Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Birthday Bash 2012!

WOW! We have some amazingly talented women in our Mops group! Here is a picture recap from our birthday bash yesterday! We hope everyone walked away with tons of ideas and inspiration! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Loving, Serving, Submission

Christine V. Corrigan

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone-we find it with another.” ~Thomas Merton

Submission. I often hear preachers teach submission in the context of a marriage where a wife is to “submit [herself] to her husband in everything” (Philippians 5:24) while her husband is commanded “to love [his] wife…as Christ loved the Church” (Philippians 5:25). I don’t think that the kind of submission that is often preached goes along with God’s real definition of what it means to submit. I think submission is more that just yielding to your husband’s every request and wishes.In his book “Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth,” Richard Foster defines submission as “the ability to lay down the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way.” I don't know about you, but often, it's very hard for me to lay down my wants and needs and not have the last say especially in my own home. I know it's my flesh wanting to control situations so that I get the outcome I'm expecting. But I believe that the kind of submission that Jesus meant when he says that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24) lies in the daily mundane. It is when we cook for our family, do the laundry, clean up the mess, change a diaper, and mop the floors that we submit, in love, putting aside our need to get our own way and fully experience the love that Christ intends for us to have for others. It is no longer about ourselves but it is to the interest of others.

One of the passages in the Bible that really speaks to my heart is Philippians 2:1-8 (MSG).

1-4 If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Wow! Jesus commanded us to put ourselves aside so that others can get ahead—that is true submission. Loving is not just a feeling that we feel towards one another but it is through serving others that love manifest itself. I challenge you this week to ask someone this question: “How may I serve you?” My prayer is that you will find contentment when you have truly experience the kind of submission that Jesus preached about.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Becoming a Dynamite Mother!

On top of collecting all of these FABULOUS hygiene items for Operation Christmas Child, It was awesome to have Tracy Russell this week as our guest speaker! If you missed it, here are a few key points she made on becoming a dynamite mother!

Acts 2
Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit, which would result in power. The greek word for power is dunamis, from this word, we have the word dynamite. The word means strength, power, ability. The Holy Spirit not only transforms us into a new creation, we receive power to do the work at hand!!!

-Without the Holy Spirit you can have a perfect teacher, all the facts, and STILL not understand!

-How can Jesus make us dynamite? For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

-What is holding you back from being a dynamite mother? What would you like to change?

-Are you a believer that doesn't feel power anymore? Get out of this sick and stupid culture! Use prayer, teachings, and christian friends!

-When the Holy Spirit comes, there will be unity and believers will come together instead of falling apart!

Enjoy the rest of your week ladies! We love you!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Leave the Judging to God

We hope you enjoy this devotion from Natasha Ritter! 

Joel Hemphill, a great southern gospel songwriter, wrote a hit song in the 1970′s entitled “He’s Still Working On Me”. The first verse goes like this:
There really ought to be a sign upon my heart,
‘Don’t Judge Me Yet There’s An Unfinished Part’.
But I’ll be perfect just according to his plan,
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hand.”
Christians are often some of the worst at judging the lives of others. Isn’t it ironic! While we have been commissioned by Christ to proclaim the gospel, we often turn unbelievers away from Jesus by how we outwardly judge others who fail to measure up to our worldly standard. In other words, we push others away from Christ instead of allowing them to see the Christian qualities in us that have brought such joy and peace to our lives. Indeed, there are many unbelievers who, after looking at how judgmental we can be, say to themselves: “If that’s Christianity, then I don’t want any part of it.” Sadly, they may only see a brief portion of our lives, but may be lost for all of eternity.
God is going to hold us accountable for the quality of witness we allow our lives to show. I’m afraid that when we get to heaven, we are going to have a lot of explaining to do. Oh sure, if we are saved, our sins are thrown in the sea of forgetfulness. But the Bible also promises that we are going to stand before God and have a little talk about the good and bad in our lives. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that we should not judge – period! “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with measure you use, it will be measured you.” (Matthew7:2) In fact, some of the strongest warnings Christ gave in his three-year ministry concerned judgment. He thought it was a most ridiculous worldly quality. That’s why he used a peculiar analogy to make His point. “Why do you look at a speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)
What Jesus is telling us about being judgmental is that we can’t look discriminately at others unless we look at them through our own mistakes, our own failures, and our own sins. And if we apply that standard, then we will show those Christ-like qualities that will emphasize forgiveness and not judgment.
Isn’t it great that God does not judge us the same way that we judge others? That’s right! When God looks at our lives, he looks first at our hearts. Galatians 2:6 says “God does not judge by external appearance”.
Oh, by the way, Joel Hemphill wrote another great verse in that song I mentioned:
“In the mirror of his word, reflections that I see,
Make me wonder why he never gave up on me.
But he loves me as I am and helps me when I pray.
Remember, He’s the potter, I’m the clay.”