Be encouraged! Did you know God is connecting the dots of your life? He has a master plan for all of us and longs to encourage you. He cares about you and I and knows us each by name. It’s impossible to see our lives from the past, present, and future but not for God! God sees the Big Picture from His perspective!
Part ONE: Be encouraged! God is connecting the dots of your life. Watch the Video below:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:5,6 ESV)
Life, as we knew ten years ago, is not life today. Knowledge is indisputable at the forefront of many minds, especially our millennials. Time is now when careers are determined and education is sought carving paths to meaningful success. As important as knowledge is for world’s definition of success, it’s most valuable in finding true peace in the world we live. Beginning with a key principle/foundational truth- God is light.
Societal confusion stems from the blurred definition of right vs.wrong. In Christ, we are given Biblical Knowledge to guide and direct our steps, living to fulfill God’s purpose. When individuals say they have fellowship with Jesus, yet continue to live in darkness, societal confusion increases. Jesus himself spoke this to his disciples- it’s a lie and truth is not being practiced. Anyone who lies is aligned with the father of lies, satan.
The knowledge of good vs.evil is constantly at work in our lives. It’s like a gravitational pull towards one way or the other. To keep from evil, we study God’s Word, gaining knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. The more we learn, the deeper Spiritual Truths are understood. In the process, we become Christ minded easily anchored in good- avoiding pit falls into evil. We’re easily pulled toward evil when foundations have been ignored. What is evil/darkness? It’s anything opposing God’s original intention for creation defined in scripture.
Saturday is a great day to relax and ponder…are we ready to identify darkness when revealed? My desire is to prevent individuals from being caught in darkness, being deceived- unaware how satan has blinded and separated many from understanding Biblical Truth. When seeking knowledge, let’s never forget the knowledge found in Christ. It will keep us grounded while gravitational pulls overwhelm towards evil, cleverly disguised.
[easy-tweet tweet=”When seeking knowledge, let’s never forget knowledge found in Christ.” user=”@VickiJHurley” hashtags=”#knowledge”]
Many women struggle with finding their purpose in life. A friend in Bible study recently demonstrated this when she said she desperately wanted to know her calling. She looked around our group and pointed to the friend next to her and said, “God made you good at many things. I don’t do anything. What does God want me to do?”
It’s easy to compare ourselves with others and come up short. We can help our mentees avoid this trap by helping them discover their spiritual gifts and value the quality of faithfulness. Much of our lives are spent in routine tasks. It is important to help women see how these repetitive activities are holy to God.
Since humankind’s fall in the Garden of Eden, we’ve all struggled to believe our lives matter. We think our success in life is connected with being outstanding in a particular area. Well, it is. But we often overlook the trait in which Jesus wants us to shine.
Being Faithful Tops Being Sensational
When Jesus illustrated what He hoped to find at His return He didn’t spotlight an esteemed synagogue teacher or a powerful political leader. He described someone involved in the repetitive work of feeding a household. He described faithfulness.
“A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns” (Matthew 24:45-47 NLT).
What could be more ordinary than managing a household and overseeing meals? [easy-tweet tweet=”Being faithful in ordinary roles is extraordinary to Jesus!” user=”@JaymeHull” hashtags=”#faithful”]
What unique role does your mentee play in her circle of influence? Is she someone’s wife, mother, sister, friend, or daughter? No one else can replace her in those roles. Being faithful in these unique areas pleases Jesus and fulfills her purpose.
Faithfulness Pleases God and Brings Joy
Jesus emphasized the importance of faithfulness in the parable of the talents. In this story, an owner distributed talents to three servants according to their abilities. Two immediately put their talents to work. The third buried his. The master rewarded the two who employed their talents. He punished the lazy servant who buried his.
“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 25:22).
The servants who faithfully invested their gifts not only earned their master’s praise, but they entered into his joy. Since God distributes talents as He chooses, gifting doesn’t impress Him. The world will always applaud talent and achievements, but God will always applaud faithfulness.
How can picking up toys, preparing meals, and cleaning up messes matter in the grand scheme of life? These tasks are part of nurturing a family, and that matters greatly to God. When God wanted to change history He often chose a baby and a godly mom. Think of Samuel and Hannah, Moses and Jochebed, and Jesus and Mary.
God’s called every Christ follower to represent Him in her sphere of influence (2 Cor. 5:21). Our purpose is to be faithful and bloom where He’s planted us with the abilities He’s provided. Faithfulness makes Him smile.
Make sure your mentee knows her life matters in God’s story.
What assignments from God have you minimized because they looked so ordinary?
About the Author:
Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson speaks and writes to help others discover relevant faith. She is the author of Little Women, Big Godand Give Yourself a Break. She and her husband, Larry, founded Lighthouse Ministries in 1991. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog at www.DebbieWwilson.com
Can people say we are “always lifting someone up?” Our uplifting words start at home with our family and friends. Then as we go out into the world whether we are working full-time or volunteering and serving with an organization we are to be encouraging and uplifting.
Did you know that you could grow up in the church and still miss the meaning of Easter? I know, because for many years I did. Maybe you or your mentee can benefit from my journey.
I started attending church nine months before I was born, so I could have recited the historical facts of Good Friday and Easter to anyone who asked. I’d even memorized John 3:16. But, somehow, I’d missed the personal ramifications of Easter.
In middle school that began to change when a speaker at camp spoke on the cross. That night I realized God didn’t just love the world in general; He loved me in particular! God so loved me that He gave His only Son that if I would believe in Him, I would not perish but have everlasting life.
It broke my heart to think that Jesus had had to die for me. Yet, after processing what this meant, my brokenness morphed into incredible lightness. I was clean. My sins were forgiven, and heaven was my destiny. I returned home higher than a helium balloon singing the camp songs I’d learned. But my high was short-lived.
I was still the impatient person I’d always been. But one thing had changed. Before I gave my life to Christ I considered myself to be a good person. I hadn’t identified myself as “a sinner in need of a Savior.” I knew I lost my temper, but I reasoned that was only because someone provoked me! After I invited Christ into my life, I became aware of how I couldn’t control my outbursts.
Every night, I promised God I’d do better the next day. Every day I failed. Knowing that Jesus had paid the penalty for my sins—past, present and future—certainly comforted me. But I needed power for everyday living.
Another Reason to Celebrate Easter
In college, I joined a small group Bible study. Even though I attended church and read my Bible, I wasn’t sure the Bible was relevant. So I embraced the parts I agreed with and dismissed the “outdated” parts.
The women in this study surprised me. Unpleasant circumstances didn’t distress them. Their responses to disappointment and loss showed a relationship with God I lacked. They lived as if God was involved in their day-to-day lives.
The better I got to know Jesus, the bigger God became. As my perception of Him expanded, the obstacles to trusting Him shrank. I realized that my ability to trust the Bible was related to my view of Him.
If God is God then:
He is able to communicate with His children.
He’s able to preserve the integrity of His Word.
His wisdom is timeless and relevant.
I also learned why I’d been powerless to control my temper. I’d been trying to live the Christian life in my own strength. I was surprised to discover that only one person has ever successfully lived the Christian life, and He—Jesus—wants to live through me now.
In fact, the power that raised Jesus from the dead that first Easter is available to every child of God now. We weren’t meant to live the Christian life in our own strength. We were created to live by faith in God’s Son.
Notice the message of these Scriptures:
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know…his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephes. 1:18-20 NIV).
“The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20 NIV).
Jesus became sin for us on the cross that original Good Friday so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). Easter is more than a historical fact or holiday; it is the source of hope and power for daily living. Every day we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us we celebrate the Easter message. He is risen, and He lives in me!
Understanding the relevance of Easter to my daily life transformed how I live and has the power to do the same for you and your mentee.
Debbie W. Wilson is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Share her journey to refreshing faith at www.DebbieWwilson.com
Exciting News! BRAND NEW FACE TO FACE MENTORING PODCAST BEGINS IN AUGUST! To Celebrate the 1-year launch of my new book Face To Face: Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life
This has been a fantastic year and I am so blessed to have this wonderful opportunity from God!
I’m producing a new PODCAST Show Face To Face Mentoring Learn. Launch. Lead.
The Show format will be a25-minute show per week.
Each week I will be sharing my God stories and tips to EQUIP and ENCOURAGE others HOW TO get connected to God, Millennials, your children and others through mentoring.
SPECIAL GUEST PART!
One Show each week will feature a SPECIAL GUEST who will share their own God stories and the huge impact their Mentoring Relationship played in their life and career.
We have had Natalie Hemby, Linda Evans Shepherd, and Chris Massaglio as our guests to launch the Podcast Interviews. Every interview brings a fascinating God story and encouraging word to you! You won’t want to miss our upcoming interviews with life-changing stories.
YOUR PART IN THE PODCAST!
YOU too can be an important part of this PODCAST!
I’d love to hear what questions you have for me? And what other Special Guest would you like to hear from? I’m inviting a wide range of people from all types of careers and God stories for the weekly interview. We would love to know who YOU are interested in hearing from on the show.
Who are YOU interested in hearing from and what are your questions?
Every single experience—whether it is a change we celebrate or a change we cry over—is an opportunity to grow. And yes, that includes every choice you make that you look back at and regret. No matter how on-top-of-the-world or down-in-the-ditch life gets, I have decided to move forward.
I’ve lived in 5 different states, changed zip codes 9 times plus packed and unpacked boxes too many times to count. Can you relate?
I lived in New York City during my college years. Since I was from a small little country town in Pennsylvania I loved to escape the cement sidewalks by taking walks through Central Park. An Italian artist, Tatinana Trouve, identified 212 unique pathways throughout Central Park. No matter which path you take it’s always best to take along a friend for your safety. I’ve always been searching for safe people to do life with throughout each season of my life and especially on all of my moving adventures from state to state.
“Gosh, change is harder than I thought! Sometimes, I couldn’t tell which way was up. I needed wisdom. How do I know what to do?
My life began to change when I was finally connected with a mentor and friend. She helped me work through my loneliness and find a new community each time I moved. It’s amazing how change exposes our true selves. It reminds us of how vulnerable we are—how much we need God and other people. It gives us courage and the confidence to reach out for support rather than trying to do life alone. Now, I spend my time confidently reaching out to others and trying to help them on their own life journey.
John Maxwell writes, “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
[easy-tweet tweet=”I’m convinced there is no better or safer place to be than talking out our greatest dreams and deepest fears with a trusted mentor.” user=”JaymeHull” hashtags=”#FTFMentoring”]
If you truly want to grow, you need another person to allow you to speak out what’s in your heart without criticizing.
I encourage you to take a moment to quiet your heart.
Ask God to give you insight into the areas you need to grow in, then jot down whatever He brings to your mind.
Let’s purpose together that when we stand before God one day, we’ll be able to joyously say,
“I used everything You gave me.” No unused talent. No hidden fears. No regrets . . . because, in community with other Christians, we relentlessly pursued growth.
Maybe you’re a risk-taker by nature—you jump first and think later. Or maybe you like to play it safe and can be paralyzed by the idea of change. No matter what your natural bent, wisdom is needed in navigating transitions.
Change is a part of life—we can’t escape it. But, we don’t have to do life alone.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
I love when Readers send me their mentoring stories and photos. Pictured above is Cherie who mentors and pours into Katie who is a High School Teacher. Katie is passing it on by encouraging and mentoring her High School students. Be encouraged. God desires to use your life experiences and stories to make a difference in the lives of others.
My heartbeat is to share the positive message of mentoring to help others live a life full of hope. Who knows? You may already have your mentoring relationship right in front of you! Let the story begin…
If mentoring is about a relationship, then can you methodically find a mentor? In a word, yes, but it isn’t going to be a method like you might often think of a method. It is more of a process. Let’s walk through the process together, step-by-step.
“Mentoring is not a formula or a checklist; it’s a relationship.”
Step One: Be Aboveboard.
The truth is you desire more personal communication and real relationships. Begin to intentionally look at the women around you at work, church, the gym, or where you volunteer. No one will ever be perfect. What you will notice is how they handle the difficult situations of life and make the choice to move forward in their own life.
Believe me, neither good friends nor a good mentor will just “happen.” So don’t merely sit on your couch drinking a smoothie and praying. Pray, certainly. But then get up and move. While you are out and about doing life watch for those around you who do life in a way you can admire.
Step Two: Be Authentic.
Start a conversation with this person face to face. Share encouraging words with them and how you admire the way they choose to live life no matter what they are facing. Have a brief conversation about your desires to work on things in your life and grow in that area of your life.
Remember, Mentoring is so much more than just an appointment on your calendar—it’s a way of life. Therefore, you will want to look for a mentor who you feel you can spend a part of your life with sharing and growing. You will need to be willing to open up to this person and share who you are, your strengths and your weaknesses authentically.
[easy-tweet tweet=” Be encouraged! God will give you the right words at the right time. Matthew 10:19″ user=”@JaymeHull” hashtags=”#mentors #encouraged #words”]
You will do this by spending time together. This will take an effort on your part which you must be ready to blend into the other areas of your life.
Step Three: Be Available.
Invite this person to meet for coffee. Ask them to share their life stories and consider becoming your mentor.
It is important to meet face-to-face after all God created us for face-to-face relationships long before social media began to take over our lives. Just because you can build a relationship behind a computer or phone screen doesn’t mean you should. True authentic relationships are best done face-to-face.
“Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
Step Four: Be Approachable.
If you are inviting someone to share their life stories and pour into your life, you will need to be teachable. The only way to get unstuck and grow is to listen to wise godly counsel and pray about your mentoring conversation.
You will want to be willing and open to making changes in your life. Allowing your mentor to help you take the first steps to better relationships, better choices and greater days.
Start today to seek people who can walk with you in living out your questions day by day. God didn’t create you and me to do life alone. Seek a mentor today and discover how this relationship will change your life forever.
“A supervisor I once had said, ‘If the devil can’t steal your victory he’ll try to steal your joy.’” I’ve found his words to be true.
My surgery had gone without a hitch. The mass my doctor was so worried about was benign. You’d think that would quiet all my concerns. But new ones darkened my slumber. A fierce struggle in my mind jarred me awake.
Two phone conversations and a YouTube video during the week following surgery had sown seeds of doubt about my decision to keep my healthy organs. These ugly doubts sprouted into suffocating fear during my sleep. The video had popped up, ironically, after I’d finished watching one on prayer. In it, Angelina Jolie told how her doctor had begged her, with tears, to remove her ovaries. In my sleep, these women’s fears became my own. Had I been wrong to keep my healthy ovary?
What fears threaten your peace? With all that is going on in our world, there are plenty to choose from. Reason wasn’t enough to conquer mine. Let me explain how God rescued me and how to quiet your own unease.
Three R’s to Remove Fear:
Recognize the source.“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control”(2 Tim. 1:7 ESV). My doubt had to be a dart. Even in my sleep, I recognized its destructive nature. What could I do about my decision now? Surgery was over.Read more about how to recognize DARTS here
Remember God’s character. “Which one of you, if his son asks him for…a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11 ESV). I’d asked God to guide me as I researched and prayed about my decision before my surgery. His leading had been consistent. Was I to believe that God had intentionally withheld the information I needed until it was too late? This doubt slandered God’s nature.
Refresh your faith. Faith—not reason—is the antidote to fear. Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ (see Romans 10:17). In the wilderness, Israel had to gather fresh manna every morning. Leftovers rotted overnight. Our faith also needs daily renewal.That morning God led me to the first chapter of Joshua. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9 NIV). I’d never noticed the connection between the first and second part of this verse before. This was a command!God had appointed Joshua to lead Israel into the Promised Land. How could he help his brothers enter God’s rest if fear and discouragement held him hostage?God has commissioned us to be His ambassadors and shine as lights in a dark world. How can we shine the light of Jesus to those we mentor when our hearts are clouded with worry? How can we show them the Prince of Peace if anxiety rules us?
While I’ve often wished for a dial to modulate my emotions—dial-up courage, joy, or hope as needed—God’s way is higher. He’d rather me be strong in Him than feel strong in myself.
God used my fear to remind me He is with me. Those who know Jesus need never stay in fear and discouragement.
How has God used fear to strengthen your walk with Him?
Debbie W. Wilson is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Share her journey to refreshing faith at www.DebbieWwilson.com