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A Time For Change

flowers in the snow

Today is a sad day for me as it is my final day to write here at Good Morning Girls.  This ministry has been so very close to my heart since its birth so many years ago.  It is hard to say good bye.  I have told the story in the past of how Good Morning Girls began  and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how it would grow and grow and grow.

Our God is alive and at work here at GMG!  I love the hunger and thirst you all have for His word!!!

I LOVE you guys! {I write this with tears in my eyes friends}  I truly deeply love you all.

It seems in my life that I go in cycles of feeling overwhelmed and then overcoming…then feeling overwhelmed –then overcoming.  I so long to be strong and capable and able to manage all that is on my plate –but like the spring flowers here in Ohio this week that got covered in snow…things happen.

The margins of my life have been very slim and as a result when I am overwhelmed, I find it hard to do anything well.  I struggle with being the wife, mom, sister, friend, and writer  that I long to be and at the end of the day –this troubles me.

As I look at these spring flowers – covered in snow…they display how I feel right now in life.  How I long to bloom where I’m planted but where I’m planted has much stress.  I sense God moving me on from this ministry at GMG.

Angela, Jennifer and Whitney are talented and godly writers and the ministry teams here are amazing!  I know with Angela at the lead, this ministry goes on strong and God has great things for you all here.

I love these girls!

GMGs

Angela, Whitney, Jennifer, Courtney

And so it is with great joy that I close out my ministry here with this strong passage in Romans 6:8-14…

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master,because you are not under the law, but under grace.

What a powerful passage of scripture!  We are dead to sin and alive in Christ!

Hallelujah!

Do not let sin reign in your life.

Put to death your sinful desires and overcome!

Offer every part of yourself to God as an instrument of righteousness!

THAT

- that is my final word for you – my dear GMGs.

And remember – overcoming will not always look like an earthly victory.  Sometimes, it’s in the stillness of the morning when God moves in your heart to do something new that we simply surrender and obey, even when we don’t know where He is taking us. Even when the thing He is asking us to let go of is good. Even when it breaks our heart to let people down.  We obey – because we are His.

Chime In:

Is it time for a change in your life?  Is there something God is asking you to step away from?

It may be a sin that you have clung to or it may be something good, that you sense is complete.

During this Holy Week, I encourage you to pause and really listen to your creator.  Is it time for a change?  Move on.

I love you all so very much.

Walk With the King,

Courtney, WomenLivingWell.org

Because He Lives –I Can Face Tomorrow

Banner week 3

 

The crux of Christianity hangs on one fact…

The Resurrection of Jesus.

I Corinthians 15:13-17 says:

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God,
for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.
But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 

For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

Wow – do you see the strong words of this passage?

If there is no resurrection of Christ – our faith is useless, our preaching and faith are futile, the dead are not raised, we are false witnesses, and we are still in our sins.

Oh my! That’s serious friends.

But praise the Lord – the angel rolled back the stone and the tomb was empty for all to see!  Then Jesus appeared to over 500 people and then ascended into heaven!  AWESOME!!!!!

Jesus is alive – just as he said!  Our God is not dead – he surely is alive.  And because he is alive – we have the assurance that we too will be resurrected.

Today’s video is about the resurrection of Jesus and of us!  I will answer the question – “what will our heavenly bodies be like”?

(if you can’t see the video – click here to view it)

Life is hard.  Trials, fears, stress and worries come at us from every side.  Sometimes it is so overwhelming I can’t sleep or I break down in tears…but when morning comes and the sun rises, I am reminded that his mercies are new every morning.

Because He lives – I can face tomorrow.

Week 3 Challenge:

Read Luke 24 –the resurrection account of Jesus.  Stand in AWE!!!

Whatever you are facing today – take it to Jesus. He is alive! He loves you and He wants you to bring all your burdens to Him.

Walk with the King,
Courtney, WomenLivingWell.org

**Bonus**

Here’s a few links to some fun activities to do with your children to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus this week.

My Favorite Easter Morning Breakfast – Resurrection Rolls

 Ressurection Rolls

Fun Easter Story Cookies 

 Easter-story-cookies

Jesus Story Easter Eggs

Resurrection Eggs 002

Week 3′s Reading Plan:

Week 3 Reading Plan

Week 3′s Memory Verse:

MemoryVerse-03

For Single & Married Women {& An Apology}

true beauty{image credit: TimeWarpWife.com}

 

First, let me open with an apology.  On Monday, we began the week on your reading plan, titled “Your Marriage.”  As a blogger, I came to my keyboard and wrote a blog post about the assigned passage of reading for the day and… your marriage.  I hit publish and then it all began.

I got some emails from women saying they were disappointed in me.  I got a few comments from women on the post asking how a single woman should process this. And we had some women in hard marriages or in the midst of divorce, who grappled deeply with our reading for the day.  And I know that I put many leaders in a difficult position on Monday, as you were left to help the women in your groups, who were upset with Monday’s post.

{Bless you leaders – I truly love you and thank God for you.  I have been praying for you after my obvious flub!!!}

What I want to apologize for is my insensitivity.  I have written for nearly 6 years on the topic of marriage over at my blog, WomenLivingWell.org . So I am used to a mostly married audience and I did not consider my audience here. I wrote like I always do – and honestly sweet readers – I feel terrible about it.  It really tore me up that I could be so insensitive.  I pray you will accept my sincere apology.

So, I’m thankful for second chances and Wednesdays at GMG.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, what color of skin or hair you have, what your marital status is or your work status or if you have a large family or no family – Jesus loves you!

You matter.

You are valuable.

And you were created to reflect God’s glory.

Keeping the above in mind, let’s move into today’s reading.

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Marriage is a temporary covenant but what it represents is eternal.  The wife submitting to her husband, is to be a picture of how the church submits to Christ.  The husband loving his wife unconditionally, is to be a picture of how Christ unconditionally loves the church. So an application question for those who are married would be, what does your marriage reveal about Christ and the church?  Does it reflect this truth?

In heaven, there will not be marriage (Matthew 22:23-30),  so whether we are married or single, it is our relationship with Christ that is eternal.

The key — do not idolize one role over another.  We must not idolize singleness (I Corinthians 7:7), the role of the wife or motherhood.  All of these roles are temporary.  Just because I am married today – does not mean I will be married tomorrow.  Tragedy could strike at my house and through a serious accident, both my husband and children could die.  This would rock my world – and move me from being a married mother – to a single widow.  The roles of a woman are not permanent and so we must never take pride or be in despair over them.  Rather we must daily live to the glory of God wherever God has planted us.

I have seen deep suffering in singles who long to be married and sadly, I have seen deep suffering in wives who long to get out of their marriages.  Life is hard, the grass is not always greener and the fight for joy and contentment is a lifelong endeavor for all women.

God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply – but unless someone is “born again” they are not saved. (John 3).  God’s kingdom does not grow through marriage and procreation.  God’s kingdom grows through regeneration.  This is an equal calling on all women’s lives – both the married and single.  We are called to go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples.

Let’s unite together around this truth and pray God opens doors to build his kingdom through all of us!

Thank you for your grace and allowing me to try again at my marriage post for the week.  I love you all so very very much.

May God use you mightily in the place he has you today.

Walk with the King,

Courtney, WomenLivingWell.org

**I originally planned to post some Valentine’s Day ideas in this post.  I now see how insensitive that would have been.  So instead – let me share a few links from my blog for married women who might be interested in more on marriage:

3 Valentines Day Ideas for your Husband
10 Creative Ways to Say “I Love You” to Your Husband
Kiss Your Way to a Better Marriage
What If Your Husband is Not a Believer?
How to Maintain Your Marriage When Your Husband Travels
When You’ve Lost Your Joy in the Midst of Marriage and Motherhood
5 Qualities of a Kind Wife
The Proverbs 31 Woman – One Virtue At a Time

Week 4 – Your Marriage {Intentionally Focused}

 

Intentionally Focused Week 4

Last Tuesday night, over 3 million people tuned into the Evolution vs. Creation Debate, between Bill Nye the “Science Guy” and Ken Ham the “founder of the Creation Museum”.  How relevant this debate is to our passage today.

You see, if we do not believe that Genesis 1 is truth – then our reading in Genesis 2 is irrelevant.

Hebrews 11:1-3 says:

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

It is by faith, that we believe God spoke the world into existence.  Without creation – there is no Adam, no Eve, no sin nature and no need for a Savior.  Essentially, God’s word is not God’s word.  And so by faith, we believe God created Adam and Eve.

In Genesis 2 we find the role of the wife defined and that is what today’s 2 minute video is about:

(if you cannot see the video – click here)

 

Don't miss this blessing

I know that these are not easy words for a modern woman of today to accept.  But, it is so completely beautiful when we live out God’s plan for marriage.

Sometimes we are tempted to think the grass is greener in other marriages.  We imagine that someone has something better than we have, and we want it.  We can’t see the dirt from our angle.  And possibly the grass is super green in the front yard, but in the backyard it’s filled with dead spots that are hidden from acquaintances.

To be honest, the neighbors on both sides of us literally have greener grass.  They both have in-ground sprinklers and spend time tending to their yards.  Their yards look gorgeous!  Ours, on the other hand, gets burned out by the sun every summer and the only green spots are where the neighbors’ sprinklers spray onto our yard. Lol!  We could have exactly what our neighbors have if we would simply water and tend to our grass!

This same principle applies in marriage.  Before we jump ship or sit in discontentment, I wonder if we watered and tended to our marriages, if we could be the ones with the greener marriages!

Here’s How to Water Your Marriage:

1.) Accept the fact that all marriages are flawed.

As Dr. Gary Chapman says, “Conflicts are not a sign that you have married the wrong person.  They simply affirm that you are human.”

2.) Make your husband second priority only to God.

Flip-flop your priorities so your marriage is not coming in dead last, and you will find grass that looks burned start to grow green again.

3.) Set aside a regular date night (even if you can’t leave your home, declare a special evening after the kids are in bed).

Spend some time just enjoying your husband.  Hold hands, steal kisses, talk, and listen.  Slow down and enjoy each other as you did during the dating days!

4.) Smile at your husband.

A genuine smile is simple but irresistible.

5.)  If your grass is looking brown in some spots, tend specifically to those spots with prayer.

Do not let it go dormant and die! If necessary, seek professional counseling to find ways to water the burned areas and help them grow again.

6.) Do not neglect your marriage and assume that it will grow all on its own.

Just as my brown grass is not going to turn green on its own, my marriage isn’t going to flourish on its own.  To stay healthy, your marriage needs your attention.  Discipline yourself to tend to it.

~excerpt from the book, Women Living Well:Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids & Your Home

Week 4: Reading Plan

Week 4

Week 4: Memory VerseMemoryVerse-04

This week’s Challenge:

We all have husbands with different needs.  Don’t miss the blessing of being a helper to your husband.    What are some areas you already help your husband in?  What are some areas where you could work to be a better source of support and encouragement?

Walk with the King,

Courtney, WomenLivingWell.org

 

Drink From the Living Well

 John Piper Quote

I stood at the YMCA vending machine digging through my change. I had just slipped my dollar into the machine and it spit it back out at me. Again I tried with the same result. So now I stood there digging through my change for quarters – crossing my fingers that I could come up with 5 of them. I really wanted that Diet Coke. So digging digging digging I went, until finally I came up with enough nickles, dimes and quarters to make $1.25! In they went, and out through the change holder they came. ARGH! I could feel the frustration growing inside of me.  “Are you kidding me?” This has to be a joke! In went the change, out it came in the return.  Oh dear! This is not even funny!

Finally, on my third try – {sweet victory} the Diet Coke bottle moved forward and down it dropped to my delight. Then I twisted the cap and EXPLOSION! From the long drop – the carbonation had been jostled and an embarrassing mess surrounded me!

Water – I know, I know – I should be drinking water right?  But for some reason, I am continually drawn to Diet Coke.  Water has been proven to improve energy, performance, remove toxins, keep our skin healthy, aid in digestion and in losing weight.

Soda has the opposite effect – it dehydrates and does other harmful things to my body. And though I’ve heard all these facts many times – I just keep on drinking my Diet Cokes! So what’s my problem?

The simple answer is – I like it! But I know water is better for my well being.

Jesus compared his word to water – here’s what he had to say in John 4:13-14, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus calls us to drink from His living water – we know all the benefits and how he can change our lives and yet we STILL continue to fill up on other earthly stuff to fill our void and Jesus says – as long as you fill up on this temporary stuff – you will continue to thirst.

You see, without Christ we will always long for more – more food, more clothes, more friends, more fun experiences, more vacations – more, more, more. But Christ says – come to me, I will fill you up and you will never thirst!

The Bible is revolutionary, life-changing, extraordinary, eye opening, jaw-dropping, and downright amazing.  It is filled with romance, tragedy, heroes, good and evil.  There is suspense, drama, wisdom, and comfort.  As you read, you will weep and you will jump for joy.  Yet we women are too often drawn away by novels, self-help books, cookbooks, magazines, and social media.  These are a poor substitute for the Bible and a relationship with God.

There is no other place in this world where we can get a direct message from God, so why do we neglect reading Scripture?  Don’t we want to hear God’s voice?

The Word of God is full of living water.  We need to drink deeply from this living well so we can be women living well.

~excerpt from the book, Women Living Well

The Bible has been read out loud and recorded.  It takes a total of 70 hours and 40 minutes to listen to the entire Bible.  If you do the math and divide that number by 365 days you get 12 minutes a day.  12 minutes a day!  That’s it.  In just 12 minutes a day, we could read or listen to the entire Bible cover to cover -

every.
single.
year.

Doesn’t that seem doable?

It really is, yet we simply don’t make it a priority to drink God’s living water.

So the question is not Diet Coke or water? But will we reach for Jesus or stuff –to satisfy our souls?

Voices The Great I AM

Have you felt discouraged in your walk with God?

Have you felt like God is working too slow in your life?

Or like God doesn’t see you in your home?

Or  like you don’t even know where to start in your quiet time?

Or like you are in a season of dryness?

Many of you joined us this fall for the WLW Webcast featuring the Good Morning Girls – but some of you might have missed it.  Angela’s keynote wow’d me and the chat with Whitney and Jen on the couch was so inspirational.  I know we usually only post videos on Monday’s (and this one is a bit long), but just think of this as an added bonus for those who need extra encouragement ;)  Grab a couple loads of laundry to fold and enjoy this 45 minute webcast made just for you.

(if you cannot see this video – click here)

Walk with the King,

,WomenLivingWell.org

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