The #1 Discipleship Mistake We Make by Shawn Lovejoy

I thought I would share this post from our pastor, Shawn Lovejoy, at Mountain Lake Church. He provides a vital insight into the disciple-making process.
It is a reminder and a wake up call, for me as well, to never give up on people that don’t live up to our expectations. We should never give up on them too quickly.
Blessings,
Cheri

mistakeI’ve discussed previously the #1 evangelistic mistake most of us make: We try to close the deal too early.

We’re not patient enough to walk with people long enough to let the Holy Spirit fully do His work in drawing people to Himself.

However, the most common discipleship mistake I see us often make is closely related. The #1 discipleship mistake we make is this:

We give up on people too quickly.

When someone around us drops the ball several times, we assume they don’t “get it” and they probably never will; we decide they’ll never change.

We move on.

We bail on the relationship.

We give up on people too quickly!

I think we often forget discipleship is a lifelong process.

I think we often forget the first disciples didn’t “get it,” even after being with Jesus 24-7 for more than three years.

I think we often forget, years after following Jesus, the apostle Peter still struggled with racism (Acts 10) and the apostle Paul still struggled with pride (2 Cor. 12).

If these guys struggled to become like Jesus, do you think people in our family will? People in our church? You bet. Can God still change them and help them become more like Jesus? You bet.

So the next time someone lets you down or drops the ball or doesn’t meet your expectations, don’t let the enemy fool you into giving up on them too quickly.

Why? Because Jesus hasn’t given up on you.

Boom!

Shawn Lovejoy

”Be My Valentine” ~ Marriage Challenge! {via Women Living Well}

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I read this on Women Living Well and was challenged to do the same in my marriage. Won’t you join me in building up your husband or boyfriend and show him how much you love him?

There are 4 weeks until Valentine’s Day so I thought it might be fun to do a little –

Be My Valentine” ~ Marriage Challenge!

Each week the challenge will be the same – to praise, encourage, inspire, admire, build up, thank and appreciate your husband. But each week I will give you different ways to express your praise. Feel free to tweak it for what you think is best for your husband.

JR Miller writes “So it is in the dark hours of a man’s life, when burdens press, when sorrows weigh like mountains upon his soul, when adversities have left him crushed and broken, or when he is in the midst of fierce struggles which try the strength of every fibre of his manhood, that all the radiance and glory of a true wife’s strengthful love shine out before his eyes. Only then does he recognize in her God’s angel of mercy.”
 Let’s be angels of mercy to our husbands. We may think they are filled with confidence and strength but they are only human. They have insecurities, fears, failures, burdens and cares that we do not always slow down to recognize. We lose our tenderness in the hustle and bustle of life and this month let’s slow down and really see our husband’s with fresh eyes.
It’s tempting to make Valentine’s Day all about ourselves – but let’s pursue selfless living  as Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”(NIV)

Week 1 starts this Monday!

Week 1 January 21st – Look for ways to praise your husband verbally. Praise him in front of the kids, friends, family, co-workers, on facebook, tweet it – get praise out anyway you can! Try to mention something noteworthy he has done – in his role as provider, father, husband, lover, or friend. If the thought of trying to come up with one terrifies you, then pray right now that God will give you new eyes to see your husband as God does. Then open your mouth and say something kind and uplifting to your husband today and tomorrow and the next day until Valentine’s Day arrives!

 Week 2  January 28th – This week we will be a little more creative with our praise. I will give you many ideas of fun things you can do to praise your husband such as surprising him with a love message on the mirror, using sidewalk chalk to write on the driveway, making a toast to him at dinner with friends etc. Get creative with your selflessness!

Week 3 February 4th – Pursue intimacy and place the intimate needs of your man above your own. Seek to “kiss him like you mean it” every single day this week! Solomon 5:16 says “His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely.” Paula Rinehart says that for many men, “Sex is like a silent cheer.” Our men feel stronger, more capable, and built up when we respond to their advances with a smile. Give a Foot massage, back rub, shower together, be creative!
Week 4 February 11th – Women love romance, chocolate and flowers on Valentines Day. Do you know what your husband wants? Ask him! I’ll give you some ideas of what I have planned later :) !
“When you touch your husband’s deepest need something good almost always happens!”
~ Dr. Emerson Eggerich
So I challenge you today to join us and show your husband you like him!!!
Blessings,
Cheri

Losing one Blessing

“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”~ C.S. Lewis

Over the years, I have seen this quote over and over again. Though today, it means something totally different then it did to me twenty years ago. I have had a lot of ups and downs throughout my life and looking back I realize how many blessings have come into my life, even through all the trials. God wants us to have blessings in our lives and even amidst some of the storms we face, if you let Him, God will bring you through them to those blessings.

Consider the events from Mark 4:35-41 (NLT)

35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

I know this to be true; if in the midst of my personal storms, I can somehow manage to take my eyes off of the conditions around me and focus my eyes on God, I can see Him calming life’s storms as He begins to bring about those blessings.

I remember being at rock bottom and thinking, “What blessing do I have in my life today?” I was then able to see that God brought several women into my life. Now, I didn’t like these women at first because we clashed! But the problem was we had a lot in common. Today, two of these women are still my good friends. Oh how we helped each other through a lot of trials we faced! Yes, these women were blessings in the middle of my storm.

So if you are facing a storm in your life and because of a lost blessing, trust me, God will bless you with another blessing.

I pray you will put God first in your lives and that you will grab hold of all the blessings He has in store for you.

Love & Blessings,

Cheri

Making Healthy Friendships

Even if you don’t feel up to having the responsibility of friendships, they are a necessity. Recently I started attending a women’s Bible Study group and we meet every week. They are an amazing group of women and it’s important to me in 2013 to make them a priority. Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) says “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

If you haven’t asked a friend out to breakfast, lunch or just to grab coffee, don’t put it off any longer. Pick up your phone and call/text your friend and set that date.
Next week, I will be having breakfast with a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while. It is time to make all of my friendships a priority in my life and find balance.

Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

And no, we don’t need to be social butterflies and burn ourselves out with too many commitments. Keep in mind; it is important to set healthy boundaries, even with your time. I pray for you to find both healthy friendships and healthy boundaries.

Please post your comments about making healthy friendships, or about problems you have had, or currently going through.

Also, if you would like me to pray for you, please post here to let me know.

Love and Blessings,

Cheri