Tag Archives: Holley Gerth

The Best Mistake I Ever Made

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I entered the room shaking like a leaf, cheeks flushed. I had prepared well, yet felt no confidence. I was striving to rely upon the Holy Spirit. However, I was not experiencing the boldness that is ours in Christ. I glanced out the window into the parking lot and viewed many more women entering the building than I had anticipated, most with gray hair. Instead of being encouraged, my anxiety increased.

After years of rebellion, I returned to Jesus (my first love) at age 21. At age 22 I met, fell in love with, and married the kindest man I had ever encountered, who happened to be an insanely good looking pastor.

 

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(YES, a bird pooped in my hair on our first date.)

For his second pastoral call, God planted us in Hammond, IN when I was 27 years old, as my husband accepted the senior pastor role at Covenant Presbyterian Church. By this time I had been in inductive Bible study for 5 years but had never taught one. I did not believe I had the gift of teaching.

Because I felt the void of a weekly ladies study, I inquired about someone leading one. The previous pastor’s wife had taught one, but when she left the study ended. Through prayer and counsel, I realized the Lord was leading me to take on the role of women’s Bible study teacher. With fear and trembling, I sent a proposal to the Christian Education Committee.  However, due to my insecurities, I proposed a young women’s study as that was a little less intimidating than the thought of teaching women older than I was.

Back to that “best mistake I ever made” thing,  I ended up offending most of the older women in the church, many of whom desired to come.  The committee came back and encouraged me to begin the study but invite all of the women in the church.

By God’s grace hurt feelings were healed and the study was comprised of mainly “older” women. I learned invaluable lessons from these dear ladies and they helped me discover I did indeed have the gift of teaching.

Step out in faith and let God take care of the outcome!

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

The following is a photo of the several of the beautiful souls who helped shape me.

 

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What is the best mistake you ever made and how did God use it? Who came alongside you to help you overcome your fears? I would love to hear from you!

Needing someone to come alongside you right now? My friend Kelly Balarie is your girl!  I urge you to order her book, Fear Fighting, off of Amazon.

Awaken Courage! Overcome your fears!

Still Waters

still waters“For sheep, it is the shepherd who finds the water. Very often, he is the one who with much effort and industry has provided the watering places.  Water is essential for the sheep’s well being.”  Phillip Keller

Likewise water is essential for the well being of humans as well, but not just physically. The human soul also has a capacity and need for the water of the Spirit of the eternal God.

Every human soul has a thirst for God, but sadly, many try to quench it with things of the world, which do not assuage the longing.

As St. Augustine said many years ago, “O God! Thou hast made us for Thyself and our souls are restless, searching, ‘till they find their rest in Thee.”

“Only the shepherd knows where the sheep can find still, clean, pure water, water that will truly satisfy.  Unfortunately, sheep will often settle for polluted potholes, where they pick up a disease.” Phillip Keller

Sadly, we humans are much the same.  Like Esau, we often settle for a pot of porridge over our birthright.

Outside and inside the church, addictions continue to rise.  Drug, alcohol, sex, spending, you name it.  Many are trying to satisfy their thirst for God with polluted potholes, which make them sick.

Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled (satisfied).”

We must continually eat and drink from the Word of God.

In John chapter 4 we learn the story of a Samaritan woman who has gone to the city well, to draw water.  She encounters Jesus there. He teaches her about Himself (the living water).  He explains that if she receives His Spirit by faith, repenting of her sins, and giving her life to Him, her thirst will be satisfied for eternity. This woman was a great sinner, yet she came face to face with a GREAT Savior.  She had had five husbands, and the man she was currently living with was not her husband.

Friends that is why Jesus came to this earth, to satisfy our thirst and bring forgiveness for our sins! He says in Luke: “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32 NASB)

What about you?  Are you restless? Is your heart thirsty? Do you long for the abundant life that Jesus promised?

Is it possible that you know the forgiveness of Christ, but you haven’t forgiven yourself?

Come away by the still waters and find rest for your weary soul.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

I Shall Not Want

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Photo Credit holleygerth.com/free-words/

 

“I have been young, and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.” Psalm 37:25 (NAS)

Many of us have suffered financial stress.  Has any of us had to beg bread?  Has God ever forsaken us?

Meditate on the above promise from Psalm 37. As the “righteous”, (those who have confessed our sins and have had Christ’s righteousness imputed to us) we have His promise that He will never abandon us.

Lift us your arms and release your financial stress to Him, and know that your Good Shepherd will provide.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1 KJV)  What rich and beautiful words penned by the shepherd David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Lord of the universe is a personal shepherd to each of his children and has promised not to leave us needy.
The Greed word for “want” is: husterésis.  It means: an expression or type of lack (temporal insufficiency).  He will never leave us with insufficient funds, we have everything we need for life and godliness!

In his book, A Shepherd Looks at the Psalm 23; Phillip Keller says: “We are to be utterly contented in the Good Shepherd’s care and consequently not craving or desiring anything more.”

1 Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Seek first His kingdom, look to Him and be content with what He has provided, as this is great gain.

I ask again, have you ever had to beg bread?
Has He ever forsaken you?

I close with the beautiful words of William Cooper’s old hymn, Sometimes a Light Surprises:

1 Sometimes a light surprises

The Christian while he sings;

It is the Lord who rises

With healing in His wings;

When comforts are declining,

He grants the soul again

A season of clear shining,

To cheer it after rain.

2 In holy contemplation

We sweetly then pursue

The theme of God’s salvation,

And find it ever new;

Set free from present sorrow,

We cheerfully can say—

E’en let the unknown morrow

Bring with it what it may.

3 It can bring with it nothing,

But He will bear us through;

Who gives the lilies clothing,

Will clothe His people too:

Beneath the spreading heavens

No creature but is fed;

And He, who feeds the ravens,

Will give His children bread.

4 Though vine nor fig tree neither

Their wonted fruit shall bear;

Though all the fields should wither

Nor flocks nor herds be there;

Yet God the same abiding,

His praise shall tune my voice,

For, while in Him confiding,

I cannot but rejoice.

An Unexpected Journey

IMG_1886“But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.”Deuteronomy 11:11-12 (NASB)

Hello, Friend:
Have you ever found yourself on an unexpected journey? My husband and I are there right now.  He is working on his first doctor of ministry course and diligently seeking God’s next ministry assignment (he has been a pastor for over 25 years),  and I am attempting to build a speaking, writing, and counseling business.
Unexpected journeys can be scary things, but as Holley Gerth says above: “When you are always taking the next step of obedience, fear of the future diminishes.”  Praise God we don’t have to invent His will! We work hard, pray hard, and take the next step of obedience.  We don’t always know the final destination, but we are called to be obedient and enjoy the journey.
You may have heard of the “one word” challenge.  Instead of writing out a long list of new years resolutions, you ask the Holy Spirit to give you one word to focus on for the year.  My one word for 2015 is “journey”.
I think of the words of Bilbo Baggins from the movie, “An Unexpected Journey”:
Hobbit: You! Mr. Bilbo, where are you off to?
Bilbo Baggins: I’m already late.
Hobbit: Late for what?
Bilbo Baggins: I’m going on an adventure.
My husband and I are choosing to view this season of study and transition in ministry as an adventure!
Moses spoke to Old Testament Israel about the Promised Land and God’s watchcare for it. Similarly, God has a spiritual “land” for us to possess. It will have deep valleys and steep hills. We must fight the good fight of faith and persevere to dwell in it.  We can apply the promise to ourselves that the eyes of the Lord are upon us, from the beginning even to the end of the year.
Friends I’m going to be gut honest.  The deeper the Lord calls us to trust in Him and follow Him in loving obedience, the more fiery darts Satan shoots at us.  For me especially, the enticements of the world seek to draw me to old patterns of sin.  Please pray for me, that my faith will not fail.  I don’t want to be late for this adventure!
I close with the words of an awe-inspiring hymn:
‘He Leadeth Me’
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
Refrain: He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters calm, o’er troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.  
(Refrain)
Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.  
(Refrain)
And when my task on earth is done,
When, by Thy grace, the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.  
(Refrain)
Jo­seph H. Gil­more, 1862.

A Bond-slave Of Jesus: Choosing Faith Over Fear

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“Behold, the bond-slave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 (NASB)

The above words were spoken by: Mary, the mother of Jesus, after the angel of the Lord appeared to her. He proclaimed that by the power of the Holy Spirit, she would conceive the Son of God. 

Yet her initial response to the angelic being was one of fear.  Luke says she was “greatly troubled.”  However, Mary chose faith over fear and declared herself a “bond-slave of the Lord,” and submitted to God’s will over her own.  The definition of a bond-slave is:

 One who gives himself up to another’s will; those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men; devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests   (Biblestudytools.com)

 Mary gave herself up to her Lord’s will. She disregarded her own interests for His.

Are we willing to do the same?

 Will we choose faith over fear?

 May we proclaim like Mary, “Be it done to me according to your word.”

 What are your fears?

 (Remember the words of Holly Gerth: (Best-selling author of You’re Already Amazing as well as several other books with Revell.)

 “You’re more courageous than you know!”