Crippled, Broken and Hidden Away

Do you ever feel life is unfair? Did someone drop you and you ended up injured? It doesn’t seem fair when life and people hurt us and we didn’t even have a say in the outcome. King Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth may have felt such sentiments. When David was anointed King, Saul’s family ran for fear because it was common for the new king to wipe out the former king’s family line. Mephibosheth’s nurse maid picked up the five year old and ran for their lives, tripped and fell, dropping the Mephibosheth. The injury left him crippled, broken and hidden away in a dry, desolate desert region.

Fifteen long years later, David had a flash back about Jonathon, Saul’s son. He wondered if there was anyone left from the house of Saul whom he could extend kindness to. Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, was located and brought before David. Everything that had belonged to his father and grandfather was given back to Mephibosheth and a wrong was righted. From that time on, Mephibosheth ate at the King’s table with crippled feet. (2 Samuel 9).

Jesus invites us to His communion table crippled, broken and lost. He accepts us just the way we are. We don’t have to be whole and straightened up to receive God’s love and grace at His table. Are you thinking you can’t because you have some flaws and imperfections? If so, you’re in good company. Every person born has flaws. We wouldn’t need a Savior, God’s love and grace if we were perfect.

David knew the importance of looking back so he could run his race forward in strength. Inner healing takes place when the Lord nudges us to take care of our past issues. Some people are firm believers that we are to run our life forward and not look back on our past. I was one of those believers that didn’t want to look back because experiencing hurts twice would be too painful to relive. However, sooner or later, buried things get unearthed and demand our attention. We can trust Jesus with our emotions because He is so tender and gentle with what we hand Him. When He is invited to be present in the healing work of our soul wounds, it does not hold the same sting as once before. Jesus is like a laser light, cauterizing the bleeding, bringing restoration and healing to the wound. Knowing open wounds hurt and scabs do not, makes it all worthwhile and possible to look back as David did and take care of unfinished business.

Do you have any unfinished business that needs looked at? Forgiveness is a good starting place if someone has hurt you and caused you to be crippled, broken and lost. Ask Jesus to reveal the lie of the hurt and the lie believed of the character of God. Replace the lie with truth and give thanksgiving for your freedom.

Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and free the captives. He came to comfort those who morn. Jesus reaches out to extend kindness and restoration to those who have been dropped and crippled. He receives all to His communion table of forgiveness, love, and acceptance. His invitation is always open, anytime and anywhere. Have you accepted?

Heavenly Father, You are our healer and restorer. Thank you for Your extravagant love and kindness that you extend forth to us all. Thank you for inviting us to your table even though we are crippled, broken and lost. Help us to forgive those who have dropped us and never picked us back up again. Show us the lies we are believing and give us wisdom to replace the lie with Your truth.
In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen.

Elizabeth, Founder and President of Mighty Women of Vision

Pick up Your Dreams, Visions, Heart and Passion!

axe headPick up Your Dreams, Vision, Heart and Passion

Do you feel your dream, vision, passion or heart is lying in the bottom of the lake? Have you played a part of the loss with procrastination, half-hearted efforts or thinking tomorrow will be the day? Elisha and a company of men went to the Jordan to expand and build. As they were cutting trees, one of the men lost his metal axe head in the water and it sunk. A supernatural event took place as Elisha threw a stick into the water and the axe head floated to the top. Elisha instructed the man to lift it out of the water (2 Kings 6). Sometimes it takes a supernatural event to resurrect our dreams and passions.

Another example is found in the story of Haggai as he stirred up passion and enthusiasm in the men to get them started again with their assignment to rebuild the temple. King Cyrus sent Zerubbabel and Joshua back to Jerusalem with 45,000 people to rebuild the temple.
They started out with great gusto, fervency and anticipation. Within the first year they rebuilt the altar and foundation. However, great opposition came from within and out which halted their efforts. The people soon lost their dream, passion and vision and started building their own homes and saying, “It’s not the right time.” The people poured their ambitions and energies into building their own lives. Sixteen years later, the prophet Haggai was raised up to stir up the people to once again get them working on what was most important: rebuilding God’s house. God gave Zerubbabel a signet ring to encourage him not to worry that he got off-track and that he had lost the vision and dream for sixteen years.

Hope says get up and get going today. Make it a now day and pick up your axe dream, vision and passion, even if it has lain at the bottom of the lake for the past sixteen years.

It is never too late to resurrect your dream, ministry, passion and vision.

Blessings, Elizabeth, Founder and President of Mighty Women of Vision/Author and Speaker

What Does a Wheel and Mighty Women of Vision Have in Common: A Hub and Spokes!

Mighty Women of Vision: The Wheel

 

Imagine if you will, a wheel, replete with multiple spokes and a central hub. The hub has three attributes from which all of the spokes extend out. They are unity, humility, and boldness. Can you see them? They are all within the hub, and unity is the most prominent of them all.

Now there are multiple spokes on this wheel and possibly more spokes to be added in the future.  Some of the spokes are fully engaged and others are new in the wheel.

The spokes are:

  • Prayer Ministry
  • Fresh Release School of Ministry
  • Healing Ministry
  • Conferences
  • Retreats
  • Giving
  • Releasing Gifts
  • Missions
  • Annual Garden Party Fundraiser/other Fundraisers
  • Monthly Spotlight Ministry
  • Monthly Community of Unity Gatherings
  • Radio Program
  • Chapters
  • Mentoring
  • Launching Platform for Women

 

 

 

 And, Do You Know How Mighty Women of Vision Gives?

 

As individuals, businesses, and organizations give to MWOV the organization is able to give out. Giving is of great importance to the further kingdom work and therefore an emphasis taken both joyously and seriously by MWOV.

This is how the giving portion of the monthly budget is divided:

 

  1. Monthly Spotlighted Ministry Fund—The chosen ministry for Morning of Inspiration (monthly) leaves with a financial blessing.
  2. Beyond Us Fund—A like-minded ministry chosen each month.
  3. Visiting Widows Fund—For struggling widows.
  4. Local Church—An area church is chosen to gift (and pray for) each month.

These are all in the monthly budget for giving. MWOV also partners with fundraisers for area organizations. This is done through the Annual Garden Party and other ways as the Lord leads.

Do You Allow Yourself Time to Meet With God?

Life is busy and there are so many things to grab our time and attention. We all understand that these days. And, sometimes we just get comfortable in our routines. When is the last time you’ve set a good amount of time aside to meet with God? Do you know that God wants your attention–my attention? He loves us! And, He deserves our attention–I mean, He is God.

When we love someone we want to spend time with them.

We have been praying for the MWOV Princess Warriors Flames of Fire Conference and that those who are meant to come will not let anything stop them. We are praying women will be restored, refreshed, and rekindled in there relationship with God and with others–and for a coming together, a unity of women who follow Christ in our community.

All of the Boot Camp session choices have relationships as their theme in one way or another. We have some great teachers who are praying to speak words that honor God and that will build up women. These women, along with Dawn O’Brien, Courtney Martin, and Soorin Backer are preparing and partnering with God to bless you!

Boot Camp Speakers and Topics:

1.   Mary Cross—Igniting Intimacy in Marriage
2.   Kaytie Fiedler—Freedom from the Teenage Battles
3.   Laurie Smucker—The Power of His Glory Breaks Shame
4.   Paige Norfleet—Foundational Keys to Spiritual Warfare
5.   Wende Jones—Chosen, Created, and Called—Our Identity in Christ
6.   Kristy Taylor—Contagious Passion: Pressing In
7.   Leslie MacLaggan—Abba Father—Passing the Torch
We hope to see you there!

Pillars of Fire

Many people walk in confusion, around and around in aimless wanderings trying to figure out their purpose for being placed here on earth.  They have no direction and are lost souls.  Unfortunately, they will remain in their aimless pursuit until they find their Maker and Divine Creator, God the Father, Jesus the One who gives life and the Holy Spirit who guides and leads us into all truths.

As a young man, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers but what his brothers meant for evil God turned for good and he eventually became Prime Minister of Egypt.  Because of a famine, Joseph’s family of 70 came and to Egypt and found him, food and a sanctuary.  Four hundred years later, the children of Israel grew to a staggering tribe numbering to over two million.   They could have easily taken over the land with there immense size which caused fear to enter into the heart’s of the Egyptians.  The Israelites were forced into slavery to build the Pharoah’s empire and to keep them under control.

The well known story of Moses is told in Exodus.  The Book of Exodus is about redemption; being set free from bondages.  As Moses grows in strength, valor and position, He becomes the deliverer of God’s people from Egypt and thus the story Moses, one of the greatest leaders of all times, unfolds.  He sets his people free and the Book of Exodus tells the narrative of the Israelites desert wanderings for 40 years.

What should have been a ten day journey turned into forty long years.  Those years were not wasted as God used the time to prepare, humble and test them.  God also used the time to get to know what was in their hearts and time for them to get to know His great power and miracles, (Deuteronomy 8:2).

What was God up to?  Why didn’t He take the people on a direct course to the Promise Land? It’s one thing to take people out of Egypt and quite another to take Egypt out of the people.  Sound familiar?  We give our lives to the Lord but it takes time to get the world’s value system out of our hearts and minds.  We are on a life’s journey of getting the “me” out of me.  Until we understand this, we will always be wondering and asking God, “Why is this happening to me and what are You doing?”  When we don’t understand the ways of the Lord,  disappointment can set in and some may turn away from the Lord.  The only problem with that is once you give your life to Him, you are His forever.  He says, “All souls are mine,” Ezekiel 18:4 and “No one can take you our of my hand.”  A person can walk away and live for self excluding God but they still belong to Him.  God patiently waits with open arms for His children to return.  Think of it like a rubber band tied between God and each of His children.  The farther away a person chooses to go and stretch the band will determine the speed and force in which they will snap back.

We enter the story line in Exodus 13:17 where Pharaoh has let  the people go and God leads them toward the Red Sea.  They camped at Etham which means, “With them,” and by day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire by night.  They could travel day or night.  The cloud and fire not only gave them direction but practically speaking gave them shade and coolness in the scorching desert sun and also light to see by at night.  God has everything covered day and night.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the Lord shows up saying, “I AM with you always.”  The pillar of cloud and fire is a picture of the Holy Spirit guiding, leading, covering and lighting our pathway.  Isaiah speaks of God’s goodness to His people in Isaiah 63:11-14 reminding them it was God who set the Holy Spirit among them, who sent power to Moses to divide the waters and gave them rest.

Even though Pharaoh let the people go, he had second thoughts and prepared His invincible army to pursue the Israelites.  The people fell into great fear when they saw the Pharaoh’s army approaching. They felt boxed in and no where to go.  They thought they were going to die.  Do you ever feel boxed in and no where to go?  Moses told the people not to be afraid and assured them that they would once again see the hand of God deliver them.  Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

God gave instructions for Moses to raise his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea to divide the waters so the people could cross over the dry land.  Then an angel of God who was before them and the pillar of cloud and fire also moved from the front to the rear, coming between Egypt and Israel.  This is a beautiful picture of the Lord always covering our backs when we are boxed in a situation.  He will give us a way of escape with protection and provides the miracles.  The cloud brought darkness to the Egyptians but remained light to the Israelites.  The same is true in the case of those who do not choose to believe in Jesus.  His light looks like darkness to them but light to us.  John 3:19-21 says, “This is the verdict:  Light has come into the world but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

The Israelites made it across on dry land but the mighty Egyptian’s army of horses and chariots were bogged down in the mud.  Exodus 14:24 says, “During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.  He made the wheels of the chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving.  And the Egyptians said, ‘Let’s get away from the Israelites.  The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.’”

Yes, it is the Lord who fights against our enemies and causes confusion and their tiresome tactics to get stuck in the mud.  The enemy may be on the chase but we always have the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire between us and the enemy.  The Lord bogs down and stops the plans of the enemy before it reaches us.

We also read about the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire above the tabernacle that lead and guided the people in Numbers 10:15-23.  The day that the tabernacle was set up, God sent the cloud to hover over the tabernacle.  The cloud that looked like fire hovered from evening till morning.  Whenever the cloud and fire lifted, the people moved on and when it settled, they stopped and encamped.  Sometimes the cloud and fire hovered for only a day; other times they encamped for a week, months or a year before they moved on. They obeyed the moving of the Holy Spirit which came to them by cloud and fire.  Good lesson for us.  Do we move when the Holy Spirit says, “Move?”  Do we stay still when the word is “No?”  Do we come up with excuses and procrastinate when we are told to go or take off on our own impulses just because it sounds good?

We may not have a visible, tangible cloud and fire over head but we do live under the New Covenant.  God spoke to Jeremiah about a new thing He was going to do in Jeremiah 31:33, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”  We have the cloud of pillar and the cloud of fire within as a free gift, the Holy Spirit.

No longer do we need to walk in confusion.  We now are to be led by the power of the Holy Spirit who lights up our pathway, giving us direction and purpose.  Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  We are given the written Word so we no longer are wandering aimlessly in the desert sun but resting under His sheltering cloud of coolness and peace and His fire to light our way.

Elizabeth

Torches of Fire

Two hundred years after Joshua crossed the Jordan River and the walls of Jericho fell, Gideon comes on the scene and God commissions him to be a Mighty Man of Valor to fight against the Midianites.

Because the Israelites disobeyed God when they entered the Promise Land and did not rid the land of the Canaanites, there were pockets of pagan worshippers which multiplied and grew in strength once again.  The Midianites dominated the Israelites and became treacherous enemies during Gideon’s life time.

Who were the Midianites?  Abraham married a woman named Keturah after Sarah died.  They had six sons, one being Midian.  Abraham sent these six sons away so they would not compete and contend for Isaac’s position as the promised son of Abraham and Sarah.  The tribe of Midian became an enemy of Israel as bitterness set in.

During Gideon’s time, there was great fear of the Midianites which forced people to flee and live in dens and caves.  The Israelites cried out to the Lord after being in the hands of their enemy for seven years and the Lord heard their cries.  You’d think they would have cried out for deliverance much sooner.  Though, how many times do we think we can handle the problem on our own and can work it out in our own strength.  After all, we like to think we are fearlessly independent and confident or so we think until we hit the bottom of the pit and then what?  God is patient and waits on us to look up and say, “Lord, help.  I need You.”  That is not a stance of weakness but wisdom.

God answered their prayers by sending an angel to speak to Gideon and deliver an assignment.  The angel addressed Gideon as a mighty man of valor.  Gideon a mighty warrior?  He was hiding in a cave.  That doesn’t sound like a fearless warrior to me.  However, God saw the potential of what Gideon could become not where he was presently.  We are not born warriors, we become warriors when we truly believe the Lord is with us and encounter His presence.  Many scholars believe this angel was none other than Jesus Himself coming as a Christ phony, an appearance of Jesus.

Gideon responds with questions and doubt, “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? (Judges 6:13).  The angel does not answer Gideon’s questions but commissions him and says, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand,” verse 14.  He is calling Gideon to set his people free.  Are you stuck in a pit full of ever ending questions of why this and why that Lord?  If you are hiding away until your questions are answered, you may be there a long time.  God is looking for those whose ears are open to hear the words, “Go” and a willing heart to respond whether they understand or not.

First Gideon had questions and when that didn’t work the excuses started flowing from his lips.  “How can I save Israel?  My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my family,” Judges 6:15.  We’ve all been there trying to get out of God’s calling on our life with the “I can’ts, I’m not good enough, others are better than I am, I’m the least.”  Being the youngest born of eleven children, I was conditioned to follow and not lead.  I understand from personal experience how limiting this mind set can be.  God had other plans for me and pushed me out of my comfortable nest of being a follower and into a leadership role.  I actually tried to give it away to others as often as opportunities would arise but the Lord would not let me use my excuses any longer.

The eagle builds her nest with all the comforts of home with the exception of several sharp end sticks pointing inward to the center of the nest.  As her eaglets grow and get plumper, the nest is no longer comfortable, confining and too small.   There comes a time when something has to give and the mother pushes her eaglets out one by one and lets them tumble head over heels, gaining speed and losing altitude quickly.  At the last moment just before the young bird hits the ground, she swoops underneath and catches the young on her back and soars upward until the baby is back safe in the nest.  This happens over and over again, until one day the bird learns to fly on its own.

I’m sure the young eaglet used every excuse possible as it was spiraling out of control, “I can’t, I’m not good enough, I wasn’t made for this,” but sooner or later, the bird learned he was made for flying.  It just took time and practice to figure out the how.  Until we learn what we were created for, who we are in Christ, and who we belong to, we will use these same excuses.

From the beginning of time, going back to Genesis 3, Satan has tried to steal our true identity of who we are in God.  The truth is it’s not about us and what we can achieve and accomplish but it’s about the power of the Holy Spirit within.  We are promised Jesus will never leave us or forsake us.  Conversely, God’s ways are the opposite of man’s ways.  In spite of our limitations and shortcomings, God chooses us for His assignments and often chooses those who are ordinary so he can have the glory that no man should boast.  1 Corinthians 1:27-28 says, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.”

God was patient as Gideon expressed his doubts, limitations, feelings of inadequacy and weaknesses and the need to throw out fleeces.  He then lovingly reminded him, “I’ll be with you.”  We often think we are waiting on God to do something but in reality, He is waiting on us to learn who He is and He patiently waits for us to come to Him.

Gideon needed a sign that God was really with Him on this one.  Confirmations are a good thing.  Gideon told the angel to stay put and not ago away until he came back with an offering as an act of worship.  When Gideon returned, the angel told him to take the meat and bread offering and place it on the rock.  The angel touched it and flames of fire flared from the rock and consumed the offering and the angel disappeared.

This is a picture of the Lord’s table of communion where we will often find confirmation as we offer our sacrifices of praise.  When we take time to commune with God during communion, confessing and praising, God answers our questions and gives directions to our struggles.

It was at the oak, at the altar of communion, the Lord spoke and said, “Peace!  Do not be afraid.  You are not going to die,” Judges 6:23.  Gideon called the place “The Lord is Peace,” (Jehovah Shalom).  Gideon found peace in the face of a storm.  He was about to lead out a battle with feelings of being unprepared, uncertain and unsure of himself.  This was much bigger than himself, yet he found peace at the Lord’s table.

God wasn’t finished with Gideon as he wasn’t quite ready to be sent out as God’s warrior quite yet.  There was a family problem that needed to be resolved.  Often God wants us to get our family in order before we are sent out to restore order in others.  In God’s economy, family is a top priority then comes ministry.  The Lord told Gideon to tear down his father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole and build an altar to the Lord.  Gideon waited until night to do this because he was afraid of his family and the town’s people.

Gideon stood up against his father and town’s people which showed he was now a leader and not a people pleaser.  As long as we hold people’s opinion above God’s plans, we will always falter and waiver on our God assignments.  Paul in Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Gideon was now ready to be a leader.  The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet summoning men to join him for battle.  Why would men rally around a farm boy, a common man, whose knees were knocking together hiding in a cave?  He had no credentials or reputation of leadership.  This was a God thing.  God moved in the hearts of men and gathered them together; a moving of the Holy Spirit. Do you want people to follow your leadership?  Ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit often and to give you favor with those who are to follow you.

Gideon’s 32,000 men were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the opposing troops of 135,000 men. The odds were stacked against them four to one.  God loves to work in the realm of the impossible so He gets the full glory so no man can boast.  The odds were bad enough and the Lord continued to cut Gideon’s number of men down to the bare bones of 300 men.  Now the odds were 450 to 1.  What was God thinking?  Do you wonder what God is doing in your life when the odds are desperately against you?  Are you going through a time where things look impossible?  God loves to show Himself strong and bring you through the bleakest of times.  It’s His style.

The night of the battle, Gideon told his men to watch and follow his lead.   He took his fledgling troops and surrounded the Midianite camp as the enemy slept in their tents.  Gideon’s men were instructed to break out into three companies of one hundred men surrounding the camp, carrying a trumpet and a torch covered by an earthen jar.  When Gideon blew his trumpet, broke his earthen jar and shouted “For the Lord and for Gideon” all the men followed his lead.  What noise and chaos erupted filling the dark of the night waking the sleepy, confused men. As they jumped to their feet and looked out their tents they saw 300 torches blazing all about them.  Because it was a normal military practice to have 1,000 men behind one torch, they assumed they were surrounded by over 300,000 men.  They were so terrorized and confused they started fighting themselves and fled for their lives.

When the torches of earthen clay jars were broken in the dark of the night, fire lit the sky.  We are likened to earthen vessels in 2 Corinthians 4:6,-7, “For God who said Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

We must go through seasons of breaking so the light of Jesus can shine the glory of God.  Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go the way we want and our hearts get broken.  Because we live in a broken world, we experience broken relationships, broken dreams and broken promises.  It is through breaking that we become compassionate toward others who are hurting.  We are able to relate and extend a hand because we know what they are going through.  We can become blessings to others through our brokenness.

We live in a broken world.  Isaiah 61:1 tells us why Jesus came, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

Gideon didn’t start out carrying a torch of fire but he chose to rise to the occasion as a leader because he knew the Lord was with Him.  God uses common, ordinary people throughout scripture.  People like Jacob the deceiver, Moses a slave in exile, Esther a slave girl, and Peter a fisherman.  God can use anyone who knows God is with them.
Do you know that?  Do you know you can do the impossible because God is with you?

As a believer, we are called to be ambassadors for Christ.  We have enlisted and signed on the dotted line to be in God’s army of love.  We are to carry torches of fire to ignite others who have become but a smoldering ember; cauterize the bleeding of the wounded hearts and light the path to Jesus to this lost, broken and forsaken world. ~Elizabeth Thompson