We all have a story and your story matters. Your story tells the history of your journey with Christ and speaks to the beauty of humanity. We engage in sharing our stories because our stories connect us. As the New Year begins, we want to be women who embrace new beginnings. We serve a God of second chances, and what better opportunity than the New Year to encourage one another to risk hoping for a new beginning!
Through the years, God has taught the women at Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church immeasurable truths about Himself and how our connections matter. Our connections often provide the fuel for vulnerability, a trait necessary for new starts. Over the next 31 days you will meet 31 different women sharing 31 different stories. Our hope is that by sharing our stories, we will show God’s faithfulness in our everyday lives and encourage you to look for God in all the new beginnings of a new year. Get ready to belly laugh, shed a few tears (grab a tissue), and prepare your heart for God to speak through, “A New Year: Thrive.”
“I called to the LORD in my distress, and He answered me.” (Jonah 2:2).
When was the last time you felt the Holy Spirit nudging you a particular direction and your first instinct was to flee? If whatever the task before me requires battling insecurities, my flesh begs me to forgo the fight and just flee.
A few years ago I was asked to serve in a capacity I had only dreamed about in my home church. Almost as quickly as the excitement built at the thought of using my gifts and talents in this area, an equal amount of apprehension overwhelmed my spirit. I reflected on my previous track record with similar tasks. Isn’t that how we evaluate potentially new tasks, through considering and analyzing what we have been able to accomplish in the past?
Despite reciting scriptures encouraging me to trust God’s promise to enable and empower me to complete the task ahead, I stalled and filibustered when pressed to confirm. I was hesitating to step into leadership though I knew God was calling me to that specific purpose.
As God would have it, the next few weeks’ worth of sermons covered the book of Jonah. Though I was familiar with his story, Jonah’s experiences with second chances washed over me in a fresh and powerful way. Jonah flat out refused to obey God’s command to preach to the Ninevites. God could have used another prophet to preach His message of coming judgment, but He loved Jonah enough to punish him, leading Jonah to repentance.
Our God gives second chances. He delights in our steps toward the right direction. Furthermore, when He calls us to a task, He will empower us. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” This verse speaks truth in the face of apprehension. Not only does God work in me to accomplish the task, He also enables me to desire to complete it.
So if God is calling you to a specific role, task, or purpose, and you are hesitating to obey, know God delights in your steps toward His calling. Know He will birth the desire to complete it, and above all, He will work it through you for His good purpose and glory.
Sara Burt, Director of TVBC Women’s Ministry: Thrive
Please share this post. Someone needs to hear it isn’t too late.
I did not plan on posting today, but during my run God would not let go of me until I wrote this down.
Tomorrow is a colossal celebration. I have planned our menu, the kids’ meaningful gifts, and ultimately planned to protect our family time. Why? Well I can tell you it isn’t so my children can gorge themselves on candy from an Easter basket. I want my children to know this Sunday is different than all other Sundays. I need to be reminded this Sunday is different than all other Sundays. While every Sunday we celebrate Christ’s resurrection on the first day of the week, tomorrow is a monumental Resurrection Sunday.
Over the course of the last few weeks, several fellow believers have suggested their family does not historically celebrate Easter as they do Christmas. “I mean, we celebrate, but it isn’t as big a holiday.” I wish I was shocked. The truth is the influence of culture is an obnoxious indoctrination, commonly leveraged undetected.
Without a doubt, we would not have a Saviour without His birth. However, without the resurrection, we don’t have Christianity! My faith in my future resurrection and eternal life is based on the resurrection of Christ.
Indeed, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).
His resurrection means what I do now matters! It means my past, present, and future relationships matter for eternity (Galatians 6:7-8).
Maybe if we spent the weeks and months in between Christmas and Easter reflecting on the cycle of human rebellion and God’s grace that has existed since the garden of Eden, then just maybe Good Friday and The Resurrection Sunday would be “as big a holiday.”
I know who I am without Christ. I know He is ALL I have to boast in (Romans 15:17; Galatians 6:14; Philippians 3:3). Brothers and sisters, Christ’s resurrection is my only hope. If He had merely been born only to die on a cross, my life would be meaningless.
But His death was just the beginning. We have cause to celebrate tomorrow!
At Christmas we make less of the North Pole and more of the Manger. For the love of Christ, tomorrow make less of the Bunny and more of the Empty Tomb! It isn’t too late!
Christ is risen from the dead!
Trampling over death by death!
Come awake! Come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!
(from “Christ Is Risen” by Matt Maher)