Friday, June 12, 2015

Be Brave, Be You!

Micah 6:8
What does the Lord your God require of you, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God?

Be bold for Christ!
Step away from the crowd.  Be willing to take the risk to be separate, distinctive, set apart.  Be willing to be brave in the face of what others may say about you, right or wrong.  Stand taller than your reputation.  Grab the truth of your specialness to God, your creator, who made you for a very specific purpose.

We are all, each of us, warriors in God’s army.  We are equipped and made ready for battle.

Boot camp?  Studying the Word God, Being alone in his presence so that you can hear him speak to you, fellowshipping with other warriors who can build you up and stand with you in the battle.

Our weapons?  The Word God, our testimony, the power of the Holy Spirit, prayer, faith, love, love, love!

Our women’s ministry held it’s annual retreat in Ocean Grove, NJ this past weekend.  There were over 100 women there, including my 26 year old daughter and myself.


The theme of the weekend was
Be Brave, Be You

Micah 6:8 was broken up into segments and three of the speakers concentrated their presentations on it

It takes a strong woman to stand up in the face of injustice.  But it also takes a strong woman to be willing to assure that she walks justly in her everyday life.

What does it mean to “love mercy?”  Do you understand what it means to show mercy?  Can you put your personal agenda aside and show mercy to one who seemingly singles you out for trouble?

Is one sin worse than another?  is it harder for you to show mercy to that person who just continually rubs you the wrong way than it was for Jesus to show you mercy?  But mercy isn’t allowing someone to walk over you.  It’s seeking understanding and forgiving, just as you have been forgiven.

Do you walk humbly?  Do you stand in humility, giving all the honor to God, thanking him for the amazing gifts he’s given you?  

Or are you arrogant, setting yourself as better than someone else, even unknowingly, making them small with your talk about them?  Do you, actually, turn the other cheek?  Again, it’s not a matter of letting anyone walk over you, but rather, recognizing in yourself when you are being petty, complaining, trying to make yourself feel better by putting someone else down, beneath you.  Humility means starting from a place below, underneath the feelings of “Can you believe she just said that?” or “Did you see what she did?” And rising through them, understanding that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God

Understanding these points; justice, mercy and humility, teach us what it means to be brave in the sight of God and in the site of a world that looks at us, expecting us to fail.

But how you fail when you know that battle has already been won?  How can you feel defeated when you know you are filled with the very presence of the Living God, who never leaves you, even for a second and never will?

You are a hand picked warrior!  You have very specific assignments.  You cannot fail!

Be Brave!  Be You!

Part of the “swag” that each participant in the retreat received was a drawstring tote with 2 arrows in it.  They represented our dedication to being brave warriors in God’s army.  There was also a T shirt with arrows decorating it, as well as a charm necklace and a bracelet with a bow and arrow on it.

All these were great gifts, but what so interested me was how the majority of the women carried those totes with them wherever they went all weekend long!  Whether it was walking back and forth between the tabernacle (where we held our sessions) and the B&B, along the boardwalk, on the beach or in the town (window shopping and participating in our annual treasure hunt), we all carried those totes with the fletched ends of our arrows sticking out, behind our heads.  Several people asked me why and I got to tell them, “because we are warriors and we are brave!”  The women felt powerful, knowing that God recognizes them as warriors. 

Ria Mignano
credit, Linda Williams Kramer

My Hannah

 Kathy Haines Cirz
credit, Natalie Timmerman

Recia Foti and Dottie Scalzo
credit, Natalie Timmerman

 It was great!


Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

I love this post. I want to be brave.
xoxo, ybf

Stephanie said...

Step away from the crowd.... amen! What a fabulous, encouraging, and oh-so-wonderful post, my friend! May our identity be found in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

Bethany Carson said...

Ha! You know what? We had a get-together last Saturday with a couple friends, and when we each shared a bit that the Lord had been showing us, or we had read from the Bible recently, that is the verse I shared--> to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. :)