When You Don’t Know What to Do

Luke 11:1 “Lord, teach us to pray”

Recently, I was wrestling with a decision that I needed to make concerning one of my children. It was so important that I make the right decision. Honestly, I only saw three options before me and I didn’t feel good about any of those options. I was desperately trying to figure it all out and I kept coming to the same conclusion; I didn’t have a clue what to do! I did, however, continue to seek the Lord. I prayed throughout each day admitting, “Lord, I don’t have the answer.” I fell asleep at night whispering, “Lord, I don’t know what to do.” I woke up in the morning asking, “Lord, show me.” Interestingly enough, after two months of continually seeking God, the answer came literally overnight! Another door opened up that was not in my previous thoughts or view. It was unmistakably the right path.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

Prayer, many times is a calling out; a cry for help. It is to summons and even invite an All Knowing, All Powerful God into our hearts, lives and situations. When we call to Him, He hears us and He answers. In the original Hebrew, the word for answer translates; to respond, to begin to speak to and it also means to dwell. Amazing! Not only will God hear us and answer, not only will He begin to speak to us concerning that which we are calling to Him about, but He dwells with us. Right there in the midst of our circumstances, situations and uncertainty, He comes, sits down, abides and remains with us.

God promised Jeremiah that if he would call to Him, not only would He answer, but He would reveal to him great and mighty things that could not otherwise be known. When you call out to the Lord, He absolutely responds. He answers. He begins speaking to you. He is right there with you and He makes known to you great and “mighty” things. What are these mighty things? These mighty things are things that have been inaccessible to you before you prayed and invited Him into your situation! The word mighty is the Hebrew word batsar. These mighty things that Jeremiah 33 is referring to are the things that have been isolated and inaccessible to you, until now. These mighty things have seemed to be withheld or restrained before now. They were fenced in until you prayed. They were secrets and mysteries until you called out to Him. But when you prayed, God made these things known to you. The way was plainly exposed. The answer you were seeking was made manifest!

This is what I experienced as I stopped leaning on my own understanding, trusted the Lord and continued to call to Him in prayer. He answered me by showing me the great and mighty things that could not otherwise be known. He showed me what I had not been able to see. Today, I encourage you to continue steadfast in prayer. Rest in the place of knowing He dwells with you. May His presence bring you overwhelming peace and assurance. May the Lord show you and open up to you great and mighty things.

Jennifer Rash, Intercessory Prayer Director, Women Praying for Women

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Deception

By Kerry Clarensau

Most of us have heard about the erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, reaching best-seller charts, and the release of the movie about a male stripper called Magic Mike. As Christian women, how should we respond to this cultural trend?

Even standing in the grocery store checkout line, we notice the large number of magazines promising secrets to improve our sex life. It seems our culture continually bombards us with images and ideas about sexuality.

Growing up, I was completely unaware that the Bible has so much to say about intimacy and sexuality. When families and churches fail to communicate God’s truth, many women look for answers wherever these issues are discussed. Christian women can buy into secular ideas, and the results are devastating. We are created as sexual beings, and sex is an important part of marriage. However, true intimacy in marriage is more than sex. It is the exclusive bond between husband and wife, characterized by affection, warmth, openness, and connectedness.

When we buy into our culture’s views of eroticism, we damage our relationships. But we can look to God’s Word for insights into improving the intimacy in our marriage:

  • Focus on fulfilling your husband. Real intimacy and fulfillment are found when each person takes an “it’s not about me” attitude and looks to please their spouse (1 Corinthians
    7:3-5).
  • Ask God to help you guard your thoughts. We need to be aware of activities or situations that can tempt us to fantasize about other men, to be dissatisfied with our husband, or to criticize our appearance or our sex life (Psalm 101:2,3).
  • Avoid talking with others about your sex life. Sexual intimacy is designed for exclusivity. Only then can a husband and wife experience complete and total trust, complete and total freedom, and complete and total fulfillment (Ephesians 5:3,4).
  • Keep sexual toys and pornography out of your marriage. God wants us to associate sexual release with our spouse—bonding us and nurturing true intimacy (1 Corinthians 6:18).
  • Avoid fantasy role-playing. If we dress up or role-play as another personality, we open the door for our husband to fantasize about being with someone else (Philippians 4:8).
  • Ask God to help you desire and enjoy pure sexual intimacy with your husband. God wants us to invite Him into the intimate places of our life. He has the power to heal, restore, and bless (Proverbs 5:18, 19).

Friends, it grieves my heart to think of how many women are being deceived by this type of literature. Since the fall of humankind, women have been victimized by men—pornography, physical abuse, rape, sex trafficking. Men seeing women as objects rather than viewing them as someone with value is a result of sin—never God’s ideal treatment for the women He has created. Love is always self-sacrificing—each one giving themselves for their spouse.

I have great concerns with books like Fifty Shades of Grey and movies like Magic Mike:

  • Women considering such deviant behaviors as acceptable,
  • Women thinking these choices might lead to a meaningful relationship,
  • Women pursuing these forms of “entertainment” rather than taking seriously God’s command to guard our hearts.

We must encourage one another to understand God’s ideal and not allow ourselves to be lured into this harmful way of thinking. God calls us to purity, both in our thoughts and our behaviors. As the Author of intimacy, God wants us to experience life-giving closeness with Him and with our spouse. This requires us to fully trust God’s Word and reject our culture’s oversexualized, demoralizing views. We can experience intimacy that is fulfilling and whole when we chase after God and allow Him to lead every part of our life—even our sexuality.

KERRY CLARENSAU is an author, mentor, speaker, and National Women’s Director for the Assemblies of God. She speaks to women’s hearts from 25 years of experience in local, district, and national ministry to women.

What Is A Stronghold?

The Apostle Paul explains it this way in 2 Corinthians 10:5,   “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”  {KJV}

Every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God is a Stronghold!

It’s anything that exalts itself to be bigger or more powerful than our God. For example, my daughters seizures and the cerebral palsy. For years, both have seemed so much bigger to me than God. I’m just being honest with you.  I could not move forward in my Faith that God would heal her because in my mind, her disabilities were bigger/more powerful than God to me!

This stronghold stole my focus and overpowered me. It disabled my faith!

“I have battled for years not knowing  that I was dealing with a stronghold!”

Your stronghold could be an addiction to food, withholding forgiveness to someone who has hurt you, not stepping out in faith to achieve a goal or dream, or even something negative that “could be” but has yet to happen.

Every stronghold is designed to strangle us. To keep us from walking in Faith that God is in control of all things and Can Do All Things!

Is there something in your life that seems bigger than God? What is consuming your emotional and mental energy? If you can say something is, you will know if you have a stronghold.

Praying for all of us!!

Cherie ♥

Picture via Pinterest

Nick and Marilyn Krake Are Heading To Palau

in 92 Days and Counting And they need our help! Will you join us in helping them reach their final Goal?

A letter from Nick and Marilyn

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe we are just 35% away from reaching our goal! With a departure date of October 20th quickly approaching we are starting to prepare for our BIG move across the sea.

Many of you have asked if there are items we need before we leave for Palau and the answer is YES! Being that Palau is a small island in the Pacific there are many items not available, a lot more expensive, or just not the same as those items from home that will make this transition as a family smoother.

We have begun compiling a list of things that have been recommended to us by those that have gone before us and other missionaries that live on nearby islands and the list seems to be growing daily. Seeing that we can only take 16 suitcases/totes with us, size, weight, and quantity are obviously an issue, yet these items are things we will need, so we have decided to share this list with you, our friends and family, and are asking you to help us start crossing things off. We were advised to do a “Wish List” registry in order to avoid duplicates, so we have registered at Wal-Mart.  In this letter we are also including some items not available at Wal-Mart incase you feel led to help us in these areas. Thank you for helping us get another step closer to Palau. We are currently working on other things on our list such as: renewing passports, visas, immunizations, and the list goes on. Your help in this tangible way is such a BIG blessing. Moving a family of four overseas is WORK, but oh SO worth it when you are headed towards your God given dream!

Our goal is to have everything by the end of August giving us time to pack and purchase the missing items. Friends we are so thankful for your help, love, and support throughout this journey. We are forever grateful and humbled to be His hands and feet to the island nation of Palau.

Until All Have Heard,

Nick, Marilyn, Abby, and Joshua

 Wal-Mart “Wish List” Registry Information:

Registry is under “Wish List” and under our names: Nick and Marilyn Krake

 Gift Cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, and Old Navy are welcome. We recently spoke to the Pastor in Palau and he has told us to bring clothes and shoes for the kids as these items are rarely found on the island, and if found, the quality is not good. If you would prefer buying light summer clothing instead of gift cards those are also welcome.

We are not picky! Every little bit helps!

Abby- Clothes Sizes 6 and 7/ Shoe Size 11 and 12

Joshua- Clothes Sizes 4T and 5T/ Shoe Size 8 and 9

 Please contact us at krakefamily@gmail.com if you feel led

to help us  in purchasing any of the items below.

My Father’s World Kindergarten Deluxe Package Curriculum Aprox. $300

New Hard Drive for computer Aprox. $1,200

Water Filter Aprox. $5,000 (Water in Palau is Undrinkable)

status quo

It has been almost twenty months.  Twenty months. 

Oh my soul, I lose my breath just thinking about it.  It was hard.  The transition.  The grieving.  The learning curve.  Who am I kidding?  There are times when it is still hard.  But today …  today we have caught our breath.  Our oldest son knows his momma and daddy adore him.  He knows that we are here to stay. 

This daddy always comes back.  

Mommy will never leave you.


My heart is thick inside my chest with the memories.  Memories of a terrified little boy lashing out at the strange world and people around him.  The terror.  The confusion.  The exhaustion. 

Just four weeks home, and a darling little sister is born.  A sweet balm for us all in a painful season.   

Twenty months have flown by.  Twenty months have crept by. 

Sin, grief and pain – they have been laid bare in our house.  And our forever faithful Father has met us with forgiveness, healing and hope. 

We are a family.  We even feel like a family.  Our children are well, we are well, and our family works.  It just works, and that is a huge deal when you step out and piece together a family.  Led by two perfectly imperfect people, both screwed up in our own way, with our own hang-ups, expected to love, nurture and cherish one freaked out little boy who thinks he might lose his parents, one hurt little boy who did lose his parents, and one sassy-pants sister.  Oh, and a dog, who according to our social worker, has “grief issues” of his own.  Fantastic. 

But we’ve made it!  All of us.  Together.  We don’t cry in the middle of the night anymore because of the over-whelming grief and pain that pulled at our boy.  God has brought healing where there was once hurt and panic.  Our boys don’t fight like cats and dogs 23 hours a day anymore.  God has brought relationship and love.  My blood pressure doesn’t shoot through the roof everytime I wake up anymore.   God has brought joy and peace.

Why start over?

Why risk … well, anything?

Because He said so.

Because it’s worth it.


Because it’s not just an idea.  It’s a child.  A hurting child who needssomeone to enter into their pain with them and walk them through it.  To help them carry it.  To cry with them, pray over them, and rejoice in them. 

Because love works, people.  We’ve seen it with our very own eyes these past twenty months.

Because God did it for us, and He promises to never leave us nor forsake us.  He has started a work in our family, and we intend to walk obediently beside Him until it’s completion.  And we pray to God that He has taught us how to enter into that pain with more grace and compassion than we had twenty months ago.  We pray  that the Lord continues to show Himself faithful in placing the lonely in families …. not creating disfunctional chaos where a family once stood. 

So, we are stepping out again.  Trusting Him.  Knowing that we are not the same people — not the same family — that we were twenty months ago.  Thank you, Lord.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope… when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13

Leaders Manual

Leaders,

We are working on creating a “Leaders Manual”  for our leaders. We are excited to bring this great resource to you. It will be available to via download here on our site.

Also, from time to time we will post updates and chapters as God leads us.

We are praying for you daily and so humbled to be leading you as we continue to grow together as an outward refection of our inward Savior!

Blessings,

Cherie Zack

WM District Director/ South Carolina District of the Assemblies of God

“Women clothed with compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience, in perfect unity
Colossians 3:12-14

Excellently Formed and Marvelously Functioning Women

Romans 12:5-6 “So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (The Message)
I love the words “excellently formed” and “marvelously functioning”. Ladies, that is what we are to be as women of God in the body of Christ. We are eager to use our gifts in our churches and in our women’s ministry groups. The real key to “functioning marvelously” is to make sure that we are functioning AS ONE.  That place of unity is the very place where God said that He would command the blessing.
Believe it or not, we can learn some things about this idea of unity from a female lion.
A beautiful creature, the lioness, has mastered the art of team work. Every female lion on the pride has a role and contribution. She understands that no position or contribution is more significant than another. One of her many vital roles on the pride is that of hunting. This role belongs to the female in a lion’s world and it sustains the very life of every female, male and cub.
Of all the animals in the wild, it is said that the lioness is at the height of hunting prowess. The lioness’s hunting supremacy is even celebrated in some African cultures. How did the lioness arrive at such supremacy? What is it about this creature that sets it apart from all others?
Lionesses are the only large cats that hunt as one.
Tigers, leopards, panthers and cheetahs hunt alone but lionesses work together. Not only do they work together but they do it without competition and without breaking rank. Their great success is due to the fact that they function as a team. They are the glue that holds the whole pride together.
Are you a lone ranger or are you a team player? Are you the glue that holds your group together? Woman of God, it is time to make a decision; are you going to be a tiger, a leopard, a panther, a cheetah or are you going to be a lioness?
This skill of hunting together is said to be something beautiful to behold!
The female lion never rushes in. She understands that timing is everything.
She is patient.
She waits.
As she waits she is gathering strength.
Lionesses do not rush but they dance.
Yes, as they work together it looks like a beautiful dance. This “dancing” is said to be breathtaking to watch.
What if the women of God in the body of Christ were functioning in such a way that those who were watching described us as something beautiful to behold, a breathtaking site?
Women of South Carolina , let’s dance together in 2012.  May the way we move as one bring Him glory. May we be “excellently formed” and “marvelously functioning”.
Jennifer Rash
Pastor’s wife and Intercessory Prayer Director for SC WM’s.

Peace To All and All A Good Life

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

There was a poll taken a few years ago asking people what the main things they desire and the overwhelming majority said ‘peace.’  The results of this poll do not surprise me because the  definition of peace is, ‘State of calm, freedom from strife or discord:  harmony in personal relationships.’   We were made by God to experience peace.  This is evident by him sending his only son to redeem us, set us free, from the sin of the world of disharmony, strife and brokenness.

Jesus wants us to remember he is the peace we all long for.

In the Bible Jesus’ message is  filled with hope and peace.   Jesus’ ministry on earth was about the peace he offered if people would believe, trust and follow him.  What the world tries to find peace in everything but Christ.  They strive for something they cannot attain in themselves.  They give too much effort for so little, if any, gain.   Just listen to the news and read the paper and one will see a world without peace and hope.  As Christians we know we have a ‘peace like a fountain,’ if we will let Jesus take control of our life.  It is a promise given in Micah 5: 4-5. ‘He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.  And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.  And he (Jesus) will be their peace.’

Jesus loves us and wants us to experience his peace.

This is a time when many are so busy they lose focus on the true meaning on Christmas.  Many get stressed out, burned out and worn out by the hustle and bustle of finding the perfect gift.   A favorite saying I read a couple of years ago is something I remind myself of each year is,  “Christmas is not about the presents but about the presence.’  Let this Christmas time be one where Christ is the center of our attention so we can experience peace.

Jesus wants us to be peacemakers.

In America Christmas has become known for a lot of things and one in particular is that of sharing time with family.  Some have family members that may be challenging to be around.  Let us remember  the second part of 1 Corinthians  7:15 say, ‘God has called us to live in peace,’ and Matthew 5:9 , ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.’ 

Let this Christmas be one where regardless of past hurts we can do what Christ has done for us and forgive and mend broken relationships.    This is the essence of our relationship with Christ.  He is our present because of his presence.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:  and the government shall be upon his shoulder:  and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The might God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’  Isaiah 9:6

 Blessings,

Joy Davis

Photo credit: Image: suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Doors To Freedom Update

The Kings Daughter conference was simply amazing. God showered us with His love and so much more. He also raised our awareness and  gave us the oppritunity to make a difference in the lives of  little girls, teenage girls, and young women who have been trafficked into a multimillion dollar sex slave business called Human Trafficking.

Our eyes were opened and our hearts grieved as Sharon Rikard (Founder and President) shared with us  images and stories of girls as young as 3 to young women who are being sold into sex slavery.

During the conference we took up an offering Friday morning and collected over $1600.00.  Sharon shared with me after that session that someone walked up to her with a check for $1,000.00.  You guys gave straight from your hearts.  Below is an update for us that I know you are all going to want to hear.

Recently I received an e-mail from SC Immigrant Victim Network needing financial support for rescued victims of trafficking. Several of the victims received serious injuries and funds were needed for their immediate needs.  Doors to Freedom was able to assist these victims thru financial support relieving the agents to primarily focus on the investigation and prosecution of this case.  Because there isn’t a home
for victims of trafficking many of these victims are housed in a hotel or even jail.  

Though I am grateful Doors to Freedom was able to meet practical needs, my heart is heavy that their emotional and spiritual needs are not being met.  Please prayerfully consider partnering with us monthly.

“True FREEDOM will only be found through Jesus Christ.”  

Your continued giving will allow us to purchase a home where the lives of many will be transformed.

Thank you South Carolina,

Sharon Rikard  {Founder~ Doors To Freedom}

For more information on Doors To Freedom and how you can join us please check out our Hands of Hope Project page.

Blessings and thank you from the depths of our hearts!

Cherie

Leading From Holiness Study

Leaders are called to be an outward reflection of an inward glory. As this is on my heart continually God has been nudging me to do something. Have you felt His nudges before? Then you know right where I am.

He has asked me to share with our leaders lessons I have learned/learning in my years of leading women’s ministries.

As leaders we are called to pastor the women God has given us to influence. You may not realize this or even think you are however, this does not change the fact that you are called to do this.

Take a look at our scripture {Colossians 3: 12-14}. We are Gods chosen people, holy and dearly loved…..

Out of this nudging God is flowing a series called “Leading From Holiness”.

You will find hese post will only in our SC WM Leaders group. Are you a pastors wife/WM leader/ leadership on a WM team/Missionary/ Missionary wife or leading a ministry and not a member of our group? Follow the link and ask to join now to check out our first one:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/180851528653717/ 

I hope you will join us on this series and pray as you do, that you are encouraged, challenge, and lifted as you lead your ladies. I’m looking forward to spending this time with each of you.

Becoming an outward reflection of an inward glory!

See you there,

Cherie ♥  

{WM District Director/ South Carolina District of the Assemblies of God}