Without Rival—Week Five, Post One

We begin the conclusion of our study and discussion of Without Rival by Lisa Bevere with Chapters 9 & 10.

“Daughter without Rival”

Written by: Doretta Zinck

I’d like to begin with a question— do you consider yourself a daughter of God? If you have asked Jesus into your heart and life, then Biblically you have the right to call yourself His daughter. The thing about being someone’s daughter is, there are characteristics and behaviours that are passed on to a child that reflect their parents. Can we say we are His daughters and not invest time with Him and His Word? Our purpose as the church of Jesus Christ is to learn all we can of Him in order to reflect His character to the world.

While I was doing this study, I was watching a television show about the life of the Queen of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II. I was moved by this amazing, unwavering woman and her grace in living under, what must be, a very difficult mantel. One scene in particular made an lasting impact on me. During a conversation a newly crowned Elizabeth had with her grandmother, Queen Mary, the young queen is grappling with the existence of herself as a woman in addition to being the queen. Queen Mary reminds her that royalty is chosen by God and that the “crown must always win”. Further, for her to fulfill her responsibilities to God and her people she would have to surrender her personal goals and dreams for something bigger then herself.

When that was said, I started to think how unfair this was to her. At that moment I heard the Holy Spirit correct me. The thought was “Her calling is bigger then any other role in her life”. The minute the crown was placed on her head, her life was not her own. The “crown” or in our case the purposes of God through the message of the gospel has to be the driving force of every believers life. His crown must always go before us influencing our words and actions.

Let’s break for a moment before we carry on into the final chapters and discuss a few things. Please choose one of the questions listed and answer it in the comment section below:


  1. Do you see any of the Father in yourself?
  2. Are there things in your life that have to change in order to better reflect the characteristics of God to the people around you?
  3. Will you wear your crown knowing what it will cost you?

I know many of you are thinking, “if I made it known what God was calling me to be or do, the church may not support me”. That may happen. But, if God has truly called you, He will open doors no man can close. Personally I’ve learned if you want to serve God in a particular way, go get the training you need, find someone who will stand with you in prayer and “just do it”. You feel called to mentor people, they will be all around you, easy to find. If you want to help seniors then go to a seniors home and volunteer. Whatever it is, go about the Fathers business. If you don’t know what that is, read the Word of God and He will reveal it to you.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT

“And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15 NLT

If you are waiting for permission from other people, you may be waiting a long time for what God has already approved. You are a daughter without rival and you serve a God without rival. There’s your permission!

Please choose one of the questions from our conversation cafe and answer it in the comment section below.


Conversation Cafe:

  1. What are you waiting for?
  2. Can you move forward even if those around you don’t understand?

 

Without Rival—Week Four, Post One

This week we will be studying and discussing Chapters 7 & 8 of Without Rival by Lisa Bevere

Written by: Doretta Zinck

Loving people fearlessly; okay what does that look like??? To love someone without fear of being hurt or mistreated means you have to take risks, but more than that, you have to be ready and willing to forgive, sometimes daily. In our own strength we can forgive little, love little, but when we ask the Holy Spirit to help us forgive others we can start to love fearlessly. Maturing as we come to understand that we are all broken as a result of our sinful nature allows us to forgive others.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. “ (1 John 4:18 NASB)
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (‭‭John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬)
He knows the real us with our sinful nature yet still loves us and sacrificed everything for us. Thank you for the cross, Lord!

If there was a theme message for my life it would be the value of self kindness, I became a Christian right before my sixteenth birthday. Over many years I have watched sisters in Christ over-commit, overwork and settle for underwhelming results. I have also seen victories in those who nurtured themselves, who respected their own personal boundaries and coveted that personal time with God. They knew the value and importance of quality, personal time with God as they basked in the fulfillment of being used by God to further His Kingdom. They looked forward to those times of commune with God each day, eager to learn more of Him and His calling on their lives. Almost 40 years later I am still learning and growing (that’s code for “I don’t know if I’ll ever get there!!) as I strive to be in that place. But I have seen some of the fruits of having the right focus on myself and my relationship with God, experiences that have hardened my resolve to continue in this most holy pursuit.

Lisa refers to your spiritual health as a well. Is your well deep, healthy and full of the living water of the Word, or are you a wishing well that has deep longings but shallow resources, always wishing you’d made different choices that would have different results in your life? Living an unrivalled life means your story is not over and, while our past (good and bad) does influence the person we are today it by no means defines who we will become tomorrow as daughters of the most High God. Dig your spiritual well deep and replenish it daily with time with God who loves you more then you can ever imagine. Let’s face our future with hope and confidence that God will use us for His glory and His purposes.

Please choose one of the questions from our conversation cafe and answer it in the comment section below!

Conversation Cafe:

  1. What is it that scares you about forgiving someone?
  2. Who is it that you refuse to forgive until they change?
  3. How would you describe someone with a deep well?
  4. How can you be more intentional about tending your well?

Without Rival—Week Three, Post One

We begin our study and discussion of chapters 5 & 6 today in Without Rival by Lisa Bevere.

Written by: Doretta Zinck

So, how are you handling your rival??? If you don’t think that you have one today just wait, for it’s there but hasn’t shown its ugly face – yet. Rivals live where humans live, at work, in church and yes even in our homes.

Whether you are struggling with not being heard, not being understood or not being treated well, you have a choice. I know we don’t always feel like “counting it all joy” when our rivals are kicking the doors in, but rivals are placed in our lives for good reason. God uses our rivals to teach us about ourselves, to expose those corners of our spiritual house that are off-limits. I like how Lisa puts it, “rivals expose our junk”. No one is immune to the influence of rivals. They transcend the full spectrum of humanity, irrespective of social status or spiritual stature. The Apostle Paul himself spoke in his letters of his struggles he was facing in dealing with his rivals.

Open your spiritual eyes and you will see what’s really going on around you. “For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12, NLT) Discipline yourself to respond to the challenges that rivals pose by running straight to God for strategy from heaven. And yes, I know it can be difficult but we are daughters of an unrivalled God who will use every opportunity to teach us to be more like Him. When Joseph addressed his brothers long after they betrayed him he portrayed unconditional dependence on God to carry him through the trials that life had dealt him: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. . . ” (Gen. 50:20, NKJV)

The rivals I’ve had in my life have taught me about my insecurities and weaknesses but also reinforced in my spirit the need for dependence on the Holy Spirit. And in those times God used people that I would not have naturally chosen to be in my life to help mature me in order to be used for His purposes.

We can walk through each day being used by God to love those around us. And when we run up against difficulty we can run and hide or have the courage to stand in such a way that demonstrates His character, for it’s in His character that we find the strength to persevere, to overcome, to the praise and glory of His name!

Please choose one of the questions from our conversation cafe and answer it in the comment section below!


Conversation Cafe:

  1. What has a rival shown you about yourself?
  2. Have you changed perspective on your rivals changed?

 

Without Rival—Week Two, Post One

Written by: Doretta Zinck

We begin our study and discussion of chapter’s three & four of Without Rival by Lisa Bevere

Hiding from our true calling is disobedience; Wow!!! For too long Christians have believed that we have a choice in serving God with full obedience. Like there’s a calling for some and “sort-of calling” for others. The truth is, what you have to contribute is valuable and may be what God has designed as the answer to someone’s problem. For many in the church, wrong teaching has kept them silenced. Generations of women have been told that meekness means not having a voice, which has resulted in our churches not empowering and releasing women to live and minister with freedom. I like how Lisa talks about coming to the table, not in arrogance but in submission to each other to fulfill God’s purposes.

Are you hiding from your calling?
What or who makes it easy for you to hide?

Proverbs 29:24 NLT says “If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself. You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.” Comparison is a thief of joy. That rings so true when you start comparing your life with that of someone else. What’s wrong with who you see in the mirror? Why do we let comparison rob of the joy that Jesus died to give us?

It is said that social media fosters comparison, feeding on our natural human desire to compare, covet and envy. But we are to be the people of God who try everyday to live by the Spirit of God (“… but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.“, Romans 8:6 NASB).

The truth is that we are unique, without rival and serve a God without rival. If we let the truth of The Word become ingrained in all aspects of our lives – online and offline – we create opportunities to let the testimony of our faith and the love of Jesus shine. I love that!!! Shine Lord, Shine!

Please choose one of the questions from the conversation cafe and answer it in the comment section below!


Conversation Café:

  1. Who do you compare yourself too?
  2. How has this robbed you of joy?

 

Without Rival— Week One, Post One

Written by: Doretta Zinck

This week we will be discussing chapters 1 & 2 from Without Rival by Lisa Bevere

Buckle up people, Lisa Bevere has brought not only a new challenge but a new way of thinking for many. The truth that you are wonderfully crafted by God to live a free and purposeful life —without anyone or anything to rival that life. Wow! Kinda makes your head spin, doesn’t it? I believe we can catch our balance and learn to live in such freedom.

I believe that being self-aware is the best tool anyone can have. To be conscious of how your words and behaviour effect others. Learning who you are, and more importantly who God says you are, develops great self-awareness.

Lisa writes of a revelation God gave her about God’s love for His children. That like parents, God doesn’t love us equally but loves each of us uniquely. I have two adult daughters and they are two very different women. I need to engage each one differently in order to nurture a heathy relationship with them. When we grasp that we are designed uniquely, therefore unrivalled, we start to walk in a deeper and more honest relationship with God. Being known on such a personal level is true intimacy.

The greatest tool we have in this life to know God, is His Word. Show me a Christian who is not in the Word and you’ll see an incomplete and unfulfilled experience. Someone who is trying to survive on less than God intended. Again a self-aware believer knows it is their lifeline to grow with our Lord. In knowing God you will gain a greater understanding of yourself.

Let’s talk, ladies! Chose one of the questions below and answer in the comment section at the end of this message. Feel free to discuss your answers amongst your sisters.

Conversation Cafe…

1. What questions does this stir in you?

2. Who does God say you are?

3. What or who are the rivals in your life?

Joy To The World The Lord Is Come!

advent

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-2-21-58-pmWritten by: Doretta Zinck

Greetings!

When’s the last time you jumped for joy? Really and truly did the dance? Maybe you won something, got that promotion or reached a hard- to- attain goal?

Congratulations on your accomplishment…but while you feel great happiness as you’re jumping and screaming remember, it is not joy. At least not the joy the Bible talks about finding as a strength and foundation for our daily lives.

Romans 15:13 (NIV) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you my overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

Happiness is not an emotion that we learn; we get it right away! Joy is an emotion we must develop and teach ourselves to intentionally choose every day. It’s like exercising a muscle, it takes time and endurance training to have the strength to call on when needed.

Being happy as a result of good circumstances taking place is like walking on shifting sand, we can’t rely on having good things happening all the time. Happiness is fleeting while joy is a staying power inside of us, part of who we are as Christ followers.

In the western world our search for contentment has been skewed by the pursuit of mountains of material goods and wealth or success and fame. Some tend to settle for a second rate happiness that “stuff” gives. The feeling passes and we’re on to the next item or acknowledgement. This can become a lifestyle and grow into an addictive behaviour pattern. But joy runs much deeper than that, deeper than wealth or fame ever could, for joy is that steady under current that exists without being influenced by the temporal highs and lows of everyday life.

Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) “This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength”.

Training ourselves to choose this joy is a gift we can give ourselves, and releasing the idea that we can experience joy in and through every situation or circumstance is freedom. We begin to comprehend the spiritual truth that nothing trumps the joy of knowing that we are in perfect standing with God because of Jesus.

Lovely One, you have a choice to live joyfully regardless of your circumstances. Sound idealistic? Sound impossible? Things can happen around us that may rattle us but not destroy us, sadden us but not crush our spirit. Life may present challenges that test us in a situation but we can choose joy, knowing that though all around may fail He will never leave us or forsake us. Now that is a reason to dance, yes, dance for joy!!!

Joy to the world the Lord has come, let earth receive her King!!!

 

without-rival_-an-online-book-study

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{Online Book Study} Week Six Teaching

DorettaWritten by: Doretta Zinck

This week we will be reading and studying the final chapter called: FinallyTell it.

So after reading this book and looking hard at the truth of God’s ability, what do we do with our “it”? Can we walk into the battlefield while feeling like the pain or trial is sucking the life from us, keeping us from moving forward in God’s promise of victory? Can you declare that God is able to empower you to change your thinking, your behaviour and your desires?

The time is NOW!

The TURNING is unto Him!

The truth is HE IS ABLE!

He TRANSCENDS our understanding when we open up the TOTALITY of our life to His ability!
His power is working within you!

To Him be the GLORY, in the CHURCH and in CHRIST JESUS, to ALL GENERATIONS forever!

Discussion Questions:

  1. What part of Ephesians 3:20 stood out to you? And why?
  2. After doing this study, do you feel you have a better understanding of this portion of God’s Word?
  3. When you stop and think about this scripture as a whole, what are your thoughts?

{Online Book Study} Week Five Teaching

DorettaWritten by: Doretta Zinck

This week we will be reading and studying Chapter 7Tribute.”

…to Him be the glory…

Is there satisfaction in growing? Absolutely! But as we look back over a storm or trial in our lives, where does our mind go to? Can we see how we got to the other side now that the healing has happened or the breakthrough has come? God allows us to walk through difficulties, all the while growing us even when we can’t see it. Our responsibility with our lives is to show His power and to bring Him glory. We are His character reflected to the world around us. We cannot remain the “walking wounded”; God wants to fulfill His purposes though us, to His honour and for His glory.

We are a part of His church and He brings His church together to display what He is doing in us and through us.

When we realise that we are all broken and humble ourselves before Him the church will come alive like never before, empowered by what Jesus did on the cross. “Glory in the church! And in Christ Jesus!” The fruit of a life that lives by this discipline can impact future generations, effecting what God is doing into the lives of our children and grandchildren. Blows my mind!

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are you growing?
  2. Are you seeing good fruit in your life?
  3. How does your life speak of what Jesus has done for you?

{Online Book Study} Week Four Teaching

DorettaWritten by: Doretta Zinck

This week we will be reading and discussing Chapter 6 from Priscilla Shirer’s God Is Able.

“Turbo”

…according to the power that works within us…”

Power…hmmm, what do you think of when you hear this word? Here with this “prison doxology” we look on Paul as he’s singing and worshiping. In one of his lowest times he talks about this power that is in us. Really Paul, did you feel powerful? In rising above what could only be the worst of human conditions, the power Paul finds is the ability to see that God was in control. Now that’s turbo power!

The human idea of power sounds big and loud and looks like it has control. In this example the power we see is in the heart of the apostle, in his faith to believe from a place where his human abilities were insufficient for the day, yet his spirit exhibited great power. Let’s think about the power that works within us. Like a light switch, we all know that the electricity is there but unless we actually flip that switch into the on position, it goes unused. A lot of Christians are living a very unfulfilling life because they haven’t stopped to turn to Him, to learn of who He is and of His power. They just don’t know what potential lies ahead, what possibilities are waiting to be explored.

As Priscilla writes, “the more we ‘walk by the Spirit’ (Gal. 5:16-25), refusing to gratify and yield to the flesh, His power and influence continues to grow and mature in us. As a result, we see more and more of the Spirit’s power start to ‘work’ in our lives.”

  1. What is your idea of power?
  2. Are you seeing any evidence of God’s power working in or though your life?
  3. Where would you like to see that power work?

{Online Book Study} Week Three Teaching

DorettaWritten by: Doretta Zinck

This week we will be studying chapters four and five!

Chapter 4: “Transcendence”

“…exceeding abundantly beyond…”

I love this part of the verse. It’s like Paul is grasping beyond his vocabulary, trying to put words to God’s ability that is so far past our human understanding. Exceeding (very great), abundantly (in large quantities) and then, beyond (outside the physical limits or range of). Wow! See what I mean? This man knows that he can only attempt to bring a description to this part of God’s character. Whatever you know of God, be it His goodness, His provision, His wisdom, try and multiply it by the largest number you know and then maybe, just maybe, you’ll understand Paul’s feelings of inadequacy in his words.

In this chapter Priscilla puts it well; “He’s way past our way past” and “beyond our beyond.”
Lets remind ourselves of this truth when we go to the Father with our needs, wants, and dreams.

I can almost hear you say…”really, for me?” and I would answer that believing this is a journey. It takes time to wrap your head around the idea that God transcends time and space, that His ways are not our ways, and the wonderful reassurance that His plans are SO MUCH BIGGER THAN OUR DREAMS!

Discussion Questions:

  1. When is the last time you thought about your dreams?
  2. Do you believe that God’s allows things to happen in our lives for a purpose?

Chapter 5 “Totality”

“…all that we ask or think…”

I have heard people say “you don’t have to pray about the small stuff”. Well, it’s funny how what one person’s small stuff can be another’s large, overwhelming stuff. So how do we determine what we do or do not take to God in prayer??? I say “we don’t”.

Matthew 10:30 says that He counts the hairs on your head. I look at going to God with my seemingly small issues of my day as practice so that when life’s storms hit I am already in the mindset to take it to The Lord. I want to have a well worn path to my Father. Let prayer be my first response, my “go to” strategy. And in those times when, to us, our request seems too big, too hard or too crazy to take to Him, we remember the “All” in this scripture. All means all, not a part, but all you can ask or even think– and then beyond that! Wow! Help me, Lord, to think bigger! Pray bigger! Live bigger!

I love this line in the book (page 111); “the most exquisite plan for the solution you need doesn’t even begin to touch the hem of His ability.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Think about how you pray. Is it hard for you to ask God for certain things?
  2. Do you believe He knows what you need even before you ask?
  3. When is the last time you asked for something that seemed too big?