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Last Video Interview with Jennie Allen…It’s the BEST one YET!

Obedience Echos

(Photo taken by my friend: Julie at Photo Jewels Photography)

Nothing like saving the best for last! I think our 4th video interview with author, Jennie Allen, is by far my favorite. I can’t wait for you to watch it! Because today’s video is a little longer, and because I REALLY want you to watch it, I’m keeping today’s blog post short.

Interview with Jennie Allen #4
Question: Does our “Anything” have to be something big?

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

“So do your everyday and your ordinary. Godliness is found and formed in those places. No man or women greatly used by God has escaped them. Great men and women of God have transformed the mundane, turning neighborhoods into mission fields, parenting into launching the next generation of God’s voices, legal work into loving those most hurting, waiting tables into serving and loving in such a way that people see our God.”- Jennie Allen, page 165

See that’s the thing about our “Anything” prayers…the size of the “Anything” doesn’t matter. It’s the heart of worship, the heart of obedience, the heart of love behind the prayer that truly matters.

Of the 4 video interviews, which one is your favorite and why?
Interview 1
Interview 2
Interview 3
Interview 4

 

Love God Greatly!

angela

Video Interview 1 With Jennie Allen & GMG Contributors

june 24 (1)

I know you’ve been waiting for this…our video interview with Jennie Allen!

You all, we had so much fun talking and answering your questions with Jennie that we talked for almost an HOUR! Ha! So instead of making you watch the whole interview in one setting…..come on, I know you’re busy during the day just like me, I’m dividing the interview up and sharing the questions one at a time for the remainder of the study! I can’t wait for you to watch it! :)

PLUS we had Jen join us too!!! The whole GMG gang was able to Skype in and answer some of your questions! Woot! We had a blast doing it…I’m sure you can tell!

Question: How do you balance being sold out for Jesus and keeping Him your number one priority yet embrace your need and desire for security?

 

Join in on our discussion! How would you answer this question?

 

Love God Greatly!

angela

 

 

 

PS: We have a giveaway going on right now for 2 conference tickets to our Women Living Well conference this coming August! Enter to win and bring a friend! Click here to enter!

Prodigal Sons, Prideful Hearts and Hollow Trees

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Last week some high winds raced through my backyard and in their gushing and twisting and turning…..a large tree limb broke off and fell to the ground.

It’s amazing what’s discovered when storms race through our backyards and sometimes even our lives.

On the outside, the tree looked beautiful, strong and solid.

Yet through the pressure of the winds pushing the tree limb in one direction and then another…..it finally was too much. After years of “holding it all together”….the limb broke off and crashed to the ground.

I heard the noise from my kitchen as I was cleaning up from dinner. I rushed to the window to see what could cause such a disturbance. The sound was so loud I thought it was a car crash of some kind. To my surprise, I saw the large tree limb lying on the ground in my backyard.

Upon investigation of the limb, my husband and I noticed the inside of the tree branch was hollow. A disease had been eating away on the inside of this tree for years, unnoticed by those of us on the outside.

Today we had men come and cut the rest of our large, old, beautiful tree down. After having it evaluated by a tree specialist, it was recommended to have the tree removed for fear of further damage it could cause when another storm hits…..because there is always another storm coming.

As I thought about this tree, how beautiful it looked on the outside, yet on the inside was wasting away, my thoughts turned to the Pharisees we’ve been reading about in Luke these last few weeks. On the outside they looked perfect. They obeyed all the rules. Dotted every “I” and crossed every “T”……yet through their actions what was going on in the inside of their hearts was revealed. Their pride, self-righteousness and own sins were eating away at their hearts…..making them hollow.

In the next few days we will be reading one of my favorite parables…..The Prodigal Son. Normally I always focus my attention on the main characters of the story…..that of the father and his wayward younger son. Yet this time, I want to challenge you to focus your attention on the oldest son and his response to his father.

The oldest son in this parable is very much like the Pharisees we’ve been reading about. He was the “good” one. He stayed home. He worked the fields. He obeyed. Yet we see at the end of the story……..his motives weren’t pure. He did all these “good works” not because of his love for his father, but rather because of what he could get from his father. In many ways, this older brother was very much like his younger brother. He too wanted the father’s “things” rather than the father.

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My sweet friends, as we live and lead like Jesus……let’s make sure we obey his commands out of our love for our Lord, rather than out of what we can get from him by “being good.”

False motives will in time be made visible, like hollow limbs falling from a tree.

Let’s push back against the pride and self-righteousness that can poison our hearts and make them hollow.

Our Lord is a loving father to both prodigal sons and prideful sons. He desires a relationship with both…..so much so he was willing to eat with them and die for them. He was willing to give his life to save them…to save us…to save me.

 

 

Love God Greatly!

angela

 

 

 

Look at what else we found inside the tree…:)

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PS: Don’t forget about our upcoming summer Bible study starting June 3rd! Click here to find out more details! Invite some friends and join us!

Luke 15- Jesus still searches for lost “sheep” {Plus GMG Mentor Leaders Program}

week 7

 

(Click here if you can not see the video)

I LOVE that Jesus is in the search and rescue business.

I love that He came to seek and to save the lost. He came for me, and He came for you. In the first 7 verses of Luke 15, we see Jesus doing many things. We see how He values relationships and time spent around the table talking and sharing a meal together. Jesus invested His life in those who held His same values as well as those who did not. Jesus never sinned, yet sinners and tax collectors felt comfortable enough to gather around Him to hear Him speak. Those two points challenge me to live like Jesus did. As I go about my days……am I on my true mission in life?

Am I, like Jesus, seeking the lost?

Am I spending time with those who do not hold my same values and beliefs?

It’s so easy to protect ourselves, to shelter ourselves……but it’s not healthy for us. For when I remove myself from the world to much…..my desire to make a difference in this world and reach the lost dies. Modeling our lives like Jesus, we need to “break bread” with those who are lost. We need to spend time investing our lives into their lives. When we do, God enlarges our hearts and plants seeds of love for them that in time grows and grows.

You see, every person we would consider a “sinner” is really someone’s child. As a mother, it breaks my heart to think of a child being lost in this world. As Christians, we are called to be a light in this dark world and use our lives to point others to Jesus.

In today’s parable found in Luke 15:3-7, we see Jesus searching for the sheep, finding the sheep, carrying the sheep and rejoicing in it’s return! Wow, what a loving God we serve. Like Jesus, let’s live our lives reaching out to the lost by looking for opportunities to show them God’s love.

Questions for today:

  • How has God used someone in your life to bring you back to Him? Share your story! We’d love to hear it!
  • Before reading today’s parable of the Lost Sheep, how did you view God’s response when you repented?
  • Now after learning that God REJOICES and celebrates with the angles when we repent and turn back to Him, does the knowledge of that truth change your view of the importance of repenting? How?

Week 7 Challenge: We are on the same mission Jesus is on……we are to seek the lost. How in your life are you seeking those who are lost around you? This week focus on praying over one person in your life who is not saved, every single day. Be intentional with her. Reach out to her. Invite her to dinner or on a playdate with the kids. Help her, serve her, be Jesus’s hands and feet to her. Look for ways to show her love and spend time with her if you can. Don’t make this a week long challenge, but a challenge for a lifetime. Don’t just stop after this week……continue to reach out and seek the lost with Jesus.

Week 7 Reading Plan:
week 7

Week 7 Memory Verse:
7_Luke_15_10GMG Mentor Leaders

The GMG Leadership Mentoring Program is about to start again! The program is for new or current leaders who wish to enrich their leadership skills, as well as deepen their understanding of their value as women of God.

Participants in the program will participate in a small group and complete a two week Bible Study, led by their Mentor. The study dates are May 20th to May 31st.

Due to the nature of this study and group size, we are only able to accept a limited number of participants. We do our best to create a spot for everyone, but that is not always possible.

To apply to join this study, please click on the link below and fill out the form.

Applications will close on May 14th.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JbjSWU708Zz5gTwhvSUtKiHuW_-Ybh01FFP0i3R7Z84/viewform

If you have any questions concerning the GMG Mentor Leaders program, please feel free to ask in our comment section.

Love God Greatly!

angela

{Luke 12} My Non “Perfect” Life

The Pressure to Pretend blog

(Picture of my girls BEFORE the “take the baby and run” incident! I promise they don’t normally ALL dress the same….I found these dresses at Costco and well…they love the color purple. I know one day they won’t all want to wear the same dress so I’m enjoying it while I still can.)

Part of living and leading like Jesus is living an authentic life. My husband knows I’m not a “perfect” wife. My children know I’m not a “perfect” mom and if you were in the restaurant this past Sunday, you too would have known my life isn’t “perfect.” But you know what, the more I get to know Jesus, the more I’m done with “perfect.”  There is only one who is perfect and it’s not me.

Yes, if you were in that certain restaurant this past Sunday, please allow me to apologize. My youngest was “that child” and yes, I was “that mom” who was running, yes running out of the restaurant with a screaming child. A child who was a little too tired after church to sit through a Sunday afternoon lunch with our whole family. I knew the risk, yet I still choose to see if we could do it……and failed miserably. Sunday after church luncheons with one and a half year olds just don’t go that well these days. I knew better. And so after the 10th time of trying to get her mac-n-cheese into her little mouth, all by herself own mind you, and failing yet again……she had finally had it and let the WHOLE restaurant know! I grabbed her and ran for the nearest exit, catching some of the glaring faces as I sped past. I tried to smile and mouth, “so sorry” as I hurried to the doors…doors that seemed MILES away.

Once outside I tried soothing her, walking with her and distracting her…..but nothing was working. Finally in desperation I prayed, “Lord please let the car be unlocked because I have no where else to go.” (Remember, I had ran out of the restaurant not thinking I should have picked up my purse…..it’s called survival mode) In God’s goodness, the car was indeed unlocked (I’m normally very good at locking my car) and she and I were able to have a good cry once we were safely buckled in…..yes, I don’t know why I put my seat belt on too, partly out of habit and partly because I needed to be held together in the seat also. 

I sat in the car crying and thinking of YOU! Yes, you. I thought, “Ohh if they could only see me now.” They would all KNOW that I’m not perfect and then it hit me. Maybe some of you need to read these types of stories too. Maybe you have struggled in your life, in your parenting, with your families trying to measure up to something that was never intended for you to measure up to. If I’m speaking to you, please know this…..we all lead sin stained lives. We all have days where we feel like failures. We are ALL in need of God’s generous grace. You are not alone.

In Luke 12 we see Jesus giving a warning to His disciples even though thousands of people had gathered to listen to Him speak….gathering to the point they were trampling on top of one another, (vs 1) Jesus first addressed the disciples, and warned them about being on their guard again hypocrisy. Don’t be tempted to “pretend.” Don’t pretend to live one way like the Pharisees do out in public for everyone to see and yet live a different life in private.

 “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”- Luke 12:2

Let’s be the same person in public as we are in private.

Our families are watching.

Our friends are watching.

And yes, even strangers in restaurants as you run for the exits are watching.

I’ll be honest with you, I struggle with the desire to please. I am happy when I can make someone else happy. And though that doesn’t seem like a bad thing on the surface, it can cause a lot of pressure, turmoil and stress on the inside.

I don’t like running out of restaurants with a screaming child.

I don’t like feeling like a failure.

But then I read further in Luke 12 to verse 5:

“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Jesus lovingly reminds the crowd….and me, that I am not to fear what others think of me. He releases me from the pressure to pretend.

I’m not to fear anyone except God…..the one who created me. The One who LOVES me. The One who knows all my flaws, short comings and sins….yet hung on the cross for me anyway. Yes, fear Him because He is the ONLY one who has power over my life. Fear Him, meaning…..realize He is holy. Fear Him in a good way, an honoring way…not in an “I’m scared of God because He is mean” kind of way, but because God is good. God is love. And because He loves you and knows you….even down to the number of hairs you have on your head.

Be you…flaws, failures and all … run to Jesus like a mama running out of a restaurant with a crying child….run to him with all your hurts, pain, disappointments and heartbreak. He loves you.


God Working Through Our Lives Blog

Do you struggle with feeling like you have to have it “all together”? What truth has God spoken into your heart today concerning His love for you and his desire for you not to pretend?

 

 

Love God Greatly!

angela

 

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