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By Cindy Goding

When you look at the picture above you find yourself taking a deep breath and longing to be sitting on those chairs listening to the soft sound of the waves and feeling the warmth of the sun on your face. You can almost feel your body begin to relax a little more just looking at the picture right?

Question for you-

Do you look to God’s word for as much refreshment as you do for something else? More than a vacation?

More than a spa day? More than an afternoon alone? More than a date with your spouse? More than a favorite drink, snack, or dessert?  Do you look to God’s word as the only thing that will truly satisfy, refresh, rejuvenate, and uplift your mind, body, and soul?

Gotta admit, I don’t often think of God’s word this way. I feel this after every time I spend some deep time in God’s word. I feel lighter and happier and much more peaceful after I have spent time with God through prayer and reading the Bible. However, I don’t always go into this time thinking this way.

Often, I can view my time spent with God as a “task” or something that I need to check off my “Good Christian List”. Did I spend time in God’s word today? Check. Done, time to move onto something else. Now, there are times and moments in our lives where this is just the case. Where spending time in God's word is better to be a checklist item than no item at all in our daily routines.

However, we don’t want to stay there. I find myself so excited and longing for the things that I think will bring refreshment. There are times where I am desperate for just time time alone and space to be quiet and by myself. There are times when I know that I have a weekend trip coming up and I find myself counting down the days, hours, and minutes. There are moments where I feel completely envious of others as they enjoy exotic vacations and trips. But as I sit here and make lists of what will give me true refreshment I have realized, I have the only thing that will truly satisfy me right at my finger tips. 

When I am in God’s word and in prayer with him I find myself being able to look at circumstances in a more positive light. I find my soul resting in the peace that he has given us. I find myself intentionally looking for him more in the spaces around me. Instead of feeling defeated, I find myself steadied and ready for stepping into the battle. Instead of feeling anxious or alone, I find myself able to take calm breaths and rest in the “peace that passes all understanding”. 

Yes, we get refreshment through different avenues in our life and that is how God has designed us! He has designed us to find joy and happiness in different things and through different people. AND, he wants us to find true rest and refreshment through His word and His love, and His peace, and His compassion, and His sovereignty, and His plan, and His power, and His knowledge, and His kindness. He wants us to truly find the refreshment we need and long for in His presence.

So Rest In Him.

“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God- his way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”

-Psalm 18:28-30

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You Are His

Now this is what the LORD says—

He who created you, O Jacob,

and He who formed you, O Israel:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by your name; you are Mine!

When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you;

and when you go through the rivers,

they will not overwhelm you.

When you walk through the fire,

you will not be scorched;

the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the LORD your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior

-Isaiah 43:1-3

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To Do

By Cindy Goding

I read something recently that caught my attention. Especially in the season of life I am in where I feel as though my entire world is composed of “To Do” lists. 

What if the ONLY thing on our list was “To Glorify and Honor God”. How would that change our perspective? How would it change our attitudes? How would it change how we interact with others? 

We cannot ignore our daily responsibilities, and yet, we can change how we view them and how we go about accomplishing them. Not every moment is going to be perfect, not every moment is going to be pleasant. But every moment IS an opportunity! We are made in the image of God and therefore we have the opportunity to reflect Him in every moment. 

Now this definitely won’t make my list any more glamorous, or make every task fun, but maybe it will change my mindset as I change the laundry, cook dinner, pick up the toys, or even scrub the bathroom. Maybe it will change my mindset as I finalize work agendas, plan the next Women’s Ministry event, or when I get a phone call from my children's school. 

Instead of feeling unseen, I can focus on being a humble servant. Instead of feeling impatient, I can focus on being patient in the waiting. Instead of feeling unjustified, I can focus on trusting God's timing. Instead of feeling like things are out of control, I can focus on casting all my cares and anxieties to Jesus.

Would this single item on our To Do lists encourage and motivate us to spend more time in God’s word and in prayer with Him? Would this single item on our To Do list encourage and motivate us to grow deeper in our understanding of who He is and His love for us?

Let’s scratch all the others and let’s focus on this single, most important, and most rewarding task!

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” -Psalm 19:1

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” -Mark 12:30

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Love Earnestly

“… therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬-‭10‬

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How Do You Respond?

By Marcia Jarrett

The women's retreat was a great reminder to see God's glory even during the long and seemingly dreary winter. It was encouraging to live out the women's purpose statement as a group of women from all ages and walks of life came together in a genuine, gospel-focused cabin. We came together to be on mission for Jesus with lots of fellowship and laughter. Cindy and Heather were clearly spirit-led as they guided us through many different sessions. One session that had a great impact on how I will interact with others was about how to share the gospel. I have never heard a more succinct and straightforward way than what Heather laid out for us. So as you work to share the gospel, here are four steps to empower you:

1. God loves you- look at Genesis 1:27 and John 3:16. We are intentionally created in His image and we were each created with a purpose. This is not only good news to new believers, but should be good news for all of us daily!

2. We are not perfect and sin separates us from God- look at Romans 3:23, James 2:10, Romans 6:23. We all fall short of the glory of God. There is punishment for sin, there needs to be a payment. Jesus paid it all and declared, 'it is finished'. 

3. In response to our sin, God sent Jesus to die, be buried and rise again- read Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Cor. 15:3-5. God shows His love for me, while I am a sinner Christ died for me. Jesus' motivation for dying is His great love for us. We are saved through grace and not by works. It is important to walk through Jesus' death, burial and resurrection as each step is important to the truth of the power of God the Father. He is alive so that I can be alive. In light of this truth, where do you need to walk in new life because Jesus is alive?

4. We need to respond to receive God's power- read Romans 10:9, Luke 13:3-5 and John 10:10. Everyone who confesses Jesus is Lord is saved. After we have presented the gospel we need to help others to know how to respond. This is a step that I often overlook. Ask, "would you like to make Jesus your Lord and Savior?" Through Jesus, life starts now and lasts forever. We have an abundant life in Christ. Do not grow complacent.  

How are you sharing this treasure?  Imagine the impact our church could have if we all started by sharing the gospel with one person, then two and beyond. If this process seems daunting to you, you are not alone. However, we are called to share the gospel to further His kingdom. I encourage you to start by choosing 5 neighbors and begin praying for them. Pray for yourself to see opportunities to share the gospel with your neighbors. Know that this is a process and could begin with a friendly 'hello' to them. Also be praying specifically for your neighbors to come to know God. You may not see the fruit, but by sharing you are planting a seed for God to grow. Let's spur each other on to step out of our comfort zones and to be a light in our neighborhoods.  

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By Cindy Goding

L.O.V.E. These are four VERY powerful letters when they are put together in this order to create this word. Because this is a VERY powerful word! 

Let’s look at this word from a different context, not from the world’s definition but from the truths of God. 

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” -Psalm 86:15

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” -Zephaniah 3:17

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” -Psalm 36:7

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” -1 John 4:7

“For God so loved the world that he gave his own son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have eternal life.” -John 3:16

This list could go on and on without ending because God’s love for us goes on and on without end. There are no hidden agendas with God’s love. His love is the purest, strongest, unconditional love.


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Lights in Your Neighborhoods

By Heather Barnes

This past weekend at the retreat we had a workshop on how to be A Light in Your Neighborhood. To move past friendly neighbors who just wave to intentionally becoming invested and involved for the sake of sharing the good news of the gospel and spreading God's kingdom.

Let's first think about some nitty gritty-

To be a light in your neighborhood…God DOES NOT require

  • A specific personality type
  • A culinary skill level or hosting or hospitality gifting
  • You to have young kids or dogs - what some may call a natural connecting point
  • You to be a certain age…younger or older.
  • You to always know what to say, or do maneuver conversations perfectly. 
  • Being a stay at home mom. 
  • You to have all the answers

To be a light in your neighborhood DOES require…

  • To know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, walk with Him. Knowing the Gospel.
  • Willing hearts and ready hands.
  • Motivated by the love of Christ. (what would it look like for the love of Christ to control me?)
  • Open invitations. Open homes.
  • Not I, but Christ. We’ll make mistakes & learn as we go, thats expected.
  • Sacrifice and inconvenience in our lives - for the good of our neighbors.

Isn't that list a relief? Isn't it such freedom to know that being a light for God DOES NOT come with a list of "pre-requisites"? That I don't need to be the best chef, perfect homemaker, organizer, or even a good "small talker"?!

However, when I look at the what DOES it require list- I can say YES to all of those! And whole heartedly!

So what does being a light in your neighborhood mean? What is radical, ordinary hospitality? It is using your Christian home in a regular way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God. REPEAT

Our call is to interact with people and use your Christian home in a regular way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God.

It is marked by open invitations, the disruption of regular routines…providing a window into the richness and fullness of life with Christ. It is through open homes, willing hearts, and ready hands that God brings his Kingdom to earth.

Start anywhere. Start today. As God welcomes us as his sons and daughters, calling us his friend, let us do the same with our neighbors, seeing each as worthy of hospitality because they bear the Imago dei. And therefore they are WORTH it! Those around us who are made in the image of God are worth more than our own feelings of awkwardness for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 3 hours. They are more valuable than our own feelings of pride. Jesus did not come to offer a comfortable life for us. He came to offer eternal life... for ALL.

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Time to Declutter

By Cindy Goding

Decluttering feels SO good doesn’t it? It feels so good when you look at the space you just decluttered and you see organization and cleanliness. It feels so good when you suddenly know where everything is and everything has its place. It feels so good when you make several dumpster runs of things that you really don’t use or need anymore. 

We often talk about decluttering our house, our garage, our closet, but do we talk about decluttering our mind? Do we work intentionally at decluttering our mind of things that get in the way of and distract us from true worship and praise to the one true God? Do we fill our minds with all sorts of “knick knacks” that don’t help or are positive in any manner but take up room and space in our mind where God’s word and prayer should reside?

I am guilty of this. I like a clean, tidy house. I spend time each day picking up and cleaning because it makes me feel good and more rested at the end of the day. Now while that isn’t bad, I need to pause and think- do I put as much time and effort cleansing and refreshing my soul and spirit? Do I understand that it is more vital to do that for my overall health than it is to even make sure my bathrooms are clean?! 

Sometimes I forget! I forget the importance of decluttering my mind to make SPACE and room for God’s word to infiltrate my body and soul. I forget to declutter my heart so peace and joy can flood it instead of anxieties and worries. I forget to declutter my spirit and allow encouragement and love to burst through instead of negativity and crabbiness. 

It’s time to declutter! Declutter with PURPOSE. Declutter with RESOLVE. Declutter to make room for our amazing God who reigns, who is supreme, who is love, who is compassion, who is grace, who is mercy, who is unchanging, who is present, who is our comforter… 

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬-‭2‬, ‭16‬-‭17‬ ‭

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Toddler Temperament

By Cindy Goding

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen"-Hebrews 11:1

But whhhhhhyyyyy? My youngest is now 2 and hitting that stage in life where every answer is “but whhhhhy?”. And every response to an imperative statement is, “why?”. It’s exhausting, frustrating, cute at times, but mostly annoying and often my final response is the age old… “because I said so”. 

As I was sitting here getting ready to write a blog post, I was finding myself getting irritated by the barrage of “but why’s” coming from him. All I was wanting was complete obedience and trust that I know better than him, from my two year old… that’s not so much to ask right?! LOL.

It struck me when I was reflecting on this that the annoying countenance is how I approach God at times in certain situations. My need for control brings to the surface my own two-year old stubbornness as my response often to God is, “but why?” When he is asking for trust and faith, my response is, “but why?” when the answer seems unclear or that maybe I’m hoping for a different answer. Just like a parent with their toddler, God asks for trust and obedience. He knows us better than we know ourselves and he knows what is best for us even if we cannot see it. God doesn’t get impatient with our, “but why?”- he understands and answers each question patiently. He knows our anxieties, our fears, but he also knows what brings us deep and lasting joy. 

So surrender to God and trust that he is working all things for our good!

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”. -Ephesians 2:10

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Can We Talk?

By Cindy Goding

Can we talk? The three words that we’ve all heard at one point or another that often bring all sorts of emotions and feelings. Those 3 little words are incredibly powerful because they’re often a catalyst for some sort of intense conversation. Why? Why are those three words often said? Because communication IS key! It’s the key to relationships, the key to friendships, the key to leadership, the key to any success. We read books about communication, there are podcasts about effective communication and leadership seminars on the importance of communication. 



Do we work on our communication with God as much as we work with communication with others?

Can we talk? God asks us that question all the time. Except this time, there aren’t any unsaid expectations or hidden agendas. He simply wants to talk with us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants us to spend time just talking with him. Those three little words shouldn’t bring any feelings of trepidation but rather excitement as you spend time talking with God. The best is that he already knows what you’re thinking! So it’s truly open communication with God. God wants to know about all the big things AND all the small details. He wants to hear about your fears and anxieties as much as he desires to know your joys and excitement. He wants to know all your petitions just as much as he revels in your praise and worship. Communicating with God through prayer builds relationship and allows you to refocus on the will of God and his design for your life. Communicating with God through prayer allows you to speak openly to him but more importantly, encourages you to spend time listening for the Holy Spirit to speak.

So let’s transfer that to our relationship with God. Let’s intentionally dive in and work on communicating MOST with God.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:17

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