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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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

sally

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

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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!

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Strength and Beauty Come from Learning to Trust God

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Passing each other in the kitchen with mugs of coffee, crazy sleep hair, pajama’d and groggy, I kissed my daughter and whispered good morning and headed toward my front porch for a few moments of quiet as I began my day. Just before I left the room, I was prompted to ask her, “How are you, sweetness? Is anything on your mind this morning?”

Sometimes the most normal moments and mundane of places become holy when God shows up.

Though just 30 years old, my daughter had walked in wisdom for such a long time.

“I feel like God always has me in boot camp–basic training for war! It would be great to have an easy season in my life for just a little while,” she said, as she sipped her coffee.

“But, you know, mom, I have decided in my heart, that no matter what comes my way, I want to keep trusting God, keep seeking to show His light, keep loving when it is difficult, keep strong when tempted to be weak.”

“I want to be one of those people who Jesus says, ‘You were one of my most vibrant, powerful warriors for the kingdom, because you always sought to be holy and you never gave up!’

“So, mom, I will stay in boot camp and God’s training as long as He has me here because I want to be faithful and love Him until I see Him face to face.”

Wow! What an unexpected but powerful message greeted me so early in my morning. But how grateful I was to hear from her own heart that my daughter understood that to live holy and righteous and strong in love is a battle and requires training. When we learn to accept the limitations of the place that God has us with faith and submission, we will learn to see His purposes and experience a depth of His love anew. His love is so profound that he does not want us to stay limited in our lives but to learn to trust Him and find freedom, strength in His training and deep satisfaction in life as we walk with Him. A a loving parent, He wants what is best for us–He wants us to grow strong and beautiful.

God has us in “training grounds” because He desires us to become like Jesus–holy, strong, bold, and righteous. Training and discipling us to become like him is a long term process. But in order for us to experience His profound love, we have to submit to His profound plans for our lives.

Good soldiers learn to submit to their leaders, the authorities over them, their officers, to lead them well. So, as we are warriors for Christ, we must learn to submit to His ways, to seek to be as godly as we know how, to learn the ways of righteousness, so that we can become strong ambassadors and workers for His kingdom.

My daughter has not had an easy life, but because she has walked her years trusting God, she is mature beyond her age and in so many ways exhibits His light and beauty powerfully through her life.

Each of us must choose His ways, submit to His will, so that we can truly become stronger in understanding that His love for us requires that He will train us for growth. God does not want us to just be shallow and happy–getting our own way at every juncture. He wants us to learn the depth of His wisdom and to learn the way of contentment and peace.

The verse today is from Psalm 9: 7-8: ”

“But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.”

God’s great love will require Him to act in our lives to bring us to maturity. But we can only experience the depth of His love if we choose to submit to His training. This week, give your circumstances, your life into God’s hands and become a willing learner of His ways, that you might see His goodness worked out in your life as He works deeply in your life to make you more like Him.

sally

 

 

 

 

 

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I am so excited to invite you to a very special conference online about the training of children in the wise ways of God. Training, instruction and growing in God’s Word and His ways is the pathway to becoming a godly woman. This process of training will allow us to live in and enjoy His love.
On July 14-15, I will be hosting an e-conference to inspire parents to train and instruct their children in wisdom. I hope many of you will be able to join me for the seminar, as I am so excited to be able to share what I have learned about bring wisdom to life in my home after being a parent for 30 years. For more information, go HERE.

10 gifts

“Home can be one of the most deeply transformative places in the world, where hearts are shaped and God is known.” Sally Clarkson, 10 Gifts of Wisdom

You Are Loved- Week 5: You Can Trust Him

Week 5 Blog Header

Little did I know what God was up to 20 plus years ago when I felt like my world was falling apart. From my limited perspective, all I saw was destruction. All I felt was pain and fear. “What now…” filled my mind as my parent’s divorce was finalized at the end of my 3rd grade year. That summer, my mom, brother and I moved to a rural farming community in Indiana near my grandparents, away from the airbase where we had called home for the past few years. It seemed as though my world was falling apart and I couldn’t find God anywhere. I couldn’t feel Him. I couldn’t see Him. My prayers kept going unanswered and I was sure He had stopped listening because now we were broken….and no one wants something that is broken….not even God.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, God was actually VERY active in my life building something in the MIDST of pain, heartache, fear and broken dreams. Why is it that we feel God moves away from us during those times in our lives? When we are at our lowest? When marriages fall apart? When test results comeback for the worst? When hopes and dreams are shattered?

We may feel unlovable but God doesn’t see us that way. We must remember Christ died for us when we were still sinners, (Romans 5:8) when we didn’t have our act together….and on that point, never will. He choose to love us in spite of our sins, our short comings….our messed-up brokenness.

That’s want I hope you see through this week’s story. When my life felt like it was at it’s worst, God was actually working at His best.

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And that’s exactly what He did.

What God allowed years ago when I was a little girl, through pain and heartache, He is now redeeming and bringing purpose and beauty out of it. God allowed the hurt, because He saw a greater good emerging from the ashes of broken homes and broken dreams. I have learned to trust God because I have seen Him work in my life in amazing ways.- Angela Perritt, You Are Loved

Many times though, we don’t always feel His presence in the midst of the brokenness. It’s not until we have traveled through the storm that we realize Jesus was actually with us each step of the way. That’s where our trust comes into play.

Now that I’m on the other side, I have to tell you I am forever grateful God did not rescue me immediately from the pain, disappointment and heartache I had to travel. Why? Because that experience grew my faith and my relationship with Jesus emerged stronger because of it.

Sweet friends, God loves us but He doesn’t want us to stay weak in our faith. It’s through hard days, trials and tribulations that we grow our spiritual muscles.

Can I encourage you in this today? There is a purpose for what you are walking through. You may not see it just now. You may feel God has left you. But He hasn’t……He has promised He never will (Deut. 31:8) and God NEVER breaks His promises. Continue to cling to Jesus. Dig into God’s Word and seek Him before anyone else. Remember you have a limited perspective and can’t see how God is using your current situation to one day….maybe even 20 some years from now, bring beauty out of the ashes!!!

Listen today to this week’s video to hear the amazing story of how God worked in my life so many years ago and how this story even touches your life today!!!

You Are Loved: Chapter 5 Video

(Click here if you can’t see today’s video)

 

Week 5 Reading Plan

Week-5 Good Morning Girls #YouAreLoved Reading Plan

 

Week 5 Memory Verse

week-5-memory-verse

 

Week 5 Challenge

Challenge 5

 

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…

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:
What stood out to you the most in chapter five? What are some ways that you have learned to trust God more in your life?

Love God Greatly!
Angela- Good Morning Girls

You Are Loved- Week 4: God Loves You

Week 4 Blog Header

Ohhh welcome back to week 4 of our 8 week summer online Bible study/book club!! I can’t believe we are half way through our study this week! I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun with friends! I’m so glad you’re joining us!

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I bought into that lie for way to many years, you know the one about God only using “perfect” people…you may have too. I thought in order to really serve God, I had to be perfect, I had to really have my act together… sweet friends, nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ll admit to you that chapter four was my hardest chapter to write and caused me so much fear that I almost didn’t turn You Are Loved in to be published. I struggled with the thought of sharing with so many women my deepest, darkest pain….a personal “thorn” I had hidden for most of my life…..from almost everyone in my life. But this past year God has been doing a mighty work in my heart and I came to realize that I was being disobedient to Him by keeping silent. And so there you go, as an act of obedience and out of love for our Lord and for you, I share with you in chapter four one of my deepest, darkest struggles. I do so because I want YOU to know, that no matter what your “thorn” may be, God can use you. God uses imperfect people to do His perfect will.

I’ve learned through my life that it is in our weaknesses where we can find the opportunity to give God the most glory. I pray chapter four does that.

You Are Loved: Chapter 4 Video

(Click here if you can’t see today’s video)

Week 4 Reading Plan

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Week 4 Memory Verse

week-4-memory-verse

Week 4 Challenge

Challenge 4

 

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

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:
What stood out to you the most in chapter four?

Love God Greatly!
Angela- Good Morning Girls

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