February 2017 – From Ashes To Beauty News!

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for taking a few moments to read this update from Sheryl Giesbrecht.

These are exciting times to be alive. This is an amazing season to serve our God.

“I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying:

My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Isaiah 46:10 (HCSB)

At a booksellers conference with Bold Vision Books in Hershey, PA. Sheryl and the BVB team met with bookstore managers to build the Kingdom with Bible based books and resources. Thank you for your encouragement as I join the staff of Freedom In Christ Ministries! The ministry of Freedom In Christ (FIC) strives to help people realize their identity and freedom in Christ. I continue to have many opportunities to help others find their identity in Christ.

Sheryl explains the power of understanding the names of God as a guest on the Real Life Show with Don and Terri Black of Cornerstone Television Network in Wall, PA. “Wherever I cause My name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.” Exodus 20:24

My borders are expanding! First, Freedom In Christ (www.FICM.org). Second, the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network has invited me to share “Transformed Through Truth with Sheryl Giesbrecht” as a regular teaching feature on their internet based television network. Launching in March 2017 and available (www.hsbn.tv) or download the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network app from the app store. (Monthly production and broadcasting expenses are $3,000.)

Sheryl’s teaching ministry expands to regular 30 minute weekly television features with the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network.

Third – March 2017 – Freedom In Christ trip to India. India’s women are fighting an uphill battle. Indian women from the lower caste Dalit people are workers at tea plantations. They are impoverished, overlooked, marginalized and wounded. Won’t you pray for their complete freedom and renewed hope?

 Sheryl Teaches Women in India March 10-24, 2017. She joins the team with Global Sharing to bring identity in Christ and forgiveness to women in bondage. Sheryl will teach the women and staff. She will also conduct a servant leadership seminar for local pastors.

India Recently Named – Worst Place to Be A Woman – Pray for total freedom and restoration for the Dalit women. Freedom In Christ to India – one time trip cost $3,500 – visa, airfare, room and board, translators and teaching materials. We are staying in the housing of Alpha Mission School. AMS provides the best English and Bible-based education in the region. Our team is bringing tools and resources.

FIC India Team Pray: Wisdom – James 1:5, Purpose – Eph. 2:10, Joy – Psalm 18:28, Provision – Heb. 13:6

Is God leading you to donate to either FIC: India 2017 or FIC: Communicate Truth 2017?

It helps if you would indicate the project or merely put Sheryl Giesbrecht and 86 in your correspondence.

If you donate by credit card or automatic withdrawl monthly, please call or email Lauren Dietert at 1(661)832-9740 or laurend@icmusa.org. Mention your intention to move your support to Freedom In Christ Ministries. To mail a check, list Sheryl Giesbrecht and 86 in the memo line. Sheryl’s FIC Field Staff Account number is 86. Donate to either FIC: India 2017 or FIC: Communicate Truth 2017.

FIC mailing address is:

Freedom in Christ Ministries

9051 Executive Park Drive Suite 503

Knoxville, TN  37923

Recurring donations can be set up on the FIC website, www.ficm.org, click on Donate.

Donations online can be made by debit/credit card or eCheck. To donate online go to www.ficm.org to set up your account. After your account is set up, look for Sheryl Giesbrecht on the drop down list to donate. You can put Sheryl Giesbrecht or 86 in the memo line.

If you have any questions or issues in the transfer please contact Diane Gibson, FIC staff accountant by phone at 1(865)342-4000 or by email: dgibson@ficm.org.

Thank you so much for your faithful partnership and prayers,

Much love – Sheryl Giesbrecht

 

 

Friday Favorites: Transformed Through Truth featured on Holy Spirit Live

Friends – thank you for your continued support for this ministry. Our number one goal is to glorify God in all we do. “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3

We are on the grow – in just less than two weeks

weekly in 30 minute shows with television style format. The content of the show will include a Bible teaching with new insights and practical examples of how real God is. You might wonder exactly how this will work? I invite you to join me each and every week. We are going to get to know God’s word and each other very well. The show can be found at www.hsbn.tv and now is available via an app through your app store on your iphone or tablet.

Here’s my show promo interview on Holy Spirit Live with my dear AWSA sister, Pamela Christian. http://hsbn.tv/_deploy/index.html

Why should you make it a point to meet me? Very Simple. [Tweet @SGiesbrecht “Everything is better together. “]You don’t want to miss out on anything God has for you. Each program will be an exciting and unique time in God’s word, filled with practical applications. We are going to study the Bible together and learn more about how God’s word can transform us. We are going to hear testimonies of how God has worked in my life and the lives of others.

I love to share my testimony – I am so thankful for the amazing things God has done. I am a delivered drug addict, a stage four cancer survivor and a former widow. You will also hear from amazing guests as we often will host them right here in the Transformed Through Truth studio. By the way, these friends are experts in their field will add to our wisdom about how God is working in many lives. This is also true for you. It is going to be an exciting journey to get to know God better together.

Sometimes life seems unfair, lonely and frustrating.

John 8:32 (NIV) says, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It can be a process to trust God enough to let go of our own emotional, relational and physical brokenness. That’s why we need each other! I hope you make it a point to join me each week beginning March 2017 for “Transformed Through Truth with Sheryl Giesbrecht.”

I am praying for you – Love you – Sheryl

How To Bless Yourself and Others

How To Bless Yourself & Others 
“God bless you” is often said to offer encouragement to someone when they sneeze or depart from our home. T

When someone is sarcastic, critical or cuts themselves down or makes fun of someone else, it not only hurts people’s feelings, but also probably wounds God’s heart.

Did you know blessing others was a practice the Lord taught Moses to do for his brother Aaron and his priests? It’s fitting that we offer blessings to each other and also to bless ourselves. When we do this, we are speaking life over ourselves and those we love. The Lord showed Moses how to teach the priests to bless each other in Numbers 6:22-27 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

like an earthy father gives special privileges to their children, God shows us favor when we delight in Him. Praying scripture over ourselves and our families is using God’s prayer book, the Bible, to give our words wings.
Another prayer of blessing is from I Kings 8:57-58 (MSG)

Let’s pray this over ourselves and loved ones: “May God, our very own God, continue to be with us just as he was with our ancestors-may he never give up and walk out on us. May he keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for Fiji

Pray Around the World!

Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday: F – Pray for Fiji

Thank you for joining us to pray through the alphabet around the world. Today is the letter “F” so we are praying for Fiji.

Fiji

Republic of the Fiji Islands

Geography

Area: 18,274 sq km

Two larger and 110 smaller inhabited islands, both volcanic and coralline.

Population: 854,098    Annual Growth: 0.62%

Capital: Suva

Peoples: 35 (11% unreached) All peoples


Official language: English; Hindustani and Bau Fijian commonly used

Languages: 21 All languages

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 555,591 65.05 1.2
Evangelicals 215,408 25.2 2.1

Challenges for Prayer

Less-reached peoples. The Indians of Fiji form the largest non-Christian community in the Pacific. As few as 3% of them claim to be Christian. The greatest challenges for Indian-majority churches are developing (and retaining) mature and experienced leaders and integrating with the rest of the body of Christ. For specific prayer:

  1. a) Hindus remain mostly unevangelized. The number of converts to Christianity is accelerating. AoG in particular but also Methodists, Baptists and Pentecostals have seen fruit from this ministry. Multi-racial congregations are springing up among them. Pioneers also has church planting ministries committed to reaching Indians. Pray for real disciples and not mere surface converts; pray also for more culturally appropriate outreach to this people. The minority of Indo-Fijians who are Christians are taking initiative in reaching their own people.
  2. b) Sikhs and Punjabis retain more of their culture and language, but there is little specific outreach to them. Many are emigrating to Antipodean or Western countries.
  3. c) Gujaratis in particular have remained unevangelized among all Fiji’s South Asian origin peoples. They have largely retained their caste structures. There are only a few believers from among this group, and no specifically focused outreach to them has ever been made.
  4. d) The Muslim community is tightly knit, very resistant to the gospel and increasingly Islamized via Saudi and Pakistani influence. Little is being done to reach them; the few converts to Christ suffer from considerable persecution and from the churches’ failure to integrate them. Several Fijian villages have become Muslim. An increasing awareness, regionally and globally, of this people – the Pacific Islands’ largest unreached group – has generated a groundswell of attention and prayer; locally, this is translating into encouraging signs of spiritual interest and response from the Muslim community.

Christian help ministries in Fiji have a Pacific-wide impact. Pray for:

  1. a) Christian literature. The Bible Society of the South Pacific is based in Fiji. Pray for translation work, printing and distribution of God’s Word throughout the Pacific. Translation and revision work in Fijian and Fiji Hindi are both needed, since good Christian material is lacking in these two languages. Thank God for progress of the NT in Fijian Hindi. CLC has recently opened three Christian bookshops.
  2. b) Ministry to young people. Fiji has serious sociological problems among its youth, yet there is a responsiveness that needs to be met. Pray for those specifically ministering to young people in Fiji and the Pacific – CEF, YFC, SU and YWAM among youth, and Pacific Students for Christ (IFES) and CCCI among students. The University of the Pacific in Fiji has students from every island territory and is strategic for impacting many islands which have much nominal Christianity.
  3. c) The more remote communities are much less reached and resourced by the Church. YWAM’s Mobile Ministry seeks to reach these communities by ship and by truck, sharing the gospel and providing medical and dental care.
  4. d) Media ministry. Fiji has Christian TV and radio stations run from within the country. Pray that they might be fruitful in reaching and discipling many. Radio programmes and the JESUS film are available in all the major languages of Fiji.

http://www.operationworld.org/fiji

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the opportunity to pray for the men, women, boys and girls of Fiji. Strengthen the body of Christ in Fiji. Strengthen the youth ministries through CEF, YFC, SU and YWAM, my your Holy Spirit go forth in a powerful way to gird up those who are inviting Jesus to help them. Give them Godly wisdom, direction, instruction and teaching. Thank you, In Jesus’ name, Amen

Monday Motivation: Stillness

OK Monday Let's Do This

Monday Motivation: Stillness

Our best Monday Motivation begins with a choice to turn to God. When we focus our eyes on him, we can process and actually do what Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know I am God.” Being still before God means to cease striving, stop activity, to rest in him. Our Heavenly Father loves it when we invite his presence and take time to sit completely motionless before him. In our cessation of activity, we anticipate his voice to speak into our lives. Let’s pay attention to Him. Here are a few wonderful verses to help you get through your Monday. Won’t you take five, be still and listen?

Meditate on these five verses as you seek the Lord on a Monday morning:

  1. The Lord will give you rest when you feel tired.
    Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. ­Matthew 11:28-29
  2. The Lord will give you strength when you feel weak.
    Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
    The Lord is the everlasting God;
    he created all the world.
    He never grows tired or weary.
    No one understands his thoughts.
    He strengthens those who are weak and tired
    . –  “Isaiah 40:28-29
  3. The Lord will give you peace when you feel anxious.
    The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body.  “Isaiah 40:28-29”]
  4. The Lord will give you confidence when you feel uncertain.
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. “Proverbs 3:5-6 ”
  5. The Lord will give you hope when you feel hopeless.
    May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. “Romans 15:13”

http://news.americanbible.org/blog/entry/bible-blog/5-bible-verses-for-beating-the-monday-blues

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me to be still. Quiet my mind, heart and soul to rest in you. Give me supernatural energy as you share my yoke. Give me strength when I feel weak. Give me peace when I feel anxious. Give me confidence when I feel uncertain. Give me hope when I am lost. Thank you Lord for motivating me on this Monday. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Friday Favorites: Solutions Magazine Features Zur:God Our Rock

My Solutions magazine Feb 2017

Solutions Magazine Features – Zur: God Our Rock from Experiencing God Through His Names by Sheryl Giesbrecht

Check out the article here: http://mysolutionsmagazine.com/february-2017/

What’s in a name? A lot actually. Names are powerful. A person’s character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. What expectant couple hasn’t planned and prayed for the name they would give their child? This thoughtful naming concept is also true about God – God has chosen specific names to identify Himself. In fact, God’s attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. If we understand the meanings of His titles, we can know God more intimately.

Some of you may already be familiar with a few of the many names of God – Father, Abba, Yahweh. You’ve sung Good Good Father and Yahweh Yaweh – And each one of these names reveals something about His character. It’s a great thing to take time to examine these special names of God, one by one.

Studying the names of God one by one, is like looking at a postcard of the Grand Canyon. The solo shots each show a segment of a breathtaking view. When we absorb truths about God one at a time, we can better understand the reality and certainty of His character and the capability of His presence in our daily lives.

When you understand God’s names, you see how God reveals Himself to the person or group where he showed up. These specific names reveal His purposes, character and His commitment to us. The names of God give us practical handles for life applications. Like tools for our tool belt, it is so helpful to know God wants us to remember His names and His character. There is no one like our God!

God does not hide from us. In James 4:8 it says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

There are many ways to draw close to God as we study His word. Spiritually, something exciting and personal happens when we study God’s names, we find out about His unique character qualities and experience His Holy Spirit presence.

I can’t wait for you to experience God showing you more of His power and presence. I am very excited to share my new book “Experiencing God Through His Names” has been getting noticed. In fact, this month one of my devotionals from the book is featured in My Solutions magazine http://mysolutionsmagazine.com/february-2017/

Did you know you can still order your own signed autographed copy of “Experiencing God Through His Names”? Send an email here: sherylgiesbrecht@aol.com  It is my prayer that you and I will journey together in study and fellowship as we get to know God in this way.

If you have purchased a book and studied it yourself or even been in one of my “Experiencing God Through His Names” Private Facebook Study groups, why not share the news with someone you love? Or even buy a book for them? Or go directly to Amazon now: https://www.amazon.com/Experiencing-God-Through-His-Names/dp/0692743014

Its exciting to remember the names of God each reveal something about His character. Understanding God’s titles reveals His purposes and His commitment to us and gives practical handles for life applications. There are many ways to draw close to God as we study His word. Spiritually, something exciting and personal happens when we study God’s names, we find out about His unique character qualities and experience His Holy Spirit presence.

0 Zur Sheryls meme

When we study the names of God, we:

  • Experience God’s power in fresh ways
  • Increase our desire for intimacy with God
  • Apply our experience with God to other areas of life – parenting, marriage, marketplace and personal communication

Exodus 20:24 says, “Wherever I cause My name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.” God wants us to understand Him as we study His character through His names. Take a minute to underline Exodus 20:24 in your Bible, and let’s pray:

“Heavenly Father, I honor your name, I bless your name, I praise your name. I pray for your wisdom, discipline and insight as I embark on the journey of knowing you by Your names. Lord, I want to experience you more. Thank you for your willingness in allowing me to find you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

 

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for Ecuador

Pray Around the World!

Pray Around the World!

Worldwide Wednesday: E – Ecuador

Pray for Ecuador

Ecuador

Republic of Ecuador

Latin America

Ecuador flag

Geography

Area: 269,178 sq km

Amazon jungle in the east, high Andean Sierra in the centre, fertile coastal plain on Pacific Coast. Also the Galapagos Islands, 1,000 km to the west.

Population: 13,774,909    Annual Growth: 1.07%

Capital: Quito

Urbanites: 66.9%

Peoples

Peoples: 31 (6% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Spanish    Languages: 25 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 13,010,402 94.45 1.0
Evangelicals 1,170,089 8.5 4.9

Ecuador map

Prayercast

Challenges for Prayer

Missions. The largest groups are HCJB, MAF, AoG, CB/CMML, AV, OMS, IT. Many opportunities remain for missionary recruits in supportive ministries, church planting and pioneer work in the groups mentioned below. Pray for good church-mission relationships. The ever-present danger of administrative and financial paternalism threatens to impose Western patterns and stifle Ecuadorian initiatives.

The less-evangelized:

  1. a) The slum-dwellers of Quito and Guayaquil. Over 60% of the latter’s population are extremely poor, and many live in slums built on a polluted marsh. Few Christian workers have a vision for these deprived people.
  2. b) The upper and middle classes are relatively unresponsive (CMA, OMS and others).
  3. c) University and school students. Over eight agencies are involved in campus ministries among the 250,000 students (on more than 300 campuses), including CCCI, CECE (IFES), YFC, LAM and four denominational groups. There is still much room for growth.
  4. d) The Afro-Ecuadorian people are only 0.03% evangelical. Although there are many Catholics among them, Spiritism is the true spiritual power at work in their midst. Pray for a breakthrough among this unique group.
  5. e) The 28,000 people living on the distant and barren Galapagos Islands now have a growing ministry in their midst through MVI. The islands host many eco-tourists who, through Darwin’s legacy, are often hostile to biblical Christianity.
  6. f) Loja province is isolated from mainstream Ecuadorian life and is only 0.1% evangelical. Operation Esperanza is a multi-agency effort to see fruit in this region through prayer, radio, evangelism and holistic ministry (SIM, OMS, WV). Good Shepherd Radio broadcasts the gospel to many isolated villages otherwise difficult to access.

http://www.operationworld.org/country/ecua/owtext.html

April 2016: Franklin Graham is asking for prayer as Ecuador sorts through the rubble from a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck its Pacific coast on Saturday. The South American country, nestled on the equator between Colombia and Peru, is getting help from Samaritan’s Purse and other relief organizations.

“Samaritan’s Purse is responding to the people of Ecuador who are suffering as a result of the devastating earthquake that shook their country this weekend, killing hundreds and injuring more than 2,500,” BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham posted on Facebook. “We have Samaritan’s Purse staff on the ground in the affected area with more on the way, including medical personnel.

“Please remember the people of Ecuador in your prayers as well as our teams working to bring help.”

Franklin Graham has preached to more than 8 million people since conducting his first evangelistic event with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1989. In 2006, he held the Festival of Hope in Ecuador’s state capital of Quito where a record crowd joined him and more than 14,000 indicated decisions for Christ.

Galo Vasquez, a native of Ecuador, was the associate director at that Festival, and vividly remembers watching God work. After extensive planning for a three-day event, the Festival had to be condensed to two days due to a scheduling conflict with the venue.

Quito, Galo said, is located in a valley, so people didn’t usually venture out in the evenings because of the weather. But for the two nights of the Festival, a record crowd attended.

Among those in attendance was a delegation of pastors and leaders, who wanted to invite Franklin Graham to their city of Guayaquil. Plans were made, and in 2007, the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope was held in the port city. Another record crowd turned out and thousands more made decisions for Christ.

“The most influential cities of the country were really impacted with the Festivals and a large number of people heard the Gospel, and there were many that responded,” said Galo, who now serves as BGEA’s Director of Latin American Festivals.

Galo was born in Ambato, Ecuador, but moved to Quito with his family when he was 9 years old. The majority of his family, including his 92-year-old mother, still lives there today.

“I was having a hard time connecting with them because the lines were oversaturated, but I was able to talk to them yesterday morning,” Galo said. “They’re in shock. The whole country is in shock with the circumstances because they’re just beginning to see the actual damage. They felt the earthquake that lasted over 30 seconds, but by the grace of God they’re doing fine.”

This isn’t the first major earthquake for Ecuador, which also experienced a devastating one almost 30 years ago. Galo’s hope is God’s people will see the opportunity within the natural disaster.

“This is not the first time we’ve seen this,” Galo said of the earthquake. “The last big one was in 1987 so it does bring people into a process of reflection about the supernatural and consequently, an exercise of thinking more about God. As they seek for God, they become more sensitive to the spiritual things and messaging so now I wouldn’t be surprised if the people would be open to going to church.

“I would say we do need to pray that God’s people would be wise. This is a good opportunity to go and demonstrate the love of God.”

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for all mankind. You are sharing with us your heart for people all around the world. Thank you for your grace and mercy. We ask for you to reach into the depths of destruction, despair and discouragement and send forth your healing and hope. Send your complete and total restoration of the land, repair the broken streets, build up the ruined walls. Mend families, broken lives and broken hearts through the power of the love of Jesus. Thank you for recovery and renewal. May your kingdom come and your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Monday Motivation: Get More From Monday

Monday Motivation: Get More from Monday

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Ah, Monday morning. Remember the song the Mamas and the Papas used to sing? Let’s reminisce some of the lyrics:

Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day.
Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way.
Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me crying all the time.

Sounds like a bleak beginning for our work week. So, let’s welcome Monday morning with a few attitude and schedule adjustments.

1. Begin preparing for Monday on Sunday night

My senior year at Biola University, I fulfilled a requirement for a Christian education class called “Education Administration,” which outlined the psychology and techniques for executing successful programs in the church. A key concept in producing life-giving events, small groups, and opportunity for believers to grow in their faith is the concept of planning ahead. I’m still driven by the phrase “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So even if you take just five minutes to plan ahead, Sunday night make a list of a few essentials you must complete on Monday. 

For our family of four with our kids in elementary school, we posted a large 5″ x 8″’ bulletin board in the “Grand Central” meeting place: our kitchen. This common daily calendar was a place everyone’s schedule could be seen, so each could know where and when the other family members were going to be at different times and days of the week. Some of the items on your list might overlap and be the same things every week. Pinterest has many printable options for this and even some on a smaller scale. Or if it works for you, a desktop calendar or computer laptop or tablet can be very functional. The point of using a calendar is to bring intention to your time, so you can harness more of it for your use. If you have ever said, “I just didn’t have enough time,” (as all of us have), you can now say, “I am using the time I have more effectively.”

“Be very careful then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” —Ephesians 5:15–16

2. Start Monday morning asking God for help

“I’ve got so much to do; I don’t have time for devotions.” Yes, I, too have used this excuse. When I didn’t make time for God, I ran out of time, resources, and energy to complete the tasks that lay ahead of me. And I wasn’t a very nice person to be around, either. However, when I made spending time with God my daily habit, He helped me manage my time and my schedule. It was like making a huge bank deposit; as I spent the early minutes of my day with Him, He actually helped me do everything He asked me to do in the time He gave me. In the end, I actually accomplished more than I thought I would or could.

David wrote in Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God, early will I seek you, my soul thirsts for you.” Moses noticed God’s handiwork in through the burning bush: “I must turn aside, to this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” Abraham walked with God alone under the canopy of night; God used the twinkling stars as an object lesson to show him the numbers of his descendants. “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give them all these lands.” Genesis 26:4

“It is better to be sleep-deprived, than God deprived,” says Jill Briscoe

Jesus was busy meeting needs—teaching the crowds, leading the disciples, healing the sick, comforting the broken—yet He made time for His Heavenly Father. Mark 1:35 says, “Early in the morning, while it was still dark, He went out and departed to a lonely place and was praying there.” It was our Lord’s custom, His habit, to meet with His Father before He did anything else. “And He came out and proceeded as was His custom, to the Mount of Olives,” says Luke 22:39. If Jesus made meeting with God His first priority, shouldn’t we do the same?

3. Write up an hourly mock-up schedule for Monday

A daily appointment book, iPhone calendar, or even piece of binder paper helps you actually see the day and more effectively plan the time you have to do the tasks ahead. To put activities into slots, it takes about ten minutes every day, but as you get into the habit of doing it, often your daily calendar is done by the time your day begins. This is referred to as a time-log, which can provide you with a motivation to finish a task on time or at least provide a little competition for you and your family as you are completing tasks. When you can “see the day” on a daily calendar, you also “seize the day” instead of letting the day grab ahold of you.

“I wish I could stand on a busy street corner and beg people to give their wasted hours.” (unknown)

Most people waste up to two hours of time every day; although few people realize it. That’s why it’s a beneficial habit to write up your own personal hourly tentative mock up schedule. It’s such a great feeling of satisfaction—the reward you get when you are able to complete a task successfully or make it to an appointment on time. The rush of accomplishment in checking off the tasks that have been completed actually motivates us to want to achieve more to gain the same results.

“I delight to see how orderly you are.” —Colossians 2:3

4. Rewards give positive reinforcement for success

Rewards help motivate successful follow-through, especially when we stick with a schedule. What rewards will motivate you and your family? M&M’s, french fries, a trip to Disneyland? Although these might be successful motivators, these are definitely not healthy for your body or realistic for your family budget. So, ask your family what rewards will motivate them and figure out what works well for your group. For our family, a Wendy’s frosty for each of us was the reward at the end of a successful week. The kids kept track of points they’d accumulate every day for assignments completed, chores finished, and positive behavior. The weekly “Frosty Fiesta” benefited our little foursome in many ways: We looked forward to it, we planned for it, and we could afford it. Plus it provided an actual family outing that all of us liked. Score!

Now, the work motivation rewards I grant myself are not as indulgent as a Wendy’s frosty. After completing a task, I might allow myself a limited amount of time on one of my favorite sites: Pinterest. (It was two years ago this Thanksgiving I planned my wedding to second husband Jim by using Pinterest.) I love to read books. And on any given day, I’ve also got lots of books going and must limit myself to only one new book a week. (So many books, so little time.) Another reward after successfully completing a sizable writing project or an event is clothes shopping. (Hmm, there’s a new trendy clothing store at the mall.) Now that’s a reward worth waiting for.

Okay, how do you feel about Monday? Is it still . . . Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day?

Or do you agree: Instead of mistrusting your Monday, you can begin this first Monday in the month of November by pressing into it? That’s right, just lean into the pressure. No need to feel anxious about trying to get more accomplished. Instead choose to be thankful for the time we have and the work we have to do, and thank God for the people He asks us to share it with.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:13–14

Can I pray for you?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your plan for us. Help us to use the time you have given us to accomplish your purpose. Help us love well and serve well those who need you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Friday Favorites: Restore the Wonder

Restore the Wonder photo

Good Friday morning to you, friends.

Do you agree? As you prepare for the weekend, my prayer is for you to take time to enjoy your Creator.

It helps to take time to notice His hand of creation all around you.

I have a few ideas for you in my article posted earlier this month with my blog for Lead Like Jesus.

Have a great time worshiping our great God!

Restore the Wonder

“Christians should be the most wonder-filled people in the world,” says writer Matthew Woodley. God created us to wonder. Wonder is an emotion aroused primarily by being in amazement. Wonder used as a verb is to notice, to marvel, and to be amazed. For some, the opposite may be our tendency. We are in a time crunch; we feel pressured to accomplish all that is on our plate, resulting in depression, sadness, exhaustion, or mood swings. The problem may be that we have forgotten how to wonder. Toddlers have an uncanny sense of marveling over even the smallest creature in creation. Once my two-year-old Ben held out a roly-poly bug in his chubby little hand. “Look, Mommy!” he said, as if he’d found buried treasure.

patience increases, peace and tranquility replaces the tyranny of the urgent. A “wonder” break is like breathing in spiritual fresh air; it’s a choice to ponder the greatness of God, to consider the handicrafts of the Creator. Take a second glance at the plant in your office as you are watering it. When held up in traffic, roll down your window and revel in the creation. Hug a toddler and find out what they are wondering about.

The children of Israel forgot how to wonder. Because they lost perspective, going back to slavery in Egypt seemed like a good idea. Nehemiah 9:17 records the consequences,

“And they refused to listen and did not remember Thy wondrous deeds which Thou hast performed among them. So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But Thou art a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness, Thou didst not forsake them.”

Without regular times of praise and contemplation about our redemption, we forget the One who delivered us. If we don’t recall the ways He has worked, we forget His power and provision. How has God answered prayer lately? Journal entries can help us remember Gods’ ways of answering our prayers and providing for our every need. “He has made His wonders to be remembered,” reminds Psalm 11: 4. If you don’t wonder, you will wander. Moses gazed across the hillside as he moved the herd toward Mt. Horeb. Surveying his flocks for strays or injury was his custom. In the normal routine of his day, Moses saw something very out of the ordinary. Moses turned; he knew this sight was worthy of more than just a passing glance. An orange glow, burning brightly, seemed strangely wonderful. Exodus 3:2 says, “Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this marvelous sight—why the bush does not burn up.’” Getting a closer look, Moses was in awe, amazed at the sight of the burning bush. Moses marveled with wonder.

Moses stood in front of the burning bush. It glowed brightly and crackled loudly. Moses was speechless; God had gotten his full attention. And then God spoke to Moses. God may not use something as unusual as a burning bush to get your attention. Give God your attention and your worship through wonder before He has to set a bush on fire. What are you waiting for?

God had gotten his full attention

I Chronicles 16:8 says, “O give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples sing to Him, sing praises to Him, speak of all His wonders. Remember His wonderful deeds, which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth.”

http://www.leadlikejesus.com/blog/restore-wonder

Blessings,

Sheryl

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone–while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7

 

WELCOME TO WORLDWIDE WEDNESDAY: PRAY FOR DENMARK

Pray Around the World!

Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday – “D” for Denmark

Greetings, friends – thank you so much for joining us today to pray around the world through the alphabet.

We are going to pray without ceasing. God is working. I love this reminder from Abraham Lincoln:

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.” Abraham Lincoln

Denmark flag and country

Denmark

The most southerly of the European Scandinavian countries. See separate entries for Faeroe Islands and Greenland, which are autonomous regions of Denmark.

Population: 5,481,283

Capital: Copenhagen

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 4,674,986 85.29 -0.2
Evangelicals 193,344 3.5 0.2

“The effective,  fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16

Denmark map

Challenges for Prayer

Old non-missional theologies are devastating for the Church, since they fail to equip the Church in effective discipleship and mission in a secular realm. Pray for theological and missional renewal in all seminaries and Bible schools that will encourage a vibrant missions vision. Pray also for leaders to be raised up who are able to communicate Christ with the Danish postmodern youth culture.

There is a shortfall of pastors, especially for Free Churches of all types. Even with a number of fresh and new ministries and church planting efforts, many evangelical congregations, especially those without a pastor, are in stagnation or even decline. Pray for the provision of capable, godly leaders and for the revitalization of these evangelical congregations.

http://www.operationworld.org/denm

Denmark

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring revival to the Lutheran Church where many have become disillusioned.
  • Pray for biblical thinking to replace the secular, postmodern worldview prevalent among the youth.
  • Pray for financial support for full-time pastors and teachers who are anchored in the truths of the Bible.

http://prayercast.com/denmark.html

Thank you Heavenly Father for your care for the people of Denmark. We ask for your presence in every church where the word of God is taught. We ask for your strength for the pastors and leaders there who know you as their personal Savior. We ask for you to take them to a deeper walk with you as they study your word and teach what you say to us through the Bible. We ask for you to send new pastors and leaders to Denmark to strengthen the believers there. We ask for a fresh anointing and equipping of the leaders as you send them out to revive the work that was begun. We bless you and praise you, Lord, for what you will do in Jesus’ name, Amen.