Welcome, Erin Peters!

The team at We are His Daughters is delighted to introduce to you the newest member of our writing team, Erin Peters! Here is a little bit about Erin:

Erin Peters

Erin is a wife and mom of three. Originally from South Dakota, she now lives in Northern British Columbia, Canada. She’s passionate about teaching and encouraging women to get into God’s Word and experience the life-changing love of Christ. Erin is a speaker and writer and serves in her home church as the deaconess of women’s and worship ministries. She is a self-proclaimed booknerd and geek who loves coffee, chocolate and exercise (in that order).

Erin will be joining us a couple of Fridays a month to share about faith and the things that God is speaking in and through her. Combine Erin’s incredible heart for God with her sweet spirit, and we are sure to be in for a treat! Wee are blessed to have her as a part of our team!

Come back and check out Erin’s first post on Friday September 2, 2016!

Welcome, Erin!

Confession of a Minister’s Wife

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FullSizeRenderWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

Each week I come and try to give you a word that the Lord has given me. I pass it on with the hope that you to will be encouraged. This week I feel the Holy Spirit calling me to be very transparent.

I am married to a minister. He has worked with middle and high school students for the entirety of our marriage. He is absolutely called to this—and he  is good at it too. It is our hearts desire to see young people truly love and live for Jesus. We could never imagine doing anything else.

However, it’s hard. Yes, the work is hard, but ministry is hard on our marriage and we have learned MANY tough lessons along the way. This job of ours that is a privilege is 24/7. My husband is constantly on his phone. He is texting students, updating social media, checking an email, or maybe the scores of the baseball game. He gets called out at all hours of the night for anything and everything, and some days he works 16 hours of the day. He has to be very intentional of spending time with me and our children. We often sacrifice our time with him because we know he is doing what God has called him to do.

We have served in a couple of churches and let’s just say for the sake of integrity they were less than ideal. One in particular nearly broke my husband and we felt the Lord calling us to take a step back for the sole purpose of time to heal. God opened the door for him to work as a chaplain and we all got a break. Or so I thought. God orchestrated something that was beautiful. No, it was not beautiful at the time—it was ugly. All the hurt, heart ache, and resentment I felt for him came out in an ugly mess. We had built up wrong thoughts about each other. We had let our experiences at the church tear us apart. Somehow we didn’t even see it while going through it.

I felt like I sacrificed everything so he could do his job. He felt I always told him how to do his job better and acted like he wasn’t good enough to do it. All lies. But, we both believed them. Many hours of intense fellowship came after. Finally at the end of our ropes we talked to a counselor. He told us, “You sound like you have never lived as ONE flesh.

What in the world does that mean? What is means is: we were both going in two different directions. I stuffed what I wanted to say for a time but then eventually exploded on him. He just stuffed. We never took the time to walk as one flesh. We never took the time to really talk, really walk, really see each other for who we were. No, our entire marriage has not been bad and there were many, many good things in between, but the hurt we allowed to fester had to be taken care of and God made sure it was removed.

One flesh is not that hard when you look at it Biblically.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. SO the LORD God caused man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. The the LORD God made woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:20-24

Adam needed a helper, and us ladies were created to be helpers. God took a rib from man to make woman. So they could be a part of each other. They were not just joined intimately but joined together in everything. Physically, mentally and spiritually acting in one flesh. Moving in the same direction. Doing this requires communication, sacrifice and love above all else.

I know that time was hard on Eric and I but if we did not walk through it—we wouldn’t have been ready for what we are doing now. We love where God has moved us and we love that we are doing ministry again. Yes, it hard but it is so much easier now that we are truly ONE FLESH.

Cedar Panels Don’t Make A King – Be Just In All Our Ways

FaithPhil-Bio-PhotoWritten by: Phil Zinck

The rule of King Jehoiakim is documented in several books of the Bible. In all accounts he was a lousy king. He attempted to establish a long and lasting tenure as king by building a lavish palace through oppression, fraud and other injustices on the people of Israel. An opposite in almost every way to his father, King Josiah, who “. . . Did what was right in the eyes of the Lord . . .” (2 Kin 22:2) and ruled God’s people with justice and integrity in the pursuit of holiness. The culmination of the Godless reign of Jehoiakim is documented in the book of Jeremiah Chapter 22. Like a judge dispensing his sentence to a convicted criminal, Jeremiah recount the evil in Jehoiakim’s attempts to secure wealth, prosperity and a long tenure as king.

One simple statement in verse 15 sums up succinctly Jeremiah’s damning indictment:
But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king!” (NLT). Great kings in the eyes of the Lord are remembered as men who were focused solely on bringing glory, honour and praise to the Most High God in all things and not on the splendour and opulence of their palace and possessions. Jehoiakim was trying to use a great and magnificent palace to mask his weakness as a man after his own heart, a man of poor moral fibre and weak character.

In Matthew 5:6 the writer penned the 4th of Christ’s “tough love” challenges known as the Beatitudes:”God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice (righteousness – NKJV), for they will be satisfied.” (NLT). Hunger, thirst; desperate, unrelenting pursuit fuelled by the desire to not just sample or experience righteousness, holiness, but to possess it. Or more aptly stated, to have it possess them. The contrast between Kings Josiah and Jehoiakim could not be more plainly revealed than when measured against these words of Christ.

Now let’s fast forward to our lives today, immersed in a Christian culture that proclaims our desire to pursue holiness, righteousness and justice in word and song on Sunday. But how does this fervour, this resolve, this holy pursuit resolve play out on Monday?

The pursuit of righteousness and holiness or the passion to allow these to possess us is inextricably intertwined with the heart-n-soul commitment to exercise justice in all things. Now I don’t think that I’m out on a limb to say that the big, hard core issues of injustice such as human trafficking, dictatorial oppression or abuse of any kind are an affront to the moral code of your soul and spirit. But what about the softer areas of injustice which present themselves to each and every one of us, every day? Like when the cashier at your grocery store gives you an extra $20 change or inadvertently discounts a product in your basket by mistake? When it comes to financial stewardship I am sure that you, like me, are astute when it comes to being overcharged or short-changed, but do we always correct the same errors when they benefit our side of the ledger? Is that hungering for righteousness?

Or when someone eats a large portion of their restaurant meal only to send it back because they found it to be “unsatisfactory” and ask for a new dinner or refund? Flagging a problem one or two bites is sometimes necessary, but after you’ve picked the T-bone clean? Sadly, I have heard brothers in Christ brag about such an experience with satisfaction and pride. Is that thirsting for righteousness?

What about those times when you have an opportunity to get back at someone who did you wrong and you let ’em have it. Feeling absolutely justified in our actions you savour the sweetness of revenge, but is this attitude or response consistent with the message of unconditional love that Christ spoke of in the second greatest commandments – to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matt 22:39)?

You see, just as “Cedar planks do not make a great King“, our pursuit of righteousness and justice is just a false front if we are unwilling to do the right thing at all times in our everyday. The purity of our pursuit for holiness and righteousness cannot be measure by how it looks but how it’s lived. Let’s live everyday possessed with the passion to “. . . to act with justice, to treasure the LORD’s gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.” (Mic 6:8, ISV)

Where’s Your Balance?

Motivational Monday with Marisa

IMG_0015Written by: Marisa Aud

Hello to you on this beautiful Monday!

If you’re anything like me you’re probably hoping this week goes a little smoother, a little less frantic and a little more balanced. Balance is what we’ve been taught to seek; especially us women. Now don’t worry, I’m not about to get all bra-burning, fem-bot on you—but balance has become such a hot topic in our culture and it’s a little overwhelming to be honest. We are constantly bombarded with news of chaos, hatred, death and fear of death and we cannot quiet this craving for calm.

Love, Family, Career, Friendships, Health, Fun – it all needs a place in our lives and if we fail to balance out all these significant, constantly shifting parts, we tend to feel like everything is about to implode. We may even feel at times that we are failing miserably at life if we don’t meet our own sense of balance. But what is true balance?

Is it promoting twice a year at your job, having a perfectly romantic marriage 4 out of 7 days a week, exercising daily, eating only organic home made dinners, volunteering for everything at the church and the kid’s school, praying 1 hour everyday before everyone wakes up, and still finding time to pluck your eyebrows?

I can easily fall into a trap of, “Well, my week didn’t go as planned because I failed to _____ (fill in the blank) and now I must bear the consequences of my lazy-bones.” That is precisely my point, if I leave balance up to my own standards, I will be driven by my own selfish ambition instead of God’s heart for my life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe we must create space for healthy practices in our life and we can do that by setting goals. But if my perfectly-planned week is ambushed by one phone call, or someone in the family gets sick, or God forbid, we discover a sinkhole in our driveway; how do I possibly maintain balance in the midst of all that? It’s easy for us to feel like we are out of sync when our schedule gets blown up by the unexpected. Instead of focusing on trying to balance everything that is out of our control, what if we practiced seeking God’s peace in the midst of it.

When I think about the most beautiful moments of peace – when I felt the Lord’s presence so near – times when I was surprised by joy and blessed beyond measure; those were not days of so-called-balance where everything was under control. Most often, those moments came in the middle of a hurricane, where all balance ceased to exist. I’m sure you’ve had those moments too; the day you got engaged, the day you gave birth to a child, the day you moved into your first home, the time you were sick and a friend surprised you with a meal. Tangible moments of love and peace in my heart, when I really knew that God was with me, moments when God used the chaos around me to experience his presence in a deep and profound way, was where I truly found a balanced heart.

A heart at peace.

So here’s my challenge to you this week: lay out all your plans before the Lord in thoughtful prayer, every good intention and heart’s desire. Ask God to lead you by His Spirit and by His word as you move throughout your day and week. Allow him to give you moments to pause throughout your day and don’t be afraid to act on what His Holy Spirit is asking you to do, even if it messes up your agenda. Pray that you will be able to release the things that are out of your control and to release those who you wish to control! Laying it all at His feet, and thanking Him for the ability to do so.

Here are some scriptures that may help direct your thoughts away from Self-directed balance and towards Spirit led peace: Psalm 63, Matthew 6:25-33, Psalm 119:105, Psalm 19

xo Maud

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Sisterhood Sunday with Greg & Michelle Coulter

SisterhoodSunday

Happy Sunday friends!

So excited for this next interview in the Living The Dream series. Meet this incredible couple, Greg and Michelle Coulter, as they share how God has called them to serve as a family in both homeschooling and fostering. Learn of how they make such decisions and how they overcome the challenges.

http://youtu.be/uYRNOmipEwo

Be encouraged as you hear their heart motives!

Cindy1

 

Cindy Morrone, Director of Video Media

 

Contingency Plans

Faith

IMG_6200Written by: Christianne Williams

I set my GPS, who I affectionately refer to as “Dumdum”, and then grabbed an atlas…and my phone to Google directions…just to make sure this recent technological purchase would handle the task of getting me halfway across the country without getting lost. I had never before used one, I had only ever relied on my trusty map book. There’s something about holding a map in your hands and tracing the route with a highlighter, envisioning what the scenery along the route will look like. With my GPS, it offered to do a demo of the route, show me gas stations, hotels, and points of interest. This thing was going out of its way to help me out, but still, I reverted back to my map printed on paper. Yes, I’m one of those dinosaurs that still prefer a physical book to hold in my hands rather than an eBook. I know advancements are great, my kids don’t understand at all my unwillingness to let it all go, but that’s just me.

There’s something about being able to see where you’re going. I don’t mean just see with your eyes, if you’re driving, that’s pretty much a given. I’m talking about seeing in your mind. Being able to contemplate the route, getting yourself excited, or anxious, about what you’ll encounter along the way.

One of my favourite accounts in the Bible is found in Genesis and tells the story of Abram, later Abraham, and his wife Sarai. God laid out a beautiful promise before them:

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you’ I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all people on earth will be blessed through you.’” Genesis 12:1-3

They must’ve been overflowing with excitement at this promise, and if I were them, I would have begun at that point planning how it would all go. When the first baby would show up, and since he was 75 already, they were probably thinking it had to be very soon, where they would settle, what the land would be like. And if God was promising to bless them it would all work out smoothly, with no effort at all: it would be a cakewalk! That’s the kind of thinking that will get you off track fairly quickly. If you believe that God’s plan and promise are always smooth sailing, you’ll be discouraged before sunset. I know that sometimes it works out easy-peasy but quite often it doesn’t. Quite often it requires patience, something I severely lack, and faith, which also goes through ebbs and flows.

Two things happened to Abram in the following chapters that caused him to develop his own plan, just in case the promise of God needs a bit of help…like if something happened that God hadn’t taken into consideration when the promise was given: a contingency plan! I’m guilty of that, I’ll admit. I didn’t learn a whole lot from my favorite scriptures it seems. Later on in chapter 12, when there was a famine and they went down to Egypt to live, Abram feared he would be killed because Sarai was so beautiful, and they would want him out of the picture so she could belong to them. He decided that it would be a good idea to tell everyone she was his sister so that he would be able to live…after all, if they killed him, he couldn’t be the father of many nations, could he?

It didn’t go well, you can read the story in Genesis 12:10-20, and actually I’d say he was doing pretty well not be killed for the lie he told and the trouble that ensued because of it. God must’ve protected him even though he thought he needed to blaze his own trail, follow his own map. He didn’t learn though because further on, in Genesis 16, he and Sarai come up with another detour because too much time had passed and still the crib was empty. Again, trying to map their own route, a lot of needless trouble ensues, and again God stays with them. In the end, God’s word is fulfilled, which it always is, but only in the time He had allotted.

The point I’m trying to make in all of this is, don’t get caught up trying to map out every detail of how things that God promises will go. Enjoy the ride, the scenery, the company. Allow God, the ultimate GPS, to tell you about rest stops, points of interest, and the destination. Allow Him to guide you along, you just take His ques and listen to His direction. Don’t worry about a contingency plan to help Him along, no matter what the situations look like, He knows what He’s doing! I need to take a dose of my own medicine, learn from Abram’s story and allow life to unfold. I hope I’m not alone in this, I hope we can all learn to trust God with our journey.

Ugly, Shameful Truth Revealed

Ministry Mom

MandyWritten by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.(Romans 15:7)

Acceptance.

There is no easy way to say this, so I am just going to come right out and say it: as Christ-followers, we need to do a much better job at accepting others.

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with a sweet friend who shared with me some hurts that she had hidden in a dark place of her heart for year and years and years. She had only shared these hurts with one other person and that person tore her up about it. What’s worse, this ‘friend’ then walked away from their friendship, neither accepting nor supporting her with her inner battle.

My friend was struggling. The enemy was whispering lies to her soul and she was desperately trying to silence them. She was reaching out in hopes of support and encouragement — but instead of either of those things, she walked away with compounded wounds.

Let me tell you something, friends. Every single one of us has struggles. Yes, that means you have struggles too. If someone is courageous enough to share their struggle with you— embrace them with love and grace. Notice I didn’t say to embrace their struggle —no, I plead with you to embrace your friend. Love her. Offer grace where shame and guilt are stealing away her joy. You don’t know when you’re going to need the same kind of love and grace.

We need to start acknowledging the absolute gift of being the hands and feet of Jesus for someone who is struggling. That doesn’t mean we need to BE Jesus. We simply need to call on the Holy Spirit and ask Him to guide our words and actions in the moments ahead. He already has a plan to bring healing to your friend— it is up to us to make ourselves available to be a part of His plan. And, if you can’t be part of His plan, you need to know that instead, you will be hindering it.

The enemy would love for us to keep our struggles hidden and in the dark. That is why it is so crucial that we are being sensitive to others if they choose to trust us with their vulnerability. When struggles are brought into the light they lose their power over us because we can see how little they are in comparison to God’s mercy and grace.

Do you have someone in your life that you need to be better at accepting? I urge you not to wait another day. Know that it is an absolute privilege to serve and honour God in this way, and then endeavour do so with everything you’ve got.

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” (Romans 14:1)

Rise Up

Girl Edition

Megan01Written by: Megan Kincheloe

Recently our daughter was introducing me to a new young music talent by showing me her video online. She started to tell me, “Mommy, she’s a really nice girl and has a really great heart.” I immediately asked her how she knew about this young lady’s character and asked her if she was making an assumption or if she was speaking factual. I know from previous experience that if a celebrity looks pretty on the outside, our daughter will assume she is pretty on the inside. I was about to go into a lecture on this and immediately my thought process switched gears. While I don’t ever want my daughter to ‘judge’ a person…period…I certainly don’t want her judging someone based on their appearance. But I knew in that moment I had to be careful. After all…what is so wrong with assuming someone is good on the inside?

When I was growing up, if anyone ever commented on my appearance or said something to my Mom like, “You have such a pretty young lady there,” my Mom would respond, “She is my best work. But what is most important is that she is pretty on the inside too.” And that gave me something to strive for every day. Now, there are many times where I failed miserably and without even using a magnifying glass…my insides looked tainted and tarnished. But just hearing her say that altered my focus from my outward appearance, to the type of person I wanted to be on this planet.

1 Samuel 16:7, “But God told Samuel, ‘Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” (MSG)

Gals, aren’t we striving to live Christ-like? How much better would this existence be if we spent our time building each other up? Sadly enough, finding the flaws in another person can be super easy. But are you looking for the treasure? My Mom also used to say, “There is good in everyone, honey…if you just take the time to look for it.

There are plenty of people who find pleasure in bringing others down or calling out their mistakes and weaknesses. What if we bind together and decide to call people out on their strengths. What if we make the first move to welcome a new person? To leave a note for someone who seems to be struggling that simply says, “You are loved.” And Sisters…if you are going to love someone by being their friend in person or on social media…love them behind their back too. Don’t get caught up when others want to bring them down.

Rise up gals! Be the light in the darkness. You, alone, have the power to make a huge difference in this world by choosing to see beyond the flaws…and digging deep to find the treasure. You may just find that treasure isn’t buried as deep as you thought and is just waiting to be revealed by someone who will take a minute to get out their shovel.

One Thing Remains

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FullSizeRenderWritten by: Melissa Lefevers

It was my wedding anniversary yesterday. My husband and I have been married for thirteen years and I would love to tell you that we celebrated by taking a fancy trip or something but that is not what happened. In fact, I completely forgot.

I was folding laundry four days before our anniversary and my husband asked me “So, what do you want to do this Tuesday?” I said, “I don’t know it’s a Tuesday.” He looked at me and was shocked. Then I remembered our special day, smiled and apologized. Maybe I can get a pass because life has been extremely crazy (like more than normal crazy.) My man was a little shocked that I forgot.

Our move to Georgia has been anything but easy. We were separated for two weeks and then upon my arrival in Louisiana to gather the rest of our things and move it started raining…

…A horrible storm flooded ninety percent of the area our home was in. We watched as the waters rose and our friends evacuated. We were in our home unable to help or get back to our children. When the roads were no longer under water and we were able to leave, we were struck with many emotions. How could we leave when so many still needed help? How could we leave when there was so much to do? …And why, Lord, did you spare our home?

Our emotions and lives have been on hyper-speed for a month now. Maybe it is okay that this girl forgot for a few moments the best day of her life. The day I married my soulmate. Yes, I believe that Eric is the man God wanted just for me. We are perfect together and with each other we are better.

Have you ever gotten like that? Life gets busy, no life gets crazy. You know, more-than-usual busy where changes are happening and you are not sure if out is in, or up is down. Maybe a new job, a new home, a tragedy, a loss of a loved one, or maybe hardship in a relationship? Whatever it may be, life gets crazy and you somehow forget about the good things.

Last week I was so caught up in all that was happening around me that I did just that- I forgot about my anniversary. To be hones,t my anniversary wasn’t the only thing I was forgetting. I was forgetting to take care of him and be there for him. I was so caught up in me, I forgot about him. I forgot to consider what he was going through. He was dealing with the change and tragedy too. And lets just be honest, he is the one getting the new job with all the pressure, stress, joy and fun -not me. Sure I get to go along for the ride and we believe it’s our ministry together but the pressure of it all truly falls on him.

So as I went to bed that night feeling guilty, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me to be still. To sit and remember all the good we have together. God gently reminded me that above all else that the love we have is special. I need to love him first and then worry about my crazy self.

The Holy Spirit also reminded me that Eric was not the only one I was forgetting. I was forgetting to spend time with God. I wasn’t slowing down enough to really spend time with Him. I was not breathing in deep and giving Him my whole heart. After all, He is my first love.

I was reminded through the gentle words of the Spirit that above all else, God loves me. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians came to mind.

And now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

At the end of the day it’s about love. The love God has for us and how we express it to others. Whether it is our husband or the people we meet daily. The greatest thing we can do is love.

When life gets more than we can handle let us not forget to remain in God’s love. Be encouraged, sisters. God can handle whatever your going through.

“To Be” and not “To Do” – Keepin’ it Simple.

FaithPhil-Bio-PhotoWritten by: Phil Zinck

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” I don’t know who coined this phrase, but I’ve been using it as part of my regular re-calibration of my priorities and my relationship with God.

“The Shoulds”. That addictive attitude that derives self-value from gaining approval and praise from others through over-commitment, over-promising and (ultimately) under-delivering. The Shoulds are a cornerstone to Satan’s devious strategy to entice us with the counterfeit truth that “busy-ness with commitment” is better than “Godliness with contentment”.

And he’s doing a fantastic job at it!! With the advances in technology we are able to accomplish in a morning what would-have-been taken an 8 hour day, but instead of resting in benefits of that we fill our 8 hour day with 16 hours worth of work. Who saw that coming??

Multi-tasking at work, at home, at church. Touching everything but not doing any one thing really well. We can’t focus our efforts for too long on a single task lest we fall too far behind on everything else and sink, like a bullfrog on a lily-pad.

Overworked

Over-stressed

Under-nourished,

sleep-deprived,

all with the façade of “I’m doing great, living the dream”. More like a nightmare at times if we are truly honest.
Ahh, but then there’s the church. Our sanctuary of peace and serenity, where we can focus our spirit on listening to hear God’s voice. Our shelter in a time of storm.

Until that Sunday morning when that tearful plea pours from the pulpit for Sunday School teachers, worship leaders, youth chaperones, all which – of course – we are eminently qualified for, and before we know it we are hopping like mad from lily pad to lily pad. Once again we’ve embraced the counterfeit message of Satan that a genuine relationship with God is measured by all that we do on His behalf. And even more insidious, by keeping ourselves “all about the mission” we invariably find ourselves distant and disconnected from the One who gives purpose, meaning and passion to be “on mission.”

God’s unique and individual calling on your life and mine is a delicate balance between “to do” with “to be”. Our faith is a call to action, to DO the work of a disciple of the cause of Christ in word and deed through our willingness to BE salt and light, to BE His hand extended, to BE a conduit for His light to pierce the darkness (John 1:5), underpinned by an unquenchable desire to BE in close commune with Him where The Holy Spirit restores our faith in the one, sovereign God who cares, listens and responds to those whose passion is to bring glory, honour and praise to His name in all of our “being” and “doing” (Heb 11:6).

Let’s be busy in our pursuit to know the passion behind the mission. Let’s commit to intentional quality time as times “to be” restoring our faith as we seek His face. Let’s rest in the assurance that He will show us the “do”. And let’s commit to keeping these priorities straight!!