Whose Job is It?

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.                        (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Have you ever heard someone say, “that’s not my job?” Lately there’s been a picture going around Facebook of a solid white road line that had been painted. Instead of moving a tree branch that was in the way, the worker painted around it; leaving a solid line, a big indentation into the road around the branch and then back to the solid white line. The epitome of “that’s not my job!”

not my job

Since the inception of our society we are quick to pass the buck. Adam blames God and Eve. “This woman you gave me made me do it.”  Eve blamed the snake and we’ve been passing blame ever since. We don’t like to take responsibility for our actions or inactions. It’s not my job.

In the verse above it specifically says whose job it is to bring healing to our land. “If my people called by my name..”. Do you feel like this nation and even the world is spiraling out of control? Is evil prevailing? Guess what? It’s in our hands as Christians called by God to change that. We must return to prayer. We must repent. We must get humbled before God.

Whoa,wait a minute! What about all the sinners; the people pushing their agenda?  God didn’t say if sinners will pray, he said if my people called by my name. In the Old Testament that was Israel, but in the New Testament they were given the name Christians (Acts 11:26). Do you consider yourself a Christian? Then this means you. We have the power to heal our land; to bring it back to Christ, but we must stop blaming everyone else and let it start in us.

We have to stop blaming the government, our president, our neighbor, our pastor and friends. We have to go against our natural inclination and humble ourselves, seek the face of God and repent. We must pray like never before. It’s time for the people of God to unite in prayer and humility for the healing of this great nation that God has given us. That’s our job!

Father, I pray you would begin to awaken your people. May we unite and pray. May we humbly seek your face for our nation and land. Help us to stop being so quick to judge others and their contribution to our downfall and be quick to hit our knees and seek your face. Oh God we desperately need you.

Amanda Keller

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan.  While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Amanda's passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter.  Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College.  "your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise." ~Andy Stanley

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan. While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota. Amanda’s passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter. Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College. “your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise.” ~Andy Stanley

He Is With You

James 4:8-10, “Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.”

Do you remember the chant, “We love Jesus yes we do, we love Jesus how ‘bout you?” It’s a chant we used to yell at youth conventions and church camps. One side would yell it really loud and then the other side would yell it twice as loud right back at you. It really is one of those things that could have gone on forever, lol. It is such a powerful chant and it’s not one you can say quietly. You really have to put a lot of power into this chant. Well, have you ever had days where you couldn’t even mutter a word to God let alone a chant? A dry spell has come upon you and in all honestly you don’t feel Him. You’re not alone. We all get these “dry spells”. They are hard to deal with and they can last a day or even years. Maybe you were on fire for God and then, BOOM, out of nowhere something happens and your walk with Him just disappears and you are just trying to get through day by day. Life just sort of takes over and the time you have in your day for Jesus gets smaller and smaller. I remember a few years ago feeling as though I was literally carrying something heavy on my shoulders. Every single day it was getting heavier. I was just passing through on this earth with no time for Jesus and it was affecting me. In my heart it bothered me. I missed Him. And I realized without Him, my life was becoming a mess! Finally, one night I locked myself in the bathroom and sat on the floor and just broke down. I cried for what seemed like hours. It was then that I prayed the first prayer in a long time. After my time with Him I noticed that heaviness I was carrying with me was completely gone and replaced with His peace! I truly felt His peace! Ladies, there is peace with Jesus. If you are in a “dry spell”, I encourage you to stop and take a time out with Jesus. What I love about Him is that you don’t have to come to Him with this beautiful long drawn out prayer. Even just saying His name, Jesus, He is there. He knows your heart, your every need. Cast your burdens on Him. Let Jesus take it to the cross for you. Psalm 55:22 states to, “cast our cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

Maybe you are struggling financially, or the picture perfect family you always dreamed of is not going the way you imagined and your home feels broken, grieving the loss of a loved one, addiction, have you been praying on something for years and you are questioning God and why He hasn’t answered them? There is so much going on in our everyday life to take us over and make us feel that we’ve lost a fight and it’s knocked us to the ground. And you know what? The enemy loves it! He thrives on seeing you suffer. He loves taking your eyes off Jesus and focused on your problems. He wants you to think your God left you….. If you are struggling today and just completely feeling heart broken and lost and you are in a “dry spell”, I encourage you to call on Him. Just speak His name, JESUS. He loves you so much and will never leave you. Nobody knows you better and nobody can fix your broken heart quite like Jesus.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for understanding us and our hearts. Thank You for not leaving us nor forsaken us but instead You wait for us to call on You and when we do You are there. You never turn Your back on us. Lord, I pray for each of the ladies who are reading this today and I lift up any need they may have and we lay it at Your feet. And Lord, those who are feeling broken and lost I pray You make Your presence known and anoint upon them peace and comfort that only comes from You. We love You, Lord. Thank You for always being there! Amen

*I love Jesus yes I do, I love Jesus how ‘bout you?…..

Dina Kiser

Dina loves her family with all her heart.  So much so that she documents every waking moment through taking pictures.  Along with this picture taking is a pumpkin spice latte addiction that fuels her clicking finger.  She is the mother of two beautiful children and the helpmate to her husband, Pat, who serves in the United States Army.  Dina and her family currently make their home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but she grew up in the big sky of Billings, Montana.  Dina loves Jesus with everything she has and knows there is nothing He can not do. Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (NIV)

Dina loves her family with all her heart. So much so that she documents every waking moment through taking pictures. Along with this picture taking is a pumpkin spice latte addiction that fuels her clicking finger. She is the mother of two beautiful children and the helpmate to her husband, Pat, who serves in the United States Army. Dina and her family currently make their home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but she grew up in the big sky of Billings, Montana. Dina loves Jesus with everything she has and knows there is nothing He can not do. Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)

Obedience Is Its Own Reward

Romans 5:19,For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (KJV)

Anyone who knows me really well knows that I am a rebellious spirit. I have been since I was born. When I was a small child, my parents frequently heard that I “Danced to my own Drum” from my teachers and school administrators.  As a teenager, well on second thought, maybe I won’t share about all of those rebellious moments. But, I still danced to my own drum. I hung out with the Library Quad kids.  They were always in trouble, they drank and smoked, a lot of them had juvenile records, and it drove my parents nuts!  Yet I sang every Sunday in the choir at church and participated in the youth group. I got good grades, yet I snuck out of the house at every opportunity. As you can see I was a bit of a wild child, but a good kid at the same time. I went to church every Sunday and sang, because I understood that it was important to me and to my journey. I got good grades, because I understood that it was important and would only serve to help me as I grew older. But, as I have grown older, I have noticed my rebellious spirit is calming… a bit, maybe. Well, sort of. I think. I hope. If you see yourself as a rebellious spirit, keep reading. You will find, you are not alone.

I have always had a problem with the word OBEY. I think my problem is part Satan (whole other article) and part of a rebellious spirit. In my case, OBEY has a tendency to leave huge questions in my mind, that unless I see a reason behind it, I find myself thinking a huge resounding “NO”. A lot of the time there are no conversations with the word OBEY. It is either a do or don’t sort of word.  It seems to slip me up every time. The speed limit sign says 55 MPH. I see it and think to myself in my whiniest voice, “But I don’t wanna! Do I have to?” Of course I have to follow the speed limits. They are there for our safety. They allow us to enjoy our trip more fully. I hear at church that I should OBEY, and the first words that come to my mind are, “But I don’t wanna! Do I have to?” Of course I have to obey, I know that I should,  but do I really want to? The words of the scriptures are written as a road map. They allow us to navigate our journey and allow us to enjoy our trip more fully. It wasn’t until I sat down and really started studying that I began to really understand the word OBEY and why we were being asked to obey GOD and the Lord Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. They are a roadmap for our life. When you think about it, what are we really being asked to do?  Who benefits when we OBEY? Does anyone really suffer when WE OBEY? We are asked to walk upright and bear all things. We are asked to love one another. We are also asked to do all things with charity, which is the pure love of Christ. We are asked to keep the commandments and covenants that we make with the LORD when we are baptized. We are asked to bear one another’s burdens, fulfilling the law of Christ. We should be walking in the spirit and live in the spirit. We are asked to have faith. We are asked to lift all things in prayer and thanksgiving. We are asked to be beacons of light. We are asked to share the gospel. We are asked to nurture the fruits of the spirit. What do we get in return? Well, we are better for our obedience. It has its own reward. By being obedient we have the opportunity to make a difference in the world around us. We can change lives. We have the opportunity for everlasting life, returning home to be with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Our families can be together forever. AND, Satan loses. That in it and of itself is a reason we should obey.

Sisters, I testify to you that I know that Christ lives. I know that our Heavenly Father knows each of us and He is pleased with OUR work. He sees us in our daily struggles with obedience, and He knows the will of our hearts and minds. He sees our journey walking in Christ’s light and is pleased with us. This I know. I pray for each of you and your journey. I know that Satan is miserable and he fights to break us and break our willingness to obey. I pray that each of you stands strong against the adversary. I love you all and continue to pray daily. I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Alethea Gaukel

Alethea, Ally for short, has three wonderful children, whom she homeschools, and a fine husband, Chuck.  Ally grew up in northern California before making here home in rural northwest Missouri.  She loves helping others by being a friend, inspiring them to take action in their own lives financially, spiritually and in health.  She loves the Lord and wants to share His message.  Her family supports Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri as well as ReStart, an interfaith shelter system to help families  and grown foster children find places to live.  James 1:8, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him as of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (KJV)

Alethea, Ally for short, has three wonderful children, whom she homeschools, and a fine husband, Chuck. Ally grew up in northern California before making here home in rural northwest Missouri. She loves helping others by being a friend, inspiring them to take action in their own lives financially, spiritually and in health. She loves the Lord and wants to share His message. Her family supports Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri as well as ReStart, an interfaith shelter system to help families and grown foster children find places to live. James 1:8, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him as of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (KJV)

Crazy Love

Remember when you were a kid and you always wanted to grow up, because life would be so much easier?

Remember when you hit the point in adulthood when you realized how much easier it was to be a kid?  There are so many things that each of us face each day.  Even when things are going well, we still have jobs, responsibilities, kids, bills, thoughts of the future, relationships, etc.  When things are not going well, the list of what’s going on, the stress we feel, the pressure, worry, and the gamete of other feelings we deal with goes on.  From job changes, divorce, death, raising kids, sickness, failed dreams, to just the day to day stress of life, sometimes the realization that life is to be lived fully does not present itself.

 I remember a time in our lives a few years ago, we were a family of 6 living in a dirty, moldy, 900 square foot (at best) trailer.  Our life was crammed into a space I did not understand.  From the lack of physical space or splendor, to the wondering of what we were doing and where we were going as a family, I was in a place of frustration.  In the feelings of despair, I listened to a song by my favorite worship leaders, Fuller.  The song played on my computer, constantly repeating itself.  At some point, the truth of the words hit me.  The absolute crazy love that God has for me, supersedes any issue I am going through.  Anything I’ve done, anything I’m going through, anything that is stressing me, His love for me is bigger.  He’s not some magic pill that makes everything  wrong disappear.  He is the Creator of the universe that loves me (little, insignificant me) with a fervent love!

John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Through the battles we face and live through, the end of the verse tells us that Christ came so that we may have life to the fullest, NOW.  He is the plan of goodness for us.  Hard times are still going to come, but there is still love, joy, peace, and LIFE for us now.

Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  When we go through the high points in life and when we go through the valleys, He still has a plan, and a path of life.  Spending time in His presence is fullness of joy!  Who could not use some added joy?  If it’s not something that you are used to, I challenge you to try spending time with God.  Read the Bible a few minutes, pray, listen to music that will speak to you about His goodness and love for you.  In fact, start here: http://tinyurl.com/crazyloveFullerListen and soak in the truth of His love for you.  Soak in the truth that He has a path of LIFE for you, NOW.

Amazing God, thank you for each person who is reading this.  I pray as they read, as they listen to CRAZY LOVE, as they read your Word, that the life that you give abundantly would be revealed to them.  I pray you would teach each of us to live in your joy and love.  I pray that you would help each of us to learn how to live in a way, that as we deal with the stresses and pains of life, that we see your path of life through it.  Thank you for your love for us.  Thank you for your crazy, crazy love.  Thank you that it’s something none of us could ever adequately explain or duplicate.  Thank you for the life you have for us and that you have come that we may have that life now.

Nikki Rasmussen

Nikki is the mother to four and she loves spending as much time as she can get with her greatest blessings.  Together, Tim and Nikki make their home in Tacoma, Washington, a long leap from her home state of North Dakota.  Nikki is a graduate of Trinity Bible College and about to start her Master’s program through the University of Texas at Arlington. “On the day you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a way that on the day you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” ~Author Unknown

Nikki is the mother to four and she loves spending as much time as she can get with her greatest blessings. Together, Tim and Nikki make their home in Tacoma, Washington, a long leap from her home state of North Dakota. Nikki is a graduate of Trinity Bible College and about to start her Master’s program through the University of Texas at Arlington. “On the day you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that on the day you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” ~Author Unknown

I Want to Be a Stephen!

After I studied what I’m about to share with you I was like a school girl again, raising my hand, begging my teacher “pick me! Pick me!”

I’m kicking myself for not getting this lesson sooner. I had listened to voices for so long that said, “You’re no better than a servant girl” “you have no power” “you have no ability”. Those were Satan’s lies and no longer will I let them rule in my thoughts.

Okay, listen here, ladies…

Did you know that Stephen was just a waiter in a small restaurant? No, seriously! He served food to customers and washed tables…BUT he was a believer. Did you catch that big bold but? Acts 6:8 says this about Stephen, “a man full of gods grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.” Doesn’t this just excite you? (You can show emotion. No one is looking!)

Stephen, a waiter, an ordinary man, showed up and through Gods grace carried out miracles-not just little or simple miracles, but amazing miracles. And all in front of the people that he lived among.

Let’s let this just sink in for a minute. Stephen wasn’t an apostle or prophet.  He wasn’t an evangelist or a pastor. He wasn’t even a teacher of the Word. He was an ordinary, nothing out of the norm, believer of Jesus Christ.

Ladies, the word says that he “was full of gods grace and POWER”! He had Gods power within him and guess what! So do you and me! His grace and power entered us when we accepted Christ as our Savior. It’s the same grace as Stephen’s. We can use it.  Why don’t we? Really.

No matter if you are a businesswoman, stay-at-home mom, doctors, school teacher, student, politician, investor, real estate agent, police officer- occupation does not matter. He commissions us all (read Mark 16:15-18).

I want to be a Stephen! I want to use all the grace and power that God gave me (it never runs out) to perform AMAZING miracles and signs.  I’ve seen them from others and through prayer. I want to be able to touch a woman’s hand and see God enter her heart in a completely new way. I want to see the faces of women, when the truth being shared, turns on like a lightbulb within them.

So, I sit here, worship music playing, eyes closed, hand raised, just like a school girl asking God to Pick me! Pick me! And you know what? He always says yes to the willing.

Lord, my biggest desire is to serve you. I pray that your overflowing grace and power spill out of us ordinary women who want to see miracles happen. Holy Spirit, rain down. In your name, amen.

Tara DeMaris

Tara, graduate of Crown College, is the mother to four beautiful children.  Together, Tara and her husband, David, and their family make their home in North Pole, Alaska.  Tara is passionate about reaching the hearts of women and young ladies.  She loves to write and teach God's Word.  God put a desire in Tara's heart over seven years ago to start a ministry that reached women and today she has founded Titus II Woman Ministry.  God is showing her miracles and his hand at work every day.

Tara, graduate of Crown College, is the mother to four beautiful children. Together, Tara and her husband, David, and their family make their home in North Pole, Alaska. Tara is passionate about reaching the hearts of women and young ladies. She loves to write and teach God’s Word. God put a desire in Tara’s heart over seven years ago to start a ministry that reached women and today she has founded Titus II Woman Ministry. God is showing her miracles and his hand at work every day.

“Have You Seen Him?”

When Daniel was twenty, he gave his heart away to a young woman named Audrey. His first glimpse of her was during the bus ride home after returning from service in the Korean War. She was sitting near the front of the bus, and he couldn’t stop looking at her. At first he thought she was too young to be traveling alone, but then he watched her because she was quite beautiful. Audrey was eighteen and on her way to her aunt’s house to help her take care of her new triplets. Incidentally, Audrey’s aunt had married Daniel’s uncle; so, they were introduced by family and friends, were married a short time after, and Audrey became Daniel’s everything.

Daniel had met Jesus as a young person, but his relationship with Him hadn’t grown. Instead, Daniel filled his life with Audrey and the many other things he loved. He kept himself surrounded by books, luxuriated in classical music, spoke in witty prose and puns, and communed out of doors. He was a book-learned man. He was a thinker, a romantic, a naturist, an idealist. Throughout his seasons of life, he sought knowledge and wisdom from the world around him.  He kept journals and studied character, pondered human and animal kind, and had his writing published. Audrey kept him humble, and their love grew like the successful little garden they’d made on the back of their lot behind their home that was nestled among the other “bread box” houses that sprung up in the fifties.

About the time Daniel and Audrey celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Audrey was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The battle to keep her began. He clung to her for twelve long years as Audrey was very slowly taken from him. Daniel’s joy and life was consumed along with Audrey’s body and mind, a little more every day, every week. Audrey passed in peace on Daniel’s birthday in 2011.  He was left embittered and angry with God. Daniel was sure he was beyond finding a place in God’s kingdom now, because he wasn’t about to make peace with the one who took his Audrey away. He withdrew into his thoughts and all the things he had left of her.

Daniel was my grandpa. A man I adored. I prayed so fervently for his salvation. I wanted so badly to see him on fire for the Lord. I argued with him about faith, about what the Lord says about consequences, salvation, and forgiveness in the Bible. He always just smiled and hugged me, and his answer was that it was too late for him. (Tears sting my eyes and swell my throat even as I write this.)

A little over three years after his beloved Audrey died, in April 2014, Daniel slowly lost everything else. One day he was trying to read an excerpt from his journal to my mom and dad, a passage everyone had heard him read many times before, but this time he couldn’t read the words and speak them aloud. He began to wander without understanding or comprehending what he was doing. Within weeks Daniel was unable to speak, to take care of himself, to feed himself, and, eventually, to eat or drink. Everyday something was taken from him until he became a trembling shell of a man sitting in a chair waiting for what would come or go next. It all happened so quickly, and this was the state he was in by the time I got to visit with him again. My husband took a day off work so we could all go down and be with my grandpa before he passed.

I walked into his room alone at first, and he showed that he was excited to see me. I had prayed for one last chance to share the truth of Jesus with him. I prayed that this would be the time Grandpa would allow it to penetrate his heart. As soon as Grandpa saw me, however, he excitedly motioned to me that he had seen Jesus, he had invited Him into his heart! Joy overcame me. I was given the gift of spending my last day with Grandpa Dan cuddling with him, praying with him, and closing our earthly relationship in peace, without regret. I will forever be grateful to God for such a gift. It was such a beautiful day and is a cherished memory for me. It was the last day Daniel was awake. He was tucked into bed that night and never regained consciousness. He died peacefully a night or two later.

During his life on earth, Daniel spent a great deal of time trying to gain knowledge on his own. When I read Proverbs 4:7 I think of him; especially when I read it in the New International Version, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” It did cost him all he had. He grew so stubborn that the Lord had to strip the man of everything until all Daniel had left was the breath that the Lord had breathed into him. That is when he finally gained understanding; that is when Daniel found wisdom.

Do not wait to make peace with our Lord and Savior. Do not allow even a speck to come between you and all that is yours with Him. He never said we would have it easy, or that we will be guaranteed to have all we want. No, what we gain is life that is fuller and savvier than we could ever believe possible. “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” (Luke 6:21)

Heavenly Father, You are holy. You are magnificent. Forgive me the times I rely on my own stubbornness, trying to use my own knowledge without wisdom or understanding. I adore You and am in awe of you. Today I will cease striving and know that YOU are God. (Psalm 46:10a) Thank You for the treasures You give so generously and the opportunities You have given me for sharing the ones you have given to me. Be blessed and glorified, Father, I pray this through the power of Your Son’s mighty name. Amen.

Lorinda Freeman

Lorinda has a passion and desire to teach children about the love of God. She is a homeschooling mom of four and together as a family they work within their church with the children’s programs making sure the hearts of all the children are being taught God’s love for them. Lorinda and her husband, Chris, make their home in Hibbing, Minnesota after Lorinda had endured extensive travel growing up as a Navy “brat”. 1 Thessalonians 2:6-13, “We are not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Lorinda has a passion and desire to teach children about the love of God. She is a homeschooling mom of four and together as a family they work within their church with the children’s programs making sure the hearts of all the children are being taught God’s love for them. Lorinda and her husband, Chris, make their home in Hibbing, Minnesota after Lorinda had endured extensive travel growing up as a Navy “brat”. 1 Thessalonians 2:6-13, “We are not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Cornerstone

Our family recently bought a new home. I use the term “new” loosely because this house is definitely a fixer-upper. It is old plaster and lath in many of the rooms, and was in terrible need of updating. However, it has remarkable charm and suits are family very well.  The new purchase hasn’t been without its difficulties while we have (and by “we” I mean my husband, John) replaced ceilings, painted, tore out old flooring, bathroom fixtures, and so on. Structurally, our new house is sound. It has a reasonably strong foundation.

I see myself in the house: lots of potential, but not without flaws. Struggles. History. But I have a strong foundation!

Hillsong Live has a powerful song:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name
Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

Just as my new house has a stable foundation, my soul does as well.

I cannot put hope in anything else than Christ. It is His name that gives me stability, security, strength, and peace. When the storms arise in my life, in my heart, and I find myself anxious, it is then that I need to be reminded that He is my cornerstone; my firm foundation.

Psalms 46:10 reminds us to “Be Still, and know that I am God.” When life becomes difficult, tumultuous, and I’m feeling anxious, He makes me strong.

Tiffany Heth

Tiffany is the mother to four amazing children, all God's miracle to their family, and she cherishes every moment given her to be with them.  John, Tiffany's husband, and their family make their home in Iowa, where they minister to a congregation of fellow believers.  Tiffany is not only a breast-feeding, cloth-diapering mother and a pastor's wife, but she takes great joy in nourishing her family with the wild game that they have been fortunate enough to harvest.  "How great is the Father's love for us that we shall be called children of God, for that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

Tiffany is the mother to four amazing children, all God’s miracle to their family, and she cherishes every moment given her to be with them. John, Tiffany’s husband, and their family make their home in Iowa, where they minister to a congregation of fellow believers. Tiffany is not only a breast-feeding, cloth-diapering mother and a pastor’s wife, but she takes great joy in nourishing her family with the wild game that they have been fortunate enough to harvest. “How great is the Father’s love for us that we shall be called children of God, for that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

Just Say YES

* I wanted to give you a chance to read how God spoke to the three of us who went to SouthEast Alaska to speak at a three day women’s event. (It was all God!  We saw miracles and our lives were changed forever!)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Y-E-S what a simple word, yet it carries so much weight.  The power of a moment can be determined by a simple yes or no. This last month I discovered that the power of yes can change lives and can affect entire communities when the yes is placed before God and bathed in prayer.

I’m just a simple girl from rural Montana. I hated speech class and anything to do with speaking in public. As a pastor’s wife the thing I struggled with most was having to talk in front of a group of people. It petrified me. Next to snakes, this was my biggest fear….public speaking. Why do I tell you all this? Because sometimes God asks us to say yes to him in ways that aren’t comfortable!

I had been writing for this blog for a while when our founder, Tara, asked who would be interested in public speaking. Of course my response was, NO!! But God tapped- tapped at my heart, fast forward months and I found myself speaking at a women’s conference in Alaska! What?!?!

One of the evenings as the altar time was closing, God was doing powerful things and the restoration of lives was happening. I turned to Tara and said, “All this because we just said yes?!” I was so humbled and found myself sobbing at the altar. You see I didn’t have any clue why God would choose me to go to Alaska to speak, but in that moment I realized it didn’t really have anything to do with me. God just wanted someone to say yes, to be willing to be used. Shortly after the thought came, what if I had said no? Not in a prideful way suggesting God couldn’t do anything without me, but in a reverent moment of personal reflection on how much could have been missed if someone wouldn’t have said yes.

There may be so many moments I have missed because I let fear take control, or I wanted control instead of saying, I don’t understand God, but YES! I have lived my whole life going to church and being part of the church, yet until this moment still didn’t completely comprehend, he just wants us to say yes to Him. Not yes to the things I am good at, when I know I am capable and when I can see the way. Not yes to my comfort zone or my familiar surroundings but yes to Him. While God often chooses to use us in areas of our lives where he so perfectly gifted us, sometimes He’s asking us to just say yes, no strings attached, not knowing how, when, what, where or why.

The verse in Philippians doesn’t say you can only do somethings or the things you feel comfortable with but ALL things through Christ. So when God asks you to do something…..JUST SAY YES….because you can do ALL things through Christ.

Amanda Keller

Oh the endless possibilities! I just said yes to God for something I thought was small and soon it turned into God divine appointments. You know what those are? When someone calls and says “I want to host a women’s event in Metlakatla, Alaska” and then when you get this amazing message on Facebook from someone wanting to host a women’s conference for some one thousand women; when you have missionaries asking if your ministry team will come to their country and be willing to minister to hearts.

Can you just take a step back for a minute? A year ago Titus II Woman Ministry was just a dream, a thought. It was going to be a very small blog with just one or two articles published a month. A year ago I was sitting in my living room trying to muster the courage to ask women I knew if they wanted to be part of this vision that God had given me many years ago. A year ago I stopped running from God and said, “Yes, Lord!”

Ya’all, this is not a coincidence. Two of my other speaking team members and I just finished a women’s event in Metlakatla, Alaska for a group of women who were hungry for what God had for them. The event was held Thursday through Saturday and then we ministered in song on Sunday morning to the church and then again to another church in the community on Sunday night. We were exhausted by Saturday night, but God still had words for us to share and we had no clue. It was all God and all amazing!

The whole weekend my two team members and I just kept thinking that if none of us had said yes to God none of what we were able to be part of and witness would have happened. The healing we saw and were able to pray for would not have come to fruition. The forgiveness from years and years of pain and hurt to each other would never have been extended. A three letter word that is so simple is all it took. Just say YES!

Y-E-S. That is all God asked from me. From a heart that was broken and lost, questioning my place and ability. I just took a deep breath and stepped forward and let God carry me. When you say yes to God, He will take you places you never imagined you would go; like Ireland and Mexico; like to Metlakatla, Alaska and touring across the United States. Seriously He does that! These were dreams that I was born with. These are dreams that He breathed into me as I matured in relationship with Him. His desires became my desires. His love became my love. His joy became my joy. I am sitting here at my computer as an example of what God will do for a simple yes and sincere heart.

What do you feel God asking you to say yes to? Have you been running away like I did? Are you ready to stop running and start trusting? Just say yes. “Yes, God, I want to follow you and trust you.” “Yes, God, I desire to see extraordinary things happen because of a simple step.” Yes, God, I am ready and willing and waiting for you to tell me what to do.”

Are you?

I can tell you that it isn’t always the easiest path to take, it takes a lot of work at times and faith, but it is ALWAYS worth it. The rewards that wait for you in heaven because of your willingness to truly follow God while you are here on this earth are unsurmountable. If you don’t believe me from my experience, test and see what God will do for you when you say yes.

Did you know that Ruth could have said no to God and returned to her people after her husband and the family she knew and loved fell apart from death? She was released from Naomi to go and find a new husband and it would have been easy. She had no children and Naomi did not bear another living son who could marry her. She was already in her home country and walking home would have been a short distance, but she devoted her life to Ruth on that road back to Judah. Her love for her mother-in-law made her say yes to God and she was rewarded greatly on this earth. Ruth was given a husband who loved her entirely and loved her mother-in-law and she was given a child. She was respected and looked up to by many because she said yes.

Today, I want you to know that not everyone’s yes looks the same. You may say yes to just walking across the street to say hi to someone you have never met. You may yes to singing on the worship team; yes to babysitting a friend’s baby; yes to writing for a blog from an old friend. No matter the yes there are great rewards in doing so and they are meant just for you! Really!

It is absolutely captivating to see what God does when you respond with a yes. Beth Moore writes in A Woman and Her God, “We create the size of our God by putting Him in a box of our own making and limiting His desire to be all that He wants to be in our lives. His ways are not always our ways!” This is exactly the opposite of saying yes. We limit God on what we allow him to do in our lives instead of opening the possibility for immeasurable blessings and miracles.

Did you know that you have the opportunity and ability to be extraordinary? Really! 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT) says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” For those who love Him, He has extraordinary experiences in plan. The very meaning of extraordinary is “beyond what is usual, exceptional, exceeding the common measure.” This doesn’t mean that you have to travel to South American to be a missionary or even preach from a pulpit. Simply be outstanding for God where you stand. You have the aptitude within you to be astounding, remarkable, marvelous for God. What’s stopping you?

Tara DeMaris

Hello Ladies!

So, as you may have heard there were a few of us Titus II Woman speakers who were privileged enough to go to a women’s conference in Metlakatla, Alaska; a genuinely neat time. One of the big things that came up was the power of saying yes. And that’s a whole another story.

You know, it honestly takes me to my horse, Sassy. Suffice to say, she has taught me a lot about this whole horse scene, and how I really have to be able to say yes, and commit to the challenges that are presented.

At first, she would pull these moves to intimidate me and I would walk out of the pasture crying, thinking that it wasn’t for me, that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But you know what?? It was just a decision moment for me, and I am so glad that I said yes. Not only do I get to ride the horse (woot! woot!), but my relationship with her has taught me a lot about myself, and how to become a more confident person; a person that I am a lot happier to be.

Isn’t that how it is with God? These things that He asks us to say yes to.  And we walk in the “pasture” to try it out and get discouraged for whatever reason. But the thing is that He wouldn’t call us to something to fail. He would call us to something to grow us, and meanwhile, use our lives for His kingdom! My life used for Him! And isn’t that what we all want? To be used by God. I mean, He is the only One that knows what will truly fulfill us inside, because He knows what He created us for. But we have to say yes. I’m glad I didn’t give up that day that I went crying out of the pasture. I’m so grateful that I committed myself to figuring it out. And you know what?? God has used me to encourage and help others in the horse scene… and I love it!!

Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’” declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

Trust Him!

Karissa Nelson

We want to pray with you:

Father, thank you for teaching us something new each and every day. Thank you for being a patient teacher. I pray that you would begin to show each reader what their yes should be today. Illuminate our next step in you and Lord even when it petrifies us may we stand on the promise that we can do ALL things through Christ. Amen!

Lord, this life we see before us looks like it could get a little scary at times. The paths that we may face could be more challenging than we think we can handle, but your Word says that you never leave us nor forsake us and because you said that we must choose to believe that we have the strength in you to be extraordinary in where we stand. Take hold of our hand as we step in faith to say yes to you and become what you meant for us to always be-extraordinary. Amen.

God, use my life for your glory. God, I give myself over to your desire. Because You alone know what I was created for in my mother’s womb, and I trust You. God, I ask for Your help when it seems scary and so intimidating, that You would walk me through it, and help me to say yes, because that’s where true life abounds!! Thank You God that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that my life has a purpose. Use me to fulfill it today I pray. Amen.

Trust Him!

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Have you ever had things happen that you just cannot understand? I think we all have. As I reflect on this historic day of 9/11, I think we all stood by glued to our televisions and internet, not comprehending what was happening in front of us. So many questions! If we let our mind take control we began to question God too.

God why? There have been so many times I’ve said those words! While simply crying out to him isn’t wrong, when we let the questioning come to a place of bitterness and then question whether God actually knows what he’s doing, we go too far.

Job came to that point! If you read Job chapters 38-42 you will read an interesting dialogue between God and Job. Let me give you a brief summary: basically God gets tired of Job’s questioning and calls him on it by asking him a series of questions. Where were you when the foundations of the earth were created? (38:4) Can you hold back the movement of stars? (38:31) Questions of that nature just kept coming. In chapter 40:2 God asks, “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty, you are God’s critic but do you have the answers?”

What a humbling moment! I feel God asks me the same thing sometimes! Amanda, you question my ways, do you have all the answers? In that moment I must respond like Job. Lord, I am nothing and I repent. I encourage you all to read this interesting dialogue. Job had hit his limit and vents his frustrations by questioning the only person who actually has control over everything! Haven’t we done the same thing? I know I have. That’s just what Satan’s goal is for you and me, but we must rest in the verses above. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”

God is in control when our human understanding sees chaos and disorder. When we see unfairness and evil winning, let me encourage you, He sees the whole picture and He wins!!!!

Trust Him!

God, I pray that each reader would experience the peace that comes with trusting in you and not what we see with our own eyes. You are in control! Help us to let go of our limited vision and take your hand. You will guide our paths. Amen

 

Amanda Keller

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan.  While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Amanda's passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter.  Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College.  "your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise." ~Andy Stanley

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan. While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota. Amanda’s passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter. Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College. “your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise.” ~Andy Stanley

Congratulations!

We want to say congratulations to Nicki Haroldson for winning the journal from Titus II Woman.  This has been a great year and we are so excited to see where God is leading the new year for the writers and speakers.  We do not take it for granted that we would not be here without followers of women all over the United States and other countries who just want a deeper walk with Christ and want to know how we do it.  Thank you all!

Nicki, you are welcome to email me at titusiiwomanministry@gmail.com and we will let you know how to get this free journal!

Tara and the Titus II Woman team!