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Today's Christian women struggle with complex issues that require honest, open and practical discussion.
Who is Godsy Girl?
Gotta wonder who GodsyGirl is! I'm a busy mom, married to a busy pastor and enjoying my busy life...and my fro! Click above to read my testimony.
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Being married to a pastor can be challenging. Check out my blog for senior pastor's wives! [click image to read]
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
“In your anger do not sin”a: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold." From Eph 4:26
Question: Is it possible to be angry and not sin when so much of sin is rooted in anger? Think about it. People curse when they are angry, they fight when they are angry, they say mean things and some even self-destruct all because they are angry. Anger is among the most dangerous of emotions, yet at the same time, it's seemingly unavoidable.
So,can you be “mad” and not get yourself into a world of trouble?
Jesus became angry. You may remember the incident in Matthew 21 verses 12-13. Jesus forcefully kicked money changers out of the temple. He was “ticked off” at their misuse of God’s house. He was also angered at the stubborn hearts of men.
“He looked around at them in anger and, [was] deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts…” (See Mark 3:5)
Anger is an ever-present part of the human experience.
Another Perspective of Anger…
Anger (not rage) may get a bad “wrap” in Christian circles. Hear me out. Righteous indignation can motivate us to action. For instance, anger prompts us to: 1) advocate for the helpless, 2) give money to worthy causes, and 3) intercede intensely in prayer. In fact, someone once told me they pray most fervently when they are angry at the works of the enemy.
A Critical Look
Perhaps, the issue is not whether to feel anger or not, but how to deal with it. Scripture says anger can give “a “foothold” or power to the enemy. Read Eph. 4 for more details.
Bitterness could be considered one of those footholds. In his book “The Journey”, Billy Graham describes bitterness as “anger gone sour, an attitude of deep discontent that poisons our souls and destroys our peace”. Wow! Bitterness is expensive. It can costs your peace. Nothing is worth that, Godsy Girl.
Dealing with Your Anger
There are five ways to handle your anger and still hold on to your peace.
1. Breathe and freeze. When the anger begins to surface, seize a moment to simply breathe. Take at least 5 deep, slow, cleansing breaths… in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then freeze. Don’t speak or re-act – just be still. If you can, be wait a day or so to respond. Don’t be that fool in Proverbs 12: 16!
2. Apologize, when necessary. If your anger hurt or wounded someone, quickly beg forgiveness and make it up to them, if you can.
3. Confess the anger as soon as possible so you can let it go. Honesty check. Sometimes, I’m still mad after the sun goes down, but I deal with the anger through confession and/or an apology before too much time passes. When my god-brother was murdered, I wasn’t able to abort the anger by the end of the day, but I continually confessed it (to God) until it was less and less. Some situations slip by us, but the Holy Spirit will help. In some situations, it may take hours, days or months, but pray about as long as takes to become free. Note: His Word really helps.
4. Identify the "lesson". Dissect and analyze the situation so you'll be better prepared to behave more appropriately next time.
5. Forgive. I saved the best for last. Forgiveness is like an aloe vera plant. It looks like it will hurt you, but if used properly it can be incredibly healing. Likewise with forgiveness, when done genuinely, forgiveness will free you from the anger, bitterness and bring healing.
Prevention.Com says it also has physical benefits. Some of which include: “lower blood pressure; maybe more important, you feel less anger, anxiety, and depression, and more self-esteem.”
When you have to, don't be ashamed to seek counseling to get help in managing your anger.
“Kiss and Make Up : 5 steps that get you past your anger--and into a happier, healthier life
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
2 Corinthians 4:18: So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Here's an eye exam for you. How do you view your world, your marriage, your finances, your church, your children, your family, your ministry, your job, your spiritual growth, the economy, the community...etc.
The way you choose to see your "world" is directly connected to your (applied) faith in God. For some people, their mind is made. They are convinced nothing - absolutely nothing - is impossible for God. No matter how big the dilemma, it shrinks in comparison to God's power and strength. that's where I endeavor to "hang my hat". How about you?
Why LOCK your eyes on Jesus?
Jesus has the ability - in a moment's notice - to turn around your bad situation. What's more, He gives you the supernatural strength to endure regardless how long as it takes.
He is a Hightower where you can hide from your troubles. He's the source of peace when troubles cause your mind to reel in confusion. He's your very present Help in time of trouble. The heart of the powerful people is in His hands. He does turns their desires as He sees fit. He heals hurts and restores what has been stolen. With this, and so much more, why look anywhere else?
It Won't Last Long
His Word is eternal; it will never pass away. Go ahead, learn what the Bible says about your life; pray those victorious words daily. Get them into your spirit so your eyes can stay "fixed" on Jesus.
Remember, the troubles of this earth will soon pass away. Think of it: the stress of that nagging boss will be gone. Those challenges in your marriage will soon become a distant, cloudy memory. Your health issues won't last forever. Those mean, hateful church members - not a forever thing.
These are all temporary and very unimportant elements of life. Resist the urge to mull them over and over in your mind. Think of them as temporary states of being and LOCK eyes with Jesus.
So much of faith is related to your ability to "fix" your eyes on Christ and His promises. Don't focus on the lack, doubt, fear or the report of others. Discipline yourself, train yourself to keep your gaze in the right direction and you'll see clearly.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I believe she was an ideal, but that’s all right. I can still strive. Remember, a proverb is simply a wise, concrete saying.
Well, I would never add to the Bible, but the following is my idea of a Proverbs 32 Dad. Strive, brothers, strive!
Praise God for the Dads who:
1. Model their approach to fatherhood after God’s own example to us.
2. Recognize God as first priority in their lives, their wives and children second, and everything else a distant third. What you sow into grows and thrives – make it your family.
3. Pay child support and co-parent [with moms and mamas] regardless how they “feel” about the past relationships.
4. Take time to regularly read to their children, play with their children and care for their children – when no one is looking.
5. Do not provoke their children to anger thinking they will make them “tougher”. Please pick up a book on parenting and try "Men's Lives" by Kimmel and Messner.
6. Stay the long haul and resist the urge to selfishly run away from fatherhood.
7. Understand the value of loving their children through all the junk, disappointment, pain and rebellion.
8. Intercede [pray] for their children regularly and fervently.
9. “Father” the fatherless; filling the gaps left by the dumb, silly, selfish dads.
10. Are humble enough to say “I’m sorry” to children and wives when they fail.
11. Discipline in love and not anger - understanding spanking is not the ONLY way to correct a child.
12. Lead a genuine spiritual life in their homes (when no one is looking) – leading in prayer, leading in Bible study and modeling strong Christian development.
13. Walk humbly (not proud or arrogant) before their family and their God.
14. Work to provide for the home and labor to keep the family’s needs met.
15. Rebound from their mistakes and blunders to start fresh, when necessary – as often as necessary.
Use this list as a guide. I know somewhere these dads exist. If so, share about him on GodsyGirl.Com. It will be a blessing to so many and encourage us to continue praying. Pass this on to the men in your life.
Man of God, Dad, Pappi,: it is He that works in you to do of His good pleasure. He’ll help you be the man of God you always wished you had in your own life. Just walk humbly before Him first and your family second. Do not neglect them.
They need you and may grow cold toward you if you don’t esteem them as you should. Nothing is sadder than a lonely old man saying “If only I had taken care of my wife and family…”. When they’re gone, it may be too late.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
When some people hear the word "Christian", red flags are raised followed by a impenetrable wall. You can almost see it happening. Wild.
The truth is that many people just feel uncomfortable around Christians. For years, Christians attributed it to the fact that "sinners" felt uneasy around the "light" of Jesus Christ. Perhaps.
But the truth of the matter is that some of us are just plain....scary. We talk in what I call "Bible-ese"- a language most folks don't understand. We use words like "favor", "blessed" "victorious", etc. These are good words, but most people outside the church don't have a clue what we're talking about.
Our walk on this earth is largely about introducing people to the loving, saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. To win them for Christ, we must be wise. We must be accessible and we must live a life above our circumstances. and emotions. This is what makes people want and long for what we have.
You know, it is easier to spout platitudes about Jesus than to actually "live" Godly in this world. For instance, how hard it is to say "you need Jesus, He is a Savior to all"? Pretty easy to say, huh? But what about tougher is it to turn the other cheek when someone attacks you? Or to bless that joker that cuts you off in traffic? MUCH harder, yes?
The key to making Christianity accessible and "cool" again lies in walking a very fine line. The line is between showing our humanity to others while living authentic Christian lives according to Christ's teachings.
It's okay to struggle.
In fact, the unsaved need to see that we struggle just like them. However, they also need to see us reaching, pressing and striving to be like Christ. Our choices must be God-worthy. Like loving the unlovable. Hugging and blessing people that treat us badly or simply not stealing office supplies from work. Want more examples? You got it! We are kind to our husbands - behind closed doors. We love our neighbors and show our "difference" in real and meaningful ways.
The image of Christianity needs a makeover. We can be the "change" people need to see in order to want to know Christ. I know I'm going to work toward it. How about you?
Leading People to Christ - "The Way of the Master"
This blog encourages senior pastors' wives while offering practical advice and tips to thrive in the fishbowl!
I also have an audio cast experiment at:
Please spread the word and forward to the senior pastor's wives in your lives.
God bless you and pray for your senior pastor's wife today!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
You know, it is impossible to go through any battle and not take a few blows here and there. It's expected. A good soldier endures the hardship and goes through the process. But hardship is difficult to manage - especially when you "just" receive the news. So how do you handle it? What are some practical steps? I'm glad you asked.
When you receive bad or unpleasant news consider these steps:
1. Save the "Thinking" for later. After receiving horrible news, don't process any information, just feel what you feel. When I got word my 34 year old brother, Eric, had died suddenly I compounded the immediate stress by trying to keep going as normal.
Here's what happened: I was leaving an Sunday evening service when I got "that" call. I brainlessly tried to continue driving, but in my shock I wasn't thinking clearly. Tears blinded my vision, my thoughts were racing and my breathing was irregular. Thankfully, I had enough sense to turn the car around. I headed back to the church (Sheffield Family Life Center) where some Spirit-field women and a couple of pastors and prayed me through the immediate anguish.
Regardless of where you are when you receive life-changing news, take a moment to collect yourself. Still yourself so you can feel what you feel. Don't try to take care of anyone else for a bit. Just allow yourself to cry, scream or sit on the edge of the bed and sigh "Wow".
2. Identify your 'Ram in the Bush'. During life's most challenges times, I have two particular friends I keep very close. As I journey through life's troubling times, they are my encouragers, prayer warriors and intercessors.
I believe God strategically puts such people in our lives for times such as those.
3. Live in the Psalms. Praise God for the Psalms! After the shock has worn off, you will need easy-to-digest scripture to encourage your spirit during the days ahead. Psalms is a wonderful source of promises, praise and distress cries for Believers. Keep searching until you find the one that soothes your spirit. It's there, you just have to find it.
4. Keep on Praying and Praising. There is healing in worship. During the roughest times worship is like a salve that soothes your trauma and pain. It can actually lift your spirit as your elevate your God. Sometimes, I opt for slow worship and other times fast. Either way, worshiping God gives me strength to go on.
Praise God as you reflect on the trials He's already brought you through. Praise Him because He's kind, merciful and loving. You can trust Him because He has promised not to leave you or forsake. In trouble He'll be there with you - holding you, comforting you and giving your strength.
Don't neglect your prayer time. Continue to meet with Him one on one for strength, communication and inspiration. Also, it's ok, He can handle your pain, anger and lamenting.
5. Get Outside Help, if Needed. After a shock, you may need to get counsel, advice or help from a mental health professional. Christians that act as though counseling is sin make me itch. If your world has been turned upside down by devastating news, it's absolutely nothing wrong with accessing help from a disinterested third party. In Kansas City, Dr. Joyce Wallace is an amazing counselor. She's often seen at Christian women's retreats as a keynote speaker. Yes, she helped me through my grief many years ago. Losing two brothers suddenly in two years was traumatic, but God gave me strength to endure and He will for you too! Don't give up, you can make it.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Identifying a church home is one of the most significant decisions you’ll ever make. After all, what can be more important than your spiritual network and the person that leads it? As with any major life decision, prayer is an essential part of the process. However, be careful to employ a little practical wisdom as well.
1. Tenets of faith
Make sure you comprehend the church doctrine. For example, who does the church say Jesus is? Do they recognize Him as God as well as the Son of God? If not, that’s a deal-breaker. Do they believe in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)? Do they believe that God still speaks, moves and delivers today?
2. Denomination or accountability structure
If your prospective church is part of a denomination (i.e. Baptist, C.O.G.IC., etc.) research the founding principles of the faction. Are the principles feasible for today’s culture? Another point to watch out for: does the church think they are “better” than other churches or denominations? If so, “ick” factor should be elevated.
Does the pastor have a solid accountability structure or can he do what he wants with the church’s money, resources and people. Is there a strong board of directors or trustees? Don’t be ashamed to ask. A good pastor will respect you for the inquiry.
3. Consider the pastor and his family.
Observe the pastor carefully. After all, this is the person you’ll turn to during some of life’s most challenging and painful incidents. Know as much about his leadership style as possible.
Education: Is he formally trained? Did he learn to interpret, dissect and explore the Word of God from professionals? The Bible was written in another language (than English) and during a different historical time. Understanding languages – beyond a Strong’s Concordance is important. Would you trust a doctor that wasn’t trained formally? No, he should understand chemistry, anatomy and other relevant bodies of knowledge, right? The anointing is empowering, but knowledge also plays a role in understanding the Bible.
Delivery: Does he present the word in ways that you can understand? Are you able to apply the teachings to your daily life?
Money: How does he manage the day to day business of the church? Does he fully disclose the finances? Does the church have business meetings?
Spiritual: What is his worship like? Does he have more “head-knowledge” than personal connection with the Lord Jesus Christ? You can discern. Is he humble before the Lord? What’s more important to Him– his program (plan) or God’s plan?
Personal life: What about his personal lifestyle – how does he manage his relationships and interactions with women? Is he honorable and living above reproach?
His wife: What is his wife like? Her often-ignored role is quite significant. A wounded or spiritually immature pastor’s wife can wreak havoc on the culture of a church. Ask yourself: is she warm and approachable? If necessary, would you feel comfortable approaching her for prayer? Does she love the Lord? Does she exhibit evidence that validates her commitment to Him?
Further, how does she respond to her husband? If she’s rolling her eyes during the sermon, it could (maybe) be an indication of “something”. Enough said.
The marital relationship is a key insight to how the pastor manages his home and most intimate earthly relationship. Think of it: if he can’t lead his home and maintain peace, how can he manage the house of God? Would you trust such a leader with marital advice or counseling?
Any other Godsy Girl tips? If so, post them at Godsy Girl.Com for the entire subscription list and “followers” to see!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Our church choir sang one of those songs that ignites a fire in my spirit every time I hear it. It’s called “My Worship is For Real” For me that song rings in your spirit days after you hear it. A song like that pierces through every veil of pretension and fleshy confidence to a place where all of life’s “junk” is burned off…just for that sweet moment of worship.
Worship is So Important
People that do not fully value worship perplex me. Worship is the first thing you yearn to do when God has made an authentic change in your life. Now, I don’t need to SEE their worship and neither do you. Some people worship quietly and inconspicuously and that is ok. But you must admit true worshipers carry a sort of spiritual brand. It’s like an invisible mark of the Holy Spirit. You can spot a true worshipper a mile away.
“No, No, It’s Not That
A lot of people think all worship is rooted in emotionalism. My ears hurt when I hear that. Sure, people show and express emotions during worship; but it can never be reduced to just that. Worship should resonate from the depths of your very soul – past all emotions and nervous apprehensions. Like when you close your eyes, shut out everything around you and in your spirit you reach, reach and reach more toward the Holy of Holies. You press through the senses so you can express your gratitude, adoration, admiration and intense devotion for the Lover of your soul – sweet Jesus. You know what I mean?
In the Spirit…
During that sort of worship, God’s heart has a bull’s-eye on it. Your intention is to reach His heart with your praise and to exalt Him with your adulation. When that happens, in spite of the hundreds [or even thousands] of people around you; you are instantly alone with Jesus Christ. In the spirit, you are kneeling at the throne; bowing at His feet; lifting your hands in praise for who He is- all He has done; all He is doing and everything He will do.
It is All Okay
There you may stand justified and righteous- spotless before a loving Father. You don’t have to come as one who is raggedy, trifling and burdened by the weight of sin. Jesus’ blood makes your worship pure. It qualifies you; justifies you and you wear the shroud of sin no longer. You can come boldly to the throne of grace because He set you free. He blotted out the debt of sin that was against you and saved you by paying your penalty.
Again, worship is not emotional, it’s spiritual. If your worship is rooted in emotionalism – something is wrong. Remember, spiritual worship consumes every part of your being and leaves an impression on your soul – in the end it has little to do with you. It’s all about Him (as pastor Nate Holcomb would say).
So yes, your worship is for real. It is heartfelt, genuine, and most importantly acceptable, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Go ahead and worship, Godsy Girl!
Check out the song that blessed me so here:
Posted by: Godsy Girl Teri Brooks
Friday, June 4, 2010
Wow! What a lot slew of emails the topic of emotions generated. God has healed the emotions of women across the country! Praise God!
A few days ago, Jennifer Beckham was featured on the James Robison show. She shared an insightful phrase that forever changed how I view my emotions. Years ago, as a Disney princess, her job required her to be bubbly, exuberant and full of life. Well, one day, she didn't "feel" like any of those emotions. Beat down by the rigors of life, expressed her despondency to her manager: "I don't feel like a princess!" she said "and I don't feel like being here today!"
His response will wonderfully haunt me for the rest of my life.
Instead of gentle words laden with pity, he said something like:
"Who ever asked you you to feel? You were chosen to do this job, go wash your face and change your attitude."
This really resonated. Feelings are so overrated. People hinge their entire lives on their feelings. You don't feel in love anymore, so you get divorced. Don't feel like your church is doing if for ya, so you leave. Don't feel like being a parent any longer, so you jet. We give too much power to our feelings.
Recently, I was invited to minister before a large group of people. My emotions were affecting my Godly confidence level. The event was such a huge deal that I didn't tell anyone about it - in case I flubbed it. (Can you say P-R-I-D-E). Anyway, I came close to canceling. But the words of Susan Beckham's manager rang loudly in my spirit "who cares how I feel?" I was chosen to do something, so I changed my attitude. " In the end, God was glorified. (Isn't that what is it's all about anyway?)
As you go through the days ahead, be aware of how your emotions impact the various sectors of your life and ministry. Remember, you are chosen to do a job on this earth, your feelings are of little consequence, so wash the tears away and change that attitude, Godsy Girl.
I Peter 2:9 (You're chosen to do a job)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
2 Samuel 12:20 (Wash the tears away and get it together)
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
I Peter 1: 13:16 (Change your attitude)
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance
Check out "It's the Little Things"! She's talking about Jennifer too!