Monday, April 30, 2012

One Anothering

By Jennifer R.

God has given us many commands on how we are to treat each other. We typically refer to them as the “one anothers” of Scripture. I encourage you to read the list below and think about how you’re doing in each area. Then pray about how you could excel still more in each one.

  • "Be at peace with each other" (Mark 9:50)
  • "Wash one another's feet" (John 13:14)
  • "Love one another" (John 13:34, Rom. 13:8, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:23, 1 John 4:7, 1 John 4:11)
  • "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love" (Rom. 12:10)
  • "Honor one another above yourselves" (Rom. 12:10)
  • "Live in harmony with one another" (Rom. 12:16)
  • "Instruct one another" (Rom. 15:14)
  • "Accept one another, as Christ accepted you" (Rom. 15:7)
  • "Greet one another with a holy kiss" (Rom. 16:16, 2 Cor. 13:12, and 1 Peter 5:14)
  • "When you come together to eat, wait for each other" (1 Cor. 11:33)
  • "Have equal concern for each other" (1 Cor. 12:25)
  • "Serve one another in love" (Gal. 5:13)
  • "Carry each other's burdens" (Gal. 6:2)
  • "Be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Eph. 4:2)
  • "Be kind and compassionate to one another" (Eph. 4:32)
  • "Forgiving each other as God in Christ has forgiven you" (Eph. 4:32 and Col. 3:13)
  • "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" (Eph. 5:19)
  • "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Eph.5:21)
  • "In humility, consider others better than yourselves" (Phil. 2:3)
  • "Bear with each other" (Col. 3:13)
  • "Teach one another" (Col. 3:16)
  • "Admonish one another" (Col. 3:16)
  • "Make your love increase and overflow for each other" (1 Thess. 3:12)
  • "Comfort/Encourage one another" (1 Thess. 4:18, and 5:11)
  • "Build each other up" (1 Thess. 5:11)
  • "Encourage one another daily" (Heb. 3:13 and 10:25)
  • "Spur one another on to love and good deeds" (Heb. 10:24)
  • "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:16)
  • "Live in harmony with each other" (1 Pet. 3:8) & have compassion for one another
  • "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling" (1Pet. 4:9)
  • "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others" (1 Pet. 4:10)
  • "Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another" (1 Pet. 5:5) “be submissive to one another”?
 And a few negative ones...
  • "Stop passing judgment on one another" (Rom. 14:13)
  • "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, you will be destroyed by each other" (Gal. 5:15)
  • "Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other" (Gal. 5:26)
  • "Do not lie to each other" (Col. 3:9 and Lev. 19:11)
  • “Do not steal” (Lev. 19:11)
  • "Do not slander one another" (James 4:11)
  • "Don't grumble against each other" (James 5:9)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Anytime, Anywhere

[Originally posted on the True Woman blog by Kimberly Wagner.]

Worship isn’t something we do only on Sundays during a moving praise and worship music set. Worship happens 24/7, as we turn our hearts to Him—anytime, anywhere!

Worship can happen when you’re:
  • Putting your family’s clothes in the washing machine and you’re hit afresh with the wonder of His cleansing grace,
  • Watching the landscape burn pink and orange as a new day races across the early morning sky, and you stand amazed at God, the ultimate Artist,
  • Shouting out encouragement to your son as he makes a lunge for the winning shot in the final moments of his basketball game—grateful for God’s gift and a son’s joy,
  • Meeting with a friend who’s been offended but is willing to reconcile—being mindful of the forgiveness you’ve been shown by Christ,
  • Sitting alone waiting for the doctor’s report—and trusting that God’s plans are good no matter what,
  • Laughing with loved ones on an afternoon boat ride—realizing this is but a foretaste of heaven,
  • Placing your weary head on the pillow after a long hard day of mothering little ones—content in the work God has called you to do.
Worship invites you to focus on God in an intimate and personal way through every activity of life. Try it! Breathe in grace, and exhale worship.

How will you spend time worshiping Him today?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Treasures of the Heart and Home

I know you're still reveling in the wonderful Good Friday and Easter services we had this weekend, but I want to remind you about another great opportunity tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 10th, at 6:00 pm. That's when we will gather for the "Treasures of the Heart and Home" event. This event is designed to teach domestic skills to enhance each woman’s ability to serve her home, church, and community. These seminars provide hands-on demonstrations in a variety of homemaking skills such as cooking, budgeting, sewing, and hospitality. This also provides an opportunity for women to immediately begin using their skills in their homes and in various ways to benefit the body. This year, our sessions will be centered around three fruits of the Spirit and will provide practical as well as spiritual instruction.

Gail Hamline will teach us about SELF CONTROL:
Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit. (Proverbs 25:28)

This is a stark and frankly discouraging similitude! This would have brought a terrifying picture to the men, women, boys, and girls included in the original audience of this proverb. Without the protective walls, their possessions and very lives were open to pillage of their enemies. Possibly you will choose to come to this session because you are alarmed by gaping holes in the walls of your life exhibited in habits or patterns spiraling out of control. It could be that your words or inmost thoughts echo the words on the back of Dr. Richard Ganz’s book, The Secret of Self Control: “No matter what I do, it’s hopeless; I’ll never change”, “I try to be a better person but nothing is ever different for long. Eventually I’m back to my old ways and the old me” or “I can’t change my past, and I can’t change who I am, so there’s no changing me.” The question that we need to pose to ourselves is, “Am I powerless to change?” Our culture’s message, be it ever so subtle or shockingly bold, would be, “YES, you are powerless to change!!!” Galatians 5:23 brings firm assurance that as Christians we are indeed new creations which penetrates even to the area of self-control in our daily lives. Not only are we commanded to exhibit self-control but we are also empowered and enabled to do so! This session will lead you to biblically inspect and polish the fruit of the Spirit which God placed into the basket, representing your life, at the time of salvation.

Becky Arnold will teach us about PEACE:
Peace. Who doesn’t want peace in their life? Yet why does it seem so out of reach in my daily life? Why can’t I seem to find this peace that Jesus promised in His final address to His disciples and Paul tells me is mine in his letter to the Philippians? And how can I possibly have peace when my life seems to be falling apart at the seams?

We so desire to have the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) yet we often don’t understand what it truly looks like or we find ourselves looking for it in all the wrong places.

Good news! God doesn’t hide this information from us. He doesn’t withhold peace from us. Let’s find out together what is standing in the way of having this peace and how we can enjoy it in our daily lives.

And Diane Nichols will teach us about JOY:
Do you struggle with finding and keeping joy in life's trials and circumstances? There is a difference between joy that the world offers and true joy found only in God. Learn how to welcome with all joy all that He brings into your life in order to be lacking in nothing and perfected in Christ Jesus.

You won't want to miss this great time of teaching and fellowship. You will be able to pick two of these sessions to attend, and we will have a dessert fellowship in between the sessions. Teen and pre-teen girls are also welcome to attend, so bring your daughters and make this a fun family evening!

Monday, April 2, 2012


By Ann C.

Of all the fruit of the Spirit, the quality of gentleness tends to be the least desired and the most misunderstood by women today. I had not considered the topic in any depth until Beth K. asked me to speak on gentleness at the mother-daughter tea she was planning. (The tea was delightful, by the way!) When I began studying what God’s Word says in regard to being gentle, I quickly became excited about the relevance of this work of God’s grace.

It’s helpful to consider first what gentleness is not. It’s not being weak, passive, soft or docile. Nor is it a feminine trait of concern to women only. And it’s not a personality trait one has naturally from birth so that some have an excuse for lacking in gentleness, saying, “It’s just the way I am. I’m just not the gentle type.”

In fact, gentleness is a work of the Holy Spirit in believers (Gal. 5:22-23) and is a quality to be true of all God’s chosen (Col. 3:12). So what is it, and how can one cultivate it?

Gentleness is “power under control.” Strength and gentleness are actually two sides of the same coin. It has been said that, “Nothing is as strong as gentleness; nothing is so gentle as true strength.” This seeming contradiction is an example of the counterintuitive wisdom of God.

Gentleness originates in the character of the Lord and can only be understood through the eyes of faith. This “power under control” can be seen in the psalmist’s description of God in Ps. 18:35:

“You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.”

God is described as powerful, yet stooping down to help.

And again in Isaiah 40:10-11:

“Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.”

Isaiah writes of God as the powerful Ruler who brings reward and judgment, but tenderly gathers weak lambs in His powerful arms.

Gentleness is found most gloriously displayed in our Lord and Savior, Jesus, through His dealings with you and me.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Jesus, who is all-powerful God, laid aside His power and came to earth in gentleness as a baby in order to sacrifice Himself for our salvation. And because He is strong and gentle, we can surrender to Him in order to be relieved of striving in our own power. When we yield to Him, He trains us in His ways of gentleness (Matt. 11:28-30).

Therefore, based on God’s character and Christ’s example, 1) we’re to have a gentle response to God, submitting our strength and will to Him, trusting His goodness and power in our lives; and 2) we’re to deal gently with others in humility in the same manner in which God has dealt with us in Christ (Eph. 4:2).

So, in thinking about this oft-overlooked work of the Spirit in your life, what are some ways that you can begin to demonstrate gentleness? Consider these possibilities for exercising “strength under control,” setting aside your agenda for another’s good:

  • Seek to make others feel at ease, being attentive to their opinions and sensitive to their needs.
  • Look for potential in others with a desire to help them grow.
  • Show respect for the personal dignity of another person with whom you differ rather than trying to dominate or intimidate to get your way.
  • Avoid blunt speech and an abrupt manner, especially with those younger/weaker than you; consider the potential impact of your manner.
  • Don’t be threatened by opposition, but rather show gentleness toward your enemies, trusting that the Lord uses such things to refine your faith.
  • Don’t belittle or gossip about a sister who has sinned, but instead grieve and pray for her repentance.

Our all-powerful God has stooped down to help us in our sin through the gentleness of Jesus, and He expects us to respond in gentleness toward Him and others. He makes this possible for His glory as we yield to the power of the Spirit in our lives.