Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little by Little

And the Lord your God will clear out those nations before you, little by little; you may not consume them quickly, lest the beasts of the field increase among you.
—Deuteronomy 7:22

Recently I thought about my life from the time I seriously began to follow Jesus Christ to the present. Had I known then—at the beginning of the journey—all the things God would take me through, I would probably have been afraid to sign up for the trip.

As I look back, however, I realize that God held my hand and let me advance in small steps. I had times of great discouragement—as we all do. I remember times of bitter tears over my personal failures. But God kept nudging me forward.

That's the secret of living the victorious Christian life—we move ahead little by little. It's an inching forward over months and years. Most of us can understand that. The same is true in the battle for the mind. We don't roust Satan in one big blow and then live in victory forever after. We win one small battle, and then we're ready to move on to the next one. We may have a few major victories that come suddenly, but not many of them. The fight to destroy Satan's strongholds comes mostly by daily, doggedly, moving ahead.

The first time I thought of that fact, it was discouraging, until I realized the wisdom of God. After the Jews left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness, God spoke to them before they went into the Promised Land. It was a special land—fertile, beautiful, and promised to them. But in the more than 400 years since Jacob and his sons had left the land, others had moved in and occupied land that didn't belong to them.

For the children of Israel, it wasn't merely a matter of going in and settling down. They had to fight for every foot of ground—even though it was their inheritance.

That's how the spiritual principle works on every level. God has the blessings out there waiting for us, but it's up to us to go in and take the land. Just as it was for the Jews of old, it is a battle.

In the verse at the beginning of this chapter, God spoke of the beasts of the field. There were many wild animals in the land, and it could have been dangerous. But what if we thought of the beasts as pride? What if
God suddenly gave us full, complete victory, and we never struggled again; how would that affect us? Surely pride would creep in.

Our attitude then would be to look down on others who have not been as victorious as we have been. We may not express our condescension in words, but won't those we disdain sense that we think we're superior? And, truthfully, wouldn't we feel superior. We've made it; those poor souls are still struggling.

God has a wonderful plan for each of us, but it never comes with just one major victory, so that we never struggle again. Instead, it's an ongoing warfare, and we must remain vigilant and be aware of the attacks of the enemy.

Another aspect is that because we move ahead little by little, it makes us savor every victory. Each time we overcome or destroy one of Satan's strongholds, we rejoice. We can remain in a constant state of thanksgiving. If we've had only one victory, and that was thirty years ago, how dull our lives would be. Or worse yet, how easy it would be for us to take God for granted. Isn't it better to serve a God who takes us slowly forward, always showing us the way, always encouraging us? We always have new horizons to reach for, and that makes our journey with God exciting!

God, please forgive me for wanting all the victory right now. Help me realize that as I struggle and call on You, I see Your wonderful, loving, and caring hand taking me forward—little by little. For that, I'm so grateful. Amen.

From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by Warner Faith. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Worship in the City..........

Do you have plans next weekend?  If not, mark your calendars for Worship in the City!  Coming to downtown Knoxville at World's Fair Park.  Its a Christian Music Festival that will offer something for everyone in the family.  

This first annual outdoor celebration festival right here in Knoxville that will feature two stages on the lawns featuring many popular Christian artists including Third Day, Mercy Me, Jars of Clay, Hawk Nelson, Shane & Shane, Seabird, and many many more! Also the World’s Fair amphitheater will host the “Festival of Choirs” a gathering of local area church choirs which will set the tone for an amazing local worship experience. Exciting entertainment, exhibits, Christian art walk, and children’s pavilion will all be included for a fun, family oriented, Spirit filled two day celebration.

Purchase your one or two day wristband tickets NOW for August 26th and 27th at http://www.worshipinthecity.com.

Monday, August 8, 2011

When Good Isn’t Always Best

“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21 (NIV)
I always thought I would be a professional woman. I’d gone to college, bought the briefcase, suit and heels, and planned my future. Although I wanted children, I envisioned them complementing my life, much like a pretty piece of jewelry. Little did I know God had a completely different agenda.

In a span of four years, my husband and I had three little boys. All active. I just about lost my mind. Seriously. I remember grocery shopping alone with them…once. Four-year-old Joshua promised he would walk next to me, which of course he didn’t. So there I was, chasing Josh, with two-year-old Dylan trying to climb out of the cart to follow and baby Robbie screaming because he hated being confined. I felt like climbing over the cart, and running down the aisle screaming myself. 

From that day on, I embraced bribery with no shame. If it got me through a shopping trip, I tried it. But it wasn’t just shopping that did me in. I dragged my three little boys places I saw other mothers take their children. Only their little ones sat quietly, playing nicely with small toys. My boys however, saw an adventure waiting to happen everywhere we went. If they were quiet, that meant trouble. I lost track of the number of meetings and events I left in tears, angry at what seemed like limitations on the life I thought I was supposed to have.

During those early years of parenting, I tried to regain my old life, and find the old Glynnis, but it just wasn’t happening. My personal goals slammed into reality on a daily basis, leaving me frustrated and questioning what I thought was my calling.

With a college degree, wasn’t I supposed to be pursuing a career? Didn’t God want me to use my administrative talents in the church? Wasn’t I supposed to volunteer to lead women’s ministry, direct vacation Bible school, head up an outreach program and sing in the choir? If so, why couldn’t I do it all anymore?

I had been going a hundred miles an hour my own way. And not once did this God-following girl stop to see if I was letting Him lead. I didn’t ask for His priorities. After all, my responsibilities and choices were all “good” things. And, God had equipped me with talents to do them. But there was a problem I ignored — they weren’t God’s assignments for me at that time.

It took a mini earthquake in the form of a cross-country move to get my attention. With that move, God took away all those “good” things. For a time, I rebelled in my heart. I blamed my husband for taking me out of God’s will as I saw it.

My life felt empty, with nothing left. When I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself, I looked up and saw there was something: a loving husband and three precious little boys.

In my determination to serve God the way I always had, I missed that He had changed my mission field. No longer was it focused outside my home. God showed me that my first line of ministry was to my husband and children. This realization rearranged my priorities and changed my relationship with God and my family.

I learned that good things aren’t always my assignment. And just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should. Those three little boys are now teenagers, and God added two girls to our family six years ago. He also added back in career and volunteer responsibilities that I do from home. But one thing has not changed: I must seek God’s will for my life in this season…because this season isn’t last season, and good isn’t always God’s best.
Dear Lord, thank You for loving me in spite of my stubborn and determined ways. I’m sorry for the times I’ve neglected to seek Your will for me. Help me to become a woman who submits her dreams and goals into Your loving hands. You have never failed to bring me joy and satisfaction when I do so. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fridays With Beth Moore Update.........

Good Friday Ladies,  Its the weekend!!   And, most importantly its TAX FREE weekend.  The malls and stores are packed, and many families are buying supplies for the upcoming school year.  And, can you believe school for Knox County is right around the corner. 

Speaking of School.......NorthStar has some important news to share about upcoming activities for everyone in our church to help our students and their parents get ready to kick-off the school year:
  • Rising 6th graders and their families –enjoy a light lunch immediately after the 11:00 am service this Sunday and meet Brian Smith, our Student Pastor. 
  • Back to School 24 hour prayer vigil! From noon on Aug. 12th to noon on Aug. 13th. Sign up today at Connection Point THIS SUNDAY! 
  • If your child is going into Kindergarten and you are interested in being a part of the Preschool Graduation Ceremony, contact Sarah Coleman at the Preschool desk or at the church office 539-2222.
In other news, we will be kicking off our Fridays with Beth in TWO weeks.  And, the journey we will take is through the book of Romans.  If you have not journeyed with Beth before through Romans, you are in for a RIDE!!  She breaks down every single chapter and verse, and its incredible.  The study will be posted every Friday and you will have a week to complete before the next chapter is studied. Bring your Bible and a Journal, log on,  and enjoy this incredible study. 

Have a blessed weekend!!

-NorthStar Women's Ministry Leadership Team

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Worship Wednesday


Good Wednesday Ladies, 

Can you believe this summer is coming to an end.  Just when we got used to the ease of the summer season, its time to move on to Back-to-School time, Football Saturdays, and all the fall related events at NorthStar and in the Knoxville Community.  I hope you didn't mind the relaxing blog schedule over the summer; however, I promise in the coming weeks we will return to a routine with bible studies, music and book reviews, and most of all just having a great time on here!!  

To get us back into the swing of things, I thought it would be fun to post a collection of worship songs to help encourage us through the week.  Enjoy this week's collection:

Like an Avalanche - Hillsong United

Worthy Is The Lamb Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Our Messiah Reigns - New Life Worship

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me, your love, O Lord, endures forever" (Psalm 138:84 NLT)