Pick-Me-Up-Prayer

Welcome to our mid-week pick-me-up.  Our leaders and prayer warriors will lift you up in prayer today.  Please leave a comment below with your prayer requests.  If you want to send them in ahead of time to make it inside the blog post, go to our prayer page and fill out the form or email your requests to: mary@thatchurch.com.  Prayer Warriors…when you see a prayer request below, please leave a comment with a eprayer or a shout out to let these ladies know they are being lifted in prayer.

Thanks again for the participation and let’s lift each other in prayer today.  Leave us a comment for your prayer requests!

Just start leaving your prayer requests in the comment section and know…we will be praying for you!

1) Melinda:  Her sister-in-law Heather had surgery on her digestive system.  It was an emergency type surgery.  She is living with Crone’s disease.  Please keep her recovery in your prayers!

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Tackling Tough Questions…it is Tuesday!

thWelcome to our Tuesday discussion.  Today we will try to answer some of your tough questions.  We know that if one person voices their question and concerns, there are many more who have the same questions, but just don’t ask.

We thought this blog is the perfect place to answer them for everyone.

Questions:  How do you really get rid of doubt?

A few days ago I felt paralyzed with self-doubt about a big commitment I had made. After begging God to zap me with confidence, and then realizing it wasn’t going to happen, I asked Him to show me what made me feel so insecure and uncertain.

Immediately I remembered Gideon, a man who was called by God yet paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy. From reading his story in Judges 6, I knew Gideon overcame his doubts and fears by focusing on what God thought about him — instead of what he thought about himself.

But first he processed his doubts with God in a very honest way. Recent conflicts and defeats caused Gideon to doubt God’s presence and promises. When an angel of the Lord told him to go defeat the Midianites, Gideon asked, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest … and I am the least in my family.” (Judg. 6:15)

His perception of himself made him feel inadequate. Damaged emotions and insecurities from our past have a powerful influence over how we see ourselves today.

I knew it was time for me to get honest with God, too. I needed more than a quick fix. I needed to figure out what triggered my self-doubts and led me into such a horrible place of uncertainty.

I remembered how a conflict with a friend this week made me doubt I should even be in ministry. After all, self-doubt whispered, if I can’t maintain healthy relationships at all times in all areas, how can I help others?

I also received feedback on a project this week. One harsh criticism overshadowed several positive comments and consumed my focus. And, I had been comparing my abilities to others working on a project with me. Self-doubt convinced me I wasn’t as gifted as they were.

Conflict, criticism and comparison had sent me into the shadows of doubt.

What about you? When conflict arises at work or at home, do you ever assume it disqualifies you from other ministries or callings? Does criticism ever paralyze you from believing you can do certain things? Or, has comparison ever convinced you that someone else can do it (whatever “it” is) better than you?

It’s not a quick fix but a powerful process of naming our doubts, identifying what triggers them and then learning to rely on God’s power to lead us into a place of living confidently in the security of His promises.

The next time you start feeling insecure, ask God what triggered your doubts. Then process the trigger point through God’s perspective. Ask Him to show you lies you’re believing and truths to replace them. Then let Him change your thought process by focusing on His thoughts towards you instead of your thoughts about yourself. For instance:

• When doubt tells you that you can’t do something because it’s too hard, remember God says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

• When doubt tells you you’re not good enough, focus on the truth that God says you’re fearfully and wonderfully made; all of His works are wonderful and you are one of them (Psalm 139:14).

One thing I know for sure, Jesus wants you to live with a confident heart! Some days it will be about what He’s calling you to do but — even more than that — it will be about what He wants to do in you as you learn to completely depend on Him!

Leap of Faith

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Sometimes I want to know more.  I want to be able to make the right decisions for my life.  I don’t want to go outside of the will of God and find myself flailing about in the midst of consequences I actually bring upon myself.  I want more than anything to stay within the pathway He sets before me.  And while I want one thing, I have to accept the fact that what I want may not be the best choice for me or for others.  Ultimately, I want God’s best.  I take seriously the larger decisions in my life.  I think everything I do works together with God’s plan to build up His kingdom and grow me spiritually.  I have various folks in my life who influence my thinking, but sometimes they just add to my confusion.

For this world’s wisdom is foolishness with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their own craftiness.  And again, The Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the wise and recognizes how futile they are.  1 Corinthians 3:19-20.

Futile.  We try to reason everything out and the more we reason, the more we seek another’s counsel, the less we know and the more muddled our thoughts become.  That is when I retreat.  I actually stop talking to people about my quandary, my crossroad.  I sit quietly before the Lord and ask Him for His wisdom.  I rest until I have a clear answer.  That can be daunting.  Sometimes the answer seems totally out of sync with anything I’ve been advised.  I don’t know about you, but most times God leads me to act, not on logic, but on faith.  The leap may be frightening.  I tend to argue with God in these times, just like Moses saying he couldn’t speak before Pharoah.  So God gives him Aaron to go along and help him.  Sometimes I think all the things God used to make Pharoah let Israel go, was to show Moses the power of God’s might.  I relate well to old Moses.  But that is because I take my eyes off God and put them on myself.  Moses was more concerned with his inadequacy than God’s adequacy.  Logic sees as far as one can see before the jump; faith sees God at the end of the jump.  From that vantage point, we catapult with courage, knowing He provides a safe landing.

In His Grip,

Mary

Pick-me-up-prayer…

Welcome to our mid-week pick-me-up.  Our leaders and prayer warriors will lift you up in prayer today.  Please leave a comment below with your prayer requests.  If you want to send them in ahead of time to make it inside the blog post, go to our prayer page and fill out the form or email your requests to: mary@thatchurch.com.  Prayer Warriors…when you see a prayer request below, please leave a comment with a eprayer or a shout out to let these ladies know they are being lifted in prayer.

Thanks again for the participation and let’s lift each other in prayer today.  Leave us a comment for your prayer requests!

Just start leaving your prayer requests in the comment section and know…we will be praying for you!

Meet Renee…

Meet Renee and her husband Jasen.  Like you really need introduced to these two!  222730_10150165171362175_5931977_n[2]They are all over the church and LOVE to meet and greet everyone, especially new people visiting the church…that’s just one reason I love them so…and I know it’s one of yours too!  420039_10150580580152175_804407324_n[1]They do it so well too!  You know why?  They are genuine!  If I had to pick just one word to describe this couple…((which is very hard to do by the way)) it would be genuine.

I asked Renee what she could tell us about her family…this is what she said  “I married Jasen Oliver February 14,1997…Yes ladies, That’s right, Valentines Day! I am a sucker for Chocolate, Teddy Bears, and Romance!!  🙂 We have four kids: Justin is 22 and he just moved to Boston for Grad school. 😦  Ashleigh is 20 and is a nursing Student at UCA. Maddie is 15 and will be starting her first year at Abundant Life, and Kenzie is 13 and is a student at Cabot Junior High!” Yep!  We love them all!

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This is the whole family…well, maybe not all of them!  They wouldn’t fit into a picture if we tried.

Hey Renee, what do you like to do in your spare time? “I enjoy Scrap booking when I have time…..which never happens anymore…..but
one day!!!  lol  I also LOVE to decorate !!! I enjoy spending time with Family
and Friends!!! They mean EVERYTHING TO ME!!!  :)”

303752_10150354889557267_645534140_n[1]I asked Renee how she landed at ThatChurch and here is her story, “We moved her from Pennsylvania, (yes, don’t hate…..I’m a Yankee) four years ago. We live in Cabot and tried every church there and just couldn’t find a church that we all agreed on and liked. As God would Have it, The bus missed our stop the first day of school. We offered to drive the kids at our bus stop to school. The parents walked down to thank us that night, and the mom was wearing a Mercy’s Cross shirt. 312281_2693506782516_1299773612_n[1]I asked her about the church and she invited us and later walked down a worship guide with the service times on it. From that day on, Mike and Liz Morgan have been some of our BEST FRANDS!!!!  🙂 (spell it just like that)  🙂 We have been here EVER since and I know this is EXACTLY where God wants us to be! :)”

AMEN!  Thank YOU Mike and Liz, we are glad you invited this family!

Renee, what ministries are you involved in? “I lead the Women’s Ministry along with Andi Leslie. Several of us started this Ministry 3 years ago. I have such a deep love of encouraging other women in their spiritual journey!!!! God created us to be Connectors as Women, and Nothing makes me more joyful to see ladies Connecting and growing spiritually! I also do the Finances at That Church, so I also lead the Counting team! I love this group of people because they are so faithful in doing work ‘behind the Scenes’. They rarely get recognized, but are here to serve God!”
283613_10151421154932175_1282712037_n[1]Oh Renee!  I believe you do so much more…she’s so humble…
Renee is apart of our church staff.  Those crazy people!  Just kidding.  I know first hand the work, dedication , heart & soul, sweat & tears, and much prayer they do and that is just one day in the life of our staff!
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She serves….
999974_689636011062180_589532672_n[1]She serves….
250941_10150201017462175_5989115_n[1]She serves….
230775_2053786026658_6621045_n[1]And she serves some more….you get the point.  Renee’s love to serve and it show on her face and in her attitude.  She is always smiling and never says anything but kind words.  That’s huge!  Like I said, genuine!  No masks with Renee…she is who she is and that’s lovely!  SO thankful to be able to serve alongside of her!
534391_10151079699803403_189941053_n[1]Renee loves the women’s ministry, it is one of her top passions too.  She start this with just an idea…a few select women and here we are!  Building teams and growing.  Thanks Renee!  Thank you for your passion to serve women and your hard work to get it done!
417927_10151598711612326_1045578103_n[1]Always doing something for the women…conferences…
216370_10150159619147175_4382293_n[2]More conferences….
65194_10200426473975659_1441850193_nAnd more….I will not mention the conference in Oklahoma and every day that the tornado sirens went off especially the one in the middle of the night and everyone had to sit it out in the lobby of the hotel.  Well, NOT everyone…you see, Dawn Davis and I were sleeping away, and we did not hear one thing…NOR did they COME AND GET US!!! But I won’t mention that conference.  Ha Ha!
150310_4843055002778_812312417_nAnd more…
Hey do those books say BAD GIRLS!  Oh how this fits.  Did I type that out loud? Oppps….sorry! 🙂
560789_3675782609228_1064912344_n[1]Renee and Stacey Harness, our first lady of ThatChurch share a birthday…isn’t that a small world…here is their last birthday party.
Awe friends and staffers…with huge hearts!  Love it.
540232_3675762008713_1597097083_n[1]Why in the world does that cake say 40 something??? Renee is 29!  That’s her story and she’s sticking to it…now change that number for next year…29 and each year after too!  I got your back Renee!
254051_110660419026065_2324396_n[1]One of the first prayer request she asked me to pray for was one for her daughter Ashleigh. ((Hope you don’t mind me sharing that!))  We prayed and prayed some more.  It was Renee’s BIG ASK!  Well, I share this because Renee allowed me to pull pictures from her facebook page for this post…and I found these…an answer to a big ask, I had to share…
Just one BIG ASK…answered!  Love it!  Thanks Renee for asking me to join that ask!  Oh gosh, I am tearing up as I type this…hold on, I will be right back to finish…just enjoy the pictures while I wipe my eyes.  LOVE you Ashleigh! 🙂
304438_10151062994753403_1704697473_n[2]
374978_10200762710417781_75066645_n[1]
388630_2693497542285_747912556_n[1]
73460_486708416342_1338444_n[1]
391600_10150364027327267_1103855169_n[1]
303847_10150372676157175_1594710586_n[1]Renee is a beautiful person inside and out.  She always has a smile…and has many talents and gifts.  Connect and loving on people is just one.  Like I mentioned in the top of the post, she is genuine…and that is a rare gem in a friend.
So if you have not met her yet…go introduce yourself.  Or she will get to you in a few days, she never likes to miss someone…tell her that you read her story on the blog, hug her neck…and you will have a friend and sister for life.  Look at that smile…she wears it all the time.  Thanks Renee!  We ALL love you!

Pick-me-up-prayer

Welcome to our mid-week pick-me-up.  Our leaders and prayer warriors will lift you up in prayer today.  Please leave a comment below with your prayer requests.  If you want to send them in ahead of time to make it inside the blog post, go to our prayer page and fill out the form or email your requests to: mary@thatchurch.com.  Prayer Warriors…when you see a prayer request below, please leave a comment with a eprayer or a shout out to let these ladies know they are being lifted in prayer.

Thanks again for the participation and let’s lift each other in prayer today.  Leave us a comment for your prayer requests!

Just start leaving your prayer requests in the comment section and know…we will be praying for you!

Tackling Tough Questions…

th-2Welcome to our Tuesday discussion.  Today we will try to answer some of your tough questions.  We know that if one person voices their question and concerns, there are many more who have the same questions, but just don’t ask.

We thought this blog is the perfect place to answer them for everyone.

 

How many times have you tried to assist a friend who desperately needs help, only to find yourself becoming overwhelmed by her problems?

As one friend explains about another, “I know she is crying out for someone to listen to her.  She needs help with her children and with problems concerning her husband. However, I always end up feeling exhausted at the end of our time together.  When she calls I spend hours on the phone with her.  How do I help her without depleting my time and energy?”

It’s a valid yet delicate question.  How do we, as Christian women, reach out to others, desiring to show them God’s love in a way that respects their needs, our lives, and God’s will without becoming overwhelmed and burned out?  As nurturer’s we want to take hurting women under our wing and make everything better for them.  However, we soon find that we are inundated with their time-consuming problems.  Like the story above, their problems are complex and ongoing.  Many women not only experience problems with children or spouses (or ex-husbands), but may also be dealing with depression, anxiety, or a chronic physical illness.  Their lives are full of turmoil and confusion and it can overwhelm them, as well as us.

Most women I know truly want to share their time, resources, and support with other women who need these things.  Women understand others because so many of us have been there:  times we wouldn’t have survived except for the presence of a friend in our life to support us and comfort us emotionally, spiritually, or physically.

Ultimately, we must find a way to integrate our Christian beliefs and desires with the reality of the situation.  It’s crucial to grasp the concept that we – as much as we may want to – cannot save anyone from herself or the reality of her situation.  That responsibility lies with God and our friend.

We can assist but our friendship or investment of time requires a blend of compassion and boundaries.  We are taught to give of our time and talents.  This can lead to confusion as we become involved in someone’s life and their needs require more and more time.  As my friend found, the more support she gave to he friend, the more support she seemed to need.

In her case, she spent so much time with her that my friend’s husband began to complain because she kept leaving during dinner or jumping up to get the phone (which she would then be on for at least an hour).  Her children were constantly getting to bed later than their usual time because she wasn’t available to help her husband finish the kids’ homework and baths.

When our helping others begins to affect our spouse, children and ourselves, it then becomes time to take a close, hard look at how we are managing the relationship.

Do your friend’s needs take priority over your family’s needs?

Do you jump to the rescue every time she calls?

Do you feel compelled to solve every problem for her?

Are you consistently neglecting your responsibilities at home?

If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions you may need to reassess your involvement in the situation.

It’s very important that your friend take responsibility for herself and her life.  Are you putting more effort into helping her than she is in helping herself?  Does she consider your life, the efforts you are making on her behalf, and asking if there is any way she can help you?  The point isn’t that she must give back to you.  The point is that she respects you and your boundaries.  If that is not present you may need to ask yourself some questions such as, “Why is she not as committed to solving her problem as I am?  Why am I putting more effort into this than she is?”  My friend thought it was her friend that was “the problem.”  Actually, it was my friend’s problem for not establishing clear boundaries with hers.

It’s important for all of us to take responsibility for our lives and our issues.  We don’t need to stay “stuck.”  We can make the decision to make the necessary changes.  We may need to ask for help or assistance but ultimately it is up to us.  This is what was going on with the two women in the opening story:  One would call with the latest crisis and my friend would jump to respond, not taking into account how it all affected her and her family.

My Friend decided to use boundaries in her life to get it back under control.  She decided to screen her calls and call her friend back when it was convenient for her.  Ann also established time limits on the calls by telling her that she could only talk for 10 minutes because she had to help her husband get the kids ready for bed (which she did).

After re-evaluating the pattern of frantic phone calls and continuous emergencies my friend came to the conclusion that her friend probably needed more support than she could give her.  She suggested to her that she call her for some counseling.  She did so and eventually went to a support group that was equipped to give ongoing support.  My friend still remained a friend and they still speak on the phone, but the burden no longer was on her for her friend’s healing.

This is why we need boundaries in our lives:  to understand just what our responsibility is– and what it is not.  The previous illustration has just shown what the consequences could be if we overstep our boundaries.  Not only do we not help the situation—as we truly desired to—but we may prevent someone from growing in the ways that they need to.

Hope this answers your question!  Whew it was long, sorry for that.

Mary