Who Have You Invited Lately?

This thought has been going through my mind for some time now and I figured the only way to get it out of my head is to…..say it with me……..WRITE ABOUT IT! You are good!

When I became a believer as a teen, I was taught right away to share what I had experienced which is known as “witnessing.” As a very shy girl, I did my best. Many times it was very easy and other times it wasn’t. I learned how to sum up my story in a few words to get the point across. What a joy it was to actually lead someone to Christ. Which means to lead them in a prayer of salvation. I have to stop right here and explain something….terms and life has changed so much over the years. In the church world we have been told that times are a changing and we need to change our lingo in order to reach people with the gospel better. I’ve tried to change my lingo but, I always go back to what I know. What can I say.? I hope what I’m writing about makes sense. If it doesn’t, I’m always here to answer any questions. Now…where was I?

In high school, my mission was to tell as many that would listen about Jesus. Yep, I was teased a few times and put on the spot and in one class I was ostracized for using God’s Word in my speech, etc. In later years, in full time ministry, it was just a natural thing. I was always inviting people to church and Bible study. Leading neighbors and strangers to Christ was always so exciting. Many times we picked people up on the way to church. There were those times someone would say, “Yes, pick me up.” Well, you get there and they don’t answer the door and you get the message that they weren’t interested. That was my world for many years. My favorite story is when we pastored a tiny church and we had one car. My husband would go to the church early on Sunday mornings and get things read and study. Then he would come back and pick me and our two babies up. We would then pick up a lady that lived in government housing on the other side of town. She had I don’t know how many kids…it was a bunch of stair stepped cute little kiddos. Her husband was an alcoholic and we had the privilege of sending him to a home for alcoholics that the late Jerry Falwell started. We would be piled up in our car Sunday after Sunday until they moved on to another town…I have no idea how we all fit!

I miss those days…..sometimes!

While serving as a women’s ministry director for several years….one of my favorite things to do was invite women to everything we had. Every Bible study, every event, every class….it kept me busy because we had a lot going to reach as many women as possible. I met many new friends. I carried cards with all the information on it. When we had an event, it was natural for me to ask everyone I knew to it. I was excited and I wanted everyone to hear and see what was going on. Most of all to be encouraged with what Christ can and will do in our lives. Everyone needs encouragement and I think everyone needs Christ in their lives. So, why wouldn’t I invite everyone I knew and met while out and about?

I have a feeling you are probably that way, too. You don’t want anyone to miss out on anything that would help someone in their walk with Christ, right?

I have noticed that not everyone thinks like we do. You have no idea how many times I have listened to people talk about their Bible studies they attend, their church group, special events and ministries….and no mention of inviting anyone to join them. They go year after year, week after week and the thought never enters their mind to invite someone to join them or make sure someone doesn’t need to be encouraged somehow.

We might be surprised how many people are looking for a connection. How many women are needing some fellowship (there’s that old fashioned word) or some encouragement and just need an invite to whatever we are doing.

Has someone visited your church, study group or event and you are wondering where they are? Maybe you need to check on them and make sure they felt welcome and are invited back. It takes a big step to walk into a place alone…uninvited. Don’t be the one, who just wonders who someone is and then wonders where they are the next week when they don’t show back up. Do something about it. Even if you have to start your own ministry in reaching out to visitors.

I’ve been in a lot of churches and study groups as a visitor and a new member and I could tell you some crazy stories, but, we will save that for another time.

My challenge for you is to make a list of people that you are in contact with that don’t have a place to study or go to church. Then one by one, do something about it.

Think back to when you became a believer or joined a new church or Bible study group. How did you know about it? Why did you go back?

I believe we have a huge responsibility other than the “us four and no more attitude.” It’s probably one of the most important responsibilities we have. We have no idea who is struggling in their faith, in their walk…..in just life!

Many times we get comfortable in our church and our special groups and we forget the main reason we are even still here. We need to step out of our box and look around. Who needs just a little nudge or a fresh start somewhere. We all have a tendency to get so busy with doing, we don’t stop and look around to what is really important…..reaching out to others!

I can’t wait to hear about you making a difference in someones life by just one simple invitation!

My Favorite Magazines!

Hey Pumpkin! I just love that saying! I’ve called my kids pumpkins since they were little. Now, I call my grandkids pumpkins. Just a cute name, don’t you think?

Are you loving your fall season so far?

I am a huge fan of magazine reading. I love decorating, cooking, fashion and faith filled magazines. I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you today. The articles and photos of decorating and food are really inspiring this time of year.

The price of magazines has really gone up the last few years. I’m amazed at what the prices are on some of them. I try to cut back and as soon as I try to be careful in my magazine buying, one comes out with the most amazing cover that just calls my name! I usually stick with the same titles. I’ve purchased some that look good, but then find out that I just wasted my money because the articles are not my cup of tea. An example would be fashion magazines. As you know, I love fashion. But, the articles and photos that they put in magazines usually aren’t what I’m looking for to be inspired by. So, more than likely I pass on fashion magazines. I’ve always thought that someone needs to start a fashion magazine for “real” people with articles that are decent and you wouldn’t be afraid for young girls to read. Let me know if you know of any.

Here are my latest finds and loves in the magazine world….

This is a brand new magazine and I love it. It is published by Dayspring, which is a greeting card company as well as gifts that are faith based.
This is a magazine that has excellent articles that inspire me to live for Christ. I love it!
If you are a fan of Hallmark and all that they have to offer along with their movies….you will love this one!
I love to sew…..granted, I haven’t sewn in quiet a while….but, I love reading sewing magazines and this is one of them. You never know, I may crank my machine up pretty soon!
What a fun magazine this is. All sorts of inspiration to make your own scrubs, lotions and sprays.
Who doesn’t love The Pioneer Woman! She shares all types of things about her life.
This is a beautiful decorating magazine! I discovered it about a year ago and I’ve loved every issue.
I always find something in this publication that inspires me to be more healthy.
I love the photos in Victoria! If Victoria is on it….I know I will love it! Published by Hoffman Media, which is my very favorite of all!
Another Hoffman Media publication. I don’t decorate Cottage style, but, I love reading this magazine. Beautiful photos and decorating inspiration.
Yep…..Hoffman Media again! I love these issues. Very inspiring in decorating.
I love this one! Tea Time has been a favorite of mine for many years now. Guess who publishes it? Hoffman Media! Anything they do is beautiful.
Southern Lady is at the top of my list! Again……say it with me….Hoffman Media. They publish this one, too! Gorgeous magazines. I just returned from The Southern Lady Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama and I will be sharing about it later this week.

I love beautiful photos and articles that are inspiring to me. If you are the same, I hope you will try some of these magazines and see what you think. Feel free to share you favorite magazines.

Thanks so much for following me on my blog. I love hearing from you in the comment section or by email.

Enjoy this beautiful season!

My Quiet Time with Jesus!

The other day I was driving and I was chatting away with my mom on my speaker. I was passing by the airport and it seems when that happens, the line cuts in and out. For the next few minutes we are both saying, “Hello! Hello! Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Hello, can you hear me now?” Once the line cleared up, we started laughing because it sounded just crazy with all the hello…hello…hello!

As I was doing my devotions this afternoon while the house was quiet, I kept thinking how thankful I was that I finally figured out something that was working for me at this stage of my life in meeting with my Savior each day. Granted, there are days that it just doesn’t happen and it weighs heavily on my mind when I don’t take the time to sit down and just spend time with my Jesus. I may be the only one that happens to, but, it is what it is.

I put my faith and my trust in Christ when I was 14. That was 46 years ago! Wow! Yes, I turned 60 this year. Yes, I’m struggling with that thought! Back to my main reason for writing today….

Church was the main thing in my life the day I accepted Christ as my Savior. I was there every time the doors were open. I was in Sunday School, special teaching classes, choir, visitation, every teen activity, church camps, you get the picture. Reading and studying God’s Word was new to me. I knew it was important and I read it because I was taught that you needed to start reading your Bible. So many things I didn’t understand, but, I kept reading it anyway. I didn’t even have a Bible of my own for the first several months of my new life in Christ. We had a large Children’s Bible that I would read out of and my mom had a Bible that I would read. I did get a Bible for Christmas later that year. I still have it and I love going through and seeing all the verses that I underlined and little notes I made.

Since then, I’ve had several different Bibles and I do have one main one that I really like to study out of. I place Bibles around my house. I just love having one near at all times. I even carry one in my car.

Over these 46 years I have sat under many different preachers and teachers. I have heard many different ways of studying your Bible and ways that people have their personal quiet times each day. I know you have heard many different ways, too. Yes, I’ve even been convicted because I didn’t do it like someone else or I tried and just couldn’t do it. Such as get up at 4 a.m. and read and pray before my husband and babies woke up. I tried, but it wasn’t happening! I eventually would find my own way to spend time in prayer and Bible reading. It even has changed many times over the years.

I recently found myself struggling with getting my three chapters read each day in order to reach a certain goal. It wasn’t meaningful to me as I was just hurrying up and it was like it was a ritual or something. I felt like I was missing out.

One of my favorite preachers made a comment one time when I was with he and his wife, “If you want to know who God is, read His Word.” Sounds very practical, doesn’t it? That’s because it is practical. I found myself, reading to meet a deadline and a goal and reading books on different subjects, but, still was hungry just to sit in peace and read and let God speak to me. I want to know everything there is to know about God. When you are hurrying or just reading to be reading….you might miss out on a few things.

Several months ago, I said to myself…”Okay, Beverly, it’s time to slowly go through your Bible and just be quiet and still and let God speak to me.” I am a planner, so I stuck with my pattern of how I read the Bible, but…this time, I’m going slow and I am loving it so much! I’m not trying to meet a deadline to have my Bible read through by the end of the year and get so many verses a day read.

This is how my “quiet time” goes….

I begin with a short prayer of asking the Lord to speak to me through His Word. If there is anything that He wants me to know, to make it very clear for me to see. I want to know everything about Him. Now….if you are anything like me, your mind goes a million miles a minute and you think about so many things at the same time as reading and even praying. I have to get still and quiet and I don’t begin until my mind has calmed down. I even keep a notepad close that I jot things down that is on my mind to do. Such as, while you are reading a thought pops in your head….go to the store to get milk….just stop, write it down and move on. Again, I might be the only one that struggles with things like that.

I have an Our Daily Bread Devotional for women that I read. It is very short and to the point. I love this devotional as it always has something that I need to be reminded of. Then….

I began in Genesis and only read one chapter. With reading one chapter, I take my time…I make notes, I memorize names, place and events. I’m not worried about checking anything off. I’ll move on through each book of the Old Testament.

I then move to the Book of Psalms. I read one chapter…same thing…slowly and make many notes. When I get to the end of Psalms, I start over. I’m always going through the Book of Psalms.

Then I go to my favorite, the Book of Proverbs. Whatever day of the month it is, that is the Proverb that I read. October 6th…I read Proverbs 6. When I get to Proverbs 31, I start over. I’m always going through the book of Proverbs. It’s amazing how any things speak to you differently each month.

I then go to Matthew…..one chapter a day and I move on through Mark, Luke and John. When I finish John, I go back to Matthew. I’m always reading in the Gospels.

I then go to the Book of Acts….one chapter…..I keep on moving all the way through Revelations. When I’m through with Revelations, I will start over in Acts.

I have to tell you that I have really enjoyed it! There are days, where I can’t wait to sit down to read the next chapter in each book to catch up. I’m hungry for more.

Being hungry for the Word of God is a very good thing! Are you hungry for God’s Word?

Also, as I read, and God speaks to me, I pray as I read. I apply everything I read to myself. I’m not worried about how someone I know needs this or I hope so and so reads this today…..This is all for me! I’m not studying for a lesson to teach or to fill in a workbook for a study of some sort. It’s just me and God….

That’s what a “quiet time” is to me.

I end with focused prayer. Prayer is my personal conversation with my Savior. I don’t keep up with making sure I spend an hour or 5 minutes in prayer. I pray for however long it takes. I cover everything. Trust me!

So, I hope you have settled in to what works for you in your season of life that you are in right now. Do you need to make some adjustments? If something isn’t working, figure out a way that it will work. Make it a special time for you and your Savior…..not just checking off a box of what you read for the day. But, hey….if checking off the boxes is what works….yay! I did the box checking for a long time.

I only share this to encourage you and hopefully inspire you to make sure you have that time each day or as often as you can.

If you are struggling with any area, feel free to email me and I would love to find a way to help and encourage you. Don’t leave Him out of your daily life.

Do you find your faith wavering…..get in the Word! Fill your life with people of faith. Listen to people of faith. Sometimes, when your faith is wavering…it could be because everyone and everything around you is anti-God. Trust me, there is plenty of that and always has been. Just read…..read for you…..not to prove anything to anyone…..just read and ask for wisdom and discernment. Tell God you need to hear from Him. He loves us so much and wants to spend time with us. I know you’ve heard this before; Our Bible is His love letter to us! He has so much He wants us to know about Him. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it…..you read and study for yourself and learn all you can! Let Him speak to you!

Until next time…

Dirty Little Words

Is it just me or have you noticed the questionable language that is rampant right now. Yes, I know people have been using foul language for a long time, but, it just seems that now it’s even cool to use words that you don’t expect to hear even on a news cast. It’s a common thing to hear a beep when interviewing people at a scene of an accident or rioters in the street. I can’t help but be curious when the beep goes on for a long time, what they are saying! I always think how can they say that many curse words in one long sentence. Or a famous “movie star” or “rock star” accepts his award and as he is talking, the silence button is on and you see his mouth moving for several seconds and wonder, what in the world is he saying that lasts that long. I’m guessing we probably don’t want to know.

I can hear someone saying, “oh no, poor Beverly, she is so fragile, she can’t stand to hear curse words.” I had someone tell me once, “Beverly, cover your virgin ears!” My virgin ears? What does that mean?

I grew up in a home where I heard plenty of questionable words. Granted, I didn’t know they were questionable words. I thought they were normal words. Words you use when you are happy, excited, mad or sad and especially when you are in trouble. I remember a few times my younger brother trying some out and he got his mouth washed out with soap. Yes, literally with soap. And back then we used a soap called, LAVA. Ouch! Needless to say, I didn’t want to try any words out. I really didn’t think about it. It was just life and that what grownups do.

I was in Jr. High and a group of girls were picking on me. We call it “bullying” now days. I seemed to be a pretty good target for bullies in jr. high. Anyway, one day, I was hurt and I was mad and someone asked me what was wrong. I let out a string of words that I had no idea I even knew how to say. I remember being embarrassed and almost ashamed by what I said. I didn’t like the way I felt. I felt ugly and I felt dirty. I also didn’t like the idea that people would think I talked that way. I made a choice that day…. I would not say ugly words like that ever again.

Today, I am 59 years old and I can still hear in my head the words that were used towards me and around me while growing up. I can still hear the dirty jokes that were told in my ear shot while at school. I’m almost pretty sure that it’s safe to say that, I’ve heard it all.

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I am very picky about the movies I watch and the music I listen to. I can be watching a very good movie with an actor that I really like and when the language starts, I am done. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Hollywood can’t make a movie without bad language. I just don’t think it’s possible anymore. I recently watched a 30 minute program because someone I knew was starring in it. This show featured kids and of course, bad language is used. I think it’s sad that we now know that it’s a normal thing to hear bad language even in a program that is primarily about young kids. If you say anything, then you are the strange one. Everyone knows that bad language is just a part of life. You can’t protect your children from it and if you try to, you are, well…..let’s just say…..strange…..out of it………miss goody two shoes (that was always my go to name from others)….the list goes on and on.

Now, we have politicians, newscasters, comedians, speakers and writers who just use whatever word they choose for the day, taking no consideration of who it will offend. Because, obviously when you can use bad words you are powerful and tough. You mean business when you can throw in a choice word or two. As one speaker I listened to at a conference said and I quote, “I’m a bad*** for Jesus!” Yea, she got a round of applause! So cool, right? Nah!

If you are like me and you made a choice that bad language would not be part of your world, you may find it a bit difficult sometimes. If you choose to not be around people that use bad words, write bad words, make fun of those that don’t use bad words, watch movies without bad words….well, let’s just say, you may find yourself alone and even thinking….”What is wrong with me?” “Why can’t I tolerate all of this?”

That’s when you go to God’s Word and hear what He has to say. You know, the one who created all of this. He gave man the free will to do whatever he wants to do. The problem is, if you chose to give your life to Christ and make Him Lord of your life, there are a lot of things that you may choose not to do and one of those are the words that we choose to say and think. When the Holy Spirit moves into your heart….thoughts, words and actions change. You have a total life change! And, oh am I so thankful for that!

When I was 13 years old, I made the choice to not use bad words because of the way it made me feel inside and how I thought others would view me. I didn’t want to be the kid with a dirty mouth.

When I was 14, I gave my life to Christ. I knew that He died for me and my sin and I then wanted to live my life for Him. I had a new reason not to talk ugly and dirty. I wanted my life to reflect that of my Heavenly Father. Oh, my, yes, there were a few times I slipped and I can actually remember one and I thought, where in the world did that come from. When your mind is full of junk, it will eventually come out. My mind had listened to it for a long time. 12 years in the public school system plus life outside of school, trust me, you will get more of an education than you bargained for.

When we set our children in the movie house or in the movie room and let them sit and watch whatever is popular and let their minds fill up with dirty words, it will come out. We buy them the latest music hit that is filled with choice words and let it fill their minds…it will come out eventually.

I know I have shared this so many times. There is a site called Plugged In. I challenge you to search the latest movie and read all about it. Then ask yourself if this what you want to put in my children’s minds. Or better yet, is this what you want to fill YOUR mind with. Two hours of 45 s words, 60 F words, the list goes on and on. We are just talking language now, not all the other.

I think it’s comical when we as adults do, say and participate in things that we don’t want our children doing. I haven’t figured out the logic of that one yet.

So, when we watch the news and wonder what has happened to our young people…what has happened to our culture? Take a look at what we fill our minds with. Newsflash…as parents we are responsible for what we let them fill their minds with. WE are responsible for what we fill OUR minds with.

In our Christian culture, I’ve noticed it has become popular to come as close to using bad language as possible. It always gets an easy laugh. I’ve heard preachers use language that I remember my brother getting his mouth washed out for and we laugh and say, “Isn’t he the coolest, he can use risky language all in the name of Jesus!” The one that is the rage right now is a word that is used for someone going to the bathroom, yea, that one. “Now, when they use that, they are seriously upset about something and yet so with it and cool!” What I wonder is, what is the next step for the next cool word that as Christians we can use and not think anything of?

Oh, Beverly, you better stop now. You are really a peculiar one, aren’t you? Yes, I am and thank you. I will take that as a compliment.(-wink)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” – I Peter 2:9

Love that verse….I have been called out of the darkness! So very thankful!

Are you wanting help in cleaning up your language? Fill your mind with good things. Make a point to delete things from your life such as movies, music, books, etc. that are filled with bad language. Ask the one who loves you so much that He died for you to give you strength and to renew your mind. I know you can do it!

Thanks so much for following along on my blog and all of my latest thoughts. I sincerely do not intend or want to offend anyone. My goal is to encourage and edify. My other goal is to give you something to think about. I’m always anxious to hear your thoughts and challenges.

I’m linking this post with the blog, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.