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Verse of the Day
Monday
Sep292014

Bless, Not Impress

I was reading a book one time and it asked us to think about whether we were focusing on blessing people, or impressing them.  At that point in my life, I remember this standing out to me so much.  I put that little catch phrase, "Bless, don't impress" in my brain and have thought of it so often over the years.  

I try to keep it in my when I have company over - am I scurrying around the house to clean it all up and make it look perfect in order to bless others, or impress them?  I try to keep it in mind when I go out in public with my children - am I cleaning them up and trying to keep them quiet in order to bless others, or impress them?  I try to keep it in mind when I'm in a conversation with a friend - am I telling stories and bringing up things in order to bless them, or impress them?

Where is my heart? 

There is a portion of 1 Peter 3:9 that says, "Bless, for to this you were called."  Just above that Peter tells us to have brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. This runs so contrary to the competitive and comparative world we live in, yet is exactly how Christ is calling us to live.

How can you bless someone today?  

Maybe it's by leaving a bit of a mess around when someone comes over so that they feel like they aren't alone in their struggle to have everything together.  

Maybe it's by sharing a story that might not make you look so good, but will allow others to see your humanity and feel connected enough to share their own struggles.  

Maybe, just maybe, by putting aside our desire to impress others, we will actually BLESS them.  

The world is longing for people who are brave enough to be real - are you willing to be one of them?

In this journey alongside you,

Stephanie

Friday
Sep262014

Get connected!

Are you looking to get connected this fall?  Many opportunities are avaiable to you!

Small groups are beginning on Wednesday evenings and Friday mornings. You can check out more details by clicking on the Bible Study tab above or here.

Are you a mom of a child 5 and under?  Then MOPS may be for you!  Meeting once a month on the second Thursday of the month from 9-11 am.  You are welcome to come check out one of our meetings!  For more information click on the MOPS tab above or here.  (Not a MOPS mom, but want to have some fun - be sure to check out the monthly MOPSHOP on the MOPS page.) 

Do you have a passion for supporting missions?  Check out the Great Commission Women here.

Other items are listed on the side bar under What's Happening.  

AND...
This November 7 & 8 is the Women of Faith Simulcast right here at GCAC! More details will be coming this week so be sure to check back.

Enjoy the beauty of the day ladies, and see the wonder of God in it all. 

Wednesday
Sep242014

With Fresh Eyes

My daily Bible reading plan has me in the middle of the book of Leviticus these days.  If I'm being honest, when I followed the nudge to read through the Old Testament, slowly studying one chapter per day, Leviticus wasn't one of the books I was most looking forward to.  I've read it a few times, and parts have felt more laborious than relevant.  But God had different plans for me this time.

Using an array of commentaries and opening God's Word with a sense of expectancy each morning has changed things.  Believing that the God of the universe wants to speak to me on a daily basis through his Word is making this walk through Leviticus more like a conversation than a chore.  Seeing that God's commands for cleanliness parallel his holiness reveals his character.  Understanding that he desires purity in our worship and our daily lives comes through the lines of the text.  Conviction about the way I'm speaking and following him flow from his Living Word.

And so this is my prayer this week: That we would be grounded in the Word of God, in love with the Word of God, spurred on and guided by the Word of God.  

Let's pray that our words, actions, and plans, would be continually guided by his Word.  Pray we would be hungry to grow more deeply in his Word, knowing him more, and understanding his character in deeper ways.  Pray our enthusiasm for his Word would be contagious and others would be drawn to his Truth as a result.  

Praise God for providing us with such a source of wisdom and guidance.  Praise him that his Word never returns empty or void!

so is my word  that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty, 
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose  for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
 

Stacey

Monday
Sep222014

John - Week 13

Ladies, 

We have reached the end of our study of John!  I hope and pray that the Word has impacted your life greatly and that you have a deeper appreciation for who Jesus is after this study.  John's purpose for you in reading his book would be my hope as well:

"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:30-31)

Download lesson here.

SO THAT...  you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.  Yes - this.

It's been a pleasure to walk this journey along side you, even across the computer screens and internet.  Thanks for allowing me the privilege of leading you.  My prayer for you: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

All glory be to God,
Stephanie

 

Previous lesson here  -  All lessons here

Wednesday
Sep172014

Alex

I see her picture everyday. Some days more than others.
Dark eyeliner. Edgy stare. Multi-colored hair.
My children ask why we have her picture taped up on the wall.
Because she is missing.
Maybe stolen.
Hopefully living.
Hopefully with a strand of hope still hanging on.
Tightly.
She enters my prayers when I wake at odd hours.
Alex is most likely awake then.
Her parents are desperate.
On the edge of a scream and a weeping that will not stop.
I hold her up again to the Father.
Encourage her heart.
Tell her who she is.
Beloved. A child of the One True King.
Treasured.
Clean.
I hold her up again to my Father.
Come for her, Lord Jesus.
Rescue her. Send your warriors.
Break her bonds.
Return her to her homeland.
Return to her the innocence of childhood dresses and dandelions.
Cradle her in your massive-yet-manly-gentle Father arms.
Hold the palms of her hands in yours;
Love Alex so she knows You. are. with. her.

Beth

(There are more slaves in the world now, than ever before in human history.  If you are interested in more information you can start here at the A21 Campaign.  Christine Caine, along with her husband Nick are founders of this organization.  She will be a speaker at the upcoming Women of Faith Simulcast to be shown at GCAC on
November 7 & 8. There are numerous organizations you can find by googling the subject. Take some time today and pray for the countless victims of this tragic crime.)