Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Ministry women, whether it is a pastor’s wife or woman in ministry, often feel not just alone but have deep feelings of loneliness. Ever been there? What an unhealthy way to live!

Why are we afraid to admit that we are not perfect? Why do we hesitate to admit to our girlfriends that we have shortcomings and fail at times? Why are we so determined not to be transparent with our closest friends? If we would only realize that there isn’t a ministry woman on the face of this earth that has it all together 24/7!

When we begin to share our flawed life with our friends we give them permission to remove their masks. It isn’t an easy task but necessary in order to develop close relationships. Solid friendships are built on a foundation of authenticity, trust and commitment. Obviously this process takes time but if we refuse to never step out and attempt to remove our masks the relationship may never happen.

If you are lonely and feel like you don’t have a friend you can share the struggles of life with over a cup of coffee, I encourage you to seek God’s face and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in finding that person or persons. Ministry is a lonely place full of obstacles and discouragement at times but we must be a friend in order to find a friend. I don’t believe that God ever intended for us to travel this journey alone. That is why my passion is so strong for developing pastor’s wives/ministry women growth groups in our district. We definitely need one another. Relationships are crucial and it is a process that takes time to cultivate.

The Chocolate and Coffee Ministry groups I have created on FB also serve as a great source for ministry women to encourage one another. If you have never participated in the discussions I encourage you to check it out. There has been some great insight share during many of the discussion topics.

Have a great week friends. May the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry in an awesome and powerful way! Be a friend and begin to remove those masks………………………..

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Live For the King

Good Morning Precious Girlfriends,

Well, this is it! One week from Christmas!  Gifts bought and wrapped, shopping completed for the Christmas meal and all the baking is finished right??????  Well, for me that is a BIG NO!! lol

Sheri Rose Shepherd wrote an awesome book called, My Prince Will Come. I want to encourage you during this busy time of the year with some great thoughts from her book.

We have been crowned with forgiveness, salvation, and acceptance into God’s kingdom. Because His Spirit is in us, we are now adorned with his Beauty. Now is the time to shine for Him – let’s not miss a moment of what He has for us to do! Remember, just as God placed Queen Esther in the court of King Xerxes so that she could save her people, our heavenly King has put us in a particular place in order to save people who don’t yet know him. We are appointed to be His princesses for such a time as this. Our reign is now! Put on your God-appointed crown and take your royal position.

This royal call is not about our accomplishments. Our King has done it all. He died on the cross for our sins so that we can begin our eternal reign while we are here. Our reign is about our confidence in our King, and about investing our time and God-given talents in eternity. We have come into this world with nothing, and we will leave with nothing except the legacy of those we lead to the Lord. The only significant thing we will leave behind us is our witness for Jesus and the memory of a life lived in faith in Him. So don’t let the devil distract you for another moment with all the busyness we face during this time of the year. Choose to make your life matter for all eternity. Don’t allow anything or anyone to keep you from your calling! And remember that it was not the crown on her head that made Esther a great queen. It was her heart for her God and her people and her willingness to serve Him. So live for your King, and He will crown you in His glory for all to see you are His!

Merry Christmas beautiful ladies! May God continue to bless you in mighty ways.

Love you,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good Morning Sweet Friends,

Here we are, two weeks from Christmas!! I bet your shopping is done, gifts are wrapped and cookies are baked right………….? Well I can tell you that isn’t the case in my life. So much to do and so little time to accomplish all the tasks on our plates. I love Christmas but every year is such a challenge for me to get it all finished by Christmas morning.

Monday evening our church is hosting the District Christmas party. We usually have between 65-75 guests attend this event. It is a great time and our folks from church are looking forward to being servants for the evening. Tuesday and Thursday evening I am hosting a fellowship at my home for my mentoring groups.  Busy week but exciting times!

Persistence definitely has its rewards. We all have a zillion things to accomplish before Christmas morning and we will continue to work at it until it is all done. We have a responsibility to our spouse, families and our church family. But what about our persistence regarding what God has called us to do?

The lady with the issue of blood in the Bible was amazing. Have you ever really thought about how difficult it was for her to forge her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment? Jesus was on his way to Jairus’s house and people were all around him. Multitudes were surrounding him virtually making it impossible to get through. But one woman was persistent and determined to reach Him. Her faith was so strong that she knew if she could just touch the hem of his garment she would be healed. That friend is amazing faith!

I want that kind of faith in my life. When I am faced with overwhelming challenges I want to demonstrate faith that has no doubt . I want to demonstrate that same faith in my life when everything around me looks dark and hopeless. That level of faith will take us places we never dreamed were possible in our lives.

So, what will it be for you? We are quickly approaching a brand new year filled with many joys, doubts, challenges, and most likely some times of heartache. Our faith and trust in Jesus Christ will definitely carry us through to the end if we determine in our own hearts that no matter how difficult the journey to the hem of the garment – it will be worth it.

Be blessed friend. I pray for God’s amazing power to penetrate your services today. I pray for a special touch from God today for you and your family. God loves you so much. No matter what lies the enemy whispers in your ears, God’s plan is amazing and He longs to use you to further the Kingdom.

Love and appreciate you,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Seeing God's Hand In Our Circumstances

I was reading recently that the book of Esther is the only book in the Bible where God is never mentioned. In fact, many people over the years questioned whether it should even be included as one of the books of the Bible for that reason.

Esther is the story of how God used one woman to change the fate of an entire nation. Although God's name is not mentioned in this book you can certainly recognize His fingerprints on every page! The book of Esther shows the choice we make between seeing His hand in our circumstances in life and seeing things as merely coincidence. God's plans are never moved by the actions of evil men and women in our society. The silent love language our Father often uses to communicate directly to our spirit is illustrated in this book.

Esther proved to mirror a Godly and teachable character that exhibited incredible strength and awesome obedience. Esther was unique and this caused her to be elevated into the position of Queen. She certainly demonstrates to us that remaining respectful and humble even in difficult if not humanly impossible circumstances often set us up to be the vessel of untold blessing for both ourselves and others. She is a positive role model that can influence us with her repeated Godly attitudes in difficult positions. You won't read of any complaints or bad behavior on her part in this book. She often won the favor of those around her. That favor is what ultimately saved her people.

By utilizing Esther's example of maintaining a positive attitude, united with humility and the determination of leaning on God and seeking His will and favor in our circumstances, we will recognize that God is absolutely amazing. I rejoice today in knowing that God walks with me through the pit of the valley and high on the mountain top. No matter what it is I will face this week, God will be with me. His encouragement, peace and strength is just a prayer away.

If you are struggling today with difficult circumstances just seek Him. He has all the answers ............


Sunday, November 27, 2011

God's Plan

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving. I prepared a Thanksgiving feast for our family and it was wonderful spending time with our children, their spouses and our grandchildren.  This  year I elected not to be one of those crazy shoppers that ended up at Wal-Mart fighting 1000 other shoppers for bargains!!! But I did manage to get up very early the day after and take advantage of a few after Thanksgiving bargains............  And, I am tired of eating warm ups!

Our church participated in collecting food for families in our community and it was a joy to distribute Thanksgiving meals.  On Thanksgiving morning my friend and I delivered a cooked meal to someone in our community that didn't have an oven.  Even now as I talk about it tears come to my eyes.  She was so appreciative and so excited when she saw the pies!  She told us that she loved pies....  I have so much to be thankful for.........

We are quickly approaching the end of 2011. I don’t know about you but it is hard for me to believe that we have almost completed another year. It seems like time zooms by these days. But with that I find myself thinking often about what I have or have not accomplished in my life this year and also a lot about God’s destiny for Debbie Shank. Can anyone relate?

God has a plan and destiny for each of us but the enemy loves to fill our minds with doubt and confusion. Destiny is a tough word to define by our culture’s standards. We often look at someone who is extremely talented and immediately assume that they will go places in life. Our destiny as Christians is not so easily defined or short-lived. Our journey with Christ is a process which requires unending perseverance, commitment, patience and obedience. For me personally my dreams and ambitions have certainly changed a number of times over the years. As I walk through this season of my life I often wonder what God has in store for me next.

God continues to work a change in our hearts so we can see his hand in all the circumstances of our lives. That is God’s gift to us and sometimes all we see is fog. God has chosen us and he loves us. Our future, no matter how it may look at the present, is safe and secure with Jesus Christ. Even though we may not feel like God is in control that does not change the truth that he is.

Life is full of opportunities. God continues to use each of us daily in ways we cannot fathom. Continue to trust the Lord with every detail of your life. Even though our destiny is often times not clear, God knows what he is doing.

Have an awesome week dear friends. May you be blessed abundantly throughout this holiday season!  Take a moment each day and thank God for ALL that He has done for you...............

Love and appreciate you,

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Good Morning Girlfriends!

This is it! Thanksgiving week!!! Many of you will be traveling to be with family for the holiday and many, like me, will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Nonetheless we will be busy!!

We will be celebrating the first birthday of our youngest grandson Cayden on Wednesday.  Cannot believe how quickly time goes by.

I just want to take this opportunity to remind you again how much you are appreciated and loved. I know many of you are virtual friends who I may never meet until we get to heaven but you are such a support to me and I feel as though I have known you forever. I love your emails throughout the week and your sweet and kind words of encouragement. This ministry was birthed from a passion to encourage ministry women who are struggling and God has been amazing! I never dreamed God would use this resource to touch so many women. Thank you for your faithfulness and friendship.

This is certainly a week to be thankful for all God has done for us but as Christians, everyday is a day to be thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ for the magnificent price He paid on the cross for you and me. His continued blessings and faithfulness in my own life is often beyond comprehension.

From now until Christmas most of us will be running on empty as we try to do a zillion things for the holidays. May God’s peace surround you every step of the way. Let’s not get so overwhelmed in all the busyness that we lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. It is truly a celebration of life. God certainly did make a way for us when He said that, “It is done”.

Happy Thanksgiving friends! You are awesome and you are loved. Have a wonderful time with your families and if you are one of those crazy ladies who get up at 4am on the Friday after Thanksgiving, like me - be careful out there!! Those people are serious about their shopping!

Many hugs,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

God is Our Constant

Well it is official! Christmas is a little over 5 weeks away…… Oh my goodness!! If you are like me that tends to place a little panic in our lives. Put up and decorated two of my Christmas trees this weekend! But first we celebrate Thanksgiving which is right around the corner. Our youngest grandson celebrates his first birthday the day before Thanksgiving. Very busy time of the year........

Just want to encourage you today friends. As I look around I constantly see people struggling with life issues. Some are losing their homes, some are dealing with devastating news about their health, some have lost their jobs or have been informed that they will be taking a pay cut this year. Some are dealing with major issues in their marriages and the list goes on. Life is a constant challenge. But, God is our constant.

We truly do have so much to be thankful for and for me; I often take that for granted. I am so thankful that I serve a God who will never fail me or leave me. I am so thankful that even when life’s challenges seem bigger than anything I have ever imagined, my God is on the throne and He walks with me through those deep waters. Life often brings pain but God is always there to bring comfort and peace.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3). Sometimes we fail unintentionally to commit our struggles and challenges to God. Yes we do and I am guilty of this as well. How many times have we given God temporary control of things in our lives only to take back control when things stop gong the way we expect. And sometimes we commit a task fully to the Lord, but put forth no effort ourselves in praying about this situation. We must maintain a delicate balance: trusting God as if everything depended on him, while working as if everything depended on us. By working I mean praying daily for this situation. Think of a specific situation you are walking through right now. Have you fully committed it to the Lord? Are you fully trusting God for the answer?

At the cross I bow my knee,
Where Your blood was shed for me.
There’s no greater love than this.
You have overcome the grave.
Your glory fills the highest place.
What can separate me now?
Song - At the Cross by Hillsong

God loves his children so much and he cares about everything we walk through in this life. Whether it is a small challenge or something that is overwhelming,..,,. He cares. Lay the burden at the cross today and then trust God with the results. He has overcome the grave. His glory fills the highest place. Friends, what can separate us now?

Many blessings!