Sing o' Barren Woman Sing!

Do you ever have one of those songs that get stuck in your head, you hum it all day, you sing it in your sleep, you wake up singing it?  

I do and this video pick of the week is it. It's a song that has been stuck in my head and my heart and I am grateful it wasn't "Row, row row your boat." We all need a song, we all need a stirring in our heart that draws us to the only place that matters, His presence.  

There are times all is well, and then there are seasons it seems hurricane is an understatement. 

There are times the situation seems so overwhelming,  impossible to overcome. Sometimes we have to go toe to toe, eyeball to eyeball with "crazy."  Here is what I do.  I get up in the face of the enemy, I point my finger (it's the one time I can) and say "Back up Big Boy" and then I sing.  Get your sing on, and let cancer know "Our God Reigns." You could go face to face with recession with "Great is Thy Faithfulness."  When you heart can't take worrying about your prodigal son or daughter there is  "I Have to Believe" by Rita Springer. Whatever your going through  - your worship is warfare.  Let's not forget the victory dance, that's a later post.  

Theme song

This is the song I have been singing for months now. It has become my anthem, my theme song.  No matter how crazy things get Holy Spirit shows up as the moment's worship leader and I sing  "I Love Your Presence." 

What's your theme song this year? 

Your Faith on Center Stage

Have you ever taken a stand of faith that made you a joke among your friends? 

When people heard what God told you to do, did it seem like they all sat back to watch  you fail? 

When you make a stand for faith, or for a principle you are on center stage.  

Yep, there will be people that will cheer for you, will pray for you and they will rejoice with you when it all unfolds before their very eyes. I love those people.  

Then there are the people watching NASCAR just for the wrecks. 

There are those however, in every congregation, every denomination that isn't watching to see how good the show is, and  how great God shows up.  There are those that are waiting and watching with bated breath to see you make a mistake! They are waiting for the wrecks. They bought tickets just so they could watch you bite the dust one more time.  When you step out of the boat, it's okay if you get wet, these guys are the ones waiting for you with a towel. 

Heb 10:33 while you were made a gazingstock…

We are being warned in this Word our stands of faith will is what stands us out. It's what distinguishes us from everyone else. It will make us dinner conversation.  Whether we like it or not we are on display.  You will be amazed at how many people are on the edge of their seat watching you.  Some are on the edge of their seat because if you make it they can too.  Some are on the edge of their seat ready to jump up at the hint of mistake, point a finger and say  "I told you so!" Many times these people are not unbelievers they are believers, I use that term lightly.

So don't be surprised when your act of faith puts you on center stage.  Stand firm on the promises of God, don't let mistakes shake you, get up and try again.  When it's their turn be the audience that rejoices for them. 

Was there a time when you took a step of faith that put you on center stage? 


Lord, have mercy

Mercy and truth are the paths of the Lord. Ps 25:10

 If we want to find God, not like He is hiding anywhere, these two will show us the way. Mercy and truth leaves trails, tracks that God has been here.  Mercy is a catalyst for growth, personally and corporately. Truth sets you free.  

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

I heard people say "Yes, I forgive them" Yet, display no mercy for that person. Let me ask you something, the Word says "turn the other cheek."  So one day Sister I Say So smacks you right on the cheek. You turn the other cheek. You smile, you don't lash out you just get in your car and go home.  However, on the way home you get so steamed up about the smack your peace is gone. Did you really turn the other cheek? No.  There was no atmosphere of mercy in that car.

What about the ministry? 

 Is mercy the atmosphere people walk in to when they come to your ministry events? Is mercy being cultivated among the staff. Pride is your greatest enemy in this endeavor. Instead of dropping the ball we can start dropping the stones.

Here are some truths about mercy, that I have found to help me to up the awareness about it. 

We must recognize our need for mercy.  This is a biggie. We all need it.  There is no one exempt from it.  We all fail.  There is no promise for rose gardens.  There will be storms there will be afflictions and there is always a need for mercy.  Everyday there is a reason to ask for mercy. Everyday there is a reason to extend it. There is a desperate cry for mercy, not only with each of us, but all around us.  You want to start revival in your area? Start extending mercy, there is a famine going on, a severe shortage of mercy.

There is genuine mercy, that never runs out, and completely addresses every need.  That’s the mercy of God.  So often we run to people for mercy and get mad at God when they don’t give it up like He does. Some people will rake you over the coals, nit picking everything you have ever done wrong. It is a true gem of a person that humbly extends you mercy. Does this mean no correction? Nope.  It does mean correction out of love, in humility and always with the Gospel. There is mercy with God and it is His greatest pleasure to show you and extend it to you. 

We must experience genuine mercy in order to pass it on.  As we believe He has mercy now we must be open to receive it, and recognize it is is God’s choice.  It is a personal action on God’s part.  We miss it sometimes because we fail to accept the fact God is and will be merciful to us.  We comfort our thoughts that He is merciful but this really doesn’t complete us. It is the experience of mercy that changes everything. Don't let go until you experience His mercy.  His mercy removes all the stains of sin, even the sins committed against you. All the footprints that sin has left in your life, abortion, divorce, abuse, rape will be washed away.  How do you receive mercy?  Well, start with an act of faith, by thanking Him for it.  We don't thank Him enough for mercy. If you think about it, one day when we realize the awful terror we barely escaped we will be thanking Him with exuberance. 

When we pray/plead for others let the two arguments of our prayers be God's great mercy and the great misery without it.

Have you ever experience true mercy extended from another person? What was that like and how did it change you?

Wisdom vs Foolishness

How do we recognizie the difference between wisdom and foolishness?
It’s interesting when you study the book of Proverbs, foolishness and wisdom seem to be doing the same thing, having dinner and inviting you to it.   As leaders we have to make decisions, the wiser the choice the more we will enjoy the outcome. 
But sometimes the line is not easily seen.  Some people have the "angel and devil in the ear theology."  You know, a little angel in one ear and a little devil in the other ear telling you what to do.  Both making their case. When ever that happens to me I don’t do anything.  God doesn’t work that way.  God doesn’t promote going back and forth.  God doesn’t confuse us.  God makes it simple.  
In Proverbs there is two descriptions of Wisdom and Folly.  Here is a list of some of the things I gleaned to help tell the difference.
1 - Wisdom sets her table out in the open for all to see, Foolishness is secretive and in the dark.   Ask yourself can you follow the choice in public, can you do the thing in front of people? or Will it bring shame and humiliation to you and those you serve if found out? Are you going behind someone’s back? 
2 - Wisdom made all her own food and wine, there was preparation.  Foolishness stole the food there was no work or preparation involved.  Is the choice going to involve preparation, some work, some discipline. Is it going to involve faith? Is it a get a bunch of something for nothing? Sounds like the Israelites when they sent Moses to the top of the mountain to hear God for them. 
3 - Wisdom offers life, Foolishness death. When I buy online I like to read the reviews.  I want to hear what others had to say. Who is endorsing and who is discouraging, and are we considering the source? Was there life or was there death? Is the prophetic word matching up with Scriptures?  Are we judging and condemning?  Is the message edifying and encouraging?  Are we presenting the Gospel or are we presenting prosperity? Are we fighting for life? 
4 - Wisdom loves correction, Foolishness mocks, insults and scorns correction.  When facing a choice are you willing to embrace correction? How do you handle feedback? How do you handle criticism?  
What other differences are there?

Advice From a Hero

Dave, my husband, is a hero.

That's Dave, taking on wall of fire by HIMSELF!

Just the other day I got this text from him: 

“I went on a code, 41 year old woman, brought her back!”  

That’s my man!  

He went to Iraq and was under fire more than I would like to admit.  The stories of the fire fights, the enemy and the near death experiences are amazing.  

So I asked him  "Dave, how do you remain so calm when things get crazy?  How do you work on a bullet wound when there are bullets flying over your head?  How did you revive this lady when everyone is freaking out?"  

He thought about it, (he takes forever, he is the slowest guy I know) He came back later with some General’s name and these tips, he added some of his own stuff to it.  
Dave's Tips
Dave fighting a fully involved house fire.
1- Training and drilling are essential.  Invest in what you do, learn it, and learn to do it better every time.  Learn to do it with your eyes closed. It will become like second nature to you.  The more you invest in it the less likely you'll be thinking about it and the more you will be tuning into the Holy Spirit to guide you. 
2 - 3 Strikes your out is ridiculous. The only way your out is when you quit.  When your in a situation you will either contaminate or inspire confidence.  When your on a code, you keep at it!  If you give up, so will they.  When you go on a scene, there are the onlookers secretly rooting for you to make it all better.  They are the ones quietly praying for you, you can just tell.  There is nothing worse than those guys ceasing to pray.  
3 - When there is nothing wrong there is nothing wrong except there is nothing wrong. Be alert, danger is stalking you. Even God tells you to be careful where you stand lest you fall. The enemy is ready to pounce at any moment.  
Dave (far left)
4 -  Trust your instincts and get some buddies you can trust too.  Your instincts are a product of your education, the things you read, your personality, and your experience.  When seconds count this is all you have. Trust them and act on them.  Face the facts, deal with them, then move on. You are there for your friends, and they are there for you. If you don't have to fight alone, DON'T.  Include them on the fun too!

Do you have a hero? What makes them your hero? And what advice do you think they will give?

Video Pick: Now you Know

Here's a very short PSA for leaders.  

Need volunteers?

This weeks video will help.

So how do you recruit help? 

Embrace It by Guest Blogger Teri Gegen

Meet Teri Gegen – speaker, leader, and administrator.
Teri Gegen, Women's Ministry Rep
Teri has been actively serving as the director of “Heartbeat”, the women’s ministry of Frontline Christian Center, for the past several years.  She also serves as the office administrator as well as the administrative assistant to the Senior Pastor. She regularly sings on the worship team. Teri choreographs liturgical dance for Frontline’s musicals and dramas.  
In addition to her many responsibilities at the church, Teri is actively involved in the community. She currently serves in an ecumenical para-church ministry on the Secretariat for Gold Coast Via De Cristo. This ministry has been an effective instrument of change in the hearts and lives of thousands of men and women in Palm Beach County.  Every other Tuesday night, you will find Teri singing on the worship team at Celebrate Recovery a drug dependency outreach.  
She is also a wife and mother who enjoys family time and activities.   
Women's Ministry of Frontline Christian Center

You can check Teri and her church family out: 
every Sunday at 10am.
Olympic Heights High School  Auditorium
20101 Lyons Road
Boca Raton, fl 33434

Embrace It

I was posting a picture of my father on Facebook for Father’s Day, thinking about our less than perfect circumstances and our relational history, when two words popped into my head.  “Embrace it.”  I knew this was God speaking to me.
Embrace Life

My father did not do that.  He did not “embrace” life.  At times he was charming and fun.  I bet he was creative and sensitive as a young boy, too.  Something a boy was not allowed to be when he was a coal miner’s son growing up in Kentucky, at least not his father’s son.  My father’s childhood was harsh, not something easily embraced.  He protected himself from it by submerging himself in alcohol and cigarettes, a legacy passed down to him by his father and a few generations before him.  He passed this legacy down to me in the form of food and procrastination.  I am afraid I have influenced my daughter with it in a lighter form.  

Embrace God's Plan
You see, I asked Jesus to take my life and change it when she was a child.  Praise God He changed the course our lives were running.  Since that day, many years ago, we have been on a journey, sometimes bumpy, sometimes uphill, sometimes down.  However, through it all we have become more like Him with every breath.  We love with an ever evolving, closer to Jesus’ love because He first loved us.  God knows me.  He knows I still cling to regrets.  This morning as I thought about the legacy passed down by my father’s line, God told me to “embrace it” and then again, emphatically, He repeated, “Embrace It!”   (I can be a little hard headed sometimes.)  He showed me that I need to accept it, learn from it so that I can move forward. 

 Embrace our Legacy
For you see, the legacy handed down to us, the past has a huge influence on what we are today.  We need to embrace our legacy, embrace life and all that God has planned for us.  Face the fact that there is good and bad.  Embrace it and not hide in alcohol, food, drugs, work, daydreaming, constant busyness, or whatever else we use to protect ourselves from this world.  Make God your hiding place.   Run straight to Him and believe these God inspired words from David in Psalm 32:7; “Thou {art} my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.”   
I know.  It won’t be easy, but you will have a life worth living.  Take the troubles of this world to Him, who “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph 3:20.  Embracing the walk God has given us on earth fully aware and alive will hold some awkward or downright painful moments, but God has an exciting and great adventurous plan out there for you.

What are some of the ways you embrace life? 

What do they call you?

A vibrant and thriving women's ministries looks a lot like a cheerleading squad.   They practice working together, timing out the stunts and the stunts themselves.  They coordinate their moves with each other.  There is no one "Star" of the show.  They are a team.

Flyers and Bases

A cheerleading squad has flyers, girls tossed in the air, and the bases, the girls holding, steadying, tossing and catching the flyers. Each person on the team whether up in the front, or behind the scenes has an important part of the team. Normally flyers are the younger, smaller team members and the bases are the older, stronger girls.  The crowd loves the flyers, especially the ones that seem to say "I can FLY!" Yet it is the trust in the base that glues this team together. 

Flyers and Bases in Women's Ministry

We all go through seasons, sometimes we base and sometimes we fly. Sometimes we are being tossed out on the mission trip, sometimes we are home praying for them on the trip.  Sometimes we are face to face with the homeless at the soup kitchen, and sometimes we are cooking the soup.  Sometimes we are giving the Word and sometimes we are setting up and tearing down the chairs. Lest we forget that we are to mentor the next generation of believers.  We are to show them how to fly, we are to cheer for them, we are to catch them, even if they don't do it quite right. And we teach them to catch. 

What season are you in today? If your flying, who is your base and have you thanked them? If you are base, who are you propelling into their destiny?

Here is a poem that I just love to bring this point home.

I Fly

I fly, you know who I am.
You can't miss me, I'm the one on the top with a contagious smile,
but do you know how I got there?
It took the strength of a powerful base to propel me skyward so
I could perform liberty, arabesques, stretches, tosses and twist
They call me flyer

what do they call you?

I Base

I Base, you know who I am, though you may not always see me .
I support the weight of many, but do you know how I do it?
It took the trust of a Flyer to put her life in my hands so that I may propel her skyward.
I TOSS HER, EXTEND HER, TWIST, POP, and THROW HER, but more importantly I CATCH HER.
They call me BASE.

What do they call you?

Unction to Function

Unction to function
Bughatti fastest car in the world isn't it grand?
The Bughatti is the fastest car in the world.  It has the unction to function in ways no other car can match. However, it isn't very fast parked in the garage.  It may look sleek and cool, it may have all the best gadgets, the most expensive tires, but if it's not on the road what's the point? This car has the unction, the engine to function.  

Our Unction is Grace

 No matter where I go I always get this question “What’s my calling?”  Interpretation - “what are my gifts?” and “what am I suppose to be doing?”   Most people are more aware of their shortcomings and areas in need of growth than their gifting and talents.  They want to know what they are good at and they want something to do.  It's up to us leaders to help identify area’s of grace, their giftings and allow them to be exercised.  You see once we get inspired we need the unction to function.  Unction is grace. Holy Spirit gifts in action breeds confidence and confidence is crucial to the “go” of a ministry. 

Start your engine!

 Just teaching them equipping theology is not enough to equip them.  They got to get their feet wet and start experiencing Holy Spirit power.  That’s equipping them.  Teaching them about fruit and gifts is not enough, give them an arena to walk in it. Let them experience it first hand. This is one of my favorite times of ministry.  I love watching women I have been encouraging and equipping finally get it and they find the place where God smiles on them the most! They just seem to shine. The look like that car! Amazing! I just want to get me a bowl of popcorn, sit on the front row and say "that's my girl!"  I believe God does too!

What can you do?

Study the gifts, fruits and the Holy Spirit so you can identify it in others.  Most of the time we study the gifts of the Holy Spirit so we can discover what our gifts are.  That almost borderline pride and selfish ambition.  Study the gifts so you and your team can start identifying them in others. 

 Here is a great resource for any women’s ministry in this Holy Spirit equipping, my friend Pat Holland

What other ways can you equip the saints?

Related Posts
It's a Go We have Liftoff!
Inspiration is the Spark

Inspiration is the Spark

Inspiration is the spark.
We love inspiration.  We flip through interior design books, we sort through the hairstyles, we watch hours of Food Network just for a spark of “That just might work!”  True inspiration, like what we find on HGTV, Hope Tour, and Fall Breakaway is the spark to moving people. It happens so quick we can even miss it.  

Inspiration allows me to say ‘Hey I can do that too!” 

Don't you just love to get around people that make things seem so simple and then share with you the secret ingredient that pulls it all off? It's just a spark, but your whole line of thinking is changed. Instead of being overwhelmed with daunting tasks, your seeing possibilities and potential. When we watch others make an overwhelming task seem simple, we are inspired to do the same.  Jesus inspired Peter to walk on water!!. Why? Jesus made it seem possible, He made it look easy. When we do things well, when we start walking in God's grace we will inspire others to do the same.  

 Inspiration will also add new energy to an already hum - drum process.

 I love inspiring messages for that very reason.  I love to hear about superwomen and their stories. I have a friend that I love dearly, she has cystic fibrosis and in the process of God healing her she has lived in 4 different continents as a missionary.  She inspires me.  When I’m tempted to complain, wallow in self pity, and walk in way too much pride,  I think of her, I spend time with her.  She walks, talks, breathes faith.  It inspires me to persevere and move on when I’m tempted to quit. When we press through we inspire others to press through too.

What inspires you? Where do you go for inspiration? Leave a comment, who knows you might inspire others.

Related posts:
We have liftoff!
Unction to Function

Video Pic: I want it all

How do we juggle it all?  

We have family, work, church, ministry, friends, holidays, presents to buy, parties to attend, science fair projects x3, mission trip, mentoring, message preparation, girls night out, date night, and let's not forget your daughter's cheerleading squad coming over for a slumber party, or your son's buddies coming over for marathon game of Red vs Blue whatever that is.  

Christine Cain says it all about having it all.  It's a short video, and she doesn't elaborate too much but it's powerful and it's key. It's enough to chew on for a couple of days.  

Christine Cain is coming our way!!!

 She will be at Save the Hero (Fall Breakaway 2011) at the Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando, Fl  - October 20-22.  Reservations include registration and room! 4 to a room only $100, you can't beat that!  3 days/2 nights in 5 star hotel, with your girlfriends and Christine Caine.  This isn't about the workshops either there is plenty of downtime to enjoy the area! You gotta love that, a conference that you can relax at! 

It's A Go! We Have LIftoff!

Have you ever watched the Space Shuttle get off the ground?  

There is a countdown, the astronauts are turning on  the equipment, and then a roaring thunder as it leaves the ground and heads for space.  It’s a sight to see from a distance.  I couldn’t imagine how cool it would be up close and personal. How amazing would it be to sense the excitement, to smell the fuel, to feel the heat and the ground shake, and don’t get me started with being in the cockpit. Yep, your right I wouldn’t mind taking a trip to outer space.
Getting ministries off the ground can be a lot like the Space Shuttle. It’s not one particular department that gets the shuttle off the ground and into space, it’s many components working together. 
When I meet with women’s ministry leaders and pastors there is one comment that always comes up. “Sandy, I love these ladies, they are gifted, loving, give the shirt right off their back, but I just can’t get them up and out.”   It’s the go.  It’s the getting the people we serve to get up off their uh-hem pews and do something. How do we do that?  What is it that gets them up and at them?
Inspiration is the spark.
Unction to function is the equipping.

We are a Go!
How many times have people come back from a conference and seminars all excited and after a few weeks, the excitement is gone and back to same old stuff. There was no movement. We can give an inspiring message on giving (that's the spark), we can show them how to give (equipping the saints), but if they aren’t moved to live generously giving is short lived.  You see people will only move to the level of their highest commitment. Just so we all understand, strong commits are no turning backs.  It’s not strong proclamations or declarations it’s a direction. Let's check out a hero of mine, Naomi in Ruth 1:6-22

Naomi gets a big commit!

Here is Naomi in the middle of the worse personal crisis imaginable and gets an unbelievable commit from the most unlikely of person. Let's review her situation: Her husband moves her away from home into a country totally despised by her countrymen, and totally cursed by God.  Her boys marry two women raised in a country known for sacrificing their children, so much for grandchildren and family.  Her husband and sons die, leaving her to fend for herself and two daughter-in-laws in a foreign country.  

She decides to leave and go back home. She tells the two girls her plans and basically tries to talk them out of following her. One girl kisses her good bye and the other, Ruth, makes this covenant commit to follow unto her last breath.  She commits to go penniless into a country that believes she is lower than dirt, with no options whatsoever.  

Commitment starts with us 

Ruth's commitment is huge! She goes as far as to say "May God punish me if I allow anything but death to separate us." WHAT!?? What was it about Naomi that would cause her to do that?  Her character, her inspirational story, her know how in tough times?  All of the above. She got that commit because she demonstrated the kind of character people will follow. The kind of character that people can trust, why? She was honest and transparent about what was ahead. She wasn't full of herself, making promises she couldn't keep. Her lifestyle prior to this decision making day backed it up.  

Big commits go the distance

She got a huge commit from half her audience, that's pretty good. I'd rather have a few huge commits than a bunch of little ones.  I would rather have 5 sold out women of faith at a meeting, a Bible study, a prayer group, than 250 any day. Why? They go the distance! Huge commits take time to get. Start with small commits and be faithful to them.  Adjust the vision and strategies to closer attainable places.Take baby steps to get there, before you know it your there. 

Naomi was committed herself

Naomi was going with or without them. Elijah was going whether Elisha could keep up or not.  Joshua set his face like flint, there was no turning back for this guy.  Jesus was going to the Cross, like it or not Peter. They weren't willy-nilly with their commitments.  They were commitments they were willing to die for. There might be detours along the way, there might be hurdles, or it could be a cake walk, whatever the case may be it's how far your willing to commit that inspires others. 

It is commitment that moves people. Your task if you choose to accept it is raise the commitment level. First with you, trust me it’s contagious, then give a call to action to the individuals and then corporately move. 

What kind of character that inspires you to  move? leave a comment