You are worth the wait!

by Francesca Caramante – a younger Women of the Word

So many girls get pressured into sexual relationships because they feel that if they don’t give in, they won’t be wanted anymore.  Stop right there!! You do not have to give yourself away for this “love” that you think is true.  12573124_586204564862722_3905124352086125039_n

A  lot of girls go into relationships to find a fairy tale “love” to feel wanted or beautiful.  The truth is, you will NOT feel wanted or beautiful until you realize what God’s word says…that we are made in His image.  He says that we are His.  He says “I love you.”

The truth is that until we realize that we do not need a man to be accepted, we should not be in a relationship at all.  Many girls don’t seem to realize this, so they get into relationships (usually unhealthy ones).  Guys try to get more intimate in a sexual way.  If the girl isn’t secure in herself and her relationship with God, she will eventually give in.  In the long run, she will only be hurt because no good thing comes out of going away from God’s plan.

If you have given in, it is not too late to stop and ask for forgiveness.  Tell the person you’re with that it is not right.  If he is not a Christian, then you need to realize that your values aren’t the same.   How do we get out of this though?  First of all, we need to avoid situations in which we could fall into temptation.  We can’t wait until moments before we are about to fall into sexual sin.  We must be honest in our relationships and know that God’s plan is no sex until marriage.  Also, we need to come to the understanding that we can not do this in our own strength.  We need to ask God for the strength to do the right thing, come clean, and step into His plan for us.

The devil wants to trick us into thinking sin is okay.  He will tell us lies to make us think we are even more rejected when we mess up.  Stop believing these lies!  Christ gave up his life because He LOVES you so much.  Girls, you are precious.  “Precious” means to be of great value, and something of great value should not be wasted or treated carelessly.  God says that you are PRECIOUS in His eyes.  He’s not wrong nor will He ever be wrong.  If you are stuck doing things that you feel pressured to do because you don’t want to lose the person that you think “loves” you, I encourage you to stop and take time to read about what God thinks of you.  God’s Word shows how much He loves you.  We have the privilege to go to His word when we feel hopeless or insecure.  Ladies, Jesus is the very best example of a man’s love.  Don’t let the men in this world determine your beauty.  You are God’s daughter.  You are beautiful!

FrancescaFrancesca is a young lady in her teens, and is growing into a beautiful Christian woman. She is part of the generation Women of the Word is praying for and seeking to reach more and more! Together we can transform the culture and advance God’s Kingdom purposes across generations!

Preaching to the choir

by Fathima P. Torres, a dear sister and friend of Women of the Word.

A few months ago my youngest son called to check on me about a meeting I attended earlier that day. Yes, from time to time my kids check on me, actually more often than they should as if I am the child and they are the parents. They are too much but I Fa - Bio Picwouldn’t change anything about the way they care. Anyway, I shared with him the details of the meeting, what was discussed and the possibility of engaging into a commitment for the benefit of those that the organization serves. Marcelo, as always, paid attention to everything I shared. When we were about to end the conversation he said “Ma, I am happy if you are happy but, remember your purpose. This sounds to me like you would be preaching to the choir.”

How often do you preach to the choir? In case you are not familiar with the term, ‘preaching to the choir’ means that you are trying to make believers out of people who already believe, or convince people who are already convinced.

In Mark 16:15 we read about the Lord telling the disciples to go into the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. This is not a request, it is a command. It is something that all of us are told to do.

Unfortunately, for one reason or another, many think that this is a duty exclusive to Pastors, Preachers or someone appointed by the leadership of our church.  However, the command was given to everyone that believes in the Lord. Therefore, it was also given to us and it is not exclusive to anyone or any group.

Going to our place of fellowship (church) is a good thing, especially if you attend a bible based church. Hebrew 10:25 says “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Coming together to fellowship is indeed an important thing to do. Equally important is what the previous verse says “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.”

As we come together to fellowship, we need to keep in mind the importance of stimulating each other. Such stimulation should be for us to love and do good for the sake of others. Part of the problem is when we think about “others” we think everyone in the church already believes the Gospel and so we think we are “preaching to the choir” and don’t do it.

Let’s be mindful when we fellowship that within the audience there may be believers and non-believers; let’s make sure that we know how both groups (believers and non-believers) need to be fed spiritually speaking. The believers need to continue growing in their knowledge about our Lord; we need to stimulate and motivate brothers and sisters to continue seeking for the Lord and through Him they would be better equipped to love and to do good. But, when it comes the non-believers, we must preach the Gospel; the Good News of our Father; teach them the basics of the bible; teach them how to pray; how to accept the message of unconditional love that the Lord has for His children. In doing so we equip them to distinguish the difference between the believers and non-believers doing this in a non-judgemental way. It is only then that we avoid preaching to the choir but instead, stimulate some and proclaim the Good News to others.

Why I love Women of the Word Outside my place of fellowship WOW has become my platform to get fed, encouraged, lifted and motivated to continue doing what I am doing for the sake of the Kingdom.  I keep telling my friends that every woman should have at least one WOW experience.  I can’t wait until the next Christian womens conference or retreat.

Bio: Fathima P Torres is the founder of Wear Your Crown Ministry and the Chief Operating Officer for the largest service provider in the US to victims of domestic/human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.  She lives in NYC, mother of 2 young adults and member of New Life Fellowship Church.

 

A Gift the World Cannot Give

by Betsy Roy

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT) We have this gift in Christ Jesus. The world needs this gift!

We live in increasingly turbulent, violent and fearful times. The threat of ISIS is very real even in America. Many people are struggling with various Screen shot 2015-12-07 at 9.08.10 AMaddictions, debt and illness. Our world is anything but peaceful. Yet Jesus said we can have peace despite our circumstances. In Hebrew the word for peace is shalom and it has a much richer meaning than in English. We think of peace as the absence of war or quiet and calm surroundings. Shalom refers to our total state of well-being: spirit, soul, and body. It speaks to our health, safety, prosperity, wholeness and completeness. Shalom speaks to the inward condition of our soul and spirit which is not dependent on outward situations. It is dependent on the inner condition of our spirit (heart). Is your soul at peace with God through faith in Jesus, the Prince of Peace? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one can come to the Father but by him (John 14:6 NLT).

If you are at peace with God through faith in Jesus, then you can experience lasting peace. This doesn’t mean that your life will always be full of peaceful circumstances. It does mean that you can know God’s peace despite even bad circumstances. How is this possible? The Bible teaches us the way to maintain our inward peace:

1. Keep your mind focused on the Lord, trusting in Him (Isaiah 26:3). This will require continuous vigilance and aligning your thoughts with God’s thoughts. Reading and meditating on God’s Word really helps!

2. Decide not to worry but instead pray about everything, giving thanks. Tell God what you need! He’s ready and able to answer your prayers. (Philippians 4: 6 – 7)

The two Bible verses in the two steps above both lead us to experience the peace that Jesus gives. The one in Isaiah actually speaks of “perfect peace” (which in Hebrew is “shalom shalom”). The world and all of its riches cannot buy that perfect peace. It is priceless!

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will experience God’s perfect peace on a daily basis! It’s HIS gift for you if you will receive it.  If you would like someone to pray with you, please email us at mail@women-of-the-word.net. Merry Christmas and shalom shalom.

Bless the Lord Oh my soul!

by Betsy Roy

What an amazing privilege to bless the Lord! How does the creation bless the Creator? We are inferior. He is superior. One of the answers lies in the meaning of the word. In Hebrew,Bless the Lordthe word for bless is “berakh”, which also means to kneel. I had an “ah hah” moment when I learned that! It means to kneel before Him, acknowledging who He is – His nature and character – and to give Him praise and thanks in all things. See 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thanking, praising, and blessing God is NOT dependent on circumstances, which can be pleasant or not so pleasant. It is dependent on knowing God. St. Paul praised God even in the middle of a Roman prison after having been severely beaten (see Acts 16: 22-25). Paul’s focus was not on the circumstance, but rather on God. The praise that came from him was a result of the One who was in him and Paul’s faith and trust in this God – El Elyon – the Most High God!

Paul was well versed in the scriptures and so he knew of Moses’ experiences. He could recall to his mind when Moses asked God His name and God responded “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3: 13 -14). This is God’s eternal name to be remembered for all generations!  Paul was familiar with the time that Moses asked to see God’s glory and God responded by passing all His goodness before Moses and proclaiming His Name, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin….(Exodus 34: 6-7).

Paul also had a personal revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus when the Lord said to him, “I am Jesus….” (Acts 9:5).  Paul came to know Jesus as the “I AM” – the Bread of life (John 6:35), the Light of the World (John 8:12), the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), the Resurrection (John11:25), the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). HE is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8). HE is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). HE is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9: 6-7). Do we know Him like this? Once we come to know Jesus in this way we too can have an attitude of gratitude at all times! We can bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all our iniquity, who heals all our diseases, who redeems our life from the pit and crowns us with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies our soul with good so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s, and who works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed (Psalm 103: 1-6).

There is another benefit to blessing, praising and thanking God in everything! This is the benefit of enjoying the peace of God. In Hebrew the word for peace is shalom and it has a much broader meaning than our word “peace”.  Our Western minds think of “peace” as meaning the absence of war or a sense of calmness and quiet. The Hebrew meaning of “peace” encompasses our entire well-being. It refers to our health, safety, prosperity (spirit, soul and body), our wholeness and completeness. This is why the Bible teaches us not to be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6-7). Now that’s something to REJOICE about!! Hallelujah!

So, even if you don’t feel like it right now, even if your circumstances are very difficult, even if you are deeply discouraged or depressed, obey God and believe His Word. Let’s bless the Lord together right now. Remember all His benefits and give Him thanks. The peace of God will be yours! That peace is priceless!

My Knight in Shining Armor

by Lisa Gould

Many little girls pretend to be a princess and I was one of them. But the reality for me was far from the life of a princess. My father was an alcoholic, abusive emotionally, neglectful and had a violent temper. My childhood was very chaotic and unstable. His acceptance of me was based on how well I performed in all things. My father’s method of motivating me to perfection was to shame and humiliate me. In his brokenness my father did not know how to give me the love and acceptance I needed. I have compassion towards him and have forgiven him.

All I wanted was a knight in shining armor to rescue me and so I looked to young men to fill that void. At the age of seventeen I became pregnant. My Screen shot 2015-11-02 at 6.36.31 PMparents told me that if I ever came home pregnant they would disown me. My boyfriend told me that he did not want this child and if I had it, he would leave me. My role in life had always been to keep everyone else happy so they would love me. I felt I had no other choice but to have an abortion.   During the procedure I panicked and changed my mind. I sat straight up on the table and screamed for the doctor to stop.Two nurses came in and held me down and covered my mouth so he could finish the procedure. Once it was completed I lay on the table and sobbed uncontrollably. I cried out to God and told him I was so sorry for what I had just done. The nurse said “it’s okay dear, now you can go on with your life”. I thought; “I can never go on with my life! I don’t deserve any good thing”. From the day it happened I never told a soul and my boyfriend and I never spoke of it again.

A number of years later a Christian woman befriended me and I eventually attended church with her. I had a revelation that I needed a savior during the service and that Jesus was the “Knight in Shining Armor” that I had been seeking all this time! I left church that day overwhelmed by the forgiveness I had experienced as I repented and asked Jesus in my heart.

A few weeks later I was sitting in a special worship service. For the very first time in seven years I whispered ever so quietly through hot tears streaming down my face; “I know you have forgiven me for all my sins but I don’t know how you can forgive me for killing my baby”.   The worship leader stopped playing in the middle of the song and said; “There is a woman here who is longing for a child and the Lord wants you to know that you are forgiven and will go on to have many more children!” It was in that moment that I knew just how much Jesus loves, accepts, and forgives me and that HE truly is my Knight in Shining Armor.

The price he paid on the cross he offers to every woman who has had an abortion; forgiveness, redemption, restoration and acceptance. Let him be your Knight in Shining Armor! Receive his forgiveness!

Lisa Gould is Community Life Ministry Director at New Life Church in Biddeford, Maine.  She served on the Conference Steering Committee for the Women of the Word Fall 2015 Conference. Her testimony of that event follows:

What an amazing time in the Lord we had at our Women of the Word conference. The conference was an intentional, appointed time of God’s daughters coming together to see His hand move in their lives. As God’s vessels, each of the speakers brought a word in due season for women collectively and individually. This was not just another status quo event to attend and then go back to living life as usual. This conference has already and will continue to have a ripple effect on women as they received salvation, healing, strength, courage and have become equipped (meaning to mend the broken places) to carry out their destinies. The women who attended will be an example to others of God’s power to suddenly transform them. Those who attended will be contagious for the Kingdom as they encounter their families, friends, work colleagues and home churches. Revival is coming and we must be equipped as his daughters for such a time as this! Women of the Word is a tool God is using to accomplish this in the earth.

The People in Your life – Part 3

by June Evans 

Written wisdom from Mama June: People are a part of your life. If you are not careful people can affect your life in very negative ways. What to watch for:

Cathy, June, Sandy
Positive people: Cathy Craige, June Evans, Sandy Childress at Women of the Word

 

1) Angry people. You can learn their angry ways.

2) Gossipers. If they talk to you about others they will talk about you behind your back.

3) Bitter people. Bitterness of other people will defile you.

4) Fair weather friends. They forsake you during the bad times.

5) Self centered people. They really do not care about you. Just care about what you can do for them.

6) People who abuse with words. Words hurt and can live in your thinking a long time.

You cannot always avoid negative people, but you can determine they will not cause you to become as they are. The world is full of good people. Thank God for the good ones. Be watchful around the negative ones.

June Evans is pastoral advisor to Women of the Word and a speaker at WOW events. You can read her words of wisdom on Facebook.

Self-Control

by June Evans

Written wisdom from Mama June:

Recognize that there are emotions and attitudes in you which are not good and really do need to be controlled. The Bible calls these as “flesh.” Living by the “flesh” gives sin access in your life. To live by the “flesh” is to live in the weakness of your own self control.

You do not have to live at the mercy of things in you which you cannot control. Know that self control is accomplished by spirit filled living.fruit_of_the_spirit_word_art_party_plate-rbadc84ad7cb7487cbd35efbe17d1bf4a_ambb0_8byvr_512

Know that spirit filled living does not happen. You must make genuine effort to live spirit filled. Give the Holy Spirit the freedom to work in your life. He is not a dictator. He works when you ask Him to work.

Then, make effort to walk after the Holy Spirit. Think of yourself as a person under the control of the Holy Spirit. Take charge over the unruly self that has bad emotions, bad attitudes, angry words, hurt feelings, etc. This is not the “real” you if you are a Christian. The “real” you is a person who has given the control of self into the hands of the Holy Spirit, and you will be amazed at what kind of person you will become.

He has been producing His fruit of self control in humans who will allow Him to do so, and we become really lovable, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle people. That is a lot better than bitter, depressed, angry, impatient, hateful, bad, unfaithful, harsh people. I found you have more friends when the Holy Spirit controls you. People tend to like you, and that is a good thing.

You can read Mama June’s written words of wisdom on Facebook at #writtenwisdomfrommamajune. She will also be a speaker you can hear live at the Fall 2015 Women of the Word Conference October 16 & 17, 2015. Tell your friends and come!

Button Pushers

By Barbara Benton

Have I ever mentioned that I have a granddaughter named Madison Benton?  I know, I know – only ten thousand times!  Madison has brought me so much joy and has taught me a lot.  Out of the mouths of babes!

For a while, Gaylon’s mother lived with his sister Sheila.  One Sunday the whole family was able to be together.
Barbara1All my sons and their families were even able to be there.  Madison loves Grandma Benton (Gaylon’s mother)!    When Madison  walked into the room and saw Grandma Benton, she went over to the chair where  Grandma was sitting to give her a hug, and then sat with her for a while.  

 

Grandma Benton, at that time, wore a necklace around her neck that was connected to the alarm system of the house.  Should Grandma  have difficulty and need help, she could press the button on the necklace which would notify the alarm company ; however, the alarm company was the only one who could hear it.  Madison was admiring the necklace and none of us realized she was pressing the button over and over, sending out an alarm.   The company called to ask if Mrs. Benton was okay. Indeed she was okay, it was just that someone was pushing her button. 

Who is your button pusher?  We all have people who push our buttons.   It can be the controlling boss, the distant husband, the adult child, the difficult co-worker, the parent who can’t let go, the gossip at church that causes division, and on and on.     I hate to say this, but there are even times we are “stuck” with button-pushers  who will be a part of our lives for a looooong time.  We don’t have to allow them to ruin our lives.   Grandma did not stop enjoying her family or the day because someone pushed her button, and the reason was:   the secure connection she had.  Jesus had button-pushers waiting in line for a turn to push His buttons, but He always spoke and reacted based on who He was and to Whom He was connected.

I have watched so many people rant and rave in real life, in church and on Facebook about their “button-pusher.”   I am still shocked to see on a social medium, like Facebook, that they identify the button-pusher for all to see.   Yet, this does not bring peace.   I used to scream at or plot against my button-pushers causing my emotions to get out of hand, ruining my day and the day of others.   In some cases that is exactly what the button-pusher wanted.  In other cases, it just made me seethe longer and dislike myself.  One of the lessons button-pushers taught me was that I don’t have to attend every argument to which I am invited. My peace means more than that. 

My name is Barbara Benton and I am child of the Most High God!  I have a direct connection with Him. I’ve now learned to allow God to speak peace to my heart, to calm me down.  Like the company that monitored Grandma Benton, God is out for good and He will keep me secure.  He can calm my spirit  when I am agitated.  He can touch me where I hurt so deeply.  He can help me love myself.  He can lead me to relationships that help me grow and enjoy the journey.  He can tell me when it’s time to walk away from some people. So the next time your button-pusher starts pushing, push your own button.  Call out to God who is a very present help in the time of trouble.  He is a faithful and trusted security company. 

Count it as pure joy to know that no matter what comes your way today, your security is in the Lord. Security in the Lord is knowing that you completely trust in the Lord and that He will work all things out according to His will for your life.

Hebrews 13:6 – So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

You can like Barbara Wells Benton on Facebook and read more of her blogs.

 

The People in Your Life: Part Two

by June Capps Evans

This week is a bittersweet one for me. Bitter because I lost a family member. Sweet because she entered heaven. Addie Edmondson Leslie is my aunt, my mother’s youngest sister. I lived the first six/seven years of my life in the house with my mother’s family. My grand parents, their three daughters, two sons (the third son was away fighting in WWII), my mom, my dad, and I lived in a five room house with one bath. Talk about close fellowship – we had it. 

I was the baby in this family, and these aunts and uncles were more like my older brothers and sisters.

June at age 5
June Evans at age 5

Especially Addie who was eight years older than me. We played “dress up,” which means I was her living baby doll.

The walls of the bedroom where the aunts slept were papered with pictures of movie stars torn out of movie magazines, and I would lay on the bed with Addie and the other aunts naming the movie stars lining the walls and ceiling of that room.

Addie and I grew up, and our lives went in separate directions. Life does that with families, but Addie and I came together again in our young married years. Addie and her husband were baptized with the Holy Spirit about the same time as Gene and I. We all attended the same church. Her three sons and my two sons grew up together and are still close today.

Addie became critically ill in the middle years of her life and was dying. The doctors gave no hope to the family, but God had different plans for Addie. By one of His great miracles Addie was raised up to life in that hospital. I was blessed to be in the hospital that night and to have witnessed this as God answered prayers which all of us had prayed for Addie. “If you ask anything in my name I will do it,” the words of Jesus written in the Bible. We asked, and He did a miracle. Some of you reading this have heard me testify about this in meetings I have done. Addie was given years of life by that miracle, and she wasted none of those years. She served God, her family, her church, and all who know her have been touched by Addie. About forty something years ago God raised Addie back to life as she was dying in the hospital room, and this morning He raised her to the highest life, the best life, eternity with Him.

So join me today in honoring the life of Addie, one of God’s saints. You may have never met her, but she is part of the family of God, your sister in the Lord if you are Christian. Pray for her husband, her children, and grandchildren. We will miss Addie, but I know heaven is rejoicing, She is probably already working on the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. If you don’t know her you do not understand this. But those of us who knew her know she could spread a feast. Good to know one day I will eat that supper with her.

June Capps Evans is a speaker and pastoral advisor to Women of the Word. You can follow her on Facebook too and read her Notes on Life at #writtenwisdomfrommamajune.

 

The People in Your Life

Written wisdom from Mama June Evans:

The people in your life can make you or break you. You have to make the decision which it will be. What people say or do cannot be controlled by you. But, whether or not words and actions remain with you is up to you.

June 2015Sure, it is a fight to forgive those who hurt, to love the unlovely, to bless and pray for the ones who cursed you. But this is where your Christianity becomes real. This is where you through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit treat people like God treats people.

Instead of brooding about all the people in your life who have treated you badly why not rejoice for all the people who are there for you, who have your back, and who love you and support you. Sure there are people who have done you wrong. Give them no place in your feelings or thoughts. Instead, make a list of all those who have preached to you, prayed for you, listened to you, etc. Be thankful for them. Think about them.

In spite of what you see, think, or have experienced there are a lot of good, good people of God surrounding you. Thank God for the good, and give the bad no place to dwell in your life.

You can find Mama June on Facebook as June Capps Evans and follow her words of wisdom at #writtenwisdomfrommamajune. Also read her bio at Women of the Word.