Time to Stop Talking & Take Action!

Harassed & helpless! Boy, do I know that feeling! I watch the news & read the paper & begin to wonder if there IS any hope. I read the posts on Facebook from other moms, other women & I know I’m not alone. So many women seem frightened, hopeless, helpless. We all begin to wonder if there is ANYTHING we can do to make things better.

I guess all this finally came to a head for me following the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday. I have gotten angry before and resolved to take action before. Unfortunately, I let other things get in my way. I knew God was calling me & instead, I let trivial matter distract me. Not anymore!

I’m not here to discuss political issues or constitutional rights. I believe this goes deeper than any of that. No, I’m want to look at this from my expert perspective. And my area of expertise is Theology. When I was a kid, people said, “Everyone always talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it!” Well, there isn’t much we can do about the weather. And while many of us TALK about conditions in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, there IS something we can do about it.

In the verse above from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus felt compassion for the people because there were lost & afraid “like sheep without a shepherd.” We act like frighten sheep. We run around in a panic. Fortunately, we HAVE a Shepherd. Jesus is watching over us, protecting us whether we realize it or not. So the first thing we can do it put our faith in Him.

The second thing we can do is find strength, hope & comfort in Scripture. When life seems overwhelming, when we are unable to find answers, I know we can ALWAYS find the answers we need in the Bible.

The third thing we can do is PRAY! There is power in prayer. I also believe there is incredible power when WOMEN pray. More important, powerful things happen when women come together to pray. Jesus told us when 2 or more are gathered in my name, I will be there. Oh, He’s always there with us as individuals but when 2 or more of us come together to pray, Jesus is right there with us, praying beside us & personally taking our concerns to His Father.

In light of these three things, I came to the realization there is even more we can do. For a very long time now, I have felt God filling me with a vision. God has been calling me to create a ministry for women. A ministry made up of small groups of women, meeting in homes across the country, sharing faith, studying Scripture, praying, strengthening & supporting one another & having fun! The problem I had was how to do this?

I have dragged my feet long enough. I can’t worry anymore about the right way to begin, the right time to start, the right pice of the puzzle to fall into my lap. I’m just going to begin.

If you look at the top of the page in the menu, you’ll see Sisters of Simple Joy. This is the name I have given to our small group women’s ministry. Beneath that, I am adding information to help you launch your own group. There is no charge for any of this. I have created a workbook for group leaders. Anyway, you can find information at the top.

For now, pray. God is calling a small group of women to be the first small group leaders in this ministry. I’m not naming any names. That’s not for me to decide. I’m not saying anyone should do anything right now. Just pray. If you are one of the women God has chosen, He’ll let you know. All I ask is that you open your heart, mind & spirit to His leading!

And should you decide to join this adventure, let me know. I want to create a network of praying faithful women that uphold & support one another, their families, their communities & our nation.

Hugs & blessings!

Jean Ann

When It Rains….

It's Pouring!
It’s Pouring!

 

It rained in my neighborhood last week. I know most of you are thinking, “Big Deal!” Sure, if you are buried under a few feet of snow & have rain on a regular basis, this may seem like a big nothing. Here in SoCal, it’s a really big deal. We have had less than an inch of rain in our area since last July! LESS THAN AN INCH!!! Not good.

I also know most of you in the rest of the country make fun of us out here in sunny SoCal & our reaction when it rains. The weather is all they talk about on all the local newscasts. Traffic becomes even more of a mess. People act like the sky is falling. I’m glad we are able to put on a good show for the rest of the nation. Stop & think about it though: when a rare weather pattern occurs in a part of the nation, like snow in Florida. this may be a common occurrence for you but it is a rare (these days VERY rare) happening out here.

Which leads me to today’s lesson! 🙂 Some people experience problems throughout their lives. While this may be a pain, it often strengthen them for the next struggle, big or small. It might not be pleasant going through problems however, people that regularly experience difficulties seem better able to prepare for the next problem &, when it comes along, ready to handle it.

Then there are people that never seem to have problems. Sure, it would be great to lead such a blessed life but, as the saying goes, a little bit of rain falls into everyone’s life sometime. If you have never struggled, you may not have the strength to face a challenge. Consider the parable about the 2 people building their houses beside a river. One, not knowing any better, wanted waterfront property so she decided to build her house right alongside the river, on very sandy soil. The second woman has experience with rivers (at least in MY version of this story!) She built her house farther back from the water on a solid rock. When bad weather came, the river rose causing the sandy soil to shift & the waterfront house to fall to pieces. The house built on the rock remained strong no matter how bad the weather got to be!

Whether it rains often in your area or rarely, the key to coming through it with your house dry, you must prepare. Sometimes, you must fortify your house, like the people that put sandbags around their homes last week. In life, we prepare ourselves for problems the same way. We build a network of friends that can advise & support us when things get tough. We read the Bible. No matter what you are experiencing, that story is in the Bible! We pray. And when things get really bad, like floods, we fortify our lives by asking others to pray for us.

Stress stinks! Prepare for the rain in your life. Build your life on a rock of faith & keep it strong. That gives you a Live of Simple Joy even in a downpour!