July 21, 2014
This past weekend at our annual Roaring Lambs Writers Conference, our speakers reminded us of the power of our words. Whether we are dealing with our family, friends, neighbors or co-workers, our words have the power to heal and inspire, but they also have the power to tear down and destroy. This week I want to challenge each of us to fiercely guard our communication with others. Let’s face it, gossip, complaints and discouragement easily flow from our lips. It takes deliberate effort to inspire, strengthen and say only kind things about others.
Granted, constructive criticism and wise concern have their place. I’m not saying we ought to be some sort of “Yes” people who always agree with everyone about everything with disingenuous flattery. A true encourager is not only uplifting, but she is also honest, sincere and specific with her comments. She uses her words to help build up and lead others in the direction of their best interest. An encourager is looking out for the good of the other individual and focusing on the possibilities instead of hunting and pecking at what could go wrong and zapping the hope right out of a person.
It is never too late to change our speech habits. Look for opportunities to give a good, sincere word of hope and courage. Think of your uplifting comments as a cup of cool water to a thirsty soul, because we all need a healthy dose of encouragement now and then. Don’t become frustrated with yourself in the struggle to tame your tongue. In fact, the Bible says it is nearly impossible to do. James wrote, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:7-8).” Perhaps you are thinking that if the tongue is impossible to tame, then why try? What’s the use?
Remember my friend, with God all things are possible! What may seem impossible to us, is not impossible for God. We know that He places great value on what comes out of our mouths, so He will help us in taming that restless creature known as the tongue. It begins by asking Him to clean up our hearts, for what comes out of our mouth is usually an overflow of what is in our heart. Our prayer ought to resemble David’s who wrote, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you O Lord my rock and my redeemer.” He is our tongue tamer. As we look to God to clean us up from the inside out, He can clean us up from the hidden motives which tend to make us discouragers rather than encourages.
Some of these insights came from my book Positive Life Principles for Women.
June 30, 2014
Join Anne Graham Lotz and thousands of other followers of Jesus Christ across our nation and around the world, as together we return to the Lord our God, rend our hearts, repent of our sin, and cry out to God for His mercy on behalf of our nation. I hope you will join me.
Pray! in the 7th month, JulyPray! on each of the first 7 days of JulyPray! and fast on July 7th for 7 hours (of your choosing)
•For God the Father to restrain, protect, and deliver His people from the evil that has come into our world.
•For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, in our nation, and in our lives.
•For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting in a great national spiritual awakening.
Sign up below to receive prayers Anne has written specifically for each day, July 1 through July 7, that will help us be united with one voice and one spirit as together we cry out to God.
June 4, 2014
I hope you will join me. Click here for more info or to RSVP.
May 29, 2014
1. Jesus said that believers are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” If we are to be salt and light in this world, we must engage with our neighbors. It’s easy for us to enjoy the comfort and fellowship of other believers (staying in the salt shaker) rather than allowing God to use us as salt to flavor the world with His love.
2. Women who may not feel comfortable attending a church Bible study are more likely to come to a neighbor’s home for a small group book or Bible study. Neighborhood Bible studies open up the opportunity to have conversations with our neighbors about Biblical truth.
3. The personal connection which happens in a home-setting builds relationships and fosters a heart connection, accountability and a growing relationship with Christ. Women are more likely to share prayer requests in the welcoming atmosphere of the home. Neighborhood studies allow the leader to be more vulnerable and real as women share life together.
4. Neighborhood studies offer the freedom to determine your own schedule. If someone has a question or opens up and shares, the leader has the opportunity to allow for discussion instead of being required to fit the framework of the church calendar or schedule.
5. Many Christian women have been going to big group Bible studies year after year and have gained Biblical knowledge, and yet most have not shared what they know with the women in their neighborhood. We must take what we learn and use it to affect our culture or else we become fat Christians. Consider the transformation that could take place in a city if Christians reached out and began talking about Jesus with their neighbors through small group studies.
6. True discipleship takes place in small groups where participants feel free to be open, honest and real. From Mary and Martha’s home to Zacchaeus’ to the upper room, Jesus did much of his ministry in the home setting.
7. The Great Commission tells us to make disciples beginning with those who are near us, then reaching out to those who are farther, and then farther still. Neighborhood Bible studies allow us to build into lives right in our midst, while still encouraging women to reach out beyond their comfort zone.
God is starting a movement in Dallas which I believe could transform our city and bring revival to our community. Think about the impact of what God could do through faithful women who reach out to the person next door. Pray for women in your city to step forward and engage with the culture beginning with their own neighbors. For more encouragement to start your own study, go to www.PositiveWomanConnection.me
May 21, 2014
Jesus created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities. For the Gnostics of Paul’s day, this blew their whole theory of Jesus. The Gnostics believed that all matter was bad and God was good. They believed that God didn’t create matter and that God couldn’t be linked to it. Obviously the argument of origins and creation is nothing new. It has been discussed and debated throughout the generations, but Paul makes one thing perfectly clear, all things were created by God (the trinity, Father, Son and Spirit). Notice the plural pronouns which we read in the creation account found in Genesis, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.’”
He is the creator, and He is our creator. He created us in His likeness. We are not his exact likeness or image, but we reflect His character in our being. Our ability to create, to connect, to love, to show patience, to give kindness, to offer forgiveness all reflect His nature. Knowing God created us in his likeness gives us a sense of worth and purpose. God placed his nature in you and in me. He created us, and He does not make mistakes. Do not listen to that voice that whispers in your ear, “You are worthless. There is no purpose for your life.” These are lies from the enemy. You are a creation of God almighty. He knew exactly what He was doing when He created you. Listen to His voice saying, “My beloved daughter, I knew you in your mother’s womb. You didn’t just happen. I formed you and I created you and I have a purpose for your life.”
Confidence grows on the foundation of Christ, knowing who He is and that He created you and redeemed you. My friend never forget that you were created by Him. He knows your name. He knows your challenges. He understands your pain. He loves you as His precious creation. Take time each day to thank the Lord for creating you. I’m not asking you to say it in a prideful way, “Well isn’t the world lucky to have me.” But rather I’m encouraging you to pray in a humble way, “Thank you Lord that you created me, and all that I am comes from you. Thank you that you have a purpose for me, and you have equipped me exactly for that purpose.” Do you see how that prayer takes away pride, yet builds confidence, a God-confidence? I challenge you to thank God daily for the way He created you, because Satan would love for you to forget each day that you are God’s creation formed by His loving hands.
This is an excerpt from my book, A Woman’s Secret to Confident Living