Sober Up!

Have you ever been jarred out of sleep by a disturbing nightmare that you couldn’t shake?  Maybe of someone you love dying and it just felt so real, that you were obsessively thinking about it all day long?

How about this scenario: You get into an argument with your husband or friend, and go on an emotional tirade and spew a lot of things you deeply regret later, but can never be unheard by your loved one.

Maybe you’re unapologetically unfiltered. What you see is what you get, and you have no problem letting people know exactly what’s on your mind!

  • Obsessive worrying
  • Obstinate pride
  • Overbearing anger
  • Overwhelming grief
  • Irrational fear
  • Insatiable lust
  • Incessant envy

If any of these strike a chord, and characterize your life, you need to learn to be sober.  

Being sober is the first thing that the aged women are to teach the younger women in Titus 2:3-5.  It’s first because it’s so very important. Without this sober mind, she can’t properly do all that she’s instructed to do in the rest of the passage, because her thinking is carnal, and tainted by the world, the flesh, and the devil.

In Titus 2:4 -The word “sober” is the Greek word sophronizo, meaning to make of a sound mind, discipline or correct. This word comes from the Greek word sophron, which means safe, sound in mind, self-controlled, moderate as to opinion or passion, and temperate.

The aged women have to correct the younger women’s thinking because a sober mind is not something a woman naturally possesses. Ephesians 4:23 and Romans 12:2 both speak to renewing our minds.  If our minds were okay with God then he wouldn’t have given us these commands!

~Ephesians 4:23~ And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

We have to filter our trials, temptations, tests, and every thought through scripture.

In every temptation of your flesh to just be the same woman you always have, or handle the trials the same old way, or give into your fleshly cravings for sin like your friends are doing, pray for the Spirit’s power and the word’s filtering, and be sober. 

~1Peter 4:7~ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

A sober woman is in control of her thoughts, emotions, and actions.  She is circumspect, aware, and alert to the enemy. An unsober woman is foolish and caught up in her feelings.

A foolish woman is characterized in scripture as:

  1. Contentious and angry. Proverbs 21:19
  2. Shameful. Proverbs 12:4
  3. Loud and stubborn. Proverbs 7:11
  4. Thoughtless. Proverbs 11:22
  5. Destructive. Proverbs 14:1

A foolish woman impairs the body of Christ.  They’re unstable and unfaithful, emotional women, who are marked by sins of the tongue-flattery, gossip, slander, and lying. They’re contentious. They hinder the gospel of Christ from going forth and the mission of God from being accomplished.  You don’t want to be this woman! 

That’s why discipleship the Titus 2 way is so imperative to the health of the body of Christ. A mature and godly woman taking another woman under her wing and teaching her with her life and her words, using scripture as the absolute authority for every issue she faces, is biblical discipleship. Without these discipleship relationships within the body, foolishness abounds, contention and chaos never cease, women rally for roles they’re not equipped or called to. Without women teaching women, the structure gets out of order.  We cannot afford to forsake this integral part of the local New Testament Church, as laid out in the book of Titus.

A sober woman isn’t without feelings, she doesn’t suppress her emotions.  She renews her mind with the truth of scripture and that in turn modifies her emotional responses to be in line with God’s will and his word.  God gave us emotions so that we can really experience life, and be empathetic in ministry.  Without emotions we’d be robots, so they’re necessary, but we have to be taught how to control them so that they don’t control us.

Whatever we allow to dominate our mind will dictate our mouth, manners, and ministry.

Sometimes there are physical reasons why our emotions get all out of whack- hormones, lack of sleep, sickness, chronic pain. Those times can really make it hard to be sober.  So we need to be patient and understanding with each other, our daughters, and disciples.  Freely give grace as you have freely received it, and pray her through those times where her body has hijacked her senses.

Being sober is learning how to renew your mind so that you can be emotionally stable and spiritually strong.

It’s a moment by moment, day by day way of thinking. A state of mind that can change based on how much time you spend in the word, and how surrendered to the Spirit you are. It’s having a filtered and focused mind.

Even if we are foolish, unfiltered, and driven by our feelings right now, that doesn’t mean we’re destined to be this way forever.  I was that woman I described above.  If God can transform me and renew my mind, he can do the same for you! You can be sober, and in the next post I’ll teach ya how!

~Romans 12:2~ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

 

Squash the Mom Guilt

Have you ever thought about all you should’ve done differently in raising your kids?

Or been visiting with a friend with well-behaved, well-dressed, or wildly successful children while yours look and act like they belong in the wild?

How about when you lose your temper, forget a parent-teacher conference, or can’t afford those new shoes they want so badly?

That feeling that washes over you… it’s mom guilt. 

That’s what I wrote about in this contributor post for Virtuous Mama Ministries! If you’re a mom- you need to read that post and follow their ministry, you’ll be glad you did!

Please share with your mom friends as well, so more women can find freedom from “mom guilt”!

Here’s the link to their website and my article “Squash the Mom Guilt”:

 https://www.virtuousmama.org/squash-mom-guilt/

You can also find Virtuous Mama Ministries on several social media outlets, using the links at the bottom of their website.

9 Characteristics of a Teacher of Good Things

If you’ve read my discipleship series you know that I have been parked in Titus 2:3-5 for a while. I’ve written a bible study called “INVEST” on that passage that I’m teaching to the fabulous ladies in our women’s ministry. And I’ve been sharing some of the goods from that with you.

A couple weeks ago I posted Bring the Word, which is a lesson on how to study the bible so that you can be prepared to teach sound doctrine to the women in your sphere of influence.  I also gave you some simple bible study worksheets that you can print and use for your time in the word.

Today I want to give you 9 characteristics of a teacher of good things.

~Titus 2:3~ The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

The apostle Paul wrote this letter to Titus to instruct him how to plant churches in Crete.  He gave him the character and conduct guidelines that not only the pastor should have, but also the congregation, both young and old.

Paul’s main concern was sound doctrine being established. It’s sound doctrine that counters false teaching, corrects wrong thinking, and promotes right living.  It’s sound doctrine that saves the sinner and sanctifies the saint.  It’s sound doctrine that establishes and grows a local church.

In the midst of a pagan environment, surrounded by false teaching and lewd behavior, the older women were to be teachers of good things.  He goes on in the passage to give the good things they are to teach.

This book of the bible is so relevant to us as we are in the midst of planting a new church.  We don’t have to wonder what to focus on, or wander around aimlessly, struggling to establish this church.  We just have to stand on and teach sound doctrine, and stick to the pattern God has already laid out in his word.

We do our part, and God does his.  Part of the responsibility that the mature women in the church have is to be teachers of good things.

9 Characteristics of a Teacher of Good Things is:

  • Faithful- She’s steadfast and loyal, a devoted disciple who walks closely with the Lord, and obeys his word. 1Timothy 3:11~ Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

 

  • Available- She makes herself available to listen, encourage, instruct, and pray for her disciple via phone calls, texts, and in person. Her schedule isn’t so packed that she can’t minister to younger women. She clears out unnecessary things, and carves out time to invest the good things of God’s word. Titus 2:4-5~ That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

 

  • Intentional- She is purposed and diligent to reach out to younger women,  to strategically build a relationship with them, and intentionally invest the scriptures into the next generation.  Psalm 145:4~ One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. 

 

  • Humble- She takes her cue from Jesus as to how to instruct in meekness and humility. She places herself underneath the authority and leadership of Christ, his word, and his delegated authorities within her home, church, and community. 2Timothy 2:25~ In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

 

  • Knowledgeable- She is intentional about studying God’s word so she can teach sound doctrine from a place of authority. She knows the gospel and the good things of the word of God that need to be taught to the next generation of women. Proverbs 4:13~ Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

 

  • Wise- She’s a woman who fears the Lord and walks in his ways. She shares wise counsel and leads with wisdom. Proverbs 9:10~ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. 

 

  • Patient- She recognizes that everyone is in a different place with the Lord and is understanding, longsuffering, and forbearing.  Ephesians 4:2~ With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

 

  • Sober- She has a sound mind that filters her thinking through God’s word so that her teaching is profitable, pleasant, and proclaiming truth.  She exercises self-control over her thoughts so that she is disciplined over her emotions. (More to come on this in my next post!) 1Peter 4:7~ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

 

  • Spirit-filled- She doesn’t teach from her own thoughts or experience, but allows the Holy Spirit of God to teach through her. Her life and ministry is marked by love, joy, and peace. She is temperate and walks by faith and not by sight.  She’s gotten victory over sin issues and is sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction of areas she still needs refining. Galatians 5:25~ If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

I was so blessed to have a godly woman like this to teach me the word.  She was all of these things, and more!  I learned so much from her.  She taught me how to apply the scriptures to my life, how to live out what I knew, and how to teach that to other women.

She gave me a passion for the word and permission to teach it. 

My aged woman instilled in me a deep desire to disciple and train up other women to be disciple-makers themselves.  Out of all the women that have invested in me over the years, she has had the greatest impact on my spiritual growth.

Because she saw in me what I didn’t see in myself.  She accepted me where I was, and God used her to get me where I needed to be.  She was, and still is, a teacher of good things. 

I want to be a woman like that, don’t you?

Ask the Lord to make you a faithful, available, intentional, humble, knowledgeable, wise, patient, sober, and Spirit-filled woman! Spend time in his word and apply it.  Surrender your own will and old ways, and allow him to mold you into the mature and godly woman he wants you to be so you can be a teacher of good things.

 

~Philippians 4:9~ Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

7 Ways out of a Spiritual Slump

No offense to all you soccer and football moms out there, but baseball is where it’s at. We’re a baseball lovin’ family.  Always have been, always will be. (Go Royals!)

While I don’t know everything there is to know about it, and definitely can’t play it, I do know one thing. Every player, no matter how outstanding, will get in a slump.  It’s inevitable.

Why? Because even though they’re talented, and get paid exorbitant stacks of cash for what they do, they are still human, with the potential to fall into a slump.

And so are you.

The stakes are higher and the reward is greater. Souls are hanging in the balance, and the ministry we have has eternal consequences. Being an ambassador for Christ and minister of reconciliation is a weighty role.

Sometimes the pressure can stifle our creativity and send us into a spiritual slump.  If you find yourself in one right now, here are 7 ways to step out of it.

7 WAYS OUT OF A SPIRITUAL SLUMP

  1. Run to the Lord in prayer. Colossians 4:2~ Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Prayer is a given in every situation in life, but oftentimes we overlook this most basic component of our faith.  We must look to the Lord for help out of the spiritual slump.  We are powerless without prayer!
  2. Repent and purify your heart. Have you every felt like your prayers are just words bouncing off the ceiling, or falling on deaf ears?  This might be an indication of sin in your life that’s hindering your fellowship with Christ.  Confess it, forsake it, and be reconciled to Jesus.  Proverbs 28:13~ He that covereth is sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.  A great verse to commit to memory is 1John 1:9~ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   When we hold onto unconfessed sin we are pushing away God’s forgiveness, cleansing, and mercy.
  3. Rework your priorities. God, Spouse, Children, Church, Lost world, and so on. That is the biblical priority list for every Christian woman.  If you’re single with no kids, you are free to “attend upon the Lord without distraction”.(1Cor.7:32-35) Maybe ministry to other women has subtly but steadily slid your ministry to your spouse and children down the line. Stop and examine where you spend the most time, what has your attention? Make the changes necessary to get your priorities aligned with the word and will of God.
  4. Renew your perspective. Sometimes we get in a slump because like athletes, we can get too focused on the numbers and results. We can get consumed by our following on social media. For a refresher on the proper perspective we should have, read this.
  5. Release the pressure. After using a pressure cooker to process jars of food, you take the weight off and release the steam to unlock the lid and get to the goods. When it feels like the weight of your ministry has you locked down, it’s time to let off some steam! Some of us need to start with lifting the weight of unrealistic expectations, and the pressure to perform at a certain level. As long as God is pleased with your ministry, that’s all that matters! Go at his pace and don’t try to compete with anyone else. Give yourself permission to take a break. Go for a walk or to the gym, take a hot bath, or visit with a friend. Take your bible and journal and find a cozy new place to get away with Jesus.
  6. Remember the point. Don’t ever forget that your ministry came from God, is through him, and for him. He gifted and called you, equips and enables you to do what you do for his glory and not your own. Ultimately it’s not about you at all. It’s all about Jesus.  Hold all things loosely, knowing that he can take it just as surely as he gave it. (Job 1:21)
  7. Return to praise. Nothing gets me out of a slump quicker than cranking up the praise music! Praise him for his goodness and grace, his provision and power, and his forgiveness and faithfulness. Let him restore unto you the joy of your salvation as you rejoice in his glorious name.

Whether you’re a writer whose lost the words, or a mama struggling to keep her head above water, the solution’s the same. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. 

I hope these 7 steps are a blessing to you, and that God lifts you out of the slump you’re in as you delight in him today.

~Hebrews 12:1-2~ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

You can read more Christian bloggers at this link-up at: https://www.betheeinspired.com/blog/

and Facebook.com/groups/saltandlightgroup

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you Donna Miller at Fresh Grace for Today for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I’m honored and blessed to be able to accept it and answer the questions in response to this award.

About the Award: The Sunshine Blogger Award is given by Bloggers to other Bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring.
  1. When and why did you start blogging? In August 2017, to have an outlet to use my spiritual gift, and teach women how to walk in the wisdom of God’s word daily.
  2. What is the story behind your blog niche? My niche is bible study. I have a passion for studying the bible and want to pass along the treasures God has given me.
  3. What is the toughest part of blogging for you? Finding the time to write!
  4. What is the most enjoyable part? Hitting “publish”.
  5. Do you keep a journal? Yes. It’s a mixture of prayers, notes, ideas, and goals.
  6. What is your favorite Scripture? That is such a tough question! If I have to just select one, I would say Psalm 145:3~ Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
  7. Are you a city girl or country girl? I live in the city but prefer the quiet of the country.
  8. If you could invent a holiday, what would it be? National Free Pedicure Day!
  9. Are you a morning or night person? Definitely a night owl.
  10. What are 5 things you would bury in a time capsule? A Bible, my journal, a family picture album, a world newspaper, Lies Women Believe by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
  11. Is this your first blogging award? Yes.

I nominate:

Leslie Kuhlman at http://intentionalyou.blogspot.com

Lureta Ector at http://journeyingbyfaith.com

Lisa Thampikutty at http://Beautysetapartblog.wordpress.com

 
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