What's Happening...
Subscribe to our blog!
Previous blog posts
Search our website
We're on Facebook!

Our Blog Contributors

Myra Balok
Lisa Barber
Daisy Danielson
Stephanie Gardner
Beth Husband
Melissa Lamie
Braelene Miller
Stacey Pardoe
Debby Snyder
Cindy Stewart
Linda Vester

Verse of the Day
Monday
Nov172014

The Master MTO Specialist

Last week I walked into Sheetz and stepped up to the MTO (Made To Order) kiosk to place an order.  As I checked off my requests for different items, my mind began to wander, “What if we could do this for our spiritual lives?”  

  •  Love
  •  Joy
  • Peace
  • Longsuffering
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-Control

I trust that when I pray to the Lord, the Master MTO Specialist, to help increase these things in me…He will do it! When I submit my requests, He hears me and goes right to work to bring about His very best for me.  

 

Once our prayers have been answered, we must do our part.  If we order our item from Sheetz and never ingest it, it has no benefit.  Therefore, while He is faithful to always answer these prayers…we must internalize and practice what He has graciously handed us.  We need to ask Jesus to help us live out this new gift!  He will show us every step of the way.  We are never left alone to figure it out! 

My list, of course, is much longer than just the Fruit of the Spirit.  But without the Lord working inside of me, I would surely find that without Him, my checklist is worthless garbage.  He makes the difference.

Let us forge ahead with confidence that when we ask, He goes right to work to build inside of us a woman of faith that looks an awful lot like her Daddy.  

Your MTO Specialist is standing by!

Braelene

Monday
Nov102014

Skunked!

About two years ago our family adopted a new member.  He was a pet and friend for my son.......a Cairn Terrior.  Since that time, Max has befriended each member of our family in a slightly different way.  To my son he is a rival, always wanting to chase and play, always wanting to win.  To my husband he is another pet on our list of several who he diligently cares for.  Since my health struggle began in March, Max has become my constant companion, my shadow, my "Furry Friend", if you will.  But to the critters who live outside of our house, he is a twenty five pound Cairn "terrorist".

Each morning before daylight, I open the garage door to allow Max to "charge out" into the 
yard .  Every morning it's the same routine.  I open the door.  He runs as fast as he can, loudly barking and looking for any animal he can find to begin his day of chasing terror.

All fun and games until the morning there was something else waiting in the yard for Max besides the usual "kitties".  All fun and games until Max met his terrorist nemesis, the skunk.



Now terriers have a kind of "natural odor" that is unique to them.  Terrier scent mixed with wet morning grass and skunk makes for a not-so-aromatic mixture.  And so the animal games began.  Every morning for at least a week, Max met his "smelly friend" and so blessed our house with stinky smells.

How does this apply to us?  I was spending time with God one morning very early before Max went outside.  He wanted to cuddle up in my lap so that I could love him.  But even though I tried many ways to get the stinky smell out of Max's fur, nothing completely erased it.  So here I had a stinky pup who loved me so much and just wanted my love in return.  It was then that I realized that to God I am the stinky pup.  Each day he tells me, sends me, commands me to go out into that "stinky world" that He loves, and love them back.

When I go out there, I am not immune to the stink.  Just like Max, I oftentimes may start to smell like the company that I keep.  But if I don't go, how will they ever see, feel or experience God's most precious gift, his unchanging, undying love for us.  One thing is different though.  Whenever I want to "snuggle up" and spend time with my Master, He takes that worldly stink, and blesses me with a divine fragrance that only He can give.  And guess what?  That Divine Fragrance draws more people with "stinky situations" who want what they see and hear and smell in our lives.

Let's be more like Max and seek ways we can get "skunked" for God.

Lisa

Friday
Nov072014

A Surprise Blessing!

I have been to several Women of Faith Conferences over the years.  Last year, I was blessed at the last minute with tickets to the conference in Pittsburgh.

Being the recipient of 2 tickets that cost over $100 (each!) was a huge blessing.  But even more, they came at a time when I needed them the most.

I was in the midst of sorting out, discarding, and packing up 22 years of my life.  We were moving from our home of 22 years.  A place where my kids had grown up, with more memories than I can ever count.

So much had been happening through the 7 month process that were difficult to handle. If you have ever moved, I am sure you know how difficult this process can be. Many unknowns, more dissapointments than I thought were possible, and unending waiting.  There was so much to do, and even more decisions to be made.  Contracts were signed and fell through.  Every single day was a new day to trust God with all the unknowns,  and problems,  and work. 

It was physically draining.  Emotionally charged.  Overwhelming.

I felt like I was hanging on by a thread.  

And then I was thrown a spiritual lifeline - an unexpected boost. Just when I needed it the most.

Two tickets to Women of Faith - the day before the conference!

Wow! God had used this sweet woman to bless me in a very special life renewing way! I am sure she had no idea how much I needed this and how perfect the timing was.  

That conference helped me get recharged.  It poured into me all that I needed to keep on going through the process of our move. He spoke Words of Renewal to me through some amazing speakers.  And the icing on the cake was getting to worship with Third Day!!! They were the first worship band I discovered when I was saved.  I felt as though I was in Heaven before the Throne! (Imagine how awesome worship will be when we all get to Heaven and sing next to all those great worship bands before Jesus - wow!)

This coming week will mark one year that we moved into our new home.  It is fitting that the Women of Faith Conference is this weekend.  I know it will be another time of refreshment as God speaks his truth into my life once again through this confernce.  I am always blessed more than I can imagine when I spend intentional concentrated times with the Lord.  These conferences are always used by Him to do just that.

So the question is - who can you bless this weekend with a last minute surprise and bless yourself as well! Invite someone to go along with you to this conference!

It is not too late to attend the Women of Faith Simulcast at GCAC tonight and tomorrow.  Tickets are available at the door! Instead of paying $100 for a ticket it's only $20 (and a special student rate of only $5).  With no parking fees, no long lines, and no traffic :)

The speakers this year are amazing!  The worship will be as well.

God's presence and His word spoken just to you = priceless!

Hop on over to the side column at the website and click on Women of Faith for more info.  


BLessings to you!

Linda

 

 

Monday
Nov032014

Show Me Your Face

I spend a lot of time with the college-age crowd.  Just a decade out of that season of life, I'm old enough to offer some perspective, and yet my own experience as a twenty-something is still fresh.  Among the issues plaguing young women most is the desire for attention from young men.  This is a desire God has set in our hearts as women, but it's easy to cross the line from waiting on God to fulfill the desire he has given, to seeking it out on our own.  Time and time again, I watch God-loving girls seek to be loved by the wrong guys - guys who don't have their best interests at heart, guys with their own agendas, guys looking for fun more than relationship.

The truth is that we were all imprinted with a deep desire for relationship.  But God's heart is that we would first be filled by a relationship with him.  When our need is met by the Living God, we are free to walk in relationship with others without co-dependence or inappropriate needs.  When our need is met by Christ, we do not look to others for validation, approval, or even attention.

The Bible is full of references to seeking the face of God.  In essence, seeking his face is seeking his presence in our lives.  It's seeking him simply for the sake of basking in his love - not needing anything from him but an outpouring of his love.  When is the last time you went before God simply to bask in his love?  Not asking for anything.  Not questioning anything.  Just basking.

Psalm 27:8 is a reminder to seek the face of God: "My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek..."  When we seek his face, we seek his presence in our lives.  

I often think of seeking his face when I set time apart with him.  But if I'm being honest, sometimes, my to-do list drowns out meditating on his presence.  And if I'm honest, sometimes, he seems distant.  Short of heaven, it seems I will never draw as close to him as I desire.  And sometimes, it feels like I am seeking his face, but his face is nowhere to be found.  This is just the way I feel, not reality, but it can be discouraging.

Not long ago, I sensed him drawing me back to the book where he draws me when he wants to speak his love over me.  It's a book I once skipped over on my Bible read-throughs.  It's a book I didn't understand or feel comfortable with.  Until he took me deeper into the study of it.  Until he showed me his heart for me through it.

I sensed him drawing me into the Song of Songs, where I was led to the fourteenth verse of chapter 2: "show me your face, let me hear your voice..."

It stopped me in my tracks.  This is the voice of Christ speaking to his bride, to me.  He says to me, "Show me your face.  Let me hear your voice."

What is Christ doing as I come before him in my quiet time seeking his face?  He is seeking my face as well.  

This truth astounds me. He is not an aloof God turned away, playing hard to get, making me chase him.  He is pursuing me!  He is seeking my face!

May we remember this when the presence of God seems distant and pursuing his face seems a lonely pursuit.  He is seeking my face with even more sincerity.

Let's be a group of women bent on seeking his face, wooed by his love, and filled by his presence.  He is pursuing us.

Stacey

Monday
Oct272014

Signs and Wonders

A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Matthew 16:4

I was stuck on verse four of this chapter this morning.  Jonah was commanded to go and warn the people of Nineveh that the Lord was going to destroy the city.  Jonah, in disobedience, ran to the city of Tarshish by boat.  Jesus sent a severe storm and Jonah found himself in the belly of a fish!  The people of Nineveh, after having an eye witness account of Jonah’s deliverance from the whale, repented from their wicked ways.

Matthew 16:4 packs a punch!  Simplistic truths are sometimes the hardest to accept and follow.

  1. There are definite consequences for disobeying our Lord.   
  2. The Pharisees saw many more signs and wonders than the people of Nineveh, and yet the Pharisees remained in their disbelief.  
  3. Is the healing of the blind and mute, the demon-possessed, the sick and bleeding enough?  Is bringing back to life the dead enough?  Is His shed blood on the cross enough?  Are all of these things enough for us to believe?   We have all of the signs and wonders we need.   It’s a choice to believe or not believe.

A few friends of mine have been noticing that God seems to not be answering their prayers in the same way He used to.  I have found that to be true in my own life.  As we mature and grow, He expects us to know Him.  Signs and wonders are never going to be enough. We must spend intentional time with the Creator Himself in order to understand that He alone is enough.  Even if He gives not one more sign that He is real and majestic…He still IS.  He will always Be.  He is enough.

Braelene