Women

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOUNGER WOMEN

by Debbie Huber

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  Titus 2:3-5

Time has flown so quickly that I find myself as one of the “older women” to whom the writer of this passage is speaking. It is a passage that I read with a combination of joy and fear. Joy, in that I love to be able to encourage others to love their husbands and children and to serve God in the way He has designed. There is also a little fear mixed in because this can also bring to my mind the regrets that I have, wishing I could do some things over again. But I know that God, in His wonderful kindness to me can still use even my weaknesses for His good purposes. 

I have come to see a “flip side” blessing to this charge to older women. There is a unique and treasured benefit that a younger woman brings to this mentoring relationship. I have witnessed several younger women seek out older women to help them and I have seen beautiful relationships develop and godly fruit displayed in lives. Marriages have been strengthened, mothers have been encouraged to seek God’s word instead of the strong influences of the world, and the Word of God has been the foundation. 

God has used a young mother named Samantha in my life in ways I had not realized were important. Samantha has chosen to make it important to show her care and love for me.  Knowing my children are far away she takes the time to hug me when she sees me, ask questions about me,  include me in family events, and send me pictures of her children via text or Snapchat. These small but very meaningful gestures have helped me when I am missing my own daughters. A cherished relationship of mutual encouragement has grown.  This has also spurred me to stay involved in her life so I know about her and I can pray for her and encourage her.

So younger women, God has chosen to use older women to encourage you in Godliness but in His wisdom He will use you in their lives too!  How do you find an older woman to be mentored by?  Do not wait for an older woman to find you to mentor you. Seek out godly older women and ask questions!  Get involved in service in church or in a small group and get to know the women there. 

And older women, do not feel shy about seeking to spend time with a younger woman.  Find out about their life and care for them!   If God has made this a charge to women than His purposes in it are of eternal value.

 

WOMEN’S RETREAT!

by Debbie Huber

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:37-39

There are a lot of things that seem fearful in this world. Concerns for our family, our finances, our world…. How do we respond to these fears and pressures?

Many women tend to control things by attempting to fix them. We listen to the untrue voices telling us that we must take matters into our own hands. But God’s love speaks loudly to our fears and our desires to control life.

This year at Greentree Church’s annual Women’s Spring Retreat, our guest speaker, Trish Donohue, will be teaching from Romans 8 to help us see that God’s love is worthy of our trust.  We will be encouraged to love God’s truth to counteract the persistent lies that bombard us.  

And as we grow in our trust, we are called to reach out to other women to sow this love and truth of God, to build His kingdom.

Our retreat, “A Love We Can Trust”, is at the beautiful Inn at Mendenhall in Chadds Ford, PA, The hotel is nestled on an historic Brandywine Valley road between Longwood Gardens and Winterthur Museum.

If you have never attended a retreat, you are encouraged to consider coming this year. Our retreats are a unique and wonderful way to connect with other women and with our God. If you need to be matched with a roommate, we can try to help you! 

And if you have been before, look to invite someone new!

Registration is open on the church website

You must reserve your hotel room separately for you and your roommates by calling the hotel directly and requesting the Greentree Church group rate. Details are on the church website.

WHY DOES PRAYER SEEM SO HARD?

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by Debbie Huber

Many of us struggle to pray even though we say we believe that God hears our prayers and that praying to Him is a good thing. 

There are a lot of reasons why Christians have difficulty persevering in prayer but a significant reason is that we really do not value it enough to make time for it.  We are too busy so we just say, “God help me”, or “God help them” and then we are on our way.  Does it really make that much of a difference anyway?

God has used the examples of others in my life to encourage me to see the great value of prayer. 

I can say with complete conviction that nothing has had a greater impact on my marriage than my husband’s commitment to prayer.  I remember the time, years ago, when Kyle committed to worshiping God in his prayer time and witnessing his growing desire to love and know God more because of who God is and what He has done.  And this has made our marriage relationship grow.  When I struggle with prayer, God reminds me of this evidence that God meets us in our prayers.

I have a dear friend who pursues me to persevere in prayer.  She has been battling recurring Cancer, and has family problems and financial difficulties, yet she never tires of lifting up the concerns and difficult circumstances of others in prayer.  I see her take joy in praying for others and trusting God in her prayers.  In love, she pursues me to pray with her which strengthens my desire to pray.

Paul Miller says in his book, A Praying Life, that many of us “struggle to learn how to pray because we are focusing on praying, not on God”.  The difference that I see in Kyle and in my friend is that they see prayer as relationship; and the focus is on getting to know God.  Consequently, as our relationship with God grows, we get to know our own heart as well and He changes us.

Do not wait until you feel like you have it all together to pray.  Paul Miller says to “come messy…come overwhelmed with life, come with your wandering mind.”

 

Greentree Church Women’s Ministry is hosting a live simulcast of a nationwide prayer event, “Cry Out!”, presented by Revive Our Hearts on September 23, 2016. On this night hundreds of thousands of women will gather in thousands of locations to seek the Lord together . . . for such a time as this!

What could be more vital at this critical time, than for women to get on their knees—together—to cry out to the Lord for mercy and intervention.

This three-hour prayer meeting will focus on 5 areas of prayer emphasis: 

personal, families, churches, our nation, and the world

Each segment will be led by a different keynote speaker and will include Scripture reading, a short devotional message, corporate interactive prayer, and worship.

Praying together with other believers in Christ will encourage and strengthen your personal prayer life as well as draw us together in unity and love for our God.

We will meet in the Learning Center meeting room at 6:30 with the prayer event to beginning at 7.  For more information and to register online use this link

TRUE BEAUTY WOMEN’S CONFERENCE

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by Debbie Huber

 

“Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”  I Peter 3:4

It is reported that Jennifer Aniston spends $140,000 a year (or $8000 a month) on her beauty regimen. She is a very beautiful woman and obviously works hard at presenting herself as beautifully as she can, trying to “hold back the hands of time”. 

While very few people will spend nearly that much on our beauty regimen we still are very concerned about how our outward looks appear to the world. But as we all know outward beauty does not last forever. 

We live in a world where a woman’s identity is often defined by how she looks, what she wears, or how she feels about herself.  The Bible speaks to us about an imperishable beauty that should shape our identity: true beauty beholds and reflects the Glory of God.  We reflect His glory as we gaze on it and become completely satisfied in Christ and His beauty. 

Greentree Church is presenting a Women’s Conference entitled “True Beauty”.  The conference is scheduled from 6:30pm to 9:30pm on Friday, April 29 and from 8:00am to 12:00 pm on Saturday, April 30.  

This free two day conference will focus on who we are in Christ and challenge us to reflect His beauty to a world that seeks beauty that is unsatisfying and fading. Whatever your season in life, beholding the beauty of our Savior deepens our love and satisfaction in Him alone.

All women are invited to attend this conference. There will be Biblical teaching, worship, and small group interactions. A special continental breakfast will be served on Saturday morning.

Invite someone to come along with you!  This is a great opportunity for you to invite an unsaved friend or someone in our church who needs to be connected. A personal invitation can make all the difference. 

You must register online and can do so here

Registration deadline is Monday, April 25. 

DO YOU FEEL ALONE IN YOUR SUFFERING?

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We away this week, sadly leaving our (excited) baby girl at Moody Bible College in the heart of downtown Chicago

So, this week Well-Rooted will feature links to helpful articles from other bloggers

Today’s featured article by Courtney Reissig is from the Gospel Coalition website. Courtney shares her experience with deep groaning after the loss of her unborn child:

“You Do Not Groan Alone”

Artwork: “Sorrow” by Tilly Williams

THE “I AM” IS HERE

Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”  Exodus 3:13-15

On Monday evenings this summer, women from our church have been listening to the teaching series by Paul Tripp, “Women Helping Women”.  We are learning that through God’s grace we will often go through storms in our lives to help us to know that we are not alone. God takes us through these storms so we can see his glory at work producing in us what we could not achieve on our own.

The I Am is the most important name for God in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus claimed he was the I Am.  The power of this name shows us that God is always there, that He is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, He does not change, He is all powerful.

Paul Tripp says:  “It is impossible for you to ever be in the storms of life by yourself because your life has been invaded by the grace of the one who is the I Am.”  Our hope is not in situations, locations, or people.  By His grace we have hope because the I Am is here.

“When you are facing things in your life that are too difficult to solve, say to yourself, ‘I am not in this moment alone.  Because my life has been invaded by the grace of the one who is the I Am’.”

What a great word picture.  “The I Am has invaded our lives.”  He saved us when we wanted to push Him away and fight against Him and He has conquered our sin and lives within us.  We are now His possession and His children.

When it seems that there is no hope in your marriage, say to yourself. “The I Am is here!”

When the sickness in your body seems like it has won, say out loud to yourself:  “My life has been invaded by the grace of the one who is the I Am.”

When problems arise with family, your job, your finances, remind yourself repeatedly that “The I Am is Here, I am not in this alone.”

The I Am is here, the I Am is here, the I Am is here.  And the I Am is the source of our hope.

BEAUTY IN MODESTY

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Last Sunday the issue of modesty in dress came up in the sermon from 1 Timothy chapter 2. A year ago my wife, Debbie, wrote an article for Well Rooted on the subject of modesty and I thought it would be an appropriate time to share it again with you.

Summertime is here!  I love the warm weather, the beach, the flip flops, the shorts…. But with the changing wardrobe for the summer – and living near the beach, I see a familiar issue all around me:  immodesty.  How should we, as Christians, deal with the question of modesty versus immodesty?  Recently in a blog post, author and speaker Elyse Fitzpatrick gave a perspective on this issue that helped me to keep the proper focus:

Modesty, she described, “is simply a refusal to show off, out of love for God and one’s neighbor. Jesus refused to show off His power. When tempted by Satan, He refused to show off His ability to turn stones into bread or cast Himself off a high tower (Matt. 4:1–11). When attacked by His accusers, He “opened not His mouth” (Isa. 53:7). When facing the humiliation and excruciating pain of the cross, He refrained from appealing to His Father for legions of angels who were waiting to bring Him deliverance (Matt. 26:53). Jesus didn’t show off His power or authority because He loved His neighbor—His bride the church.”

“Conversely, immodesty flows out of the heart of a show-off. Maybe we’ve worked hard at the gym or purchased an expensive new pair of jeans. Maybe we want to prove how free we are to dress in any way we choose, no matter how suggestive.  When we show off, we’re failing to love our brothers and sisters who may be tempted to lust, covetousness, or sinful imitation. Showing off is a fruit of pride and love of self.”

The beauty of the Gospel helps us to see when we are “showing-off”, thinking only of ourselves and not loving others.  The Gospel shows us that we don’t need the approval of others for our identity.  Our identity is found in Jesus’ amazing love for us – that instead of showing off, He lived, died and rose from the dead so we could belong to Him. Of course, as Christians we may need to be taught what modesty in dress looks like. But seek to focus on the heart of the issue as Elyse describes:

“It’s just that the transforming power that changes a show-off into a servant doesn’t come from rules about shirts or skirts. It comes from remembering the gospel and seeking to show Him off instead.”

AN INVITATION TO YOU

GUEST BLOGGER: Debbie Huber

Prayer. We know how important it is.  When we go through sickness and difficulty we desire that others will pray for us and that God will hear our prayers.

But in the routine of everyday, we find it hard to be consistent, difficult to take the time to pray, and often rote in what we pray to God.
Often our prayer time can be like a To Do list for God:  Pray for family, health, finances, good weather.   But we know that something is missing from those prayers.

After hearing Kyle recommend the book, “The Praying Life” by Paul Miller, for a while now, I finally read it. I highly recommend that you read this book. It is an easy-to-read, engaging and challenging book filled with personal examples from the author’s family and life.  He emphasizes that prayer is not the center of the book, getting to know a person, God, is the center.

Paul Miller explains how we push prayer to the side to be something good but not essential to life.  After all we have other ways to fix things, like money and hard work. Prayer is good but doesn’t really connect or seem that essential.

We struggle with prayer because we are focusing on the prayer itself instead of our God!  Miller says that prayer is “simply the medium through which we experience and connect with God. “ It is an intimate connection where the relationship and love for God grows.

He writes, “We don’t need a praying life because that is our duty. That would wear thin quickly.  We need time to be with our father every day, because every day our hearts and the hearts of those around us are overgrown with weeds. We need to reflect on our lives and engage God with the condition of our souls and the souls He has entrusted to our care or put in our paths.”

Greentree Church women have a unique opportunity this year for our annual Spring Retreat. The author of this book has an organization called “seeJesus” that provides Praying Life Seminars based on the book, “A Praying Life”.  We are privileged to have their Director of Women’s Ministries, Julie Courtney, present the seminar at this year’s retreat.

We all get frustrated with our inconsistencies and struggles with prayer.  At the retreat we will look at Jesus’ powerful, yet simple teachings on prayer and practice becoming child-like, patterning after Jesus’ own teaching and style of praying.  We will learn to ask our Father anything – with eyes wide open to the story he is creating in our lives.

The sad reality is that the topic of prayer does not seem as exciting as some other retreat topics, but there are few other topics as important.  We have a God who, because of His great love for us, desires that we grow in our intimacy with Him.  I am strongly encouraging the women of our church to do all you can to attend this retreat.  And invite a friend!

 

COMMUNICATING RESPECT TO YOUR HUSBAND

by Debbie Huber

I have never read the book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, nor am I recommending it. But there is some truth in that title!  Men and women often do communicate very differently, as if we are from different planets, and it can be a problem in a marriage.

The subtitle, “Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships” is the part that makes me steer clear of the book.  The goal of communication should not be “Getting what you want in your relationships”, but rather, honoring God in your communication to demonstrate the gospel in your relationships.

I recently read an eye-opening article by Thabiti Anyabwile on The Gospel Coalition blog that discusses the differences between how men and women work through decision making.  I recommend that you read it here:

He says that most women feel like “I gotta get everything done.”  And in contrast it seems most men feel like “I gotta get everything right”.  Related to this, many women make their decisions by talking through them; while many men make their decisions by brooding over them.  This can result in a vicious cycle of nagging by the wife because she needs to get things done and her husband is not responding quickly enough which leads to an unloving response by the husband because he feels disrespected.

He gives some good biblical advice to wives:  “Wives, please recognize this; In a world where your husband might feel like he’s always earning respect, defending himself and his family, and worried about messing everything up, the last place he wants to have a fight about respect is in his home with his wife.”

This is what he encourages wives to do:  “Ladies, respect your husbands.  Make your main ministry to him a ministry of affirmation and encouragement.  I don’t mean flattery.  And I don’t mean never share honest feelings and concerns.  But never share those things in a way that attacks his sense of confidence and self as a man.  If you don’t know what that looks like, ask him–after a period of communicating to him the simple message, “I respect you.”  You’ll be surprised at the amazing changes that happen in your man’s life when he hears you say in various ways without flattery, ‘I respect you.’ “

Sinful selfishness is a natural, worldly response to defend our position, but we have been changed by a supernatural God!  He will enable us to respond biblically to our spouse which is a wonderful example of the gospel to those around us!