~ Written by Viki Rife
Do you ever feel so encumbered you can’t get anything done? Does it seem like intense spiritual battles are making it impossible to accomplish what you believe God has called you to do? Does the spiritual climate around you feel overwhelming?
When I start feeling that way, I turn to Nehemiah 4. What a challenge Nehemiah had! They had to remove rubble left by the enemy’s devastation of the city, build a wall, and then their enemies were threatening to attack them.
Nehemiah set up a guard and reminded the people: “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes” (Neh. 4:14). Instead of leaving it there, he encouraged them to get back to work. Half his servants worked while the other half served as armed guards. Those who carried burdens did so with one hand and held their swords in their other. Those who built the wall had their swords strapped at their sides (quite an awkward way to get work done). Everyone slept with their clothes on and their swords in their right hand.
That’s a cumbersome way to build a city wall. Yet they got it done in record time, amazing their enemies. The difference was—they remembered the Lord and what mattered. So no matter what obstacles we may face that we think are slowing us down, we can keep our eyes on our God, who will accomplish His purposes. That sword you are having to carry around to strengthen you against the enemy is not an encumbrance, but an opportunity to stand firm.
Grab your sword and don’t give up!
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~ Written by Cassie Harris
“For every day of the year he learned a new Bible verse.” Everyone smiled as friends reminisced about Roy Snyder’s legacy in his heart for missions and his even bigger heart for Africa. At 93, it was obvious at his celebration of life that he had learned the true definition of missions — in order to receive, you must give. Roy understood that.
As one of the youngest people at the celebration, I was humbled to see Roy’s example of doing everything he could to represent Christ well. Up until his last week on this side of Glory, he had a verse, hymn, or missions prayer request to share with anyone who cared to listen. He didn’t exactly care about America’s expectations of the older generation. He had a message to share; Christ was all he lived for. He didn’t know what retirement meant.
It is becoming more and more popular to believe that the end goal is retirement when we get older. Though I must admit retirement sounds nice, what would our world look like if we served till our last breath with our one goal to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
What if we were like Roy and so many others like him and we loved Jesus deeply and were never heard saying the phrase, “I’ve done my time”?
Posted in Belonging, Body of Christ, Core Values, Discipleship, Editing, Entitlement, family, Gifted for Leadership, Heaven, Mentoring, Ministry, Missions, Prayer, Scripture, Spiritual hunger, Uncategorized, Women of Grace USA, Women's ministry, Writing | Leave a Comment »
~ Written by Gladys Deloe
Bite your tongue! Are you serious? Shouldn’t the question be, “Is life without God worth the risk? That premise is almost as incredulous as a screen-saver I saw which said, “Without risk it is impossible to please God.” Really?
“Risk” is defined as taking a gamble! It’s investing in an unknown; it’s a danger, hazard, peril or threat. The world says the antonym for risk is security, immunity; a guarantee or insurance. Right! I’ll have one guarantee for $500, please!
Would a better question be “What’s the risk?” I urge you to search the Scriptures for evidence of the premise that a life of faith can co-exist with a life of risk. No…don’t do that! Instead, look up verses that promise you a risk-free faith! Do you really think that the Creator of the universe can’t take care of you at any time, in any place, and under any circumstance?
In Deuteronomy 3:16 the Lord said, “Don’t be afraid of the nations on the other side of Jordan. The LORD your God will always be at your side and He will never abandon you.”
And the risk is: __________________________ (You tell me.)
OK…that’s for a nation. Want some personal ones?
How about Isaiah 8:11-19, “Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty; He alone is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe. …I will wait for the Lord to help me. …My only hope is in Him.” Don’t you love it?
Or I Peter 3:12-14, “Who will harm you for doing good, but if you do, God will reward you for it. So don’t be afraid and don’t worry.”
It’s the unbeliever who’s at risk. Trust me… No, trust Him! So, Girlfriend, start marking those “risk-free faith” verses!
Posted in Body of Christ, Core Values, Discipleship, Editing, family, Gifted for Leadership, Mentoring, Ministry, Prayer, Risk, Scripture, Spiritual hunger, Trust, Uncategorized, Women of Grace USA, Women's ministry, Women's Missionary Council, Writing | Leave a Comment »
~ Written by Viki Rife
When I buy a new phone, the first thing I do is download a tornado app. It tells me when a tornado might be coming, and also gives me detailed instructions for what to do before, during, and after the storm hits.
What kind of app do we have to help us weather persecution? Too bad it isn’t that easy. But there are some things we can do so we’re ready for whatever comes our way. Daniel 11:32 tell us: …the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. Key components for taking action include:
1. Scripture study and memorization: persecuted believers throughout the world bear witness that knowing God’s Word has had an impact in helping them to stand firm in hard times.
2. Prayer: we have been promised wisdom, we need only to ask for it. Remember that this assurance in James 1:5 comes in the context of Christians who are suffering persecution for Christ.
3. Live now as a citizen of heaven: surrender your rights to Christ, bless your enemies and pray for them, seek the good of others.
4. Anticipate the glory, as glimpsed in Revelation, that awaits those who stand firm. Keep your eyes above the waves of today and focus on the joy of hearing Jesus say, “Well done!”
Posted in Body of Christ, Core Values, Discipleship, Editing, Events, family, Gifted for Leadership, Heaven, Mentoring, Persecution, Prayer, Uncategorized, Women of Grace USA, Women's ministry, Writing | 1 Comment »
~ Written by Viki Rife
This picture haunts me like nothing I’ve ever seen. How can any mother, grandmother, or any human being for that matter, see this and not be moved?
I could spiritualize it and talk about people starving for God’s truth and the enemy waiting as a vulture to destroy them, but that would be an attempt to escape the cruel reality. In our society, there has been more media buzz about the death of a lion than about the starving of children, or the carefully orchestrated harvesting of the tissue of innocent, helpless human beings.
What is our responsibility for the suffering in the world?
That question haunts me. It haunts me as much as if I saw it happening out my back door, in my own yard. I want to gather my Women of Grace sisters to pray like we never have before. Helpless people are dying without Christ. Let’s get out there and intercede!
Posted in abortion, Belonging, Body of Christ, Cecil the Lion, Core Values, Disappointment, Discipleship, family, Girls' discipleship, hunger, Prayer | Leave a Comment »
~ Written by Viki Rife
After five-year-old Frances Slocum was kidnapped in Pennsylvania in 1778, her family spend 59 years looking for her. They finally found her living among the Miami tribe in Indiana. They wanted her to come back with them to live in “civilization.” She had become accustomed to her current life, and she refused to leave it.
She knew she wouldn’t belong any more.
As believers, we find ourselves having to choose where we belong. Are we citizens of earth or citizens of heaven? When Jesus taught about the kingdom of heaven, He presented us with an entirely different mindset from what this world accepts. Citizens of heaven care about the good of their own country, and don’t get involved in the politics and customs of the earthly country they are living in. They invest in furthering the interests of their own country.
What does it mean to you when you pray, “God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? What would that actually look like? What are we willing to do to make that happen? We are called to live in a way that gives a taste of heaven on earth.
We need to understand that it is how we handle suffering that furthers the kingdom of God most. . Pray for God to keep changing your perspective so you can live the lifestyle and mindset of the kingdom of heaven.
It’s where you belong!
Posted in Belonging, Body of Christ, Discipleship, Editing, family, Girls' discipleship, Heaven, hunger, Marriage, Mentoring, Ministry, Missions, Persecution, Prayer, Rights, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual hunger, Trust, Women and Scripture, Women of Grace USA, Women's ministry, Women's Spectrum, Writing | 1 Comment »
~ Written by Viki Rife
“I have a right.”
It’s a dangerous phrase which undermines our foundations. Let’s think about that a little. What rights can we really claim as Christians?
Do you want to stand firm for God against any kind of persecution? If so, we need to eliminate that simple phrase from our vocabulary. In fact, we need to eliminate it completely from our thought process. The best way to process this is to look at how Jesus handled His life on this earth. He gave up everything (Philippians 2:7 calls it “emptying himself”). He did not grasp for His rights (Phil. 2:6).
He had a right to destroy anyone who opposed Him. He had a right to call down angels to rescue him from the cross. But He did not call for His rights. That wasn’t his mission He gave up His right to comfort and convenience so He could claim the right to save us. And He has saved us so we could have the right to help others find Him.
Whenever I clamor for my rights, I am trying to be greater than my Master. May I never settle for thinking that I deserve more than Jesus does!
Posted in Anxiety, Body of Christ, Discipleship, Entitlement, family, Ministry, Persecution, Prayer, Redemption, Rights, Scripture, Spiritual Formation, Uncategorized, Women of Grace USA, Women's ministry, Writing | 1 Comment »