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Because He extends love and grace…

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“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

As a little girl, I remember learning the above verse and being told to put my name in where the word “love” is listed instead. For example:

“Angela is patient, Angela is kind. She does not envy, she does not boast, she is not proud…” Yeah, applying scripture like that and making it personal can well…make one a little uncomfortable. Am I all those things? Do I love like that? Sadly, the answer is “no.” I’m not always patient…especially when I’m running late and trying to get my 3 girls out the door in time. How about the “keeping no record of wrongs?” Yeah….just ask my husband…I struggle in that area too.

Sally and I end our book: You Are Loved with a challenge…now go and do likewise! Love others like God loves you.

“God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud…”

Now that we have a deeper understanding of how dearly loved we are by God, He challenges us to live lives that are stained with His love for others to see. God’s love should change us, transform us and make us stand out from the world. We are called to love differently. We love when it hurts. We choose to keep no record of wrongs even though our mind makes it hard to forget. We choose to be kind even though the person hasn’t been kind back. We choose to trust, have hope and persevere even when it’s hard and we’d rather throw in the towel and give up. We choose love instead.

God’s love is what colors our life differently. People see it in the way we smile at them. In how we choose to respond to criticism and how we trust God in all things. They see it in the hope that we have at the doctor’s office despite the report, or when we choose to hold our tongue even though we have a great comeback ready to launch at a moments notice. They see it in the patience we extend to our children, husband and friends even though we are feeling anything but patient at the time. We realize we are not perfect, we have our flaws, our short comings…yet despite all of that, God still chooses to love us.

We extend love and grace because love and grace have been extended to us.

“How you live your life today in choosing to love others will determine the way your children, non-Christians, your family, and friends learn what God’s love is like. To leave a legacy of love is to leave a fragrance of His love wherever you go.”- Sally Clarkson

Sweet friends, may the beautiful fragrance of your love fill your homes, hearts and lives today! Who do you need to reach out to with the love of God?

“…the more I humble myself to love others no matter what, the more my love and worship of God has grown because I realize how much it cost Him to be humble and give to a totally rebellious and ungrateful world. Practicing love increases your love for God.”- Sally Clarkson

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Sweet friends, thank YOU so much for joining us this summer as we read You Are Loved! I pray God spoke directly to your heart as you read the book and assigned daily verses. May His love transform you from the inside out! You are truly LOVED!

Love God Greatly!
-Angela

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GMG Mentoring Applications Now Open!

At Good Morning Girls, we do our best to provide support to our leaders. Leading is often different than anticipated, and the struggles leaders face are unique. Our Leadership Mentoring program grew out of a desire to equip our leaders to handle the unique challenges of leading a Bible Study group through various forms of social media.

The Leadership Mentoring program takes new or current leaders and places them into short term groups with an experienced leader. These groups become a forum to study the Bible together, learn from the experiences of others, and discuss various circumstances that might arise while leading. We desire to see leaders who are committed to leading groups for the long term!

If you have been considering leading a group through Good Morning Girls, you may be interested in Leadership Mentoring. If you are a current leader but are needing encouragement and ideas, you may find that Leadership Mentoring helps you re-focus.

The dates for the next mentoring session are: July 27th – Applications Close August 1st – Groups open and discussion begins August 4th to August 15th – Leadership Bible Study

To apply, please click on this link

For more information on Leadership Mentoring, please read this post from May. Please note the links and dates in that post do not apply to the current Leadership Mentoring session.

 

Be blessed, and be a blessing!

Amanda, GMG Mentoring Director

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{Week 8} Loving As a Way of Life! The fathers love always pursues

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“So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

-Jesus (Luke 15:20)

I am so happy to be able to share my son, Nathan, with you today, since the last story in the last chapter was about him. Nathan has grown so much in his compassion for those who are lost, separated from the love of God, that he wrote a script, produced a movie and now has a message of the love of our heavenly Father that I know will reach many all over the world.

As we come to the end of our study, You Are Loved, I know that each of us has been confronted, once again, with the amazing, powerful, faithful love of God. God’s whole story is a picture of a Father providing, loving, comforting, helping, and redeeming His precious children. And then to think, He is preparing a new heaven and earth that will be even more beautiful and wants us to celebrate our homecoming with a wedding feast as the end of time. If we allow our hearts to be touched by His amazing love, it will leave us changed.

But each of us has a choice to make.

Will we come to Him and allow His love to humble us, stretch us so that we can take His love back into our worlds for others who need to know Him? Or, will we hide in our insecurity, our excuses, the places where we are uncomfortable. The world will give you permission to compromise the love that Jesus teaches. However, if you choose to follow God in seeking to love others actively, even if it is just taking baby steps, His love will grow and swell in your heart and your walk with Him will be more wonderful each season of life.

Nathan’s living story modeled so much to me. He did not run away from the people God placed in his life. He chased after God, and then shared His God with those in His life who needed to know Him and had never clearly heard about His love.

As we all well know, any relationship in our lives, over time, will experience stress because it involves 2 sinful, limited people—me, the first sinner and fallible person, and whoever else is my friend, child or spouse–or in relationship with me! Consequently, every relationship will be tested. Am I going to demand that my friend be perfect, even if I cannot be perfect? Or am I going to allow God’s precious love to wash my heart clean and allow me to be a model of Him to everyone I meet.

Love is messy at times, and we cannot always control the behavior of others. But we can choose to love, forgive, pray for those with whom we have experienced. And we can release our mysterious relationships into God’s hands and ask Him to work. He is faithful to work and will bring grace, wisdom, healing and understanding in His time. And no matter what, when we choose love and prayer and forgiveness in our own hearts, we find healing and peace-even if though we cannot control the reactions and choices of others.

As Nathan shared in the video, God has been expanding his own desire to reach out to others by producing a new movie called “Confessions of a Prodigal Son,” which showcases the profound love of God through a very personal story. God is always the shepherd going after the one sheep who is lost while the other 99 are in the fold. He wants to love through us, reach out through us, extend His healing and amazing love through our lives.

All of us fail, but God is merciful and always looking for us to return to Him. He celebrates our return as we are so dear to His heart. As we come to an end of this study, how will you choose to respond to what you have learned? Will you walk in the light of His deep love for you and accept His love for you? Will you grow in the knowledge of His grace and learn to give His love to others?

As I wrote in my last chapter:

Love is a muscle that grows with use. The more we practice humbling ourselves and giving love out of obedience to God, the more loving we shall be.”

Each of you has been in Angela’s and my prayers throughout this study. We hope each of you will walk in the freshness and generosity of God’s amazing love—knowing that He forgives every part of your past, that He loves you in spite of your flaws, that He is for you every day and ready to bless and that He wants to use you to spread this love to others. May you ever be blessed as you live into these truths.

Sweet Lord, I thank you for each person who has been bathing themselves in the amazing truth of your love through this study. Help each one to know how very special they are to you, as you crafted them from your own hands—they belong to you! Let them know that you see them every day, that you are like the Father in the prodigal son story, always looking for us to return to your open arms. Help us to have wisdom in knowing how to live, through our lifetimes, growing in the knowledge of how to live a life of loving wisely, generously and trusting you through each relationship, each season of life. You are the Lord who redeems and restores. We give ourselves wholeheartedly into your hands and we come to you in the precious name of Jesus.

Confessions of a Prodigal Son:
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Nathan Clarkson:
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Thank you so much for joining me these last 8 weeks! It has been such a joy to go through You Are Loved with you this summer!

sally

 

 

 

 

 

{Week 8} Reading Plan
Week-8

 

 

{Week 8} Memory Verse
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{Week 8} Challenge
Challenge 8

 

Previous Posts:
My Year Long Surprise
#YouAreLoved Book Release Day & {Giveaway}
Making of Disciples of ALL Nations
The Launching of a Dream
Because Sometimes You Need Reminded that You are Loved…

Special Video From Angela & Sally
#You Are Loved- Available for FREE in 7 translations!

Week 1- He Calls Us Belovedyou-are-loved-spine copy
Monday- Let’s Get Started
Wednesday- You Are Not Alone
Friday-We Are Loved!

Week 2- Knowing God
Monday- Chapter 2: Knowing God
Wednesday- He Gives Us a Heart to Know Him
Friday-Knowing God: When Doubt Comes…

Week 3-The Rival
Monday- Chapter 3: The Rival
Tuesday- A Personal Message From the You Are Loved Contributors
Wednesday-No Condemnation…
Friday- The Great Deceiver

Week 4- God Loves You
Monday- Chapter 4: God Loves You
Wednesday- Modeling God’s Love for Ourselves Changes Lives…
Friday- The Good About Not Having It All Together…

Week 5- You Can Trust Him
Monday-Chapter 5: You Can Trust Him
Wednesday- Strength and Beauty Come from Learning to Trust God
Friday- Our Faithful God

Week 6- You’re Invited
Monday- Chapter 6: You’re Invited
Wednesday- Living Strong- It all starts with your view of God
Friday- Kingdom Work

Week 7- Loving is our Kingdom work
Monday- Own Your Authority! Live into a great story!
Wednesday- We Are Known By How We Love…
Friday- Five Minutes to Make a Difference…

Want to join our study? You still can! Purchase a book and jump on in! You can go at your own pace! You can purchase You Are Loved on Amazon here.

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Five minutes to make a difference…

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There was mud stuck to my face. Lots of it. An attractive mixture of sweat and dirt that had somehow – smeared like war paint - found it’s way to my forehead while I was weeding my grossly neglected flower beds in ninety degree heat.

Let’s be honest, these are the days that I hope no one stops by unannounced. Heh.

There were still yard tools to clean up and hungry children to feed and I may have just spotted last night’s dishes piled high in the sink, for crying out loud.

Neighbors walked by, and I pretended not to notice while I finished up my work. There’s only so much daylight left, I justify, and responsible mamas must get on with it and feed their children sooner than later. And just like that, I let another conversation, another smile, another chance to encourage walk right past my house before my very eyes. Five minutes to make a difference, just lost.

And then the fire happened, and in less than five minutes, everything changed.

We sat straight up in bed after we heard it – the sound so stunning that even in our sleepy states, we knew it was out-of-character significant.  A violent storm was wrecking havoc in our quiet neighborhood, and the loud crack of lightning shook us to our cores. We peeked in on our kids, confirmed that all was well in each room, then with a sigh of relief stumbled back into bed, dozing off as we prayed for the storm to pass. It wasn’t until the next morning that we would learn of the devastation. Just a few houses down, our neighbors had lost everything.

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We had always been a friendly neighborhood, to be sure. It wasn’t uncommon to hear children giggling or see owners taking their dogs on evening walks. But people more often than not seemed in a hurry to get to the next thing: meaningful conversations were replaced with quick hellos and I need to be on my way. Sweaty, dirty faces looked away, waiting for a day that was more convenient; more – I don’t know – presentable. Like five minutes and a little pride was too much to spare.

But after the fire, a beautiful thing happened. After all, it’s often through hardship that love shines through and beautiful stories of unity are written.

Neighbors gathered in the street, offering their homes, shoes, and whatever cash was in their pockets. People stopped and engaged with acquaintances to brainstorm ways they could help. Donations were collected. Notes of encouragement were written. Dog walkers stopped to visit, and busy businessmen walked across the street to shake hands and introduce themselves by name. Emotions were openly shared; humanness was exposed. And dirty faces never looked more beautiful as generous hands helped sort through the rubble.

Handfuls of five minute encounters were everywhere, impacting lives in astounding ways.

One of the most meaningful of these encounters I witnessed was a neighbor carefully tending to the outdoor hanging plants that had been singed in the fire. Most would have taken one look at those flowers and deemed them beyond repair. Too damaged by the extreme heat; too insignificant to spend any time bothering to rescue. But this sweet woman saw value in something that her grieving friends held dear to them: one of the only things that retained any resemblance of the beautiful home they had worked so hard to build. So she lovingly watered those baskets day after day, believing that with enough tender loving care, they would bounce back and do more than just survive against all odds. She believed they would thrive and bloom into something beautiful once again.

With tears in my eyes, I realized that how this woman dealt with those damaged flowers is how God loves us, and in turn how we should love others. We might appear so broken, damaged, often labeled too insignificant and beyond repair by the world, but God sees our value. He came down to meet us where we are, and offers grace and hope and life back into our suffocating, dying souls. And the Living Water that He lavishly pours out on us has the power to restore us to something even more beautiful than before.

Even as He is the one who pursues us, provides for us, encourages us, comforts us, speaks love over us, so we must understand that we are to pursue others in life-giving love. Because He is the source, the beginning and definition of generous, unconditional love, and He lives within us, we must be a picture of His initiating love to all who come into our lives. ~ Sally Clarkson {You Are Loved, pg. 108}

Oh sweet sisters, there are broken people all around us. The question is, are we willing to notice them, “cross the street,” and are we willing to see beauty in the broken? What if we committed to even just five minutes TODAY to show God’s love to someone and make a difference for the Kingdom?

“And this is his command:

to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,

and to love one another as he commanded us.”

~ 1 John 3:23

 

At His feet,

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We Are Known By How We Love…

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We are known by how we love.

Love is more than warm, fuzzy feelings; it is an attitude that shows itself through our actions. I know that because daily I work on teaching my three daughters to love each other…even when they don’t feel like it…or should I say, especially when they don’t feel like it. Loving others well doesn’t come natural to us. It’s hard because by nature we are sinful and want life to happen our way, on our terms.

But that’s not how Jesus commands us to live our lives. He commands us to love one another the same way He loves us…with a sacrificial love. A love that is willing to go the extra mile and pay a higher price. A love that even though it hurts, does it anyway. A love that is not just words, but words that are wrapped in actions.

Love is an obedient choice. When you choose to love others, that is the moment you are most like Jesus.
love heals relationships
love is a salve to wounds
love is the beginning of friendship
love initiates
love inspires others
love comforts                                 -Sally Clarkson

So how can we love others as Jesus loves us and participate in the kingdom work to which we are called? By loving others when its hard, when it costs us something, when it’s not convenient. By choosing to be loving even when we are wronged, misunderstood and rejected.

This love we are to be known by can not come from our broken, sin-stained hearts, but rather from the One who has the power to heal and cleanse broken, sinful hearts and make them beat again for His glory. The love must come from the One who fills our heart with it. That is what separates us from the rest of the world when we choose to love despite our feelings, and allow God to supernaturally work through us. This is the love that will testify to God’s working in our lives.

Believe me, I know that loving others well is hard. I struggle with it in my own life as friends and family members have hurt me through the years. I think learning to love others well develops with time, age and realizing our own need for God’s love and grace because of our sin. One nugget of truth I’m recently learning is that loving the way Jesus calls us to can only be done when we seek Him first for that love. Jesus is the source of the love that fills our hearts and overflows into our family and friend’s lives.

Loving well is our Kingdom work. Its a work that is so powerful because it turns what is invisible and makes it tangible. When we love the way Jesus commands us to, it changes us from the inside out and helps others see God through us.

We are the gospel message many will read. Our acts of kindness and thoughtfulness will open hearts to His love because others will imagine a God who is good because they have seen His goodness expressed toward them through our own lives.- Sally Clarkson

Who in your life loves the way Jesus commands us to do? How have you seen them love with the love only God can give?

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Good Morning Girls

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{Week 7} Own Your Authority! Live into a great story! Loving is our Kingdom work!

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In November of 2013, I had the privilege of visiting West Minster Abbey in London to attend a conference about the life of C.S. Lewis. How inspiring it was to understand that he was not just an incredible writer with transforming messages that inspired people all over the world. He was also one of the most generous, serving, humble, compassionate, loving men in his generation.

During World War II, he invited young children to live in His home, away from the bombings in London. He cared for the mother and daughter of a friend of his who died in World War I for many years. He gave away a great deal of the money he earned from writing and speaking. He shared Christ, loved friends dearly and lived as fully into Kingdom work as he possibly could.

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Each of us has a story to live and people who are sprinkled in our lives that we may influence and love in the name of Christ. But we must choose to share our faith, our earthly goods, our focused time and our love freely. I was a lonely freshman in college living on the tenth floor of a dormitory. To my friends, I looked normal, content. But inside, I was praying that if there was a God in the universe, He would send someone to me to tell me about Himself. Sure enough, a shy girl knocked on my dorm door, and because of her, I became a Christian and have served Christ in full time ministry for 40 years–because she loved Jesus enough to take a risk to tell me about him. Because of her, I have written 9 Christian books in 10 languages, spoken to thousands and thousands of people about Christ–and all because she knocked on my door, became my friend and told me of His great love. His love changes lives and everyone you know was made to know and experience this redeeming love–even if they do not “look the type” as my friend told me one day—you just didn’t look like someone who would be interested in Christianity!

Jesus will ask us how we whispered the wonderful message of His love to those He brought into our lives–to our neighbors, co-workers, to our children. I have spent many years seeking to help parents learn how to share God’s love, His character, His wisdom to the lives of their children so that they will continue to serve Him through out their whole adult lives.

You never know how that one act of obedience might invite someone into the kingdom of God who might become a great teacher, a strong leader who uses his or her Christianity to influence the whole world. What if one of your children is destined by God to become a leader in his generation for the Kingdom of God? The way you invest in the life of your children may be the most important kingdom work you ever accomplish. Perhaps you are single–there are so many single adults longing for a place to find community and love. (My single adult children find this all the time in their own lives and ministry.) Perhaps you have a sick relative–the way you share love at the hospital or in schools–will become a transforming message as you extend the love of God wherever you go.

I made a little video for you today to share with you about the amazing theme of this week’s chapter. Loving is our kingdom work!

Also,

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Come Join me for Summer Inspiration and a wonderful time of fellowship with moms all over the world.

I am soooo excited to be hosting a Live 10 Gifts e-conference Monday night and Tuesday night. I love seeing the names of women from all over the world pop up on my screen when we do the videos. Finally we have a way to encourage women all over the world without them having to attend our conferences live.

My passion for wanting to train parents and especially moms to raise a godly generation seems to grow with each day! This eternal work of shaping souls, inspiring a vision, shaping a strong moral character, is some of the most important Kingdom work any of us will ever do. Moms are the civilizers who have literally shaped history when they took the time and gave their heart to investing in their children to give them a living faith.

Join me as I give 4 one hour talks about how to plan, implement and train your children in 10 basic areas of wisdom to prepare them to be strong as they move from your home into adulthood. This conference will give vision to young moms just beginning to shape their plan for loving and training their children. I think it will also be a refresher course for moms still in the trenches of training and disciplining older children.

If you are not able to attend live, you can still register and you will receive the pdf outlines for the talks, a link to the video lectures as well as 10 beautiful downloadable posters you can print out for each of the 10 gifts!

Go HERE to Register:

Please spread the news to your friends on facebook and twitter tell them about our wonderful conference. We shall change history together as we seek God’s blessing, wisdom and favor for raising our children for His glory!

What a great week. God bless yours.

sally

 

 

 

 

{Week 7} Reading Plan

Week-7

 

{Week 7} Memory Verse

week-7-memory-verse

 

{Week 7} Challenge

Challenge 7

 

Previous Posts:
My Year Long Surprise
#YouAreLoved Book Release Day & {Giveaway}
Making of Disciples of ALL Nations
The Launching of a Dream
Because Sometimes You Need Reminded that You are Loved…

Special Video From Angela & Sally
#You Are Loved- Available for FREE in 7 translations!

Week 1- He Calls Us Belovedyou-are-loved-spine copy
Monday- Let’s Get Started
Wednesday- You Are Not Alone
Friday-We Are Loved!

Week 2- Knowing God
Monday- Chapter 2: Knowing God
Wednesday- He Gives Us a Heart to Know Him
Friday-Knowing God: When Doubt Comes…

Week 3-The Rival
Monday- Chapter 3: The Rival
Tuesday- A Personal Message From the You Are Loved Contributors
Wednesday-No Condemnation…
Friday- The Great Deceiver

Week 4- God Loves You
Monday- Chapter 4: God Loves You
Wednesday- Modeling God’s Love for Ourselves Changes Lives…
Friday- The Good About Not Having It All Together…

Week 5- You Can Trust Him
Monday-Chapter 5: You Can Trust Him
Wednesday- Strength and Beauty Come from Learning to Trust God
Friday- Our Faithful God

Week 6- You’re Invited
Monday- Chapter 6: You’re Invited
Wednesday- Living Strong- It all starts with your view of God
Friday- Kingdom Work

Want to join our study? You still can! Purchase a book and jump on in! You can go at your own pace! You can purchase You Are Loved on Amazon here.

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Kingdom Work

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There are a lot of things that Children are not strong enough to do. They even lack strength and stamina to sometimes do the jobs that, as parents, we find very easy. My youngest, for example, thinks that picking up legos is the hardest job in the word. He is not shy about telling me that it is too hard, or he is too tired, or his arms hurt too much for him to get the job done. But I know what he is capable of, I know that if he perseveres he can do it, and if the job is too big I will come alongside and help.

We often feel the same way with the mission God sends us on and the jobs he calls us to fulfill. THere may be many things in life which we feel ill equipped to handle and yet God calls us to obey and follow him anyway.

And yet he isn’t some harsh task master who delights in our weaknesses and cracks the whip on our backs if we fail or stumble. He is our loving God who has made us and knows exactly what we can and cannot handle. And when we are faced with difficulties and jobs we don’t think we can do our Creator is at our side making his grace known in our lives and working his power through our weakness.

So how can we  have this power working in our life, through our struggles?

It happens by faith.

1. Believe by faith

It is by faith that we must trust that God is good and knows what he is doing. It is through faith that we must tackle our jobs and believe that He will work through our, sometimes, feeble attempts of obedience. He doesn’t always give us easy circumstance but he only places those things in our lives which will bring us greater holiness and more dependance on him. It is by faith that we must believe that in God’s kingdom there are no insignificant people or jobs. Therefore, making dinner, doing laundry, running errand and training little ones are important.

2. Pray with faith

We must pray with faith. When we come to God with our struggles and afflictions, when we feel overwhelmed and inadequate than we must believe that God will act.

“Prayer is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady”
Matthew Henry Commentary on 2. Corinthians

When we pray we are admitting that we can’t do it on our own, When we tell him how we feel and when we ask him to work in us we must believe that he will use us for his glory!

3. Work by faith

When God gives us a job we must obey in faith. We may not understand it all, we may feel unprepared for the task ahead of us, but we must have a courageous heart and work with all our might for the glory of God. This may be raising children to the best of our abilities not knowing what impact they may on others in the future.

Faithfulness not only glorifies God but it also causes us to grow because we will see God at work in and through us.

How beautiful to read the story of the conversion of Angela’s mother because of the faithfulness of a little girl. That family has no idea the impact that saved soul would have on her own family and on the world.

We tend to think too little of the power of God. Yet, in his love, he offers to us the great power that can make us bold for Christ, strong under persecution and persevere through any task God gives to us. On our own we will be fearful and overwhelmed and maybe even quit altogether. Instead, let’s ask Christ to use his power in our lives  in ways that we can never imagined.

Looking To Jesus,
jen-sig

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Living Strong: It all starts with your view of God

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Michelangelo–God at creation

Starting with the right foundations

If there was one legacy I wish I could leave to other women, it would be to help them think more Biblically. When a woman knows scripture–the whole counsel of scripture, not just verses here and there taken out of context– gaining a Biblical understanding from Genesis to Revelation, then she has more confidence and ease in her walk with God. (It is also why I hope to give a good bit of my life in the next years to our leadership intensives, training conferences online, where women will learn a little of Biblical instruction, foundations, prayer, Bible study–to follow God in our lives as we serve and love Him. I love teaching women how to teach and live God in such a way in front of their children, that their children embrace a vibrant faith. More on that later this month.)

God makes it clear throughout scripture that his priority for us is to know Him and love Him with our whole heart and mind.

“Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, let not a rich man boast of his riches, let not a mighty man boast of his might, but let him who boasts, boast of this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the God who exercises lovingkindness and righteousness on the earth for I delight in these things.” Jeremiah 9: 23-24

And, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Psalm 127

And so the starting point for any arena in our lives must be God–our worship of Him and knowledge of Him and obedience–a heart that wants to please God.

So, let me begin by praying for all who read this today. “Lord, I pray that each one who reads these blog articles will be led by you. I pray you will provide them with insight, skill, love, wisdom and the understanding of what it means to be filled with your Spirit and to walk by faith in this journey of motherhood. And bless them with strength, joy and a sense of affirmation in their great calling as parents. I come to you in the precious name of Jesus. Amen”

A part of knowing and trusting God is to understand and embrace that He knows our circumstances, He sees us, He is able to redeem every single situation and can restore health to our weak, exhausted or damaged lives.

I love the verse for today, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. “

A part of us living joyfully with God in the midst of our circumstances is embracing this truth–He has “plans for our welfare”–He has our best in mind. “not for calamity–but to give you a future and a hope.”

Right now, where all of us are–there is hope for a better future if we allow Him to guide our lives.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Often we are tempted to say:

It is too late. I have already messed up my children.” “I am scarred by the decisions I have made.” “I can’t even imagine how God can redeem my life right now, or my circumstances.”

When I gave my life to the Lord, almost immediately and for the next 12 years, my life became very hard–illness in my family, a divorce in my family, problems in my personal life, problems in the ministry, loneliness as a single woman, difficulties with work, finances–2 car wrecks, a church split, immoral leaders in our church, and on and on. Throughout some of this time, I thought, “God, do you care about me? I can’t believe that I have loved you so much and you have allowed all of this to happen.”

Yet, now, I look back and see that, because God was a great parent to me. He did not pay attention to my immature toddler whining, because He had my best in mind. He wanted me to grow stronger, more compassionate, more full of faith, more loving and patient. His allowing the difficult circumstances in my life helped to take away all of the false hopes I was depending on to be happy. His way of leading me led me to freedom and maturity and in the end more contentedness.

God is the God of second chances and His whole nature is to love and redeem. So, know that He is in your home, He sees you, hears your cry and may just be working great things–even if you can’t see or understand how. He favors those who seek Him and obey Him and He is a God of compassion and will work in and through your life.

(Even as a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103: 13)

Once my little girl was having a grand time eating a huge bag of potato chips she had found in our cupboard. When I had to take the chips away from her so that she would not get a stomach ache, she fell down on the floor and sobbed as though I had been mean to her! But, as her mother, I knew what was best. I ignored her crying and took her in my arms and held her and sang to her in a rocking chair until she settled down.

But a part of our submitting to God and experiencing His love and care is in releasing our expectations of life into His hands and trusting Him even when we cannot easily feel or see Him.

It all starts with your view of God–if you choose to believe that He is loving, you will face your circumstances with courage, patience, faith. But if you just want Him to do your will your way–you may find life disappointing. He is all wise and knows just how to turn every part of our life puzzle into good, or wisdom or redemption–if we trust all of the details of our lives into His hands–and trust what His word teaches us.

Ultimately, so much of what I lived and what I know to be true, I learned by reading scripture, pondering it, studying it, seeking to really know God and walking with Him. Pondering Christ, who is the perfect reflection of God, according to Hebrews 1.

Women will go the way of their church culture, media culture, family culture, peer culture–they will follow whoever is leading, unless they have developed their own convictions. We will listen to other voices if we have not learned to discern the voice of God.

The problem with this kind of approach is that it leads to whims, to whatever way the cultural wind is blowing.

And so, God, our heavenly Father, wants us to climb into His arms, to surrender all of ourselves into His capable hands. I love this verse that speaks so generously of how tender God’s love is for us: “”As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13

God even compares himself to a mother who holds, cherishes and comforts His child.

Today, remember that His plans for you are for your welfare. He loves you and is bigger than any difficulty you face. He understands all of your ways, and He longs to give you hope and blessing.

Join me in the 10 Gifts e-conference next week as I speak of passing on faith and godliness in practical ways to your children–and how to live faithfully each day in your home!

Congratulations to our 10 winners of next week’s 10 Gifts E-Conference!!! If you didn’t win, I am having another giveaway on my personal site, ITakeJoy. You can enter the giveaway here.

Each of the 10 winners have been personally emailed last night to notify them of their winning.

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sally

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You Are Loved- Week 6: You’re Invited {+ a GIVEAWAY!}

Week 6 Good Morning Girls Blog Header

This past weekend I spent some time with my husband’s family in Ohio celebrating our daughter, Addie’s birthday, as well as the 4th of July…nothing in the world like being with family!

Good Morning Girls.org

As I sit here on the plane heading back to Dallas, I can’t help but think over the conversations I shared with loved ones these past few days. For instance, my husband’s great Aunt Mary. She is a woman who has allowed God to flow through her as she has lived to serve those God has placed in her life. Though she and her husband, Uncle Andy, never had children of their own, she has been a second mother to her nieces and nephews. I always love seeing Aunt Mary because she is such a joy to be around. I know her life isn’t easy, that she misses her late husband, Andy, and now there are days when her body just doesn’t seem to move as fast as her mind. But I can tell you from the testimonies of her family, whom she has selflessly served all these years, she has made a great impact in their lives.

Good Morning Girls.org

I love it that her sense of humor has lasted all these years…this weekend she was talking about Andy and how they never really argued much in their marriage, but every now and then Andy would complain about something she had done. She told me that she would reply as sweetly as she could, “Now Andy, you don’t want me to be perfect, dear. You know that Jesus comes and takes me home once I am!” Though her theology might be a little stretch….her humor made me laugh.

Aunt Mary is such a wise, soft spoken woman and I always look forward to hearing stories of her past, growing up in rural Kentucky and silently pray as I listen to her, “Please Lord, let me love life like Aunt Mary does when I’m in my 80’s.”

Because of the impact I know she has made in her family and those in her church and community, I was surprised to hear for the first time ever that she was doubting if her life has made any real impact. I think that is a fear a lot of us battle. If we aren’t doing the really “Big”things for Jesus, like traveling overseas to help orphans, adopting disadvantaged children, administering to the sick and feeding the hungry….does our sacrifices for the Lord really count?

Many Christians these days feel they have to do huge thing for God in order to make a real impact on our world. I beg to differ; God can use you mightily for His kingdom right where you are, with the people He has already placed in your life.- Angela Perritt, You Are Loved

I hope the story I share in this week’s video and in chapter 6 answer that question for you. I firmly believe God is doing, and has done a mighty work in many of your lives, and you are simply not aware of it just yet. Many times I believe you won’t know the impact you have made for the Kingdom of God until you get to heaven. We are told in 2nd Corinthians 5:7 that:

We live by faith, not by sight.

My prayer for this week is that God will encourage you through the stories we share in the video and in the book to know that we are all called to make a impact for Christ out of the love He has shown us. Some of us are blessed to see the impact Christ is making through our lives, and some of us will receive that blessing when we see Jesus face to face. But whether we see the blessing now, or if it is waiting for us in heaven, the fact that God has chosen to use you mightily in other peoples lives to positively impact His Kingdom for eternity doesn’t change.

You Are Loved: Chapter 6 Video….with my MOM!!! Eeek! You don’t want to miss this one!!!

(Can’t see this week’s video? Click here!)

Week 6 Reading Plan

Week 6 You Are Loved Reading Plan by Good Morning Girls

 

Week 6 Memory Verse

Week 6 Memory Verse for You Are Loved by Good Morning Girls

 

Week 6 Challenge

Challenge 6

 

 Giveaway Info from our sweet Sally!

Sweet Friends,
I have had so many messages and emails from you about the 10 Gifts of Wisdom conference coming up. Because of your participation with Angela and me in our You Are Loved Book study and all of your wonderful comments, I would like to give away 10 Free Registrations to the e-conference. Just leave your entries in the Rafflecopter below and in the comment section, and I will announce the winners on Wednesday.
E-conference will be held on July 14-15 from 7 pm-9pm
Note: If you register for the conference and win a free ticket, you will be reimbursed. Registration for the conference is limited.
Training in Wisdom gives us and our children the ability to walk every day with insight into God’s word and understanding of how to build a godly character every day of our lives.
Looking so forward to this conference next week. Thanks for your encouragement!

sally

 

 

 

 

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Previous Posts:
My Year Long Surprise
#YouAreLoved Book Release Day & {Giveaway}
Making of Disciples of ALL Nations
The Launching of a Dream
Because Sometimes You Need Reminded that You are Loved…

Special Video From Angela & Sally
#You Are Loved- Available for FREE in 7 translations!

Week 1- He Calls Us Belovedyou-are-loved-spine copy
Monday- Let’s Get Started
Wednesday- You Are Not Alone
Friday-We Are Loved!

Week 2- Knowing God
Monday- Chapter 2: Knowing God
Wednesday- He Gives Us a Heart to Know Him
Friday-Knowing God: When Doubt Comes…

Week 3-The Rival
Monday- Chapter 3: The Rival
Tuesday- A Personal Message From the You Are Loved Contributors
Wednesday-No Condemnation…
Friday- The Great Deceiver

Week 4- God Loves You
Monday- Chapter 4: God Loves You
Wednesday- Modeling God’s Love for Ourselves Changes Lives…
Friday- The Good About Not Having It All Together…

Week 5- You Can Trust Him
Monday-Chapter 5: You Can Trust Him
Wednesday- Strength and Beauty Come from Learning to Trust God
Friday- Our Faithful God

Want to join our study? You still can! Purchase a book and jump on in! You can go at your own pace! You can purchase You Are Loved on Amazon here.

Let’s Talk:
Answer this question below to be entered in this week’s giveaway: In what ways can you be obedient to God right now in the mundane tasks of your life?

Love God Greatly!

 Angela- Good Morning Girls

 

 

 

 

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Our Faithful God

Faithfulness
Trust is something that all humans struggle with. There is very little that everyone can really count on. We are confident that the sun will rise and set each day. All of humanity is confident that death will someday find them, and pretty much everyone trusts that they will face adversity in some form or another. But there really isn’t much in life that we can place our complete confidence in, and I think this why we often have trouble believing that God can love us with an unconditional and unwavering love.

One of the reason we cannot depend wholly on ourselves or others is because we and they are always changing. We are not constant, but God never changes (Mal 3:6), and this is why we can rest in him and in his faithfulness to us.

Understanding the faithfulness of God is critical to our confidence in him and hope for the future. Here are 4 things we must know well that will help us see the faithfulness of God.

We must know that God never changes in:

1. His purposes

While we cannot know all of God’s purposes we can know a few of them because he has revealed them to us in scripture. His main purpose is to glorify himself. This means that all things will be used for this end. With that he also causes all things to work together for the good of those who love him, as well as their sanctification. changed into the image of God. (Jn 17:17; Rom 8)

2. His Character

Don’t be afraid to do a study on all the different aspects of God’s character. You will be in awe of how great our God is and you will be greatly blessed and encouraged. You will see that because he is faithful he cannot go against his character. The old catechism says that God is unchanging in his “being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.” (WSC Q. 4, and see Ps. 102:25-27; Mal. 3:6; James 1:27)

For I the LORD do not change;
Mal. 3:6

3. His Promises

His faithfulness requires that he accept us through the blood of Jesus because he has spent his wrath against our sin on his Son. Therefore he has promised to save all of those who repent and call on the name of Christ (Rom. 3:26). His faithfulness causes him to sustain you when you are burdened and to strengthen you when you are weak. He has also promised to return and make all things right and because of his faithfulness he will come back to rescue us all.

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.
Heb 6:18

4. His Love

His love is constant, relentless, and eternal. And we see it best at the cross. This is where the love of Christ shines brightest. Here he was willing to lay down his holy, innocent life for rebellious, sinful, forgetful and unloving creatures like us. At the cross we see the Judge step down from his bench and become the one judged in our stead.

He is not like a wave that is always moving. He is our rock–our fortress that cannot be shaken, moved or changed. Because he cannot change we can place complete trust in the love he has for his people.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Psalm 36:5

Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. Jn 13:1b

Perhaps you are having a hard time trusting God right now. In the midst of life that is constantly changing. In the middle of a season where crises are constant and you aren’t sure what going to happen next, you must go to God’s word and learn over and over again that he is trustworthy because he us good and never changes. You can rest in that.

Looking To Jesus,
jen-sig

 

 

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