Archive | November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are visions of sugarplums already dancing in your head?   We haven’t celebrated “Turkey Day” yet, but Christmas arrives early, doesn’t it!?    Tis the season to gather together with family and friends ~ those who love you and whom you love. Tis the season for expressing gratitude to God for all of His provisions.  It is so good to give thanks!


“Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices!”


Officers, Soldiers, and friends of our Army are in the throes of Christmas preparations.  Thank goodness for the reminder to give thanks in the middle of all this busy-ness!  Will you pray that Thanksgiving’s interruption will be a time for reflection and renewal for us all?   Everyone needs  it!

God may want to bless you in a brand new way this Thanksgiving.  He is full of surprises!  In recent months I have been God-surprised by street people.  The homeless. It is startling and beautiful to see the glory of God in the eyes of His children who are weather worn and beaten down by life, but lifted up by God’s Holy Spirit!   It is a revelation.  And revelation is God’s specialty.   Ask Him to surprise you and see what happens.   You will be surprised by joy in the people around you.

Perhaps someone reading this needs a personal revelation.   Discouraged? Faithless?  Self-absorbed?   Cantankerous?  Anxious?  Lonely?  Bitter?  Depressed?  Fearful?  Overwhelmed?  Lonely?  Distraught?  Unhappy?   Well then, try this antidote:  Practice recognizing God.

Ask Him to help you see Him in others, in your circumstances, and where you cannot see, to trust.    You will begin to find yourself in alert expectancy.   You will begin to see opportunities to bless someone else with God’s love.   And suddenly you will recognize that God has provided.   He is so faithful.   That’s a promise.

Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it!

I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are.  I’ll never quit telling the story of your love.”

Psalm 89 The Message

Questions for your Quiet Time
1. Are you  Discouraged? Faithless?  Self-absorbed?   Cantankerous?  Anxious?  Lonely?  Bitter?  Depressed?  Fearful?  Overwhelmed?  Lonely?  Distraught?  Unhappy? If you feel you fit one of these descriptions, pause for a moment, take time to understand why you feel this way. If you have the opportunity, journal your thoughts.

2. Read out loud and write down the Scripture above. Look it up in different versions to help you make these words your own.

3.  Try this antidote:  Practice recognizing God. Be willing to acknowledge Him in every aspect of your life. Pray for God to reveal Himself in the days to come, especially as you anticipate Thanksgiving day.

Written By: Lt. Colonel Martha Jewett, Florida Director of Women’s Ministries

Celebrate God!

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive.
He could show up any minute!

Philippians 4:4 msg

Celebrate God all day! Revel in Him!

I must confess I LOVE going to Walt Disney World! I have a pass and I go as often as I can. The thrill of just driving onto the Disney property immediately puts a smile on my face and a lightness in my heart. Watching children experience Disney for the first time is even more of a joy. I do revel in my Disney experiences!

Even more so, I yearn to revel in my day to day with God! Every day should be a celebration if we are living out our walk with Christ!

Webster Dictionary defines revel as:
verb: to take intense pleasure or satisfaction
noun: a usually wild party or celebration

I love these definitions! The idea that we should be living each day partying wildly in who God is sounds so irresistible to me. I know it may not be all party hats, balloons, and chips and salsa, but it is the pleasure of being in His presence, the joy of experiencing this crazy world through His eyes and His heart and the anticipation of the special guest arriving at any moment.

And while you are living this “party” life, do you not think that others will notice and want to know how and why? Everyone yearns to be joyful and satisfied in this life, and you or I could be a light in someone else’s life just be living a celebratory life style!

Questions for your Quiet Time

1. Can you think of a place or experience that you truly revel(ed) in? Picture it and write down all that you are seeing and experiencing in this memory.

2. Have you had an experience with God that brings joy to your heart? Again, picture it and write down all that you are seeing and experiencing in this memory.

3. Make an effort to write this Scripture out, take notes on the sections that speak to you and memorize it for moments when you need encouragement.

To be satisfied in Him, only Him, is the best celebration I can think of!

 Written by: Kim Touchton Divisional Women’s Ministries Program Assistant

Check Your Gas Gauge

I have “Caught the Joy”. Major Susie Erickson has been sharing the Joy of Women’s Ministries in our great Florida Division with me. Recently she and I did a road trip to the Territorial Women’s Ministries Conference attended by fellow Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretaries and Assistants. For eight hours as we drove to Atlanta, Susie and I were lost in plans for Women’s Ministries, including everything from Girlfriend Road Trips to Women’s Ministries Retreat.

Suddenly I looked down at my gas gauge and was shocked to see it was on empty. My “smart car” informed me that I had seven miles of gas left. With my worry wart personality came images of Susie and I walking miles on the interstate to a gas station and then back to my car. Susie in her usual positive attitude kept saying she didn’t wear her walking shoes, she wore her cute shoes. At the next exit I pulled off in rural Georgia only to find two closed down gas stations. And so as we drove back onto the interstate, Susie sensed my panic and heavy breathing and said, “Do you want me to pray?” “Yes, please,” I responded. And so she prayed and I drove. Finally we came to another exit that had a gas station. “Please Lord, let it have gas.” My car’s computer said I had 3 miles of gas left. “Thank You, Jesus” was our prayer of thanksgiving as I pumped gas.

At a time when Major Erickson and I were busy with The Salvation Army’s business, God suddenly got my attention to look at my gas gauge. That is so relevant to our lives. Often we are busy doing good work and suddenly God gets our attention. It might be through sickness, death, an accident or a word of prophecy spoken through a fellow Christian friend. Often we think we are doing God’s work because it is good work. But is it what God wants? Have we sought His guidance? Are we letting Him lead us or are we going our own direction?

Proverbs 3:5 & 6 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”(NIV) The Message says it like this: Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!

Questions for your Quiet Time

1. Has there been a time in your life when you have been busy doing “good work” and God has revealed Himself in a surprising way?

2. God is constantly speaking into our lives – through His Word, friends, circumstances. Pay attention over the next few days, journaling each day to help reveal God’s presence, and maybe even guidance, in your life.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go.

Written by: Major Christine Smith, Women’s Ministries Secretary of the Florida Division

Beauty Is Only Skin

“Beauty is only skin deep”…..

I can still hear my mother echo those wordsas I go through my morning beauty ritual of moisturizer, foundation, concealer and color.  I began wearing makeup as ayoung teenager in an attempt to hide the blemishes of puberty.  Now, it’s an attempt to hide the signs of aging. A battle that I am quickly losing, but I am not about to hoist a white flag of surrender just yet!!!

As a teenager I had no idea what these words meant, along with other southern quotes and antidotes to life that rolled off my mother’s tongue as if they had come directly from the Bible.

However, these words brought new meaning to my spiritual journey during a recent trip to the Estee Lauder counter for my stockpile: artillery for this battle we call “aging graciously”.

As I was making my purchases, I caught a strong whiff of Estee Lauder’s Beautiful perfume, which was accompanied by the words, “I want the largest bottle of Beautiful that you sell.”   Now here was a woman who was making every attempt to be beautiful.  She had perfect hair, nails, make-up and a great tan.  Yet, as she turned to face me, her beauty artillery could not hide her severely deformed body.  Just like me, she was applying makeup to something that wasn’t going to change, or quite frankly, matter in eternity.

In that moment I finally got what my mother was trying to instill within me.   Man looks at our outward appearance, but God looks at the heart! 

I really think that many of my mothers’ sayings were taken from the book of Proverbs, but with her southern translation you have to read between the lines.   In Proverbs 31:30 we read, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”

The book of Proverbs begins with the command to fear the Lord (1:7) and ends with the picture of a woman who fulfills this command.

So, do you want a large bottle of beautiful?   “The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”

“Though the Lord is
very great and lives in heaven, he will make Jerusalem his home of justice and
righteousness. In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich
store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the Lord is the key to
this treasure.”
   –  Isaiah 33:5-6 (NLT)

Questions for Your Quiet Moment:

  1. Do you have a part of your beauty regiment that you cannot pass up before you leave your house for the day? What part would that be?
  2. When you think of beauty, what comes to mind?
  3. Read and write out Proverbs 31:30. Instead of writing “a woman” from the verse, write your name. When you put together the idea of beauty you wrote in the second question with this Scripture verse, how do the two differ? How are they similar? How does it affect you to see your name in the Scripture?

Written By: Major Susie Erickson, Assistant Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary