Monday, July 30, 2012

Let Go of the Past

It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. —Lamentations 3:22–23

We can find peace in the knowledge that God’s compassion and kindness is new every morning and that His faithfulness is abundant. God has provided a way for your past to have zero power over you, but it is up to you to receive His gracious gift of forgiveness, mercy, and a new beginning. Also, we must never forget that He is able to overcome and do far more than we could ever imagine that He could do for us (Ephesians 3:20). Don’t allow mistakes in your past to fester and threaten your future.

When you ask God to forgive you for something that you have done wrong, He is faithful and just to do it. He continuously cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). We are said to be new creatures when we enter into a relationship with Christ. Old things pass away. We have an opportunity for a new beginning. We become new spiritual clay for the Holy Spirit to work with. God makes arrangements for each of us to have a fresh start, but we must be willing to let go of the past and go on.

Lord, I want to be a new creature in Your Spirit today. Thank You for Your abundant mercy and faithfulness to me. I want to be faithful to You as well. Amen.

From the book The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Good Cry

So I set aside a few hours today to watch movies.
Well, let me back up a second. Here’s the deal.
I woke up today feeling a little off, a little blah, after actually going to bed that way too. Well, 'blah' is not even an accurate word. If you are of the female gender you know know what I mean. There’s nothing that hurts, no one thing that is on my heart and mind. And that is the issue at the core. There are a lot of thing on my mind and heart.
So I decided to not let it get out of hand – to do something about it.
I’m not obsessing. Not by a long shot.  This is just a time when there happen to be a few things I’m working through simultaneously; caring for my mom, missing my son, contemplating decisions, grieving some areas of my life, and simply in a search for some answers that seem so long in coming.
 And one thing that almost all women can relate to is the fact that when we have days or even seasons like this – and then sometimes for no apparent reason at all – we just need a good cry.
Men make fun of it. They don’t understand it. I think it frightens them a bit. Emotion on that level usually does.
But we understand one another. And we also know what having this special time set aside can do. If handled properly it provides a cleansing that nothing else can.
So why do we need days like this?  I think it’s because as women we’re made as a reflection of the emotional side of our Creator. And that’s become a beautiful thing to me.
If men were a full representation of Him there would be no need for us. But God saw an infinitely better plan. To have us truly be the other half of one another, and to complement one another. To fill in the gaps He made us differently for a reason – to help us discover and understand HIM more!

So today I celebrated both my emotional side and my need for Him, but in a very selective way.
I got my bible, my devotional, and spent time with Him in prayer and in conversation first.
His word tell me “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
I poured out and worked through the things known, and eventually the things hidden that He revealed that are also putting a bit of weight on my heart and mind.

Then with the right choice of movies the rest of my day of cleansing began. I watched movies today like Steel Magnolias, Finding Nemo, and Facing the Giants  - movies that tug at my heart and provide good lessons and reminders (and yes, there are several in Finding Nemo by the way). These and many like them result in a good cry for me because the cry comes with a ‘better ending than the beginning’.
I went through a lot of Kleenex today people.

Once I was done with the movies I returned once again to finish that much needed conversation with God. My chance to verbalize what I was feeling now, what He had said to my heart over the last few hours, and the chance to thank Him. I thanked Him for being my everything, for understanding me, for speaking to me, for being patient, for already working for my good in these things that were my concerns, and then I handed everything on my heart and mind over to Him. And I told Him that I’m very thankful to be made truly in His image
John 11:35 “Jesus wept”
 Luke 19:11 “But as Jesus came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep.”
It brings me unbelievable comfort to know that Jesus, God’s Son, a part of the mysterious Holy Trinity, and Creator of the World wept. He wept for those He loved, those suffering, and for those in need.
I used to hate to cry by the way, hated that feeling. It seemed a weakness to me. But as I’ve grown older, closer to him, and now that I understand more how He designed me, why He created me with certain traits, I see this is another way to undergird my need for Him. And it draws us closer together.
It’s not that I like to cry, and I hate that I can make that really ugly face sometimes when I do – one that can even freak my dog out. But I love the fact it is by His design that I can and need to cry. That He made me like Himself. That He created me with the capacity for deep love, to be concerned for others, for compassion, empathy, sympathy, and a need to pour my heart and my eyes out to the only One who can calm, heal, touch, encourage, and mend me.

So I feel better this evening, refreshed and renewed.
“… weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5
I am His daughter. I turned to him today to be emptied out and then filled. And I believe it pleased Him to come to me in that sweet time, and to do just that.
If you need a good cry invite him to meet you there, seek Him out in very specific ways.
Romans 8:15-16 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.Give Him the chance to hold you, to speak deep things, to renew you and take your burden. Don’t go there by yourself, you weren’t made to cry alone – let Him weep with you.
Joyful on the Journey

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Movie Night - This Friday!!

Ladies - our FREE movie night is almost here!

The two choices are "Princess Bride" or "Runaway Bride"...

Get details and register NOW please at

Then on Friday July 27th when we arrive at Sherrill Campus at 7pm we'll take a vote and the majority rules! With these two choices we can't go wrong :)

Join us for a fun relaxing evening!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Balance and Contentment

When you think of the word contentment, what does it mean to you? Are you content in this life? Are you content in all circumstances? Some people get confused about the concept of contentment because they think it means they have to settle where they are, or just sit back and go with the flow. However, there's a huge difference between being content and being complacent. When you are content, you are satisfied; you're full. It's not that you aren't pursuing your goals or striving to reach new levels; you are just able to enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.

For example, everyone knows that if you send a woman to the mall to buy a new sweater, she might stroll through fourteen different stores while she's there. She keeps her "mission" on the backburner of her mind, content to browse the stores and enjoy her journey. On the other hand, most men can't understand at all why a woman would spend all that time wandering around! A man's approach would be to get in and out of the mall in ten minutes. (Eight if he's been to that store before and knows his way around.) That's because most men are more mission-minded. They focus on the goal, whereas most women focus on the experience. The truth is, we have to have both. We have to be mission-minded and enjoy ourselves on the way to reaching our goals. When we learn to have balance in our approach to life, we will experience contentment in our journey.

One of the best ways I know to find contentment in your circumstances is to reach out and help someone else who is in need. There's always someone in your life that you can impact. There's always someone who needs what you have to give. When you turn your focus toward helping others, your own challenges seem more manageable, and sometimes, they simply disappear. That's because whatever you make happen for other people, God will make happen for you.

Today, I encourage you to find contentment in your journey by reaching out to others. Focusing on others instead of your own circumstances brings balance to your perspective. When you live in balance, you live in supernatural contentment and position yourself to be a vessel of His glory all the days of your life!

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." (Philippians 4:12, NIV)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Don't Compromise

by Joyce Meyer - posted July 16, 2012

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men. —Psalm 31:19

God is good to everyone, but I do believe He reserves special rewards for those who are bold and never compromise their faith when they are with unbelievers. Our verse for today says that He has goodness wrought for those who take refuge in Him before the sons of men. We must be sure that we don’t live one way in front of our Christian family and friends and then another way in front of our unbelieving associates. 

Our calling as believers is to be lights in dark places. We must maintain our integrity at all times and never compromise our moral standards. However, if we desire the approval of men we often do whatever it takes to feel accepted by them, even at the cost of displeasing God and going against our own conscience. 

It is much better to please God than to please men. The apostle Paul stated that if he had wanted to be popular with people he would never have become an apostle (Gal.1:10). He would have missed the privilege of serving God as he did. It is tragic how often people say “no” to God in order to say “yes” to men. We must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). 

When we follow God we have peace, and we experience the rewards of God in our life.  I encourage you to take a stand for what is right in your life. Don’t let the fear of rejection pressure you to sin against your own conscience.  

Love God Today: Do you want God’s goodness stored up for you? Live your Christian faith openly in front of the people around you.

From the book Love Out Loud by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Register now for our FREE Movie Night July 27th!

Ladies - our FREE movie night is almost here!

The two choices are "Princess Bride" or "Runaway Bride"...
Get details and register NOW please at
Then on Friday July 27th when we arrive at Sherrill Campus at 7pm we'll take a vote and the majority rules! With these two choices we can't go wrong :)
Join us for a fun relaxing evening!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hello, My name is... Martyr?

Name tags are very handy. At gatherings and parties name tags help quickly identify who we are, tell us who we are about to introduce ourselves to. And in some cases like business networking or ministry functions the name tags may even include what we do, so that the person looking at it has even better idea very quickly of who we are and what we may be about.
Over the last 16 months or so I have become much more acutely aware of something… That at the very least a whole lot of us women seem to find it an honor of some twisted sort to walk around with a name tag that says "worn out, frazzled, frustrated, and encased in busyness"... and the title under the name? “A Living Martyr”.

That says a whole lot very clearly doesn't it? I mean, we can very easily understand what we're dealing with when we read that title. And the reason I can say this is because at times I too have worn that title on my tag to the world. And I wrote that self created moniker on my tags with my own pen, in my own handwriting.

I've been thinking about the ‘why’s’ lately. I mean yes, I have busy days and even weeks occasionally, and rightly so because sometimes life just gets messy and hard and demands a lot from me. But it’s the self sabotage behavior that I’m speaking of here, and that isn’t something that God demands of me – not to the point of detriment. So I have started asking myself, and others as well, why do so many of us  seem to strive very hard to able to fit so much more in a day and a week than there is really room for? Why do we seem to relish the challenge? Why do so many seem to not be able to talk about anything for any length of time at all without somehow getting around to reciting their to-do-list and the enormous scope of it? And Why do so many of us seem to be so proud of the fact that we are exhausted?
Here are some thoughts about it all that I’ve had:
For some it seems to simply be a way to draw attention – to be able to say “look at me, see me” when we maybe feel there is no other reason for someone to notice us.
For some it’s a way to always be right - because it means if they are the one that ‘does everything’ that gives no one else the right to have input.
For others it is a way to remain in that place of misery that we have lived in for so long we can’t fathom anything else – we’re way too comfortable there.
For some it can be a way to make sure we are ‘needed’ – it becomes a good thing somehow for others to not be able imagine doing anything successfully without our help “If we want it done right then we need to ask insert your name here”.
For some, it’s the acts of service gone awry –out of some sort of guilt. We must always be giving an serving even unto exhaustion – as if somehow this is being holy.
And there are a whole lot of Martha’s out there (Luke 10).
In the name of ‘having it all’ society has in many ways told us we can do it all, should do it all.
Some of our churches over the years have even taught us (maybe unknowingly) to feel we have to be involved in everything coming and going in the name of serving God and being a ‘good Christian woman’.

My reasons for wearing the badge before? Truthfully, it’s been a combination of several of the above scenarios, all different depending on when in my life you would be referring to.
I feel very differently now.
But it was a revelation forced on me by a God who cared enough to stay after me. Seems to be the normal way to reach me – He has to be very persistent :)
With more time on my hands after losing my job, I at first I saw on some level a chance to fill it with everything I could get my hands on (really to be honest I was running from the 'quiet' - does that sound familiar by chance?).
I mean, I’ve worked hard since I was 17years old. I had two parents that were hard workers. I come by it naturally.
How about this one  - does this sound familiar? “Oh my gosh I could volunteer for this ministry and that one, I could do more at church, and began setting up more activities, helping with and creating more opportunities, and I can, I can, I can...”  Gee, wonder what the common theme was there?

But God had much different plans for me.
He had plans for me to seek Him more. He wanted me to Himself more. He desired to speak to me on a more ongoing basis. He had a better idea of how to teach me what may be next for me. He wanted and wants to always be preparing me for what HE has ahead.
When things didn’t work out like I thought they would, He was there. When they were cooking with gas, but I was miserable and worn out, He was there waiting.
He was waiting to get on with the work of renewing me, refreshing me, pouring into my life so I could then pour back out. Teaching me, speaking to me, romancing me.
I’m beginning to see a ‘me’ I like much more now.
It’s a ‘me’ that I think my friends and my husband like much more now too.

I am a bit more of a woman who revels in actually doing nothing every once in a while with no guilt because I am supposed to rest in Him - find quality time for just me and Him.
Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
I want to ‘stop and smell the flowers’ as the old saying goes, I mean He created them after all -
Psalm 19:1-4 “
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.I want to love being a part of the Creation that cries out His existence each day and night, and experience the gift of the time He has given me – not wasting, but relishing.

I want to clearly see the hand of God at work and what it can do, not how much I can accomplish in a short amount of time –
John 3:30 “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
I want to choose carefully what I do… there are many good thing that need attention but a very few that are great for the purpose He has given me in this season and I want His best plan for me –
Proverbs 16:9 “
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps”
I should be concerned that others find their gifts and use them to help fulfill His plan. And I’m not to feel guilty about doing only what He wants me to –
Ephesians 4:16 “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
Romans 8:1  “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
If I want to be holy then I should imitate God’s standard – Jesus Christ… not try to outdo Him –
1 Peter 1:15-17 "
But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy”. And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.”
I need to long for the things that make me truly holy in Him…Psalm 42:1 "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God."
Romans 12:2 "
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
And as far as all the Martha’s out there (of which I have been known to be at many times in my life)... Luke 10:41-42 "But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
He makes me holy. So knowing Him, spending time with Him, discerning His voice and doing the exact things He wants me to do accomplish His Will for not only my life but for others in my life is what He desires of me. Not keeping busy, packing my days, serving on every mission, every ministry in the church, every opportunity that comes along – His plans are holy and perfect. I want joy, time, abundant life, laughter, deeper relationships, and divine appointments He is creating every day for me.

A. W. Tozer said “In almost everything that touches our everyday life on earth, God is pleased when we’re pleased. He wills that we be as free as birds to soar and sing our maker’s praise without anxiety [stress].” 
I want to make sure I’m always giving more of Him away, not more of me, in carefully selected ways that please Him and praise Him, and bring me closer to Him – because that's when I'm the happiest, that's living stress free!

I want to choose to wear a badge that says “Living Abundantly in Him” instead of “Living Martyr”

Joyful on the Journey

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Looking Up from the Bottom

"There is a bottom. A brokenness that's neccessary. A need that can only be met with a surrender before the miracle can begin. Praying now that this is as deep as it has to be for them. Praying for wisdom, strength, resolve, and most of all total surrender!!!"

I just sent that text message to a friend in response to a pray request, but then God prompted my heart to more, and that there is someone else here whose loved ones are in jeopardy and you are crying out on their behalf, or you may be crying out for yourself...

**Brokenness: forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured; with gaps and errors, weakened and infimed; bankrupt, crushed

If that means something to you reading this I have prayed for you, or for that loved one that it speaks to. God moves the most in response to the most surrender - when you give Him that which you admit you can no longer fix yourself.

Isaiah 57:15 The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.

God's biggest miracles come from true repentence in the midst of our biggest brokeness :)


What a Great Reminder............

Have a blessed day!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mark You Calendars For This Thursday

Crafty Crew Night 6p-9p at our Carmichael Campus

* Bring your favorite hobby or craft to work on or just hang out!

* We’ll provide some light snacks and drinks
    (brown bag your dinner if you like)

* Becky Walker & Robin Gouge will be demonstrating jewelry making if
   you are interested in a chance to observe and ask questions)

* Door prizes

* Register by emailing us at

See you Thursday! 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Two Fun Ladies Events for July!

Thursday July 12th - Crafty Crew Night

Held at our Carmichael Campus 6p-9p (10919 Carmichael Drive 37932)
We'll provide snacks, drinks, and door prizes (you brown bag your dinner if you like), so join us with your favorite hobby and hang out with other craft lovers :)
Some knit, some make homemade cards, some cross stitch, and some scrapbook - so whatever you do come do it with us!
If you are interested in jewelry making both Becky walker and Robin Gouge will be on hand demonstrating and answering your questions.

Friday Night July 27th - Movie Night!

The movie title will be announced soon..

We'll provide the drinks, popcorn, and some door prizes -you just come for a relaxing fun evening with the gals!
Held at our Sherrill Campus (9929 Sherrill Blvd 37932)

The Book Club Is Back!

I am so excited to be bringing back the Chick Chat Book Club!
So many have asked for it and I think God is now saying its time.
We'll read one book every month or so (depending on how big the book is) and meet together to discuss it too if you like.
Selections and dates/locations for discussions will be announced here on this page. If you arent in the Knoxville TN area but want to join please do so - I'll post some questions along the way you can particpate in as well :)
The books selected will always be to help challenge us to be who we were really created to be - and to inspire us to a deeper relationship with Christ and those around us.
To join "like" The Chick Chat Book Club Face Book Page to stay up to date on all announcements - but if you don't face book we'll post some info here as well

The first book selection is for July and it is "The Circle Maker"
by Mark Batterson (author of In A Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Primal, and more).
Mark asks - 'Do you ever sense that there's far more to prayer, and to God's vision for your life, than what... you're experiencing? It's time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker---a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around?'
Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson helps uncover our heart's deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.
I'll announce the date and location soon where we will get together to talk about this selection - so pick up your copy and join me as we learn about drawing circles around the huge prayers of our lives!

Learn about the book here
Buy online here
or check your local Christian book store

So whether you were a part of it before or not all those years, join again or for the first time, and lets begin a journey of growing, discovering, hearing, and listening for Him together!