We had a conference call with the Proverbs 31 team Monday night and Lysa challenged us all to do something we've never done as a group before - FAST on the same day at the same time. There is so much going on with our ministry with radio interviews, new books coming out, She Speaks conference approaching, and much more, it is necessary to come together regularly and pray.
Tuesdays will be the day at 12, when we will pray for these specific areas and more. Our wonderful LeAnn, or as we lovingly call her, the Queen, quoted this scripture to bring us all around the same table.
“Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Bring the leaders and all the people of the land into the Temple of the Lord your God, and cry out to him there.” (Joel 1:14 NLT)
Of course the very first Tuesday, I had already scheduled a REALTOR luncheon for one of my listings!
Isn't that how it happens? We MEAN to do the right thing, but something changes our plan. Our INTENTIONS are good, but the follow through is weak. Jump on the bandwagon yet fall overboard at the first bump in the road.
God is asking me to take a hard look at those two words not just for this fast, but for my entire life.
Jesus said in
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
Yet there are some of you who do not believe.
3 BASIC TRUTHS spoken from the lips of our Savior!
1. The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
Do you spend more time wondering what you will have for your next meal or snack
than wondering what life-changing steps the Spirit will take you on today?
2. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
The Greek word for spirit is pneuma - which means "spirit, heart, mind, wind, breath"
His words blow cobwebs from cluttered minds and life into our every breath!
3. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.
This crushes me to think that I fall into this category at times!
When I give up and give in to the small temptations of life and say, "No big deal," I'm literally saying, "I don't believe you can help me."
YES! YES! YES! It IS a big deal!!!!!
Any time I act as if it doesn't matter or I can't do it or no one will notice anyway - it is a lie straight from Satan's lips!
So the question is whose lips am I reading?
Today, I choose NO COMPROMISE.
Wow, what an amazing weekend! It began by taking my sweet grandson to Charleston, WV to meet his mommy. Matt is 4 years old and incredible! This boy went with me EVERYWHERE without complaining. That is better than most girlfriends I know! His one-liners were priceless. One day I said, "Matt, you are adorable!" He asked, "What's adorable?" I said, "It means you are very, very cute!" He paused, thought for a moment then said, "Grandma, you are adorable." I just wanted to kiss his face off!
From Charleston I went to Beckley, WV and had dinner with a couple of the gals from Sunset Hills Missionary Baptist Church in Coal City. On Saturday I had the privilege of speaking twice to a fabulous group of ladies from the surrounding communities. God showed up as He always does. Many there need your continued prayers. When God brings this band of ladies to your mind, will you stop and pray?
It never ceases to amaze me how much we share. Whether speaking to women in California or WV, the needs, hopes, dreams, anxiety, hurts, cares and praises are so similar. Some women were experiencing extreme grief, while others felt this was the best time of their life.
And so it goes. Life brings us face-to-face with new challenges, obstacles, joys, and opportunities each day. How will we choose to handle each one?
Patsy, a woman in our area taught me a valuable life lesson this past week. She lost her son, a police officer, to a tragic motorcycle accident. The newspaper quoted her as saying, "We couldn't have raised these boys without the help of the Lord. Something good will come out of this. We've been fortunate to raise three boys and six grandchildren with very little tragedy. It's not if, it's when something is going to happen to your family. God has been preparing us."
I am speechless at this woman's resolve. She is a testimony to God's direction for each of us to STAND FIRM.
May God fill you with His Holy Spirit today as you stand firm and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, you are ALL on this ride with me! Do you realize how important each one of you are in this process? It is MAJOR!!!!!
Yesterday I met with the radio guys and they like the name and the concept! Next week we will send it off to production for promos to be made!!!
This will be available to ANYONE via computer! So you can listen and call in! Go to www.wtru.com and scroll down to the bottom, right side of the home page where it says, Listen Online!
Theater of the mind.
So we are going to set up the atmosphere of a cafe so you can imagine yourself being right there with us!
This blog is getting a facelift too! It will incorporate the Encouragement Cafe look and feel. Hopefully it will all come together by air time on May 30th!
The guys at the station asked if I had any ideas for sponsors. So I will turn that question to you, do you know of anyone who would like to sponsor this show? The Christian talk radio listener is 31-69 and of course this show will be female focused.
Now, let's pray about the tag line, the topics, the guests, the songs, the women who will tune in, and all the details that will need to be in place for this to come together. No pressure ;o)
I love you all so much and I'm blessed to have you in my life!
Thanks for sharing the ride with me.
It was yesterday during my quiet morning time with the Lord. The naming of this radio program has felt like naming a child. You want to make sure that it is one that can stand the test of time, season, location, circumstances, and be pleasing to the Lord.
Ramona encouraged me to read the passage about David preparing for the building of the temple. She said it reminded her of the process of this adventure.
Wise counsel on Sunday, from folks who know radio, told me that the cafe idea was so versatile and would encourage anyone to tune in.
God opened this door and He has shed just enough light for me to see the next step. These three verses below are the building blocks for the foundation of this radio program.
1 Chron. 22: 19
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the Lord."
...if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak."
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Much prayer has been offered up seeking God. Now we build a show for the Name of the Lord.
If we have encouragement for the people, we speak. The Scriptures provide encouragement so others might find hope.
As you all know, I have been writing and speaking for Proverbs 31 Ministries for years. Our daily online devotionals have over 290,000 subscribers! Do you know what that devotional is actually called?
Encouragement for Today.
Dot was so right. Yesterday after my quiet time with the Lord, I sat in the sunroom with my husband sipping our morning coffee. These words slipped into my mind as if a cue card was resting in my brain:
with Luann & Friends
Pull up a chair, there’s always room for one more.
Sit down, shut up and breathe.
The conversation is always hot and fresh.
Comfort food for your soul.
First the name, then the tag line. One step at a time He sheds His light.
Please share your thoughts.
Well, right out of the gate, you all can see that spelling the YHWH name is an issue and the comments I received both on this blog and through emails and others sources, tells me the search for the 'right' name is far from over.
Here are my thoughts:
I want this to be a place where you look forward to going. You know, like the sit down, girlie time I've had with so many of you.
Which reminds me, a card arrived in the mail yesterday from my amazing group of ladies in Destin, complete with a framed picture of us at the cafe/restaurant on the beach! Fun!
But more than fun, at that table we took a moment to pray with our waiter about the surgery he had on his eye. In the middle of life, laugher and fun, God is there.
That is the atmosphere I pray this show portrays. A destination where girls from all over the country can tune in and find a place to sit down and kick back. We laugh, share, talk, pray, and even cry together, Just Like You're Here.
Which brings me to another thing that just won't leave my head. As I mentioned, Helen (yes, Helen from the comments) had sent me a song she had written called "Just Like You're Here." I have it on my laptop and whip it out for random crowds, like unsuspecting coworkers, speaking events and my band of ladies who met with me Wednesday to discuss this show.
I find myself singing it throughout the day because it relates to EVERY woman I know!!!!
Let's see if I can upload it for you to hear.
(nope, guess it is too big - I've asked me web guru to help)
Anywhoo, I believe this may need to be part of the show. The chorus says:
See, I'm not accustom to my dreams coming true,
And I don't know what to make of what you're making me.
And I don't know where I'll be in 5 minutes or 5 years,
But I know You will be there, you will be there,
Just like you're here.
So maybe it needs to be that simple - The Cafe ....just like you're here.
What do you think?
Ok, while I was showering my sweet friend Dot emailed this to me:
I keep thinking about the name for the program. I will try to have input into other areas, but this one is not easy for me. I think it is generational. I am probably the oldest member of the band. Therefore, the idea of meeting in a cafe for coffee brings back my childhood memories. Let me share one with you I think you will enjoy. When my Mom was pregnant with my youngest brother they had to have rationing stamps to get coffee, sugar, gas, etc. There was a little country store on Country Club Rd in Winston and my mom and dad knew the owners. They had used all of their stamps for that month and Mom was craving a cup of coffee. They stopped by and my Dad asked them if they could just let them have a little coffee for Mom. They couldn't without the stamps but the owner said she would make her a cup and did and took it out to the car to her. I still have some of the rationing stamps that they didn't use for gas and sugar (but none for coffee).I guess if I had to give the program a name, it would probably be to meet us for a cup of coffee or tea on "Luann's Front Porch" That is where I remember all the times women spent just talking. But as I said in my email to you last night, I have no doubt that you will get the name and it will be the perfect one. I love you. Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.
My friend Weeta came to the table on Wednesday with program names also including my name, but I would not consider it because I was so concerned about getting prideful.
Dwight usually keeps quiet about input on girly things, however this morning over coffee he said he knew that I didn't want to have my name involved in the title but he was feeling very strongly that women would connect with me on a personal level if my name was in there somewhere.
So as always, I want to pray over this and ask you to do the same. Give me a cup of your thoughts!
We had our first organizational meeting last night with the gals who have agreed to come along side me on this radio show adventure! What a group of powerhouse women!!! The station wants to start running promotional spots for the show which will air May 30th, so the first order of business was to pick a name.
Actually, the first order of business was to pray. The 3 Ps were evident as we sat in our circle and discussed what God was doing.
Katie suggested we use that same direction for the format of the show. We kick off in prayer, have the topic of the week w/guests, then open the phone lines for call-in guests like YOU!
We had great ideas from the group on topic choices and we want your feedback on them too! As we discussed the name of the show, I felt it should reflect the feeling of sitting down at a coffee shop or a cafe with a bunch of girlfriends to simply chat about life. MaryKay suggested that we let ladies know this is a place to Breathe, because we often forget to do that in a fast paced world.
Ramona thought this format would be appealing because it is like Fresh Air.
The word Latte was thrown into the mix of ideas then Ramona blurted out, "Latte JEHWAH! We all looked at her with that stun-gun face...she was on to something.
Of course I had to bring humor into how I might tangle that up when trying to say it on the air.
Cheryl brought up the fact that some women aren't crazy about coffee, so that might actually be a turnoff, however Cafe might touch any life.
Ramona bubbled out with, "A breath of fresh air at Cafe JEHWAH!"
So now we are thinking Cafe JEHWAH might be the name with a tag line that says something like:
Cafe JEHWAH -Where women gather and breathe.
Cafe JEHWAH - A breath of fresh air.
Cafe JEHWAH - A fresh breath and cup of cheer.
Ok, you get the idea. So give us yours!!!
Do you like the name? Is it something that would encourage you to tune-in and listen?
Please share a cup of thoughts with us!!!!
If you have been with me any time at all, you know that I reread Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest every year.
Today, it was Just Like God to remind me of a truth.
The title for today is Inner Invincibility.
But the punch line is:
If your life is producing only a whine, instead of the wine, then ruthlessly kick it out! It is definitely a crime for a Christian to be weak in God's strength.
Ka-Blam! There it goes, right between my eyes!
After yesterday's extremely full day and a nasty remark that was made to me I was feeling a bit weakened. Isn't it funny how you can go from EVERYTHING IS GREAT to I Feel Drained, with the slightest jab from unsuspecting lips?
So today is JUST what I needed, a reminder to KICK OUT the whine! And visualize that remark as a winepress squeezing me. God says to my heart, "Put on your armor girl and stand firm. I'm about to show you my strength and make you into some sweet wine."
Thank goodness He doesn't expect me to be perfect, because I would fail miserably!
Hopefully, if you look hard enough, you will see the family resemblance if you glance my way. Oh, there will be plenty of flaws and faults, but right there, deep in my heart, you know that place where He constantly speaks?
Yep, right there, He sees His Son in my reflection. Hope you can see Him too!
Good morning! I recharged this weekend with a wonderful visit from my youngest, Tiffany. I promised myself (and my hubby) that I would not get called away by the phone or computer.
It was fabulous! Just what the doctor ordered. Much needed rest and relaxation. NC weather did not let us down either, the sky was Carolina Blue with puffy white clouds. The lake glistened and offered up some whopper fish.
As I strolled around the yard with my hubby holding one hand and my coffee clutched in the other, life felt sweeter than ever. The grass is emerald green, the water sapphire blue, the flowers exploding with a rainbow of colors and the crisp fresh smell of spring made me feel like dancing!
And so I did.
Our Easter service was outstanding! When I think of what Jesus told his disciples in Luke the 21st chapter, I'm psyched that he may split the skies any day now!!!!
Go grab your bible and see if you agree!
Rejoice, BEHOLD HE COMES!
I am drinking in all that God is doing in my life and the lives of all around me. Life is so much like that intricate web I see being constructed on my front porch. The spider dangles from a tiny thread, scurrying down to the railing. Soon I see her again winding across the woven wonder connecting one thread to another.
God has taken my life and intertwined it with yours, and the people I work with and the film crew yesterday and my family and, and, and everyone we encounter.
This life is so much more than we can see or imagine.
Yesterday I had the privilege of serving on the set of the Oprah segment featuring my dear friend Lysa and her family and friends. You probably all know the story about her adoption of the boys from the Liberian boys choir, which then inspired her community to adopt the remaining children. So Oprah wanted to do a follow up story and sent her film crew to Charlotte yesterday.
It was amazing to see 80 people, from different families congregate and share God's amazing love. This group expressed sheer joy at having their world flipped upside down by God's detour in their lives 6 years ago when their families became a haven of hope for homeless children from another country.
Now I wonder what God will do with this story? He never just tugs at one heart, He uses everything to weave the tapestry. There are millions who will watch this segment and each person who views it will be effected. God moves in ways that we will never understand.
But if we watch how He created the spider to dangle, yet connect - I think we will see a glimpse of how He takes our spinning world and causes purpose to it all.
So my prayer is that all who see this show, all who participate in the making of it, all who encounter a piece of this story will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, who can reveal things that were once hidden. May hope be found and freedom discovered through our finely woven lives.
Ephesians 1:18-21, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."
This is a very Good Friday given by our gracious GREAT GOD!
Oprah, revisited - please pray.
Today Oprah's film crew will arrive in Matthews to do a follow up story on Lysa and the adoption story of the children from Liberia. I will be leaving in a few minutes to go help. The main thing on my heart is prayer, prayer and more prayer. I am asking you to get on your knees and get involved in a mighty way TODAY!
God wants to move and shake this country and this world to refocus us on Him. We need to be in prayer for every opportunity He provides.
"Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
The Lord will surely comfort Zion (Luann, Sandy, Emily, Dot, Christy, Amy, Cindy, Ashlee, YOUR NAME) and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
"Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.
I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand-- I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion(YOUR NAME), 'You are my people.'"
TODAY I need your intense prayers that God will move on this scene and allow Oprah to see God through this story. Pray that her heart will be softened to hear His voice. Pray that the details will fall into place. And just as in the story of "the woman at the well" -when she told her story to the villagers - MANY MORE BELIEVED!
Father, may you be glorified in every thing today as we prepare. Shine on this event and make your presence real in every inch of this place. May your story, this miracle that has captured the heart of Oprah, be told to millions of thirsty people who long for the living water that only you can provide. May they seek and find you because these women at the well told about you. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
2 Samuel 22:2-4
He said: "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-- from violent men you save me.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
Did you love learning the meaning of the original Hebrew word for 'hope' in Isaiah 40:31?
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
twist - bind - gather together - join - meet - expect - be confident in - trust - to be enduring
...to wrap ourselves so tightly around God that we end up automatically going where He's going!!!!!!!!
I want that auto-pilot feature in my life, don't you? I want to automatically sense where He is leading and walk with Him!
It will take spending time with Him - intertwining our lives with His.
Satan is not happy that you broke free....he will tempt you at every turn. He will want you to feel enslaved again by those strongholds.
The prescription for living free is not some bad medicine we have to gulp down!
He simply says, "Abide in Me."
Enjoy His presence. Talk with Him. Listen to His Word. Love the Lord with all that you have, heart, mind, body, and soul.
And He will tuck you under His wing where healing is found and you will soar with Him!
We all have 24 hours in each day, some choose to daydream them away; others choose to worry them away; some choose to spend them wondering why.
Choose this day to ENJOY HIS PRESENCE and this ride we call life will become an endless adventure soaring with the Master!
Thank you all for joining me on this trip. Love you forever,
The display of God's peace spilled all over me on Tuesday. You remember how I told you that God opened the door for me to have a one hour live radio talk show every week? Well, I have been praying for His divine guidance in putting it together. He has clearly told me that number one is gathering a band of women together to help me
So God was doing some orchestrating on Tuesday (well, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday too...but there just isn't enough time to write it all down right now!)
Ok, so my girlfriend's mom is about 2 stages behind my mom in the Alzheimer's arena. She had an episode, was in the hospital and needed to go to a nursing home when released. She had just called me to pray that for the next 2 or 3 weeks she would find someone to sit with her there.
I am driving to a lunch appointment, when God redirects my mind. I am suppose to go by a salon where my good friend Weeta works. God had been telling me to ask select women to band together on behalf of this radio effort and He nudged me to take a detour to see Weeta at that moment.
I walk in and sitting in her chair is Christine, my friend from church (who I helped buy a house). She is a nurse at the hospital and was just told her position was gone a week or so ago. She feels confident that another position at the other hospital in town will open up
in 2 or 3 weeks....yep, me too I got Holy goosebumps and called my friend about her mom. They are now connecting on behalf of her sweet mom.
So I ask Weeta and Christine if they will be prayer warriors for me on this adventure. They said yes and then I told Weeta I would really like to speak to Karolyn Chapman (5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman's wife) sometime about being in this little band of women. Weeta said, "She is here, under the dryer!"
I said, "SHUT UP! She is not!" She said, "Yes! She is!!!!" So I sat beside Karolyn and we cried and prayed and got one big giant goosebump together! I told her that I was wondering what God was up to since this show is suppose to be on Saturdays and I have been speaking more and more on weekends.
She grabbed my arm, stroked it and said, "Honey, God works these things out. God is not stopping you from speaking, he is pouring out His bounty!"
I said, "I am amazed at how He works! Can you believe He arranged for us to meet today? I needed to hear your words!"
She said, "I think He gets a kick out of amazing us!"
So, that was my day....God is on the throne.
How appropriate that this day's Treasure Verse is:
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
I stopped in the church office yesterday to see my 'sistas' who lift me in prayer whenever I am traveling and speaking. Jonia was the first woman who ever invited me into her home as a new Christian. She had no idea what my life had been, she simply invited this new couple at church over for lunch after service.
You all know I am the Woman at the Well! But back then, I hadn't made my way to the well yet. She saw me on the road to the well and offered kindness to this stranger! No one in my life had ever welcomed me like that, the minute I walked into the church.
Laura attended the first retreat I ever did on The Woman at the Well and she lovingly encouraged me to keep sharing. Every time I have a victory, or a God-sized story I feel compelled to share it with my personal cheerleader, Laura.
Dana is sweet, tender and always willing to help this crazy woman. I burst into the office at unexpected times asking for technical help, prayer or just a hug and she gladly stops to provide it.
Are you offering that kind of Jesus-with-skin-on to people in your world? You have no idea how those simple things can help God CHANGE the direction of a lost soul, a hurting heart, or a weary warrior.
They water my garden!
So they are the perfect example of what that passage in Isaiah 58:6-12 is talking about. When we totally empty ourself out for others - demonstrating God's love, God will fill up our empty places with His living water.
Challenge for the day:
Empty yourself for someone else and allow God to fill you up!