If you are a WMA lady, you probably love WMA. You love the Lord, studying HIs Word, and sharing the gospel message. You also love to work with the children and youth in your church. Often we don't understand why every other woman in our church doesn't share that same love.
The truth is, they probably do, but the women you may be thinking of could be feeling overwhelmed with life. I know I felt that way for a while: three kids in school; schoolwork every night; preparing three meals a day; grocery shopping; finding the money for new jeans and tennis shoes (even before cell phone bills); a full-time job.
Let's consider some ways we might enlist these ladies in WMA (or maybe, church).
Encourage. Paul said, in Romans 1, he was anticipating mutual encouragement because of "each other's faith, both yours and mine." Pray that God will show them our faith, as we pray for them, asking God to show us their faith. What a great way to show encouragement - praying for our mutual faith.
Notice. In Exodus, God took notice of the plight of the people of Israel. (His chosen people) while they were in Egypt. In our mission to let Christ live through us, we should be noticing what His children are going through. God had a plan for the children of Israel, and He has a plan for His children today. Shouldn't we pray that God will use us and the we would wholeheartedly participate in His plan?
Love. Between the letters of John and James, we know that we are supposed to be showing our love to our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we do not visibly love fellow believers, then our belief comes into question. Let's pray for opportunities to demonstrate God's Love, allowing it to flow through us.
Include. Sometimes there is nothing more hurtful to an already fragile personality than to think that you've been left out. Make every effort to include all the ladies, whether they attend or not, in activties of the WMA or ladies' group. Communication is so very important. Keep everyone informed.
Stand. No matter what, stand firm in belief, conviction, and the teaching of the Word of God. Remember, we are examples to the world (and our fellow believers). We are to exhibit maturity in Christ. What an admonition for us to be what Christ expects of us to be!
Teach. The book of Titus tells us that we are to teach the younger ladies, and tells us what to teach, "so that the Word of God may not be reviled." Fellow WMA ladies, we need to be teaching our younger ladies, even if we have to step outside the walls of the church to do so. Again, pray that God will grant us opportunities.
Greetings from the windy plains of West Texas, Lubbock to be exact. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Barbie Reynolds and I’m your new 3rd VP. My husband is the new Pastor of LakeRidge Baptist Church in Lubbock. We’ve been here since May and are so blessed to be back “home”. I’m originally from Upstate New York and grew up in a military family, which meant we moved A LOT. My senior year of high school, this cute airmen from Lubbock, TX visited our church in Rome, NY on a Sunday night...11 months later (6 months after graduation), Dan and I got married and in January we’ll celebrate our 32nd Anniversary. We’ve been in ministry for over 20 years, but are new to BMA. I’m excited to learn all about BMA and glean new friendships along the way.
Our State Theme this year is “Everyone Everywhere Needs Jesus”, but today I’d like to talk about the National Theme “Be Intentional”. They really do go hand-in-hand!
Our SHINE Women’s Ministry at LakeRidge is in the process of reading and going through the Bible Study, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World - Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life” by Joanna Weaver. I’ll be the first to admit that busyness can get in the way of so many things in our daily walk with God. We must be intentional about spending time with Him, sitting at His feet and just listening to His voice. Did you know that this is no easy task for a Martha, and how many of us ladies are wired much more like Martha than Mary? Martha was a worrier and it got in her way.
Have you realized that we’ve become a nation of worriers? So many people live in constant fear. Did you also know this is not just a modern problem? Jesus addressed this in Luke…”Martha, Martha”, the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things.” (Luke 10:41) Worry keeps up from being intentional in the simple fact that it can take up so much time and mental space. In her book, Joanna Weaver talks about the Curse of Anxiety. The ongoing burden of worry or fear.
Worry is worthless! “An anxious heart weighs a man down…” (Proverbs 12:25). And that worry has no benefit. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27) The following are some statistics about what we worry about: • 40% are things that will never happen • 30% are about the past—which can’t be changed • 12% are about criticism by others, mostly untrue • 10% are about health, which gets worse by stress • 8% are about real problems that can be solved. (Bible Study Foundation Illustration Database, bible.org)
We are commanded not to worry. The Bible mentions worry and/or anxiety 25 times in the New Testament as something we are not to do. You may be thinking, “she can’t be talking to me. I don’t worry, I’m just concerned.” Ladies, let’s be completely honest with ourselves. Are we really dealing with healthy concern, or are we sugarcoating our worry under the guise of “concern”? In Chapter 3 of “Having a Mary Heart…” Joanna charts the difference between the two.
Concern • Involves a legitimate threat • Is specific (one thing) • Addresses the problem • Solves problems • Looks to God for answers
Worry • Is often unfounded • Is generalized (spreads to many things) • Obsesses about the problem • Creates more problems • Looks to self or other people for answers Concern draws us to God. Worry pulls us from Him. I think this distinction is especially helpful for those of us who tend to spiritualize worry, convincing ourselves that it’s our duty to fret about such things as the state of the world, our finances, our futures. (p. 38)
We need to realize that there are absolutely legitimate concerns throughout our lives, but we must rely on our Heavenly Father instead of fretting about it.
Let me share a little more of my story and why worry is such a deep topic for me and how I know it doesn't change outcomes.
Early in our marriage, I became pregnant with our first child. Everything was going along as planned and we were thrilled. Between 16-20 weeks, I went in for “routine blood tests” and one of those tests was an alpha-fetoprotein test. A few days later I was called by the doctor to let me know my levels were high. They assured me that this could mean many things...I was further along than we thought, I was carrying twins, a few other possibilities that I don’t remember, and the last was that our baby could have a neural tube defect. They scheduled me for an ultrasound to verify the results. In the pit of my stomach and depth of my heart, I knew that the worst possible outcome was going to be mine. What seemed like an eternity later, we went in for our ultrasound and our fears were confirmed. Our baby had anencephaly. There was no skull formed. Our baby may or may not have more than their brain stem and there was no viable life outside the womb. I was 18-years old. Newly married. And scared to death. I began to worry. And worry. And worry about worrying.
We were blessed with a Christian doctor at that Air Force Base and he told us our “options” as he was required to do, but when we immediately said that our ONLY option was to carry this baby to term, because our baby’s life belonged to God, he smiled and asked if he could pray with us. I’d love to say that I immediately realized that worry wouldn’t help the situation, but it was a long time before I really allowed the Holy Spirit to rid me of it. You see, I grew up in a Christian home. I knew all the right “things” to say and do, but in my heart I was a worrier. As a child, I learned Philippians 4:6-7 and was reminded of these verses from a dear friend who had lost her first child. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.“ I clung to those verses for the rest of my pregnancy. I was told that because of the baby’s birth defect, I would not go into labor on my own and an induction date was scheduled. I tried not worry about that date, but it was hard. I felt like they had planned my baby’s death date, not birth date. I prayed for a miracle. That our baby would be born whole. But I also knew God’s will would be done. I kept reading Philippians 4:6-7 and surrounded myself with Christian friends and family. God did allow a miracle, but not the one I asked for. God allowed my body to go into labor 2 days before our induction date. He allowed Jesica Lynne to be born alive! He allowed Dan and I, and countless friends and family the privilege of loving that baby girl for 37 hours. He allowed Jesica’s story to travel the world and how her family was praising God for her short life instead of cursing Him for taking her so soon. He ‘s allowed me to love on other mom’s who have been given the same devastating news about their unborn child. In the end, what did any of my worrying do? Nothing, except keep me from trusting in the One Who created Jesica from the very beginning of her life. I wasted several weeks of my life while carrying her by worrying instead of cherishing my time with her.
Worry does nothing but rob us of the Joy we have in Christ. It robs us of our testimony of how He has saved us and made us whole. It robs us of friends who just don’t want to be around a worry-wart. It keeps us busy and robs us of our intentionality to be doing the work of the Lord.
My dear friend, do not let worry rob you of sitting at the feet of your Savior, like Martha did. Be intentional to be a Mary and allow yourself to just Breathe. Listen. Pray. Be Thankful. Feel His love. Guard your heart and mind with His peace that passes all understanding.
The rest of our story (as of now) is...we had 2 more children, both healthy. Britney is now 28, married to Joe, and has given us 2 wonderful grandchildren who live about 10 minutes from us. Tommy is 26, married to Jaslynn, and we’re proud to say Jaslynn graduates with her BSN this month! God is faithful!
Because He Lives,
3rd Vice President
February is slated as enlistment month for WMA!
As we look forward to 2022, I would like to encourage you to have regular fellowship together. This can be in many different ways, Bible studies are always uplifting, but don’t stop there, Bunco nights are fun, having lunch together at a home or restaurant is also a great time to share, laugh and food seems to unite us all! Prayer circles can bring us closer to God and each other. Col. 2:2 ‘that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love.’
Encourage your ladies to fellowship together, strengthen those bonds so they will be able to lean on one-another for support in difficult situations and rejoice with them during joyous moments. Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
1st vice president
Everyone everywhere needs Jesus!
What keeps you from telling others about Jesus?
Diana Morris, Texas WMA 2nd vice president, set Everybody, Everywhere Needs Jesus as the theme for 2022. She commented, “The Bible does not tell us of one ‘kind’ of people that are not in need of Jesus. God has always been calling all people to Him. Everybody, everywhere needs Jesus and we must remember it is not up to us to choose who we share Jesus with because Jesus died for all “kinds.’”
Remember Jonah’s situation when he decided to run away from telling someone about God? God told Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh and give the people a message of repentance, turn from their evil ways and turn to God. Jonah did not like the Ninevites and did not think the city was even worthy. So, instead of doing what God called him to do, Jonah decided to get on a boat and go the other direction from Nineveh. He was running away from doing what God has told him to do.
God then sent a huge storm. The sailors on the boat finally realized the reason God sent the storm was because Jonah is running from God, and they eventually threw him overboard and the storm ceases. A whale swallowed Jonah. He finally submitted to God and the whale spit him back up on the land. Jonah goes to Nineveh and gives them the message God has for them. The entire city turns to God. These were not Jewish people, nor were they even Israelites. These were a different “kind” of people.
Diana goes on to say, “If you want God to guide your life, if you want to hear from Him, if you want God’s direction, then you should be in prayer and in His Word. Ladies, it is as simple as that. Not so simple right? I know daily life gets in the way, but we must strive to be available for God and that is a challenge I give to you.
Give God more of your time and see how He will bless you. Remember it is not your choice who you are to share God’s love with, God will direct you and help you along the way.”
God promises in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
What will you do with Jesus this year? God is going to give you divine opportunities to share your testimony with people who are far from Jesus. Here is a quote from an old southern preacher that is so appropriate today, “It’s time for our church to: wake-up, sing-up, preach-up, pray-up, never give-up or let-up, never back-up or shut-up, until the church is filled-up, or we go-up. Amen.” Send Diana a message and let her know how you are sharing Jesus, email@example.com.
Baptist Progress Auxiliary page 14
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We are open to invitations from churches to host our Fall Retreat. If you are interested, please contact Diana Morris at 903-288-7575 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be meeting in January to make plans, so please invite us ASAP to receive a blessing.
Diana Morris, Texas WMA 2nd V President
October is coming, and the question is, “Have you thought about your pastor, youth minister and deacons’ appreciation for the service they do for your church?” We shouldn’t just wait until one time of the year, but we should show appreciation often for the service they give to your church.
"Often pastors feel like they're in a NASCAR race, It's hard to manage it all. You hit the gas and you just go, go, go."
I want you to know that I know being a pastor or church staff member is the most difficult job in the world. While it has unbelievable high, we know leading volunteer armies and facing an enemy (Satan and his demons) we may or may not encounter on a regular basis. Pastors have given their lives to serve people only a daily basis. Two of the most important words that we can ever say is "thank you."
1. Thank you for going to God on our behalf and praying for us daily.
2. Thank you for studying God's Word and communicating its truths to us in a compelling fashion.
3. Thank you and your family for being willing to live in a fishbowl.
4. Thank you for demonstrating grace, love and patience when people question your motives and competency. Sheep may be dumb, but they bite. And they have a taste for pastors and church staff.
5. Thank you for putting in countless hours.
6. Thank you for being men of impeccable character and integrity.
7. Thank you to your spouses and children for their willingness to share you with us.
8. Thank you for challenging and then helping us live a life of meaning and purpose.
9. Thank you for presiding over the landmark moments of our lives—baptisms, weddings and funerals.
10. Thank you for having the courage to tell us about the sin in our lives and our need for repentance and a Savior.
11. Thank you for walking with us through tragedy, marital troubles, raising children and life's great challenges.
12. Thank you for the periodic phone calls, texts and emails just to see how we are doing.
13. And most of all, thank you for not quitting each Monday.
In conclusion, we will thank you every day of eternity for serving us, the church and our Lord so well. "Thank you" is not nearly enough, but I hope these two words encourage you today.
Churches need to recognize the hard work that the pastor and his staff accomplish for the church and the Lord. How to do this? Gift cards, handwritten notes, a money tree, a vacation package, detail their cars, baby sit their kids for a night out to eat, old fashion pounding (for those who don’t know what this is—it is staple foods given by members called a pounding), a new suit, but the best gift is your faithful attendance to church services.
NWMA 1st Vice President
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