Embrace Women's Ministry

encouraging women to embrace who they are and to become all that God created them to be

February 2013 archive

What to Wear: Compassion

Have you seen the magazine articles that give you the 10 must-haves for your wardrobe?  A fashion expert can take those 10 items and make something like 127 outfits from just those basic pieces.  It always amazes me.  I have never managed to duplicate their genius in my own closet, but I am okay with that.  “Fashionista” will definitely not be on my tombstone, but I would not mind seeing the items from Colossians 3:12-14 on there!


Today we will look at our first must-have for a godly wardrobe.

Put on . . . compassion.  (Colossians 3:12)

Throughout the gospels Jesus is described as a man of compassion.  He is able to see and feel the hurts and needs of others.  He is able to suffer WITH them.

Paul recognizes that compassion must be intentional.  Especially when it does not come naturally.

In Matthew 9:36 Jesus is moved with compassion because the people around Him are tired, confused, and have no direction.  As Christian women, we must do the same!  In today’s world so many are exhausted with the struggles of life and have no idea where to turn for help.  We are surrounded by a crowd of lost people who desperately need someone to reach out to them.  They need to hear “I understand.  I am here for you.”  When you put on compassion for others, you are showing them the love of a compassionate Savior who has the answers to all of their needs.  Compassion may be the very thing that leads them into a relationship with Christ!

One of the greatest stories of compassion is found in the story of the prodigal son.  In Luke 15:17-32, we read of a son who makes the choice to rebel against his father, leaving his home and family to live a wild lifestyle that ultimately leads him to ruin.  All the while, his father is watching and waiting for his beloved son to return home.  When the son finally comes to his senses, he makes his way home expecting to find condemnation and rejection, but instead, “his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

Now THAT is true compassion!  The father’s love and compassion enabled him to see beyond his son’s actions.  It allowed him to give unconditional love to this son who had hurt him so deeply.  The compassion given to the son allowed him to be who God created him to be.  Without the compassion, the breach in this family would never have been repaired.

God has asked us to put on compassion.  Not to those we feel deserve it, but to everyone.  Compassion is usually needed most by the ones we least want to extend it to.  Fortunately, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to follow through on all that God asks of us.  Through Him, you can take hold of the first must-have for your wardrobe!

Who in your life needs your compassion this week?  Ask God for HIS compassion to flow through you to those who need it the most.

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Next in the series:  Kindness

Wednesday, February 20 – Ladies Bible Study – Power of a Woman’s Words

Wednesday, February 27 – Night Prayer meets in the Vision Kids room (instead of Ladies Bible Study)

Wednesday, March 6 – Ladies Bible Study – New study begins!  Stuck by Jennie Allen

Spring Retreat – April 12-14 – Sign up at the Connection Center  DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS FEBRUARY 20TH!

What to Wear: Remember Who You Are

In the midst of the busyness of our lives, it is easy to lose focus and forget who we are.  Our past looms over us and begs for attention.  Attitudes, failures, and emotions from long ago fight to keep us in their grip.  This is not what God intended!


Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved . . . (Colossians 3:12a)

Paul wants us to remember who we are!  It makes all the difference in the world when we kill the beasts of the past and choose to believe the Word and the truth of who we are.

1. You are CHOSEN.  God chose YOU.  Yes, you!  He looked beyond who you were and saw who He created you to be.

Several weeks ago Duane and I decided it was time to add a new member of the family.  I began searching the databases of nearby animal shelters looking for a dog for us.  We knew what we wanted.  A Golden Retriever.  I had one growing up and, in my opinion, they are the best dog ever.  They are loving, gentle, smart, and beautiful.  Many, many people feel the same way so Goldens do not end up in shelters frequently and when they do, they don’t last long.  As we visited different places, I was overwhelmed by the vast numbers of animals.  There were so many dogs needing homes.  Such sweet faces.  I wanted to bring every one of them home!

Finally, at a shelter in Kentucky, we found him.  Out of all the dogs there, this one stood out above the rest.  He was exactly what we were looking for.  When I bent down to speak to him, he stuck his paw through the gap in the kennel and nudged my hand with his head.  Love at first sight.  I am not sure if he chose us or we chose him.

Bennett has made his way fully into our hearts and home.  He was chosen.  And so are you.  God chose you to be adopted into His family.  You are just what He was looking for!  (Of course you were!  He created you according to His image and He waited patiently until you chose Him too!)

2.  You are HOLY.  Is that hard to believe?  You?  Holy?  When you consider the definition of holy it makes sense.  “Holy” means to be set apart.  God chose you and set you apart.  His intention is that you be different from the world.  You are set apart to live an abundant life that is victorious over sin, overflowing with love, and glorifying to the God who chose you.  You are set apart to be a light to a lost world.  You are holy.

3.  You are BELOVED.  In the heart of every woman lies the desire to be cherished, protected, and loved.  This is a God-given desire that is only truly fulfilled when we accept the love of our heavenly Father.  He loves you beyond anything you can imagine.  He is crazy about you!  You are His beloved.  He thinks about you constantly (Psalm 40:17).  He sings over you (Zephaniah 3:17).  He gave everything for you (John 3:16).  His love for you will never fail.

The enemy will do his best to keep you living in the past, but you must remember who you are.  You are chosen, holy, and beloved.  Live your life based on who you are, not who you were.

Which of these three descriptions is hardest for you to accept?  Ask God to help you realize the truth of who you are and what it means for your life today.

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Next in the series:  Gut Feelings

Tonight – Ladies Bible Study – Power of a Woman’s Words

Spring Retreat – April 12-14 – Sign up at the Connection Center

What To Wear: Kill The Beast

The title of this series “What To Wear” is obviously taken from the popular TLC show What Not To Wear.  I am a sucker for makeover shows.  Whether it’s a fashion makeover on WNTW, or a home makeover on HGTV, I will stop everything to check out the amazing transformations created by the experts.  I love to see the befores and afters.  I am inspired (at least for the moment!) and encouraged that I, too, can see a dramatic change in my own life with just a little paint – for the face or my family room!  Yet how much more important it is for us to experience an inside makeover!


Today we are going to continue our look at Colossians 3 and check out the “BEFORE” picture of a Christian.   You may recognize your self in the verses found in Colossians 3:5-11, but take heart!  God has a plan and He has already empowered you to become the “AFTER.”

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you. (Colossians 3:5)

On What Not To Wear, Stacy and Clinton take the participants into a mirrored room and force them to take a cold, hard look at their outfits.  People react differently to this experience.  It is easy as a spectator to see what is not right with their fashion choices, but the one in the mirrored room just can’t see it.

Many times their excuse is “but this what I feel comfortable in!”  For many of us, we have lived the same way for so long that we can’t imagine choosing a new outlook.   We’re comfortable with the status quo.  We’re doing okay and change is so hard.

Other times the excuse is “I’m afraid to change the way I look.”  We fear what people will say if we make the choice to get rid of our old lives.  We fear the change won’t last.  We fear the unknown.

And every once in a while someone on the show is completely rebellious and refuses to see the good that can come from trying something new.  Sometimes they act ugly and pitch a fit!  Everyone watching can see how beneficial it would be if they would just follow the guidelines that Stacy and Clinton give them.

Now let’s think about this from the Colossians 3 point of view.  Do you see yourself in any of these people?  Are you so comfortable in your sinful habits and and attitudes that you don’t even really recognize them for what they are?  Are you afraid to step out in faith and allow God to give you a makeover?  Do you just want to be stubborn and be in charge of your own life and refuse to let God in?

God created you to be like Him.  He wants to conform you in the image of His Son.  He sees the tremendous potential in you and He wants you to reach it!

Today: Take some time to really look at the 360 degree mirror of Colossians 3:5-11.  Allow the Holy Spirit to be your makeover consultant.  He will gently show you the things you need to get rid of in your spiritual closet.  You can totally trust Him to steer you in the right direction!

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Next in the series:  Remember Who You Are

Tonight – Ladies Bible Study – Power of a Woman’s Words

This Friday!  Junk Food & Jammies.  Click the link for more info!

Spring Retreat – April 12-14 – Sign up at the Connection Center

Pinpsirational Tuesday: The Valentine’s Edition


Every Tuesday we feature some of our favorite pins from Pinterest.  You can follow Embrace on Pinterest by clicking here.

Source: lifeasmom.com via Jessica on Pinterest


Source: tidymom.net via Myra on Pinterest


Source: iheartnaptime.net via Jamielyn on Pinterest

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Next in the series:  Kill The Beast

This Wednesday – Ladies Bible Study – Power of a Woman’s Words

This Friday!  Junk Food & Jammies.  Click the link for more info!

Spring Retreat – April 12-14 – Sign up at the Connection Center

What To Wear: A Road Map

This week we begin our new series, What to Wear – A Godly Woman’s Wardrobe.  Based on Colossians 3:12-14, this series will take a look at a the basic items needed in our spiritual closet.


Before we dig into those verses, let’s step back and take a look at the beginning of the chapter.

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.  (Colossians 3:1-2)

At the beginning of Colossians 3, Paul gives us two hints on where we need to shop for our new wardrobe.

1.  Seek the things that are above.

In the original Greek, the word “seek” has a richer meaning.  It means “to seek to worship”.   Life is busy.  At any given moment there are dozens of things calling for our attention.  The many roles we fill keep us running from morning to night and it is hard to keep our priorities in balance.  Paul is reminding us to to stop and worship.  Things on earth – our homes, our checkbook, our jobs, our hobbies – will one day be gone, but eternal things are, well, eternal!  When you seek the things that are above your entire perspective on life will change.  The things that matter to God will matter to you.  There is a tremendous freedom when we let go of earthly things that hinder our spiritual life!

2.  Set your minds on things that are above.

We must be intentional in our thinking.  We become what our thoughts are.  We are affected by our thoughts.  If you have ever lain awake at night you know how your thoughts can go crazy.  We have to set our minds with God’s thoughts.  The best way to do this is through Scripture.  Let your mind focus on a verse about God’s faithfulness, or His love for you, or any of the other promises in His Word.

We also have to reject the thoughts that bombard us that focus on the “reality” of life.  There is a huge difference in reality and truth.  Reality is life from an earthly perspective.  Truth sees life from the eternal perspective.  When thoughts come that are contrary to the abundant life that God has promised us, refuse to dwell on them!  Speak out loud if you have to!  That doesn’t mean to stick your head in the sand and do nothing, but instead, our thoughts should be speaking the victory that God gives.  (And sometimes that victory is not what we would have chosen, but trust God that ALL things work together for good!)

Today:  Make the time “to seek to worship” God and ask Him to show you the thoughts that you need to reject and a verse to set your mind on.

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Next in the series:  Kill The Beast

This Wednesday – Ladies Bible Study – Power of a Woman’s Words

This Friday!  Junk Food & Jammies.  Click the link for more info!

Spring Retreat – April 12-14 – Sign up at the Connection Center

Links We Love – 02.02.2013


Happy Saturday!  Each week we will be posting some of our favorite finds from the internet.  We pray they encourage you to embrace all that He created you to be!

Embrace a Relationship With God

Quiet Times in a Busy Household

Embrace Marriage

Yielding My Heart to the Man I Married

Embrace Motherhood

Simple Ideas for Family Night

Embrace Homemaking

Simple Steps to Declutter Your Home

Embrace You

55 Healthy Snacks

What to expect from the Embrace website

Today we launch the website for Embrace Women’s Ministry.  It is by no means complete and we will continue to develop new resources for you.  The website has the same vision of the ministry – to encourage women to embrace who they are and become all that God created them to be.

How will we live out this vision?

  1. Bible studies, topical studies and devotions on the blog.
  2. Sharing the best resources we find.
  3. Keeping you informed of events and opportunities at New Vision / Embrace.

The website is just one more way you can stay connected to Embrace.  Be sure to sign up for our mailing list, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Next week on the blog:

We will start our first week with a series based on Colossians 3:12-14.  This power-packed passage gives us guidelines for a makeover that begins on the inside.  Who needs Stacy and Clinton?  We’ve got the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and this makeover lasts for eternity!


What would YOU like to see on our website?