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last night we kicked off our Illuminate Women’s Conference at The River Christian Church

and it was a blast!

love how God spoke to our beautiful women – youth upwards to in their 80s…

i was priv’d to preach last night – after a week of having no voice and even up to about 6pm i wasn’t able to hold a conversation without coughing fits.  not promising.  but i had felt that i would get my voice and despite what circumstance said, that i would be able to speak!  was so God healing me and empowering me!

loving all the joy that comes with a conference weekend – so much fun!

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@PriscillaShirer Trying 2 determine who will b the solution to ur problem or the answer 2 ur prayer. Check the mirror. It just might b u. #LessonsfromGideon

@PriscillaShirer Many of today’s difficulties r often a result of yesterday’s disobedience. #lessonsfromgideon. What is God asking u to do now? Just do it.

@PriscillaShirer Weakness is the key given 2 us by God 2 unlock the experience of His strength & our potential. . .don’t despise the key. #lessonsfromGideon

@PriscillaShirer "Ordinary" is often the disguise of the divine. #lessonsfromGideon So keep your eyes open today.

@PriscillaShirer  "The power behind you is greater than the task ahead of you." #lessonsfromGideon

 

@LifeWayWomen Knowing God’s purpose requires first being aware of God’s presence. @PriscillaShirer #LessonsfromGideon

 

@PrettyChrissie Make decisions based on the boundless resources of God. No weapon can stand against Him! #LessonsFromGideon

 

@ADWhitener 1/2 Wherever you are now is where you are meant to serve now. #lessonsfromgideon

@ADWhitener 2/2 Your greatest impact will be done here-in the ordinary rhythms of your daily living.

 

@am_b8 When God tells me to DO something it’s not my job to understand. It’s my job to DO. #LessonsFromGideon

 

@Jaclyn_Turner "Wherever we feel too weak to fulfill our calling, our ever-redeeming God will make us strong!" #lessonsfromgideon

 

@penehutton Being faithful in the daily things of life will prepare you to receive the calling on your life. #lessonsfromgideon

 

@blalockca Don’t suppress the miraculous just because you aren’t impressed with your own resources #lessonsfromgideon

 

@katiehartshorn "A vessel’s value is not determined by its composition but by its contents." ~Priscilla Shirer #LessonsfromGideon

 

 

@ChristineCaine Wherever u are today THAT is the very place in the world YOU are called to be light. When u know who u are in Him u know what you are to do!

 

Claire McLean@fireball3316 You build an altar with your life / judges 6

@fireball3316 The size of prayers depends on the size of our God. And if God knows no limits, then neither should our prayers. Mark Batterson

@fireball3316 Most of our identity problems are the result of looking in the wrong mirrors. Mark Batterson

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Gideon had been reared in an idol-worshipping family. His own father was the keeper of the Baal altar in their town of Ophrah.

So Gideon took 10 of his male servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it in the daytime, he did it at night (Judges 6:27).

Often, like in Gideon’s case, our smaller spheres of influence are not easier to contend with just because they are smaller. On the contrary, some of the most difficult and intimidating opportunities to walk in God’s calling come when we are staring in the faces of those who know us best and whom we love the most.

Consider how Gideon must have felt tearing down what his father had spent his lifetime building, teaching, and defending. With each stone that he and his servants dismantled, another layer of the ideology that had overrun his family came unglued. This overnight idol-demolishing wasn’t affecting some random town and family he would never see again. This was a task he’d feel, see, and endure the consequences of every day from that point on.

  • When the Christian daughter chooses to evangelize her non-Christian parents . . .
  • When the godly wife chooses to set an example for her unsaved spouse . . .
  • When the teenager seeks to impact his pagan school environment . . .
  • When the coworker tries to influence her friends on the job . . .

The stakes are often much higher when the mission field is so personal.

What lies ahead in your journey is not nearly as critical as where you are right now. Wherever you are now is where you are meant to serve now. These innermost circles are often the ones that offer the least amount of recognition. This is why so many people try to circumvent them. And yet your greatest impact will be done here – in the ordinary rhythms of your daily living.

Following God wholeheartedly within these up-close loops of faith will often cause you an internal uneasiness and daily faithfulness that cannot be escaped just because it’s 5 p.m. and the workday is over. It’s easier to stand on a platform and teach people we may never see again than to walk with our own children, friends, and loved ones in accountability and discipleship. But these spheres encompass the heart of true ministry.

Begin to clarify who the people in your primary sphere of influence should be. Refuse to search for significance in another place if you’ve bypassed any near and necessary steps in the journey God has for you. Pray for a courageous faith and holy boldness to start where you are. He’ll give it to you.

// by Priscilla Shirer

*** housegroup plan for tonight

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{WORSHIP SET}

One Thing Remain

Came To My Rescue

 

{SKYPE} Psalm 27

 

{8 TO BE GREAT} 1. Passion. 2. Work. 3. Focus. 4.  Push. 5. Ideas. 6. Improve. 7. Serve. 8. Persist.

 

{101} Group and Pair Discussion

P: What does “success” mean to you?

P: What is your definition of influence?

P: What are you doing with the influence you currently have?

P: Are there discrepancies between what you desire in your heart and what you are doing with your life?

 

G: "You only have as much influence as people have respect for you." How do you increase or get credibility?

G:  What does the bible say about credibility and influence?

 

Too many people are content to live a life of information rather than revelation. But knowledge alone will never inflame a sustained blaze in you to love Jesus passionately. Only revelation will do that ~ Banning Liebscher

 

G: World changers understand their dream of the Kingdom of God invading earth doesn’t come by simply sitting around inactive. They know “the ball is in their hands and take steps to co-labour with Jesus and see His desire fulfilled. What are two things you could do today to shift your life out of passive mode and into an offensive posture?

 

P: Think back to a time when you felt the love of God. Talk about how it happened and how it impacted your life. In what way did it change and empower you?

P: Pray for each other

We have to let Heavens strategy guide our Earthly activity and get on the same page with God. Like marching around Jericho, like stepping out of the boat onto the water, like facing off against a giant, like sending the worship team at the head of the army God has a unique way of doing things – He has the power but He uses us to demonstrate His reality and goodness. When we say YES He steps in and moves. The walls fell AFTER they walked around the city. Peter walked on water AFTER he stepped out of the boat. David defeated Goliath AFTER he stepped in the ring to fight, Jehosaphat won the battle after worshipping God. The valley of dry bones became a roaring army AFTER Ezekeiel prophesied. What is your AFTER moment? What is God calling you to step out into?  from DRY BONES

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Jesus, i pray that You would write Your message upon our hearts that we might speak life, hope, destiny and purpose into these young people

i pray that You would open their eyes to the reality of Your love and greatness, that they would find their greatest satisfaction in You.  i pray that they would know who they are in You, what their giftings are and what You have called them to do and be.  that they would be secure in purpose and confident in serving, empowered by the Holy Spirit. 

i pray that we would have lots of fun and that you would build community amongst us, that we would create lifelong friendships and be open with one another, able to challenge honestly, encourage lavishly and walk through life together.

i pray we would learn well, that we would love Your Word and love Your presence.  teach us new ways to communicate with You, to connect with You, to communicate with each other and to follow hard after Your ways and Kingdom. 

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So first week back at school… everyone survive?

We had a really nice holiday in Turangi, went rockclimbing, fishing, through a huge maze in taupo, played a lot of board games, got addicted to icarly and did touristy things. Good times. But when we pulled out of the house we realized we had forgotten to plan for one very important thing. low techness. No usb plug in the car. Which meant that lifefm ran out once we hit the bombays and then it was either white noise, bad radio, or cds. Now I’m a mother. Which means my car has two kinds of cds in one particular ratio. 90% kid cds. 10% my cds. Which means when there are 10 cds that can fit down the pockets of the side doors… only one is mine. I ignored the other 9 and put on karnaga by cindy ruakere. For those that haven’t heard cindy – she is a fierce maori worshipper and she rocks it. Her cd became our holiday anthem.

And it stirred my heart.

How many of you know that as much as we know Gods love is unconditional and He is amazing and His grace is everlasting and He has saved us, how we can look out the window and the heavens declare the majesty of God, how we can drift into our own space of life and let the embers die? Now I’m not saying I was cold… but I was not white hot.

The holiday was like a turbo fan on my heart heat I am more passionate now about jesus. I am more passionate about other people being passionate about jesus. I am more passionate now about revival.

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He said to me, Prophesy to these bones and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live;

I will wrap you with muscles and skin, and I will put breath and spirit in you, and you dry bones shall live; and you shall know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a thundering noise and behold, a shaking and trembling and a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.

I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath or spirit in them.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Instead of running FROM God we need to RUN to God.

For Jonah it was in the whale. It was in the Darkness where Jonah turns and finds God, where Jonah runs TO God. 

Jonah prays: Jonah could of prayed on the dock, on the shore, even on the boat. But it took the whale experience to bring repentance and surrender.

Jonah encounters God. Jonah’s heart has turned. He was running form God and is now running to God. He acknowledges how bad the situation is.  He cries out to God his only hope. He sees his salvation in suffering. He offers his voice and praises to God because that is all he has to give. “Salvation Belongs to the Lord!”   It is in this dark place that Jonah finds the saving Grace of God.

This is an open invitation. You might be 3 steps out the door, 3 miles down the road, 3 days in the belly of a whale. But the invitation is there. Our God is compassionate and merciful.

What is your turning point? What is the turning point where you STOP running FROM God and start running TO God?

For some of us it is the storm and the whale that stops us in our tracks.

For some of us its one day we wake up and realize that our hearts are cold and we can’t remember the last time we had peace with God.

For some of us it’s when the wheels fall off our marriage, our finances, our health. When the anger overtakes us and we fall apart emotionally. When we feel like we’re drowning and that we’re at the end of our rope.

Let me tell you, you are never too far away from God. Jonah was in the belly of a whale. He had run as far as you could away from the will of God. He was a prophet – his job was to hear from God and he stuck his fingers in his ears and rebelled.

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you.” Jonah 2

BUT let’s look at it this way. Does your turning point need to be at the lowest when you’ve hit the wall?

Every day we have the opportunity to say YES to God.

Yes I will choose to forgive. Yes I will choose grace. Yes I will choose to hold that gossip in. Yes I will choose to be grateful. Yes I will choose to be salt and light.

You don’t need to run to turn.

And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Mark 1:16-18

Immediately the disciples followed Jesus. They turned from their old life to their new life.

all week i’ve been reading things that encourage me to run WITH God.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27 jumped out at me as i read my bible last night.

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1 Corinthians 9:24-27

You know that many runners enter a race, and only one of them wins the prize. So run to win! Athletes work hard to win a crown that cannot last, but we do it for a crown that will last forever. I don’t run without a goal. And I don’t box by beating my fists in the air. I keep my body under control and make it my slave, CEV

 

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection,  NKJV

 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever.Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave  NIV

 

you’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition.  MSG

 

You know that only one person gets a crown for being in a race even if many people run. You must run so you will win the crown. Everyone who runs in a race does many things so his body will be strong. He does it to get a crown that will soon be worth nothing, but we work for a crown that will last forever. In the same way, I run straight for the place at the end of the race. I fight to win. I do not beat the air.I keep working over my body. I make it obey me.  NLT

 

 

 

we are in a race : life and following can be described as a race – it has a set course and a set finish line

we run for a prize : though we are saved by grace and cannot repay our salvation or earn anything, God does promise rewards for those who serve well and obey

run to win : we must make a choice to run the right race the right way, fixing our eyes on the finish line and running with purpose

our prize is priceless : we don’t run for a trophy but for eternal rewards

run with direction : direction determines destination – we must run to the finish line that GOD has set, not an imaginary finish line

disciplined to win : runners make choices that increase their opportunity to win, they exercise and eat right, likewise we need to make choices that set us up for success

purposed to win : we don’t run aimlessly but we run with purpose and passion, knowing that winning and finishing is really the only thing that matters.  we are not distracted by by other things around us but have purpose. 

 

 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary. But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it,  AMP

**** love love love YOU’RE ALREADY AMAZING by Holley Gerth… the chapter on “what’s your emotional style” so clicked with me… i dont know whether it was a fashion/shopping thing or the fact that as a mums group (and the women from our young adults housegroup) we’ve been going through UNGLUED by lysa terkeurst so i’m more hyper aware of ways to articulate emotionals and emotional transformations… nothing says it better than an extreme makeover!

 

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we all have an emotional style…  a one of a kind, complex way of showing our hearts to the world.  imagine i pick you and a friend up and take you to your favourite shop.  as you walk through the door i say “surprise! i’m sending you on a shopping spree.  you both get to pick an outfit.  there’s only one rule – it has to reflect you.”  while you and your friend might have a lot in common, you’re most likely to get something entirely different.  maybe you’re a “jeans a t-shirt” kind of girl while she heads right over to the pumps and pearls.  even if you choose something similar you’ll probably pick out a different colour or size.  what if i took you to another store, but this time it was filled with emotional expressions instead of clothes?  the same thing would probably happen.  your friend might feel totally comfortable in bold yellow joy while you feel more at home in the laid back blue of peace.  there would be all kinds of reasons why you made your choices, ranging from where you grew up and what you were taught in church, to how your brain is wired.  God, the ultimate designer, has custom created an emotional wardrobe for you.  and its beautiful. ~ Holley Gerth // You’re Already Amazing page 60

 

each one of us thinks our normal is THE normal.  our way of life, responses, and yes, emotions make sense to us.  but ultimately, our reality has to be tested against God’s ways of doing things. ~ Holley Gerth // You’re Already Amazing page 65

 

it may be just that once made sense no longer works now.  its time for a new emotional fitting!  you may have responses in your emotional closet you “outgrew” years ago.  ~ Holley Gerth // You’re Already Amazing page 67

 

its one of the great mysteries of womanhood that we all have moments when we stand in our closet, look at our clothes, and still think “i’ve got nothing to wear”.  and i’ve got a confession: its bee one of those weeks for me emotionally.  when that happens, its time for an emotional style check. ~ Holley Gerth // You’re Already Amazing page 70

 

Thankfully God’s promises give us something better to wear. ~ Holley Gerth // You’re Already Amazing page 72

 

what’s one emotional style you’ve learned from your upbringing that you want to keep?

what’s one you’ve outgrown and need to replace with God’s way of doing things instead?

 

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