“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 

The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 5 {Never Walk Alone}

Book Club header week 2 chapter 5

Welcome back to the Women Living Well Book Club!

Chapter 5 Discussion

sally clarkson community

Image via Sally Clarkson

In Chapter 5, I list the 4 ways I have found community, accountability and friendship within the church.

1. Women’s Bible Studies – raise your hand if you have been in a women’s Bible study!

Women’s Bible Studies are not all created equally. Depending on the leader, the book choice and the group that attends – experiences can vary.  For me personally, this has been a huge piece of the puzzle of my spiritual growth and connection with other Christian women.  I LOVE Women’s Bible Studies and highly recommend you join one or start one in your home or at your church!

Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

2. Mentorship/Discipleship Ministry – When I was in 9th grade I was mentored/discipled for the very first time. I talk about this mentor named Holly in my book.  Holly and I met – one on one –  on a weekly basis for 2 years when I was in high school.  Holly was only 2 years older than me – but she had a huge influence in my life. She held me accountable for my daily Bible reading and walk with God and she listened, counseled and befriended me.  When she left my high school youth group, to attend the Moody Bible Institute – it wasn’t long until I followed in my mentors footsteps and joined her on her dorm floor as a student too!

Holly took the time to invest in me.  Who can you invest in? You are never too young!  And now she is a missionary in the Ukraine {she continues to inspire me through her life} and the last time she was home on furlough – our kids played together – here are some pictures below.

Holly Rist 2011

Holly's visit kids

3. Titus 2 Worshops – connecting with older women - If you are a young woman, the Bible says we NEED older women and if you are older- the Bible says you need to be with the younger women.  We need each other.  We need your wisdom, insight, leadership and example.  Young ones – if you don’t have an older woman to learn off of  - pray for one.

Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

4.  Good Morning Girls – (the background story) When I started the very first Good Morning Girls Group at my home church  (which was previously titled the ’6AM Club’) in 2007 – it was all about accountability.  I knew I needed accountability for my daily quiet times and that is just what Good Morning Girls provided for me.  This sweet group of 5 ladies emailed each other every.single.day for years and years.

first GMG group

But little did we know that our little group of 5 would one day in August of 2009 – turn into 120 Good Morning Girls here on Women Living Well!  These groups kept on multiplying and multiplying, to the point that I needed some on-line help to manage it all and God brought an angel name Angela who jumped right in and began loving and leading Good Morning Girls groups.

IMG_3529

2 years into GoodMorningGirls.org – I was so overwhelmed with 2 growing blogs and speaking and writing a book, that I took a back seat and Angela took the lead. And Oh.My.Word. – that girl (with the help of an amazing team of talented women) has turned this on-line ministry into something beautiful!!!  This winter, GMG enrolled 13,000 women in our on-line Bible Study – Praise God!

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Let’s Discuss:

Here’s a – very brief – 1 minute video of my closing thoughts on this section of the book – “Your Walk with God”.

(if you are reading this in the feed – click here to view the video)

1.)  Tell us about a Bible Study you have  been involved in or a mentor or a Titus 2 Woman in your life, that you have connected with on a spiritual level.  How did that affect your spiritual growth?

2.)  Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (posted above), how can you apply this in your life?

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapter 5″

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Bloggers:  Are you blogging your way through this book club with us?  Then link-up your blog post below.
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Please note that this link up has changed for the next 7 weeks.{if your linked-up post is not about the book club it will be removed}



 

Connecting to Your Sisters in Christ

Alex baby at Christmas

I remember the first day we brought our first baby boy home –it was over ten years ago.

To enter our house there were 4 steps to go up and as I stepped up onto the first step I fell completely flat on my face – my leg gave out. Luckily, my husband was carrying the baby. But I said to him – “something is wrong with my leg, it is numb and I can’t bear my weight on it”. It had been numb in the hospital for 2 days (I thought the epidural was still wearing off) but I didn’t realize how weak it was.

In days to come, I would learn through a visit with the neurologist that I had injured my leg during my delivery and that the nerves in my leg had lost connection with my brain. The synapses in the nerve that told my brain to tell my muscles to work had lost connection and now my body wasn’t functioning quite right.  If you’ve had health problems, you know how frustrating it is when a part of your body isn’t doing what it should -when a part of your body shuts down or clogs up or deteriorates.

In Romans 12:5 it says,

In Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

In Christ we are one body.

You belong to me and I belong to you – each member belongs to all the others…

You belong – God’s word says it.

We are connected to one another because “we who are many are one body“.

Do you feel connected to the body of Christ –  the church?

Or do you feel like my leg?  When you are around Christians — there’s a disconnect.

Fall is here and it’s a great time to get involved in Women’s Bible Studies and fall groups that take place within your church body.  I want to encourage you to look for ways to connect and be brave – get involved.

If there is nothing like this happening in your church – I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and lead!  Start a group for moms, singles, new wives, divorced women, homeschool moms, preschool moms, empty nesters or widows!  Take the initiative.

Not sure what to do with this group you would form?  Here’s one idea.  You could become an accountability group.  A group of women who email each other every week day to keep each other accountable in your quiet times.  Or you could meet weekly to discuss an on-line Bible study you are all doing together.

Every month I write twice over at GoodMorningGirls.org.  There we gather women together into groups called Good Morning Girls groups.  Some of these groups never meet in real life. They simply email or create a facebook group and every morning check in on each other and encourage each other. Other groups meet weekly in homes or in churches.

This fall we are offering a FREE 8 Week Bible Study through Luke 17-24.  We provide FREE daily Bible reading plans, free study guides, videos and devotionals.  Our materials are translated into over 10 different languages and we have children’s resources for moms who want to use the study with their children.

Enrollment has already begun this past Monday and in two short days already over 5,000 women have enrolled!!!  So I encourage you to come check all the excitement out!

 fall 2013

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.”

Let’s use this new season of fall to greet our sister’s in Christ with a warm smile or hug.  Let’s reach out to visitors to make them feel more comfortable and like they belong.  Let’s pray for our sister’s in Christ and send them letters of encouragement. Let’s forgive those who have offended us.  Let’s extend grace, mercy and kindness in all circumstances.  And finally, let’s develop deep friendships with accountability and a place for women to belong.

Walk with the King,

 

**Chime In: Do you have a group of women you do life with?  What type of group is it?   –A Bible study group, Mops group, Good Morning Girls group, or something else?  Tell us about your group and what you all do together and how you have seen God work through your connection with your sisters in Christ.

Women Friendships {In Opposite World}

Women Friendships In Opposite World

 

So I ended my {Opposite World} series back in June but truth be told I have about 4 articles written and archived from this series that I just never posted.  I couldn’t handle the heat in the kitchen so I cut the series short and got out. But I needed a post for today and I started looking in my draft file – in my 212 posts that have been written and never posted…yes, I actually write more than I will ever post.  Sometimes I write posts and realize they are not meant for the public to read. And other times, I use them on days like today when the blank screen needs filled and I have no words.

So today – I’m adding a post to the {Opposite World} series - Women Friendships.

I got a phone call a few years back from a friend at church.  The girl called me to talk about our friendship that seemed strained. She called to see if anything was wrong (I LOVE that she took the time to call me).  I really had no issue with her –only that I could sense that she didn’t really like me. And I accepted the fact that not everyone in the world is going to like this fast talking, loud laughing, Bible girl…so I had made peace with it. We were polite in the halls at church but there was no real friendship.

So when she called to ask what was wrong? I didn’t know what to say…only that I felt like she didn’t like me but I didn’t know why.  Then she said it. She said her reason why.

“I don’t like the cheerleader type.  You were a cheerleader in school weren’t you?”

I gasped for words…I mean yes – I was *guilty* of being a cheerleader BUT we were grown adults with children.  I’m NOT a cheerleader now (unless yelling for my son while he dribbles down the court counts lol!)… nor have I been one in over 15 years!  So this felt like a strange thing to hold against me. Then she told me the story of some hurtful things cheerleaders did to her  in high school.

But these girls were not me and I was certainly not them. We are sisters in Christ –commanded to love one another – but the world had lied to her.  It told her that “my type” didn’t like “her type”. And “her type” had better not sell out to being friends with “my type.” The world had pitted us against each other before we even knew each other.

And the worst part –we are in the same family, the family of God.  We are are both the same type — sinners saved by grace. Two women, two wives, two mamas, –struggling in this fleeting world to live for Jesus. We share the same heart –truly this woman is a woman of God and we are the beauti{full} bride of Christ.

And oh church – when will we get this right? When will we realize that we live in opposite world and the world has lied to us and told us that size matters, color of skin matters, type of car matters, size of house matters, color of eyes matter, hair style matters, fashion matters, the guy on your arm matters, the number of children matters…

NONSENSE–it all does not matter in God’s economy!!!!!!!

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ~ I Samuel 16:7

And we are all just a little messed up and twisted from years of drinking Opposite World’s Koolaid.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2

When we are in God’s word – he untwists the mess in our minds and truth takes the place of lies.

Friends, we must stop looking at the outer appearance of the girl in the pew beside us and placing judgements.  We are the family of God, one in Christ!  Our love for each other must look different than the world’s divisions.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:35

How will the world know we are Jesus’ disciples?

By our love for one another.

Without a word.

People will know.

Just by our love.

Isn’t that powerful?!

Let’s walk in this truth and show Opposite World women friendships that love each other across worldly divides. We are one in Christ!

Chime In: How are your women friendships within your church?  Have you found a love that supersedes divides or has this been a struggle for you?  Share about a friendship where God has worked across divides in your life.

Walk with the King,