Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bringing it all to Our Father (women of Faith, cont)

We LOVED Shiela Walsh! She was so authentic and open in her pursuit of Christ. She began her session after Marcus Buckingham had shared. She started with, "Yes, find our strength....and then Bring it all to Our Father! Am I giving 100% to God? All that I am and all that I have?
Shiela spoke of Mary and Martha and how they did not see why Jesus would be late when their brother was dying. The story is an example of how God is all-powerful and also all-loving.

Has Jesus interrupted your schedule? There are no coincidences. Instead of getting frustrated, ask God what He is teaching you in that moment. When God messes with your schedule, look for the miracle tucked within. ex. Lazarus' death John 11:1-6.

Jesus loved them and then waited 2 days--he didn't go to them immediately when he heard Lazarus was ill.

Lazarus dies and they put him in the tomb, and they were devastated.

John 11:9 shows us a correct response in walking with Jesus, "I am going nowhere until I get the green light from My Father." God will give peace that the time is now. Mary and Martha's response to Jesus was, "Where were you?"

Jesus was troubled.

All these troubles were never supposed to happen, never planned.

Jesus wept. You have never cried a tear that Jesus has not wept with you. What a Savior!

Jesus feels it deeply when we are suffering. Jesus tells Martha, "Trust me."
Jesus calls Lazarus: "It's this way out..."

Jesus never shows up too early or too late. He walks with us even when we don't understand why we are going though what we are going through and He will walk us all the way home on this journey.......and when we see him face to face, it will be worth it!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Women of Faith~on your strengths

Marcus Buckingham shared about how we should try to find where we are strong and focus on spending more time on those things than on where we are weak. He defined a strength as an activity that makes you feel strong. He used the acronym: SIGN for
you feel effective
You instinctively look forward to your day
During your day, you frequently feel inquisitive and focused
At the end of the day you feel authentic and invigorated

He suggested we go about one week noting the things that we do and placing them in categories: loved it/ loathed it

This will reveal which activities invigorate me and which ones don't.
This activity should conclude with some "strength statements" which would be ideas of where we should spend more focused time and energy, because God gifted us to be used in these specific areas.

He stated 4 beliefs: God blessed every one of us with strengths
Not one of us is just like the other
We will be blessed when we find our perfect way and play to our best
most of the time.
Everyone wins when you do: you, your family, the church and the country!

He concluded his message with : My strengths are God's will~let Him use me and let God's will be done!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~We had a few interesting conversations after this presentation. Some of us felt that it was not Christ-centered enough to stimulate us to worship and know and love Christ better (which I am assuming is the underlying purpose of the Women of Faith conference!). I am in conflict in my response. I can see good and bad in the message. I agree that God has given us all spiritual gifts to be used in the body of Christ. I also agree that we should strive to use these gifts in order to give God glory. What I would have liked to have heard is something like this: Wherever I am strong and fruitful, it is Christ doing His work and living in me! Give God all the glory. It is a slippery slope when we start talking about our strengths and do not put our value and personal worth in the context as being fallen human beings dependent on God's grace and strength, and His presence in the Holy Spirit, to accomplish God's will on earth. Any greatness or beauty or brilliance that we see in our own lives or in the lives around us, are evidence of God's good pleasure in making Himself known in and through his creation. We are made "in his image."
I like to think of us running the race in our giftedness as the athlete ran for God in Chariot's of Fire. He said, "when I run, I feel his pleasure." It is not all about me. It is all about God and His Kingdom and His Glory, and yes, His Pleasure. Is He pleased with me?
I believe He is pleased when we do our best for Him. We work hard to honor Him in all we do. We praise Him in our strengths (and give Him credit) and we call on Him to be our strength where we are weak.
The conclusion of the matter is this: Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we do it for the glory of God. We are His people and we work for Him. Our lives should reflect more and more of an humility of spirit that says "whatever you want, Lord! Your will be done." We should look for opportunities to serve others and be a blessing to them, remembering that its not about how good we are or what great works we have done, but about How Awesome HE IS and How we are NOTHING without HIM!