May 5, 2014

She Met God in a Grocery Store

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been here, and oh, how I’ve missed it and you! These past few weeks I’ve had the honor and privilege of walking alongside the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study family as they have journeyed through my new book, Living So That, a part of the InScribed Studies Collection. We are in the last week of the book studying Chapter 5, “Let Your Light Shine So that.”

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We are memorizing Matthew 5:14, 16 which says,

“You are the Light of the world…Let your light shine before men [so] that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (NIV, emphasis added)

I thought I would share a story about how God used an ordinary day in my ordinary life to shine the Light of His Love and do an extraordinary thing!

Light of the World

She woke up that morning with a quick trip to the grocery store in mind. She pulled her hair back in a ponytail, slipped on her flip flops, grabbed her keys and ran out the door.

My girlfriend, Karen, and I also planned a trip to the local market that day. As we approached the check-out lines, we found ourselves behind an older woman waiting on someone to arrive. She motioned for us to go ahead. Almost immediately, a younger woman scooted past me.

As she did, my heart began to pound. I physically began to tremble. In that moment, the Lord impressed on my heart something so strange…buy her groceries. What? I felt it again…the racing heart rate, this time a whisper, “Love her. Buy her groceries.”

I hesitated but then reached out and tapped her on the shoulder and spoke the words God laid on my heart: “I know it sounds strange, but God told me that we are to buy your groceries.”

She looked at me quizzically and then graciously accepted with tears in her eyes. Then they left.

A few minutes later, as Karen and I were checking out, the older woman returned to share their story. She identified the young woman as her daughter. Her name was Micah. She shared how Micah’s husband had abused her for years. And just a few months earlier had walked out on Micah and her young son, leaving them alone and leaving her feeling unloved and unworthy of love.

She could barely make ends meet. She felt abandoned by everyone, but most especially God. Days before our God appointment in the grocery store, Micah and her mother had prayed. Her mother prayed a prayer every mother would pray for her child: “Lord, draw Micah back to You.”

But Micah’s prayer is what astounded us. She had prayed, “God if You are real, if You love me, show me that You have not forgotten me!”

As her mother shared these words, the reason for God’s urging became so clear. God wanted to extend unconditional love to Micah…to offer something to her for which we expected nothing in return.

In the midst of Micah’s deepest sorrow and desperate cries for love, God responded intimately and personally. Micah’s mother said, “Micah now knows that God has not forgotten her!”

God provided for her needs. He loved her unconditionally. He answered the cry of her heart.

And He used us! On an ordinary day, in an ordinary store, performing an ordinary chore, God called us to an extraordinary task. He crossed our paths with one of His girls who need to experience His extraordinary love.

Yes, it was a great day for Micah! But what a day it was for Karen and me. Our obedience to the Lord’s prompting touched Micah’s life in such a powerful way that she KNEW God was real. God loved her. And He had not abandoned her.

God answers prayer. He orchestrates divine appointments…anywhere…everywhere…anytime…even in the grocery store.

God met Micah in the grocery store that day.

Do you have someone with whom you would like to share the Light and Love of Jesus? Leave a comment today or tomorrow and I will choose one comment to win two copies of Living So That…one for you and one for your friend!

If you would like to get a taste of Living So That, click here to sign up for my FREE companion devotional “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.”

Check back here Wednesday when I will announce the winner and host another giveaway that coincides with my Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today Devotion running that day.

Blessings,

March 31, 2014

Invitation to New Online Bible Study and Giveaway

To celebrate the last week of registration for the P31 Living So That Online Bible Study, we’re giving away books, books and more books!! Keep reading so you’ll know how to enter to win!

And if you’re joining us today from my Encouragement for Today Devotion, welcome. I’m so excited you stopped by for this special invitation and giveaway!

First, here’s a short message (4 minutes) from my heart about our Living So That study.

 

Register for the Living So That Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study 

Click here to register for our Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life study that begins April 6th.

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Our conference call guests for this series are…

Pastor Derwin Gray (pastor Transformation Church in Charlotte, husband, father, author of Limitless Life – our next P31 Online Study)

Emily Maynard (soon to be wife, mother, entrepreneur, and past Bachelorette who will share a powerful testimony to God’s faithfulness)

Marilynn Chadwick (wife, mother, author of Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars, and prayer warrior extraordinaire)

Sign Up for FREE Five Day Companion Devotional.

To give you a taste of the book before we begin, I’ve written a free five-day devotion companion, “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.” Simply enter your-e-mail address below and you’ll receive your first one today!

Subscribe below to receive “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life”

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Free Download of Living So That’s Introduction and Chapter One

For a sneak peak at Living So That from the InScribed Studies Collection, click here to read the Introduction and portion of Chapter One.

Book Cover

 

Buy a copy of Living So That

If you purchase your copy from Proverbs 31 by Thursday April 3rd, you’ll receive a signed copy! Click here to purchase. You can also purchase Living So That from the following retail outlets.

LifeWay

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

And today (3/31) is the last day to buy the Kindle version of Living So That for the crazy low price of $2.99!! Click here to order.

 

Learn More about Inscribed Studies

Living so That is part of the Inscribed Studies Collection from Harper Collins Christian Publishing/Thomas Nelson. To learn more about InScribed Studies, bulk purchase promotions for your church or small group, and  other books in our Collection visit our InScribed Studies Website and our InScribed Studies Facebook Page.

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Help us spread the word!

Click to tweet…

When our circumstances scream otherwise & our physical eyes can’t see & our emotions cannot feel, we must believe #WendyBlight #LivingSoThat

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What fills our hearts and minds determines our choices. #WendyBlight #LivingSoThat

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God takes our tangled mess and weaves together a beautiful masterpiece…for His glory. #WendyBlight #LivingSoThat

Thank you for stopping by today! For a chance to win a copy of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner (my first book) or Living So That, please leave a comment by Thursday April 3rd letting us know any or all of the following…

You’ve already signed up for the P31 OBS.

You signed up today.

Your prayer request.

How God has used a trial in your life to be a backdrop to a testimony or a ministry.

Your favorite “so that” verse!!!

Winners will be announced Monday, April 7th. Looking forward to digging deeper into God’s Word with you on April 6th!

Blessings to you,

March 21, 2014

Does God Really Hear My Prayers?

We Pray So That…..

Happy Friday Morning sweet friends!

I didn’t plan on writing a post this morning, but the Lord prompted my heart to write, so I trust that if God brought you here today, this is a message from His heart to yours!

I thought we would talk a bit about prayer today. I included a chapter in my new book Living So That, entitled “Pray So That,” because I think we often forget what an amazing gift God has given us in prayer.

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Does prayer intimidate you?

Do you wonder if God really hears you?

Do you wonder if God’s too busy with more important things so you don’t want to bother Him with your prayers?

I’ve had these thoughts. And at a desperate time in my life, I needed to KNOW if God really heard my prayers…if He really listened…if He really cared. So I began to search His Word on prayer, and He took me on an incredible journey and revealed to me much that I didn’t know.

What a privilege it is to enter into the presence of God and pray.

Did you know in the Old Testament the Israelites had no direct access to God? Jewish law allowed one Israelite, the High Priest, the privilege of direct communication with God. The law gave only him the privilege to enter into the presence of God. And even then he was only allowed access one time a year.

Solomon built God’s temple under the Old Covenant. God directed that the inner chamber include two rooms separated by a heavy veil. One of those rooms was called the Holy of Holies. Once a year Jewish law allowed the High Priest, chosen by God, to enter into the the Holy of Holies to offer up sacrificial prayers for himself and the sins of God’s people. God’s presence resided in that sacred place and only the High Priest had the privilege of entering in.

In the New Testament, under the New Covenant, God changed everything! He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection gave His people, Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) alike, access to enter in to His presence. Jesus’ death removed the curtain that had separated the heart of God from His people.

Scripture beautifully explains this:

At this point it was about noon, and the darkness fell over the whole region. The darkness persisted until about three in the afternoon, and at some point during this darkness, the curtain in the temple was torn in two. Luke 23:44-45 (The Voice)

The tearing of the curtain served as a powerful symbol revealing that God’s people were no longer separated from His presence. Jesus’ death opened the way for all people to have access to God. They no longer had to go through the High Priest. They no longer had to rely on another’s sacrifice on their behalf. Jesus was the only sacrifice needed for people to meet with God.

Now every believer in Jesus, no matter her past, title, position, or denomination, may enter into God’s presence any time, any place.

This means we can enter into God’s presence on our back porch, in our car, on a walk, at our desk, in our kitchen, in our laundry room, anytime…anywhere. Why? Because WE ARE NOW HIS TEMPLE. He comes to live inside ALL who invite Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior!

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians,

Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you….? 1 Corinthians 6:19 (The Voice).

Listen to the words of the author of Hebrews:

So, my friends, Jesus by His blood gives us courage to enter the most holy place. He has created for us a new and living way through the curtain, that is, through His flesh. Since we have a great High Priest who presides over the house of God, let us draw near with true hearts full of faith, with hearts rinsed clean of any evil conscience, and with bodies cleansed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22 (The Voice)

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God paid a high price for us to have this gift of prayer. Scripture gives us full assurance that when we pray, God is listening and receiving every word we speak.

Do you exercise this beautiful gift of prayer?

Colossians 4:2 directs…

Pray, and keep praying. Be alert and thankful when you pray. (The Voice)

James 5:16 promises…

Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life. James
5:16 (The Voice)

Concerning prayer, Scripture tells us…

Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God. Psalm 46:10 (The Voice)

If you think your prayers are not important enough. If you think God is too busy. If you wonder if God hears you. If you wonder if He cares. Remember the truths you have learned today. Remember God gave the life of His One and Only Son SO THAT you can enter into His presence and communicate with Him. You are precious and valuable in His sight!

Trust God with your heart. Know you are worthy of His time. He created you and longs to engage with your heart. Come before Him with thanksgiving…praise…confession…questions…doubts..hurts…hopes…dreams.

He is waiting for you!

Let’s start right now! Join me today. Find find a quiet place and pray. Ask the Lord to help you carve out a special time to be with Him each day for the next few days…even if only for a few minutes.

For a sneak peek at Living So That, please sign up for my FREE five-day companion devotion “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life” by clicking here.

If you want to dig deeper into this topic, join us for the Living So That Proverbs 31 online Bible study beginning April 6th! Sign up by clicking here.  

And to purchase a copy of  Living So That, visit the following links:

Proverbs 31 (signed copy if purchase by 3/24)

Amazon (kindle only $2.99 right now!)

LifeWay 

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on prayer today. And if the Lord prompts you over the next few days, stop back by and share what He has spoken to you. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Blessings,