Thursday, October 28, 2010

Answered Prayers

Thank you Jesus for answered prayers!

The Psalmist could not have expressed better how thankful and grateful I am right now.

"I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are discouraged take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. I cried out to the Lord in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears. For the angel of the Lord guards all who fear him, and he rescues them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him! Let the Lord's people show him reverence, for those who honor him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing." Psalm 34:1-10.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sisters in Christ are God's Gifts to Us

"Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble...A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 (NLV).

It is devotion carnival time again on Rachel Olsen's Blog. The topic is "How has the Sisterhood of Christ functioned in your life?" Click here to read other devotions on this topic.

We are the product of our relationships and the experiences which flow from those relationships. As we grow older we see the significance of our past experiences and the influences that others have had in our lives. Here are a few women who have greatly influenced me:

1. Mom. My Mom is a lady of honesty and integrity whose life reflects the love of Christ. She is my first example and teacher of God’s truth. She shows by example what a Godly wife and mother is, holds me accountable, provides wisdom and tells me the truth even when it isn't easy to hear.

2. Sister. She never offers advice unless she is asked and provides great ideas and insights when I seek her advice. She has traveled a difficult road experiencing tragedies along the way; however, her relationship with Jesus has deepened. I am proud of her example—if you trust God, He will carry you through the storm; He will heal your broken pieces.

3. Amy. We became close friends in junior high. She encouraged me to be involved in our church youth group. I was baptized at age eight, but by thirteen still had absolutely no concept of what it meant to be a Christian. The youth group is where I began a true spiritual journey and learned what it meant to “walk” with God. I also learned about God’s grace and mercy in that group.

4. Tisha, Allison, Nichole, and Trish. For over twenty years, these women have been my closest friends. Their love for and walks with Christ helped me endure the pressures of the teenage years and weather the chaos of those years. We have prayed for and comforted each other during broken hearts, sick loved ones, job losses, deaths, illnesses, and the challenges of motherhood. We have celebrated with each other in each new stage of life: high school and college graduations, new jobs, wedding showers, weddings, baby showers, and the births of babies. We are always a phone call away and ready to celebrate the joys of life, grieve when the storms clouds come, listen, or offer advice. Also, they have shaped who I am and I think I have impacted them as well. We know each others’ hurts, skeletons, victories and defeats, but love each other the same—as sisters. They are my extended family. Like family, I know I can always count on them. No matter what I need, they will be there to listen, answer questions, cry with me, pick me up, and encourage me and likewise me for them.

5. Sister-in-law. She set my husband and me up on a blind date. She is always available to answer marriage, child rearing or career questions. When I was wandering in the desert spiritually and became bored with my devotion book, she gave a monthly subscription to a devotion magazine.

6. Women in my church. There are too many to name; however, women who have led Bible studies, taught my Sunday school class, or participated in other ministries within our church have impacted me with their knowledge, wisdom, advice, transparency, service and prayers.

"The advice of the wise is like a life-giving fountain; those who accept it avoid the snares of death." Proverbs 13:14.

Wow, God has blessed me immensely. It looks like I have a lot of people to tell thank you. Let us build up and encourage each other by telling others how they have positively impacted and influenced our lives.