Archives for October 2011

Oct 21

Confident Heart Vlog~Week 5

***If you cannot see the videos in the post below, click the title, click here.

A Message from me to you :)

Now, just silliness to get your weekend off to a fun start…courtesy of Hayley Grace!

Congrats! Yanna Westmoreland, email me your address because you have a year’s subscription to the P31 Woman coming your way courtesy of Heather Bleier!

And finally, I want to shout out THANK YOU to Heather Bleier and Stephanie Clayton for the marvelous job they did leading the study and posting amazing messages this week. Didn’t they do a fabulous job??? I mean haven’t you just loved the study this week? Girls, I love you so much and appreciate all you do for all of us!

Confident Ladies (that’s you!), I pray you have a wonderful weekend! Make the most of it and live in the Light!

Love you <3

Melissa
Oct 20

Living in the Light and a Giveaway

Do you remember the last time you were in the dark?  I’m not talking about not having enough light to see, I’m talking about having no light whatsoever.  For me, the last time was really in the dark was during hurricane Wilma in 2005.  If you have never been through a hurricane, it can be a very scary, experience and for me, Wilma was my first hurricane.  Lucky for me…she had been the worst one to blow through South Florida since Andrew.

 

To prepare for a hurricane, you put these very heavy metal shutters over every door and window of your entire home.  These shutters worked very well to protect your home from high winds and flying debris, but they were also excellent at blocking out every bit of light.  Let me tell you, when you lose power and you have those shutters up, it is pitch black…you feel like you are inside a cave, completely engulfed in the blackness.  You try to see your hands, but even though you know they’re in front of your face, you just can’t see them at all.  You keep expecting your eyes to adjust to the darkness, but there just isn’t any light for them to absorb.  It’s a surreal experience and a bit frightening too.  Then someone finds the flashlight or lights a candle and the room seems to flood with its light.  It may take a few moments for your eyes to adjust, but once they focus, you can see everything and go about your business.  You take that light with you everywhere; you can’t leave it in the kitchen and expect it to reach the hallway.  Wherever you bring it, you also much make sure that you don’t put anything in front of the light that would block it from illuminating the room; that light becomes your priority.

 

I know it makes easy sense when we talk about a literal light, but what does this have to do with our confidence?  How is light going to make things better?  We know the Light Renee refers to is Christ, “the light of the world” {John8:12}, but how does it work, what exactly is the light illuminating?  After all, we don’t turn on a light unless there is something we need to see clearly.

 

Jesus met many men and women who were filled with doubts, but Jesus didn’t point to them and give them instant confidence and take away all of their feelings of doubt and insecurity.  Even if He had alleviated those feelings, they would eventually return.  As creatures of habit, we begin doubting again because we rely on ourselves to be our source of confidence.  Instead, Jesus illuminates for us the true source of all confidence which has the power to dispel our doubts.  Throughout scripture, we are reminded again and again how God uses the imperfect, the sinful, the rebellious, the hot headed, the weak, and everyone else in-between to further His kingdom.

 

  • Moses had an issue with stuttering, but God still used him to free the Israelites; letting Aaron do the talking. Exodus 4
  • Rahab was a prostitute who hid Joshua’s two spies because she had heard of God’s mighty strength. Joshua 2
  • Esther approached the king in order to save the people of Israel from annihilation, an action that could’ve easily ended in her death. Esther 4
  • David fought Goliath, not because he thought he was a great warrior, but because he had faith in God’s strength and power. I Samuel 17
  • David also had a weakness for women and murdered Bathsheba’s husband to hide the fact he had gotten her pregnant; yet, David is still called a man after God’s own heart because he repented and returned to the Lord. II Samuel 11-12
  • Peter was known to speak and act without thinking…cutting off a man’s ear when he tried to arrest Jesus, but he also walked on water trusting that if Christ said he could, then he would.  John 18 & Matthew 14
  • Paul was on his way to Damascus to arrest any followers of Jesus he found there and drag them back to Jerusalem for trial and perhaps execution, but God saw fit to use Paul to reach countless people for Christ. Acts 9

 

Getting the idea here?  God used each of them, not because of how confident, powerful, or talented they were, but because of what He chose to do through them.  When we focus on what God says we can do, there is nothing that is off limits, we can do all things through Him, because He is our strength; Philippians 4:13.  Now we’re back to…how.  Do you remember what I said earlier about taking the light with you, what Renee wrote in Chapter 3 about when/then statements (pg 60), or what Stephanie encouraged us in her post yesterday?  In order to dispel our feelings of doubt and insecurity, we have to shine the light of Truth found in God’s Word and watch those feelings scatter at the name of Jesus.  We have to do this on a daily basis, taking that Truth with us everywhere we go, we can’t leave it behind and expect it to help.

 

Here is your task, if you haven’t already, answer question 3 on page 94.  Once you have done this, seek His Word, ask Him to share with you a verse to replace those lies of doubt with His Truth; Philippians 4:13 would be a good place to start.  Then, write that Truth on an index card and keep it with you, say it out loud anytime that doubt starts hissing in your ear. Personalize the verse by inserting your name, rewrite the verse as a prayer, and completely immerse yourself in His Truth.  If you need a little help in doing that, I hope this post about Praying Back God’s Word will get you going in the right direction.

 

 

In the mean time, share with us how you are keeping God’s Truth a priority in your life.  If you leave a comment by midnight tonight {Thursday the 20th} you will be entered to win a year’s subscription to the Proverbs 31 Magazine!  If you haven’t already, be sure to send any prayer requests to Christi Wilson.

 

Melissa
Oct 17

Building an oasis…

What’s up my bible study sistaaaaaas!!!!!! It’s Stephanie Clayton all the way from Amarillo, TX!!!! I am so excited to be guesting for Melissa today. Renee’s book has quickly become one of my absolute all time favorites, all marked up with stickies and highlighter. I wanted to share with you what struck me most from Chapter 5, the story about Gideon…

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13

Where are all His wonders? How many times have I sat in my own pit and asked God where His wonders are…sometimes it is just plain difficult to accept that God has all the power in the world to snatch us from our circumstances, yet He allows us to stay. We find ourselves asking the same questions Gideon did…Why has all this happened to us? And our mind begins to wonder…will God do what He said He would…will He abandon us…will He come through with strength when we need it…can we trust Him?

We have talked a great deal in this bible study and the one before it about gaining control over our thought lives. About how important it is to refrain from internally beating ourselves with words. I don’t know about you…but sometimes I even catch myself beating myself up for beating myself up!

When I first began working on replacing my thoughts…I would catch myself and say, “Stephanie you shouldn’t be thinking that.” Or, “Stephanie, WHY are you thinking this way!” And while it was good that I was challenging my thoughts…I want to caution you about what I like to call “should-ing all over yourself”. We must learn to replace our negative thoughts…but we don’t need to beat ourselves up while doing it. What if we were to take a different approach to replacing our thoughts…what if instead of “should-ing” on ourselves about what we “should” be thinking…we instead focused our energy on creating an oasis…a place in our minds for our thirsty hearts to drink.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
What if instead of containing our thoughts with “shouldn’ts”…we created a space in our minds filled with scripture that we could bathe in daily. Would we need to leave? Would we need to go back to the way we thought before? Would our thoughts have as much of a tendency to wander?

Our thoughts naturally tend to wander…but when we find our hope…our confident expectation in Christ Jesus and the promises of His word…there is no need to wander elsewhere.

I want to share a scripture with you from Isaiah 43:1-2 “…I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

That is your oasis…He is your oasis. Even in the depths of your darkness…He does not leave you. Let your thoughts be bound by the boundaries of His quenching everlasting Word. They may stray, but His word will always bring you back. Abide in Him sister…bathe in His goodness…cling to the vine…and move deeper and deeper into the oasis.

And if i may…I would like to pray for you…

Dear Lord, my sisters are beautiful. Please help them to see themselves as you see them. Build an oasis in their minds. Lead them to your living water for a drink, so that they may fill their thought pools with a never ending stream of the love thoughts and beautiful plans you have for them. Equip them with confidence and strength from your word. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.
 
I would love for you to share a scripture in the comments section…a scripture that provides a safe place for your mind to go and drink deep of the water only Christ can provide…

Love and Blessings!!! Stephanie

Melissa