Thursday, September 14, 2017

My trip to Africa 2017

Headed to Kigali, Rwanda for 10 days of ministry with Rex on 
September 4, 2017




We arrived safely in Kigali on Tuesday evening and thank God for a safe trip. Dear friends met us. On Thursday we begin a very busy teaching schedule here in Rwanda.


 


I had the joy of speaking to a church in Eastern Rwanda today, a church which my dear friend, Simon Nziramakenga began in the early 90's. It is in a very remote area where there are few churches. The women were very happy to have the conference and we had a blessed time. Standing beside me is Jackie, who interpreted for me. 




In a three day conference in Kigali, Rwanda. Many women came forward for prayer as we talked about getting rid of the bitter roots in our hearts. Every woman in Rwanda has a story that would break your heart, but God is doing a wonderful work of reconciliation here. What a privilege to be with these strong women!





Here are three precious children, peering in the church window. Children are very friendly and curious about the us white Americans. 





We just completed a two-day conference with about 350 women in a church in Gigenyi, in western Rwanda. We saw God do a mighty work in the hearts of these dear women. Many testified that God had set them free from the "bitter roots" in their hearts, after my message. One woman told how her father left her as a baby and she never saw him until she was 21. And for many years she has been bitter toward him, but God has set her free. That is one of many stories. I have taught all day for six days, but God has given me strength and blessed our meetings. Thanks for your prayers.





I had the great privilege of speaking to the leadership of the Tabitha Ministry in Bomet, Kenya.  This is a Bible study ministry begun by my friend, Linda Spriegel, with one Bible study in 2005, and now there are 250 Bible study groups scattered for miles over this countryside, with over 2000 women coming each week.  The top 100 leaders of this ministry met on Saturday, the 16th, for a time of inspiration and fellowship.  What a joy!






 



We are seeing some incredible animals as we travel back to Nairobi. Looking forward to going home Thursday night. Thanking God for a safe and fruitful trip.




















Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Making Comparisons

Have you ever compared yourself to other people? When we do that, one of two sinful and opposite consequence usually results:
1. We begin to think we are better than others or
2. We begin to think others are better than we are.

Consider the first consequence: thinking we are better than others. The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector is appropriate here:  (Luke 18:9-14). The Pharisee prayed, "God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers......."  The tax collector stood at a distance. "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." When we look at the Pharisee we may think "What an awful attitude!" When we compare ourselves with others, we can fall into the sin of pride. Jesus said in Luke 18:14 "Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
The second consequence: thinking others are better than we are. Arrogance and pride are not present so we may think we are not being sinful but we need to watch out for thinking negatively about ourselves. God has entrusted each of us with abilities and talents and with these come opportunities to multiply and gain more abilities and talents. Read Matthew 25:14-30 and consider what Jesus said in the parable of the talents.

Accept the talents and gifts God has invested in you, and then set out to grow them as much as possible.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Our Superwoman Delusions

Finding Balance in Our Lives

Have you ever thought of the fact that the God of all creation has a specific list of good works for you to do? How exciting is that?

When we try to do what we think we should do, rather than ask God to lead us to those good works He prepared for us that's when our problem with the "superwoman syndrome" begins. Anytime we allow someone beside God to set our agenda, we're headed for trouble. Anytime we live to please others rather than God, we're headed for trouble.

Ephesians 2:10 is one of the most powerful verses in Scripture-- it contains, in one verse, a life-mission statement for every Christian. This statement could hardly be clearer or more powerful:
We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

If we are to do the good works God planned for us to do, we have to know what they are. God doesn't send us on a treasure hunt to try to find His will. The good works God has planned for each of His children will be:

1.  In complete agreement and harmony with God's Word and His principles as presented in the Bible.

2. God will make use of the gifts and abilities he has placed in us. Hence, we each need to know how God has gifted us individually. If you've never studied the gifts that are listed in Romans 12:6-8,
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and Ephesians 4:11, you would do well to do so and discover which of those gifts are evident in your life.

3. The good works God put us here to do will not come to us in a strategic plan for our life, with every detail outlined and every path clearly marked. God knows that plan, of course, but He reveals it to us gradually as we grow in grace and our faith increases.


If you wonder what some of the superwoman tendencies are, you can take a short quiz in my book, Why Do I Always Feel Guilty? It can be ordered on my website at www.christianworkingwoman.org.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Men, Women, and Guilt

Understanding Guilt

It seems men and women handle guilt quite differently. Don't they? It might not surprise you because God did create us with different natures and we often respond in different ways to the world around us, especially where emotions are concerned--and guilt is a emotion. 

I often envision us women carrying our guilt backpacks with us all the time, collecting guilt as we go. These backpacks are stuffed full with everyday guilt's we accumulate without even noticing. These guilt's usually come in the form of saying "I'm sorry" and feeling responsible for events and situations that are not our fault. In other words, "If I'm accused, I must be guilty."

Unloading Guilt

How can we respond to these feelings of guilt? We need to break out of our old habit of apologizing for things for which we are not guilty. Remember, you can empathize--that is, put yourself in someone else's shoes--without apologizing. 

Refusing Undeserved Blame

Could it be that you have allowed others to shift their blame to you for so long that you have become their dumping ground? That goes back to our nurturing natures, our desire to make everything right, and our tendency to feel guilty when accused without examining the facts. 

As we learn to stop apologizing for things not in our control, we don't have to lose our tender hearts, our compassionate tendencies, or our sympathetic ears in order to git rid of guilt. We certainly don't want to become so defensive that we can never say, "I'm sorry." We are women, and while we don't need to roar, we do need to treasure the special attributes that God gave us and use them wisely.

If you recognize that you take on guilt from others far too readily, then you've made an important first step toward changing that bad habit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What is False Guilt?

What is False Guilt?
Good question.  False guilt is a guilt we impose upon ourselves. We allow it to take root in our minds, to start causing all kinds of bad feelings, to feed us all kinds of lies, and we begin to believe it.
False guilt is a "feeling" that is not grounded in truth, but nonetheless strong and real. To help you better understand what false guilt is, look at these examples:
  • what we experience when we keep remembering what God has forgiven and forgotten.
  • what we feel when someone appears to be disappointed in us.
  • what we feel when we have to say no.
  • what we feel when we try to please people and fail.
  • what we feel when we live with unrealistic expectations of ourselves.
  • what we feel when we allow others to dictate what and who we should be.
One of the first signs that you are dealing with false guilt is that you just can't pinpoint exactly why you feel guilty. 

Remember, if God is not condemning you, you have no reason to let anyone else condemn you - no even yourself. I would urge you to memorize Romans 8:1, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," and Isaiah 43:25: "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."

So, don't live in condemnation. Stand up to the false guilt in your life and declare you are no longer under its power.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Confronting True Guilt


True Guilt vs False Guilt
Do you know the difference between true guilt and false guilt?
True guilt is what we feel when God convicts us of some area in our life that needs to be changed, and we are resisting that change. The longer we resist obeying God, the heavier the burden of true guilt becomes.  We try to deny it and bury it or we try to keep so busy that we don't have time to think about it.

The Effects of True Guilt
True guilt not only affects our feelings but can affect our physical health too. In Psalm 38 we find one of Scriptures' most vivid descriptions of the effects of true guilt. King David felt guilty because he had done wrong, and his guilt took a toll on him. "...My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear...."  King David had been harboring this true guilt for months.

God's Remedy for True Guilt
Our heavenly Father does not want us to live with the burden of guilt.  The incredible good news of the gospel is that Jesus came to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice and become our once-and-for-all guilt offering. Romans 8:1 says, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blooming Where You're Planted


by Mary Lowman

Recently I had an opportunity to talk to a senior citizen, Betty, in her 80’s, who is an inspiration to me.  Betty is a widow and a mom of three grown children and lots of grandchildren.  She is a Jesus-lover from way back, and at this stage in her life, she is finding creative ways to reach out to others with the love of Jesus.

Betty’s husband died after a very long illness where she was his main caregiver.  This was a daily “dying to self”, as she dedicated all her time and energy to helping him after a massive stroke.  It took its toll on her physically, as she had to lift him and help him maneuver.  “But,” she told me, “because of that my upper body became very strong.”  Then, when she had to have open heart surgery after her husband’s death, her doctor said it was a miracle she was still alive.  “It was because I had such strong upper body that I was able to survive that surgery,” she said. “So, you see, it was good that I had helped my husband all that time.”

Now that she lives alone and is still driving, she has found a way to continue to share the love of Jesus with others.  She goes to the grocery store every day.  She said, “That way I don’t have heavy bags to carry if I just get a few things each day.  And then, I just go up and down the aisles of the store, to see who God puts in my path that day.” 

Betty uses her daily trips to the grocery as a way to meet people, to offer encouragement, to pray for people, and to let them know that Jesus loves them.  Almost every day she has an opportunity to speak to someone—mostly strangers—and simply offer a moment of caring and concern.  She has story after story of the people she has met in this way, and how blessed she is to have this ministry.

Just knowing Betty is to see an example of what it means to “Rejoice always,” as Paul exhorts us.  As we sat together after the funeral of her beloved daughter-in-law—and my niece—and as we recalled how much we loved her and would miss her, Betty found the bright side of the occasion and her attitude of blooming where she is planted challenged and inspired me.

It’s not so much the big things we do for Jesus that makes a difference; it’s the way we reach out in our everyday lives—on our jobs, in our families, and yes, as we walk the aisles of the grocery store.