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.

The Influence of a Godly Woman

by Betsy Roy

As we approach Mother’s Day I am thinking a lot about my mother in “love” (not law). She went home to heaven about a year and a half ago. She influenced my life greatly by her example!

Virginia used to say that she was the “woman at the well.” She had what one might say was a “colorful” past and did not come to know the Lord as Savior until her 40’s. img_7520However, she became a testimony of the scripture that when the new comes, old things do pass away. She loved the Lord fervently and became a mighty intercessor!

She raised four sons alone and went to college to earn her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees while on welfare. After earning her degrees she went to work in Elder Care Services. Eventually she became the Director of a Council on Aging . Upon her retirement in 2004 she was honored by those she served, her colleagues, and high-ranking officials in state government as someone who had put “love back in government.” My husband’s personal testimony of his mother is “I always knew that she loved me no matter what!”

Mom had a smile as big as heaven and a heart to match.  She cared deeply for people and always had a kind word.  While she would criticize herself she never criticized others.  She was a servant of the Lord in every area of her life- whether on the job, at home, in the marketplace or in church.  You could go to her with your problems and she would listen and point you to God’s Word .  She gave words of life.  I knew she was always praying while we were all busy running around.

She was also a great encourager and was a vital part of Women of the Word.  She was a partner of the ministry, both in her giving and her prayers for many years. Early on she used to travel with me to conferences sometimes.  In her latter years when travel was no longer possible for her, she did what her hands could do to serve the ministry by folding newsletters and programs while praying over each one. Virginia was a great encourager to me to press on in leading Women of the Word. She prayed for every prayer request we received, for every event, and every time I traveled. It was my habit to call her when arriving at my destination when traveling and when I got home she always asked how things went. She was very generous – giving of her time and money to bless others.  We used to joke at home about all the mail she got seeking her generosity!  We still get some!

My greatest memory of her is of the open bible on the kitchen table and her reading it every day and praying.  She was a fervent intercessor and deeply cared for people.  She brought me to know the Lord as my personal Savior 34 years ago. When I was a very young Christian I went through a rather difficult time.  I remember coming into her house very distraught.  She grabbed her BIG bible off the kitchen counter, opened it and told me to go lie on the bed and cry out to God and that He would comfort me and give me His words for the situation and He did.  She taught me a very valuable lesson that day – Cry out to God and go to His Word. It has served me well over many years!

The Lord is our comforter, an ever-present help in time of need. Shortly after my husband Jim and I met with our Pastor to plan her graveside and memorial services, I received a daily devotional I get via email.  We had been discussing a verse in Deuteronomy that was one of Mom’s favorites and that was the very verse in the devotional.  Some may consider that coincidence but I know it was the Lord speaking to me in a very personal way through His Word. The verse is “The eternal God is your refuge, (or dwelling place) and underneath are the everlasting arms!” Deuteronomy 33:27. She often quoted that verse amongst many others.

Jim and I are thankful that the Lord allowed us to bring her home from the hospital for her last days. Our girls all came home to help care for their grandmother whom they dearly loved and grew up with. Jim’s brothers were also there. Many family and friends were able to come to see her one last time. It was not an easy time, but it was a blessed time of prayer, ministry, and worship around her bedside. We are still very sad at her departure, but we rejoice that in God’s presence is fullness of joy.  We have this assurance – she is in His presence and most likely dancing (something she loved to do)! – no better place to be.  Her life lived for the Lord has continued to bear fruit for His glory in the lives that she influenced.  I am so grateful she was my “Mom”.

 

 

Being Prepared

By Jane Vaughnjane vaughn picThe parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25 (5 Wise, 5 Foolish) teaches us about being prepared.

But there is another passage that is important as it comes alongside this parable – Ephesians 5:15-17. Ephesians 5:15 says “See then that you walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise….” Fools – Wise – Redeem the time.

So, what to do to prepare in these days? Stockpile food and water? Store up survival equipment? But – are you preparing spiritually for the tougher days that just may lie ahead? How? Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God. Redeem the time.

The 10 virgins in the parable – half were wise, half were foolish. This is not contrasting the “saved” with the “unsaved.” It’s not about getting into Heaven. All 10 went out to meet the Bridegroom. All anticipated His coming. They all had lamps with oil… but the foolish five had not figured on Him tarrying – delaying. These five had no reserves from which to draw. They were not prepared – to last – or “endure to the end.” They had enough oil for “today.” And then, when they depleted their supply, they had to scurry to go find more oil…

 This parable is about having extra oil – stored in your vessel. More than you think you need – for now. More than enough oil to sustain light over a length of time. “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5:18) – filled to overflowing – so that you cannot contain the peace He brings – the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil.4:7). More than enough extra oil so that you can last a long time. A long time – of waiting: “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength” (Isa.40:31); “Do not grow weary in well-doing” (2Thes.3:1).

This Hebrew word “wait” means more than standing there tapping your toes. And it means more than “serving” the Lord during the waiting times. The word /qavah/ inherently holds the concept of waiting hopefully.We wait in expectant hope that God will provide – because we KNOW He is faithful to His Word. “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him” (Lam.3:25).

Many of us who came through the Charismatic Renewal of the ‘60s and ‘70’s believed – truly believed – that Jesus was going to return in the next few years. I never thought my eldest son would see his teen years – or drive my car – or marry. He’s 46 – and I’m a grandmother!  I am still waiting for His soon-coming! But I have never given up the hope that He will fulfill every promise.

Our preparation is not in stockpiling goods – or even extra money in a savings account (although that is always WISE!) We redeem the time – we get ready now for harder times that just may come sooner than later. We prepare by pressing in to know God – and He reveals everything we need to know about Him in His Word. BibleAll the secrets of living this life successfully are there – hidden for us to mine out the treasures. When we bury the treasures of His Word in our hearts, they are there so that the Holy Spirit can, indeed, bring them back to our remembrance at the very moment we need to tap into the reserves within.

Jane Vaughn is a Pastor and long-time partner with Women of the Word. Formerly, she worked with the ministry in an administrative capacity. She now lives in Arizona, actively involved in the church she attends, teaching God’s Word in various ways. 

Crushed by Life?

By Barbara Benton

BBRed

As I sat this morning, I felt overwhelmed by life, and what it can bring.

I spend a lot of time talking with women, ministering to women, teaching women, mentoring women and counseling women. Over the years that I have been doing this, I have met so many women who have been crushed by life. I am not talking about women with a little problem, but women who have been crushed, pulverized by life.

It can be crushing:
• To have been sexually abused by a father, grandfather or uncle.
• To have been abandoned by a husband who found someone he liked better.
• To not have enough money as a single woman trying to support a family.
• To be hurt deeply by church leaders.
• To suffer miscarriage and infertility.

If you are part of a women’s ministry or a small group, trust me when I say sitting beside you are women who are crushed by life.

Thank God that many churches are now offering groups to help women who have gone through divorce, abuse and other issues. One friend recently told me of a group she and her husband have begun for people wounded by the church, to help them make a re-entry into the Body of Christ.

Thank God for these things.

As a woman who has known the crushing of life, I’m thankful for every time the Church stepped up to minister to me. Yet, I have learned something along the way. As a woman of God, I personally must learn the Word of God, believe the Word of God and act on the Word of God. The Church can’t do that for me.

Chances are slim that we won’t experience a life-crushing event. It is part of the rhythm of life. Yet, never has the intention of God been that we would accept Christ as Savior, sit on church pews for twenty years and remain crushed by life.

We can blame it on our churches. We can blame it on our pastors. We can blame it on our women’s ministries. We can blame our families. (I have blamed them all, and then some!) It doesn’t really matter from whence came the crushing.

When life comes knocking hard and crushes us, we can cling to God and His Word. We can sing along with our favorite songs of worship. We can confess aloud the promises of God. Like the Psalmist, we can declare that we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Not only can we do those things – we MUST do those things. When we do this, something supernatural happens. I can’t even explain it because it is SUPERNATURAL. As we sing, as we cry out to God, as we confess His Word, God comes down and touches woes and turns them to wows. It is not always instantaneous, but He does bring healing and hope.

Are you crushed by life? Life will always have seasons where we are hard pressed on every side. Yet in the crushing moments, God’s power will prevail. He is the God who can change water into wine, and He is the God who can change woes into wows.

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8, 9

Barbara Benton is a speaker at Women of the Word conferences, an inter-denominational, inter-generational, and inter-cultural women’s ministry dedicated to transforming women into the image of Jesus through the teaching of God’s Word and the empowerment of His Spirit. Learn more at www.women-of-the-word. You can find more blogs by Barbara Benton at www.barbarabenton.org

Why I am a Woman of the Word

A very long time ago I was asked to speak to a Christian women’s conference in North Carolina. The name was Women of the Word.

WOW Logo Color

I  was somewhat nervous because I was not sure what a Women of the Word Conference would be like. Would I measure up to the standard expected of me? Would the conference measure up to the name?  Well, many years have come and gone, and I am still a part of  Women of the Word. It is my privilege to serve as pastoral advisor to this ministry and to minister at their conferences. It is a blessing to call myself a Woman of the Word.

What I appreciate about Women of the Word is that this ministry lives up to the name. This ministry is led by women who live by the word of God. Prayer is a part of the ministry, and the prayer is made to insure that God’s will is done. The messages preached during conferences are not religious sermons. The messages are from women who impart to all in attendance how God has worked to bring them to fulfillment. From the opening prayer of a conference to the closing prayer the Holy Spirit is present. Women are born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, healed, delivered, etc. The moving of the Holy Spirit touches every one present.

The best thing about Women of the Word is that friendships and fellowship extends beyond the conference settings. My oldest son was in a car accident and in a critical and hopeless condition. My husband and I called those we knew would pray in faith with us. Betsy Roy, the director and leader of Women Of The Word, was one we called. She and the intercessors of Women Of The Word prayed with us, and God did a miracle. Our son is alive and well today. 

 I can testify that Women of the Word produces in a woman’s life what it advertises it will do. The test of any advertisement is whether or not what is advertised does what it’s name says it will do. My life is changed for the better because of Women of the Word. The women I have met through Women of the Word are a part of my life’s story. The Holy Spirit has made me a woman who really does live by the Word of God. Why not check us out? When you do, expect your life to be transformed. What woman would turn down an eternal life changing transformation. See you at the next conference. Take it from me you do not want to miss it.