Women’s Devotion | January 2020

Food for the Day

What is life? For a while now I have been thinking about life–my life in particular. I feel like there is so much more we can do with this precious gift God has given us. I realize God says in His Word that we are to occupy until He comes, but what does that mean? I feel like it means more than just going through the daily routine of work and home life. I believe He wants us to live life with purpose.

 

So you ask, “What is life?”

 

1. Growth-It involves growing in a spiritual relationship with our heavenly Father. It is spending time in prayer, study and solitude with God. In Colossians 2:6 -7 NKJV it says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…” Hebrews 5:12-14 tells us as babes we drank the milk and we were unskilled, but we cannot stay on the milk. We must receive the meat of the Word in order to mature and discern good from evil.

 

2. Contribution-It requires taking up our cross and bearing our part in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mathew 6:33 NKJV, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” This gives us a good starting point so we can be able to do as Mark 16:15 NKJV says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Also in Matthew 10:8 NKJV we are told to, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

 

3. Connection-This will bring life into the situation. Connection will result in reproduction. We are to connect with our heavenly Father through prayer, fasting and study. John 15:5 tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches and as long as we stay connected to Him, we will be sustained and bear fruit to sustain others.

 

4. Creativity-This happens when we create an environment around us in fellowship with our heavenly Father. Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together in the manner as some do. When we come together we create a bond for growth in ourselves and each other. Proverbs 27:17 NKJV says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” We are to create an environment that will strengthen, encourage and sustain our life and the lives of others through Jesus Christ.

 

From this day forward I choose to purposely declare my faith and the Word of Life to every person with whom I come in contact. In this new year, What are you doing with your gift of life?


 

 

 

Paula Wommack serves with her husband, Gilbert, as lead pastors of Oasis Church of God in Lyons, Georgia. They have pastored there since planting the church in November of 2000. They serve as Vidalia District Overseers as well. The Wommacks have been married for 38 years and have 3 adult children and 8 beautiful grandchildren. They feel blessed to be able to have their children working with them in the ministry of Oasis. Paula serves as Women’s Ministry President and teaches the “Fierce Women Warriors” Bible study. It is her desire to equip ladies to be strong women of God, to support their husbands and to be Godly examples to their children.  Paula enjoys doing arts and crafts but her greatest joy comes from being Nana to their grandchildren.

Women’s Devotion | December 2019

The Invitation List

“There was no room for Jesus in the Inn.” Luke 2:7 

 

My husband and I had just received our first pastoral appointment at summer’s end just before the holiday season kicked off. My to-do list was a mile long already and growing with every click on Pinterest. Time flew by as we settled into our new house and community. It was now December and the Christmas Season was in full swing. Just imagine the excitement swirling in the heart of this new pastor’s wife! It was almost Christmas and I wanted to share everything we had to offer during the absolute best time of the year with those entrusted to our care.

 

Nine years later, I still remember December 14, 2010 like it was yesterday. It was the big day, our Women’s Ministry Christmas Party and I had thirteen who responded to the invitation RSVP! This was huge considering we only had 23 in the entire church!

 

During those days being busy excited me. Accomplishing things helped me feel important. I thought “there are people who need us now and things that we have to get done ASAP”. I also felt everything had to be done to perfection and with absolute excellence! For days I had been so busy cleaning, decorating, making Christmas goodies, wrapping gifts and preparing delicious foods for our party, that I had hardly slept. I made every Christmas finger food known to man and displayed them with great care; surrounding them with perfectly placed decorations. After all, it was CHRISTMAS, we were celebrating the birth of our Savior – it had to be the best!

 

Finally, my to-do list was completed. Utterly exhausted, I sat down, looking around the church parsonage feeling so accomplished, proud of what was to be offered to my guests until I looked up and saw a tiny spider web stretched across one of the globes of the dining room chandelier. I just stared at the spider web; honestly I was perplexed as to how I would muster up the strength to get it down. It was not until that moment, when I had nothing left to offer, did I speak to God about the party I was throwing…IN HIS HONOR. I said to Him “Lord, I cannot leave that spider web for everyone to see, will you please give me the strength to get it down?” To which He responded with these chilling words “Much ado about nothing, it is my party and you have not even invited me.”

 

Hearing these extremely unsettling words, I fell on my face in repentance! You and I must admit that often they are true of us – especially at Christmas time. We know that the reason for the season is to celebrate Christ’s birth and we say this is what we want to do. Yet, we get so busy with decorating (and fixing broken lights!), buying presents (and waiting in lines!), hosting parties (and getting stuck in traffic!) – and we add all these things to our normal schedules that are probably already too full! There is no room for Jesus in our hearts when we are rushing around, pushing to get more done, and trying so hard to make people happy. Just like the Innkeeper whose Inn was too full for Jesus, so also our schedules may not leave time – unhurried time – to appreciate and enjoy Jesus.

 

You see, we can plan all the parties, buy all the best gifts, decorate elaborately but without inviting Christ first, it is just “much ado about nothing!” What you do, do with excellence, but remember, excellence without HIM IS DEAD!

 

This Christmas season as you begin making your Holiday preparations, make room in the Inn FIRST and your invitation list will never be lacking.

 


 

 

 

April Schluckebier serves alongside her husband, Matthew, as pastors of Life Church in Albany, Georgia. April also serves as the Church Ministries Assistant at South Georgia Church of God State Office. The Schluckebiers have been married and in ministry for the past fifteen years. They have two daughters, Lauren McClellan and Adah Grace, and two precious grandsons, Raegan and Ross Thomas.

Women’s Devotion | November 2019

Giving Thanks

 

Psalm 107:1   “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his love endures forever.”

 

Andraé Crouch so beautifully penned the song entitled My Tribute. The song begins, “How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? Things so undeserved yet you give to prove your love for me. The voices of a million angels cannot express my gratitude….”

 

The month of November has one day dedicated to giving thanks. This day is a national holiday which encourages people to recognize their blessings and express appreciation for what God has

graciously and bountifully bestowed upon His creation. This day is meant to be a focused and intentional recognition of the many blessings and gifts received during the year.

 

The book of Psalms is filled with proclamations of thanksgiving and declarations of gratitude for the abundant and undeserved blessings bestowed by the Father of all good things.

 

One of the first phrases we teach our children is to say ‘thank you’ when they receive a gift. In those two simple words we are attempting to teach thankfulness and gratitude.

 

Can a song thank Him enough? Is one day a year enough time to thank Him adequately? Can we thank Him enough through a book? Can two simple words appropriately express gratitude?

 

In this day of ungratefulness and feelings of entitlement I fear we have lost the recognition and understanding of truly being thankful. We often categorize and appraise our blessings and then measure our thankfulness accordingly. The proportion of our thankfulness is directly correlated to the value we place on our “blessing.”

 

I understand that it is humanly impossible to find adequate words or to express our deepest emotions when we recognize our many blessings. It often seems difficult to convey our gratitude to the Father for all He has done. However, the motive and objective of our heart speaks volumes even without words. The appreciation we feel is revealed in how we cherish our gift.   Our

greatest thankfulness is manifested in how we acknowledge and respond to the Giver.

 

The greatest blessing of all is the ability to have a deep and intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. Yet do we live in such a way that our gratitude for this eternal gift is evident to the Giver and to those around us? Do we express more dissatisfaction in our life than appreciation for who we are in Him and what we have because of Him?

 

Life itself was breathed into man by the Creator Himself. A portion of His life and sustaining power now resides in us giving life, breath and various abilities. Even if our life seems short by earthly years, the value of our lives and our purpose for living is a great cause to live thankfully and to rejoice that the opportunity has been given to us to walk this journey in relationship with the Father.

 

After a miraculous healing in my life over 8 years ago, I felt so inadequate and unworthy of such a touch from the Lord. How could I say thanks? What words could I use that would sufficiently express my gratitude? I have yet to find words. I have yet to feel that I have sufficiently expressed my appreciation for His healing touch. However, I believe that God knows

my heart just as He knows yours. Our appreciation to Him is expressed in our love for Him, our love for our family, love for our friends, and love for the lost. Our gratitude to Him is expressed in our faithfulness to obey His Word and serve devotedly in His purpose. Our desire to be in His presence is a way of expressing our appreciation to Him for the opportunity to walk with

Him and commune with Him. We can never repay God for all His mighty acts and gifts unto us. His wonders aren’t for sale. We may always feel indebted to Him, but we can be assured that He acknowledges our heart of gratitude and thanks.

 

Even if the voices of a million angels cannot express my gratitude, what my heart can convey to the Giver for what He has done for me resonates throughout the courts of Heaven when I cry “Thank You, Father.”

 


 

 

 

Cheryl Hughes serves along with her husband, Pastor Wayne Hughes at Abundant Life Church of God in Valdosta, Georgia. They have been in pastoral ministry for over 38 years. The Hughes have been married for 42 years and have two married children and five grandchildren. Cheryl serves on the South Georgia Church of God Music Committee and enjoys music, the piano in particular, and reading.

Women’s Devotion | October 2019

Seasons

 

Fall. I just love this time of year. And I’m sure you’ll agree. I look forward to cooler weather, mountain time, apple cider, pumpkins and fall decorations. But it doesn’t last forever. Too quickly another season approaches and as an adult you want the time to slow down, but we know that’s not possible. As a child, I’ll never forget what seemed like the eternal wait from fall break to Christmas. Anticipating that time with family, gifts and traditions that we hold dear. Often, we rush things. Look how soon we have Christmas decorations out in the stores. Too soon in my opinion but I’m learning they don’t ask me.

 

Winter. Again, another season of sheer joy. The smell of Christmas greenery, decoration, gift giving and let’s not forget the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He’s truly the reason for all the seasons. He came to give us life and give it more Abundantly. (John 10:10) But the first part of that scripture says the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. This is why I chose this topic. Seasons come and go like the wind. They change the atmosphere and sometimes makes us wonder why the tree has to lose its leaves, why the bush must be pruned and cut back. The pain of this process proves to be beneficial to our growth.

 

Spring. A time of new growth. We’ll see the bare trees begin to bud and flowers bloom. I once had a dear friend give me a potted Cala Lilli. I had planted it in a planter just outside my garage door so every time I would back out of my garage, I would see this beautiful plant. At the end of the season not really knowing the plant would come back the next year, I put a new plant in the planter. Next year, just outside the planter, I began to see this vibrant bright green growth bursting through the ground. Evidently when I put the new plant in, the bulbs from the planter fell to the ground. It was such a treat that I texted my friend that gave me the plant, “look what popped up today.” I would text her regularly about the progress of the plant and remind her that. It was a gift that kept on giving.

 

When we sold the house, I made sure to tell the new owners of the plant. I didn’t want her to plant something there not realizing that in the right season a beautiful plant would come back. We so often do this in life. We feel that something is dead when it’s only dormant. We get ahead of ourselves and try and make something happen when with only a little time and patience, it will come back again. Back in June, I was reminding my son of this process. Trying to encourage him that though things seem bare and dormant, it’s a time of healing and preparation for what’s ahead. A season of new growth, strength and life. It’s during this time that we must walk or dwell in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16) This is living by the Spirit’s Power! There have been several times in my life where it was nothing but the comfort or nudging of the Holy Spirit that was getting me through. You make know what I’m talking about: those Sunday mornings on the front pew being the pastor’s wife or even a lay person, not feeling worthy to raise your hand, but then the Holy Spirit shows up and nudges you to praise, to worship, to speak life and blessing. We have to be that open vessel in all the seasons! Regardless of what we’re going through, to be willing to praise our Lord and Savior for his goodness, for our feet hitting the floor this morning and for the victory that’s around the corner. We cannot allow what we’re going through to cause us to shut down.

 

Summer. Our favorite Season! We were at the beach—our favorite place to relax. I was sitting there when all of a sudden, I heard this little boy calling out, “momma, daddy!” He was frantically searching the beach for them. He had run into the water not really noticing the details of where his family was sitting on the way in. I could see him begin to panic as he kept looking and calling out for his family. And then, just in time, in the distance, I heard his father call out his name. We often do the same thing in life. Running on for what’s ahead not really realizing what we leave behind and, on our way back, lose sight of where we should be. A look of relief came over his face as his eyes found his father because he was just about to lose it. Isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father? He allows us to run in a direction we think is best but will always be there when we come running back, calling his name.

 

Let me encourage you today to be an open vessel in all the seasons. Remember don’t let what you’re going through cause you to shut down. In those moments we have to invite the Holy Spirit in. In submission is freedom Romans 8:14, “For all who are led by the spirit of God are children of God.” Matthew 11:28, “ Come to me… I will give you rest.” Verse 29 “Take my yoke… let me show you.” Carrying a yoke by yourself is heavy but He says, “take my yoke.” (meaning together we share this yoke). I get to get in the yoke with the Spirit. In your darkest season there will always be a reason to praise.

 


 

 

Melissa “Missy” Faircloth serves along with her husband, Pastor Sean Faircloth, at Living Faith Church in Guyton, Georgia. Missy met Sean at Florida Youth Camp. He proposed at the end of the four weeks and they married three months later. The Faircloth’s have one son, Andrew. Missy has served on the South Georgia Girls Ministries Board and currently serves on the Women’s Ministries Board. She has been a pastor’s wife for 26 years.

Women’s Devotion | September 2019

Abiding in the Secret Place

 

“He who dwells in the secret place of Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. Surely, he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and your buckler.” Psalm 91: 1- 4

 

There is safety in the secret place if we only trust Him. Psalm 91 is a word of comfort and hope for those who are going through tough times, walking through rough places, or just fighting a battle. The Lord reminds us in this scripture that He is our refuge and fortress. David states, “Surely, he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler.” God covers us when we come to him. God is bringing us out. We must look for it.

 

He said, “he that dwelleth in the secret place” – that place where we come to God in prayer. When we unite with Him and tell Him all we have been through; all through the days and all through the nights. When we go to Him and cry out to Him and ask Him to strengthen us, He said we shall abide (remain in, continue, sit here) under the shadow of the Almighty. Praise the Lord, He will cover us in His presence!

 

If we trust God regardless of how it looks, I don’t care what it is, if you trust God, He will bring us out. The Word of God admonishes us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) He is going to bring us out of every situation. He has seen every tear and understands what we are going through. We are a testimony to others around us. When we go through struggles, it lets others know they can make it. As we dwell in our secret place in Him, God covers us and gives us more strength so we can bear it. God says He sees our heart and the labor of love we struggle with and it is not going unrewarded because God will take care of His own. He wants us to trust Him without a doubt and know that He is going to bring us out.

 

My prayer for you today is that you will abide in the secret place of the Most High God. That you may come to know the many benefits that come with trusting and abiding in our heavenly Father. May God continue to lead and guide you as you continue to go to Him in your secret place. May you find comfort in knowing that if we only trust and believe, God is able to do all things. With man it may be impossible, but with God all things are possible unto him that believeth.

 


 

Pastor Vivian McDonald is an Ordained Minister in the Church of God and currently enrolled in the Church of God School of Ministry. She is the founder and senior pastor of the Cathedral of Faith Church of God in Dawson, Georgia. Pastor McDonald was saved at the age of 12 and has spent the majority of her life serving in various roles in the church including pastor’s wife, evangelist and Women’s Ministries President. She was married to the late Reverend Frankie McDonald, who served as the National Evangelist in the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee. The McDonalds have two daughters and two grandsons.

Women’s Devotion | August 2019

The Power of God’s Contentment

Contentedness: content, satisfaction, fulfillment, pleasure, cheerfulness,
gladness, gratification, ease, comfort, serenity, restfulness, and tranquility

 

A relationship with God brings contentment. It comes from being fully convinced that God is God, you belong to Him, He loves you fiercely, and He is always with you wherever you go. Contentment is also a state of happiness and satisfaction. Whoever is happy, will make others happy, too (Mark Twain).


Contentment is not determined by the ideal geographical location. The apostle Paul wrote from a damp Roman dungeon, “I have learned in whatever state I am therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). So, contentment is a learned process; a mental assertion or decision that God is with you despite your present place or station in life.


Contentment is peace of mind. Phil 4:11-13 says, “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (NLT).


As a pastor’s wife, ministry required us to move several times. Moving and transitioning is certainly one of the number one stresses of life. It involves moving to new churches, changing locations, putting our children in new schools, and leaving friends behind. We must remember that there is nothing we face that is too difficult, too troubling, or too fearful for God. We must turn our anxiety over to God and let His perfect peace guard our heart. We must never forget that our “steps are ordered by the Lord.”


On the journey of life there are always forks in the road where a decision must be made, but change should never destroy one’s contentment. The happiest people are the ones that make the best of everything they have and make the best of every situation.


I have been a pastor’s wife for fifty years. We have pastored ten different churches in three states. During each of these pastorates, I learned to be content. It didn’t matter if the parsonage was big or small, pretty or not so much; I was able to find contentment with what I had and where I lived. I enjoyed every church family and every place we relocated. I learned to bloom where I was planted. Home can be anywhere you make it. We should learn to accept what God allows and change what He empowers us to change, which is usually our attitudes.


Contentment could be a state of having accepted one’s situation which is ultimately a mild or tentative form of happiness. Contentment is also the absence of worry and frustration that steals our peace and joy. In times when life seems to be coming apart, it’s always good to look at God’s faithfulness in the past. Life is too short to be lived without experiencing the contentment found only in Christ. I know what it is to cry and to rejoice, but through it all, I’ve learned to seek contentment.


Contentment should never be based on our place of ministry, the financial package, the size of the parsonage or the size of the congregation. It is about our relationship with God, our family, the people we serve and the ability to bloom where we’re planted. As I walk with Him, the pleasures are never ending, and I know true joy and contentment.

 

Prayer:

Dear Lord, help us to always place our faith in you. Even when things are not what we desire. Help us to be content, even when we’re feeling frustrated. Help us to always remember when we look back over the years in ministry, and to celebrate the joy and peace that the world could not give. Lord, I thank you for the contentment that is have found in living a Godly life. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26)


Peggy Smith has been in ministry with her husband, Hulet Smith, Sr. for fifty years. They are lead pastors at Crossroads Church of God in Jesup where they have served for 16 years. They have been married for fifty years and have three sons: Hulet Jr., Peter, and Tommy Smith. They are blessed with nine grandchildren. Peggy has been an educator for thirty years and a Mary Kay consultant for twenty-five years. She is a graduate of Brewton Parker College. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking, and shopping.

 

 

Women’s Devotion | July 2019

Kill Britt or Make Me Happy 


Lord, I give you complete control of my life. Lead and guide and direct my steps as You see fit.
Famous last words…. I had no idea at the time the turn that my life would take after I prayed those words.

 

I grew up in Texas as the daughter of a baseball coach, teacher, rancher, school superintendent, book publisher, Southern Baptist preacher. My father wore many hats (quite literally), and therefore, we moved A LOT. I attended 10 schools in my 12 years. So, when I say I am from Texas, I mean I am from the whole State of Texas. My father believed in being adventurous, trying new things, and using a pencil to record our current address.

 

My brother, sister, and I shared some great experiences. We lived on a South Texas Ranch when I was in the 2nd grade. The school bus would only go so far out of town to pick us up and drop us off, so my mother would meet us at the stop. One day, she couldn’t make it in time, so she had my dad come to get us. He did… in a helicopter! He was out doing the deer census that week, so the pilot landed the chopper in the middle of the road in front of the yellow school bus. Too bad we were the last stop! The only one who saw it was the bus driver!

 

When I was in the 6th grade, we lived in Odessa, Texas-Home of the Permian Panthers. My father was the baseball coach and assistant football coach of the team that was represented in the movie “Friday Night Lights”. I fell in love with football which has carried over to my life today, only now I yell “Goooooo Dawgs! Sic ‘Em!”

 

In college, I studied Psychology and Social Work. Then, I changed my major to Physical Therapy. Then, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. The only thing I knew for certain is that I wanted to attend Texas A&M University. So, my parents told me to come home and attend the local Junior College for a semester, then I could transfer to A&M. So, I did. During this time, I worked a part-time job with a lady who pastored a small church in town. She and I would talk about the Lord every time we were together, and I began to really seek the Lord for His will for my life. It was here that I prayed those words: God take over my life. Two weeks later, she tells me that she has this young evangelist coming to preach a revival at her church and she thinks we would really hit it off.

Enter Britt Peavy.

That was November of 1993. We spent those 2 weeks talking and getting to know each other.

December 1993: I go to Georgia to meet his family and spend 2 weeks.

February 1994: I go back to Georgia for 2 weeks – we get engaged.

March 1994: We get married.

 

Now, remember, I was raised moving every year or two. I was used to picking up and going somewhere new. This did not seem like anything new to me, until I had to say goodbye to my little Texas Grandma as we were driving away from the church. I had been be-bopping around all day, happy-go-lucky, oblivious to the fact that I would soon be leaving my family, my friends, and my home to be with this man that I had known all of 4 months and had only been around for 6 weeks!

 

So, I began to cry. For three hours, I cried. I could not stop crying. Poor Britt. He’s on his honeymoon with a girl who won’t stop crying! He finally pulled the car over to just let me cry. He seemed so sweet and sensitive, until you discover from him that he was thinking the whole time, “Did I shave my legs for this?”

 

We spent a week making our way back to Georgia stopping off in beautiful places like San Antonio, New Orleans, and Stapleton, Alabama (My Aunt Jody’s house). After we made it to my new home, which was 1300 miles away from my mom and dad (and right next door to his), we jumped right back into Britt’s life of preaching revivals each week. Now remember, I was raised Southern Baptist. I am now the evangelist’s wife in a Pentecostal denomination. I was expected to sing, play the piano, and lay hands on people! I did not sing. I did not play the piano. And, I certainly did not lay hands on people! But my husband never pushed me to do anything or be anything other than myself. I am still so thankful for his wisdom and patience.

 

After about a year and a half of being removed from everything familiar, I realized that I still had not adjusted to this new life. Nothing was the same: the church, the style of worship, the landscape, the family, the friends. So, I spoke to The One who never changes. The One who is always the same. The One who told me that He would never leave me or forsake me and that He would go with me to the ends of the Earth. Did that include Georgia? So, I prayed. I told Him everything that I was thinking and feeling. And it went something like this: “God, when I said, ‘I do’, I meant it. I do not believe in divorce. But this is not working. So, the way I see it, we have 2 options. You can either kill Britt, or You can make me happy!”

 

There were no external changes that day. I was not miraculously picked up and placed back in Texas, nor was Britt struck by lightning. But my perspective changed that day. Do you know what I learned? I learned that God hears us when we call. I learned that when nothing else is familiar, God is always the same. And, I learned that God speaks and understands all languages, even Texan. I realized that God knew where I was and that He was right there with me. I realized that God did not just listen to the prayers of the old precious saints, but that He listened to me! And, I learned that God had placed me in a wonderful family (although we are still praying for Barry!).

 

Fast forward about 12 years: Britt and I are doing premarital counseling with a couple before their upcoming wedding. Britt asked me if I wanted to share anything. I knew that the groom-to-be had been divorced before, and statistically if someone has been divorced, the chances of divorce happening again increase drastically. So, I felt led to share this story to make the point that even when things are tough, we must have our minds made up that we are in it for keeps. The problem is, about halfway through the story I remembered that I had never shared this story with Britt. So, when I finished, he whips his head around to me and emphatically says, “WELL, I’M GLAD TO KNOW THAT ‘KILL BRITT’ WAS OPTION A!”  Yeah, so we needed counseling after that session….


Kristal Peavy is the wife of Pastor Britt Peavy. They have been married for 25 years and have served at West Ward Church of God in Douglas, GA for the last 10 years. They have two amazing children. Their 15-year-old daughter Kadi sings in the Coffee High School Chorus and is the Sunshine of the family. Their 17-year-old son Kameron is a dual enrollment student working on completing his Associates Degree by the time he graduates high school and is the one who keeps everyone on track! Kristal has her Doctorate Degree in Education and currently teaches gifted and honors math at Coffee Middle School. She loves reading, working in her yard, and spending time with her family. Her favorite scripture is Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

Women’s Devotion | June 2019

Do You Have Treasure or Trash?

 

Matthew 6:19-21 – “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

 

Have you ever watched the show Hoarders? When I have watched, I sit in shocked amazement at the mess in these homes and then I get sucked into watching a whole marathon. But I must admit, I feel pretty good about myself when they’re over. When I think of hoarding, I think of keeping a large amount of things that one doesn’t need…it might be junk, trash, or even garbage. Hoarders might not even know what they have because it’s buried underneath other objects. One common theme is that very few people know about the mess inside those homes. On the flip side of that, I used to do some couponing, so I would buy food or household items when they were on sale and sometimes I would even get them free. At times, it was a fun game to see how much money I could save. Each Christmas, I would go to my stash and almost instantly all my stocking stuffers were done at a significant savings. Family members knew that I always had extras of many things if they ran out. My stockpile served a purpose. I started to think about the difference in hoarders and stockpilers. Both acquire and keep large amounts of “stuff,” but they are both very different. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “stockpile” as: “A large accumulated stock of goods or materials, especially one held in reserve for use at a time of shortage or other emergency.”

 

I began to think about this concept in spiritual terms. Are you a hoarder or a stockpiler? In other words, what sort of treasures are you storing up? Ones that have purpose or ones that cause confusion and clutter? Are you storing up trash or treasure? You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t take it with you,” but I would like to add to that saying that, “You can’t take it with you, but you can leave it (something) here.” This is such an important concept for us to learn, no matter what age. Everything we are doing each day can have generational longevity.

 

What kinds of things do spiritual hoarders collect?

Galatians 5:19 – “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

We don’t like to think that this Scripture could be speaking to us because we as believers don’t do these things…do we? What about quarreling, jealousy, anger, idolatry, selfish ambition, dissension, or envy? Paul lists these sins along with sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, and sorcery. This tells me that I need to be aware that the things I do will affect not only my life now, but my future eternity and possibly the future of the people I influence. I envision this as a spiritual hoarder who is collecting junk…trash, maybe even garbage. And it doesn’t just affect the hoarder, but those around them.

 

What does a spiritual stockpiler collect?

Galatians 5:22 – “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

We, as believers, might call these things our stockpile or our treasure. To evaluate what treasure we are storing up, we must ask the question Jesus asks, “Where is your treasure?” He says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There are a lot of things vying for your heart every day. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.” The picture we get here is that the heart is a well from which all the issues of life flow out. Where is your treasure? Are you earthly-minded or heavenly-minded? Are you investing in the future or in the here and now? Is your attention on the temporary more than the permanent?


Are we willing to seek God to get His plan and give our all? As we collect our stockpile, the things we “store up,” do we keep in mind that God has a plan? Jeremiah 29:11 is a Scripture that everyone loves, and it is actually my favorite: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” The part we don’t get sometimes is that the plan is God’s plan, not our plan. His plan is not always our plan but His is always better – we just need to trust. So, as I am stockpiling (laying up treasures), I can use them when I’m depleted and hungry, at a time when I see someone else in need, and most importantly, I can use them for the future generations.

 

I would encourage us as women of God to store up faithfulness, worship, the Word, the spirit of giving, love, and a testimony, just to name a few. Most of all, the greatest treasure we can leave for generations to follow is a Father. Romans 8:15-17: “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”

 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, first I am so grateful to be called your daughter and to call you my Father. Help me to be more like You – to show those I love Your character, Your grace, and Your love. I know there are many things that I sometimes put in my treasure box that don’t have eternal value, but I ask You to help me empty out those things that are fleeting and fill my box with things that have eternal value. Help me Father to leave a true treasure for the next generation of women so they can leave a treasure for their next generation. Today, I give You my treasure box and I ask that You fill it with things of value. In the Holy Name of my Lord, Jesus Christ!


Frankie Powers is a wife, mother, grandmother, minister, and pastor’s wife. Frankie serves on staff for OneLife Church (a multi-site church in Knoxville, TN) as the Lead Pastor’s Assistant. She also works for a Pastor in Massachusetts and a Doctor in Arizona from her home office in South Georgia. For the past 3 years, Frankie and her husband, Byron, have been serving as the pastoral team at Compass Worship Center in Ludowici, GA. Frankie is a licensed minister in the Church of God and has shared the Word of God at churches, conferences, retreats, groups, and in her local congregation for the last 35 years. Frankie’s favorite thing to do is love on her grandbabies! She is passionate about Jesus Christ, her family, and the ministry of teaching and preaching the Word

 

Women’s Devotion | May 2019

Straight Talk

 

In Proverbs 11:14 (The Message) says, “Without good direction people lose their way. The more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” This Scripture tells us guidance is important and something we all need. It also points us to wise counsel from Paul in the book of Titus. As Christian women, we have an awesome responsibility according to Titus 2:3. This Scripture tells us to teach women with a godly example. You’ll notice Paul did not direct Titus (the pastor) to train the women in his congregation. Instead, Paul gave Titus instructions to seek out the women who had certain qualifications and let them train other women. Paul was seeking women who exhibited reverent behavior, a guarded tongue and integrity. You may ask why his first qualification was reverent behavior? The definition of reverent means, “feeling or showing deep and solemn respect.” Paul wanted such a woman who had the greatest respect for God in her relationship with Him. A reverent woman had already begun to trust God and let Him lead her in every area of her life. She was willing to do whatever God told her. She was already desiring God’s will above her own. Paul knew that without this reverent behavior, the other qualifications would be very difficult.

 

Paul went on to tell Titus that these women must have a guarded tongue. This feature is the hardest part of the body to control (and many would probably say it is hardest especially for women!), but nevertheless, godly women must take this qualification seriously. James 3:2-6 tells us that a tongue out of control is a life out of control and both can cause much destruction. Paul was wanting women who told the truth when they spoke. He wanted someone who would build up and encourage others. He wanted women who would walk away from malicious talk such as gossip. Paul wanted a woman who would think before she spoke. There is power of life and death in the tongue. He was also searching for a woman of integrity. Integrity is the quality of having strong moral principles, being trustworthy, noble, etc. It is perhaps the most important principle of leadership because it demands truthfulness and honesty—something we should endeavor to have in our lives. Women with integrity choose to make right choices and to put others’ needs above their own. They show respect to everyone, manifest humility and convey true kindness.

 

After reading Titus, Paul has challenged every godly woman with a huge responsibility. As we look around in our society and even in our own churches, we have a golden opportunity to bridge the gap between generations. We, as women of God and mothers, have the greatest opportunity to be the woman Titus was seeking. We are none perfect, but we should strive to have these important qualities in our lives and follow the Word of God as spoken in Titus 2. Allow God to use you as a tool to mentor those in your church, work place and family. Our society wants to see your walk with the Lord sometimes more than the words you say. Since we have received wise counsel and good direction through these Scriptures, we have a better chance to do the things that God has called us to do. The challenge is yours to put the Word into action! If you are not possessing these qualities, ask for God to help develop you in this area. Our society as well as our church folks need to be taught about godly principles such as being reverent, guarding our tongues and having integrity. You, my friends, are the vessel God is wanting to use. May God bless you as you accept this challenge to train and mentor others!


 

 

Faye Womack serves alongside her husband, Bud Womack, Lead Pastors at Life Point Church in Americus, Georgia for 20 years. The Womack’s have been married for 30 years and have two beautiful daughters, Kayla Dupree and Kelsey Womack and an awesome son-in-law, Earl Dupree.   Faye works in the Accounts Payable and Human Resource Department at the Schley County School System. She enjoys spending time with her family as well as her church family. 

Women’s Devotion | April 2019

You Matter

 

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my purpose? Where do I fit in? Do I really matter?” Have you ever wondered what the reason is for your existence? The truth is, most of us have grappled with these thoughts at some point in our lives. Whether it is questioning our sufficiency as wives, mothers or friends, we (as women) often times wonder how well we are measuring up to society’s standards. How well are we measuring up to those around us? Do I even matter?

As a pastor’s wife, these thoughts can become frequent and compounded. My husband and I have been in ministry together for about 16 years. We have been serving as Senior Pastors of the Lighthouse Church of God in Douglas Georgia for over eight years now. Throughout the years, I have often observed others around us and in my opinion; I didn’t seem to be measuring up to what was expected of a pastor’s wife.

I’m not a very outspoken person in our local church. In other words, I am not a preacher. I try to avoid the mic at all costs and by no stretch of the imagination am I a singer. On occasions I would ask my husband if I was really a help to him in ministry because I sure didn’t feel like it. He would do his best to lovingly encourage me and tell me I am exactly what he needs in life and for ministry. It was always reassuring to hear him say these words to me, but I still couldn’t help but wonder if I was truly an asset to the work of the ministry. After all, I couldn’t do it like all the others and they were doing it well.

One Sunday, I was not able to attend due to job obligations. By vocation I work for our local blood donation facility and this requires me to be on the road a lot, even on weekends. This certainly didn’t help things by having to miss some Sundays. Many times I would wonder if the congregation even missed me when I wasn’t there. I really hate not being able to be there, but hey, who would miss me anyway? When I returned the following Sunday, I was showered with hugs and affection from our church family expressing how they miss me when I’m not able to attend service. Immediately, The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. He reminded me it wasn’t about my ability to preach, teach or even sing the perfect song. It’s about being who He created and equipped me to be in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10). The good work that God created us for extends much farther than the pulpit. Whether it’s a simple hug, smile, visit, gentle word of encouragement or to lovingly care for our families as a wife, these are good works! The truth of the matter is God has lovingly, intentionally and purposefully designed us in Christ Jesus for good works.

Don’t sell yourself short! You are needed in the body of Christ! It is indescribable how that made me feel–to know that my presence mattered to them. Not only did I matter to our church family, but in that moment God was showing me how much I mattered to Him as well. There are many voices in this world that are contending for our ears trying to tell us we aren’t good enough or we just don’t matter. We must know the voice of The Shepherd that reminds us we are loved and our lives are filled with purpose. WE MATTER!!

It is the intention of our adversary, the devil, to get us to question our value and worth. God tells us in His word that every hair on our head has a number. Wow, now that’s detailed! Whether we have a head full or just a little covering the top, God has it numbered. He then reminds us we are worth more than two sparrows sold for one cent. If birds of the least value matter to Him, then certainly we are of more importance to God (Matthew 10:29-30). So, no matter what your role is in life or your local church, just know you are important to God and Your Presence Matters.


 

Alisa Johnson is the wife of Pastor Craig Johnson. They have been married for 23 years and have one daughter, Asjah Johnson.  Called to serve at The Light House Church of God, Bishop Craig and Alisa have held this role for almost 8 years.  Alisa is a phlebotomist and works for the local blood bank in Douglas, Georgia.  In her spare time, she enjoys decorating, relaxing and shopping with friends.  Alisa’s favorite scripture is, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

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