fear, influence, Holy Spirit, impact, God’s guidance, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Impact with Fear: Preparing to Influence Others for the Kingdom

We are called to positively influence everyone we come into contact with for God’s Kingdom. Preparing to act even through fear comes only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can impact with fear.



Some of my favorite time spent with my husband is late at night, snuggling under the covers, having meaningful conversation. Recently during one of our pillow talks the Lord convicted me when we were in the middle of a conversation about a friend who doesn’t know Jesus.

We are called to positively influence everyone. We need to be prepared for this and know how to act even through fear. We can impact with fear. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #GodsGuidance #guidance #HolySpirit #impact #influence

Stewardship

I’m a believer in being a good steward of the things the Lord gives us. Just as I believe in being a good steward of our home and our finances, I believe that the people in our lives are there strategically. We are called to be good stewards to them. How many days go by where we hardly think anything of that?

Both hands raised, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of overlooking people placements and just focus on me and my day. But actually, every lunch appointment, every barista, every stranger that we pass in the post office, every neighbor, all of those people are strategically in our path for that day.

Hear me: I’m not saying we should walk around stopping every stranger. I’m simply suggesting we consider this question: what would happen if we learned to be more sensitive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit? Movements? Maybe even miracles?

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9, NIV
People in our lives are there strategically. We are called to be good stewards to them. Click To Tweet

Great Commission

“Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:19. This is the Great Commission, it’s a command to us from the Lord. So why are we so stagnant in this regard? Why do we mosey around like we’ve got all the time in the world? We don’t. Job 14:5 says our days are numbered, Friend.

I listened to this speaker once who gave the most perfect visual of earth versus eternity. In his talk he had a rope. The first five inches or so were red. The rest of the rope, which seemed like miles long, was white. He said that the red part of the rope represented our time spent on earth and the white part of the rope represented the time we spend in eternity. His emphasis was on sharing Jesus because we are not given much time here on earth.

It created an urgency for me. It put things into perspective. The things I claimed to be important, couldn’t compare to the importance of this: Souls. Hearts. Eternity. We, as Christians, are to be salt and light. So what are we waiting for?

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV

Impact with Fear

As our pillow talk conversation got a little deeper, I shared with my husband that I haven’t always been able to freely talk to people about the Lord. Until about the age of seventeen, I was incredibly shy. Over the years boldness developed. That boldness came from encountering the Lord, growing my confidence in Him.

It used to be, if I came across someone with a different belief or someone who didn’t have a personal relationship with God, I just didn’t talk about Him. I know that it’s not all in the talking. But I realized the reason I didn’t talk was because of fear.

Fear is paralyzing. I was afraid of what other people would think of me. Afraid that they would be mean to me because I believed differently than them. And the worst, I was afraid that they would ask a hard question about Jesus that I wouldn’t be able to answer.

Well friends, the truth is… none of us have all the answers. I had to learn to trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit and just share what He has done in my life. And what the Lord has done in my life is far too great for me to stay silent about it. I have also learned that it is more about loving someone well instead of “convincing” them into Christianity. Love will take you farther than persuasion ever will. We can love even though we are afraid; we can impact with fear.

Holy Spirit Guidance

I encourage you, the next time you are around that table with your family, on that bike ride with your friend, bumping into that neighbor while at your mailbox, or grabbing that coffee from the barista, lean into the Holy Spirit and trust His guidance.

When you don’t know what to say or have no response to a “God question”, silently ask Him to give you the words. Trust that He will give them to you. Let Him work through your vulnerability and be willing to be bold. Let Him guide you to impact with fear. After all, you may just experience something pretty amazing.

So let us keep on coming boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16, ISV

We are called to positively influence everyone. We need to be prepared for this and know how to act even through fear. We can impact with fear. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #GodsGuidance #guidance #HolySpirit #impact #influence

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
Oh Lord Help Us, video, honesty, truth, purpose, mission, influence

Honesty and Truth: You Have Purpose, Pursue Your Mission!

We can often feel that we have no purpose, or that there is no reason to pursue what we feel passionate about. This is a lie!



Honesty and Truth

Ready for some honesty and truth? Here’s the honest: I often feel that I have no influence. I feel like the message that I am sharing, that I am so passionate about has already been said, and it has been said way better than I could say it. So why bother?

But here’s the truth. We do have influence. God gives us a passion, a mission, a dream, a purpose. In Titus chapter 2, verse 11, it says…

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people…”

All people need to hear God’s good news, and it takes all of us to get that message out. It says a few verses later, in verse 15…

“Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

If you are feeling that you don’t have purpose, and that you don’t have influence… dear lady! You are so mistaken, just like I am. Let’s not believe this lie that our words don’t matter. We are to share the good news, spreading God’s truth. So go out there and pursue your mission.

legacy, love, teach, Oh Lord Help Us, ministry, women, encouragement

Legacy: Teaching God’s Love by Living the Example

Who has begun the legacy of love in your life, teaching you of God’s love? How will you continue this legacy of influencing others?



The warm sun came streaming in the window like a loving hug surrounding me as I stretched awake. The sound of waves crashing over the shore was so soothing and exciting at the same time. My little legs quickly kicked the covers off. I started demanding breakfast, my swimsuit, and when could we go out. Not the best way to wake up the adult you are sleeping with. I probably would fuss at my kids. My grandfather, though, joined in with as much childlike enthusiasm as his 6’2″ frame could contain. Genuine love beaming through every pore. My grandmother was already up, fixing a big farm style breakfast in the little camper that served as home for the week we stayed at Arrowhead Campground in Myrtle Beach, SC every summer of my childhood.

She turned and smiled with love and patience. It made me feel every wonderful and loving feeling all at one time. “Slow down, pumpkin. Let’s eat a bite, take our time getting dressed, and then we will hit the waves.” My grandma wrapped me in a hug that emoted so much love I can still close my eyes and feel how much heart was in the simple gesture. I can even smell the warm sweetness and the clean fresh natural smell that wafted from her.

My grandfather would say grace – a little long winded for my young wiggly body – as I waited for my turn to say “AMEN” with loud enthusiasm. As we ate, I was not just allowed to talk about whatever subject was rushing in and out of my little girl mind, but encouraged in my flights of fancy.

As we packed up our cooler and put on bathing suits and sunscreen my grandmother would sing. My favorite was “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart.” And I did. Great Joy. Joy for the beach, joy for my family, and joy for the God they were teaching me to love.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalms 36:7, ESV

Legacy: Living by Example

Love is a natural human emotion, but we are taught how to express it. My parents did a great job of teaching me what love was. They took me to church, encouraged me to find my true purpose and listen to God’s call. They came to everything I was a part of. I learned so many wonderful lessons from them, but my grandmother taught me the most about God’s love.

Love is a natural human emotion, but we are taught how to express it. Click To Tweet

She shared her love for our Savior with open abandon. You knew within the first thirty seconds of meeting her that she was a Christian in the marrow of her bones. No one ever left her presence not knowing that she loved them because Jesus loved them more.

I remember one time a lady came to her house to pick up a skirt my grandmother had made for her. My grandmother was a seamstress by trade and ran a small business out of her house. The lady who came was obviously poor and spoke very little english. My grandmother smiled that same warm smile that shined through her eyes, that she showed me. She asked the lady about her family and patiently listened as the lady told her about the hardships that their family was going through. My grandmother invited her to church, offered to come visit sometime soon, and told her she would put her family on her prayer list. The lady smiled with equal warmth. You could almost feel her burden lift a little. She paid my grandmother with a few dollars and a pie.

That night when we got to the part of our devotional where we lifted people up in prayer, my grandmother prayed for the lady and her family. Living life in service of others wasn’t lip service to her, it was a biblical imperative. She prayed daily. Read her bible and devotional nightly; even when she was too sick to get up out of bed. God’s love came through her until her last breath was taken.

For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

2 Corinthians 9:13, ESV

Legacy: Teaching Others

When my grandmother was at a hospice house the last few months of her life, she was still ministering to others. We would go visit and the nurses, other patients, and their families would tell us how much she meant to them. How they loved her. She loved them all right back. Every night she and my grandfather would read their devotional and pray. She would list them all by name. She would tell others everyday how much she loved them and how much God loved them.

One of the last times I came to visit she was sitting in the common room and there were three other families in there too.  A nurse came in with a therapeutic golden retriever who nudged its head under my grandmother’s hand. She gave me the same smile, talked a few minutes and then asked me to read Revelations 21 outloud for everyone.

…The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city wea pure gold, like transparent glass.

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelations 21:18-27, ESV

When I was done she looked at me and said, “That is what is waiting for me.” Then she took the hand of the nurse who had walked in and smiled at her. “That is what is waiting for all of us. God is so good, honey.” I broke down, put my head in her lap and cried. She lifted my chin and said, “Pumpkin, I love you, God loves you, we will always be with you.”

Legacy: Teaching Others to Teach

A few weeks later, right before she passed away, we all went to see her one more time. They were pumping her so full of pain medication she barely knew who we were. I spent three minutes with her right before I left. The fog seemed to lift for those three minutes. She smiled at me with all her love, she hugged me tight and that feeling of warm love enveloped me.

She patted my hair. “Why are you so sad, pumpkin?”

“I’m going to miss you so much. I love you, grandma.”

“I love you too, baby. We have made so many memories. I will live in your heart forever.”

I promised I would share her love and lessons with my children and that I would try to live the life that she wanted for me.

Your turn…

Who is the person who brings God’s love closer to you? How do they inspire you to draw closer to God?

Dear God,

Thank you for blessing my childhood and early adulthood with Virginia Vernon. You could not have given me a better earthly example of loving You than her. Help me to live the life You have planned for me. Help me to love others in the way You desire for us to love others, fully and without reservation.

Love,

me

Who has begun the legacy of love in your life, teaching you of God's love? How will you continue this legacy of influencing others?

Who has begun the legacy of love in your life, teaching you of God's love? How will you continue this legacy of influencing others?

Annie Spratt

impact, prepared, influence, fear

Impact: Being Prepared to Influence Others, Even With Fear

We are called to impact all of the people we come into contact with. We need to be prepared for this, and know how to act. Even if we feel fearful.



Some of my favorite time spent with my husband is late at night, snuggling under the covers, having meaningful conversation. Recently during one of our pillow talks the Lord convicted me when we were in the middle of a conversation about a friend who doesn’t know Jesus.

We are to impact all of the people we come into contact with. By being prepared for this, and we can know how to influence others. Even if we feel fearful.

Impact: The People

I’m a believer in being a good steward of the things the Lord gives us. Just as I believe in being a good steward of our home and our finances, I believe that the people in our lives are there strategically. We are called to be good stewards to them. How many days go by where we hardly think anything of that?

Both hands raised, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of overlooking people placements and just focus on me and my day. But actually, every lunch appointment, every barista, every stranger that we pass in the post office, every neighbor, all of those people are strategically in our path for that day. Hear me when I say this: I’m not saying we should walk around stopping every stranger, I’m simply suggesting for us to consider this question, what would happen if we learned to be more sensitive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit? Movements? Maybe even miracles?

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9, NIV

 

We are to impact all of the people we come into contact with. By being prepared for this, and we can know how to influence others. Even if we feel fearful.

Impact: A Command

“Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:19. This is the Great Commission, it’s a command to us from the Lord. So why are we so stagnant in this regard? Why do we mosey around like we’ve got all the time in the world? We don’t. Job 14:5 says our days are numbered, friend.

I listened to this speaker once who gave the most perfect visual of earth versus eternity. In his talk he had this rope, the first five inches or so were red. The rest of the rope, which seemed like miles long, was white. He said that the red part of the rope represented our time spent on earth and the white part of the rope represented our time we spend in eternity. His emphasis was on sharing Jesus because we are not given much time here on earth.

It created an urgency for me. It put things into perspective. The things I was walking through my day claiming to be important, couldn’t compare to the importance of this: Souls. Hearts. Eternity. We, as Christians, are to be salt and light. So what are we waiting for?

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV

Impact: With Fear

As our pillow talk conversation got a little deeper, I shared with my husband that I haven’t always been able to freely talk to people about the Lord. Until about the age of seventeen I was incredibly shy. Over the years boldness developed. That boldness came from encountering the Lord, growing my confidence in Him. It used to be, if I came across someone with a different belief or someone who didn’t have a personal relationship with God, I just didn’t talk about Him. I know that it’s not all in the talking. But I realized that the reason why I didn’t talk was because of fear.

Fear is so paralyzing. I was afraid of what other people would think of me. Afraid that they would be mean to me because I believed differently than them. And the worst, I was afraid that they would ask a hard question about Jesus that I wouldn’t be able to answer. Well friends, the truth is… none of us have all the answers. I had to learn to trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit and just share what He has done in my life. And what the Lord has done in my life is far too great for me to stay silent about it. I have also learned that it is more about loving someone well instead of “convincing” them into Christianity. Love will take you farther than persuasion ever will.

Impact: The Guidance

I encourage you, the next time you are around that table with your family, on that bike ride with your friend, bumping into that neighbor while at your mailbox, or grabbing that coffee from the barista, lean into the Holy Spirit and trust His guidance. When you don’t know what to say or have no response to a “God question”, silently ask Him to give you the words. Trust that He will give them to you. Let Him work through your vulnerability and be willing to be bold. After all, you may just experience something pretty amazing.

So let us keep on coming boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16, ISV


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We are to impact all of the people we come into contact with. By being prepared for this, and we can know how to influence others. Even if we feel fearful.

Krissia Cruz

Bold: Living Like Wonder Woman

We all have the ability to fight for love and goodness. We all have the ability to change the world. This post looks to a role model to find out how we can achieve this.



I have loved Wonder Woman even as a little girl. There are stories told of how, at the age of three, I would spin around as I turned into the strong beautiful woman ready to fight evil. I still have a scar on my scalp from when I, as Wonder Woman, was chasing my brother, the villain, and ran into the corner of the wall (I’ve never been super graceful).

This past summer, my husband and I went to see the new Wonder Woman movie. I was once again that little girl. I left the movie theater ready to fight evil. I was ready to fight for love.

Esther is the perfect example of a “wonder woman” in real life. She was in fact very beautiful, but it was her love for the Lord that made her radiate. When I picture Esther, I picture Wonder Woman! It may have been the 12 months of beauty treatments that got the attention of the king, but it was her character that won his favor.

Beauty may get the attention of others, but character is what will win their favor. Click To Tweet


Living like Wonder Woman…

She sought advice.

Esther 2:15-17: When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

She did what was right because it was the right thing to do

Esther 2:21- 23: In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

She used her influence to help others, rather than herself

Esther 4:13-16: Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

She was patient

Esther 5:4-8: And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.” Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared. And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

She was bold when the timing was right

Esther 7:1-6 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Esther was truly a wonder woman who I want to learn from!



Lord, I desire to be a part of your plan. I pray that I will be humble, and seek advice. I pray that I would be a woman of integrity. I pray that I will recognize the influence that I have and use it wisely and with care. I pray that I will be patient and wait upon you until it is time to act. And I pray that I will act boldly when that time has come. Amen.

 

 

Sean Brown

All scripture used is from the English Standard Version.

You Are Powerful

We have tremendous amounts of influence. And with that influence, we can change our lives. Want a better marriage? Children who are growing into amazing people? Even better behaved pets? As women, we are always desiring control. Well, here it is. This is not about manipulation. This is about encouraging others to be their best selves.



Marriage

This past week I heard a talk about relationships and how men need respect the same way women need love.

Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33, ESV

I thought it was appropriate timing, as it was my husband and mine’s wedding anniversary. This was not anything new, I’ve heard this many times before, but I was so encouraged by what was said.

To be honest, I have been slipping with showing respect. Blame it on stress, or selfishness, but I can’t blame it on him. My tone has been becoming harsh. I’ve been quick to jump to conclusions. I was becoming a nag. Thank you Jesus for bringing this to my attention, and please forgive me!

If we want to be loved passionately by our spouse, then we have the power to change the cycle. Don’t wait for him to be Mr. Romantic. Instead, respect who he is. Focus on one thing that is impressive. And tell him.

Ways to express respect:

  • I am so impressed how you… (handled that situation).
  • I really admire how you… (work so diligently).
  • I think it’s great when… (parent that way).

You can only control your own actions. With our actions, however, we can influence others. By respecting our husbands, we are influencing them to love us in return.

Children

My middle child, who is now 5 years old, still tends to throw a tantrum when he is frustrated. It usually involves something he is trying to make that is not producing the results he desires. This past week he became frustrated that a drawing he was working on wasn’t looking the way he wanted. I understand getting frustrated, but when he starts whining and stomping his feet, my head wants to explode! My natural tendency is to try to overpower him, but this only results in him continuing to escalate. He was sent to his room, where he continued to to cry and yell. With a quick, “Help me Jesus,” I went in his room and told him to stop acting like a whiny baby. Yes, that is what I said. No, this is not the advice I’m giving. In the next moment, the Lord gave me the words.

“You are acting like a whiny baby. You are not a whiny baby. You are a smart, talented, hardworking little boy! You are a hard worker who likes for things to be done well. You are fun, and compassionate. Be that little boy, because that is who you are!!!”

His tears of anger turned into one of his signature bear hugs. He was like a completely different child after that. I’m not saying to call your child names (although you may want to), but do affirm to them the traits that will continue to develop them into amazing people.

Overpowering our children to produce “better” behavior is a short term response at best. But by influencing their hearts, and speaking truth to them, they will be truly changed.

Pets

A week ago I was about to ship my dog to live with my parents in Kentucky. She was getting on my very last nerve, and I was struggling with being so angry with her. One of the best parts of this new house is a good size, fenced in backyard. I was looking forward to letting the kids and dog run free in a safe enclosed space. And then, wouldn’t you know it, she figured out a way to escape. That was how we met our next door neighbors. Our dog was humping their dog. And our dog is a girl!! What the heck?!? She also has been obsessed with the shed in the yard. I’m pretty sure there is some little critter living under there that she is desperate to get ahold of. So desperate in fact, that even when it was pouring down rain during the hurricane, she would run out to dig at the side of the shed. And of course, she wouldn’t come when she was being called. So out I go to get her, wet and muddy, and carry her back into the house. Something had to change.

I realized I was being controlled by a 15 pound ball of white fluff. Punishing her for being naughty was not working. Maybe praising her for being good would be better. I have given that dog so many treats this past week. The first few times I had to entice her from out in the yard to come inside. As soon as she came to the door I gave her a treat and showered her with praise. Then I could show her the treat and call her from the deck. Now, she actually comes! In just a matter of days, I have my sweet puppy back, and I don’t worry about what the neighbors think because I’m yelling at my dog.


Final Thought

We have the power to change our lives. By showing respect and kindness to all of those around us we can begin to spiral upward in our relationships rather than spiraling downward into despair. Respect produces love, which in turn produces more respect. I know this sounds super simple. Please know that I am not that naive, especially in regards to a relationship with a spouse. If the relationship has been spiraling down for years, it is not going to be transformed in a week, or month, or maybe even a year. Pray for endurance, pray to be satisfied by the love of Christ, and pray for the supernatural ability to pursue your husband even if you feel he doesn’t deserve it.

You, dear lady, have power with your influence!

 

xoxo

 

powerful