Monday, January 28, 2013

Let's Kick-off This Week Strong...........


Over the next few weeks we are going to jump into the "Be My Valentine Marriage Challenge" with one of my favorite blogs Women Living Well.  What a great time to rekindle the love in our marriages that leading into Valentine's Day.  And, if you are not married, no worries as we will have additional devotions this week too!!  Have a blessed week, and enjoy the following series!!

“The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
~Proverbs 14:1 

I remember being in a fight with my husband and knowing he was wrong and I was absolutely right. There was NO way I was going to apologize for anything I had said or done and I was not about to be the first one to try to make amends. This huge fight was his fault and he was going to have to come to me and make it right.

I dug my heels in sure that any minute he would come up the stairs and beg me for forgiveness…and I waited…waited in anguish – crying – praying…praying…praying…uh oh I sense God telling me to give him grace. Uh oh – thoughts of forgiveness and mercy ran through my mind.

“No way God! Not this time! No quick easy forgiveness from me – no mercy!”

…a flood began surging in my soul…I knew that I could not suppress the truths of God’s word…and so I got up slowly and put one foot in front of the other…I went down one step and then the next slowly…and I went first…and apologized. And as I went first – the flood gates of communication opened up free and clear – a civil conversation appeared out of no where and the road to reconciliation began.

Going first. It’s not easy to be the one to take the initiative and go first…it takes great strength and humility. I’ve been called a doormat on many occasions on-line for my beliefs about marriage…a doormat sounds weak…I am not weak.

It’s easy to scream, yell, and fight. No one has to teach me how to do that! lol! The harder thing is to control my tongue and choose to not fight. That takes strength. The weak are those who hold a grudge, remain in their bitterness, refuse to forgive – the strong are secure in their faith knowing that they are loved with the unfailing love of Jesus. The strong can give what Jesus gave – forgiveness, mercy and grace.

 And so we come to week one’s “Be My Valentine” Marriage Challenge.  Some of you jumped on board quickly and are ready to do this but others…

Others may have decided this was not for you.  Maybe your marriage is struggling, your husband is being annoying, you are in the midst of a fight or you’ve grown distant from your husband.  Maybe it’s REALLY hard to even think of one nice thing to say.

These challenges really are challenges for you. 

Would you consider just trying a little bit, to do a little something this week just to see what God will do through your willingness to go first and bless your husband?  I am praying as you take the initiative, that God will strengthen you and bless your marriage through you!

Week 1 Challenge - Take the Initiative!  Look for ways to praise your husband verbally.
Praise him in front of the kids, friends, family, co-workers, on facebook, tweet it – get praise out anyway you can! Try to mention something noteworthy he has done – in his role as provider, father, husband, lover, or friend. If the thought of trying to come up with one terrifies you, then pray right now that God will give you new eyes to see your husband as God does. Then open your mouth and say something kind and uplifting to your husband today and tomorrow and the next day until Valentine’s Day arrives!

Here’s some practical ways to communicate your praise:

1. Text him with a sweet message that includes something you appreciate about him.

2. Email him today telling him how grateful you are for him.

3. If he’s on Facebook – go to his wall or post a status update praising him

4.  Offer to say the prayer before dinner and then in your prayer thank God for him and give specifics.

5. As you give him a kiss hello, goodbye or goodnight – insert a little word of thanks and praise.

The challenge includes doing this every single day until Valentine’s Day but I want to be realistic…for some of you this is gonna take babysteps.  So just do what you can – something is always better than nothing.  And next week, we’ll get even more creative with ways to show our men we don’t just love them – we LIKE them!!

If you are a blogger – I invite you to blog about this week’s challenge.  As time allows, I will be visiting your blogs and pinning your posts on my “Inspiring Christian Wives” Pinterest Board

 Have a blessed week!! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NorthStar News..........

We're at the halfway point of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting.  Don't forget about the devotions and resources at our blog.  It's remarkable how the Holy Spirit is working in the life of our church already.  We love hearing stories of how God is working in the lives of people at NorthStar.  Have a story to tell? Let us hear it HERE!

Here's what is around the corner at NorthStar Church:

Groupconnect   Life is better connected. To join a group, come to Groupconnect on January 27th at 6pm.  Groupconnect is a 60 minute event where you can meet people in a similar stage of life and area of town with the goal of forming a LifeGroup. That may sound a little intimidating, but you won’t be alone and it will be worth it. A host and plenty of staff members and volunteers will be on hand to navigate you through the process of meeting others and forming a group. Childcare is available, but registration is neccesary.

Fresh Encounter    We'll be closing out our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting with a night of Worship and Prayer on Tuesday, January 29th @ 6:30pm.  Childcare is available for children ages 5 and under.

Partnership Class   The next Partnership Class (formerly New members Class) will be February 10th during 2nd Service at 11:15am. All the details are online HERE.

Middle School Lock-out
Feb 1st | Cost: $25 | Check-in at 10pm at the bubble | Pick up at 7:30am at the bubble.  We will be going to "The Zone". An awesome night of basketball, dodgeball, pizza, movies, inflatables, trampolines, foam pits, and more. Bring a friend!

Winter Jam
Feb 15th. $10. An amazing night of concerts by some of the hottest artists in Christian music. Each d-group will be planning the night individually. Go to the student ministry events page for all the details.

Have a GREAT week!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Twenty-One Days of Prayer and Fasting - Prayer Focus

From January 7 - 21, 2013, we will be joining in the church wide prayer and fasting.  This 21 day journey is designed to be flexible enough so that you can participate on any level. If you are a seasoned veteran of prayer and fasting or if this is your very first experience, you can start right where you are and walk with God in a very powerful way. Below you will find a prayer guide and several online tools to help guide you through this 21 day journey.

During this season of prayer and fasting, we seek the Lord in these areas:

Believe God for answered prayer to our specific needs
Declare our dependence on God in every area of our lives
Ask for forgiveness for our sins and the sins of our land
Pray for the completion of the Great Commission
Invite the presence of God in our church and our lives
Intercede for revival in our generation.

** Visit for our 21 day devotional guide and other important fasting resources.

Sunday – Our Hearts
Read: Luke 10:38-42
Make worship and prayer the priority of your life. Declare your complete dependence on God. Ask for a renewed passion for His presence and fresh revelation of His Word.

Monday – Our Purpose
Read: Colossians 1:28-29
Our purpose is to Make Disciples. Pray for people to be saved, connected in a local church, discipled, and operating in their ministry destiny.

Tuesday – Our City, State, and Nation
Read: 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Pray for America and the leaders of our country. Pray for Tennessee & Knoxville area officials. (Governor, the state legislature, courts, mayors and other city officials, schools etc.) Pray for revival in our generation.

Wednesday – Our Points of Passion
Read: Matthew 9:37-38
Pray for our local outreaches: Water Angels, Mission of Hope, and Operation Inasmuch. Also our regional and international missions efforts: Silk Road Missions, The Neubert Family in Guatemala, The Weber Family in Nicaragua, and our South Asia Missionaries.

Thursday – Our Family
Read: Acts 16:25-31
Pray for God’s blessing on your family (spouse, children, grandchildren, grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, etc.).

Friday – Our Needs
Read: Philippians 4:6-7
Believe God for answered prayer to your specific needs (finances, health, family members to be saved and other personal needs.)

Saturday – Our Church
Read: Ephesians 3:20-21
Pray for NorthStar Church and the ministry that will take place in 2013. Pray for Pastor Scott and his family, along with the other staff members, small group leaders, and those on the ministry teams.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Overplanners Anonymous

I don't know about you, but I often struggle with equating being organized and in control of everything as peace. God brought this to my attention a few months ago, and  I have really been working with Him through prayer and studying His Word on this struggle.  And, last week  I came across the following devotion by Proverbs 31 Ministries contributor Suzie Eller, and I just had to share.  Because as I have begun going through this journey to have true peace, even when things are not going my way, I've noticed that I am not the only gal feeling this way.  

Have a blessed Thursday!  - Kim D.  

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." - Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

I sat with pen in hand, surprised by the words on the page in front of me.

"You will not find my Peace by engaging in excessive planning; attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. This is a commonly practiced form of unbelief." (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling)

Planning is one of the things I do best. I have my list of things to accomplish every day. I have a list of goals in ministry. I even have a bucket list!

Planning is a good thing, right?

However, as I read those words in my devotional book, the Holy Spirit revealed to me the way I must often appear to my Heavenly Father.

There are so many things I want to do. Instinctively I know that God's timing isn't mine, but sometimes my litany of lists are in the hopes that if I work hard enough and plan long enough that God will get on my schedule.

It's not that planning is wrong. With our busy lifestyles, our lists keep us from dropping off our young daughter in a cowgirl costume at the neighbor's house ... when the party is scheduled for the next Friday (yes, it really happened).

But this was a deeper heart issue. How many times did I plan and plan and plan some more, only to be disappointed as my lists got longer and my goals farther away.
My planning was less about organization, and more about worry. I felt more in control if I made lists because I felt like I was doing something.

I sensed God saying, "Lay it down. All the planning, all the worry about how things will work out."
In 1 Peter 5:6-7 we are encouraged that, "God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time." In the very next verse, Peter warns us to be aware that, "... the devil is poised to pounce..." (The Message)

It's no accident that Peter shared a promise, but also a warning.

The promise is that God is in control. He knows exactly where He is taking you, and as you trust Him, His promotion may look very different (and far more fulfilling) than your carefully drawn plans.

When we are trapped in excessive planning and things don't work out the way we want, it can create anxiety, frustration, or anger towards God—all traps the enemy would love to use to discourage and distract us.

I didn't stop writing lists. They keep me from forgetting what I need to do.

But I have stopped excessive planning.

God's ways are higher than mine. And if I keep that truth above my planning, then I am open to go in whatever direction God leads.

I didn't have to sign up for Overplanner's Anonymous. Instead, the first thing on my plan every day is to simply "trust God."
Dear Lord, I know that being organized is a good thing, but my excessive planning is tied to worry. Today I give You all my cares. You have my future in Your hands. I trust You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

NorthStar News..........

Happy New Year Ladies!!  We are excited to kickoff another year of growing in our walks with Jesus!  To get everyone caught up on what is going on at NorthStar, check out the following announcements.

  • No Wednesday night services this week, January 2nd.
  • The 2013 NorthStar budget will be affirmed on Sunday, January 6th during both services.

  • "Before You Pack Your Bags, Prepare Your Heart"...This 3-week missions class is for everyone who desires to serve on a short-term mission team with NorthStar. It will not only prepare you for international missions but will challenge you to live out your faith where you live, work and play. January 20, 27 and Feb 3 during 11:15 am service in the Green Light Room (New Children’s Building). Space is limited so sign up quickly at Connection Point or online at

  • Sunday January 6th we will kick of NorthStar’s 21 days of fasting. You can find more information on our website at
  • NorthStar on iTunes - If you have to miss a Sunday, want to listen again, or share the service with a friend you may access the sermon from the website or get it as a podcast from iTunes.

Also, we will have new announcements about this year's Women's Events and Bible Studies very soon.

Have a blessed New Year!