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