December 8, 2014

Just Another Trip to Target {w/ 2 Giveaways!}

Ugh! Another morning facing my long to-do list.  I’m so not in the mood to grocery shop. To stop by the cleaners and the bank. To fill up my car with gas. To run by Target. All those people. Cranky people. Coughing, sneezing people. The parking. The lines. The money draining out of our bank account with every swipe of the card. And how can I get it all done before Bo gets home from school?

Can you relate? If you are joining us from my Proverbs 31 Devotion today, welcome. I am so thankful you stopped by!

Thankfully, God met me in the midst of my pity party. He reminded me of something I had learned in Bible study just the day before. So I whispered a simple prayer…a prayer that transformed my ordinary day into a most extraordinary day. Something only our God can do!

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If you want to read more of the story, click here to read my Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today devotion.

By  inviting God into my ordinary day, He showed up in such an extraordinary way. A simple invitation extended through a simple prayer is all I needed to escape my pity party and see God at work in my midst.

And it’s all you need too, sweet friend.

God’s Word says in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV),

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

And Deuteronomy 4:29 (The Message) says,

But even there, if you seek God, your God, you’ll be able to find him if your’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. (emphasis added)”

But even there.” Even in your disobedience, your complaining, your whining, your pity party, if you cry out for me, you will find me.

Oh, thank You, Jesus, that you love us no matter what!

Prayer is a tremendous force in this world. God invites us to seek Him. To talk with Him. To engage our hearts with His. We need only accept the wondrous invitation He’s extended.

And when we’ve breathed our prayer, that’s not the end of the matter. GOD RESPONDS! And His faithfulness changes things. It opens doors, changes hearts, heals wounds, pours out blessings, and transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary!

Will you join me this Christmas season in praying for God to come into your life ordinary and do the extraordinary?

On one of your ordinary days, pray this simple prayer:

Heavenly Father, I invite You to show up in my ordinary. I want to see You in my midst. I want to experience You in my ordinary day. I want to hear Your voice, sense Your leading. I want to be used by You in the middle of my tasks on an ordinary day. Show up in all Your glory, Lord! I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Now for the Christmas Giveaways!I love giveaways.

So first giveaways from me…

First, I will choose two comments to win a signed copy of my new book Living So That and a $25 Target gift card. Please leave a comment by Friday sharing EITHER 1) an ordinary to extraordinary experience you’ve had,  or 2) your simple prayer asking God for an extraordinary experience! I’ll announce the winner on my next post. 

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Second, If you’d like a sneak peek at Living So Thatclick here for my free Five Day Devotional, “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.”

Now the giveaway from my publisher…

All this week, I will be hosting our InScribed Studies (Thomas Nelson Collection of which Living So That is a part) Facebook page. In celebration of the birth of Jesus, InScribed Studies is having a 25 Days of Christmas giveaway! Each day between now and December 25th, you can enter to win lots of fun gifts, including our books, DIY crafts, jewelry, and special presents picked out by our authors (that includes me!). All you need to do is click here, like our page if you haven’t already and register. Be sure to let me know if you are visiting from the P31 devo in your comment! 

Blessings,

November 12, 2014

Living So That Lesson Four: Trials Come So That

“It was June of 1986, just days after my college graduation. I walked into my apartment to find an armed, masked man standing at the top of my stairs. The afternoon he spent in my apartment transformed my life forever.  For days and months following my attack, I wept before God, shaking my fist, asking God, How could You sit on Your throne in heaven and allow the horrible things that man did to me? Night after night I lay in my bed, tears soaking my pillow. Questions plagued my mind. Why didn’t You protect me? Why didn’t You warn me? Why did You abandon me? Well-meaning friends would tell me that God had a purpose, that He would bring good out of it. I knew they meant well. But how could they utter such ridiculous statements?” [Excerpt taken from my book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story]

I believed with everything in me that despite all the well meaning words from my friends and family that no good would ever come from what happened to me that day. There would never be any purpose in the vile acts that man committed against me.  And that belief guided my life for the days and months following my attack. In fact, that belief landed me on a mat upon which I sat for years.

You see, when I was raped, I was unfamiliar with the Bible. Oh, I had read it now and again, but I did not know God’s Word. I had no idea that the Bible had the answer to every question I asked God. And some of those answers were found not only in one place in Scripture, but were truths and promises spoken by God over and over again.

Once God equipped me with the Truth, understanding, healing, hope and finally transformation came. My trial…my test…became my testimony.

Sweet friend, being equipped with Truth enables us to face our trials from an entirely different perspective. We see our circumstances not through the lens of our pain and the fog of our emotions. Instead, we see them with a fresh view…through the lens of God’s love, His character and His Word.

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How I wish I had that perspective in June of 1986. But I am certain if I had, I would not be writing these words today.

My heart beats with great anticipation for this lesson and especially for you to meet a dear friend and hear her story, so let’s begin!

Video Lesson

This week I’m replaying a November 2012 video of an interview I did with a woman I loved like a second mom, Bobbie Wolgemuth. In fact, I call her my spiritual mom. I shared her story on my blog a few years ago.  To read it, click here.  At that time, I asked friends and family to pray for Bobbie as she went through chemotherapy for Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer.  When she came to visit her two daughters that year, I knew it was a divine appointment for me record her powerful story.  She is a living example of how to not only survive but to thrive, even in the darkest of times, with JOY and HOPE.

It’s now November 2014 and a few weeks ago my precious Bobbie passed through the heavens to be with her Savior. The words she spoke in this video carry even more meaning today. I pray her words…and especially her closing song… bless and encourage you.

This Week’s Memory verse

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

This Week’s Prayer

This week’s prayer is from Psalm 62:1-8 (NLT):

I wait quietly before God,
for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.

So many enemies against one man—
all of them trying to kill me.
To them I’m just a broken-down wall
or a tottering fence.
They plan to topple me from my high position.
They delight in telling lies about me.
They praise me to my face
but curse me in their hearts. Interlude

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.

This Week’s Homework:

Read Chapter Four of Living So That. The schedule below is a suggested schedule. If something different works better for you, use it.

Each day answer the questions in your assigned reading (Going Deeper questions are optional).

Wednesday: Read Part One (Why Does God Allow Trials)

Thursday: Read Part Two (God Is All Sufficient)

Friday: Read Part Three (That You May Believe)

Saturday: Read Part Four (Confident Faith to Endure)

Sunday: Read Part Five (The God of All Comfort)

** And don’t forget to share your Call to Action for last week for a chance to win a copy of Marilynn Chadwick’s book, Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars. **

Blessings,

November 5, 2014

Living So That Lesson Three: Pray So That

Oh, how I LOVE our topic this week: Pray So That! But before we jump in to today’s lesson, thank you, thank you for continuing to share your heart and your thoughts this week.  Your sharing blesses not only me but also every woman who stops by on our Living So That journey.  You ask challenging questions, dig deep below the surface and present powerful truths, pray beautiful prayers, and share honestly from your hearts.  This is what Bible Study is all about!!!

I don’t want us to forget, as we embark on this week on prayer that God Almighty, the One Who is all-powerful, the One Who created the heavens and the earth, Who raised Jesus from the dead, makes His creative, resurrecting power available to us through the gift of His Holy Spirit. This precious gift is ours because we are His blood bought baby girls…those who died to self and have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Tuck this promise deep in your heart, sweet sisters, and never let it go!! The Spirit of the Living God lives in each one of us. And what takes my breath away is that God desires not only that we have His Spirit but also that we be filled to the fullness with that Spirit.

All we have to do to receive this fullness is to ABIDE and PRAY…pray for His Spirit to come alive in us and invade every part of our being. We need simply make ourselves available for a fresh filling each day. And when we do this, the supernatural experiences He will grant us, the ways He will use us, will blow our minds!

Friends, will you join me this week in pursuing more than we ever have before a Spirit-filled, Christ-empowered life. Let’s prayerfully come before Him each morning and invite Him to use us this week. Pray for the opportunity to bring hope and healing to one broken and hurting person. And when He opens that door, let’s walk through boldly and confidently, knowing we are His vessel, empowered by His Spirit to be used by Him.

May God receive all the praise, glory and honor for the fruit that results from our time together studying  prayer!

Show us your glory, Lord, show us your glory!

This Week’s Video Lesson.

Okay….we’re off!!!  Today’s message is taken from the live Bible Study I teach here in Charlotte. Because of that, it is 37 minutes long. I just couldn’t summarize it. So many good truths from God’s Word to share. I hope you don’t mind. So set aside a bit more time to listen this week.

This Week’s Memory verse:  

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, NIV)

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This Week’s Prayer:

Father, thank You for the gift of prayer. I invite You to speak a fresh Word to me this week. I don’t want my prayer time to be a religious ritual that I do each day. I don’t want it to be another thing I check off my “to do” list. Teach me to pray with power. I want my prayers to be effective and bring results that will glorify and honor You and You alone. Feed me Your living and active Word. Plant it deep in my heart so that I can recall it and pray it with my tongue. As I speak Your Word and hold it before You, I trust You to honor it…for it is Your Word. Thank You that Your Word, when prayed, will not return void but will accomplish what You desire and achieve the purposes for which You sent it. Thank You that it will prosper in everything for which it is sent. Give me the courage to come boldly before Your throne of grace. When I arrive, Father, met me there. Fill me with Your presence. make Yourself known to me. Draw me close. Be at work in my midst. Show me Your glory, Lord. Show me Your glory! I love You so much. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen 

P31OBS.WendysChpt.3Prayer

This Week’s Homework:

Read Chapter Three of Living So That. The schedule below is a suggested schedule. If something different works better for you, use it.

Each day answer the questions in your assigned reading (Going Deeper questions are optional).

Wednesday: Read Part One (Pray Continually)

Thursday: Read Part Two (Watch and Pray)

Friday: Read Part Three (Riches in Christ)

Saturday: Read Part Four (Help Me with My Unbelief)

Sunday: Read Part Five (Remain in Him)

Blessings,