Be Inspired. Be Honest. Be You.

SMC Women's Ministry

Be inspired. Be honest. Be You.

Posts in Retreat
His Banner Over Me

The little girl in the picture is my daughter at her second Christmas amidst the wrapping paper and ribbons on her grandparent’s living room floor.

She had just unwrapped her very own “Big Bird” and was very excited because her older brother had his own beloved “Big B” and refused to share.

The gentleman standing over her is her Paw Paw, my husband’s father.

Mr. Disher was of the “Greatest Generation” who spent several years fighting in Germany and Africa. He returned home and married Bob’s mom and settled down and did what that generation had been groomed to do: provide for his family.

He was not one to show great emotion, and yet after being in his presence for awhile you came to realize that his emotions ran deep under his serious countenance.

In this picture with his first granddaughter, his emotions were swept over his face and he delighted in her excitement.

McKenzie found this photo not too long ago and came rushing into the kitchen to show me that Paw Paw really did love her and she had proof of it in this picture.

I was preparing dinner and there were extra guests that night, and I simply told her “of course he loved you”, and she was satisfied with her proof.

I came across this picture last week and a verse from Zephaniah popped into my head “He will take great delight in you…” or as the Voice Translation states “He will show how much He loves you and how happy he is with you.” and I thought about McKenzie’s delight in having proof of her Paw Paw’s love.

Mr. Disher loved his grandchildren immensely and totally, no doubt in my mind, yet my daughter always wondered because she couldn’t remember.

I know so many of you with a yearning to know that God loves them. A yearning of proof that He loves you.

Women who feel unloved, insecure, rejected from relationships, believe if they could not find love in this world, how could God possibly love them?

I want to gather them into my arms and say don’t you know how much your Abba Father loves you?

But we here on earth forget to remember sometimes.

We forget to remember that he delights in us.

We forget to remember that we are the apple of his eye.

We forget to remember that our names are chisled into the palm of his hand.

We forget to remember that we are the daughters of the Most High King.

We forget to remember that we are treasured. . .precious. . .adored. . .prized.

The little girl in the picture knows her Paw Paw loved her but she forgot to remember how he adored her.

She was his Beloved Granddaughter as we are the Beloved Daughters of God.

I am listening to Christy Nockels CD “Be Held: Lullabies for Believers” as I write this and the song “Banner of Love” is playing.

“I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. . .His banner over me is love.” (Song of Solomon 2:4)

One of my deepest desires is for you to know how long, how high, and how deep His love really is (Eph 3:18)

The little girl in the picture has a picture to hold. But she also knows how much her heavenly Father loves her because she has met Him in some dark nights and He always shows up. And He always loves her. She has the proof she needs.

She surrendered and asked and He answered.

I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Says the Eternal One. . . My love won’t walk away from you. My love won’t give up on you. You can rely on my enduring love. (Isaiah 54:10)

His banner over you is love. . .and it is flying high!

Lovingyougood…sd

What Are Women Really Craving?

20160116_161848824_iOS I don’t have a word of the year.  Even though I’ve thought and prayed about it, I continue to wonder  what my  2016 word should be.  Nothing.

Well, that’s not my word but nothing has risen above the rest.   In the past some of my words have been Reach and Define, and I’ve read other’s strong words like Still and Bold.  This year though, there have personally been some words that catch my attention I’ve been seeing quite frequently -  pray, empower and equip. Those words often seem to appear when I read news feeds, blog posts, and hear messages lately.  Those are action words - words that provide us with what we need in order to do something. 

Maybe they keep showing up because those are words and actions God is impressing on my heart and mind for a reason.  God wants His people – including you and me – to feel empowered and equipped to spread the love and Truth of God in what is becoming a Godless culture.

This past weekend, over 150 women came together at SMC at the Empowered To Be event.  After enjoying a delicious brunch and good conversations, all together we entered into the holy space where we invited the Holy Spirit to meet us there.

With no doubt, He was there.  He was worshipped as women shared the gifts of music, acting, writing, storytelling, painting, speaking and praying to glorify God.  The women were reminded how necessary it is for us as Christ-followers to be prayerful, available and responsive to the callings God gives each one of us.  We learned how Naomi, Rahab and Priscilla, strong women of faith in Scripture, did it.  Along with them, Jesus gave us the example when he walked on this earth: prayer was his #1 priority, he always made himself available to help and hear others’ stories and then responded to the opportunity he had to glorify God in each situation that faced him.

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It was a powerful morning as the Holy Spirit empowered us to be prayerful, available and responsive.

I think God is trying to get his point across these days.  In less than three weeks, there will be another opportunity to join together with women to become more equipped to live like Jesus.  IF:Gathering 2016 is the moment where genuine life change happens, where we’ll see God for who He is and respond to be more like Him. 

Last February, several women from SMC gathered with women from other local churches in Alamance County to fellowship, worship and become unleashed to be bold and courageous as we live out our callings.  This February 5-6, again we are invited and encouraged to gather as we become more equipped to love like Jesus loved, serve like Jesus served, pray like Jesus prayed, and pursue holiness like Jesus pursued it.

The other day I heard a friend who attended IF:Gathering last year, telling her friend, “After having gone to IF:Gathering last year, I know IF:2016 is going to rock your world!  It rocked mine last year.”

I have to agree with her!  There were so many genuine life changes that took place and I anticipate the same will happen again.

Women are craving something.  Do you feel it too?

Women are craving to discover and know their purpose in God’s Story.

Women are craving to do something that brings joy, hope and impacts the lives of others to further God’s kingdom.

Women see the need for Jesus in this community (and this world) - now more than ever in our lifetime.

People are craving Jesus whether they know it or not.

I’m reminded of Paul writing to encourage the people in Thessalonica. He was amazed and humbled how this group of new believers were tirelessly and devotionally sharing the Good News of Jesus' salvation to their people in their community.

“What you experienced in the good news we brought you was more than words channeling down your ears; it came to you as a life-empowering, Spirit-infused message that offers complete hope and assurance! We lived transparently before you so that you would know what sort of people we truly are. We did it for your sake."  1 Thes 1:5  (Voice)

Are we willing to live transparently so that others will know the women we truly are – imperfect people in the arms of our perfect, grace-filled God, who created us with purpose in His Story?  We are the daughters of the King; He is the lover of our souls and wants us to help Him tell and show others that they truly matter to Him, too.

Now is the time.  And God has been and will continue to press on our hearts this responsibility he’s given us.  He seems to be equipping us, especially at the start of 2016, for a reason.  He’s providing through the local church many opportunities like Empowered to Be, IF:Gathering, Abundance, Bible studies, and teachings to prepare us for what he’s called each one of us to do for His glory.

So let’s be praying!  Because when we pray, God equips and empowers us through the Holy Spirit to live like Jesus.

You can go here to learn more about these great opportunities for you to be part of.

 

Beth

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