Mar 6

Made to Live

“Whether we’re on the path toward victory or defeat is determined by the very next choice we make. Not the choices from yesterday. Not the choices five minutes ago. The next choice. Our very next choice. May it be that of an overcomer. An overcomer made to crave God alone.”

Those are the final thoughts Lysa TerKeurst leaves us with in her book Made to Crave.

Many of us began our Made to Crave journey with high expectations and high hopes. We were empowered that first week and even sang about it:  I Got Da Powah!   One of the reasons so many women signed up for the Made to Crave Bible study is because they were looking for freedom from our current craving (most of us food) and more of the desire to crave God. Let’s face it. It sounds good but it’s easier said than done. What I loved most about Made to Crave is that author, Lysa TerKeurst agrees with us. She was so open and honest, often sharing what seemed an embarrassing or unthinkable story. But truly it’s her honesty with this issue that is so helpful. Instead of our main goal being to weigh our ideal goal weight or become our ideal dress size, our goal is peace.

Made to Crave is a great launching pad. We know we were made to crave God. Now we have amazing verses and go to scripts (all provided in the book) to equip us when we forget that.  I pray you will not look at this as an ending to a study, but more as a part of your life journey. Take the nuggets of Truth and apply them to your life, take them with you. God’s Word never expires. The book, Made to Crave may go on the shelf, but the Bible should remain in your heart, visible in your life, easy to get a hold of. The Bible has life giving principles and truths for our lives because we were made to live. Live for Him.

As you move from this study to your next step (personal study, group study, whatever it may be), remember Lysa’s final words, “Whether we’re on the path toward victory or defeat is determined by the very next choice we make.”  What’s your next choice going to be?  You were made to live, so make sure you live well. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

As we move forward, may we remember…think about our next choice (don’t let that thief steal your joy by reminding you of the last bad one) and live your life well, to the full!

I love you ladies! I wish I could personally sit with each of you and get to know you. Your comments, encouragement, and prayers have been the highlights of many days. You have blessed me and blessed each other with your love and support here on this blog. What you say matters and I appreciate and read every single comment. Love you!

If I can help, assist, or pray for you ever, please email or call me at the P31 office. I consider you my friends and I’ve such a great time doing Made to Crave with you!

God Bless you all!

 

 

Melissa
Mar 2

Well, Here We Are…

I cannot believe it!  I am both sad and happy that we are here.  We are wrapping up our last week of an amazing, life-changing study~ Made to Crave.

How are doing on this last week?  I have prayed for you and no matter where you are on this journey, I want you to thank God. No matter what’s happened or not happened. Thank Him, praise Him, allow Him to use what you’ve learned, allow Him to use your successes, struggles, and even failures. One of my favorite books in the Bible is Romans. Specifically Chapter 8, where we are told there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus and God can work it all for good. And yes that was highly paraphrased by me!  Look it up for yourself  :)   Smiles!

Speaking of smiles I have a few to share with you.

1. The winner of The Cause Within You by Matthew Barnett is  Gerri, who posted her comment February 28 at 7:44 pm. Yay Gerri!  Email me your address girl and I will send you this fabulous book!

2. If anyone is interested in purchasing The Cause Within You by Matthew Barnett  visit TheCauseWithinYou.com.

3. Everyone is invited to listen to the last conference call. If you’ve never been a part of the conference call series, you can hear for yourself what you’ve been missing! https://www.freeconferencecallhd.com/playback.html?n=886065-17-65-67111126-17-65-67-17-65-6736844110-17-65-67-17-65-6742-17-65-67;1NDc2ODk2Nzc=1

4.  Our next online Bible study will not disappoint. A few OBS team members have already begun reading An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell. They said they can’t believe how it is EXACTLY what they needed. I know I tell you every time that the book we are studying is life changing. It’s true. I don’t select books that I don’t believe guide and direct you straight to Jesus and the Bible. They are life changing if we are open to change.  Sign up for our next study and get your book today. The study starts in 3 weeks. Sign up in the right column of this blog. Order your book wherever books are sold or from us at Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Sign up for the conference call series here.

5. Remember Sarah Rose’s message from last Friday’s blog post?  Well she’s done it again. She shared with me from her personal blog and has given me permission to share with you. May you be as on fire and enthusiastic as I was after reading her message.  Here it is:

 

Good Morning!
And I MEAN IT!!! GOOOOOOD MORNING! 
Today, I hit 25 lbs lost.  That’s about 1/10 of what I have to lose in total.  That’s still 13 lbs above my 10% goal.  That’s still 35 lbs above my first major goal…but HELLO!!! I LOST 25 lbs!
I could choose at this point to think about how far I have to go.  And in someways, its very beneficial to look forward.  But, for the next few minutes I’m reflecting over the last 25 lbs.  It’s taken me 2 months, which for someone in the 300’s is actually sort of slow.  I’ve cried more times than I would like to admit over not having a food of my choice.  I’ve laid in bed listening to my tummy churn with hunger.  I’ve been battling my body adjusting to life wthout all my fried “friends.”  But, in reality, the last two months have not been all misery.
In the middle of my bad attitude spells, and my feeling like I would die without a piece of chocolate pudding cake (I didn’t eat it and I’m still alive!), I’ve been studying Made to Crave again.  This time, I’ve been studying it as part of an online group of over 9000 woman. Lead by a woman I have to come to love and respect, Melissa Taylor.  And, in the Made to Crave study, I have found tidbits that I will hold on to the rest of my battle with food, which, lets face it, will probably be the rest of my life.
The biggest thing I have learned is a quote I’m going to borrow from Lysa Terkerst.  It’s called a go-to script to help us replace our former thought that have entangled us and tripped us up.  Ok, everyone, listen up to this:
STRUGGLING WITH MY WEIGHT ISN’T GOD’S MEAN CURSE ON ME, BUT AN OUTSIDE INDICATION THAT INTERNAL CHANGES ARE NEEDED FOR ME TO FUNCTION AND FEEL WELL!!!!  (from the book Made to Crave)
Do you get that?  God’s not being mean to us “fatties!”  He’s reminding us of our need for him.  I took that thought, and my intense cravings as prompts to pray.  My pounds lost have been significant, but the spiritual side of me, the part that controls my thoughts has grown so much more than I could have ever dreamed.
I am not joking when I say that I currently wake up craving God’s word.  Not breakfast.  And this doesn’t mean that I’m perfect, or somehow have it all together.  It’s just where I am.  I still struggle with sin, cravings, desires, etc, every single day.  But, I just can’t wait to open up the Word of God and see what He has for me every single day! It’s exciting, as I am finding that the Bible is really strength for this battle!  Who would have “thunk” it?!?!
I know lots of people are thinking I’ve overspiritualizing things.  And that is ok for them to think that.  Two months ago, I would have said the same thing.  But, I know in my heart of hearts, for me to come back here in a few months and claim victory for losing 50 lbs, it’s only going to be if I’m centered in the Word and right thinking.
I just want to praise God for creating people like Lysa TerKeurst and Melissa Taylor.  I want to praise God for my husband, who holds me when I cry over cake, and my kids who tell me every day how pretty I am (me! their 335 lb momma!).  I also want to praise God for my accountability partner, Mary Beth.  She puts up with more than any one human being should have to…reading all my journal posts, and answering nighttime phone calls, and helping me meal plan when I’m just not strong enough.  I have friends like Robin, Lareina, Adriane, and so many others that are constantly cheering me on.  And my friend Brandy who graciously agreed to be my MOPS food police!  I LOVE IT!!!!  And my parents (all of them, my mother in law too!!!) have cheered me on more than ever this time.  Oh, and there’s my First Place For Health peeps….I think this list could go on and on and on!!!!!!  JUST PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROVISION!!!!!
God bless you Sarah Rose!  You have blessed and encouraged me as well as many others!
Y’all have a great weekend! I will post my closing MTC message over the weekend.
Love and Blessings!

 

Melissa
Feb 28

Dream Center Reflections: Pastor Matthew Barnett

Yesterday, I introduced you to a place that is dear to my heart, The LA Dream Center. If you missed my post about the Dream Center and Skid Row yesterday, please click here.

The Dream Center is a beacon of hope for homeless families, addicts, abused women and children, victims of human trafficking, teen runaways, and many others who are filled with brokenness. Matthew Barnett discovered the cause he was made for when he relinquished his dreams of success and began listening for God’s dream for his life instead. When he sensed God was calling him to serve the poor and powerless, he co-founded (with his father, Tommy Barnett) the Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA.

I had the honor of going on a missions trip to the LA Dream Center with Lysa TerKeurst and the staff of Proverbs 31 Ministries in August, 2011. It was one of the most amazing weeks of my life. While there, I had the privilege to serve on Skid Row, Adopt a Block, sorting clothes for the homeless, and packing trucks full of food to be delivered throughout Los Angeles communities in need. I also had the life changing experience of witnessing the various programs throughout the Dream Center for those who reside there and in the community. Testimony after testimony credited God, Pastor Matthew, and the Dream Center for restoring their lives and giving them hope. This only scratches the surface of what all the Dream Center does.

Meeting Pastor Matthew was quite an experience. I’m not sure what I expected, but I knew he was a very important man. I guess I expected him to be in his office working, planning, meeting, researching, and probably just very busy. I’m sure he has his days where this may be the case, but I was extremely impressed by the fact that this man knew every name of every person at the Dream Center. Not only did he know their name, but he knew their story. He walked around and visited with the people. And he was so enthusiastic. You could tell that he was so excited for each person there. He loved them and they loved him too. It was pure and genuine. I have not seen anything like it before. He had a smile on his face, enthusiasm that was contagious, and a huge heart for all people and God.

There were no presentations set up for us to listen to testimonies or stories from the Dream Center. Instead, while serving or working in a certain area, Pastor Matthew would happen to walk in and just pull someone from the Discipleship program or another program aside and say, “Hey, Tom, tell these ladies your story. Tell them where you were one year ago.”  And Tom would tell us. This happened all week long. We heard from folks who had been there just a few weeks, to those who had been in the program a year and then decided to stay and give back. Lives given hope. Lives where people found a place to belong. Lives changed forever because one man believed in the poor and powerless and took a bold leap of faith in founding the Dream Center. And once these people feel like they belong somewhere, they begin to believe…in themselves and God.

Matthew Barnett did not just found the Dream Center. He is also the senior pastor of the historic Angelus Temple. The Dream Center’s ministries reach 30,000 people each week through its multiple church services and more than 200 need-centered ministries.

The Dream Center’s record of success has led to the launch of over 100 independent Dream Centers nationally, as well as internationally.

In Pastor Matthew’s NY Times best selling book, The Cause Within You: Finding The One Great Thing You Were Created To Do In This World, you are shown how to recognize the unique gifts and opportunities God has placed in your life. When you discover and commit to your personal cause, you’ll find that God is right there beside you—ready and willing to partner with you in amazing ways. The cover of his book features real people from the Dream Center. I know this because I met many of them.

It is my privilege and honor to have Pastor Matthew Barnett as a part of our MTC Conference Call Series. If anyone knows about cravings, discipline, changing your life, and believing in dreams, it’s him. If you would still like to sign up for the calls you can do that here.  You will be sent links to listen to the first 2 calls that have already taken place plus the number and code to be a part of our next 2 calls (Matthew Barnett and Lysa TerKeurst).

Jennifer Davidson won the give away of Matthew Barnett’s book yesterday. I’m giving another one away today. Leave a comment on my blog today about the cause within you. Do you have a cause? Are you searching for one? Please share your thoughts.

Hope each of you have an amazing Tuesday and are enjoying our last week of study.

Stay COURAGEOUS!

Melissa