Tag Archives: faith

The Only Thing That Counts

Good morning friends! I hope you are enjoying these summer months. We are in Montana, visiting family right now, and last night as we were sitting outside eating ice cream (yesterday was National Ice Cream Day in case you didn’t know. . . however, I think every day should be considered National Ice Cream Day!!) I was reminded again how much I love summer. It is by far my favorite season.

One of the things I love about summer is the time I get to spend in God’s Word with my kids. We are doing a summer reading plan together and it does this mama’s heart good to see them reading God’s Word. In fact, this was my 16 year old daughter’s observation from today’s reading in James 2:18-19: “People will know you by what you do, not just what you say you are.” Isn’t that good, and so true?

As I was trying to read my Bible, I had this cute little companion. I think she was intrigued by my morning breath. *smile*

Eva

Kate and Eva

I had two days of reading to catch up on, and Galatians 5:6 is the verse that spoke to me – “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” I used the T I M E method of Bible study to interact with this verse:

T(heme): Our faith in Jesus isn’t expressed by merely saying we’re a believer, it is expressed through our love for others.

I (mportant word/s):    Value & Expressing

M (eaning of word/s): Value – to be of force, avail

Expressing – to display one’s activity, show one’s self operative

E (ncouragement): Lord, please help me to express my faith in You through my genuine, agape (Your) love for others. This is the kind of love that never gives up on them, just like You never give up on me. In Jesus’ Name and for His sake, Amen.

Isn’t it interesting that our faith in Jesus is not a force to be reckoned with until it is expressed through our love for others? Love is the most powerful force in the universe. The good news is that as we continue to walk with Jesus, His love saturates every pore of our being and we begin to love Him and others with the same love He has showered upon us.

Let’ love with Jesus love today, it’s the only thing that counts!

With God’s Great Love, Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

 

Preparing for the Holidays, Part 1

Although it has been an unseasonably warm fall here in the Northwest, the calendar doesn’t deceive, the holidays are upon us. When I say “holidays”, I am not trying to be politically correct; I use the word “holidays” to include all the next 2-3 months will bring: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

The holiday season can be challenging for us as women. There is a lot to be done and the majority of it falls upon our shoulders – special meals to plan and make, purchasing, wrapping and sending gifts, decorating our houses, baking, the list goes on and on, doesn’t it?

For those of us who serve in ministry, there is the added pressure of holiday preparations for our church families as well – cards to be sent, people to appreciate, special services to plan for, reaching out to our cities, etc . . .

I have learned over the years that during the busy holiday season, if I fail to plan, I plan to fail. Yes, planning takes considerable thought and time, but it is time well spent. Once you have a clear picture of what needs to be done, you can make it happen a whole lot easier than if you wait for things to sneak up on you and then scramble to get them done.

During this series, I want to share with you how I make a plan and work to accomplish it. The goal of this planning and preparation is not to say, “Look at me, I’m so organized”. The goal is to survive this crazy season with a good attitude and a heart that remains focused on what the season is all about: gratitude, faith, family, friends, and showing Jesus’ love in tangible ways.

Join me for the next couple weeks as I share practical ways to prepare your home, and more importantly, your heart for the holidays.

A good first step is this simple prayer of commitment for the holiday season:

Thank you, God, for this holiday season. It is a time to give you thanks for your goodness and faithfulness. May my heart be truly grateful as I recognize all that you have done for me and the blessings I’ve received. As I make preparations to celebrate your birth, please help me to keep my focus on you. Allow me to make a plan and to not to be overwhelmed with my many tasks, but to serve others with the strength you provide. As the New Year approaches, may I be filled with anticipation of Your faithfulness no matter what the year holds and a sense of excitement about how I will continue to grow in You. I commit this season to You and know You will help me. In Jesus’ Name and for His sake, Amen.

Your Friend in Ministry,

Signature

   

Day 31

I am now 31 days in to the “40 Day Prayer Challenge”.  As mentioned before, I highly recommend this book by Mark Batterson.

Draw the Circle

Through the daily readings, I have learned a lot about prayer and have grown in persevering in prayer.  For this 40 day prayer challenge, I am praying for miraculous provision as we complete our church building project.  We are on the home stretch and hope to be moved back in at the end of May.

Let me share with you some of what I have experienced through this prayer challenge:

  1. I have a renewed sense of purpose.  God is using me as an intercessor which is laying the foundation for what he is doing.  How great is that?
  2. Through prayer, God is speaking to me, giving creative ideas and solutions for some of the challenges we have faced.
  3. With my own eyes, I am seeing God’s daily provision.  Few things build faith like answered prayer that you can see with your own eyes.
  4. Since the Lord is on the move in such a mighty way, I have also experienced spiritual attack from the enemy, both in my physical body and in our finances.  The Holy Spirit has reminded me that when we take a stance to be intercessors, often we can undergo spiritual attack in the area we are praying over.  Thankfully, our enemy has already been defeated (past tense) because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Our job is to stand firm in that victory.

My 40 days of prayer “just so happens” to end on Resurrection Sunday, I can’t wait to get to church that morning and worship and celebrate my risen Savior.  May He get the glory for all He has done, is doing and will continue to do!

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3