We Are In A War! Let’s Do Battle!

Good morning! I will just go ahead and warn you…this is a multi-purpose post. I’m all over the board with it, so hang on.

 

Doing Battle For Our Children

 

 

I’m pretty excited that it is Friday and the weekend is here. Really, what I am excited about is Sabbath and a day of rest and worship. Y’all, I am leaning into Sabbath like my life depended on it. Because really, it does! After reading Shelly Miller’s book Rhythms of Rest TWICE, I am absolutely convinced that Sabbath is an all-out necessity. So, on Friday I change the sheets on the beds. On Saturday I do a couple of loads of laundry and prepare food for us to have on Sunday. Then, at 7pm on Saturday I settle in for Sabbath. No laundry is done on Sunday. Very little food is cooked on Sunday. I gather my book and quilt and spend Sunday afternoon reading and resting. Sometimes I sit on my deck and pray, while other times I visit with family and friends. My Sabbath rest re-charges me for the week ahead and draws me closer to Jesus. I really, really want to encourage you to lean into Sabbath. You can do it, even if you have littles in your home. It may be a Sabbath hour while they are napping, but you can carve out some Sabbath time for your heart.

 

Ladies, there is still time to register for the Come Away [retreat}. I have a couple of spaces open and I would love to have you join us September 15-17th for some intimate time with Jesus. It is a time when we will study the Scriptures, worship, pray, rest, and just cozy up next to our Lord. Would you join us? Go HERE to learn more about the retreat and how to register.

 

Come Away Retreat

 

Finally, I wanted to share something with you that I heard on the radio this week. It impacted my heart greatly, and I hope it will be a blessing to you, as well. The pastor on the radio was named Randy Snyder and he was speaking about how parents can impact the lives of their children. This is not the word-for-word quote, but it is close.

As parents, we go to war for our children every time we pray for them. It is the most important thing we can do for our children.

 

It really is true. While I have no children to whom I gave birth, there are a handful that of young adults that I love with all my heart. Charlie, Bree, Parker, Coleson, Kalem, Erika, my Compassion daughters, and a few more. It is privilege to go to war for them on a regular basis. I ask the Lord to give them hearts that love Him deeply and to bring them spouses that love Jesus more than he or she love them. I ask Him to guide them and lead them each day. I go to war for these young adults because I love them as if they were my own.

Do you have children or young adults for whom you go to war? Suit up! The next generation needs our prayers.

 

SDG/FCA!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

The Cure For The Try Harder Mentality

Hello there! I know it has been a while since I posted anything and I have been as contented as a kitten with a belly full of warm milk during my writing break. But, I got the urge this morning to hop on the Five Minute Friday wagon and offer a post using the prompt that is tossed out. Today’s writing prompt is the word TRY. Now, to write for 5 minutes on this word.  Ready? Set? Go!

 

The Cure For the Try Harder Mentality

 

 

TRY harder!

TRY to be the best!

Just TRY one more time!

All are worthy admonitions until they settle too deeply into the heart and mind and become slave-drivers and task-masters. So it was with me. The TRY admonition that I became enslaved to was ‘TRY to be enough’.

Do you even know how impossible that is if we do it under our own steam?

TRY to get the best grades.

TRY to be thinner.

TRY to be the most popular.

TRY to have the prettiest/largest/most well-decorated house.

TRY HARDER TO BE ENOUGH!

I’m absolutely exhausted just thinking about it, yet it was my mantra for decades. You see, I’ve never felt like I was enough…at anything. So I would TRY harder. And you know where that left me…exhausted, frustrated, physically demolished, and spiritually dry. Because, y’all, you and I do not have the capacity to be enough without the help of Jesus.

It is only when we cease our TRYING, rest in His accomplishment, and let Him live through us that we are enough. Now when I recognize that I am into the TRY harder mode, I stop and tell myself that trying harder will not work. I also say, ‘Leah, you are enough because of Jesus Christ’.

So, beautiful, friend, when you feel like you must TRY harder to be something that the culture says you should be, throw up a stop sign and tell yourself that you are enough in Christ.

 

SDG/FCA!!

This post contains affiliate links.

 

How Well Do You Listen? and the Come Away Retreat

How are you today? I know it has been a while since I dropped into your inbox with a post, but I came across something on a satellite radio program that really spoke to me. So, I am popping in today to share it AND to connect it to the upcoming Come Away retreat.

Before I get there, though, I want to tell you how I am being blessed by taking some time to rest and lean into Jesus. I am learning to be okay with not writing and posting on a regular basis. I am finding great pleasure and peace in giving myself permission to not be productive every minute of every day. None of this comes easy for me, but I know, with absolute certainty, that I am in the center of God’s will…resting, listening, praying, reading, and simply being. Each week I am planning and preparing all of my daily tasks in such a way that I am accomplishing everything that I can Monday through Saturday. Then when Saturday night comes, I am entering into Sabbath and into a time of doing things that draw me closer to the heart of God. Worship, reading, spending time with Greg, sitting on my porch listening to the birds sing, taking a walk, or visiting with friends and family. Y’all, it is so good to be able to slow down and enter into a rhythm of rest. After only 3 weeks of being intentional about this, I already feel calmer and less anxious. How do you do Sabbath?

 

As I am preparing for the Come Away retreat, I have been trying to be a good listener. Not only am I listening for the still small voice of the Lord to guide me and give me everything I need for the retreat, but I am listening to the ladies who have registered to attend. I have asked Jesus to help me tune into the needs of their hearts so that when September 15-17 arrives, I am able to serve them and minister to them each personally.

 

How Well Do You Listen?

 

 

My ears perked up last week when I was driving along listening to satellite radio. The majority of what I listen to is either Christian music, sermons, or talk radio. On this particular day, I had tuned into a secular talk show by a very well known personality. I remember nothing about the topic of the show. What stands out clearly in my mind is one line that the guest spoke.

It landed so heavily on my heart and gave me cause to pause. Here is the quote:

 

Two Kinds of People

 

 

Mercy! Isn’t it true? I want the be the first kind, but all too often I am the second kind. I want to be a great listener, but frequently as I converse with others I am spending more time thinking about what I want to say next than I am listening to the person. Conviction abounds!!

The Come Away retreat is 2 months away, y’all, and this quote, while not spoken by a Christian, has driven home a point that I really want to help the ladies learn with their hearts at the retreat. Flitter, I want to learn it deep in my heart, too.

God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. We need to listen twice as much as we speak. As I think about interactions that I have had where I was the one waiting to speak, I ponder what might have happened differently if I had really listened.

Would I have heard pain in the soul of another?

Would I have discerned heartache?

Would my heart have been more tender toward that other person if I was not formulating what I wanted to say?

How would the world be different if I listened more?

How would the world be different if you listened more?

 

Ladies, I know someone who is eager to listen to your heart. Jesus is a great listener. If you would like some one-on-one time with Him, I invite you to attend Come Away {retreat}. We are going to spend time listening for His voice. Would you join us?

Go here for more details on Come Away.

SDG/FCA!!!

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

When All You Want To Do is Quit

I am not a quitter.

I was taught from an early age to stay faithful to my commitments, even when it is hard. But in the past couple of years I have wanted to quit the hard stuff, like ministry. In fact, in the spirit of transparency, in the few couple of weeks I had decided to do just that. Later this year, after the Come Away retreat was in the books, I would quietly step away from writing and speaking and mentoring in order to ‘just be’. My heart craves ‘just being’ right now like you would not even believe.

 

When All You Want to Do is Quit

 

 

November will mark 10 years that I have been in ministry. God gave me a clarion call in late 2007 to a speaking ministry that shared Jesus and His grace.  That ministry bloomed into a writing ministry that has allowed me to publish a few books. That ministry blossomed into a mentoring-in-the-kitchen ministry that has been the most fun thing I have ever done.

So, how did I arrive at this place of wanting to quit? I’ve pondered deeply whether it is a result of God withdrawing my calling to ministry. I’ve even secretly hoped that was the root of it all, yet each time I have tried to settle into that, God has sent something or someone along my path to point me in a different direction.

Like a Scripture:  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable ~ Romans 11:29

Well, okay, there is that!

Months ago I sat with a wise and trusted counselor who reminded me that perhaps I have not allowed my heart to heal from the traumas I have experienced over the past 3 years.

Valid!

Almost nothing in my life right now is the way I had envisioned it would be. Loss upon loss. Hurt compounded like interest. There have been blessings come out of it but, like a good ‘bootstrapper’, in the beginning of it all I soldiered on, feeling the pain, but not allowing myself time and space to move through the stages of grief. Is it any wonder I have nothing to pour out?

Still the desire to quit nearly suffocates me on a regular basis. I feel as if I have little of worth to give, and the words that once flowed easily now seem to have dried up. I even have trouble coming up with a worthwhile Facebook post.

Maybe you, too, have wanted to quit. Maybe you want to quit right now. Your job, your marriage, your ministry, your mothering, a friendship, a hobby, life. You want to quit because it has become too hard, too painful, too exhausting, too _____________________. I get that! I really do.

May I invite you to do with your ‘quit’ exactly what I did? Take it to Jesus. Ask Him if He has ‘quitting’ in the plans for you. Ask Him to give you wise counselors. Ask Him to speak to your heart over the whole thing. Ask Him for books to read or music to listen to or walks to take that will help you find His plan for your ‘quit’. Ask Him for peace and healing, for heaven’s sake.

I don’t know what He will tell you about your quit, but I know that He gave me encouragement through Dr. Tony Evans to not completely throw in the towel. He is encouraging me to hop out of the rat race for a time, come to Him, and allow Him to heal my heart. I am re-reading Shelly Miller’s wonderful book entitled, Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World, and realizing that perhaps part of my ‘quit’ is my disobedience about observing a Sabbath rest each week. God instituted Sabbath for us, and the fact that I do not regularly observe a Sabbath rest smacks of self-sufficiency and pride. And we all know how God feels about pride!

So, where does this leave you and me, dear reader? Well, I might be here with a post, but I also might not. And I am okay with that even though the ‘experts’ tell bloggers that you MUST post regularly in order to get/retain readers. Y’all, I will be here when the Holy Spirit tells my heart to write, and not until. I am grateful for you, and I hope the Spirit gives me permission and desire to return to this space regularly one day, full of His words to share with you. I would be so grateful for your prayers.

 

Please do not forget about the Come Away retreat! Registration is still open, but there are only a few spaces left. So click over to THIS POST to find out more information about the retreat and how to register.

SDG/FCA!!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

More About The Day of the LORD and the Rapture

 

Before we get back into our study of the Day of the LORD, I want to toss out a reminder about the Come Away {retreat} that I am hosting in the fall. It is a time for women who long for a more intimate relationship with Jesus to draw up close and spend time with Him and other women in prayer, worship, and the Scriptures. There are a few spots left, so hop over HERE and find out how to register.

 

Okay, let’s get back to our study of the Day of the LORD. We are taking this opportunity to study both the Rapture and the Day of the LORD because the two events are inextricably linked. Let me give you a couple of links in case you are just now hopping onto the Revelation and Rapture wagon.

Go HERE to find links for every post in this Revelation series.

 

Go HERE to read my first post on the Rapture.

 

Go HERE to read the previous post on the Day of the LORD.

 

 

More About the day of the Lord and the Rapture

 

The last time we were together we looked at numerous references from the Old Testament for the Day of the LORD. Today, let’s breeze through the New Testament references.

 

Acts 2:17-21 with a focus on verse 20

 

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

 

This passage details several things that must take place before the day of the Lord comes. In short, there must be a pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh, wonders in the heavens, signs on the earth (blood, fire, and smoke), the sun will be darkened and the moon turned to blood. We have heard this in last week’s post, so let’s move on.

 

1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11 with a focus on verse 2

 

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

The day of the Lord will come unexpectedly and will not be a welcome event.

 

2 Peter 3: 10

 

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

 

Again, a reference to the unexpected nature of the day of the Lord.

I want us to camp for a bit on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 for the rest of our time together today.

This passage details specific events that must take place in order for the Day of the Lord to come. Let’s take a look at it.

 

1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,

2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

There were those among the Thessalonians who had spread the rumor that the day of the Lord had already come. In this passage Paul is reassuring his flock that that was the furthest thing from the truth. In verse 3 Paul begins to detail what must happen before the day of the Lord happens. Let’s look at three important events that Scripture says must occur:

 

  1. A restraining influence is removed
  2. The rebellion
  3. The man of lawlessness is revealed and responds

 

First, the restraining influence. What in the world is this? The two theories that seem to have the widest acceptance is that this reference is to the church or the Holy Spirit. Given the ‘he’ referenced in verse 7 and the fact that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer, I believe the reference is to the Holy Spirit AND the church. Once the church is taken out of the world (via the Rapture??), the Holy Spirit, by and large, is gone unless God chooses to keep the Spirit in the world outside His indwelling of believers.

The Greek word that Paul used here for restraining is one that means “to hold down (fast), keep, let, possess, retain, seize on, stay, take, withhold”. (Strongs) Whatever is restraining the evil of that day will be removed and literally, all hell will break loose according to verse 10.

Next week we will finish our look at 2 Thessalonians 2 and the Day of the Lord.

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Why You Should Attend Come Away {the retreat}

Hello there!

I’m popping in today to toss out some reasons why you, dear woman friend, should consider coming to Come Away {the retreat}. I’ll be honest with you….there will not be any ‘rock star’ Christian speakers at Come Away, nor will there be a famous worship leader. We will not have catered meals or spa treatments or a book store.

May I share with you what we will have at Come Away {the retreat}?

We will have:

Quiet time

Hearing from Jesus through Scripture

Worship

Quiet spaces for talking with Jesus

Jesus (our own personal ‘rock star’)

A safe space for heart work

Tasting Grace style meals

Chocolate

A beautiful cabin nestled in the north Georgia mountains on Lake Blue Ridge

May I also share with you quotes from some of the ladies who have registered? In their registration letter/email I asked them to tell me where they have been and where they are now from a spiritual perspective. I also invited them to share why they would like to attend Come Away {the retreat}. Here is what some had to say.

 

Why You Should Attend Come Away

 

 

Why You Should Attend Come Away Retreat

 

Sweet friend, do you need a faith booster? Do you desire to have an intimate walk with Jesus? If so, Come Away may be just what you need. Please click over HERE to find out more about Come Away {the retreat}.

 

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

What Does the Bible Say About The Day of the LORD?

Ladies, are you considering attending Come Away {retreat}? If so, please do not delay. Only a few spaces remain so click over to THIS POST to find out more information and how to register. I hope you will join me in September!

 

Very often in Scripture there are concepts that cannot be fully studied without taking a few side trips. Early in our study we did just that when we ventured out of Revelation and into Nehemiah and Daniel, Daniel, and Daniel. For the next few weeks we are going step out of The Revelation and take several excursions into both the Old and New Testaments in order to explore what Scripture says about the ‘Day of the LORD’. It is impossible to study the rapture without also studying the Day of the LORD because the timing of the two events are inextricably tied together. After much study it is my personal belief that the rapture takes place immediately before the beginning of the Day of the LORD. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

We will be taking a look at the many places in Scripture where the phrase ‘Day of the LORD’ is used. It is needful for us to do this in order to piece together exactly what takes place and when it all happens, so pack a lunch, friends, we are going on a lengthy trip through the Bible.

 

The Day of the Lord Part 1

 

 

Because ‘context is king’ I will be giving you references for large passages of Scripture that I hope and pray you will examine in your own personal study time. Additionally, I will offer you the verses that I feel are crucial for you to see completely written out. Following each Scripture, I will list for you the major happenings that are detailed in that passage. From this we will build a profile of ‘the Day of the LORD’.

Are you ready? Let’s go. (All Scripture references are from the ESV)

 

The entire book of Obediah, with a focus on Obediah 1:15

 

 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.

 

Obediah is prophesying to Edom (the descendants of Esau), as well as to all nations, in approximately 560 BC. This prophecy concerns the way that Edom and all the nations have treated Israel.

 

The entire book of Joel, with a focus on Joel 1:15, 2:1 and 2a, 11, 30 and 31, and 3:14

 

Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes. (1:15)

Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! (2:1-2a)

The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome; who can endure it? (2:11)

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. (2:30 and 31)

Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. (3:14)

Written to Judah and the nations sometime after 586 BC, Joel tells us several things about the Day of the LORD:

  • It is near
  • It is a day of darkness, thick clouds, and gloom
  • It is great and very awesome (not a good kind of awesome!) and is not something that people will be able to endure
  • Before the day of the LORD takes place there will be wonders in the heavens and earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun shall be darkened and the moon turned to blood. (Remember Seal #6, Trumpet #1, Trumpet #2, Trumpet #4, and Trumpet #6?)
  • God will use the day of the LORD to judge the nations in the valley of decision, or the valley of Jehoshaphat.

Examining the entire book of Joel will reveal that there will be a ceasing of the grain and drink offerings because of the Day of the LORD. We also find that the Lord will shelter His people  and strengthen them. Remember this. We will come back to it because it is highly significant when we begin to piece together a timeline.

 

Amos 5, with a focus on Amos 5:18 and 20

 

Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light. Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?

 

That’s pretty self-explanatory. Darkness and gloom. No light or brightness. I feel that this is not only speaking of physical darkness, but also spiritual and emotional darkness.

 

Isaiah 13, with a focus on Isaiah 13:6 and 9

 

Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come! Behold the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.

The day of the LORD is a judgment on sinners (those who do not accept Christ) from God. Might this suggest that Christ followers will not be present for it?

This is a good place for us to take a break. Next time we will step back into the Old Testament and look at more verses that reference the day of the LORD. Until then, I encourage you to ponder what we have learned about the rapture and the day of the LORD.

SDG/FCA!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Come Away {retreat for women} ~ Registration Now Open

Come Away {retreat for women} ~ An Intimate Retreat with Jesus

Register NOW!

Come Away Retreat

 

I wish I could express how much desire I have in my heart for women to have that best-friend relationship with Jesus, to trust Him completely. The Lord and I have talked about this retreat for months. I know, without a doubt, that God ordained it. He planted the idea in my heart about 2 years ago, and gently confirmed it over and over. I have prayed over it; I have asked for His guidance and thrown out more than one fleece over the whole thing. He has been so faithful to give me what I need at each step of the planning. I continue to ask Him for more….more wisdom, more insight to serve 7 ladies who long to have a more intimate walk with Jesus. I have asked Him for the big things (the venue, the teachings, the worship leaders) and the very small things (décor, food, gifts). My heart’s desire is that Jesus be in every detail.

Even though I have not known the identities of 7 ladies who will attend, I have been praying for YOU. I’m confident that God knows who you are and is gently preparing your heart to attend Come Away.

So, today is the day that registration opens. Would you like a bit of a recap of the retreat?

At Come Away we will spend the weekend engaged in worship, the Scriptures, prayer, and tuning our hearts to the frequency of Jesus’ heart. Come Away {the retreat} will offer 7 ladies the opportunity to tuck away in a beautiful cabin in the north Georgia mountains and carve out time for Jesus. There will be three sessions of worship and Bible study, as well as ample private time and space for personal Jesus time. We will seek to lay down the distractions of daily life and social media and turn our gaze toward Christ.

A glance at the weekend:

FRIDAY – September 15th

Arrival by 5pm

Check in and settle in

Dinner

Session #1 – worship and teaching

Evening Assignments and Fellowship

 

SATURDAY – September 16th

Breakfast

Session #2 – worship and teaching

Focused prayer time (corporate and individual)

Lunch

 

Afternoon at leisure

 

Tasting Grace style dinner

Session #3 – worship and teaching

Evening Assignments and Fellowship

 

SUNDAY – September 17th

Breakfast

Final prayer time

Commissioning

Departures by 9am

 

Optional: Attend church at 11am with Leah at Vertical Church in Blairsville

 

NOTE: Schedule is subject to a tweak or two

 

Come Away retreat

 

What You Need to Know:

 

DATES:  September 15-17, 2016

 

LOCATION: Blue Ridge, Georgia – about an hour and a half drive north of Atlanta

 

ACCOMMODATIONS: Tippy Canoe cabin is a lodge-style lake home on Lake Blue Ridge that features traditional mountain furnishings. The kitchen is equipped with both modern appliances and functional antique appliances. Comfortable living spaces are situated throughout the homes three floors, one of them containing a home theater. Fireplaces include a wood burning and a gas burning fireplace, as well as an outside fire ring. All bedrooms for attendees are on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the cabin.

There are six bunk-style (twin on top, full on bottom) beds on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the cabin and one private queen room on the 2nd floor. Two full and one half baths round out the sleeping spaces.

 

Come Away Post 1

 

COSTS: accommodations, all sessions and material, and all meals are included in the price. This is early-bird pricing. After August 15th, the prices increase by $50.

Bunk-style beds – $300 per person

One private queen room – $350

 

REGISTRATION:

I am seeking women who are serious about developing an intimate relationship with Jesus, therefore, registration will require a bit more of a commitment than simply paying the fee.

 

  1. Beginning now, be willing to commit to pray over your time at Come Away, asking the Lord to give you a prepared heart for what He desires to do that weekend.
  2. In a letter or email, tell me your story (where you have been and where you are now spiritually) and why you desire to attend Come Away. I will need to have this piece of the registration in my hands before you pay your fee. Do not send money with your letter. I will prompt you to register and pay your fee once I receive your letter. My email address is info@leahadams.org and my mailing address is PO Box 113, Blairsville, GA 30514.
  3. Registration will be first come, first served.
  4. Because of the intimate nature of the retreat, we will not be able to accommodate children or babies.
  5. You may pay the fee in full, or in two installments of 50% each with the final payment being due September 1st. Your fee is refundable up to August 15th with the exception of $75. I accept checks, cash, or Paypal (info@leahadams.org and choose ‘send money to friends or family’).
  6. Take advantage of early-bird pricing now because the fees will go up by $50 after August 15th.

Sharing Life: 3 Ways to Help Mentor a Teenager

Today it is my privilege to welcome Sarah to my Sharing Life series. We met in an online blogger’s group and I have found her to be engaging and serious about reaching out to teen girls. She is the founder and operator of Transformed4More.com, a ministry for teenaged girls. She has a heart for teenagers and wants them to realize that the false ideas and fantasies the world sells them will never fulfill them. That is something only God can do.

Please connect with Sarah using the links at the end of this post.

 

3 Ways to Mentor a Teen

 

Oh, the teenage years. Whether they were the best days of your life, or you’re glad you only had to do them once, most can agree it proves a stressful time. Parents, teachers, friends, dating, driving, getting your first job, preparing for adult life in such a short span can be overwhelming at times.

Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic shift in our culture towards the acceptance of sin in virtually any form. Today, it is more important than ever to be sure you are setting an example for Christ and mentoring any teenager or young person you can.

The thought of mentoring a teenager can seem intimidating to some; however, today’s post is geared to help you overcome your fear and show you how to help mentor any teen you come in consistent contact with. So how do you help?

Don’t let fear stop you

What if they don’t think I’m cool?”

“I haven’t been in high school in 20 years, what do I know about teens today?”

“What would we talk about?”

“What if I mess up?”

Fear commonly gets in the way when we attempt to do God’s work. Don’t listen to the fear; it is not of God. In fact, the Bible says “Fear not” over 300 times!

Many people think teenagers are particularly judgmental.  This may be true in how they relate to their peers, but, honestly, it does not often stretch to adults. Most of the time, they appreciate the chance to talk about themselves and have someone take an interest in them.

Don’t let the fear of “what if” stop you from making Kingdom impact.

 

Be consistent

Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Does this mean you have to mentor a teen forever? No, but since we are to model the life of Christ, this verse reveals the importance of consistency.  This trait proves a key factor in building a mentoring relationship.

If you want to be a true mentor, you need to be consistent with your time. Whether it’s checking up on them Sunday at church, coffee on Thursday nights, or get togethers every other week,  being intentional about your time goes a long way in showing the teen that you genuinely care. They can “smell” fake. I swear.

 

Listen more than you talk

James 1:19 stresses, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”

When mentoring, it can be hard not to want to share your expertise and life experience that you feel would help your teen. However, always do more listening than speaking; sometimes all they need is for you to listen.

After you feel like they’ve “gotten it off their chest,” ask if they would like your advice or if they’d like to know how a similar situation happened to you. Realizing that you truly listened to them will make them more open to your stories and advice.

 

In Closing

 It’s been said, “Whoever wants the next generation will get them.” Satan is fighting hard to add to his numbers. We need take steps to do whatever we can to win this next generation for Christ. Is there any teen in your life you could invest more in to? Are there mentoring opportunities you’ve always wanted to do, but fear is holding you back? Don’t let it!

Never be afraid to do Kingdom work. If God is with you, who can be against you?

Sarah Tranformed 4 More

 

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Is The Rapture a Real Thing?

Friends, summer is here! While I do not have children to tend to, summer does beckon me to a different pace of life. To that end, you will not find me here tapping out posts on a regular schedule for a couple of months. I am going to offer myself grace to rest and read a few books and visit with friends and loved ones. I am also going to spend a fair amount of time and energy this summer writing the teaching sessions for the Come Away retreat (Want to know more about the retreat? Click HERE). Oh, I will be posting, but it won’t be three times a week. It might only be once a week. Now, on to today’s post!

 

For 17 months I have known the day would come when we needed to peel back the layers of Scripture and look at one of the most hotly debated topics therein….the Rapture. Well, people, today is the day. In fact, we may take several weeks to explore this topic.

Some folks have strongly held opinions on the rapture that have caused divisions among churches and friends. May it not be so in this space. Prior to my in-depth study of Revelation, I was one who simply hoped for a pre-tribulation rapture in order to avoid the intense suffering that is detailed in Revelation. I really had little Scriptural support for my stance. After spending time in Revelation and other books of the Bible, I feel like I have a better understanding of when the rapture MIGHT occur.  I say ‘might’ because there are cogent arguments for each of the possible times of the rapture….pre-tribulation, mid-trib, post-trib, and pre-wrath. I will also tell you that my guess about when it may occur MIGHT has changed over the years.

 

Is the Rapture a Real Thing?

 

 

Today we will take a couple of excursions outside of Revelation to gather Scriptures that pertain to this most interesting topic, but first let me tell you that the word ‘rapture’ is never used in Scripture. Nope! Not once. This word comes from a Greek word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that means ‘to seize, catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force). (Strongs)

Let’s take a quick look at that broader passage:

 

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 

14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 

15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 

16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 

17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 

18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

Let me explain the context of this group of verses. Paul was teaching the church at Thessalonica concerning what happens to believers after they die, a topic about which there was some confusion. Scholars believe that someone was teaching that all those who had already died would miss the second coming of Christ. Paul was seeking to set the record straight.

So, what we have in these verses is this:

  • Jesus descends from heaven and issues a command, presumably  “Come up here”, “Y’all come”, or something similar.
  • Those who have died in Christ will rise first.
  • Those believers who are alive at that time will follow and be ‘caught up’ (rapture) together with the dead in the clouds (not on the earth, so this is not the second coming of Christ to earth) to be with the Lord.

A passage that corresponds to the 1 Thessalonians passage is found in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. Let’s take a look at it.

 

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 

 

Again, this is Paul speaking about what happens to the mortal body of a believer in the end. He addresses both those who have already died and those who are alive at the time. Everyone will get a changed body. Here is what happens according to this passage:

  • A final trumpet will sound (can we surmise this is the 7th trumpet? Perhaps.)
  • Things are going to happen F-A-S-T
  • The dead in Christ will be raised and changed
  • The living will be changed

Okay, let’s put a wrap on today’s study. What do we know about the rapture at this point that establishes it as a fact?

  • A trumpet is going to sound
  • Jesus will descend from heaven and call his children to meet Him in the air/clouds
  • Those who have already died will rise first
  • Those who are still alive will rise next
  • We will all get new bodies

Pretty stout evidence that the rapture is a real event, I’d say. I hope you will join me next time as we look at an event that is closely tied to the rapture. Until then,

SDG/FCA!! 

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