Friday, February 26, 2010

My Beloved

Enjoy this great worship song by Kari Jobe as we enter into the weekend. We should always be mindful of just how much God loves us, His children. If God were to write us a love song, I think it'd be something like this.

You're My Beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with Me My love

You're Beautiful to Me
So beautiful to Me

Under My mercy
Come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you
My child

You're Beautiful to Me
So Beautiful to Me

I sing over you My song of peace
Cast all your care down at My feet
Come and find your rest in Me

I'll breathe My life inside of you
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of My strength
I'll take you to My quiet waters
I'll restore your soul
Come rest in Me and be made whole

You're My beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is my delight
Come away with me my love

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where Do I Fit In - Week 3

Last week I challenged you to see beyond “I can’t” to hear your Creator say “yes you can, I made you for this”.

There is no sure fire way to know EXACTLY where you are going to “fit in” until you try on a couple of service positions. That isn’t as easy as it sounds, because there are TONS of places to serve in the church. So where do you start? Do you just randomly pick a place? If you are like most women, you think that since you are female, you might as well work in the nursery. If you love love love kids, and think that nothing is better than baby sugar- snotty nose or not, then yes! Serve in the nursery. BUT if the smell of a dirty diaper makes you gag and a slobbery kiss does not melt your heart….then working in the nursery is going to be….well, I’ll just say it won’t be a slice of heaven. Get the picture?

So, what do you do?

A GOOD starting point is to figure out your S.H.A.P.E. for ministry. Just like we all have unique physical shapes, we also have unique ministry S.H.A.P.E.s.

Think about this…..The average size for a US Olympic gymnast is around 4’10”, 85 lbs. The average size of a WNBA player is 5’11”, 167 lbs. Now, it would stand to reason that if you are a woman who is 6’1”, 200lbs, you are MOST LIKELY more “shaped” for basketball than gymnastics. At the same time…if you are 4’11”, 83 lbs, you are MOST likely better SHAPED for Gymnastics than professional basketball. Now we all know that every female that is 5’11” or taller is NOT necessarily going to be a great basketball player…and every 5’ female is NOT going to be a medal winning gymnast. HOWEVER….considering one’s physical shape will help narrow the possibilities of what they might enjoy and be good at.

The same is true with your spiritual S.H.A.P.E.

Your S.H.A.P.E. is composed of your

Spiritual Gifts – given to you by the Holy Spirit when you become a Christian

Heart – what are you really passionate about?

Abilities – What are you naturally good at?

Personality – Are you a Lion, an Otter, a Golden Retriever, or a Beaver?

Experiences- What are the good and bad experiences that have brought you to this point in life?

All of these things work together to make you who you are and they are in you to equip you for a specific role in the Body of Christ. The role God CREATED you for. When you find that role, you will know it because it just works.

For example, since I am gifted in Leadership, evangelism, and writing; totally and completely passionate about leading women into a deep and meaningful relationship with Christ; naturally able to “get folks on board” with new ideas and projects; am an Otter/Lion; and most all on my major life experiences are things that impact women much more so than men……it makes sense that I would totally love being the leader of FLO (and I do…I live eat drink and breathe it and never get tired of it)……and that being on the fellowship cleanup crew (though I have done it and will do it again) is not really something that….well, I’ll be honest and say that I hate it. Now, I will certainly do my part to see to it that things get done, but FLO is what makes my heart skip a beat….THAT is what I am S.H.A.P.Ed for.

Hopefully you can see that, just like your Physical shape is a good indication of what you might enjoy doing, your spiritual S.H.A.P.E is a good indication of where you might enjoy serving in the body of Christ. Once you know what types of ministries you are S.H.A.P.Ed for, then you can start trying them out and see which one fits.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Where Do I Fit In - Week 2

We started February with “Where do I fit in?” and we will be moving from that question to considering that “God has a plan and a purpose for ME?”

Five women are mentioned in the lineage of Christ: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. Interestingly, none of these women had untarnished reputations. Three were not Hebrew by birth. All faced precarious circumstances and were the most unlikely candidates among those who might be used by God to do something great. They were much like you and me. They had failures and flaws, but they also had faith. – Jennifer Rothschild

We will not cover all 5 of these women in depth during FLO Bible Study, but I want to encourage you to do some investigating on your own into their lives. How easy it is for me to say “I can’t”. I am very in tune to what I can’t do. I am very in tune to my short comings. I bet you are too.

Where would we be if Mary, Ruth, Tamar, Rahab, or Bathsheba said “I can’t”?

I believe that God in His infinite knowledge knew that these women, though very aware of their shortcomings, knew to trust HIM and what HE had planned for them. They trusted HIM beyond their circumstances, their history, their…everything….and HE USED THEM. BOY! Did He ever use them?!

I have asked myself this question….Who am I going to trust? Am I going to trust myself and my knowledge of what I can and can’t do or am I going to trust GOD and HIS knowledge of what I can and can’t do? I have decided that I can and SHOULD trust God and what HE has planned for me.

Now, let me ask you….
Who are you going to trust? Are you going to trust your own knowledge of what you can and cannot do or are you going to trust GOD and HIS knowledge of what you can and cannot do?

Can you trust God beyond your current circumstances and your personal history and allow the GOD of all creation to use you? Can you see past “I can’t” to hear your CREATOR say, “You can…I know you can because I MADE YOU FOR THIS!”?

Father God,
Thank you so much for creating me just the way you wanted me to be. Lord, I know that I have made a lot of choices that make me appear different than what you dreamed of when you dreamed of me….or am I really that different than what you expected me to be? Can you still use me? If I can get past “I can’t”….can you use me? If I give you my life….from birth to this moment and let it all go…..can you still use me? If I commit my life from this moment until I see you in Heaven….can you still use me? Help me know that you are near God, let me feel your heartbeat. I need to know that you are with me. Oh God! You know my flaws….am I allowing my past, my shortcomings, my failures, my flaws to keep me from fulfilling the plan you have for me? Am I using my flaws as excuses for not serving you with all my heart? Lord, you know me. You know me better than I know myself. You alone know why I am the way I am. You alone know the big picture of humanity and you alone know what my little part of that picture is. Speak to my heart Lord and help me to see that I am YOURS and that I am created for a plan and a purpose and that you can USE me….help me see that I am not just taking up space and that I am not just a sum of all my mistakes, failures, and bad choices. I want to serve you. I want to know that I have found your plan for my life. Help me get to that point Lord…you above all know that I can’t get there by myself.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Known By Our Fruit

[Jesus said] Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit. You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.
— Matthew 12:33-34

A woman I’ll call Dorothy knew more about the church and every member and visitor than anyone else did. She was fairly well known as the church gossip. “One thing about her,” a friend said, “she’s not prejudiced—she talks about everyone,” and he laughed. He also added, “She’ll probably get into heaven, but God may have to cut off her tongue first.”

One day as I stood near the front door, I heard Dorothy telling several people about one of the deacons, “But it isn’t up to me to judge him,” she said. The venom poured from her mouth, and she went on to mention several others. Of course, she was critical of each one.
I listened to her and realized something. She was only speaking from what was already inside her heart. That’s obvious, but I grasped something else. Dorothy was so critical of herself, so filled with disgust for herself, how could she speak well of others?

Too often people make promises that they’ll speak better of others and gossip less. They really try, but nothing ever changes. This is because they are trying to change their words without changing their thoughts. That’s a bad solution, because they start at the wrong end. What they need to do is look inward, asking, “What is going on inside of me?”

“For out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks,” Jesus said. As I considered those words, I felt a deep compassion for Dorothy. She had allowed Satan to fill her mind with critical, harsh thoughts. She didn’t speak much about herself, but I’m sure she was totally critical of herself as well as other people, and when she spoke, the evil words came out of her mouth.

Jesus said that a tree is known by its fruit. The same is true of our lives. Everything begins with a thought. If we allow negative and unkind thoughts to fill our minds, they bear fruit. If we dwell on the bad, we produce bad fruit.

As we observe people, it’s easy to see the fruit of their lives. They show either good fruit or bad. It’s that simple. But the fruit is the result of what’s going on inside. We can learn a lot about a person’s character simply by listening to their conversation. The more loving our words and actions are toward others, the more loving and kind our thoughts will be.

If I believe God truly loves me, and if I enjoy fellowship with Him every day, I’m planting good seeds in my own heart. The more good seeds I plant, the more good fruit I produce. The more I think kind and loving thoughts, the more I see others as kind and loving.

“Out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Kind or judgmental words don’t just come to us—they come out of our mouths because we have nurtured them in our minds. The more we open ourselves to the Spirit’s positive and loving thoughts, the more we pray, and the more we read God’s Word, the more good fruit we produce on the inside—and that good fruit shows itself by the way we behave toward others.

Pray this...

Dear loving and forgiving God, I ask You to forgive me for all the harsh things I’ve said about other people. Also, please forgive me for allowing harsh thoughts to fill my mind—about myself or about others. I know I can’t make myself more loving, but You can. Please, help me focus on healthy, positive thoughts, for I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

~ Courtesy of Kristy Freels

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Your Hands

If you listen to Christian radio, you've probably come across this song. I love the lyrics. It's so simple, but yet the message is so true.


FLO Ministry Team

Monday, February 8, 2010


We had TWENTY ladies and children show up to assist in our Valentine's Day Card Craft Event. We created cards to carry to various shut-ins in the area. Both the adults AND children had an enjoyable time! Many thanks to our organizers for helping detailing this event!

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up


Have you ever told a white lie? You are going to love this, especially all of the ladies who bake for church events:

Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church Ladies' Group in Tuscaloosa, but forgot to do it until the last minute. She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix & quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack up for Scout camp.

When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured and she exclaimed, "Oh dear, there is not time to bake another cake!" This cake was important to Alice because she did so want to fit in at her new church, and in her new community of friends. So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of The cake. She found it in the bathroom - - a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing. Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect. And, before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Alice woke her daughter and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it opened at 9:30, and to buy the cake and bring it home. When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the attractive, perfect cake had already been sold. Amanda grabbed her cell phone & called her mom. Alice was horrified-she was beside herself! Everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed!

All night, Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing fingers at her and talking about her behind her back. The next day, Alice promised herself she would try not to think about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member and try to have a good time. She did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a single parent and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa , but having already RSVP' d, she couldn't think of a believable excuse to stay home.. The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old south and to Alice's horror, the cake in question was presented for dessert! Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake! She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the mayor’s wife said, "What a beautiful cake!" Alice, still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say, "Thank you, I baked it myself." Alice smiled and thought to herself, "God is good.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Where Do I Fit In?

My kids love to work puzzles. Right now, we have a ½ completed 750 piece puzzle on our kitchen table called 100 chickens and a worm. Almost everything reminds me of the FLO ladies and this puzzle is no exception. Not because the FLO girls are a bunch of sassy chicks, but because they are all SLIGHTLY different….and it is the DIFFERENCE that is important. I can see how God gifted them, not in their similarities, but in their DIFFERENCES. When working a puzzle, each piece will only “work” in its proper place….the space it was created for. Get a piece in the wrong place and it MIGHT work to fill in an empty spot, but it takes a lot of effort to make it fit, and even then it doesn’t REALLY fit and in the long run it confuses the overall picture.

The same is true for the women in my life. The Lady who has found her spot, her niche, her place, and her purpose tends to be full and fulfilled, excited, and usually at peace. The lady who has discovered her role in God’s plan is content and usually quite pleasant to be around. On the other hand, the Lady who has been forced (or has forced herself) into a spot that she doesn’t fit into…well…..not so pleasant to be around. Scripture speaks of this same concept, using the body as a visual aide….
1 Corinthians 12:12 says, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."

Over the next few weeks we will be asking the question “Where do I fit in?”. God created each of us to be slightly different from everyone else. There are things that my best friends can do REALLY well, that I am TERRIBLE at (like keeping a perfectly clean house), but there are also things that I am a little better at….I think. Anyway, we are going to spend a little time looking at how God gifted us, how our lives have prepared us, among other things. It is my prayer that over the next few weeks, you too will take time to ask God

“Where do I fit in?”

PS, if you EVER think that things would be easier if we were all alike, just go try to put together one of those crazy puzzles where all the pieces are the SAME shape….or where the picture is all the same color……NOT easy……Different is GOOD!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Walk the Walk Update - Week 4

We are going on week 4 now and would love to have more ladies come and join our Walk the Walk Fellowship! We have a space just for you! I know many women feel like if they had to add on another "thing" to their plate - they would feel like screaming. We have had consistently 5-10 women show up each time for Walk the Walk. These women will tell you it is worth the time invested for a closer relationship with God. I know that many of these women are losing weight, I can see it!

Only 4 weeks and we have heard of some awesome results. I myself have gone from 2X to XL and now working on getting to a L size. Tomorrow night we will have a track sheet for showing proof of the results/this is totally voluntary. It is all done in baby steps, but the point is to move forward and to simply "JUST MOVE". When one of us can't make a night, we don't sweat it. We all know things come up.

The women that have been attending are extraordinary. Each one brings something very unique to this Ministry, and God knew exactly what was in store for us. For example, one lady in particular stands out, and has been coming regularly. She is a whiz at healthier recipes (not my strong point).. so we all draw from each other. The main focus for the ladies of FLO was the need for ENCOURAGEMENT... this has been a real encouraging experience and bonds and friendships are being formed!

God is truly glorified, ladies, with what your hearts want for you. It is time that you take the step forward and let Him know you do care for His creation (YOU)!

To the ladies that have been coming, you are truly a blessing - and keep up the AWESOME work! See you Tues and Thurs nights 6pm - 7pm!

Hang In There!

Monday, February 1, 2010

FLO Crafters Event

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
~1 Corinthians 13:13

Valentine’s Day is the time we have set aside to tell people how much we love them. While this holiday focuses on romantic love, scripture tells us that there is a love greater than the warm fuzzy feeling we associate with being “in love”. Scripture speaks of “agape” love- unconditional love that knows no bounds, and of “phileo” love- the brotherly love of friendship. Christ shows us the ultimate expression love as He lays down His life for us so that we can have a place in Heaven for all of eternity. The “warm fuzzies” we associate with being “in love” are often short lived, but the love that Scripture speaks of is never-ending. This is the bond of mother and child, of true friends, and of covenant marriage.

The FLO Crafters are using this holiday to remind some very special members of our church family that there is ONE who is closer than a brother, ONE who loves them too much to spend eternity without them.

On Monday, February 8, the Crafters will be getting together to make and deliver Valentine’s Day Cards for Pearson’s Home-bound members. We’ll talk about the love Christ displayed on the cross and how our ideas about love have been tainted.

This is a great opportunity for our children to be involved in sharing the love of Christ, and we encourage you to bring a child (or children) WITH you!

We hope to see you there!