Saturday, April 25, 2009

Inviting you to the Christian Women Take Root Love Dare Challenge

This originally posted at my personal blog, The Surrendered Scribe.

It's Character Confession Time!

(This is a long one, but sometimes that just are how confessions are! If you want to pass any of this information on, especially about The Love Dare Challenge at Christian Women Take Root, please, please feel free. We don't want any women left out!)

To give my confession, I'll share a story. Years ago when I was a new mom I was at a church where once a year a guest preacher came to play his guitar and pray. I know folks squirm at the thought of someone praying over them and I get that, because I've seen the "thus saith the Lord" prophetic moment abused. But I'm also living proof God still uses donkeys to talk. Not that the preacher was a donkey, but I get I'm dust. I also get how fine the line is when someone prays over someone. So to be responsible with you, I will not say "thus saith the Lord" and if I feel like I'm supposed to share something, it's something I want you to go to God with, don't take the generalization I have in Him as gospel. I can assure you none of my prayer moments in this vein have encouraged anyone to drop everything and run to Africa---or Vegas--or leave their husband, etc...Simply put, people have asked me to pray for lost things and I have and returned with a thought that is not mine because I'm not that smart. I've said pray about it, and look there, that location kept coming back to me. And they did, and it was there, even though they looked there before. It's not a Julie thing, it's a God thing, and if you disagree, I understand, but it's central to my confession, this background. By the way, I'll jump on the soapbox for a second and say I'm not afraid of authentic prophetic moments due to the new age movement, counterfeit, psychic stuff the enemy has out there. Any tricks evil has is a counterfeit of what God already had going for His glory. We just saw it abused and got afraid. There, I'm off my soapbox.

I say all that to say at the end of that service, there was an altar call and this man prayed over people. Again, it wasn't thus saith the Lord, and it wasn't quit your job or marry that person. It was direction I believe at least for me, was Holy Spirit directed. This is what was imparted:

"You are frustrated because you look around and see all the people dealing with the little things, stressed because of the little things, and you get the big things. You wonder why doesn't that person over there have to deal with that? Why me? You know you are dust in My hands, that's why I use you. And as your faith grows you will continue to have those hard times, but you will have faith to speak to those big issues and say in His name, mountain move, and you will see it, in Jesus' name, move."

That's the gist of it. But no one, not even my husband, knew my heart then, and it was exactly where I was. Where peers were wondering about clothes and whether they would get a raise or not, I was nearly bedridden and infertile. I was so scared, but I prayed. Each day my prayer got stronger. That mountain disappeared.

The same for so many other issues. God uses our family to go through injustice or crisis for lessons in grace, forgiveness and trust. I am not a perfect example in any of these times, but I am learning to be a willing one.

And here I am.

On May 4, the social network Christian Women Take Root is kicking off The Love Dare Challenge At our own pace we each have a copy of the book The Love Dare, by Stephen Kendrick. This is a book from the movie Fireproof. Character Caleb Holt faces the end of his marriage when his dad hands him the book and dares him to give it a real try before divorce.

We're offering this as a group at Christian Women Take Root because I guess the cliche goes, "there's safety in numbers." The group is private, Christian, and for women only. Although we encourage women to take the challenge with their spouse, this is a place you can go with daily discussions that can encourage and show you are not alone. It's called dare because it isn't easy. No matter where your marriage is, God is asking you to take it to the next level. That can be scary.

That's why I'm a fraidy cat!

I'll be overseeing the group but trust me, it by no way means I have marriage perfected. It means God gave me a burden for marriages to live in a consistent state of oneness, or strive for it. There are times I fall flat on my face through my own selfishness, or I give what I think is my all and that oneness is not returned, again, because my spouse is human. I know the defeated one hates marriage, and I know anyone daring is going to have a target on their back.

That's where I'm done being a fraidy cat.

I am personally inviting you (unless you are a guy, then I ask you to pass this info on to your wife, mom, sister) to join Christian Women Take Root (if not already a member, membership is free) and then join the group, the Love Dare. There are so many other groups for women available, please check them all out. If you want to find me, I also facilitate Finding Freedom Through Surrender and Marriage: Striving for Oneness.

Discussions are going on at Love Dare group right now, and you are welcome to start your own. Your information will stay within the group and we absolutely will not tolerate someone having the courage to share in the group find that their information be passed on at a place like Facebook or Twitter. The Love Dare is a safe place where we can hold cyber hands together and trust God to change our hearts and our marriages.

One thing I want to really emphasize is just because it kicks off May 4, it doesn't mean we end in exactly 4o days. I'd rather we do this as we can, and from what I've heard and read, there are days where applying the challenge that day is going to take some "wrasslin'" with the Lord, yourself, and that takes time, been there, done that. Each lady is to take this at her pace as He directs. There will be a discussion for each day, but approach it as you feel led, and please don't feel obligated to participate in discussions, although we'd love it. Just come and feel encouraged, share your wisdom or experience.

But let's not be fraidy cats. We have mountains to move.

In Jesus' name.

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