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.

 

For Your Good and God’s Glory

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Photo by Amar Yashlaha

Like myself, I’m sure all of you have had times when you are in a deep valley and you wonder if you are ever going to get out. I know that in the times I was there, it felt as if my prayers went nowhere; like I was in the valley of DRY bones. If you have found yourself at this moment – HANG ON – God is certainly in control.

I can not count on my fingers and toes how many times I’ve heard, “Satan is attacking.” And don’t get me wrong, it’s true. In those dark moments when it seems like nothing is going right and you are sitting with all this concern and worry in your head, Satan certainly is attacking. But here is an idea – God is allowing Satan to do what He is doing. God is allowing Him to only go so far with you (a Job-like experience).

Does this mean God doesn’t love you? NO of course not! Rather, God loves you enough to put you in situations where you can grow. While we are on the mountaintop and everything is going good, although it’s a reprieve from the wiles of the Devil, there isn’t much spiritual growth that happens there. The growth comes in the valley. It comes in those times when all we have is Jesus. Let’s look at what Jesus said to Peter:

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.  Luke 22:31-32

He said, “…and when though art converted, strengthen the brethren.” We are to take these dark valley moments and turn them into a testimony and teachable moments for others. We are supposed to use them to strengthen others. EVERYTHING we are given is for OUR GOOD and for GODS GLORY! How can we ever help others when we have no idea what it is like to be in their shoes.

One of the sayings I try never to say (although it pops out of my mouth from time to time) is, “If it were me, I would do ______(fill in the blank).” The truth is, we never really know what we would do in any given situation unless we’ve been there.

Look at the times in your life – those dark valley moments and glean from it what you can and use that testimony to strengthen that brother or sister going through a hard time. Let them know you know how they feel and how you held on to the hand of Jesus throughout. Use it! Use your experiences to do what Jesus told Peter to do; strengthen the brethren.

If you have a prayer request, we would love for you to share it with us. We have a bunch of Godly women who would love the chance to pray for you. Click here to make your request. If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior but want to know how He can change your life, click here.

Comedy Video Friday with Michael Jr.

While I was searching today for the video to put up for Video Friday, I had the idea that I wanted to find a video about being committed to ministry. To be honest, my thoughts have been on this subject matter on and off for awhile.

God had a different plan.

What I didn’t know is I needed to laugh. I needed to feel happiness and not to be so serious. This video is pretty funny – I hope you enjoy it.

Be Careful with Your Heart

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Photo by Giulia Bertelli

BY SERENA SMITH & CANDIE BALDRIDGE

A Christian husband is priceless. The best thing is the Godly council they provide, especially in affairs of the heart. When you are in ministry or just in the world as a Christian, there are many times we can get hurt by people. Maybe they mean to do us harm, maybe they have no clue they have hurt us – but it happens. In these cases, it is so nice to have a Godly husband to go to and receive wise instruction.

In today’s world, finding a Christian sister you really bond with is rare. It’s unfortunate to have to say but true (there we go – keeping it real!). I know that both myself & Serena can tell you that finding a trustworthy friend you can pour your heart out to is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. When we finally find someone who we mesh with easily, we can start to share ourselves and our lives with this person far before we know their character. This can be a recipe for disaster.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  Proverbs 4:23

This verse doesn’t mean we should put a wall up and not allow anyone into our lives, it means we should have discernment on who we allow to know our lives and those with which we are just friendly. How do we get this discernment? How do we know when someone is trustworthy enough to know our lives?

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14

One answer – READ THE BIBLE! You will not be able to discern good from evil if you aren’t studying the word of God.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

We can not hear God when we aren’t hearing His word.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

We must read his word to have the discernment we need to choose Godly people in our lives. The only way to attain any of this is to know God through His word. The true bonds will just happen as we focus on God and our spirit connects with another’s spirit. Remember, friendship is a gift and we shouldn’t be so quick to give it away.

In addition, let’s not discount prayer. When you meet someone for the first time and you are really connecting with this person – pray. Pray that God gives you what you need to know if this person means good for you, is there to teach you something, or means evil for you and you shouldn’t give them fuel for the fire.

Lastly, always remember, the one friend we can rely on to understand and to not bring us harm is Jesus. Put your focus on Him and on His word and you will have the discernment to know good from evil and the faith to trust God in the process.

 

Serena Smith is a pastor’s wife, mother, and a grandmother. She has been a Christian for 31 years and likes to share her faith with others. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time cooking for her family, taking walks with her sweetheart, and playing with her 4 beautiful grandchildren.

If you have a prayer request, we have a group of Godly women who would love to pray for you. Click here to share your request. If you would like to know more about Jesus and how he has changed the lives of others and can do the same for you, click here.