Showing items filed under “Encouragement”

Feeling Disconnected?

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Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20

The word mentoring can bring a myriad of images and emotions to our minds, ideas that may have been shaped by past experiences, media, or maybe the experiences of others. It may elicit questions. What is mentoring? For whom is it best suited? Do I have anything to give? Do I have anything to receive?

However you view it, and no matter the questions it brings, is it possible that you are taking the first step at this moment? Could it be that you are reading this because God is calling you to something deeper? Do you sometimes find yourself feeling isolated even when you are in the company of others?

You aren’t alone. We live in an age where connecting to others anywhere in the world is easier than ever. Why do more people report feeling empty and friendless than previous generations? The answer isn’t just COVID-19.  How did you feel before your routine and social life came to a screeching halt? Maybe it isn’t enough to simply be with people. Perhaps we were meant to join arms with those around us and thrive within the strength those arms provide. Not just giving. Not just taking.

Did you know that friends do not always equal friendship? Jesus had many followers, but He only had twelve disciples. And from that mentorship came the foundation of the church. From twelve to more than two billion. What a legacy! Jesus exemplified mentorship and instructed us to follow in His footsteps.

and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

Four years ago, a small number of like-minded women at BHBC felt God calling them to meet a need in their own lives and communities. They felt a call to obey and imitate Christ-like mentorship, which would lead them and others to a rich and meaningful relationship with God. That team has now grown with dozens of women that have learned what true community means.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Just like the disciples that Jesus chose to follow Him, the women who commit to the Standing Strong program come from all walks of life and at different points on their path with God. It doesn’t matter if you are a new Christian or not, how many Bible verses you know, or any. You don’t have to be anyone but yourself.

Perhaps this is your time to consider finding out more about Standing Strong mentoring? Take a look at the website for more info. Applications for the 2021 session are available starting on Sept 1st, the deadline to turn them in is Oct 4th.

Are you ready?

Amanda Chadwell.

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His Ways are Higher

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"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

I turned 42 last year. Never in my entire life have my eyes been opened to the wonder of these verses in the way they have been opened over the last two years. Never has God revealed himself to me more than He has over the last two years.  

Maybe you are like me. Maybe you too have gone through long seasons (or in my case years) where you thought you were in control. As a child, I learned that I should control my actions and environment to ensure the best outcome. Controlling situations became so ingrained in me that it was my way of life. You can imagine how well that usually went. But even then, even when my precarious grip on any control was slipping thru my fingers, I didn't turn those situations over to God. I can honestly say I didn't know how to. I don't believe I ever truly opened my eyes to see God’s ways or hear his thoughts. 

I knew God. I had known him, really known him, since I was 33. The day I entered into a personal relationship with him as my Lord and savior is a day I will never forget. That day was only the beginning though. I will spend my life in relationship with Him and still never know all of Him. He reveals himself in new ways and through new situations every day.

Looking Back

I look back at 2018 as the start of the journey He took me on to reveal His glory in a new way. He revealed it by teaching me the life lesson of Isaiah 55:8-9.  

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

You see, if we don't know this biblical lesson, we may just think we are floating along in life (or maybe even sinking) alone. If we don't keep this verse in mind, we may see life as simply unfortunate and unfair, or amazing and unbelievable, or maybe even simply irrelevant. Maybe we remember to call out to Him in crisis or praise Him for blessings. Do we really believe He is in control? Don't we fail to see the beauty of giving up that control? 

When we can allow the words of this verse to penetrate our own thoughts to the very center of our being, we can begin to see that He is so much more than just a prayer during a crisis or a praise during a celebration. He is, day in and day out, aware of our circumstances. Day in and day out, He has a plan. 

Retreating Was Just the Start

The journey I’ve alluded to started at the Burnt Hickory Women's Retreat held that year. I was blessed to be able to attend and so excited to spend time with a dear friend that was also going. Little did I know the plans God had in store for me and for my entire family. God not only poured Himself into me at that conference, but He also put his plans in motion - and He was not messing around!

That weekend led to me connecting with a woman who works in orphan care, which led to us hosting a beautiful teenager from Latvia (a country I had never heard of), which led to adoption. It looks so very simple when I type it out in one sentence. LOL. 

Let me assure you, simple it was NOT. These plans of God's felt scary, overwhelming, and sometimes impossible. However, He was always faithful to give us just enough strength and just enough provision. The best parts, the most insane, awesome, GOD IS SO VERY BIG parts, were the ones in our 18-month journey, when it looked like His plans made no sense!!! There were parts of His plan that made us question EVERYTHING. I wish I could say I had this verse memorized and it calmed me and brought me peace. But I didn't. Like I said, God was using this journey to TEACH me this verse. My husband and I did understand that God was working through us and we did understand that we needed to cry out to Him. We did cry out, and He did show up. But I wish we would have had THIS verse in mind. 

His Beautiful Ways

When all was said and done, I was able to look back on this journey and say, Oh my God, how I now see why you declare “my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways!” I was able to see why He goes on to remind us that “just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways HIGHER than your ways and my thoughts HIGHER than your thoughts.”

And how beautiful are your ways, God! 

That has allowed me to trust HIM all the more. Now when the waves of confusion, despair, or being overwhelmed come - and trust me, they do come - I know this verse by heart. It is the Word. It is truth. 

Jamie Hester

Interested in attending the 2020 Women’s Ministry Retreat in Toccoa, February 27-29? Click here for all the details. Registration closes February 16.

Interested in becoming a Women’s Ministry blog contributor? Contact Jenn Dennard ( ) for details.

Interested in joining the Women’s Ministry team? Visit our Teams page to discover our various committees and which one might be the best fit for you.

In need of prayer or a fellow woman in Christ to chat with? The Women’s Ministry team would love to be there for you. Email Kim Edde ( ) to connect with one of our team members.

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