Worldwide Wednesday: T Pray for Trinidad and Tobago

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago are Two islands off the coast of Venezuela.

 

Prayercast

Challenges for Prayer

Cross-cultural vision is quite small but growing. The nation needs to move from a receiving mentality to a sending mentality. Pray for greater awareness of local and world needs, and for effective training to be given in cross-cultural outreach. A handful of Trinidadians work overseas as missionaries; pray for more. YWAM and WBT recently opened centres on Trinidad. These two groups as well as OM are active in mobilizing and sending workers abroad.

http://www.operationworld.org/trin

 

PRAYER POINTS

Pray for strong theological training in this country with many churches but few disciples.

Pray for greater utilization of the freedom to share the Gospel within the schools.

Pray for bold witness from believers with Hindu and Muslim backgrounds.

Summary

Located off the coast of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the Caribbeans most prosperous nations as a result of petroleum and natural gas production. Other exports from this industrious nation include asphalt and tobacco. Trinidad and Tobago have a high population of Africans, who were enslaved until 1834. Contract laborers from India replaced the African slaves through the early 20th Century, further diversifying the population. This diversity is celebrated to this day with the national motto: “Together we aspire, together we achieve.”

Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from Britain in 1962, and a constitution was ratified in 1976. Today, Trinidad and Tobago is governed by a parliamentary democracy, which helps to maintain unity amongst the diverse cultures. Although the nation remains 99% literate, the high unemployment rates for youth are resulting in growing violent crime, especially related to drug trafficking. Many blame North American media for penetrating the country with symbols of material wealth such as cars, homes, and fashion. Women are objectified in a culture that emphasizes physical beauty. It is also common for men to sexually harass women in public, and women risk loss of social status if they respond. In addition, Trinidad and Tobago has one of the highest incidences of HIV/AIDS in the world.

Around one fourth of the population is identified as Protestant, while another fourth is Roman Catholic. The rest of the population is mainly Hindu and Muslim. The variety of religions results in syncretistic beliefs within the Christian Church, including witchcraft, which is accepted within the culture. Though the number of Evangelicals is growing rapidly as a result of cross cultural missionary efforts, an unintended consequence has been the creation of a culture of dependence on visiting foreign nationals.

http://prayercast.com/trinidad-and-tobago.html

Thank you for praying for the people of Trinidad and Tobago!

Friday Favorites: Sheryl’s July 2017 News

The Freedom In Christ Discipleship Course had a strong start at the Mission at Kern County women’s program. Please pray women will be set free, healed and whole to become all God has planned for them.

Dear Friends and Family,

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatains 5:1

Over the years, I’ve connected with believers around the world. I’ve sensed a frustration common to many. Believers don’t feel free. So if believers aren’t feeling it, how do we find out how to live in the freedom Christ died to give us? So glad you asked.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” I Peter 1:3 With further study, we ask God to show us how to break through to a greater level of spiritual maturity. We can trust him to uncover any areas of deception.

We can retrain and renew our minds to break free from negative thinking and destructive behavior. It’s exciting to share how vibrant freedom can be found by applying these truths and other foundational principles for abundant Christian living.

July 27 to Aug 8, Sheryl will join forces with Grace and Cor Koelewjin in Tororo, Uganda – Freedom In Christ Discipleship Course to pastors, leaders and believers.

Sheryl, Grace and Cor will partner with Josh and Mandy Shaarda (see below), Freedom in Christ missionaries in Obulle, Uganda.

Please pray: Uganda Summer 2017 team will be spiritually prepared to teach and train.  “Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word. Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things from your law.” Psalm 119:17,18. Won’t you pray for us?

If you would like to send a scholarship to support a Ugandan pastor/leader it is greatly appreciated. $150.00 each funds food, lodging, meals and conference materials. Thank you!

Please pray: Our ministry needs will be met. Sheryl’s trip expenses of $3,500.(visa/airfare/lodging) Conference fees: (books/food/travel/scholarships) $2,000. “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7

I am praying for you. Love, Sheryl

Donate: www.ficm.org & note #86 – Uganda Summer Team 2017

Friday Favorites: How To Regroup the Troops

How to Regroup the Troops

What battles rage on your field today? Take “time out” to regroup your troops and “stand down.” Are you disappointed in someone who has let you down? I love this quote from W. Glynn Evans,

How does this happen? We must ‘take our position, stand still and wait (watch) for God to work.’ And that is the hardest part. We are not very good at waiting. Are you disappointed in your job, suffering from financial loss, grieving a loved one, struggling with addiction? Here are four lessons from 2 Chronicles 19, the battle of King Jehosaphat:

1. One of the most difficult things to do in doing battle God’s way is to stop.  “Cease striving and know I am God,” Psalm 46:10.

2. When we are stopped, we must stand still.  “Take your position, stand still, and watch the Lord’s victory” 2 Chronicles 19:17

3. Do you think God is taking too long? God wants us to wait on his timing.  “That is why I wait expectantly, trusting God to  help, for He has promised,” Psalm 130:5

4.We must trust Him – that’s called belief.  “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm” ”2

“Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with King Jehosaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies” 2 Chronicles 19:21

Let’s pray,

“Dear Father, thank you for the opportunity to submit to your will today. We choose to “stand down.” I commit all of those who are struggling with disease and death to your plan, give them peace, comfort and hope in your plans for their future. Thank you for this chance to stop, stand still, wait and believe. Lord, protect my family and friends from everything but what will glory you the most. We praise you in advance for the opportunity to celebrate and glorify you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Friday Favorites: Who Is Your Boss?

Who Is Your Boss?

I remember a few years ago I overheard my preschool son tell his sister, my elementary aged daughter, “You are not the boss of me.” There was another time, this time, I was an employee.  The woman who was my supervisor preferred the staff, those of us who were her employees – NOT call her the “boss.” She had become our supervisor, not by applying for the job or by promotion, but by default. Since no one else was qualified to take her position, she was in charge of us – her employees. And she did not like being the boss. She thought by not allowing us to call her ‘the boss’ or the ‘one in charge,’ she would relate to us as peers rather than an authority figure.

We all have something or someone who is ‘the boss of us.’ We may not want to admit it but each of us has a master to whom we bow in submission. The wise person allows God to be their boss. For others, another person, a stronghold or habit might be their ruler. For years, I allowed nicotine, alcohol and other addictive substances to be my boss. These things determined the course of my life for many years. Others might allow food, spending, exercise, video games or any number of other things to trap them. God wants us to let Him be our ‘boss.’

“Have it Your Way” or “Be Your Own Boss” are bits of advice recommended by our culture to guarantee happiness. In reality, these stand-alone arrogances are guaranteed to satisfy.  In advertising, self-sufficiency and independence are used as synonyms for happiness. This is deception. And is not at all how God designed us to live. As believers, we must let God be our ‘boss.’ Dependence on God is not a sign of weakness. The only way to maximize our potential and enjoy our lives to their fullest extent is to live in harmony with our Creator. This happens when we are totally satisfied in our relationship with Him. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Essentially, submitting to God means we recognize God is the supreme master over all authorities, and we belong to Him. We can trust this sovereign Lord, described as Adonai, to direct our lives and guide our actions. The title, Adonai is translated Master, Lord, or Sovereign. To abide in the living God, Adonai, we must say yes to His lordship over our lives. We can trust His kind direction and abide in His peace as He guides our decisions.

Have you ever second-guessed a decision you’ve made? Of course, all of us have. Maybe you have thought it was the right thing to do at the time, but later on, when things didn’t work out as you had planned, you wanted to go back. I’ve done the same thing many times. This morning was one of those times. My mind was full of confusion and worry. These things clouded my thinking and my praise like a swarm of angry gnats trying to land in my hair. As is common when gnats swarm us, we beat the air over our heads in defense. Yet, the gnats remained. I had tried to use logic and reason to rid myself of confusion and worry. It didn’t work. In my time alone with God today, He reminded me, “Sheryl, release the decisions swirling in your anxious mind. I am your master.” Although I was unsettled, Adonai was asking me to submit to Him as my boss. He wanted me to trust his ultimate authority. When I chose to let go and trust God as my Adonai, to release the results to my Lord and Master, the swarm dissolved and was replaced with a sense of peace.

In addition to the illustration of who is our boss, another way to think about the concept of God as our master has to do with His role in our lives as a landlord. If you’ve ever rented a house, you remember what it was like to live by the landlord’s (the master’s) rules. You took good care of your rental, you asked permission before you painted the walls, and the landlord made the repairs. That’s the way it is when we submit our “temple,” our body, to Adonai.

Essentially, because of Jesus’ obedience on the cross, you and I have been “bought with a price.”  “Do you not know that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 We are not our own. God is a gracious landlord, who has given us boundaries for living. When we follow the Master’s rules and stay within His boundaries, we walk in His will and abide in His peace. Exalt and praise Adonai, our Sovereign Master, worthy of the highest honor and our total obedience.

Without allowing God to be our Adonai, and not inviting Him to inhabit the center of our lives, it’s hard to find joy in trying circumstances. Joy is not dependent on the absence of trials. It is contingent on the One whom we trust. We must believe God has our best interests in mind. We can show Him we trust Him when we submit to His plans. One way to show God you are wholeheartedly relying on Him is to pray continually. I Thess. 5:16-17 says, “Be joyful always, pray continually.” When we pray without ceasing, we invite His presence into every area of our lives. With His presence, besides peace and love, there is abundant joy. He promises never to leave or forsake us. Keep your mind on His word, letting it transform your mind.

Let’s pray this prayer of commitment from Psalm 119:10-12 “With my whole heart I have sought You, oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord! Teach me your statutes.” Thank you, Adonai; you are a trustworthy and loving Boss who only has my best in mind. Thank you for the opportunity to humbly bow in submission to you today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Sheryl Giesbrecht is a regular monthly blogger for Lead Like Jesus.

The blog appeared on the site below last week.

http://www.leadlikejesus.com/blog/who-your-boss

Monday Motivation: Plan to Succeed

Monday Motivation: Plan To Succeed

You’ve failed. Again. It’s time to reorganize. Start over. Begin again. Use a fresh approach, a new strategy. When you are discouraged, it’s probably not that you are doing the wrong thing, but you might be doing it in the wrong way. Our natural temptation is to give up on our dream. We think, “Maybe God didn’t give me this dream in the first place.” No, it’s probably just the opposite.

Is it the season to try a new approach to the same ministry? Washed up actors and soloists call a new approach “reinvention.” For those who need a facelift for their house, it’s called an ‘’extreme-makeover’ for your home. Have you faced a lot of discouragement? Have numerous problems remained unsolved? Does your workload seem unbelievable? It’s time to reorganize your schedule.  Evaluate things you need to cut out of your ministry.  Examine what is important and what is not important and get rid of the excess.  Get rid of those things that clutter your life, that are wasting your time.

Find the twenty percent of the things you have to do and focus on the ones that produce the greatest results.

Nehemiah was in the middle of rebuilding the Jerusalem wall. He saw the need to reorganize to complete the work. Nehemiah 4:13, “Therefore I stationed some people at the low points of the wall and exposed places, posting them by families with their swords and their spears and their bows.”  The key phrase here is, “We reorganized them by families.”  We need a ‘family’ support group. In our workplace, church, even our home-lives, we need a group of co-laborers. We need others we can share with and who will love us unconditionally.  There’s no such thing as Lone Ranger Christianity.

  1. Evaluate – You’ve accessed the need to reorganize. Now is the time to do so. Don’t wait until you feel like it because you never will.

  2. Examine – You’ve decided what is important. Now take the steps to get to where you want to go.

  3. Expect – You’ve invited your ‘family’ to be part of your solution. Now give them their marching orders. You can get there together. Remember we are better together.

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16

Let’s pray,

Father thank you for the opportunity to allow you to reorganize our goals. Let our plans be your plans. Let our desires be your desires. Let us evaluate, examine and expect for you to make things happen. Thank you for the body of Christ, who helps us do your will. Thank you for encouraging us to begin again. Thank you for giving us another opportunity to plan to succeed. For your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friday Favorites: Hopelessly Devoted

I love chocolate. I am an expert in seeking out and finding great (not just good) chocolate.

…filled with not only ‘chocolate sightings’ like the luscious semi-sweet chocolate cake in the photo but also lots of ‘chocolate tastings.’ Are you a chocolate lover, too?

Here’s my thoughts from my latest article my blog with Lead Like Jesus: http://www.leadlikejesus.com/blog/hopelessly-devoted

Even the wallpaper at the Hershey Lodge was covered in semi-sweet chocolate kisses. Sorry, I didn’t check to see if it was chocolate-flavored!

Enjoy – have a great weekend. With love and prayers, Sheryl

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Luke 16:13

 

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:10

 

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

 

People, Not Platforms

Happy Monday, friends! I had the opportunity to guest-post again on Lead Like Jesus’ blog.

platform

 

Here’s a sample:

“Whose am I?” When we answer this question, we are admitting who is in charge of us. We are choosing the primary authority and audience for our lives. We are ultimately created to please God. As leaders, we have been called and have accepted the invitation to enter an intimate relationship with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As His followers, we personally have access to His Holy Spirit. We can tap into peace, joy and wisdom for living and serving according to God’s purpose for us. Our lives can make a difference for eternity.

Check out my guest post here.

Have a great day!

Love and prayers,
Sheryl

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.

In the Looking Glass

lookingglass

Good Monday morning, friends. As you are preparing for the week, here’s something to think about:

In the Looking Glass: Reflecting Jesus’ Likeness

Have a great week!

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.

Uncommon Leadership

Good morning, friends. I had another opportunity to post a guest blog on the Lead Like Jesus website.

uncommonleadership

I’d love to come to your area in person and present The Encounter—Lead Like Jesus seminar.

Send me an email if you are interested in open dates. I am already scheduling two day trainings for 2017.

Check out my guest blog post here.

Have a great day!

Love and prayers,
Sheryl

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.