Encouragement & Real Stories of Changed Lives
Blessed For my FaithfulnessYou may be asking…so why would I continue to lead a study if only one or two women are coming? Isn’t that a waste of my time? Good question! After all, you are busy, right? You could be doing other things. You could be making a bigger impact somewhere else. Maybe your church could use you to teach a class or organize a mission. Maybe your pastor needs your advice on sermons or church discipline or what is going on in the children’s programs. Maybe … well, you get the point. So, why indeed would you continue to lead for only a few?May I suggest that your faithfulness with a few, may lead to God’s biggest blessings for you? That is what happened to me…I began leading an evening study in my neighborhood. We met in our clubhouse, around a small table, just the three of us! Occasionally, there were four of us; once even five. But, most weeks it was just us three: Betsy, Mary, and me. And we studied and prayed together and loved each other through that season. But, that wasn’t the big blessing; that was just the byproduct of being in the Word together. The big blessing came later, when I could no longer meet in the evenings because of my children’s various sports schedules.I did not want to leave Betsy and Mary without an evening study to plug into, so I began looking for one for them! (No, I didn’t tell them I was doing this.) I found one in a nearby neighborhood, and in doing so, I met a woman who would later introduce me to the Pastor of an orphanage that I have come to adopt! Yes, I have adopted an orphanage... Crazy, right? Well, not if you know our God. He had told me years earlier that that was what I was to do—adopt an orphanage—which is another story for another day. The point here is that if I had not continued to lead just the two, and had I not come to love them and feel obligated towards them, I would not have gone looking for another study in another neighborhood, and I would not have met this particular woman at this particular time, and I would not have found my orphanage. Of course, God could have hooked us up another way, but He chose to bless my faithfulness by leading me to them this way. And, in leading me to them this way, I can rest in the assurance that this is God’s call and purpose for me, and that is the biggest blessing in the world!So, will He give you a whole orphanage full of children to love? Probably not. He has something else in store for you! Maybe something bigger! And, it may just be the Bible study group you have always dreamed about---one like mine, filled with wonderful, women who love the Lord and each other. Because if you are faithful with a few, He will put you in charge of many.Lisa
Weary in the waiting? Try welcoming.Waiting….it’s something not many of us do very well.For years I waited, prayed, claimed God’s promises, fasted and prayed some more. Things remained the same year after year….my prodigal child was still wandering, and I was becoming weary in the wait!While meditating on Hebrews 11:13, God spoke directly to my weariness and gave my waiting “wings” as described in Isaiah 40:28-30. The verse follows with my thoughts in italics.All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, (Wow, if these great heroes of the faith didn’t live to receive all God’s promises to them, who am I to demand to receive it in my lifetime?) but they saw it from a distance (Yes, I could clearly see, by faith, from a distance, my prodigal child’s return.) and welcomed the promises of God. (Here is where I was absolutely stunned and prayed, “Father, please teach me what it means to welcome Your promises in my child’s life.”)The very next week my brother’s family was coming for a visit. The excitement I had in their coming visit energized me as I prepared to welcome them into our home. I didn’t worry or pray for them to get to my house faster….I just enjoyed waiting and anticipating our time together.This experience began to teach me how to welcome God’s promises. My prayers turned from, (Father, please return my child, I beg you to do whatever it takes) to welcoming (Thank You, Father, for what You are doing in my child’s life that I cannot see, feel or experience).Is there a promise God has given you that He wants you to try welcoming?Who is a friend who is weary in their waiting? Give them the wings of welcoming!
John 4:46-54; 6:56; Romans 4:20-21; Hebrews 11:8-16
Feeling Inadequate? … Me too... Always have. Guess I always will. The truth is, I am inadequate. I am inadequate to teach others the Word of God. I am inadequate to lead a group of women in their walk with God. I am inadequate to represent Christ to my neighbors. I am inadequate to do anything good at all. I wasn’t’ raised in a Christian home. I haven’t attended Church all my life. I don’t have a lot of Scripture memorized. I still struggle with sin. I am broken and flawed. I don’t dress right; I don’t always act right; my car is a mess, and my boys are usually dirty! Really, I am the last person you would pick to lead a Bible study! But I do. And I have for the past 7 or so years. Yes, it still surprises me sometimes! Yes, it is still terrifying sometimes. Yes, it is still beyond my abilities—all the time. But, week after week, God meets my lack with His grace, and together we get to touch hearts and spur on life change! It is wonderful. It is a privilege. So, today, I want to encourage you. Just say YES. Just do it. If God has laid it on your heart to lead a neighborhood study, don’t let your inadequacies or fears stop you. God is faithful. He will meet you in your weakness. He will honor your obedience. He will show up for you. He will enable you. With Him and in Him and through Him, YOU CAN DO IT! I know…because I know our Lord. Love, Lisa