Sunday, November 27, 2011

God's Plan

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and appreciate you,

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Good Morning Girlfriends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many hugs,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

God is Our Constant

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many blessings!

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,

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,