BRN Women

Intimate Life Source

This morning at the table my husband shared our devotional verse of John 15:5:grafted vines

 

“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”

 I was contemplating how it is in spring that we see the results of things being connected to their source through hard winter months. The flowers that bloom on the trees, or from the bulbs deep in the ground have all had to endure a season that was bleak and seemingly dormant. We didn’t see much activity from the tree or plants, but there was something happening that was very important during the winter season. They stayed connected to the life source. What the appearance was on the outside wasn’t as important as the fact that on the inside the connection was there.  The showy flowers and leaves of Spring are only a reflection of the abiding the branches did over the winter months.  I came across this devotional thought penned by Kay Warren in her book, Sacred Privilege.  She quotes her daughter Amy, who battles chronic Lyme disease and is a pastor’s wife.  Amy says,

“Christianity is an inside job, which means my internal reality has the power to rise up and overwhelm my external circumstances if I choose to learn God’s ways.  As the painful circumstances heave piled up over the years, I have had to choose to go underground (so to speak) spiritually to survive.  The above-ground reality has been so painful, terrifying, and seemingly hopeless that withdrawing inward to a soul space with God has been necessary.  But there, in what one would assume would be darkness, I have found light.  I have found Jesus ready to empower and comfort me, to share his peace and give me his joy.  With more physical healing under my belt, the challenge is to stay in this place of intimacy with Jesus, to not just visit occasionally but to actually live out of this internal reality.  Abiding has become the single-minded daily pursuit of my soul.”

Being connected and remaining in the life source is imperative to the sustaining power of our relationship with Jesus.  We must see Him as our life source and know that we will perish apart from Him.  While our heads believe this for “salvation”, a way to get to heaven, we have a harder time accepting this as a need for our very existence today and true relationship with God that will bear His fruit. 

During the hard times, the still times of seemingly barrenness, and even in the fruitful times of life how am I allowing Him to “remain in me, and I in him” so that he is my “soul space” as Amy said, intimately connected to him for life source?  

Continue reading “Intimate Life Source”

Blog, BRN Women, Leadership

Don’t Sideline the Women in Your Church Plant

Kelly King of Lifeway ministries shared a blog from the gospel coalition about the importance of all disciples in the church being available and answering the call to be disciplers, including women. The blog was written by Alyssa Poblete  of King’s Cross Church in Orange County, CA.

Alyssa states that:

“When women are underrepresented or underutilized, the church cannot bear God’s image effectively, and our collective mission suffers.”

 

Read More Here!
Continue reading “Don’t Sideline the Women in Your Church Plant”

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Struggling?

It’s the week after Easter! The plans, preparation and emphasis are all over! Why is there a huge let down?  Why am I not on this wonderful high of participating in a celebration 2012-04-06 15.20.15of the greatest foundation of my faith? Why didn’t I see great strides for the gospel made? Why can’t I get the energy to make it to the next time of gathering with other Christ followers? Continue reading “Struggling?”

Blog, BRN Women

Crushed

This week the news broke of another fallen leader in Christian service.  As he was a very public servant the news reverberated across an entire denomination. Someone used the phrase, “I was crushed to learn of this”.  The picture of the flowers came to mind and I thought, how many others have been crushed by a leader’s fall.  Not just a leader of a large entity, he was a leader of a local body of believers at one time. Most importantly, he was a leader of a home and a husband.  A home that had been shaken greatly by the death of a child in the not too distant past.  A husband who was faithful for many years.

A great many women have been left feeling crushed at one time or another personally by a spouse.  A father has crushed the trust of his children in many circumstances.  If you have your faith in Jesus, you are not crushed, just broken.  So what can be learned by this experience?

1.  Stay rooted

A broken plant will revive if their roots stay intact.  To many times we are apt to follow and focus on the fruit that is produced by an individual.  While we can appreciate the blooms around us that enhance our lives, our roots must be in someone who can never fail or break our trust.  If we are strong and rooted deeply in Jesus when the things above the surface face storms, get pruned and fall victim to other things falling on them we can not only survive, but thrive.

*After the Fall – There will be great loss when a leader/spouse falls.  It hurts the most when you are closest to the one who breaks trust because you are the one who usually gets broken by the impact.  Others that are affected are usually just upset because it made the “garden” look bad.  It brings fear that they too may be uprooted.  You on the other hand have your actual life disturbed because your roots are intertwined.  If your roots have been damaged, get help to stabilize your root system!  Get on your knees and pour out the hurt to your Lord, our Master Gardner.  Let His Spirit speak to your heart and replenish your soul.  Ask for help from others who will help you stabilize your faith in God’s promises.  It is not your job to repair the one who fell on you! Stabilize your life source so you too don’t loose the beauty God want’s to bring forth from you.

2.  Stay Connectedrope-knitting-heart-love-113737.jpeg

God’s love between us will keep us intertwined.  In a world where it is easy to disconnect and substitute connection with technology we often find ourselves living more isolated than ever.  This is dangerous!  We are meant to live in a relationship that is interdependent upon each other.  The human race is created to be image bearers of our God.  He daily gives us breath, our senses to experience Him and opportunities to encounter him.  We have come to a place where we no longer are that close to each other.  We like our “space” even in our most intimate relationships.  Very rarely do we exercise the Agape love found in 1 Corinthians 13 in our interactions with each other.  Our roots don’t connect anymore, even in marriages, the ultimate relationship designed to bear the image of God’s relationship with us.  Make sure that you are allowing intimate relationship that truly bears God’s design. Don’t fear being so connected that a fall might be felt by your root system as well.  The majority of the time, if two are deeply connected in Christ and then interconnected with each other, the chance of one falling is slim.  Remain deeply rooted in Jesus (no. 1) and each other for a great support system.

*After the Fall- If we are interconnected, then when one falls there is hope they can be restored.  They can be brought upright by God (not your job) and replanted easier because of support and strong roots already in place.

Note: Understandably there are times when it is impossible to stay connected because of the other person’s damage.  If there is a total break in the root system and the individual chooses to not be replanted, God will sustain you.  You may have been broken and roots might sustain damage but can heal you from this separation. Let it be a separation from God and not because of your pain in the season.   It will be a difficult, time consuming work and take much focus on exercising forgiveness and restored faith in God.

daisies-white-flower-face-59984.jpeg3.  Live in Hope

Too often when a major event like broken trust occurs in our lives we tend to focus on that season of darkness.  We must live in hope, focused on Him and His plan.  While the soil of our lives is tender, the enemy will try and plant weeds around us that may not disturb us until we have regained our stability.  If we are living in hope, we will then be able to pull those weeds when they come up and not ignore them until we too fall.  You see, when someone who seemingly has been strong in all areas of their walk with Jesus falls, it is usually because of unnoticed weeds that were sown during a vulnerable time in their lives.  The weeds of doubt, justification, fear and mistrust slowly have been eroding the soil unnoticed, damaging the root system of true hope and faith.  This is what can truly crush a person.  We may be broken but Hope doesn’t crush. (2 Cor. 4:1-11)

Broken trust, being broken, hurts!  Live in the hope that you have not been crushed by the Father.  Sin can no longer crush you!  There is hope because of the saving work of Jesus Christ.  If we keep walking in the Spirit we will move forward towards a new day and no matter the darkness we will know that God’s light is there.  God is always at work.  No matter what the season you are going through, always look to the completed work of the Lord.  Jesus is coming again! Until you are with Him in glory, your journey will continue and He will see you flourish again.  Stay Rooted, Stay Connected & Live in Hope!

“My Father is still working, and I am working also.” John 5:17

             “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire to work out His good purpose.”    Philippians 2:13