Thursday, May 26, 2016

Simply Share

Sharing Jesus? Sounds scary. Telling my story? That is easier!

so that a future generation — children yet to be born—might know. They were to rise and tell their children so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works, but keep His commands. Then they would not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not loyal and whose spirit was not faithful to God.” Psalm 78: 6 – 8 (HCSB) 

Summer.

The time of the year for hot dogs and hot days.

For many, it is also the time for reunions.

Though it isn’t officially summer yet, our family scooted up the vacation schedule and gathered together early.

I was blessed to be born into a wonderfully, big family and then I doubly blessed marry into a wonderfully, small family. In fact, I call these precious people my “in-loves”.

Before heading out for an afternoon of fun together, my father-in-love took a few moments to gather together and call us to reflect on our lives. Being a sports enthusiast, he took the angle of a football game.

What quarter are you in? 

He shared that each one of us are in a quarter of life. 0 – 25 years old, 26- 50, 50 -75 or 75 – 100.  Being in the fourth quarter, he shared with us some of the highlights of God’s faithfulness in his life.

My father-in-love practiced this verse from Psalm 78. He was telling his children the works God had done in his life so that they would in turn put their confidence in God.

It’s not always easy to be bold with our kids.

Especially as they grow older and develop opinions of their own, as parents we can easily slip into keeping the peace or not rocking the boat.

But that is not what God calls us to do. He tells us to tell our children all He has done and all He is doing because He can move when we share our story.

For many, school is getting out soon. For me, it’s already here. One college student has moved home and one is soon to come.

I hear the Father whispering to me, “Make the most of these days, Lynn. Tell your children who I am so that they will put their confidence in Me.”

Be bold, friend. Don’t worry about what your children or grandchildren will think or how they will react. That’s up to God to handle. Just obey and see what He will do with your story.

The winner of Suzie Eller’s new book “Come with Me” is Pat who commented on May 13th at 7:31 a.m. Pat, please email me at Lynn@LynnCowell.com and we’ll get this wonderful book sent out to you! 

 

 

 

Lynn

Friday, May 13, 2016

Is There Something You Want Me to Do? {{GIVE AWAY DAY}}

Where we go isn't as important as who we go with!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus, is there something you want me to do?

This was the question I was challenged to ask when I read the book, “Come With Me” by my very, special friend Suzie Eller.

Suzie had encouraged me as a reader to write this question on a sticky note and put it where I would see it regularly, asking Jesus, “Is there something you want me to do?”

So I did.

Each time I walked into my office, I saw that bright, pink heart with the simple question. I asked it.

Most of the time, His answers were quite small.

Take my friend some flowers.

Write a note on the desk of another.

Remember to send a card of thanks so one doesn’t feel forgotten.

I received a lot of joy from those small acts of obedience. I guess I got into a rhythm after awhile. Moved by the Lord and got moving, right? 

I am so glad I’m learning the power behind the small “yes”. I discovered on a trip to India recently that the small yes can lead to a miracle.

I’ll let my friend, Suz, tell you all about the night her and I recently followed Jesus when He said, “Come with me.”

Here’s Suzie:

 

 It was the end of a long day.

We had just left a literacy class located in a slum in South Central India. I (Suzie) was overwhelmed at what God had just done in that small room.

It was after 10 p.m. It was still over 100 degrees.

I wish I could describe the traffic we were in, but a giant game of Chicken doesn’t accurately define the thousands of pushing, shoving match of cars, buses and scooters.

“Is it possible that we could go one more place?” one of the MI team asked.

He had a friend whose wife was ill. She was at the hospital undergoing chemo and would be home in 45 minutes. It meant that our night would extend two hours, but as a cancer survivor I knew how desperately I needed encouragement years earlier.

“Sure,” I said.

My friend and Proverbs 31 Ministries sister and team mate, Lynn, instantly agreed.

We finally made our way to her apartment. We walked through the door. She sat in a chair, weak. She wore a night gown, a sea green scarf covering her hair, nearly all gone.

Our sweet friend in India

I sat across from her and told her my story. How I once was diagnosed. How I needed to talk to someone who had been through it. How God loved me and my family through one of the most fearful and hardest parts of my life.

She stared at my face intently.

“Are you Suzie Eller?” she asked.

Seriously. Did she just ask that?

“Yes. How do you know that?”

She put her hand to her mouth as the tears came. She told us that she reads the Encouragement for Today devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries every day. She said that we had become friends, like sitting together over tea, as we loved Jesus together.

In a nation where Christianity is rife with subtle and overt persecution, this courageous woman loved Jesus.

She started naming members of the team, those who wrote. She looked over at Lynn and said, “You’re Lynn Cowell.”

She continued.

“I have often prayed that I could come to the United States and thank my friends.” She shook her head as more tears came. “How is it possible that God brought you to my front door in my lowest hour?”

The odds of meeting this women on this trip was 1 in 1.2 billion.

How big is God?

SO BIG.

How personal is God?

SO PERSONAL.

I had struggled with leaving the U.S. at an “inconvenient” time because of a book launch. God spoke to me that day through my new friend.

Following Jesus isn’t about our agenda. It’s not about whether it’s convenient. It’s discovering His heartbeat. It’s loving people. It’s seeing how He works, and how stepping into His footsteps leads us from the natural to the supernatural.

I still fall apart when I think of this moment.

God loved her so much that He stirred a few of us 8,000 miles away to come to India. We had a plan. We had a purpose, but so did He.

Her name is etched on the palm of His hand. He wanted to encourage this beautiful, strong woman of faith. I got to be a small part of that all because I whispered yes, when everything inside of me was saying no.

That’s the miracle I witnessed.”

This is our invitation to say "yes" to His invitation!

Today, I’m offering one give way of Suzie’s new book, “Come With Me; Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads.” I’ll choose a random winner from the comments in today’s blog post. To enter, simply share one small yes Jesus might be asking you as He says “Come with me” in the comments section of the site below.  If you’re in a hurry, simply say: I’m in.

The winner from Wednesday’s give away is April V.! April, send me an email at Lynn@LynnCowell.com with your full name and address and I’ll get it right out to you!

Lynn

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Time to Get Moving {Give Away Day}

When the Holy Spirit is doing a work inside our heart, we need to take the next step and move in obedience.

If you are joining me here today from Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today, 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!

God makes it very clear: His salvation for us is a free gift. There is nothing we can do to gain it. There is nothing we can do to loose it. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing;it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8 – 8 (NIV)

Salvation is a free gift.

Blessings can also be a gift from God, but there are also scriptures that indicate that blessings can also come as a result of obedience.

Let’s look at this portion of God’s word found in Deuteronomy 28:

Deuteronomy 28: 1 – 2, “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:” 

I added the emphasis to this portion to draw attention to key phrases that speak of obedience: fully obey and carefully follow. These action phrases are followed with direct results: set you high above and all these blessings. God goes on to share with the Israelites what all these blessings look like:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.  Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.” Deuteronomy 28: 3 – 14 (NIV)

This is the type of blessings I want in my life; blessings that touch on every area – from my finances to my family.

Obtaining blessings begins with obedience.

So when we read God’s word, hear that stirring song, or listen to the stimulating sermon, we can’t just enjoy the feeling.

We can’t just be moved; we have to get moving.

Move in obedience.

GIVE AWAY DAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, I am giving away a beautiful journal and leather bracelet to one commenter. To enter to win, just say “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner on Friday!

Lynn

Thursday, May 5, 2016

To be the Shoulders of Jesus

Who needs to lean on you today?

There are so many people in the world I don’t understand.

Those I have never walked in their shoes. Those who have struggles I have not wrestled with; seen things I haven’t seen or been where I have never been.

I met many of the precious people on my recent trip to India and I met more last night at my class.

Earlier this spring, I decided to take a class through NAMI, National Association of Mental Illness, to learn more about mental illness and the struggles of those who deal with it. I am hopeful that as my knowledge increases, so will my compassion.

Last night, two young people came to share their stories. They weren’t professional speakers nor had they rehearsed what they had to say, but they were brave. They were courageous; vulnerable about the struggles in their past and their difficulties of today.

These are the kind of people I learn from.

This young woman and teen guy both had something in common: they needed others to help them reach their fullest potential. They both had that someone; support they could lean on to encourage them in their efforts to keep moving forward in life.

In Acts 3, we read the story of Peter and John and the beggar at the gate called Beautiful. Here we witness a miracle; a man crippled from birth is healed. After taking the hand of Peter, he is lifted to a place of wholeness resulting in the ability to walk, jump and praise God!

Just after this amazing miracle is a verse that can easily be overlooked: “While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.” Acts 3:11 (NIV)

If the beggar was healed in Acts 3:7, why was he holding on to Peter and John?

These words held on to in the Greek is krateo meaning: to take hold of, grasp, hold fast.

Yes, the beggar had been healed. The evidence of that healing was demonstrated very quickly. The entire crowd had seen him walk and jump right before their very eyes. Yet shortly after these miracle movements, this man finds himself needing a little assistance; someone to lean on and hold on to.

Last night, the young people struggling with mental illness shared with us one very powerful thing they had in common: family they could lean on. They both spoke of parents who stood by them as they journeyed on the long and hard road to recovery.

Not one of us in that room judged them for their need for help. They had made great strides on their own, but to keep going, they needed someone to lean on.

I love this story in Acts because it points me to a powerful truth: we need two things to move toward healing and wholeness in our lives. We need the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to set us free and we need people. We need family and friends that we can hold on to.

And that’s ok.

Sometimes in life, we’ll find ourselves in the position of the beggar, in need of a Peter and John to lean on so that we stay on this journey toward becoming more like Jesus. Other times, we’ll be Peter and John, the shoulder others will turn to in order to find the strength they need to keep going.

And that’s ok, too.

There is no where in this passage that indicts that just because the beggar needed a little help that his healing was not complete or somehow he lost it. In fact, later in Acts 4:10, Peter reiterates that the man who was crippled after 40 years was healed. Yet in his healing, he still needed a little help.

We often talk about being the hands and feet of Jesus. Let’s also be the shoulders of Him as well; looking for those around us who need a little support as they move forward on this road called life. Let’s also not be hard on ourselves when we’re the ones who need someone to hold on to.

Like the beggar, that ok too.

 

Lynn

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

When I follow Jesus who is consistent, I can be as well.

 

She knew the rules, followed the rules and then still got in trouble … with me.

Her senior year my husband and I had lifted our youngest daughter’s curfew. In a few short months when she left for college, we would have no idea where she was going or what she was doing. It made complete sense to me to give her that kind of freedom whiled she lived at home so we could work through any kinks she might have with making wise choices.

My daughter wasn’t the one who had the problem with the lack of curfew. It was me.

When given the opportunity to drive to the beach for the day with her friends, she had made it clear that she would be home very late. Since we would not allow her to get a hotel room with all her friends, they were going to stay on the beach as long as possible before they drove home.

When I woke up late in the night and saw her car still not in the drive, I flipped. I immediately called her. Where are you?

If you haven’t already discovered, let me spare you the pain. Don’t argue with your teen in the middle of the night. It’s just not worth it. Besides, like me, you might lose because they are used to thinking clearly in the middle of the night! I am not!

The next day, my girl who has always seemed more mature than her years, pointed out to me: you are inconsistent. You say one thing, but your actions display something different. I had given her freedom, yet when she exercised this freedom in a way that made me nervous, I got upset.

Consistency. I lacked consistency.

Jesus on the other hand does not.

How many times have you heard this verse: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” ? Taken from Hebrews 13:8, I can’t imagine how many times I have heard it preached, on a plaque or in a card. Yet, every time, it stands alone. A powerful verse, it certainly contains enough truth to stand alone. Yet as I read it in the context of the entire chapter of Hebrews, a challenge leapt off the page.

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:7-8 

There seems to be a natural progression here. To shake it up a bit, try reading the verse backwards:

“Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.”

I see a challenge here for us.

Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. When we focus our lives on His life, we become people whose entire lives are impacted and changed. We will not be the same when we follow the One who is! When we begin to speak His word, it changes us and we become models to others of the way to live and how to walk by faith.

Through this process of speaking God’s word and having our lives changed to become like His life, then we too can become the same. This is how we become consistent in our daily walks with Christ. Filling our minds and hearts with His word creates uniformity in our mind and heart on how to love and treat others and how to honor God. This consistency is the fruit of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians 5.

As my girl began to point out my inconsistencies, I could see that the mom I wanted to be, the one who gave freedom and opportunity to mature and the mom I sometimes was weren’t the same. She challenged me to speak and then, in faith, walk out what I had said.

May we do the same in other areas of our lives. Become the people of God who walk in love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, through the power of the Holy Spirit who works in us! Then, like the leaders spoken of in Hebrews 13 7, we can lead our kids to become people of the fruit of the Spirit and consistent as well.

http://www.lynncowell.com/blog/2016/04/27/5922/

Lynn

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Let it Be So Now

I may be doing what I don't want to be doing, yet I can trust God. His purpose is still at work.

Changing diapers, making suppers, filing through carpool.

Stuffing letters, answering email, packing boxes.

At different times in my life, a battle has waged within me.

In my mind, the clashing goes something like this: “Why am I doing this? There are so many important things I could be, should be, doing now. But instead I am doing this, requiring none of my gifts or talents.”

Prideful, I know. I told you it’s a battle. My mind tells me there is something else I should be doing right now; a job or task fitting for the person I feel I am.

I’m sure Jesus never struggled with these thoughts; He couldn’t. He was and is perfect. Yet, as I read about His life in the gospels, I do see that many times He was in positions and situations that were “beneath” Him as the Son of God. I see the perfect One respond perfectly, seeing God’s purpose and work in what may have appeared wrong at the time to those who knew who He was.

I see this right at the very beginning of His ministry.

John the Baptist was on mission by God: calling the Jews to repentance. Setting up his platform in the Desert of Judea, he called out, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2) Confessing their sins, the Jews came and were baptized by John there at the Jordan River.

Things were as they should be.

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.” (vs. 13)

Screech!

Wait a minute! Jesus, the Perfect and Holy Son of God, came to be baptized by John, a mere human? Isn’t that backward?

Yes it is and John knows that is this is true. “But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (v. 14) John tells Jesus, “This is all wrong! You need to be baptizing me! You are the greater one; I am the lesser.”

 “Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.” (vs. 15)

Let it be so now …

Jesus didn’t tell John he was wrong. John wasn’t wrong. He was absolutely right. Jesus was asking John to fulfill what He asked him to do, to baptize Him, even though it seemed this action didn’t line up with Jesus’ purpose. “Let it be so now ” He told John.

Jesus knew His baptism by John the Baptist was exactly what He was supposed to be doing at that time.

Once the baptism was completed, God makes public knowledge just how right Jesus was: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (v.16-17) God was well pleased with Jesus’ obedience. Well pleased comes from the Greek word “eudokeo” meaning delighted. God was delighted with Him. 

There are times, seasons in our lives, when what is feels like it shouldn’t be.

Maybe you are working in an office, doing tasks that in no way tap into your creativity. It feels like it shouldn’t be. Carpool, laundry piles and shower scrubbing doesn’t come close to helping you reach your fullest potential. As the newest of the team, it feels as if you don’t exist at times. Doesn’t God see? Doesn’t He remember who He created you to be? Why is God allowing these days to fly by without any one seeing all you have to offer?

God does see, just like He saw Jesus. He knew His son. He knew all of the God head was dwelling inside this man now on earth in human form. He also knew that at this time and in this place, His desire was for His son to walk in complete obedience with humility.

Here at the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus set a precedence for how His life was going to go: let it be so now.  The whole time Jesus was on planet earth, His actions were marked by humble obedience to His father. His actions continually communicated that Jesus was on time walking in God’s time. Constantly listening and obeying. Even when His actions may have seemed out of sync to those around Him, Jesus was always in perfect rhythm with Father God.

I want to be like Jesus.

I want to be so in harmony with my Father God that I too can say, “Let it be so now…”. Even if I may be doing what I don’t want to be doing, yet I can trust God has His purpose at work. Time and time again in my life, I have seen this come true. Just when I am not sure the why behind His actions, He reveals that He has been at work.

Most of all when we humbly obey, like Jesus,  we can look forward to that day, when He will also say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

 

The winner of the beautiful print from A Chain of Courage is Amy who posted on 4/15 at 8:20 a.m. Please send me your full name and address, Amy, and I’ll send it to you!

Lynn

Friday, April 15, 2016

{Give Away Day} – A Chain of Courage

Let's create a chain of courage, ladies!

Without the action from one courageous woman the action of the next would not have been possible. 

If you are joining me here today from Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today, 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!

Did you find the courage we talked about in Encouragement for Today, inspiring? I so did! Reading about others who are courageous makes me want to step up and do the same! As I shared the chain of courage with my daughter, Mariah, she pointed out something very powerful: without the action from one courageous woman the action of the next would not have been possible. 

If the midwives in Exodus 1 were not courageous in defying Pharaoh’s edict, Moses’ mother, Jochebed, would not have had the opportunity to hide her new born boy, Moses, in the Nile. Her Hebrew boy would have been dead. End of story.

If Jochebed had not courageously hid Moses, Miriam would not have been bold enough to speak to Pharaoh’s daughter. There would have been no need. No reason for her to step out.

If Miriam would not have been courageous and spoken to Pharaoh’s daughter … who knows what would have happened to the millions of Israelites Moses was chosen by God to lead out of slavery.

But they were.

They took steps of bravery, making it possible for the next woman to be brave.

One act of a courageous woman can open the door for another woman to be courageous.

I’ve been pondering on this chain reaction and thinking of so many women in history who were courageous and opened the door for others.

Harriet Tubman, (interestingly called “Moses”), lead approximately seventy slaves out to freedom during the Civil War and became the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war. Her name was feared by slave owners because of her courageous acts.

Women, like Harriet Tubman, who were a part of the abolition movement sparked the suffrage movement for women’s right to vote and own property, making a way for you and I to be able to vote this November.

Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army, led the way for women to be able to publicly share the gospel.  Her act of bravery opened doors for women coming behind her to be able to live out the calling the Holy Spirit had poured into their lives as well. Catherine Booth opened the doors for me and you to publicly speak, sharing the Word of God as He stirs His words in us.

I could write posts all year long of the courageous women who have gone before us, opening doors so that we can have the opportunity to be brave and make a difference in our world at our time.

One of my life joys is watching my daughters as they become part of this chain reaction. Mariah, a social work major, is passionate about seeing laws changed when it comes to rape in our country, especially rape on our college campuses.

My youngest daughter, Madi, has a heart to use her own struggles to help women reach past their insecurities, difficulties and struggles to reach their fullest potential.

How about you, friend? Where will you take a step of courage, in the footsteps of women who have gone before you?

Me?

Let’s be brave together, friends. God has more for us when it comes to seeing and sharing His glory with others through our lives. Keep the chain of courage going on and on and on until Jesus says to each and every one of us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

Today, I’m giving away this beautiful print to remind you to walk in faith. I keep mine right above my stove in my kitchen as a daily reminder not to look at what I see, but instead to God’s promises.

We walk by faith, not by sight. 1 Cor. 5:7

To enter to win, comment on the blog, an area where you want to be brave and walk in faith. If you are busy, simply say, “I’m in!” (Only those comments posted on the website will be put in the entry).

Lynn

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Do You Want it Most or Do You Want it Now?

5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn't Quit

There is no way I can handle one more “no”, God. I thought this desire was from You? Why do I keep hearing “no” then?

Let me back up a bit.

My not-going-to-quit-but-oh-how-I-want-to journey began with a nudging. Ever experience the nudge? That gentle push in your heart that you just have to obey or you’re going to be miserable? God began pressing on my heart the need young women have to know just how He feels about Him and He let me know I was part of the “letting them know”.

Against my will, I took the first step by inviting seven girls over for pizza and brownies in order to share my own story of falling in love with Jesus.

The night was horrible.

With interruptions galore, by the end of the night, I just wanted to toss my pizza boxes in the garbage and crawl in bed. But first, I would let Jesus know how mad I was that I had obeyed Him and He had let me down. But even this plan didn’t go as planned. One young woman lingered asking for more. I’m not proud to say I basically told her to find someone else. My disappointment in the night whispered to my heart Don’t make a commitment it! It won’t be worth it. But the teen was adamant. She was ready to take her faith deeper.

A week later, we headed to the bookstore to find the perfect book to go through. Sitting cross-legged on the carpet, thumbing through book after book, I just couldn’t seem to find a book that taught young women how Jesus was absolutely crazy about them … so I decided to write it.

That’s how I ended up putting myself in a spot where I wanted to quit. I had contacted publishers, agents, any one who would listen to my passion for teen girls and hear my proposal. All I heard was “no”. Each time I received a rejection, my response was different. On my good days, I repeated lines my friends gave me, “Each no takes you closer to your yes.” “God’s got this in His timing.” On other days, I believed the line my mind said to me. You know the truth. You are unqualified. With no college education, no background in English and no platform as they call it, you don’t have what it takes. 

Even though what my mind told me was true, I couldn’t shake what I also knew was true: girls needed this message. So, with the Holy Spirit empowering me, I kept going. I knew there were some short cuts I could take to get my book published faster, yet I felt I was to wait and continue pursuing the traditional route. Five years and nineteen rejections later, I finally heard “yes” to a publisher taking on “His Revolutionary Love: Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You”.  

I sure wish that all those years ago I had had Nicki Koziarz’s new book “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.” Fortunately, for those of you who are struggling to quit like me, her book is available now and Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies is gearing up for our next free Bible study using her book.

Today, I’m giving away a copy of “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.” To be entered for an opportunity to win, please share in the blog comments one area you need help not quitting. If you’re busy, simply share, “I’m in!”  

THIS GIVE AWAY IS CLOSED

****Congratulations to Cassie who commented on March 31st at 7:30 a.m.****

Congratulations to Mildred, the winner of the LOVED bracelet and Magnetic book I gave away on my blog on March 21st! She posted on March 21st at 8:04 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynn

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Power of the Sacrifice

He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.

This is a day to pause, friends. To stop the busy, if only for a few moments, and reflect on all our Savior did for us.

I’ve been reading through the book of Leviticus and Hebrews with Proverbs 31 Ministries’s First 5 app. The weight of the continual sacrifices which needed to be completed for the forgiveness of sins and cleansing is a heavy one. Without understanding the Hebrew culture, much of this part of the Bible can not be fully understood with a simple reading.

Leviticus 14 is one of those chapters. As I read of the sacrifice the leper needed to bring in order to be cleansed, I had to dig a little deeper since I did not understand the significance of the two birds, cedar-wood, scarlet and hyssop that were to be brought. So much of the Old Testament points to the completion of the New Testament. This sacrifice points us to what we celebrate today; the day when Christ would pay the final sacrifice for us.

I learned in Matthew Henry’s commentary: one of the birds was to be killed over an earthen cup of water, causing the water to turn blood red, just as when Christ’s side was pierced water and blood spilled out in John 19:34.

When I read of the cedar wood, I was reminded of the cedar closet my family had in our attic when I was a child. Built to preserve our northern-winter woolens, through the hot summer months, they were kept safe from the moths that would attempt to destroy them. When fall came and we were ready for the protection they provided from the cold, they always had a powerful scent. They had spent all summer soaking in the fragrance of the cedar-wood.

The strong cedar-wood in this sacrifice was a symbol of the restoration of the leper. The scarlet wool indicated that the whiteness of his leprosy was gone and the hyssop brought a fresh scent, the odor of death no longer lingering. After the sacrifice, the other bird was set free.

Friend, Jesus’ death for us, gives us restoration and new life. We are the free bird. As Psalm 18:19 says, “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

We have been set free to give Him glory and live in His spacious place. Free to fly in His fullest.

Open your heart to rejoice today in all He has done for us. We are His!

Lynn

Monday, March 21, 2016

{GIVE AWAY DAY} – 15 Ways to Become Great by Serving

Lord, create in our hearts the hearts of servants. May it be all about You and not about me.

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

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“Jesus says that to become great in His kingdom, my family, beginning with me, must do one thing: become a servant. Yes, becoming great has to do with accomplishments, but not the type of accomplishments I may be thinking.

Great accomplishments to Jesus are acts that come from serving others.”

When culture shouts greatness comes from educational, occupational or relational success, it can be more than hard to combat that with the truth of what Jesus tells us, “

“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.

Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.” (Matthew 20: 26 -27)

Let’s today encourage one another to do just that: become great at becoming a servant!

15 Ways to Become a Great Servant 

  1. Volunteer at church together.

  2. Do a neighbor’s yard work.

  3. Read to an elderly person.

  4. Pick up without complaining.

  5. Babysit for free.

  6. Walk a pet.

  7. Take a meal.

  8. Wash a car.

  9. Pay for a meal.

  10. Pick up a child from school.

  11. Unload the dishwasher.

  12. Give an elderly person a pedicure.

  13. Plant flowers.

  14. Shop for groceries.

  15. Clean a toilet.

 

You might have noticed that each of these things were very, very simple; most of them a child could do! That is exactly the point. Sometimes, when we think of serving, we think of a missions trip overseas or making meals at the rescue mission. While these are great, they aren’t things we can all do.

I once heard someone say:

All can pray. Many will give. Some can go.

Today, I’m giving away a bronze bracelet from one of my favorite organizations that serve people: Fashion and Compassion. The Charm Dangle Bangle is made of solid bronze & is handcrafted in a metal workshop in rural Mexico that empowers the local community & helps keep families together.

I am also giving away a copy of Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants because a beautiful girl is a girl who exemplifies the fruit of the Spirit and is a servant. Confidence isn't something you are born with; it's Someone you live for.

To enter to win, please share in the comments below if you are on my site (or on my blog at www.LynnCowell.com if you receive this by email) and share another serving idea. And if you’re in a hurry, just say “I’m in!” I will announce the winner later this week!

Make a purchase that changes a life!

Lynn