July 24, 2007

America for Ghana

*The text below is from an email I received from Carmen Cook*

Dear Friends,
Greetings. I would like to once again invite you to join us on our next annual medical mission and cultural trip to Ghana this coming December 2007. Please refer to our web site for details. (www.americaforghana.org)
Departing on Dec. 8th from JFK Airport. Total cost quoted for two weeks is $3200 assuming we are a group of ten or more. This include air, hotel and ground transportation, and lots of bottle water.
$100 deposits must be forwarded to us by NLT 30 APR 07 to make your group reservation. You may then pay the balance in increments and final payment must be paid by Nov. 1st. respectively.
Please be sure you want to do this before you commit your funds. Once your reservation is done and you change your mind, the airlines will not refund. You will need Yellow Fever vaccination and a Visa. Please let me know any questions or concerns you may have.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Carmen Cook
America For Ghana Foundation

July 23, 2007

Motivation for Today

Philippians 4:13 --- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, and a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success.

--Author Unknown

July 16, 2007

Motivation for Today

*The following text was excerpted from http://blog.christianitytoday.com/giftedforleadership/*

Several years ago, when I was just beginning in ministry, I conducted a workshop at a women’s retreat on the doctrine of vocation—and I was petrified. It was the first time I put together a comprehensive teaching session, the first time I delivered more than a 15 minute speech, and the first time I realized the value of having solid people to surround me when in a leadership position.

Before the workshop began, I shared my concerns with two special women: Ardath and Nancy. Ardath, ever the prayer warrior, prayed with me during the hour-long drive to retreat center and Nancy, a longtime friend, offered me the support of her presence by sitting in on the workshop. Through them, I was able to find the strength and encouragement I needed to move forward through a moment of trepidation to do what God had called me to do.

In Exodus 17, we see a similar thing happened in the life of Moses, albeit on a far grander scale. The Israelites were encountering their first opposition while wandering in the desert. The Amalekites, a group of nomadic raiders, attacked the people of Israel. While Joshua led the troops into battle, Moses, along with Aaron and Hur, watched the battle from a nearby hill. Exodus 17:11 reads, “So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.” Eventually, Moses became weary, and so Aaron and Hur responded by holding up his arms until the Israelites were able to finally defeat the Amalekites.

Often, when we think of the leadership of Moses, our minds are flooded with images of his heroic deeds. Moses the statesman, confronting the Egyptian pharaoh and negotiating the release of God’s people. Moses the shepherd, leading the Israelites through the Sinai desert. Moses the conduit of God’s miracles, stretching out his hand to part the Red Sea. Moses the legislator, descending Mount Sinai with two stone tablets containing God’s laws. But Exodus 17 reveals to us another aspect of Moses’ leadership: the willingness to accept the assistance of others.

One of the common temptations in leadership is succumbing to the pressure of having to “have it all together.” We may be tempted to hide our fears and weaknesses, feeling that we need to be strong for others. We may find it difficult to trust others with our insecurities and doubts, believing that this would somehow compromise our integrity as leaders. Such tendencies are rooted in our cultural ethic of self-reliance, and they can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation that will ultimately handicap our effectiveness in ministry. To truly grow as leaders, we must, like Moses, be willing to embrace the support of trusted friends and advisors.

But how can we forge such relationships? Here are three suggestions for how to begin:

  1. Taking it to God. Relationships should be grounded in prayer. Pray that God will surround you with godly people and reveal to you those people he has placed in your life to support you. Pray that God will strengthen and bless these relationships.
  2. Taking risks. Authentic, meaningful relationships require a certain level of vulnerability. When building relationships, be willing to take the risk of being misunderstood or rejected at times.
  3. Taking time. Relationships don’t happen overnight. Like the carefully cultivated plant, they need space and time to grow. Build space in your schedule for activities and time with friends. Ardath and Nancy, like Aaron and Hur with Moses, held up my “arms” in a time of need. Who’s holding up yours?
*The text above was written by Halee Gray Scott*

July 9, 2007

Motivation for Today

Hang in There!

"Our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long.
Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!"
(2 Corinthians 4:17)

Does there seem to be a problem waiting for you no matter where you turn?
Do you sometimes wonder if your dreams are ever going to come to pass?

Maybe you've asked why God would allow you to struggle in your job, your relationships, your health, or some other area of life. God allows you to go through challenges because He knows it's the struggle of life that builds strength in you.

If God simply delivered you from every struggle every time, then you may not continue to grow and learn to trust Him. When you persevere through difficult times, you'll begin to realize a greater level of joy, peace, victory, and abundance than you ever dreamed possible.
Remember, God loves you too much to leave you where you are.
He's preparing you for something better!

God, thank You for giving me what You know I need.
Help me to learn and grow through my struggles as I trust You to bring me out stronger than ever. In Jesus' Name… Amen!

*Author Unknown: The text above was emailed to me by one of my co-workers*

July 4, 2007

Encouragement for Today

*The following story is excerpted from the July 2007 eNewsletter by Steve Arterburn*

There was a little boy and his sister visiting his grandparents on their farm. Johnny was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved!

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes" But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally just smiled and said, "Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help" She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."

And so it is with us. Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done...And the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) ...whatever it is...You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. And, always remember:

God is at the window!