ministry, need, prayer

It Might Be My Idea, But Maybe Not My Calling

If you read my blog on Saturday, February 19, you will know that once again, I’m going through a “deletion” process. I’ve listed everything I’m doing, committed to do, want to/should do and organizations to which I belong. And I’m praying, asking God what activities on the list He wants me to do and/or not do. I am waiting to hear from him and I will not add anything to that list until He says so.

In the past, I’ve opened the door to the need of making a list such as the one mentioned above. I will volunteer to do something before I even consider my schedule at that time, much less pray and ask God if I should volunteer. What really gets me in trouble is seeing a true need, especially within the church, developing great ideas for that need (need = ministry) and presenting those ideas to the pastor or perhaps the Board. Can I just say here that when you do that, you inherit said ministry? Here are at least a few reasons why this is so wrong:

1. I didn’t pray first (or enough), asking God whether or not He was calling me to be the person to develop ideas and present them to the Board.

2. In moving ahead of God in this matter, I’m moving, developing and presenting in my own strength. And once I “own” that need or ministry, I’m definitely working in my own power – such as it is – and strength.

3. By stepping ahead of God regarding this need or ministry, I’ve just taken the role that He had selected someone else to do. Thus, I’ve deprived that person from answering God’s call and being blessed as a result. And I’m stil doing something that God didn’t tell me to do.

4. I didn’t pray first (or enough) asking God whether or not He was calling me to fulfill this need.

5. Did I mention I didn’t pray enough??

I share all of this today as a reminder to myself – don’t do this again!! Hopefully it will help you who read it. God plainly states in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has “plans for our future and hope.” In his timing, He will show you those plans. He will give you the roadmap, showing you every mile marker to those plans. And when you arrive, you will be blessed. Don’t move ahead of Him. Just wait. Listen. Obey.

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Amazing! This is my 300th post! When I started this blog almost two years ago, I never thougth I would write 300 blogs. Yet, here I am! I’ve had a blast writing them and I hope you have enjoyed reading them. I pray that you have experienced God’s love and wisdom through some of the blogs, and you’ve laughed with me (and probably at me) over other blogs.

I hope you will continue to follow my blog ths year, and invite your friends to check it out, too. I plan to have new features, new devotions – perhaps series  and as always, offer book reviews and when possible book giveaways.

Thank you for your loyalty!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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Book Review of "The Healing Code"

When asked to read and review The Healing Code by Dr. Alexander Loyd and Dr. Ben Johnson, I was intrigued. The book cover reads “6 Minutes to Heal the Source of Your Health, Success or Relationship Issue.” I am like everyone else – looking for the “quick fix” so I told the publisher to send me a copy and eagerly watched the mail for the book.

Loyd and Johnson are Christian physicians who have written a book based on scientific research. In Part One of the book, the authors discuss the “Seven Secrets to Life, Health and Prosperity.” Part Two is “The Solutions to Healing Virtually Any Health, Relationship or Success Issue.” The basic premise is that all illnesses are caused by stress and all stress is caused by issues of the heart. Resolve the issues of the heart and relieve the stress by using the healing codes and your illness, whatever it may be, will be healed. It’s not quite that simple and the book gives many more details about the process.

Not only do Loyd and Johnson back up their theory with research, but they also include statements from a number of people who have gone through this process and testify of their healing. They also firmly state that the healing codes are not to replace any medical treatment the participant may be taking, and they include a one-page disclaimer and informed consent.

I found this book to be challenging. The authors have mixed Christian beliefs with medical and scientific research and facts and I have yet to decide whether or not I agree with their findings. In all fairness, I have not performed the “healing codes.”

If you are interested in this type of study, this book is for you. Even if you’re not, but you are looking for a solution to your health issues, this book may be for you. You be the judge.

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“Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21(NIV)

Another translation of this verse is from The Message: “We human beings keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.”

If you’ve read many of my blogs over the last two years (almost), you will know I mention slowing down, cutting back, and similarly-named topics with some frequency.

It seems I don’t pay attention to my own blogs.  Once again this week, God has shown me with another physical problem that I must slow down. This time I must pay attention to my own blogs and more importantly, to what God says.

So the other day, I sat down at my trusty laptop and I made four columns on a spreadsheet. The columns were: 1) Currently Working On; 2) Have Committed to Do; 3) Should Do/Want To Do/Need To Do; 4) Memberships.  The first two columns are easy to understand, as is the third column, which had the most entries. I included memberships of organizations I belong to because each organization requires something of me, even if it’s just participating in an email loop.

Now it’s all on paper. I am praying over this list, asking God to show me what He wants me to do. I’m telling him (in a rather shaky voice) that it’s okay if we tear this sheet up and start over with a brand-spanking new sheet that doesn’t have one word written on it. I gave a copy to my sweet husband and asked him to pray about this. He is my spiritual head and his insight and wisdom have guided decisions I’ve needed to make many times.

I believe that God will take this list and He will delete some tasks and bring others to the forefront. My only responsibility is to listen and obey.

Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.

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"A Love Greater Than Death"

I have read books that I thought were good. Good plot, good character development, good…you get my point.

I have read books that I thought were great. A great book grabs me at the first sentence and I have a hard time putting the book down until I’m finished. I usually want more. (Stay with me – I really am going somewhere with this.)

I have read books that fall into the “never-will-forget, life-changing” category. The messages found in these books are so profound I find it challenging to adequately describe the books. One such book is A Love Greater Than Death by Dori Powledge Phillips.

I was privileged to meet Dori at the 2010 “She Speaks” Conference. She sat with a friend and me at breakfast one morning and shared her story. It was and will always be a heart-rending story that will blow you away, not only at the horrific tragedy suffered by Dori and her family, but also at the amazing grace and mercy God lavished upon Dori.

This book is not about a tragic accident. That is included, of course, but the book is a vivid account of how God walked with – and sometimes carried – Dori through the grief process. Dori shares many lessons God showed her during this time—here are just a few:

  • “So often we mask who we really are and project to others what we think they are expecting. As we walk through our daily lives, we can get so caught up in the daily stresses and cares of the day we live in that we can lose sight of what is truly important. We should make a conscious effort to focus on the positive and not  the negative aspects of our lives. Otherwise, we will speed through life having never actually lived but only existed.”
  • “If you will prepare for eternity, then you can deal with anything that comes your way in this life.”
  • “The highest place you can be in life is with God in control…When we place our lives in God’s control, he not only knows how to maintain it but also sees a much bigger picture than we do.”
  •  “Unconditional love heals the heart with tears that set you free.”
  •   “Zephaniah 3:16: ‘He will quiet you with his love. He rejoices over you with singing.’ The Lord had kept me calm with his unconditional love and when the Creator of the universe sings over you, no other voice can drown him out.”

 I could go on and on…but I don’t want to give away the entire book. All I can say is that Dori’s testimony of losing half her family and how God walked through that journey with her is an astonishing story of the healing power, the amazing grace and the unconditional love of our Abba Father.

This is a book you will want to purchase, read many times and keep in your personal library. And if you know of someone who has suffered unspeakable loss in their lives, buy them a copy too. It will open the door to healing like no other book, except the Bible, can do.

If you would like to  learn more about Dori and order her book, here is the link to her website:  http://www.doripowledge.com/ 

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Couples Who Pray – The Most Intimate Act Between A Man and Woman

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“WARNING: THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR MARRIAGE!” (from the back cover)

The husband and wife team of Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt have written a marriage-strengthening, divorce-kicking book, Couples Who Pray, on the most intimate act between a man and woman – praying together. Written in a user-friendly style, Rushnell and DuArt challenge married couples to pray together just five minutes a day. Before this book was published they challenged two dozen couples – real people like you and me – to participate in the 40-Day Challenge. The Challenge required the couple to commit to praying together for 5 minutes every day for 40 days, even by telephone, if necessary. There is a brief survey that the husband and wife were asked to fill out before starting the Challenge. Rushnell and DuArt include a chapter on how to pray together because they discovered that many of the couples pray indvidually (some for years) but weren’t comfortable and some didn’t know how to pray together. At the end of the 40-Day Challenge, every couple reported drawing closer to each other and to God, better communication between each other, and better lovemaking. The authors interviewed celebrity couples, such as Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano and Gavid and Patti MacLeod, among others, who testified to the power of prayer in their marriage.

Rushnell and DuArt include statistics from a survey by Gallup and research by Baylor University that support the above claims and more. Surveyed couples reported having a better marriage; agreement on issues regarding their children; marriage is financially sound; communication is improved and disagreements are resolved easier; they have more respect for one another; their lovemaking is improved; 92% rate the stability of their marriage as “very good” and 93% said if they had to do it all over again, they’d marry the same person.

The authors also include chapters warning the couples about issues they believe will come up during the 40 Day Challenge and how to handle those issues.

I was so impressed by the first couple of chapters of this book, that my husband and I started the 40 Day Challenge immediately. We’ve been praying together every day for two weeks and I can state unequivocally it has changed our marriage. We already had a great marriage and we prayed – individually, not together. But when I heard Dave pray for God to strengthen me emotionally, physically and spiritually these last couple of weeks and for this coming week, I knew I had his full support. And when he heard me thanking God for him and for his leadership in our home, he knew how much I truly love and appreciate him. Even though we’ve told each other these things in conversations, it is totally different to tell God these things when the other one is listening.There’s such a closeness between the three of us. It is an incredible time and the five minutes is expanding as we feel more comfortable to pray about more issues.

I recommend this book to every married couple. Even if you already pray together, the authors have included information that will improve your prayer life. If you don’t pray together, this is the book you need to help you get started praying together. And if your marriage is on shaky ground, this book is a must. You and your spouse may still need counseling, but Couples Who Pray is a great place to start repairing what is broken.

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Seminar: "Through God’s Eyes"

I believe if women truly understood how God sees them (hint: He doesn’t see us as we see ourselves) they would be set free to walk in the calling that God has on their lives. Seeing ourselves “Through God’s Eyes” is the topic I will be teaching on next Saturday, Feb 12. If you live in Newnan, or live close enough to make the drive, I would love to see you there. Below is all the logistical information. After you read it, if you still have questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer as soon as I can!

Saturday, February 12 · 9:30am – 4:00pm
Location The Cathedral of Christ the King
4881 Highway 34 East
Sharpsburg GA
The Diocese of the Mid-South, The Division of Diocesan Ministry Development
presents
“THROUGH GOD’S EYES”
A Seminar for Women
Teacher: Edwina Cowgill

Ladies, Do you feel like life is passing you by? That no one notices you unless a favorite outfit is not clean or dinner is not ready on time? That your routine never changes? This is not the life God has planned for you! Come, discover your life “Through God’s Eyes.”

The cost for the seminary is $15.00 and includes lunch and seminar notebook.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: TO REGISTER: Please acknowledge that you are attending at judymassey@earthlink.net or 770-631-3566. Please mail checks for $15.00 made out to Dr Judy Massey, 219 Crescent Oak, Peachtree City, GA 30269.

Edwina Cowgill is the Commissioned Minister of Congregational Care at the Cathedral of Christ the King. She has served as Director of the Prayer Ministry and served on the Worship Team and Women’s Council. She has taught numerous classes on inner healing through prayer counseling, praise and worship, and marriage.