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,
Debbie

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,
Debbie

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 ............

Blessings!

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,
Debbie

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankfulness

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,
Debbie

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!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Self-Confidence vs. God-Confidence

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

Praying that you have an amazing Sunday filled to overflowing with God's abundant blessings. And I also pray that your week will be awesome! 

I was reading recently in a Bible study called Confidence, Six Secrets of a Confident Woman by Carol Kent and Karen Lee-Thorp some awesome encouraging words.  Great study!!

Self-confidence will get you nowhere in the Kingdom of God. Self-confidence is the belief in ourselves that we have what it takes to conquer whatever we may be facing in this life. What a joke!!!

God-confidence reminds us that in ourselves we do have enormous limitations, but God doesn't! We seriously control very little in our lives but God rules ALL. God--confidence is the belief that we can do anything God gives us to do. Amen!! Without Him – I am nothing! With Him – who knows what will happen!!

I encourage you to seek God's face this week with an open mind and open heart about what it is He is calling you to do. Many times ministry women find themselves doing what no one else will do. Where does that leave us? What about our talents and gifts? And even greater than that.... what about what God is asking us to do? What truly is our purpose in God's magnificent plan?

For many of us, as pastor's wives, I think we sometimes think we don't have a purpose other than being the "pastor's wife" in the church. This, my friend is not true. Our husband has a definite calling on his life but God also is calling us to step up to the plate and out of our comfort zone. Our life was never meant to be a cookie cutter imitation of someone else. God has a plan!!!!

Appreciate your emails and words of encouragement throughout the week.

Love you,
Debbie

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Enemy is a Whimp!

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

It was great seeing some of you yesterday in Manassas, VA at the District Equipping Conference. I love it when I have the opportunity to meet the women who are part of Chocolate and Coffee!!! Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourselves and give me an awesome word of encouragement!

Do you want to impact lives like Jesus did? Maybe you just walked through the driest desert in your life this week and you really are not interested in impacting lives but it happens when we least expect it!!! The enemy is slick and if he can do anything to manipulate our lives so that we demonstrate frustration, anger, bitterness and worry to those around us. He thinks he has won. But we have news for him don’t we friends? He hasn’t won and he won’t win because we serve a mighty God who is all powerful!!!

Influence is a personal indirect power over people, events, or things, not through the exercise of physical force or formal authority, but by force of character or wisdom. Jesus modeled how to be in influential leader who by force of character, wisdom, and example influenced others’ thinking and choices. He practiced life habits that help me live an authentic Christian life so that I can impact the lives of others as he did. Six Essentials of Spiritual Authenticity by Carol Kent & Karen Lee-Thorp

Influence is powerful and this week we are going to influence everyone in our paths in a negative or positive way. Our body language, our speech, our facial expressions…. We are impacting lives and I want to make sure that my life is a positive influence for those God brings into my life.

Life can be challenging but I remind you today the enemy is a wimp and he will not win.There is always something positive about what we are walking through. Sometimes we need to dig really dip to find it, but it is always there.

Dear friends, I am praying for you today. May God bless you abundantly in your own life, your family and ministry. May the presence of God be mighty and powerful in your services today?

You are awesome women of God!

Love and appreciate YOU,
Debbie

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rejoice and Be Glad in It!!


Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

This is the day that the Lord hath made. I will REJOICE and be glad in it!!!!!
I know for many it is challenging to rejoice this morning because of everything happening around you in your ministry and life. Just remember today that God is still on the throne and is as powerful as He was yesterday and will still reign tomorrow! He loves you and cares about every detail of your life including the discouragement and disappointments you may be dealing with today.

Just want to encourage you this morning with a simple thought. No matter what you are walking through at this moment, God will help you be a positive influence in a negative situation. Be encouraged – what you have to offer is the life of Jesus, not your own expertise. Encouragement cannot harm people – a loving word from you will always help somehow, if even a little, if only for a moment. As ministry wives and ministry women, our skills and callings are varied, but we can be unceasing encourager's. We are greatly needed!

I am praying for you today that God’s power and presence will be overwhelming in your services. You are amazing women of God!

Love and appreciate you!

Hugs,
Debbie

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Loving Those Not Easy To Love


"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." I Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NKJV)

When I think about this scripture the first thing that comes to my mind is the responsibility we have as pastor's wives and ministry women. In the early church, leaders modeled love to their churches. They lived by these words in the scripture. Love was the foundation and motive for the leaders' action.

As a pastor's wife and a woman in ministry I have repeatedly experienced everything but love from some folks throughout our 30 years of ministry. I know many of you reading this blog today can relate. I am thankful today that God has taught me how to love those who don't love others. I realize that if I were not able to love those who demonstrate a cold heart that I would not be an effective leader. When we dwell on the hurts and pains of life we become very bitter and indifferent.

God's love is directed outward toward others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This love is not natural. It is possible only if God supernaturally helps us set aside our own desires and instincts. The closer we come to Christ, the more love we will express to others.

Is it easy to love those who come against our families and criticize everything we do in the ministry? Absolutely not but I remind myself that I need to demonstrate God's love to these people anyway. It isn't about me and what I might want. It would be easy to totally write them off and avoid those who constantly inflict pain and suffering on our lives but that isn't what God has called us to do. These people are also hurting and dealing with some very deep wounds from life. God can heal them also and he may be calling you and I to be the resource he chooses to use in their healing process.

Listen for God's voice today as you allow him to direct your steps in your ministry. He may open doors of opportunity for you today that may be calling you out of your comfort zone but can also be very rewarding.

Blessings!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pastor's Wives - The Impossibility of Pleasing People

Many years ago, as a very young, inexperienced, and untrained pastor's wife, my mission was to please everyone. Why? Because that is what I thought ministry was all about. I was constantly trying to figure out if my makeup was acceptable, my clothes, my jewelry, etc. I made every effort to be everything for everyone all the time. Desperately attempting to make everyone happy so the complainers would be satisfied. Of course we all know that is short lived! I came to the place of discouragement, frustration and not wanting to be involved in the ministry with my husband at all. These people were ridiculous and I didn't want any part of it!

Our Heavenly Father did not place you and I on this earth to please people. That isn't our mission girlfriends. We are to please Him by representing a Christ-like life and being examples everywhere we go of our Lord and Savior. I discovered many years ago that life is too short to spend it trying to make everyone happy. Some people will never be satisfied no matter what you do. Jesus could walk down the aisle of the church and they would find fault with Him!

I do what I do because I love the Lord with my entire being. People must accept me for who I am. I am an original and I don't want to be a copy of anyone else! I am not going to try to be someone different so I can please those who don't like what I do or what I represent. I am not in the business of intentionally hurting people and ignoring them but I also will not change who I am to please some so they won't complain. Some people need to grow up and start thinking about others instead of always focusing on what they want in this life.

Have you noticed that those who complain the loudest do less in the church than anyone else? And no matter what is done in the church, they gripe about it. They always have a better way of doing whatever it is you are doing but they never volunteer to help with the project.

The folks who chronically complain can absolutely steal our joy and make our lives miserable IF WE ALLOW THEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL. I have found over the years that only those I permit can intimidate me or make my life miserable. I am in control of this situation. You and I are the deciding factor as to the result of what these people attempt to do with our lives. When we are overwhelmed by their criticism and whiny complaints our focus isn't on God and what He can do for us. We are allowing the situation to overpower our emotions. We then become discouraged and frustrated because those are tools of the enemy.

I am in no way advocating being rude or uncaring. What I am advocating is that we are not to be people pleaser's and if that is our mission in this life, we will be miserable. Jesus wasn't a people pleaser. Many became very upset with Him but He had a mission while He was here on this earth and He didn't allow anyone or anything to stop Him.

God created you and I differently. He knew us when we were in the womb. He has a unique plan for each of us. I can't be you and you can't be me. We can't be like someone else and accomplish God's will for our life. By reading our Bibles and seeking God's face daily we can be assured that God will lead and direct us. He will open doors we thought were never possible.

Focus on pleasing God - not people.  His plan is unfailing.

Blessings!

Take Advantage of God Opportunities!

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

Do you ever feel like you are being pulled by the hand through a wind tunnel? It is as though we are living our lives in a fast-forward mode and life is passing by at a record speed!

Our lives are a vapor and a tiny blip on the world’s radar screen. We are attempting to make a difference in the lives of those around us. But there are times in our lives when we feel as though nothing we are doing counts for anything.

God has placed many women in our paths that we can influence. Everyday there are multiple opportunities for kingdom advancement all around us. When we allow those opportunities to pass us by it is tragic. If Jesus tarries and we graduate to retirement, will we have peace in our hearts as we reflect upon our lives, knowing that we took advantage of the opportunities God presented and used our time wisely?

What type of legacy will we leave as a ministry wife or ministry woman? Are we truly redeeming the time God has given to us to do all we can to further the Kingdom of God? Or are we allowing discouragement and depression to overwhelm our lives and keep us from making the positive influence on those God places in our paths?

Let’s pray together that God will afford opportunities for our ministries to be effective. Pray that God will continue to place women in our paths that we can influence and encourage in a positive way. Seek God daily and ask Him to quicken our hearts and spirits so that we are sensitive to the needs of those around us. Ask God to help us take our eyes off of SELF and look to others who are suffering and struggling in their walk with Christ.

God wants to use YOU in an awesome way. Don’t allow the enemy to steal your joy and the wonderful blessings God has for your life.

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stand Firm and See the Deliverance the Lord Will Bring!

Good Morning Girlfriends!

Pumpkins, Mums, Fall Colors and Pumpkin Spice Latte!!!!! It is such a joy to connect with you each week!

The Potomac District Ministers' Retreat kicks off tomorrow evening and the past several weeks have been incredibly busy with all the prep work.  I am introducing a brand new ministry for Spousal Support on Tuesday morning and am so excited about this new oppportunity.  Please pray for our team this week as we step out to minister to pastor's wives in our district with some great new ideas.


Even ministry women experience times when we feel fear about things in our lives. When we face fear we must stand FIRM against it, with confidence that God will help us.

Exodus 14:13, 14 – Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

The people were hostile and despairing, but Moses encouraged them to watch the wonderful way God would rescue them. Moses had a positive attitude! When it looked as if they were trapped, Moses called upon God to intervene. We may not be chased by an army, but we may still feel trapped. Instead of giving in to despair, we should adopt Moses’ attitude to “stand firm and … see the deliverance the Lord will bring.”

God is so good and no matter how heavy the challenges are in our lives, He still reigns! My life is in His hands. Nothing happens in my life that God is not aware of. I know that there will be times of great challenge but I also am confident that God will walk through those times with me.

Be encouraged today friends! God loves you and He is aware of everything you are dealing with. He is your strength, your source and your protector!

May the Love of God surround you today and His mighty presence fill your services with great power!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Exhausted!

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

Well I must be honest with you this morning..... I Am Exhausted!!!!  Outside of my job this has been a week full of appointments, counseling, wedding rehearsal and wedding, and the list goes on.  I am so tired today and this will be a full day of responsibilities at our church through this evening.  At work, we are prepping for Ministers' Retreat so my plate is full and overflowing next week as well.  There are obligations every night next week regarding church.  Oh Lord, give me strength!!!

Have you ever been in that place when you are physically exhausted and cried out to God for strength because you honestly felt like you just could not accomplish all the tasks facing you the next day or week? 

Since I was a little girl I have loved music. Music soothes the soul and relaxes the spirit. Many times I will awake in the middle of the night with a song in my heart. How Great Is Our God is an awesome song!  Our God is so incredibly great and powerful! Our God can overcome any bend in the road that we may be struggling through this morning. There is power in the name of Jesus! Our God is bigger than any church board that may be fighting against the pastor today. Our God can be in control of every situation in our lives. He is great….. greater than anything!!!!

Name above all names.
Worthy of all praise, my heart will sing
How Great is Our God!!!!

Everyone of us are facing challenges in our lives today.  Maybe it is church related.  Maybe it is health related. It could be family, financial or just simply exhaustion.  God is perfectly aware of what is going on with us today.  He understands.  He loves us and is there to help us. 

Is our hearts singing this morning, How Great is Our God? Will our attitude today reflect the greatness of the One we serve? Will our words today be words of encouragement? Will those who come to us today truly know that we believe that our God is greater than anything?

Psalm 139:23, 24, Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God; and all will see how great, how great is our God!! Yes Lord, You are truly great…………………….

I pray blessings upon you today. May God’s anointing be powerful upon your ministry. May the love of God shine through you this week! May His Word revive you!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!!

Praying that your services today will be off the charts and that God's presence will be felt in a mighty way!

The past month has been unbelievably busy.  Can anyone relate to those feelings of never being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel? Do you know that even WE need to rest occasionally? As pastor's wives and ministry women, we need to take time to recover physically, emotionally, and spiritually from the demands of our lives. We need time to evaluate where we've been, where we are, and where we're headed. We need to take the time to be a friend, a parent, a wife, a child of God. (God's Little Devotional Book for the Workplace)

Girlfriends, we need "down time" in our lives in order to gather the energy to run the next miles with Him and toward Him. I never realized that more than the past month!  When we are constantly running and giving, we become tired and weary and honestly we are not going to make a difference anywhere when we are worn out and exhausted!  Believe me, I am speaking to myself this morning also.  Life and ministry is hectic!!

May God's fingerprints be upon your lives this week.  May His power be amazing in your services today.  May His presence be mighty and His anointing be obvious.

Be energized for the Kingdom! God has a great work for you!!

Appreciate you!

Love ya,
Debbie

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Break Through!

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

Another Sunday morning and another week full of busyness. Does this apply to any of you this morning?

As a worship leader, music is an integral part of my life. Many times when life seems super heavy and overwhelming I listen to music and meditate on God’s Word. Music is soothing to my soul and truly ministers to my spirit in a powerful way.

As I prepared the music schedule this weekend I thought about how many times I have been guilty of leading a beautiful worship song but my actions certainly did not demonstrate the truth in those songs. I may have been dealing with an overwhelming battle in my own life and instead of trusting God to take care of the situation, I worried and lacked the faith I needed for a break through.

There is a song that has been around for awhile, Break Through. Break through all my fears. Break through all my doubts. Break through that I may worship you. Break through all my pain. Break through all my guilt and my shame. Break through like only You can do………… Powerful words aren’t they? But it even gets better. You are brighter than my darkest night;  Stronger than my toughest fight. Just one touch from You; my King, my Friend, and I’ll never be the same again. Break Through!!

We all know people who are struggling with cancer and some of you are even dealing with this in your own families. Many are suffering with depression and hopelessness. Marriages are being challenged and families are crumbling. God is brighter than our darkest night and stronger than our toughest fight! Declare that today! God is our strength, our peace, our comforter and healer.

Friends, I challenge you today to step up to the plate with a faith that cannot waver when the wind blows and the ship is being tossed back and forth. Our God reigns and He is always in control even when life seems hopeless and we are walking through what may seem like an absolute impossible journey. We must be the light to those around us so they can also experience the beautiful love from our Savior. Break through oh God…… we are praying for a break through…………………………..

My prayer for you this morning is that you will see that Break Through TODAY! Trust Him no matter how hard the storm is raging around you. Nothing is too big for our God......... NOTHING!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Refuel and Recharge



Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

My prayer for you today is that you and your family will be blessed beyond measure.  May God's presence and power be amazing in your services today!!!

Aren't you thankful today that God doesn't get stressed or tired? He never wakes up sleepy or has restless nights. His body doesn't ache from being overworked. He doesn't need to take Advil or Tums. What did God do after a big project? He rested. He actually took the time to step back, cease whatever it was he was doing and relax. Should we take a lesson?  I know personally that I need to take a serious lesson from this.............

My week has been anything but relaxing.  Busy, busy and then busy. Life can be exhausting. If you continually give out and don't refuel, recharge, spend quality time with God, you are doomed! Running on empty will not produce positive results.

It is important that we take time to recharge physically, emotionally and spiritually from the demands of life. We need to take time to evaluate where we have been, where we are and where we are going. We need to take the time to be a friend, a mom, a loving wife and Christian.

Studies show that people who fail to recharge their mental and physical batteries are more susceptible to illness and mistakes on the job. When my brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a number of years ago at age 42, the doctors told him that stress promotes cancer. He held a management position and daily was forced to deal with high level stress in his position. Just remember that high level activity doesn't equal a quality life.

I love to walk. The challenge is finding the time for those 20-30 minutes of relaxation each day. It is such a stress release for me to breathe the fresh air, listen to my IPod and clear my mind. We all need to find something that will offer that stress relief to us and apply it to our lives. If not we can become irritable women........ Of course, I am sure none of us can possibly relate to that!

In addition to rest we must take time daily to sit at the feet of Jesus. Reading our Bible and spending quality time with our Lord will rejuvenate our spirit and life. Cultivating that relationship with Him will carry us through the mud and fog of this life.

I pray that you will find time to rest in Jesus today. Refuel and Recharge!!

Blessings Girlfriends!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Morning Encouragement


Good Morning Girlfriends!! I pray that you are safe from Hurricane Irene, rested and excited about what God has planned in the HOUSE today!!!

It seems everywhere I turned this week God was speaking to my heart about busyness. Hmmmmmmm....... Ministry as we all know can certainly be a busy place. Sometimes that busyness can bring overwhelming discouragement and unbelievable stress into our lives. Ever been there?

An article by Jill Briscoe emphasized being so busy  that we find ourselves in a place where there is no time to spend in the Word. Her relationship with God had grown thin because she had not spent time in prayer, like she knew she needed to. Her one statement was awesome, "I felt like a flat camel! The nourishment that should have been stored in my hump was gone!! Keep fresh in ministry. I was busy with ministry stuff, but it was all output and no intake. The inevitable result was a desert experience."

How are you doing today? Are you feeling like a flat camel? Has the nourishment stored in your hump disappeared?

Ladies, we are very busy creatures but we cannot give out what we don't have. We must be intentional about spending quality time with our Lord daily. A flat camel is not going to be very productive for the Kingdom.

I pray that your week will be filled with "special" time with God. Let's face it friends....... Our soul is more important than anything. If we are not careful and intentional, busyness can deplete us spiritually.

Have a wonderful week! You are appreciated!!

Love you,
Debbie


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Morning Encouragement

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!!!

Can you believe another week has passed? Where has the summer gone? It won't be long until we are sipping hot chocolate, digging out our winter clothing and shoveling snow!!!!! No, no, no!!!!!


Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7). The Word of God is telling our congregations to look at you and me - to see how we are living our lives. These people watch our relationship with God, our husbands and family, and with our churches. They observe the way we respond to and raise our children and they watch the way we negotiate relationships - the good, the bad and even the ugly.


These people also watch to see what we give priority to in our lives. If something is not important to you as a leader, it is not going to be important to them. If we come in late to church, they’ll more than likely come in late. If we choose to sit down during the worship, are easily distracted and don't enter in, more than likely they will have that same attitude.

One of my biggest fears is that I will do something on a "bad hair day" to lead someone astray. My prayer for each of us today is that God will help us to be a Godly example for our congregations and our family. I realize how demanding our lives can be and many of us are multi-tasking daily but God is our strength and our source. May His love and peace surround you today. May His sweet spirit shine in and through our lives.

Have a wonderful day in the House and have a wonderful week filled to overflowing with God's abundant blessings! You are special and God loves you!!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

God is so good and I encourage you today to hold tight to the hem of His garment. Just like the woman with the issue of blood who struggled to reach Jesus with unbelievable determination. She knew if only she could touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. I want to serve Christ with that same determination in my soul. Life is challenging and ministry is hard. I am so thankful this morning that my God is a God of love and forgiveness. He is a God of power and strength.

This has been a very busy week for me and I know you can relate. I gave out all week and last evening realized I was totally spent! God's Word is so energizing and powerful. And that special time in our Secret Place with Him is priceless If you are weary and worn this morning dear friend, call on the One who will give you strength and power. God is calling you to a new level.

Have a beautiful Sunday! May the power of God be awesome in your church and ministry today. Be determined to be ALL that God is calling you to be and more!

You are appreciated!

Love you,
Debbie

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Good Morning Girlfriends!

I want to welcome those of you who are brand new to this blog and are reading this Sunday message for the very first time! Thank you for becoming a part of this group which was created to support and encourage one another.

Satan is the champion of discouragement. Many times he manages to use the smallest thing to get our attention and totally mess with our minds. Do you know what happens to us during this time of frustration and discouragement? We become totally focused on the problem instead of the solution. Satan wins when we allow that to happen.

My God is bigger than any problem I will ever face on this earth. If you are carrying some heavy duty baggage around today, I encourage you to unload at the foot of the cross. Let God take care of it. All of it!

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 NLT

No one can heal your heart or soothe your soul like Jesus can. No one loves you more, and no one else has the power or passion for you and your burdens like God has. He is definitely the lover of your soul, and He longs for you to run to Him with your burdens so He can heal the pain.

I pray that this will be an awesome Sunday for you. I pray God's blessings will rain down upon you, your family and your ministry today. May you feel encouraged, refreshed and loved. You are special. You are appreciated. And you are loved!

Blessings and hugs from one girlfriend in ministry to another!!

Love ya!♥

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

I know many of you may feel especially challenged today because of things you are dealing with in your life and ministry. I want to encourage you and remind you that God loves you so much.

Philippians 1:6, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

At times we might feel that we are not making progress in our spiritual life but when God begins a project, he completes it! God walks with us each day and is always there to encourage us and cheer us on when life seems to look everything but exciting!! Remember that God will never give up on you!

If you feel incomplete this morning, unfinished or discouraged by your shortcomings, remember God's awesome promise and provision! Don't allow your present condition to rob you of the joy of knowing Christ more intimately and growing closer to him. His plan for your life is magnificent!!

Have a wonderful day friends! You are beautiful women of God and are making a difference for the Kingdom. You are appreciated and loved!!

Hugs,
Debbie

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Is Your Ministry Hindered By Intimidation?

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

For me, Monday is far more difficult to roll out of bed than any other day of the week! I am usually exhausted from the weekend and a full day of events on Sunday. My motivation when the alarm begins to "buzz' at 5am seriously needs some help! I hear Starbucks calling my name!

Do you ever feel weary in the ministry? Have you ever questioned God about how you can really make any difference in the Kingdom of God? Are you intimidated by others when you attempt to stand strong for what you believe?

God has a plan for you and that plan is huge. He tells us in His Word that we are to be imitators of Christ. That tells me that others need to see Jesus in me even when I am tired,weary and basically worn out! We may be the only billboard for the Kingdom of God that someone may see.

All of us can make a positive difference for Christ. I feel such an urgency in my heart for those who are unsaved. People need to know that God loves them and He is returning soon for His church. Christians need to continue being "busy" about God's business. People are searching for hope in a desperate and lost world. God offers that hope and peace to those who surrender their lives to Him.

Preaching truth in church today is not popular. Those pastor's are often labeled "old fashioned and not relevant". Well friend, when the trumpet sounds, who really cares about being relevant. I just want to know that I know that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am washed in the blood of the lamb and on my way to heaven! How about you? Do you dare to make a difference in this world?

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Good Morning Girlfriends!

This is the day that the Lord hath made.  I will REJOICE and be glad in it!!!!! 

I know for many it is challenging to rejoice this morning because of everything happening around you in your ministry and life.  Just remember today that God is still on the throne and is as powerful as He was yesterday and will still reign tomorrow!  He loves you and cares about every detail of your life including the discouragement and disappointments you may be dealing with today.

Just want to encourage you this morning with a simple thought.  No matter what you are walking through at this moment, God will help you be a positive influence in a negative situation. Be encouraged – what you have to offer is the life of Jesus, not your own expertise.  Encouragement cannot harm people – a loving word from you will always help somehow, if even a little, if only for a moment. As ministry wives and ministry women, our skills and callings are varied, but we can be unceasing encourager's.  We are greatly needed!

I am praying for you today that God’s power and presence will be overwhelming in your services.  You are amazing women of God!

Love and appreciate you!

Hugs,
Debbie

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Good Morning Girlfriends!

I know there are many who are struggling with overwhelming issues today. Many of you had restless nights and are extremely stressed over the challenges you are facing in your life. I am so thankful that you are a part of this group of women who can encourage and pray for one another. Many of you have contacted me regarding things that you are currently walking through asking for prayer. Thank you for that confidence and trust.

Each of you are awesme ladies designed by a great God. I know for many of you the future seems foggy and confusing but God is still on the throne and He is in control no matter what we are facing! He can heal a broken marriage, perform a miracle with finances, and give hope where there just doesn't seem to be any glimmer of light.

Look up girlfriends! God loves you and His desire is to do an awesome work through you. Trust Him. The devil has NOTHING over God!! He brings confusion and heart ache but God brings peace, healing and love.

I pray a special blessing upon you, your family and ministry today. May God ROCK the HOUSE today in a way that will definitely ROCK your world. I pray for miracles all over the place today and I will be waiting to hear how God answered your prayers.

You are awesome!

Blessings and hugs,
Debbie

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends,

I pray that you have had an awesome weekend!

I traveled to Joppa, MD yesterday to speak at a garden party for the awesome ladies of Grace AG.  It was a beautiful afternoon. 

Be encouraged today that God loves you and continues to walk with you daily as your guide and protector.  Psalm 18:32, It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (NIV)  Praise Him for that!!!  I can have confidence today knowing that when life simply doesn't make sense God has my back!

God promises in his word to give us strength to meet the daily challenges we face but he doesn't promise to eliminate them.  If he gave us no rough roads to walk, no mountains to climb, and no battles to fight, we would not grow.  He will not leave us alone with the challenges we face.  He stands beside us and strengthens us to face them.
Let's rejoice in the battles!!!!  That is where we grow and mature in our walk with him.

Have a wonderful Sunday!  May God bless you abundantly today in your ministry and family.

You are loved and appreciated,
Debbie

Sunday, June 12, 2011



Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

I pray that you have had an awesome weekend. I am excited!  Brandon, Casey and Cayden are leaving MO on Friday to travel home to VA to live!! He is stepping out to full-time ministry as an evangelist with Tour 29:11.  Check out his ministry website.

Cayden is now six months old and we have only seen him twice.  He doesn't have a clue who Grammy and Grand-dad are but I hope to let him know in a few days!! It will be so good to have our family in one place again. Would you please keep Brandon and his family in your prayers as he travels?

Be encouraged today that God loves you and continues to walk with you daily as your guide and protector. Psalm 18:32, It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (NIV) Praise Him for that!!! I can have confidence today knowing that when life simply doesn't make sense God has my back!

God promises in his word to give us strength to meet the daily challenges we face but he doesn't promise to eliminate them. If he gave us no rough roads to walk, no mountains to climb, and no battles to fight, we would not grow. He will not leave us alone with the challenges we face. He stands beside us and strengthens us to face them.

Let's rejoice in the battles!!!! That is where we grow and mature in our walk with him.

Have a wonderful Sunday! May God bless you abundantly today in your ministry and family.

You are loved and appreciated,
Debbie

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Conquering Life's Challenges

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

 
It seems life can be overwhelming at times. Financial stress, illness, family problems, spiritual warfare, and the list goes on. But the scriptures clearly state that you and I are more than conquerors with Jesus Christ. The scripture in Romans is one of the most comforting promises found in the Bible because we can experience peace today knowing that our Lord will be with us no matter what we face.

Believers will always face hardships of some magnitude in this life but Paul exclaims that it is impossible to be separated from Christ. His death is proof of his unconquerable love. Nothing can stop Christ's constant presence with us. Nothing brings more comfort than God's peace.

Each day we can feel totally secure knowing that Christ is taking care of us. We don't need to be afraid or overwhelmed with things in this life. It doesn't matter what you are facing this week. Nothing in this world is too big for God. Don't simply speak his promises. Believe them!

Blessings!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Loneliness of Pastor's Wives

It was a very late night at church last evening doing pre-marriage counseling. When the alarm clock began making that annoying noise at 5am I did not want to get out of bed!!!

Ministry is exciting, challenging and often very tiring.  I can remember when our children were small and I was working full-time outside of the home, how chaotic our lives were.  Our kids are now grown adults, married and have children of their own.  How quickly time passes......

If you are not connected to the group on FB for pastor's wives and ministry women I encourage you to check it out.  It is a resource where ministry women can connect with one another, encourage and pray for others who are facing challenges in their lives.  The group is called Chocolate and Coffee/Pastor's Wives and Ministry Women.

I receive many emails from other pastor's wives and ministry women who are dealing with a number of challenges.  Loneliness seems to be number uno for so many pastor's wives.  Many do not have any friendships in the church and some don't have friends with other ministry wives.  The ministry can be a very lonely place and we need others who will pray and encourage us when the challenges become overwhelming. 

Do you have friends that allow you to be open and honest about the struggles you face in ministry?  How do  you deal with the challenges of the profession?

Love to hear your feedback girlfriends.

Many blessings,
Debbie

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends,

Praying that your weekend has been awesome!

Our granddaughter Tori graduated from preschool on Thursday. She is so precious. It was an exciting time for her and our family. I had two teeth extracted on Friday. That was not fun! One of my teeth broke while it was being pulled...... I knew I was in trouble when the dentist said, "This is not good". Anyway, the teeth are gone and I am doing well. There is a little swelling this morning but I feel great!


Please keep our grandson Luke who is seven in your prayers on Thursday. He has had step throat six times this winter and is having surgery to have his tonsils and adenoids removed.

 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, 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?

Have a wonderful Sunday.  May God’s power and presence be magnified in your services today!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

Another Sunday morning and another week full of busyness. Does this apply to any of you this morning?

I had a great week other than finding out I have a ton of dental work that must be done. I absolutely hate going to the dentist!! When I was a little girl I had a horrible experience and I dread anything being done to my teeth. Because I have put off going to the dentist for so long I now have a ton of procedures scheduled…………

As a worship leader, music is an integral part of my life. Many times when life seems super heavy and overwhelming I play my favorite CD and meditate on God’s Word. Music is soothing to my soul and truly ministers to my spirit in a powerful way.

As I prepared the music schedule this weekend I thought about how many times I have been guilty of leading a beautiful worship song but my actions certainly did not demonstrate the truth in those songs. I may have been dealing with an overwhelming battle in my own life and instead of trusting God to take care of the situation, I worried and lacked the faith I needed for a break through.

There is a song that has been around for awhile, Break Through. Break through all my fears. Break through all my doubts. Break through that I may worship you. Break through all my pain. Break through all my guilt and my shame. Break through like only You can do………… Powerful words aren’t they? But it even gets better. You are brighter than my darkest night;
Stronger than my toughest fight. Just one touch from You; my King, my Friend, and I’ll never be the same again. Break Through!!

We know people diagnosed with cancer and some of you are even dealing with this in your own families. Many are suffering with depression and hopelessness. Marriages are falling apart and families are crumbling. God is brighter than our darkest night and stronger than our toughest fight! Declare that today! God is strength and peace, our comforter and healer.

Friends, I challenge you today to step up to the plate with a faith that cannot waver when the wind blows and the ship is being tossed back and forth. Our God reigns and He is always in control when life seems hopeless. We must be the light to those around us so they can also experience the beautiful love from our Savior. Break through oh God…… we are praying for a break through…………………………..

My prayer for you this morning is that you will see that Break Through TODAY! Trust Him no matter how hard the storm is raging around you. Nothing is too big for our God!
Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!!

Hope your week was amazin’!! I had a great weekend away over Mother’s Day speaking in West Virginia. I am looking forward to getting back into our church today. Another Sunday and another opportunity for God to Rock the House! Another opportunity for God to do a mighty work in our lives!!

As many of you know Facebook plans to archive many groups and the original Chocolate and Coffee group is one of those groups. I initiated a new group and this week FB upgraded the old group. Anyhow…… Now there are 2 groups but for now I am not changing anything. Unfortunately, I have not found a way to message everyone with the new format so I will be posting a blog every Sunday morning in the group. Many of you have sent encouraging notes about the previous posts. I pray that the messages will continue to bless and encourage your life.

Maybe you are feeling everything but joy this morning. Life can be filled with tons of disappointments and overwhelming challenges. I receive many prayer requests and many have been posted on the group wall. Sometimes the circumstances we are walking through have a way of totally stealing our joy!

Corrie Ten Boom knew that and wrote, “Jesus did not promise to change the circumstances around us. He promised great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things." Yes, my God controls all things and He is on the throne today!!!

We need to learn to trust God and open the door of our soul to Christ. He promises that He will give us pure peace and joy even when life seems very dark and uncertain.

Think about the song, At the Cross by Hillsong. It is in my worship set today and I love the words. You go before me, You shield my way. Your hand upholds me; I know You love me. 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?

Jesus loves us girlfriends! He cares about every detail of our lives. Don’t allow the enemy to steal your job! Sing praises to the mighty God we serve! He is on the throne today and nothing is too big for Him!

I pray your week is filled to overflowing with God's amazing peace and overwhelming joy!!!!

You are appreciated and loved!!!!

Blessings,
Debbie

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!!

Another Sunday and another opportunity for God to Rock the House! Another opportunity for God to do a mighty work in our lives!!

Maybe you are feeling everything but joy this morning. Life can be filled with tons of disappointments and overwhelming challenges. Sometimes the circumstances we are walking through have a way of totally stealing our joy!

Corrie Ten Boom knew that and wrote, “Jesus did not promise to change the circumstances around us. He promised great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things." Yes, my God controls all things and He is on the throne today!!!

We need to learn to trust God and open the door of our soul to Christ. He promises that He will give us pure peace and joy even when life seems very dark and uncertain.

I pray your day is filled to overflowing with God's amazing peace and overwhelming joy!!!! He loves you and only wants the very best for you, your family and ministry.

You are appreciated and loved!!!!

Blessings,
Debbie

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Peeps,

Our Women in Ministry retreat was amazing last weekend! The power and presence of God was incredible. Our speakers and workshop facilitators were also outstanding. It was a great time together. You can check out the photos on facebook on my page, Deborah Shank.
From Mark 5: 21-36 we read about the lady with the issue of blood. 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? This woman with the issue of blood decided to believe in Jesus’ power to heal and she did what she had to do to get to Him and touch God for her need. Her story is one that is inspiring. There are lessons to learn for each of us that were taught so greatly in the story of this woman’s faith and determination. She was persistent for help. She was determined to reach out to Jesus. She would not stop until she touched God. She recognized that she had a great need and that no one else could meet that need but God. She also had faith to believe that all she had to do was just get to Jesus, so she would not stop until she reached Him, no matter how long or what it took.

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. I want that level of faith when my hubby and I are dealing with conflict in the church. I want that same level of faith when life seems overwhelming and the challenges seem to be multiplying. If we can achieve that level of faith it will take us places we never dreamed were possible in our lives.

God has placed many women in our paths that we can influence. Everyday there are multiple opportunities for kingdom advancement all around us. When we allow those opportunities to pass us by it is tragic. Do you want to impact lives like Jesus did? Maybe you just walked through the driest desert in your life this week and you really are not interested in impacting lives but it happens when we least expect it!!! The enemy is slick and if he can do anything to manipulate our lives so that we demonstrate frustration, anger, bitterness and worry to those around us. He thinks he has won. But we have news for him don’t we friends? He hasn’t won and he won’t win because we serve a Jesus who is all powerful!!!

Isaiah 43: 2,3, When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you, When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God………

Going through the rivers with strong currents will cause you to drown or force you to grow stronger. If you go in your own strength, you are more likely to drown. If you invite the Lord to go with you, he will protect you.

Persistent, Determined and Faith…….. Those are my words of challenge this week as I pursue God with everything I am. How about you?

Have an awesome week friends!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends,

I can’t believe I woke this morning to snow! I am certain it will not be a big deal today but the lawn is white as the white stuff continues to fall. What happened to spring?

I am still dealing with laryngitis. I have had this beautiful bass voice for over a week! I saw the doctor Thursday and am taking an antibiotic. Laryngitis is tough on a worship leader. Please keep me in your prayers this week. Our District Women in Ministry retreat is next weekend and I need my voice! There are lots to do this week as I finalize all the details. Looking forward to an awesome weekend with wonderful ladies from our District as we learn how to remove and abandon our ministry masks!

Life can be wonderful, full of laughter and everything nice and it can also be challenging and full of sorrow and many disappointments. We are all facing different situations in our lives today that cause our faith to be challenged.

Last evening my hubby and I visited the funeral home for a lady who in the past five months has lost her son and daughter to cancer and then the dreadful disease took her life as well. The family was so broken and repeatedly told us how difficult the past months have been. My heart breaks for them. Can you imagine the pain they are walking through?

Life happens and even as Christians there will be challenges that we must face. As we face these times of pain and hardship how will we respond? Will we reflect God-confidence or be overwhelmed with fear and doubt?

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you (Isaiah 41: 10, 13).

This scripture encourages us not to look around in terror and be dismayed. When you look at your circumstances it is often overwhelming. We must learn to have God-confidence in every situation focusing our eyes on God and not the problem. God can handle any problem we face. He has promised us in His Word that He will strengthen us through our difficulties and He walks with us through those tough times.

Corrie Ten Boom said this, “Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear….. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength”.

I am in no way indicating that you are weak spiritually if you fear your circumstances but worry and fear are powerful tools of the enemy. When we focus on the problem more than the solution it can be all consuming. Think of all the time we waste worrying about how we are going to fix this thing we are walking through instead of praying and trusting God to deal with it.

Look up today friends and trust in an almighty and powerful God who is capable of doing anything. I know some of your challenges are huge but nothing is impossible with our God. It is true we become spiritually stronger when we are walking through the fire but only if we remain focused on God and not the problem. We certainly cannot be a testimony to those around us if we are constantly whining about our circumstances.

Be confident in the God we serve! He loves you and His plan and purpose for your life and ministry is incredible. Trust Him friends. You won’t be disappointed.

Have an awesome Sunday!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends,

Spring is coming and my bronchitis is in full force! My voice has sounded like a bass singer all week and leading worship today will be an interesting challenge!!

Often I receive prayer requests throughout the week from many of you who are battling fears in ministry and life. Be encouraged today friends. I know all of us worry about something along life’s journey but we serve a God who loves and protects us and promises to be with us ALWAYS.

Exodus 14:13, Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”

Now, I am certain that all of us believe God’s Word, right? And I am certain that all of us believe we serve a mighty God who is capable of doing anything, right? Then why do we allow Satan to convince us that there is no solution to the problems we are facing today? When life’s problems absolutely represents no way out, the Bible says, “Fear not; stand firm and be confident and see deliverance of the Lord which He will work for you today.” Begin today looking for evidence of God’s hand at work in your situation.

We may not be chased by an army, but we may still feel trapped today. Moses called upon God to intervene. Instead of giving in to despair, we need to adopt Moses’ attitude to “stand firm and …. See the deliverance the Lord will bring.” God will not fail you or forsake you (Dt. 31:6). We are in the company of an almighty and amazing God. The One “Who goes with you” has never lost a battle, and He will win this one.

When we feel like we can’t cope anymore, He says, “Do not look around you….. And be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties” (Isaiah 41:10). God typically doesn’t lift us out of our problems but walks through them with us and toughens us up. This is where our faith becomes stronger.

He says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6, 7).

God’s peace is different from the world’s peace. True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control. As a Christian our citizenship in Christ’s kingdom is sure, our destiny is set, and we can have victory over sin. Allow God’s peace to guard your heart against anxiety. Don’t listen to the voice of fear. God is with you today!

Have a marvelous week friends! May the peace of God permeate your soul!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends,

Spring is coming! I woke yesterday to the birds singing and the smell of spring was in the air. Flowers are bursting through the ground and patches of grass are beginning to turn green. Good bye cold weather and old man winter!!!

I am preparing for an upcoming Women in Ministry retreat in April. Our theme this year is Unmasked. As women in ministry, how often do we wear masks? Why is it so uncomfortable for us to remove those masks? Being real is often something we seem to battle but when we remove the masks we become a source of encouragement and blessing to others in ways we cannot even imagine.

Have you ever had a friend who was never “real” with you? It isn’t difficult to detect that type of individual. She always wears a fa├žade and never allows you to really get too know her. She pretends to be someone she isn’t, preventing a true friendship to develop with you. The relationship you have with that person is “fake” because she refuses to reveal her true identity. You most likely were cautious with her as well in revealing your true thoughts and struggles.

Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man (or woman), sharpens another (Paraphrased).

When we are ourselves around others, we actually set others free to be themselves. We become a source of encouragement and blessing to others in ways we can’t even imagine!

In ministry I totally understand there are times we simply cannot be “real” and remove the masks, but in our sincere friendships, with those we trust, the masks need to come off. Especially with other pastor’s wives and ministry women, we need to encourage one another. That is a tough challenge if we appear to always have it together. Plastic people are not encouraging. When we choose to be transparent with one another, we become a source of strength, and hope for others. Through real relationships we can encourage and challenge others to be all that they are meant to be.

In looking back on your own life, are there areas of struggle that you’ve faced where you can now become a source of encouragement for others? Who is God calling you to help set free by simply being yourself and loving unconditionally? (You Will Set Others Free to Be Themselves, Women of Faith Series)

God’s desire is for you and I to be an encouragement to women around us. I know many of us have been hurt over the years but at some point those walls we have built need to be destroyed. Pray for discernment so that you can feel “safe” to remove the mask and be “real” to those God is calling you to minister and encourage.

Have an awesome Sunday and a blessed week! I would love to read your input on this topic. Please feel free to email me with any thoughts or comments or simply post any comments to the wall of Chocolate and Coffee.

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends,

It is pouring this morning and forecasts say today promises to be a “soaker”. My prayer this morning is that there will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our services today like we haven’t seen in a long time and we can say we had a heavenly rain that truly was a “soaker”!

I hear conversations everywhere about how people are praying for revivals in their churches and ministries. It seems to be the “buzzword” lately in the Christian world. But how can we have revival if we are always discouraged, defeated and ready to give daily because of the potholes in the road of life?

Revival can begin with you and me. As pastor’s wives and ministry women we need to step up to the plate and determine in our hearts that a revival will begin in us! We need to fan the flame and get excited about the great God who we serve! Nothing is too big for our God!

I don’t want to be just another ordinary pastor’s wife or woman in ministry. I want the fire of God to be evident in me and I want the Holy Spirit power to seep from my pores!!! I want revival in my life because friends when we have revival in us we will have revival in our church and ministry!

I know God is calling me to a new level of serving Him. He is amazing and still performs miracles and wonders. Do you want to be a part of those things in these last days? Do you want God to use your ministry to touch the lives of those who are hurting, lost and discouraged? Will you believe with me that God is going to do great things through us?

Lord, send revival to my girlfriends! May the mighty power of the Holy Spirit permeate their souls and may your presence be seen in them everywhere they go. Father, we want more of you and less of self. Help us God to be the women of God you are calling us to be. Help us Lord to be mighty prayer warrior’s who are willing to stand in the gap for our sisters in the Lord. Thank you Lord for all you have done in each of our lives and for all you are going to do as we step up to the next level in our walk with you.

Have a blessed Sunday sweet friends!

Love you much,
Debbie

Sunday, February 27, 2011



Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends,

I pray that you have had an awesome week! Our son Brandon was home for a week ministering in the area and returned to MO on Thursday. I love it when our grown children and grandchildren are home. Not sure I will ever really adjust to this empty nest mode.

A number of years ago Bobby and I were pastoring a church in Maryland and God called me to youth ministry. He certainly has a sense of humor doesn’t he? Anyway, we took the youth group White Water Rafting one Saturday and what an experience that was for all of us! As we navigated down the river our guides instructed us how to paddle the boat, especially when we encountered rapids. My hubby actually fell out of the boat at one point and was clinging to the side by a rope until we managed to pull him to safety. The river’s current grew fast and rough and we were challenged with some major rapids! The youth had an awesome time but I am not sure I will ever attempt that journey again……….. at least not in a boat.

I often think about that journey as we work diligently each week in our busy lives, caring for our families, coming and going from meeting to baseball game to worship practice at church and back to work each day – paddling as fast as we can to get through the rapids and down the river.

Philippians 4:13 says, I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Can we really do everything? We paddle vigorously some days but are we truly getting anywhere?

The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do his will and to face the challenges that arise from our commitment to doing it. As we contend for the faith we will face huge rapids in the river like troubles, stress, and trials. Pray and ask God daily to strengthen your paddles so that it will be easier to navigate those horrid rapids.

We serve an awesome and powerful God. And for whatever reason we often try to fix the problem on our own before using our paddles of prayer, seeking God’s face and asking him to help us.

As you are paddling through life this week remember who your source is. Allow him to take charge of the paddles and make the challenges you face much easier as you navigate those challenging rapids.

May God saturate your life this week with blessings and love.

Love you,
Debbie

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Friends,

I attended the Potomac District Ladies Winter Conference in Williamsburg this weekend. What a blessing!!!! Susanne Cox is a powerful anointed woman of God with a Word!! It was an incredible time away with great ladies from our church and District. Fellowship and building relationships with one another is so vital in ministry. We left Williamsburg yesterday afternoon to make our way back to Warrenton, VA which normally takes 2.5 hours. Because of intense brush fires along I-295 traffic was re- routed. We were blessed with the scenic route on a two lane highway! Our trip home was 6 hours! But…… we still had the joy of the Lord and I am still praising God this morning for an awesome weekend!

God has so much for our lives ladies. As I watched Susanne minister this weekend and share her incredible testimony the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart numerous times. I think especially as pastor’s wives we often feel challenged to be the woman of God He is calling us to be in our churches. I want the freedom to do ALL God is challenging me to do so I can be a powerful anointed woman of God making a significant difference for the Kingdom! It isn’t a question of can I have it. We can have that too! The Lord wants us to possess that power in our lives but the enemy is speaking lies and discouragement into our minds often hindering us from all the blessings God has for our lives.

Girlfriends, I challenge you today to step out and grasp ALL that God has for your life. Time is short and we have so much to do. The trumpet is going to sound and there are so many people who are lost and need Jesus. God will give us divine appointments in our lives to share the gospel if we pray for them. God will open doors of opportunity for our ministry if we pray for them. God will anoint our lives and ministries and work miracles through us if we pray for them. Do you want all God has for you? Do you really want it all?

We impact people around us all the time and often we have no idea that others even notice us. Yesterday morning I was waiting in line at our retreat for breakfast and one of the servers told me that I had sunshine all over my face. I thanked him and a few seconds later he told me that the joy of the Lord was all over me. Wow!! I truly was standing there minding my own business and had no idea anyone even noticed me. Obviously he was also a Christian and was smiling from ear to ear but what an encouragement at 8am in the morning! Friends, we can make a difference!

Lord, bless my beautiful girlfriends and pour your anointing upon each of them in a mighty and powerful way today. I pray for their ministries and families Lord. Encourage them today Father. We love you Lord so much and want to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God. Remove any hindrance or obstacle that is keeping them from being who you have called them to be. Empower them and bless them Lord. In your mighty name I pray. Amen.

Have a power packed Sunday! Be encouraged. God loves you and so do I!! The joy of the Lord is our strength!!

Hugs,
Debbie

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

This has been one of those weeks! A week full of activity and then some. I am sure you know what I am talking about. A week filled to the brim with all kinds of ministry and personal obligations. The end result is a very tired and weary pastor’s wife this morning. And to top it off this has also been an extremely discouraging week. Do any of you understand where I am coming from today? Ministry can be a very discouraging and challenging place even when things are going well at our churches………..

As I was praying last evening for our services today God reminded me how much He loves and cares about me. We preach to our congregations all the time about encouragement and how magnificent God’s amazing love is. Well, when the rubber meets the road, this is where we truly discover how spiritual we are and how strong our foundation in Christ really is. Weak foundations in ministry never succeed………..

God is awesome and He loves you and I. I encourage each of you today to focus on Him and what He has for your life. His plan is awesome and I know from experience that life's busyness often steals our joy. We become so overwhelmed with our daily routines and obligations that we forget our purpose and the mission God has placed in each of our lives.

God has a plan and guess what... You and I are in it! Isn't that exciting? He wants to use you and He wants to use me to further the Kingdom of God. That makes my heart jump with excitement. Serving Him is challenging and exciting. We never know what tomorrow will offer but we can know with confidence that our God will be by our side walking with us no matter what the day may bring.

Give Him priority today and thank Him for His awesome plan for your life. Tell Him how much you love Him. We owe God so much for the transformation He has been responsible for in each of our lives. Be encouraged. God loves you!

Love and appreciate you,
Debbie