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Category Archives: Inspirations

Filling Our Home with Prayer by Kimberly Reinking 1 5/5 (1)

A mother wears many hats and, as I have heard many times, “works from sunup to sundown.” We need to clean the house, wash the dishes, cook a healthy dinner, plus take care of the kids. Not to mention, be a happy wife! We love, nurture, and care for others all day long. However, when we fall into bed at night, the kitchen floor may be sticky, the laundry not folded, and dinner a frozen pizza, but if prayers were lifted for our children, the day has been a success.

No matter their age, our kids need our prayers and to learn from the example we set. A toddler or preschooler may mimic our actions, grade school kids may ask questions, and a preteen or teen may be obstinate or act uninterested in what we are doing, but they are all watching us. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Letting prayers permeate the atmosphere of our homes will be the most significant part of our day. Its effectiveness and overriding importance will be evident to our children as we pray with them and for them. It is our responsibility to model faith and trust in a merciful God. As it says in Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Taking our needs and our children’s worries and fears to God will be etched into their hearts and minds and will become a natural part of their lives that will be hard to stray from.

By filling our homes with prayer, we are creating a sanctuary. Our children will recognize the peace they feel after returning from school or activities filled with outside influences. Matthew 6:6 tells us, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Shutting the door to our homes and filling it with praise and worship will be asking His goodness to flow through every room and allowing His blessings to spill over to our children. A mother is the gatekeeper of her home, and there is no better way to insulate the inside than with prayer.

Let us continue to wear every hat our children need, but we must not forget the role they need most: a praying mama. So, be the cook, maid, chauffeur, or nurse, but our checklist is insignificant when it is not accompanied by a house of prayer.
(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl November 2019 Newsletter – UPCI LM – ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

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A Sense of Purpose by Linda Gleason 1 5/5 (1)

We all desire to be everything we can be for God. This is a worthy ambition. Unfortunately, there are many roadblocks on the path to this goal. Perhaps one of the greatest areas of need in this regard is a lack of sense of purpose.

It’s possible to determine a course of action and work toward that goal until the objective is reached. Paul told the saints at Corinth in, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give” (II Corinthians 9:7). According to this verse, giving that pleases God involves a sense of purpose. If this is true in our giving, I believe it is true in other areas of our lives.

Dreams only become reality when we develop a sense of purpose that translates into action. Ecclesiastes 5:3 tells us “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business.” Our lives are filled with good intentions, but as the years pass we never attain many because of our lack of purpose. Jesus is coming soon, but even if He does tarry, three score and ten is not a very long time. We must make every day count.

Can we accept the challenge of II Corinthians 9:7 in the following areas of our lives?
“Every man as he purposeth in his heart, so let him . . .”

Pray and fast . What a noble desire. However, too often it ends there. Let us purpose to seek God as never before – and then do it.

Read the Word. We have had a goal in our church for several years of reading the Bible through each year. This is not all that is necessary in the area of Bible study but it is a good place to start. Many have never read the entire Bible one time. Purpose in your heart and then accomplish that goal.

Win a soul to God. This needs to be the desire of every child of God. For this to happen, we must take steps to see it accomplished. Give your personal testimony. Let people know what God has done in your life. Teach a home Bible study. Invite someone to the house of God. Pray with people at the altar.

These are just a few of the areas where purpose is needed. Let God talk to your heart about other areas. Your greatest enemy will be procrastination. It steals away our good intent.

My father-in-law, W. C. Gleason, used to quote a poem that packs a powerful punch.

Procrastination is my sin
It brings me nought but sorrow
I know that I should stop it
In fact, I will, Tomorrow!
(Gloria Pitzer)

We must declare war on procrastination! Let the things we have always intended become a reality. Things can be different if we purpose in our hearts to make them different! As a result, we will see many of our dreams for the kingdom of God fulfilled.

Linda Gleason, Ladies Ministries President.
(Information from: SISTERS Military Newsletter – October 2019 – UPCI Ladies Ministries sisters@upci.org)

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What Prayer Produces by Pastor Phillip Hofstetter 1 4/5 (1)

Truth be told, there is a realistic lack of prayer time not only in the church, but in it is leadership. It is not that people don’t necessarily want to pray. It is not that people don’t pray, but it is the quality of the prayer and the time spent in prayer that is the concern. There should not be less prayer, but more prayer. The encouragement needs to come from those who do pray effectively to those who don’t pray very much. The focus is to change the deficit of prayer. There needs to be a will to overcome the tendency not to pray. The busyness of schedules prevents the most needed thing of all…Prayer Time. A mind to pray is what is needed.

There needs to be a purpose for prayer. There needs to be an intentional time to pray. Incentive, Initiation, and Desire, are words that describe what it takes to actually enter into a quality prayer time. A greater prayer life takes time, and is progressive. Start your day with prayer. Set your prayer times to pray and keep it. The results will lead to more prayer.

Some of the things that prayer produces:

  1. A greater relationship with Jesus.
  2. A greater understanding of His will.
  3. A growing sensitivity to the leading of the Spirit of God.
  4. A greater recognition of His presence.
  5. Problems are revealed by the Lord, along with what it takesto resolve them.
  6. A greater understanding (revelation) of who God is and of His Word.
  7. A greater leadership ability.
  8. True effectiveness comes through intimacy with God.
  9. Quality of what is done for the Lord is improved.
  10. Revival in you, your church, and those around you.

Pastor Phillip Hofstetter, Guest Writer
District Prayer Coordinator, Florida District

(Information from: The Praying Life Newsletter – World Network of Prayer – wnopadmins@upci.org)

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Kindness: Naomi and Ruth’s Way by Paula Nilsen 1 5/5 (1)

Growing up in Sweden, I loved receiving visitors in our home. I associated visitors with gifts – boxes of chocolates, beautiful cakes, and flowers. As the recipient it was always such a joy.

My room would be converted to a guestroom as needed. Often guests left gifts. I have fond memories running to my room after they left to find my surprise. I favored the guests by the gifts they left. Their kindness did not go unnoticed.

I am reminded of individuals who did not go empty handed to the ones they loved. Naomi brought an amazing gift with her back from the country of Moab. There were gifts left by Boaz for Ruth; gifts brought to Naomi from Ruth, but my favorite-because I get to enjoy it too-was the gift of peace of mind left for us all by God.

Naomi returned home from the land of Moab empty handed, destitute, a sorrowing widow, without children, and bitter toward herself. Her husband’s decision to move the family to Moab led her into the darkness. God’s grace led her out and back to Him.

Ruth had heard about Naomi’s God and wanted to know more. Because of this, she was willing to leave behind everything she ever knew. Having lived abroad I know the significance of this move. Ruth’s kindness and loyalty to Naomi brought her to a new home and a new life; her commitment to her mother-in-law and a God she didn’t know is remarkable.

Naomi thought she was returning empty handed but, in reality, she was returning to Israel with what would be the greatest gift known to mankind-Ruth is listed in the genealogy of Jesus, remember?

In the pit of despair, Naomi couldn’t see the plan of God unfolding. She even instructed Ruth to return back to her family, back to her gods, but Ruth was determined to stay on the path that led to favor. It’s a lonely road for those who turn from favor. But Ruth clung to Naomi, sensing deliverance, no doubt. It wasn’t long and God began to shine His light into Naomi’s darkness.

When we can talk of little else but our dark circumstances, it is His hand that lifts us out of troubled waters and places us beside still waters. Often He pairs us with a sister who straightens our thinking, offers encouragement, and gives the strength needed to lift our head to watch God’s plan unfold. There’s no need to go it alone.

Jesus left us the gift of peace of mind and heart. (See John 14:27, NIV.) Don’t go empty handed to the ones you love. Bring with you His grace, His love, His peace, and His joy. Your kindness will be noted.
(Information from: PURE Newsletter – UPCI Ladies Ministries – ladiesconnections@upci.org)

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Celebrate Life by Melody Reever 1 4/5 (1)

Celebrate Life!
Of late, I’ve been observing the beauty of nature: the vibrant greens of the trees and grasses; the lovely shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple in the flowers; and the hints of blue in the pools and fountains. Soon fall will bring new shades of color to plant life-and what a beautiful time of year it is. As I take a deep breath of fresh air, I am indeed happy to celebrate the life God has given me. I am glad to be alive!

Life is not perfect-for any of us. Some face illness and loss of a loved one. For others, loss of a job or mounting medical bills have them scrambling to bring in enough income to cover bare necessities. It is easy for our emotions to take over during times of struggle: fear, uncertainty, questions of “why” – Why me? Why now? Why?

A lesson I’ve learned during times of struggle is to simply trust in God. Paul said in Acts 17, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. … He gives to all life, breath, and all things. … He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (24-28, NKJV). A close friend, who is in the struggle of caring for a loved one dealing with disease, recently told me, “It’s tough. I don’t know how people cope without God.”

There are days when trusting God does not come easy. The enemy of our souls would like nothing more than to weigh us down with questions, depression, and defeat. But we are daughters of the King of kings! We are not alone! God is with and in us. Because of His promise to never forsake us, we can draw strength from His presence on the toughest of days.

In good times and bad, we can praise God for giving us life. Look up! Let’s count our blessings and celebrate His goodness in the life He’s given each of us.
(Information from: PURE Newsletter – UPCI Ladies Ministries – ladiesconnections@upci.org)

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My Benevolent Author by Jill Fierge 1 4/5 (1)

March 16, 2010, felt like the beginning of the end for me. This was the day my husband sat with me on our beloved porch swing and told me he was attracted to another woman. I will never forget the awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. That day started the battle for my marriage as well as the battle for my soul. Over the next year and a half, I interceded, sought counseling, made changes, all in my desperate attempt to save our marriage. At times we made progress, other times it felt like a step back. I told no one. Who could I tell? Many would label me a fool for even wanting to stay in the marriage. At least I felt like there was hope while he was still there. I was just sure if I prayed enough, was sweet enough, and got thin enough my marriage would make it.

October 15, 2011, was the day my husband moved out. Just when I thought things were getting better and we were going to make it, his emotional affair turned to a physical affair and our marriage was over. He wanted a divorce. Words bombarded my mind, “You are a fool. Why did you even try? You look so desperate.”

In that moment I had a decision to make. Let the voices continue to berate, or look in the mirror and realize only God’s opinion mattered. What did God think of me? I still had many questions: after being involved in ministry with my husband for over 25 years, would there ever be a place for me again? Would my children lose their faith? Would I live in poverty for the rest of my life? Would I be the one of whom people whispered, “I don’t understand. They always seemed so happy.” With dozens of questions in my mind, I sought out the One who has all the answers. One by one, He systematically, methodically and with great purpose answered my questions.

No, I was not a desperate fool who tried unsuccessfully to salvage a doomed marriage. I was simply a woman who loved her husband and was committed to marriage. Yet, I had to realize I could not control anyone else’s choices.
God still loved me. His opinion of me had not changed. His love had never wavered. Since I tried to walk this trial with integrity, releasing all bitterness and anger to God, I felt I pleased Him. I understood the answer to the question, “What does God think of me?”
Would I ever be used in ministry again? This was largely in my control. How did I respond to this trial? If I chose bitterness and anger, my testimony could not be used. However, if I chose to allow God to build better character through this, He can open doors for me to use a very painful experience for good.
Will I always be poor? I may not live with the degree of financial security I previously enjoyed, but my children and I have learned first-hand the unique beauty of God’s provision. Instead of losing their faith, this has increased my children’s faith. Their walk with God has become deeply personal and intimate as they have had to search out things for themselves.
If anyone “whispers” about me, it is with complete concern and compassion. I have felt nothing but total love and care from the family of God. The church has been a safe place for my kids and me. Our choice to stay involved has served us well.
Oct 30, 2013, was the day my divorce was final. It began a new chapter in my life. God is still writing on the pages of my heart, and I am with anticipation watching the direction the storyline takes. This Author can be trusted to take a heartbreaking story and write a joyful end.

NOTE: Jill has been blessed with four incredible children and a beautiful daughter-in-law. Jill enjoys music, reading and day spas! She attends The Sanctuary in Hazelwood, MO, pastored by Mitchell Bland.

Information from: UPCI Ladies Ministries – https://ladiesministries.com/programs/hope/article/-if-i-chose-bitterness-and-anger-my-testimony-could-not-be-used

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Lessons in the Storm 1 4/5 (1)

He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (Psalm 107:29)

Everyone loves a sea when the waves are gentle and the boat is under control. An adventure at sea is thrilling, until a storm rises suddenly, leaving no time to get back to shore. Even the most experienced sailors cannot out smart nature every time.

Life has seasons of storms for everyone. Storms do not care about titles, position, wealth,education, lineage, or many of the things that humans use to rise above socialdespondency. Though we try, we cannot control life completely.

In the gospels (Matthew 8, Mark 4), we find the disciples at sea, in the midst of a storm,along with Jesus who was asleep on a pillow. The boat was about to sink, the waves werepouring in, and the disciples were scared for their lives. Yet Jesus was at peace. It’simportant to remember, He was in the boat, in the storm, along with them. They did nothave the modern navigation equipment of our day, and the storm would have blocked theview of the stars they used to guide them. They were completely at the mercy of the sea.

READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/d02f7de2-206b-400b-9d37-b47a94134240.pdf

(From: World Network of Prayer – The Praying Life Newsletter – wnopadmins@upci.org)

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He Was There All the Time by Alexa Olson 1 5/5 (1)

He Was There All the Time!
“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

A few years ago, after a regular mammogram, I was told there was a suspicious lump and I needed a biopsy. I was given the dreaded news it was indeed cancerous. Arrangements were made and I had surgery to remove the lump.

I had adopted two babies at the age of 52, was a busy pastor’s wife, as well as music minister of our church. I just could not afford to be out of commission for long! So I had surgery on a Thursday before Easter and I was sitting on the organ and leading choir that Easter Sunday of 2012. Only family and church staff knew I had been through surgery. I didn’t want anyone to know. I recovered and went on with my life.

In March 2017, I noticed a lesion on the scar from my surgery. I went to my doctor hoping he could fix it. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Honey, that is cancer!” I said, “The devil is a liar.” He immediately called a fellow surgeon in, and a biopsy was done right there. The labs came back as cancer, but they believed it could be removed. I made an appointment with a surgeon.

As my husband and I sat waiting for the surgeon to come in, I felt calm and that God was in control. When the surgeon came in, she said my breast cancer had metastasized to my bones in multiple places. I was Stage IV, and it had been there about two years. “I am sorry I cannot help you, but you can manage it,” she said. That was it; she and her assistant walked out. My husband and I looked at each other like “what just happened?” But I did not feel fear. I had confidence God was going to take care of me.

My son wanted me to get a second opinion. Through this doctor I learned of a new drug that had just been released. Through a series of events, I was able to receive this new, and very expensive, medicine – free. A miracle! I felt such peace that God was going to see me through. Eight months after taking this drug my tests showed no tumors. My wellness did not happen in an instant, but God orchestrated a miracle and ordered my steps to receive it.

“And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it” (Acts 4:14).

Note: Alexa Olson, along with her husband Rick Olson, pastors Church of Pentecost in Jacksonville, Florida. She is also the music minister and enjoys leading a talented choir. Alexa has four children and three grandchildren. She is one of five daughters of Reverend William R. and June Starr.

(FROM: Ladies Prayer Intl October 2019 – UPCI LM – ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

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