Be Inspired. Be Honest. Be You.

SMC Women's Ministry

Be inspired. Be honest. Be You.

Posts tagged Jesus
You, Yes You, Are Invited To Come

1IF It’s a new year!  It’s the last year of this decade.  It’s the start of something new.  And wow, did we start off with a bang at SMC at our SMC Women’s event last Thursday night at our first 2019 Thursday night events!

If you weren’t there, I wish you were.  If you were there, I’m glad you were!  It was a powerful night as Julie Gurley shared her story and then was followed by many other women transparently sharing some of their stories with women around their tables.

And all of that twas a huge preview of what it will be like in ONE month as IF:Alamance joins with IF:Gathering 2019 in the SMC Student Center.

Like many of you, I’ve watched and participated in the IF:Alamance Gatherings that have been hosted here in town, and each time I’m amazed how God moved through that event around the world, and in our community.  Each time I was part of it, messages taught seemed to be just what I needed to hear, worship was authentic, and I was given a challenge I needed to do to glorify and thank God for what He’s done for me along with strengthening my faith and trust in the Lord.

And speaking of trusting God, that’s the theme February 8 -9, 2019.  Speakers will be sharing the importance of seeking wisdom through His word and being in His presence on a daily basis in our crazy busy lives.  If you’re like me, so often I try to fix myself, by myself without going to the Word and prayer to gain wisdom from God.

I’ve come to learn a little bit how experiences in life help increase your wisdom.  I’ve also been learning that even when I feel like I’m not wise on a specific task or experience,  I’ll back out of an assignment God gracefully gives me with hope and love.  One of the biggest things God wants us to do for Him is to tell others about Jesus and how He’s changed our lives.  He had 12 disciples and told 11 of them before He ascended into heaven to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19) for His sake.  To make someone a disciple, we must be an example of how to be one.  Or at least try our best to.  That takes time, which means developing a relationship with someone who doesn’t know what it’s like to have one with Jesus.  For three years, Jesus discipled the men who were curious and chose to learn more about Him.

Unfortunately, I’m guilty of coming up with excuses of why I’m not qualified, or the person God wants to use to be a disciple for Himself.  Have you ever felt that way?  We use the excuse that we aren’t wise enough to disciple someone.  We haven’t been a believer long enough, I don’t understand everything in the Bible, my “gift” isn’t teaching, I’m not good enough, I’m too much a sinner, even though I try to follow Christ.  I don’t have time to do a Bible study.  I have toddlers, I work full time, I’m too old, I’m too young, I get too nervous, no one will want to meet with me, I’m not wise enough.  I don’t think any of my friends or co-workers would be interested.  I don’t know where to start.  I don’t want to commit to anything because something might happen down the road and I’d have to stop and I don’t want to let anyone down.  What if we meet and I let her down? (again I’m not good enough).  I battle depression and anxiety.  I have a bad history.  I’m fighting cancer or a disease. And there’s even more excuses, I’m sure.

But y’all!  It’s not about YOU.  It’s what GOD WANS to do and CAN do through YOU when you choose to be obedient to His Word, when you choose to follow Christ, when you choose to take risks THROUGH HIM.  It’s when you choose to believe that He’ll never forsake you or abandon you and will be present with you when you encourage others.  It’s when you choose to have faith, even if it’s the size of a mustard seed, that God will provide you with the opportunity and ability to reach out to someone who needs someone to listen to her.  It’s when you CHOOSE TO TRUST GOD.  He kinda commands us to do that…in Proverbs 3:5-6, which is one of the main verses in Proverbs that IF:Gathering will be teaching from.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your paths straight.”

Maybe I have been trusting him even if I wasn’t feeling like I was.

When you come to this event, you’re going to experience being in the presence of God with women around the world.  Come as you are.  Heartbroken, scarred, scared, rebellious, angry or sad.  Come if you have a deep desire to change, to experience joy, be with others who are going through something in life like you, even though you don’t know it…YET.  Come if you need wisdom, discernment and direction.  Come of you want to experience Jesus.  Come just because you’re curious and you want to check out what this gathering thing is all about. Come if you have a sweet relationship with God – this will be a blessing to you.   Come if you’re starting to realize that your excuses really aren’t good enough.  Come in you PJ pants and slippers!

There will be food, coffee, giveaway prizes and a gift bag for you.  There will be amazing worship with the IF worship leaders, teaching, laughter, prayer, tears and joy.  There will be meaningful conversations and fun fellowship. Memories will be made, and you’ll be charged, or re-ignited to make a difference in someone’s - yes, even if it’s just ONE person’s life - after it’s over.  Trust me – no – TRUST GOD – that this will be worth it because YOU are WORTH it!  JESUS is WORTH it!

Register to attend here!  (And you're welcome to forward this post to your friends!)

Beth

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The Day After Christmas

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The annual anticipation has culminateFor at least a month many were elated

By the impending celebration of the birth of a baby boy

Or is that the real reason?

 

The trees, inflatables and lights galore

Stockings, sweaters and so much more

Shopping and Christmas movies 24/7

But now that it’s over what does all that matter?

 

Seems our focus is pulled in so many ways

We can watch TV or stay online for days

People might be all around us

But that doesn’t keep us from loneliness

 

As we begin to un-decorate from the season

Can we be intentional about our reasons

For the gifts, the cards and recognition

That we experience on Christmas

 

Perhaps as we return to the busyness of life

Our daily routines and unavoidable strife

May we realize that this is when the work begins

To make life better wherever we can.

 

For isn’t that the reason God came to earth

And came to life in human birth?

To make us one with Him

And make life better for those around us?

 

‘Tis true it’s better to give than receive

But can we for one moment truly believe

The work Jesus started in His 33 years

Will drive out darkness and many fears

 

There are no limits when we expand and grow

What He started in us so long ago

Let’s bring peace, harmony and love

And make this world more like heaven above.

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Peace, love and blessings,

Angela Hailey

 

What’s Your Costume this Halloween?

pump Good ol’ Halloween!

When people dress up for mischievous, mayhem and other shenanigans.

Seeing the latest costumes (I haven’t picked mine yet) and yard ornaments, I see manufacturers have really upped the gore game. More macabre than ever before. The obvious ghouls and goblins are so easy to avoid. But what about those seemingly innocuous monsters??

You know. Things like pain and grief, failure, unforgiveness, betrayal. What about those monsters called addiction, depression, shame, isolation, despair?

I’ve recently had to renew my massage license. Part of the requirements to do so is 24 hours of continuing education every two years. One of my classes was The Mind/Body Connection: Deep Feeling, Deep Healing; Mind/Body Wisdom for Bodyworkers. The premise is that the author, Andy Bernay-Roman, recognizes that past pain that has been repressed (consciously or subconsciously) manifests in the body in other ways. In order to heal or move forward, the body and soul has to FEEL that pain and work through it.  “The ignored heart remains at the core of disease and the reclaimed heart remains at the core of healing,” Bernay-Roman says. “Suffering is the result of not feeling...Funny how allowing oneself to feel pain halts suffering.” He adds that we have within us all that we need to move past our monsters.

When I think about Christ, I often think of how He would go away for periods of time. He removed Himself from distraction in order to get close to His Father and find clarity and healing. I don’t know about you, but while this idea is so very appealing to me, it feels nearly impossible. My daily schedule seems PACKED! Between myself, my husband and our boys, how in the world do I have time to get away? Our society has become a go fast society and often the busier we are, the better. How many times do we stay busy in an effort to avoid difficulties?

But perhaps the question should be how do we not MAKE time for solitude to happen?

In the Bible we are told the importance of protecting ourselves: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23

While we immerse ourselves in distractions (busyness, TV, work, social media, etc.) and numb ourselves from pain (shopping, eating, alcohol, etc.), we don’t seem to be taking very good care of ourselves. We certainly don’t seem to be guarding our hearts in order to fulfill what God designed for us.

Think about it for a moment. I’m as guilty as anyone of believing issues will just go away. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But in my CE class Bernay-Roman said, “When pain is repressed, it doesn’t just go away, it goes in.” In addition, he states “how paradoxical that the path of feeling one’s pain leads to the healing of the suffering heart.”

With this, it’s important to remember God is always with us. The Bible tells us 365 times to not be afraid. Don’t be afraid. Just have faith. Mark 5:36

God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything. 1 John 3:20

In addition to my massage CEs, I’m also really learning the importance of being intentional in my walk with God. I’ve always heard that God tells us everything we need in the Bible. But through my reading and spiritual growth, I’m finally at a point that my experience is showing this is true.

In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us about the whole armor of God. He said putting it on allows us to stand firm against the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Ephesians 6:12-13

Both the apostle Paul and Bernay-Ramsey remind us that we have to be intentional when fighting the monsters in our lives. Preparing for and feeling them is the best way to guard our hearts so that we can live through our suffering. We prepare by growing our relationship with God and we get through them by feeling and facing them.

When we do this, then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

So, this Halloween, remember monsters won’t always come out where we can see them. Often, they lurk in the dark, within the deep recesses of our minds, souls and hearts. Don’t be afraid, God will give us all we need.

Oh! And I finally figured out my Halloween costume – gotta go put on the whole armor of God!

Peace and love,

Angela

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