Friday, December 2, 2016

Thanks, but I’ll Take it From Here, God

Are you too dependent on your own strength?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuck somewhere between numb and exhaustion, I stared out the window. Lord, how did I end up here? Please forgive me.

Been there before too? If so, you’ll want to read my devotion today at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today.

In today’s devotion, I share about a time several years ago when I started first started speaking. Assuming every opportunity was an opportunity from God, I said yes to each one. We’ve been taught to pray for open doors, haven’t we?

What I wish someone had taught me was that open doors are another opportunity; another opportunity to seek God’s wisdom. I said yes to all those invitations and wound up exhausted.

Open doors are another opportunity.

Another opportunity to seek God’s wisdom.

Opportunities mean we need to seek God's wisdom.

Early this fall, I found myself in a similar situation. Having not written a book in two years, my working life had slowed down considerably. Then, two contracts were presented to me simultaneously. Based on my prior experience of too much too fast, this time I assumed the opposite: this couldn’t be God. I told my husband I was going to say no and headed into my office to construct the email.

As I entered my office, I saw my chair, where I start each day with the Lord and I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to slow down; spend some time with him.

Thanks, God, But I'll Take it From Here

I headed to my “normally scheduled” Bible reading for the day which was Romans 15:5 – 6 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

I have read Romans I don’t know how many times, but honestly I can’t say that I have seen God called the God who gives endurance. This is who He was revealing Himself to me on this day: the God of Endurance and Encouragement.

Here is what I wrote in my journal on August 24, 2016. I wrote as the Lord speaking directly to me in my spirit,

“I know that you feel like you can’t do this. That’s my point. You have done things before in your strength. Your ideas, your hard work … you. This? This is Me. I brought these opportunities to you. This will be My heart for women and girls. This is the one thing that will bring You and I closer because you will be dependent on Me. This is for My glory; not your’s. I’m in this. This is me. Trust Me. I’ve got You.”

My answer: “Your kingdom come; Your will be done. Thank you, Jesus.” (I wrote this with a great deal of trepidation!)

And I then I emailed “yes” to both contracts.

So next August, my first book for tween girls, ages 8 – 12 years old will be released: Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless YouI have had to find the fearless me to write to this age group. God was spot on! I have had to be so dependent on Him!

Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You

Next fall, Make Your Move: Finding Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures, an Inscribed Bible study and video curriculum for women will release also.

That means every day, I am crying out to God to give me His words for these two books that I am writing at the same time!

What I am learning is that God wants us to come to Him each time with the decisions we make. Sometimes, He wants to prevent us from situations that will be overwhelming. Other times, He wants us to know Him as the God of endurance and encouragement. Which time is which time is His decision to make. Father knows best. May we have the wisdom to go to Him and the humility to listen and obey each and every time.

Are you in a season of needing to make a decision? Share in the comments below and let’s pray for one another today!

Merry Christmas, friends!

May YOU know Him as your God of Endurance and Encouragement

in the days ahead!

Would you like to know when

Brave Beauty Make Your Move 

are released?  

It’s easy! Just sign up to get my posts automatically by clicking here.

I’d also love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 

and Pinterest too!

Lynn

Friday, November 25, 2016

{FREE SHIPPING} & Our Biggest Sale Ever!

What could be better than getting a girl that gift which empowers her to becoming all God created her to be?

When that gift is on sale and has free shipping!

Free Shipping & Our Biggest Sale EVER!

Today through Monday, November 28th only, shop Proverbs 31 Ministries for life-changing gifts and get them at the best prices and shipped free!

Devotions for a Revolutionary Year

You can help empower the young girl in your life to have confidence and a higher self-esteem 365 days a year so she runs to the right place each time she needs to feel loved and reassured. Taking the truths from His Revolutionary Love deeper, Devotions for a Revolutionary Year: 365 Days of Jesus’ Radical Love for You is the daily companion that uses real stories from real girls to enable her with power she needs to make wise choices. Click HERE for the sale price of $9.99 plus free shipping through 11/28/16.

His Revolutionary Love: Jesus' Radical Pursuit of You

His Revolutionary Love shows teen girls how a relationship with Jesus can meet their deepest desire-from the need for identity and significance to being seen by someone as beautiful.

Filled with my own personal stories that don’t gloss over the frustrations and failings of growing into an adult, as well as stories from teens who are experiencing the pressures, difficulties, and confusion so many young women face, this book shows teen girls how Jesus’ unchanging love changes absolutely everything. Click here to purchase.

A study on the fruit of the Spirit, Magnetic empowers a girl to move past becoming what culture wants towards becoming the girl reaching her fullest potential.

 

Packed with revealing quizzes, interviews with guys, and practical tools, Magnetic, empowers your girl to:

  • Move beyond negative thoughts, capricious emotions, and others’ opinions as you gain unshakeable confidence.
  • Limit the draining affect of “girl drama” so you can invest your time in becoming the best you.
  • Replace the agonizing frustration of wanting to be noticed and liked with a deep assurance that you already are.

As she lives out nine amazing characteristics—known as the fruit of the Spirit—she will not only cultivate an inner and outer beauty, but she will also hold an irresistible appeal for godly guys. Help her shift her focus from a guy to the Guy and become the magnetic young woman God created her to be. Click HERE to order Magnetic.

Lynn

Friday, November 4, 2016

How to Kickstart Your Prayer Life

 

If you’re like most Christian moms, you’re committed to praying for your children, but the truth is you struggle to find time to do it and stay motivated. Me too! Help is on the way!

Dannah Gresh hosted the “How To Kickstart Your Prayer Life In One Hour” livestream. It is sure to push the re-set button on your prayer life!

Gather together a few friends and follow through on the kickstart. To make it affordable, Dannah is offering an unusual Buy 3 get 2 FREE special on her brand new book ‘The 20 Hardest Questions Every Mom Faces: Praying Your Way To Realistic, Biblical Answers’. It even has a free leader’s guide which you can DOWNLOAD HERE.

 

The 20 Hardest Question Every Mom Faces

 

The 20 Hardest Questions Every Mom Faces

Lynn

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

He Whispers

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

The prayer seeps through my pen and onto my page:

“Lord, renew my awareness of Your presence. A fresh infilling of You in me. A gentle, peaceful work You do in me that flows from me. No rushing. No pressure. Just peaceful guidance from You, leading to purposeful obedience from me.”

I realize that in the natural, my pathway will not guide me to peace.

Writing two books while drawer closer and closer to the holidays.

But You did not create these celebrations to be what they become.

You are the author of peace.

“Be still, and know that I am God …”

See that common? It’s a pause. Be still. When I am still, I will know.

Not “When I am busy” or “When I am productive”, but “When I am still”.

Still here in the Hebrew means: to hang limp, sink down, be feeble, to be lazy, to leave alone, abandon, withdraw, to show oneself slack

Could this possibly be that I am reading this right? 

God is endorsing this type of behavior?

Yes; I have read His word correctly.

Be still. Be patient. Be quiet. Be trustful.

Lynn

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Seeing the One

Mission India

If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome! I’m so glad you read my devotion, He Never Gives Up, and decided to visit my blog. 

Here I’m sharing a story about a woman whose life was changed through the literacy program of Mission India,

the Proverbs 31 Ministries International Initiative partner this year.

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but sometimes when I am looking at Facebook or Instagram and I see all the pictures, it overwhelms me. With a quick swipe, I can get past the sad story and move on to the pictures of my kids or my friends. The ones that don’t make me feel a certain way.

You too?

Today, I don’t want to share with you a sad story, but an empowering one! A story that makes me happy whenever I think of her’s.

Emerging from the van, the stench pushed me back. Having never witnessed deep poverty like this before, the raw sewage and animal waste filling the trench-lined streets caught me off guard. Even the smell wouldn’t extinguish my excitement for the day, though. This day, my friend Amy Carroll and I, as a part of the International Initiatives team with Proverbs 31 Ministries, were witnessing first hand the life change God was bringing to small, slum communities through the work of Mission India.

Steps from our vehicle, John, our Mission India host, led us to the home we were invited to visit.

Slipping off my shoes, I stepped across the threshold and there she stood. Strong. Beaming.

Her poise seemed so out of place. 

Sunita is changing her community; one woman at a time.

The soft, delicate blush-shaded sari swirled around her slender frame as Sunita stood at the entrance of this home greeting us. Her gentle, yet sparkling eyes twinkled as a smile graced her sun-worn face.

Her poise was so out of place in this residence of deprivation; her loveliness set amidst scents of sewage and sights of scarcity.

John introduced this woman, who is now recognized in her community as a leader, a woman who brings change. She has not always been.

Several years prior to our meeting, Sunita had become a student of a literacy class sponsored by Mission India. Unable to read or perform basic math skills needed for daily living, Sunita was held captive by poverty. From a social class that has for centuries been told, over and over again that they are uninvited; considered worth less than nothing. The cows roaming the streets of this village were of greater than worth than she.

Cow roaming street in India

Sunita is not alone nor is her group of people small. Hundreds of millions of Indians are trapped in poverty simply because of the origin of their birth. Sunita has another strike against her: she is a woman. She has been told from her very beginning that she has no value; she is an untouchable.

Then Sunita was invited to a literacy class by Mission India, where she would be given the one thing she had never experienced: opportunity. She took it.

 

In this Bible-based class, Sunita gained not only the power to read and calculate; she was invited to meet Jesus. Her life was transformed when she said “yes”. Lies spoken over her and to her were slowly stripped away and she began to truly see. She began to see just how the One True God saw her, as His precious daughter, the one He was compelled by love to come for. She learned that she was not worth less than nothing; she was worth more than rubies!

Mission India Literacy Class

This was what I saw beaming through Sunita’s smile; peaceful joy radiating there. Eyes that before would have only looked at the ground now looked me in the eye. She is of great worth and now she knows.

Through our translator we began to hear her story. With this new and powerful knowledge, Sunita’s heart began to burn to bring this transforming truth to the women of her community. She didn’t succumb to the scarcity mentality that Lysa speaks of in chapter 10 of Uninvited. Instead, she wanted to spread this good news and success with as many as she could! She recognized immediately the truth that God made us for giving.

Sunita became a non-formal teacher, bringing the knowledge she had gained to the poor in her slum society. When five families in her class came to know Christ, she was inspired to become a project manager, overseeing five Mission India literacy classes.

Sitting in the classroom that afternoon, I could see the same sparkle I had witnessed in her eyes on the faces of each beautiful Indian woman in that room. They had gained knowledge; they could read to their children; calculate their costs at the market. But they had come to obtain so very much more: the knowledge that they are valued.

What changed Sunita was truth. Truth changed the way she thought about herself and when her thinking changed she changed.

There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beauty. Sunita is living that out.

God's amazing work in India

I am so honored to be pictured here with Amy, Sunita (the project manager of the literacy class),
and the beautiful teacher and her son.

Today I want to share with you a video telling the story of just one woman whose life has been dramatically changed when given the opportunity to learn important life skills and even more importantly about Jesus!

Some literacy classes graduates start home-based businesses and increase their income. Today, I am giving away to one commenter a necklace and earrings made by one of the literacy classes as well as a copy of Uninvited: Living Loved When you Feel Left Out, Less Than and Lonely.

Uninvited and jewelry made from a Mission India Literacy Class

To enter for a chance to win, share how Sunita’s story impacts you or simply say, “I’m in!”

Are you interested in learning more about Mission India? It takes only $30 for one woman to receive a year of literacy classes.

Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Uninvited, is impacting this beautiful ministry and others.

**** The winner is Terri who posted on 10/5/16 at 12:00 p.m. Congratulations, Terri! ****

Lynn

Monday, October 3, 2016

Waiting Misconceptions {GIVE AWAY DAY}

Lynn

Friday, September 23, 2016

Our Posture Invites God’s Presence

A posture of humility brings God's presence to my problem.

A posture of humility brings God’s presence to my problem. 

If you are joining me here today from Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today, When I Feel Attacked, welcome! Let’s continue to connect, ok? It’s easy! Just sign up to get my posts automatically by clicking here.

I’d also love to connect with you more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest too!

Humility. You know, even though I have known the passage that lists of the fruit of the Spirit for years (even wrote a book on it!) I had to look it up again. My mind wanted to tell me it was listed as one of the fruit of the Spirit.

And I believe it is just that; it just is not included in Galatians 5:22 – 23:

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (NLT)

These beautiful traits all work together with humility.

Humility empowers us to:

  • love the hardest to love

  • be joyful in the worst circumstances

  • experience peace, recognizing God is the one in control

  • pick patience toward those who need a little “extra”

  • give kindness even when not given to

  • choose goodness despite others intentions

  • be faithful when our emotions say they deserve less

  • adopt a gentle heart when I feel edgy

  • select self-control no matter how tired I feel

When we choose humility, we pay the price of self-control up front, but it opens the way for God to defend us and brings His peace to our situation. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit working through us can we bypass the natural to choose His supernatural response. This is when we reap the beautiful results of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23.)

I’d like to say this choice is simple, even easy. But that’s simply not true. Through the Holy Spirit,though,  it is possible.

 “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”Proverbs 22:4 (ESV)

Do you have a young woman in your life who needs a nudge to choose humility? The Holy Spirit wants to transform us into people who reflect God Himself in everything we do. Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants empowers young women to partner with the Holy Spirit to develop the fruit of the Spirit in her life.

Magnetic Give Away

Today, I’m giving away a copy of Magnetic, as well as Magnetic note cards and magnetics. To be entered for an opportunity to win, simply share which fruit of the Spirit you want to walk out specifically today. If you’re in a hurry, just share “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner October 3rd.

      *This contest is over. The winner is Ann who posted on 9/23/16 at 8:30 a.m. *

 

Lynn

Thursday, September 22, 2016

He is Not the Enemy

Ephesians 6:12

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV)

I had no idea, as I read this passage in the dark hours of this Wednesday morning, that my own city would be experiencing racial warfare that very day. That when the sky would turn dark once again, lives would be gone, fires would burn and hatred would fill the streets of Charlotte.

If I  had only known what would happen in my city that day, these words would have been all the more powerful to me. I would not have only read them; I would have prayed them as well.

Friends, when our anger flares and our hearts pound to make all things right, we must remember.

He is not our enemy.

The one who riots in the streets, in confusion, frustrated, desperate for change.

He is not our enemy.

The one who stands, representing our government, bearing arms for our cities.

He is not our enemy.

The one who is not like us: different race, different religion, different reasoning.

 He is not our enemy.

We must remember who is the enemy:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,

against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness,

against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

Our enemy is the one who whispers in our ears who is right and who is wrong. The one who encourages us to pick a side and stand no matter who is hurt, no matter what is divided.

When we do, the real enemy wins.

The real enemy, Satan.

We don’t win.

When we kill – with guns or our words – there is only one winner. Satan. We can never win when we use the devices of our tongues against one another.

Only love wins.

Your brother, your neighbor or your city member on the other side of town – he is not your real enemy. He never has been; never will be. Not until we get that right will there be real peace in our country.

When we decided to talk together, to bring changes through laws made in love; bring equality to all people, that is when the real enemy can be put down. That is when the enemy will be silenced.

Lynn

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I’ll Take It From Here

Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind. Psalm 26:2

 

“Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.” 1 Samuel 23:7 (NIV)

Stuck somewhere between numb and exhaustion, I stared out the window. Lord, how did I end up here? Please forgive me.

I had grown up hearing, “Pray for God to open a door.” So when it came to my job, I had done just that. I prayed, I believed and before I knew it, there wasn’t just one, but an entire hall of open doors. That is when I quit praying. Somewhere in my mind, I figured I would just do what I had been trained to do and walk through them.

All of them.

In the middle of the success coming my way, I didn’t stop to ask with each new opportunity, “Is this You, Lord?” I already knew it was Him; right? My actions said, “I’ll take it from here.”

Shortly after being crowned king, Saul took over his life as well. In this place of no longer humbling himself to ask for God’s wisdom, Saul’s heart became hard. Though he had once experienced a change of heart and the Spirit of God moving in power in his life (1 Samuel 10:9-10), the sin of jealousy over David’s success had taken over. Blinding him from recognizing the difference between the voice of God and the voice of his jealous-driven heart, Saul began to confuse the two. So in today’s key verse of 1 Samuel 23:7, when Saul discovers the whereabouts of the hidden man David, in a delusional state, he believes God has provided this opportunity. He actually thinks God is giving him the opportunity to kill David, the one anointed by God to be the next king of Israel!

How did Saul slip, from the place where 1 Samuel 11:6 says, “…the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him…” (NIV) to the point where he is seeking to kill God’s appointed one?

 

One step at a time.

 

Saul failed to obey God fully in 1 Samuel 15:9, yet he told the prophet Samuel that he had. In 1 Samuel 15:30, he chose to value how he looked in people’s eyes over how he looked in God’s. His final step was allowing jealousy to overtake his heart toward David in 1 Samuel 18:9. He deceived himself.

 

One step at a time, he stopped conversing with God. He stopped asking God for wisdom and to forgive him when he failed. In that place of lost intimacy, his heart grew cold and his feet walked away from God.

 

That day of my despair was the beginning of new lessons for me. I need to consult God, no matter how sure I feel about my decisions. I need to hear from the Holy Spirit, on every aspect of my life. For the moment I stop humbly asking my Creator for daily direction and to examine my heart, is the day I start a journey I don’t want to go on ever again.

Holy Spirit, empower me to humble myself, seek Your wisdom and submit to Your ways, not what appears to be right to me. Open my eyes to see when I am too dependent on my own strength and myself. I want to hear You, see You and walk with You every day, Lord.

 

Lynn

Monday, September 12, 2016

Won’t You Join Us?

Are you looking for a time of refreshing just for you and maybe your girl too?

I’d love to have you join us this fall!

Lynn_Cowell_HeadshotLoRes

Free for women of all ages…

Friday, September 16th, 2016 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Benton Heights Presbyterian Church

2701 Concord Highway
Monroe, NC 28110

Contact Melanie Sanders for more info @ 704.651.7357

 

 

For tween girls and their moms …

Join us for the Team Grace Retreat

Austin, Texas

October 22, 2016

St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church

Moms and daughters will spend an entire day unpacking this year’s scripture and theme through impactful breakout sessions, high-energy worship and the Team Grace Carnival!

Here’s a special discount code to save $25!

Just head to catherinebird.net and enter the code: LynnsFriendstg16

Moms & Tween Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you will join us!

I’d love to meet you!

Lynn