Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Lesson from Jehoshaphat

For various reasons, the story of Jehoshaphat has been on my mind lately. You can find the one I’m referring to in 2 Chronicles 20.

Jehoshaphat was the King of Israel at this time. The armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir all joined together to try and conquer Israel. Jehoshaphat was warned prior to being attacked that the armies were coming his way. In response to the warning, he sought the Lord for guidance. He then proclaimed a time of fasting and prayer throughout his people.

Jehoshaphat continued to seek the Lord. He prayed a prayer asking the Lord to deliver them from the attacks. The night before they were to be attacked, Jahaziel (the son of Zechariah) told the people not to be afraid. Here is what he told them.
And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 (NKJV)

When the time came to face the enemy he did something that most would find unbelievable. He was greatly outnumbered by the armies approaching. He didn’t send his best warriors out front. Instead, he sent his best worshipers out front. The scripture says that “when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated”.

Here is what happened. The three armies that joined together to attack Israel, turned on each other and killed each other. When Jehoshaphat and his army came to the battle grounds, there was no one left to fight, they were all dead. They also were then able to collect valuables from the defeated armies. Scripture says it took them three days to collect all of it! The Lord fought and won the battle for them and they got the goods left behind.

There are many important lessons in this one chapter of scripture. One of the biggest for me is the power of prayer, fasting, and worship. I believe greatly in all three. The second is what it says in verse seventeen. “You will not need to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!”

The battle is the Lords (and it is) but I’m drawn by what this verse says: position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. Let the Lord fight the battles (because it isn’t your job to do that) but position yourself. Worship, pray, and fast at times to ensure that you are in a position to stand back and see the salvation of the Lord.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Best Tasting Swag Ever

I learned an enormous amount this past weekend at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference. I am still thinking through everything and will continue to post my thoughts as I process it all.

Along with all the learning, we also came home with lots of swag (goodies). I just have 4 words for all of you who are reading this… Biscoff European Cookie Spread!!

Whoever invented this stuff was genius!! Basically, it is like peanut butter but it is made out of cookies. Biscoff's website gives information about how it came to be if you are interested in reading that.

According to Biscoff, Walmart is the distributor for Biscoff Spread here in Arkansas. When my swag jar is gone, I will definitely be looking for some more.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference 2013

Arkansas Women Bloggers

This weekend I attended the 2013 Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference. It was the first time I had ever attended this conference and I am so glad I was able to go. I have to be honest, I was a little nervous about going because I didn’t know anyone and I’m not good at making friends. It takes time for me to get to know people and feel comfortable being around them so I assumed it would be a somewhat awkward weekend for me.

Partially, I felt this way because I’m a little different. I know, shocking to hear, but I am. I don’t always fit in well with groups and I usually feel very out of place. I am overweight, I don’t wear makeup, and I don’t usually dress up at all. The email we got that mentioned dress said to be comfortable but just wear a cute top since people would be taking photos. Comfortable and cute top are an oxymoron to me. I did wear some jewelry on Friday, but that is rare for me. I guess it was my small attempt to try and fit in a little bit.

What I found when I arrived and continued throughout the weekend, were warm welcomes and absolutely no judgment. No one cared what I was wearing, and nearly everyone I came in contact with spoke to me like they had known me for years. It was truly refreshing!

Multiple speakers throughout the weekend mentioned the fact that we were not competing with one another, but we were a community. We supported each other and helped each other grow. This was so true. People were openly willing to share what was working for them and what they were doing with their blog. The session speakers were wonderful and extremely helpful.

I will likely post more concerning this conference as my mind processes the things I learned, however, I want to give two shout out’s before I end this post.

The first is to The Park Wife. Not only did she do an amazing job coordinating and putting this amazing weekend together, she saved me from the BIGGEST horse fly I think I’ve ever seen. I got up to try and get it to fly away and it wouldn’t budge. The Park Wife saved the day (I’m not scared of bugs, I promise, it just wasn’t moving)!

The second shout out is to TEAM 7!!! Jacqueline Wolven, Sarea Clark, and Allyson Twiggs Dyer were amazing! So glad I got to meet them and work with them on the “Big Event”. Oh, and did I mention that 4 non-cooks won 2nd Place!! Jackie’s secret ingredient was brilliant and taking risks and cooking with candy pays off!

Picture of the wontons we cooked for the Big Event.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Downside Up by Tracey Mitchell

Rejection hits all of us at some point or another in life. I decided to read this book not expecting it to affect me much. I couldn’t really think of a time of outright rejection in my life. However, it became very clear, early on in this book that rejection takes on forms that we may not even think about. Just because a significant other hasn’t left you or your parents were always there for you, doesn’t mean you won’t feel the sting of rejection. “Downside Up” by Tracey Mitchell addresses rejection with a perspective of moving past it and using it to catapult you to the next level in life.

There are several practical aspects of this book that I love. Mitchell uses a quote at the beginning and several helpful sections at the end of each chapter. One great thing is a section called “Chapter Principles”. This is basically a summary of the main points of the chapter. Then there are “Words of Wisdom” which is an applicable Scripture reference and “Power Quote”. There is also a “Plan of Action” section which gives you a practical thing you can do to put into practice something relating to the chapter.

There are principles in this book that apply to everyone whether you feel rejected or not. Many sections of the book discuss fear, for example. We all have fears, and at times, those fears can affect our daily lives. So even if you don’t think that rejection affects you, you can still benefit from this book. The book is also full of stories of real people as well as Mitchell’s own life that show that there can be healing and wholeness on the other side of rejection.

If you need some encouragement and a little help looking at the glass as half full, pick up this book!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”