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I have an insane listing of blogs I read on a daily/every-other-day basis. It’s totally ridiculous and I think I need to cut back. But I’m just not sure who to cut?? I’ve cut the blogs that I was only following because they angered me and got me fired up on certain issues that I was determined to blog against… you might now be wondering, really? You blogged “against” other blogs. Confession: nope, never did. Every time I tried it was like God gave me writers block. Which I knew was from Him because every rebuttal post sounded so eloquent and perfect in my head. But alas, when I tried to get it on the virtual paper, it never penned well. Never ever. I’m so grateful God saves me from myself ;-)

I also cut the blogs that I was following simply for nosey, snooping reasons—decided that wasn’t cool either…

So I know I need to cut some more, but not sure what my criteria should be now, nor who should really go… and then today, I read one that hit home with me. This blog will not be cut. It hit home because this blogger put herself out there and made herself vulnerable, she blogged about prayer requests. And real ones. Not the, “sure, I’d like prayer. Could you pray for my second cousin’s dog who may need a really expensive surgery?” Nothing against dogs or second cousins, but really?? Someone asks you if they can pray for you and your biggest concern is your second cousin’s dog? Captain Obvious here, you need prayer more than the dog does.

Self: you need prayer more than this fictional person you’re blogging about… hmm…

So back to the blogger I was talking about. Her blog is called In the Name of Love and I don’t remember how I found it. It might have been through the (in)courage blog actually, even the blogging world is a small world. But like I said, she asked for prayer for some major things in her life, and it was really refreshing to read. She’s in ministry full-time, she is incredibly articulate, she’s well-educated, she tackles issues of the day with grace and dignity, yep, she’s beautiful, and I’m pretty sure if I met her I’d like her. Her online presence is a great example to me, her writing is compelling and I’ve watched a few of her speeches/sermons, her passion for Jesus is contagious. She’s a really great role model for me (we’re probably the same age…).

Okay, so, why I’m blogging about this blogger is because of her transparency. And because she seems like someone “who has it altogether” yet she’s admitted, she still needs prayer. So I thought why not follow suit and steal one of her prayer requests as well, it rings so true for me too. So, if you’re reading this blog and wouldn’t mind praying for me, that would be such a blessing.

  1. As worded by Bianca:  “I want to be faithful like David, but I’m a sign-seeking Gideon. I want signs for signs. What I really need is faith. More faith.”
  2. After two years of living together my roommate who also happens to be one of my bestest friends is moving out. We both know this is the Lord’s timing but it is really hard. It’s a huge step of faith for both of us.
  3. My boyfriend (ah! I mentioned him on this blog, it’s the first time ever―how’s that for transparency! Totally laughing at myself right now, this is ridiculous—although if you know our story you know it’s not that ridiculous that I would hold out on mentioning him, but that’s a looong story for another time) is in the homestretch of tax season. I’ve learned from him that today, March 15, is a HUGE tax day for corporations so while I was enjoying beautiful Mexico, he was literally working until midnight every night… I would greatly appreciate prayers for him and prayers for creative ways that I can show him support in this time and not be the naggy girlfriend when he’s working six (sometimes seven) days a week and is doing his darndest to seek God every day, stay in the word, faithful to prayer, lead our relationship, be a diligent employee, and attentive to every other role he plays in this life.
  4. I’m totally insecure about my friendships and need to seek the Lord more on why and how to get over it… I’ve never been like that before but I think that’s because I had an insatiable pride issue (although being insecure about this stuff is still pride, hmm, vicious cycle!)
  5. We’re moving into some pretty exciting plans for the women’s ministry at church, would love wisdom, discernment and sensitivity to what God wants for His women.

So those are my most pressing requests right now. I’ve noticed the longer I walk this life of faith, the more aware I am of my inabilities. The hard part: walking out my faith with humble gratitude and not intense self-doubt and dislike. He made me and while I seek to become more like Him I need to remind myself He loves me and cherishes me just the way I am. It’s a hard concept for this thick head to grasp.

If you’d like to leave a prayer request in the comments, I would love the privilege of praying for you. It can be anonymous or you can be transparent… it’s up to you! I won’t judge either way ;-)

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“What if we start listening to Him, instead of Oprah, for a definition of healthy female sexuality?”

http://blog.kyria.com/2009/12/oprah_porn_and_jesus.html#more

Why is it that the majority of bios of women of faith start out at as follows:

Susie Q is a wife of 17 years, a mother of two young women, a talented speaker and author…

Now to be fair, there are some who start their bios as follows: Betty, a nationally recognized speaker and award winning writer travels to various churches and organizations across the country delivering messages of freedom to women. (sorry that’s not very creative, I didn’t want to “rip off” someone’s actual bio…)

My question is, if one of the greatest struggles for women of faith is finding their identity in Christ and not the roles they play, the mistakes of their past, etc., shouldn’t the female leaders of this time pave the way in identifying themselves as such? It might seem like a nitpicky thing, but I wonder, what if I showed up at a conference, read an author’s bio or heard a woman introduced as: Lindsey is a woman of faith that loves her God above all else and is grateful to be counted as a chosen child. She has been blessed with… (you decide if you want your work credentials, personal credentials, athletic accomplishments, etc. to follow that)? What if that is how we began to identify ourselves? I think that might make a difference…

illuminate

we had our very first women’s ministry illuminate summer challenge meeting this past weekend and it was wonderful! what is illuminate you might ask?

this summer the women’s ministry of my church is challenging each woman to be a part of a team that will memorize portions of psalm 119 together. we are gathering in homes memorizing the Word of God, sharing what the Lord is teaching us through memorizing and building some life-changing relationships.

to say that i am excited to see what the Lord is going to do in us and through us is an understatement!

this past week i prepared and shared a small devotional with the women to kick-off our meetings and in a sense lay the foundation. here’s the short version:

in january 2008 we had an unexpected loss in my family. my uncle, who was in his 60s passed away from a massive heart attack. it was one of those incidents in life that left you with your jaw down, almost emotionless because it just couldn’t be true. but unfortunately it was. it was in this time that through a rather supernatural occurrence, psalm 119:89 came to surface in the midst of our mourning.

the scripture reads: Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.

the first time i read and heard this verse i figured if God’s Word is eternal and stands firm in the heavens, then what the Bible tells us about heaven is true. and if what the Bible tells us about heaven is true, i should be jealous of my uncle as he would be in the presence of glory, rejoicing, singing and dancing at the feet of our Savior, never to experience any kind of pain again.

and while i think that is true, while preparing for our first illuminate meeting, the Lord revealed a few more things.

psalm 119 is all about God’s Word, His law, His precepts, His statutes. virtually every verse refers back to God’s Word, declaring what it does – it purifies, it testifies, it stands firm in the heavens, it directs – i could go on…

when we look at john 1:1-5 we see:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

many of us know, the Word became flesh and it was Jesus! this is the beauty of psalm 119, it is such a reflection of our Lord. He ws there before creation, He is eternal. we learn so much about our Savior and His character and who He is from reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on His Word, for He is the Word.

oh how powerful that is! so this summer we are challenged to revere this Holy Word in such a way that we never have before. to soak it in, to believe it with an unwavering faith, to anticipate a purification like we’ve never known, to have an understanding of our God that only comes from knowing His Word.

this will be a powerful summer and none of us will end it as we started.

i think this is one of the very rare times when i happen to be at my computer and the desire to blog has crept up on me…

so i’m sitting in my kitchen, at the breakfast bar right now. on sunday we will have a meeting with the leaders of our women’s ministry summer challenge. to say i am excited for this endeavor is an understatement, this is my heart beat, women’s ministry that is.

the crazy thing is, i’m going to cast the vision at this meeting. i’ve never been a vision caster and i never really understood (still kinda don’t) what people really meant when they would say things like, “we have to get the people on board and cast the vision.” granted, when i first heard statements like this i was the grunt worker (paying my dues as every entry-level professional should) at a rather large PR agency (a fabulous agency might i add) and it was always the guy with the ideas but who had NO IDEA how to execute them that would cast this “vision.”

so you can imagine when i began following after God and serving Him in ministry and people brought up vision i rolled my eyes in true drama queen fashion. now i’m the person i would roll my eyes at, God has a sense of humor!

but i kinda get it now. part of vision casting is communicating the overall goal to people. to help show them how each piece fits into the much larger picture. who knew my PR background would come in so handy – oh right, God did! and that’s just the thing, as i sit here in my kitchen, reading over the vision He gave us leaders, i am in awe that i am a part of this.

who am i that i get to serve my God in this way? truly, without my Savior, i am nothing, my heart is ugly, i’m detestable. and yet, He calls me His child. i am a daughter of the Most High God. so i pray, that the Almighty God will be pleased with the vision and desire we have for His women’s ministry (i know, it’s kinda strange to write that considering He birthed the vision in us). i am in awe of Him and that He could use a wretch like me. may we be hidden behind His cross this summer as He draws His women unto Him!

Women are beautiful, and God intentionally made us that way. But there is something that happens to a woman when she is finally set free. When she relinquishes control to her Savior, her Abba Father, her King, she glows in such a way that only He can make her glow. She has a peace and grace that leave you wanting what she has. It spurs you on to seek your God to know Him intimately, to desire to be like Him. You wonder, what does she have that I don’t have?What she has is the assurance that she is loved, she is delighted in and she was created for a purpose. Most likely she has fought the battle and fought hard, knowing the war was won on the Cross. She has cried, prayed and begged her way through the valley, clutching at every Word her Father gave her along the way. Even when she didn’t feel His presence she trusted He was there. She learned how to take her thoughts captive and how to cling to what was true no matter how she was feeling, no matter how dark and lonely the valley may have seemed. She fell in love with her Lord more and more as she trusted His Word and He came through every time.

No matter how she felt at any given moment, she went back to the Truth and it did indeed set her free. And now, she stands in the victory that was hers along. She walks with grace and dignity and has put shame and despair behind her. And she will comfort those who need comfort in the same way she has been comforted by her Father. She will use her victory to bring her sister to victory. She will not be ashamed of her past, or the scars she may bear because of it, but rather walk alongside others, bringing them to their victory. And one day she will see, even her scars have been healed.

That is why I love women’s ministry. To come alongside and watch a woman as she goes through this experience is one of the greatest joys on this earth. Women are beautiful, but when they meet with the Loving God, when they fight the battle that has been won for them, and they don’t give up, there is an unexplainable beauty and grace that comes upon them.

tonight was the last night of our six (technically seven) week bible study, “discerning the voice of God” by priscilla shirer. it was a wonderful evening with beautiful worship, fellowship and heartfelt sharing. i can’t believe how fast these six weeks went, it just flew by. there was this one woman in particular who came every monday night. when we began the study she was pretty shy and quiet and really intimidated. so much so, she almost stopped coming after the first night. but she pushed through that first week and kept coming. she even got to church almost an hour early every monday so she wouldn’t get stuck in traffic! all i can say about her is that last night you could see the joy of the Lord on her face. she persevered and God blessed her with joy and peace. she shared with me that even her family has been noticing the change in her. stories like hers are the reason we serve as the Lord commands. i am so humbled, overwhelmed and blessed all at once that the Lord would allow me to be part of such a beautiful story.

this is a pic of mandy and shelly preparing for worship. these ladies have been so faithful! every week they would lead us into the presence of the Lord. it was wonderful!

afterwards a few of us headed to noli’s for pizza. we were all super hungry! noli’s has pretty much the only good ny style pizza in the city. still not quite ny, but definitely super close! that pie was on the table for maybe two seconds when the ladies dug in – hilarious, women and pizza, don’t mess!

tonight was the most incredible night! it was the first evening of the women’s bible study at my church, chicago tabernacle. last fall i presented a proposal to my senior pastor’s wife about conducting a bible study for the women of our church. the Lord had laid out a plan in my head and i put it on paper. i met with her again earlier this year and we agreed the time to start it would be after the easter season. this was also the meeting in which i discovered i would be leading this adventure (not the actual teachings, i know my limits! that’s why we are doing priscilla shirer’s study, discerning the voice of God).

so i got to work praying for the study, planning the evenings in my head, and asking for God to show me the facilitators He would like to use. it seemed like out of nowhere, today was here!

i thought for sure i was believing God for big things by planning to have 40 chairs set-up in the fellowship hall (we are not a very big church), but sure enough, our God who loves to show-off brought close to 50 women! hallelujah!

all these women are so excited and hungry to hear God’s voice and learn more about him. one woman came up to me and said:

“you know that part in the DVD when Priscilla said she likes to study and learn more about God when she has a quiet moment? well that just spoke so loudly to me. whenever i have a down moment i like to put my feet up, it never occurred to me to spend that time with the Lord. and that’s what i want, a more intimate relationship with God!”

praise the Lord! i am so excited for this study and how God is going to move among the the women of our church. the Lord’s timing truly is perfect and the women are so ready for this. they are hungry for God’s Word, eager to learn and eager to hear the voice of the Lord. i am so humbled that God would let me witness this adventure. all i can do is sing His praises!

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