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To my sisters who are struggling to see your place at the table:
You have a seat, don’t ever think for a second there is no room at the mighty table of God for you. You were created mindfully by the Creator.
Women are relevant
We have gifts, Jesus can give us insight, Jesus can use us mightily if we surrender and do our homework (study the Bible).
Romans 16 (study it)
Anyone who says women don’t have a place beside our brothers well they have been mistaken. There are so many scriptures that suggest women weren’t just used for ” womanly duties” The women listed in this whole chapter were the exact opposite of the weak-willed woman in 2 Timothy 3:6-9, not all women are easily trapped, some of us know the truth and boldly proclaim it. We get to choose whether or not we will be weak-willed or not. Jesus died for that choice for us. I’m grateful for that, I’m thankful for the truth, so we know who we are in Him. No one can ever take that away. No one. If Jesus is calling you, ladies don’t shrink back from it, embrace it. It won’t be easy, He never promised us that, but it will be worth it. God had purposes for us when He formed us in our Mother’s womb.
Listen, single ladies, it’s okay never to get married! Some of us are not called to marriage. There is nothing wrong with you, your not ugly, your not defective, your not Weird! You are who He has developed you to be. Embrace that!
Married women your ministry is your family but you can serve outside of that if God is calling you, he will give you the strength, wisdom and knowledge/ understanding. He will balance you so that you can do all things through Christ Jesus.
To my divorced sisters regardless of your feelings, you are worthy because Jesus blood made you righteous. No sin is too high for the blood of Jesus to wash away, it is covered sister, it has been paid for by the King. You have been called by Jesus, never let that leave your heart.
We are not disqualified by our brokenness we are equipped by it to minister to those who have felt the same sting, the same heaviness. We all are called to minister to brokenness by brokenness.
Never think for a second that what you think is a weakness disqualifies you. That’s just not true 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
When I am weak, then I am strong!!! When I don’t have what it takes, then I am in position for God’s presence to rest upon me and through me! We can be our own worst enemies, we can discredit ourselves before we even allow God to fully show us what purpose He has for us to serve Him with. Every season of our lives will have a different use. Don’t despise these small beginnings.
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:
(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.
19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.[a
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
3 He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
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.
20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
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.
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!
Just wanted to give some of you just a glimpse of what has been going on. No excuses except one tired Mama. To be honest and transparent I am in a bit of a dry spell. Seems these days I am grasping for alone time with Jesus. I believe Jesus in this season is just simply throwing me for a loop. That is good, ha! He is switching up and stretching me. So, I pray I am even more honest with Jesus and you all. It is an accountability thing, so here we go! Back in the saddle as they say.
This morning I was standing at coffee maker and had an overwhelming feeling of fear of failure. A “feeling” that turned into a “thought” (hmmm sound familiar??) As soon as that thought ran through my mind I said to myself ” Jesus, meet me right here. I am choosing today to direct my eyes back to you and not what I feel or think.” A simple heart cry from a struggling piece of flesh. A heart cry, I believe there is something broken and beautiful about a heart cry. I am not saying replace a heart cry with prayer, but there are moments on our journies where the weary can only cry out from their heart. That heart cry invites Jesus to come in like a flood. That heart cry is healthy and welcomed by a tender and merciful God.
A heart cry of a wounded warrior is the beginning battle cry to the divine warrior, Jesus.
A heart cry is really a heart turning to Jesus, it is repentance. Repentance for walking without talking; running without resting. To me, there is just something miraculous and full of wonder about a child of God’s heart. I am captivated by how gentle and caring our omnipotent God can turn a heart of a wandering child. There is just something about it, I really can’t describe it with words. It is powerful, yet so graceful. Every single child of God knows the indescribable brilliance of God turning a heart. It is God’s glory, and His name is Jesus.
I don’t really have anything profound or significant to type out today. Just in case you are in the same rocking boat I am in today. Know this, a heart that cries out to Jesus is a heart that knows Jesus. It is a heart that knows the grace, mercy, and love of God.
It wouldn’t be me without scripture, so I am going to leave you with this Psalm 123 MSG. I chose The Message translation because it just fits this morning. Feel free to read in any translation. I really believe with all my heart all the things that are occurring in our lives, world and specifically in the United States. I would be safe to say every child of God is crying out in our hearts today Psalm 123. I am praying today, in my small prayers that our heart would cry out to Jesus and would lead us to the feet of Jesus every time in every situation. I sure do love each precious eye that reads these words. It really is an honor to get to share my heart with so many. Today, my friend in the waves of life there is mercy. So, with that being said when things are looking bad or even terrible I am reminded of this:
My eyes are above the waves, my eyes are drawn up toward heaven for help.
I am a servant that is watching, waiting, and holding my breath for your mercy God
Mercy, God, mercy! <3
Thank you, Father, for your mercy; Jesus Christ. In Jesus glorious and mighty name, Amen
Psalm 123 Msg
1-4 I look to you, heaven-dwelling God,
look up to you for help.
Like servants, alert to their master’s commands,
like a maiden attending her lady,
We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath,
awaiting your word of mercy.
Mercy, God, mercy!
We’ve been kicked around long enough,
Kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men,
kicked when we’re down by arrogant brutes.
Luke 10:38-42English Standard Version (ESV)
Martha and Mary
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus[a] entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
This small bit of info in the scriptures has always intrigued me. I mean I get the spiritual implication here. I know that we can get so caught up in serving that we forget to come to Jesus in prayer and allow Him to teach us His word. What I really want to focus in on is Jesus reply to Martha. After she has what I call a spiritual breakdown and physical fatigue meltdown.
The reason we react just like Martha in our journey with Jesus is:
1.) We are distracted
Just like it says here in verse forty, 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
Martha was distracted with much serving and not enough time with Jesus who gives rest
When we have a distracted mind frame, we are spread thin. Troubled mindset is always related to not taking our cares to God in prayer. We think we can just “handle it” “we believe God has strengthened us enough to take care of it” or “We might even find it is just not important enough to vocalize to God.” We are carrying loads of emotion, regret, and shame and suppressing it instead of sharing it with the burden carrier. This leads straight to excuses then before you know it we have arrived at distracted danger. You know it could be as little as someone said something to you that hurt you to the core. It could be that you are struggling financially, it could be that you are having major problems in your relationships with your loved ones. All these things have the potential to distract us from the word of God. Oh, how guilty of this I am. No matter how mature or immature I appear or even am, I still need to reset and rest at the feet of Jesus. That will never change, His Word says:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
2.) We become impatient
Martha says directly to Jesus ” Lord! Do you even care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Tell her to help me!!!!
So, when we become distracted any little infraction becomes gigantic and we microscope everything, everyone, every situation. We are walking around like a nuclear bomb waiting to unleash on everyone and everything. We are bubbling over with cares concerns, and criticisms that have not been passed through the Word of God or at the feet of Jesus. We are wired like eight-day clocks. This is stress, it is building up because we are holding it in. Again, no matter how far I grow up in Christ. If I am not careful, I naturally get to a place where I begin to do this. Jesus knows this and is well aware of “What is actually eating at Gilbert Grape.” This is when we should be clued in, this is when the Holy Spirit is saying ” Come to me, I will give you comfort, rest, assurance.” Our instinct is to hold it in, but Jesus is saying ” Tell Me, what is bothering you.” If we do what the Word of God says:
7 casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.
You know Martha is not the only person to think that God did not care about a circumstance. The disciples also did the same thing in
38 But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?”
The boat was catching water, it was tipping back and forth, so many men crammed in, lighting striking all around, wind blowing them down. You get the picture! Yet in letting the storm distract them, they grew impatient. They cried out and accused The Lord of not caring about their lives. Sound familiar??? I know it does to me! I am so thankful for infinite grace and renewed mercies every day for all of us.
The third and final point I want to draw out is
3.) Jesus is faithful, even when we are distracted and impatient.
Even in our distraction and impatience Jesus still answer’s us. He calms us down and say’s to us just what He said to Martha
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
Jesus knows what really is bothering Martha, she is trying to carry all of it on her shoulders. She is trying to control and she can not, she is trying to rely on herself instead of Jesus, she is not allowing herself enough time with Jesus to unload her cares and concerns to Jesus who gives rest.
We are all Martha’s at times, we just have to remember that there is always a pair of feet we can come and rest at.
6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
22 Then He said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear.
I love a comma, I love that there is something that follows right behind what we know we should already do. It is called God’s grace, and without it, we are bankrupt. It is how love endures and never fails.
Notice after Jesus tells Martha what the real problem is he follows up with an invitation at least that is what I see in this scripture.
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the right portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus is telling Martha ” That can wait, Martha, come and join Mary and sit at my feet and listen.
Jesus said one thing is necessary for us to continue to move forward in our relationship, our callings, our season’s of life. That is that when we feel overwhelmed, defeated, anxious, upset, angry or happy, joyful, and rejoicing that we make time for us to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He says and teaches us, daily. He invites us, He never forces. He will remain to wait even when we come to Him asking with prayer ” Lord! DO YOU EVEN CARE!”
Of course, He cares, He is just not distracted by the storm like we are. He is the living God, nothing moves Him; except us. He moved from His throne to save us. He moves on our behalf every day. He is our all in all; our Champion. Our Hero.
Psalm 16:5 Lord, You are my portion hand my cup of blessing; You hold my future.
Psalm 27:4 I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple.
Remember our work is unto the Lord
27 Don’t work for the food that perishes d but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the • Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.”