Women’s Devo | January 2021

Peace in All Things

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


Circumstantial peace comes easy. Life is good, theres peace. Kids are doing good in school, theres peace. Money in the bank, overwhelming peace, but what about now? When life is tough, theres chaos. Kids are reckless, I have endless anxiety. Scraping change together, I am fearful for tomorrow. I have been convicted lately to realize that the Holy Spirit came to give us an everlasting peace.


Jesus left earth so the Holy Spirit could be with us and bring constant peace, not just circumstantial. Peace doesnt mean there wont be tears or there wont be the occasional worry, but it means that even though its all going on there is a helper if I choose to point my eyes in His direction. There is a book full of peace and solutions but sometimes its easier to scroll through the relentless darkness of social media and the lies we so easily become overwhelmed by. I like to believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, might have known what it meant to have this kind of constant peace. She wept at the death of her son, but she knew because He lived, she could get up and continue to live. Because she had been in His presence, she felt true peace. Even in His passing as she felt such deep sorrow, I imagine she also felt a true peace because she knew He had accomplished what He came for. I cannot fathom the grief or pain, but I know there was still peace.


There can still be peace in our disappointment and in our trial. If we allow it in our lives this peace can be a mirror based on what our eyes are focused on. We must stay focused on the cross and the promise of this peace that transcends all understanding.




Tara Sharpe is the Girls Ministries Coordinator for the Church of God in South Georgia. Tara and her husband Justin have served in ministry in Tennessee, Alabama, Michigan and now South Georgia. Tara is the mother of two beautiful boys, Jaxon and Jameson. She has a heart for worship and leading young people to find their calling in Christ. 

Women’s Devo | December 2020

The Lord is My Shepherd

It’s December! It’s Christmas Time!

Everyone loves Christmas, right? It’s the Christmas music, drawing names for gifts, family gatherings, church musicals, school plays, all that wonderful Christmas food, and then there’s that special wedding or an engagement at Christmas. The list goes on and on of all the special things during this time of the year.

By now, most of us have our Christmas trees decorated, those tacky lights in the yard for the grandchildren, the stockings are hung, Christmas music (well that’s been playing since November 1st) and through the house is the most delectable smell of those homemade cookies for the neighbors (if they make it there!). The hustle and bustle of Christmas has set in already.

Christmas is truly a beautiful time of the year.

I collect miniature Nativity scenes. Each year I try to find a unique miniature nativity scene for my collection. The scenes range from different colors, different sizes, made with different materials and shapes.  My favorite would be the snow globe–it’s so beautiful!  But in all the scenes, they depict the same one: Mary and Joseph as they are beholding our Savior, baby Jesus.

When I look at my collection from time to time, (I keep them out all year) I notice there are no Shepherds or Wise Men. I’m sure it’s because they are so miniature. No Shepherds! But as I thought about it, there really is a Shepherd in every one of the scenes.

Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalm 23 speaks about our total dependence on God. We are the flock and He’s the Shepherd. We have No Want. He’ll give us Rest. He’ll Guide us, Restoreus, Providefor us.  He’s our refreshment. He’s the rod and staff to guide and protect, even to discipline when we need it.

In this Christmas season you may not be feeling the joy of Christmas. Christmas time is difficult for many. You may need the Shepherd’s gentle touch in your life. You may need peace from the pains of this past year. You may need the Shepherd to comfort you because of loss of a loved one. You might be facing rejection or even contemplating suicide. You may just need The Shepherd to hold you close–and He will! Whatever you and I face, The Shepherd will forever be with us. He’ll never be missing in any of the scenes in your life. He is always present. Another promise is in Hebrews 13:5 NKJV, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God is saying, “I will not let you down, I’ll never walk off, I’ll never desert you!”

Trust the Shepherd today to do whatever needs to be done in your life.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to you today, this Christmas season trusting you and asking for a gentle fresh touch amidst the business of my life.  I know you are with me when things are good and even when things are not so good. My circumstances do not change WHO you are nor the promises in your Word. Thank you, Father, that your love endures forever!  Mercy and grace are mine new each day.



Pam Deen serves alongside her husband, David Deen, Pastor of the Southside Church of God in Alma, Georgia. The Deens have been married for nearly 40 years and have 2 children, Cole (Kim) Deen and Cammie (Kyle)Boatright and have 6 beautiful grandchildren: Cameron, Brenlee, Chanlee, Aubrey, Kylee and Kale.  Pam works as Head Teller with the Pineland Bank of Alma. Pam enjoys spending time with their grands and going antiquing.

Women’s Devo | November 2020

Quitting is Not an Option

Have you ever wanted throw in the towel and quit? Have you ever asked the Lord, “Why me, Lord?” Being a pastor’s wife is a title that requires me to wear many hats, to have many sleepless nights and to deal with people from all walks of life, in general. I’m sure everyone can relate to this, whether you are a pastor’s wife, or not. Life hits you in the face. The pressures of life rides on your shoulders and at times, it gets so heavy. We have all been there at some point in our lives. We have just wanted to “quit.”  It is in those moments that God gently whispers, “You are not alone.” Although in the stress of life, you may feel like the Energizer Bunny and find it hard to even breathe, you can have the calm assurance that you are not alone. You do matter, and whatever struggle you may be going through, this too shall pass.


Everyone experiences loneliness at some point in their lives. Loneliness is a silent killer. Paul and Silas found themselves in a jail cell. I’m confident that they experienced a moment of loneliness, but they did something about it. They praised their way through their circumstances. As they worshipped in their current circumstances, that is when God showed up and did what only He could do. We all know the story. God moved the mountain that stood in their way and set them free. He turned what could have ended in defeat into a victory. Loneliness can make you doubt your purpose or your position in life. We have all had moments when we wish we could have a “Do Over” in life, right? It is in these moments that if we aren’t careful, we can fall prey to the enemy’s whispers to just give up and quit. We need to recognize this is bait Satan uses to discourage, discredit, and dishonor our self-worth, our abilities, our calling, our purpose, our zeal and our “want to.”


Loneliness can produce fear and fear attacks our minds. It can cause us to assume that things appear to be something they are not. We need to cast down those imaginations. Have you ever thought, “Why did you have to call me, Lord?”  And He responds by saying, “I did not call you; I chose you.” To be chosen means you were purposefully selected. You were hand-picked. It is through all of life’s adversities that God says, “I am growing you to where and who I want you to be.” This stretches us. We may get uncomfortable at times. We may even feel worn out.  However, God breathes a fresh breath of life into us and we continue on the journey that is set before us.


LIFE HURTS! When life isn’t what you have hoped or planned for it to be, it hurts. Be careful when you ask God to grow you in Him. Be prepared because growing pains will come, and they do hurt. It is in these moments that only God almighty can help you. He is your comfort. He’s your shoulder to cry on. You can have a sense of just crawling up into your Heavenly Father’s arms and calling on “Daddy.” It’s then that He whispers, “You will be okay.  I’ve got you.” Your struggle may be real but keep holding on. God says in Galatians 6:9, “For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” So, hold on! Be encouraged, today. You are not alone. We are all in this together, and together we are going to make it through. Quitting is Not an option!!!


Susan Cason is a wife, mom, full-time college student, Lead Pastor’s wife, Minister of Music, and works a full-time job outside of home and ministry. Susan and her husband, Matt, have been married for 27 years. For the past 4 years, they have served as the Lead Pastors of the Lighthouse Church of God, in Sylvester Georgia. Susan also serves as Minister of Music. They have served in ministry for a total of 25 years. The Casons have two sons, Joshua and Zachary who are also involved in ministry. Susan works full-time for the Tift County Board of Education at Northside Elementary School and is a full-time college student pursuing her degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor adventures, riding ATV’s and walking on the beach. In the summer she enjoys working Church of God youth camps with her family!

Women’s Devo | October 2020

Staying the Course

Isaiah 6:1-13


After the death of King Uzziah the prophet Isaiah received a vision from the Lord. “I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the Temple.”Isaiah 6:1 KJV  It was this life changing vision that led to his commission from God. Oftentimes, God will allow us to experience a supernatural vision during a devastating time.  Whether it is the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or even a major health issue.  However, it is during these times that we can receive a call from the Lord to do great things for the Kingdom.


Habakkuk 2:3 KJV, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”  A vision will shake you and prepare you for the course of action.  It will keep you “rooted and grounded” so that we can focus on kingdom building.  When we are kingdom focused or kingdom minded it will inspire us to be ready for the great commission.  Kingdom minded people are not easily shaken, not easily broken, and not easily moved because our course of action is greater than our past and greater than our future.  It is our willingness to serve the Lord to our fullest potential without fear, doubt or by making any excuses.  We trust God to help us to stay the course.



When Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord, God said, Isaiah 6:8 NKJV, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then said I, “Here am I:  send me.”  The prophet Isaiah felt unequipped to do the work for he was “undone” and a man of unclean lips.” Isaiah wavered and he doubted his assignment to speak to a rebellious, sinful people.  How do we “stay the course” when we feel inadequate, unworthy, or undone? Undone means falling apart or to become unglued.


Life will always present some uncertainties but by the grace of God we shall stand during times of adversity. We shall not be moved by our short comings.  If God said, then we will believe it.God is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).  We must at all times and in all things do the work of the Lord and “stay the course.”  The race is not given to the swift nor the battle to the strong (Ecclesiastes 9:11).



John 9:4 KJV, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.”  We must tie the vision, the commission, and the course together so that the Holy Spirit can use us.  Staying the course is directional, because it is the Holy Spirit which leads, guides, and directs us.  The course of action must bear the mark of the cross.  We are called to lead people and to win souls for the kingdom.


Therefore, 2 Timothy 4:5 KJV,  “Do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” because some lost soul depends on us telling the story, teaching the story and transforming the people  by the power of God. Stay the course and God will get the Glory!


Pastor Sheryl L. Daviswas born and raised on Staten Island, New York. She has been involved in ministry for the past 32 years, much of it taking place in New Jersey.  She was licensed as a Certified Chaplain with the New Chaplains International Association of Central Jersey. Pastor Davis was the President of the Rhema Prayer Ministries, Inc. (a not-for-profit Women’s Intercessory Prayer Ministry) of Central Jersey for seven years. She became a member of the Agape Worship Center International Church of God in Columbia, South Carolina on January 2015 under the leadership of Bishop Vincent D. Collins, pastor.  Prior to coming to Georgia, she pastored the Shiloh International Church of God in Denmark, South Carolina. She received her Exhorter’s license from the SC Church of God in April 2019 and has an Associate degree in Biblical Studies. Pastor Davis and her husband, Elder Herman Davis, planted a church in Savannah, Georgia called the Victory in Praise (V.I.P.) Church of God located in the Savannah Mall. The Lord gave her the vision for this church. It was launched live stream via Facebook due to the coronavirus pandemic on April 2020. The Davis’s have four children: Melvin, Jermaine, Lamar and Krystal. They have nine grandchildren, one great grandson, and one goddaughter, Alissa Cherry.

Women’s Devo | September 2020

Depending in the Present Tense


I love making “to-do” lists, especially on mornings when I am freshly motivated and determined to meet the challenge of completing these tasks in their entirety. This enthusiasm is, of course, recognized after a few cups of hot coffee. My “to-do” list for the day may be sorted according to level of importance or categorized by likeness of action needed such as telephone calls, computer work, housework, and having to go somewhere, such as the store. This helps me be more efficient and, hopefully, more apt to check off as many items as possible. I know some of you are thinking, “Vicki, that is WAY too much,” but I also know there are a few of you with little smiles on your faces because you do the same thing.


I have found that my “to-do” lists are necessary because I like to be organized and, being over 50, I have to write things down on paper, so I do not forget. By the end of the day, it brings me such fulfillment when I look at my list and see task after task marked off as completed. Most of the time, however, this is not the case. The zeal I felt in the morning has now culminated into a bowlful of frustration topped off with a dollop of “I will never get this done” attitude. Was it because I put too many tasks on my list or did something unexpected interrupt my plans? Maybe it was due to the fact that I just got tired, became overwhelmed, and simply shut down. Whatever the reason may have been, the result was the same: tasks that were labeled “to-do” were now labeled “did-not-do.”


That being said, I ask you to follow the same directions you have for the dry ingredients in a cake recipe and “set this aside.”


Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, you will find me behind the keyboard at Cornerstone Church of God in Columbus where I am part of the most amazing church family! I would like to invite you to one service, in particular. Announcements had been made, fervent prayers had been spoken, and beautiful, heartfelt praise and worship had been offered to our King of Kings and majestic Lord of Lords. It was now time for the Word. I came down from the platform and prepared. Ink Joy pen in hand and notebook open to a new page, I was ready to write down the words that God would speak to me through the minister.


After writing down the title of the message, I began to take notes. The verse being read by the minister came up on the screen – “Lord, I depend on You…” I have put the three dots after “You” because even though the rest of the verse was on the screen for me to see, my vision was focused on those five words: “Lord, I depend on You.”


Depend – not past tense, not future tense, but present tense. Do you see it, too? “Lord, I depend on You now, during this minute, at this very moment that I am saying these words to You. I am ACTIVELY depending on You!”


After church, the Holy Spirit gently nudged me and reminded me of my “daily to-do” lists – aka “things I will do today” lists. Future tense! You see, it is so easy to say, “Lord, I will depend on You,” and, by all means, we, as Christians, should be very quick to stand on the foundation that our dependence will always be on Him. But there are times when it is important for us to say aloud, “Lord, I depend on You.” When we make that statement in the present tense, we proclaim to Abba that we receive His grace and care. It is in that moment that we give ourselves permission to relinquish control and rest in our Heavenly Father’s loving arms.


You are my champion
Giants fall when you stand
Every battle You’ve won
I am who You say I am
You crown me with confidence
I am seated, in the heavenly place
Undefeated, with the
One who has conquered it all
(“Champion” by Bethel Music)




Vicki Bradford and her husband, Tommy, have worked in several church ministries throughout their 33 years of marriage and currently attend Cornerstone Church of God in Columbus where Tommy serves as Lead Pastor. They have a daughter (Krista) and son-in-law (Keegan) who live in Columbus and a son (Dalton) who is in college. As a musician, singer, songwriter, and teacher, Vicki’s calling has always centered around music, both in the church and in the classroom. She recently retired from the Muscogee County School District where she taught chorus, piano and general music for 30 years. Currently, she is working as the Office Manager at Vance Brooks Funeral Home in Columbus, a position, which she feels, gives her a tremendous opportunity to minister to those who are hurting.

Women’s Devo | August 2020

Who Are You?

Yes, you who trust Him recognize the honor God has given Him. But for those who reject Him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.”And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
1 Peter 2:7-10 NLT

Several years ago, while singing at church, I had someone tell me the Lord kept saying “promotion.” I had no idea what that could mean as I was in a job that did not afford promotion. Since then, we have moved to Savannah out of faith and planted a church and I instantly went from a youth pastor’s wife to a lead pastor’s wife, church planter, worship leader, and the organizer that makes everything happen every weekend. On top of working full time and raising my three amazing kids.


On May 11, 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I was let go from my busy job after almost 7 years. What was I to do other than trust my heavenly Father? Afterall, He has faithfully seen me through the good and the bad… My husband’s deployment to Iraq in 2002; My mom’s massive heart attack and sudden death the same day as the deployment, or when we knew we were supposed to move to Savannah to plant a church and had nowhere to live until 11:00 PM the night before we began moving! So, I began seeking Him in that same stillness I had found when we moved to Savannah, and He began speaking to me about my “promotion” and my “identity.”


When asked “Who are you?” one would normally respond with their name. Names are comprised of different elements that create the overall meaning of your name. I looked up my birth name before I was adopted and was quite surprised at the meaning! Shana means “Lily,” “Beautiful,” Or “God Is Gracious.” Michelle means “Who is like God.” Johnson is a surname that means “son of John.” Quite honestly, I had never identified with any of these meanings of my name, as I have struggled in the past with low self-esteem. But in that moment, I felt like God was speaking to me to show me who He sees me as. God has been known to change names, such as Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17:5) means “Father of a multitude or Father of nations” Sarai to Sarah (Genesis 17:15) “Princess of a multitude or Mother of nations” and Simon to Peter. Jesus said, “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build My church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18 NLT). God can give us a new identity when we are ready for it.


Our surname can change such as in marriage or adoption. I have experienced both! Just a little history on surnames. Surnames (last names) began in the Middle Ages when villages began growing, as a way to differentiate among people with the same first names. Early last names were often linked to occupations, geographical features (such as where your home was in the village), a nickname, physical feature, or even a combination of the mother’s and father’s name.


Someone might also identify from a nickname. My son’s name is Liam and we used to call him Lili and my sisters still call him that. Sometimes situations can leave you with a nickname whether you like it or not. There is a great movie called “Radio,” a true story based on the life of James Robert Kennedy. James was in a car accident at the age of 5 and experienced a brain injury that left him mentally as his 5-year-old self. He was fascinated with radios and pushed a cart around town which held a transistor radio: therefore, people in his hometown just called him Radio.


Now we know who we call ourselves, but who does God say we are? We often identify ourselves as quite the opposite of who He identifies us as. In the scripture above, 1 Peter 7-10, we see that those who reject Him stumble because they do not obey Him. We also see that we are not those people; We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, God’s very own possession, who once had no identity, however, now belong to God and receive His mercy. We are called to show others the goodness of God because He called us out of darkness into His wonderful light! This means you no longer identify with the things of your past that you may be carrying around because He has called you out of that darkness. What have you labeled yourself in your storms, attacks, or battles? It is time to throw those identities away because that is not who the Father sees you as. God is restoring you and giving you a new identity. It is time for freedom, healing, and deliverance.


The Father doesn’t see you as weird, He sees you as unique (Ps 139:13); Not hated but loved (Jeremiah 31:3); Not trash but God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10); Not nothing but created with purpose (Jeremiah 29:11); Not neglected but cared for (Ephesians 3:17-19); Not ignored but chosen (1 Peter 2:9); Not blamed but forgiven (Psalm 103:12/Ephesians 1:7); Not a sinner but a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17): Not attacked but protected (Psalm 121); Not powerless but empowered (Philippians 4:13); Not alone but family (Ephesians 2:19); Not an orphan but adopted (Galatians 4:4-5); Not don’t belong but a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27); Not fatherless but a child of God (John 1:12); Not rejected but accepted (Romans 15:7); Not dead but alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5); Not stressed but peaceful (Isaiah 54:14); Not lost but redeemed (Colossians 1:13-14); Not condemned but free (John 8:36/ Romans 8:1-12); And not stuck but a work in progress (Philippians 1:6).


We must be Spirit-minded and not allow the enemy to define us. The enemy’s plan is to steal, kill and destroy! He isolates us causing feelings of heaviness, guilt, shame, and thoughts of darkness. When you allow those thoughts to define you, you have lost the concept of what the Father is doing. The enemy will try to use your past to define you, but your past and the enemy does not have that authority! The Father has the power to change our destiny, our names, and our situations. He just wants us to trust Him!


In my stillness, the Father told me my new identity… A promotion. I have identified myself as a worrier for a long time. It has been a family curse that has carried on for generations. However, He has changed my identity from that of a worrier to a warrior. I am still learning what that means. However, I have faced many battles and have won with my Lord at my side.


I would like to give to each of you two challenges. The first is easy. I would like everyone to listen to the song “Wonderfully Made” by Elle Holcombe (preferably on YouTube). I promise it will bless you! The second is to find a white stone or rock. Revelation 2:17 NLT reads “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in Heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.”I challenge you to place the stone somewhere it can be seen daily as a reminder to seek the Father first and to see who He has identified you as in this season. Times are changing very quickly, and we need to know where our place is so we can go out and show others the love of Christ. If we are still carrying around old identities that are hindering our walk with the Lord, we will not be able to truly be the light in the darkness and show others the goodness of God. Let’s trust and obey Him so that we may not stumble but be victorious!




Shana Day has been serving alongside her husband, Waylon Day, as Lead Pastors and church planters of RainFire Church in Savannah, GA for the last three years with the official launch in January 2019 as well as serving as youth pastors at Bainbridge Church of God for five years prior. The Day’s have three amazing and gifted children, Haylon Day, Liam Day, and Ivy Day. Shana has been an Occupational Therapy Assistant for the last eight years and sees this as a wonderful way to serve others as well as supporting the family at the same time. She loves cooking, serving others and her family in many ways, and worshiping the Father through song as the worship leader of RainFire Church.

Women’s Devo | July 2020

Surrendering to Life’s Interruptions

If you are reading this devotion right now, the common denominator that we globally share is a major life interruption. Quarantine, social distancing, ‘shelter in place’, and staying at home, are just a few of the phrases that I am referring to in ourlife interruption. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lord quickly pricked my spirit and nudged me to call our church ladies together for a time of devotion and prayer. Well, as you are aware, we could not meet face-to-face; therefore, we sharpened our technology skills and began a 7-week book study titled “Life Interrupted: Navigating the Unexpected” by Priscilla Shirer. This study about the interrupted life of Jonah has spoken profound words and revelation into our lives. Please allow me to take you on an abbreviated journey through Jonah’s interrupted life. Read carefully and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart because I feel certain that you will identify, in some manner, with the detour that Jonah took.


Interruptions can be frustrating! Life interruptions can spark feelings of fear, uncertainties, anxiousness, and worry. Not all life interruptions are bad or dreadful. Some life interruptions may spark love, excitement, adventure, and new doors of opportunity. Think about and jot down some life interruptions that you have experienced: a new career, a job lost, birth of a child, death of a loved one, marriage, divorce, sickness, dreams planned, dreams shattered. So, if you didn’t find yourself in any of those lived experiences, I can go on and include this – “Covid-19 quarantine”! There you go, that’s you, me, the entire nation living an interrupted and uncertain life right now.


The story of Jonah is a prime example of a major life interruption. Although it is a brief book in the bible with four short chapters, it speaks volumes to the experience of walking in obedience or disobediencein the midst of a life interruption. Jonah was a prophet, well respected, held in high regards in his community near Nazareth. Jonah was given a direct order from God.


“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me”
(Jonah 1: 1-2)


When the word of the Lord spoke to him with a direct objective, Jonah’s world as he knew it was shaken to the core causing an abrupt interruption. Actually, Jonah arose and proceeded in the exact opposite direction from what had been commanded. Did you realize that Jonah was the only prophet in the bible that ran from the calling and will of God? Jonah was not excited about the command given and definitely did not embrace his marching orders. This was not the news that Jonah wanted to hear! Therefore, Jonah was not about to surrender to the will of God.


How do I handle situations that do not go my way? When life is interrupted or takes a detour, am I going to run from God’s plans or am I going to allow God to accomplish His perfect will in me? Life’s interruptions are often God’s way of doing something better in us! If I run from God’s will and call, am I also running from His blessing? Sometimes what we perceive as a life interruption is actually a divine intervention. What we think may be an annoying ‘setback’ may be a ‘set up’ for something greater.


As women (and humans), we tend to put conditions on surrendering to God’s will: I will go as long as…………; I will help with that as long as……….; I will follow you as long as…………; I will give my resources as long as…………. Ladies, we must remember that we are in a divine partnership with God! That partnership is sealed with trusting His word and obeying His voice. Surrendering to the will of God is not easy. No, it’s not always fun. The path is not always clearly lit. Sometimes the challenge is great! Sometimes I feel like God is asking too much; I’m not equipped for this; I am inadequate to do that. Even times when we are in the midst of a life interruption that we want to scream, “God, is this the best that you’ve got for me?”


As believers, as women of God, HE wants us to be totally convinced that anything HE leads us to do or allows us to endure is of more importance than what we were doing before! (Whoa, read that again!) Remember, life interruptions are often God’s way of doing something better!


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”
(Isaiah 55:8-9)


Jonah was convinced that he had a legitimate reason for running from God’s will. That land was wicked and evil. Jonah felt like the Ninevites were not worthy of God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Jonah had an allegiance to the Israelite people! Jonah was able to talk himself right out of following through with God’s will and plan. He had justifiable reasons to back himself up! Well, we know that did not end well for Jonah. Oh and one more thing – The calling on Jonah’s life did not subside just because he suffered through the consequences of disobedience. In chapter 3 of the book of Jonah, “and the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time”. Even in our disobedience and unwillingness to surrender at times, the call of God over our lives still remains!


What is God nudging you toward that is not on your prayer list?Is there some sort of ‘life interruption’ that God has called you specifically to fulfill in the kingdom? Are you willing to go with God when He is calling you to ‘Nineveh’  even if ‘Nineveh’ goes against everything you want to be doing right now? Making sense of God’s will may not ever come but God’s word and His promises are enough to give you the boldness and courage that it takes to embrace your ‘life interruption’.


So what if I run from God’s will as Jonah did? Well, Jonah got a second chance. Jonah was given a second call to follow God’s will. God will continue to pursue you as he pursued Jonah! The goodness of God will run after you! His grace, mercy, and love will cover you! God specializes in second chances, unmeasurable grace, a deep abiding love for us, and the ability to never give up on us!


As sure as God is a ‘God of second chances’, we can be sure that His spirit will guide and equip us to sustain us during the interruptions of life. When we are obedient and responsive to His will, God’s anointing and power will pull things out of us that we never knew existed such as boldness, truth, and authority. Remember, when we surrender in obedience to God’s divine interruptions, His word and work through us, not only impacts us but will overflow into others around us.


So, arise and go after your ‘Nineveh’! God has ordered your steps! So, He is sure to provide the resources, give you the words to say, and prepare the hearts before you arrive! God is already there waiting on you to arrive! Now go!



Jamie Dawson is a wife, mom and works a career outside of home and ministry. Jamie and her husband, Kevin, have been married for 30 years and served in full time ministry for 27 years. For the past 5 years, they have been lead pastors at Tift Avenue Church of God in Tifton, Georgia. Jamie has worked in public education for 27 years and is currently the principal of    G.O. Bailey Elementary School in Tifton. They have two children, Joshua (23), and Emily (20), who attend Lee University. Jamie enjoys spending time with family, riding bicycles, outdoor adventures and taking a walk on the beach! As a family, they love spending time together in the summer working COG youth camps!


Women’s Devotion | June 2020

Don’t Let Your Vision Interfere with God’s Vision

“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.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV 

What is vision?  Vision is defined as an act or power of sensing with the eyes or sight. It acts as one of the daily confirmations of the physical realm. In a corporate setting vision takes on a bolder definition acting as a vivid, imaginary or anticipative conception in “Vision Statements”. However, it is my belief visionmust be based on this definition, “the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be.” This creates a path that will require you to use less of your physical vision but will cause you to lean on your spiritual vision. This has also been referred to as prophetic vision.  It is better represented by this verse, John 16:7 NLT, “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the ADOVOCATE won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.”


The question we must ask ourselves is, “Do I have a vision? Are we able to step back and take on the guard of our God?” Our number one job to make sure this is taking place is to become one with God through Jesus The Christ.  This happens by fasting, praying, meditation, sacrifice and obedience. I declare, I decree that you can tap into the power of God’s vision for your life with the help of the Holy Spirit! Make these things your foundation, stand on them and do not waver! The power will begin to touch you and God will reveal dreams and visions greater than you can imagine.


Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” If you do not have a vision for your life, where will you be? Ask yourself, “Will I perish?” In the year 2020, we have a fresh start to renew our foundation with our God and get a new vision. Don’t let hate hold you back, but learn to hate evil things because this will grow you in the Lord. Give your life to God and watch things turnaround for the good! Be loving, kind, grateful, speak well of your brother or sister, give good judgment, and watch how your power of vision grows.  NOW, CAN YOU SEE CLEARLY?



Catherine McNeil serves alongside her husband, Willie McNeil, as lead pastors of Kairos Worship Center in Meigs since 2014. The McNeil’s have two children, Jazmine and Jamal, as well as two grandchildren, Ja’Ziah and Heaven. For 19 years, Catherine has served as Transportation Driver for Thomas County Central School System and  continues to fulfill her mission by helping families within the church and the community. Her hard-working mentality has always been grounded with God‘s vision first. The McNeil’s serve on the Meigs City Council influencing their community as a whole. Catherine says her wisdom, strength and beauty are founded in Christ. Proverbs 9:10 reminds us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”


Women’s Devotion | May 2020

The Father and the Prodigal

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:1-2 NIV

On August 11th, 2019 I lost my big brother unexpectedly at 57 years old.  Only 4 years older than me, Derek was my hero! He left home after graduation, got married and joined the Navy, but we were always very close. He was very gifted. In the Navy he received the rank of Chief Petty Officer and was in charge of communications on a nuclear sub. He was proficient with electronics as well as a master brick-mason. He could repair or fix just about anything. Our Dad was a pastor, so we grew up in the church. While Derek was at home, he played the guitar and sang at church with our family. Derek was a loving and compassionate person and always had a sensitive heart towards God. When he was just a teenager, God called him to preach and in his first revival 19 people accepted Christ!


“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.”
Luke 15:13 NIV


As things happen in life sometimes, Derek began to go down the wrong path. His first marriage failed leaving 3 children to provide for. He soon remarried and his new wife had a baby. One of Derek’s problems was being easily influenced by others. His life really began to spiral downward when he was arrested while in the Navy. Now that he was the father of 4 children, he really needed more income.  While at home on leave around Christmas, a friend asked him to transport some drugs to make some extra money. He was caught, arrested, served 9 months in military prison and was then discharged from the Navy. After 11 years his career was over, he had 2 marriages and now 5 children. Derek had to come home and go back to work with our dad as a brick layer. While working on a school gymnasium, Derek fell 25 feet on to a concrete floor and crushed both ankles. In order to deal with the pain, he was prescribed high powered pain medicine which led to an awful addiction lasting 15 years.


The reason I want to share this story is because so many people in the church and ministry have a wayward child or loved one who has become “the Prodigal.”  I prayed, fasted and begged God to rescue my brother. I pleaded with Derek and even followed him to try and keep him away from his drug dealers. I saw the needle tracks and visited him in the hospital after 3 overdoses. I, along with our family, went to see him in jail and bought groceries for his family when he was locked up. Our hopes would rise when he would get out of rehab, only to be crushed when he would be using again within a few weeks. Every time the phone rang, I would feel a tightness in the pit of my stomach wondering if this was the call notifying his death. I don’t remember how many times he was arrested. I can’t begin to count the tears I cried. During this time I realized I had another issue–not only was Derek in trouble, but so was I. My hero, my big brother and his addiction had broken my heart.


I wasn’t sure God was hearing my prayers or even cared about Derek. Of course, this was only the enemy trying to discourage me from praying for him and trying to destroy my faith in the process. Jesus said, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”John 10:10a. When we are praying for a person who is lost, we have to realize we aren’t fighting against flesh and blood, but Satan.


After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
Luke 15:14 NIV

Derek remarried and moved to Alma shortly after Travis and I became pastors. Derek did eventually recover from the drugs and was clean for 5 years. In 2012 he gave his heart to the Lord and went to church with us but lived with no joy. He had so many regrets from his past. The enemy robbed him of his family and continued to try and steal his life and joy every day. I just kept praying and gave him to the Lord. June of last year he became very sick. He lost weight and we found out He had a bad strain of staph infection (MRSA) which started in his bad foot and had gotten into his blood stream.  He was very ill and lost so much weight that we didn’t think he would make it. During this time in the hospital, the Father begin to call to him once again.


“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.”
Luke 15:17-18 NIV

Because of his past sins, failures and disappointments, Derek had an overwhelming sense of guilt. At one time he shared with my husband, Travis, that he wanted to be right with God but just didn’t know how. Derek was a very private person and kept things to himself. Because he had lost so much weight due to his sickness and his health had deteriorated so quickly, we were afraid He had some type of terminal illness. Travis went to ICU and asked him if he was hiding some type of sickness from us. Derek assured him that he did not have terminal sickness that he was aware of.  Travis began to talk with him about his soul. Travis told him “Derek, according to your profession in Christ, belief in God and repentance of your sins, the Bible says you are saved.” Then Travis told Derek the story of the Prodigal and that Jesus allowed that story to be put in the Bible just for him. Christ wanted him, had forgiven him and his past was forgotten.


So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
Luke 15:20-22 NIV

 Suddenly Derek began to cry and the guilt lifted. A peace settled on him that day and he had a different countenance. The agony and torture of past failures that had always been with him was now gone. He was free! He immediately signed up for the church membership class and was so thrilled! So was I! My brother was back!  Once he was dismissed from the hospital he was on the road to recovery and began to gain weight. My mother and I made sure he had food and everything he needed at home because he was on crutches and couldn’t put pressure on his foot for several weeks. He went to rehabilitation to learn how to walk on that foot again. He worked very hard to gain his strength and he was definitely looking much better. We had a lot more bonding time between brother and sister during doctor visits and his recovery time. We laughed, we cried and talked about old times. Looking back now, I cherish those times so very much.


On Friday August 9th while I was out of town, Derek called me and said he was running a fever. I talked him into going to the ER because he could not afford for the Staph infection to get back into his blood. They admitted him that night for precaution and to get his fever down.  On Saturday our care pastor went to visit Derek and found him witnessing to his wife and asking her to accept Christ.  


We returned home late that Sunday night, so Derek didn’t want us to come to the hospital. My mother and I had been talking and laughing with him over the phone.  Since he was fine and didn’t need anything, we told him we would see him first thing Monday morning. He called my mother back and asked her if she would drop off a cup of coffee and a pack of powdered donuts before she went home. At his request, my mother got what he wanted and took it to the hospital. When she arrived, my brother was gasping for breath. She called the nurses station and the medical staff immediately began giving him CPR. When Travis and I got to the hospital they were still trying to revive him. He was gone…when I walked into his room, I knew it. I felt and saw a peaceful look on his face and knew God had taken him home. A blood clot went to his lungs and caused him to go into cardiac arrest. Though his unexpected loss hit me and my family hard, I knew without a doubt “The Prodigal” had made it home.


“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.”
Luke 15:22-23 (NIV)

God rescued him from the enemy… he is not tortured anymore. No more worries, no more sleepless nights for Derek. He is now healed, happy and rejoicing in heaven with our dad. God is faithful and he answered my prayer. Another Prodigal is home with the Father!




Sherry Peavy is a wife, mother and “Gigi”. Sherry and her husband Travis have been married for 36 years and in ministry for 35 years. For the last 10 years they have served as Lead Pastors at the Alma Church of God. They have 2 children Matthew (and Whitney), Student Pastor at Stewart Road Church of God in Monroe, Michigan and Kristian (and Sidney), who serves in ministry at Alma Church of God. They have two granddaughters, Taya James and Ila Parker. Sherry loves spending time with family, shopping and traveling. Her favorite past time, however, is being “Gigi” to her precious grands.


Women’s Devotion | April 2020

We Do Not Throw in the Towel

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV


In the boxing world, the expression to “throw in the towel” usually occurs when the boxer is no longer able to throw a punch, or even lift up his arms because he has lost all strength.  It is here when the trainer notices that his boxer has reached his limit and makes the decision to “throw in the towel”. This is what indicates the fight is over and prevents further suffering or irrepressible pain. Notice this decision is not made by the boxer, but by the trainer.


How many times have we found ourselves in life’s fighting arena where the thought to throw in the towel has crossed our mind?  Or how many times have we simply thought of abandoning everything and fleeing? Didn’t David do just this when he fled to the cave of Adullam? David, the man called “the sweet Psalmist of Israel”? David, the man “after God’s own heart”? David, the man called, the lamp of Jehovah? Did he not flee out of desperation?


Didn’t Peter also deny Jesus and return to his life of being a fisherman? When Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Simon Peter was the one that answered by saying, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:13, 16-18 NIV). This was said of the man, whom we all know denied Christ three times; and yet he was redeemed and still told by Jesus to shepherd his flock (John 21:17).


The litany of Biblical heroes who have fallen short and turned their back on God goes on and on. Judas sold Jesus. The other disciples dispersed in fear. Jonah went on another path, directly disobeying God’s commands.  Balaam desired treasure above all. Abraham lied to save his skin. Elijah prayed for death after witnessing God’s great marvels. Gideon was called during a moment of cowardice. And so on, and so forth……


It is a reality that we all want blessings, joy, and prosperity; but none of us want to endure the suffering and strife that it takes to attain these things. During the delivery process, the woman is given a choice of having an epidural. This injection can be risky, and the woman must sign a waiver consenting to undergo the procedure. During the procedure, she must be completely still because one move can have life-long consequences. Yes, the procedure has a numbing effect and assists in relieving the pain, but at what cost? Is relieving momentary pain really worth the possible lifelong risks? Each woman must make this decision based on their own situation. But there is yet another issue that arises in choosing this option. You see, the pain from the contractions is what alerts the woman on when to push. The same goes for us in life. It is the pain that alerts us when to push and accelerate the process. In other words, in order to release that which is inside of us, we must push! This process was not what was intended in the beginning. Yes, God in the beginning states that there would be pain, but because of the introduction of sin and disobedience, pain was augmented. In other words, if you truly want to deliver that which God deposited into you, do not try to eliminate the pain. You have to push and breakthrough for that which is to come!


God has allowed me to be at three different deliveries. The first one was that of a young lady who was having difficulty delivering her baby. The doctor told me to interpret and stated, “the blood that was being seen was that of a forced rupture and that an incision must be made in order for the baby to be born sooner.” The mother did not want for that procedure to occur, but she asked if it was necessary and the doctor confirmedthat it was. The doctor made the incision and the baby was born.


The path of the cross is inevitable. That was the plan the Father had in order for us to all be able to attain salvation. People laughed and mocked as the “King of the Jews” made His entrance and walked the path to the cross. But all this was needed for the greatest victory of all. Jesus recognized that this process needed to be done. Because of this process, we do not see Jesus the victim, but Christ the Victor, the overcomer, the survivor. Because Christ is able to do all these things, I too can say the same! Hallelujah!


Acts 20:22-24, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”


From this passage, there are three clear steps on how to become a survivor/overcomer:

  1. The first is that we must endure.People admire that which they can see. What many don’t understand is that which they see, has come about with a price. God has seen our tears, our pain, and our anguish. To endure(Greek), means to have an extreme weight placed upon a person, without fail and without shaking. Each of us have passed through trials that seem humanly impossible to endure. But we trust God that He does not give trials or tribulations that we are not strong enough to endure. On the contrary, when a trial arrives in our lives, God will give usthe exit strategy or give usthe strength to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13). God did not make a mistake in giving us the burden which we carry. He knows the capacity of weight we can carry. He weighs it out first and knows that 150 lbs. will not kill us. The weight of the trial wants to detain you and there will be suffering, however, you will still be elevated to His presence and what is to come is pure glory.
  2. Our “Special Trainer” is God.He is the one who knows us best, even better than we know ourselves. He will never allow us to struggle or fight against something that is greater than our capability to endure.
  3. The Lord has never thrown in the towel and will never throw in the towel when it comes to those whom He has called.Why? Because He is Jehova-Gibbor Milchamah, the Lord mighty in battle, the greatest of generals, leader of the Heavenly Hosts, and He fights on our behalf.


So, if He that has called you, never give up. Don’t you dare do it! He is the one who gives us the strength. You can do it! Endure! Resist! I will not tremble! I will not shake! I will not break! There are many that flee, “but we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Hebrews 10:39 NIV.


Push, for those are simply birthing pains. Remember that your trial and tribulation is simply a sign of which is to come. Push, so you can give birth to what God has deposited within you! Your reward is on its way!



María del Carmen Méndez prefers to go by Carmen, especially after she found it meant “song” and that coincided with her desire to “sing” for God. She was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico but came to live in Bronx, New York. Carmen and her husband, Demetrio pastor Iglesia De Dios es el Poderin Hinesville/ Ft. Stewart, Georgia since 2006. Both are licensed ministers in the Church of God. The Méndez’s have been married for 37 years, 29 dedicated to ministry. They have three adult children, Jesus, Edgar and Ann-Marie and two grandchildren, Israel and Elisabeth Marie.


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