A New Year: Thrive 1/23

a-new-year-thriveA few more devotionals are coming from TVBC Women – in the meantime, don’t miss this great article written for Lifeway’s Women’s Ministry by a friend, Dr. Deb Douglas!

A Note from Kelly King: Many women believe being a women’s ministry leader is all about Bible studies and events. While those are important, many times your calling in ministry means working with w…

Source: Called to the Messy

Angels Unaware

8617F1BF-3CB1-4B32-87FF-A83770667580A year ago this week I was traveling to South Africa by myself to visit some dear friends and learn about their project overseas. This was my first overseas trip in a decade and I was going it alone. My family and I were somewhat apprehensive as the departing day grew closer. I had been briefed concerning what to say, who not to talk to, etc.

Departure at the airport was bittersweet as my brother dropped me off. I had this moment where I stood still, surveyed the horizon, and determined to dive into the adventure. I was quite proud of my adventurous spirit. The boarding process was smooth as I found my seat and settled in for the first 12-hour flight.

About halfway through the flight I rose from my seat and headed to the restroom. As I walked the isle, I noticed an older gentleman of foreign nationality watching me a little too closely. As I returned to my seat, he stood in the isle blocking my way, and clearly intended to talk. Through his thick accent he asked my name, where I was from, where I was going, and why. Red alarms went off inside my head. Such questions were ones I had been prompted to avoid. I certainly was not providing my destination point and my reasons for travel. I feigned unable to understand his questions, and quickly found the comfort of my seat.

Unfortunately on such a long flight, restroom trips become more frequent as the trip continued. During several other passes to the restroom, the same gentleman attempted conversation. By his last attempt, I was sure he thought me to be quite rude as I was not at all willing to continue any conversation at length. The cold shoulder…I was giving it my best shot.

With great excitement, we arrived in Dubai and waited to exit the plane. As we departed the plane and into the airport, we first had a security checkpoint. A hundred or more passengers went through security check in front of me with no delays. Due to seat placement, I was in one of the last sections of passengers to go through security. I watched the passengers pass security checks without problems, and I assured myself I would pass through without delay.

As my backpack went through the security belt, I was horrified to see and hear red lights and alarms. I cannot quite describe the immediate panic. I had tediously followed the rules precisely because I did not want to be searched in a foreign country while traveling alone! I had memorized my flight itinerary, and subsequently knew I had only 45 minutes before boarding ended for my next flight. The security attendant grabbed my backpack and walked to a corner private room with dark windows. Another security guard asked me to sit down on a bench underneath those large looming windows facing the tarmac, and wait. Wait to see if I would pass security.

As the minutes ticked by, I watched my backpack sit isolated on a table in the darkroom, with no one touching it. I myself sat on the designated bench frozen in fear as I watched the remaining 50 or so passengers pass through security and leave the area for their terminal. After what felt like hours (25 minutes), two attendants entered the dark room and began removing every item from my backpack, piece by piece. They examined each article, swiped each with a wet cloth, and ultimately emptied my belongings onto the table. When nothing was left to remove, the security guards began packing my items back into my bag, zipped it up, and headed my direction. By this time, no passengers remained in the entire security area. I was completely alone.

Without any drama, an attendant handed my backpack over and nonchalantly said thank you as dismissal. I chose not to ask why my backpack had been flagged, but kindly thanked them and made a bee-line for the exit. As I turned the corner for the escalators, two men had evidently been sitting on a bench hidden from site by a partition. As we saw one another, they stood and waited for me. As I neared the men, I was shocked and scared to identify one of the men as the one whom was relentless in his conversation attempts on the plane. He immediately put both of his hands up in front of his chest, as to say no harm here.

I am sure my face was a mixture of apprehension and concern. He removed a business card from his coat and offered it to me as he began talking. He introduced himself as a pastor and his friend as a bishop in a neighboring country. They themselves had met on the plane and realized their commonality under Christ. Then he said something I will never forget. This man claimed when he saw me on the plane, the Spirit spoke to him and said to watch over me. He chuckled as he commented on my coldness on the plane, assuring me I had no need to fear because God told him I was a fellow believer. He beamed. To provide even further assurances, he noted my elusiveness was understandable. The other gentleman finally spoke in broken English, and asked me if I was ok. When neither man saw me come through the checkpoint, they both decided to wait and if necessary, claimed they would have inquired of my whereabouts.

I was stunned, humbled, and overwhelmed by God’s presence in that moment. As a believer for almost thirty years, I know God is always with me. But to have it fleshed out in such an obvious tangible way was almost too much to soak up and fathom. I finally confessed I was a believer and divulged where I was headed. For one of the first times in my life, I wondered if I had just experienced the presence of angels unaware (Hebrews 13:4). Since both men were headed to a different part of Africa, we were not on the same connecting flight. I humbly thanked them for their watch care and headed for my terminal.

Thankfully I made my connecting flight and the rest of the week in South Africa was a trip never to forget. The circumstances surrounding that trip and the difficulties I went through personally to commit to go were considered trivial after that experience with the two men in that airport. God’s presence is always with us and I am grateful for the times He chooses to show us in ways we can never forget. Lord I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).

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A picture I sent my family in Dubai as proof I was making it! I chose not to share the ordeal until safely in Johannesburg. 

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We studied Islam after the trip and so I brought them a special souvenir to fit the occasion.

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Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mommy/Daughter Journaling

During one of my mommy chats with one of my best friends three years ago, we were discussing how to intentionally keep the communication lines open during the tween transition period. She mentioned she and her then tween son shared a journal. She indicated the journaling between them was proving very helpful to talk through life.

 

So, I began writing to my eldest daughter, then age 7, in our Mommy/Daughter Journal. While we have not been crazy consistent in our entries, I find the journal to be a go-to for difficult seasons. Safety is found in the paper. It allows us both to express ourselves freely and honestly. We can connect when face-to-face conversations are proving difficult. The process of writing allows our thoughts to percolate and words to be chosen carefully.

 

Fast-forward three years and I now have two tween females in the house. At the age of 8 and 10, my girls already have weighty topics pressing on their hearts and minds. In the few short years I have been journaling with my daughters, I have experienced an intimacy with them I can credit to this particular line of communication. As we approach the teenage years, I hope my daughters will look back at this journal and the words will prove my love for them even when they might not feel it. Truth be told, I will also likely visit its pages from time to time to remind myself we are all on the same team.

Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts. Proverbs 3:3

Call to Prayer and Worship – “Divine Makeover…It’s In the Bag” Retreat

12734245_10156508986055481_2998941931112910458_nAs the “Divine Makeover…It’s In the Bag” Women’s Retreat approaches, our guest speaker, Dr. Johnnie K. Seago, has provided verses to pray through in spiritual preparation. Feel free to choose several a day for meditation. Below the scriptures is a Spotify playlist the worship team created. We are praying over the next few days you will as Colossians 3:16 says,

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your heart to God” (ESV).

Call to Prayer:

“The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:35-36).

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesusfrom the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:5-11).

“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:3-10).

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:16-18).

“[B]ut these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).

“[R]emember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Ephesians 2:12-16).

“[H]aving been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” (Colossians 2:12-17).

Call to Worship: Spotify “It’s In the Bag” Call to Worship

Registration Form: “It’s In the Bag” Registration Form

The Women’s Ministry Team at Dorcas Wills Memorial Baptist Church has been praying for each and every one of you. We are excited about what God has in store for each of us as we fellowship together March 4-5th. It is not too late to sign up! The above link will take you to the registration form and more are available in the church office.

 

 

To My Husband’s Dad

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Never before have I have been more thankful for you than as of late. I was blessed to know you for eighteen months, but I feel as though I have known you my entire life. No doubt it’s because your godly character, humor, steadfastness, and as of recently, your love to write poetry, have lived on through your son.

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Your legacy lives on through your grandchildren as well. How much fun you would be having with them…and probably some mischief as well. I miss you. Your sons miss you. And that longing for reunion drives us to the foot of the cross, praising God for the hope we have. What we see and feel is not ultimate. It is not the end.IMG_2341

 

Thank you for modeling to your sons the invaluable gift of disciplined daily bible reading, pointing them to The Rock so they might lead their families well. Your son has become a man I could have never imagined fourteen years ago. God has blessed him immeasurably as he carries your name into the next generation. A picture of you sitting around a campfire hangs in your grandsons’ bedroom. I love to hear your son tell his boys stories of Papa Bo.

 

IMG_2342I honor you this Father’s Day. I cherish your memory as I listen to your son preach the Word he saw you read most mornings. You are a hero in my home and I look forward to eternity spent together. Happy Father’s Day.

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