Taken in

The following in a recent blog post form Kim Bobo. Kim has been a faithful behind the scenes servant with Feminar® Ministries for many years. We hope her words encourage you.
 

Taken In

 
 
 
 
 
 
“When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”
Acts 9:26-27 NIV
 
“But Barnabas took him.” I just could not get past those four words. Barnabas took a risk in trusting, believing, and helping Saul. I mean I’m sure the last thing he had heard about Saul was that he was killing Christians, and now he is preaching the gospel?!? In my fleshly thoughts I’m saying, How? Why? What in the world?? Are you crazy? Do you want to get yourself killed Barnabas? God didn’t give you a brain for nothing! Then my heart hurts for that one everyone has run from and pushed away because of their past. He is a person too. One that desires just like everyone else to be accepted and loved, regardless of their sin. And Barnabas does that. He didn’t think twice. He encouraged the disciples to also love and trust. He encouraged Saul to keep on keeping on and he encouraged the church to do the same. Am I a Barnabas in others lives? Or do I turn away from encouraging others because of their past? Do I “take” them in as Barnabas did and help them on their way? 
 
In this move of towns and schools I have witnessed many Barnabas’ in my life. Not that I was Saul and slaughtering Christians and came to a conversion but I will say we are in a foreign land, foreign territory just as Saul was, a new unexpected journey. I have experienced the “taking” in and the encouragement of several to keep on keeping on. Can you imagine what Saul felt having someone take him in and help him along the way? 
 
Oh Lord, that I may be a Barnabas to all I come in contact with. Let me not look at past hurts, reputations, or brand them as outsiders but help me to only see the life you created that should be taken in and loved along their way. 


Remembering my mother

This morning Janet entered the following in her journal and read it to me on the way to church. I asked her to read it again as we drove to Marshall. It blessed me so much that I wanted others to read it, too. So, here it is:

 

 
July 1, 1995, my Mother went to be with the Lord. Thank you, God for my mother and all that I learned from her. The sounds and smells in the kitchen, that filled the house and shaped my life, her smile, her laugh, her hugs, and her wet kisses, and the sound of her voice singing the hymns in church, all remain in my heart and memory. Her open Bible on the kitchen table every morning when I got up, I can still vividly see in my mind. Taking Floyd, my younger brother, and me crabbing at the beach in the summer. God, thank you that she never gave up on having more children and how she delighted in us. I never heard her complain about being “too old for this”. Thank you, that I got to see the delight she had as Jeni and Laney, our first two children, came into our lives. Thank you for the example she lived out before me as a mother of her special needs son, as a neighbor and friend who shared fresh garden vegetables,  and took food to, and opened our home to widows. Thank you for the sweet talks we had in the kitchen as we cooked together and even the sweet memories I have of “cooking” in the kitchen as a little girl. My heart is overwhelmed this morning. You are so good, God. I am so blessed. Help me as a mother and an grandmother to be a light and an encouragement to my children and grandchildren. I am so rich.
 
Janet White July 1, 2018
 


Add this to your “bucket list”

Janet laid down in the bed last night and said, “This is the first time I’ve sat down all day.” I think that was no exaggeration. Looking back, I remember that she stood while eating supper. We had grandkids there all day. “Worn out” is a good way to describe her. Jesus had been walking from one area to the next and it says in John 4:6, “…and Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well.”  Even Jesus got worn out. Even Jesus had to sit down and take a break. But while Jesus was there seeking refreshment, a divine appointment unfolded. A Samaritan women showed up with the same goal of getting some water. Jesus ignored the social custom of the day and spoke to her. She had something that Jesus didn’t have- a bucket with a rope, so He asked for a drink. In the course of the conversation, Jesus revealed that He had something that she didn’t have- living water, or put another way- eternal life. Her life was forever changed by a man who had no fear of being politically incorrect. Thirsty, worn out, and ready to sit down, Jesus saw the divine appointment and spoke up. 

We all encounter obstacles to sharing the gospel. We may be tired, or it may be politically incorrect  to talk about Jesus. Fear, social barriers, or maybe just feeling unworthy because of personal failures, can all keep the Good News shut up inside of us. Divine appointments come all the time. Jesus used His thirst to transition into sharing the Gospel that day. It doesn’t have to be awkward. Just be a genuine listener. Listen for clues that say, “I’m thirsty.”  Then, since you have a bucket and a rope, offer a drink. That’s worth putting on your bucket list.



Time to clean house

It’s been said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well our American society is broken, and it needs to be fixed. Lawmakers are constantly debating their opinions, and media experts are all weighing in.

In Jesus’ day the temple was in a mess. The temple was to be this holy place where sins were atoned for. It had become a place of commerce. When Jesus showed up he cleared the house with a whip. He said to them as he drove them out, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning my Fathers house into a marketplace”. (John 2:16) Jesus was strong and courageous and passionate. He was no wimp.

Jesus didn’t take on all of the brokenness in His society that day, but He did protect His Father’s house. We can’t fix everything that is broken in our society, but we can protect our house. As defenders of our homes we must protect those living there. Satan is the enemy to our culture and our homes. He has one goal: destroy. Jesus stepped up and singlehandedly took on all at the temple that day.

Jesus said, “Get these things out of here!” Maybe it’s a good time to clean house  and see if there are some “things” that don’t belong there. “Things” come in all shapes and sizes. “Things” could be from the internet, or television, or a bottle, even a fantasy or a bad attitude. If you aren’t sure if there are “things” that don’t belong in your house, ask God or search His Word. He will let you know. The animals and money changers didn’t seem to bother anyone. They had become a normal part of the temple. But when Jesus showed up, He immediately

saw the “things” that didn’t belong there.

I think our broken society can be fixed. I doubt that it will come out of Washington, D.C. I am confident that it will come from our homes. We must protect our homes and “Get things out” that don’t belong. The broken world can be fixed, one home at a time. It will take strong, courageous, and passionate mom’s and dad’s who aren’t wimps.



Follow me

Have you ever needed directions from someone and they just said, “Follow me.” It’s not always easy if you’re on a multilane highway or going through multiple traffic lights along the way. It’s really important that the leader keeps you in their rearview mirror or you could get totally lost.

Jesus was looking for a man called Phillip. Here’s what happened. “The next day He(Jesus) decided to leave for Galilee. Jesus found Phillip and told him, “Follow Me.” (John 1:43) The Greek word used here for “follow” means “to get on the same road”. Jesus told Phillip that day, as He was about to leave the town where Phillip had been all of his life, to “Follow Me.” or said another way, “Get on the same road with Me”. Phillip would never be the same. He immediately recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah. It tells us that Phillip went and found Nathaniel and told him that he had encountered the Messiah. Nathaniel questioned him and Phillip simply said, “Come and see.”

Jesus found Phillip, and Phillip found Nathaniel. Jesus is still seeking people to “get on the same road” with Him. He is actively pursuing a relationship with you. When you say yes to following Jesus, you can be assured that He will never take His eyes off of you in the rearview mirror. Sometimes obstacles impede our progress and slow us down. But be assured, you are never out of His sight. Keep following. After saying “yes” to Jesus, Phillip grabbed his friend, Nathaniel, and encouraged him to “come and see”. Someone you know needs to hear “come and see” from you, too.

Bob White



The One About Being Crazy

Today we are sharing a blog from a friend of Laney Wootten. Her name is Suzanne Morgan. Enjoy.
 

The One About Being Crazy

As soon as you announce that you are expecting……I mean, the very minute you share the news, inevitably, the comments and advice start a’ flowin’.

It is for this reason, that one would assume, that in the approximately 9 months from the time you go public with your pregnancy , and the time of the baby’s arrival, you would have heard it all, and thusly, be fully prepared, or at least, feel like you know what’s coming.

No. You don’t. You do not have any idea.

For example, you don’t realize it, but you actually have some conditions that you are unaware of, and they will surface once you become a parent. You will most likely develop a very low threshold for loud noises, you’ll have sensory overload difficulties, even if it’s just the voices of your precious children, who are all talking to you and asking things of you all at once.

Why does this make me crazy?! I don’t understand! I’ve spent half my life listening to the radio at maximum volume, going to concerts, clubs, and parties. {Jesus Saves}

It’s not the same, can I get a witness? I’ve literally screamed at my children, “AHHHH! WHY ARE WE ALL BEING SO LOUD?!”, in a fit of absolute sensory overload. Never once did that in high school.

You turn into that detective guy, “Monk”. Ya know, the obsessive compulsive germ-a-phobe? That’s you now. You have hand sanitizer in every bag you own, three in the car, one on your keychain and a variety of sanitizing wipes, some of which are “specially formulated for hands and faces”. When you take your children to a public restroom, they have goals; “touch every. single. surface. and run my hands all across that metal bar next to the toilet”. Yes, you are on high alert and you can actually feel your chest tighten slightly as soon as they ask to go potty. Is it just me?

You might also be prone to fits of frustration over the slightest inconveniences.

For example, I recently purchased a 3 pack of those cheap, plastic shower caps {because, let’s be real, I ain’t got time to blow dry my hair every time I take my weekly shower}. The other night when a certain child (it was Ava) was bathing, she found them, opened the package, and had all 3 floating upside down in the bathtub all slimy and soapy. Folks, this should not be a big deal. However, I was SO irritated! My brand new Wal-Mart shower caps! All wet and soapy!! Those costs like…..$3.00 or something! “This child is out of control! She must be stopped!”, I think to myself.

“Ava, why are these floating in the tub?! These are mommy’s special shower caps! Now I have to pull them out and….let them dry over here on a towel….” {back out slowly, maybe she won’t notice that you’re acting like a lunatic}.

Sometimes you’re like a tyrannical communist dictator.

“The kitchen is CLOSED! No more food! You’re done!! You’ve had enough and I’m not getting up again. I just sat down!”

You’re also a raging hypocrite.

“Do not YELL at your brother like that!!!” {you scream from across the room}

“You can’t eat raw cookie dough, it will make you sick”, you tell them, as you lick the spatula.

“Can you guys share please…..Ava that’s the last piece of pizza and it’s mine.”

Here’s the point; children have a way of bringing out the worst in you…I’m sorry, but I keeps it real.

And the truth is, they also bring out the best in you. They cause you to take a deep, introspective look at yourself. They expose all your weak areas {and I have a lot}, and they make you want to do better, to be better, because you’ve never loved another human being the way that you love your children….

but that’s not enough for me.

I love my children deeply, and fully. I would lay down my life for them without thinking twice. I pray for them every day, and there’s not a single thing they could ever do to lose my love. Casey and I would do anything for them…

but if I’m being honest, sometimes that’s not enough to change me.

Only Jesus can do that.

And the more I press into Him, the more I experience His peace, and grace. He’s wearing away the anxiety, the struggle, the striving, and the worry. I can’t do it without Jesus meeting my needs in this way. He knows I’m a mess, and He’s been so faithful to show himself in ways that I desperately need.

I’m so thankful that when my crazy is showing, Jesus whispers…

“I’m here. I see. I know. Let me help you…”

He sees you too, and He will meet you where you are, if you let Him…

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to The Rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

In His Grace,

Suzanne

 
 


Jesus is enough

Looking back over the Feminar® this weekend, I wondered what a common theme might be that we heard from each of the presenters, Cindy Beall, Janet White, Laney Wootten, and Selah. One thing came to mind: Jesus is enough. Cindy taught us how His Word can transform us. Simply put- Jesus is enough. Janet taught us that we should embrace our weakness and replace fear with faith and can have eternal security through Jesus. Simply put: Jesus is enough. Laney sang, “I know nothing is impossible, I know every chain is breakable, I know, on Christ the solid rock I stand.” Simply put- Jesus is enough. Selah sang, “I’ve got Jesus, how could I want more” thus once again-Jesus is enough.
 
When Jesus was standing on a mountain top with Peter, James, and John, suddenly  Moses and Elijah showed up. And when the clouds cleared and the fog rolled away it says this in Matthew 17:8, “When they looked up they saw no one except Him-Jesus alone.” No Moses. No Elijah. No Cindy. No Janet. No Laney. No Selah. Just Jesus alone. Jesus is enough. Jesus is enough on the mountain top of Feminar® and He is enough for the valley at home today and the days ahead. 
 


Testify-Tell Your Story!

We heard it twice at last nights Feminar®. Cindy Beall quoted Revelation 12:11 saying, “ They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony” as she reminded us to “share our story as we remind others of God’s faithfulness.” Then, Todd Smith of Selah, mentioned the same scripture, and led a thousand plus women to testify in song:

“I’m undone by the mercy of Jesus

I’m undone by the goodness of the Lord

I’m restored and made right

He got ahold of my life

I’ve got Jesus

How could I want more”

We’ve all heard this phrase, and maybe used it, “well speaking of the devil”. Here is a really good place to use that phrase, because the “him” that is overcome is the devil. The blood of Jesus conquered sin and death. He conquered the devil. Our testimony conquers the devil. So ladies, deal another blow to the enemy and tell someone what God has done in your life. If you were at Feminar® this weekend and God worked in your life, tell someone. Tell your friend who you came with, tell you husband, your co-workers, your children, or your neighbors. The enemy wants you to keep it to yourself. Our culture wants to silence us in the name of diversity and political correctness. 

My wife, Janet White, and I ran in the Houston Aramco Half Marathon last month. I got across the finish line a little ahead of her so I made my way to a viewing spot close to the finish line. When I saw her coming, I was overwhelmed with emotion. As she passed by, something happened as I tried to yell out her name. I took a deep breath and I couldn’t speak. I was  overcome with emotion as tears filled my eyes. I wanted to cheer her on but nothing came out.

You may not hear anyone cheering you on in this race, but they are there. You may not hear them but they are there. Hebrews calls them a “great cloud of witnesses”. Your name is being called out. So Run! Testify! Tell Your Story!

Bob White



Feminar Blog first post! February 23, 2018

 Welcome to the brand new Feminar® Blog.  Our desire through this Blog is to be a regular encouragement to women. The Feminar® event strives to encourage women once a year through a mass gathering, where you come to us.  This is our effort at coming to you and walking beside you with the Word of God in hand and handing you a cup of water as you run the race. We have asked Lisa Williams to write our first one. Lisa led our Feminar® committee for many years. Here’s Lisa:
 

Blessings to all of you attending Feminar® this weekend. It was my honor to be able to serve alongside Bob and Janet in this ministry for many years. God allowed them to mentor me and help me embrace the gifts and talents He had placed in my life to serve others.

This week God has brought to mind many sweet memories and truths learned through the years of worshipping and hearing the truth from God’s word at Feminar®. 

Just yesterday, I was having a radiation treatment and in the room a song from Avalon, a guest at

Feminar ® many years ago, came on. Every word of every story, Every star in every sky, Every corner of creation, Lives to testify. For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love, Be a witness in the silences when words are not enough, With every breath I take, will give thanks to God above, For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love. This prompted me to pray for all involved in Feminar® this weekend. It also brought to mind a truth I had learned from Janet’s teaching “look for God to come to you”. Another Avalon song I recalled is Everything to Me: We’re living in uncertain times, And more and more I find that I’m Aware of just how fragile life can be, I want to tell the world I’ve found, A love that turned my life around, They need to know that they can taste and see, Now every day I’m praying, Just to give my heart away, I want to live for Jesus So someone else might say, That He is Everything to me, He’s more than a story, More than words on a page of history, He’s the air that I breathe, The water I thirst for And the ground beneath my feet, He’s everything Everything to me. And looking back over my life, At the end I’ll go to meet Him, Saying he’s been Everything to me. Has this not been the thread of all the messages we have heard at Feminar® from Janet and others? He is more than a story or words on a page, He is everything we need every moment of every day, He is the air we breathe and the ground beneath our feet! We must get the Word and Truth in us!

In September 2017, I was diagnosed with stage 4 Gastroesophageal Cancer. God has my days numbered and I will live exactly that many days! He has been faithful to meet all my needs. Whether you are on your final walk toward eternity, living in the trenches of motherhood, widowhood, financial problems or taking care of aging parents, He knows! (2 timothy 1:12)

“God is working in your life in both creative and orderly ways. What God is doing in your life right now may not make sense to you, but it’s not because He’s nonsensical. It’s because He’s creative. God wants us to surrender to His will, but we tend to want a blueprint of His plans so we can decide whether or not to surrender. He knows what is coming next for you. That’s why He can judge His work in you as good. Give God room to be completely creative. Meet with Him daily as He unfolds the plan in perfect order. He’s really good at what He does.” Beth Moore.