Time to Stop Talking & Take Action!

Harassed & helpless! Boy, do I know that feeling! I watch the news & read the paper & begin to wonder if there IS any hope. I read the posts on Facebook from other moms, other women & I know I’m not alone. So many women seem frightened, hopeless, helpless. We all begin to wonder if there is ANYTHING we can do to make things better.

Things seem to be getting worse everyday. I get angry and resolved to take action. Unfortunately, I let other things get in my way. I knew God was calling me & instead, I let trivial matter distract me. Not anymore!

I’m not here to discuss political issues or constitutional rights. I believe this goes deeper than any of that. No, I’m want to look at this from my expert perspective. And my area of expertise is Theology. When I was a kid, people said, “Everyone always talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it!” Well, there isn’t much we can do about the weather. And while many of us TALK about conditions in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, there IS something we can do about it.

In the verse above from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus felt compassion for the people because there were lost & afraid “like sheep without a shepherd.” We act like frighten sheep. We run around in a panic. Fortunately, we HAVE a Shepherd. Jesus is watching over us, protecting us whether we realize it or not. So the first thing we can do it put our faith in Him.

The second thing we can do is find strength, hope & comfort in Scripture. When life seems overwhelming, when we are unable to find answers, I know we can ALWAYS find the answers we need in the Bible.

The third thing we can do is PRAY! There is power in prayer. I also believe there is incredible power when WOMEN pray. More important, powerful things happen when women come together to pray. Jesus told us when 2 or more are gathered in my name, I will be there. Oh, He’s always there with us as individuals but when 2 or more of us come together to pray, Jesus is right there with us, praying beside us & personally taking our concerns to His Father.

In light of these three things, I came to the realization there is even more we can do. For a very long time now, I have felt God filling me with a vision. God has been calling me to create a ministry for women. A ministry made up of small groups of women, meeting in homes across the country, sharing faith, studying Scripture, praying, strengthening & supporting one another & having fun! The problem I had was how to do this?

I have dragged my feet long enough. I can’t worry anymore about the right way to begin, the right time to start, the right pice of the puzzle to fall into my lap. I’m just going to begin.

If you look at the top of the page in the menu, you’ll see Sisters of Simple Joy. This is the name I have given to our small group women’s ministry. Beneath that, I am adding information to help you launch your own group. There is no charge for any of this. I have created a workbook for group leaders. Anyway, you can find information at the top.

For now, pray. God is calling a small group of women to be the first small group leaders in this ministry. I’m not naming any names. That’s not for me to decide. I’m not saying anyone should do anything right now. Just pray. If you are one of the women God has chosen, He’ll let you know. All I ask is that you open your heart, mind & spirit to His leading!

And should you decide to join this adventure, let me know. I want to create a network of praying faithful women that uphold & support one another, their families, their communities & our nation.

Hugs & blessings!

Jean Ann

Purpose vs. Call

jeremiah-29-11

This verse works so well with today’s post. God has a plan for each & every one of us. Every person ever created, ever born is given a purpose by God. Our purpose is the work God wants us to do during our time here. Everyone has a purpose. Not everyone fulfills their purpose. Some decide to ignore their purpose, following a path of their own choosing, resisting the signals that urge them to follow a certain path. Some people even make a terrible decision as they fight their purpose.

Only believers, Christians have a call. Our call is our way of helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Your call might not be in ministry. In fact, some of the most powerful calls are outside the church. These calls enable us to impact our families, communities & beyond in very powerful ways.

With our purpose, God leads us to the tools we need to fulfill it. We have experiences, we have an education, the people in our lives, our personalities. Our call, once again, goes further. For our call, God not only leads us to those tools, He also provides us with Spiritual gifts & the Holy Spirit. These 2 things enable us to go beyond anything we thought possible with our own abilities.

I know this may seem confusing so let me give you some examples. Your purpose might be teaching. Your call might be reaching out to underserved children. You purpose might be raising your family. Your call might be volunteering in the neighborhood or focusing on the spiritual development of your children. You might have the purpose of working in an office or in a entry level job. Your call might be to encourage & support your co-workers, to create a more positive work environment.

Currently, Mr. D (my hubby) works overnights at Walmart. Not the most glamorous job but it helps support us as we build our ministry. It’s a job that allows him to pray as he works. It’s a job he can leave easily when God leads him to the next step. For now, Mr. D’s call is to encourage & support his co-workers. He remains positive. He helps the women lift items up to hire shelves. I help him remain strong by telling him to stay focused on his current call.It gives him more satisfaction.

In 2017, it’s time to ensure of your purpose, then identify & answer your call. God has a plan for your life. Before you can begin, you need your purpose & your call. So begin already! 🙂

Goals, Not Resolutions

I really don’t like resolutions. Well, it’s not that I don’t LIKE them. I just don’t think they work. They remind me of my college days. As soon as I told myself that I needed to pull an all-nighter, I became incredibly tired & needed to go to bed. I found those words worked wonders those few times I couldn’t sleep! Anyway, there’s something about resolutions that make them almost impossible to keep. Perhaps it has to do with they open timeframe. A resolution implies an ongoing process with absolutely NO END! It just stretches on forever & ever! Sigh!

Rather than making a resolution, I like to set goals. Goals usually have a specific destination built in. So, rather than creating a resolution to eat healthier, I would rather set a goal to give up soda for a week. Or set a goal to include more fruits & vegetables in my diet, naming a specific number for each day. Goals seem more user friendly.

Throughout January, I plan to take about setting goal for the new year. However, this week, I want to talk to you about making a few resolutions. I know, I just went on & on about my dislike resolutions & now I want you to make a few. Hmmm. Ok, let me explain.

Sometime there are goals we set that are ongoing & somewhat vague. The 3 resolutions I am suggesting this week are not necessarily vague but they are questions you need to consider over time. These questions are:

  1. Am I called by God;
  2. How can I serve God;
  3. Am I called to by God to lead.

Let’s set these resolutions & then we can set goals for the year!

I Know the Plans I Have for You

Jeremiah 29-11.png

When we last spoke, I was sitting in a dark closet, waiting to hear the answer to my prayer. I knew I had lost direction. I also knew I had a lot to offer women. My experience, my education, my concern for the welfare of women & their families in our nation gave me a good starting point. But WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH IT?! I know a lot of football fans that are very passionate but they are NEVER going to play in the NFL.

My biggest concern was that it was too late for me. Had I waited too long? Had God given up on me? (No on both counts!) However, I did need to get busy. I also felt I needed a new direction, a new message since so many people were now sharing my original message in their own way. And doing it quite well!

So as I said, there I was sitting in the closet quietly, listening. And I heard His answer.

“What can you do that no one else can do in exactly the same way?” In other words, what do you bring to the table?

Well, I had to think about that for awhile. Not a long while. After all, it gets lonely sitting the closet. But I am able to think. And I am able to talk to God. So that’s what I did.

I had to consider what I could do in my own unique way. While many women were now talking about simplifying life, I am able to do ministry. After all, I have my M.Div. I’ve been in ministry for years but I had only been “playing” at it for the last few years. I knew I needed to get serious.

I know I am passionate about helping women improve the quality of their lives &, through them, the quality of life for their families. While other women are sharing ways to improve the lives of women by simplifying life, I can teach them how to improve their lives through ministry.

I am very good at showing how the lessons in Scripture are applicable today. I can offer practical ways to incorporate Christianity into your life & share your faith with others through your actions, not your words.

I sensed God telling me that I needed to begin teaching women ways to determine & utilize their Call in life, why service is such an important part of our faith & help organizations develop the new leaders in their midst & help women discover ways to develop their own leadership skills & ways to use them.

Oh, I’m still feeling my way along in the dark but I have a better vision of God’s plan for me. He has made it very clear that my focus must be on ministry. There are so many ways for me to serve Him by serving women across the country.

So I’ll still be sharing recipes & tips to help you reduce stress so you have the time & energy to focus on the work God is calling you to do for Him. And He is calling you!

So enough of this. During January, I plan to share tips to help you start the year with a BANG! I am very excited & I promise to be patient. I know it will take time for the message to take hold & spread. But I know God has a plan for my life in 2017 & I am dedicating myself to fulfilling that plan to its end!

Let’s go!