Fear of the Lord

Today I want to share the post I wrote last week for PhilanthropyFashion.com on the Fear of the Lord. I hope you enjoy it! Blessings, Misty

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As women today, we can be consumed with how we look, and fight the aging process tooth and nail, but if we look at Proverbs 31 we learn that our beauty, charm, and favor will diminish with time, but what makes us praiseworthy is that we fear the Lord.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.” -Proverbs 31:30

[ctt template=”2″ link=”H20GV” via=”yes” ]The woman of Proverbs 31 is one who fears the Lord.[/ctt]

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I am acrophobic! Acrophobic comes from the Greek: ἄκρον, ákron root, meaning “peak, summit, edge” and φόβος, phóbos, which means “fear.” I have an irrational fear of the edge or precipice. I am not afraid of heights per say, but I am absolutely terrified of the edge of almost anything. Anytime I am more than two inches off the ground I get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It doesn’t matter if I walk upstairs in my own home, I can’t get near the railing and look over. It practically undoes me. I get the same feeling if I have to sit in the balcony area at church, or when I visited GTNP or the Grand Canyon. I have an unhealthy fear of the edge, and I am frightened by it. Is this the kind of fear the woman in Proverbs 31 has?

What does it mean to fear the Lord?

Moses exhorts the Israelites to get their hearts right in Deuteronomy 10, and we learn several things in the passage about the fear of the Lord.

 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12

From this verse we four important things the Lord requires of us.

Fear God – We often think of fear as being afraid, but we are not to be afraid of the Lord. Fearing God doesn’t mean that we should be scared of God, instead of the meaning of fear in these verses is awe and amazement of the Lord. We should stand in wonder toward the Lord with respect and honor! Our God is truly awesome! Because He is awesome, we are to be bold in our faith. In fact, in 2 Timothy we learn that we are not to have a spirit of fear. “I have not given you a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Walk in His ways – We are to walk humbly with God. Micah 6:8 says that “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” God despises the proud and the haughty.  He wants us to be in constant communication with Him as we go about our daily life. When we spend time with Him and in His word, he shows us what to do and where to go. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.” -Psalm 119:105

Love Him – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” – Deuteronomy 6:5 God loves us so much that He sent His one and only son to die for us, and in return, He wants our love. He doesn’t require it of us, but his hearts delights in our affection for Him.

Keep His Commands – Do what He tells you to do and follow His commands. Just like it pleases us when our children obey us, God wants us to listen and follow Him.

What else does the Bible say about the fear of the Lord?

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In the book of Proverbs, we learn that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  Proverbs 9:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”  -Psalm 111:10

When we combine our knowledge of the things of God, with wisdom we apply God’s word to our lives. We will have a healthy fear of the Lord. We will see Him as a loving Father that we do not want to disappoint, but we will also stand in amazement of who He is. If we want to be truly beautiful and praiseworthy Christian women, then we should begin by standing in awe of God.

If we want to be truly beautiful and praiseworthy Christian women, then we should begin by spending more time in the Word of God, and devote our lives to prayer and praise Jesus.

 

Wisdom from Broken & Free Tour

What would you ask Ann Voskamp, Christy Nockels or Rebekah Lyons if you could sit across from them and ask a question?

I decided that I wanted to get an encouraging word from these women to share with my fellow Christian blogger friends and ministry partners. God has called us to an amazing journey but it has its own set of challenges that these women are all too familiar with!

I recently attended the broken and free tour and over the course of the evening, we worshiped God with Christy Nockels and listened to inspiring messages from Ann Voskamp and Rebekah Lyons.IMG_1591.JPG

I have been following and Ann Voskamp’s blog for many years and her book 1000 Gifts was life-changing for me!  I was reading it during my pregnancy with my baby Liam who had trisomy 18. Ann’s wisdom helped me take the most excruciatingly painful experiences and pour it out in an offering of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord and to others. If you’ve never had the chance to read 1000 gifts or her nearest book The Broken Way, I would highly recommend them!

You can not feel fear & gratitude at the same time.-Ann Voskamp

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Christy Nockels and her husband Nathan started off in Houston many years ago. I had the opportunity to see them when they came to Champion Forest Baptist Church in the 1990’s and have loved them ever since. Christy’s music has always taken me into the presence of the Lord during some of my most difficult times and some of my sweetest memories of worship.

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This was my first opportunity to meet Rebecca Lyons. I loved her message of freedom and feel like we are probably somewhat kindred spirits since we both know the joy and the pain of raising a special needs son.

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My one question for them was this: looking back over the course of your ministry, what one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

The wisdom these ladies shared did not disappoint.

Ann Voskamp took her cue from Beth Moore and said if you are writing a Bible Study to teach it to the ladies God puts in front of you. She said to teach it to the people right in front of you, get feedback, and do business with the Lord there working that thing out. She concluded by saying to pour your life out as an offering and let the Lord use you right where you are, and Rebekah Lyons shared a similar sentiment about ministering to those God puts right in front of you.

I love the wisdom Christy Nockels shared about ministering from a place of rest! It is easy to get caught up on a hamster wheel of life, and ministry is no exception. Christy’s message was similar to a word that I received last year from Beth Moore, which was “enjoy the process.” The video below is Christy’s response to me, I hope it encourages you as much as it encouraged me.

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Broken things can become new! – Ann Voskamp

Shauna Groves was our host for the evening, and one of the highlights of the evening was when Compassion International  signed people up to sponsor children. Compassion is helping release people from poverty all around the world.

 

Jesus Christ came to heal our brokenness and set the captives free! Are you walking in freedom today my friend? Do you know the lover of your soul? Do you have an intimate relationship with him? He loves you, and He came to save you! As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus during Easter this year, I challenge you to go deeper in your relationship with Him!

Seek Jesus, Study the Word, and Grow in Grace

Please drop me a note if you are in need of prayer today. I would love to pray for you!

Much Love, Misty

 

Refresh Gathering

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.”

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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!

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[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

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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!

 Link ups this week.


 

Revive Gathering

Calling all women of North Houston: Do you know about Revive Gathering yet? If not, then you need to! Revive is a seasonal gathering for the women of North Houston to come together and glorify God through worship, prayer, and God’s Word. Women from several churches and denominations in the area gathered together this past Thursday at Revive Gathering.

To God be glorified, women be unified – Revive Gathering

fullsizeoutput_18e4The worship was phenomenal Thursday evening and women from all walks of life were united together in praise for  Jesus under the stars at the Rob Fleming Park in The Woodlands. We sang songs of praise and worship to our Almighty Lord and Savior out in the brisk cool evening air. Voices lifted high to our King! It was a beautiful thing to be a part of. Then, Gina Webster brought an incredible message of unity for women to lift up and encourage one another so that Jesus Christ may be exalted!

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Gina encouraged women to show forgiveness, love, and mercy to one another and to build up the household of Faith. She said we don’t need to wrestle, envy, or be jealous of sisters. Instead, we should realize that we have received the promise of Jesus Christ and that God has a plan for each one of us that is full of goodness. She concluded her message with a charge for us to be women who fight for our sisters to lift up one another and to celebrate the good gifts that come to our sisters.

We ended the evening gathered in small prayer circles, where we prayed for one word for each woman. I was honored to lead a sweet group of young women in prayer, and I look forward to what God is going to do within their midst!

As women, we were made for community, and we need our sisters to love, encourage and pray for us. The enemy of our souls would love nothing more than to keep us isolated, separated and divided. As women, we must stand with our sisters and build one another up for the Kingdom of God.

Revive will meet again April 20, 2017, and I hope to see you there!

 

 

Our Home – A Sanctuary

Our homes should be a place of refuge and protection from the world, a sanctuary.  Home should be a place where we can relax, renew and recharge. “There is no place like home” is an expression for a reason. As women, we have an incredible opportunity to make our homes a refuge from the world for both our family and for our guests.

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. –     Proverbs 14:1 ESV

A wise woman is careful to build her home. Making our homes a place of beauty that reflects our personal taste is one of the greatest joys as a homemaker.

What are some practical ways that a wise woman can build her home?

This is my favorite time of the year. I cherish the art of hospitality and making my home a sanctuary. Over the course of the next few months, I would like to invite you into my home via the blog and share the beauty of the season with you.

I love to create beautiful flower arrangements, and seasonal decor to spruce things up and to keep it fresh. Pictured below is a floral arrangement in my dining room.

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Pictured above is a lovely little vignette for fall on my butler’s pantry.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”EaFXB” via=”yes” ]Creating a beautiful home that refreshes requires engaging all our senses.[/ctt]

We love playing musical instruments and listening to music. In fact, we have a dedicated music room in our home and have been known to pull out all our instruments when having friends over for dinner.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”J2MH0″ via=”yes” ]The type of music that you listen to within your home has a profound effect on the atmosphere of your home.[/ctt]

The kitchen is my happy place, and I love to create beautiful memories through food with family and friends. Making fresh home-cooked healthy meals is a joy for me, but even store-bought food can be presented beautifully with a little imagination and creativity. Pictured below is crusty sourdough bread with brie and an assortment of antipasto.

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I love diffusing essential oils, lighting candles, or fresh baking goodies to create a beautiful aroma that is pleasing to our sense of smell. Even a basket filled with potpourri can invigorate our senses.

I would love to know what you are doing to make your home a beautiful refuge from the world!