Monday, May 9
Women can worry about so much. Many operate in a constant state of low anxiety or worry, while some experience episodes of full-blown panic attacks. Those sour knots of emotion can keep us from healthy relationship with God and people, and keep us from getting enough rest and sleep. But the Lord’s admonition and solution concerning this all-around health hijacker is clear: “be anxious about nothing…bring it all to Me in prayer.” “I keep in perfect peace she whose mind is stayed on Me.” Today, let’s choose peace. Let’s step away from striving and step into His presence, casting all our cares at Jesus’ feet.
Sunday, May 8
On this Mother’s Day, let’s consider the mothers of small children who will be attending in the Together Conference. Pastor Becky certainly has, and helped make a way for their participation by making free childcare available during all daytime sessions, when children are home from school and husbands are generally working. Some mothers will take advantage of the on-site childcare, while others may choose to make more familiar arrangements. And then there are moms of infants, who may need to keep them close during all or most of the conference sessions. Let’s come before God’s throne of grace on behalf of these mothers and their children. Let’s intercede for the conference childcare workers and the nannies or family members taking care of the kids back home. May grace about and peace abide within the hearts of these mothers as they set out to balance their love for the Lord and care for their own hearts, with the loving care required for their precious little ones.
Saturday, May 7
What do you need? What can be done for you? These questions were asked of the Shunnamite woman after having spent herself taking good care of the prophet Elisha and his servant. Her answer: “Nothing—I’m fine.” Women are extremely proud of how much they do for their loved ones. But in the process of putting so much of themselves into caring for others, they often end up neglecting themselves. Guilt often accompanies any attempt at self-care, making it feel ‘selfish.’ The airplane safety video instruction, “Put your own oxygen mask on first,” reminds us that you can’t adequately take care of others if you are running out of air yourself. Listen to Pastor Becky’s admonishment to us, “I know two days and three nights is a lot to ask from a woman. You have people to care for and so much work to do. You might feel like you can’t peel yourself away from all of it – but you can. And you should. Stepping away from the demands of your life for a short Sabbath will remind your soul who it is that really keeps your world spinning. And that deliberate act of leaving all your tasks behind will signal to God that you know you need Him more than anything else.” Girlfriends, let’s take few days—free of guilt and condemnation—to breathe in the atmosphere of heaven, receive refreshing, and tend to the garden of our soul.
Friday, May 6
Every woman wants to be a reflection of beauty. We often end up on a misguided quest, however, driven by unrealistic expectations of pristine external appearances. There’s nothing wrong with a woman wanting to look her best—taking care of our temple is biblical, in fact. But the cultivating ground for true beauty is a woman’s soul. Outer beauty does please the eye, but inner beauty captivates hearts—especially the heart of our King! True beauty compels you to live each day in surrender to the Lord, while making life beautiful for someone else—a living sacrifice you’ll be. Sister, you are beautiful because you are a daughter of God, and therefore, the most beautiful One resides within.
Thursday, May 5
Our Father God is all about family and friendships. He designed us to long for and thrive off of healthy social connections and covenantal relationships. Yet most Americans suffer from overwhelming loneliness and isolation. At least one in four people interviewed by sociologists said they have no one with whom they can share their troubles or triumphs. And more than half have no one outside their immediate family with whom they can share confidences. Sadly, isolation exists even among people living under the same roof. One very lonely woman named Charlotte, bravely made her way to last year’s Together Conference with this prayer on her heart: “Jesus, help me find a friend.” To her delight, she was invited to sit by another “Charlotte,” who happened to share the same birthday. They realized this was a divine connection! Before the conference was over, they were embracing, blessing one another, and celebrating their newfound friendship. The Lord sees your loneliness, and desires to be in relationship with you, as well as bless you with girlfriends with which you can share your heart. Just ask, seek and knock; Jesus is waiting for you, and He wants to introduce you to your Charlotte.
Wednesday, May 4
It is both comforting and awe-inspiring to know that in the midst of life’s shifting sands and engulfing waves, God’s love toward us remains. Now, we may know of this love—having heard, read and sung songs about it—but how profoundly have we experienced the love of God? Glorious joy, courageous faith, inexplicable peace, and extravagant love are some evidences of a heart branded by a revelation of God’s love. Paul prayed, however, that the Ephesians would come to know the full expanse of God’s love. These believers were deficient in their discovery. There is always more! God’s love is a limitless, life-transforming power for us and for those we encounter.
Tuesday, May 3
It is estimated that 17 million Americans struggle with depression, and 2/3 of them are women. Prescription antidepressants are currently at an all-time high for what is being called the most significant mental health risk for women. Depression can be described as a depletion of joy and strength because this silent killer causes us to disengage from life (relationships, activities and responsibilities), withdraw from the Lord, and stop dreaming and believing. In His Word, however, God gives us His prescription for breaking the stronghold of depression: the joy of the Lord is our strength, and it is in His presence that we find fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Neh. 8:10; Psa. 16:11). For ourselves and for our sisters, let’s take on the giant of depression on the battlefield of the Lord’s presence. From that place, we’ll rise up in strength and we will overcome!
Monday, May 2
When the woman broke the alabaster flask and crowned Jesus’ head with her very costly perfume, the room was filled with words of reproach. But rather than pull back in shame or come under condemnation, she waited for the words of Jesus to affirm her, in acceptance of her extravagant offering. (Read Mark 14) Ladies, for too long have we held on to words of reproach, retreating from places of God-ordained influence, authority and honor. The Lord is calling us to live with clear purpose, uninhibited fruitfulness and profound joy that comes from the acceptance found in the presence of our Savior. Jesus bore our shame so we would bear His glory!
Sunday, May 1
From the beginning of time, the enemy set out to deceive the woman, leading her to believe that God was withholding good from her. Most of women’s struggles are rooted in the lies we believe. If the enemy can keep us from knowing our true identity, purpose, and authority in Christ, he can keep us from living the abundant life God destines for us to enjoy. Let’s return to the transformational truths found in God’s word. No matter what falsehood has confused you and held you captive, Jesus—the Word made flesh—He is more than enough; He will set you free!
Saturday, April 30
Do you remember the Together Conference testimony of reconciliation between two women who used to violently beat one another? Having encountered the love of God and one another at Together 2015, they stood on the platform, joyfully embracing one another, after having chosen the forgive. Girlfriends, forgiveness unlocks access to the Kingdom and to miracle power. If we want to see God’s glory released in great measure over every woman participating in the Together Conference, it is imperative that we forgive—it’s the only way we can all experience true freedom. Let’s do some soul searching, inviting Holy Spirit to show us any deep-seated resentment or bitterness—it must be rooted out to make room for more of Him.