I believe we all owe Martha an apology. No human was ever created to serve solely as a sermon illustration. Why are we tempted to continually pit Martha against her sister Mary? No one has ever written a book titled, “Don’t be a Peter, be a John.”
It’s an evening out with your friends. A time to relax and unwind. A time to connect with other women. A time to sing and worship God. A time to soak in some good teaching. Whatever walk of life you’re … Continued
There are few things as exciting as an event that calls for a + ONE. Your expectations have been set. THIS will be an opportunity (and you can share it with someone!). On the flip side, anxiousness can accompany that … Continued
As I settled into my chair for our opening evening of welcome and worship, I reveled in having nothing to prepare, nothing to lead, nothing I had to be “on” for. I could smile at each woman entering, or bow my head in preparation, just breathe, rest, and listen to God. Each and every year I attend, I find that I am renewed, uplifted, and refreshed.
The word refresh means “to give new strength or energy to; reinvigorate.” With technology we refresh our devices – we restore their settings and clean out clutter so they function better. We need to refresh and restore our souls so we function better. Everyone around me is looking forward to having vacations or family reunions, but now that we are freer to enjoy life “as we think it should be,” how will you refresh your soul?
Knowing the by design ministries’ mission “to develop women who are servant leaders for the equipping of God’s church and the enlarging of His Kingdom” was freeing, as I wasn’t being recruited for something new but being fed, encouraged, and equipped to go back to my home church and serve where God had called me.
In a quick Google search, you can easily find multiple studies that speak of the loneliness and isolation that can come along with being in ministry leadership. Leaders are often overextended, lacking in support staff, and so focused on serving others that they can forget to actually jump into the communities they are bringing together. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I know that, for myself, the first things to go when I am stressed or busy are spending time with God and quality fellowship with others.
In my skewed thinking, however, I put most of my energy first into ministry and expected my closest loved ones to understand and be satisfied with my “leftovers.” As tension mounted, I absurdly prayed that the Holy Spirit would reduce the amount of “need” my loved ones had for me in order to match the amount of “free time” I had available for them. Never underestimate the evil of over commitment!
This past January, Phyllis Bennett was the speaker for our reTREAT, sharing about how God brings us from “Tainted Past to Radiant Future.” Some of you wanted to attend but weren’t able to make it. And those of you who … Continued