Monday, May 21, 2012

Overwhelmed With Love!

"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

Gathering and growing in Him ~ it's what we are meant to do as Christians.  As God leads and blesses Bible studies, He builds lasting, meaningful, fruitful, iron-sharpening-iron friendships.  Today, I honor the women with whom I have had the privilege to Gather and Grow!  "...honor those that fear the Lord."  Psalm 15:4 

"Kings' daughters are among Your honorable women."
Psalm 45:9

Updated Friday 5/25/12 ~ Winner of the Woman of Virtue pendant is "Pauline~myheartGodshome"!!  Congratulations Pauline!


Cheryl said...

I love the turquoise and ruby pendant. The colors are beautiful. I love the variegated colors in the turquoise and how the setting makes the stone look ancient and alluring. The three little red stones at the bottom just set the whole piece off. Very beautiful.

Cheryl McCormick

Melissa said...

I love the Victorian Cultured Pearl Ring. So very pretty!

Maria said...

Love the unique metals and stones, unique designs. My favorite is the wired quartz topaz necklace.

CP said...

I like the Turquoise Swirl Pendant but I also like the Woman of Virtue since it reminds me of how I try to live my life on a daily basis.

Victoria said...
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Victoria said...

Hi, I am glad I found your site. I like the slate grey freshwater pearl pendant. I had a double saltwater pearl made into a ring - one of God's natural beauties.
I thought that pendant would go nicely with my ring.

pauline~myheartGodshome said...

This was a hard choice for me to make as all of your jewelry is very beautiful....especially your Green & yellow Ocean Jasper, Tournaline, Shell Pendant (this is my favorite choice!)!!Blessings to you as you do bless others with yuor talent!! :)

tammie said...

Hi friend I love the purple druzy heart valentine Love anything with hearts.. jens stuff is the best great ya

Anonymous said...

It was a toss up...but so many creative items! I love the name Bezalel Jewels... I like the Labradorite Leaf Pendant as well as the Turquois Swirl Pendant...such lovely colors! Thanks for what you do with your God-given creativity!

Audra said...

I love them all, how can you pick just one? I like the three hearts in a row though, the Copper Valentine Heart and the Druzy Heart are my favorites. Love her work!

Penny said...

I am amazed by such talent! So many beautiful choices!! I really like the Smokey Topaz wire pendant! Looks like an elegant piece that goes with everything. Also the Woman of Virture pendant is beautiful as well!! Excited to become a part of this wonderful group!! Blessings!!

lovefam6 said...

There is so much one of a kind beauty there! I was torn between the boulder opal stone and the green druzy, oh heck, I'm still torn, lol. Love them both!

Karen Scheuer said...

Jen- your work is magnificient and unique. The druzy purple heart shows the kingship of Jesus with the purple, and the heart of Jesus with the bold heart. May God's given talent to you, continue to be a blessing to others.

Karen Scheuer

Brandy said...

I looooove the Beautiful Faceted Carnelian Ring! Very beautiful and unique! I'm going to add you to my favorite sellers list!

Erika said...

I love the Victorian Cultured Pearl Ring. My sister Debbie and I shared June birthdays (hers was June 3rd and mine June 10th) and Pearl is our birthstone. Her husband bought her a pearl necklace to wear on her wedding day in November 1999. On September 2nd 2000 my sister passed away from Cervical Cancer. When I turned 40 in 2008 my brother-in-law gave me her pearls as a birthday present. I can't help but think of her every time I see one.

Erika said...
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~Aim said...

Stones are such a beauty!

Jodi said...

I love the Rose Bud Agate Valentine Pendant. I'm sure they are all one of a kind, but in the one shown, you can almost see what looks like praying hands. Amazing the gifts God gives us. Beautiful!

Charlotte (Chargaile) said...

I love the Women of Virtue pendant. It is so very unique and I would be proud to wear it. I struggle every day to be a virteous woman in my Lord's eyes.
Charlotte Askew

Unknown said...

I love the Copper Valentine Heart ring and the Woman of Virtue pendant. Gorgeous!

Sherry Smith said...

I love orange. So, of course I am crazy about the orange carnelian flower earrings.

Sherry Smith

d said...

This is such an amazing post! You are truly blessed with some amazing girlfriends. Thanks for sharing the links to some of your friends pages. I'm going to check them out.

Mrs. G said...

I'm under a tremendous amount of stress trying to keep our company going under a severe cash flow situation. At the same time, I'm working on bringing balance to my life. I've taken Fridays off to get my home together and I'm looking for a church and Christian friends. I'm very shy in person and it's very difficult since my Husband won't go with me. Please pray for me, that I don't allow fear to keep me from allowing God to lead me and that He provides strength and peace to see me through the stress of my work and home balancing act. lol I trust in Him and He meets me week to week. He has provided a way when there has seemed to be no way! I so trust Him, but it's still exhausting as I must pitch in and help. haha God bless you!!!