THRiVE creates an atmosphere for ladies of all ages to gather in worship, prayer and hearing from His word.
Why attend THRiVE?
1. Because it’s hard to hear God’s voice above the noise of everyday life.
2. Because meeting together spurs us on to “love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
3. Standing side by side with our sisters in Christ, and worshipping, praying, and learning about our precious Savior makes us stronger.
When we attend THRiVE, we physically remove ourselves from life’s distractions, the call of chores, and the demands of people in order to make space for God. Even Jesus recognized the value and need to get away.
And it’s just plain fun to have a girl’s weekend!
We can’t wait to gather with you for THRiVE 2019 For Great is His Faithfulness! Lamentations 3:23
NEW this year! THRiVE TEEN Girls and THRiVE Girls (grades 3-6).
We will have breakout sessions on Friday night for these lovely young ladies to learn, grow and fellowship! The first session all of us girls will be together in the sanctuary for worship and the word. Then at the end of that session, we will invite all the teen girls, and little girls to go to a dessert time and their own Jesus filled gathering during session two in either the Children’s Club House (grades 3-6) or the Youth Room (grades 6-12).
THRiVE Girls will be limited to the first 30 girls. Girls in 6th grade have the option to attend either Girls or the Teen Girls’ gathering.
Saturday morning there will be a time for girls grades 3-6 ONLY for some lightly structured Bible sessions and time of craft, games and snack. 9-12 am
Teen Girls will share in our Saturday session with a breakout small group time just for them.
I live in an adorable little mountain town in the suburbs of Los Angeles in a town called Sierra Madre, Ca. along with my amazing and handsome husband (since 2006), Jeff, and my rambunctious toddler boys, Caleb and Noah.
Through the Spirit, we are made more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.
And this, my friends, is why I do what I do. This is why I write, this is why I teach, this is why I blog. I am in love with the church. If I can just be one encourager that uses my voice – through the Spirit – to edify the body of Christ, I will do it until the day I die.
Paige Graves and special panel guests will be sharing their journeys of THRiViNG through the power of His great faithfulness.
Kalyn Vogelmann, director of THRiVE women’ s ministry, will lead THRiViNG through the Faithfulness of His word!
Beautiful Worship Music: Amy Mahaffey and the THRiVE band
Follow this MUSIC PLAYLIST before you even arrive by clicking here and get your heart ready.
THRiVE 2019 Welcomes the International Fair Trade Boutique
We are so excited to announce that the International Fair Trade ministry will be featured at this year’s THRiVE. This non-profit ministry brings together vendors from Asia, Africa, South America, and Central America to showcase items such as jewelry, purses, blankets, tableware, soaps, home decor, wooden utensils, ceramics, and more. Proceeds from the sale benefit the artisans directly while providing meaningful life-supporting work, as well as, allowing them to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Come prepared to do some shopping in HAWKS HALL before or after each session at the conference. The shop opens at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night.
Check out some of their beautiful items on the website at:
Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.” John 4:8
What a joy and privilege it was to gather with you! THRiVE 2018 was such a blast! We worshiped the God we love and learned more about Him. We found our stories and journeys have a consistent thread… The Light of the World. As multiple generations gathered together, many 3 generation families!- it’s electrifying to acknowledge that THE Light of the World lives and shines in all those who call Him LORD. In Him, we draw our strength for each new day.
May He continually remind you of these truths from THRiVE 2018:
Child of God~
You have a “little” light and you can let it SHINE.
You no longer walk in darkness-You walk in the Light! Live in the light!
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
You know this truth-
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5
You can SHINE your light in the presence of your enemies.
Wow! Didn’t God use Gracia’s story to teach us all!
Gracia with her sister Mary
You will see how He provides Light for you along your journey if you keep looking for Him. Keep your eyes wide open for the “glow leaves”.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
You are Hisunfinishedmasterpiece and He will continue His work in you… Phil 1:6
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
You shine bright because the Light of the World is in you.
Polish. Chip. Chisel. God is working in your life. He will continue this work until He calls us home. All of the chisel, chip and polish is for the purpose of becoming a masterpiece that carries The Light of the World! Give Him access to your whole life. Let Him do His work in you.
You have a gift that has been given to you by the Holy Spirit.
Have you waved your white flag of surrender as Paige shared and put fear in its place?
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,
which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,
but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:6
You have sisters around the world who know Jesus and who need our prayers.
Remember the source of strength Francine inspired us to have in life’s difficulties? It’s the same strength she possessed while being held captive- Christ in you- Colossians 1:27.
You can saturate yourself with scripture daily just as you did in the 360 prayer room.
He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
New York’s best time selling author of In The Presence of My Enemies.
Gracia resides in Rose Hill, Kansas. Her unique story and the captivating way she tells it makes Gracia a popular speaker for churches, conferences, and schools. As Gracia travels throughout the country, she talks about the spiritual lessons she learned during her captivity and how God has blessed her and her family since Martin’s death.
If you ask Gracia about life these days, she will say, “the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.”
Paige Graves will be joining our speaker team this year. She’s a wife to Michael and mother to 3 beautiful children. Paige is a former high school business teacher and now stay at home mom while serving as the women’s ministry director at the Springdale Nazarene Church in Springdale, Ohio.
Paige will be sharing her journey of THRiViNG in The Light of the World.
You won’t want to miss all our other special panel guests sharing their stories of THRiViNG in The Light of The World.
Music: Amy Mahaffey and band~ Follow this MUSIC PLAYLIST before you even arrive by clicking here and get your heart ready.
Hotel: Rooms are available at our group rate. Tell them you are with the THRiVE: Gathering.
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
In 2018, Kathy and Karen attended THRiVE together for the 4th year in a row. After listening on Friday night to a session titled Unfinished and hearing stories from other women about their lives being “Unfinished Masterpieces”, they sent me their own Unfinished stories. I am so glad they did. What they didn’t know is that before THRiVE ended that weekend God was already placing the vision and plans in motion for the topic of infertility to be a focus of THRiVE 2019. So two weeks later when I received their stories, I was in awe of the God who faithfully works His will and way to make His plans known for His ministry. Right away, I knew their stories were to be part of THRiVE 2019 and what a blessing it was!
Please welcome Kathy and Karen to our THRiVE community page.
My name is Kathy. My best friend, Karen, and I (along with other ladies from our church) have been attending the THRiVE conferences. We have thoroughly enjoyed each one, especially this year. God really spoke to us. Sunday morning I was having my devotion and God told me it was time to share my story. At church that morning I spoke to Karen and she told me that God was speaking to her to do the same thing. So, after a lot of prayer and tears we both wrote out our Unfinished stories. We are not sure where God is leading or what He wants us to do with this. We decided that we wanted to share them with you. And we wanted to see if we could possibly get together to talk. Maybe meet for lunch or coffee?
We have attached our stories to share with you before we meet.
My story is a little different than the stories that I often hear at women’s retreats. I always thought I’d be a good mom. I have two younger brothers and lots of little cousins and I loved being the “mom” when we would play as young kids. I worked at a daycare center and loved taking care of the babies in the infant nursery …and I also really enjoyed the after school program where the kids were old enough to play games and have lively conversations about anything and everything their little imaginations could dream up. I had lots of babysitting jobs, I worked in the church nursery, and I began teaching our toddler class when I was a young teen.
I assumed that I’d meet the man of my dreams, get married, and have a family of my own. I don’t think I ever even considered the possibility that all my plans would play out in a very different way than I had imagined.
I met my husband when I was 22 years old. My best friend and I were sharing an apartment and my brother-in-law introduced me to his co-worker. We met at church for the first time and we just clicked! As it turns out he had a very good friend who he introduced to my roommate and they also clicked! It was like the coolest real-life version of friends! Things were falling into place left and right. I had a solid job, an amazing fiancé, great friends, a super supportive family. It really felt like all my childhood dreams were coming true.
Just before our wedding my fiancé began taking a new medication for a skin condition he has had since birth. This drug was really a serious answer to prayers but it came with lots of warnings and requirements. The costliest side-effect was that it would cause severe damage to an unborn child so we had to make a really difficult decision that we would never be parents to our own biological children. I loved my husband so much and felt like there were so many children that needed homes that we would find a way to make that work for us. And at the beginning of our marriage when everything was new and fresh, I really believed it would work out just fine.
Doug and I have a very blessed relationship – I actually have the privilege of being married to my best friend! We approached the idea of adoption several times but we never found this as a successful solution. So many times, we got really close yet it didn’t work out for us.
When you are dating someone you are always asked, “when are you getting married”? Then you get married and you are immediately asked, “when are you going to have children”? That question never stops happening. As a married woman, when you meet someone new, one of the first questions you are asked is how many kids you have. When you explain that you don’t have children there is almost always a look of surprised confusion. It makes people uncomfortable because they don’t know what to say. And that moment when you feel like you have to explain this strange circumstance is salt in the wound every single time – a reminder that you’re not quite what you are supposed to be. Women were meant to have babies and you didn’t get that chance.
I have noticed that most of the time when a group of women get together we call out two groups – women are singles or moms. There can be different types of moms (stay-at-home or working) but you almost never hear the category of married without children. Satan has really defeated me into thinking that just goes to show that I am ‘less-than’. I don’t measure up. I don’t fit anywhere, really. My very best friend is in the same place I am. She got there in a different way through infertility, but our results were the same. While we wanted more than anything to be moms, neither one of us got to see that come true. God obviously knew what He was doing when we met as toddlers and stayed the best of friends through our whole entire lives. She has cried with me, laughed with me, raged with me. She’s been defeated, victorious, and inspiring. She’s been an answer to my prayers. I cannot imagine what my life would be like today, in the position I find myself, without her amazing love and support.
When I was sitting in the last THRIVE conference hearing the stories of those UNFINISHED ladies I felt God tugging at my heart with a reminder that I’m unfinished too. I am not less than. Just because I’ve never earned the cherished title of mom, I still matter to Him. I share with you my journey and that of my friend because I cannot fathom going through this without someone to share this heartache. Those that have battled infertility but wind up with that miracle baby still cannot understand how it feels to never get the happy ending. Women who decide that children are just not for them cannot empathize with those of us that would love to have a baby but never get to do so. Going through this alone must be so hard.
God has blessed Doug and I with 20 years of marriage …20 happy years! I am more thankful than I can express in words that God chose Doug and I to be together. Our love is real …and with God’s help, it is enough! Even though our family looks different than I dreamed, I know it’s what God has planned for me.
Kathy and I left the THRIVE conference together and when we got to church the following morning she came and sat down and said I have something strange to share. I couldn’t wait to hear it and said, I too have something to share with you. Both of us had a very direct message from the Lord that morning while in our showers that our story wasn’t only our story. God wants to use us to remind others who are in a similar situation that they matter. They are worthy. And they are also UNFINISHED.
Like many girls, as a child my dream was to grow up and be a Mom. I have older sisters and I can remember how excited they were during each of their pregnancies. Watching the baby grow and feeling them kick, I couldn’t wait to experience that excitement and expectation.
A year after I graduated high school I got married and I felt I was on my way to my dream life. Unfortunately this did not turn out to be my ‘happily ever after’ and after just 3 ½ years of marriage I was divorced. This was not what I had planned for! My dreams seemed to grow a little dim.
My best friend and I got an apartment and I started life again. Her boyfriend came over one night and let me know there was a guy I should meet. 6 months after my divorce (which seemed like a lifetime) I went on a blind date and met the man of my dreams. We were inseparable. Three years later we were married. I had never been happier. A little over a year of marriage we decided it was time to have a baby. A year went by of trying to conceive, then one day my husband pulled me into a huge bear hug pulling me off my feet. When he did this I felt a horrible pain in my abdomen, so bad that I literally saw stars. Something was definitely wrong. A few days went by and my stomach was sensitive to the touch. I called the doctor and he got me right in. He thought I might be having a tubal pregnancy. He did an ultra sound and found that I was not pregnant but had a mass growing on one of my ovaries. Within 3 weeks I was going in for surgery. By the time I went in for surgery I looked as though I were 6 months pregnant. Once he was in there he found that I had endometriosis and it had already destroyed one of my ovaries. He knew how badly we wanted children so he removed the cyst (a 5 lb cyst! Known as a chocolate cyst) and my ovary. He cleaned up as much endometriosis as possible. A month after surgery I was put into an induced menopause to allow my body to heal and to stop the growth of the endometriosis cells. After nine months of this I was then given fertility shots and we had to begin trying right away. 2 years later my doctor advised there was nothing more he could do and we needed to see a specialist. I called to make an appointment and he couldn’t see us until October (this was August). I made the appointment and we just needed to wait. A couple weeks later I started feeling bad. I told myself it was a ‘good’ sign and maybe, just maybe this was it. I went back to my doctor and we had another ultrasound. At this point, I would love to give you the Cinderella story ending and say we were pregnant and had a healthy baby. I was right when I thought, this was it…. It was over. After reviewing the ultrasound my doctor confirmed it. Due to the additional hormones I had received to assist in getting pregnant the endometriosis cells grew like wildfire. It had completely destroyed my other ovary, my uterus and during surgery he also found it on my spine. At the age of 32, I had a complete hysterectomy. My/Our dreams were crushed! I would never have my own child. I couldn’t give my husband a child. I was broken. We had prayed so hard and for so long for a child. Why did this happen? Why us?
Now I know what many of you are thinking, well, if you want a child so bad just adopt. You’d think that would be the logical answer however when your dream of having a child was just physically removed from your body that is not what you want to hear. I felt empty, hollow. We had so many friends and family that were very supportive but none of them could truly understand the pain. However, I knew that God was with us during this time because I felt His peace and comfort.
Years later we started discussing the possibility of adopting. Unfortunately things did not work out for us. After lots of discussions, research and prayer we did not feel it was right for us (at least for right now. Who knows what God has planned!).
Society makes it seem like if you are a woman you are either married and a Mom or you are single. No one ever thinks about a woman who is married with no children (whether it is by choice or not).
Now, 14 years later, I am still happily married to my soul mate and the mom to two 4-legged babies. (I can hear eyes rolling, A dog mom? Really? Let me say we have been very blessed. They are our pride and joy!) We still do not understand why we were unable to have children but we are happy. I am human, there are times when my heart hurts and times when I feel empty inside. It is hard to be around pregnant women and I still to this day cannot attend a baby shower. But I’ve learned that that is ok. There are times when satan tries to tell me that I’m worthless. He tries to tell me that I have no purpose here. I can’t be happy as a childless woman. When I start feeling like this I turn to my heavenly Father (I’ll admit sometimes I don’t run to Him right away. There are times when I have a little breakdown but I know He is there to pick me up). He is my comforter and my peace. He reassures me that He has a plan for me.
My husband and I have special verse that means so much to us. It is Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” For so long, I didn’t know what my purpose was. Women are put on this earth to be a wife and Mother. Why am I here? Where do I fit in?
I believe God was using all these years to heal me. To convince me that He does have a plan for me. I feel that now, my purpose for being here (besides being the loving wife to my amazing husband!) is to help other women going through the same thing. To let other women know that just because we are childless does not mean we are worthless or unloved. We do have purpose and we are loved!
Thank you Kathy and Karen for being a living testimony of
Great is His Faithfulness through every journey life offers us.
This was a morning I should have been catching some extra zzzz’s, but instead my mind was rolling with thoughts of thriving women, girls, and teens. My mind was envisioning worship at THRiVE and the drawing of women into His presence. That’s when it happened…again. He reminded me of His Faithfulness in the midst of my how to’s and my what if’s.
Very early that morning, not yet out of bed, I had my first thoughts and conversation with the Lord. While praying about THRiVE, my mind wandered through my trip last month to Haiti. It was on that trip where I witnessed the most spiritually powerful displays of God’s faithfulness.
And with that thought, my eyes popped wide open, my head still on my pillow – Lord, that moment in Haiti – that was yet another mighty display of your FAITHFULNESS.
The experience in Haiti of being an eyewitness to His overwhelming, saving power has NOT faded one bit – I’ll never be the same. I’ve written to the Lord about it often in my prayers, proclaiming His sovereignty. Yet, it wasn’t until that morning that the connection to my summer prayer and this experience had finally been realized. He whispered it to me in the early morning hours: Kalyn, this was a continuation of the prayer, the seeing of the miracles of my faithfulness you requested of me in early summer.
He did it, and He has been giving me gifts and glimpses of His Faithfulness since that prayer. The gifts of His faithfulness are not new, rather, it’s my awareness that is new and refreshed. It’s not that God has increased His faithfulness to me, but He’s renewed the gift of awareness to His faithfulness. That is a good, good gift.
…for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
These gifts and glimpses are always here for us, morning by morning!
So, today, while praying for THRiVE, listening to the Lord’s leadings,andthinking of Haiti (a woman’s mind is so wonderfully complex!), that moment on my patio on June 1stcame to me. I remembered the beginning of the summer when I sat on my patio, revisiting a conversation the Lord and I have had on more than one occasion. The topic was Faithfulness. On that relaxing summer evening, I wrote in my journal:
“As I sit in summer in the cool of the evening on my patio. I read your words to me through the scriptures. FAITHFULNESS- Great is your faithfulness. This quote from the book Daring to Hope that I have been reading jumps off the page in light of the theme for THRiVE 2019.
‘Though we tremble and feel uncertain, courage means we press into a God who is certain, sure, steady= FAITHFUL! He lifts our heads.
And His unfailing love and comfort become our courage and our hope.’
Faithfulness–God show me your faithful ways in my life, big and small. God open my eyes to your miracles and goodness. Open my heart to all of your faithfulness. Yours to me and mine to you. Oh, how I want to truly know, see and believe in ALL of your faithful ways. Drive the dark of doubt away. I confess to see slivers (and maybe more) of non-belief in your faithfulness at times. (This was hard to confess.) This year, all the way to THRiVE 2019, please bestow upon me a solid rock belief in “Great is your Faithfulness.” Here tonight on my patio, birds chirping, crickets singing, sun going down, I sense you and I hear you say – Ask me, ask me now, courageously ask me. Ask me to show you the ways I’m faithful and courageously ask me to show you the gaps in your faithfulness towards Me (ouch).”
So, from that moment on all summer collections of God’s faithfulness filled my journal. But this morning it strikes me as so very, very odd that one of the most amazing ways He displayed His faithfulness to me during this time, “all the way to THRiVE,” had not yet been recognized as an answer to this prayer on June 1st. “God showing me His faithful ways and… God opening my eyes to his miracles and goodness, seeing and truly believing His faithfulness.” I admit that my enthusiasm for seeing and recording His faithfulness to me had waned. Yet, His enthusiasm towards me had not! Thank you, my Faithful Father!
Stop. Grasp that kind of love and grace. I let that knowledge wash over me. I shake my head. God, you are indeed loyal, constant, unswerving and devoted = FAITHFUL.
The patience of God overcomes me today. He is always faithful, and still we miss it. Yet, in His patience and grace, when we ask, according to His word, He answers.
Morning by morning new mercies I see…this morning the beauty of your unfailing love covers me.
He is faithful to speak to me when I speak to Him! And I recognize that some of my wondering and some of my thoughts and actions do not always display a solid rock belief in the FAITHFULNESS of God, but isn’t He worthy of me displaying my belief in His faithfulness? HE is worth it- He is worthy of my Believing! There are so many things I do not know, and so many things I cannot explain; for God is not explainable. But, oh, He is FAITHFUL, so very FAITHFUL!
Maybe you’re not feeling like one today. That’s possibly the same way Gideon felt on the day the Lord came to him. “Gideon, valiant warrior.” Those are the words God used to describe Gideon while he was down in the winepress threshing wheat and hiding from the Midianites. Threshing floors (where Gideon was supposed to be threshing the wheat) are always exposed in a high, open air setting to take advantage of the soft, steady winds for the wheat to more easily fall and be separated from the chaff.
Winepresses are for crushing grapes. Threshing floors are for threshing wheat. But Gideon is so afraid of the Midianites that he was threshing the wheat in a secluded, damp, isolating place so his enemy wouldn’t find the wheat and steal it away.
Real warrior like, huh?
Gideon is not supposed to be afraid of the Midianites; he and his people are supposed to drive them out. But his fear has taken hold of him. Maybe you can relate to that. Fearful Israelites…? It was not supposed to be this way, so God came to Gideon… (Judges 6:11-12).
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, the LORD is with you, valiant warrior. Judges 6:12
Gideon and his tribe had been praying to God to send someone else to rescue them. Sound familiar? God please send help soon! But, is God calling you?
God called Gideon to be the one to lead the Israelites into battle and drive out their enemy because God saw something in Gideon, something that Gideon didn’t see in himself–
GOD saw Gideon and named him a Valiant Warrior before Gideon was ever aware that any sort of warrior like quality could possibly exist within him.
But then, there’s God’s view of who Gideon was and Joshua 6:34 happens, “The spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon.”= identity change.
And all throughout the story of Gideon we read how God made him a valiant warrior; filling him with His spirit, answering his prayers, giving him wisdom to sift men as wheat, scaling down his army to only 300 and going against the enemy into an intense battle with weapons of trumpets and empty jars! This could only be–Valiant Warrior Gideon!
adjective 1. possessing or showing courage or determination.
(I personally like unshrinking! “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and are saved.”) Hebrews 10:39
This whole situation could not have made sense to Gideon. Gideon must have been shaking his head in wonder of the God of Israel, and at the same time, maybe smiling in awe and anticipation because at this point he had a history of God’s faithfulness to draw from… so Gideon did as God told him.
God met Gideon “down in the winepress” and reminded him who he was… a valiant warrior. Don’t feel sorry for Gideon, he was right in the place God could meet him.
Sometimes our circumstances can position us in the very place where He can meet us and prove to us who He says we are. God told Gideon he was a Mighty Warrior, and indeed he was! Gideon learned this new name for himself one way-by BELIEVING GOD and listening to the call of God on his life! Gideon believed he was who God said he was.
And… Gideon “went in the strength the Lord gave him and saved Israel out of Midian’s hands.” “… all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.” Judges 6:15, 7:21
This makes me laugh… I can just picture it–there were 400 Midianite “warrior wanna-be’s” for everyone 1 Israelite–yet the Midianites are crying and running away from an army of guys with trumpets and broken jars!
Awww… the power of God.
Why does God’s word share these types of stories? Because He is always gracious enough to remind us what He REALLY DID SAY in His word about who He is and who we are.
Here’s another fun I am… I am snatched.
Once again…. The Israelites were snatched from the hand of their oppressors. (Judges 6:9)
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
The very first question in the Bible was asked to a women, and Eve was the first women to be tricked by the enemy.
Read Genesis 3:1-7
If the serpent’s words were written in today’s vernacular, it would read–
“Seriously, did God really say?”
From the very beginning women have been challenged to doubt what God really says. The serpent cast doubt on Eve to diminish what God said. He caused her to question what God says and the truth in it. The serpent was – and is – outright deceitful.
What God said really was true and scripture proves it over and over. Satan tries continually to get us to doubt God’s word. He lies and tells us God is withholding something that’s good for us. Our enemy is constantly working to get us to doubt God and what truth is.
The truth is… we are who God says we are!
Scripture is full of words God uses to describe the qualities within each of His children. This year in our local women’s ministry we are focusing on some of these beautiful truths about us and setting our minds on believing them- BELIEVING GOD!
It says… I am chosen, redeemed, forgiven, loved, highly favored, worthy, heard…
A key verse for my own life this past year is:
“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who BELIEVE and are saved.” Hebrews 10:39
I am unshrinking!
I’ve been focusing on Believing God’s word and not shrinking back. I wear my BELIEVE bracelet and at just a glance, I am reminded to believe who I am in Christ.
I am forgiven. 1 John 1:9
I am blessed. Ephesians 1:3
I am loved. Jeremiah 31:3
God invites us to remind our souls who we are in Christ.
Take a journey with us and go on a hunt through His word. What does God’s word say about you?
God called me to take this reminder to Haiti while serving there last month for a women’s conference. As we met with the Haitian ladies who are serving as church leaders for the women’s conference, we celebrated with them what GOD REALLY DID SAY about us!
And then we reminded them…
And they reminded each other!
Oh, the beauty of this scene across the rooftop that morning.
Spend some time reading His word, reminding your soul who you are. Then take a few moments and remind another. We are victorious, friends, God really did say!!
…and let me leave you with one more little one I just found yesterday–
I love to meditate on the names of God. Each of the many names of God mentioned in scripture is given to us to help us more intimately hold onto who God is. They reveal something about His character. Who is this God we hold onto?
Throughout Advent, two such names kept coming to mind. One is El Roi, which means The God Who Sees Me. Genesis 16:13 The other is Immanuel, meaning God With Us. Isaiah 7:14
As I ponder these precious names I can’t help but notice how beautifully they work together. God has placed the two on my mind to say something specific, and it’s for all of us!
El Roi was the name attributed to God by Hagar Genesis 16. She was a lowly servant living a nightmare. When she was at her lowest, alone in the scorching desert, God reached out to her. Imagine her awe! The God of Creation, the God who had promised her master Abraham he would have an heir, the God who knew her circumstances without her sharing a mere detail… the Living God cared about what she was going through and He showed up to talk to her!
Her response was to name him El Roi: The God Who Sees Me.
While thinking about that moment, and reflecting on the many times I have called upon his name and been awed to sense that God sees me, it struck me that when God saw Hagar, he also chose to show up and spend time with her. He didn’t send her a message through a natural phenomena or through a prophet. He came Himself. Her sorrow did not repel him. He spoke to her. He listened to her. He heard her and she knew he was the one true God.
He was El Roi, The God Who Saw Her, but He was also Immanuel Matthew 1:23, God with her!
Dear one, God is the same yesterday, today, and always. His character is steadfast.
When you are at your lowest, He is the God who sees you: El Roi! And, He is the God who is with you, Immanuel!
When you are at your highest, He is El Roi and He is Immanuel.
When nothing makes sense in your world, He is El Roi and He is Immanuel.
When your heart overflows with joy, He is El Rio and He is Immanuel.
When you lose sight of who you are, He is El Roi and He is Immanuel.
When you answer His call upon your life, He is El Rio and He is Immanuel.
When you are lonely, He is El Roi and He is Immanuel.
When you walk into uncharted territory, He is El Rio and He is Immanuel.
When you cannot get a moment alone, He is El Roi and He is Immanuel.
Whatever your circumstances, He sees you and He is with you.
Christmas was just a few days ago and now we sit anticipating all the new the new year may bring us. There are new joys to be found, new adventures, along with the possibility of-because we live this side of eternity-new heartbreak. Still, let’s “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
I don’t want to swerve an inch and miss one single faithful promise of God.
NO SWERVING in 2018!
He is the HOPE that we have. He is the HOPE that makes not swerving possible and worth it!
Don’t allow others to determine what swerving looks like. Always go to His word to find divine directions to follow the straight and narrow path. There is supreme joy and peace that come from living a life without swerving from the HOPE that is “trustworthy and an anchor for our souls.” Hebrews 6:19
It seems Hagar started swerving and was unable to find hope. But instead of staying on that downward path she called out to the Lord-the God who sees her- and HOPE found Hagar.
We celebrate that God sees us.
God chose to be with us. Immanuel has come.
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Hebrews 6:19
I pray that you are able to find moments of peace and calm in the new year. Soak in all of the abundant blessings around you. Praise the God who sees you just as you are day in and day out and chooses to be with you! And NO SWERVING!!!
You are so loved and cherished.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Join us for THRiVE 2018 and discover afresh another marvelous name of God-