Antioch Urban Sisterhood

The Women's Ministry of Antioch Church in Downtown Dallas, Texas. Our Vision
(Ephesians 3:17-19): That through faith in Christ, women, as they are rooted and established in love, may have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Operating as usual

10/26/2021

God is always good.
He always tells the truth.
He wants what’s best for you.
You can trust Him.

I stood in the front yard waiting for the yelling to stop before I went back inside. Dad had been drinking again, and Mom was screaming at the top of her lungs.

Why couldn’t he see how afraid I was? Why did he drink? Why did Mom yell? Why did they fight? After 17 years of these volcanic outbursts, you’d think I’d be used to it. But they always took me by surprise.

The day after one of their fights came with many tears and promises. “I’ll never do it again,” Dad said. “I am so sorry.”

But there was always a next time. I learned I couldn’t trust him.

Unfortunately, when I became a Christian, I had a difficult time trusting my heavenly Father as well.

Once we grasp the truth of God’s amazing love for us, we come to the next question: Can I trust Him? Can I trust God with my hopes and fears, days and years?

When we understand the depth of His love, the answer is always “yes.” Perfect love drives away all fear, kicks it out the door, and gives it the boot (found in today’s key verse, 1 John 4:18). I love how the Amplified, Classic translation expounds on 1 John 4:18:

“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]” (AMPC).

When I became a Christian, I could relate to the rejected Jesus and easily accept the indescribable gift He gave. I marveled at God’s love. But trusting my heavenly Father with my hopes and dreams? That was a different story. For the longest time, when conflicts arose, I became that teenage girl looking in the crowd for a daddy who wasn’t there. Could I trust this heavenly Father? I wasn’t so sure.

But one day, God spoke to my heart in a poignant way. Take your earthly father’s face off of Mine, He seemed to say. I am not like your earthly father. I am your heavenly Father. You can trust Me.

Here’s what I learned about God:
God is always good.
He always tells the truth.
He wants what’s best for me.
I can trust Him.

It’s easy to trust God when life is good. But when a child rebels, the bank account dwindles, or the biopsy says the tumor is malignant, we wonder: Is God really good? We know in our heads He is, but the heart struggles to believe. The enemy of this world peddles the lie that God is not good — that He’s holding out on us. That’s the same lie he told Eve in the garden of Eden: God is holding out on you. You can’t trust Him. You will not die if you ignore His direction.

Then disappointment hits, and the devil says, “Told you so.”

Life is filled with disappointments. And during those times of disappointment, the enemy sows seeds of distrust with thoughts of mistrust.

Disappointment and discouragement become the breeding ground for Satan’s lies to take root.

During the years I struggled with infertility, the enemy continually taunted me with lies. God doesn’t love you, he whispered. If He loved you He would give you a child. You can’t trust Him with your heart. You can’t trust Him with your deepest longings.

When we lost our second child from a miscarriage, the enemy pestered me again: How could God let this happen? How could He break your heart like this? How could a loving God allow such pain?

Have you ever felt that way? I think most of us have heard those lies at one time or another. But the truth is, if God says no in one area of our lives, it’s because He has a greater yes in another.

Can you imagine how the disciples felt as the stone rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb? How could this happen? Where is God? But three days later when Jesus rose from the grave, they knew the answer: God had a greater plan.

No matter what you’re going through today, know this: God has a great plan for you, and you can trust Him.

10/20/2021

Yes, even when we don't see it, He's working. He is always with us and said He would never leave or forsake us.

Dear Lord, I praise Your name. I exalt Your name forever. Even though I may not understand what is going on in my life, I trust that You are good and Your plans are good. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

10/13/2021

One day, it will all make sense. Until then … we trust. And when we have faith to keep our eyes open during the dark times, God will scatter moments of sudden glory where we sense His presence like stars in the inky sky. We hold fast and continue following Jesus — even when we aren't sure where that may lead.

Lord, help me not miss the glory moments in the difficulties of life. I know diamonds show up best on black velvet. Help me see Your glory on the background of dark circumstances.

Read more > sharonjaynes.com/youre-going-hard-time-dont-understand

09/30/2021

Just what I needed to hear. Words of wisdom for us all.

I’ve been pretty quiet lately.

If I’m transparent, it’s because life has been incredibly and unbelievably, full.

Full of answered prayers.

Full of overwhelming moments.

Full of shifting seasons and transitions.

And can I be honest and say that despite how much I love the fun, foolery, and fellowship on social media, sometimes it’s just too much?

Too much information.

Too many opinions.

And too much pressure to be, do, or share.

Sometimes my soul needs stillness and silence more than it needs to be social.

Every now and then, it’s just good to be quiet. The world can be a noisy place and sometimes, I need to sit down, breathe deep, and listen well for the pulse of the girl in me.

She needs time and space to sort things out. She knows that her words often need to take a back seat so that her emotions can be front and center, seen and acknowledged, examined and understood. She gives herself grace.

I know that for many of us, myself included, life has been (and still is) busy, bustling, and filled to the brim.

From school starting to navigating all things COVID to juggling home, work, and ministry responsibilities to trying to find quiet moments of stillness for self-care…

LIFE. IS. FULL.

Whatever season you are in, my hope is that you will make room for you, see God provide for you in wonderful ways, and have the strength you need, the margin you desire, and the direction you crave to live your one very precious beautiful life well.

Embrace kindness, compassion, self-acceptance, authenticity as your companions and give yourself the grace and the space to do what you need to do, how you need to do it, when you need to do it, for as long as you need to do it.

While the world does it’s best to dictate the rhythm to which we should run, the best cadence of our walk through this life is usually birthed from quiet, private conversations between you and your God.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to be quiet and still sometimes.

And while I’ve often been tempted to worry that the world will pass me by, I’ve learned that the world will be there waiting when I’m ready.

So give yourself grace my friend.

We’ll wait.

💛

#chrystalschronicles

09/28/2021

The power of prayer! Don't stop praying for those lost ones in your life.

Allan was a tough man. Raised by a single mom with five siblings, he learned how to scrap his way through life and climb to the top of humanity’s heap through sheer determination and grit.

He married at nineteen, had his first son at twenty, then a baby girl at twenty-five. Over the next two decades he advanced from driving a delivery truck at a lumberyard to becoming part owner of a building supply company.

Allan drank heavily, fought with his wife verbally and physically, and terrorized his children emotionally. He gambled, dabbled in pornography, and had questionable relationships laced with a host of unsavory vices.

But when his teenage daughter gave her life to Jesus and began praying for her family, God grabbed the chisel of grace and began chipping away at Allan’s proud heart of stone. One day he told her, “I’ll go to church with you from time to time, but I could never become a Christian. I’ve done too many horrible things in my life. God could never forgive me. I could never be good enough.”

His daughter explained that no one could ever be good enough. If we could, then Jesus wouldn’t have had to die on the cross to pay for our sins. But Allan couldn’t wrap his mind around that kind of grace.

When Allan was forty-six years old, his life took several hairpin troublesome turns. Because of a business deal gone terribly wrong, he was sued for breach of contract and breaking a no compete clause with a former employer.

Allan teetered on the brink of a nervous breakdown. From man’s perspective, it appeared he was on the verge of losing it all. From God’s perspective, Allan was right where he needed to be.

It was that year that Allan met a Christian man, a pastor, who had done everything he had done, and yet knew the forgiveness of Jesus. Through this man, Allan gave his life to Christ. The way Allan later explained what happened that day was this: “That man had done everything I had done. I knew that if God could forgive him and he could be a pastor, then God could forgive me too.”

Allan was my dad.

From my earliest years as a Christian, I experienced the power of prayer to change a man’s life—to strengthen a man’s resolve, to protect a man’s heart, and to mature a man’s faith. My firsthand encounter with God’s faithfulness to hear our pleas for the men in our lives began with my father and continues with my husband and son.

James tells us, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16 NLT). The Amplified Version says it this way: The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) is able to accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].

As a praying woman, you have the power to open the floodgates of heaven through prayer on behalf of your husband, your son, your daughter, and your friends.

09/17/2021

So true!

Until you understand that you are God's masterpiece, made in His image, you'll never be content with the features He's given you.

Do you believe you are a happenstance mixture of your parents' genes, or do you believe you were intentionally woven and knitted together by God with a specific design in mind?

What we believe about our origin greatly affects what we believe about our destiny.

You want to know the best beauty secret ever? You won't find it in a spa, at the cosmetic counter at the mall, or in a makeover article in a magazine. You will find it in the Word of God.

We become more and more beautiful every time we sit at Jesus's feet. "We, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18)."

{From Enough by Sharon Jaynes. Learn more here > bit.ly/2AJz94g

09/08/2021

Amen!

What is God asking you to do today?

Don't be overwhelmed by the task before you. All He asks you to do is obey today! God will renew your strength, and your work will be more profound than ever before. Just stay focused on Him as you walk in obedience and aim to please Him every day.

08/31/2021

Blessings on this last day of August 2021!

My mom wore a two-carat diamond necklace that hung from a gold chain around her neck. My dad had given it to her for an anniversary. Before you say, “Good for her,” keep reading.

One day, when she was shopping in my little hometown, she walked through an alley separating two buildings. This spunky seventy-something year old held several packages and her purse looped over her wrist.

About midway through the alley, three teenage boys on bicycles circled her like buzzards over roadkill. One hopped off his bike and grabbed at her necklace. The others continued circling and keeping watch.

But rather than give the would-be-robber what he wanted, mom dropped her packages and began hitting the boy over the head with her purse. I kid you not. Who knew people really did that?

She was so mad; she took a few swings at the other boys as well.

“You get out of here you little rascal!” she yelled. “Leave me alone! I’m going to get you, you little…” Truth be known, she probably yelled some words that I will not include in today’s devotion.

I think the guys were so startled that she fought back; they got on their bicycles and scurried away.

A few months later, mom took the two-carat diamond into the jewelers for cleaning. After close inspection he dropped his head and said, “Mrs. Edwards, I don’t know how to tell you this, but this diamond isn’t real. It’s a fake.”

A fake!

We’re not sure what happened. We’re not sure if my dad had been tricked and thought it was real, or if he knew it was a fake all along. He was already in heaven, so we couldn’t ask. (I bet my mom did when she got there though.)

Here’s what I learned that day.
What we believe to be true affects the way we act and react. Personally. Spiritually. Emotionally.

For example: What do we believe about the Bible? What do we believe about this book written over a period of 1500 years with several different men holding the pen?

First, we must decide if we believe the Bible is true. Our eternal destiny depends on that one decision because of how we respond to it. For example, is Jesus Who the Bible says He is? Will we accept Him or reject Him?

Secondly, if we do believe the Bible is true, then we can let the Bible define and defend itself.

Paul states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV). The Greek word for “God-breathed” or as some translations say, “breathed out” is “theopneustos,” which means “inspired by God” or literally the very “breath of God.”

Some translations use the word, “inspired,” but it’s so much more! Inspired sounds like creative impulse. God-breathed means that every word in the original text of the Bible originated in the heart of God and was breathed into the heart of man so that they could write down exactly what God wanted to communicate.

2 Peter 1:20-21 says it this way: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (NIV).

So, here’s what I’m asking us to think about today. Do I really believe that the Bible is true…all of it? Or do I just like to pick out verses that make me feel better or support what I want to believe and do anyway?

Oh sister, I am so convicted and convinced today. God’s Word is true. How it must break God’s heart when His people ignore parts of The Truth that don’t align with what they want to be true.

But let’s go back to the alley. Three strapping teenage boys, in a secluded alley, were no match for my momma, but she should have never fought back. She could have been stabbed, shot, beaten, or killed. And for what? A fake diamond. Something that wasn’t true.

However, when it comes to the Word of God, it is not a fake that we wear around our necks in the form of a cross. It is real. It is true. I’d give my life for it. I stake my life on it.

08/21/2021

So good! Don't do it!

When we think of spiritual giants, those women who seem to have used every drop of their lives to serve Jesus fearlessly, we believe they somehow got a special dose of courage to do all that God has called them to.

In reality, they are just women that listened to the calling and pressed forward regardless of their fears. Perhaps the highest discipline and rhythm we can cultivate in our lives is a spirit that is willing to press into fear and do it anyway.

08/16/2021

Lysa TerKeurst, Live & In-Person on 9/1

This should be good. She's a great speaker!

08/12/2021

Listen: you’ve got to keep going.
You're not too far behind.
You're not too late.
His Kingdom is Upside Down and He makes your part large and lovely and needed and art.
He's got you right on time.
Trusting God means trusting His timing.
He's got the hands of the clock and He's got you in His hands.

"The Lord replied: “Look, and be amazed! You will be astounded at what I am about to do!" Habbakuk 1:5 NLT

You’ve never missed the boat when you’re holding onto the Lord.

#TheBrokenWay #TheWayOfAbundance

07/26/2021

These gifted and anointed sisters carrying on their mother, Lois Evans, legacy and her Desperate For Jesus Conference.

GUESS WHAT?
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#DFJ2021 is over but ITS NOT REALLY OVER!
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While the conference aired this weekend, it’s still online and available for you to watch!

Desperate for Jesus is the women’s conference hosted by my home church @ocbfchurch. We have been hosting it in-person for years and are so excited to share it with you online!
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If you didn’t catch it live this weekend, you can still watch!
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Go to DFJconference.com for the deets!
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The worship, teaching, and encouragement is life-changing. Watch and then be sure to share!

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Our Day Retreat at Prayer Mountain is just two weeks away! Be sure to sign up in the lobby at Antioch or by emailing Emi...

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