Monday Motivation: Run Shirley Run!

“Run, Forrest, Run.” Remember the movie Forrest Gump? He says, “Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I can run like the wind blows.

.”

My mom, Shirley Adkins, lives this way – she keeps on running. She decided to start running races at age 70 and hasn’t stopped. What does it take to keep on running? Not a runner, eh? Okay. For some of us, we need to consider how to start. We can ask what does it take to get going? How can we keep moving? Remember – you can’t move a car that is in park. Be willing to put your goals into motion. This works by applying two things:

  1. Resolve: My mom is determined not to give up. Webster defines resolve: “a firm course of action.” There are days she doesn’t feel like going to the gym or going on a jog, yet Mom keeps her schedule. I am impressed with how she implements her plan. Day in, day out, she follows through with her commitment to work out no matter how she feels.

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race market out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

  1. Renew: My mom resets her mind everyday through prayer time with God and studying His word. She asks God for help, even after dad passed away, mom continued and even increased her work outs.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Do not quit! You can do it. Yes, stay at it until you are done. The finish line is not that far off. Haven’t started yet? Okay. It is never too late. Begin today! Even if you are not a runner, just put your foot to the pavement and start moving. When you feel like giving up, instead choose to keep going. As you keep your eyes on the goal, your worry will change to worship, your fear to faith and your hang-ups to hope.

Let’s pray, Heavenly Father, thank you for helping us throw off the sin that is holding us back from the race. Thank you Jesus for reminding us to keep our eyes set on you, our Goal.  You are our inspiration to stay in the race. Thank you Lord Jesus for showing us how to finish well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Transformed Through Truth Launches March 2017

Transformed Through Truth Launches March 2107

The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: http://hsbn.tv/_deploy/index.html

Me too. Join me for the launch of our brand new program, Transformed Through Truth: www.hsbn.tv  I am delighted to offer 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. Why should you make it a point to meet me? Very Simple. Everything is better together. You don’t want to miss out on anything God has for you.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good and pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

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

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. Don’t miss out on any of the life lessons God has taught me. Stay connected through watching Transformed Through Truth here or check out the archived versions http://hsbn.tv/_deploy/index.html

Let’s pray – Heavenly Father, thank you for each one you have drawn to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Help them come against deceit as they cho0se truth. Let them find truth in You and know you in a deeper way. Thank you, 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

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.

Open Spaces Make Room

clock

Monday Motivation. I’m blogging for Lead Like Jesus regularly now! I hope you’ll join me and the other contributors each week at the Lead Like Jesus blog.

One of my Christmas traditions happens after the holiday hustle and bustle has calmed down. I anticipate the peace and quiet after the constant stream of seasonal visitors have gone home, and I’ve run out of creative ways to serve ham and turkey leftovers.

I look forward to organizing, cleaning and storing away the Christmas decorations. I am refreshed, renewed and recharged because I know a New Year is immanent. I also appreciate the feeling of accomplishment and the closure reorganizing brings.

It’s funny isn’t it? There’s an uncanny sense of regeneration when you rearrange and pack things up. It feels like your office or home has more room. The same thing is true in our spiritual lives. Open spaces in our lives make room for more of what God has in store for our future. When we allow God to reposition and change things up, we make room in our lives for more of God.

The spiritual discipline of making room for God works when we allow God to show us things we need to get rid of: a bad habit, criticism, fault-finding, bitterness, anger, hate, unforgiveness. When we allow margin in our time and schedule, time for God to meet us, we choose to slow down to listen to His voice. We allow Him to speak into our lives and show us areas He might want us to realign.

Dallas Willard says, “Amazing things can happen when we open up spaces in our lives. It is easier to hear the voice of God when we practice silence because our world is not filled with competing noises.”

Scriptures echo this truth. “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:1)

The Latin term, “Capax Dei” – an increased capacity for God – is something we can develop by allowing space in our lives. As leaders, it’s a choice to “open up spaces in our lives” by asking God what we can cut out to make room. So let’s make the choice to increase our capacity for God. Silence and solitude are ignored spiritual disciplines. Instead of self-indulgence, let’s choose God-indulgence. “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19)

But why wait for a feeling of renewal only one time per year? This can be an ongoing pursuit through coaching ourselves as servant leaders, regularly spending intentional time in prayer, seeking God’s thoughts as we pour over Scripture, and journaling our thoughts, feelings and prayers. We can discover God’s love in a deeper way, gain victory as we have more room for God and find solace in communion with Him.

As we take time for this discipline, we share our newfound freedom with those we lead. “Coaching is the most important servant leadership element in helping people accomplish their goals. After all, as servant-leaders, life is all about helping people get A’s.” (Lead Like Jesus, pg. 124)

Let God help you rearrange and pack things up, so you have room for every new blessing God wants to bestow on you in 2017!

*This article was originally written for Lead Like Jesus and published on www.LeadLikeJesus.com. It is reprinted with their permission.*

Remembering

remembering

Dear Friends and Family,

October is here. October 17, 2016 marks the seven-year anniversary of Pastor Paul’s promotion to heaven. Thank you for your continued prayers for our new blended family.

330904_10150423286370786_968422174_o

With each passing year since Paul has gone, there are more friends and loved ones who have departed this earth for their heavenly home.

1-laurel-moore

“The day of death is better than the day of birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1b

Laurel Moore suddenly passed away on August 11, 2016, after a brief illness. Laurel and I met through mutual friends in 1996. We shared many opportunities to work side-by-side in ministry with the Kern County Sunday School Association (Christian Ministry Convention). We shared years of ministry to women in leadership, pastors’ wives, and my varied connections with non-profits in Bakersfield. Laurel was my mentor and example as how to be a pastor’s wife with my newsletter to pastor’s wives. Laurel’s story of her survival of breast cancer was my very first interview. Our common bond and ministry to women in ministry lead to an opportunity for me to serve for four years as a columnist to Pastor’s Wives with Focus on the Family.

2-steve-and-laurel

Owners of Minuteman Press, Steve and Laurel Moore, a dynamite husband and wife team, served our community together for twenty-six years, through graphics, printing, and bulk mailing.

In 2004 when I was diagnosed with cancer (stage 4 non-hodkins lymphoma in the bone marrow in five places in my body), Laurel cheered me on. She had made it and was thriving, and Laurel gave me the inspiration to make it. Laurel and her team at Minuteman Press continued to provide my printing and bulk mailing.

Laurel’s talents in printing and design included Sarah’s wedding invitations in 2008, Ben’s wedding invitations in 2013, and my second wedding invitations in 2014. There are also monthly missionary support letters, books and promotion, banners. A month ago we were working on a new project. I was so thankful to get to reconnect with Laurel, I had missed our time together. Now I look forward to reconnecting with Laurel some day when I too, meet our Savior. I will miss her until that day.

Here’s a video link of Laurel Moore’s Celebration of Life Service.

3-melissa-laurel-and-marcy

Melissa (Laurel’s youngest daughter) with Laurel Moore and Marcie (Laurel’s oldest daughter) celebrate Easter 2016.

Won’t you take a moment to pray for those who have lost loved ones?

For more encouragement, here are two blog posts from previous anniversaries of Pastor Paul’s untimely promotion to heaven.

Death-iversary
Death Day

I love you,
Sheryl

“The righteous perish and no one ponders it in his heart, devout men are taken away, and no one understand that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace, they find rest as they lie in death.” Isaiah 57:1–2

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. God’s dwelling place is now among his people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:1,3–4

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

See-Through Life

I wanted to hide. I tried to avoid eye contact, but couldn’t. She was the last person I wanted to run into. Our eyes met, and my insides cringed. I prayed, “Lord, help.” I was able to show love. We had a short conversation; it was surface, but it felt good that God’s power gave compassionate words.

This was not being fake. In a split second I chose to behave my feelings into submission because I had become accountable. Weekly I met with my accountability partner; I shared my struggle, forgave my offender, and trusted God for the outcome. Believers need each other. We must encourage one another. Hebrews 10:24–25 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

eph-1-11-pendant

We must choose to trust each other. We have a responsibility to help each other grow closer to God. In accountability, I allowed a close friend to see a part of me that was wounded. At first I was afraid of being judged because I cared about what she thought. An amazing thing happened when I shared my pain with her: My clouds of depression lifted. Discernment is the ability to see through masks. Accountability invites others to see through us. We need discernment and accountability help us walk in strong faith.

We are driven by the need to be loved, safe, and important. Now, in Christ, we are spiritually alive children of God who are accepted, secure, and significant. You and I are no longer guilty, unprotected, alone, or abandoned. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, we are significant. You and I are no longer worthless, helpless, or hopeless. We are free forever from condemnation. We are assured that all things work together for good. We are free from condemning charges against us.

In Christ, we are totally secure. He wants us to remember that we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. We can find grace and mercy to help in time of need. We are born of God, and the evil one cannot touch us. In Christ we are no longer rejected, unloved, or dirty. In Christ, we are completely accepted. We are God’s children, Christ’s friends. We are justified and united with the Lord, one in spirit with Him. We have been bought with a price. We belong to God. You are a member of Christ’s body. We are saints. We have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. We have been redeemed and forgiven for all our sins. In Christ, we are complete.

“In Christ, we find out who we are and what we are living for.” —Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)

in-christ-image-eph-1-11

Let’s pray:

Father, help us to remember what you say about us is true. Help us to keep our eyes on you. Remind us today of who we are in Christ. Let me be open and honest before you. Give me someone to be open with, who will hold me accountable to be more like you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

You and I are desperate for people who can see through our lives. In partnership with the Holy Spirit and them, we can begin practicing lives of inside-out honesty. Are you living a see-through life? What are you waiting for?

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Enraptured and Captured

Are you tired of plodding through life? Like a plane on automatic pilot, our prayers can be repetitive, predictable, and even humdrum as we go through the motions. Ever wonder if God really hears your prayers? The remedy could be as simple as admitting un-confessed sin. Think about how it felt when you first found out how much God loved you. It’s good to be reminded of His presence protecting us even when we were not seeking Him. “We love because he first loved us.” 3 John 1:9

Saul of Tarsus met God on the road to Damascus. Struck down by a bright light, as he was flat on his face, the powerful voice of God asked, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:4 (NIV)  Literally blinded by the experience, God’s love touched Saul’s hardened heart. Saul received spiritual insight and began to preach about the amazing love of God.

Encounters like Saul’s Damascus road experience are rare, but first-love encounters with God need not be. When we revisit, remember, and return to the passion of our first love, it renews our minds and revives our hearts. “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:4

This first-love truth is meaningful and penetrates even the darkest season of disappointment or loss. Blitz was my favorite family pet; at sixteen pounds and sixteen years old, this beautiful pure white cat and I had survived many trials. Blitz was the king, the tom-cat of the neighborhood, always defended our home turf, and actually won the cat fights he started. I often joked he had more than nine cat lives; he must have had at least fifteen.

blitz-june-2016

I remember about twelve years ago, the sweet days after my chemotherapy sessions, he never left my side as I endured the horrible side-effects. During the season of re-entering life after Pastor Paul’s sudden promotion to heaven, Blitz cuddled, played, and purred on my lap when I needed it most. My loyal furry friend passed away very suddenly last month.  Although I am comforted by my memories, I must wade through my grief. Over and over, God has reminded me of his presence, even through my loss. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18

sheryl-and-blitz

Two years ago, I was haunted by feelings of dark depression and pointless drudgery before, during, and after my dad’s funeral services. Although these feelings were very normal and a necessary part of the grief process, it helped when in desperation I went to God.

sheryl-and-her-father-richard-adkins

Shaking and hysterical with grief, I wailed and looked up. I turned my eyes to the heavens, opened my hands, and poured out my aching, broken heart to God. I expected to be refilled by Him. He reminded me, “I am your first love.” If in the midst of any stage of grief, issue with a friend or a disappointment about an unmet need. When I think about my Heavenly Father’s love, it encourages me he is waiting to be restored to first place. And all I have to do is ask. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for us. Even when we were on the run from you, you sought us and captured us with your grace. Thank you for offering us new hope through your Son’s sacrifice. Would you restore our passion, would you return us to the state of our first love? Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Weekend Reading

leadinghearts

I am taking time this summer to refresh and recharge by reading and studying. I hope you are able to take time to do the same. For this weekend, I recommend reading through the July 2016 issue of Leading Hearts magazine and take note of two inspiring articles. Karen Porter’s piece “Let There Be Light” reminds us as leaders, “Leading in the light inspires trust because you tell the truth and keep your promises.”

“Free to Love Well” by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith connected with me about the risk we take when we love people, often we get hurt. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Saundra helps us to process how to deal with risks in loving others that have gone awry.

Enjoy your weekend. Refresh. Revive. Renew. I am praying for you. Be blessed.

Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

July Update

I’m thankful for a lifetime of mentors. These Godly women have walked me through trials and triumph; their desire is to help me draw close to Jesus. A few of them: Shirley Adkins (my mom), Margy Eberhart (late camp director’s wife who led me to the Lord), Linda Ballweg (college Bible study leader), Sue Sabaloni (MIT prayer group leader), Judy Hampton (late speaker and author). In 2003, Judy encouraged me to join Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, a sisterhood of women who communicate God’s word through the written and spoken word.

AWSA

AWSA Tuesday morning Mastermind group meets in person at the AWSA conference in Cincinnati, OH. AWSA Mastermind is a bi-monthly zoom meeting—group mentoring at its finest. Mentor defined means an experienced and trusted adviser, confidante. Mentoring happens when someone is trained, taught, tutored, or instructed by someone more experienced. Jesus showed us mentoring works when the mentee is a willing recipient to the teachings and example of the mentor.

AWSA1

Heidi McLaughlin (Kelowna, BC) Saundra Dalton-Smith (Aniston, AL) and Sheryl (Bakersfield, CA) have prayed together monthly for two years via Skype meetings. The threesome met through an AWSA conference.

AWSA2

My membership with AWSA has not only opened doors for me to befriend and walk with other women in Christian ministry, it’s also offered numerous opportunities for me to be mentored by other women. At the AWSA conference, I was honored at the Golden Scroll Awards through receiving a humanitarian award called “Beyond Me: Modeling a You-First Life in a Me-First World.” All for God’s glory. My heart for the nations continues to grow larger and more eager to reach more women for Jesus Christ.

AWSA3

Experiencing God Through His Names: 31 Day Devotional Journey released at the International Christian Retail show. What an honor to meet bookstore owners and others interested in going deeper with God through studying His names. Pray favor, blessing, and God’s names to be praised.

Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.