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.

Women’s Devotion | March 2019

Fields of Grace

What an awesome gift our Father has given us in music. It plays such a vital role in all our lives. Music can cheer us up, slow us down, cause us to pause and catch a glimpse of rest, impart tranquility, hope, peace, and yes, some music can even cause despair. It all depends on your listening choice.

 

When I was a child, everyone went to funerals. Listening to the songs that were sung, I began to form the opinion that the songs had to be extremely sad to fit that situation. I would even begin to imagine which ones would be best for my funeral because they would really make people cry!

 

You see even Saul, as king of Israel, knew the effect music had on people. When he was in a bad mood, down in the dumps, or in the valley of despair (so to speak), he would call on the young shepherd boy to play his lyre. Perhaps David sang some of his great psalms. When Saul heard the beautiful melody of hope, his attitude would change; he would feel refreshed, renewed and strengthened for another day. (1 Samuel 16)

 

One morning in the spring of a certain year, I awakened singing the chorus of a song that I could not remember ever hearing before. It was fixed in my mind and I had no idea as to when or where I had heard it. The spirit of the living God promises to bring to our remembrance the things we need when we need them most. I supposed it wasn’t important where it came from, just that my heavenly Father wanted me to get the message it contained and was deeply implanted in my spirit. He brought that little chorus with huge meaning back to my mind over and over. Every morning for weeks, the weeks turned into months, I would awaken singing it.

 

No doubt you know the chorus: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Not realizing this was the chorus of a “funeral song,” I began to embrace it and draw strength from it. It became a wonderful reminder and encouragement in the months to come to stay focused on my precious Savior and LORD.

 

Through Scripture we learn that the blessings come when the face of the Father is upon us. In turn, we must be willing to look full in His wonderful face to receive what we need. (Numbers 6:24-26 NIV, “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”)

 

My Father knew a difficult battle was coming that would shake my world to the very core. He also knew the only way to make it through this dark valley would be to “keep my eyes firmly upon Him,” stay in focus of His wonderful face and only then would the dreadful days of loss begin to grow dim and His glory begin to shine through them.

 

Losing my daughter and her newborn baby in an automobile accident seemed more than anyone could bear. But today, thanks to my loving Father, I have learned a new song. It didn’t come to me in the same way, but it is just as “real” and just as necessary as the first song.

 

It says, “Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace; Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace. There’s a place where I lose myself in Him…I love my Father my Father loves me; I dance for my Father my Father sings over me…And nothing, nothing, nothing can take that away from me.”

 

Upon hearing the words of this song a scene opened up in my mind’s eye: there it was a beautiful field of flowers, a burst of every color, all about knee high. In the middle of the field I dance with my heavenly Father. His glory is so amazing—every fear, every tear, every sorrow, every pain, every hurt—is gone in that place. You see each flower in that beautiful field represents another facet of His grace that has been revealed to me through this incredible journey of life through HIS field of grace.

 

Whatever situation you find yourself in today just know that the Father has grace enough to see you through. We are told in Zephaniah 3:17 NASV, “The Lord your God is in your midst a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy. He will be quiet in his love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

 

The Hebrew word, “rejoice” means to “spin around under violent emotion.” The phrase “rejoice over you” literally means to “dance, skip, leap, and spin in joy.” The latter part of this verse is more accurately translated, “He will dance over you with singing.”

 

The picture is a warrior who has come from battle victorious, rejoicing in the win! Your heavenly Father loves you so much that He has already fought the battle and won the victory for you. He is now dancing and singing the song of victory over you! Rejoice with HIM! Dance with HIM! The battle is won! Look back and see all those “Fields of Grace” He has brought you through!


 

Rita Harper has served as co-pastor with her husband, Bill, for the past 43 years. They currently pastor the Parkway Church of God in Jesup. She is the mother of two beautiful daughters and four wonderful grandchildren. Their oldest daughter, Kasey and her newborn, Brittany, tragically died in an automobile accident in 1991. Their youngest daughter, Kimmi, is married to Ashley Way, Pastor of the Adel Church of God. The Ways have given them three amazing grandchildren: Kodi, Kwinci, and Kayli. Rita has served as a teacher, speaker, and evangelist in various local, state/regional and national meetings. Their family has served as South Georgia Kids Camp Meeting speakers for eleven years and were the first ones to provide video of camp meeting services in South Georgia. Rita’s greatest desire is to please her Father and serve Him with her whole being.

 

Women’s Devotion | February 2019

Just Ask!

Have you ever asked your family, “What do you want for your birthday?” Or, “What do you want for Christmas?” If you are like me, you can imagine them opening the gift…hearing your heart race with anticipation…then feeling emotions of love, hope, and goodness overwhelming your soul in an instant. That’s good stuff, right? Maybe that’s just how I imagine it.

 

Whether or not we serve Christ has no bearing on the innate desire to make others feel happy and loved. It’s in our DNA. Genesis tells us that we are created in the image of God so it’s who we’re created to be. It’s how we reflect the image of a loving, generous, and giving Father. Luke 11:13 NIV states, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” If we just ASK HIM!

 

Jesus teaches us that if we just ask, the Father will do big things: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

 

Just as we love to give gifts to those closest to us, our Father loves to give us the desires of our heart. He longs to fulfill our dreams (those things he has planted in our heart). He wants us to live our life to the fullest bringing all glory back to Him. As Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP says, “He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]–yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.”

 

So, I ask you:

What are your dreams?

What are you living for?

What makes you happiest and gives you a feeling of fulfillment?

Is it too late to pursue the greatness God has designed for you?

 

Before you answer, give me a moment to share with you a part of my journey. A year ago, a friend asked me these same questions. I found myself miserable, hating the monotony of getting up every morning doing the same routines, going to the same job, and seeing the same people and feeling like my life’s efforts were unproductive. My life was not bad. As a matter of fact, anyone looking would have seen three beautiful kids, a loving husband, and a good job, but something was missing. Something I had lost along the way. I had become complacent and numb. Somehow, along this thing called “life,” I had forgotten what it meant to live…I mean really, LIVE.

 

Who am I?

Where was I going?

What would my life look like in 5 years?

 

These questions tucked me into bed at night and woke me up each morning. Sure, there were moments of reprieve, but these questions always found their way back to haunt me. Don’t get me wrong. These are not bad questions. As a matter of fact, I now love these questions. God uses them to bring hope and inspire dreams, but in the enemy’s hands and without an answer, they became a tool used to abuse. I knew this wasn’t what my Father wanted. He is loving, kind, and generous, so how could I get from this place to where He intends? It seemed like an impossible task and I didn’t have the answers. “Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3 ESV

 

I began to refocus my attention back to the Father. Trust me when I say that this is harder than it sounds. It required a determination and a resolve that I did not know lived in me and ultimately depended on His Spirit carrying through.

 

I found myself praying:

“Father, I’m a mess. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know what my dreams are. I don’t even know what I should be praying for. Help me to rediscover the dreams that you placed in me some 16 years ago. Let me not forget the deep and hidden things inside of me that no one else knows but You. I want to make a difference and to be a world changer.” I would love to tell you that immediately the answers came rushing in like a flash flood, but then I would be lying. God did, however, meet me at that very place and we began walking a very uncomfortable journey over the next year.

 

As I pursued Him intently, His Holy Spirit began to stir up the giftings and passions I lost. He reminded me of the gifts that He placed in my life to make an impact in His Kingdom. Slowly, but surely, He began to reveal my purpose again as I aligned my desires with His design. You see, Father loves you and longs to give you good things.

 

1 Timothy 6:17 says, “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.” The Father wants us to live ‘life on purpose.” He wants to make those dreams that he has planted within our hearts come true and for us to live our best life now. He wants us to find fulfillment in our work, our hobbies, and in people. It brings Him honor.

 

John 10:10 NLT says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” The enemy says, “You’ll never be happy. You will work this dead-end job until you are dead in the ground.” He kills and destroys our hopes and dreams. Father wants us to dream again. Dreaming gives us hope and hope fuels us to live in fullness.

 

So, I ask you again:

What are your dreams?

What are you living for?

What makes you happiest and gives you a feeling of fulfillment?

Is it too late to pursue the greatness that God has designed for you?

 

I say, it’s not too late! If you are struggling with the process or journey, begin writing daily in a journal the things that you want God to do in you, your spouse, your kids, your job, and your finances. You are not selfish in asking Father these things. Remember you are His daughter and He loves for His baby girl to crawl up into His lap and tell Him what you dream for (I know you will use the blessings of our Father for good and to benefit His kingdom. You are His, you share His heart and if you are in His lap, you can hear His heartbeat).

 

But first, you must know exactly what you want.

Spend time away from social media, away from the TV, away from life sucking people.

Get alone with Father and ask him to reveal the deep and hidden things you know are there but scared to voice for fear of what it might take to achieve them.

Don’t hold back. Remember your Father hung the moon and stars!

 

Several times and on several occasions, I have been in prayer and heard Father ask me, “What do you want?” I was like, “Lord, you know what I want. I want what you want.”

He asked me again. “What do you want?” I said, “Lord, why are you asking me what I want?” He said, “Because I want to make your dreams come true.” I believe this is the conversation that He wants to have with you. This is where I began writing down the goals for my future every day. Not just for today, but 5 and 10 years from now.

 

There were days that I felt down, depressed, in the dumps and wondered “what’s the use?” I had to press through those feelings and put them aside, and you will too.

As you do, you will find your faith will increase and you will began believing in yourself again. You will begin making decisions that point to those dreams. Little by little miracles will begin to happen. All because you believe.

 

Depression’s influence will be destroyed.

Health will be healed.

Fear will flee.

Anxiety will be abolished.

 

I was at the point in my life where, what I was doing was not working. I was depressed, my blood pressure was elevating. I was battling fear and depression. I had convinced myself to go back on medication for anxiety just so I could cope with life. It seemed like that was the only option. As I wrote my dreams, I also searched the Scripture and searched my heart and began praying, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord my strength and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14). Lord, Renew my mind. Let me think on things that are just, and noble, and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). Change the way I think about myself, and others, and you. I need a change Lord. Help Me, Help Me!”

 

Slowly I began to see changes in myself and the Holy Spirit began a new journey that is still leading me in my destiny. I may not have seen everything from my journal achieved, but I have become much more fulfilled and happier. I walk in freedom from anxiety and depression, and my blood pressure is back down. I have put my hopes, dreams, and desires back onto my Father and He is leading me on an unforgettable journey.

 

I leave you with this. Revelation 3:7 NLT, “This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open.”

 

Trust the Father and believe in yourself.

Reach for the Stars and never count yourself out.

Believe in the assignment He has for you.

Discover it by discovering Him all over again.

 

You will get there if you strive to be better today than you were yesterday.

You will grow leaps and bounds by the end of 2019.

 

I believe it!

I believe in our Father, and I believe in you!

 


 

Kimberly Kea has been in ministry with her husband, Zac, for 16 years. They pastor Living Waters Church in Metter, Georgia where she leads worship. They have ministered there for 7 years.

Kim has a B.S degree in Early Childhood Education and teaches in Candler County at the Metter Elementary School. They have 3 amazing children: Logan 13, Keslie 10, and Chance 7. She is a loving wife, mother, and daughter of the King. Kim says, “I’m a small-town girl with God sized dreams. With Him, I can and will achieve everything He has assigned me to do.” John 17:4 (The Message) “I glorified you on earth, by completing down to the last detail, what you assigned me to do.”

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