January 24, 2015
For the next few weeks I want to highlight women who have a heart for God’s word.
This week’s Woman of the Word is Mrs. Farrar, but first let me tell you a little about her son.
Frederic William Farrar was born in Bombay (now called Mumbai) in 1831and grew up to become a cleric of the Anglican church, a schoolteacher, and an author. His godly mother made such a strong impression on his life that you can’t help but wonder if she was the reason he pursued a life of ministry. Here’s what he wrote about her:
My mother’s habit was every day, immediately after breakfast, to withdraw for an hour to her own room, and to spend that hour in reading the Bible, in meditation and prayer. From that hour, as from a pure fountain, she drew the strength and sweetness which enabled her to fulfill all her duties and to remain unruffled by the worries and pettinesses which are so often the trial of narrow neighborhoods. As I think of her life, and all it had to bear, I see the absolute triumph of Christian grace in the lovely ideal of a Christian lady. I never saw her temper disturbed; I never heard her speak a word of anger, of calumny, or of idle gossip; I never observed in her any sign of a single sentiment unbecoming to a soul which had drank of the river of the water of life, and which had fed upon manna in the barren wilderness.
Perhaps this year you want to become a woman of the word as well. My newest book, Becoming a Woman of the Word is an excellent resource to grow personally to love His word and His heart more
January 21, 2015
Tuesday, January 27
Bent Tree Country Club
“Courageously Stepping Forward into 2015”
Taught by Karol Ladd
Author of Positive Life Principles for Women
Invite a friend
For more info or to make reservations contact:
Donna Skell – 972-380-0123
$20 Lunch Buffet
January 19, 2015
Last week we talked about establishing a time and a place for meeting in a quiet time with our Heavenly Father, so now let’s consider what to do as we meet with Him there. Where do you begin? Perhaps the ole point-a-finger-in-the-middle-of-the-Bible-and-read-a-verse-for-that-day strategy just isn’t working for you. Let’s consider ways to come and dine with the Father who loves you. There’s no perfect routine or formula when it comes to spending time with God. For me, I start off each morning with my journal, my iPad (because my daily Bible reading and devotionals are on it) and of course a cup of coffee. I simply just sit still before God.
In my journal, I always begin by writing out at least five things I am thankful for from the past day. Of course, I end up writing much more than simply five things, as I begin to recognize all the ways God has blessed me. I also deliberately thank the Lord for at least one challenge in my life, as I consider what God is teaching me through the difficulty. And I can sincerely thank Him for His presence and peace as I walk through those challenges. Another habit I have started is to thank the Lord for at least one thing about my husband each day, because it keeps me focused on his positive qualities and that’s always a good thing!
After I spend time thanking the Lord then I open up His Word, for a time of reading. He has given us His Spirit to lead us into all truth, so I begin by seeking His guidance. I invite His Spirit to be my teacher and open my eyes to new truths. Spiritual truth must be spiritually discerned, and we need God’s Spirit to lead us. I like how author Andrew Murray (1828-1917) wrote about the importance of encountering God’s Word with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit:
We must refuse to deal with the written Word without the quickening Spirit. Let us never take Scripture into our hand, mind, or mouth without realizing the need and the promise of the Spirit. First in a quiet act of worship, look to God to give and renew the working of His Spirit within you. Then, in a quiet act of faith, yield yourself to the power that dwells in you. Then wait on Him so that not only the mind, but the life in you, may be opened to receive the Word. The words of Christ are indeed Spirit and life.
Murray added this prayer:
Lord God, I thank You again for the wonderful gift of the indwelling Spirit. Father, give me the Spirit of wisdom. May I know how deeply spiritual each word of Yours is, and may I know that spiritual things can only be spiritually discerned. Teach me in all my contact with Your Word to deny the flesh and the fleshly mind and to wait in deep humility and faith for the inward working of the Spirit to quicken the Word. May my meditation on Your Word, my keeping of it in faith and obedience, be in Spirit and in truth, in the life and in power. Amen.
During my quiet time with the Lord, I often use the One Year Bible, which offers a daily Bible reading with an entry from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs in doable doses. I’ll go into more about different options for reading your Bible in the next chapter. This daily time of meeting with God is a time to read and meditate on the Bible and pray. You may choose other times throughout your week to study and dig into the Bible (which we will cover in chapter three), but for a time of regular reflection and daily growth, I encourage you to simply read and meditate on His Word.
For me personally, I also enjoy reading a devotional in addition to reading from His Word. Devotionals should not replace reading the Bible, but can supplement your quiet time. Most devotionals take a verse and expand on it with the author’s perspective or thoughts. At times, I may use a book with short chapters as a part of my devotional reading, such as The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer or The Names of Jesus by A.B. Simpson, or The Spirit of Christ by Andrew Murray or Here and Now by Henri J.M. Nouwen. It is a healthy practice to journal and write out what God is teaching you, so that you can reflect on it again or simply to help you identify and remember what you learned.
After a time of reading, I sit still and simply relax in His presence, spending time in prayer. I praise Him for who He is, confess my sins and thank Him that I am forgiven in Christ. I also lay my burdens at His feet and seek His guidance and direction for my day.So that’s how I come to the table with my Father. How about you? There’s no perfect formula, just the invitation to dine with Him. Let us not neglect such an inviting feast with the King of all glory. Taste and see that the Lord is good
This is an excerpt from my book, Becoming a Woman of the Word
January 12, 2015
The kitchen table is the place for family dinners. This is where family fellowship happens. The family knows when it is time to eat the evening meal; there is a consistent place to gather. In a similar way, have you found a good time and place to commune with the Lord? As we start a new year, I want to encourage you to discover your own daily time and place to spend a few quiet moments with God.
My friend Jody has a favorite cozy chair that faces her backyard. She keeps her Bible and devotionals in a basket right by the chair, so she has her tools there at hand to dig into his Word. Another friend, Amy, uses a basket with a handle so she can carry her Bible and devotionals out to the back porch on a nice day or over to the couch on a rainy one. Often I begin my day at the kitchen table reading His Word, then for prayer I move the atrium – my favorite spot in my house. The reason I like this spot is that is has a skylight in the ceiling, and I’m able to look up and see the heavens as I spend time with the Father. Where is a place that you can call your own, and meet with God each day? It may be the kitchen table or the living room couch or even a spare bedroom. Just as we come and dine at the same table with our family, there is a comfort and consistency in finding a regular place to meet with God.
Throughout Scripture we find that God used physical places for spiritual significance. Jerusalem, the Jordan River, Bethel are just a few of the significant locations we find in Scripture. Consider the location that you choose for your quiet time, as sacred territory, a place where you meet God. It too will become a place of spiritual significance as you draw close in your love relationship with God. I know certain married couples who have that spot where they first kissed or where he proposed or where they went on their first date. We too can have that spot with the Lover of our souls. He longs to speak His love into us in that place.
Consistency is helpful in both location and time of day. It has become my habit over the years the start the day off early with a time alone with the Lord. I want to meet with Him before I meet with anyone else. I like having my time with the Lord early in the day, as it sets the tone and prepares me to face the challenges of the day. For some people early morning just doesn’t work. Take Julie for instance. She is required to be at work at 5:00 a.m. several days a week. She can barely get her shower in, much less have a quiet time in the morning. She has found that her best time to sit and be still with God is in the afternoon when she comes home from work and no one is around. On the other hand, take a mom like Shelly. It’s all she can do to get her three kids off to school in the morning, so her favorite time with the Lord is mid-morning after she drops the kids off at school.
Stop right now and consider: What is the best time and the best place for you to come to the table and feast on the rich food of God’s Word and enjoy His presence? Take a moment right now to pray and ask the Lord to help you figure out a consistent time and place. Don’t worry about how everyone else does it; figure out what works for you. We must be intentional about it, or it simply won’t happen. Write your decision on the lines below:
Now honestly, I know that life happens and there will be days that you just can’t get there. Don’t beat yourself up—God is not mad at you—I promise! He loves you and His invitation is simply and lovingly, “Come.” He invites you with no strings attached because He knows that this time is for you to be blessed, not for you to feel condemned if you don’t show up. May I encourage you to ask God to help you stay consistent? He knows the joy you will experience from this valuable time together. I hope that as you start off the new year, you will be committed to growth in every area of your life, especially spiritual growth, getting to know what the Bible has to say about God and His great love for you.
This is an excerpt from my book Becoming a Woman of the Word. If you would like to purchase a signed copy of the book, visit www.PositiveWomanConnection.com/about
December 30, 2014
Life is filled with small daily choices. Many of those choices involve our attitude and how we choose to respond to the ups and downs of life. We can choose to see life through the lens of hope, knowing that God is with us and can redeem even the worst of situations. Or we can choose to grumble, complain and whine about life. Which perspective will you choose as you head into 2015?
Each year I choose a motto or slogan to define the year. This year’s motto is: Dare to Dream in 2015! Step out and step up into the coming year and consider what possibilities are in front of you. Daring to dream demands courage and perseverance. What about you? Are you ready to step forward and dream big? Prayerfully ask God to direct you and lead you as you step forward with hope and vision to positively influence others in 2015.
This year, my dream is to expand ENGAGE Parenting Initiative so that more and more families can be strengthened and encouraged with positive life principles. My long-term dream is to see ENGAGE expand across the nation one day. I have to start small and take one faithful step at a time. Where is God calling you? What is your dream for 2015?