How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.




Monday, June 26, 2017

An Identity Without Rival...Who Are You?



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Boy!  Is this a loaded question!  Who are you?  I have definitely answered that question differently over the years:  oldest of five, daughter, sister, wife to Peter, mom of six, nana to twelve, lover of nature, secretary (back in the day:), teacher, assistant to Nancy, Bible study leader, blog writer, women's director and also daughter of an alcoholic, anxiety ridden, fearful, alone, a failure, broken and lost.  My mood can swing widely as I answer this question out loud in response to the question and other times to myself as I deal with the myriad of "identity crises" I have put myself through. 


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In Lisa Bevere's book, Without Rival, the very first chapter deals with our identity as Christian women. She says far too many are "...content to allow the shallow confines of what they do or what they have define them...Jobs change and skills can be lost and things can be stolen.  Even important relationships can be stripped from us.  What you have and what you do and who surrounds you can change..."  

So let me be honest...these are usually the first words out of my mouth when asked "Who are you?":  "I am Cherri, married to Peter for over 40 years, mom to a wonderful half dozen, nana to an even dozen.  I've lived in the Valley all my life and currently live out in the country.  I work at the Desert Vineyard Church as the Women's Director. I have dealt with stress induced anxiety in the past, my father's alcoholism, miscarriage, other tragedies and my own myriad of insecurities.  

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All this is true.  Think about your answer for a moment...Again...All truth.  But not the realist truth...the foundational truth of who you are.

Get ready for a complete shift in thinking.  If we can wrap our minds around this truth and REALLY BELIEVE it, much will change in our lives.  Here is this life altering truth:

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 It's just SO "Christian,"  and we have heard all this so often, we will let these powerful words go through our mind without so much as a warm, fuzzy feeling.  THAT. IS. SAD. When you get it...you will feel the beauty of these words to your very soul:  "I am deeply loved (by God HIMSELF)...absolutely forgiven (because of this great love)...God's masterpiece (unique and loved uniquely by this unfathomable Creator)...chosen and set apart (to bring Him glory with my life)...secure in Christ (the anchor of who I am).  THIS is my identity.  BOOM!

When things are not going right in my life at work, at home, in relationships...when my past regrets and mistakes rear their ugly heads, when I blow it now and wish I could have a "do over"...when life isn't fair and my heart breaks...when the unexpected happens and changes bank accounts, relationships, position or health...THIS wonder remains:  He, the LORD of the Universe, loves me with boundless and faithful love NO MATTER WHAT.  THIS is my identity.

I don't have to compete to be noticed by Him.  I don't have to do and do and do to finally get His approval.  I don't have to be young, thin, and perfectly put together for Him to see me as beautiful and precious.  And His love for others does not take one whit from His love for me, so I can celebrate and enjoy watching God lavishly love on others!  What freedom!

Oh, LORD, help us to grasp this...to not let it pass us by without taking the truth about who we are deep into our hearts. Block the "whispered lying innuendos that assault" our minds telling us we are "not good enough, young enough, smart enough, fast enough and rich enough."   May our identity never shrink from who we truly are to the expectations of this world.

Do you find it difficult to describe yourself outside of what you do? Your past? Your age?  What you have?

Ask the Lord to speak over you truth.  Listen to what He whispers to you.  What did you hear?

What rivals have detracted you from your ability to embrace your identity and receive God's love?  

 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017 Summer Book Blog "Without Rival" by Lisa Bevere

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cQpW7mv5Mkk/UaUcxp2_EAI/AAAAAAAABCM/PhlwuHUrMT4/s1600/schools+out+bored+cartoon.jpg I LOVE this cartoon because it is SO true!! And boy!!  Do I remember those days!!  How many times did I hear, "I'm bored"?  And my answer was always the same:  "For cryin' out loud!  I'm not!  Let me give you so something to do.Never did have any takers!:)

Summer is just around the corner...school is over...the kids are home...YIKES!...vacations are planned, looked forward to and endured...er...enjoyed:)  and we, ladies, take to the web and stay connected through the summer book blog!
If you are back...welcome back!!!  If you are new to our blog...we are so glad you are joining us!!!  My hope is that we will have a great time reading and discussing the book chosen for this summer.

Over the next couple of months we will be reading Lisa Bevere's, Without Rival.  It is a brand new book currently on the New York Bestseller List! 

 I was in the audience some years back when she was the guest speaker at a Women's Cultivate Kindness Event.  I was drawn to her desire to see women, young and old, become what the Lord had created them to be in His Kingdom.  There is NOTHING laid back or "beating around the bush" when it comes to Lisa and her message to women!  Fasten your seat belts!    Here is how you can get your copy of Without Rival...

At Amazon this book is $10.12 and if you have an Amazon Prime account there is no shipping!  This is the link for the book at Amazon:Without Rival Amazon

CBD.com (Christian Book Distributors) has this book for $8.49 plus shipping and handling.  The link for this book at CBD is:Without Rival CBD

We will be starting our conversation on Chapter 1 beginning the week of June 26-30, which should give you all time to order and receive your book.  This 10 week book study will end the week of August 28-September 1.  

Every blog post will be posted on the DV Women's Facebook page.  You can find us here...> (DV Women's Ministry Facebook Page) Please ask to join our group, and you will receive all blog activity on your personal page.  We will be discussing the book on this blog in the comments below each post and also on the DV Women's Ministry Facebook page.  Some have found discussion on Facebook easier than posting here.
 
This would also be a great book to have a journal available to write your thoughts, prayers, and answers to the questions at the end of each chapter.  Please join me this summer!  Grab a cup of coffee or tea, Lisa's Without Rival, your Bible, a journal, a pen, your computer or smart phone, and sit with me as we talk through this thought provoking book!  For a little added blessing...Lisa's  publishers have given me permission to post some of her videos on this blog!!  So be looking for those as well!

Blessings, my dear sisters, over these wonderful summer months ahead!  May we all come to better know the love of our Savior that is "without rival"!!! 

With love, joy and just a little bit of boredom for the summer!! :)

Cherri