God’s Version of Girl Power – Pt. 3 – Esther

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Photo by Jared Subia

Finally my favorite woman in scripture – Esther. You want to know what true girl power looks like, read Esther. I remember when I first really understood what Esther was all about – it was when I watched a movie. Watching the movie encouraged me to read the whole book (which is small and doesn’t take long) and I was hooked. I was convinced this is the type of woman I want to be.

I want to be the kind of woman that conducts her life with humility and strength.  A woman that seeks after God FIRST and then follows Gods path regardless of what I think the outcome might be. I want to be the kind of person who trusts God over top of what man might say or do.

I wish I could go into details about Esther but reading it would far outweigh anything I could say. To make it short, Esther (a Jew) ended up queen of Persia (a non-Jewish “state”) and saved her people from total annihilation at the risk of her own life. Her most famous quote when she had to go into the King to speak with him without permission (even the queen wasn’t allowed to go into the kings presence without being summoned), was the following:

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.  Esther 4:16

She didn’t come to this decision lightly, in fact, when Mordecai first told her of Haman’s plot to kill the Jewish people, she sent message to remind him she couldn’t go into the king’s presence without risking death. Fear came upon her. He then sent the following back to her:

Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:13-14

This is the kind of “girl power” I want to posses. The kind of power that only comes from above. The kind of power that comes with being obedient to my heavenly Father. The kind of power that comes from prayer and fasting. Truthfully, I don’t want girl power at all – I want God power given to me through the Holy Spirit because of the sacrifice Jesus made at Calvary. Honestly, that is the only true power!

Thank you for joining me and learning about a couple women from scripture and learning how in today’s society what they consider “girl power” is not power at all.  The power we see working through Debra the Judge and Esther the Queen is power from on high. Thank you Lord for that “power power wonder working power in the blood of the lamb!”

 

If  you want to know more about Jesus and how He can change your life, click here. Additionally, there is a team of Godly women who want to pray for you and whatever situation you find yourself in. If you need prayer click here.

Grab Your Sword Ladies!

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O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.  Romans 7:24-25

I was thinking today about the thoughts that run through my head. How they can be so dark and not at all Godly. How sometimes they are thoughts that just pop in my head, ones I would never entertain or think of purposely.

It reminds me of what scripture says about our thoughts.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ  2 Corinthians 10:5

Oh wretched man that I am! How our flesh WARS against the Spirit. As long as we are here on earth in these bodies made of flesh, we will have thoughts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. We need to take them captive and put them under obedience. A lot of the time these thoughts are just lies. Thoughts of who God is not and who we are not.

For this reason, we have to do what David did…

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11

If you are familiar with the story of Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), you will notice every time satan tries to tempt Christ, he comes back with scripture. You read over and over again, “as it is written.”  Our defense against these thoughts and imaginations is the sword of the spirit which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

So the next time you have an unclean thought that just pops into your head out of no where, do what the word says. Take it captive, bring it under obedience to Christ, and throw the Word of God right back at it to reveal its lie!

Love y’all and keep up the good fight!

 

If you want to know more about Jesus and how He can change your life, click here. Additionally, there are a team of Godly women who want to pray for you and whatever situation you find yourself in. If you need prayer click here.

In the Hard Places

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This past week has been hard. Our Women’s Ministry at church has been gearing up for a retreat and we are coming up on it at the end of this month. We are expecting some breakthroughs and some breakouts to happen in a HUGE way. We all feel it. However, with expectancy, we still have an enemy who is fighting in such hard ways and it’s stretching us to our limits. BUT God….

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  John 10:10

So the enemy has tried to use division – stealing our unity,  killing our spirit, and destroying friendships. Thank GOD for obedient pastors and preachers who when feeling this spirit of division preached the truth in love and brought conviction and healing. THANK GOD!

I can assure you that anytime you or a ministry you are involved in decides to get closer to the Lord, there will be a fight. Just expect it and have your armor on and be ready (Ephesians 6:10-18). But remember this…

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.1 John 4:4

Share your testimony of those times you came through a battle. WE are over-comers when we share!

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.  Revelation 12:11

My prayer is when you find yourself in a battle, you won’t run but you will stand firm in knowing that the One (Jesus) who died for you is constantly fighting for you too! Remember where your strength comes from!

Love y’all!

 

If you are wondering who this Jesus is, click here – He can change your life! If you need prayer click here and leave us a prayer request and myself along with some pretty awesome, Godly women will pray for your situation.

Receiving Grace

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BY LINDZEY YAROSH

Everyone sins. Even Christians. As Christians, we often struggle to accept this fact. We worry about what others will think if they find out about our sin. Will we be called a hypocrite? Will people doubt our salvation? When it comes to our sin, we are often our own worst critic; and we can struggle to receive the grace and forgiveness that God freely gives us through Christ Jesus. Sometimes we even convince ourselves that our sin is too much for God to forgive. For these reasons and more, we as Christians must always be reminded of certain truths.

First of all, God loves us a lot! Christians are very familiar with John 3:16 and know that God loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life with Him. But do we always remember what this really means? Romans 5:8-9 explains it this way,

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”

Even when we wanted absolutely nothing to do with God, Christ died for us. How amazing! The moment we believe this and choose to follow Jesus as King, God declares us righteous and adopts us into His family. Chuck Swindoll describes it like this, “Justification is the sovereign act of God whereby He declares righteous the believing sinner while he or she is still in a sinning state.”

Because Christ paid our sin debt and because God counts us as righteous when we follow Christ as Lord and Savior, we are no longer held responsible to receive the punishment of our sins and have no reason to be afraid.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1

We can trust that this is true, even when we fail, and we will fail. Proverbs 24:16 confirms this.

“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.”

Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us alone when we do fail; instead, He is there to guide us and to help us through. Psalm 37:23-24 says,

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with His hand.”

So today, if you are struggling to receive God’s gift of forgiveness, remember the truth of 1 John 1:9.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Take a moment to confess your sin to Him today and confidently receive His gift of grace and mercy. Then continue to live the life Christ has called you to live.

Lindzey attends Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, KY with her husband, Billy, to whom she has been married for 5 years. She is currently working toward a Graduate Certificate at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In her spare time she enjoys relaxing with her husband, cat, and Goldendoodle, hiking, crafting and watching Kentucky basketball.

 

If you need prayer, we have some Godly women at the ready to pray for you. Click here to leave a prayer request. If you are wondering what Christianity is all about and if it’s for you, click here.

Video Friday – Lean In

I have had the phrase, “Lean in” going off in my brain for a few days now. I was reminded of this because a friend of mine has been having some difficulty in her life  and it reminded me of times when I had difficulty. Our circumstances are a little different but the way we need to go about them is the same – Lean into Jesus!

This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn (and I’m still learning it) because I’m a runner. When things get bad and there isn’t anything I can do to fix it, I take off. After all my thought was, “if I can’t fix it, what is the use.” But God wants us to LEAN IN when these things happen. I’ve been practicing this along with WAITING on the Lord for an answer (whew is that a hard one!).

This video is short but it is EXACTLY what I discovered the hard way and I want to share with you in hopes you won’t go through the tough times I went through as a result of not leaning in. Enjoy!

Video Friday – Greater love hath no man than this…

Lately God has had me look at suffering – what it means to suffer, where He is in the suffering, and why He allows suffering. Believe it or not, it has been a joyous unpacking of this subject. It has made me truly understand how God sees me and who He is.

I know I’ve kind of been stuck the past couple Friday’s with “The Chat with Priscilla” but she has such great guests and such relevant topics that I can’t help but share. Get a tissue, and glean from these videos what you might need in these moments in your life.

 

God or His Stuff

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Photo by Jean-Pierre Brungs

BY SHARON MABRY

I must confess when I started my relationship with the Lord 11 years ago I was deeply in love with Him. As years went by slowly and unknowingly my attraction became more focused on His stuff and what He could do for me rather than on He, Himself, the Creator of the universe.

My world began to shake three years ago when my mother died from metastatic breast cancer. If anyone had faith for a healing it was her. If anyone prayed earnestly with supplication for a miracle it was me. And then she died; and I was angry. Where was the God who hears and answers prayer?

My anger was fueled a couple months later when, after seven years of infertility I became pregnant only to have a miscarriage. I felt like a pawn in a game and my feelings didn’t matter. He didn’t heal my mother and He gave me a child only to take it away. Although I got pregnant again right away and have two precious little boys now I was still angry that I had to experience that hurt. I pictured God on His throne sitting in a cloud of injustice, laughing at the devastating heartache He had created in me. I sincerely thought about walking away from Him at that point, but I knew in my heart, that His heart towards me was good. I would tell myself to remember the heart of God was good, even though I couldn’t see His hand.

I started looking for answers. Why didn’t God heal anymore? Why did the God of today look so different from the God of the Bible? I thought that everyone got their healing because they had faith as a mustard seed, that they really had this immense joy all the time because the answer was always yes. I found out sometimes the answer is no.
I had opportunity to talk with my pastor one day after service just a few months ago and got real with him and asked why he thought we don’t see the miracles today like they did in the Bible. His answer, “I think in that time people were following after Jesus more than they were praying for comfort.” I instantly had a peace that I hadn’t had for a long time.

That is what I’d been doing. I’d been praying unknowingly with the wrong motive, I’d been praying for my comfort. I wanted my mother to live so I wouldn’t have to experience the hurt of loosing her. I had finally gotten peace about not having children only to experience a miscarriage, never mind I got pregnant again and had a precious little boy. I had been acting as though I was entitled to never feel hurt, to have all my prayers answered because I was a child of the most High, because I was ‘someone’. I wouldn’t listen to the Lord, so He, in all His love had to forcefully remove me from my high horse; and it hurt. He loved me enough to say no so that I could get back in right standing before Him.

I got back into the Word, I had to find out who did God say He was. I went to the gospels to look at the life of Jesus as he demonstrated the Heart of God to the people here. In Luke 5:17-25 a man with palsy was lowered through a roof by friends for a healing and Jesus forgave his sins. He didn’t heal him at first although that was what was sought after. Jesus healed him to prove to the Pharisees that He had power upon earth to forgive sins. Jesus took care of what was most important first, not this man’s ability to walk, but to have his sins forgiven so that he could live in freedom. This man got both, but sometimes the healing doesn’t come. Sometimes all we get is freedom, and that’s okay because after all, isn’t that the best part? My mother wasn’t healed, and I experienced heartache, but she was set free, why should I grieve for that? She got the best part.

Then I read in Mark 6:45-55 that Jesus sent his disciples to cross the sea while He went alone to a mountain to pray. Jesus had just fed the multitude with five loaves of bread and two fish, then we pick up in verse 48:

And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed them by.”

Stop there. Jesus saw they were in trouble, they were doing something He told them to do, and He was going to walk by! Seven years of infertility, fours years into it I finally get peace just to have a miscarriage three years later. I was toiling in that boat and you were walking by. Why? In verse 51-52:

“…and he went up unto them into the ship; and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.”

Maybe, my heart had hardened…maybe I’d become entitled, maybe because I unknowingly had fallen in love with your stuff, maybe because I needed to spend an evening at sea toiling with the winds to remind me that it is only when God steps into the boat, into my situation with His Grace that the winds become calm. My heavenly Father loved me enough to send me out onto the troubled sea so that I would give him opportunity to step into my boat so that when I come to the other side I can say, that I know Him. Verse 54:

“And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,”

I’ve recently learned, that sometimes the answer is no, that it is good for me to experience life and all the hurts that it has to offer. That God is not my self-help genie to protect me from all things uncomfortable, but that He is my Father and He loves me, and He wants to mold me into the best individual possible so that I can contribute in this life and not just consume. That means sometimes the healing won’t come, and the night will be spent toiling, but when the fourth watch has come, He will step into my situation and the winds will cease, and I will know Him even more because the storm is what brought Him into my boat.

 

After a childhood of abuse, the Lord delivered Sharon Mabry from a life of alcohol and drug abuse as well as self-mutilation. Sharon is a walking testimony to the power of grace and love through Jesus Christ. She joyfully serves the Lord as she stays home to raise her children.