Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sweet Williamine

A dear lady friend from our church passed away on Wednesday evening. Williamine Woolworth was 97 years young.

Williamine was a woman you could always count on to share her words of wisdom and encouragement. After the service on Sunday morning she would greet me (and everyone else) with a handshake and big smile. The love of Jesus came shining through her each time our paths crossed!  I often asked her how she was doing, and although I knew many days she wasn’t feeling well, she wouldn’t complain. Instead she would praise the Lord, then say something like, “Well, I’m 97 years old, you know?" :)

I met Williamine 6 years ago when I first came to this church.  The more I got to know her the more I appreciated her and the godly example she set for us younger women. Although I didn't know her in her younger years, it was apparent that she had spent many years loving and serving Jesus, and that she had spent much time getting to know him personally down through the years.  Her relationship with Him wasn’t just a religious routine, it was real and very personal! She had a good understanding of God’s Word…and was swift to live it out and share what she knew with anyone who would listen. Although her body had aged, her mind was sharp!

At her age, having faced a couple of big falls and some health issues, she hadn’t given up on being productive and evangelical. She was still sharing the love of Jesus with others around her. Just 2 or 3 years ago she took it upon herself to raise money for a Christian women’s organization to combat abortion (an issue she felt strongly about). She filled out and mailed little cards to several women requesting a small donation, hoping to raise just a little bit of money. She was so pleased to share with me that with my donation she had raised $100.00 to send in (a lot more than she had ever hoped for). She told me that at her age there weren’t a lot of things she could do, but that was something she could do…so she did it. Amazing!  I'm sure she did many other things like this that I don't know about.

Williamine had also not become stale in her walk with the Lord. She wanted to continue to learn and grow in Him. This was apparent as she participated in women’s Sunday school. She even registered to attend Rise & Shine Women’s Retreat last year! Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to attend because she felt ill that weekend. Still, she set an example before me, reminding me that no matter what age we are, no longer how long we’ve served the Lord, we never “arrive.” We keep seeking more of Him!

Even in the last couple of months I had a few opportunities to talk with Williamine. As I said before she was such an encouragement. This was something that came naturally for her. She wasn’t a woman who “tickled your ears.” No, she was rather to the point and said what she thought, so getting a compliment from her meant a lot. A couple of times she encouraged me as a leader. Another day she encouraged me as a young mom with two small boys. Her words caught me off guard, but I stored them away in my heart. They meant so much coming from such a godly Christian lady! I felt like I was hearing the words from Jesus himself, it was Him speaking through her. These words were just what I needed at the moments she shared them.

Just a few weeks ago I found myself chatting with Williamine again after church. She told me that she didn’t know why the Lord was allowing her to continue to live. She said she didn’t know what her purpose was, but she knew that He must still have something for her to do, that He must not be done with her yet! I was (and am) thankful for the chance to tell her how I felt. I said, “I know one reason for sure, you’re such an encouragement to all of us here. Each week you come here with your big smile, words of wisdom and encouragement. Many times you have been an encouragement to me.” She thanked me with a smile on her face and a gleam in her eye (which she often had!). Then, she shared that I wasn’t the first person who had said something like that to her that day. My eyes tear up even as I write this. I'm so grateful I got the chance to tell her how special she was!  What an incredible lady, still wanting to be used of God, seeking His guidance and will for her life even at the very end. 

I am rejoicing that Williamine is now in the presence of Jesus, praising the very One she has been serving all these years. She’s completely whole, no pain or sorrow. Praise the Lord! I look forward to seeing her again someday!

At the same time, my heart aches for her beloved daughter, Alice. Even though Alice knows their parting is temporary and that her mother is in a much better place, she is going to miss her dearly. Please keep Alice in your prayers as I am as well.

As I have thought about Williamine so much the last couple of days, and have reflected on the life she lived, I feel challenged. I want to be remembered like Williamine will be remembered. I don’t want to just live my life being a “good person” who did “nice things” for people. That’s all good, but way more than that I want to be a woman who is remembered for the way she served the Lord…living out His message in daily life, in big and small ways. To be called a godly, Christian woman! To never quit looking for new opportunities to serve others in Christ’s love, no matter where I am in life, no matter how old or young, well or ill, able or unable. To remind others of how good He is, being content, even while going through tough life circumstances. To share life giving words with others, not just tickling their ears, but for God’s words to fill my lips. To inspire others to seek Him more, always! To teach others by example!

Williamine was a Titus 2 woman…
“…teach the older women to live in a way that honors God…The older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good…” Titus 2:3-5

I want to be a Titus 2 woman as well! I’m thankful that Williamine lived this out for me to see, teaching me in word AND deed! I bet she has the most beautiful crown!!

Do you know a Titus 2 woman? If so, thank her for her influence today. Are you a Titus 2 woman yourself? Let’s strive to serve Him and others as God’s Word directs us!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Push Past

My little Noah turned 3 months old on Tuesday. That same day he decided to roll over for the first time when I was away at book study. I was pretty sad that I missed this “first” for him, but reminded myself that I’ll get to see him do it many more time.

The next day, I watched as he worked so hard to get his body to cooperate with his goals. The look of concentration on his face was priceless. When I laid him down on his back, he would push with his foot and easily roll over onto his side, making great strides towards his belly. Then, he came to a halt as his pesky arm got in the way.  :)

He pushed harder! He wouldn’t give up. He had made up his mind. He had been working towards this for weeks…making strides, building up his muscles to get to this point. There was no going back! He just kept trying. He pushed as hard as he could, making all kinds of grunting noises, until finally he found the strength to push past this great obstacle called his own arm. :) He did it!

He proudly looked around in triumph...

As I watched Noah working so hard towards his goal, I wondered if I am that determined when it comes to my walk of faith. As I face obstacle in my everyday life, do I push past them to reach my goals and become the woman God created me to be?

As women (and a human beings in general) it is so easy to be held back by the pain of the past, the struggles of today, fear of failure and our own insecurities. We often let our feelings and emotions rule rather than allowing the strength of the Savior to guide us.

We will never push past these obstacles unless we start depending on HIS strength, rather than our own. We get so far, then get held back by our own “arm.” We push and push to achieve, but we’ll never make it to our goal (and His) without pushing with His strength in us! It’s not a sign of weakness to depend on Him. It takes flexing our faith muscles to keep pushing forward!

Jesus said, “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23

What if little Noah would have given up? He would have never known what he is capable of. Noah kept building up those muscles, pushing until he found the strength inside, until he did it! At first, it was a little awkward. Even once he rolled over, his neck was weak, his head a little wobbly. After a couple of days and several more rollovers, his neck is strengthening. He could still be just lying there on his back, waiting for something to happen, but now…

He’s enjoying the view! A new found freedom!

The Enemy would love to keep us bound up by our own weaknesses! He wants us to give up, lying there completely helpless and ineffective, never reaching our full potential. He doesn’t want us to push past them, finding God’s strength within.

If we are Christians we already have the power of the Holy Spirit living within us (II Tim 1:14). That means that we have the strength in us to push past the lies of the Enemy, the circumstances of everyday life and our own feelings of inadequacy. We must learn to draw from the strength within, surrendering all to Him, knowing that we are dependant on HIS strength alone!

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Noah will continue to grow, learn and mature from here. With a little practice, before we know it, he will be sitting up, crawling, walking and even running! Things that seem impossible for him now, are within his reach if he just keeps pushing forward.

This journey of faith is ongoing for us as well, my friend. It will continue until we are, “…mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.” We are a work in progress. We will never “arrive” or get it perfect in this lifetime. Still we must move forward, strengthening our spiritual muscles, maturing in Christ.

We can't give up! We must keep turning to Him, asking for His strength and relying on it!!! The more we depend on His strength the more natural it will become. The possibilities are endless. Things that seem impossible are possible for us too…when we rely on His strength!  Do you believe it?!

For nothing is impossible with God.  Luke 1:37

Friday, July 9, 2010


Ever feel weary? I know where you can find rest…

Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden (burdened), and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Ever feel hopeless and desperate? There’s a place to go for that too…

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

Ever feel doubtful and scared? God’s Word says…

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:19

Feeling insecure and uncertain? There is hope...

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
Jeremiah 17:7

Do you feel ashamed? No need, you can be radiant with joy...

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

Are you feeling lonely? Scared? You are not alone, He is with you...

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18

Are you feeling worried? There’s someone who cares, a friend…

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  I Peter 5:7

Feeling anxious or uncertain? There’s an answer for that…

Let all that you are wait quietly before God, for your hope is in him. Psalm 62:5

Do you feel that you can’t change? Unable to overcome?  It’s NOT true (even though the Enemy would love to keep you there)...

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. I Corinthians 10:13

Feeling defeated? Don’t know if you can go on? He’s an overcomer and with Him you can be too...

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Do you feel lost or uncertain where to go next? He will show you the way...

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

Feeling fearful? Afraid? He’s holding your hand...

For I hold you by your right hand - I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:13

Feeling restless and in need of peace? You can only find it one place…

I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world can not give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

These are promises from God’s Word, dear friend! And unlike the world, God always keeps His promises! And unlike our own feelings, God never lies!! If we read it in His Word we CAN count on it, it’s true! All we have to do is except His promises! If we go to Him in faith believing, we WILL receive!! (Matthew 21:27) If we will simply ask, His peace is ours!! He doesn’t say He might give it to us, He says He WILL!

Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you WILL experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand (passes all understanding or comprehension!). His peace WILL guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

Struggling in one or more of these areas? I encourage you to take the corresponding promise from scripture above (or look up some for your own in the concordance of your Bible or at, write it on a 3x5 card, carry it with you and meditate on it this week. Fill your mind and heart with the truth of God’s Word…and be set free from these negative, defeating feelings!

Remember feelings lie, God (and His Word) does not!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I love Independence Day!

I enjoy gathering with family and friends...
 for cookouts, food and water fights
I especially enjoy the FIREWORKS!

I am incredibly thankful for my freedom as an American!
I am thankful for all the brave ones who have served...
many of them shedding their blood and giving their life
so that I can enjoy sweet American freedom!

I am also incredibly thankful for the freedom I have in Christ!
I am thankful for the One who came to serve...
to shed His blood and give His life
as a ransom for mine
so that I can enjoy TRUE freedom!

He is rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom
with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 1:7

And you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."
John 8:32

So Christ has truly set us free!
Galatians 5:1