Sunday, September 30, 2012

Are You in Labor?

A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. (John 16:21, NKJV)

I gave this post a very unique title, I know. For those of you who have had children, you know the pain that brings. But you also know the reward that will eventually come from the pain. Once that child is in your arms, you forget all that pain. In this Scripture, we see the trials being compared to the pain of labor. In my Beth Moore study on the book of James, we talked about how our greatest joy can come through our greatest pain. We also talked about how the pain and joy can be swapped out. With labor, the pain you feel is swapped for the joy of that precious child. So let me ask you this question ladies. Are you going to give up before your baby is born? In other words, are you going to give up before the trial is over? Oh I know we want to give up at times, I know I do. But we also know that out of our pain can come our passion. What are you passionate about? In childbirth, you're passionate about getting that baby out. In our trials, what are we passionate about? So let me ask once more, are you going to give up before your baby is born? I pray we won't.

Father, thank You for the joy only You give. Lord sometimes we don't feel joyful, but praise God it isn't about feelings. Help us Lord to see the joy even in the midst of our greatest pain. In Jesus name, Amen.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Friends - Glenda Mills

Glenda Mills

You're in for a treat today, ladies. I had the honor of meeting Glenda Mills at the Writers Advance! Boot Camp this past February. Having never met her before that point, I had no idea when she came up and hugged me just what type of friendship would form out of less than 5 minutes together. Glenda has a tremendous heart for women. Like myself, her heart is to see them grow in their relationship with Christ. I think you are going to be tremendously blessed as you read my interview with this remarkable lady. 

Welcome, Glenda!

(1) Tell us a little about your family and growing up years.

I’m from South Alabama, not far from Gulf Shores. I was the second of seven children…Five girls, two boys. I loved being part of a large family with both sets of grandparents close by and lots of cousins to spend time with. Those were the good ole days when faith, family, and country influenced the way we lived and loved. We went to church on Sunday, and enjoyed the large family gatherings afterward, where mother’s table was graced with the finest southern cooking there ever was!

(2) When did you know God was calling you to write?

I started writing poetry shortly after I surrendered my heart and life to Jesus. I often awoke in the middle of the night with words flowing through my mind—and I just had to get out of bed and write them down! Later I wrote devotional thoughts and greeting cards and shared with friends, family, and women’s ministry.

So, how do I know God called me to write?

I think it’s the release of Joy that comes when words flow onto paper, and the desire for God to use those words to build up and encourage the body of Christ—and hopefully win some person who is seeking to know God.  

(3) Who is a person that is making and has made a strong impact on your life,  
      And why?

That is such a hard question to answer! There have been so many who have impacted my life down through the years!

When I think of the context of writing, I would have to say Vonda Skelton has had... and continues to have a huge impact on my life, both personally and as a writer/speaker/teacher. Through Vonda, I have been encouraged, challenged, and motivated to sharpen and develop my writing skills and to do it with excellence.

 (4) What is your life verse?

My Grace is sufficient. My strength is made perfect through your weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

(5) Other than Jesus, what Bible hero would you like to talk to?

I would have to say Naomi. I love Naomi’s honest heart in the midst of devastating losses and her joy rediscovered through her kinsman redeemer. I would love to hear her story first hand.

(6) What in depth Bible study would you recommend to my readers?

It’s hard to narrow down just one Bible Study! There are so many!
Maybe I could name three studies by three of my favorite writer/teachers?

 “Lord, I want to Know You” by Kay Arthur.
“Breaking Free” by Beth Moore.
“Just Give me Jesus” by Anne Graham Lotz.

(7) Tell us of how you came to a saving relationship with Christ?

For years I was religious, but lost. I knew about God, but I did not know him. I knew Jesus was God’s Son, who died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, but I had no assurance he had prepared a place in heaven for me. Going to church, shaking the preacher’s hand, and being baptized, was not the answer to the void in my heart.

Praise God, Jesus found my husband and me at the same time! After we were told the heart breaking news we would never be able to have children, my husband and I prayed together for the first time. It was awkward. We didn’t know how to pray, yet we believed God heard our prayers. An amazing peace came to our hearts, and within six weeks God gave us a baby girl through adoption.

A year later, at a little country church in Georgia, Dave and I both knelt and received Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. During that time, God impressed upon my husband’s heart that we would have a son. Almost two years later, the promise was fulfilled and we were blessed with our miracle.

God not only gave us our hearts desire with two wonderful children—He also gave us a desire to love and follow him all the days of our lives. It has been an amazing journey walking with our amazing God.

(8) Please give a word of encouragement and hope to my readers who may be struggling today.

Words from an old hymn come to mind:

“Trust and obey, for there’s other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

It’s almost impossible to obey the Lord if you do not trust him in this season of your life. You may not understand your trial, but the Lord wants you to trust his character. He is trustworthy. If you trusted him for eternal life, then you can trust him to bring you through this time of trial. 

Glenda lives in WV with her husband and blogs at 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Place of Peace

courtesy of

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; (Psalm 91:5-10, NKJV)

Complete this famous thought. "My happy place is...

Some say their happy place is the beach. Some say the mountains. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with those pleasures, there's a happy place that's even greater. The happy place of peace. You know, I recently heard a quote that really resonated with me.

"Peace isn't the absence of conflict, peace is the presence of God."

These verses tell us that nothing shall come near to frighten us. Yes, we may be in a whirlwind of confusion, but God comes to us with His sweet peace.

Ladies, do you need God's Peace today? Let me encourage you….

Call out to Him!

Father, thank You for the sweet peace you offer to us freely. Thank you Lord for allowing us to come to You and not have to go through the priest anymore. Lord we love You and we praise You. Amen.

Glenda shares: This morning during my quiet time a song came to me which speaks volumes of what Psalm 91 is all about. Please click below and listen to Gaither Music, featuring Joy Gardner sing
"We Are Standing on Holy Ground". 


Monday, September 24, 2012

He's Been Faithful, by Debbie Holman

I began talking with Debbie through a mutual friend online. None of us knew the impact we'd have on one another's life. Nan, the friend that introduced us has changed both of our lives over the years. The thing about Debbie and my friendship is that though we love one another very much and are as close as sisters, Christ is at the center of our friendship. Join me as I welcome Debbie to Encouraging Women today!

Welcome, Debbie!

Birthdays are suppose to be special, a day to celebrate! However, November 18,1997 was not a birthday to be celebrated! Not your usual, typical birthday!  

It was my birthday and the day my husband chose to announce to me he was leaving me for a sweetheart he had when he was in high school.  No amount of begging or pleading would change his mind. How would I explain this to my friends and church family! 

I was embarassed, ashamed, and alone!  How could I face them knowing what an active role my husband had taken in church! Well, with much prayer and support from my mother I went back to church! Offering to resign from leadership roles I had in church!  No one wanted me to resign and I found my church family to be supportive.

Five weeks later on January 9, 1998 another devastating event happened in my life.  My father died from complications of Alzheimers.  What would I do now? Just the presence of my father had been  a comfort!

was a daddy's girl and loved my him very much! What more could happen and how much did God expect me to take? Losing my husband and father just five weeks apart was too much for one person to deal with. 

would ask myself over and over, where was God in all of this?  Had He left me to deal with all of this alone? One morning on my way to work I put a cd in  by one of my favorite Christian singers, Babbie Mason. She was singing a song titled God Has Another Plan".  I had never really listened to the words of this song but for some reason that morning was different!  

I listened to the words.  In her song she quotes Jeremiah 29:11 - 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, 
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I played that song over and over on my way to work. Suddenly it was as if a voice from within said to me; 

Debbie, trust me and have faith. I have a plan for You are going through the storm now but what a beautiful rainbow will follow the storm! I will carry you through this storm each and every day! I will give you hope and a future. 

If it had not been for this verse and my faith that God would provide that rainbow at the end of the storm I could not have survived!  He proved Himself faithful !  Through all of this I have become a stronger person and my faith has grown tremendously.  

So, anyone I know who is going through storms in their life I tell them, Let God carry you through this storm! I quote Jeremiah 29:11 and say -  Look for that beautiful rainbow God has waiting for you after the storm.

Debbie Holman, 
Guest Blogger
Granite Falls