Blog Archives - Pearls of Promise

The Steady Foundation by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I have these bar stools situated near my kitchen. They look good, but I put them together over a year ago, and question their stability. We were having an event in our house (pre-Covid) and my husband was out of town so I took care of the assembly myself, even though the task was overwhelming. I was determined to have the new stools for the party! I realize now that I should have hired a handyman or some kind of an expert to put the furniture together because this type of construction is not my gift. Some parts did not go together right. I forced others, but in the end, this over achiever put the chairs together—yes—but to this day I never sit on them because I know the foundation is a little shaky.

This analogy made me think about our spiritual lives and the foundation we’ve laid. In the midst of the continuing Pandemic, and with word that there are new strains of the virus popping up worldwide, is our construction strong enough to endure added turmoil? What are we doing to shore up our spiritual strength on a daily basis?

The answer is that Jesus is our firm foundation. In Luke 6:47-49, Jesus said, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

So what does it look like to build a solid foundation? First of all, we need to give our whole being to the expert builder, instead of trying to do life in our own strength. We have an incomplete skill set without Him. Now, more than ever I wake up in the morning and immediately thank the LORD for another day, acknowledge His all encompassing greatness, then worship Him. I also ask Him to provide the strength I need because it’s not easy right now. I want to be more like Jesus.

How did He treat people?

How did He handle crisis?

What was His primary mission?

The only way we can know this is to study His life in the gospels. And most importantly, I desire to stay connected 24/7, seeing all that is going on through His eyes rather than my own. I want to provide hope to others even when hope seems far removed. We can only be lights in the world if we fill ourselves with the light of Christ.

So on what kind of foundation do you have? Maybe you look good on the outside, but inside the parts are not connecting, creating instability. Is the blueprint your own or are you surrendering to the Master Builder? It’s not too late to pour the slab.  

“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Inner Warrior by Lara Uselding Ingram

Picture it. A mom lugging a diaper bag and a baby carseat with a kid and bringing out another toddler to the car. Warrior.

A more mature woman helping nurse her elderly parent. Warrior.

A single woman being a shoulder to cry on for a friend, or an aunt to her nieces and nephews. Warrior.

A retired woman who spends her time volunteering to mentor younger women. Warrior.

A single Mom who has lost her job and discovers her child has a health issue but keeps up the fight. Warrior.

A recent widow stands with her arms raised during worship in front of her kids and grandkids at her husband’s memorial after he suddenly passed from COVID. WARRIOR.

Wonder Woman looks good on the big screen and I’m so glad they gave Linda Carter a cameo appearance in the recently released big screen movie. However, I see real life wonder women everyday as I’m sure you do. 

Doctors, Physician Assistants and Nurses come to mind. My family members and friends are warriors serving in the medical field. In the past year, we have collectively grown in appreciation for them and many others. I think about teachers, daycare workers, and counselors. These women help us do our job to raise little humans.

By “warrior” I mean that we are strong, brave, nurturing, passionate, and relentless in our pursuit to care for one another. 

What would the world be without women? It wouldn’t survive.

There is no day off. Women care for the family and the elderly as well as for one another. We are the social ones who look in on neighbors, host parties and call on the downtrodden. 

There is nothing short of awe-inspiring respect and admiration due women for all that goes on in caring for another human being.

Here’s to all the women out there who are, or have been mothers. To those who may not have biological children, but who have taken on the role of mother to love and care for another. I’m so proud to be on this side of the gene pool and walk among the women warriors. 

There is nothing like being a mother and watching a little human grow in personality and develop in physique and speech. The selfless and constant giving and taking care of children is something to be truly admired. I have a brand new appreciation being on this side of womanhood as a mother.

It makes me take note and think back on all the women who were around me in my early years and now as an adult. I would not be who I am or have accomplished all I have done without women at each stage of my life. I have been encouraged, counseled, held, helped, housed, fed, taught and nurtured by women.

I just want you to simply be reminded of how great of an inner warrior you have! We have so much love to give. If you ever feel you are running short or have hit a wall, Jesus is always the fuel.

Even after all these years, I am learning more about what it really means to have Jesus. He lives in us and does for us. “And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” (Acts 17:25–28).

When it feels like we are running on empty or tired of giving, STOP DROP AND LET GO! Haha. Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Remember this, you are not alone in this world. When the inner warrior needs to be the nurtured, you have that!!! 

“For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10)

He’s got you and me! He is not surprised nor can He not handle anything on our plate. 

And let us not give up. In his Christmas message at Gateway Church, special guest Max Lucado said, “We are lights to a broken, hurting world. Don’t give up!”

Let’s celebrate together that God gave us such love and compassion to share. Be blessed my fellow Warrior Women.

Rest in Him. Rest precious Warrior. 

Power Over Fear by Dr. Lynnette Simm

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Margaret Feinberg wrote in her book, More Power to You, that “power awaits in believing, speaking, sharing, and declaring the transformative truth of God’s Word…[because] when you acknowledge your fears in light of God’s truth, you gain the confidence to move forward in spite of your fears, thus undoing fear’s enslaving power.”

The Lord commands, warns, and soothes us all 365 times in scripture to not be afraid, fear not, fear no evil. As we continue to struggle through our daily lives, I am excited with hope and filled with peace because I know who is in control. I know my path has been perfectly laid out before me. I will not worry about the mistakes I will make because I know my Heavenly Father will teach me with each step and misstep. 

Each of us have the power to take control of our lives with gratitude, positivity, and grace that we extend to ourselves and to others. Our lives can be riddled with fear, or we can take the power that we have been given with our words and the Word of God and transform stress into opportunity and worry into gratitude. I choose to use my power for good. How about you? 

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Starlet Bell
Carole Brewer

Need a spiritual lift? We’d love for you to join us for our next POP Chat, Wednesday, January 27th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST. Our guest speaker is former Principal, Current Life Coach and Ministry Leader, Starlet Bell, and her topic is “Praying and Fasting for a Turnabout Year.” Our guest Worship Leader is Author, Singer-Songwriter and “Bible Chicks” Podcast Host, Carole Brewer. It’s one hour of Worship, Teaching, Discussion and Prayer. The entire Pearls of Promise Team will be there as well! Here’s the link to sign up:

https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

“Greater” by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I love watching movies, especially those with a powerful message, and this week, I found the movie Greater on Netflix. It’s a sports flick that has been out for a few years, but somehow I missed it. It drew me for a number of reasons. The story is about a young man of faith, Brandon Burlsworth, who had a dream of playing football for the University of Arkansas but was a long shot as a walk-on. My youngest son attended the University of Arkansas. Burlsworth started out at a disadvantage with an alcoholic father and was fat and too short to be a lineman for a Division 1 program. His family did not have the money to send him to college, so he desperately needed a scholarship after the first year.

#21 waiting for the rebound

While I wasn’t overweight, this scenario is eerily similar to my own. I had no father and a mother who struggled emotionally. There was only enough money for one year of college and I was first, a walk-on volleyball player but quit, then I walked-on to the basketball team and made the team. After my college money ran out, I did not know what I’d do after that.

No one thought Burlsworth would succeed, but he worked harder than others, survived the verbal abuse and taunting of his teammates, and made the Razorbacks football team.

What’s important to remember is that Burlsworth never wandered from his faith as he strove to reach his goal, and I believe God gave him favor because of his stand for righteousness. It was through that dedication, he drew his teammates to the LORD, then led the the University of Arkansas to a conference championship in the 98-99 season. He also made All-American and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the NFL Draft. In addition, Burlsworth was an academic scholar and completed his Master’s Degree prior to graduation.

As I reflected on the movie, I thought of the verse that has replayed lately in my studies, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (NLT). It’s so simple. If we seek God first, all the other stuff will fall in place. He will provide the desires of our hearts. God is good like that.

However, Brandon Burlsworth suffered a tragic ending. On his way back to his hometown in Arkansas, his car collided with an 18-wheeler and he was killed before he could ever play a down in professional football. And like many of us when someone is taken too young, we ask, “Why LORD?” “Why would you take such a light for you in this world?”

I don’t have the answer except that Burlsworth’s legacy and story lives on, even in death. There’s a Brian Burlsworth trophy that is given to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on, and according to the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, since 1999, hundreds of Burlsworth scholarships have been awarded at the University of Arkansas. Each year $5,000 scholarships are awarded to 13 or more students who are characterized as “academic overachievers.”

Burlsworth’s life inspired me, as I am also a hopeless over-achiever, but confess I did not work as hard as he did when I was in college. He truly strived to be “greater,” not only in football and academics, but also as a disciple of our Great and Loving God. And my hope is that as Brandon Burlsworth’s legacy lives on, so will his testimony of faith.

Giant Slayer by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I wanted some help this morning.

I have been bombarded with phone messages, mostly fake news, about things that are happening in the country. While there is certainly unrest, my mind is pulled in different directions by what appears to be fictitious scenarios. There have been rumors of martial law and warnings that we should stock our pantry. Last night we waited to see a certain television broadcast that never happened. False information.

This morning, needing to move back to center, I worshipped God through the song, Champion by Bethel. I placed the focus on the true victor, the one who holds our country in His hands, Almighty God.

You are our champion. Giants fall when you stand undefeated.

Things are a mess right now and what is going on is a giant, but I am trusting in the giant slayer.

And if we are shaking with worry or angst about anything, we have to move back to our sturdy foundation Jesus, who will provide what is needed to endure or defeat whatever giant we face. Scripture says we must keep “our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus says when we are thirsty for truth or peace, we can come to Him for a drink, and this living water, the Holy Spirit, will comfort us in the midst of uncertainty. He is our champion.

What is your giant that needs to be slayed today?  Do you long for hope? Just remember that there is no other Champion like God and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He can take down any giant that threatens to defeat you. It’s a promise.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of Heaven and Earth” (Psalm 121:1–2)

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