Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Our First Anniversary!

by Kathy Lay

This Week’s Verse: 1 Chronicles 16:24, “Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.” (NLT)

Happy Anniversary, Olive Branch! In August of last year, the Women’s Ministry at First Christian Church took this week’s verse to heart and launched a blog dedicated to “publishing his glorious deeds.” We can’t let the occasion pass without giving God major praise and thanks for all He’s accomplished through it.

Sara B. sums it up very nicely with the following:

It's really been 1 year??!! How incredible is that! To God be the Glory!

I can't think of a single devotion from the Olive Branch that hasn't been a blessing to me. It's comforting to know that we all experience so many of the same things. The details may be different, but the challenges are similar. It's so helpful in gaining perspective when someone else has shared their experience. I love being a part of the Body of Christ!

I'm excited to see the new devotion each Monday morning in my email in box. What a great way to start the week. I love it that we get to know the hearts of our sisters in Christ through their words.

I hope that more of our sisters will take a leap of faith to write a devotion. We have a safe place for any one of us to express how God has worked through our lives.

God has blessed us so much! I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us!

As Sara mentioned, we began emailing the devotions at the beginning of ’08. They’re still posted on the blog every Friday, and then emailed out Sunday evenings so that you’re greeted with them Monday morning. We currently have 80 ladies on the email list and welcome more.

I would personally like to give major props to our devotion writers. Besides myself, Sara Boyer, Karen Keim, Bethany Lashbrook, Marsha Loftis, Missy Milbourn, and Stephanie Neibarger also shared in obedience what God had placed on their beautiful hearts. Thank you, Sistas! Thanks for using your talents for the kingdom!

Also as Sara mentioned, we would love to see our team of writers expand. Many of you have experienced wonderful God stories that need to be told. As we look to the year ahead, please pray about whether God may be calling you—yes, YOU!—to share your own devotions on the blog. If he is, just email us. We may even offer a one or two-time “class” on how to write your story if there’s interest. God wants His great works told.

It has been a great first year! Please join us in praying that in the blog’s second year, more and more lives are touched and encouraged by what they find here.

Father God, your faithfulness astounds us. Thank you for a platform from which we can share You and Your glorious works. We ask your continued blessing on this blog and the devotions, that as we embark on our second year, You use it to bless the women who need it. Your word never comes back void, so we thank you in advance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application: Go to the archives on the right-hand side of the blog and click through past devotions. It’s so neat to go back and see—not only through the devotions, but also through the comments—the glorious things God has done over the past year.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 45:25
, “In the Lord all the generations of Israel will be justified, and in him they will boast.”(NLT)
Philippians 4:4, “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!”(MSG)

1 comment:

Marsha said...

Looking back through the past devotions is a great idea! But, WARNING!: Not for the faint of heart! I did this one sleepless night and that has become affectionatley known as my "Night of Tears". I want to post part of an email to Kathy in my comment, so bear with me. Is there a space issue? We'll see.

"As I wipe the tears from my eyes...I am reminded again of your words describing our angles wrapped in the flesh." "I found amazing blessings in the past! All thoses stories, and thoughts and heartfelt 'God-cidents' locked away in the past tense of my computer. I asked God to bless the thing, I prayed over it, asking Him to let it bring good things into our lives, not harm. He is so faithful and good to me! Through you. And Karen and Paula and Bethany and Trish and Missy... Through every comment, every post. A heart was laid open for me to peer into. To laugh with and to cry with. The lost puppy, Dustin, why we "do church", putting our families first in the ripple, the funk (which is appearantly where I am now) Jessica's co-worker, the Holy Ghost story, envy and greed being kicked in th teeth by the Word of God!, The Williams and their grief, Marybeth's speaking engagemnet...You probably don't remember half of these things but they are fresh in my mind right now."

These ladies are truly "angels wrapped in the flesh" and I want to thank them for their obedience. If you have contributed since this email, I thank you too!

I echo Sara's comment that I don't think there was one devo written that hasn't made an impact or moved me in some way. I pray continued blessings over The Olive Branch and every subscriber and pray that God adds to the list of contributors. If it's crossed your mind to become one, take that leap of faith! You won't be sorry!