WBC Devotions: Freedom from the Past

devotions2

Freedom from the Past

 Written by Shari Lewis

Does your past sometimes creep upon you like an enormous, haunting shadow from which there seems to be no escape? Do you have regrets, failures, hurts, disappointments, or shattered dreams that have left you disillusioned or frustrated with life? Perhaps something was taken from you, your innocence, your dignity, your safety, your trust, and you are left with nothing but the remnants of a fragile, empty shell ready to crack under pressure. On the surface, you may have done a marvelous job of creating a strong and put-together façade for the world to see, but the deepest cry of your heart is not hidden from your heavenly Father.

Understand that you have an enemy who has tried his very best to rob from you, and to thwart God’s good plan for your life, but our compassionate and merciful God can reverse the damage and give you an abundant and fulfilling life instead. He loves you more than you can imagine, and He longs to heal your heart and restore all that has been taken from you. He can remove the bondage of your past and set you free to truly live.

 Devotional Scriptures

 Paul said, “…But one thing I do, Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13b-14 NIV

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 NLT

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

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:18-19 NLT

 

Read more devotions from Shari Lewis at: http://www.pearlsforliving.net/

© 2014, Shari Lewis. All rights reserved. May not be duplicated without express and written permission from author. Originally published at www.WomensBibleCafe.com 

Power of God’s Names Reading Schedule

power of Gods names tony evansIt’s time for another online Bible study! Are you excited to join women around the world as we learn the Power of God’s Names? If you have not yet registered for the study please click here. All you need is a copy of the member book to participate. Each Monday beginning August 25, 2014 we will have an update on our website, along with discussion questions for online small groups. In order to prepare for these discussions, you’ll need to read the weekly lessons and complete the member book assignments.

Reading Schedule for The Power of God’s Names Bible Study

Required book: The Power of God’s Names Member Book by Tony Evans to order click here

Video sessions are optional due to the cost. answers to the video sessions can be downloaded from the Lifeway website

Week of Member Book Reading Assignment Small Group Discuss Optional
25-Aug Week 1: The Majesty of God’s Names Introductions Video 1
1-Sep Week 2: Jehovah and Adonai Week 1 Video 2
8-Sep Week 3: Jehovah Nissi and Jehovah Tsaba Week 2 Video 3
15-Sep Week 4: Jehovah Rohi and Jehovah Jireh Week 3 Video 4
22-Sep Week 5: El Elyon and El Shaddai Week 4 Video 5
29-Sep Week 6: Immanuel Week 5 Video 6
6-Oct Finish reading if you are behind Week 6
13-Oct Break: finish reading if you are behind
20-Oct Break: finish reading if you are behind
27-Oct Begin new online Bible study

 

To see the small group schedule please click here 

Home from The She Speaks Conference by Proverbs 31 Ministries

photo 1The way I see it, we can be grumpy and stingy with the experience and knowledge God has given us, or we can be generous and share with others.  Sometimes we feel like we need to compete for attention in this noisy world.  Maybe we think that if we encourage someone else, they’ll just steal some of our success.  So, we can be tempted to hoard knowledge.  We can even discourage rather than encourage.

But Proverbs 31 Ministries chooses to be generous.  Their heart is to equip women to share the word of God with others.  Every year in July, they sponsor a large conference called She Speaks with training, encouragement, and the nitty gritty details about how to grow as a Christian author, blogger, and speaker.  Bestselling authors, in-demand Christian speakers, successful bloggers, publishers, and agents run workshops and sessions on everything from finding inspiration for writing to the insider information about working with an agent, creating Pinworthy graphics for your blog, marketing your book after publication, how to tell a good story, and so much more.

This year, I stood in that registration line on Friday morning, picked up my beaded name tag, my personalized workshop schedule, my notebook for taking notes, and my tote bag.  I sat in workshops led by Emily P. Freeman, Shaunti Feldhahn, Jerry B. Jenkins, Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Ehman, and I wore my hand right out taking notes.

When I arrived, I snapped a picture of the prayer board they had created for us with chalkboard-covered panels and buckets of chalk nearby.  I scribbled my own prayer down in an empty space surrounded by the prayers of others there at the conference.  It was good to write it out and make it tangible and concrete, a way to focus my time there at the conference.photo 2

I chatted with women from all over the United States and from other countries, as well, who were at all stages in this ministry journey.  Some of them had published books, or ran a successful blog ministry, or maybe were taking those first baby steps to start speaking at women’s events.  Some of them just had the tiniest nudging in their hearts to start writing and wanted to know how to begin.  We were as varied as our hair styles and outfits—a beautiful reminder of the way God uniquely designs and calls each of us.  There were about 800 of us attending the conference and we cheered each other on all weekend long.

During one of the main sessions, Renee Swope shared about the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume and how others scoffed at her gift.  She reminded us to just ‘bring it.”  Bring whatever God has given us and offer it back to Him.  Bring the gifts that don’t seem enough.  Bring the gifts that others laugh at.  Bring the gifts that may seem extravagant, like they are just using up everything we have and more.  Bring it all to Him.

That was one of the beautiful things about the She Speaks Conference (in addition to the amazing decorations on all the tables and in the welcome area.  They were seriously gorgeous and I wish they made house-calls so they could come decorate my house).  We were encouraged to bring our gifts to Jesus, and then we were given tools and tips on how to prepare our offering with skill and devotion.  They shared with us how to better fulfill Proverbs 31:26:  “She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”photo 3

Here are some of the books I discovered while at the conference.  You can check them out at the links below!

WBC Devotions: Hope In a Hopeless World

devotions8

Hope In a Hopeless World

Written by Sheree Poole

Hope!  How often we use this word interchangeably on a daily basis.  I caught myself saying the word about ten times or more a day.  We sprinkle hope from the salt shaker of life to season our spirits.  I hope I have a good doctor’s report.  I hope I get that job promotion.  I hope I make an A on my exam.  So what is hope? According to Dictionary.com it’s the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.  The flip-side of hope is hopeless. Dictionary.com defines hopeless as impossible to accomplish, solve, resolve, etc.  It’s hopeless, I __________________.  Fill in the blank.  Our hope makes a u-turn and we find ourselves slipping on thin ice, the ice breaks, and we are drowning in a sea of hopelessness.  The good news is we can have hope in a hopeless world.  Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…” Where will you place your hope today?  Sing praises, “My hope is in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth…”

Devotional Scriptures:

Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them. He remains faithful forever.  Psalm 146:5 HCSB

In fact this is why we work hard and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers. 1 Timothy 4:10 NET

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance. Romans 8:24-25 NET

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

 

© 2014, Sheree Poole. All rights reserved. May not be duplicated without express and written permission from author. Originally published at www.WomensBibleCafe.com 

 

WBC Devotions: Tender Kisses

devotions5

Tender Kisses

Written by Christine Abraham

In the early morning, my husband leans over and gives me a tender kiss before leaving on his business trip. I hear the Holy Spirit speak the words “tender kisses” into my heart and pray on this. Tender kisses are those kisses that reflect gentleness and love. Newborn babies are greeted with tender kisses as they arrive into a noisy world. Tender kisses are given when people are leaving this world for a life in eternity. Yet each day of our lives, God gives us tender kisses. They are so gentle, so swift… yet daily reminders that He is living and present. Busyness keeps us from awareness of God’s tender kisses. Special needs children require exhaustible amounts of parenting reserves. Finances and personal health issues become our focus. Social media demands our attention and time. Today my prayer is to slow down and experience the tender kisses. Take my hand and lead me as you teach me to be tenderhearted. Fill the earth with your tender love and rise up those who are desperate for tender kisses. Let me be a vessel of tender kisses today, my Lord.

Devotional Scriptures

 I’m still in your presence, but you’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me. Psalm 73:24 (Message)

A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life. Proverbs 28:14 (Message)

He loves whatever is just and good; the earth is filled with his tender love. Psalm 33:5 (TLB)

The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:9 (NKJV)

 

© 2014, Christine Abraham. All rights reserved. May not be duplicated without express and written permission from author. Originally published at www.WomensBibleCafe.com