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Simon Peter had no idea that his obedience to something that seemed so small and insignificant could help him discover his calling in life, but it did! What little thing is God asking of you today?

 

i remember when i was at university my dream was to work in a church one day.  and be a youth leader.  they were my two life goals.

i had a big gap in my lecture schedule on a Thursday so i used to go and fold the church weekly newsletters.  back in the day we didn’t have flash printers that folded the newsletters themselves.  seriously.

so i would go and hang out in the office and fold the newsletters.  all of them. they needed folding – and well, i could fold.  it was a way to serve and make life easier for the staff.

it was a great opportunity to be around the church staff.  to have conversations with them.  to become friends with them.  to position myself  in their space and influence. 

i LOVED folding the newsletters because of this opportunity to be around them and to in my own small way, contribute to building the Kingdom of God.

anyway, to cut to the chase – when our youth leader stepped down i was asked if i would consider taking it on.

through folding the newsletters, saying yes to God to serve in what seemed such a small and insignificant way, i opened the door to my future and dreams  i developed credibility with the staff and grew by listening to them talk about God, church, life etc.

 

 

Don’t despise the day of small beginnings.  Be faithful in what opportunities are around you.  Be consistent and develop credibility and a record of faithfulness.  God will open the door at just the right time.

 

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Peter’s radical obedience to Jesus’ simple request ultimately resulted in him discovering the calling on his life.  Lysa Terkeurst // page 117 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD

 

The Lord’s request made no sense in human terms. Lysa Terkeurst // page 117 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD

 

we have to remember that Simon Peter didn’t know that something as mundane as lowering his net into the water would change his life – but it id!  and that’s how it can be for us.  our calling is revealed as we walk in daily obedience to Christ in the little things. Lysa Terkeurst // page 117 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD

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What do you tell yourself to keep going?

What motivates you on a Tuesday?

Where is my purpose?

How can i refocus to be more persistent?

What readjusts your perspective?

 

in a way we talked about this at The Best Housegroup In The World last night… how do you become a  YES person – no matter the circumstance you find yourself in.  YES at work.  YES in ministry.  YES in good times and YES when its hard.  YES when we’re feeling it and YES when we’re not.

 

i loved the answers:

  • gratitude and thankfulness – keep a journal or list so that you have a record of God’s faithfulness and answers
  • talk honestly to God – {yelling is okay!}
  • talk honestly with people – find big people who can speak into your life – and find family to be real around
  • prayer / worship – carve out time to encounter God and be refreshed by His love
  • be faithful in the small steps – live it out in our real lives
  • know the promises of God – that when we step out we know that God steps with us

 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:11-13

 

i love that promise – i can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength

you know, when the bible says ALL it means ALL.  everyone.  everything.  ALL.

no buts, no excuses, no exceptions, no maybes or sometimes.  ALL.

His strength is available in all situations and at all times.

 

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

 

 

i can say YES because Jesus empowers me to say YES and to live YES.

i can stick with it even in the storm because He gives me strength, all the time.

 

 

 

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from Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study

 

 

 

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"When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it solves a great deal of anxiety." ~ AW Tozer”

 

#yestogod – Our yes stories won’t always be big. Sometimes surrendering in the small things brings the greatest blessing. How has God been glorified in your life through a small act of obedience?

 

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God has called each one of us to be ambassadors and witnesses – to shine His light into the world so that people will see God in the darkness.  it is God who saves and draws people to Himself but He demonstrates His love and grace and lives out salvation in us.

God has qualified and empowered each one of us to do this momentous task.  It should be done every day in every conversation in every opportunity.  Its not something we turn off or turn on.  We ARE witnesses.  We ARE the light of the world, unhidden and shinning bright.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

 

How many times do we write ourselves off based on our past? Based on our flaws? Based on our limitations? Based on our brokenness? Based on our circumstances?  How many times to we disqualify ourselves because “we’re just a mum” or “just a WHATEVER”.  there are no “just a-s” in the service of God!  all around us are opportunities to say yes to God.

 

“i don’t qualify to be a woman who says yes to God.  look at how i acted: impatient, unkind, emotional, angry, unstable and irrational.” i am not a woman who should be labelled unable.  Lamentations 3 tells us “His compassions are new every morning.”  God’s compassions, or mercies are available minute by minute, step by step, decision by decision, reaction by reaction.  we don’t have to get bogged down and label as unable.  we just have to ask God for forgiveness and move on.  i am a woman on a journey of learning how to make sure my reactions don’t deny Christ’s presence in me.  I am a woman who says yes to God not because my emotions and reactions are always perfect.  No, I say yes to God because He is perfectly able to forgive me, love me, remind me, challenge me, and show me how to weather trials in ways that prove His Spirit resides in me.  i remind myself often that people don’t care to meet my Jesus until  they meet the reality of Jesus in my life. ~ Lysa Terkeurst 

 

 

“What is impossible with people is possible with God. We just have to believe that God has called us to go into the world in His name, and not listen to the crippling or even paralyzing labels and limitations imposed by others. We cannot allow them to daunt us.” Christine Caine  

Sometimes our offering – our life – our light – our opportunity – doesn’t seem like much – but God is at work in and to and through us. What can often look like lack or weakness can be used by God for His purposes and His glory. Wherever we feel too weak to fulfil our calling, our ever-redeeming God will make us strong!

 

Yes is not just for momentous moments, but for our every day life.    the mundane.  in fact, i believe to God, all moments have the potential to be momentous!  each opportunity to say YES is an opportunity to change the world, firstly my world and then the world around me.  

 

As i pause to help others, i am reminded that, just like Jesus, we are called to notice the people around us and to bring a touch of hope into their lives.  A person pursuing obedience is able to pause and touch those that He says need our time, in spite of busy schedules.  the obedience soul redefines who she is through God’s eyes and any hesitation to do what He asks fades way. ~ Lysa Terkeurst 

 

in my family i CHOOSE to say YES to being gracious and self controlled, instead of reacting and letting my emotions run wild into critical language

i can CHOOSE to listen to my son instead of overreacting and assuming

i can CHOOSE to make my husband a coffee at the end of a day, a small act of service to say i love you

in my workplace i CHOOSE to take notice of peoples lives and to get alongside them in conversation

in my community i CHOOSE to make conversation with the checkout operator, my spirit listening for opportunities to speak to them about Jesus

i CHOOSE to say yes to driving my sons rugby team to games

i CHOOSE to say YES to being my daughters bible in schools teacher

i CHOOSE to have coffee with a friend

i CHOOSE to ask questions instead of being preoccupied with my life

i CHOOSE to talk to people in carparks and shopping malls, aware of the nudge of the Holy Spirit

i CHOOSE to give and trust

i CHOOSE to carve out time for worship and prayer, to read my Bible, so that i am learning to recognize Jesus’ voice as He calls me to step out and so i’m learning what pleases Him in the choices i make for my life and heart

 

sometimes i find it is those small YES moments that can have the most impact… those moments that seem small but are filled with eternity

for me, its the nudge to choose a certain song at housegroup… that draws someone back to Jesus

its the choice of quote to text out to my housegroup #fortoday

its the reaching out to someone because they were on my mind, only to find out they’re having the worst day ever

its the meal made for a friend that comes at just the right time

its the bag of supermarket food given to a friend in need only to find out they had nothing and had been praying for a miracle

its lending a book that “was written as if the author knew my life”

to invite a friend to church, remembering my own eternity changing moment when someone invited me and i said Yes

 

revival begins with me.  with my yes.

 

 

its those times, i’m glad i choose to say YES to God.  and make me glad God forgives me in the times i let that nudge pass by me.  i don’t want to miss an opportunity.  i don’t want to write myself off because of the times i fall and fail.  i am flawed.  but God is good and great.  Gracious.  i am just the jar of clay.  saying YES to my Saviour day by day, moment by moment.  Privileged, humbled and grateful that God chooses to use ordinary broken people like me to do extraordinary things.    i want people to meet Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

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This weeks challenge is to blog about a specific time God spoke to you and you had a “say what” moment.

 

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As i sit in front of my screen there are lots of moments that flit through my mind.

the time i moved to Auckland with no job or no where to live.

the time i began street preaching on my university campus.

the time we gave our “baby savings money” away.

or to invite the lady mentioning on fb that they had just moved into the area and had kids starting at our school on monday around for a playdate.

the time i felt to stand in front of a particular shop at our local mall and pray and talk for a woman in a red jumper.  when i got there the shop didn’t exist on the mall map, but i knew if God had sent me there, then it was there.  i was there but a minute before the woman in the red jumper, and two friends, rounded the corner.

the time – which i wrote about last week – when i reminded an old lady that God loved her : {P31} Yes To God

 

but the most recent and out there time for me is when i said YES to being a bible in schools teacher.

Here in New Zealand we have bible in schools, for 1/2 hour in school each week.  in state schools. 

earlier in the year i discovered that Evangeline’s bible teacher had gone to the same youth group in the South Island as i, but only a few years before.  we had never met or crossed paths.  he then, knowing i was a Christian, asked if i would like to be a bible in schools teacher.  He had both Evangeline’s class and another year 3-4 class. 

Now, let me tell you something about myself.

I am passionate about young adults ministry and women’s ministry.  I love love love what i do.   and i fill my days/evenings doing it.

I have never felt called to children’s ministry. at all.  in fact we joke about it in our church, because i am married to Tony, who is so passionate about children’s church and has been serving in children’s ministry since Noah’s Ark.  okay, maybe not that long, but for maybe 20 years!

but so not to be offensive, i replied “i’ll pray about it.’ read as: no thanks.

as i drove home i felt God say “so you going to pray about it girl?” boom.  busted.  He so knows me.  i felt that challenge from God to go, and to really pray about it.

now when i am thinking about being involved in something, i pray about it and think about what my life would look like doing that.   i began to picture being a bible school teacher.  and then realized, i didn’t actually know what they did.  which led me to the next step… observing a class. 

as i left the school that morning after sitting in on the class, the class which blew me away, the class which had my 3 favourite bible parables as the lesson (guess what they’re about… lost coin, lost sheep, lost son… i so love lost things!) i had a lot to think about. 

i’m already busy.

i don’t have time in my week.

this eats into my rest time and rest time is important.

this is out of my comfort zone.

i don’t do children’s ministry.

i drove past a friend out walking.  i u-turned, pulled in beside her and ended up sharing my heart.

“make a list of the pros and the pros” she said. 

yes pros and pros.  pro for doing it and pro for not doing it.

but that got me in deeper… because what i line up is my need for rest and my busyness and insecurity vs salvation and children’s lives changed with the gospel.

i prayed some more.

 

unknowingly, until i read it again this morning, i lined it up with lysa’s five questions:

 

“FIVE KEY QUESTIONS to help me determine if what i’m hearing is from God or not:

1. does what i’m hearing line up with scripture?

2. is it consistent with God’s character?

3. is it being confirmed through messages I’m hearing at church or studying in my quiet times?

4. is it beyond me?

5. would it please God?”  page 27 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

yes it lines up with the Word of God.

yes it is consistent with God’s character.

yes it is confirmed.

yes it is completely beyond me.

yes.  yes.  yes, it will make God happy.

 

and so, “i’ve decided i will try to hear God’s promptings and remember my time is not my own” page 26 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst 

 

that is what i decided too.  my life is not my own.  i am God’s.  God’s to direct and lead and use.  He will be my strength and shield.  He will be my rest and inspiration.

 

in case you’re wondering.  i said yes to God.  i am now a bible in schools teacher in training.

it was definitely  a SAY WHAT? moment in the calling but such a blessing to see things unfold.

 

 

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other great quotes from chapter 2 & 3 of WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD:

 

“Every day, God speaks to us.  Sometimes HE invites us to draw close and listen as He reveals Himself, His character ad His direction.  other times He calls to us to participate in His purpose.  Still other times HE simply whispers tor remind us of His amazing love for us.”  page 26 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“There is no magic formula for being able to discern God’s voice.  We can elran to recognize it the way we recognize the voices of those close to us: by knowing Him.  and when we know Him, we can tell if what we’re feeling ld to do is from Him or not.  When God speaks to me it is a certain impression on my heart that I’ve come to recognize as Him.” page 26 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“Unless we know scripture, we will not be able to discern whether what we are hearing is consistent or not with the Word.” page 27 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“God will not say things that are inconsistent with who He Is” page 28 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“Don’t look at your inabilities and dwell in insecurities.  Look at the Almighty God.  See this call as the opportunity to watch Him work in you and through you.  If you answer yes to the question IS THIS BEYOND ME? chances are God is speaking.”  page 33 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“To this day i have to seek it by asking for the desire, discipline, discernment, direction and delight.  i ask for the desire to want God more than anything else.  I ask for the discipline to make my relationship with Him top priority.  i ask for the discernment to know the difference between my own thoughts and God’s voice.  i ask for clear direction at each crossroad in my life.  i ask for my relationship with God to be characterized by sheer delight rather than a sense of duty.”   page 38 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“One thing you can be assured of is that God has already worked out all the details of what your obedience will accomplish – and its all good.  we need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life.  we should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss.  the sooner this truth resonates in your heart, the quicker you can make peace with a command from God that you dont fully understand.” page 45 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“God is not interested in half our hearts.  He wants it all, and He wants to remove the things that stand in the way of that.”  page 47 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

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“Can i let you in on something?  there is a place i escape to that allows my soul to braethe and rest and reflect.  it is the place where i can drop the “yuck” the world hands me and trade it in for the fullness of GOd.  it is the a place that God reassures me, confirms that He has everything under control, and gives me a new filter through which i can process life.  the bible calls it the remaining place (John 15:4).  i call it my sweet secret place.” page 51 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

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ahhhh i get this.

i need this space.

i carve out the time to spend time with God, not because its a good idea and its what good christians do, but because i need it.

I need His presence.

i need His peace.

i need His love and grace and power.

i am pulled in many directions and that stopping, pausing, remaining, dwelling is where i am pulled in only one direction.  towards Jesus.

its where my heart is realigned and renewed.  refreshed and restored.

sometimes all it takes is for me to close my eyes in the busyness of the day and say “hello Jesus, here i am.”

other times i like to take time, to meet with Him. 

to lie on the sofa, music on, heart open.

in winter there is a space on a bean bag by the fire with my name on it.

in summer, the deck calls to me.

at night, when everything and everyone is quiet i read my bible, following a plan, day by day soaking in His Word and truth and revelation.

sometimes i talk to Him, pray, bring my needs and wants before Him.

sometimes i share my feelings.

sometimes i am still. quiet. listening.

every time i meet with God like this i come away changed.

i wait on the Lord, He restores my soul.

this is my #yestoGod song… i reinstalled spotify and carved out some time in my week to spend it with Jesus – so necessary!  and this song popped up into my playlist and so captured my heart this week…

What can I do for You?
What can I bring to You?
What kind of song would you like me to sing?

Pour out my love for you, Beautiful King

‘Cause I… can’t thank You enough.
I can’t thank You enough
What can I do for You?
What can I bring to You?
What kind of song would you like me to sing?

 

 

my life is lived out in response to His great love for me.  He loved me first, He saved me, poured out His grace.  Rescued me, adopted me.  And now this life i live i live in response to His rescue.  i want to love Him with all my heart, soul, strength, energy, time, passion, purpose.  

 

 

Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, with all your soul and with all your might. ~ Deut. 6:5

 

 

what can i do for Him?  what can i do to say thank you?  i will live my life saying #yestoGod – i will live my life in relationship with Him, living in the reality of that love and kindness – i want to know Him and make Him known.

In what i say, i what i do and most importantly, in who i am inside and out – let me Love you Jesus.

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i love lysa terkerust and her books – she writes in such a way that its like she is sitting next to me, cup of tea in hand, talking about her life and encouraging me, personally, to step into the adventure for my own life, to stretch past my own boundaries and fears into the plans of God, and to allow Him to chisel me, transform me and shape me.  To be secure in His love.  To live in His love.  To be active in demonstrating His reality through my life.  She laughs with me, hands me a tissue when i need it, she cheers me on when i’m having a win, and stirs my spirit to step out more.

 

So when i saw that Proverbs 31 were doing a study from one of her books WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD i was on board.  i want to be a Yes woman, a woman who surrenders and steps forward despite any restrictions into the plans of God, the divine moments where He moves unexpectedly and surprisingly, where He speaks and moves.

 

Lysa says on page 14 that “we can become so familiar with God, yet so unaware of Him.”

i don’t want that to be my life story.

i want to know God, see God, feel God, experience God.  i want to know Him and make Him known.

 

So the P31 study involves reading the book, chapter by chapter, along with the online study and questions and sharing opportunities on fb, twitter and blogging. 

Through the P31 Online Bible Study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, you will learn to:

  • listen for His voice and discern what He is asking you
  • see how wholehearted obedience honours His presence in your life
  • give yourself to Him and let Him affect lives around you in amazing ways

The Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study offers real hope for real life. It’s flexible to meet any schedule. It’s the perfect Bible study for anyone who can’t attend a regular Bible study. Our group is focused on study, but we also have lots of fun. You will receive daily prayer and encouragement by being a part of this active community at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

 

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Yes to God – Week One 

Share a time you caught a “glimpse of eternity” as you said yes to what God was asking you to do.

 

The shinning example where I have seen this work, is when I talked to an old lady in the supermarket carpark… and it’s the shinning example for me because it was just so breathtaking in its personal-ness and timeliness and, it’s just how God is…

After the weekender, on our way home, tony and I popped into the supermarket, to buy bread and milk, as you do after a weekend away. As we were packing our car up I noticed and was drawn to the elderly couple beside us and just really felt like I HAD to talk to the lady. She went and put her trolley back in the thingy and as she came back towards I stepped forward and said “hi, I’m Claire, and I’m a Christian  and I just really felt that God wanted me to remind you that He loves you.” That was all I had. A start. An opening. She took my hand, leathery and warm. I looked at her and depended upon the capacity of God through me. I continued, “and I feel that He wants you to know He is with you and sees what you’re going through at the moment. He loves you.” Simple. Nothing flash or remarkable. Until she squeezed my hand and her eyes welled up. “my best friend died this morning” she said. My eyes welled up. My heart stopped I am sure for a few beats.

God is so spectacular. What a moment in time, so crucial and special and significant for God to speak to this woman. Right there in her hour of need. Spectacular.

 

“Sometimes the God of the universe pauses in the midst of all His creation to touch the heart of one person.” page 10, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

We have been positioned by God in our class, in our workplace, in our community interactions, in our families, as a beacon of light in the darkness. Every day there are situations in our normal routines that require us to be the light of Christ in darkness. 

I love how our pastor says “we are the senior pastors in our world.”  I am the senior pastor in my world. You are the senior pastor in your world.  You are the evangelist in your world. You can’t hire Billy graham to come have coffee with your workmates. You are there.

 

God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace. We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God. Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that all who believe in Him will not die but have eternal life. And God uses you and me as ambassadors, as representatives, to proclaim this good news.

God’s plan is to rescue the world and the very agents of change to proclaim the gospel is you and me.

Rescued people. People who have experienced grace for real.

 

I want to be someone that says YES in my life to God.  to expand my boarders.  to step out into the adventure. 

 

“Women who say yes to God will see life like few others.  they are drawn in and embraced by a love like no other.  they don’t have to wait until the next time they’re in church to experience God because they sense God’s presence all around them, all through their day.  Instead of merely walking through the motions of lie, they pursue the adventure of the moment by moment divine lessons and appointments God has in store for them.  they expect to see God, to hear from Him and to be absolutely filled by His peace and joy – and therefore, they do and they are.” page 14 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst 

 

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my saviour. ~ Hillsong // Oceans // Zion

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