by Kathy Lay
This Week's Verse: Malachi 3:16, "Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name."
I've dearly loved this week's verse from the moment I first heard it. I also dearly love a ministry in which this verse is active! You're right...that would be the ministry right before your very eyes, The Olive Branch, which marked its 2nd Anniversary this past week. Two years! During that time it has been humbling and amazing to see how God has used it as a tool of encouragement, a tool of conviction, a tool of confirmation, and a tool for growth.
And I'm not just talking about for the readers!
I can tell you as one of the writers here (and I've heard it's the same for the others too) that God always teaches me through whatever message I'm about to post. I'll pray, "Lord, may my words be the words you have for your precious daughters." And then by the time I've finished it, the Lord is telling me, "Dear one, this message may be for some others, but it's mostly for you." (Why is a vision of a plank and an eyeball coming to mind? Hmm...) :-)
And I can't even begin to count how many times a post will go up on Friday and then that very next Sunday, the sermon or elder's meditation will mirror what was posted. No one shared ideas, no one peeked at the sermon notes...it just happened. Marsha and I will get these crazy "raised eyebrow" moments during service that communicate all we're bursting to say: "Did you hear that? That's just like it said in the devotion!..." God's unifying spirit is incredible.
I also love how God is growing a crop of women who love to write His praises, His lessons, His love. Our writing team has slowly continued to expand and my prayer is that He'll call even more of you to "Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does." (1 Chronicles 16:24, NLT).
In the meantime, I want to thank (in alpha-order) the wonderfully obedient gals who have contributed devotions over the past year: Sara Boyer, Debby Craig, Karen Keim, Bethany Lashbrook, Marsha Loftis, Missy Milbourn, Stephanie Neibarger, Paula Sprigg, and Darra Strohm. We were also blessed to have a guest contributor, Dawn Miller.
Ladies, thank you all for spilling your hearts and God's treasures out to us. It's not easy to put yourself out there like that, but you did it and it will not come back void as noted in Isaiah 55:11: “It is the same way with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”(NLT). (I always knew y'all were a little fruity and there's the scripture to back it up! ) It is truly an honor and tremendous blessing serving with you here.
As we celebrate the past few years, however, let's all continue to pray for God's leading and direction with this ministry. To Him be the Glory!
Father, thank you for the privilege of serving you. Thank you for the ladies who bare their souls and thank you for the ladies who read with open, pliable hearts ready to soak up whatever you have for them. Continue and grow your work here, Lord. And thank you for two wonderful years. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
What God stories do you have? Please consider sharing them here for the encouragement of others to God's glory. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute.
1 Chronicles 16:24,"Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does." (NLT)
Isaiah 55:11, “It is the same way with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”(NLT)