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She Speaks 2010 Conference

I am so excited I can hardly stand it! This morning I leave, along with two friends, for Concord, North Carolina. We will be attending the She Speaks 2010 Conference, sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries. We have been planning for this since March of this year. It seems like it’s been a long time coming, and now this day is finally here.

This conference offers three tracks: Speaker, Writer and Women in Leadership. Clare and I are taking the Speaker track; Connie is taking the writer track and we’ll share notes.

As much as I’m looking forward to the workshops, the keynote addresses and making new friends, I am most looking forward to hearing from God. I’ve been praying this week for God to speak to Clare, Connie and me—to confirm our call, give us direction—whatever He has for us. I have prayed for us to receive a fresh anointing, for physical strength and spiritual renewal.

If you think of us any time during the weekend, pray for us. Pray for safe travel, for Clare and I as we give our presentations Friday and Saturday, for us to hear from God and to have those God-ordained moments that only He can arrange.

Maranatha!

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Final Lines: Confession of Sin

Most merciful God,
We confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved You with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry
and we humbly repent.
For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us,
that we may delight in Your will

and walk in Your ways

to the glory of Your name

Amen.

Once God has forgiven us and we have received his forgiveness, then we are free to “delight in Your will.” God’s will for us is always far better than anything we could ask or think. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” No matter what our dreams, desires or plans for our lives, God’s will far exceed anything we could hope for or imagine. Why wouldn’t we want to delight in His will for us?

Once we know His will for our life, then the next obvious step is to walk in that will – to “walk in Your ways.” This should be an easy step – just listen to what He tells us and be obedient to what He says do. But in today’s world, there are far too many distractions that would tell us – “that’s not the right way;” or “that will never get you to the top.” When we listen to those voices instead of the voice of our Shepherd, we are off the path God has set before us and we end up going back to line one and we start all over again. We must listen carefully at all times to make sure we hear the right Voice.

It stands to reason that when we hear that Voice and walk in the ways in which He tells us, then He should receive the glory for our victorious lives. After all, He is the One who made that victorious life possible!

Selah.

Maranatha!

© 2010 Edwina E. Cowgill

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Line 9 Confession of Sin

Most merciful God,

We confess that we have sinned against you

in thought, word and deed,

by what we have done,

and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved You with our whole heart.

We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry

and we humbly repent.

For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ,

have mercy on us and forgive us,

that we may delight in Your will

and walk in Your ways

to the glory of Your name

Amen.

 

“For the sake of” literally means for the good, benefit, or welfare of somebody or something. If we take this translation literally, we are saying “For the good, benefit and welfare of Your Son, Jesus Christ…” So why would we pray – for the benefit of Your Son? I believe it is because his death to be in vain. God sent His only Son to die on the cross in our place. We should have been the ones to pay for our sins and yet, we weren’t. So to keep His death from being in vain, we ask God to have mercy on us and forgive us.

 

Mercy means: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also
: lenient or compassionate treatment <begged for mercy 2 a
: a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion.

 

Forgiveness means to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b
: to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
2
: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :
pardon <forgive one’s enemies>

God stands ready to forgive us of our sins the minute we ask for forgiveness. Once forgiven, He buries them in the depth of the sea. Micah 7:18-19

Micah 7:18-20 (The Message)

 Where is the god who can compare with you—
   wiping the slate clean of guilt,
Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear,
   to the past sins of your purged and precious people?
You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long,
   for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most.
And compassion is on its way to us.
You’ll sink our sins
   to the bottom of the ocean.

If there is unforgiveness between you and God, take time now to ask for His forgiveness. Rest assured, He is waiting to hear from you and will forgive you as soon as you ask. He then buries those sins in the depths of the sea and He never thinks of them again.

 

MARANATHA!!

© 2010 Edwina Cowgill

 

 


 

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Most merciful God,
We confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved You with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry

and we humbly repent.
For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us,
that we may delight in Your will
and walk in Your ways
to the glory of Your name
Amen.

For those of you who may just be joining us, I’ve been taking the Confession of Sin and offering my interpretation line-by-line or sentence by sentence.

Today we are looking at the crux of the confession – where we tell God that we are sorry and we repent of that sin which has separated us from Him. Did you notice the word I just left out of my explanation? It describes how we repent – humbly. To be humble is to be unassuming, meek, deferential, and respectful. These are great definitions but to me, they don’t represent true humility. Consider the parable below:

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14 (New International Version))

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

That, my friends, is true sorrow and humble repentance.

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Line Seven: We have not Loved Our Neighbors as Ourselves

“We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.”

Ouch. Did that one get you like it got me?

Who is our neighbor? Certainly those who live on either side of us and those in our neighborhood. But does that word ‘neighbor’ mean more? Is your neighbor the clerk you were rude to in the grocery store? Or the guy who cut you off in traffic? Everyone we meet, at least for that moment in time, are our neighbors.

In our selfishness and greed, or in our hurts, do we love ourselves more than our neighbor? Do we sacrifice anything to show our neighbors how much we love them? Do we show them the love of God?

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The Edge of the Divine

The Edge of the Divine

Where Possibility Meets God’s Faithfulness

Sandi Patty

 

Back of the Book Synopsis:

Overweight and stressed out, award-winning vocalist, speaker, and author Sandi Patty was teetering o the edge of a meltdown when her trusted doctor and friend issued an ominous warning: “You are cheating your family if you die too soon—and trust me, Sandi, if you don’t do something, you’re going to.” She had to make some changes and she had to make them now.

In The Edge of the Divine, the acclaimed soprano shares the poignant and sometimes humorous story of her journey from the brink of physical disaster toward the abundant life of good health and keen spiritual fulfillment God wants all of us to have.

In these pages, Sandi invites you to come along on her journey, which so far has included an eighty-pound weight loss. With insight and creativity, she shares the lessons she has learned and helps you recognize and act on the important “edges” in your own life, those points at which something is likely to begin.

Sandi welcomes you to join her in making choices that bring actions in line with priorities while pursuing God’s goal for his beloved children—the abundantly rewarding life awaiting us beyond The Edge of the Divine.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Sandi Patty has defined “edges” in our lives as those points at which something is likely to happen. It may not happen automatically; it may be a choice. And it will almost always mean giving up something.

Not only does Sandi discuss her journey through lap band surgery and weight loss, she also gives insight into her family dynamics, including a move to Oklahoma and how that affected her family, especially the adult children.

This book is an excellent read for anyone considering lap band surgery. But it’s also a book for everyone because all of us have face edges at various times in our lives. And we must decide whether or not to play it safe and stay away from the edge or step off the edge trusting God for our landing.

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Confession of Sin: Line Six

“We have not loved you with our whole heart.”

How true this is! Do any of us truly love Him with our whole heart, our whole mind, soul and body? Who are our “gods?” What are our “gods” that we place before God?

I suspect our first thought is that we have no other gods before Him. But what about your schedule? When do you have your devotions or is your schedule so crowded that your devotion and prayer times are squeezed out? Has your activities, your job become your god?

Or what about the evening the Holy Spirit prompted you to spend time in the Word and prayer but it was _______________ night (you fill in the blank) and ______________________ (your favorite TV show) was on? Did you give up your show or did you love it more than spending time with God?

Maybe God laid it on your heart to give extra above your tithe but there was a new pair of shoes or a new computer game that cost the exact amount that God said to give. Did you love God with your whole heart or did you love that new pair of shoes or new computer game more?

When we love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind we desire to be obedient. But more than that, we desire to be close to God – as close as we can get. Intimate, personal, open, honest relationship – no holds barred. We are so in tune with Him that we don’t want anything nor do we allow anything to come between us. Is this an impossible task? No, but it is incredibly challenging because we are human and we are pulled in a thousand different directions every day.

LeAnn Payne wrote a fantastic book called “Practice the Presence.” The entire book is summed up in the title – practicing the presence of God all the time – 24/7/365. This is not to say that all of us should leave our jobs and enter into a convent or Christian community. If we did that, who would be His light in the world? Who would witness to the unsaved?

But how much better a witness we would present if we practice the presence of God 24/7/365 and if we loved Him with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind.