Monday, April 26, 2010

Pulling a Jonah

This morning I was having my quiet time and God spoke to me loud and clear.... “You are pulling a Jonah”. Now, this may sound funny to you, but I knew EXACTLY what God was telling me.

He has been telling me for MONTHS to do some things that are scary to me. I have pushed these things to the back of my mind and pretended like God didn’t really want me to do them. This morning, on the heels of several Sunday School lessons and sermons on obedience, God hit me right between the eyes.

I am “pulling a Jonah”!

What does that mean exactly? Quite simply, I have been running from God and have found myself in the belly of a whale. Of course, I am not typing this on my laptop at the bottom of the sea....but I have been trapped none the less. Disobedience does that....traps, binds, and separates us from God and others. Disobedience steals our Joy, Peace, and eventually just makes us miserable.

Just like Jonah, I didn’t totally boycott God and do something AGAINST God...I just did something else...something other than what HE instructed...something I was more comfortable with. What I proposed wasn’t a BAD just wasn’t what God told me to do.

OH! I am guilty of this in SO many areas.....

God says tithe....give Him what is His FIRST.....I have gotten in the habit of justifying and making excuses and giving Him “What I can”

Jesus modeled spending quiet time with the Father....I have gotten lazy and busy....and visited with God “When I can”

Scripture tells me to be my husband’s helpmate....surely the person who wrote that didn’t know my I do “What I can”

See the common theme? In all these I am doing what I can MY power. God wants to do BIG things in my life....and in yours. In order to do God sized things, I have to stop just doing “what I can”.

Are you in the belly of a whale?

Is your world dark? Maybe a bit smelly? Are you all alone, separated from God and others? Could God be trying to get your attention? Could it be that God has told you too to do something that you think you can’t do?

Oh God! Forgive me for being like Jonah. Thank you for giving me the story of Jonah so that I can see that I am not the first to try to modify your Calling to meet my personal comfort level. Thank you for showing me the way out of the belly of the whale....Lord, I do want to obey you. I want to do YOUR will and not just “what I can”. Help me Lord to TRUST you to take care of me and to provide my needs. Help me to let go of the things I feel I need in order to be comfortable. Help me to lean heavily on You and to step out in faith and just do what you want me to do.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

From a Member of our Ladies Group...

When I was asked to write on the “FLO” blog for the blogaversary, I was like oh my gosh, what can I possibly say that someone would actually want to read. I prayed to God that he would provide the words for me to write, and I know he is with me during this. I have to say there are some pretty special ladies in our “FLO” class, and each and every one of us are different, but in so many ways the same. We have been talking about our different shapes, and when I first heard this, I said there is no way I am getting up and discussing my body shape cause heaven knows it ain’t pretty to look at behind closed doors. I quickly realized the meaning in this context was totally different. I have prayed so many times, Lord, show me the way, show me how I can make a contribution to the church, but so many times I didn’t listen. Out of fear and just plain stubbornness, I ignored him. Well we all know God doesn’t like this. When I first started coming to “FLO”, I prayed the same prayer, please show me where you want me to grow in our church. Well I didn’t get a chance to ignore him. I kept hearing this voice in my ear, saying children, over and over again, and not only children, but girls. I was like whoa, you’re kidding me. Well God took it one step further and said, mentor, there again, whoa, you are kidding right. Well low and behold, he wasn’t. So, I presented my idea, and much to my amazement, it was well received, and hallelujah, I am on my way to researching and getting ideas on how to start a mentoring ministry for our young girls. Believe me, I have still asked God are you sure, and he responds yes I am sure. Deep down inside, hidden, was my passion for helping children, especially girls. For one I am a girl, and two, I believe in my heart, girls need to be mentored on how to transform from God’s Princesses to Daughters of the King. I am so glad God guided those who lead us in this ministry to begin FLO, because I feel it is an awesome way to connect with the ladies in the church, and it is also a way to share with no inhibitions. There’s nothing like having a good girl friend, and because of “FLO” we can have several good girl friends. I can not wait to see where God leads us all next, and I really look forward to the friendships I can build because of the “FLO“ Ministry.
My prayer:
Lord, thank you for my life, thank you for the people you placed in my life, whether long term or short term. Each and every person who has entered my life, served a purpose you set forth. I thank you for the “FLO” ministry, and thank you for the ladies involved, I pray for everyone of these ladies, wholeheartedly. I pray in whichever way you want us to grow you will show us and lead the way. Above all Lord, I give you the glory for all that I am and all that I will be.
In your holy name, Amen.

- Jennifer Westerfield

Monday, April 19, 2010

From a FLO Member...

Being a part of FLO is absolutely amazing. I have made some of the best friends being a part of this. I have always been in church - mainly playing the role of the preacher's kid, having to be on my best behavior at all times, and knowing what was always expected of me. I have been a Christian for many years, but never felt as though I could serve where I was called, because I always felt like I had to go serve where I was told to serve. Now, church is different for me. I feel more like I am in the body of Christ, rather than on the outside looking in. I now know that I can serve in the areas I am called instead of the areas that I have always been told to serve.

I used to think of myself as just another person, actually more like one that no one really thought about or cared about. I have learned from the FLO Bible studies that I do matter. That God created me and I am beautiful to him. He loves me no matter the decisions I have made. He created me the way I am for a reason. I am not always sure why he did, but he did. Being a part of FLO has allowed me to learn all of these things.

Some of the women in our FLO group have watched me grow from a young child to an adult, and some of the women have only known me for a short time but they are ALL amazing Godly women. They are available when I need some encouragement or a shoulder to cry on. It is nice to know that I am not alone....that there are other women out there that understand my stage in life.

Being a part of FLO has allowed me to use the spiritual gifts that have been given to me by my Heavenly Father. I have learned that I use my gifts in many ways. I teach Sunday School, Worship KidsStyle, as well as some of the FLO craft classes. FLO is one of the high lights of my week.

- Lindsay Brogdon

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Word From a Reader...

The very first benefit I have received from FLO is the close association with my christian friends. While I am one of the "mature" ladies in the group, it is amazing to note how much we have in common, sharing many of the same concerns. We each have our own experiences to contribute to the benefit of all. My heart is touched when I realize that there may be a lot of trouble in someone's heart, even though things appear rosy on the outside.

My S.H.A.P.E. has changed slightly. I think this is a good thing, because it lets us know that God can use us at any point in our lives. The basic gifts are there, developing all the time. It is exciting to see these gifts come to fruition, in my own life, as well as the young FLO women.

Pauline Corban

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Still Going Strong

Today marks the FLO Blog’s 1st Birthday. It is hard to imagine that we have been writing for an entire year. Over the next week or so we are going to let some of our Ladies tell you what FLO has meant to them, but before that, I want to take a moment and revisit why we started the blog in the first place.

Our purpose statement sums it up.


Welcome to our blog, created just for you, the Ladies of FLO. FLO is the "For Ladies Only" ministry of Pearson Baptist Church, and this blog is a result of our desire to carry the FLO ministry beyond the walls of our church building.It is our heartfelt desire that your visit here will leave you refreshed, refilled, and refocused on our amazing Savior Jesus Christ. Whether you visit with us briefly on occasion or visit with us every day, we're glad you're here and pray that each time you visit with us, you are drawn ever closer to the Lover of Your Soul, The Creator of the Universe, God Almighty.It truly is our prayer, hope, and greatest desire that you, dear reader, will be encouraged and refreshed after your visit with us, that you will be reminded of our Lord’s sovereignty and might as well as HIS passionate love for you, His precious daughter.

Our first post is worth repeating...

Endure to the End

"Those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved."

Matthew 10:22Are you close to quitting? Please don’t do it. Are you discouraged as a parent? Hang in there. Are you weary with doing good? Do just a little more. Roll up your sleeves and go at it again. No communication in your marriage? Give it one more shot…Remember, a finisher is not one with no wounds or weariness. Quite to the contrary, he, like the boxer, is scarred and bloody. Mother Teresa is credited with saying, “God didn’t call us to be successful, just faithful.” The fighter, like our Master, is pierced and full of pain. He, like Paul, may even be bound and beaten. But he remains.The Land of Promise, says Jesus, awaits those who endure. It is not just for those who make the victory laps or drink champagne. No sir. The Land of Promise is for those who simply remain to the end. ...from Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado

We are all on this journey together. We love you, Dear Reader, where ever you are, and so does The Lord God Almighty.

Father God,
Thank you for the privilege of serving you. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share your Word, your Love, and our Passion for You with women around the world via the Internet.
Please be with us and our readers today. Let us feel your presence in a very real way. Help us remember that you are in control of all circumstances, that you have a plan and a purpose for our lives, and that you LOVE us like crazy. You are worthy of honor and praise, Lord, and it is MY prayer that my life will be a blessing to you until the day I finally get to rush into your arms in Heaven. Help me Lord, to live in such a way that I have many many many crowns to lay at your feet on that day!
Forever you loving daughter,

Happy Birthday FLO BLOG!

Hugs all around!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

So What Do You Do With Easter Today?

So what do you do with Easter today?
I mean, all last weekend was filled with Choir performances, Easter egg hunts, new dresses, suits, and shoes, EVERYONE went to church.
But what about today? What about tomorrow?
What do we do with Easter after “Easter” is over?
Is Easter over, just because the sun rises on Monday morning?
Is my Lord not still alive?
Do I not still serve a RISEN Savior?
IS it not as important today to tell those in my life that “HE’S ALIVE” today as it was on Easter Sunday?

As a daughter of the Most High God....
Every day is Easter...
Jesus is ALIVE! I have a place in Heaven! My fate is SEALED!
So I wonder, WHO in MY life is watching to see what I do with Easter today...and tomorrow...and in July?

Oh LORD! Thank you for Easter! Thank you for coming to earth, walking among us, dying on the cross, and defeating death so that I could live for eternity with You in Heaven! Help me Lord Jesus to live EACH day with the same enthusiasm as I lived this weekend. Help me to remember that the wanderers YOU have placed in my life need the message of Good Friday and EASTER each and every day. Oh Lord! Help me to live in the victory of the empty tomb every moment between here and Heaven!

Hugs to all!

Monday, April 5, 2010

He Is Alive!

"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:5b-8.

He's alive and I'm forgiven and my soul has been set free! He's alive and I'm forgiven and my joy I can't contain! He's alive and I'm forgiven and my faith is here to stay! He's alive and I'm forgiven and my love flows deep and wide! He’s alive and I’m forgiven, because He did what He promised, He arose after three days! He's alive! He's alive! He's alive!

What emotions did the friends and disciples of Jesus feel when they realized He was real? Certainly they were surprised by the joy of knowing that Jesus was back, even more larger than life. Even though they had watched Him raise Lazarus after three days of death, their faith had forgotten. But now they were glad again, because God raised up His son to life.

If you look for Jesus among the dead you will not find Him there. He has left the cold cemetery and risen to be with the warm love of His Father. Dead churches cannot claim the calming presence of Christ, because they have forsook the faith required to recognize Him. Look for the Lord among the living, those who live out their faith with bold grace.

Remember the words of Jesus and your faith will resound with reassurance. “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18). You serve a risen Savior who lives in your life by faith. Take Him at His word, and joy will fill your innermost being as you celebrate His appearing almost 2,000 years ago. Enjoy Jesus, and anticipate your Lord’s second return.

“So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28).

How can I reassure my faith with the reality of a risen Savior?
Where are the places I can find Christ among the living?
What words of Jesus do I need to constantly remember?

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team