Pledge of Allegiance Wins Souls

Those that go on the road with me, or spend a little time with me know I love to win souls. I love to hug the broken hearted, and I love to empower the people around me. They ask me how I do it, or they say I’m a natural. I say with sincere confidence I am definitely not a natural.


In fact, I was created with a shy disposition, a very shy disposition.   So far this year I have had 54 salvations. I only say that to encourage you, my sister. If I, a naturally shy person, can win someone to Christ so can you. I am not super gifted and I am not a natural people person, it is only by the grace of God I can do what I do. And here is what I do.


Pledge allegiance to Jesus

In that pledge I become more passionately committed to Jesus Christ than ever before. Just saying it out loud makes my Spirit stronger. A pledge is a serious matter and I don't believe God takes our pledges for granted, especially if they are to Him. He will give you everything you need to fulfill that pledge. This pledge will align you with His passion, and He is passionate about people, all kinds of people. 




Pledge to get to know Him


Please don't get me wrong. Your salvation is not dependent on how many souls you win.  I'm not questioning your commitment level either.   I’m saying go for more.  Get to know Jesus more intimately than ever before.  How can we have allegiance with someone we don't know?  Don’t be satisfied with just knowing about Him, but know Him.  The more you know Jesus the more fortified your allegiance will be. 




Allegiance means alignment


al-le-giance (noun) loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause


When we pledge our allegiance to Jesus we are basically saying we are aligning ourselves up with His standards, His ways, His thoughts, His heart. We are seeking His Kingdom first and last.  We are pledging to go where He goes and speak what He is saying. 



Pledging allegiance to Jesus means you will die for people. Jesus died for the very people who cried out "Crucify!"  His passion was exhibited best on the Cross.  Your allegiance will be displayed on the Cross.  Are your choices redeeming others?  Are you willing to preserve people's dignity?  He didn't come to mock or scorn people and neither should we. When we pledge our allegiance to Jesus we are pledging to love our neighbor, even our enemies. Allegiance to Jesus means you will win souls, even if it means to suffer. 


Q4U: What other implications does "I pledge my allegiance to Jesus" have?







  

Planning Events with Purpose Guest Blogger Wendy Hargrove

Wendy Hargrove is our guest blogger today.


You can check out her blog here:
http://wenderlynn.blogspot.com/
     




Every Women’s Ministry leader knows and understands that “Events” take up a big chunk of their job description to-do list. For those that are skilled, talented and into the tiniest of details, this is the fun part of their job. For others, this can be an overwhelming and unforgiving task.
     As a leader, you need to ask yourself some very important questions before planning your next event:
What is the purpose of this event?

     All events should have an intended purpose. Salvation of souls should rank as number one in your purpose category. God has placed you into position so that you would influence other women for the Kingdom of God, not just to entertain them. The entertainment factor may be what draws them to the event, but once they arrive, ministering to their spiritual needs should become your main focus.
     
Who is your target audience?


Look around your church and take inventory of the type of women that attend and plan your events accordingly. A “Women’s Tea” may be a huge success if the majority of women are a bit older in age, but may fall flat on its face if you have a younger congregation.

     Next, look outside the church and take inventory of the needs of the women in the world. What can you offer that would draw them to your events? A “Mommy and Me” group, a “Grief Recovery” group, or even a “Friday Night Coffee Chat” group.    
What is the expected outcome?

Continuing an event just because it has become a tradition is a dangerous trap to fall into. Think outside the box. I understand that there might be a group of ladies that would be appalled if the annual “Women’s Tea” didn’t continue, but if you are not drawing in unsaved, un-churched women to the event, then you need to reevaluate your methods. Your expected outcome should always be about salvations and deliverances. If these are not taking place, then you may need to change some things around. 


One day when you stand before Christ, you will be held accountable for your ministry position and whether or not you sought after lost souls. You will not be questioned on what type of events you held or how many women attended the events. God’s only concern is about how many women came to know Him as their Lord and Savior, and how many were set free from the bondages that held them captive.


Always keep the end result in mind. That will set the stage for successful, life-altering events that will grow bigger and affect untold numbers of souls for the glory of God.
When planning events always:
Pray – ask God for divinely-inspired ideas that will reach lost souls and minister deliverance to saved individuals.
Seek – advice and ideas from others on your team.
Look – outside the box and try something new.
Open – your eyes to the needs around you, and strive to meet those needs.
Remember – your expected outcome and plan accordingly.
Give – God the glory!





Q4U: Do you have any suggestions for an outreach event for the community?

Tug of War


Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Tug - A - War

Sometimes life can be so overwhelming with problems, storms and whatever else the enemy can cook up - our hearts can get overwhelmed.  The thought of Heaven is a welcomed relief. 

Paul, in Philippians 1:23,24 opens up his heart in complete transparency. He reveals an inner struggle. He want’s to leave and go to heaven, the desire to be with Jesus was overwhelming.  He even states it's far better in heaven.  Can we say ‘Uh-duh.”  Here is Paul, in a prison in Rome, beaten again, blamed again, accused again, shamed again and there is a battle in his heart. He sees his relief in going to heaven, an eternity of love and intimacy with the Magnificent Savior. He sees an eternity of no more hate, no more persecution, no more injustice, just love, mercy and light.  That’s huge for anybody.  In today’s language he was wanting to say “I’m done.” 
Yet, he has this tug to stay?   Really Paul?!  What on earth could pull Paul in any direction other than Heaven itself?  What weighty matter pulled on him to "abide on earth in the flesh a little longer?" (Phil. 1:24)
Unfinished business
Paul knew His ministry had some unfinished business.  He still had work to do in the kingdom.  That is why he wrote in Phil. 1:24 “to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”   Paul has this extraordinary love and desire to fullfill all of his duties here, one being to love people and this desire out weighed the desire for Heaven itself! That's extraordinary.
He compares this unfulfilled desire to a runner.
He gives a word picture of a foot racer so stretched out that his entire body is arching and aching forward as his arms reach out to the finish line.  He wasn’t slowing down, or taking it easy he was putting forth all his efforts to this one thing.  He wanted to finish his life here to the very last breath, doing what God had called him to do.  He had one thing on his mind that prize.  
The Prize
Have you ever watched a race and the guy you picked to win actually wins? We are all over the place when that happens.  Everyone knows you picked the guy who won. How? Your not hard to miss.All the exuberant shouting, jumping, and hugging is a clear sign you were rooting for the winner.  I see Jesus doing that for us, not only when we step into major accomplishments in our lives, but when we step over the final finish line. I see Him jumping with this mile wide grin shouting (he will have to - all of heaven, the great cloud of witnesses are shouting too) “WELL DONE!! My good and faithful servant.”   That’s the prize.  
Let's not stop running our race till we know we have done everything Jesus has asked us to do. 
Let me introduce to you a racer.
Wendy Hargrove -  This lady has her eye on the prize.  She has so much to do for the Kingdom of God and she gives it her all. She ministers with full surrender to her calling, edging closer and closer to the finish line. I have no doubt all of heaven is cheering her on. 
   
  As an Ordained Minister with the Assemblies of God, Wendy has served as a Women’s Ministry Leader within her local church body, where she fulfilled her passion for teaching, equipping and mentoring women into understanding who they are in Jesus Christ and releasing them to “go” and walk out their own God-inspired purpose.
     
She continues in her quest as she crosses denominational lines and cultural stereotypes, believing that “all” women are called of God to be radical, world-changers for the gospel of Christ.
You can read her blog here: http://wenderlynn.blogspot.com/
She will be tommorows guest blogger giving us some insights to event planning. 


Q4U: What do you do to pace yourself during this life race?

Archive dig: Armor Bearers

This weekend's archive dig found "Armor Bearers."

So much can be said about armor bearers in our lives. Having them and being one is a huge topic. Take some time away and think about it this weekend and let me know what it means to you.



http://sandivand.blogspot.com/2011/05/armor-bearers.html


Q4U: What's qualities of an armor bearer do you look for or strive for?


Only 54 days left!

The countdown has begun.  
Call the office today and get your registrations in. 
Fall Breakaway 2011 "Save the Hero" 
October 20-22 
Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando Fl

Registration and room reservation is one phone call away! (Yep the price includes both)
Call today and let Jennifer know you're coming!

(863)683-5726 ext 232 







Types of Naysayers

Don’t worry about the nay - sayers.  

Every where you go there will be someone that has no clue what they are doing or your doing, yet they have this impeccable timing to let everyone know they do.  The worst part is the only ideas that work in their tiny little brain are their ideas.
There are a few type of nay sayers and the only reason why I mention them is because mabye we too can steer clear of becoming one.

  • Small mindness.   This is totally missing the big picture.  So worried about the little meal today they miss out on planting for next season. 

    • fear of lions - Proverbs 22:13 The lazy person is full of excuses saying "If I go outside, I might meet a lion in the street" If we go out into the neighborhoods a dog might chase us. 
    • discrimination - use age or gender to say it won’t work.  Hey, I have even seen someone use marital status and lack of children to negate a person’s ideas
    • 404 error - Don’t you just hate when you get that while surfing the internet or trying to get a picture to upload.  The worst part is there is no solution. No link I can follow that will even give me a reason to why it’s not working IT JUST DON’T  - I love these guys they will go on an on boring everyone to tears about all the reasons it won’t work without offering one bit of solution to make it to work.  
    • seeing is believing - won’t make a move unless they see for themselves it really being played it in their part of the world.  So much for God visions huh?
    • Button pushers - they have learned this crazy knack of how to push someone’s button.  It’s not that the idea won’t work, it could but if they can get you out of sorts by pushing your button they will. And a good nay-saying session pushes buttons.
    • sounds like work - yep normally big visions have some sort of get off your uh-hem pew and do something. These guys aren't into the work or the price tag.
    •  put offs - they put off everything to tomorrow, sounds good but let’s do that next week.  A real cleaver “put off” will put it on someone else’s shoulders, real delegaters here. Now these guys aren't all bad, waiting on something could be strategic, they have good points but watch out with the ones that put off consistantly. They just don't know how to really nay-say yet. 
    • been theres - they tried that already and it didn’t work.  Now they might have some truth and experience to it, but the real root behind it was they failed and they really don’t want to experience that again.  
    • keep the change - they don’t like change, they have always been doing it a certain way and changing that is like trying to fix something that ain’t broke.  

    Don't get me wrong here, nay-sayers can help you out.  When you prepare for them, your vision get's developed.  Thinking through the nay-saying will help you see the wrinkles in the plan to see the vision played out. Just don't let them get you down and let's not become one.


    Q4U: Any suggestions how to keep the nay-sayers at bay?

    Leadership, Big Fish Style - Guest Blogger Teri Gegan

    Teri Gegen Teri is the director of “Heartbeat”, the women’s ministry of Frontline Christian Center.








    Nineveh, Jonah and the big fish
    As I reflected on Nineveh, three stories jumped out at me.  Nineveh, Jonah and the big fish all have their own individual stories to tell.  Nineveh, whose citizens were wicked, repented and was saved from certain annihilation when Jonah preached God’s message to them only to fall back into their wicked ways many years later.  
    Jonah ran in the opposite direction of God’s call and nearly drowned after being thrown into the sea on the way to Tarshish.  The book of Jonah says, “But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights,” illustrating that God’s idea of provision may be a little different from ours.  
    Jonah wisely repented after being swallowed by the big fish.  

    Big fish
    But, what about that big fish?  I have been thinking about her so much that I have become fond of her and named her Grace.  We hear sermons about Jonah and Nineveh all the time, but what about Gracie?  We do not know much about her except that she was huge and she was obedient to God’s command.  I think we can learn a thing or two about Grace from her adventure. 
    Uncomfortable Grace
    It could not have been too comfortable for Jonah inside that big fish stomach, which, as heartless as this sounds, was good for him.  He was able to sit and be still and know that God is God and do what God had called him to do.  Gracie couldn’t have been too comfy either.  Imagine what it would be like to swallow something whole and have it rumble around in your tummy for three days and nights.  
    Then in Jonah, Chapter 2 we read, “And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”  Poor Gracie!  I am thinking that at the very least, she suffered indigestion in all of this.  I wondered also, did she become beached?  Did she die there on dry land?  Or did God in His infinite mercy bring the waves crashing up to place His good and faithful servant into the water so that she could breathe again?    We do not hear of her fate, but we do know she was obedient to His call.  
    Big Fish Leadership
    Leadership is like this.  Sometimes, like Gracie, we are called by God to do a task that causes us discomfort in order to help others.  He is calling up leaders who are ready to come alongside someone in need and carry that sister or brother inside their bellies, so to speak, in order for God to accomplish His purpose.  
    Carrying others
    Sometimes God’s call is a life-changing, heart wrenching request like putting your life on hold to help a loved one through their last illness.  Sometimes it is just a small kindness like thoughtfully asking someone we don’t know or like too well into our little circle.  It does not matter to God whether we, as His leaders, find our sister or brother unlovely, whether we like them or hold some sort of prejudice against them.  In His grace, His love and favor, we are all precious in His sight.
      
    Trusting His Agenda
    Trust in God to work things out as He did through Gracie. God in His eternal perspective had individual plans within His great plan, for each of the participants in this story including my friend Gracie.  Follow God, who not only is our Great Leader, but as 
    He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Our Leader knows the future, has a plan of hope for you and will always be there for you.
    Grace obediently put God’s agenda ahead of her own.  It was by Grace, Jonah had been saved; God’s grace, that is.  Just as it is by grace we have been saved . . . it is the gift of God . . .  For we are God’s workmanship, (leaders), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, (lead), which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Eph 2:8&10.  
    Trust the Big Fish Plan (sometimes we are Jonah)
    So, remember our sister Gracie the next time God places you in a “Jonah” position.  I have to believe she felt much better after her part in God’s plan was finished.  I have faith that God will not only touch other people’s lives through you, but that you will be a changed person “from glory to glory” and a more effective leader if you follow God’s “Big Fish Style” leadership plan for your life. 



    Q4U: Any suggestions on how to make it easier to carry the Jonah's God has asked you to carry?

    Closed hearts

    Closed hearts
    "Gaurd your heart because it is the well spring of your life"
    Guarding your heart and closing your heart is two different things.  Some people seem to think guarding your heart means protecting yourself from getting hurt.  Well the only way you can protect yourserlf from getting hurt is a coffin.  If your walking and breathing guess what? You will get hurt.  If you are in ministry guess what? You will get hurt.  There is no way out of it. Loving people will get you hurt. When we start guarding our hurts we can run the risk of closing our hearts to the people that matter the most. 

     The most valuable asset you have is your heart, it will bring life to your marriage, your family and to the ministry. Your heart when filled with God of potential and possibilities will produce people with potential and possibilities.  Closing it down for business is bad for business. 
    Here are some signs of a closed heart.

    1- They are distant and aloof.  A wall is up, they have fenced everyone out.  Getting in will take time, and a whole lot of mercy and patience.
    2- There is no connections. No real connections to people. They are alone and prefer to be alone. It's safer.
    3 - There is no real communications.  After a while communication skills shut down.  You will find them without a voice and struggling to find it. 
    4 - They start fending for themselves, becoming self sustaining which reeks of pride. Unwilling to ask for help.
    5 -  They become critical. The focus quickly switches to what is wrong instead of what is right. 

    6 - They become demanding, demanding obedience, demanding submission, demanding perfection.
    7 - Their oppression will be felt by everyone. People around them will feel oppressed. A good way to describe oppression is nothing getting in and nothing getting out.  






    Q4U: Have any suggestions on how to deal with a leader with a closed heart? Leave a comment.


    The Cause of Pause

    "Haste makes waste." 


    There are some things we need to slow down on, in some cases even hit the pause button. 


    As leaders we can be in such a hurry to get things done, especially if we are those "A type" personalities.  What normally happens is we place heavy demands on people and ourselves. 


    Here are some particular areas, not all of them, that we could use a little pause.

    1- Fixing people. 

    In ministry we want to see everyone whole and healthy, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Everyone has issues in some way. When we rush into getting everyone fixed right now we forget that seeds need to grow, plants need watering and hearts need time for healing. Take your time praying about it and wait for wisdom. Sometimes what we see as an easy fix is really just the tip of the iceberg.  What we do is treat the symptoms and ignore the problem. 


    2 - Apologizing

    I am a firm believer in apologies. I believe in a lifestyle of being the first to apologize. As a frail human some where down the road you will have to apologize. However, this is a place to pause. Know what your apologizing for. Get to the root of what you did so when you do apologize you can sincerely say "I'm sorry." Have you ever been the victim, they apologize and a few months later they are doing the same thing again? Argh!  We sometimes want to apologize just to rid of us the uncomfortable nagging we did something wrong. Have you ever had someone upset with you but they won't tell you what you did? That's condemnation.  Find out what you did and who you did it to before you apologize. Be careful someone isn't trying to intimidate you out of your position.  David didn't apologize to Goliath. 

    3 - Going into the Promise Land

    You know Moses was offered the Promise land but with one stipulation, no Promiser. Moses wouldn't go into the Promise Land without the Promiser.  Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and worse God. This a big reason to pause, let's not get satisfied outside the presence of God.   Joshua get's the go ahead, they cross the Jordan, but they paused. It was a great reason to pause, they were circumcised.  Sometimes before we go into the promise land or walk through the door God opens to us, let's make sure our hearts are circumcised and we desire God's presence above all else. 

    4 - Play (Pause to play who knew)

    Sometimes we just need to stop and enjoy life.   I like recreation because it really means re-create. Let me ask you something. Do you think God could have created the entire universe, planet, trees, water, birds, animals and man in one day? Do you think He was limited in His power and that is why it took 6 days?  Okay that's two questions but you get the point. I believe He took 6 days as an example for us.  We can take our time, go in steps and then pause on our Sabbaths. 


    Q4U: What are other times we have cause to pause?



    Harvest Joy

    A comment was made about John Wesley 
    "Wesley doesn't have a monopoly on God, God has a monopoly on Wesley."  I love that!


    Sometime we look at these speakers, or anointed women of faith and think there is something super spiritual about them. It's almost like we sometimes look at them like they have the corner market on anointing, healing, revival even harvest of souls. No, they don't have a monopoly, God does.  When we are given over to His things, to His glory, to His anointing, surrendered to His ways, His way of thinking we will see some amazing stuff. 




    I love this video for a couple of reasons.  


    1) It gives me hope that all things are possible.  This is the fruit of Pentecost.  It's not because Reinhard Bonnke, yes he is a vessel. But when asked how did this happen, his answer is always the same.  The people that went to Nigeria before him through the power of Holy spirit  plowed, seeded and water.  This is possible for you! Dream God dreams, then go all out. The next move you make extending God's love could turn out to be the next "Harvest Joy."


    2) It helps remind me what I am suppose to be doing when it comes to events.  
    When asking the "what's the point of the next event?" I watch this video. It gives me a point on the horizon to shoot for.  Sometimes when we think that the ground is so hard this video can remind us God doesn't take our efforts for granted. It encourages me to keep going, keep facing the challenges even when I am tired and want to quit. 





    Q4U:  What event are you planning next?

    Cultivating a Passion for people

    Here are some more practical things you can do to cultivate a passion for what God is passionate about, people.







    1 - Specifically ask God to give you a passion for people. 
     Make it a part of your daily communion with Him.  Start praying earnestly for those around you.  Let me warn you though, don't be a bit surprised you hear God say "you do it." You feed them, you comfort them, you mourn with them, you sit with them, you be with them, you go to the doctor with them. 





    2 - Ask God to give you a sensitivity to others. 


    Eyes to see and ears that hear those around you. Just let me warn you with this prayer.  Be ready to see the broken hearted and the downtrodden, it just might ruin you for life, you will never be the same after that. Ask Him to help you discern the hurts, the heart cries and needs of others.






    3 -  Ask God to make you spiritually radiant.  


    Petition God to transform you so that people won’t see you but see Jesus alone.  Your part is to lean into Him (and not your own understanding) in such a way no one sees you.  Lean into His strength, into His wisdom, into His mercy so that you are hiding in Him. 



    4 - Ask for boldness in witnessing 
    In case you didn’t know that is the baptism in Holy Spirit. Ask Jesus to baptize you in Holy Spirit power. Ask Jesus for a loving caring spirit of initiative that will help you recognize doors and give you the unction to seize those strategic moments.  Let the passion of and for Christ out weigh any complacency.



    5 - Ask God to make you confident and positive.  
    Deliver me from fear Lord. The more you speak to others the more confident you will become.  And remember the joy of the Lord is your strength.  This isn’t a joy you try to conjure up when you want to witness. It’s the well of joy, the same well Jesus had.   Just ask God to open up that well in you.  If you are miserable in God, and have a difficult time enjoying God’s creation learning how to witness isn’t your first problem. Let God begin to heal your wounded spirit and let Him anoint you with a garment of praise.  



    6 - Put a constant priority on prayer.
    Prayer is the key.  You have not because you ask not. To all the previous points ask Him. Talk to Him about boldness and His opinion of it and what it looks like with your specific personality.  Talk to Him about being confident and what the scriptures say about it. Talk to Him about His passion for souls and why.  Talk to Him about sensitivity, talk to Him about the gifts He gives us to address the needs of others. Have an ongoing conversation about it. Ask to hear His heart beat for people, it will absolutely amaze and overwhelm you at the same time.




    Q4U: What other practical things could you do?