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~Habits~ By Faith

Powerful Woman of God Blog

Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith.

~Habits~ By Faith

I have learned so much about habits over my 7 year career as an independent Sales Director with Mary Kay. I’m so grateful for all that I have learned. One of the best things has been learning to change!

Isn’t it incredible that with the accumulation factor, or simple step by step choices, you can literally change your life by changing your daily habits? That thought alone gives me so much hope!

A while ago it hit me that, yes, I do want to create daily habits that will serve me in the “physical,” such as starting my morning with prayer, meditation and movement, as well as successful habits for my business and financial life. All of these things are incredible.

But there’s more.

As I continued to dig deeper I realized I had an intense desire to develop the habit of compassion, the habit of love, the habit of peace and the habit of gratitude. I know working on this could mean these can eventually become my immediate responses to the world around me.

I fully believe that when these are the habits of my heart and mind, all my other habits will feel congruent and natural.

So, how does one go from A to B??

How do I go from a person who “reacts” in shame, anger, frustration, anxiety, and fear to a person who “responds” in the fruits of the Spirit – Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self control?

I have been diligently searching for a simple, direct way to do this.

The Answer?? To be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Of course, we serve a faithful God, and my desire is being fulfilled as I seek Him in this area.

I discovered a book called ‘Breaking the Habit of being yourself’ by Dr. Joe Dispenza from a trusted Christian mentor. I am so grateful for the gift of this book and what I have been able to experience. Things like unlearning the habits that are not in agreement with God’s word and relearn the ones that are!

I immediately felt relief from the beginning of this book. I am feeling more hope than ever before and I do believe we can experience what Matthew 6:10 says, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Here’s to experiencing more of His kingdom!

~Faith

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Faith Wall~ By Rheannon

Powerful Women of God Blog

Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith.

~Faith Wall~ By Rheannon

Isn’t it easy to fall out of good habits?  I tell myself I am going to eat better or something, but the Swedish Fish are still in my cabinet, and sometimes I just can’t help myself!  HA!

sweedish fish

Well, Swedish Fish aren’t the end of my world, but I’ll tell you about something that hit me more seriously this last Sunday.

I go to Purpose Church in my hometown of Kalispell, Montana.  It’s a smaller congregation, between forty five and fifty people each Sunday.  I like it.  It’s over 100 years old, and has such a cool feel to it.  The people there are what make it really cool.  Everyone says “hello” and greets each other- it’s hard to fall by the way side when you’re in a room full of people who know a new face when they see one, or are happy to see a familiar face.  It’s good.  And there’s always food…which is also good.

Last week, Pastor Mary Todd took to the stage and spoke about Nehemiah and some of the fundamentals of our faith in Christ.  What it means to know God, seek Him and be saved from our sin,  something we each desperately need, even if we think we are doing pretty good, or don’t need a savior at all.  She spoke about the importance of reading God’s word, and how it guides and impacts our daily lives, building up our faith, and the need for us to seek God together, which brings to my mind one of her favorite phrases, “we are better together.”

In recent weeks, we’ve been checking out the book of Nehemiah, a historical documentation of the man the book was named after, and his passion to rebuild the destroyed wall of conquered Jerusalem.  In the story, Nehemiah encourages the Israelites who were able to remain in the land of Israel after captivity and deportation to conquering nations, to rebuild its broken and decimated walls.  He not only called the Israelites to build, but all those who were present and loved Israel.

wall jerusalem

What a massive undertaking this was to be, and yet, when everyone teamed up and worked on a specific section, the wall was rebuilt in record time.  Fifty-two days, to be exact.  That took some major effort and focus, but delivered some major results!

jerusalem wall

I stink at concentrated focus.

Sometimes that manifests itself in the insanely busy work week I create for myself, or in the way that I seem to forget to do things.  You know, I realized that last week, I neglected to sit down and read God’s word?  SO BUSY!  I listened to it on my Bible App, which I love and highly recommend, but I didn’t sit down and read it.  Poop.

distrated

I’m not slamming listening to the Bible.  I do that a lot and I believe it is a GREAT way to take in God’s word, especially if you are an audible learner.  But, I also know that I need to read God’s word for myself too.  Reading God’s word builds my faith.

Back to Nehemiah – Did you know that some walls are GOOD to build?  Jerusalem needed a wall around it!  The safety and security of its residents depended on it!  How else could they protect themselves from attack?

I pose this question to you- (and me) if we are not taking time consistently in God’s word to build up our Faith Walls, what protects us from attack?  We can say all we want about running a marathon, but until we train for it, there aint no way we’re gonna be able to do it!  We can have the fundamentals of faith down cold, but until we chose to exercise those basics, they do us NO good.  We really do need time in God’s word, and redemption through Jesus.

So, back to Sunday – the realization hit me- last week, I failed to build up my Wall of Faith.  And last week was a tough one, too.  I really needed those walls to be in place.  I am determined to be a builder of the Wall this week.

Stand strong, seek God, and build your Wall!

~Rheannon

 

PS- Remember China???  Now THAT’S a WALL!

china wall

~Witnessing a Mighty Miracle of God; Baby Logan~ By Jessa

Powerful Women of God Blog

Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith.

~Witnessing a Mighty Miracle of God; Baby Logan~ By Jessa

My son was changed, fed and snuggled in his blue teddy bear bassinet next to my bed. Before shutting my eyes, I decided to check through my emails and Facebook.  Through a friend’s post, I clicked on a live feed that impacted my heart, mind, and spirit forever.

In disbelief and sadness, I watched a little boy not much older than my son struggle for his life. I couldn’t imagine the sorrow and pain the mother was feeling, but somehow through this video I tasted it with her.  I did not know this family personally but they, without knowing it, invited me on a journey. A journey that began with only a glimpse of the heart of God, and later blew my expectations of what God can and will do for this family.

The video showed a mother in a hospital pleading with tears for anyone who is listening to pray for her baby boy. I saw this innocent little child, in critical condition with so many tubes and monitors connected to his body. My heart broke, “that mom just wants to hold her baby close! How can she not?” I cried out to God, first with trickling tears, then to weeping.

The child’s name was Logan.  He was diagnosed with several congenital heart defects. He had one open heart surgery a few weeks after he was born. He went back to have several more procedures including three more open heart surgeries when he was 6 months old. His body began to shut down due to a damaged mitral valve. I happened to go online when they almost lost him, and I did just what the mother asked of her viewers, I began to plead with the Lord for her son’s life, while weeping with her.

Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

Once I stepped into her shoes for a moment, I quickly reflected on the empathy that was building up from taking that time with her.  I invited Christ into what seemed like an utterly hopeless situation. Believing with her for a miracle brought me to my knees and from my knees to a place of automatically loving her as myself.

What absolutely pained me was there was no way for this baby’s mother to even hold her precious son. That is the very thing I petitioned God for! That was my heart’s desire for this mother. I closed my eyes and began to picture Logan healed and declared in the face of over whelming odds who God is. He is the God of miracles.  After praying I had the presence of God’s peace come over me.  I could sense a welcoming by His spirit to walk with this mother through faith in prayer for a new journey.
baby

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Later that evening I couldn’t go to sleep until there was some way I could communicate with Samantha, the mother of the child. I had another nudge from my spirit to write for her what I saw and share some bible verses I felt in my spirit that would encourage her and help her to rest.

I was feeling so stretched, my mind went from the assurance of what I believed to what I was only hoping.  When I felt led to share what I prayed and saw with her, both feeling of vulnerability and boldness waved over me.  I really was out on a limb, but my hope was not in being right, but rather believing in the Lord who is a healer and miracle worker.

I introduced myself to her and shared my heart in vulnerability and faith.  I was surprised to have her respond back to me. She introduced herself to me and was so gracious and thankful. I was thankful for this opportunity to be in prayer with she and her family. My heart filled with a love for them that was beyond my understanding.

The next week I kept following her updated videos of her son’s progress and process and stayed in step with her in prayer. To my amazement she started a separate page called, “Logan’s Journey.”  I remembered in my spirit that I was going to pray with her on this “journey.” It was a small confirmation that this is where I would walk with her. It was there she shared updates and her heart with her viewers.

The following week people from all over responded to the videos in powerful prayer and worship. She was getting messages from every state – including outside nations! When I heard that, I knew this was bigger than my little brain can conceive. It is only by the spirit I can conceive the things of God and I was in the front row seat witnessing the goodness and power of God’s hand.

pray

Witnessing the spirit of God bringing people together from all over the world to pray that do not know each other was a picture of heaven on earth. It was more than sentiment; it was powerful and still puts me in awe.

I just finished reading the book of Ezekiel and discovered this passage-

 I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30

The words “stand in the gap but found no one,” stood out to me like a sore thumb.  I know now when every person prayed for Logan and his family that they were standing in the gap. God honored our plea for his mercy and healing.  I imagined there may have been times Samantha did not know what to pray, but God had her covered with people that chose to say, yes to God’s call and stand in the gap for she and her son.

I witnessed faith and hope rise in Samantha, with the encouragement and love she received from various people. I just kept praising God. It was like watching my favorite football team make an incredible pass and score another touchdown every time God revealed his power. Especially when his team of prayer warriors didn’t even know each other, and some people didn’t even know God. Yet, there was another touchdown of heaven on earth!

Over the next few months there were many ups and downs, however I noticed in every video Samantha would say ‘let’s keep praying.’ We were not only praying but persevering together with our faith building, every time more confirmation came of Logan’s successful surgeries and healing.

I asked Samantha if she would be willing to share her heart with us.  This is what she has to say about her journey with her son and God-

“I felt lost, scared, angry, worried, and helpless. Today I feel blessed. Thankful. Encouraged. Honored to have been given the chance to raise my son.”

God turned Samantha’s weeping to joy and my heart’s desire for her was fulfilled.  Logan was back in his mother’s arms and healed! We are now rejoicing with her after the weeping. What a privilege we have in Christ to experience a journey like that, and with someone we may not know personally.  The testimony of what God did demonstrates who He is and who He will always be. The demonstration of His people, (the body of Christ) revealed what is possible for us who believe.   For the weeping mother, the sick child, the broken hearted and those alienated from His spirit.

samantha

After 103 days,  Samantha is holding her baby again! Praise God!

 

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” Colossians 1:3

hope

If all you have is a tiny seed in a passage of scripture it is powerful enough to be planted and once planted,  God can make it grow into more than we ever dreamed it could be. Never Give Up! Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, walk together with others and you will go on a journey with God and stand in awe as he makes everything beautiful in his time.

 

~Jessa

Jessa and baby

Actively Waiting on God~ By Marty

Powerful Women of God Blog

Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith.

 

Actively Waiting On God~ By Marty

 

I love my early morning runs by Flathead Lake…especially during this time of year when the colors and fragrance of spring are all around us. This morning’s run was especially sweet as I noticed the Eagle nest built high in a tree near the boat launch. It’s always a spectacular sight when the Eagle is seen perched in the nest keeping a watchful eye over the activity on the ground and in the water below.

Flathead-Lake

I couldn’t help but think about the verse in Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength: They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” I chose this translation because it uses the word WAIT…something I am all too familiar with. I often struggle with the concept of waiting on God, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here. Many of us are holding onto promises, dreams, and visions that have been deposited deep into the soil of our hearts by God. We strategize, set goals and timelines, pray and look for opportunities to present themselves so we can begin to grow and advance in these areas of promise.

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If waiting on God is meant to renew our strength, why is it that more often than not, we find our strength depleted during the waiting process? Why are we not always able to rise up above our circumstances? Why are we experiencing so much weariness when faced with adversities? How can we run without becoming fatigued? How do we walk without becoming faint? What is the key that unlocks this strength we so desperately need? What does WAITING ON THE LORD actually mean?

I found that the word​ wait used in Isaiah 40:31 is the Hebrew word (qavah). The literal meaning of the word wait is “to bind together like a cord’, by twisting, binding, or weaving together to form a rope. The more strands that are used to form the rope, the stronger that rope will be. Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that a three strand cord is not easily broken. Strong rope can lift and pull a heavy load, and while pulling and lifting the strands within the rope are pulled closer together….that’s where the rope’s ​strength is found…the more strands in your rope, the greater the ropes’ strength.

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So how do we apply this definition to our own lives? I like to think of it this way…when a rope is not being used…it’s in quiet, or waiting mode. It’s not unraveling, its just waiting to be put to use. When it’s time for the rope to pull or lift it draws strength from all of its strands and goes to work. Our relationship with God is made up of many ‘strands”, and the more strands we weave in our relationship with Christ, the more strength we have when it’s time for action!

Here are a few “​strands” necessary in creating a strong rope/relationship. There are more we can add to this list, but lets begin with these. Being closely bound to Christ is absolute key to the strength we need!

 

 *Keeping our eyes (focus) on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in ~Hebrews 12:2

 

*Trust Him! ~Psalm 138:8, Jeremiah 17:7

 

*Daily time set aside for prayer, and bible reading ~ 2 Timothy 2:15, James 5:16

 

*Be part of a community where you can grow in your faith and relationships ~Psalms 92:13

 

*Prepare for what you know is coming…those God dreams and promises that burn inside your heart. Actively work towards those promises ~Hebrews 11

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In conclusion, surround yourself with people who support and believe in you! Those friendships that champion your cause and pour fuel on the fire of your dreams, visions, and goals!

When our lives are entwined with His, we CAN rise up on wings like eagles and face the challenges ahead. We CAN run in life even when obstacles present themselves, and not grow weary…and we CAN continue to walk through our daily lives and not become faint…because WITH HIM, BOUND TO HIM, ENTWINED WITH HIM, we CAN do all things! …especially while we’re waiting!

 

 

So much love!

 

~Marty

 

 

Flathead Lake photo from waterbase.com

~Spring Cleaning~ By Mel

Powerful Women of God Blog
Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith.

Spring Cleaning by Mel Kennedy

Spring has sprung! At least for most of us, the weather is warming up, birds are chirping early in the morning, and the grass and trees are waking up after winter’s hibernation.

It is also a time of year when many of us do some spring cleaning. As the days are brighter and longer, we can more easily see the dust that has accumulated during the cold months. As we open our windows to let in the fresh crisp air, we notice they need to be washed. And, many of us finally face the reality of our closets…we simply have too much stuff. So, we make the commitment to do some spring cleaning by dusting the furniture and floors, washing the windows, and de-cluttering our closets. (Some of you, like me, might also be facing the dreaded task of shedding our winter weight.)

messy closet.jpg

Could we use this time to also do some spiritual spring cleaning? What needs to be dusted off, washed cleaned, de-cluttered and gotten rid of to bring us into closer union with our Loving Creator?
Just like our homes, our lives can get a little messy sometimes. We allow distractions to keep us from an intimate relationship with the Lord. We develop bad behaviors that hinder us from being all God created us to be. We hold onto anger and un-forgiveness, which binds us from experiencing God’s forgiveness and love. We allow disorganization to take over our time and we lose our focus on keeping God’s word the center of our lives.

Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore … let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress.”

So, get that big old trash bag ready. Through prayer and worship, invite the Creator to wash clean your thoughts and spirit of anything that keeps His love from encompassing your life. Read God’s word to fill the space in your heart and mind, now available because the resentment and bitterness has been swept away. While putting together items for donation to needy groups or charities, throw out the old habits and hinderances so that you have more room for new Holy Spirit inspired attitudes and dreams.

“Renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-24

I’ve got my grungy clothes on and am ready to start cleaning. Are you?
…and until we met again, may you keep safe in the gentle, loving arms of God.
Blessings,
~Mel

 

headshot white shirt MEL

 

-two photos from pinterest-

~A Tribute to Mothers~ By Jessa (with special interviews)

Powerful Woman of God Blog

Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith.

~A Tribute to Mothers~ By Jessa (with special interviews!)

I woke up one early morning put on a pot of coffee, fixed lunch for my husband and made a bottle for my son. My calendar is hanging on the side of the fridge, so it is easy for me to see upcoming birthdays, appointments, family gatherings, and helpful reminders. I turned the page to the month of May. Looking to see what the month had in store, I was quickly reminded it is the month to celebrate mothers. I smiled and thanked the Lord because I now understand to a greater degree what it means to be a mommy, and the beauty that Mother’s Day holds. Though generations have celebrated Mother’s Day since the 1914, Heaven and Earth have always sung with extraordinary joy over a mother’s womb, and the children she bears. It continues to echo through eternity from Heaven’s heart to a mother’s womb and then praise on her children’s lips then back to heaven again.

Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her. —Proverbs 31:28

My personal memories from my past are warm and valuable to me because of who my mother was. My father, brother, and I celebrated my mom with a gift and card, and she always received it with such a gentle tenderness. She always showed appreciation with her beaming smile and tear-filled eyes—I will never forget her warm affectionate hugs that spoke “I love you” a thousand times…

As I reflect on the last six months of this new chapter of my life, it has been a gift to experience being a mother to my son. What I absolutely love about being a mommy thus far is every day is unique. I may have an idea of what it may entail, however, Oliver is constantly leading me into new experiences. From his beaming smile, infectious giggle, and piercing cry—Everything about him is so precious. Even when he spits up and makes a mess, he is my son and I couldn’t be prouder to me his mommy.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. ~ Psalm127: 3-5

Every mother has a story from her experience. It is hidden as a gift from her children in the depth of her heart… As I wrote this blog, I wanted to give the opportunity for a few beautiful mothers I know to share with us their favorite thing about being a mother:

From Liz: “It is hard to put into words or simplify into one thing what is my favorite about being a mother. What I can say is that being a mother is transformational. Never have I known such joy or such fear. These intense feelings that come with being a mother have given me insight into how truly God must have felt, seeing his Son on the cross. How heartbroken He must have been for His son to call out to Him, knowing His sacrifice would be the only way to reunite Himself with the rest of his children. And, how much He wants to love on us, his adopted children, and the necessity of His discipline as all children need. Being a mother, having felt this little being grow within you, and then getting to participate in the magnificence of watching and helping them grow?! Amazing! Being a mother is a beautiful test of who you are. Taking some joy in waking up in the night because you get to hold that little baby one more time and the thought of your baby not being a baby anymore makes you want to cry, yet eager to know who they will grow to be. Being a mother, bringing a human into this world, is a blessing, a true gift from God. I am so thankful that I have been privileged to experience it.

I recall, that my favorite moments with my son is going to his room each morning when he wakes up for the day and seeing him look up at me from his crib and give me a big ole smile. Oh, that smile melts me like winter warlock receiving his toy from Chris Kringle. Isaac often puts his bunny lovingly over his face in the morning and kicks his feet and waits for me to come in to play his game with him. It’s his version of peek-a-boo.”

From Stephanie: “My favorite thing about being a mom this past year has been seeing Ember discover the world around her and grow and accomplish all the little feats that come with the 1st year of life, like walking and cutting teeth. It amazes me and fills me with such pride and joy as a mama. I also love that she is at a stage where she gives her parents hugs and kisses, it’s the best!”

From Kirsten: “My favorite thing about being a mama is the chaos. I know that sounds like an odd aspect of motherhood to enjoy, but it’s the truth. I love seeing the messy living room, the dish-stacked kitchen, the overflowing laundry pile. I get the sincerest hug from my sweet sticky toddler and the mess washes away. There’s a massive amount of dirty diapers in and out of the trash but my beautiful baby boy making music from the Heavens with his new-found giggles make diapers seem like gifts. When I see the brothers I made snuggle up together on a blanket, one using words the other making coos, my heart feels like it will burst with anymore love. I made two perfect little boys that will forever be bonded. I look at them and I realize I am not only raising boys, I am raising men, husbands, fathers, employees, bosses, and God-fearing leaders. I am raising my legacy.”

From Charise: “My name is Charise, and I am 35 years old. I have been a Mom for almost 10 years to three daughters. What I love most about being a Mom is probably what is the hardest part, and that is dying to myself in order to be the Mother my family needs me to be. In this process, I also discover the true, authentic me, the woman God destined me to be, and that wouldn’t have happened the same way without children. I realize that one day I will be gone like a vapor, but the memories, the cuddles, the dinners, the way I fold the laundry, the way I wipe tears and comfort, the way I lose sleep to literally keep my kids live’s sustained, whether that’s nursing a hungry baby, or nursing the baby who just had open heart surgery back to health, will be passed down through the generations, just like my own Mom and her memory was passed down to me.”

From Cassie: “At the age of 19, I was told that children would not be an option. At 19, that news disappointed me, but I knew I was too selfish to have kids, so I lived my life for me. November 7th, 2008, I took a test that revealed to me that my life would be forever changed. June 20th, 2009 was the day my miracle was born. Patience paved the way for who I am today. She has been my greatest teacher and my longest love. April 2017, we made the decision to try to have another baby and on August 14th, 2017, found out Patience would not be alone. April 6th, 2018 brought us Lennon, the sweetest little Wiggle-Worm who also made Patience a big sister. The moment Patience looked at and held Lennon for the first time, I knew this was what I was made for. These two amazing little ladies, so full of love and light have taught me and continue to teach me what it is to be a mom. They show me every day what love truly is. They are my reason for living.”

From Vanessa: “My favorite thing about being a mom is that I no longer feel selfish. The blessing in children, I believe, is that they teach you the lessons of the heart. To be patient, to be selfless, to forgive, and to be truly genuine in unconditional love. Children are teachers and pacifiers for the restless soul for us parents. I have purpose now until the day I die. That is my favorite thing about being a mother.”

From Bayleigh: “I love being a mom because it is the proudest thing I have ever done. I am raising two little humans to make a difference in this hurting, yet beautiful world.

My sons bring out the best in me, and it gives me courage to face and conquer my own fears so that I can allow them to see that no matter they face in life, you can accomplish what you want!”

I would like to celebrate all mothers and say thank you for being the wonderful moms you are. Thank you for being such an amazing role model for your children and other women. Thank you for giving so much of yourself every day to pour into the lives of your children, believing and wanting the very best for them always -working to make your ceiling be their floor. Thank you for your truest selves, and for selflessly giving every day to show you care and make a positive difference in their lives. Mother Teresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Mothers, thank you for doing just that. Mother’s Day is the celebration of the priceless gift of a mother and the gift of her children received as a gift from the Lord.

We remember, celebrate, enjoy, and give thanks for such a gift.

~Jessa

~The Dark Black Gate~ By Rheannon

Powerful Woman of God Blog

Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith

~The Dark Black Gate~ By Rheannon

The gate…the wind skitters against its ashen iron teeth and creaks a haunting song into the night. Its medieval architecture stabs at the sky, mocking any attempt to climb over and be free of its entrapment. The gate is there, ever there in your mind. The icy hand of fear grips your heart as you try to imagine your life on the other side of its staunch silhouette.

You know on the other side of the gate there is freedom. Freedom from sin and freedom to live the dream God has given you, without fear…but, the gate…

We all understand what it feels like to be trapped by that Dark Black Gate. Maybe your “gate” is a sin in your life, or fear of failure, of what others think, or terrible sorrow and loss. Perhaps it is the frightening thought of what could lie beyond the gate. Is there really joy, or will you always be lost?

I found an intense verse this week in Micah chapter two. God’s people had been messing up again. They were sinning against God and displeasing Him with their offerings and lives – it was a mess. Not only that, but the prophets of Israel were giving false words from God. They did not tell people they were in danger of losing everything because of disobedience. Instead they proclaimed whatever the people wanted to hear…fabulous.

God’s people were in a terrible spot. About to be thrown out of their promised land, they were lost in sin and despair. BUT GOD…God loved them. He knew they were locked in by The Dark Black Gate of the sin in their lives. Yet, He was not willing to leave them lost and stuck forever!

God said to them, “I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel…One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, with the LORD at their head.” (2:12a, 13)

WOAH! “One who breaks open the way”?! YES! It’s JESUS!

I know this is a tough one, but I think we need to take a moment to pray about our “Black Gate.” If it’s a sin in our lives, we need to repent, ask for forgiveness, and stop. If fear, we can ask God what the real truth is for us, and He will show us how to overcome. If sorrow, we need His healing.

Jesus is the One who breaks open our “Black Gate”. Remember, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV) Will you give Him the opportunity to lead you out, or will you choose to stay trembling behind the gate in the darkness?

~Rheannon

~The Succulent~ By Deb Halle, Forward by Sue Mohr

Powerful Woman of God Blog

Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith

~The Succulent~ By Deb Halle~ Forward by Sue Mohr

I remember the day that I learned how to sew. I was astounded that I could take a piece of material and turn it into something worth while. A dress, a quilt, even a table covering. I could mend things that were doomed to the refuse and make them new.

I adore how my friend Deb Halle has expressed things being made new in her story devotional below. I liken it to the story of the Master Potter. I spoke on it for many years – how God would take broken pieces of clay and through a very detailed process, begin to remold it into a brand new piece. All from the broken and shattered pieces that lay forgotten and discarded. Pieces of us that we neglected. Pieces of us that were soiled by the neglect of others. Pieces of us that endured hurt and loss and pain. God saw treasure when we only saw trash. He didn’t throw us away when we were dried up and ‘sinned-out,’ He kept us. Showed us how to walk in his forgiveness and then he re-molded us. We became new, like the little shoots that Deb is talking about. With deep roots. Roots grounded in His word. Roots spread not just wide, but deep. What a glorious story that Deb brings to us, one that we need to look for in our own lives. The old me is gone, the new me is fresh, rooted and ready to grow.

Creatively His, sue:)

Deb Halle:

The Succulent!

I don’t often do this, BUT I’m praying that the reason God so vividly showed me this is so that in my sharing He would be glorified.

I recently took a trip and was away for almost a week. In my preparations for leaving I was sure to water my little succulents. If you have never worked with plants before you may not be aware that many plants reproduce by having a leaf, branch or cutting taken from it and placed in water or moist soil to allow it to grow roots. This was the case with one of my tiny succulents. I had actually accidentally broken a leaf off and decided rather than throw it away I would tuck it into the soil at the edge of the jar so I could see if it would sprout. In a few days, it had sprouted roots. I was so proud of myself for “saving” this little leaf and allowing it to continue to grow!! I was quite pleased and excited about my new little plant! One of the last things I did before leaving on my trip was to make sure I watered all my little plants. Confident that they would be just fine until my return I left and didn’t worry about them at all. I had done a good job with them. I had everything under control…

Upon my return I immediately saw that my single little leaf was GONE!!! My first thought was “how could somebody be so cruel to pull my tiny leaf out and discard it like it was trash!!” I was so ANGRY!! I fumed for over half a day. Then at the soft prodding of the Holy Spirit I calmly went to my succulent jar and took the time to pick it up and look very closely…you see, my little leaf wasn’t pulled out. Yes, it was gone! My little leaf that I thought I had saved and made grow was in fact so shriveled up I couldn’t discern it’s shape or color anymore.

It looked just like the dirt around it. However, in taking the time to look below the surface I saw God’s handiwork. There it was! The roots had sprouted!!! The old leaf that I had so strenuously cultivated was GONE. It had been replaced by the brand new plant that only God can cultivate. That’s when I realized…Deb, this is YOU! The old leaf is shriveled up and gone! The old me (before the saving grace of Jesus Christ in my life) is GONE! Why do I continue to look for that old leaf when God has given me a whole new PLANT?!

If anyone out there is struggling to find their old dead leaf…take a few moments and read 2 Corinthians 5: 14-21…if you have accepted Jesus Christ’s finished work of salvation you no longer have that old leaf! Stop looking for it!! You have a wonderful new plant that is full of life in Christ.

God Bless and have a wonderful day!

Deb

Mud vs Cloud…~ By Faith

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Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith.

Mud vs Cloud… ~ by Faith

I had a picture come to mind recently about my walk with God…Lately I’ve been on a personal journey of remembering. Remembering that God made me in His image, that His thoughts are higher and His ways are higher, and that if I was created this way by Him, then that is who I really am. So, essentially, it’s been like remembering who I am, because of who He made me to be.

It’s been an interesting journey. It sounds lovely, but as you can imagine there’s a bit of friction as I seek to embrace a significant shift in habits, thoughts, and the inspired action that follows.

So, as I was meditating with Jesus the other day I pondered the thought of walking with Him all day. He is my Shepherd and I get the joy of following Him, trusting and delighting in Him as His sheep.

As I enjoyed the visual of walking with Him I asked, “Is it possible to walk with you and be out of alignment with you in my thoughts at the same time?” “Yes of course, you can walk with me anytime,” I heard, “but if you are walking with me and worrying, filled with fear and shame, it’s as though you are walking through mud and I am on a cloud.”

Galatians 5:25 reminds us, “Since we live in the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

I once heard a woman of influence in Mary Kay say, “fight for your limitations and you get to keep them.” Oofta. If I have the option of walking with Jesus on a cloud, I want to do whatever it takes to be transformed by the renewing of my mind to enjoy that.

It takes a lot of intention to live my day this way, but I get to choose to shift my focus onto Him by meditating, EFT, delighting myself in Him and learning about His perfect love, remembering He is a good good father, one day at a time.

~Faith

~How Childbearing Kindled My Heart To Know God and His Way~ By Jessa

Powerful Women of God Blog

Encouraging, Empowering and Strengthening Women in Life, Love, Destiny and Faith.

 

~How Childbearing Kindled My Heart To Know God and His Way~ By Jessa

It was nearing the end of summer. The season rapidly shifted from beautiful blue skies and blazing hot sunshine to a condensed, smoky atmosphere with wind sweeping ash into the valleys. Prayers were ascending to heaven from the lips of the people petitioning God for an end to the ravenous fires that brought so much destruction.  Finally, the change of seasons brought signs of relief and praise filled the air where the ash once made its appearance… Beautiful white blankets of snow covered the terrain snuffing out the fires and bringing stillness to the chaos.

It was during this time the birth date of our first son, Oliver, drew near. My husband and I prepared a home in our heart, and started readying our apartment for his arrival. Watching the hand of God sculpt our son in my womb via ultrasound was an amazing miracle to witness. I was carrying the promise of holding my son with such joy and wonder in my heart.

Mama Bear

And yet, like the ash that was carried by the wind across the land and toward people’s homes, anxiety made its entrance in my heart. My son was breached.  Like nauseating smoke from the summer fires, my thoughts were racing with worry over things I could not control. To no avail, I remember putting my feet up on the couch, in a hunched position, with my elbows on the ground, praying for my baby to turn. I even tried ice packs, exercise, yoga, used medicine balls, and rubbed my belly giving my son affirmation that even if he doesn’t turn, we will be okay, but then asking him again to please turn.

The position of my heart toward my son was loving and patient, but I knew if he could turn naturally he would be less of a high-risk pregnancy.  I began to turn to God with my concerns.  Being pregnant with Oliver kindled my sincerity to know God’s heart for me in the situation I was in. I stopped reading articles online and went to my knees, just allowing God to feel what I was feeling without a word.   Then, I petitioned my desire to the All- Knowing and Omnipotent God.

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Though I did not underestimate God’s wisdom in my situation, I did not turn to Him with strength, but weakness. Before my very eyes, He was crafting my son in my womb, and there was nothing I could do to turn the baby. Praying fervently to heaven, my spirit was reminded of the verse “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). His word became for me like the white blanket of snow that quenched the fires. I took God at His word and walked the rest of my pregnancy not in my own understanding, but in a quiet faith that absolved my anxiety with His peace.

On the day of my son’s birth, my husband and I decided to allow the doctor to press on my womb and turn my son. It was extremely painful, but successful. Despite all the risks, and the unknowns, I gave a natural birth to a healthy baby boy who we named Oliver, which means “he who extends peace.”

In that situation, I marveled in the way the Lord’ hand was upon me and my baby. He said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Mathew 24:35

baby prayer

If all you have is one word from God and no other answers, you have the answer. Our faith comes into play when we can hear his word and keep it in such a way that we believe with everything we are that what God said is true. His word creates a way where there is none and allows us the privilege of walking with God through the chaos, into the stillness of his presence.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” —Isaiah 43:4

~Jessa

Ryan and Jessa