Archive for December, 2009
Please join us for our New Years Eve podcast! We will be taking a look back at the past year and reflecting. Maybe we’ll talk about how we plan to start the new year on the right foot with the Lord. It will be a call in show, so if you’re going to be home for New Years Eve – why not stop on by!
The GodlyGals New Years Eve Podcast
December 31, 2009
11:00pm EST/ 10:00pm Central
We use Skype, so if you want to join us on-air you’ll need to call GodlyGals on Skype!
Hope to see you there!
From all of the ladies here at GodlyGals we wish you a joyous holiday. We pray that you will embrace the true meaning of the season – Jesus. And remember it is not just His birth – but His death too – that allows us to enter into everlasting life in Heaven!
O Come Let Us Adore Him!
Jolene & Elizabeth for all
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my first six months of marriage it’s that communication is key. I know, you hear it everywhere, but if you’re married you know that it’s true. It’s the application of this fact that can be tricky. In his book, The Language of Love & Respect: Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs continues to bring light to truths about core values essential to a joyful marriage.
This isn’t an easy read. Eggerichs quickly dives into some serious issues that couples deal with in their relationships, bringing up topics that aren’t always the most pleasant to discuss. But I think that’s the point. Talking about things and learning our different styles of communication can help us to overcome so many obstacles.
I can’t say that I learned a lot of new things in this book. There were a few books we read in our pre-marital counseling that covered the same topics and did it in a few chapters rather than a book. Honestly, I feel I got more out of those chapters than this whole book. It’s not a throwaway though. If you feel like you could stand to learn more about the importance of communication in marriage and how women and men really do speak different languages, this book is a great pick. If you’re already familiar with the topic you won’t find much new information here.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for me by Thomas Nelson.
Cross-posted at MissWisabus.com
I am learning. And learning is always better than sitting still and stagnating, right?
When I was little I was raised in a (Christian) belief system that taught some things that might not have actually been the most biblical. I mean, most of the time they were spot on, but there was some stuff I found out later that was pretty questionable.
One of those things was that, “When you ask God for something, He will provide it right then and there.” There was a caveat though. You had to have enough faith and righteousness for your request to be honored. I can’t tell you how many of the most righteous little old ladies that I knew who were told that they just need to “press in and press on” because they didn’t have enough faith to get what it was they were needing.
That’s what I grew up believing. That if I was in need of something and petitioned God for it and it didn’t come to me right away it was my fault. That my faith was “small.” Let me tell you what, that is a great foundation for building guilt and causing doubt in your security as a child of the living God.
Here’s what I know about faith:
Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
“Because of your little faith,” He told them. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. [However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.] ” – Matthew 17:19-21 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
We need faith. Jesus told his disciples that if they merely had “faith the size of a mustard seed” that nothing would be impossible for them. A mustard seed is really, really small. I’m not exactly sure how you quantify the amount of faith a person has, but I’m pretty what the Lord is telling is here is that all we need is just a little. He’s going to take care of the rest. All we have to do is believe.
Tough sometimes? I know. What I am learning through some painful lessons and some things that maybe aren’t lessons so much as just life is that things take time. We can’t always get what we want or think we need whenever it is that we ask for it. Should we stop asking God? Probably not. An open dialogue with our Heavenly Father is the best thing we can keep going so I’d suggest you keep on talking. He’s listening.
Right now I have some wants. Maybe they’re needs. I’m not really sure how to tell that and I don’t think that I am a neutral enough figure in the situation to even begin to decide that. They are good wants. God-approved and full of blessing. In my heart I sometimes ache. There is nothing wrong with what I want, but that doesn’t mean that now is a good time. Or God’s time. And I am learning (slowly and with a lot of feet-dragging, kicking and stomping fits) that no matter how “good” the thing is that I want, that God has a plan and a time for everything. And sometimes what you want, again, no matter how “good,” isn’t in the plan at all. That’s not something I want to entertain at the moment so I’m just going to skip it. But I’m learning it and accepting it and finding that with every passing day it gets a little easier to accept the Lord’s timing. What I’ve also picked up is that my godly longings are not going unfulfilled as punishment for my lack of faith. Sometimes, what we may hear in our heads as a resounding slam of a door may be something as quiet and hopeful as a whispered, “Wait. Not yet.”
THANK YOU LORD!
You provide and protect, and I don’t thank you enough for EVERYTHING you do.
Many of you know that I live in upstate New York. And many of you know that I drive many miles to work each week (appx. 500/wk). And many of you know that it snows here – it’s what we call Lake Effect. Any of you living on or around the Great Lakes knows exactly what I’m talking about and how unpredictable it can be. For those of you who don’t know – be glad.
Anyways, I digress…
I was off at work yesterday. It had snowed a good deal at home, but 45 miles away at work it was quite a delightful, if windy and chilly day. I had the opportunity to earn some more money (THANK YOU, LORD), and I enjoyed a nice dinner with a co-worker who is a youth minister (THANK YOU, LORD). I got to see four of my students from last year (THANK YOU, LORD) and was blessed to know that they are doing well (Really, Lord. THANK YOU!). Then I headed home along the lake on clean roads, under clear skies (THANK YOU, LORD).
As I was approximately a mile from my house, I exited the expressway, and slowed down for the red light. And wouldn’t you know that the intersection (and any road in the city limits for that matter) was an icy mess. Well, I had driven my 45 miles with no incident, and probably in record time for the lack of red stop lights (THANK YOU, LORD). I applied the break, and that’s when it happened…
I just kept going.
Well you get the point. I was sliding right into the intersection, with my eyes fixed to the cars coming up from the south. “They’re far enough away to stop,” is what my brain told me, and I somehow remained relatively calm (THANK YOU, LORD). In the matter of seconds that this potential accident was unfolding, I took my foot off the brake, and my car turned north just as I had planned to do originally – after stopping for the light of course!
I tell you all – it was the hand of God on me last night! I didn’t turn my wheel. I was headed east and south if anything. I didn’t even look north at that point. God just took care of it.
I slid a little to the left and right, regained my composure, and off I went.
THANK YOU, LORD!
Through it all – the simple and extravagant, delightful and fearful – you are there taking care of us.
December 5, 2009
Last Sunday, a missionary came to speak at church. I am usually very interested to hear what is going on in the lives of these devoted people, and I was particularly engrossed in the story of how chaplains are being trained for the South Sudanese Army. (Google Far Reaching Ministries if you’re interested in learning more about this.)
It got me thinking.
This week, while conversing with a friend about the heart of a missionary, I busied myself with the dishes. I do believe I complained about doing those dishes, and a few other things. I made note of the seemingly lacking characteristics I’d need to be a missionary myself. While going about my business, I happened to glance over at the fridge and noticed the family photo of the only missionary I have ever known personally.
Would you allow me to share the story and the heart of a man set on serving the Lord?
My story starts about 15 years ago. I was in 8th grade and ready to quit band. My mother MADE me stick it out until the end of freshman year. Everything changes once you get to high school. Isn’t that true…
Freshman year of band. Bruce McFarland. It was a great year. Mr. McFarland was our director; a dedicated musician and teacher, and unbeknownst to me, a Christian. I can see it in hind sight. He encouraged me to be the best that I could be – not just in music, but in all of life. He taught us to give it our all, and live for something. I never heard Christ mentioned, but Mr. McFarland was living what he believed.
The following year, after a disappointing turn of events with Mr. McFarland leaving the high school band program, I became a Christian, and I learned through the friends who brought me to church that MC (as we had lovingly called him) was a Christian too.
Over the course of a few years, MC and his wife, Paula, decided to return to missions. They had previously been missionaries in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and had been called to go back. Wycliffe Bible Translators
was is still working on translating the Bible into the languages of PNG. MC had the opportunity to go back and serve in this country as a music teacher in a school for the children of missionaries. He and his wife have also served the people of PNG in other ways too.
Bruce McFarland is a man of courage, integrity, and love. He is hardworking, generous, not concerned with material things. He has been kind, positive, and humble. He loves Jesus and wants to see His Word reach all peoples. He is fulfilling the command of Acts 1:8. Bruce and Paula are self-less – they had always been giving of themselves, willing to give it all up for the sake of the cross; their house, their cars, everything to go halfway around the world to a people desperate for Jesus.
Now, PNG isn’t necessarily a war zone. But it isn’t a walk in the park either. There are dangers and life has taken its toll on the McFarlands. Bruce was diagnosed with MS and has not forsaken the call. They have been apart from some of their children for a time now as the older kids have returned to the United States for college. The wide expanse that separates family can be a difficult one to deal with.
I admire my 9th grade band teacher. I think he has done wonderful things, but I know that he has only accomplished the work because he has committed himself to Jesus Christ. It is only through Jesus that any of us can accomplish anything for the Father. We are nothing on our own, and we have to recognize that and humble ourselves. We have to check our hearts, our minds, and hold them to the standard that has been set.
In a way, we are all missionaries. Just because we haven’t gone overseas doesn’t mean we should disregard the expectations. God has called each and every one of his people to share the message. I asked myself if I could do this. Could I leave everything if God asked me? And more importantly – is my heart set like that of a devoted missionary? What about you? Do you have a missionary’s heart? Join me in considering these questions as we work towards a greater devotion to Christ.
Are you submitted to Him?
Have you humbled yourself?
Is your heart set on glorifying God and not yourself?
Do you serve with a generous heart?
Are you willing to give up all?
Have you thought about the needs of others before yourself?
Do you love unselfishly?
Are you armed with the Word of God for the battles that lay before you?
Please join us here on the GodlyGals blog page for the next live podcast. Elizabeth and I will be airing live December 8th (That’s tomorrow!) at 7pm EST/ 6 Central.
We hope to see you there!
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” –Hebrews 1:1-2
Considering all of the complaining I have been doing lately regarding my job and how far away it is, I thought I should dwell on my circumstances and seek the Lord.
I have to admit that I am tired. Driving 2 hours each day is an arduous task that I have been carrying out every week of the last 1.5 school years. I’m nearing 2 years in a few months. I could complain more now, but I think maybe the time for complaining is over.
The notion of a long journey is one that is repeated over and over again in the Bible. Maybe my long journeys are God’s way of teaching me something. Israel took a long journey despite his age and health to be with his son. The Israelites were on a long journey through the wilderness after escaping Egypt. Mary and Joseph journeyed time and time again as they returned to Bethlehem and then fled to Egypt. There are more examples of journeying in the Bible, but these stand out at me. And you know, these journeys were ordained by God. They were for a specific purpose – to reunite family, to provide emancipation, and protect from harm. All are good things from the Lord.
So why should I doubt that my journeys are anything but a good thing from the Lord? I know God has called me to work where I am – at least for now – and I know it is only through God’s grace that I am able to make a difference. It is not I, but He who is accomplishing works in my life. And if these are all good things… maybe I need to change my perspective on my “arduous” journeys.
Thinking about my commute this morning in a driving lake-effect snow, wipers going wild, and both hands on the wheel – maybe that’s more of what I need to be doing in my spiritual life! Maybe I need to pay closer attention to the flurries of life going on around me. Is it possible that I haven’t had both hands on the driving force for my life – the Word? I admit I haven’t delved deep lately. I’ve been lazy and have let my time in the word slip. And what of my eyes being open and watchful. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief and I’m not sure I’ve been as alert as I should.
Why haven’t my daily journeys been a time for me to focus on the Lord? Why do I sing Christian songs for an hour but haven’t changed the channel to a Bible study? Why don’t I use this time for a little bit of my own personal praise and worship to the Lord who has given me so many things. Why do I not spend this time glorifying the One who is using me to do great things in a small classroom in a small town school? I hear so many people say, “she’s doing such a great job” and I know that it’s not me – but HIM doing these great things.
I’m re-starting today. Ok – tomorrow morning. I’m going to make a more concerted effort to accept my journey as a gift from God. I’m going to make my journey a more fruitful time of prayer and thanksgiving, and see it as an opportunity for me to grow in my faith.
And maybe then I won’t complain so much about it.
For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” Ezekiel 18:32