Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ladies Wednesday Night Bible Study Lesson 2 - Bathsheba

Read the whole chapter of 2 Samuel 11.   Write down everything that you gather from each person and circumstance in this account.   Before you begin I want to give you a little background on the roof top bathing. 
                “…She was purifying from her uncleanness; this clause is added in a parenthesis, partly to show the reason of her washing herself, which was not for health and pleasure, and to cool herself in a hot day, but to purify herself from her menstruous pollution, according to the law in Leviticus 15:19;”  Gill’s Commentary
This is not just his opinion, but many scholar’s opinion on the subject.  Bathsheba was still very much in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it gives a little insight.

Eliam (Bathsheba’s Father) – 2 Samuel 23:8,34 
What was Eliam?

Uriah the Hittite (Bathsheba’s Husband)– 1 Chronicles 11:26, 41 and 2 Samuel 23:39. 
What was Uriah?  It is interesting to note that both Eliam and Uriah were in the King’s guard at the same time. 

David (King and husband after Uriah) and Solomon (Son of Bathsheba and David) –2 Samuel 12:24, 1 Kings 1, 1 Kings 4:29-30, Matthew 1:6.

After reading who she was in regards to her relatives and circumstances give a summary of Bathsheba.

How does God use us despite our circumstances and sin?

What are some things that we can learn from Bathsheba that relate to 2015?  How should we safeguard ourselves from situations like this?   What other application can we gather from the life of Bathsheba?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ladies Wednesday Night Bible Study Lesson One


 Many times when we read Scripture we may not get the full context of an event or account because we don’t read the full account, which may be in several different parts of Scripture.  This is true for the story of Abi.  We know little about her, but we can gain much understanding of what she went through, her life, and her children by what we can gain from Scripture about her dad, husband, and sons.

Her dad was Zechariah

“He (King Uzziah) continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding[a]through the vision of God; and [b]as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him.” 2 Chronicles 26:5
“And [a]I (Isaiah) will take to Myself faithful witnesses for testimony, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.”  Isaiah 8:2

We know that Zechariah was a man of understanding through the vision of God.  We don’t know much about Zechariah, but we do know that He loved God and had a good testimony.   We also know that he named his daughter Abijah which means – My Father is Yaweh.  This was a unisex name.  Names were very important in the Bible and much thought went into a name to give great meaning.  If you weren’t a devout follower of God you would not name your child Abijah.  We don’t know much about how King Jotham and Zechariah planned for their children to marry, but they were married at a young age and had 2 children…that we know of. 

Husband was Prince Ahaz (who became King)

To know what type of husband Abi would have lived with 2 Chronicles 28, and 2 Kings 16 records his record as King.  Here are specific verses that describe who he was.  2 Chronicles 28:1, 21-27, 2 Kings 16:2-3,
Write down as much as you can to gain understanding into her married life.  Describe her life as you imagine it to be.  There is going to have to be some speculation here as we don’t know too much.  Put yourself in her shoes and do some thinking.  Don't go beyond what you think Scripture allows, but write down any thoughts that you have about this situation.  

Son was Hezekiah

Read 2 kings 18:1-8, 2 Chronicles 29:1-4,
Now that we have thought through her life as a wife, it may seem like she was crushed in every way because of her husband.  Now read about her son.  What is the difference?  What made this difference?  Think through the term legacy here and how important it would be to look to the future.  What all was at stake here for future generations?  Why was it so important to remain faithful to God and not give up?

How can this account of Abi be used to help us in our walk?  How are we alike, how are we different?   What is God asking me to do as a result?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Prayer Memoirs

God is doing so much in our midst that I can't help but log these things so that everyone can see the GREATNESS of the God we serve.

I want to start off by saying that there have been few times when I have seen the continual, active, alive work of God in church life as a whole.  There have been times of seeing Him, but those times would quickly fade away through lack of something, I am not sure what.  It may have been lack of desire, faith, prayer, spiritual growth... anything that would hinder us from seeing the continual work of God. 

I can only describe what is happening now like a oasis springing up in the midst of a desert land.  This oasis has become bigger and bigger to where the desert has disappeared and we see life abundant.  

What started this oasis?  Prayer.

Our church has a strong prayer emphasis with times set aside specifically for prayer.    We have seen God do the impossible in the last three years and I know this isn't a coincident.  Prayer changes everything!  As the church continues to grow to focus more and more on prayer, the members are also growing more in our focus on prayer in our daily lives.  Since February 12 we have seen 16 people come to Christ.  We have baptized 2 people with more soon to be baptized.  We have seen God work in marriages, families, personal lives, and Bible studies over the last month in ways never thought possible.  

Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.  Psalm 67:3

I am going to write prayer memoirs for the sole purpose of praising God.  I will share the testimonies of people being changed through the power of Christ, and answers that we have seen to prayer.  There is nothing that we are doing apart from God that should gain any praise.  God deserves all the glory and honor we can give Him.  So I hope these are a testament to our God, that He is still alive and active in 2014.  That He hears us and answers the prayers of His people.  Through these memoirs I will be sharing what God is doing in our midst and in the lives of His people all around us as answers to prayer.  I hope you are encouraged and uplifted, but that this also pushes all believers to pray more to the God of heaven and earth.

My new verse for the year is 
 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.   John 14:12-14

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Printable March Calendar

Hi Everyone,

February has been the toughest I can remember.  We have had illness after illness in our house.  We are finally recovering and rejoicing in it!  The verses that I chose for this months calendar have such special meaning to me right now in my life.  God has been doing amazing works in our lives and in our church.  I will be sharing some of those with you over the coarse of this month.  In March I want my prayer life to grow more than ever before, I want to grow in my personal walk with the Lord more than ever before, and I want to see Him in all of His glory more than ever before.

To download this calendar just click the link below the calendar.  I hope you enjoy!

                                                             Printable March Calendar

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Free Christian Kindle Books

I ran into these free books today while I was online and wanted to share them with you.  Many women are looking to read more this year.  This is a great and cheap way to get quality reading materials.  I hope you enjoy!

Image of Beth Moore

Click Here for Beth Moore's free books.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Printable Calendar January 2014

Happy New Year!

I truly hope that each of you has an awesome New Year.  I pray that God will do an abundant work in each of our lives this year.  Here is a free printable Calendar for you to start off the new year with great organization.  I will try to have a calendar for every month of the 2014 year.  Just click the link below the calendar to download.   Enjoy!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ladies Missions Trip Day Three

I am absolutely speechless.  Our day today was phenomenal from start to finish.  As our team met this evening we were so overwhelmed with all God had done today that we were silent for the first few minutes.  It is so hard to put into words what God is doing here so I will try to the best of my ability.

We started our day with encouragement from Scripture from the lady who heads up the Missions Trip Event.  After her powerful lesson on hands reaching out we prayed and headed out to different communities.  Today was the day we went to a church plant to hold a small scale conference for the ladies in the surrounding communities.  We had 50 ladies come to this event in the town of San Padro.

The night before we went into San Padro we organized everything for our ministries all week long.  It was nice to get that out of the way so that we could focus on praying for the ministries we were involved in.  We met every night to pray over the next day, plus share testimonies of what happened that day.  This became a special part of each day for me personally.  It was amazing to see God's hand at work in our lives and praise Him for all of the prayer He answered that day.

On the way to the church we noticed a few things about the Dominican Republic.  First, we didn't see many children or women in the towns.  We saw a few ladies, but rarely did we see any children.  It was explained to us that many of the women work, but most men are not providers for their families.  They mostly congregate in the streets during the day.  Some of the children were in school, but I am not sure where the children were that didn't go to school.  Children could only go to school if they had money for a uniform.  Most children drop out of school very young to help make money for the family.  The boys drop out to play baseball hoping they will make it to the big leagues.  Many girls will drop out and go straight into prostitution.  The future for the Dominican children is not bright especially if they do not have a birth certificate, which many of them do not.  Higher education is only granted to those with birth certificates.

Dominicans earn livings by selling anything they can get their hands on.  This gentleman is selling phone cords in the middle of the street.  

Our time with the ladies was wonderful.  We really enjoyed meeting these ladies and sharing with them about the Lord.  Many of them are concerned for their families.  Each lady asked if we would pray for the salvation of their children or siblings.  I was able to share with these ladies that God can use us no matter our position, talents, looks, or past.  We had a wonderful time sharing with these ladies.  We were able to pray over the ladies before we left and had a few come with very specific requests.  Some even shared that they needed Christ.  Even though they didn't accept Christ that day I will be excited to see how God answers those prayers.

God blessed us abundantly through these ladies.  I am sure we learned more from them than they learned from us.  If you have ever been to a church in a different country you know well that its not the building that is important, it's the people.  It really confirms that the building is not the church, its the body of Christ that is the church.  We saw how simple and rugged the conditions were, but in God's economy these things do not matter.  God is all about the heart!

God is so good!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ladies Missions Trip to the Dominican Republic

Good morning,

As I am writing I am sitting in the beautiful missions compound at Score International in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic.   This is my first ever Score missions trip and it has been a great first day.

Our day started yesterday morning at 2:30 in the morning as we met in the church parking lot to embark on our trip.   We were all so thrilled to finally be leaving.   The last few weeks our team has  come against much opposition that it was great to finally get on the road.   God had prepared our way for us and we had a wonderful day seeking Him and His opportunities that He put in our path.

Last night we recapped the day and I wanted to share with you the thoughts we had from the day.

The first thing that made a huge impression on everyone that saw it, was the beautiful sunrise.  In our town it has rained for what has seemed like forever.  The plane took off in the dreary rain, and quickly rose above the clouds into the most beautiful sunrise.  It was a beautiful display of God's handiwork.  We were reminded of the verse in Psalm 19:1 were it says, "the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands."  It was glorious.

The next thing that made a huge impression was a lady named Marybelle.  We met her on our first flight.  She was trying to communicate with the stewardess, but was failing because she couldn't speak any English.  The flight attendant was very ill mannered and was a little huffy.  She needed to check her bag in the cargo because there wasn't any room in the overhead compartment, but couldn't  find out the final destination.  As I was overhearing this whole situation I wanted to help but wasn't bold enough to use the small amount of Spanish I know...very small.  So I got Lisa, our Spanish
 speaking gal to come help out.  It was a definite God thing because not only did she help Marybelle
    we made a friend for the remaining of our trip to the D.R.  When we were departing our separate ways we traded numbers with her and will hopefully contact her before the week is out.  She is not a believer, but seeds were planted.  We are excited to see what God is going to do in that situation.

One of our team members got a pat down during the security process at the airport and was not too excited about that.  It was quite hilarious.   One of our team members accidentally unknowingly lost their wallet first thing, but praise the Lord it was recovered very quickly and with everything in it.

We met so many neat people on the plane.  It was so encouraging to hear of all the conversations that were had about the Lord.   I was able to sit by an older Dominican couple.  The man remembered the first evangelical church on the island.  He remembered when the first Bible college came, and he also sang a hum to me in his language.  It was really neat.  I honestly didn't understand everything he said because his English wasn't very well spoken, but he made it known that he only preaches in his    
 language because he doesn't speak English well.  There were also two other missions teams on the       
same plane all ministering to the Dominican people this week.

There were a couple ladies on our team that were nervous about the flight, but God calmed all fears and gave each lady an overwhelming peace as we traveled.  That was such a precious thing especially to those that really do not like flying.  If you have these type of fears you know exactly what I am talking about.  God was so good to us in every circumstance.

The inside courtyard of the Score Hotel Compound

The Dominican Republic is not much different than other islands in the Caribbean.  As we traveled by bus to the compound we were met with lots of trash, crazy drivers, road side stands everywhere, and beautiful people.  Many of the ladies have never been over seas before so they were taking in all of these things for the first time.  We went through a town on the way to the compound that is known world wide for its drugs and prostitution.  It was so sad hearing about the way the Dominicans make money.  There is not any industry here so each person sells whatever they can find or do.
Bedroom at the Score Hotel

We went out on the beach last evening before dinner and saw very clearly the desperate need these people have for the Lord.  The beach for me was the biggest eye opener.  I had not seen anything like it before.  I did find out later that evening that it was a holiday weekend and so the beach was very crowded.  It was very crowded by many Dominicans who were very hungry for worldly things.  The beach itself was not a beach like you might think on an island, but it was bowl shaped and collected a lot of seaweed and dirt.  

One of two security checkpoints at the Score Hotel Compound.
The internet has been off and on, but mostly off so I am sending you day one on day three.  I will send each day as we get time and internet.  We are all having a wonderful and safe time.  The Lord is teaching us so much about people and true Hope for the world, which is only Christ!  Please pray that we get the opportunity to go into the streets to brothels.  I think this will be a very growing experience for us.  We need to live outside the box!!

Much love to you all,
Valerie and the Ladies Mission team

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Gift

Hello Friends!

I have been gone such a long time from blogging world but I haven't completely dropped off the face of blogging world.  December is here which means I am starting Random Acts of Giving/Kindess again.  This simple act at Christmas time has changed my Christmas's forever.  I received one of the best gifts I have ever received this year and would love to share the story.  It starts back in August on my birthday.

I received a very unexpected package in the mail from an Uncle of mine.  

When I opened up the package there were two small packages.  The first gift was to be used for me in any way I wanted, and the second gift was to be use to bless someone else in anyway I felt led. 

If you could have seen me you would have seen that I was beside myself with excitment and joy.  I might have even did a little birthday dance around the room.  I am telling you this was my absolute favorite gift ever!  I loved all the possibilities of what God could do with this money.  I immediately started praying asking Him to send me people and ideas to use this money to glorify Him the most.  After I had been praying a while He impressed on my mind to use this money specifically for Random Acts of Kindness and so I have been waiting patiently since August to use this for now. 
So today it starts!   Random Act of Giving December 2012.
My first purchase was at Bath and Body Works.  One of my favorite Random Acts last year was cashier gifts.  So I purchased 30 antibacterial hand sanitizers to add to small gift bags for all of my cashiers.  I will add other things as well and post later on this week what will make up these gifts.  These are normally $1.50 a piece but with coupons and sales they cost only $.66 a piece.  Can you guess my all time favorite scent?  It is in this picture...
I would love to hear of your Random Acts this year.  So many of you were also doing random acts and would love to hear all your stories and post them here on the blog!  Much love to you this Christmas Season!!  May Christ be the center of all our giving and celebrations.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Calendar 2012

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.  I can't believe that the kids will be going back to school this month.  There is definitely a sense of excitement and sadness at the thought, but I am ready!  If I have to say stop fighting one more time I think my head will bust.  I am sure some of you can relate.  All kidding aside...we have had a very eventful summer.  This is the summer of broken things for us.  It seems like everything in life is breaking it started with my cell phone at the beginning of July to my computer blowing up last week with a few things in between (including our car). 

I took my computer in last week to be fixed and the Best Buy associates said there was no chance of saving it.  So today I get to use my new computer.  Having a new computer is a lot of fun, but losing all of my design work, pictures, fonts, graphics, etc. is not fun at all.  So I am starting everything from scratch! 

Because of my limited inventory at the moment I am sharing only one calendar design this month.  Over the next few weeks I will start designing again so check back often for new fun designs and pictures of our family! 

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer,

Design info:
I create and design the layouts and content of my projects, but I do get digital paper packs and fonts from outside sources.  This project features a Mally Mac Digital Design paper from a free paper pack, and The Blue Cabin font downloaded from  Amanda creates amazing fonts that are completely free.  I always want to make sure I give proper credit to these amazing designers who have spent a lot of time creating for others. 

small signature