstone. I know this is seemingly impossible to us, but with the power of God abiding in our hearts we can.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Jesus knew by remaining quiet the Father’s will would be carried out to His own crucifixion. That is why I believe He stayed quiet. I also believe that our tongue can get us into more trouble that we like to think. In the book of James, we see just what the tongue is truly like.
James 3:6 – And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
My Favorite and actually the verse I want you to recognize here
Proverbs 15:28 – The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
Jesus upheld this verse in Mark 15:4 He knew it was not the time nor the place to speak up or speak out against something. In verse 5 we see Jesus’ silence marvels Pilate.
- 1.be filled with wonder or astonishment:“she marveled at Jeffrey’s composure”synonyms:
- 1.a wonderful or astonishing person or thing:“the marvels of technology”synonyms:
I mean here is Pilate looking straight into the eyes of the King of Kings and he is marveled by silence. That is Jesus, he is marvelous! Pilate was in the presence of marvel. Even though Pilate did not trust in Jesus, He still could not help to be filled with wonder and astonishment to behold a miracle from God, His name is Jesus.
Today, as you are going throughout your day, I want you to be reminded that even Jesus was still while being accused, while totally and utterly innocent. Maybe, you find yourself in a similar situation where you are constantly wrongly accused, and you want to speak on your behalf. I will tell you to trust in Jesus and be still and know that He is God and that no matter what happens from those accusations or unjustified circumstances. That your silence will marvel someone! You not taking up for yourself and or adding to the problem could marvel someone right to the feet of Jesus. Keep mimicking Jesus. He will never lead you astray, and Jesus is always fighting our battles.
Couple more scriptures to remind you:
Psalm 37:7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
Psalm 62:5-6 My soul, wait suddenly for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved
John 16:33 I have told you this so that through me you may have peace. In the world you’ll have trouble, but be courageous—I’ve overcome the world!
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Silence is golden, my friend
Being still in the midst of chaos is the marvelous power of Jesus Christ. The power that rolled the stone away, the power that sent life, a way to Heaven, and the truth to us. – Kimberly Ferren
I know remaining quiet is hard, I am praying for you today. I am asking the Lord to take the desire out of us to defend ourselves. To be aware when the enemy is doing all that he can to disarm, discredit, disable us. We can fight, we get to choose Jesus or the world. We have a say, don’t ever let our enemy fool you otherwise.
Romans 6:6 ESV
We know that our old self-was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
One last thought……
Today I want you to know or at least read that you are justified and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. He is your help in ever-present trouble which is this world.
The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.
(2 Peter 2:9)
He knows! <3