Spring is in full bloom and in May we celebrate the National Day of Prayer, so this month our theme is “Just Be Prayerful.”
We are commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray continually.
Included in this month’s newsletter is a Bible reading plan that looks at prayers throughout the Bible, as well as a information about National Day of Prayer, and ideas to use your phone as a way to prompt you to pray.
Corrie ten Boom wrote this about prayer: “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” Do you use prayer daily to guide your life or just occasionally when your life goes flat?
Need more inspiration about prayer. Captain Rutendo Masango, corps officer of the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps in the California South Division, recently wrote a great article, “Intentional Prayer” located on NHQ’s WM website. In her article she includes some great ideas of how to spend time with God in prayer. Check out her article: https://wmresources.org/blog/intentional-prayer/
Don’t forget to download this month’s issue of the Inspire Newsletter
Need previous issues of the INSPIRE Newsletter? They can be found at the following links: April 2021, March 2021, February 2021, January 2021 December 2020, November 2020, October 2020, September 2020, August 2020, July 2020, June 2020, May 2020, April 2020, March 2020, February 2020, January 2020, December 2019, November 2019, October 2019, October 2018-September 2019
By Major Beth Desplancke
It is May – the month that we celebrate Mother’s Day. I am blessed to be called mom by three amazing kids (Ryan, Emily and Sam), and I am even more blessed to be able to call two women mom: My mom, Major Glenda Berko and my mother-in-love, Cathy Desplancke. I need to say thank you to the two moms in my life, because both women have helped shape me into the woman I am today.
My mom, Glenda, instilled in me at a very young age the importance of being in God’s Word daily. As a little girl, even before I could read or truly understand the Bible, my mom made sure that God’s Word was part of our daily lives. As a young child, we always had a “Daily Bread” box on the dining room table – it was shaped like a loaf of bread, and inside where pieces of paper with different verses printed on them. Every night before we prayed for dinner, we would take the time to read one of the verses.
Besides daily verses at dinner, every night she would have devotions with each of us three kids. As a little girl, she would read to me a Bible story book, but when I started to learn to read, mom would use little booklets called “Precious Promises” to do our daily devotions before going to bed. These little booklets had a verse each day, and a short little devotional. I remember those booklets because they had Precious Moment drawings on every page.
At first my mom read to me, and then I slowly sounded out the words and eventually I read them to my mom. After I had reading under my belt, every month in the mail we would each get a copy of “Keys for Kids” a short devotional magazine with a half-page devotion each day, with Scripture, and sometimes there were fun games to do as well. Soon my mom wasn’t there to be with me for by bedtime devotions because she knew I would do them on my own.
One of the practices my mom taught me was instead of making resolutions for a New Year, choose a yearly verse, which was to be my theme for the year. In the front of one of my Bibles, I have the yearly verse I have chosen for myself since 1991 (the year I graduated high school). It is so amazing to see how God used the verse or short passage to guide and direct me through the coming year.
Psalm 119:15-16 says, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” My mom not only lived these verses but taught me to do the same.
I met my mother-in law, Cathy, in 1995. From the minute I met her, I just felt like she was a friend. She was so sweet and kind. Even before I started dating her son, I felt a kinship with her. My husband is 10 years older than me, but from the time my husband was born, Cathy has been praying for the woman that he would marry. That just thrills me to think that 10 years before I was even born, my mother-in-law prayed for me. She is a faithful woman of prayer.
Besides being a prayer warrior, in all these years that I have known and loved my mother-in-law I can honestly say I have never heard her say a hurtful word about anyone. I truly believe she genuinely loves everyone.
Eleven years ago, she fought through breast cancer, and although cancer is no longer in her body, she is left with chronic pain. Despite all she has been through, she never wallows in her situation, doesn’t complain, and doesn’t seem to ever question God with, “Why me, Lord?” She smiles through and endures. Through it all, her faith remains strong and she continues to be a woman of prayer and praise.
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29, “Do 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.” These words describe Cathy. Her words are always encouraging, kind and beneficial to those listening. She challenges me to be a woman with gracious words.
There are so many other women who have had impact in my life, but I want to say thanks to my two moms. Mom, thank you for teaching me to be a wise woman of the Word. Cathy, thank you for teaching me to be a wise woman with my words. I pray not only that these two grandmas will similarly impact my three kids’ lives, but that I too will influence my children for eternity.
Whether you are a mom or not, how has your mom or mother-in-law impacted your life? What other women have had an influence on you throughout your life? What women have served as spiritual mothers in your life? How are you spiritually mothering others? Whose lives can you inspire and encourage today? If there are women in your life that have made a difference, perhaps this month take the time to tell them “thank you.”
Book Review by Major Angelina Koenig
Medford Citadel, OR – Cascade Division
Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren is a book that discusses how our ordinary, daily lives are shaping us and forming us to live and respond to others. However, this book looks at the spiritual implications in our daily moments as moments to meet God and work on our beloved-ness and holiness with a holy God.
The author shares that God said of his son, Jesus, “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” before Jesus did anything extraordinary. God said this before Jesus performed miracles before he died on the cross and rose from the dead. God is well-pleased with us, before our feet hit the ground. “But each morning in those tender moments—in simply being God’s smelly, sleepy beloved—I again receive grace, life, and faith as a gift. Grace is a mystery and the joyful scandal of the universe” (Warren, 20). We pray and ask God to transform us; yet, we don’t really stop and think about the formation happening in the every-day moments we have. From brushing our teeth to the losing of our keys and the arguments with our spouse or children, these are the moments God invites us to see our beloved-ness and pause for grace and transformation to happen in our lives and the lives of others.
My favorite part of the book are the straight-forward comments that bring the reader to light-bulb moment of awareness and acceptance of our beloved-ness because God so loved the world and God loved us first. I enjoy taking the knowledge of the “I-know” this to the “I see this” and “I see how this works in my life”. This, this gives me the affirmation of the beauty of God’s grace in my life.
I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to learn to accept and see their beloved-ness in God. When we question our self-worth, this book is a gentle reminder of God meeting us in our daily moments to affirm our beloved-ness.
Book review by Major Rubina Navarro
Assistant Training Principal – College For Officer Training
Is your spirit discouraged? Has the burning flame for ministry dwindled? William Booth’s The Seven Spirits: or What I Teach My Officers, I believe will inspire and reignite the flame.
This book contains series of Addresses delivered by General William Booth to the Salvation Army Officers at the International Congress held in London, in June 1904. His writing is full of knowledge, practical counsel, Biblical principles, encouragement, and call to action for not only Officers but anyone who desires to live out the zealous calling that the Lord has placed in our lives. The structure of the book goes through the Seven Spirits, which Booth references to the seven spirits in Revelation; the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Purity, the Spirit of Devotion, the Spirit of Holy Warfare, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Faith, and the Spirit of Burning Love. Booth’s explanation for the seven spirits reveals his heart and mission for his Officers.
While this book is short and can be read in one seating, I would suggest allowing yourself time to grapple and marinate oneself to the depth of our Founders teaching and counsel. From reading this book, I found myself encouraged and affirmed in my calling as a Salvation Army Officer. I recommend this book and it worth having a copy in your office.
Spring – a time to celebrate new life and new beginnings. This month we also celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior. That is reason to rejoice. This month’s theme is “Just Be Joyful!”
To be joyful means “feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness.” The tomb being empty on that first Easter morning, is the greatest news and should cause us as believers to rejoice.
Included in this month’s newsletter is a Bible reading plan for the month that focuses on Christ’s death and resurrection and the reason for our joy! Also included are some easy ideas to help celebrate the real reason for Easter, as well as a devotional that reminds us of what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3
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