“Your Ministry” Webcast & Extra Resources

Week 2 webcast & resources

We have completed Part I of the book.

Next week, we will begin Part II on “Your Marriage.”  I’m super excited about that!!!

This book was written with our inner world in mind – but we MUST not forget that there is a hurting world outside of our home that we are called reach out to and love!

So, today we have a treat.  Many of you know and love our Wednesday recipe girl – Janelle from Comfy In The Kitchen.  She has a warm, inspiring message for you.  The first 20 minutes are Janelle sharing her heart and the last 22 is a couch discussion about “real life ministry” with the 4 of us pictured below.

session 6 group 1

{Me, Janelle (Comfyinthekitchen.com), Clare (Peak313.com), & Angela(GoodMorningGirls.org)}

(if you cannot view the video – click here)

Some other resources for you from Janelle’s Blog:

Janelle’s Top 13 Meal Ministry Meals

Lasagna for 50 – Cooking for a Crowd

An Amazing Banquet for the Little Girls of our Church (part 1)

{the blog post that has the links to all the food that was prepared for the above banquet}(part 2)

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Dinner

Care Package Ideas for Missionaries Overseas

Other posts I’ve written on this topic:

 An Epiphany I Had About My Life and Ministry – from last January

How to Discover Your Spiritual Gift

6 Essentials to a Thriving Women’s Bible Study Group

I hope something here encourages you.

Chime In: Do you have a ministry outside your home?  Tell us about it.  Do you have a favorite ministry resource or book.  Please share it with us in the comment section!

Walk with the King,

Courtney 

When Christians Mock Christians

when christians mock christians

I have watched as the church – just like the world – has divided into the “cool kids” and “not so cool kids”.

I mean the uncool wear dresses to church still…the cool ones wear jeans.

The not so cool – put verses on their twitter – cool ones tattoo themselves with verses.

The less trendy –  love going to church – the cool ones prefer to hang out in a coffee shop – they might even brag that they don’t have a church at all.  They don’t need it.

The uncool don’t drink – the cool ones explore their liberties and celebrate their drinking.

Some say these more conservative ones are less mature in their thinking – they take the Bible so literally and God’s wrath so seriously, the cool kids – are more intellectual and use the motto “grace” to get them to calm down.

The uncool – don’t like bad words – cool ones – use swear words and then call you a pharisee if you judge.

And on and on it goes –  you know what I mean.

I straddle both sides – I like coffee shops and have no problem with Christians taking liberties – and I love grace – but I also like to wear a dress to church, post verses on twitter  and swear words just aren’t in my vocabulary.

To be honest, I am frustrated that there is even such a THING as SIDES within the church.  We are ONE – one body – one in Christ – one bride!

Who CARES how anyone dresses. And if one person wants to post Bible verses – thank you so much for your boldness! And if you drink a glass of wine – I’m not the wine police – don’t apologize to me.  And two of my favorite friends have tattoos – and I’ve never batted an eye at our friendship or questioned their faith – it is clear they are Jesus lovers!

And yes – grace grace grace – but we must balance it with truth truth truth!

I have seen it play out in my own church and I’ve seen it play out on-line amongst bloggers.  There’s even these “cool” Christians that dedicate entire blogs to making fun of their more conservative Christian sisters and brothers.  They call themselves Christians BUT mock other Christians publicly…regularly.  And I have qualified a few times for the public joke of the day.

I get it – I really do, – from a mockers eye – many of my youtubes are kind of funny.  I’m an easy target. lol!  You don’t have to look far to find something goofy that I’ve said – especially in a video.

But here’s the thing – Jesus said – they will know we are Christians by our love. And the part that baffles me is these ones who mock Christians champion the message of “grace” and “loving well”.  And as I watch them mock me and my “uncool” brothers and sisters in Christ, I do not see the grace and love that they shout so high from their rooftops.

And I wonder – do they realize that it hurts? That it’s humans they mock? Or do they realize – I’ve heard this.all.my.life.

Since I was in public grade school – I was the girl who was different.  Who was crazy serious about her faith. Who was sharing the gospel right and left and defending my beliefs even to the teachers and carrying my Bible to even cheerleading camp – yes I was a cheerleader – cool – but carrying a Bible – makes you uncool.real.quick!  And it’s funny – I know – I could laugh at myself back then too – it’s crazy how different my thinking was from those around me.  And when I got the nicknames at school for being the Jesus girl I carried the name with confidence.  But when I got nick names from those in my youth group who I suppose were embarrassed of me at school – it hurt.

I recently told my children the story of my nick names from the youth group – in case it happens to them.  Cause you know – it happens.even.in.church.  And it happens – even.on.so-called.Christian.blogs.

And what other Christians think of me – can’t matter if I know I’m in the center of God’s will for me – and I want my kids to know that. Be secure in that.

And dare I suggest that we also remember that not every.single.person who calls himself a Christian is.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.”~Matthew 7:15,16.

I certainly can’t say which mocker is a wolf and which mocker is my sister or brother in Christ – nor do I really want to.  But since it’s happened so many times in the past – and some of those who mocked are no longer with the church – I know that not all mocking that appears to come from Christians – really comes from a true Christian.

Satan is tricky like that!

So what can we do – I can only tell you what I have done – cause I’ve walked through this valley many times in my life and there’s only ONE way through!

Put on the full armor of God and stand firm friends – stand firm. You are not alone in this battle! And make sure your kids know how to wear the armor too – cause it’s coming.

I Peter 4:12-16-

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

Update: Someone mentioned in the comments that this goes both ways.  I agree – this post is written from my experience in the last 20+ years of living in the church.  I have been hurt – but I know that the reverse has been true for WAY too many. And for that I deeply apologize.  I pray we will be unified for God’s glory and that we will love deeply those who are different from us.

Grace.

Peace.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

 

Highlights of the Proverbs 31 Conference – She Speaks

 

After an 8 hour drive to North Carolina – I arrived at the Proverbs 31 Ministries Conference called She Speaks The hotel was buzzing with women – women who are professional speakers, authors, ministry leaders in their churches or just starting out in these areas.  Suddenly, I became very nervous as I thought about speaking in front of these sophisticated women! 

The highlight of my first evening was meeting my good friend Karen Ehman.  Karen and I have been on-line friends for almost two years but we have never met!  We have spent hours chatting on the phone together but to hold each other in a tight squeeze and look her straight in the eye – oh my – such a treat! 

Karen picked up on my nervous energy and invited me to her room where she reminded me – Courtney, this is She Speaks not She Freaks!” lol!  Then she and her friends laid hands on me and prayed the most beautiful prayers over me  - *tear*.  Was that not the sweetest gift ever?!!   Unforgettable. (thank you Kim and Mary xoxo)

The next highlight for me was meeting Women of Faith speaker and author of nearly 30 books – Liz Curtis Higgs.

 

Karen introduced me to Liz and quickly we began to discuss the topic of blogging – exchanging thoughts and ideas.  Then she said – “I’m coming to your session tomorrow!” Oh dear…remember that bag of nerves I carried into the hotel – remember those lovely girls who prayed over me and helped me unpack that bag …well – I picked that bag back up and carried it into my session.  I was about halfway through my talk and Liz’s hand went up – I stammered – Liz who always has a twinkle in her eye – asked her question.  What did she ask???  I can’t remember – it’s all a blur!  But I do know I answered it and she smiled at me – so I think it was okay? lol!

Later that evening she was the keynote speaker.  She made us roar with laughter but also brought a holy hush over the group as she shared God’s truth and love.  Oh she blessed us all so much! 

Another highlight was speaking on a panel with these 3 lovely ladies - Renee Swope (Renee gets the WLW award for making me cry the most at She Speaks - her God-filled words resonated in my soul), Karen Ehman and Lynn Cowell!  The topic was Balancing Family and Ministry.  I loved when Karen said “pray your husband and children are blessed in a way, they could never had been blessed, if you had not said “yes” to ministry.”  So this is a new prayer I’m praying for my family.

Then there was my blogging friend – Rachel Wojo - who I spent the weekend saving a chair for and sitting beside.  This girl has 7 kids – wowsa - one with special needs. She has a great blog here.

Let me pause and high five my fabulous husband and all the other husband’s who watched their children while the mommy’s went away and were refreshed! Thank you Keith (and thank you Grandma and Grandpa Wise for helping with the kids too! :) )

So you may wonder why no mention of Lysa Terkeurst?  I had a great time meeting her and even had a chance to hang out in her room Saturday night and do breakfast with her Sunday morning (totally unexpected!) but something went a little wrong…I’ll write about it tomorrow – it’s going to be titled “The Most Embarrassing Moment of the Proverbs 31 Conference“ so stayed tuned… 

Walk with the King,

My Feelings About The Woman Who Confronted Me & WLWW Link-Up Party!

2 weeks ago, I posted a blog post about a woman who confronted me for being immodest. While the post was mainly about modesty, a huge part of the conversation to follow was about this woman who confronted me.  To be honest, the focus was not meant to be on her and I didn’t expect the huge response that post received! (It was shared on facebook over 9,959 times – and in one day I had a whopping 89,000 visitors to my blog!)

I’ve received emails and comments from women begging me to say something about this woman who many called…”legalistic, harsh, mean, jealous, rude, disrespectful” and so forth.

So the question is – how do I feel about that woman who confronted me?

I have one word…

grace.

GRACE!

I would have liked her confrontation to have oozed grace…and God’s word says to “do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31NIV)

Within my post, I was honest that the relationship was strange but I commended her for the way she confronted me privately.  I am honestly thankful for her call and if I ran into her in the grocery store today…which could happen – she only lives 15 minutes from me – I could thank her for confronting me because it DID help me. And grace would cover everything else…because we are all a work in progress…all of us NEED grace.

And while many cried out that she should have given me grace – I cry out on her behalf and ask for us to give her …what many thought she should have given me – and that’s grace.

I think this is a problem within the church amonsgt sisters in Christ.  We can become too sensitive and hold grudges against other women who said things in a wrong tone or in an uninvited way.  The church is made up of people from all different kinds of backgrounds and personalities.  It is EXTREMELY easy to get our toes stepped on.  But if we respond to every wrong with bitterness, the church will cease to be a light in this dark world. 

 Jesus said “ By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Every church has its handfull of difficult people.  No church is perfect.  I heard this Francis Chan video LONG ago and it cracks me up!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5WbW6J-g6w

We’ve all been there…we’ve all faced someone in our life that we hold a grudge against because of something they said.  This lady said this to me TEN years ago!!  Yet I’ll never forget it – some of you have been holding grudges for 10 years or maybe even more!  I beg you to…

Let

It

Go.

Matthew 18:21,22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?Up to seven times?”22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times

Rick Warren’s says in “The Purpose Driven Life” “What are you doing personally to make your church family more warm and loving? There are many people in your community who are looking for love and a place to belong. The truth is, everyone needs and wants to be loved, and when people find a church where members genuinely love and care for each other you would have to lock the doors to keep them away.”

Did you see that?

When people find a church where members GENUINELY love and care for each other you would have to LOCK THE DOORS to keep them away!  I want that kind of church!!!!  And it starts with ME!

I think the focus should not be on others who have hurt us but on ourselves –  what are we doing personally to make our church families more warm and loving?

So I want to bring this discussion full circle – the last post was about modesty – not about the woman who confronted me.  And this post, is about loving the difficult women in our church – not about the woman who confronted me.  We can’t change others – but we can change ourselves.  We can’t change others mistakes but we can learn from them.  We must press on toward maturity and the mark of a mature woman in Christ will be one who loves the Lord so much she is willing to extend grace to her sisters in Christ because that is how Christ loves them.

John 4:11 says “Since God loves us, we ought also to love one another

Walk with the King,

 

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Now! It’s my favorite day of the week! It’s Women Living Well’s Wednesday Link-Up Party!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, finances, recipes, organization and more!)


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