All Honour and Glory to God

Good afternoon, WAHD friends!

I cannot believe that this is the last post that will be submitted for We are His Daughters. It has been an incredible journey with you all. In the writing of blog posts I oftentimes wrote messages I felt God was speaking directly to my own heart and hoped others would be encouraged by those lessons learned. It was less often the Lord gave me something specific to write that I hadn’t already experienced myself. Regardless of the inspiration I am absolutely astounded at what the Lord has done in and through those of us who felt drawn to share.

I am reminded of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when I think of the ladies (and men) who have shared with us over the past five years. Many have experienced incredible hardships during their duration of service in this ministry. These beautiful friends of mine are heroes in my eyes because they refused to bow down to the pressures of this world and continued to serve despite the flames of life burning all around them. They showed up, week after week, ready and willing to vulnerably share what God was teaching them while they were in the fire.

Thank you just doesn’t even begin to express the gratitude I feel toward those men and women who sacrificed time every week to share their stories with you all. They have blessed me too.

As our journey with you draws to and end, I want you to know that we are all continuing to serve the Lord how he is leading us. For some of us that looks different than sharing on this blog and that is ok. Some of the ladies are going to begin their own blogging journey. Some of the ladies are going to begin the writing of their own book. Some of the ladies are currently walking through some brand new fires and need to focus on God and His word because anything else is too much right now.

Stay tuned—you haven’t seen the end of us yet!

Finally, thank you for being our loyal readers, supporters, encouragers, cheerleaders and friends. Since announcing this ending we received many e-mails from you, our loyal readers, lamenting about our posts ending and you have shared some very encouraging words with us about how our learned lessons have touched your life in one way or another. Thank you for those kind words—I pray that you continue to be encouraged along your journey with Christ in new and fresh ways with ministries and authors the Lord will place in your path in the days to come.

“All honour and glory to God forever and ever.” —1 Timothy 1:17

With much love,

Mandy Lawrence-Hill

Change

Written by: Conny Varga

What do you think about change? It’s one of those funny words that makes some people giddy and others cower. Change is avoided and resisted by some, while it is wholeheartedly embraced by others. What is it about change that causes such varied reactions?

We all know that change is part of life, that it is inevitable, and even necessary. But why? What’s the purpose of it? After all, God doesn’t change, He is forever constant, and eternally the same. I would venture to say that at the beginning of creation, change was not necessarily part of the plan. Change of seasons, yes, and changes such as fruit growing and ripening, babies being born and growing up, but that’s about it. God’s creation was perfect and needed no change. However, that all changed with the Fall, and man’s rebellion against God. That single act of disobedience changed everything! Some of the changes that happened were negative consequences, such as aging and death. Other changes were desperately needed and hoped for, such as the redemption and restoration of our souls. And ever since that time, we have been in a constant state of change. And whether we like it or not, change is good for us. This is especially true in a spiritual sense.

Some people believe that if we have felt God calling us to a specific service, then we are to stay there until death. I would like to propose a slightly different thought: God has uniquely gifted us with spiritual gifts, and we are to use and develop those gifts until death. But the capacity or the location where we serve can very much be subject to change. For example, Paul was the “missionary to the gentiles”, and he planted many a church, often remaining with the local fellowship for extended periods of time. But gradually, his involvement in the established church changed from planter, leader, and preacher to mentor, advisor, and delegator. He could have stayed as pastor with any one congregation until his dying breath, but he knew that he needed to move on, to serve in different capacities and locations. Yet his spiritual gifts remained the same.

God uses change to stretch us and cause us to grow. He knows that without change, we become complacent, self-reliant, and boring. Life just ends up being a mindless routine, and we slip into lukewarm mediocrity. Sometimes, change is necessary because we have put too much on our plates, and God needs us to simplify, de-clutter, and re-prioritize our schedules. Whatever the case, the purpose of change is to bring zeal and excitement to our relationship with our heavenly Father, to cause us to depend on Him for everything, and also to grow and develop the gifts He has given us.

Don’t be afraid of change. Step into it, boldly and whole-heartedly, knowing that God is using it for His glory and your benefit. Maybe it’s time for a change in roles or positions. Maybe you need to look for a different way to use your gifts better. Either way, allow the changes in your life to bring you closer to God, to invigorate and set your soul on fire for Him, and to impact more people for eternity. Everything God does is for a reason, and all His ways have a purpose. Live confidently in the knowledge that your life is carefully molded and crafted by Him, and that He desires change for your life. Be comforted in the knowledge that God never changes because no matter what life circumstances you find yourself in, He will sustain you and be your strength. His promise from Matthew 28:20 is forever true: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He is there, in whatever lies before you. He is there, even when you don’t see what the next day will bring. And He is holding out His hands to you, asking you to follow Him into the adventures He has planned for you!

 

Tuck it Deep Within

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

How many of you remember this little song from Sunday School?

O, be careful little eyes what you see.

O, be careful little eyes what you see.

For the Father up above, is looking down in love,

O, be careful little eyes what you see.

It continued with our little ears what they heard; our little mouths what they said; our little hands what they did.  There are times, when faced with life’s decisions and temptations, that this little tune drifts on the airwaves of my mind from the deep recesses of my childhood.  It has helped steer me in the right direction and keep my heart pure.

This song further reminds me of Luke 6:44-45 which says,

“For each tree is known by its own fruit.  For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.  The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

This profound word reveals the spiritual condition of our hearts and what others see and hear in our lives.

Are we exhibiting the Fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” found in Galatians 5:22 and are we cultivating that growth in our daily walk with Jesus?

I believe the answer lies in Psalm 119:10-11 which says, “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  The key is to tuck God’s Word within our hearts by daily reading His scriptures until they become a natural extension of our thoughts, actions and speech.

In fact, there are several scriptures that point us to “hide” His Word within our hearts.  Here are just a few! 

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

“The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.  The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.”  Psalm 37:30-31

“I desire to do your will, my God; you law is within my heart.”  Psalm 40:8

It appears to me that every time scripture challenges us to “hide” God’s Word in our hearts it is to produce in us good fruit, guard us from unrighteousness, assist us in being a blessing to others and create an inheritance of Godliness from generation to generation.  This is critical and wonderful and powerful!

Daughters, we need to get back to memorizing God’s Word, tucking it deep within our hearts.  We need to daily carve out time to read our Bibles and journal our learning.  For, when His Word is in our hearts, we can recall it at will and use it according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which says,

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

To Get You Through

Written by: Christianne Williams

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego found themselves in a fiery furnace.

Daniel found himself in a lions den.

Stephen was stoned.

Paul and Silas were imprisoned.

If you find yourself in the middle of a crisis and God hasn’t delivered you, that doesn’t mean you’ve been abandoned and it doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path either.

For a long time I believed that if something seemed extremely hard or uncomfortable it was for one of two reasons – God was mad and me and was letting me go it alone or I hadn’t heard Him correctly and gotten on the wrong road.

A few years ago we purchased a GPS in anticipation of  a road trip I was taking without my husband.  It worked perfectly until I crossed the border into a neighboring province and the machine became completely unaware of where we were or how we were getting there.  As it “rerouted” for almost an hour, I kept driving straight, slightly annoyed and slightly scared that I had done something wrong.  Had I been so taken up with this piece of technology to give me directions that I had failed to see a road sign?

At this point I was very aware of my surroundings, desperately looking for something to confirm I was still on the right road.  Eventually my intelligent assistant, who has since been referred to as Dumb-Dumb, emerged from the fog and resumed its job of giving me useful directions.  Did my time spent in silence mean I was travelling the wrong road?  No, in this case it was undependable tech, but it’s good to note that just because it feels like God is being silent it doesn’t mean we’re going the wrong way. Perhaps we’ve just become unaware of the signs.  Keep going.

And an easy ride?  That seldom happens in life and in my experience, especially recently, things can become extremely difficult but you can still be sure you’re in the will of a good Father.  This current mountain my family is climbing is where God has brought truth about deliverance.  When the time is right it will be, until then I’ll work on building character and faith.

The three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace weren’t doing anything wrong, they were obeying God but the enemy raged against them.  They had to endure the persecution, but in the fire God was there with them and they emerged with not even the smell of smoke.

Daniel was determined to obey his God even though he knew the consequences wouldn’t be easy.  God didn’t keep him from spending some time in a den of hungry lions, but He did protect him from them.

Stephen was stoned for his proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus but yet God received him.

Paul and Silas were imprisoned for doing the work God had called them to but even while they were held captive they praised and they were released through that.

All were in the will of father God yet the road wasn’t easy and the route wasn’t always clear.  The one constant was the faithfulness of God to deliver them in His time and leave them with increased faith in what He was accomplishing through them.

No matter what situation you find yourself in trust in the faithfulness of your heavenly Father to get you through.

The End of A Journey

Written by: Cindy Morrone

It is with mixed emotions and a confirmed spirit that I write this.

Good-byes are never easy.

They mean an end has drawn near. Past, is the beginning and gone are new opportunities to share in the same way.

Although I don’t (truthfully) stop for Monarchs that fly into our motoring vehicle; I do react.  I feel so bad, especially after learning about their journey.

A couple of years ago we watched a film at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan that mapped out the migratory pattern of the Monarch butterfly.

How this little creature with magnificent, albeit small, compared to the wings of an airplane, fly across land and sea to reach its final destination, fascinated me!!

Escaping our cold winters, they travel south for thousands of miles!!!

There are many threats along their journey with my vehicle being only one of them.

As I reflect on my time with WAHD, I am reminded that this journey has not been an easy one for me.  There have been many times that I’ve questioned my sharing.  It has taken time, commitment and dedication to write week after week.  Sometimes, I would be walking through an especially difficult time in my life and trying to encourage and inspire was the last thing I could do.  I struggled with your acceptance of my writing.  Was this helpful? Relevant? One of my most challenging obstacles was being transparent and giving you a glimpse of my personal spiritual life, with a prayer, that we could come alongside each other and draw nearer our Jesus.

We know with confidence our journey on WAHD has ended.  And we are so thankful for you, journeying with us.  Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your unending support.

You have helped me in so many ways.  My soul is changed because of this ministry.

With this close, the Lord has already prepared me by laying on my mind and heart ministries, I am now to move towards.

I look forward to the ‘next’ the Lord has for me!!

God’s richest blessings to you and yours as you journey on!!!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.   2 Corinthians 5:17 King James Version (KJV)

Our Provider

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

2 Corinthians 9:6

Remember this… a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.

Tithing…It’s something that is not talked about much in churches anymore, as there seems to be much debate about it. So, I hope for a few moments you will bear with me as I share a couple stories from our lives.

Since our children were small something we’ve tried to instill in them is the concept of giving or tithing. We encouraged them to give from their allowance even though they didn’t earn a lot. It’s something through the years of our marriage that we have always practiced even though there were times when we technically couldn’t afford to. God always came through.

There were times shortly after purchasing our first home that we didn’t know how we would pay our mortgage or other bills, when people would anonymously give us money or grocery cards. Oftentimes right down to the exact dollar needed. There was never a time during that season of uncertainty that we missed a mortgage payment or did not have food on our table. All of our needs were met. Always.

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

My oldest son who is now living on his own, told me about an experience that he had happen to him right before Christmas. He decided that he would tithe on his paycheck. It was a stretch for him to trust God that he would have enough to pay for his rent, groceries, transportation and other needs. Once he pays all his bills, there is not a whole lot left. But he felt in his heart it was what he was to do. His church has a debit machine set up in the lobby so that people can pay without cash. He told me that “no joke”, as soon as he stepped away from the debit machine a lady handed him a Christmas card. He waited until he got home to open and it and when he did, he was completely floored. Inside the Christmas card was a gift of money—the exact amount he had tithed that morning! I don’t think I have to tell you how that moment increased his faith.

Mal 3:10

Bring your full tithe to the temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.

At the end of 2017, it appeared that we were significantly behind in our staffing budget. If we did not have X amount of finances come in we would not be able to rehire a couple of our Bible teachers for the new school year that begins in February. This would mean that there would be schools that we would not be able to return to and the children in those schools would not be receiving the gospel this year. It made us sad. Not to mention, how would we explain that in our newsletters or to our supporters? We prayed about it as it was a concern and heavy on our hearts. It was hard not to worry. We should have just trusted and believed it would come in…because it did!

At the final hour, (or so it seemed) Dale received an email from a church letting us know that they had surplus in their missions giving and that they would be depositing the extra amount into account. And they did….the exact amount that we were short….the exact amount needed to rehire a couple of the teachers. God is so good!

2 Corinthians 9:7

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.

So, I just want to encourage you, if you are not already tithing or giving, to try it…and see for yourself if God doesn’t provide for your needs. I promise He will. Because He is always faithful and always true to his Word.

Blessed Are The Rejected

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

Rejection. Even the word makes me shudder a little. In my lifetime I have experienced a wide variety of rejections; big, small and everything in between. Rejection is one of those funny circumstances that leaves your heart a mess, oftentimes with no clear direction on how to start the clean-up.

Recently, I was listening to a podcast of a message my former pastor spoke entitled: “Have You Found What You’re Looking For?” He shared the story of the woman at the well and reminded us how symbolic the time of day was for her to be gathering water. Most women would gather water early in the morning when it was cooler to avoid the noon-day sun. This woman however, made a point to wait and go midday because she knew she would be the only one at the well during that time. She was bound by the chains of her past (5 failed marriages) and on top of that she was living with a man who was not her husband, but even still—Jesus met her at the well.

We often look at this story and only see her sin. But, if you set her sin aside for just a moment I think you might become overwhelmed by the pain this woman was probably experiencing because of her many rejections. Five different men took her as a wife but then abandoned her— that’s no easy pill to swallow.

What I love so much about this story is how intentional God is about taking this rejected woman’s life and completely flipping it upside-down. His intention was never to leave her in that awful place. He took her rejection and exchanged it for everlasting love! After she left that encounter with Jesus, she rushed back home with an urgency to see her community changed by the power of love she had just discovered. The bible says in John 4:30, “So the people came streaming from the village to see Him.” Her community was drawn to Jesus after hearing the words of her testimony.

The world rejected the woman at the well, but she was handpicked by Jesus.

And Jesus, not only set her free, but gave her life purpose.

There are others from within the pages of the bible who experienced devastating seasons of rejection — but God gloriously intervened in their lives and brought incredible meaning to what appeared to be obvious ruins. I think of Joseph who was rejected by his brothers (Genesis 37-50) and David, who was overlooked and rejected by his father Jesse, when Samuel was looking for the new king (1 Samuel 16).

If you’re feeling enslaved by the chains of rejection, look to God. Seek Him fervently and wait on Him to bring meaning to your suffering. He WILL meet you, my friend.

The world may reject you, but you too are handpicked by God.

 

Finishing Well

Written by: Conny Varga

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day.” (2 Tim 4:7-8)

Whenever I come across these verses written by the Apostle Paul, I can’t help but to stop and marvel. For someone – anyone – to be able to make this statement seems almost impossible.

I would venture to say that most of us, when on our deathbeds, will look back with at least a little regret, and wish we had done some things differently. Some common regrets are: I wish I had spent more time with my kids; I wish I had worked less and lived more; I wish I had shared the gospel with my extended family more often; I wish I had reconciled with so-and-so; I wish I had done more for God.

Why is this such a common phenomenon? I believe that in our heart, we all want to finish well, we all want to be able to look back and feel thankful and satisfied about our lives, knowing we did our best.

Most likely, the culprit is a wrong perspective, which results in wrong priorities. Our human tendency is to focus on the few decades we have on this earth, and to work tirelessly to make our time here cushy and comfy. And while there is nothing wrong with wanting a good life, it becomes a grave mistake when that notion becomes our priority. Suddenly, we lose sight of eternity. We get so focused on the house, the job, the retirement plan, the next vacation, that the things most important in our lives are left by the wayside.

There are times when I think that a clean house is more important than time with my kids. Having my fridge and pantry stocked is more important than giving to the cause of the poor and needy. I deserve a nice house with a finished basement, while I ignore the countless people in this world who don’t even have a place to call their own. Having a good time with family and friends sounds a lot more fun than sharing the Good News of God’s grace with them. Working extra hours to afford the better lifestyle seems more attractive than being satisfied with what God has already given me. The never-ending work around the house and property takes precedence over meaningful time spent with my spouse and children. Hockey and dance practice trump the hard work and dedication of hiding God’s Word in our hearts.

I believe this is where the Apostle Paul had it right. He dedicated his whole life to the service of God. From what we can tell, he did not lose sight of that, even when he did every-day things like earn his own living. In his writings, he often indicated that he dedicated himself to the cause of the Gospel to the point of exhaustion, persecution, and even death. He did not let a single opportunity go by without using it to glorify God, and he considered it a joy and blessing to be spent for the Gospel of Christ.

Will we re-dedicate our lives, re-focus our vision, and re-prioritize our goals to fight the good fight? It is incredibly hard, and truly counter-cultural, but so rewarding and worth it. I believe this is what Jesus meant in Luke 12:22-34. In this passage, He urged His disciples not to worry, not to run after the same things the pagans (unbelievers) run after, because our Heavenly Father knows our needs. And then He made this startling statement: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” God wants to give us the Kingdom, if we only let go of our petty little things and seek Him first! He wants to give us so much more than what we can ask or imagine. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me! Let’s take Paul’s words to heart, fight the good fight, and finish the race well! Then we will have no regrets when we breathe our last breath!

Potluck Spirituality

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Pretty much everyone I know, from young tots to seasoned grown-ups, loves a good old-fashioned Potluck Meal.  Who can resist a table lined with every type of dish imaginable, just waiting to be sampled by its hungry participants?  Swedish Meatballs, Shepherd’s Pie, Spicy Chili, Sweet Potato Casserole, Macaroni Salad, Lasagna, Veggie Trays with Dip and Sliced Ham!  Not to mention the various renditions of all these favourites and new dishes never before tried, soon to be attempted.

And the desserts are to die for!  Cheesecake of every variety.  Brownies and Blondies, Macaroons and Lemon Squares.  Cakes and Pies and Loafs and Muffins.  Shortbread and Sugar Cookies, Peanut Butter Balls and Fudge.  We must not forget the infamous Butter Tarts and the always loved staple, Date Squares.  Trifle and Torte, Apple Crisp and Bread Pudding.  The sweet options are endless!

As plates are loaded with a “little of this and a little of that” each participant finds a place to sit and settle in for a leisurely stretch of fellowship.  Gales of laughter are heard and complements to the chefs, while recipes are being swapped.  Enjoyable chatter and deep discussions break out around tables, while children sneak a few extra sweets and dash off to their hiding places with their “buds.”  Sometimes, groups break out in song or a game is initiated to add a little pizazz.  Then the sleeves get rolled up for clean-up duty and bakeware is sorted out to ensure its safe return to its owners.

All in all, a very enjoyable experience.  One which fosters a sense of belonging, comradery, friendship and generosity.  Until hours later when indigestion sets in and relief is so desperately sought after.

Recently, I came across a statement that said, “All religions lead to the same god.”  Many believe this to be true.  This idea is prevalent in our Western Culture, where tolerance is of high value and personal beliefs trump any absolutes.  Couple this with the world being so small due to the internet, that information regarding religious ideologies are literally at our fingertips and just a few taps away from entering our consciousness.

Essentially, we are presented with a Spiritual Potluck of indulgences, one in which we can sample “a little of this and a little of that” until we find a religious experience that tastes good.  Some will adhere to one religion only, consuming only the sweet items on the menu.  Others will mix and match their beliefs, stuffing themselves to overflowing, based on their spiritual cravings.  Still others, will choose to graze on familiar comforts that lack true nutrition.  Some simply choose to abstain from consumption altogether.  All of this in an effort to fill the God-shaped void they innately possess deep in their bellies.

By seeking out a group who share the same tastes in religiousity, a sense of belonging, comradery, friendship and generosity is deeply developed, breeding appetites only temporarily satisfied.  Eventually the empty spiritual calories, consumed by the participants of this type of Spiritual Potluck, will leave them with spiritual indigestion only relieved by Jesus Christ, Himself.

In fact, Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 that He is, “the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father (God) except” through Him.  His work on the cross, His death and resurrection are what gives us life!  He is the very “bread of life” and “whoever comes to (Him) will never go hungry, and whoever believes in (Him) will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) Jesus, alone, satisfies all our deepest hungers and he calms all our spiritual indigestion once and for all!

Colossians 2:8 admonishes us not to, “let anyone capture (us) with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”  We need to stay the course with Jesus, feasting on His very being, eating up His every word for there we will find true health and vitality on our path to meet the one true God, our Heavenly Father.

Grasping For Wellness

Written by: Cindy Morrone

Before I head out for a run, I’ll step out my back door for a quick second to test the climate.  I’ll know what to wear and where to run; noticing the temperature, wind direction and precipitation.

Stepping out last Monday, I knew in less than a second that running that day would feel like I am jogging in my bathtub with a hot shower running.

It was so hot!! And so humid!! And it was still early morning.

I had planned to run my longer route but immediately knew that wasn’t the wisest way to go.

Heat exhaustion is a real thing.

I run for physical and mental well-being.

Had I gone for my longer run that morning, the risk could have outweighed the benefit.

My need to be well physically, mentally and spiritually is real.

In my grasping for wellness; I need to pay attention to what I am grasping.

We can grasp at all sorts of things, prayer, social media, substances, food, exercise, meditation, relationships and this list carries on.

The question we need to ask ourselves, “Will it help me to be well or will it risk my wellness?”

The prophet Isaiah offers a wise way to go for absolute wellness.

 

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31