Sharing Life…Being a Mentor….Nancy Lindgren

I have so enjoyed this journey into the heart of mentoring. Sharing Life has been all about, well, sharing our lives with others…the ups, the downs, the good, the bad, and the ugly. My friends and I have offered posts that we hope have spoken into your heart in beautiful, blessed ways. Here is a sampling of some of the posts:

What Will Your Tombstone Say?

Someone Needs YOU To Be Their People

Sharing a Recipe

When Faith Feels More Frustration Than Song – Kimberly Henderson

I have a few more posts scheduled in December. I would love to hear how these Sharing Life posts have impacted you. Would you like to see this series continued in 2017?

 

Sharing Life Nancy Lindgren Mentor

 

Today at Sharing Life I welcome a new friend, Nancy Lindgren. She is a friend of a friend, and she came highly recommended to offer a post on mentoring to us.

Nancy is a mentor to moms, coach to mentors, and a consultant to ministry leaders. She has been married to her husband, Mark, for 29 years and has 4 grown children who she counts as her best friends.

Email: nanacy@nancylindgren.org

FB: nancylindgren

IG: nancylindgren

Twitter: nancylindgren

 

Nancy Lindgren

 

I remember the first time a young mom asked me to be her mentor. The word “mentor” alone freaked me out! It sounded so formal—like I had to have all the answers and have my life put together, as well as be an advisor, teacher, counselor, and Bible scholar. Well, she and I quickly realized that’s not what she was looking for and that’s not who I was. We just started meeting together. I loved her, listened to her, and encouraged her. Then we prayed together over all the things that were heavy on her heart for that day. We watched God answer prayer after prayer in the most creative and miraculous ways. Together, we grew in awe of our great God.

What I loved about this style of mentoring is that it took all the pressure off of me as the mentor! I actually didn’t have to have all the answers. I didn’t have to portray perfection. Whew! I was just real with her and she was real with me and we talked with a very real God about every little thing that concerned us and He provided amazing answers that we could have never figured out on our own.

We experienced Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

I didn’t just tell my mentee I would pray for her. We actually prayed. We prayed while we walked. We prayed at the coffee shop. We prayed amidst kids climbing all over us. We agreed together and believed together that God was able to change hearts and situations and we watched Him do it.

We both grew in our love for God and our trust in Him. The greatest benefit in our prayer times together was the freedom from worry, anxiety, fear and doubt. It was like they were lifted off of us as we began to pray together. What a gift!

Here’s how my mentee describes it in her own words: “Being mentored by Nancy truly changed my life! Nancy was so loving, encouraging, and the best listener. I felt like I could share intimate things because I was not judged by her and I trusted her. She always pointed me to God’s Word. I never left my time with her without us praying together. Nancy truly taught me how to PRAY! And that is what changes everything!!! She would pray so beautifully, specifically, and expectantly and then be so patient and encourage me to pray. I learned about the power of praying in agreement together! I loved getting to know Nancy more as she would also share with me how I could pray for her. We would pray each week specifically over our marriages, our children, and many other details/decisions of our lives. There is nothing more bonding than to pray together and rejoice together when God so faithfully answers.”

I have a huge heart for moms with young children because I remember how hard those years were. We had four kids in six years so most of those years were spent in survivalhood mode. I loved being a mom but I was also exhausted. I was sleep- deprived, time-by-myself deprived and time-with-God-deprived. I believe if I would have had a mentor during that season, it would have made all the difference.

I also have a have a huge place in my heart for seasoned moms. I know so many women who would make amazing mentors, yet they don’t see themselves as one. They are fearful of not knowing what to say or not knowing enough or being enough. I get it. I felt the same way.

I would love to look you straight in the eyes and remind you that you have everything you need to be an amazing mentor. Just be You. Be Real. Just love, listen, encourage and pray and watch God do the rest. You will be so blessed and so blown away by how God can use your availability to change lives.

If you feel like you would either love to have a mentor or become a mentor and don’t know where to start, I have just the resource for you called MORE Mentoring – A 12-Session Jumpstart Guide for Mentors and Mentees. I would love to share it with you! You can email me (nancy@nancylindgren.org) and I will send it to you as an e-book. My desire is to see more mentoring happen all over the world!

The Trumpet Judgments ~ The Third Trumpet

Hello there! In case you are just joining us for our study in the book of The Revelation, let me bring you up to speed. We began in January in Revelation 1:1 and have worked our way through the book to the point at which we find ourselves today….Revelation 8.

For your convenience I have placed links to every post in this series, in sequential order, on a dedicated page on my website. If you would like read any of the past posts, please CLICK HERE to be taken to that page.

I also have a Facebook page where I link to the posts and engage in a bit of conversation with those of you who join me there. You can join the page by searching Facebook for THE END! STUDYING REVELATION WITH LEAH. I welcome you there.

Okay. On to today’s lesson. The sound of a trumpet calls all sorts of memories to mind for me.

The high school marching band

The Georgia fight song played from the south corner of Sanford stadium before a game

The blowing of the shofar in Jerusalem

 

The Trumpet Judgments Third Trumpet

 

One day there will be seven trumpet blasts that will herald God’s judgment on the earth, and there will be no good memories that come from these trumpet sounds. We have studied two of these soundings, and today we come to the third trumpet judgment. Let’s read about it.

 

Revelation 8: 10-11 (ESV) 

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.

The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

 

What do we know from an initial reading of these verses?

 

  • The third angel blows his trumpet
  • A great, burning star falls from heaven. The name of the star is Wormwood
  • The star falls on the earth’s fresh water (rivers and springs)
  • 1/3 of the waters become wormwood, or bitter
  • Many people die from drinking the water

 

John describes what he sees as a result of the blast of the 3rd trumpet as a great burning star falling from heaven. Commentators surmise that what he saw was a meteor, or perhaps a radioactive missile. Regardless of what the star represents, the effects are devastating. The fact that this object is burning tells us that it probably does not fall to the earth intact, but rather breaks up into many pieces and falls all over the globe into the earth’s fresh water. Therefore, a single missile does not seem like a likely answer.

According to Reference.com, there are 165 major rivers in the world. The US Geological Survey tells us that longest of these are the Nile at 4,132 miles, the Amazon at 4,000 miles in length, and the Yangtze at 3,915 miles. In the United States, our mighty Mississippi River measures 2,340 miles long. There are thousands of smaller rivers and streams around the world. If the blast of the third trumpet elicits an event that causes 1/3 of all the fresh water to be poisoned, there will be catastrophic results. In addition to the deaths of fish and land animals that rely on fresh water for life, the Bible says that ‘many’ people die from drinking the poisoned water.

We do not know the number of deaths that ‘many’ represents. We do know that the opening of the fourth seal allowed the rider on the pale horse to kill ¼ of the earth by famine, pestilence, and wild beasts. So, if we assume the earth’s population is already decreased by 25%, the additional death that is wrought by the poisoning of earth’s fresh water would be mind-blowing. This also does not take into account any deaths that have resulted from the other seals and trumpets which we have already studied.

The word ‘Wormwood’ offers some interesting pondering fodder. This word in the Greek, apsinthos, when translated gives us our English word absinthe, which is a drink, or spirit, used in some countries. This is the only usage of ‘wormwood’ in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the word ‘wormwood’ is used eight times (Deuteronomy 29:18, Proverbs 5:4, Jeremiah 9:15, Jeremiah 23:15, Lamentations 3:15 and 19, Amos 5:7, and Amos 6:12). In each usage it is associated with bitterness, poison, and death.

 

As you can see, the third trumpet judgment brings increasing death and destruction to earth and its inhabitants. Yet, men and women refuse to repent and turn to God. The next time we open Revelation, we will examine the fourth trumpet judgment. I’ll meet you back here soon.

Sharing Life….My Spunky Grandmother…DeAnna Morris

It makes my heart glad to welcome friends to my blog. Today’s friend is one that I am particularly excited to introduce to you. While DeAnna Morris and I have never met in real life, I feel like we are already great friends. She is a beautiful encourager to me and I know she will be a blessing to you as she offers a bit of her heart here for today’s Sharing Life post. I just loved reading her post about her grandmother because I had a spunky grandmother who never ceased to bless me.

Sharing Life DeAnna Morris My Spunky Grandmother

DeAnna Morris has been married to Mike for 27 years and together they serve their community at Oak Pointe Church in Pelzer, SC where Mike is the pastor. DeAnna is a worship leader and seeks to encourage others to know, live and share God’s word. She enjoys great coffee while listening to the early morning birds from her patio and the sound of the waves on the shore.

DeAnna is the author of a recently released book entitled Simply Life: Live in Faith Every Day.

Visit with DeAnna at DeAnna Morris/Simply Life

My sweet Grandmother has mentored me in ways I have only just begun to realize now that I am older and she is declining in health. Notice the hummingbird pin she had just given me… she loves hummingbirds
and she loves me, too!

MawMaw_Me_11_2014Every one of us is on a journey, and we are either farther along the Faith Walk than someone else, or someone in our life is farther along than we are.

Just as Jesus went about His Father’s business in a non-hurried, lifestyle, come as you are approach, I believe mentoring should be the same.

I am very thankful for women in my life who have mentored me along the way. These women did so without frills, checklists, or a “how to” booklet. They simply have been leaders in my life by their own example of Faith Walking.

My grandmother was a woman who mentored in her own way. She let me “help” her in the kitchen when baking cakes and cookies, she let me set the Sunday Lunch table with her fine china and silverware. She spanked me if I needed it and wasn’t afraid to tell on me if I had misbehaved in any way. She made me clothes and afghans with her skilled fingers. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted when I was a small child and young woman with the gift of my grandmother.

She was spunky, feisty at times and sometimes ornery…(speaking the truth in love here…) But she loved as best she could from the resources of love she had within her. If I could go back in time, I would speak more words of appreciation to her for her love for me and others.

Flawed that she was (who isn’t?)… she did the best she could to be loving and kind and to serve otherMawMaw_Me_5_2015s.

This inspires me to invest in the lives of others around me. Women who are younger and just beginning to walk in faith, women who are young mothers frazzled with the endlessness of laundry and little people, women who are struggling with depression, hurt, anxiety and overwhelmed by life, I want to invest in women around me. I have been blessed by women who have quietly mentored me along the way and I pray to be a blessing to others.

 

Who inspires you? Do you know someone who has quietly mentored you along your journey?

 

We would love to hear who inspires you….who has mentored you. Share with us in the comments.

Christmas Gift Ideas….And It isn’t Even Thanksgiving Yet! PLUS a Giveaway!!

Hello!

I’m popping in from my blogging break to remind you that books make a great gift and awesome stocking stuffers! And I just happen to have written a handful that you might want to consider as you look for that certain gift for your special someone.

My latest Bible study, Tasting Grace, is all about mentoring and food.

Tasting Grace Cover

 

Tasting Grace: A Mentoring in the Kitchen Bible Study is a 4 week Bible study that examines the concept of biblical mentoring. The book also includes an event planning guide to help ladies create their own Tasting Grace mentoring in the kitchen event.

Praise for Tasting Grace

“I am a huge fan of the Leah-and-Jan approach to mentoring women. Kitchen counters become sacred spaces and holy conversations take place over the clack and clatter of pans and dishes. The women laugh, lament life’s painful bent and boast in Jesus and His gracious sufficiency. Godly counsel stirs up over savory chopped garlic and discipleship rises warm from the oven with the scents of cinnamon. I’m not sure a person can find a better combination for tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.” 

~~ Beth Moore, Bible study author, Christian speaker and teacher

You may order Tasting Grace from Amazon or Warner Press by clicking each link.

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Perhaps you have someone on your gift list who really likes in-depth Bible studies. Have I got one for you! HeBrews: A Better Blend takes the student on an eight week journey of discovery through the biblical book of Hebrews. Combining in-depth Bible study and delicious dessert recipes, this study will satisfy your tummy and your soul.

LeahAdams.org

 

 

But it now from Amazon and Warner Press.

There is a downloadable leader guide for those wishing to lead a small group through the study.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally, When Words Won’t Come is a pocket sized devotion book that offers comforting words from the Scriptures to speak into the heart. Challenging. Encouraging. Practical. Real. The scripture and devotionals in this book will meet you right where you are. You will be reminded of who God is, of your purpose in this world and that Someone is in control of a world that seems to be spinning out of control. When you are facing difficulties and have no words, you will be reminded that God’s Word always has an answer for every situation you face.

Leah Adams.org

This little gem can be purchased from Amazon or Warner Press.

I would love to give away a few copies of Tasting Grace to kick off the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Here’s how the giveaway will roll. 

The first five people who email me a paid receipt for the purchase of any of my books from any retailer (brick-and-mortar store or online) will receive a FREE copy of Tasting Grace to give as a Christmas gift or keep for themselves. Qualifying purchases must be made after August 1, 2016. You may email the receipt to info@leahadams.org. One entry per person and household, please. I apologize to my friends outside the US, but this is limited to USA mainland only. 

Ready, set, GO!

Sharing Life….Finding Joy in Pain….Tammy Rude

Sometimes a story reaches into the heart and causes you to giggle, while others bring tears. Today, at Sharing Life, my friend, Tammy Rude offers one of those stories that bring tears.  You will just want to go ahead and reach for a Kleenex, friend. Her’s is a beautiful story of life and death, faith and family.

Before I introduce you to Tammy, may I remind you what Sharing Life is all about?

Sharing Life is an idea the Lord gave me to come alongside women and speak into their lives. Sharing Life is about mentoring and encouraging women to lean into Jesus as they do life. Here are a few links to past posts that will allow you to see what Fridays are all about here at LeahAdams.org.

 

What Will Your Tombstone Say?

Someone Needs YOU To Be Their People

Sharing a Recipe

When Faith Feels More Frustration Than Song – Kimberly Henderson

 

Sharing Life Finding Joy in Pain Tammy Rude

 

Okay, on to today’s Sharing Life post by my friend, Tammy.

Tammy Rude is a wife, mother, and women’s leader who is living a restored, Christ-centered life. Tammy speak and writes with transparency using lessons learned through her struggles with marriage, motherhood, depression, and ultimately through her victory by God’s redeeming power. She enthusiastically present practical Bible-centered solutions to the problems every woman and family face. Her tender, yet firm, style challenges listeners and readers to lay down excuses and confront personal obstacles in the power available to them through Jesus Christ.

Please visit Tammy at TammyRude.com

and on Facebook at Tammy Rude Speaker Dramatic Monologues

tammy rude headshot

 

 

Her time with God was important and left no wiggle room for compromise. Reading her Bible and having her daily conversation with Him was at the top of her list. God was her joy, even through the trials and tribulations.

The morning started out pretty normal. I had gotten up to get my daughter off to school only to find out she was not feeling well. I thought…not today. Today was my day to visit Mom. I enjoyed those days, but I needed to let her know I wouldn’t be coming up to visit her. My heart became a little unsettled when the phone just kept ringing, so I decided to hang up and try again a little later, maybe she was still in bed.

It was about a half hour later when I tried again and this time she answered. Her voice sounded a little strange as if her mouth was full of marbles. I asked her if she was alright and she replied “No.” So with a little hesitation, I said “Mom, what is wrong?” She then proceeded to tell me that she was making a cup of tea and her sleeve to her bathrobe had caught on fire. I asked her if she had called 911, again in a wobbly voice replied “No”, but told me the neighbor lady, Doris, was on her way over. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest as I told her I would be right up.

I quickly got ready and grabbed Sydney to drive up to the house. I remember as I was driving asking God to give me strength. The thoughts racing through my mind were terrifying. Was this the day Mom was going home to be with the Lord? What was I going to do? I had lost Dad 2 years previously and now Mom… I wasn’t ready. I remembered asking God if she was going to be all-right and he whispered “She’s coming home.”

Even though the ride was 20 minutes away, it seem like hours. As I pulled in the driveway I tried to get Sydney to come in with me but she wouldn’t. I have to say it was the first time I was glad she said “No.” I had no idea what was waiting for me inside. Quickly I walked towards the house, asking God to help me and to clear my mind. When I opened the door, smoke brushed against my face and caused my eyes to tear up. The kitchen was full of smoke. Stepping into the kitchen I saw Doris and Laura, Mom’s other friend, standing next to the sink and the look on their faces said it all.

“Doris, is she alright?” I asked. Shaking her head slowly from side to side, as she choked on her words “Your mom is laying on the couch and it isn’t good.” Walking toward the living room, I looked down and there on the kitchen floor I saw the melted imprint of her slipper…my heart sank. There just a few feet ahead of me, Mom was laying on the couch with a white sheet covering her body.

She didn’t look like mom except for that sweet smile of hers. I tried hard to hold back the tears. I knelt down beside her, asking her if she was in a lot of pain. She looked into my eyes and whispered softly “Oh no honey, I am fine.”

She was taken to the hospital where she died at 4:15 in the afternoon. (Ninety percent of her body was covered with 3 degree burns degree.)

Evening had fallen and I still couldn’t believed what had happened. I went to bed asking God “Why?”. I remember waking up at around 4:00 the next morning with a heaviness in my heart, so I went downstairs and knelt beside my couch. I began crying out to the only One who had all the answers. I knew He was listening. I knew He felt my pain. I knew He was in control of everything. Yet, my one question was “Why would you let this happen to someone who was so faithful, who never worried about anything because she trusted You?” I couldn’t stop crying. I wanted answers but I heard nothing. I cried out again “Why, God, why?”

A few days passed and I still had no answers. Like the persistent widow, I continued asking God …”Why?”  There on my knees, as my heart was breaking, I began to feel God’s presence. It was like He had leaned over, placing His hand on my shoulder and whispered in my ear…”Not even the devil could steal her joy.”

I have found strength, peace and joy in those words that the LORD spoke to me that day. I want to be a woman just like my Mom, who completely trusted God, even to the very end. She knew her joy came when her eyes were fixed on Jesus.

Later, the doctor told me the ETMs said she didn’t go into shock until she was placed in the helicopter. I believe God wanted me to know He was with her during her tragic ordeal.

 

Dear friend, is something trying to steal your joy? Are their joy-killers in your life?

If you know Jesus, you also know joy…even in the middle of tragedy and trial. Ask Him to fill your heart with joy and help you trust Him in the pain of whatever seeks to steal your joy.

How may we pray for you today? Leave us a comment and know your need will be lifted to the Father in heaven.

 

 

Promises that Will Never Be Broken

Well, today’s the day. Election day in the US. I’m sick to death of all the rancor and bickering, but today it calls me off my blogging Sabbatical to offer some hope to you.

You do understand, don’t you, that it matters not who wins the elections because there will still be a hot mess that people will fight about like a pack of dogs? There will be promises made and a passel of promises broken.

Kinda like life in general. We make promises we fully intend to keep, yet down the road a piece we break them. Promises to love, to keep, to guard, to endure. I’ve done it. So have you.

Perhaps you need some promises to hold onto that you can trust will be kept?

Yet, there is One who makes promises and KEEPS THEM. He is faithful and true. He is a promise-keeper. He is God…the One who sits enthroned above the circle of the earth. God. The Holy One. 

 

Scripture Promises Gift

 

Today I feel led to offer you some promises that will never be broken, even though we live in a broken world. God’s promises are for YOU and they are TRUE AND FAITHFUL. 

I’m offering them to you in a downloadable, printable FREE document. Today would be a mighty good day to download these promises and speak them to your soul as a reminder of Who God is and how very much He cares. 

I offered these in June, but want to offer them again today. Simply click the link below and follow the prompts to download the FREE Scripture Promises. I pray these speak peace and comfort and hope to your heart.

The Trumpet Judgments ~ Second Trumpet

Well, didn’t I tell you that our last lesson was a bit like a Hollywood horror movie? It gets worse, friends. The judgments on creation continue as the second angel sounds his trumpet.

Before we move on, may I remind you that there is a free download for chapters 4 through our current chapter of Revelation? Each download is a drawing of the events of the chapter that was done by my friend, Lisa. I think they will be helpful to you in organizing each chapter in your mind. Here are the links to the posts where the downloads are offered.

 

Chapter 4

 

Chapter 5

 

Chapter 6

 

Chapter 7

 

 

Now, let’s move on to the Angel and Trumpet #2.

 

The Trumpet Judgments Second Trumpet

 

8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.

9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

 

We do not know the length of time that lapses between each of the trumpet judgments, but I am assuming it is not long….days, not more than weeks. The cumulative effect of these judgments devastates the earth. Consider what we know that has happened as a result of two trumpets being sounded.

The grass and 1/3 of the trees are gone…burned up.

A great burning mountain is thrown into the sea and 1/3 of the salt water on earth turns to blood, causing massive death of sea creatures. John describes this as ‘something like a great mountain’. It is conceivable that what he describes could be a giant meteor that hits the oceans. Regardless of what it is, this is highly significant. Earth’s oceans contain about 96.5% of all the water on earth, and 1/3 of this turns to blood. The sheer number of dead sea animals will be a public health disaster for the world.

One third of ships are destroyed impacting not only commerce, but also national and international security. We are not told of the magnitude of human casualties that result from this trumpet judgment, but at the very least many of those who are on ships that are destroyed would likely die.

Let’s put some numbers to this. There were over 50,000 merchant ships that traded internationally in 2015. This does not take into account military ships and pleasure boats. A destruction of 1/3 of all ships would mean that almost 17,000 ships would be destroyed.

Do you see how the effects of the second trumpet judgment will bring devastating effects to world health, economy, and security?

Next time we will learn about the events of the third trumpet judgment. See ya!

Sharing Life…What’s All This Talk about Love?….Kathy Schwanke

In case you did not know it, it is FRIDAY. In addition to Friday signaling the beginning of the weekend, it also is Sharing Life day. Today I have the pleasure of welcoming an online friend whom I consider a Proverbs 27:17 friend….she sharpens me. With every conversation Kathy Schwanke challenges me to press in harder to Jesus and stand more firmly on His Word. Today, Kathy offers one of those sharpening posts.

Sharing Life

 

 

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dale for 33 years, Kathy is a mother of two and grandmother of four. She lives in the St Croix river valley in Minnesota. Kathy’s heart is for teaching, speaking, writing & encouraging women to live abundant, free and fruitful lives in Jesus.

Kathy Schwanke

 

Blog: Savoring Light: http://kathyschwanke.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathySchwanke
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathy.schwanke
Instagram: http://instagram.com/kathyschwanke
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kathyschwanke/

 

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?”
And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Luke 10:25-27

What's All this Talk About Love Kathy Schwanke

 

You may be seeing it too. Around the Internet, in recently published Christian books, an emphasis on this summary of the above passage, “Love God, love people.” Often, as if it’s all we need to live the Christian life.

Initially, the preaching of it was a seeking to move us away from legalism and self-serving. The words have gone out and they ring true for those of us who know the Lord.

It’s easy to grab hold of a simple statement and let it turn into a mantra.

So often, as words go out and embed into our hearts, the ripple effect can, in the process of transference, lose their impact as well as their meaning.

Love is such a broadly used word today; I fear it’s true definition has become obscure.

“I love coffee.” And “I love Jesus.”

Now, common words we find on wooden wall-art, t-shirts and coffee mugs, “Just give me a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus!”

In our minds, the familiar happy-couple greet us each morning and we’ve stylishly snapped our Instagram photos with an outreached hand gripping a beautified mug.

But that picture doesn’t encapsulate the messy reality of true, sacrificial love.

Do I need to give away my coffee and t-shirt money instead of consuming it? I wrestle with that question.

As I’ve observed the “Love movement” scrolling across my screen, it has sometimes felt like a burden, like love has become a law imposed rather than the movement of giving from a sincere heart. Reading writer’s words that exhort us to be accepting, and to ensure that people feel like they belong.

Those are all GOOD things. Accept people. Grant a sense of belonging.

But I’ve seen something about this movement that causes me pause, eliciting a sense of heaviness. Because I’m seeing the outcome, I’m seeing that if we don’t balance acceptance and belonging with discipline, discernment, and correction, we will veer off course “in the name of love.”

Chaos will ensue without balancing the soft, compassionate side of love with what I call “the hard side of love,” the law.

Looking back at Jesus’ words to the lawyer, we can see the love-emphasis is on loving God first. Loving Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.

This means loving Him must be both before and above loving people.

When the order is reversed, I fear that true love is lost. We commonly call this watered-down love; the love without discipline and training, “spoiling” or “coddling.”

Jesus has this to say about truly loving Him:

“He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” . . . “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” John 14:23-24

And He clarifies the proper balance of His mission for His followers:

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

If we “love people” without teaching them to love God’s commandments, we are not truly loving God or people.

Have you sensed love becoming off-balanced in the greater Christian culture? How do you define true love?

The Trumpet Judgments ~ First Trumpet

Hello dear readers!

As you already know, I am on a blogging sabbatical. However, there are several posts in the Revelation series that I already had written and ready to go, so you will see those here in the coming weeks.

In case you are new around here, let me bring you up to speed. We have been studying our way through The Revelation. We began in January and have studied from Revelation 1:1 to Revelation 8, where we currently find ourselves. If you would like to read any or all of the previous posts, please CLICK HERE to go to the Revelation page on my website where each post is linked individually and sequentially.

Now, on to today’s lesson. Our friend, John the Apostle is giving us a glimpse into the next series of Judgments (we have already studied the Seal Judgments) decreed on the earth by God in the end times. Today we begin the Trumpet Judgments.

 

The First Trumpet of the Trumpet Judgments

 

 

Revelation 8: 6-7 (ESV)

6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

 

While Holy Scripture does not give us the names of these seven angels who are preparing to sound the trumpets of destruction, there is ancient apocryphal literature that offers possible names. They are: Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sarakiel, Gabiel, and Phanuel. Whether this is accurate or not, we will have to find out in heaven. What we do know is that there were seven angels, given seven trumpets and told to sound them. At the sound of these trumpets, God’s judgment on earth continues.

The sounding of the trumpet would have been highly significant to the apostle John. He was Jewish, and according to Numbers 10 there three reasons for a trumpet to be blown: to summon the congregation (10:1-8), to declare war (10:9), and to announce a special time, such as a feast or sacrifice (10:10).

Let’s examine what happens with the sounding of the first trumpet.

  1. Hail and fire, mixed with blood are thrown to the earth which results in:
  2. 1/3 of the earth burned up
  3. 1/3 of the trees burned up
  4. All of the green grass burned up

 

Try to picture this in your mind, friends. It is a scene straight out of a Hollywood horror movie, but it will be very, very real. In fact, what takes place as a result of this trumpet is reminiscent of the seventh plague of hail that God sent on the nation of Egypt when Pharaoh would not let the Israelites leave.

Could it be that the earthquake of Revelation 8:5 results in volcanic eruptions all over the earth and those volcanic eruptions caused hail and fire to rain down on the earth? It is plausible, but it also could very well be hail and fire and blood coming straight from the heavens. We shall see.

When this happens creation is effected in devastating ways. One third of the earth is burned up. Consider the impact. Crops are destroyed. Every blade of green grass on the earth is burned up. Millions of acres of forestland stands burned and bare. Shade trees no long give shade. There is smoke everywhere which causes breathing difficulties. The balance of nature, as well as the food supply would be greatly impacted. Earth is a charred wasteland.

I would like to close with a quote from John MacArthur (MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11, p. 247.)

 

The effects of such catastrophic fires would be widespread and devastating, including destruction of crops, death of animals on a massive scale, loss of wood for construction, and the destruction of watersheds. That is a fitting judgment for those who ‘exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator’ (Romans 1:25). Fallen mankind has failed to recognize and honor God as Creator, choosing instead to made a god out of the earth. But the environmental, evolutionary pantheism that devalues man, elevates animals and plants, and ignores the Creator will be severely judged. “Earth Day” that year will be a gloomy and dismal affair; in a scorched and ravaged world there will be little of the environment left to celebrate. And worse judgments are still to fall.

 

Keep the faith, folks. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He is still on the Throne! See you soon!

Sharing Life….All About Mentoring….Melanie Redd

I know I say this every time one of my friends shares a post here at Sharing Life, but y’all, I am SOOO honored to offer you the wisdom of another of my friends. Melanie Redd is a woman with a heart for women and ministry. I’ve never met her face-to-face, but I have been so blessed by her writing and her wisdom and I know we would surely be IRL (in-real-life) friends if we lived closer. That’s why I invited her to offer some of that wisdom here at Sharing Life.

Before I introduce you to Melanie, I would like to offer you a few links to previous posts in this Sharing Life series. Sharing Life is all about women doing life with other women…face-to-face, shoulder-to-shoulder…speaking into the lives of those who circle around our own life.

 

Sharing Life

 

These posts fall into one of three categories: Faith, Mentoring/Friendship, and Food. Here are a few posts from the past that you might want to check out:

Sharing the Word

What Will Your Tombstone Say?

Some Needs You to Be Their People

A Recipe

 

A blogger, author, speaker, encourager and teacher, Melanie’s passion is to offer HOPE! Married to Randy for 26 years; the couple enjoys travel, eating out, and hanging out with their two college-aged kids. You can read more from Melanie on her blog at www.melanieredd.com.

Melanie Redd

 

Mentors…

Mentoring…

These are hot button words in our world right now.

  • But, what is mentoring really?
  • Why is mentoring such a powerful thing?
  • Where do you find mentors?
  • How do you begin a mentoring relationship?

 

Mentors and Mentoring. These are hot button words in our world right now. But, what is mentoring really? Why is mentoring such a powerful thing? Where do you find mentors? How do you begin a mentoring relationship? That's what this post will address and answer for you today! What not drop by for a visit?

 

What is mentoring?

The dictionary defines a mentor as,a wise and trusted counselor or teacher or an influential senior sponsor or supporter.” (dictionary.com)

Words similar to mentor include guide, trainer, teacher, coach, advisor, instructor, older friend, tutor, counselor, aide, and helper.

Mentoring explained in the most simple terms is a more experienced person helping a less experienced person to gain more experience.

You can have a mentor to help you to grow as a Christian. Mentors can also help you to learn a skill, understand a concept, or gain knowledge.

Mentors can be found at work, at church, at the gym, and in so many other arenas.

 

Why is mentoring such a powerful thing?

Mentoring is powerful because it is personal instruction, typically done one on one.

There is nothing sweeter than to have another person invest in your life because they choose to do so. Mentors encourage you, inspire you, push you, pull you, affirm you, and motivate you.

In fact, mentoring is a biblical concept. In Titus 2, older men are encouraged to train the younger men and older women are told to train the younger women.

“These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.” (Titus 2:4-5, NLT)

Where do you find mentors?

Mentors can be found everywhere. There are positive, encouraging people around us all.

The best place to find a mentor is right where you are… in your current sphere of influence.

You may not have even realized who is right around you and how much you can benefit from knowing these people.

Your mentor may be older and wiser or younger and wiser. Age is not near as important as character.

More than likely, God has placed some amazing people in your circles. They are nearby and available if you know who and what to look for.

How do you begin a mentoring relationship?

To find a person to mentor you, I’ve got some suggestions.

And, I always think it works best if the one who wants to be mentored seeks out and chooses their own mentor.

Typically, it doesn’t work well for us to go to a younger or less experienced person and ask, “Can I mentor you? Or, would you like to be mentored?”

Here are some steps you can take to discover a great mentor:

1} Pray and ask God to give you at least one godly, positive mentor in your life.

You can always have more than one, but I believe we all need at least one person pouring into us and speaking encouragement into our lives.

Put this request at the top of your prayer list!

Ask the Lord for an incredible mentor!

2} Begin actively seeking a mentor.

Look around at work, at church, at the club, in your neighborhood, at school, or wherever you spend a great deal of time.

  • Who seems wise?
  • Who seems positive and compassionate?
  • Who seems to have great joy?
  • Who do you respect and admire?
  • Who seems to be interested in your life?
  • Who do you share some similar experiences with?

I have one young friend who actually walked around her church with a piece of paper in the front of her Bible.

When she would observe an older woman dealing well with her children, she’d jot down that name. When she saw a happy marriage, she would write down that name. From that list, God opened the door for her to have the most amazing group of mentors.

3} Invite that potential mentor to meet you for coffee or lunch.

You don’t even have to tell that you are hunting for a mentor.

Instead, you might say something like, “Would you have time to grab coffee with me? I’d love to have the chance to get to know you better.”

Then, get to know them to see if they might be a good mentor for you.

See if you have enough in common and relate well to each other. Ask lots of questions. Listen to how they respond. Determine if this is a person you’d like to hang out with on a regular basis.

Think of this as interviewing potential mentors!

(There is no harm in having 3-4 lunches or coffee dates to get to the best mentor.)

4} Once you KNOW you’d like to be mentored by a certain person, ask them to spend time with you on a regular basis.

Just go for it and stick it out there!

You can ask to meet once a month or once a week. It may feel awkward at first, but likely that other person will be greatly honored that you would ask them to mentor you.

Honestly, any time a woman has sought me out and asked me to mentor them, I’ve been blessed and so excited to be asked! I’ve NEVER turned down a sincere request to mentor another friend.

I had one young woman call me about two years ago. She was also a pastor’s wife in our area. She asked if we could get together for lunch. I really had no idea why she wanted to meet with me.

When I arrived, she had a long list of questions… a very long list!

As we were finishing up our lunch, she asked if we could do lunch once a month. I said, “Yes.”

And, I’ve been enjoying time with this sister for two years now. In fact, she’s become one of my closest friends. And, that’s the other beauty and benefit of mentoring.

Mentoring can be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

One other note

Some of you reading this may want to try a little concept I’ve heard referred to as “Reverse Mentoring.”

In addition to looking for someone older and wiser than you, this type of mentoring is different. Look for someone younger than you who has a skill you don’t possess.

For example, you might ask one of your grandchildren to teach you how to use Instagram.

Or, you might ask a younger friend at work or at church to show you how to use the Internet or your new cell phone.

You might invite a younger blogger or social media expert to teach you some new tricks.

You could ask a younger friend to teach you how to paint, do a certain craft, or learn some other skill.

Reverse Mentoring is extra sweet because it gives you the chance to humbly ask someone younger than you to show you how to do something you don’t know how to do.

You will learn, you will grow, and you will have the chance to encourage someone else.

And, you may open the door for this younger person to ask you some questions about life, about the Lord, or about other matters of the heart. This could turn into a mutual mentoring relationship!