Have you heard of a Mastermind group? Until I went to She Speaks last year, I had no idea what a Mastermind group even was, but I had a close friend who said we need to start a one. So we did.
The concept of a Mastermind group came from Napoleon Hill’s book written in the early 1900’s Think and Grow Rich. He defined it as, “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
Upon returning from She Speaks 2016, we formed our group for the purpose of holding each other accountable in our writing and pursuit of ministry. Almost immediately after starting our group, God began shaking things up in our midst. Currently, there are three of us who meet every other week to encourage one another, pray for one another, and help each other with our blogs and ministries. We have been praying about hosting a Women’s event this fall, and we are diligently seeking what needs we can meet. We typically meet at my house every other Friday morning, but this week there was a conflict, so we decided to meet up at a restaurant on Thursday evening.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”lh_F5″ via=”yes” ]We thought we were going there to meet up and encourage each other, but God had other plans.[/ctt]
As we finished our food and began our meeting time together, a young boy politely interrupted us and asked if we could help his family. He told us that they were homeless and were trying to gather enough money to get a room.
As we dug into our wallets to for money, my friend pulled out a twenty dollar bill and handed to the boy. The boy tried to give it back to her—he thought she made a mistake, but the look on his face said that he didn’t think he felt worthy of twenty dollars. He tried to take off, but my other friend and I were pulling money out of our wallets to give to him. We stopped him and inquired where his momma was and told him we wanted to pray for them. We watched as he ran across the parking lot to a parked car. The woman and her two young boys cautiously drove back to the front of the restaurant not knowing what to expect.
This wasn’t the first time they had gone into
the restaurant begging for money.
We went to out to pray and proceeded to spend the next couple of hours outside the car, getting to know this woman’s heart, declaring the truth of God’s love for her and her precious children parked right in front of the restaurant. We proclaimed God’s love for them, encouraged and prayed for them, and gave them hope. They had a Bible in the backseat, and my friend shared some verses with the boys. While she was talking to the kids and looking up scriptures, I spoke to the mom.
I cannot adequately describe to you what happened in that parking lot, but what I can tell you is that it was a divine appointment.
For a few moments, time stood still, the sky broke open, and heaven came down. I am still trying to process it all myself. I am humbled that the Lord interrupted our plans to do “big things for him.” God showed us what really matters. Love Him, love others, and tell as many people as we can what Jesus Christ has done for us.
I don’t know if I will ever see that woman or her children again, but I know that I will never be the same.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”UD9b7″ via=”yes” ]The world is full of lost and hurting people if we are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit we can be a conduit of love and hope.[/ctt]
Lord, rescue us from our mundane lives. Break our hearts for what breaks yours! Help us to live aware of others and be sensitive to their needs. Help us to pray in parking lots, and grocery stores, and neighborhoods, and wherever there is a need. Equip us with love and compassion for the needy and give us opportunities to put your love into action.
Friends, will you join me in praying for a transformative change to take place in the hearts and lives of this woman and her boys through the power of the cross? And for the untold numbers of people like her who need a touch from God, who need to know there is hope, and that they are loved.
As we approach Easter weekend, let us be ever mindful of those who are lost and need to know the hope that lies within us. I want to leave you with two new songs from Elevation Worship, Fullness and Mighty Cross. As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord, may these videos bless you as much as they have blessed me this week!
My husband took me to Magnolia Farms in Waco, TX recently. I am a huge fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and I was so excited to finally make it to Waco to see the Silos and visit Magnolia Market!
I love Joanna Gaine’s style and love the way she and Chip banter with one another. You can tell that they love one another, love their family, and that they enjoy what they do. Isn’t that what life is all about? Love God, and love others!
Shopping at the Silos was so inspiring. There were beautiful vignettes all throughout the store and plenty of photo opportunities.
We were at Magnolia Market on a Friday, and it was a gorgeous day, but the crowds were pretty large. Which made it difficult to see everything. If I have a chance to go back, I think I will go on Tuesday morning, and hopefully, it won’t be as crowded. I loved all of the flowers inside the shop and the gardens outside the shop.
Just in time for Spring, one thing caught my eye and I knew that I needed to take it home was the boxwood wreath I saw hanging on the wall. I knew that it would make a great addition to my front door, and would take me from Spring to Fall. Here it is pictured below with some topiaries I had in my entryway and these precious little bunnies I found at Home Goods. What do you think?
This got me thinking that Easter is only one month away, and I have barely gotten everything taken down and put away from Christmas. However, I really want our Easter Celebration to be special as special as our Christmas this year. I want to focus on the Resurrection power we have through Jesus Christ and am praying about ways to make this an important part of our time together as a family.
This year I decided to pull out my parent’s wedding china and use it for our Easter celebration. I miss my parents so much and have fond memories of eating off of these plates throughout the holidays. I look forward to incorporating this into my Easter Table this year.
I threw together this centerpiece with stuff I had from previous years, and just love the way this bunny looks nestled within the eggs and flowers.
So what about you friend? I would love to know what traditions you celebrate at Easter. Do you have anything special planned this year? Leave me a comment, and let me know what you are doing for your Easter Celebration!
Are you weary? Does your soul need to be refreshed?
As women and especially as wives and mothers, our hearts can become so weary from caring for the needs of others that we tend to overlook taking care of ourselves. Recently, I listened to a message from my friend Lisa Allen, Executive Director of Ministry Training at Proverbs 31 entitled, “Self-Care Isn’t Selfish.” This message really resonated with me. As women, wives, and mothers, why do we think it is selfish to tend to our own needs? For years I have poured my life out for others and neglected to care for myself. The Lord is showing me that life is a marathon and not a sprint. Runners don’t run marathons without first being properly nourished, rested, and hydrated.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us – Hebrews 12:1
As Christian women, we are called to run our race in life with endurance. To run with endurance, we also need to be properly nourished, rested and hydrated. Our nourishment comes from spending time in the presence of God, meditating on His word, and loving others. Before any flight takes off, the flight attendant instructs passengers of what to do in an emergency. Passengers are told to put on their own oxygen mask before assisting anyone else.
This past weekend was a breath of fresh air for my soul, it was a privilege to attend the Refresh Gathering hosted by my friend Debi Chapman. I am so excited to share the Refresh Gathering with you this week. I love Debi’s heart for the Lord, and her multigenerational vision to encourage women. The Refresh Gathering was held at a beautiful venue in Grapevine, Texas called the Laurel. The day was referred to as a “spa day for your soul.”
It is a beautiful thing when women of all ages come to together to enjoy Christian fellowship with one another and to encourage one another in their Christian walk.
Debi Chapman’s great opening session centered around the story of Lazarus in John 11. The key scripture from her talk was John 11:40.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40 ESV
If you believe (in the midst of your pain, suffering, and mistakes), then you would see the glory of God. The enemy wants us to question God when things go wrong in our life. We can’t go back and change the past, but we can choose to see Jesus in the midst of our circumstances.
We must believe that no matter what happens in life….. that Jesus sees us, He hears our prayers, and He loves us!
[ctt template=”2″ link=”a148b” via=”yes” ]Where do you need to be refreshed today?[/ctt]
Colleen Stickl of Awakened Heart spoke on receiving refreshment and taught from the scripture in John 4 about the woman at the well and our need to be refreshed by living water. Colleen focused on three specific areas where we refreshment, our identity, our perspective, and our purpose. Each day our souls need to be refreshed by living water so that we can refresh others out of our overflow.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” – John 4:10 ESV
The woman at the well was full of regret and was isolated. As Christians, our identity is not shame or regret. We need to remember who we are, and whose we are!
Our identity is in Jesus, and we are called, chosen, and forgiven.
My favorite statement of Colleen’s was this….
The enemy wants me to look back at regret and look ahead and fear.- Colleen Stickl
Our identity, our perspective, and our purpose need to be in Jesus.
Monica Zuniga of We Are Unveiled spoke on being refreshed through forgiveness. She taught from the story of Joeseph and reminded us that we have been set free so that we can forgive others. My two favorite quotes from her talk were….
The enemy will always divide
Man will subtract
God brings Unity
Our encounter with grace and mercy with the King of the universe should affect our encounters with others. – Monica Zuniga
Next, we heard from Emily Thomas of Mom Struggling Well. She encouraged us to obey God, and if God is telling you to do something, just do it. He will help you do whatever it is he calling you to do!
Kaye Haun of House on Oak Street encouraged us to allow the Lord to renew our souls. To create an environment that brings refreshment to ourselves and those who we have the opportunity to serve in our homes, we need to be sensitive to our season in life. She talked about slowing down and being present with the people in front of us and being present with the Lord. She encouraged us to spend time with the Lord listening to how he would have us care for ourselves and for others, and allow him to give us ideas of refreshment.
Cindy Haggerton spoke on wellness. Dr. Jim Bob and Cindy Haggerton are a husband and wife chiropractic team who have dedicated their lives to educating the public about health and wellness. I encourage you to find out more about them here at Family Wellness. Cindy shared her powerful healing of restoration in her marriage to Jim Bob. She taught about the brain, digestion, and chronic inflammation and it was fascinating. Her philosophy is “move well, be well, think well,” but this is my favorite quote from her session.
“Your husband needs to see you refreshed.”- Cindy Haggerton
Susan Ryan has lived an incredible life of international travel and is passionate about developing leaders. Through humor and wit, she encouraged us to embrace life in all its fullness, messiness, and beauty.
I love this quote from Susan!
“Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.”- Susan Ryan
Lexa Brecheen of Gateway Church was precious! She spoke on God’s sufficiency to supply all of our needs. She told us about the importance of one word of refreshment and how it can change the course of someone’s day. Refreshing other people is not about us. It is about God being glorified. Make it all about Jesus.
The day concluded with an insightful panel discussion and Q&A with the speakers, and Debi Chapman closed out by sharing Jeremiah 15:19.
Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.- Jeremiah 15:19 ESV
Her final charge was this: We are precious because we are made in the image of God, and that the enemy tries to convince us that it doesn’t matter what we do, but what we do matters!
What we do matters!
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. -Proverbs 4:23
We are salt and light, and as we are refreshed by the Lord, we need to refresh others. There were other amazing vendors and sponsors, so be sure to check out Refresh Gathering for all of the details.
I want to close with one final thought from the book of Hebrews.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
Let us encourage one another to love and good works. I would love to know how you inspire and refresh others in your sphere of influence!
Life can be so complicated and unpredictable. Today has been one of those days for me. My day started off with three MRIs: one for my brain, one for my neck and one for my back. My dear sweet husband took the morning off from work to hold my hand, comfort me, and pray for me because he knows that I am claustrophobic and that MRIs cause me great anxiety! Today was one of those days when I just needed my husband’s presence. As I went further into the MRI tube, he held my leg, and just knowing he was there brought me tremendous comfort. While sitting in the waiting room before my MRI and filling out my paperwork, I realized that today is February 13, my mom’s birthday. If my mom were still alive today, she would have turned 77!
We think we have to do something, but presence is a powerful action of its own. – Sarah Beckman
I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately. She died a few years ago after she was taken off of life support just days after Christmas. Family relations and emotions were all running high. Many friends called, texted and offered support. Whenever anyone offered to help I would simply ask for prayer. I would say that I was alright when in reality I wasn’t.
In trying times, people tend to say they are okay and don’t need anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I will never forget the loving kindness of a friend who offered to stop by the hospital to bring food, and she would not take no for an answer. Not only did she bring me food, but she also took the time to listen to me. We prayed, we sang, and she sat with me as the Lord called my mom home. Her presence at that moment in my life was powerful and it is a gift that I will forever cherish.
How do we walk alongside someone in the midst of trying circumstances?
There’s a unique opportunity to love our neighbor when they experience a time of trial in their life. – Sarah Beckman
We all experience difficult trials in life, and we know people close to us that suffer hardships. How do we love and care for others well in their crisis? The answer to this question is the purpose of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial. This must-read book is an invaluable resource for walking alongside those in need.
This book is filled with questions to consider. It offers practical ways to love people through the storms of life and will help you figure out the best way to respond to the individual’s needs. You will learn to know your place in relationship to the person in need, and what you should do accordingly. It will also give a good understanding of possible needs and how people may be feeling, including general guidelines to consider and questions to help prepare for the journey ahead.
Part 2 of the book is dedicated to taking action. Know when to go, and when to pray. When I went to the hospital to give birth to my son whose heart had stopped beating in my womb, my sweet friends wanted to come to the hospital. While having my friends at the hospital that day was a kind gesture, what I needed most was time to grieve alone with my family. There is a chapter dedicated to respecting the person’s journey and includes information on privacy and dignity, and other chapters offer specific help, including being present, showing love through food, listening well and much more.
Finally, the book concludes with chapters on special circumstances, including: messy situations, when faith isn’t shared, when you’ve been there, when someone is aging, and terminal illness. In the appendix, there are scriptures for loving your neighbor which are divided into categories and a list of websites, books, and other helpful resources like meal coordination and online fundraising.
A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.
I have one autographed copy of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial to give away!
From now until February 28th, leave a comment below with either a way that you have come alongside someone in need or how someone has blessed you in a difficult time, to be eligible to win. Also, if you enjoyed reading this blog post please share with a friend.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fantastic week!