"And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience.
Overwhelm them with appreciation and love."
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
(Isn't this a fabulous cake??? Thanks to my dear friend Heather!)
(This post is written to honor the amazing, godly women in our Gather and Grow Bible Study group.)
Overwhelmed with appreciation and love. That's an understatement. Let me share with you how I was completely overwhelmed in March.
In 2007, the Lord put it on my heart to host and lead a Gather and Grow Bible Study group. After prayerfully following Biblical truths to reverently begin a Bible study, the Lord brought together a group of amazing women to worship, study His Word, pray and fellowship.
We gather in His Name. We grow in His Word.
God is faithful. God alone brought and still brings the growth.
"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
but only God, who makes things grow."
1 Corinthians 3:7
Though the group has changed a bit each year according to the Lord's perfect design, God has blessed our Bible study and has knit together these sisters in Christ. They seek Him. They pray for each other. They minister to each other in tangible ways. They reach out and welcome others. They minister God's love and share the Gospel in their communities and beyond with their own unique God-given gifts.
(Actually I was shocked!)
A few months ago, these lovely women surprised me at my sweet friend Jen's home with a brunch at which 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 was their theme scripture. Overwhelmed with appreciation and love?? Truly, that doesn't even begin to say how my heart felt and still feels. Their love, appreciation, encouragement and blessings were a perfectly-timed gift from God. Overwhelmed indeed. Tearful and speechless, I received their love and blessings with humility and deep gratitude.
Sweetly hushed and humbled by His amazing love.
The girls gave me two very special gifts.
These generous women gave me two gifts: a beautiful scrapbook (put together by my dear friend Erika) and a Pandora charm bracelet. Each girlfriend wrote something personal to me in the scrapbook about how the Lord uses the Gather and Grow Bible Study to change their life and heart through His Word. Each of the twelve charms chosen for my bracelet by these wonderful women had a particular meaning, each of which was beautifully written out in the scrapbook: Bible, Wife, Home, Sun, Rose, Cinderella's Coach, Heart, Pineapple, Leopard, Breast Cancer Awareness, Snowflake and Aloha.
These gifts are treasures I will cherish forever. I often read through my scrapbook and touch each charm on my bracelet. When I am discouraged, the love and encouragement these gifts represent lift me up. The Gather and Grow girls could not have given me two more perfect gifts. I am so thankful to the Lord.
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20 ~ God blesses each of our hearts individually and as a whole as we gather together to worship, study His Word, pray and fellowship.
"...honor those that fear the Lord." Psalm 15:4
As I honor these amazing, godly women and girlfriends who are so generous in their love, friendship and giving, I want to give a gift as well! My sweet friend Jen who hosted the brunch at her home has been given a talent from God for making unique and stunning jewelry. Her business is called Bezalel Jewels. "See the Lord has chosen Bezalel...and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts -- to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And He has given Bezalel...the ability to teach others." Exodus 35:30-34
Inspired by her girlfriends and sisters in Christ in Gather and Grow, Jen designed this "Woman of Virtue" pendant. To honor the awesome Gather and Grow women, I am giving away one of these Woman of Virtue pendants hand-crafted by Jen!!! Here's all you have to do: Pop on over to Jen's site at Etsy and take a look around. Come back here and leave me a comment to let me know which piece of jewelry really appealed to you. On Friday, I will announce the winner. (And Friday is another special give-away too!)
"Woman of Virtue" ~ Designed and Hand-Crafted by Jennifer Roche
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25
"Kings' daughters are among Your honorable women."