By Bethany Lashbrook
This week’s verse: Proverbs 16:24 "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I love the Olive Branch and it’s pleasant words. Can you believe it has been up and running now for three years? Yep - the first post, by Kathy Lay, was on August 31, 2007. It was here that the women’s ministry sought to inspire other FCC and Marshall community women with down-to-earth stories of how Christian women walk in faith.
Thanks to Kathy’s commitment to the Lord and her willingness to start something new at FCC, we have heard of many women’s struggles, walks, talks, and triumphs with the Lord. It is here that we have experienced many “ah-hah” moments. It is here we have cried for, prayed for, and understood more about women’s struggles in faith.
If you remember Kathy’s post from last week, she wrote about having peace during seasons of change. The Olive Branch is also experiencing a season of change as Kathy is passing her role of blog manager and devotion editor on to me. God had been speaking to both of us about this and the time has now come.
Often, as women, we strive for many roles. We want to be sweet yet not too sugary. We want to provide for our house, yet admit we do get tired. We want to be firm, yet flexible. We want to give our lives to the Lord, yet keep control of ourselves. We want our husbands/boyfriends/fiancées/friends to r-e-s-p-e-c-t us yet we know ultimately it only counts if HE does. We want loved on and we want to give love. I hope you continue to meet us here to find encouraging words, accepting all of our roles the Lord has given us.
I believe that because of this ministry, many women’s and girl’s lives have been touched. And I want to praise the Lord for that! Solomon declares in Psalm 72:19, “Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory”(NIV). Can I get an Amen?
There is a passage in the bible, made well known by a group of women who decided to do exactly what it is we are doing here at First Christian Church – follow the Lord and share their stories with others. I would like to think that our ministry here is just the same as theirs. No, we aren’t quite famous yet. No one really knows where Marshall, Illinois is on a map. Nope, we don’t have any speaking engagements coming up in big city venues. But, we do have what it takes to change lives - Christian women speaking boldly in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and redeemer!
On that note, I will end with select verses from one of my faves: Proverbs 31 (NIV)
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Dear Lord, thank you for this ministry of believers who gather together weekly to enjoy such wonderful, sweet, heart-warming stories of women who follow you. We ask that you continue to bless this ministry and all those it reaches. In Jesus Name', Amen.
Application: Know someone who could use a pick-me-up? Suggest the Olive Branch! You can find us on the web at www.fccwomensministry.blogspot.com
Got a story to share? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage and support all new contributors!
Psalm 52:8 "And I'm an olive tree, growing green in God's house. I trusted in the generous mercy of God then and now." (MSG)