Be Inspired. Be Honest. Be You.

SMC Women's Ministry

Be inspired. Be honest. Be You.

Glory Is Just Around The Corner

 

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Bob and I enter into a hard season each fall.  Two years ago in the space of 2 weeks, Bob and I lost 3 people who we loved.  We had witnessed each one of them travel the dark nights of the soul losing their way before they each discovered that when the night is darkest, the stars shine brightest. Their journeys were long and treacherous and without hope for periods of time, but God….

 

We celebrated each one’s success in claiming the joy of God, which they found by continuing to see Him when they doubted He existed.  They each persevered, even when the ones they loved doubted.

 

This fall brings another family we hold close to our hearts facing unreasonable fears.  Just when one discovers that the cure has not held and the options are very few, another member discovers that they are facing a similar journey through treatment.

 

It is at times like this that I marvel at their tenacity, and courage and their hope.  They are clinging to the hope of their God.

 

But I still ask…knowing the answer but the question still comes out of my heart…”how much more can one family stand before crumbling, Lord?”

 

How much more can they carry the burdens life has given them?

 

1 Peter 4:13 was my answer….

 

“When life gets really difficult don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.

Instead be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ suffered and experienced.  This is a spiritual refining process with glory just around the corner.

 

Each of us have a hard life.  As Lysa TerKeurst explains in her book “It’s Not Suppose To Be This Way”, we are living in an imperfect garden, bookended by the Perfect Garden of Eden and the New Kingdom of Heaven.  We are working our way through, being refined daily.

 

A refiner of gold heats the metal and skims off the dross, the imperfections that rise to the surface.  The refiner has to keep a constant watch to see the exact moment the gold is refined.  If he turns his back and misses the moment, the gold is ruined.  How does he know when the gold is refined?  It is when he looks on the surface and can see the image of his face reflected in the pure gold.

 

“This is a refining process with glory just around the corner.”

 

We tend to forget with our problems and worries and calamities and disasters and fears and hardships and hard lives…glory is just around the corner.

 

I discovered after Robby died that heaven came so much closer to earth, now that I had given a part of me to be there.  And now after almost 14 years, heaven is populated with my loves and sometimes I think of how wonderful it will be to stand among all those who have gotten there before me, but life happens and dulls my focus and I forget to remember…glory is just around the corner.

 

When I first held my three grandchildren, I told each of them the same thing…”I would know you any where; your face is the reflection of your Abba Father’s face, the last face you saw.”  The Refiner looked onto the brightly minted face of a new human and saw His reflection, gave them a final kiss and they were born…and glory was just around the corner.

 

Lord, keep me in the refiner’s fire, temper me, mold me, clean me up, until Your reflection is seen in my heart because…glory is just around the corner.

 

Lovingyougood…sd

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Nobody...

It’s that time of year…back in the routine, and hustling left and right. Worn out. Maybe down-and-out. In all the craziness, we can get to feeling a little lost. But we aren’t lost. We aren’t invisible. There’s a great, big, beautiful, loving, wonderful God who sees us, hears us, holds us, loves us! HAPPY WEDNESDAY FRIENDS!


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Nobody (feat. Matthew West)

Why You ever chose me
Has always been a mystery
All my life I've been told I belong at the end of the line

With all the other Not-Quites
With all the Never-Get-It-Rights
But it turns out we're the ones You've been looking for all this time
‘Cause…

I'm just a nobody
Trying to tell everybody
All about Somebody who saved my soul
Ever since You rescued me
You gave my heart a song to sing
I'm living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus
I'm living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus

Moses had stage fright
And David brought a rock to a sword fight
You picked 12 outsiders nobody would've chosen
And You changed the world

Well, the moral of the story is
Everybody's got a purpose
So when I hear that devil start talking to me, saying
“Who do you think you are”
I say…

So let me go down, down, down in history
As another blood-bought faithful member of the family
And if they all forget my name, well, that's fine with me
I'm living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus



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Lyrics published at KLOVE.com (http://www.klove.com/music/artists/casting-crowns/songs/nobody-(feat.-matthew-west)-lyrics.aspx)

Publishing: © 2018 Be Essential Songs (BMI) (admin at EssentialMusicPublishing.com) / My Refuge Music (BMI) (admin at CapitolCMGPublishing.com); Highly Combustible Music / House Of Story Music Publishing / One77 Songs (ASCAP) (adm by Kobalt Songs Music Publishing); Xeva Music / Works by Pure Note Songs (BMI) (admin by The Royalty Network Inc.)

Writer(s): Mark Hall, Matthew West, Bernie Herms

Family.......

I recently attended a family reunion. I love those events! The food was jaw-dropping, it was so good. And seeing folks I usually only see on facebook most of the rest of the year was so much fun. We laughed and caught up and just had the best time. I love these people! Some of us really don’t know each other very well, but I love them. Our common bond is a set of folks who had 8 children, and we are descended from them. Some of the greats. My Grandma was one of those eight kids. She was the epitome of the Greatest Generation. She worked hard, she saved relentlessly, and she loved fiercely (though often quietly). And the last remaining sibling, my Aunt Doris, announced that she counted up all the descendants…it numbers, right now, at 195—not all of them were at the reunion the other night because some are in far-flung locales and some were under the weather, some have passed onto Glory, etc. But, she said she didn’t think her Mama and Papa would have ever imagined. 195! From a simple farm couple in Caswell County, North Carolina. A tiny little dot on the great, big map of the world.

 

So as I sit at this keyboard and think about all those folks, and how blessed I am (that’s just one branch of my family tree…there’s a whole mess of folks on my Grandaddy’s side, and don’t get me started on all my Kentucky cousins from my lil ole Maw Maw’s side of the family)…I also recognize that I was sitting in church this morning with even more family. And today, SMC asked us all to Stake Our Claim. To be in this life together. To reach people and bring them into our family. It was electric in those moments at the end of service today. And it’s now warm and fuzzy as I sit here with my computer in front of me.

 

Just as we love and embrace those we hold in our hearts as kin, and as we value our time together sharing in meals like we did at my family reunion, we are reminded that there is a greater body we can look to as our family. This also speaks life over our relationship with the church – which is not the physical building we worship in on Sundays, but rather in the communion we enjoy when we are together (in person, surely, but also in venues like this online blog site and in our FB Bible study).

 

We are reminded of, and frankly instructed in, four non-negotiable standards for how we do life as followers of Jesus: “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

 

Jesus calls us to be a family, to gather together, to worship together, to do life together, to be in community with one another, and to serve as His hands and feet together. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that so strongly as I have this past weekend. And I am thankful. Grateful.

 

When we are together, and our focus is on Jesus, God is within us. “Christ lives in you, and He is your hope of sharing in God’s glory” (Colossians 1:27).

 

So I write to you today, Friend, to tell you that you are part of this wonderful family, too. And I thank YOU for that. You contribute in ways you might not even realize. And I call out to you today to cheer you on as you find more and different ways to continue to do that. This world needs you, and our family needs you. I pray you know what a blessing you are, and I hope it encourages you to continue to be…to give you more reason to dig deeper and pour into those in your sphere of influence—in little ways, in big ways, in whatever ways. Bob said it this morning, that we may never know the impact our works of faith will have. We may never see the results. But somebody will. Next week, next year, or twenty years from now. Someone will.

 

Thank you, Friend. I appreciate you, and I love you, and I’m thankful for you.  *FAMILY HUG*

 

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Jessica  

Jessica Coble RussellComment