I just returned from She Speaks 2016 Conference. All I can say is, “Wow!” What a special experience! The Proverbs 31 Ministry team did an incredible job of bringing together women of all ages, stages and seasons of life—women with different religious backgrounds, but a similar calling to make Jesus famous. Our worship time was amazing! This, to me, was a glimpse of what I imagine heaven will be like.
There were around 700 women in attendance, with about 500 of them were first-time attendees and another 100 or so in staff, presenters, and publishers. The really incredible thing is that there were over a 1,000 women on the waitlist that were not able to make it. Every woman in attendance was prayed for by name, and I knew the Lord had chosen me to be there. The prayer room there is a very special place, where a basket lay on a table with tiny scrolls of scripture printed for the attendees. I want to share with you the scripture that I chose:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25
I had several takeaways from the conference that I want to share with you. If you are in women’s ministry, writing, speaking or leading and you are interested in attending She Speaks, get on the waiting list for next year now. The conference fills up very quickly. It is completely worth the time and money to invest in your calling. She Speaks is a truly unique experience and you will be blessed. One of the best parts is the community—I met some of the sweetest Jesus girls, and I know we will be longtime friends!
The most significant thing for me was that God confirmed my calling to continue with my writing and blogging. I was given confidence in that calling and began to realize that my voice matters. I know I need to be strong and courageous in moving forward and continue to share Jesus in my sphere of influence. Writing, blogging, and especially speaking has really stretched me in my walk with Jesus. Another thing I learned was that God allows gaps in our calling on purpose so that we abide in Him. Not every part of this journey will be in my sweet spot. As I continue to step out in faith, obedience brings blessings. I look forward to what the Lord has planned for the future!
Chapel at Kebel College, Oxford University, Oxford UK
Photo credit: Jacob Phillip
The architecture of this beautiful chapel hearkens back to an era when cathedrals were built to the glory of God. My son is visiting Oxford, and this is where he plans to have his morning time with God. This got me thinking about my quiet time practices. Some people like to meet with the Lord at the same time and place every morning or evening.
Keeping a daily appointment with God is important.
However, I love varying where I have my quiet time. Since I live in Texas and have children, most of my quiet time takes place inside my home early in the morning before the kids get up. I love the few mornings that I can slip outside in the fall and spring and have my quiet time in the cool and enjoyable weather. When I travel, I tend to mix it up—Sometimes I sit in a comfy chair in a Hotel lobby, or maybe go outside and find a quiet spot in nature.
We have access to the Throne of Grace 24/7. We can boldly enter into a time of fellowship with our Lord and Savior, anytime, anywhere. It doesn’t matter when or where we have our quiet time. What is important is that we make time for God’s Word and time to be still before Him.
O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is great God and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:1-3 KJV
In Jesus we have everything we need, because He is everything! And through Him and in the Knowledge of Him, we have everything that we need in order to live a life that is pleasing to Him!
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” – 2 Peter 1:3-5, English Standard Version
He has given us such great promises. Left to my own devices, I am a big mess! Our world is hurting, and is an even bigger mess. I need more of Jesus, and today I am claiming those promises for myself and for my family, and it is my prayer that you will claim the promises that His Word as for you today!
I love the fanfare of the 4th of July. It evokes memories of watermelon, parades, miniature American flags blowing in the wind, patriotic music and fireworks—lots and lots of fireworks. The older I become, the more important this holiday becomes to me. The 4th of July is not only the celebration of the birth of our country, but it is also a celebration of freedom.
The First Amendment to the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
As an American, this means that I have the freedom to worship my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I can assemble with fellow believers. I am free to read the Word of God and pray. I am free to tell others about Jesus.
In 2 Corinthians 2:17 (ESV), we learn where true freedom comes from. It doesn’t come from the government or from any person. True freedom comes from Christ, as we see in this verse, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” True freedom comes when we entrust our lives to Jesus Christ. Through our salvation in Christ, we are free from condemnation, sin, guilt, and shame. We are free to love God and experience the peace of God and His presence.
This 4th of July, enjoy celebrating with friends, family and apple pie, but don’t forget to remember those who have sacrificed their lives to protect our liberties. Most of all, celebrate the freedom that we have through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice because, in Jesus, we have freedom.