Healing of Memories

by Pamela Standing

PastedGraphic-1 used with permission Dean Jackson, Author of “Verses From Somewhere”

Sarah (name changed) is a lighthearted person, always smiling and making people around her feel at ease in her presence. She had come to the healing room, bringing everyone she could find because the Lord had touched her in a mighty way. She wanted everyone to experience the Loving Touch that transformed her life.

When it was her turn for prayer, she didn’t expect much because she had been healed already. The session began full of smiles and laughter. Then the question …
“Do you have a painful memory tormenting you?”
It was as if someone had flipped a switch. Instantaneously, tears began to flow, her forehead became deeply furrowed in agony, and she bent over as if punched in the gut.

Yes.

It was long ago.

A sexual assault had left deep scars.

Sarah had already chosen to forgive her assailant, but the memory remained. Hidden in the closet deep in her inner most being, locked away for none to see, praying it would never see the light of day, it remained … tormenting her.

Painful memories are an issue presented in the healing rooms time and time again. How can one go back and change the events in the past? One cannot. Yet Jesus said He came “to set the captives free.”(Luke 4:18) How can one be set free from events He cannot even change?

In Jeremiah 23:23-24 the Lord speaks through the prophet saying …
“Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord,
“And not a God far off?
“Can a man hide himself in hiding places
So I do not see him?” declares the Lord.
“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.

And King David proclaimed in Psalms 139:7-10
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.

The Lord knows no time or place where He is not present.

By His Word we know He was present during the assault on Sarah. Instructing Sarah to close her eyes and go back to relive the painful memory , we prayed, “Father, you said in Your Word You were there. Please reveal to Sarah where You were. Make Your Presence known to her.”

We were not sure what Sarah experienced; whether she saw Him, felt His presence, heard His voice, or even just smelled Him. What we do know is that she stood up straight, the furrows in her brow disappeared and were replaced with a countenance of peace. The tears continued to flow but now were accompanied with a smile of joy and rejoicing. The captive was set free! The sting was removed, the memory was forever changed. The Presence of the Lord transformed it.

The Healing Room has seen many such sessions described above. Most of the experiences stem from childhood, tormenting men and women for decades. Experiences covering a host of situations from assaults, berating verbal abuse, trauma, to being the guilty offending party. Jesus Christ came to set all the captives free.

If you are struggling with memories that are too painful to bring to full consciousness, ask the Lord to show you where He was during that event. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

He was there. He wants to set you free.

Pamela Standing is the administrative assistant at Women of the Word, a Christian women conferences ministry. She is also Associate Director of the Springfield, MA Healing Room, part of the International Association of Healing Rooms.

Passion, Purpose, and Career

by Alexandra Tresch

I think as women, we can feel pressured into following what we think we should be doing with our lives versus pursuing passion placed in our hearts. 7a2dd36d9be5df2f14766c37f48ea8dcI often hear women talk about feeling selfish, or guilty, for wanting to follow their passions. I have heard comments of feeling torn between living a life of “God-ordained purpose” versus “self-centered desire”.

Psalm 37:4 says “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” You have to know that God wants to give you not just the bare necessities, but the desires of your heart. It’s not superficial, only HE knows the tiniest desires of our hearts.

What is your Passion?

We dream our dreams… but then life happens. Or maybe you were told your dreams were unrealistic? Somewhere along the way between childhood and womanhood, you were taught to be “realistic”. You were probably drilled into seeing growing up as showing up at eight o’clock, do a job you probably dislike and go home at five o’clock. You may have been told that you have to grow up and get married, have children by a certain age, and that being a stay-at-home-mom doesn’t pay the bills.

Maybe you thought you heard God speaking to you, felt a calling to a certain type of life and a special kind of work. So, what happened? Often times in our desire to be “responsible, practical and realistic adults” too many of us lost touch with our God-given gifts. We felt defeated and gave up the pursuit of turning our dreams into enjoyable and fulfilling work.

It doesn’t need to be that way! All of us, no matter how old we are or what kind of work we’re doing, can learn to bring that authentic passion to our work.

What is your Purpose?

If I asked you what your best quality is, would that make you nervous or uncomfortable? I once read a quote “women generally underestimate their abilities… success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence.” I encourage you to wholeheartedly discover what your best qualities and God-given abilities are. Be confident with the talents you have been blessed with.

Meaningful, purposeful and profitable work really is a possibility! It begins with discovering what you do best and then considering how you can use your talents daily. The moment you realize this, you’ve taken a critical step towards reawakening your dreams and passions. Complacency will become unacceptable and the idea of putting your Calling on the shelf becomes intolerable. We have the opportunity to use our working hours engaging in work that will elevate us to our highest Calling and transform the world around us.

Have faith and pray for God to open your eyes to opportunities that await you. Whether you decide to step out into something new or revamp your current career, you’ll find you can’t go back to the old way of working. We can find ways to express our hopes and dreams in our daily work.

What is your Career?

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

Even when you’ve nailed your Calling, you will have bills to pay.
Given the amount of time we spend working, failure to find meaningful work can make each day feel miserable. But can we really do what we’re best at and do well financially? I once heard the saying “God wants us to be obsessively preoccupied with the needs of others.” Too many people shun the idea of making money as evil. They are taught that God’s work can only be done by giving something away, or living minimally. Thoughts like this lead people into depression and can deprive them of releasing their own greatest talents for fear of what people may think. Having money in itself is not shameful, it is up to us to put it toward good use. Prospering for the sake of giving to others can be a powerful tool, it essentially becomes an issue of the heart.

My husband and I started our business with a desire to “bless and be a blessing”. What is currently our business initially started as a hobby with no thoughts on developing a business model. Our hobby expanded into a business once we realized it was our way to bless others. There are many in the world that need help and hope, and while we can’t help everyone, we can help someone. Every day we pray for grace and guidance as we use our business as a ministry tool.

Maybe you are thinking you can never start a business? Struggling with the desire to be a stay-at-home-mom? Think working from home is out of your grasp? Feel like you are stuck in a dead-end career? Whether you are in the home, out in the field or in an office, be faithful and use your talents where God plants you. There is no reason why you can’t start a business, be a stay-at-home-mom, work from home, or be a leader in your career. I personally hold college degrees in Exercise and Sports Science and Nutrition, 15 years experience in customer service and sales, and 8 years of public speaking. God let me go through different seasons and positions in my life to help strengthen and develop the talents and abilities He had given me. These abilities have become an important part of what I do now and how I contribute to our business. You can read a little more about my story on the WOW blog post “Do You Have The Courage To Dream?”

What about you: What is your Passion and Purpose? How can you incorporate them into your life and Career? Asking yourself this can help bring you clarity not only for your next steps, but for your long-term vision and Calling. Now, go on and reignite those passions and let your mind run wild. Embrace your Calling, and find—or create—work that is meaningful, purposeful and profitable for God’s glory!

A little bit about Alexandra: Alexandra Tresch is an animal lover, health enthusiast and CEO of Fragrant Elegance Soy Candle Company. She is passionate about educating others on how to expand their God given dreams and visions into their businesses. In her free time, she enjoys breakfast with her husband, and snuggling with her pet bird. She also enjoys attending Christian Womens Conferences like Women of the Word. Alexandra can be contacted a www.fragrantelegance.com

Do You Have The Courage To Dream?

by Alexandra Tresch

Think back to when you were a child. Do you remember your childhood dreams? All 5-year-olds know how to dream, just ask one!

126f02624c3cb224d68ce12c9363ca57You know the typical fantasies: dreams of becoming a firefighter, princess, doctor, superhero, astronaut, ship captain, artist or rock star. I wanted to be a veterinarian.
I have always loved animals and wanted to help them, so when I was a child I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian. All throughout school I maintained stellar grades, knew the scholarships I was going to apply for, and knew what college and grad school I was going to graduate from. I had my whole life planned out and was on track. My plan and dream was going well and on course…until my Sophomore year of highschool. It was at this time that I enrolled in a Career Placement Program, and was thrilled to be paired up with a local animal hospital. It was also at this time that I realized there were specific duties and responsibilities required of veterinarians that I wouldn’t be able to handle on a regular basis. I felt as though my heart and soul were crushed. Can you relate?

It takes courage to dream, as there is always the possibility of disappointment. Fear, uncertainty and failure can all be difficult and crippling. Maybe you will be told that your dreams are silly, that you aren’t smart enough, or that you’ll never make it. There’s a chance that a whole life planned out can come crashing down before you.

It takes courage to dream, as the danger in not dreaming is we run the risk of not fulfilling our potential. Those with courage continue to dream. It takes courage because the danger in not dreaming is we run the risk of not fulfilling our potential. I want you to let that sink in for a moment.

Often times, we dream dreams that we think are reachable and attainable. We tend to lean towards what we know and see. We can get comfortable and settle for mediocrity, or give up on our dreams all together. As a Daughter of The Almighty, you need to know that you were not created for mediocrity. You were not created to be average. You were not created to settle or give up. You were created for extraordinary things. You were created to be courageous and fearless. You were created to stand out. We have to have courage to dream and step out in faith, knowing that God will see us “through” it.

It takes courage to dream, as God’s dreams for us are beyond our understanding. 

Did I eventually get over my disappointment of not going to vet med school? I sure did! As I got older, I realized that I dreamt ofAlexandra Tresch becoming a veterinarian because it made the most logical sense. I loved animals and wanted to help them, and that’s what veterinarians do. The critical part I missed was that my dream wasn’t to be a veterinarian: love, compassion and servitude was what I was called to do. I had set myself on the path to become a veterinarian because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do.

Since then, my family has rescued and adopted birds and parrots, and are large advocates of pet adoption. I have also volunteered at animal rescues and rehabs. I have had heart- fulfilling experiences of being face-to-face and caring for an injured red-tailed hawk, bottle fed baby opossums, held and spoon fed an orphaned porcupine, and the list goes on. I also met my amazing husband, started a business, and we use our business to reach out and help those in need. These are experiences I never would have had if I had chosen to be defeated. I may have dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but God took my heart and ambition and gave me so much more. He has a different dream for me.

God’s dreams for us are beyond our understanding, greater than anything we could ever dream for ourselves! Don’t miss the blessing God has for you around the corner- or right outside your comfort zone. When God gives you a dream, He often makes it SO big there is no chance you can accomplish it—on your own. You aren’t meant to walk alone. I encourage you to dream big and never stop dreaming. I want you to dream so big only God can fulfill it, and be open to God’s dream for you.

A little bit about Alexandra: Alexandra Tresch is an animal lover, health enthusiast and CEO of Fragrant Elegance Soy Candle Company. She is passionate about educating others on how to expand their God given dreams and visions into their businesses. In her free time, she enjoys breakfast with her husband, and snuggling with her pet bird. She also enjoys attending Christian Womens Conferences like Women of the Word. She can be contacted at ATresch@FragrantElegance.com or at www.FragrantElegance.com 

 

An Appeal to Heaven

by Dr. Lynn Lucas

Genesis 22 starts with “after these things, God tested Abraham.” So what are “these things” referred to in verse 1? In Genesis 21:33 Abraham plants what the King James version declares is a “grove of trees in the wilderness,” and declares he has come to know that God is the Everlasting God. In the original language Everlasting God actually should be translated “God is the Self Existent Life Giver,” Who Was Before Time, and IS After Time, Who therefore Walks with You Through Time. God was declaring to Abraham that as the Everlasting God, He will never say that something will happen unless it will happen. This revelation empowered Abraham’s faith so that he could pass the test when God told him to sacrifice Isaac. He could say with confidence to those servants with him “the lad and I will go yonder and worship and will return to you” (v.5). He expected to return with Isaac because God had made the covenant that depended on the birth and life of Isaac. Hebrews 11:19 says that Abraham expected God to raise up Isaac from the ashes AND RETURN HIM TO ABRAHAM.

We, therefore, should realize that the God who walks with us through time is the One Who already knows how things will end. He makes promises and gives us words based on the things He sees as completed. Jonah’s conversation with God in Jonah 4:1-3 is a practical example of this truth. Paraphrasing Jonah’s words to God, Jonah said, “I told you that you would cause me to be a success, and there would be a great revival here. That is why I went to Tarshish. They are our enemy, and I did not want them saved.” Jonah knew he would be a success before he started out because God had given him the job and hadn’t warnd him, as He had other prophets, that the mission would not succeed.

 A practical example from our country’s history occurred during the Revolutionary War when General Washington looked at his situation and said, “We are outmanned, outgunned, and out-supplied, and our country can never be independent and become what it was founded to be unless we win this war, so our only hope is an APPEAL TO HEAVEN.” He then commissioned his top aide to create an “Appeal to Heaven” flag, imagesa very simple flag with a tall evergreen tree on an all-white background highlighting the words “Appeal to Heaven.” That flag few over every American fort, every American ship and every American troop who marched into war as a reminder that as we Appeal to Heaven, God will change the outcome. God has promised and what He has promised and planned, comes to pass in and through our lives.

Since we know that the foundation of our country was based on biblical principles, we should not find it strange that the story of Abraham explains the design of Washington’s “Appeal to Heaven” flag. The Hebrew language clarifies the reference in Genesis telling us that Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at the well of the sevenfold oath. The tamarisk is one of the few trees that can thrive in an arid place. There are two types of tamarisk trees: one growing 10 to 15 feet tall, the other 20 to 30 feet. The Bible also indicates that he did not plant a grove, but a single tree. The tamarisk is an evergreen tree that produces a small white flower. People called this flower manna, long before God provided manna in the wilderness. Abraham marked the seven clauses of the covenant God made with him, some fulfilled and some not, by planting an evergreen tree, which would draw people in an arid place to a well of refreshing water. He planted it as a reminder to generations to come that the God Who Was Before Time is the God Who is After Time; therefore, He is the God Who Walks with Us Through Time. As we admit that we are outmanned, outgunned, and out-resourced, God intervenes and miracles happen when we make our Appeal to Heaven.

Click here to hear an audio discussion on this topic. 

img_lucasDr. Lynn Lucas holds doctorates in Theology and Ministry. She is the Senior Pastor of Fountainhead Congregation on Long Island. Her congregation has witnessed the miraculous as they have stepped out in faith to do what God has commissioned them to do in reaching the hurting and lost. Dr. Lucas is a regular speaker at Women of the Word, a Christian womens conference ministry.

 

 

Having a failure doesn’t make you a failure!

by Barbara Wells Benton

There are few weeks that go by without someone confessing to me how they have royally messed up, how they have failed. failure

Many times these people feel condemned.   Fear grips them that the Church and God will mark them off the list, calling them disqualified.

Having a failure doesn’t make YOU a failure!

The book of James has a powerful scripture: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”  – James 5:16

James understood the need for the Church (not the building) to be a place where people who failed could come, confess, be prayed for and be healed.   Why don’t we see very much of that today?    I believe it’s because we are not always authentic in the Church.  It’s easy to yell at the top of our lungs, or post on Facebook how evil people are when they commit sexual sin, or when our country openly embraces things contrary to scripture.  Open computer – get fingers ready to tell the whole world how they are going to hell.

Don’t stop reading out of anger … keep reading.

Over these forty-seven years I have walked with God, I have failed many times:

  • During one period in my life, I stopped preaching/teaching several months because I was offended by folks in church.  That is failure.
  • During one period in my life, while married to my wonderful, godly husband, I pulled away from God, stopped listening to any worship music, and only listened to country music.  The point is not the country music; the point is why I was listening.  I was letting my heart walk away from God, while my body sat on a pew.   On the outside, I was the “holy” wife of a wonderful pastor.   On the inside I was playing games with the devil.  That is failure.
  • I have gone through periods when I was jealous of other ministries, and I let it overtake my thought life to the point of disliking the success of others.  That is failure.
  • I have carried grudges and unforgiveness for long periods.  That is failure.
  • As a leader, I have been infuriated with people who did not do things the way I wanted them done, and they got a taste of my venom.  I had to control everything! That is failure.
  • While rolling my eyes at the “terrible” sins of  others, I allowed myself to binge eat, better known as gluttony in the Bible. That is failure.

So, what do you think of Barbara Benton now?  (Rhetorical, so please don’t answer.)

Thank God I am not the woman above any more.  I have learned to receive the grace of God that says to me, “Having a failure doesn’t make me a failure.”   Because of that grace, I am simply not that woman above.  She has been changed by His grace.

One of the things that has helped me most in overcoming the mindset of failure, is that I found trusted people with whom I could talk.  I could talk openly and honestly, without fear of condemnation.  I could talk with people who weren’t ready to throw me out of the Body of Christ or out of ministry; people who genuinely prayed with me, kept in touch with me, and wanted to see me totally healed.  Thank God for healing!  Thank God for the power to overcome!

What about you?  Can God trust with the failures of other?  Can we be authentic enough to say, I’ve not walked this thing perfectly?

We desperately need authentic Christianity – the kind that says, “I have failed, but God has forgiven me and given me the strength to rise up and continue walking.”

This is one of the most vulnerable blogs I have ever written.  I, like others, still wrestle with the fear of what will others think or say about me. What impact will this have on my ministry?   Will people no longer invite me to conferences and churches?

It is essential that we have welcoming arms for those who have failed.  Oh I know, some will read this and think I’m just opening the doors to all kinds of people.  Well, yes I am.  That is what the Church is called to do.  We are called to be a place of forgiveness, restoration, love, exhortation and patience.

I am so thankful that God said to me, “Having a failure, doesn’t make YOU a failure.”

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

img_bentonBarbara Wells Benton is a favorite speaker at Women of the Word, a Christian womens conference ministry. She teaches from real life experience and is a testimony of the life-changing power of God to turn “mourning into dancing”. She lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, has three sons, and five grandchildren.

 

 

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.