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29.4.12

Christian and Arabella

























Love stronger than anything imaginable

Imagine Catherine Cookson writing a story set in the year 2012. This would best describe Christian and Arabella. They were from two different worlds. Christian would do anything to win Arabella's heart but most of his attempts were intercepted by the cruel Randy and life itself. Arabella seemed on a downward spiral and life for her was filled with one heart ache after another. Christian never lost hope and never stopped loving her to the point that it would cost him everything. If ever there was a tale of true romance and the power of one man's love, this is it.

Astonishing and enchanting, Christian and Arabella kept intact all the details of a modern tale of passion. Sumptuously captivating, Christian and Arabella are the most unlikely match. He devotes his life to protecting her. She devotes her time to throwing her life away. He will not rest until he wins her heart and helps to restore the woman he once met, the woman he knows still exists beneath the dark exterior of Arabella.

The most romantic story ever written. A Romeo and Juliet story with a happy ending.
 
Available on: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Fishpond | Kindle

Sample Chapter One






It was early morning on Sunday the twenty second of June as Christian wept over her bleeding, lifeless body.  Tears flowed shamelessly down his cheeks as he gazed at what was once such a beautiful face, now hidden beneath last night’s smudged make-up.  She was covered with fresh blood and bruises.  Some bruises were old and healing with a yellow ring around them.  Other bruises were new, they had that fresh-kicked red appearance to them and would soon come up in a deep purple stain.  Once the initial shock of seeing her beat-up state subsided, Christian, using great care, placed his left arm underneath her waist and used his right arm to pull her towards himself.  He lifted her up and held her close to his chest, still sobbing but focused on the task at hand, which was to get her to the nearest hospital.
    ‘Oh God!’ he called out in a whisper. ‘Please don’t let her die, there’s still hope for her.’
He walked and prayed while holding her unconscious body with as much care as possible.  After five minutes of carrying her and worrying about her, he spotted a wooden road side bench ahead and set that as his target for a short rest.  Christian was in good physical shape, but carrying her was tiring.  When he reached the wooden bench he sat down and gasped for air until he caught his breath.
     I don’t know if I can do this, he thought to himself as he began to move her into a more comfortable position.
     His touch was loving and tender.
     He tried to get her arms to wrap around his neck in the hope that this would make carrying her easier, but they would not stay, so he left them to flop down and dangle by his side.  Time still concerned Christian and he wondered if it would have been quicker to call an ambulance.  The target response time for a London ambulance is eight minutes but Christian knew that this seldom happened.  A realistic response time was twenty to thirty minutes and that was only if an ambulance was available right away.  It was too risky.  Deciding against it, he placed her back into a cradled position in his arms and stood up to continue his journey to the hospital.  He decided to speed up his walk even though he was beginning to find breathing difficult and his lungs were beginning to burn.  Desperately pleading with God for her life, Christian walked until he could walk no more and was forced to take another short break.  As he sat down gasping for a breath he considered how strange it was that not one passerby or driver had even noticed that he was carrying a wounded woman.  Even when he crossed the street at the traffic lights he seemed invisible to all.
    It’s sad to see how cold people have become these days, he thought to himself, or perhaps they choose to be blind.
     One final stretch of road remained and Christian decided to push himself to walk as fast as possible until he reached the hospital.  His muscles began to ache as they reached their limits.  It was only a fifteen minute walk from where he had found her to the hospital but it seemed like hours had passed.

Christian knew that Arabella had been working three nights a week at Sins Gentlemen’s Club in Brixton and tried as often as possible to be in the area when she left work so that he could watch her get home safe and sound.  She was oblivious to this but he felt much better knowing that she got home all right, even though it meant that he had to wake up early to be there when she left work after the club closed at 5am.  Sadly, on this cold and frosty London morning, he arrived too late.  For some reason she had left work earlier than usual and Christian left Sin’s rather concerned.  As he walked down Coldharbour Lane wondering why she had left early, he noticed a heap of someone lying on the grass verge opposite EM’s Fish and Chips shop.  At first he thought it was just another drunk passed out after a night of clubbing.  When he realised that it was a woman and that there was something very familiar about her, he crossed over the road to take a closer look.  Gasping, he realised that it was her.  He ran to where she lay.  It was then that he discovered her lying under a tree in a state of near death.
     Christian snapped out of his desperate pleading with God as soon as the bright yellow ambulances and large red AMBULANCE ENTRANCE sign came into view.  Relieved that the walk was over at last, he headed towards the Accident and Emergency entrance of the hospital.   As he approached the double doors, he turned around and walked in with his back to the door, so that he didn’t hurt her whilst trying to open them.  Right away he got busy with plotting a course, the shortest route to help.  It was a busy morning in the A&E foyer which is typical as it is one of the busiest Accident and Emergency departments in the country.  As Christian walked into the bustling room he noticed many bright blue curtains that divided the beds, most of which were occupied.  He caught a whiff of the distinctive hospital odour along with what smelled like a mixture of alcohol, urine and vomit.  A gurney was being wheeled in from an ambulance and another passed by in haste then disappeared behind a curtained off area.
     Ambulance drivers, in their high visibility yellow jackets, were rushing in and out of the emergency room along with paramedics in their bright orange overalls.  Nurses in blue uniforms with green, plastic aprons and doctors in their white coats were either busy with paperwork or with patients.  No one seemed to even notice he had arrived.
     "Help, somebody help me!"  he yelled, but no one seemed to take a blind bit of notice.
     People bumped into him, doctors walked right past him and almost knocked him off his feet.  Amidst all this chaos Christian tried to locate a registration desk.  In the corner he noticed several chairs with injured people waiting and others sitting with their heads tilted either forwards, backwards or sideways as they slept. 
     Relieved, he spotted what looked like the registration desk and raced over to approach the clerk.  She was facing away from the window, laughing out loud in a conversation with one of her colleagues, while filing her fingernails. She noticed Christian approaching out of the corner of her eye and swung around in her chair in an attempt  to look more professional.  As she turned to see Christian her smile dropped into a look of horror.
‘Get a gurney,’ she yelled at the colleague she had been joking around with earlier.
Within seconds a gurney appeared.  Christian rolled her from his body onto the gurney.  Once again he noticed her very disfigured face and the sight of her upset him.
     ‘What happened?’ asked the registration clerk, whose name was Sally according to the pin on her uniform.
     ‘I don’t know,’ said Christian as he regained his breath, ‘I found her like this on a grass verge on Coldharbour Lane.
     ‘Are you family or a friend?’ Sally asked.
     ‘No’ he replied with a lump in his throat.
     Christian noticed that Sally assumed he was only a passerby and knew nothing about her.  She walked over to her computer and began a great deal of clicking her long nails on the keyboard.  She booked her in as Jane Doe while the triage nurse rushed over to determine the severity of her condition.  Within seconds she whisked her off behind a blue curtain to be scanned and have her injuries assessed.  It was obvious that Sally was left wondering why a total stranger, one clearly of breeding and class, would go to the trouble of bringing this sort of woman in.
     Christian was still in shock by what he had seen and mentioned to Sally that he was going to find a chair and sit down.
     ‘Can you let me know what happens?’ He asked as his eyes scanned the room for an empty chair.
     He found a reasonably padded, grey chair and lay his head back while he contemplated the situation.  His heart was grieving at what had become of her.  As he rested his head on the hospital chair he began to reminisce about the time they first met, many years ago, when he was only seventeen...

It was love at first sight.  He caught a glimpse of her long, dark brown hair glistening in the sunshine as she stood in her white, opaque trousers that revealed her slender figure.  She wore a pretty pale pink t-shirt and was holding a cardboard box that was without a doubt too heavy for her to carry.  A dirty, grey, moving van pulled up in front of Christian and interrupted his line of sight but only for a few seconds.  The moving van continued a little further up the road and allowed him to see her once again.  He stood mesmerised by her.  She took his breath away.  He realised he was staring when she turned around and gave him a rather quizzical look.
     ‘Hello’ she said
     ‘Hi’ he replied with a bashful look on his face, ‘welcome to the neighbourhood.’
     Christian was at a loss for words and thought it best to continue walking, as he risked standing in front of her and making a fool of himself.
     ‘Thank you’ she shouted after him as he walked off into the beautiful, hot summer’s evening.
Christian lifted his hand to acknowledge her shout but continued to face forward to hide his blushing cheeks.  He had never felt that way before, ever, in all the years of his short life.  He knew she was something quite special and without a doubt planned to walk that way home again. Christian passed that way, down Bedford Gardens in Bayswater,  most days, on his way to the Campden Hill Lawn Tennis Club where he took tennis lessons.  It was either down that street or he also quite liked to walk down Sheffield Terrace, but since laying his eye upon her he was quite certain that there would never be a reason to walk down Sheffield Terrace again!  He was quite taken with her and was certain that he had to find a way to see her again, even if it was just for a moment or simply in passing.
I will definitely be more prepared next time,  Christian thought to himself.  I will plan a few things to say ahead of time so that I am not at a loss for words and I will not run off like that again.  What was I thinking?
     Christian thought as he scolded himself for being such a coward and determined to be more prepared for their next encounter.  Tennis no longer seemed like such a chore, now it was his one and only reason to take a slow, daily stroll down Bedford Gardens. He was sure she would not think anything suspicious as he had his tennis clothes on and carried his racquet which made it obvious that he was heading for the tennis courts that were nearby.
After arriving home and after a quick shower he got stuck into his homework.  Usually he was very focused on his school work but this evening was different.  It was her, he couldn’t get her out of his mind.  Concentrating was proving to be extremely difficult.  After several failed attempts at solving an algebra problem he gave up and moved onto his science homework.  His attempt to distract himself failed so he gave up and walked downstairs to the kitchen.  He opened the refrigerator and rummaged around for some food.  Nothing seemed to appeal to him so he pushed down the intercom button that connected to his mother’s study and asked at the top of his voice, “Mum, what’s for dinner?”
     “Miss Lotty made you a fish pie, it is in the oven.  Your father and I will not be joining you for dinner son as we have that charity ball tonight.”        
“Oh yes I forgot about that.  I hope it goes well.  See you tomorrow then.”
Christian poured himself some cold apple juice and walked outside.  It was still a bright sunny evening so he sat down on the lawn and continued to think about her.  He sat outside for quite some time and then returned to the kitchen. Christian ate his dinner, alone and halfhearted, and then went to his bedroom to read a book.  His eyes became droopy within the first chapter so he put the book down onto his night stand and closed his eyes to sleep.  As he closed his eyes he thought of her again.
     She is so beautiful, he thought to himself as he drifted off to sleep.
     Weeks turned into months and the autumn leaves began to mark the end of summer.  Life carried on for Christian but he thought of her often.  He made a point of walking down her street whenever he could.  On the days that he saw her sitting in her bedroom bay window he felt that his day was complete.  On the days that he didn’t manage to see her at all he felt empty inside.  It was as if the purpose of every one of Christian’s days was to see her.  This purpose was what he lived for.  He loved to look at her.  He imagined what she was thinking when she sat in the bay window.  He noticed that pink and white were her favourite colour clothes to wear and that she loved to catch the afternoon sun from her bedroom window.  He also noticed that she had a grey kitten and that she enjoyed reading and writing in her little book with a pink pen that had a fluffy ball dangling from it.  He also noticed something else about her.  She seldom smiled.  Sadness seemed to be her constant companion.  Christian wondered why.
     As always, he decided to take a stroll past her home on his way to the tennis club.  This day was different however.  It was on this day that he got to see her sitting in her window once again.
     They made eye contact.
     Christian’s heart thumped inside his chest.  He was convinced that it was pounding loud enough for her to hear it!  They gazed at each other for a full six seconds.  But for Christian it felt like an eternity.  With great reluctance, he broke their gaze and continued his walk home.  Not because he wanted to but because he didn’t know what else to do. Christian felt like he was walking on clouds.  Time after time in the past he had gazed into her bedroom window but this was the first time ever, that she had noticed him. Magic was in the air.  He was elated with feelings that he never knew existed.  Without realising it, he had walked down several streets that he didn’t usually walk down.  His daydreaming led him on an unfamiliar path.  He was in seventh heaven and paid no attention to where his legs were taking him.  He snapped out of his unconscious state and back into reality when he realised that he had walked into the park and completely forgotten about his tennis lesson.
It was then that he saw her sitting on the swing smiling.  She must have left her home and headed to the park right after he saw her sitting in her bedroom.  Her hair was glistening in the sun.  Was this the moment he had been waiting for all these months?  Should he go and talk to her or should he turn around and walk away. Was he the cause of her smile, he wondered.  If not, he didn’t want to intrude on whatever was making her so happy.  He knew that if he walked away he might never get this opportunity again.  Before he managed to make a thorough logical decision he found himself walking up to her.
     “Hi,”  he said, “my name is Christian.”
     “I’m Arabella,”  she said shyly.
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26.4.12

He Restores My Soul - Fasting

Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” 
- Jesus, Matthew 6 : 16-18 

Jesus gave us instructions on fasting based on the assumption that fasting would be part of our lifestyle. Christians who don’t believe in fasting are like car owners not believing in having their cars serviced or flowers thinking they don’t need the rain. Sure, you can avoid giving your car a service but you know what will eventually happen if it isn’t serviced. You car will break down because the engine and other working parts will be all clogged up. Fasting is not only a powerful spiritual tool but also has significant health benefits.  Did you know that fasting can cure certain diseases including cancer and tissue and bone healing also proceed at the maximum rate during a fast.  Fasting can also slow the ageing process! 

Stop Eating Fried Chicken 
Fasting is a tool that God has given us to keep our bodies and spirits healthy. I know Christians who suffer with terrible medical conditions but refuse to fast and then have the audacity to question why God won’t heal them. It seems silly to expect God to heal your body when you are not following the instructions God gave you to maintain your body in the first place. Many times people don’t get healed because if they did, they would get sick again almost immediately after being healed. If you have high cholesterol but refuse to stop eating fried chicken and chips every day, why should God heal you? He might heal you but you wouldn’t even notice that you had been healed because your lifestyle will cause the illness to come right back again! Fasting is an essential part of healthy living, not only can we find breakthrough and freedom but we can also enjoy the benefits of great health when we fast. 
   As I always say, God didn’t give us the Bible as a set of rules to catch us out, He gave us a user manual for life. Without a user manual you will seldom get the most out of the item you don’t have the manual for. In the same way, the Bible teaches us all the features of life, showing us how we can get full use out of our time here on earth. Fasting is not a rule and not a requirement for Christians. If you don’t fast you will still get to heaven! Is life just about getting to heaven though? I don’t know about you but I want to enjoy my stay here and get the most out of life! Fasting is one of those things that God said we should do because it’s what is best for us and aids us in getting the most out of life. Fasting is a powerful tool that offers breakthrough in our body, spirit and soul. 
   On the physical front, fasting offers rest to our body as the body uses a great deal of energy to digest food. Fasting releases this energy for other uses and most importantly to heal the body. During the absence of food, the body will systematically cleanse itself of everything except vital tissue. As the toxic load is reduced, the functioning of every cell is enhanced. Waste matter is the first to go and once the body has removed these toxins and waste it will begin to remove fat, diseased and dying cells. It is fascinating what happens in our bodies when we fast. Fasting has been known to not only cleanse our bodies and strengthen them but also to cure certain diseases including cancer. 
   Tissue and bone healing also proceed at the maximum rate during a fast. Do you ever feel like you have ‘brain fog’? A massive cloud over your mind that slows down your mind? Fasting literally clears your mind, giving you mental clarity. In some cases depression and other mental illnesses can also be healed through regular periods of fasting. Regular twenty four hour fasts, with only water and no food, is valuable for resting your digestive system and cleansing your body. The result will be more energy, clearer skin, a clearer mind and a generally more healthy body. Occasional medium to long fasts, starting from three days up to twenty one days are also advisable, once or twice a year, to give your body a good rest from all the toxins that we consume in this day and age. Fasting can vary from drinking only water and abstaining from food to drinking juices and soups to abstaining from certain foods and drinks. 

This is a chapter snippet from He Restores My Soul.  Find out more about the different types of fasts in He Restores My Soul.
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23.4.12

Being a Friend - Invitation

Today’s women seem to underestimate the value of a good friend. Social networking sites, Internet, email and mobile phones have devalued good old fashioned friendships in many ways. Technology is great to speed up the pace of our already fast paced life but why not slow down and take some time to get to know someone. To really know someone. Get some real friends that don’t only like your Facebook status but actually know you enough to like who you are.

I challenge you to join me on this journey to discover God's design and purpose for friendship. Friendships are powerful and highly valuable. Friendships are God’s idea and a necessary part of His plan for planet earth. Friendships are good and they are worth the effort. 

The Cambridge dictionary’s definition of friend is “a person who you know well and who you like a lot, but who is usually not a member of your family” or “someone who is not an enemy and who you can trust”. The Bible however, goes much deeper and one of the original Hebrew word for friend is ray'-ah, ray'-ah which means companion, fellow, friend, husband, lover, neighbour and very interestingly comes from the root word raw-aw which means to tend a flock, that is, pasture it; intransitively to graze.  I thought this was a beautiful illustration of the care and nurturing that is required to grow a good friendship. Another word for friend when the Bible speaks of being a 'friend of God' is philos in Greek which means to be actively fond. Isn’t that a wonderful concept, to be actively fond of someone?

Grab a cuppa coffee and join us as we explore what the Bible has to say about friendships. Laugh with us and cry with us, the end result will be great friendships which is so worth it!

Find out more about Being a Friend here or about using our material to host your own Girl's Night here.  
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Being a Friend

Being a Friend is a part of the 'Being' series.  Here we take a look at what being a good friend means according to the Bible. A refreshing read on being a friend with lively, real discussion with a group of every day ordinary friends - it's NOT at all what you might think.

Available at: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle

Contents:
Invitation
The Five Stages of Being a Friend

Being a Friend
     Who is a Friend
     Who Lays Down Their Life
     Who is Fun
     Who is Loyal
     Who is Honest
     Who has Purpose
     Who Stands in the Gap
     Who Offers Godly Advice
     Who Doesn't Flatter
     Who is Wise
     Who is Humble
     Who Judges Herself
     Who Covers Transgressions
     Who is a Friend of Jesus
     Who is a Friend of God
     Who Befriends the Lost



Purchase Options
Which chapter would you like?

Study Notes:
For small group study, printable PDF notes and worksheets are available for each chapter at £1.20 per chapter.  Once you have purchased the PDF's you are welcome to print off as many copies as you need.  These notes offer thought provoking conversation guides that will guarantee a lively women's study group.
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21.4.12

Nature's Way - Hair Treatments

I struggled to find much information on hair treatments. It seems that the information is similar to that of a conditioner. If you know your ingredients and know what to avoid you should be safe. Most hair treatments have a similar cancer risk to conditioners and shampoos. One thing stood out though and that was the new research on Keratin based treatments. Keratin is the latest thing to get frizz free hair. It is found in our body naturally and is a family of fibrous structural proteins that make up the outer layer of human skin and is also the key structural component of our hair and nails. When the Keratin in our body is damaged it makes our hair and skin look dull which is why many people tend to have a Keratin treatment. 
   These treatments are made by taking the keratin from animals, like the wool from sheep, and making a mixture out of it. This mixture will be applied to the hair as a Keratin treatment to replenish the hair’s damaged Keratin. 
   Sadly this seemingly ‘natural’ treatment is not natural at all and several side effects such as excessive hair loss, deterioration of hair condition, allergic reactions and in some cases cancer has even been reported. As with all of these dangerous products, you hair will look great at first but after some time has passed you will begin to see the negative side effects.
   The Brazilian Blowout is another popular hair treatment at the moment but sadly reports of similar bad side effects have started coming in recently. Most keratin hair treatments use formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen.
   Why not stick to nature’s way. Rather than try the latest new product that has not been thoroughly tested, use something that has been around since the beginning of time, something like olive oil or yoghurt.

Nature’s Way Alternatives

Olive oil is the best treatment for hair. Olive oil nourishes and conditions your hair. It also improves the strength and elasticity of your hair. Unlike harmful chemical treatment, olive oil doesn’t just coat your hair but it actually feeds it. 
   Olive oil contains a wide variety of valuable antioxidants that are not found in other oils. In fact olive oil is known to protect us from certain types of cancer. It is also immensely beneficial in adding smoothness and softness to a dry scalp, especially during the winter months.
   All in all you cannot go wrong with olive oil.

Results:
• Healthy hair
• Save money
• Great shine
• Softer hair
• More manageable hair
• No harmful chemicals

Cautions:
• Take care to wash and rinse well or greasy hair will result.

NATURE’S WAY HAIR TREATMENT

Ingredients: Olive Oil

Method: Rinse your hair with warm water.

Warm one tablespoon of olive oil by rubbing it in the palms of your hands then gently massage the oil into your scalp. Make sure that you rub plenty of oil on the ends of your hair.

Place a plastic bag over your hair for half and hour.

Rinse extremely well with warm water and then shampoo as usual.

* You can also add fresh Rosemary to the oil as Rosemary is well known for its tonic effects and natural hair conditioning. Add a fresh sprig of rosemary to your bottle of oil and leave it there – it will add flavour to your cooking and will condition your hair.

More treatment recipes:
There are many other simple ways to give your hair a deep treatment using natural ingredients, here are some examples:

Yoghurt
Yoghurt has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties as well as many healthy enzymes along with natural oils. Using yoghurt in your hair stimulates hair growth and will also fight dandruff. The protein in yoghurt helps to strengthen and moisturise your hair.

Yoghurt Treatment
• ½ cup plain probiotic yoghurt

Mix the yoghurt well with a fork of put it in a blender for a couple of minutes. Part your hair and apply the yoghurt to your scalp until your entire scalp is covered with yoghurt. Then work the yoghurt through your hair with your fingers or with a wide toothed comb. Leave to soak for one hour and then rinse out well with warm water and wash as usual.

For extra strength and shine, beat an egg into the yoghurt and apply as above. Take care to rinse the yoghurt and egg treatment out with cool water as the egg will cook into your hair if you use warm water.

Caution:
I have found that the yoghurt can leave a terrible smell in your hair. Make sure you rinse very well and perhaps use an essential oil when washing your hair afterwards.

Now it's your turn.
If you have any hair treatment or hair care tips that work well, please share them with us.  Find out more about Nature's Way here.
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17.4.12

King's Daughters in Kampala, Uganda




















It is with great joy that I want to introduce you to Caroline Emmy Mwawasi who is heading up King's Daughters in Kampala, Uganda. Please pray for her as she begins her preparations to start a King's Daughters Mum's Group next month.

Caroline along with her lovely children support her husband at Africa Resource Ministries where he trains and equips African pastors and church leaders.  Caroline knows God is wanting her to reach out the women in her area and has recently run a one day seminar for ladies dealing with health and hygiene in their homes.  Follow Caroline on her brand new Facebook page for more exciting news and updates. 

If you would like to start a King's Daughters Mum's Group, run a Girl's Night or do anything along these lines please get in touch and we will support you, send you teaching material and do whatever we can to ensure your success.
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Being a Mother

























Being a Mother is a part of the 'Being' series.  We take a deep look into the Biblical role of the woman and all the hats she has to wear.  A refreshing read on being a mother with lively, real discussion with a group of every day ordinary mothers - it's NOT at all what you might think.

Coming soon to: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle

Contents:
Invitation
The Five Stages of Being a Mother

Being a Mother
     Who Loves
     Who Disciplines
     Who Sets Boundaries
     Who is Available
     Who is Involved
     Who Trains and Teaches
     Who Nurture
     Who Speaks Life
     Who Listens
     Who is Free from Fear
     Who Forgives
     Who Prays
     Who Knows When to Let Go
     Who Mothers Others



Purchase Options
Which chapter would you like?

Study Notes:
For small group study, printable PDF notes and worksheets are available for each chapter at £1.20 per chapter.  Once you have purchased the PDF's you are welcome to print off as many copies as you need.  These notes offer thought provoking conversation guides that will guarantee a lively women's study group.
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14.4.12

Nature's Way - Serum and Heat Protection

As with all hair care products, serums and heat protectors can come with high health risks and may contain several cancer causing ingredients. Most of these products contain silicones such as Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone. These silicones are heavy and very difficult to wash out and more importantly may interfere with hormone function and damage the liver. Logically, if you think about it, silicone coats the hair, trapping anything beneath it, and does not allow the hair to breathe. Silicones do give the hair a shine at first by coating the hair strands with oils but these oils are extremely bad for the hair. Long term use will only make your hair worst not better.

Nature’s Way Alternatives
Natural oils help to enhance absorbability of other natural ingredients to promote healing of damaged hair shaft. These oils are fantastic for both serum and as a heat protector. I have found that extra virgin olive oil and grapeseed oil are fantastic oils for these and many other purposes.
Grapeseed oil is a great heat protector as it has a very high smoke point. Olive oil also has a high smoke point but not as high as grapeseed oil. The smoke point generally refers to the temperature at which the oil begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids which produce bluish smoke. When using natural oil make sure that you are not heating it to the smoke point.
Grapeseed oil is a light, gentle oil that is high in linoleic acid and vitamin E. Vitamin E is vital in hair and skin care as it is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants which helps to combat free radicals and other damaging elements in the skin. These factors make grape seed oil an excellent oil for not only moisturising your hair but also in protecting your hair from hair damaging hair dryers, hot irons, etc. 

Personally, I have found olive oil fantastic for my hair since my hair is very fine and often frizzy. The olive oil holds my hair down well avoiding the flyaway look and at the same time giving it a fantastic shine.

Results:
• Save money
• Healthier hair
• Natural Shine
• Nourishment rather than coating
• Heat protection

Cautions:
• Too much oil looks terrible on hair. Start with applying very oil and slowly add more if required.
• Be careful to apply the oil evenly or you may not notice that the back of your hair is greasy while the front looks great!

NATURE’S WAY SERUM and HEAT PROTECTOR

Ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil

Method: For use as serum or heat protector take the bottle of oil and hold it tightly against the palm of your hand. Turn the bottle upside down onto your hand which will leave you with a small amount of oil. Two or three drops of oil this size is all you need.

Rub this oil between your palms and work it into your hair by taking some hair into your hand from about an inch away from the roots and then sliding your hand through your hair.

Now it's your turn.
If you have any serum or hair care tips that work well, please share them with us.  Find out more about Nature's Way here
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11.4.12

A Place Called Blessing


This morning I received a book to review for Thomas Nelson.  My intention was to start reading a chapter of it today but the story was so gripping that I couldn't put it down until I had read the very last word.  I can honestly say that this is the best book I have ever read.  I cried my eyes out in some place and had a good chuckle at times too.  Josh's story made me think of people in my world that could have a similar story to his.  His story made me think that perhaps we write people off too soon or judge them too quickly.  Who knows the heart and pain of another person?  Who are we to judge?  As you approach the end of the book, hold on to your seat and make sure you have a box of tissues handy.

*  This book was provided to me for free by Thomas Nelson for my honest review. 
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10.4.12

He Restores My Soul - Sleep

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.   - Psalm 127:2

I was about to wrap the book up when I realised that we haven’t discussed the most obvious rest that we all need daily which is of course sleep. 

The importance of sleep is often overlooked and I believe that if we fully understand the significance of a good night’s sleep we might make more of an effort to discipline ourselves in this area. It might sound silly that we need to make an effort to sleep well but few people actually have a healthy sleeping routine. We have been “fearfully and wonderfully made” and sleep is quite a miraculous part of God’s design indeed. "Sleep needs to be thought of in the same context as diet and exercise with regard to health," says Carl E. Hunt, M.D., director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research in Bethesda, Md. "There's no substitute for getting a good night's sleep on a consistent basis.... And when you don't, you pay a price."

Strange Things Can Occur
When a person is deprived of sleep, strange things begin to occur in their body. I heard of a man, whose girlfriend used lack of sleep as a manipulation tool. She kept him awake all hours over a period of a few weeks and by the end of this sleep deprivation, he had given her his entire life savings. It was as if he actually lost his mind. Once his friends intervened, she left him and his mental state returned to normal as soon as he had a good night’s sleep. His friends reported that during the weeks of sleep deprivation he began to act strangely and seemed quite depressed at times. 

Sleep restores energy to the body, particularly to the brain and nervous system. While we sleep all our bodily functions slow down significantly, including our heartbeat and breathing, this brings our body temperature down as well as our blood pressure. While all this slowing down is going on in the body during sleep, significant repair work and accelerated cell growth begins to take place. Sleep is the time when our body slows down in one area so it can speed up in another area, it slows down in using the bodies resources so it can speed up in rebuilding and repairing our body. 

It is truly fascinating what happens when we sleep which is why sleep is so important and why lack of sleep can damage both your physical and mental health. Sleeplessness has its most dramatic effect on the brain, which is why you can feel grumpy and moody from lack of sleep as well as unable to think clearly. Chronic sleep deprivation may lead to mental illness, obesity, heart disease and so much more.

Most adults need around eight hours of sleep a night, some a little more and others a little less but eight hours is a good guideline. Studies have shown that people who get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis tend to live longer and healthier lives than those who sleep too few or too many hours each night. For many years I struggled with sleeping, at first I found it difficult to fall asleep and later in life I found myself unable to stay asleep, I would wake up all through the night and never sleep solidly. This struggle led me to research and experiment with sleep, which led me to the following keys that helped me have better quality sleep.

Sleep Environment
Your bed must be for sleeping and relaxing only. In our home, we are very strict about our bedroom activities. Before this ‘rule’, we once had our office in our bedroom. Need I say any more! As you can imagine I would hop from my computer into bed and then would wonder why I struggled to fall asleep! It was like trying to sleep in an office, simply not the right environment at all. 

It was not long before my husband and I realised how harmful this setup was. Even though our bedroom was large enough to host our bed and an office area, we decided to move the office downstairs. We also removed all of my husband’s guitars and musical gear too as this was his job. Although music was a hobby, it was his profession too and so the guitars had to go. Lastly we removed all books that were work related so that all we were left with was bedroom furniture and a stunning, peaceful environment. My sleep greatly improved as a result of this simple change in environment. 

On particularly difficult nights when I cannot sleep, despite my lovely bedroom, I will listen to calm music to enhance the environment and many times even light candles to create more of a peaceful atmosphere. Having a separate place to work, eat, sleep, etc is essential to a good night’s sleep.

With laptops becoming more and more common in our homes, it is tempting to sit in bed and work, surf the internet, catch up on Facebook or watch movies. However, in many cases the computer is a work item and should not be in your bedroom. 


Sadly, modern living and technology has really damaged our health in more ways than we will ever know. Be wise and listen to what your body is saying to you, learn to know when you need to sleep and what time you need to wake up. Each person is different and each person will have a personal preference when it comes to their sleep pattern.

Sleep Comfort
Who can sleep well when they are uncomfortable? We spend about one-third of our lives in bed. By the time we are 60, we will have slept for an average of 20 years. Contrary to popular belief, your mattress is the most important piece of furniture in your home, as no item in your home will get more hours of use. No other piece of furniture contributes so directly to your health and well-being. If your mattress is more than 10 years old, if it has formed annoying peaks, valleys or lumps, or if you wake up stiff and sore, it is probably time for a new one.

The short of it is that your body needs a restful night's sleep in order to be fresh for the day ahead. The effects of poor sleep can have negative effects on memory, cognitive skills, digestion and potentially many other functions. A mattress that is worn out or poorly suited to your needs can cause you to lose valuable sleep. To the contrary, sleeping on the right mattress can help you sleep better.

Sleep Darkness
Creating a quiet, cool and dark sleep-only environment in which to sleep in is very important. Firstly, quiet affects your comfort and lack of quiet can keep you tossing and turning all night. Some people use things with a constant noise to generate ‘white noise’, especially if they aren’t able to have total silence where they sleep. The white noise helps to mute the other noises that would cause them to wake up or not be able to fall asleep. A ticking clock can be quite relaxing for some. 

My daughter loves the sound of her fish tank filter, which she has raised slightly above the water level, so that that she can hear the trickling sound of the water, which soothes her. Of course, what works for one person can be an annoyance for another. One of my friends always takes the clock out of the bedroom when she visits us, she simply cannot sleep with the sound of a ticking clock. Some people benefit from setting their radio between stations to generate white noise that soothes them to sleep, but that would not work for me.

Sleep Temperature
Your room temperature will also affect your comfort and so will the position that you sleep in. An ideal temperature for sleeping is 18.33 °C and you should not have too many blankets as this can disrupt your sleep too. For optimal comfort, when sleeping on your side, use a pillow between your knees to help keep the spine aligned and if you sleep on your back, use a pillow under your knees to take pressure off your lower back.

Finally, take care to wear comfortable nightclothes and sleep on a silk pillowcase. It has been proven that silk prevents aging! Studies have shown that amino acids can counter the effects of ageing, especially in the facial skin and can help calm the nervous system. Silk also contains natural cellular albumen, which helps speed up metabolism of skin cells – thus helping to reduce signs of ageing.

Unlike cotton (which is an absorbent fibre and draws moisture), silk will not absorb natural moisture from your face and hair. Silk is a natural heat regulator, maintaining the correct body temperature. It does not conduct heat or static electricity like other fibers. Heat is retained during cold temperatures and redundant heat is shed during warm temperatures, keeping your skin cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 


I found the information about silk, which I got from the Sleep 'n Beauty website, fascinating so I contacted them to ask if they would send me a set of their silk pillowcases to try out.  They were so lovely and sent me two of their beautiful silk pillowcases and I can honestly say that my skin and hair have never felt better.  When I lay my head on my pillow at night I feel so comfortable and sleep very well as a result.  I am quite certain that these lovely pillowcases will even reduce the amount of wrinkles that intend to pop up on my face in the future.  I highly recommend investing in a set of silk pillowcases.

This is a chapter snippet from He Restores My Soul.  Find out more about sleep food, sleep exercise, sleep thoughts and sleep routine - some of the other things that affect our rest in He Restores My Soul.    
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7.4.12

Nature's Way - Conditioner

Out of all my research conditioner has turned up as one of the most harmful of all the products we have looked at thus far. Even the children’s conditioners and some of the organic ones have shown cancer risks. 

Marianne Kapfer, a librarian in Washington, D.C., likes a natural look. She doesn't wear much makeup but loves to indulge in a good shampoo and conditioner. When she started reading labels more closely, however, "I realized that my 'natural' shampoo wasn't so natural," Marianne says. And that's not all. Due to labelling loopholes, many ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ personal-care products contain hazardous chemicals, some of which, at high exposures, have been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, damage to nervous and reproductive systems and liver damage in lab animals. 

Sadly, you cannot assume that a conditioner that says it’s ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ is safe. You either need to know your ingredients really well and scrutinise the labels or simply stick to ingredients from your fruit bowl or refrigerator. A great guideline is - if you won’t eat it don’t put it on your body. You skin absorbs everything so there is little difference between what you put into your body and what you put onto your body. Either way it is absorbed into your blood stream and distributed throughout your body. 

The following table shows the health concerns based on commonly used conditioner.


Nature’s Way Alternatives

Vinegar is the best conditioner and hair detangler. I have tried all sorts of natural conditioners but keep coming back to plain and simple white distilled vinegar. It’s cheap and works amazingly well on the whole family. The only thing I would say it that it does burn your eyes or open wounds. Take special care when using it on children as you don’t want to burn their eyes. The results are fantastic though, it cures dandruff and an itchy scalp and leaves you with a brilliant, natural shine. 

Another great alternative to vinegar is lemon juice. This has a similar effect to vinegar without the vinegar smell. These acids strengthen the hydrogen bonds in hair protein and help seal the outer layer of the cuticle. Lemon juice however, will lighten your hair over a long period of time where as vinegar will not have the same effect. Lemon juice is also great for washing your face, so you can allow it to run onto your face and do two things at once, but we will get to that in the next chapter.

Results:
• No dandruff or itchy scalp
• Save money
• Great shine
• No tangles
• No harmful chemicals

Cautions:
• Avoid contact with eyes
• Will sting open wounds but is not harmful to them
• Rinse vinegar well or you will smell like a fish and chips shop

NATURE’S WAY CONDITIONER

Ingredients: Vinegar

Method:  Pour undiluted distilled white vinegar into your hair. Massage gently into your scalp and rinse well.

More conditioner recipes:
There are many recipes available for more complex conditioners using natural ingredients, here are some examples:

Guar Gum Conditioner
• 1 cup water
• ⅛ teaspoon Guar Gum*
• 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil

Mix the Guar Gum into a paste by slowly adding small amounts of water. Once all the gum is mixed together slowly add the rest of the water. Next add the oil and either whisk or shake the container until the oil is mixed well. Store this conditioner in the fridge for us up one month. Use as conditioner and either rinse out or leave in. 

Aloe Vera and Lemon Conditioner
• ¼ cup Aloe Vera gel
• Juice from ½ lemon

Apply to washed hair, leave it in for five minutes and then rinse.
Alternatively, rub a small amount of Aloe Vera gel into your hair as a leave in conditioner.

Honey Conditioner
• Mix equal parts of honey and water.

Work the mixture through your hair and then rinse with warm water. Several rinses may be necessary to remove the honey but the result will be incredible soft and silky hair. Manuka honey is best and it has been said that it can even help with hair loss problems by rejuvenating the scalp and encourage hair growth over time.

Beer Conditioner
• 1 cup flat beer

After shampooing, pour the beer through your hair and let it sit for a few minutes. Massage your scalp gently and make sure the beer touches the roots of your hair. Rinse very well or your hair will smell like beer. The proteins and sugars in the beer will strengthen the keratin in your hair and give it a fantastic shine. To get rid of the shine you could give your hair a rinse with an essential oil or boil some mint in some water and when it has cooled rinse you hair with the minty water.

Coconut Milk Leave in Conditioner
• Coconut Milk

Towel dry your hair and then shake the coconut milk before you use it as it usually comes separated. Pour a little coconut milk into your palms and work it through your hair. Be careful not to use too much as your hair will go greasy. It is a bit messy to apply though, so do it over a sink or before you get out if the shower.

Now it's your turn.
If you have any conditioner recipes that work well, please share them with us.  Find out more about Nature's Way here
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4.4.12

He Restores My Soul - Stillness

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul”                                                           - David, Psalm 23:2-3

It was with great conviction, a few years ago, that I felt God calling me to still waters. He had called me so that I would know that He is God and so that He could restore my soul. Understanding the seasons in my life has been an essential key to my survival and to my joy in this life. I have found that many people love being called to busyness and to do things for God but few people love being called to the still seasons. Most people completely avoid God's call to be still. I have been guilty of this in past times but not on this occasion. Excitement filled me as I contemplated the beautiful green pastures that He would lead me to. The thought of rest and some time out actually thrilled me.

Be still, and know that I am God;...         - Psalm 46:10

...He leads me beside the still waters.       - Psalm 23:2

Practically though, what does this look like in life? STOP! That's the first thing that stillness meant to me. I had to stop saying yes to everything and everyone and just take time out to be still. Being a pastor is not a neatly packaged job, the need in the church and in the community is always much greater that the time or resources that the church has available. Stopping was not a simple, clean cut thing to do, a great deal of what had to be stopped required a process. Identifying what I needed to stop was step one but step two was to figure out how I could stop practically. Dropping the ball was not an option in many areas of my church work. I had to find someone to train and hand over much of my workload to.

The Power Of Our Choice
I committed to the journey and aimed towards a season of stillness. Gradually I managed to stop most of my church duties, keeping only a few duties were genuinely essential at that time. Another very important step was to stop feeling the pressure to be highly productive and achieve all the time. The focus of the season was to rest and my only focus was to find ways to rest each day. Does that sound boring? Well it did to me, especially after being constantly on the go for years. 

Boredom results only if you don't understand the season you are in but if you embrace the stillness, and adjust your mind accordingly, it is wonderful. How we feel can always be controlled by the power of our choice. If you think bored you will feel bored but if you choose to set your mind to think peace then you will feel peaceful. 

The season of stillness brought me more time with my children, times of simply hanging out in the garden, playing with frogs and ladybirds. It also gave me more time to try out new recipes and bake more cakes with the children. I did things that I didn’t usually have time for, like mooching around town to do some random shopping.... something that I would not usually do. Shopping was usually scheduled as part of a busy day and had to be done in the shortest possible time. Most importantly it gave me time to linger in God's presence. Often I would find myself rambling off my long list of prayers and then running off to do the next task on my day plan. In the season of stillness I found that I could linger for hours just sitting in His presence – it was almost like having a holiday with Jesus. 

Was I being lazy? No! That is the biggest trap of all and it is all in our mind. In the past I would feel lazy when I attempted to have a still season and the guilt drove me back to busyness. Guilt was superseded by constant nagging thoughts of “what will they think”. People pleasing was one of my weaknesses and I did fear that people would find out that I had not accepted an invitation in order to do nothing. When declining an invitation I merely said ‘I can’t’ rather than the usual ‘I am busy’. Everything in me needed to justify why I was unable to accept an invitation but I knew that simply saying, “I can’t” would suffice. My reasons were my business after all. 

Laying awake at night, tossing and turning, I realised that I had a long way to go in order to get to green pastures and still waters. As I contemplated this new season of being still I realised that there was another layer to this concept and that was being quiet. In order to fully reap the benefits of this awesome season I needed to quieten my mind from all distractions, from all the things that kept me awake at night. On top of that I also needed to literally be quiet - not talk. Quieting my thoughts required disciplining my mind to think of other things. Instead of meditating on the work I had to do, I needed to intentionally force my mind to ponder on more peaceful things. I am the sort of person that is on the go all the time which is why I have to have seasons of rest. My mind needs to rest, my body needs to rest and my spirit needs to rest and to be in God's presence.

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.     
 - Proverbs 21:23

Quieting my mouth was another challenge for me. There are times to be bold and say things that needed to be said and there are times to simply be quiet. I felt God was challenging me to go one step further and be quiet in my season of stillness. Where I would usually have had a lot to say I should say a little, and where I would usually speak bold words I should speak no words. Apparently this would keep my soul from troubles, what a sobering thought. 

And so I attempted to be still in my body, mind and soul. It was a wonderful time of refreshing where I did less in order to be more effective in what I did do. I also learned the value of saying less as most of what I usually said wasn’t really necessary. The Bible has a lot to say about this but sadly few of us ever master speaking less. Worst of all is that when the Bible does mention speaking less it also mentions the consequences of not speaking less. Let me list a few of these verses for you:

The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
 - Proverbs 10:8

Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.
 - Proverbs 10:10

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.                                
 - Matthew 12:36

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. - Proverbs 15:28

Give Your Tongue A Break
The list could go on and on. The Bible also mentions that you should not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen . Now I don’t know about you but I struggled with this one. Most of the time I talk because I have something to say, because I want to be heard or because I want to get something off my chest. 

The thought of talking only to build others up according to their needs and for their benefit was a challenge. I accepted the challenge though. If God wanted me to be still then I would do my best to be still. If God wanted me to be quiet then I would do my best to be quiet. After some time of practising to bite my tongue I noticed something interesting. I felt more peaceful. In fact, when I gave my tongue a break I actually noticed that I was able to hear the Holy Spirit’s promptings more clearly. 

This is a chapter snippet from He Restores My Soul.  Find out more about all the different ways to be still including the fascinating benefits of failure in He Restores My Soul.
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2.4.12

Being a Wife - Who Desires God

I came across a fantastic article by Wendy Alsup that totally demystified Genesis 3:16 for me for once and for all. So with her permission I have included her article here so that you too can enjoy the revelation that I had. So without further ado, over to Wendy:

After the fall of man, God is very clear in Genesis 3:16 about the consequences for women.

To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."

Conservative, complementarian evangelicals (of which I am one) regularly interpret the next to last line to mean that her desire will be to rule over her husband. But that simply is not what Scripture says. And before you label me liberal (and it’s amazing these days what can get you labelled that way), hear me out. If we can think about this topic anew, I think those who minister to women will be better equipped to apply the gospel to the core places in women’s hearts affected by depravity. So let’s consider the particular consequence of the fall of man that a woman’s desire will be for her husband. 

Similar phrases are used in Genesis 4:7 and Song of Solomon 7:10.

Genesis 4:7 “… And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."

Song of Solomon 7:10 “I am my beloved's, And his desire is for me.”

The argument used by some for interpreting Genesis 3:16 to mean foremost a desire to dominate the husband is that Genesis 4:7 could be read that sin’s desire is against us, to dominate over us. But that argument is undermined by Song of Solomon 7:10. There the phrase means exactly what a straightforward reading of it indicates. His desire is for her. I believe Genesis 3:16 should be read exactly as it says—her desire will be for her husband. Plain and simple. No contortions needed to accurately discern what God is saying here. 

Though some argue that the word “for” could be translated “against,” no Bible translation (that I could find) says her desire is “against” her husband. They all say her desire is “for” her husband. Apparently, no translation team thought “against” was the best meaning of that term. It doesn’t make sense to say “desire against.” The problem with our desires is always that they are either FOR the wrong thing or FOR the right thing but out of proportion to what is appropriate. 

The word for “desire” in Genesis 3:16 can mean craving or longing. The issue is best understood if we make the simple substitution of God for her husband. Her desire SHOULD BE for her God. Instead, her desire/craving/longing is misplaced. The curse is not that women want to dominate the men in their lives. Women’s problem is that they worship the men in their lives and look to them for affirmation and provision emotionally and spiritually for things that God alone is supposed to provide. Their problem is IDOLATRY. 

If you think that the foundational result of the fall of man in the average woman’s life is a desire to dominate, your ministry is going to miss … well … the vast majority of problems in a woman’s life. Certainly, I know my fair share of dominating, manipulative, control freakish women (of which I am often chief), but our problem goes much deeper than the symptomatic issue of control. We are idolaters! We looked to men to meet a need they couldn’t meet—emotionally, spiritually, physically. And instead of recognizing our sovereign, compassionate, and wise Father in heaven as the place to which we should have looked, we started looking within ourselves once the men in our lives disappointed us. Control tactics aren’t the manifestation of an innate desire to dominate the men in our lives. Instead, we resort to manipulation and control because we longed too hard to rest in the men in our lives. We grasp and clamour, “Lead me spiritually. Provide for me physically. Affirm me emotionally.” And when they can’t or don’t, then we attempt to lead ourselves spiritually, provide for ourselves physically, and seek outside affirmation for ourselves emotionally. Instead, we don’t need to change our desire or craving. We simply need to change the object of it. 

God, I need you to meet the spiritual void in my life! “Certainly, child. I will not leave you as an orphan. I have sent my Spirit to bring to your remembrance all I have taught you, for apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15

God, provide for me physically! “You can trust me, child. Do not worry for your physical needs. As I provide for the birds and flowers, I will provide for you.” Matthew 5-7

God, I need help emotionally! “Yes, child. Meditate on all I have declared over you through Christ. You have received the full rights of a child of the King (Galatians 4:5). I will receive you one day into my arms with the affirmation, ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’ Find joy and rest in Me.”
We are not going to really understand how the gospel equips us reclaim God’s image in us as His daughters until we understand clearly what our problem is. I can’t emphasize strongly enough that the problem in women created by the fall is deeper than control and domination. It may play out that way in some women, but it doesn’t play out that way in all women. There certainly is a battle between the sexes as a result of the fall, but it is often one-sided. For every controlling, manipulative, take-charge woman (who tends to be out there in front of us all), there are 5 pathetic doormats (hidden in the shadowy corners of life) waiting desperately for crumbs from porno guy’s table. They’ll do whatever it takes—perform demeaning sexual acts, sacrifice the hearts of their children to an abuser, and other unimaginable acts of desperation—like a prisoner chained in a cell lapping water that spills out the toilet because he’s dying of thirst. This insatiable craving is an issue of worship and idolatry. Apart from Christ, our tendency after the fall is to set up men as being able to meet needs in us that only God can meet, and there is no limit to how desperate we can become. 

Women often perceive weakness or strength among each other by how they react when men fail them. The perceived strong feminist woman is the one who doesn’t need men. She can do it on her own. The perceived weak woman is the one who continues to follow loser men around like a whipped puppy. In contrast, in Christ, we have a new and different way altogether. The woman bought by Christ who is set up as God’s honoured daughter with full access to the King of kings has her needs met in Him. God pours into her. God equips her. God satisfies her emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. Then and only then can she let go of her perceived rights and be the helper to her male counterpart that God created her to be. 

In Sacred Influence, Gary Thomas begins his encouragement to wives by thoroughly fleshing out all we have in Christ as His daughters. Thomas makes a point that it isn’t until we get our identity in Him that we can deal with what God requires of us in marriage. The good news of the gospel is that Christ has paved the way for us to boldly come to our Father’s throne room in heaven to find spiritual empowerment, physical help, and emotional affirmation. God’s help and affirmation are real and effective. He will meet the void in your heart that years of looking to men have never filled. Come boldly to Him in confidence and find grace and mercy at the points of your deepest longings today, for apart from Him, you can do nothing. 

Find out more about Being a Wife here or about using our material to host your own Girl's Night here
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