I am so incredibly encouraged by our courageous youth! Our kids are so willing to learn, love and change the world and it makes my heart so happy! In my Sunday school class, we’ve been discussing ways to serve, share God’s word and encourage others. I’ve been thinking about doing a project that was meaningful and would help our kids share their faith. I threw a few ideas out last Sunday, and the one they seemed to be super excited about was writing our missionaries to encourage them in their work for God. After further brainstorming, I thought why not connect my kids with the kids living where our missionaries are teaching and create a Pen Pal project! After speaking with contact for missionaries at church who put me in contact with our missionary in Albania it is going to happen!
I can’t wait to see their faces tomorrow when they find out they are going to be Pen Pals with children in Albania! I believe this is going to be a great way for our kids to connect globally with other children. My goal is for them to understand that there are no limits, boundaries, or walls when it comes to sharing their faith! Words have the power to connect, to encourage and to change people and the younger our kids know this and put it into practice the better! If you think a pen pal ministry is something the kids in your church or school would enjoy, free to download this Quick Pen Pal Tip Guide!
I have stepped outside my comfort zone and am teaching Sunday School! I have the pleasure of teaching the sweetest 4th and 5th graders. Can I tell you how much I love this age! I was completely nervous, but I am surprisingly loving this new endeavor! I told the kids I have three goals for this class.
- Learn about God
- Take what they learn and apply to their life outside of the church
- Have fun!
I’ve been praying about how I can teach these kids to start on their own independent faith walk. One of those ways is through journaling, so I bought each of them a journal, which I am so excited to hand out tomorrow. I also want to teach them how to dive deeply into the scriptures through what I call sticky words. These are those keywords in each verse that if we examine closer brings us deeper into the word of God and its meaning. I wanted to share a couple of PDFs that I’m giving the kids tomorrow. Feel free to share them with your kiddos!
Just a favor, please keep me in prayer as I try to step into this new role of Sunday school teacher!
The quickest way to become an ineffective Christian is to keep looking back and living in the past. Remember Lot’s wife? She was told to not look back, to flee, but the temptation to look back on a city that could no longer serve her turned her into a pillar of salt. She was left unable to move or go forward. Don’t allow yourself to meet the same fate as Lot’s wife! Be the salt of the earth by trusting God and resisting the urge to live a life that you’ve shed. Don’t allow your resistance to change to affect who God created you to become! Check out the newest post at my author site.
Check out my new post at cherewilliams.com
In the very heated climate, we currently live in it’s easy to get sucked into the, “breaking news,” frenzy, but are breaking news and the media become the modern day golden calf idol for Christians?
There are two powerful darts that aim to shoot us down, snatch away dreams and inject poison into our hopes and tries to deflate our faith. Those darts are fear and discouragement. Have you ever got shot in the gut by one of these darts? Most of us experience the unpleasant effects of fear or discouragement when we are burning up to do God’s work. When we are on purpose and intentionally trying to live out God’s will for our life, that when the darts come flying out of nowhere.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Some of you are probably licking your wounds as you read these words. Maybe it was just a few weeks ago that you had boundless energy to do God’s work. The path in front of you felt familiar because God had planted the seeds in your heart, to carry out his will and you felt fulfilled because that’s exactly what you were doing, then all of a sudden bam! You’re hit with a wave of fear, intimidation, pessimism and a stream of negative thoughts that scream how unworthy and ill-equipped you are to be on this path. After the fear gets cozy it ushers in discouragement. All the confidence and enthusiasm you were bursting with is slowly drained by the poisonous dart that has intentionally found its way to you.
Fear and discouragement are the heavy artillery used by the enemy to derail you and extinguish the fire you have as a follower of Christ. If you’ve been under attack you know how debilitating and paralyzing it is to your spirit. So, how do you loosen the grip of the enemy’s hold in your life?
Just as God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous he commands us to do the same. How can we do this when we can barely see above the fear that’s clouding our vision and the discouragement that invading our heart? We can only do it through the assurance that God is with us always. If God who is all-powerful, omniscient, never-changing, who is limitless in possibility is always with us then fear and discouragement are already defeated. The Lord is our shield protecting us from the darts of the enemy. Through our faith and assurance, our courage and strength are born. We can be encouraged by the knowledge of the scriptures that assure us that God has our back.
When I’m in my groove and on my path of purpose a huge mistake I make that gives the enemy a clear shot is when I become self-reliant. The courage and strength I experience in the beginning are born from Christ, but then that old prideful self-appears and foolishly I start to rely on my own abilities, skills, and strength, placing my protective shield in a corner. The enemy is crafty! When he sees I’ve taken off my armor he will take full advantage of my unprotected state, target my weaknesses and vulnerabilities with a full-on attack. Suddenly I’ve veered off course. I’m deflated, doubtful and feel like a balloon that’s been popped. All that zeal for God is replaced with a hesitancy to go forward. Ladies this isn’t what God wants for us!
The key to strength and courage is allowing it to pour in through Christ. Let him fill you with his blessed assurance, let him wipe away the tears of discouragement and resuscitate you with a heart of encouragement! You have nothing to fear as long as you continue to be rooted in Christ. We don’t have to be strong on our own, we can’t! We need the Lord of infinite power to permeate our life to be a force field against the darts of the enemy so that we can become the masterpiece the potter had always planned!
I get bored with the same old New Year’s resolutions. You know, save money, lose weight, exercise, get organized, etc. They are all worthy goals and worth pursuing, but this year my goal is to simply smell good. No, I don’t have a hygiene problem, so if you happen to see me, please give me a hug! I promise there is no BO! Yesterday, I was catching up on some sermons from our church since we were away on vacation and my minister spoke of smelling good as Christians, based off of Corinthians 2:14-15,”But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” This scripture made me pause and reflect upon my own aroma. How often do I give off a pleasing aroma to my family, friends, strangers, neighbors, and church family? I also asked myself how often do I just stink? Or was I inconsistent in the aroma I was giving off to others which is just as bad as stinking!
Very hesitantly I had to admit that sometimes I was stinky. I didn’t mean to be smelly, but there were days that I allowed the stinky flesh to take over instead of allowing the sweet-smelling spirit of Jesus persevere, which is always regrettable. Regardless of any other goals, I hope to pursue, none is really more important than representing the love of Jesus. I want to be held captive by Christ’s triumphal procession and not held captive by my own ego. I realized the opportunities and assignments I missed to spread the pleasing aroma of Christ and how that doesn’t fit with God’s purpose for my life. I’ve spent some time thinking about when I have smelled good as a follower of Jesus and the joy it brought to others and I want more of that! I want others to look at me and see me as different, as a woman who loves Christ, who smells sweet and spreads that aroma in all circumstances.
My prayer is for God to reveal to me when I’m stinking and help me to choose the sweetness of his aroma. In a world that gives us plenty of situations to be downright smelly and I know I have a challenge in front of me. Out of the many goals of New Year’s past, this one means the most. I believe it is kingdom work that is life-changing. If I hope to maximize my God-given time on earth in a way that is pleasing to my Father, some pretty tough self-examination of my actions are needed, which require me to look at how my life is or isn’t glorifying God and to be consistent and honest with myself and God. If I want to spread the sweet aroma that Corinthians speaks about my life has to be less about me and my desires and more about Christ’s desires for me as his servant. So, I’m looking forward to seeking God more diligently, diving into his Word more intently, and trusting fully in the Holy Spirit and hopefully, I’ll start smelling better every day!
Last night my sweet girl had a 101.2 temperature, she was achy and downright miserable. You know what happens to your momma’s heart when your child is sick. Waves of helplessness wash over you and if you could switch bodies to take away their pain you’d do it in a millisecond. After I gave her a dose of medicine, I laid in bed next to her feverish body, hyper-aware of every twitch, murmur, and move she made. That’s what we moms do right? We stick right by our kid’s side. Do you think I cared about getting a good night sleep or catching whatever bug it was she had? Absolutely not! Why? Because I love her with every breath of my body. My heart and will always cause me to reach out and draw her into my arms.
It made me think about when we’re sick and how God reacts to us, specifically, when we’re sin-sick. That type of sick caused by sin. You know what I’m talking about right? When we’re stuck in sin it makes us sick. It could be physically, spiritually or emotionally sick or all three, but it’s bad. The thing about sin is it tricks you. It doesn’t make you sick at first, but soon, you start feeling a little off. Deep down you know what’s happening, but hey sin feels good right? So, that nagging feeling is easy to shrug off, but eventually, that sin infection life spreads causing all kind of havoc. Sin-sickness effects our heart, our mind, and our spirit with unexpected side-effects.
When I’m sin-sick I tend to pull away from God. Why? Because I’m ashamed, embarrassed, and disappointed in myself. The enemy’s voice is telling me I’m useless, pathetic, weak and will never amount to anything. Sound familiar? It’s a loud voice you can’t miss it because it’s persistent and convincing. Being sin-sick is serious and when we isolate or pull away from God who is our medicine it only gets worse and is prolonged. So why do we do pull away? I believe there are a number of reasons, but I believe the common causes are a few factors:
- Denial, anger, sadness, and embarrassment that we still fall for sin’s old tricks.
- Shame that we are not as spiritually mature as we thought we were.
- We don’t want to face God because we feel like we let him down (as if he doesn’t already know what we did:)
- Simply, we aren’t ready to stop the sin because it feels good, it has become a habit, or we feel like we’re in too deep to stop cold turkey.
When God’s child is sin-sick He’s like us mommas in that God tries to pull us closer to Him even when we are pulling away. His desire is to cover us with his incomparable love and heal us from the sin that’s at the core of our illness. When my daughter is sick all I want to do is hold her, it’s an automatic reaction just like getting her well is my top priority. Nothing matters, not my job, my to-do list, my house, nothing but the restoration of her health is on the agenda.That’s how God looks at us when we’re sick. We are God’s priority. He doesn’t want us to remain sin-sick, to suffer in disobedience, or to hide behind a shame that we don’t have to carry.
The Lord wants to see us restored to a place that allows us to glorify Him. So many of us continue to suffer from sin-sickness because the enemy has cornered us in our most vulnerable state. When we fall into sin the enemy has an open door to bombard us with lies. His schemes are easier to carry out because we are spiritually weakened. Sin compromises our strength just like the flu knocks us on our back. It chips away at the spiritual immunity that protects us. Sin is loud and it will do its best to drown out the Holy Spirit.
If you are suffering from some sin-sickness right now, please let God be your refuge. Don’t isolate, run, or allow shame to keep you from accepting your healing. Let him love on you and restore you back to the spiritual health that he always intended for you to live in. Think about how big your momma’s heart is and how your heart aches when your child is sick. When you’re sick God’s heart is aching for you too and He wants nothing more than to be your healer and to deliver you from the sin infection that is attacking your spirit. God wants you to know you are not your sin, you are his child, uniquely and beautifully created to glorify Him and live a life free of shame and bondage. Don’t allow sin-sickness to draw you away from God, instead allow it pull you closer to his loving arms.
There are more days than less when I feel like anything but a conqueror. Instead of feeling like a conqueror, I feel weak, tired, less than, and defeated. There are days when I just want to put the covers over my head and simply give up because the day in front of me is so overwhelming that I don’t want to face it alone. When I slip into this pit of defeat, I’m reminded that it isn’t my strength, but through the strength of God who loves me that I will get through the day. Regardless of how stressful or impossible it appears to be, God lifts me up to higher ground.
I run into trouble when I throw on depend on myself. When I think that I’m in control and a conqueror of my own is when I realize how weak I really am without fully relying on the one who loves me. God created us to be conquerors, to withstand even the unspeakable trials that fall upon us and he empowers us to stand against the spiritual battles we face every day. When we accepted Christ we were endowed with the Holy Spirit and the real power that comes through Christ.
If you’re in a season that is getting the best of you, that is tearing you down I want you to read Roman 8:37 and remember that not only are you a conqueror through His love, you are MORE than a conqueror! Sweet sister, put your full faith in the Lord and you will see a mighty blessing take place. You will experience what God is able to do in any situation big or small through you! Meditate on this scripture and etch it in your heart and mind whenever you are doubtful and ready to give up. God isn’t finished with you he is just beginning and there is much to conqueror in your path, but you are equipped with an everlasting love and the most powerful ally that ever lived…Jesus Christ. Now, stand firmly in the conqueror God created you to be!