WOMEN'S 3 DAY EVENT!
The Chapel is preparing for our first annual WOMEN’S 3 DAY EVENT!
We will have a gift bag for our first time visitors as a token of our appreciation. Each evening we will have a time of refreshments and fellowship. There will be drawings for gifts that will minister to body, soul and spirit! But the best part will be the ministry that each of our speakers, musicians and singers will bring to us!
The weather forecast has been up and down and all around and all I can say is: “Texas”. Unless we have a blow-out of a blizzard, it will be ‘business as usual!’
We thank each and everyone who is going to make the effort to join us. I am confident that no matter which service you attend, that you will be blessed. Our sincere prayer is that after attending the 3 Day Event that you will go back to your HOME, your CHURCH and your MARKETPLACE, equipped with new determination to be a greater handmaiden for our Lord.
Each of the speakers and singers were prayerfully invited to be a part of this event. Our women are spending time in prayer, supplication and fasting as part of the preparation for this event. Many of us need an outpouring, an infusion a new infilling of God’s power and presence. It is easy to allow the cares of this world, no matter how good and noble they may be, to rob us of our joy, and the peace and presence that God desires for us. This is why we are so fervently praying, believing and in anticipation of receiving during this 3 Day Event.
Each speaker is unique, a success in their homes, churches and marketplace. It has not been an easy walk for any of these ladies. But, they have scriptures to share, stories to tell and successes that will encourage all of us to ‘carry on’ in the race that God has for us! No, most of us will never be a lead pastor of a church, nor will we be a CEO of a wedding business. Most of us will not be an owner, operator of a restaurant or any business. Many will not be gifted to minister through a praise and worship team. Others will never be ordained ministers, gifted speakers and published authors. That is OK. That is not the purpose of this event. The purpose is one: for all of us to come away with a new determination to serve more effectively in our own high calling.
As I was praying and seeking God about the event and for each singer, praise leader, each testimony speaker and each guest speaker, I prayed for the ‘just right songs,’ the just right words’,’ the just right ministry’. I am praying for each of our ladies to make every effort to attend at least one of these services. Bring along a friend or two or three! Come all 3 days!
As I was reading, praying, making lists and looking over last minute plans, it seemed as if a rain drop from heaven, hit my spirit, gently, softly, yet so alive and real. I felt that sweet spirit spread throughout my soul and whisper, ‘Tell my women to get dressed up in their best for this event.’ Tell them to make a date with ME and attend this event!’ Make a date with God? Unusual, unique unexpected! Where did this come from?
As I continued to pray about this event, I believe God will meet us, every one of us, at our point of need.
I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of the wonderful story of Esther.
As I revisited this story in the Book of Esther, I was reminded of how Esther and her people were doomed for destruction. There was great hostility, prejudice, ridicule, and those in high places who were determined to destroy Esther, Mordecai and the entire population of the Jews.
I see the parallel in today’s society. Every Christian tenet we hold dear, every commandment from God that instructs us on how to live a holy, productive life is being challenged. Thousands of Christians are being beheaded, gunned down, burned alive and massacred in the name and mission of false gods. Why the hate, the hostility, the murder and the destruction? Why are Christians and our values under severe attack even as we speak? Anytime God’s people determine in their heart to pursue holiness, be set apart, hold to God’s standard, the enemy comes in like a flood to fill unbelievers’ hearts and minds with evil plots, evil accusations, and evil destruction. I truly believe that those so hostile to the Gospel and all of us, who faithfully stand for our God, are not the real target. No, I believe that the real hatred, hostility and rejection is for our Lord God Mighty Himself. This plot and plan comes straight from the pit of Hell. Unfortunately, satan uses men with hard, stony, thorny hearts to be his instruments of death and destruction.
We often quote Mordecai’s challenge to Esther in Esther 4:14…”who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such time as this?” We forget that Esther was an orphan. We forget that she was in a strange land, and as far as she knew had no other relatives except for Mordecai. We forget how young, innocent, vulnerable she was. And she was all these things! A reminder that God can use some of the most unlikely people, including women, to play major roles in shaping our homes, our churches and our marketplaces! All women have Esther opportunities. Be ready. Be prepared.
You are in a unique position and place right this minute for a reason and purpose. It is vital that you know your place and position! It is vital that you, like Esther, follow God’s instructions. Lives and souls depend on it!
In Esther’s story God had a plan and orchestrated each event, each movement and each decision so that Esther and Mordecai could work as a team. Ladies, another key to our success is in our unity. We must be willing to work as a Team. If you delve into the book of Esther you will see that Mordecai and Esther worked as a Team. Each had a vital individual role and as is so evident, their unity was absolutely vital to their survival. This Team work, Unity, is even more vital in 2015. We must pray for one another, encourage one another, lift one another up, and go the extra mile, giving cloaks, coats, food, and provision when necessary.
There should never be any call for anyone to feel more important, more vital to a mission from God. Esther was quickly reminded, that was why she was where she was, when she was. If she wasn’t willing to be the ‘woman’ of the hour, working alongside Mordecai, following instructions and directions, God would raise someone else up! A somber, sobering thought: be ready, with a spirit of humility and always keep a servant’s heart.
As I continued praying in preparation for the 3 Day Event, I began to ponder on what exactly that word could mean: ‘Preparation; get dressed up to enter into the King’s Presence.’
I thought, well, in preparation for church I get out of my farm work jeans; I take off those old ratty clothes. I hang up my old comfortable jacket. I remove my old faithful work boots. I hang up my old sun beaten hat to use another day. I pull off my much worn gloves. They have their purpose, place and position: working on the farm. These are not clothes to worship my King in!
I usually try to dress in my ‘church’ best. I am mindful or try to be, that my clothes are clean, pressed, not too tight, not too short, not too low…modest. If I put something on and feel the least bit, self-conscious….then I know that is not the outfit for me. I guess many might point a finger and say ‘legalism’. Perhaps…perhaps not…I just developed the mindset to dress my best in going to worship my Lord.
I know we have developed into a ‘dress down’ society. Schools have adopted this; many places of business, even churches embrace it. However, it is evident, especially in schools that sloppy shirts, pants sagging down the backside, too tight, too low, too high clothing makes a statement. Attire can affect our attitudes, actions and our acceptance. Ask any prospective employer about first impressions regarding attire! Yes, I am ‘old school’….to me, mindful attire is part of my ‘reasonable service.’ Let each person work out their own salvation and their own wardrobe ….as long as it lines up with the Word.
This attitude towards dress helps me in my overall preparation for worship. It helps me keep an aura of respect for God’s house and His people. No, I don’t worship the building and I certainly don’t worship the people. But as I stand before God with hands raised, or with the Word open ready to bring a message, or feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit to bring a word….’thus saith the Lord’ , I feel prepared.
However, I found as I continued to pray and mediate on this thought, that there had to be more to this whisper. And there is. The dressing that the Holy Spirit was directing me about was not just the physical, but the spiritual! I guess I had thought of this from time to time. I had certainly experienced it. How many times has my worship and praise and receptiveness to the Word been hindered because I had had words with the Preacher, with children or at odds with someone in the church. Even if we take the time to apologize, make things right, the cloud of self-doubt, failure, discouragement has settled over our spirit. That is certainly part of satan’s aerosol. We can make such painstakingly effort to dress on the outside, all the while the inside is tattered, torn, tacky, tasteless and even trashy!
How does this happen? My youngest son, Tim, who is our Associate Pastor, preached recently about ‘Seeds”. He explained even the tiniest of seeds can take root and grow into something grand and glorious for God or grotesque and gruesome for the enemy.
It is mighty hard to sing praises unto the Most High God when one has bitterness, doubt, gossip, dissention and discouragement filling the crevices of the heart. Those seeds are like weeds; they seek and search the fertile ground in which to grow and eventually consume us.
It is hard to be dressed to come into the King’s presence when one has been partying with the girls or boys all night on Saturday night or in reality any night. It is difficult to feel the Presence of the Holy Spirit when one is dressed in the filth of immoral sexual relationships or pornography.
Tim also pointed out in a recent sermon how the enemy will take these failures and sins and make them into something that is larger than life. Satan whispers ever so cunningly, “how can you serve God when you are a rank sinner yourself?’ He whispers ugly somethings into our spirit and we believe them. We become defensive, justifying our failures and thus begin to avoid the Church and avoid God’s people. God whispers ‘sweet somethings’ into our heart…’you can make it, you will not fail, you are mine, I died for you.’…Unfortunately, many times it is the lies we believe. We make it too much about ourselves! Satan tells us ‘everyone is looking at us, judging us, talking about us.’ Really? Seriously?
One of the most misquoted, misunderstood and misused scriptures; 1 Samuel 16:7 ” Do not look at his appearance or his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as a man sees: but the Lord looks at the heart.” Yes, He does.
So, as we get spiritually dressed, spiritually fit, spiritually ready to come into the Presence of the King for this 3 Day Event, let’s take some pointers from Esther:
· Esther had 12 months preparation in beauty treatments, oils and fragrances before being summoned into the king’s presence. We don’t have this luxury. Most of us are blessed to get a quick shower…a real luxury is a 15-20 minute undisturbed soak in a tub. Perhaps, Esther goes on record for the longest bubble bath ever. But, we do have something far more valuable and precious! We have the anointing of the oil of the Holy Spirit. This anointing can cleanse inside and out. We arise with a new attitude, new grace and new freshness –head to toe-ready to stand before our King. So as we prepare to come into the Presence of our Lord, let the Holy Spirit cleanse, refresh, renew and revitalize us. Let the anointing of the Holy Spirit wash away any spots, grime or soot that can be picked up as we move about our daily duties in the home, the church or marketplace. Let us be washed whiter than snow so that our spirits are clean and fresh; our hearts are pure and lovely before the Lord. Let the Holy Spirit strip away and cleanse us from any discouragement, discord, dissension or gossip that would like to cling to us and keep us separated from God’s precious Presence! Dress for Success!
· Make a date with God. When I first had this drop into my spirit I thought…wow…a date?
Why not? We dated our spouses and probably various others before choosing our lifetime spouse. If we are wise, we will continue to go on dates with our spouses to keep the love warm and comforting. We kindle the fire with that special time without the children, the confusion, the clutter and the chaos of life. We turn off the cell phones (or should) to make sure we have our spouse’s undivided attention. It is proven that relationships need nurturing; they need to be maintained; we need to be in places and a position so that the ‘first love’ we have with our spouse is rekindled on a regular basis. Likewise, with God! How we need to have a special time, date night, time to meet and be pampered with the love and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Esther’s beauty treatment and beauty pageant was not just for King Xerxes. Her preparation was so she could meet her God. She represented her people; past, present and future. She had obeyed Mordecai’s instructions, his timing and his directions. He being a servant of God, listened to God’s directions. He relayed them to Esther. Her heart, mind, body and soul had been prepared to go before the king. She could in all confidence do this because she knew she was actually going before her God. His Presence flowed all over her and the King recognized that Presence and was in awe of it. He granted her favor. He loved her. She could not fail for she had been covered and completely immersed in the Presence of The King!
The book of Esther is a story of a young orphan girl, who found favor with God and man. But it is much more. It is a story of two servants of God who led their nation into freedom, who were honored by God and the king and who were given greater authority, privileges and responsibilities because of their faithfulness and obedience. All because Esther was willing to make a date and get dressed to go into the Presence of the King. Are we ready for the time of preparation so we can spend time with the King and bask in His Presence?
Let, us likewise, take some time and get dressed, make the date, Friday February 27 7:00 or Saturday February 28 6:00 or Sunday March 1 10:45 and come into the Presence of the King! See you there!
Spend some time in preparation for this meeting. Don’t just come out and expect God to shower you in His Presence if you have not let your heart, mind and soul be prepared to receive this wonderful, Seed, this ‘treasure chest of DNA’ that He has reserved for you, me, all of us!
Please take some time and meet our speakers and singers!
Friday evening 7:00 : Pastor Ruth Christman: www.whitestonecelebrations.com
Paul and Kathy Miner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gZpk4yUxMM
Saturday Evening 6:00 Teresa G. Lusk: www.teresalusk.com
Debbie Prom: www.legacychurch.org
Sunday Morning March 1 10:45: University, Waxahachie, Texas Dr. Adonna Otwell. Professor at Southwestern Assemblies of God