In Times of Trial…2 Corinthians 4:7-9
7.But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
The words of 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 spoke to my heart today. I had to wonder what the Apostle Paul was feeling when he pinned those words. I wondered if somehow he could relate to how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s hard to explain what I’ve been going through but deep inside of me there is a fight for my mind. I have not known the hardship of what the Apostle Paul experienced and yet I know what it feels like to feel troubled, perplexed, persecuted and cast down. His words speak hope to me. Hope to know that no matter what I will overcome.
I Peter 4:12-13 says, 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
This verse makes me smile. Did you catch that last verse? So that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. Rest assured my friend…his glory will be revealed in our distress, in our trouble, in persecution. He will be revealed….the enemy will be exposed!
I say all this to say, do not lose heart. Do not allow the enemy to rob you of your joy. We have this treasure in earthly vessels. God sees us as valuable in our broken state. He knows that His light will shine brighter through the cracks & crevices of our lives. His light will shine forth and show this world that God uses broken people.
Hosea’s House Ministries
For the past 6 weeks I’ve been trying to run. I say trying because it’s been a slow start. I’m proud to say that I’ve managed to run a mile and for me that’s a huge accomplishment. Everyday I’ve been trying to go a little further without my lungs exploding. Slowly I’ve been able to push myself a little further along. I know one day I’ll look back on this small beginning and laugh but right now, it’s not very funny. I’m sure you can relate.
I saw a commercial today that really spoke to me. It was in regards to the Olympics and it showed this guy swimming. He said, “I didn’t wish I would be going to London, I didn’t hope I would be going to London, I didn’t dream I would be going to London. I swam all the way to London”. That got my attention! I thought, that’s what it takes. Hard work and pressing through. Every.Single.Day. I guess that was my motivation for the need to run in spite of the approaching storm and a little lightening. So. off I went. I didn’t know at the time that God had a bigger plan… He’s like that.
I was running and I started praying for every burden I was trying to carry on my own. I prayed out loud to God for family and friends. I had all the bases covered. It was at that time God started speaking to me. You know, that still small voice. I was crying out for myself and all those that I had prayed for and I ask God to give us the fresh wind that will give us the power to go a little further when we don’t think we have it in us to go on. Send down power to finish the race, not to grow weary or faint at heart. Give us a strong desire to finish the coarse and that it would exceed everything else this world has to offer. As I was praying, I knew that I would run further than I ever had. I knew He was about to show me what I was praying for….the extra wind beneath my sails. I lifted my hands in praise when I reached the mark. I praised His Holy Name. I thanked Him for showing me that all I had to do was call out to Him. In spite of the storm, I went a little further and so will you. Our Maker has big plans for us. He does not want us to quit or surrender in defeat. He has what you and I need to finish strong. So, do not give up! Let’s run all the way to Heaven.
Hosea’s House Ministries
Greetings Community Partner,
It’s been two years since we opened the first Hosea’s House in the Portland Neighborhood! Wow! We have had the opportunity to serve many women and their children! In two years, through the facilitation of Women’s Fellowship Groups and neighborhood transformation initiatives, Hosea’s House has touched the lives of over 50 women and children.
One family writes,
“Hosea’s House made it possible for my son and myself to feel warmth and comfort during a very difficult time in our lives. This was a safe place for us. I believe that God put us in that house to transform me because if he had not led me there, my son and I would be living a lonely life. They helped me to live my life with a different perspective. I know at anytime they are always there. I prefer to call them my God given family. Thanks to them my relationship with God is better and I am a better person. So, if you ever feel lost or in need of a safe place, with room for spiritual growth, this is the place to go. Beware, you may bump into my crazy son and I on one of our occasional visits. This is my safe place…..Hosea’s House.”
In April, we began a capital campaign to raise $36,072.00 to eliminate the mortgage for Hosea’s House. A local foundation has stepped up to partner with us through a donation of $12,000.00 as a matching gift. Our challenge is to raise $12,000.00 by November 1, 2012.
It is our desire to serve more families holistically. Our work and your support ensure that more families are:
• Provided a safe loving environment that allows them to heal from crisis.
• Provided job skills training and resources to advance their education and employment opportunities.
• Engaged in community involvement and empowerment through outreach, missions and fellowship groups.
Please join us for this challenge and prayerfully consider a financial donation. All donations are tax-deductible and will go towards debt elimination for the ministry; allowing us to serve unconditionally!
It’s time…Hosea 10:12
The Prayers of the Righteous
My great grandma, Maude Carter was one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known.. I’ve always remembered her as being very old. To me, she was always old, I guess because she died when I was 20 and she was in her eighties at that time. We had to take care of her for the last years of her life. She was a handful and always like to show you who was the boss. Some days she would forget where she was at and often talk to her boyfriend in the wall but even during those times of confusion she could tell you the day she met Jesus and gave her life to Christ. No matter how confused she was that day never left her memory and when we laid her down for bed she would spend the next hour praying out loud for her family. We would hear her crying out to God for her family and would often mention us lazy teenagers who didn’t know how to clean. She would ask God to bless us. I know that the God of Heaven had His ear bent to this little eighty year old grandma who believed that He had the power to move on her behalf.
I’m thankful for those prayers and the memories of my great grandma. I wish I could have gotten to know her better. I wish I could have heard all the stories that deepened her faith. I cannot wait to meet her again in heaven. I know that she is waiting for me.
Who do you remember? Who has made the greatest impact in your life? If they are alive, tell them. If not, honor their memory. If you do not recall anyone like that in your life…find someone.
Hosea’s House Ministries
For the last three months I’ve been seeing a Life Coach. To be honest, I was doing this for work and really didn’t feel I needed a “Coach.” After all, I felt like I had accomplished so much and for the most part, life was good. What could she possibly tell me that I didn’t already know? But I decided to go in to this with an open mind and just see what God had in store for me. I’m glad I took the journey to self discovery.
The first meeting was a little awkward because I wasn’t sure what she really wanted to know. She made me feel at ease by asking about my passion and what was important to me and soon I felt myself relaxing. My inner thoughts wondered what she thought of me. Why is it that my initial thought was that some how I wasn’t good enough? She quickly picked up on it. I never realized how often I do this to myself.and I have a feeling I’m not alone. I know there are so many others who join me in this,“Let’s see how much I can make myself feel so small” mentality and you’re probably like me and don’t even realize you are doing it. This was my light bulb moment and for the first time I realized that I’ve been living small and I decided that I needed to make some changes. So I did…. I want to share them with you in hope that you will empower yourself to live life and not allow things, circumstances or stress to steal it from you as I feel that’s what happened to me. I’m not sure when I turned over this power but somewhere along the way I lost myself.
Here are some of my take aways…..
Live my values
Embrace who I am…and love her!
Don’t settle for small…dream big.
Own my life and my thoughts
Write down my accomplishments and celebrate them
Make my space fun, relaxing and enjoyable
Give myself permission to stop and enjoy the moment
Take a deep breath
Ask for what I want
Define what success means to me
Try it anyway
Love what you do
Write down my goals
I want to end with this quote…..
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually who are you not to be?” YOU are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won´t feel insecure around you. We are born to manifest the glory that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”- Marianne Williamson, Return to Love, 1992
I hope you feel empowered to be great and live fabulous! You are amazing and there is nothing keeping you from greatness…except, maybe yourself.
Today I am reflecting on Christ as today is the beginning of Lent. Although I am not Catholic, I will honoring this time of fasting to renew my mind and my focus on Christ and His strength. I look forward to deeping my faith as I give unto the Lord what I feel is a sacrifice of things I love. What about you? What are you willing to surrender to the Lord? One thing I know for sure…He will receive our gifts and we will receive the reward.
My prayer for you today is that you will walk in the love and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ. May He comfort you and give you peace.
Serving the vineyard,
Do you remember this old toy monkey? He was popular in the 60’s and 70’s and I loved him! When I was 5 years old my best friend had a monkey just like this one. I wanted one just like hers. We were poor and I was the baby of five so I knew that getting one from my parents was out of question. So, I prayed. Before I went to bed I prayed and ask God for a stuffed monkey with a banana in his mouth. Oh, I didn’t stop there. I even ask God to put it on my front porch when I woke up. I knew my Daddy cared about what I knew I really needed and had no doubt that He would provide. I got up that morning and ran straight to the door. Imagine my face when I looked down to see that my dog had dragged a stuffed monkey home that night and placed it at my front door. I hugged that monkey and looked up to my Daddy and said, “thank you.”
That was nearly forty years ago…. It was the first prayer I can remember God answering for me. I gave that monkey to a hurting little boy years ago but God allowed me more monkeys to remind me that He is a God who cares and hears our prayers when we have faith to believe Him. I honestly believe that is why I have such great faith in my Father. I have learned that He can be trusted and He knows what I need. God has often reminded me of that answered prayer when it looked like Hosea’s House was never going to happen. When days turned in to months and months in to years. Five years it would take for my vision to come to pass. So often God would remind me of that sweet little monkey.
When I was wondering if I should go part-time and work on Hosea’s House I ask God to
confirm that by sending me another monkey. Something I honestly thought was impossible since I hadn’t seen that monkey since the early 70’s. Within a week of that prayer God sent me two monkeys. Isn’t He just like that? Just when you think you can get one over on Him He gives you double. I remember laying in bed holding that monkey and crying because I remembered how I felt when I was five years old. God is so good!
God can be trusted. Do not let the enemy rob you of your promise land. God has more monkeys in the store house. What is it you need to believe God for? Be still….and know that He is God. Psalms 46:10. I can’t wait to hear your story.
Serving the vineyard,
Hosea’s House Ministries
By Ruth Schenk | firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every abused woman has visible bruises. Some appear successful and maintain an “everything’s fine” facade on the outside. That doesn’t alter inner suffering. According to the statistics, one in three women suffers some sort of abuse, whether it be physical, mental or emotional. Ask Joann Rowan. She’s worked with abused women for the last 20 years. “We wear masks to make everyone think everything’s good,” she said. “But inside we’re just a dressed up mess. It’s so hard to reveal our stuff. We’re more worried about what people will think than whether we’ll survive.” Teresa Oechsli had her own front row seat to abuse. As a child, she watched her father hold a gun to her mother’s head. Witnessing that abuse colored her perception of life and relationships. Vicki Stagnuolo understands abuse. She survived abuse as a child and two abusive marriages. She is now a counselor. “If one in three women is abused, what makes you think it’s not the same in the church?” Rowan asked. These three women lead a new abuse support group at Southeast called Mending Hearts. They began to work together four years ago after their friend, Jeanette Spencer, was murdered. It happened the weekend they’d planned to attend a Faces of Christ Retreat at Country Lake. Spencer failed to show up at the rendevous time. They dialed and redialed her cell phone throughout the day, but learned the next day that she’d been murdered in her apartment building elevator by the ex-boyfriend she feared. “Jeanette’s death made us want to do more for women caught in abuse,” Oechsli said. “When I met Jeanette, God didn’t say to mentor her or counsel her—just be her friend. And that’s what we want to do with the women who come to this group. We want to walk beside them as we go through the Twelve Steps to Spiritual Healing, a Christ-centered program to wholeness. Forgiveness and healing is the goal. “Many women living with abuse think they are the only ones,” Stagnuolo said. “One of the major reasons women stay is shame and embarrassment. Especially in the church. But if we focus on Christ, the shame and embarrassment falls by the wayside. We can hold onto Christ together.” For years, many women try to “fix” the problem. “So many think if they lost 10 pounds, had a different haircut, cleaned the house, cooked a better dinner or looked more like women on the Internet, the abuse would stop,” Rowan said. “Women who are abused do not ‘deserve’ what happens to them.” Oechsli said the group will be confidential. Jan Freibert, who is head of support/recovery groups at Southeast, said even she will not know the identity of those who attend. “I feel so good about the leadership of this group,” Freibert said. “Each one understands abuse, and each one is biblically grounded and committed to reaching out with support, encouragement and prayer.” Oechsli said fear keeps many women trapped in abusive relationships. “This group will be a safe place to heal,” Oechsli said. “If my daughter were in an abusive relationship, I would tell her and her children to leave and be safe. God doesn’t want His children to suffer abuse. We’ve seen lives change when healing and forgiveness become part of the rebuilding process.”
Hosea’s House is a non-denominational, non profit organization dedicated to empowering women & children in crisis by extending the love of Christ. The goal of Hosea’s House is to develop relationships with women & children in crisis and walk with them during their process of healing by offering friendship, counseling, Bible study, education, life skills, home management, parenting skills and community involvement. We base our program on Biblical principals and provide Christ centered guidance to women and their families.
Hosea’s House partners with Bible Community Fellowship in Portland. Our desire is to allow the Church to minister to the broken and to be a light in the community in which they serve. We believe that only Jesus Christ has the power to completely heal and restore.