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Friendship … Sisterhood

As I read through some LWML devotions I came across one that caught my eye. When I began reading, it felt familiar. It wasn’t so much the words used, but how the words were used that drew me to it.

I glanced at the bottom of the page to see if I might know the author, and much to my surprise it was someone I had worked with for 10 years in the LWML. Her distinct writing style was what was familiar. Over the years we had formed a very special bond, along with our third task force member, to the point that when I read the devotion, I just knew those were her words and phrases.

Friendship comes in many shapes and forms. Friendship — dare I say “sisterhood” — in the LWML is unique. Our friendship is based on the bonds we have through God’s Word and service to Him. He is the source and the example of love shared between friends.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. … Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:7, 11 NIV).

Lord God, Heavenly Father, bless our times together in service, witness, and study of Your Word. Help us through our LWML friends to find ways to support and encourage one another in our daily walk, keeping our eyes focused on You. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

(For resources like the one my friend wrote, check out www.lwml.org/program-helps. Devotions, Bible studies, litanies and planning helps are available free on the LWML website.)

Variety of Gifts – For God’s Purpose

I was privileged to serve on a committee in a Christian organization that was made up of people with different gifts. Everyone wanted to pull their weight on this committee; yet many of the tasks that the committee had to do were of an administrative nature. These tasks did not play to the strengths of certain members and assumed that certain members would spend more time on committee work than others. As time went on, the tasks the committee needed to complete required the gifts of each member. By the time the committee reached its goal, some of the committee members remarked that they were surprised to find out that they indeed felt like they were part of this committee. It was definitely God’s plan to put us together.

It was really cool to see people with various gifts work together for God’s purpose, just like there are many parts but one body. That is how it is in our church and in LWML. We work together with the goal of sharing the Gospel. So, use your gifts and serve the Lord with gladness! Encourage others to do the same.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

The Importance of Words

Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations 
(1 Chronicles 16:23–24a).

The 2019 LWML Convention Bible verse continues to resonate with me in regard to the theme, In Praise to the LORD! Each day we are given opportunities to share Jesus’ joy and love. God directs our paths, Jesus walks beside us, and the Holy Spirit gives us the words to use.

Do I always share Jesus in a loving way? Do my words always speak truth in love? Am I seeking God’s will for what He wants me to do as I speak to others? As I declare His glory?

Listening to a Christian radio program, I heard a good analogy of how words can be used to help or hinder a situation. A mother wanted to help her middle school aged daughter understand that how she spoke to others and the words she used could either help or hinder her relationships. She told her daughter to take a tube of toothpaste and squeeze out all the paste. Then she asked her to put the paste back in the tube. The daughter very clearly said, “Mom, I can’t do that. That’s impossible,” to which her mother replied, “Of course, you can’t. Once words are spoken, you can’t take them back. Use them wisely.” I thought about how I use words. Are they always God-pleasing? Do they always declare God’s glory and truth to others?

Even when they don’t, I praise God that He sees Christ in me because of the free gift of salvation won for me on the cross. To God be the glory!

Dear Lord, help me when my mouth opens to declare Your glory. Help my words be a loving witness of Your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Always Say a Prayer

Always Say a Prayer — ASAP

Worth repeating …

God is good! All the time! He supplies our every need — even taking care of us before we know what we need. Indeed, He is an amazing God! Yet, how do we connect with God?

Consider the acronym “ASAP.” We usually associate ASAP with work to be done and deadlines to meet. Four letters can make us feel there’s no time to spare! We hurry and scurry; we might even be in the midst of a family crisis or work dilemma, with little time to meet the deadline.

However, even when our worries and needs seem to be more than we can bear, we can remember ASAP … Always Say A Prayer. It’s better to slow down, take a breather, and ASAP … Always Say A Prayer.

God knows how stressful life can be. He wants to ease our cares. He will respond to all our needs and He will answer us ASAP … Always Say A Prayer.

If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul (Psalm 94:17–19).

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Meet our LWML On The Go Podcast Presenter

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Rebecca (Becca) is the wife of Jonathan Futty and the mother of Jonathan, age six and Benjamin, 11 months.

As a member of Christ Memorial Lutheran Church in Malvern, PA, Becca sings with the church praise team on Sunday mornings. She also enjoys participating with local high schools and community theaters as a director/choreographer.

Currently she is serving as LWML Eastern District Leader Development Chairman and Vice President of her LWML group. 

Becca says, “I am thrilled to be serving the LWML as podcast presenter and so grateful for the beautiful words from Praying the Psalms, by Sheila Lutz, that I get to read every week.”

LWML On The Go, is available through your podcast provider, at lwml.org, and on the LWML App.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119: 105).

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2019 LWML Convention: Sunday

2019 Convention logo: Purple world with gold cross and red heart stretching out around the world centered on the cross, with the inner point of the heart starting in the convention site of Mobile, Alabama.

In Praise to the LORD!

After an inspirational evening with sand artist Joe Castillo on Friday, many woke early to attend a Wake Up with the Word Bible study and participate in the Mission in Motion Pledge Walk. Apple of His Eye Missionary Steve Cohen opened the walk with the sounds of a Shofar, followed by the enthusiastic Excelsior Band of Mobile leading the way. Over 848 walkers joined in the fun, some carrying bright purple umbrellas. All proceeds from the walk go to the 2019–2021 LWML Mission Goal.

The past LWML Presidents Ida Mall, Gloria Edwards, Virginia Von Seggern, Linda Reiser, Jan Wendorf, and Kay Kreklau led the Saturday morning procession which highlighted 76 flags representing countries in which LWML has supported a mission grant. 81 YWRs and 12 H2H Sister Leaders helped carry the flags and participate in the procession. Rounding it out were 50+ youth from the Insta Friends Camp offered at convention for children and youth ages six months through high school.

Author Donna Pyle led the 2nd part of the Bible study and Mites in Action speakers Laura Hemminger, Rev. Gary Manning, and Stephanie Schulte, recipients of 2017–2019 mission grants, shared updates of their ministries in Y4Life (Equipping Youth to Witness for Life), NOLA4H (Hearts for the Hungry, Homeless, and Hurting), and Mercy Medical Work for the LCMS respectively.

Offering #2, divided between Medical Mission Teams and Expanding the Disability Ministry in the Dominican Republic received $24,722.60. Saturday evening, attendees were inspired as they listened to the VOICES of Mobile, a highly versatile vocal ensemble consisting of students from The University of Mobile.

A mission goal of $2,100,000 for the 2019–2021 biennium will fund 21 LWML Mission Grants.

God’s leaders elected in Mobile are:
President: Debbie Larson
Vice President of Organizational Resources: Marie Chow
Vice President of Special Focus Ministries: Deaconess Betty Knapp
Treasurer: Karla Koehler
Pastoral Counselor: Rev. Brian Noack
Nominating Committee: Brianne Stahlecker, Chairman, Crystal Miller, Sylvia Bean, Carrie Brumbaugh, and Mary Harrington.

Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations (1 Chronicles 16:23–24).

In Praise to the LORD! You can view the archived exciting action by accessing www.livestream.com/TheLWML  

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2019 Convention: Friday

2019 Convention logo: Purple world with gold cross and red heart stretching out around the world centered on the cross, with the inner point of the heart starting in the convention site of Mobile, Alabama.

In Praise to the LORD!

Almost 3000 women and men have come together in Mobile, AL for the 38th Biennial Convention of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Led by past LWML Presidents Gloria Edwards and Linda Reiser, the Tee up 4 Mites golf event brought 27 golfers to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail with proceeds going to the 2019–2021 LWML Mission Goal. Pre-convention seminars gave valuable information for those seeking insight into writing a Bible study, how to best use social media, discovering helps for leaders, and more. The exhibit hall, Jubilee Junction, continued to be full of energy as about 70 exhibitors shared their goals and projects for missions and ministries throughout the world. Another busy place was the Servant Connections area, where LWMLers spent time serving the Lord with gladness as they worked on cards of encouragement for cancer patients, made bookmarks for Lutheran Hour Ministries outreach to worldwide missions, tied quilts and fleece blankets, assembled Personal Care and School kits, and participated in a Red Cross blood drive. Rev. Dr. Ulmer Marshall inspired worshippers at the opening service with his message based on the convention verse, Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations (1 Chronicles 16:23–24a). The offering of $43,693.31 will go to the newly adopted mite goal of $2,100,000. A procession which included beautifully created district banners depicting the convention theme began the Friday morning meeting followed by the first session of a Bible study led by author, Donna Pyle. Mites in Action speakers, Jaclyn Rachel, and Lynn Corker and Jean Jaskierny, recipients of 2017–2019 LWML Mission Grants, gave highlights of their respective ministries in Haiti and Tanzania. Rev. Dr. Brent Smith from Mission Central in Iowa, brought greetings and a message of service and outreach through his keynote address. Delegates listened to a wonderful presentation of the proposed 2019–2021 Mission Grants, eagerly anticipating the results of those selected for God’s plan to provide support to missions in the next biennium.

In Praise to the LORD! You can be part of the exciting action by accessing www.livestream.com/TheLWML  

 

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