EMPOWERING CHRISTIAN WOMEN: April 2008 Blogger Widgets

Somebody's Praying

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The 57th Annual National Day of Prayer will take place Thursday, May 1, 2008.

The theme for this year is "Prayer! America's Strength and Shield" and is based on the verse from Psalm 28:7 which states: "The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped."


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FREE Online Christian Conference

Friday, April 25, 2008

Feel like your spiritual tank is on empty?
Need to refill and refuel on the Word of God
and His Holy Spirit?

may be just what the Great Physician ordered!

When: June 2nd-5th 2008

Cost: Absolutely FREE!

Where: Right Where You Are!
The free Christian seminar series and workshops
will all be offered online, so you can join in from home!

What: What's included in this free conference?

* Interactive Christian workshops and videos.

* A powerful Christian seminar series
featuring dynamic speakers from across the globe.

*** PLUS a free journal to guide you
through your Christian seminars!

* Group discussions with other Christians
attending the conference world-wide.

* A live conference call where you can ask
your own personal questions
about living for God and connecting with Him.

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Did I Marry the Wrong Person?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Did I Marry the Wrong Person?
By Belinda Elliott

As the latest divorce statistics demonstrate, it seems that people are giving up on their marriages in record numbers. And unfortunately, the number of Christians divorcing is no lower than that of non-believers. Why is that? Why are so many marriages failing?

According to author and speaker Mark Gungor, the problem stems from couples’ expectations about what marriage should be like. Gungor is a pastor and a highly sought-after speaker. His “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” seminars are attended by thousands each year. After thirty years of ministering to couples, Gungor says the most common problem he sees in marriages is that couples don’t understand how relationships really work.

“People think that if a marriage is meant to be, it will just be,” Gungor says.
He compares it to Proverbs 14:4 which says, "Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox."

“Like the ox, marriage is a great, productive thing,” he says. “But if you are going to have an ox, then you’re going to have ox poo. There is no such thing as a poo-free marriage. The problem is, many don’t expect to find any poo at all in their marriage, and when they encounter stuff that stinks, they see it as a sign that they married the wrong person.”

Contrary to what many believe, the success of a marriage has little to do with marrying the right person, he says.

“The truth is, a successful marriage is not the result of marrying the “right” person, feeling the “right” emotions, thinking the “right” thoughts, or even praying the “right” prayers,” Gungor writes in his book. “It’s about doing the “right” things -- period.”

His belief that there are no “soul mates” and that God doesn’t create one person “just for you” may not be popular with Christians who have been raised to believe that a good marriage is all about finding the spouse that God has created for them.

“Surprising to many, the Bible never tells us to find the one God has chosen. It tells us how to live with the person we have chosen,” Gungor says. “Why doesn’t God have a special person just for you? Because He knows that His principles of love, acceptance, patience, and forgiveness work, and they work all the time, every time — no matter to whom you are married.”

The problem, he says, is that when couples run into difficulties or conflicts in their relationships, they assume they must have made a mistake and that they aren’t really meant to be together.
“Then the unwise voices of modern convention scream in their minds: ‘If things are bad, you married the wrong person.’ ‘It’s not supposed to be this hard.’ ‘You’ve made a mistake.’ ‘God doesn’t want you to feel unloved.’" As a result, couples bail on their marriages.
But couples, and especially Christians, should not succumb to these false beliefs.

“Marriage for the Christian is supposed to be on a completely different footing than the what do I get out of this mindset," Gungor writes. “We aren’t supposed to be tossing difficult relationships away like some kind of disposable diaper.”

Through his “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” seminars, and his newly released book by the same name, Gungor seeks to educate couples about the work that it takes to build a successful marriage. He believes that there are “marriage physics” laws that must be followed for couples to have thriving marriages.

“Just as there are laws of physics that affect everyone regardless of who they are or what they believe, there are also laws of marriage physics. Sadly, people keep breaking all the laws and then are stunned by the fact that their marriage stinks,” Gungor says. “If your marriage stinks, someone is breaking the rules of marriage physics. Unfortunately, most are unaware that rules exist, much less know what they are.”

In his book, Gungor explains these rules including discussions about how men and women think differently, communicate differently, and want different things from relationships. His frank discussions about sex, money, expectations, and conflict also help readers identify what they may be doing wrong in these areas and how to find solutions.

In addition to living by these laws of marriage physics, Gungor says that another key to turning around a failing marriage is for couples to understand the true nature and purpose of marriage. Rather than viewing marriage as a way to have their own needs met, the author says, couples should consider marriage as a training ground to help them become more Christ-like.

“God wants to kill you,” Gungor writes in his book.
“Not the physical you, but the selfish you.
Jesus taught us that if we don’t die to our selfish nature,
we will never be able to experience all the blessings
that God wants to bestow on us. Well, if there was
ever an institution designed to kill the selfish you,
it’s marriage. In fact, it is virtually impossible to
succeed at marriage if you don’t learn how
to let the selfish part of you die.”

Gungor’s advice should be required reading not only for married couples but for anyone considering marriage in the future. His relatable writing style and candid humor offer not only relational insights for spouses, but his book offers a message of hope as well. Regardless of the problems that spouses are having, with God’s guidance and the desire to make the marriage work, building a happy and successful marriage is possible.

Copyright © 2008 Belinda Elliott, CBN.com . All rights reserved.

Want more tips about how to have a successful marriage?
Check out Gungor’s book, Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.

Find more tools for transforming your marriage at:

You can join thousands of others
who consider Growthtrac their online home
for Christian marriage resources,
spiritual growth, advice and community.

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Free Audiobook of the Month

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Free Audiobook of the Month

All that G. K. Chesterton's critics and comrades labeled him - devotional, impious, confounding, intelligent, humorous, bombastic - he wove into The Man Who Was Thursday. This page-turner sends characters bobbing around a delightfully confusing plot of mythic proportions. There are so many twists and turns that soon you'll be tangled in a story that you cannot put down...even if you're not entirely sure why!

Simply add the Download format to your cart and use the coupon code APR2008 during checkout to receive your free download of The Man Who Was Thursday.

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Free church Website Tool

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Internet Evangelism Day graphic

Free Church Website Tool Released

The people behind Internet Evangelism Day also provide year-round resources about online outreach. The ministry explains many ways that Christians can share the good news, including through church websites.

Churches often find it difficult to create a site that will engage with outsiders in their area, and find themselves asking, "How can our church website help us reach out into our community?"

A new online tool released by IE Day provides churches with a free 15-page evaluation report. Users assess their own website by answering 55 simple questions. Their customized report is immediately displayed online, ready to print or save. The report's recommendations are tailored with specific practical suggestions, based on the questions that were ticked. View the evaluation tool here:http://ied.gospelcom.net/church-site-design.php

A church site which has been prioritized for non-Christian visitors can be remarkably effective in reaching the community. "Week in, week out, more visitors turn up at our church on a Sunday because of the website, than anything else," writes one growing church in London.

The tool also provides the parable 'A Tale of Two Golf Clubs' (which is available to republish) to illustrate the principles of effective church websites:http://ied.gospelcom.net/golf-parable.php

Church leaders have welcomed this new resource. "This competent evaluation tool provides a valuable service to churches that will help them strengthen their effectiveness in outreach through the Internet," says Dr. Sterling Huston, director of North American Ministries for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Gary McClure of LifeWay Ministries agrees, saying, "This checklist is an invaluable tool to identify critical areas for improvement. Every church should study this regularly and act on it!"

For more information:http://ied.gospelcom.net/index.php
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Examine Yourself...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sermon preached by Paul Washer

You can find more great sermons, as well as other resources at:


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The Blacksmith's Shop

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Blacksmith’s Shop
by Max Lucado

In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools.

There are tools on the junk pile: outdated, broken, dull, rusty.
They sit in the cobwebbed corner, useless to their master, oblivious to their calling.

There are tools on the anvil: melted down, molten hot, moldable, changeable.
They lie on the anvil, being shaped by their master, accepting their calling.

There are tools of usefulness: sharpened, primed, defined, mobile.
They lie ready in the blacksmith’s tool chest, available to their master, fulfilling their calling.

Some people lie useless: lives broken, talents wasting, fires quenched, dreams dashed.
They are tossed in with the scrap iron, in desperate need of repair, with no notion of purpose.

Others lie on the anvil: hearts open, hungry to change, wounds healing, visions clearing.
They welcome the painful pounding of the blacksmith’s hammer, longing to be rebuilt, begging to be called.

Others lie in their Master’s hands: well tuned, uncompromising, polished, productive.
They respond to their Master’s forearm, demanding nothing, surrendering all.

We are all somewhere in the blacksmith’s shop. We are either on the scrap pile, in the Master’s hands on the anvil, or in the tool chest. (Some of us have been in all three.) From the shelves to the workbench, from the water to the fire…I’m sure that somewhere you will see yourself.

Paul spoke of becoming “an instrument for noble purposes.” And what a becoming it is! The rubbish pile of broken tools, the anvil of recasting, the hands of the Master- it’s a simultaneously joyful and painful voyage.

And for you who make the journey—who leave the heap and enter the fire, dare to be pounded on God’s anvil, and doggedly seek to discover your own purpose—take courage, for you await the privilege of being called “God’s chosen instruments.”

Shared at In His Hands.
Please accept this as your invitation to join the group.

So...where do you see yourself?
...on the scrap pile?
on the anvil,
or in the tool chest?

Feel free to share.
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This is My Church

Saturday, April 12, 2008

This is My Church
It is composed of people like me.
We make it what it is.
It will be friendly...if I am.

Its pews will be filled...if I help fill them.

It will do great works...if I work.

It will make generous gifts to many causes...if I am a generous giver.

It will bring people into its worship...if I bring them.

It will be a church led by the spirit, with great wonders and healings...
if I seek that from God myself.

It will be a church of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith,
and a church with a noble spirit...
if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these.

Therefore, with the help of God...I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my church to be.


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Where are You Needed?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Where “U” are Needed...

“U” are needed in Bible ST_DY, but not in IGNORANCE.

“U” are needed in S_PPORT, but not in NEGLECT.

“U” are needed in _NITY, but not in DIVISION.

“U” are needed in D_TY, but not in IRRESPONSIBILITY.

“U” are needed in B_ILDING, but not in TEARING DOWN.

“U” are needed in CH__RCH!!

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Internet Evangelism Day

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Churches to Hold Web Focus Day April 27

"How can we use this new-fangled Internet thing to share the gospel?" Christians are asking. A worldwide "web evangelism focus day" is helping to provide answers.

Sunday, April 27, has been designated as Internet Evangelism Day. Churches can download free materials from the Internet Evangelism Day website. These materials make it easy for churches to create a short presentation about online outreach on or near that Sunday. A PowerPoint, video clip testimonies, drama scripts, music and handouts can be used to create their own customized program lasting from one minute to 50.

Church leaders who have already used these materials are excited. "This is a huge help for small churches such as ours," writes a church leader from California.

The Internet Evangelism Day team emphasizes that web evangelism is for anyone, not just the technically gifted. "There are many ways to share your faith online, without any technical background at all," says IE Day Coordinator Tony Whittaker.

Christian leaders are also enthusiastic: "I am glad to commend Internet Evangelism Day," says Dr. John Stott.Churches can start planning their focus day now.

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Have You Been Squeezed Lately?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

There are five sponges laying on your kitchen counter. Each member of your family has been cleaning up different areas of your home, but all the sponges look the same. You are curious as to what was cleaned, but you can't tell by looking. They all look the same.

So, what do you do?

As you squeeze the first sponge you see that cola comes out, and you decide that someone cleaned the kitchen with that one. Upon squeezing the second sponge, you find tub and tile cleaner. That one was used in the bathroom. In the third sponge you find motor oil. Someone cleaned the garage. In the fourth sponge, baby power puffs out. The baby's nursery was cleaned with that one. In the last sponge is floor wax. That was the one you used on the hall floor. As you lay the last one down, you look again at their similarity.

They all look the same until they are squeezed. Christians are the same!

As life squeezes us, different things come out: anger, revenge, tears, remorse, greed, untruth, lust and finally, from one saint, pours forth the love of Christ. Just like the sponge, we can only squeeze out what is put in. Stay in the Word daily and be in continuous prayer so that when life puts the squeeze on you, Jesus, and Jesus alone will shine forth.

As you think upon this, ask yourself,...
if I was squeezed, would Jesus, and Jesus alone, shine forth?

* Shared at Mom of 9's Place
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Shoes in Church

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Shoes in Church

I showered and shaved............. I adjusted my tie.

I got there and sat.............. In a pew just in time.

Bowing my head in prayer......... As I closed my eyes.

I saw the shoe of the man next to me..... Touching my own. I sighed.

With plenty of room on either side...... I thought, "Why must our soles touch?"

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine... But it didn't bother him much.

A prayer began: "Our Father"............. I thought, "This man with the shoes.. Has no pride.

They're dusty, worn, and scratched. Even worse, there are holes on the side!"

"Thank You for blessings," the prayer went on.

The shoe man said............... A quiet "Amen."

I tried to focus on the prayer...... But my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren't we supposed to look our best. When walking through that door?

"Well, this certainly isn't it," I thought, Glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended............ And the songs of praise began.

The shoe man was certainly loud...... Sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters......... His hands were raised high.

The Lord could surely hear.. The shoe man's voice from the sky.

It was time for the offering....... And what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the shoe man reached.... Into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out.......... What the shoe man put in.

Then I heard a soft "clink" . As when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me.......... To tears, and that's no lie.

It was the same for the shoe man... For tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service...... As is the custom here.

We must greet new visitors... And show them all good cheer.

But I felt moved somehow............ And wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer........ I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark..... And his hair was truly a mess.

But I thanked him for coming......... For being our guest.

He said, "My names' Charlie.......... I'm glad to meet you my friend."

There were tears in his eyes....... But he had a large, wide grin.

"Let me explain," he said......... Wiping tears from his eyes.

"I've been coming here for months.... And you're the first to say "Hi."

"I know that my appearance........"Is not like all the rest."

"But I really do try................."To always look my best."

"I always clean and polish my shoes. "Before my very long walk."

"But by the time I get here........."They're dirty and dusty, like chalk."

My heart filled with pain............ And I swallowed to hide my tears.

As he continued to apologize........ For daring to sit so near.

He said, "When I get here..........."I know I must look a sight."

"But I thought if I could touch you.. "Then maybe our souls might unite."

I was silent for a moment............ Knowing whatever was said

Would pale in comparison... I spoke from my heart, not my head.

"Oh, you've touched me," I said......"And taught me, in part"

"That the best of any man............"Is what is found in his heart."

The rest, I thought,................ This shoe man will never know.

Like just how thankful I really am... That his dirty old shoe touched my soul.

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Book of Proverbs - free audio book

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Learn Out Loud is offering a free audio book for the month of April - the Book of Proverbs from the King James Version of the Bible. The thirty-one chapters of proverbs are attributed to King Solomon. The wisdom in these proverbs point towards following God's will and revering God in everyday life.

This audio book, Book of Proverbs, is a must for anyone seeking wisdom and devotion to God. The audio book is unabridged and well-narrated by Antonia Bath and Henry M. Miller. It is available for free on MP3 download and bookmarkable MPEG-4 download (for the iPod). This audio book can be downloaded exclusively through LearnOutLoud.com from now until the end of April 2008.

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