The Power of (S)words

by Jackie Riopelle

“No, I am crazy”, I said jokingly, in an effort to get the kids to stop throwing that insult at each other. It worked, but not in the way I expected. Each of them stopped and looked at me horrified. “No! You are not crazy!” They shouted. “You are not crazy, you are nice girl.” One little boy corrected me severely.

Apparently crazy is a strong word here.

In South America “stupid” ranks as a swear word. (Don’t say “stupida” in Peru!).

In America we have our own special words designed for vulgarity or insults.

It doesn’t matter what country you go to, every culture has their own set of words designed to tear down and cut away at others.

Words are powerful. In fact, the Bible says that the very power of life and death is in the tongue. Now that’s crazy!

Words are like a sword, and I often use them as such. Sometimes I’ll parry with my friends just for fun, but if I’m angry or feel attacked, I tend to wield them with worse intentions. Words are the sword of the Soul, formed of our selfish passions, our pride, bitterness, emotions, and close mindedness.

You might say I am a gifted swordswoman. I can argue almost any point with an infectious passion. (I’ve been told I should be a lawyer). I can block, parry, fence, jab, and stab with the fluid agility of a samurai sword warrior. It is both my greatest weakness and a powerful strength.

I am gifted with the ability to wield the sword. It’s a gift that I believe is God given and for a purpose. I know that the sword is one of the things I’m meant for. But am I carrying the right one?

There’s another sword sitting on the shelf of my heart. It’s rustier, and I haven’t had as much practice using it, but its dusty edges glisten betraying the diamond mold beneath. The sword of the Spirit. It’s the sword I am designed to wield. The sword with the power to divide truth from falshood and darkness from light. It is the sword meant to be carried to the dark places. The places of spiritual oppression and demonic presence, the places of depression and isolation and darkness and lies. It is a sword never meant to be wielded against man, but against the authorities and principalities of this flawed world. It is a sword made to take on the enemy.

I have been given the gift of swordmanship, but I have also been given a choice. There are two swords lying in the inner room of my heart. Two swords, but I can only take up one. Do I wield the sword of the soul and use it against my brothers and sisters? Or do I take up the sword of the spirit and apply my passion and fierce fighting spirit to the real enemy on the real battlefield?

It’s the choice we’ve each been given.
It’s the power of the (s)words.

Blog is re-posted here by permission.

Born and raised in Massachusetts (not Boston!), Jackie Riopelle is a writer, manager, and a Chick-fil-A enthusiast with a passion for kids, missions, and Jesus. Currently, Jackie is in the beginning stages of a year long missions trip ranging over eleven countries in South America, Europe, and Asia. This trip is unique in that the ministry itinerary is not preset. The team prays as they go out and then they serve however the Lord leads. So far this has included sports ministry, home to home prayer ministry, kids ministry, Bible studies, forging relationships with both believers and non believers and just showing the love of God everywhere they can. Jackie says, “It’s been amazing, terrible, fun, difficult, painful and so so worth it! It’s been absolutely incredible to see what God has done just in these two short months and I can’t wait to see what He does next!”

Here’s what YOU can do……

1) Pray
We came into this journey with the firm belief that prayer is powerful and the more people joined in prayer the better! Please be praying for us for the following:

•  ‎Endurance as we begin to get tired or discouraged
•  ‎Wisdom and clarity as we listen and follow God’s lead
•  ‎For open hearts both in ourselves and in those we come in contact with
•  ‎Provision as most of us are still fundraising

2) Donate
Fundraising is something most people shy away from, but it is definitely one of the ways that God works both in the fundraiser and those that give.
I still have $1,500 left to raise in order to be able to see this mission to it’s completion. If you feel led to donate or to check out what it’s all about, you can access my blog at

3) Tell people about it!
My platform is relatively small at the moment. I would love to be able to share what God is doing with even more people.

Women of the Word has donated to Jackie’s year long missionary journey. We pray for her and we are delighted to share about it here on our blog! WOW’s ministry is inter-generational and we want to encourage young women to step out and do what God has called them to do. Won’t you consider coming alongside Jackie too? Please visit our website to learn more about WOW and join us at an upcoming event soon. The Lord bless you.

How Should Christians View Israel? Part 1

by Rose-Marie Slosek

It is really important for a Christian to correctly understand how we are to view Israel in the plan of God.  There is much misinformation that is widespread and often Christians will mix different schools of thought together without realizing it is confusing their thoughts about Israel. Let’s discuss a few critical points for a foundation.

God chose the nation of Israel to be His own nation in the world, a priestly, prophetic people who would show forth to the world around them Who the Living and True God is. Deuteronomy 7:7 & 8a says, The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than the other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your fathers…”

God chose a people, not because they were strong or special in themselves, to reveal Himself to the peoples of the earth. Israel did not choose God, God chose Israel.  He made a covenant with Abraham and swore by Himself (Gen. 22:16) to uphold it. This made him the chief Upholder of the covenant. Abraham did not hold back his son, Isaac, from God (foreshadowing God not holding back His Son from us)  and so God promised to make the descendants of Abraham as the “stars in the sky and the sands of the seashore” (Genesis 22:17). God honored Abraham’s faith but God swore by Himself and not by man when He made the covenant.

God knew that man was fallible. Israel’s history is a checkered one: they strayed from God, they did not heed the prophets nor obey the commandments of God, they wandered in the wilderness because of “unbelief.” (Hebrew 3:19).  God has always been looking for faith, not just lineage. So not everyone of the household of Israel is or was right before God. What now qualifies both Jew and Gentile is belief in the atoning work of Jesus Christ to save us. Paul says, “ 28 He is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is external in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly. And circumcision is of the heart, by the Spirit, and not by the letter.” (Romans 2:28-29).

The nation of Israel, as a whole, rejected Jesus as their Messiah. There were individuals who accepted Him, but Jesus was not accepted by the nation as a whole. Jesus said, “they [Israel] missed the day of their visitation” (Luke 19:44). Judgment was sent: they were sent into a deep spiritual and physical exile. A veil now covers their spiritual eyes (2 Cor 3:15). Paul says that a “I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.“ (Romans 11:25).

We, as Gentile believers, are the wild vine that has been grafted into the vine of God. Some of the original vine (natural Israel)  has branches that have broken off because of unbelief. We do not replace the original vine (Israel), but we are blessed to be able to be added to the household of God. When the “times of the Gentiles” are over, God will bring the nation of Israel to full salvation as a nation! There will not be one Jew who does not know the Lord on the Day when they shall look upon HIm whom they have pierced! (Zech 12:10). ALL Israel shall be saved! (Romans 11:25-26). Let us pray for that Day, but also pray that individual Jews, each come, today, to a heartfelt conversion during their individual  lifetimes. During this season, the “times of the Gentiles,” the gospel is presented to everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, and each must make an individual choice before God, although collectively the “veil” still remains over Israel.

Rose-Marie Slosek is a Board Member of Women of the Word. She also blogs at Pen of the Wayfarer and is a spiritual director. She loves to travel to other nations, especially Ireland and Israel , and is an avid photographer of nature. Rose-Marie also rescues dogs and gives them a loving home.

Women of the Word is an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel. Consider joining us on the next Amazing Israel Adventure March 31 – April 11, 2019.  Trips to Israel are open to men and women. 

Peace-Maker vs. Peace-Keeper

by Kim Warf

Boundaries, consequences, and rewards…order is kept through these three things but love should be the base principle interwoven through them.

I have personally been a peace-keeper through most of my life. A peace-keeper loves peace and will try to keep it at any cost. What a peace-keeper doesn’t realize is that continually giving in and not holding someone accountable will never resolve the disturbing condition that is interrupting their peace.

Painting by

Over the years, I am learning to be a peace-maker. A peace-maker will speak the truth in love and hold people accountable for their behavior. Usually, the person or people in question will not like this at all because for far too long the “control” was in their hands. However, holding people accountable for their behavior is the only way that things will change.

First, you must realize who you are. Are you a parent, a spouse, a business or church leader? If you are a parent, then rules are of absolute necessity with listed (enforced) consequences or rewards. The same goes for a business or church leader. People must know what is expected of them, what is appropriate, and what is not appropriate.

If you are a spouse, you are not a ruler over your mate. Remember the base principle needs to be love. When respect, kindness, and proper communication are missing; then boundaries must be drawn. Do not go off in a corner and pout, do not get in someone’s face and shout.

Clearly communicate how you feel and why. If it needs to be in letter form in order to not be interrupted; then do so. Speak the truth in love. If you are dealing with a mature Christian, then you can expect a humble apology and a conversation regarding how to make the relationship work. However, if you are dealing with an immature or controlling person, then you can expect silence, anger, or a litany of your faults.

Learning how to be a peace-maker is an important skill in life. It is not going to be easy; however, your home (business or church) and heart will be a happier place.

Kim Warf is the associate pastor, alongside her husband Paul of New Beginnings Church in Bangor, ME. She is also a Board Member of Women of the Word and has served as Conference Chairman of several WOW conferences in Maine. Paul and Kim have two grown daughters and a beautiful grand-daughter.

Greek Brain, Hebrew Brain: The Way Parables Worked

Jesus’s parables fit perfectly into a non-Western, Jewish culture that expressed itself through tangible metaphors. He was engaging in sophisticated theological teaching, but we miss it if we are looking for the deductive abstract arguments of the Greeks. Jesus often based his reasoning on experience rather than if-then logic. He did this in multiple ways:

Experience of the Natural World

Jesus frequently used observations about nature and daily life to shed light on spiritual realities. Sometimes he highlighted a lesson by pointing out what was obviously true: grapes don’t grow on thorn bushes. Likewise, people are known by their “fruit.” That seems pretty logical.

More often, however, Jesus used physical examples that have a surprising illogic about them to shed light on the mysterious ways of God…..

  • A speck of a mustard seed can grow into an enormous tree.
  • A blossom that wilts in a day is more gorgeously adorned than a king’s robe.

Tiny clues from creation give us a glimpse into God’s unfathomable ways.

In contrast, Western reasoning often attempts to systematize theology by reducing and affixing God’s thoughts onto a logical grid, flattening and straightening them so that they fit into predictable patterns.

Jesus’s parables, however, embraced the fact that our material world is multifaceted and complex. If God’s creation surprises and perplexes us, shouldn’t its Creator do so even more?

Click here to read the rest of this blog: How Jesus used the Experience of Human Behavior and the Experience of the Scriptures to make his point.

From Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus (Baker, 2018), p 96-100. This is from chapter 5, “Greek Brain: Hebrew Brain,” in the section called, “How the Bible Thinks.”

Lois Tverberg

Lois Tverberg holds a Ph.D in biology and was a college professor. While in a Bible study class she became interested in studying the Bible in it’s cultural context. Discovering the answers to head-scratching questions and sharing the “ah-hah” moments with others became a passion. She began learning Hebrew and Greek, studying in the land of Israel, and exploring recent scholarship on Jesus’ first-century Jewish world. Ultimately, she left a life in academia to devote herself full-time to teaching and writing on the topic, and now has been at it for almost twenty years. She has authored five books and also directs the En-Gedi Resource Center, an educational ministry. Lois is  also a speaker and has spoken at Women of the Word events in Connecticut and Wisconsin. 

Women of the Word is an inter-denominational, inter-generational, and inter-cultural ministry dedicated to transforming lives into the image of Jesus through growing disciples taught by God’s Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We honor our elders, learning from them as they mentor us. We value and strengthen the middle-aged. We seek to reach the millennials and younger generations to encourage and mentor them in the ways of the Lord. Our prayer is that we honor God together. We welcome men to join us at on our Amazing Israel Adventure trips. 

Seeking God

by Kim Warf

“God, are you real?”

Do you really want to know? If so, there must be moments of seeking and asking. God has been drawing you with whispers of love and with shouts of glorious displays of His creation.

A way has been made for the seeker yet the path is narrow. There are so many other paths that are well-lit, well-paved that seem easier to travel. The true path is not always comfortably trod; there are obstacles that test our carnal flesh. Yet, it ever beckons us forward.

This narrow path leads to a Door. It is not outwardly notable and shiny but worn and welcoming. A Light seems to escape from its tiny cracks and crevices… drawing one near.

You may approach; you know you are welcome. A thousand thoughts and fears try to stop you…but you are drawn by it’s comfort. The seeker extends a hand and knocks, all the while wondering, “Is this too good to be true?”.

With no hesitation, the Door swings open! Love which is Light; Light which is Love, one cannot tell the difference, pours out. All of the inward thoughts and intents exposed yet Love and Light infiltrates and washes every doubt, every sin away.

A transformation occurs; a new inner life, a new spirit is born from within. The seeker has found the answer and yet, the journey is just beginning.

Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

John 1:12-13 “But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God.” All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.[a] 13 All those who believe this are reborn!—not a physical rebirth[b] resulting from human passion or plan—but from the will of God.

Kim Warf is the associate pastor, alongside her husband Paul of New Beginnings Church in Bangor, ME. She is also a Board Member of Women of the Word and has served as Conference Chairman of several WOW conferences in Maine. Paul and Kim have two grown daughters and a beautiful grand-daughter.


Listen Well

by Rose-Marie Slosek

Words are powerful yet sometimes inadequate tools. When I speak, something of myself comes out.  Over the last weeks I have been pondering the process of how best to listen to others. Jesus said, “Be careful how you listen” (Luke 8:18). He speaks this while telling us that whatever is hidden will one day be revealed.  What someone says is sometimes only a little or the beginning of what they mean. Deeper things lay buried if we can hear them.

Are you a good listener? I’ve been in the presence of a couple good listeners of late for which I am very grateful.  We don’t just listen with our ears, but with our heart, and our spirit. Benedict of Nursia said, “Listen carefully and incline the ear of your heart.” George MacDonald said, “There is a lot of difference between hearing and listening.”  There are many times when words are not enough and we must hear what someone is saying with our spiritual ears much more than our physical ears.

Can you imagine if God only heard our words? What if He did not hear the deepest cry of our hearts when words fail?   We are even given the Spirit to intercede for us “with groanings that are too deep for words “(Romans 8:26). Our hearts are full of deep things, are they not?

So let us listen to hearts and not just words when we listen. Often we are listening only to speak.  Sometimes the person we are listening to is desperate to be heard but testing to see if their words will be truly heard or will come bouncing back to them.

Sometimes words are just not enough and we must hear between the lines. Hearing deeply, accurately, gracefully is a spiritual discipline we can develop. Spiritual listening that heals and makes a place for others is birthed out of our own ability to listen to God. When we listen to God, we allow a place for silence and mutual communication on a non-verbal level. When we listen to God we strain to hear because we value the words of God.  When we listen to God we also hear ourselves, not our words, but the disposition of our heart in listening. It takes two to listen really. One to speak and one to hold a place open for the words spoken to rest.

So listen carefully: understanding what a person is really trying to say is born of compassion, humility, grace, and spiritual discernment . We are limited to the degree that our own opinions, blind spots, and incompleteness which block the kind of conversations God wants us to have. You have not walked a mile in your neighbor’s moccasins. They may have experienced something you have not yet experienced. It might be a hurtful something or something precious to them. Listen and receive a great gift. Hold them up to God while they speak.

Sprinkle your conversations with mercy, encouragement and enough silence so you can hear the other and God and not you. Hold a place in your heart open for the ones you speak with. Listen knowing that God is listening with you. Cooperate with Him. Hear Him reply first before you speak.  He alone knows what should be said. When people are really heard healing takes place. Good listeners are so needed, and relatively rare. Be one.

Rose-Marie Slosek is a Board Member of Women of the Word. She also blogs at Pen of the Wayfarer and is a spiritual director. She loves to travel to other nations, especially Ireland and Israel , and is an avid photographer of nature. Rose-Marie also rescues dogs and gives them a loving home.

Women of the Word is an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel.


Fierce Forgiveness

by Lisa Gould

Unforgiveness is a force that can hold us back from living an abundant life in Christ.  It leaves many in a quandary because we know God’s word says we need to forgive, but to release forgiveness to others is not always easy.

Many times we don’t forgive because we have a misunderstanding of what forgiveness is. The enemy lies to us about what forgiveness truly looks like. He holds us in bondage with those lies to prevent us from forgiving. He does not want us to be free to be all God has called us to be. One of the most effective lies of the enemy is to convince us that if we can’t forget what a person has done, we have not truly forgiven.

Forgiveness is NOT forgetting what someone has done. If you are waiting to be ready to forget what someone has done to you before you forgive them, it’s probably never going to happen.  Although we can’t forget, we can forgive.

We must first look at the forgiveness God gives us.  If we repent and accept the free gift of God’s redemptive, Fierce Forgiveness for our sin, and then forget why we needed to be forgiven in the first place, where would our testimony be?  If I come to Christ, receiving His forgiveness for my sin and then “forget” that I had an abortion, committed adultery, and truly had broken all of the 10 commandments, the power of God’s forgiveness would be diminished. I wouldn’t have a testimony of my life before Christ and after Christ if I forgot why I needed to be forgiven.  We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the power of our testimony (Rev 12:1).  It is the power of our overcoming testimony that draws others to Jesus.

People look at those of us whose lives have been transformed because of Christ’s forgiveness; they see and even hear that we are no longer who we used to be. The testimony of our lives spurs others on—if Jesus can forgive us, then He can and will forgive them. We can testify that He is no respecter of persons; what He does for one He will do for all (Rom 2:11-16).

When the Word talks about God “forgetting” our sin, it doesn’t mean He literally forgets it. It means He no longer holds us accountable.  If God literally forgot our sins, there would be no Bible stories like David’s. He committed adultery and murder, yet God called David a man after His own heart because, despite all his sin, David was repentant. David recalled in the psalms how he had been forgiven for his sin giving God the glory.  God didn’t forget what David had done; He chose not to hold him accountable once he repented.

In spite all of our sin, God CHOOSES to turn His back on the sin we have committed when we come to him in repentance.  He FIERCLY forgives it, all of it, every last bit of it and lavishes His love and grace upon us!  His forgiveness is FIERCE–overwhelming, overpowering, piercing, sudden, extreme, relentless, strong, harrowing, passionate, wild, brave and intense! I will never forget how I have been forgiven. When I think about how much He forgave me, it takes my breath away and leaves me in awe.

Isaiah 43:25 says that God blots out, or forgets, our sin.  He chooses to turn His back on our sin extending His grace, mercy, forgiveness, love and acceptance so our past sin no longer brings shame upon us; nor can the enemy condemn us or hold us in bondage. The Father doesn’t want us to live with the memory of his forgiveness so we dwell upon the shame of that sin but to focus on how His Fierce Forgiveness has redeemed our lives.  The power of the blood of Jesus Christ gives us victory over our past sins. We can then tell others about our journey– how we have experienced His forgiveness to live free.

Forgetting what has been done to us by others is not even a possibility unless we have some kind of operation to wipe our memories clean. That would make us robots.  God gave us a memory for a reason. If someone has abused us or our children, committed adultery, stolen from us, or broken trust in some other way, forgiving them is essential. Forgiving someone does not, however, automatically mean that the relationship is restored, especially if that relationship could be harmful. Even when continuing the relationship would not be harmful, restoration cannot happen unless there has been true repentance on the offender’s part. Repentance is a military term meaning to pivot on one’s heals, to turn and go in the other direction. It means to stop doing one thing and to start doing something else.

Even if it were possible, forgetting every time we forgive could mean a whole lot of trouble for us as we would always have the possibility of going back to unhealthy or toxic relationships. Setting appropriate boundaries with people who choose a pattern of behavior that is harmful to us does not mean that we haven’t forgiven them. It does mean that we are not going to forget how we have been mistreated and continue to allow that mistreatment. Forgiveness and restored relationship are very different things. Restoration in relationship requires the fruit of repentance Matthew 3:8–a positive change in the heart and behavior that can bring about restoration of trust and restoration of relationship.

We have a memory so we can give God glory for what He has done! It reminds us that we desperately and continuously need His Fierce Forgiveness.  We should choose to extend forgiveness to others because of the forgiveness we have received, not because we are going to forget the sins that others have committed against us. Don’t let the lie that forgetting and forgiving go together prevent you from choosing to forgive.

Lisa Gould describers herself as an ordinary lady who encountered THE extraordinary God! Growing up in an abusive home Lisa had an abortion at 18. She married an abusive man at 19 and then got radically saved at the age of 25. She began to realize her identity in Christ and that He did not intend for her to live in abuse. Lisa and her children have been set free from it all! She worked her way off welfare to become a daycare provider and then a kindergarten teacher in a Christian school for 10 years. She now has been a member of

Lisa Gould

the staff of New Life Church in Maine for the past 6 years building volunteer teams and overseeing close to 300 people in those ministries. She ministers to many women one on one to speak identity in Christ to them through  encouragement, prayer and  guidance by the power of the Holy Spirit…. which is her ultimate passion! She lives in Kennebunk Maine with her husband David of nearly 18 years. They serve together in providing spiritual guidance to couples through a program called SYMBIS( saving your marriage before it starts) and assist in facilitating a drug and alcohol program within the church. They have 5 grown children between them  who live from Maine to British Columbia Canada and places in between. Lisa will never forget the Fierce Forgiveness she has experienced through Christ’s redemption and love!  She is now in the process of completing a book on her testimony and the power of Fierce Forgiveness.

Lisa served on the Conference Steering Committee for the Women of the Word Fall 2015 Conference. Her testimony of that event is: “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.”


National Day of Prayer

by Betsy Roy

President Lincoln’s Proclamation for a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer set the date for April 30, 1863. The “National Day of Prayer” is now the first Thursday in May which this year is May 3, 2018. Please consider adding some kind of fasting and repentance to your prayers.

Please pray right now: Father God, we ask that the Holy Spirit would move on the heart of every believer in our nation to set aside time for repentance, fasting and prayer on the National Day of Prayer (May 3, 2018). May there be a great swell of prayer before your throne of grace. 

We’re asking that this time cross every denomination, generation, ethnicity and political ideology. We pray for UNITY before the throne of the one true God, YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and of His Son Jesus Christ the Messiah! We exalt Him today as the only one true God, full of grace and truth. Righteousness exalts a nation and we are calling for a return to biblical righteousness in the Church in America and in the public square. We will not relent. We contend for the faith! We will keep ourselves in the love of God.

We are grateful today Father that your mercy endures from generation to generation and that your mercy continues to extend to us. We are not worthy in and of ourselves oh Lord our God. We thank you that the blood of Jesus makes us worthy. We ask you to embolden your Church in America in this hour to advance the Kingdom of God. We ask you for revival in the Church and a great harvest of souls across this land. Draw us together on the National Day of Prayer in unity and love across our land to repent, to fast and to pray. Arise, oh sleeper!! Arise!! Amen

Let us continue to pray for our nation daily!  God’s Word, the Bible, teaches us to “pray without ceasing”  (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions (ie our President, Vice President, Governors, Senators, Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, etc), that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Prevailing for America is a closed Facebook group that posts a daily prayer for our nation. Barbara Benton heads up this group. It is a closed group so you must request to join. This is not a discussion group. It is for prayer purposes only.


Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation. 

Relatives I Didn’t Know I Had

by Rose-Marie Slosek

Awhile back I was researching my natural family tree.

Olive Tree

My relatives on my mom’s side, the Del Negro’s, come from a tiny village in the mountains of Italy called Atena Lucana. It’s amazing to me all that had to transpire for each of us to come into the world, and we are largely unaware of all those little destined moments crossing into time so we could come to be!

I guess it has surprised me to find out just how many relatives I do have, since the part of our family that I know seems relatively limited. I started to think about this, and how, even on an earthly level, this fact somehow expanded
me, made me see a bigger picture. Then, I really started to think about this concept spiritually.

No matter how large our earthly families are, most of us have felt, at least at times, alone, out of place, misunderstood, and longing to find “our people.” I think because the Body of Christ feels fragmented (from our point of view, anyway, from God’s point of view it isn’t) we feel a bit more solitary than we need to. Let’s face it, sometimes its hard to find fellowship with people who really
love and understand us, and are rooting for us!

What we fail to realize is how many relatives we have that we don’t know that we have! Paul, in Hebrews, and John, in Revelation, see things in terms of earth being a large theatre for spiritual truths to play out before those in the heavenlies. Angels watch and learn, but listen to this:

“On the contrary you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the ever-living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to countless hosts of angels, to the great festal gathering and Church of the first-born, whose names are recorded in Heaven,
and to a Judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
and to Jesus the negotiator of a new Covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks in more gracious tones than that of Abel.”  (Hebrews 12:22-24 Weymouth translation)

Beloved, if we could know in our hearts just what kind of glorious family surrounds us, if we could know that “our people” are watching us and
cheering us on, if we could sense that we are not alone in our little enclaves but actively part of a universal Body, unhindered by the constraints of space and time, and undivided from God’s point of view, we would have a greatly enlarged perspective of what our life means. The sinful, self-focused part ofour experience could be diminished and the good, “I’m part of a greater Whole” part could
be increased. “Little ole me” would seem both less important but also more important.

When Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, surrounded as we are by such a vast cloud of witnesses, let us fling aside every encumbrance and the sin that so readily entangles our feet. And let us run with patient endurance the race that lies before us”, my brothers and sisters, my beloved in Jesus, you are included in the spiritual genealogy of Jesus, and of God, our sweetest Father! You have family immeasurable, and holy, royal family at that! You are not alone, not forgotten, not poor for resources! We can think ourselves poor when we are rich beyond our wildest dreams. We can think ourselves alone when we are included in a Family more numerous than the grains of sands are on the beach, fathered by the God of the Universe!

Dear hidden ones that dwell in the solitary wood (Micah 7:14) know you are well cared for. You are never alone! Perhaps I am writing to just one person out there, but I know in my spirit that I am writing to MANY of you. Sleep well in the safety of your Shepherd, know that you matter and are noticed, know that in the heavenlies, your true family cheers you on.

And so do I…..

Rose-Marie Slosek is a Board Member of Women of the Word. She also blogs at Pen of the Wayfarer and is a spiritual director. She loves to travel to other nations, especially Ireland and Israel , and is an avid photographer of nature. Rose-Marie also rescues dogs and gives them a loving home.

Women of the Word is an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel, where you can connect with your spiritual roots on location! 

Getting More Useful to God.

by Rose-Marie Slosek

In a society that glorifies youth, anyone over 30 can be considered a gone-by.  That is not at all a biblical way of looking at the life-process of a believer.  God has special, highly favored, uses for those over-50’s!  There is a maturity that only walking with God for decades can produce. Jesus did not enter public ministry until age 30. He had to follow the natural order of life and learning before His time to minister came. Abraham, the father of our faith, was not called until he was 70 years old!

By its very definition, the leaders of the church are called “elders”

photo by Thomas Hafeneth at

They have reached a certain age and are recognized for their wisdom,maturity and strong walk with God. Jesus tells us that people can start out well, but  that they can become like seed scattered in thorny soil–they start out well but over the long run they are choked out and overtaken by the troubles of life.  Spiritual elders (and I do not mean just church leaders), on the other hand, have a positive track record with God.

We need to remember that what we consider the end of life is but a beginning to eternal life. So we are not getting older and then passing away but we are growing more mature and entering into the place where we actually know a little bit about God.  In a sense, the oldest you could get on earth is still but a drop in the bucket of how long you will be alive (eternally!) …so please try to let that inform your perspective of aging and what it means.

Samuel Whitfield said, “One of the great mistakes we make is trying to fulfill our entire purpose in this age. When we have that perspective, unmet expectations crush us. In reality, the primary purpose of this age is to form and shape us to be a suitable companion for Jesus in the age to come.” So we are really just beginning our journey but yet we have lived long enough to know the frailties of life and of human nature. What we have to offer is a humble sense that our own strength can not carry us across the length of a life, but that we can learn to abide in and lean on God because He is ALWAYS faithful . The young rely on themselves, true “elders” rely on God.

Knowing where you end and where God begins brings a stability to you and to your environment.

Photo by Vick Mellon on

One of the characteristics of people in the earlier part of life is that trouble tosses them around more severely than it does those who have learned to walk with God through many ups and downs.  Your presence in the life of your children and grandchildren can bring a deep sense of stability to them. They see that you are still there and have weathered the storms with some wear but with grace and wisdom.  They sense that.  It brings comfort to them.  All of us want to feel that someone older and wiser is leading us.  Our Heavenly Father specializes in that!

Paul writes, “For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have you not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have become your father through the gospel.  (1 Cor 4:15). Paul recognizes that many people can teach you things about Jesus, but not that many can protect, watch over, and make you feel the safety that a Father’s love gives.  We get that sense of how to father (and mother) from having been fathered by God throughout our lives. We know that people don’t just need truth, they need to feel our compassion, they need someone to bind up the scrapes, someone to cry with and run to when the way seems lost and hopeless.  They need a strong figure that they can watch when it feels like they are drowning: one that stands head and shoulders above the storm and are themselves, watching and being Fathered by God.  They need someone whose gives them the reassurance of a loving gaze when they feel lost or incapable.  These love subtleties we simply do not have when we are younger.  Do you remember Radar O’Reilly, the company clerk from MASH? He knew exactly what was needed by some kind of “intuitive” radar.  That kind of radar takes awhile to grow in us.

So you can see how rare and how precious being a spiritual father and mother is.  This does not come in our youth–it blossoms, if it is going to blossom, in later decades.  You can be an outstanding example, a brother, a sister, but you can not be a father or mother in the faith until at least a few grey hairs show!

So start to see that the “race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,” but that the prize goes to the one who loves the most and can watch over the flock of God in such a way thatothers feel the Father’s love flowing through your bespectacled eyes, and your wrinkled hands.

As you get older, you are, or can be, getting more useful to God!

Rose-Marie Slosek is a Board Member of Women of the Word. She also blogs at Pen of the Wayfarer and is a spiritual director. She loves to travel to other nations spreading the Gospel, and is an avid photographer of nature. Rose-Marie also rescues dogs and gives them a loving home.

Women of the Word is an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel.