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March / April 2014

F E A T U R E

GREATER WORKS THAN THESE The works of he Holy Spirit

BE CONFIDENT

God has a Plan

ASHLEY

MARIVITORRI GORMAN

writer, speaker, motivator Author of The Book of Matches

Good Intentions Don’t Count

USING WISDOM

Let your faith move you to new heights

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

BLOWN AWAY

Recognizing the HOLY SPIRIT

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march / april 2014

inspiredwomenmagazine.com Contributing Writers Natalie Hall Lori Hatcher Abby Kelly Lannette Kissel Karin Syren Laurette Willis Jennifer Workman

in this issue 3 | Publisher’s Note 4 | Greater Works than These 9 | God Has a Plan and Purpose for Your Life 14 | Ashley Marivittori Gorman Interview

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

21 | Because We Know Him

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Dania Hernandez Ad Sales 305-720-5841 contact@inspiredwomenmagazine.com

22 | Blown Away 25 | The Only Things Missing 27 | Good Intentions Don’t Count 29 | Let Your Faith Move You


PUBLISHER’S NOTE In the month of April, we will celebrate Resurrection Sunday. During this celebration we often focus on the crucifixion of Jesus. However, there is another person I’d like to bring our attention to and that is the Holy Spirit. After Christ had risen and ascended, He was able to send the promised gift of the Holy Spirit to continue His work on earth. The Holy Spirit has a ministry one of which is to equip and empower us to fulfill the purpose of Christ in our lives and so lately, I have found myself calling more upon the Holy Spirit to guide and lead me into the life that fulfills His purpose for me. The more we understand the Holy Spirit and how it operates, the more satisfied we will be.

Be Inspired,

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

In this issue, you will find a couple of articles on the Holy Spirit as we seek to encourage and motivate you to continue to press towards the mark of His calling for your life. May His Spirit resurrect those dreams and desires deep within your heart. May this be a season of wisdom and revelation for your life. May the Holy Spirit guide and lead you through to greatness...

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CHRISTIAN LIVING

Greater Works than These Karin S. Syren, CTACC The Vision Coach Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, The works that I do he will do also; And greater works than these will he do, Because I go to My Father.

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

John 14:12

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How often have we read that verse and slipped right by it, perhaps stopping only briefly to consider its world altering implications? And what was the nature of these identifying works of Jesus’ earthly ministry that He would have us consider in these words? What did He do that He assures us we will surpass? First, it was His custom to be regularly in the house of the Lord (Luke 2:49). Have you declared that he is your personal Lord and Savior and then forsaken the gathering together (Hebrews 10:25) that was His custom? If we are to walk in His power, as He tells us, then we must not only consider, but emulate, His customs. Second, Jesus began his three year ministry full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit (Luke

4:1 AMP). We can certainly be no less filled, if we are to accomplish even more. His promise was that because He was going to the Father, the Holy Spirit would be as near as near to each of us as our next breath. (John 14:16-18; 15:26; 16:7; 20:22) We must recognize that, as it was with Jesus, being full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit does not keep temptation away but strengthens us to keep it at bay. It prepares and enables each of us to withstand every trial, just as it did Jesus in His wilderness time of testing. (Luke 4:1-13) It is worthy of note that Jesus was full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit when He entered the wilderness (Luke 4:1) and He emerged full of and under the power of the Holy Spirit (verse


14), having overcome. Temptation did not drain Him of the Spirit. If we are tried, beaten down by the battle, we are resisting in our own strength. These then were Jesus’ points of strength. Now what exactly was His earthly Mission that we are expected to not only carry on but to build upon? (John 14:12) Luke gives us Jesus’ own words in John 4:18: He was anointed to: • Preach the gospel to the poor (see also Matthew 5:3), • Heal the brokenhearted, literally, to heal the ones broken, crushed completely, shattered in heart (see also Isaiah 61:1), • Proclaim liberty to the captives, captives of the enemy, POWs, prisoners of war, • And recovery of sight to the blind, both physical and mental blindness, • To set at liberty those who are oppressed, translated as downtrodden in the New American Standard translation, and • To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. The Amplified Bible clarifies this as the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound.

Not by might, nor by power, But by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 NAS

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

Our only question then must be whether Jesus did these things. Did He fulfill that for which He was sent? A fresh reading of the four Gospel accounts of His life and ministry will give us the answer. And if He did indeed carry out His Mission, then we are to do likewise, at the very least, but in the sure and certain knowledge that we have been abundantly empowered to do so.

If you are overwhelmed by the prospect, that’s excellent! It means you are in the right place to receive the anointing available to you to go forth in the Mission. It means that you will waste none of the precious time remaining in vain human attempts to do what can only be done by the power of God. If you know the anointing of God’s divine power and ability poured out upon human flesh to do what only God can do, then you will be in position to do nothing of yourself, acting only as you are led by the Holy Spirit, even as Jesus did. (John 8:28) Perhaps this contradicts everything you have ever believed or been taught, but it is according to Scripture, God’s own Word. It is helpful to understand that Jesus’ earthly Mission had two parts to it. The first was His three year teaching, preaching and healing ministry, in which He set the example for us of how to carry on until He comes for us. It was very much a ministry of example. The Crucifixion however, was a ministry of exchange, in which God achieved for us what we were incapable of ourselves, salvation and deliverance, total redemption, the breaking down of all that separated us from union with God, the rending of the veil from top to bottom, not bottom to top. (Matthew 27:51) Too often, we reverse the two and shun the responsibility to do greater works than these and instead pick up the shame of the Cross, attempting to bear our own sin and guilt, paying the price, as though we could secure a better redemption for ourselves than God has secured for us. Let us then get our roles straight, embracing what has been done and provided for us, that we might go forth and do what has been set before us to do. Each of us must make the personal decision, as foreign as the concept may feel, to do greater works, just as Jesus said, to be prepared in every

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inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

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moment of every day, to yield to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to readily step out in faith. Aside from this all-important decision, and in order to better prepare for a life of availability and readiness to the calling of the Holy Spirit, read once more the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry. This time, however, read them with fresh and very personal eyes. Keeping in mind that from His baptism by John until his delivery for crucifixion was a ministry of example and the events of the Crucifixion were a ministry of exchange, now reread Isaiah 53 and give some consideration to whether you may have reversed the two. If so, how would that have blocked the power of the Holy Spirit in your life and ministry? If you find you have been relying on your own power to live out your calling, resolve to lay down your own attempts, your own power, your own talents and become fully dependent and without ability before the throne. Offer your availability to Him and watch Him fill you and use you beyond your wildest dreams! (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Note: Consider going deeper and read the account of God’s interaction with Gideon in Judges 7. *** Copyright© 2014, Karin S. Syren. All rights reserved.

Adapted from The Bible Minute, Concise Bible Studies for On The Go Christians, Copyright ©2010 Karin S. Syren

Karin Syren is a professional strategic planning coach working with leaders to increase their significance without sacrificing balance. Order your copy of Karin’s Bible Minute, Concise Bible Studies for On The Go Christians, available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and other favorite online booksellers. For information about Karin’s programs, to contact her, or to begin receiving periodic communications from So-lu’shunz Leadership Services, please go to Solushunz.com.


in·spire (n-spr) v. in·spired, in·spir·ing, in·spires ~ To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence. ~To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: ~ To stimulate to action; motivate ~ To affect or touch ~ To breathe on. ~ To breathe life into


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God Has a Plan and Purpose for Your Life Be Confident In God, You Can Do What He Has Called You to Do

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I remember during a particular season in my life, it was difficult for me to accept God’s plan and purpose for me. God called me to fill a position in the church, and I felt that I was incapable of doing an effective job. I was insecure and I lacked confidence. However, once I submitted to the will of God, and focused on Him and His word instead of myself, I experienced the peace of God that I had never experienced before. My confidence in the Lord grew and scriptures like: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) and “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

od’s plan and purpose for your life may surprise you. After you accept the Lord Jesus as your personal savior and surrender your life to Him, God may call you to do a work for Him that is opposite of what you think, feel, or could ever envision. God’s word says, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21 NKJV). God’s plans are greater and wiser than what we could ever anticipate about our lives. Even if we think that we cannot accomplish what God has called us to do, we still need to be receptive and submissive to His will for our lives; for if we put our trust in God, his plans and purpose for us will succeed.

by Natalie Hall

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NKJV) encouraged me to trust and depend word of God encourages us. He said to Joshua, “…as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I on Him for guidance. will not leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 Since God made us, He knows our potential NKJV).

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

and capabilities. God has confidence in us to fulfill what we think is beyond our ability. For instance, He may call us into a Christian leadership position or He may assign us to work in a homeless shelter. He may even lead us to move to a foreign country to minister to families. No matter what the task, He will provide us with all that we need to be effective and successful. He designed us, and gave us skills, talents, and gifts for His glorious use. Our job is to trust and depend on Him and let him direct our path. “Trust in the Lord  with all your heart; And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct  your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV). Be confident in Him. He will not ask us to do anything that he has not equipped us to do. God’s grace enables us to fulfill all His plans. He will equip us, prepare us, and commission us to go at the appointed time. Hebrews 13:21 says … “equip you with everything good for doing his will,  and may he work in us  what is pleasing to him,  through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (NIV).

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Fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives does not mean that we will always get everything right. When we first start out in anything new, we may misunderstand, we may not interpret every situation correctly, or we may make errors in judgment. God will help, guide, and encourage us through all circumstances. When we do make errors, do not be afraid to admit what you have done and move on. It takes humility and courage to move forward. Errors can help us to grow in character and gain valuable experience. We also learn not to make them again. According to Romans 8:28, God can take our mistakes and turn them around for His good, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (NKJV).

As you fulfill God’s plan and purpose for your life always remember to: love and reverence God, put him first in whatever you do; love and respect others as you would like for others to love and respect you; and live according to the Word of God. Then whatever God’s plan and purpose is for your life, you God had a plan and purpose for Jeremiah will be successful and God will be glorified. who felt that he could not do what God called (Matthew 22:37-39; Matthew 7:24; Matthew him to do. Jeremiah expressed to God that he 5:16) was too young and could not effectively speak. Jeremiah stated, “…Ah, Lord God! Behold, I As you embark on God’s Plan and Purpose for cannot speak, for I am a youth” (Jeremiah 1:6 your life: NKJV). God assured Jeremiah that he would be with him: “Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am • Believe His Word. Believe and have faith with you to deliver you, says the Lord” Jeremiah in God to fulfill His purpose for your life. As 1:8 NKJV). God did not leave Jeremiah alone as Jesus said to His disciples… “all things are He fulfilled his purpose, and he will not leave us possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 alone as we carry out his plan for our lives. The NKJV).


• Rejoice in the Lord for what He is doing • Do not be afraid of difficult situations and do not give up. God will be with you and develop a lifestyle of prayer. Enjoy to give you what you need to address all the journey and pray during challenging situations. He loves you and wants you to and testing times, and pray during quiet succeed at what He has called you to do. “I and peaceful times. “Rejoice always, pray will instruct you and teach you in the way without ceasing, in everything give thanks; you should go; I will guide you with My for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for eye” (Psalm 32:8 NKJV). you” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV). • Be assured. You can always trust, depend, • Trust God and know you can depend on and rely on God to provide, protect, and Him. We do not have to rely on ourselves guide you as you do what He has called to do what God has called us to do. Be you to do. God’s Word declares, “being confident in God. “And those who know confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it Your name will put their trust in You; For until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 You, Lord, have not forsaken those who NKJV). Be confident in God. You can fulfill seek You” (Psalms 9:10). His plan and purpose for your life. To God • Ask Him for whatever you need. You be the glory. may need strength, wisdom, guidance, Happily married, Natalie and her husband live in North encouragement, or resources. All you have Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. She to do is ask. “And whatever you ask in My has a passion for reading the Bible, and inspirational writing. name, that I will do, that the Father may be She enjoys working with young children and teaching them the Word of God. She also enjoys listening to inspirational glorified in the Son” (John 14:13 (NKJV). music and hanging out at the ocean with her husband.

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inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

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inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

“You are blessed for believing that the LORD would keep His promise to you.”

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Ashley Marivittori Gorman Interview

After watching a video of Ashley M. Gorman, I knew that she was someone I wanted to know more about and that you, our readers, would too. I recently had the great privilege of meeting Ashley Marivitorri Gorman---through email. Even so, you could capture her passion, her drive, her love for Jesus and helping

others. I asked Ashley if I can interview her for our magazine and perhaps write a few articles for us to which she gladly accepted. Without a doubt, Ashley is an up and coming gift young lady. We have a few questions that I’m sure you will relate to and perhaps give you a different perspective. Here we go:

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

IWM: Briefly tell our readers a little about what “gifts” or blessings” are coming my way. I often try to earn His “gifts” by offering good yourself?

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AMG: My name is Ashley (Marivittori) Gorman and I’m a lover of words, women of faith, God, journals, coffee, and Settlers of Catan just to name a few. I am a published author, a women’s speaker and writer, a web manager, and a photographer. In a phrase, I love communicating about the human experience and the Divine using words and images. I am also a huge advocate for women’s development in the church! And I love being a bridge between the Christian world and the Non-Christian world.

IWM: What has been your greatest struggle as a Christian? AMG: There are quite a few, but I’ll give you two! The first struggle is believing that God is for me, that He’s in my corner, that He’s on my team, and that He’s good regardless of

behavior—be it a job or success in ministry or relational harmony in my family, but that’s not how God works! Gifts are freely given. They are not earned. If the gift of the Gospel were to be earnable by us, none would receive it! I have to remember that he cares about my motives much more than my good works, and like any good father, He knows when I’m doing good deeds out of manipulative purposes (trying to earn something or force his hand) or joyful ones (living life as a response to what He’s done for me). He doesn’t want backflips from me as much as he wants me to trust him, the way any husband or father or lover would. The second struggle is comparison. I commonly struggle with comparing myself to other women, other photographers, other writers, other body types, other Instagram feeds; the list goes on forever! There is a regular fight that goes on in my mind to be content with where God has me, what He’s given me, and most importantly, what He’s


unfathomable. His pursuit of us is relentless. He went through death in order to help us see how much He desires to know us and be reconciled with us. In Christianity, we have a God who is fundamentally different than any other god I’ve studied. He is a God that can transform our hearts, our motives, our desires even. Most other gods I’ve studied don’t really care about your desires being right, as long as your good deeds “pass inspection.” But the Christian God, instead of simply demanding unselfish actions, can actually create in you an unselfish heart and change you on the desire level. It’s incredible. The world can’t offer me anything like that. I’d also add that the world’s values always change from era to era. Definitions of right and wrong change with culture and time. The values of God remain the same regardless of time, so it’s a simpler task to serve Him in my opinion. done for me in the Gospel. If I have the approval The benefit of being a Christian is I don’t have of God, then I cease needing to compare to to constantly change my values and actions depending on the whims of culture. others.

IWM: What drives you as a young female to press and serve God today in a world that seems to have lost its foundation and values?

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AMG: MOTIVATION 1: The Gospel Well, I’ll be honest! On a bad day, when my perspective is off, I serve God because I’m “supposed to.” That is a motivation that will not sustain me long-term. I think we all know what spiritual burnout feels like, and usually we can trace it back to “doing things for God because we are supposed to.” But on a good day, when God grants me supernatural perspective, I choose to serve and follow the Lord based out of what He’s done for me, not what I’m supposed to do for Him. The world can have whatever foundations and values it wants to. I know what God has done for me. I know what He went through to make me one of His own. His love is

MOTIVATION 2: Evangelical Ignorance and Laziness Evangelicals are more uneducated in their faith in this day and age than ever before. And it’s not because they don’t have access to information. It’s because they are lazy or they don’t care to learn. This is a huge motivation for me to press on in my ministry. The world doesn’t respect us because we don’t do our homework and offer reasonable and well-thought-out answers to its questions. I don’t blame the world for being confused about the Christian message. We give them Sunday school answers, and Non Christians aren’t satisfied with that. We need to know our Bibles. We need to know extra biblical sources that substantiate our claims. We need to be able to explain big concepts in everyday language. So a large part of my fervor in ministry is due to the gaping hole of our knowledge as

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Christians. No more lazy Christians, y’all! The world may disagree with us on a number of things, and that’s fine. But let it not be because we are lazy and uninformed!

learned so much through it, though. I wanted the generation behind me to learn from my sometimes comical, and sometimes heartbreaking mistakes. I wanted to offer them a better model than the one I used for so long.

IWM: You co-wrote a book on dating, “The IWM: What advice would you give to the Book of Matches.” What inspired you to write single women today regardless of their age on this topic? group?

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AMG: Honestly, a catastrophic past in dating! When I became a Christian, I quickly learned how to do life according to God’s Word instead of my own preferences. It was easy to follow the example of older Christians in most areas of life. Except dating. Most of the romance I saw in the church looked just like the world. So I brought in my old ways of dating into my new life with Christ, and it was a catastrophe. I

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AMG: Stop all the crazy talk in your head. Most of the battles of single life never happen on a date or in a conversation with a guy. They happen in your head. We hear lies about ourselves in two different forms: either “I’m not good enough to get a guy” or “it’s all on me to get a guy and I have to manipulate everything to make it happen.” Drop those thoughts like a bad habit and write out Scripture to combat that


for yours and the other person’s growth and edification? Most of my dating life was filled with proving I wasn’t “sinning.” A mentor once asked me, “Ashley I get that you aren’t ‘sinning.’ But I didn’t ask you if you were sinning. I asked how is this relationship helping your walk with God?” Marriage is about putting your husband’s well-being ahead of your own and helping him grow spiritually. When faced with a grey area in dating, choose what’s helpful for the other person spiritually, not what’s just “permissible.”

IWM: Any words of wisdom for the married woman struggling in her marriage? AMG: Oh, girl. Every married woman needs regular words of wisdom! My word to you today would be two-fold:

trash! Memorize it, read it, do whatever it takes to remember what God says about you. Give all that mental energy to pursuing God instead of a guy. It won’t eliminate the struggle, but it will loosen the grip those thoughts have on you!

This verse is great for grey areas in dating such as “how far is too far?” or “should we be texting all day if we haven’t even gone on a date yet?” or “how deep should I go emotionally before we’re committed?” Instead of proving that a certain course of action is permissible, how can you instead help it become beneficial

Remove the log: We all know the parable about removing the log from your eye before you go judging someone else’s splinter. Most of the time I’m mad as a hornet, the problem lies with

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“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up. No  one should seek  his own  good, but  the  good of the  other  person.” (HCSB)

Knock. God has the power to change any marriage and any heart. I’ve seen story after story of marital restoration in my church. Now it doesn’t happen overnight and it requires work, but God is committed to seeing marriages not just survive, but thrive. Seek Him out, knock at His door until it opens wide, and keep going to Him. Remember that passage about some things not changing without fasting and prayer (Matthew 17:21)? Jesus meant that. If there’s a dark stronghold in your marriage, it must be combated with a full-front attack. So knock God’s door down until it’s a pile of splinters and don’t take no for an answer. Be honest, be real, and keep coming. Don’t read one verse one day and then give up. Keep. Asking.

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me more than it does my husband. I have to sincerely ask myself, “How am I the problem? What sin have I brought to this mess?” The truth is, marriage brings out our sin like no other relationship. And we need to engage with God first—before we go drop a verbal bomb on our husband!—in order to evaluate our own hearts. Once you engage with God and deal with your own sin in the matter, you’re in a much better place to approach your husband about issues of frustration. Dealing with your “log” produces humility, which creates a safe-zone for conversations.

IWM: There are many women that have lost their focus and fire of pursuing their dreams. 18 What would you say to them?

Women lose motivation to chase their passions because they feel scared or stuck. They know the passions and the gifts God has given them, but they are scared to fail. The best news regarding fear is Psalm 118:6 “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” God doesn’t tell us not to fear because we aren’t supposed to. He tells us not to fear because He’s on our side! That doesn’t always mean our dream will come true overnight, but it does mean He is with us and for us and delighted in us as His daughters. The other piece of this is that failure is just a part of life. Of course you’ll try something and fail at it at some point. We all do! And it helps us learn and grow. It’s a part of the process and it is not to be feared. Once the fear of failing is taken away, there’s nothing left to do but jump! Another way women feel discouraged about their dreams is


feeling stuck in their current life. Maybe they had kids early and never got to chase a certain dream. Maybe they are in a job that doesn’t allow them to do what they love. I’d tell them to map out a creative plan that allows them to use their passions in a way that fits in their actual lives. Maybe you won’t get to do what you love full-time or overnight, but start making baby steps! And ask, ask, ask! Email those in the industry, both local and national. Set up coffee dates or go to a conference that centers on your passion. Many of my opportunities have come just from simply asking and making a connection. I emailed so many magazines and I applied to so many writing gigs and I got turned down a lot, but this very interview was one of the doors that opened just from a simple email asking for a way to use my writing!

IWM: I have two words I want to throw out to you. What comes to mind when I say wisdom? Holy Spirit?

broken over it if you’re honest? Talk to the Spirit. He is the Great ‘Convicter’ of our hearts. Ever feel like you don’t know what or how to pray to God? The Spirit himself cries out for us when we don’t know what to do! We forget that the Spirit is who enabled Jesus to do all that he did, even rising from the dead, and He converts a heart to Christianity! So if we need empowerment or help in prayer or conviction of sin or clarity of mind, it is a great thing to have access to the Holy Spirit. He is amazing and should be approached just like God or Jesus, for He is how God empowers us!

IWM: What’s your favorite Bible verse?

AMG: Spiritual knowledge is possessing a lot of biblical information. Spiritual wisdom is knowing how to use that biblical information in a beneficial, practical, and timely way. Knowledge says “this verse applies to my husband and I should challenge him with it.” Wisdom says, “That conversation would be best presented after supper when work is off his plate and so is dinner!” I believe wisdom is best given to us IWM: What’s next for you? through the mouths of those who are older AMG: Hopefully more writing and speaking! I than us and seasoned in life experiences. just love connecting with women and walking The Holy Spirit is a great gift to us! Have you them through the messiness of life. Whether ever felt like you’ve become numb to the beauty that happens in my church, in a book, or of who Jesus is? Pray to the Spirit, for He is who speaking on a stage, I want my life to minister illuminates and makes Jesus irresistible to us to the women around me. I want to equip them again! Ever feel like you should be convicted on how to engage with people different than of sin on a regular basis, but you aren’t really them, and how enjoy more than just a “fill in

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AMG: John 17, hands down. This passage tells me in real words how Jesus would pray for me if He was sitting right in front of me! It wakes me up to Jesus more than any other passage. It reminds me that he desires my life (and your life!) be full of joy, unity, spiritual protection, character, sanctification, and purpose. This prayer happens right before He gets betrayed, arrested, and sent to the cross. There are a million prayers He could have prayed right before His execution. Jesus is about to die. And John 17 is filled with the words He carefully prays. It literally answers the question, “What would Jesus be thinking about right before He died?” And the answer is, us.

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the blank” Bible study. I want to teach them how to help other women grow. I want them to feel totally equipped to disciple the next generation. I may write another book soon, but for now, I’m looking for more writing gigs and speaking engagements.

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IWM: How did you get involved with South Sudan and what keeps your heart attached to this mission?

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AMG: South Sudan is the newest nation on the world’s stage, and my husband and I got to photographically document the educational and medical baby steps it is taking as well as the digging of fresh water wells for local villages. We also got to witness a lot of evangelistic conversations between the (South Sudanese) ministry leaders and the villagers in a myriad of different tribal languages! I’d love to say that I’m attached to the mission because I can offer a lot to them, but the truth is, they are teaching me so much more than I could ever teach them! They definitely need help with clean water and school system development; however, their personal character, work ethic, and loyalty to relationships lay me very low. America has a lot to learn from these villagers. They work so hard and make it on almost nothing, yet they are so joyful and have such steady faith. My desire to stay on board this mission is partly to document the baby steps of such a young country; but it’s also because my heart needs to be refreshed by these people and reminded of the things that matter in life. They have taught me a great deal about family, community, and joy, and I want to return and learn more from them!

IWM: What’s the most important thing women need to be reminded of as they grow in their faith? AMG: Hands down, I would say the “second half” of the gospel. What do I mean by that? Most

women get the “first half” of the Gospel: Jesus paid for all our sins. But they either don’t know, or frequently forget, that Jesus didn’t just die in my place, he lived in my place too. That’s why he had to go through the years of being a baby all the way to the moment of his death. He had to do every moment in our place. Why? Because we need his record! I sinned as a toddler all the way up to adulthood, and I need someone’s record that didn’t sin in those years. God doesn’t just require that the sins of all those years be washed away as a “blank slate,” He requires slates filled with perfectly righteous deeds. In other words, he doesn’t just want a life from you that shows you didn’t sin in every circumstance; he wants a life that says you obeyed in all those situations. God doesn’t just require an absence of sin, but a presence of perfect choices that replace those sins. And there’s only one person that made perfect choices—Jesus! So when I screw up throughout my day, as I reflect before I go to sleep, I remind myself that God sees me as if I perfectly obeyed in every way today! How can this be true?! Because Jesus lived in my place and I stand on His record today, not my own. This is the glorious second half of the gospel! I think if women truly believed this, their lives would ring with overwhelming joy and confidence. Adriana Zamot is editor and publisher of Inspired Women Magazine. IWM began as a two page newsletter when she wanted to share with a few friends some of the highlights of Christian conferences that she had attended. She enjoys writing and sharing of the Lord’s goodness and mercy. Her hope is that IWM will inspire, motivate, and encourage other women towards their divine excellence. Most people refer to her as “AZ.” She has a Master Degree in Human Resources Administration and Development. She attends Majestic Life Church in Apopka, FL. You may contact her publisher@inspiredwomenmagazine.com


Because We Know Him Because We Know Him by Lanette Kissel

“…I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father.” 1 John 2:13 NIV It’s all because we know Him, that our lives are so richly blessed. And we have His strength to call upon when Satan puts us to the test.

When our bodies grow old and feeble, and our sight begins to dim, we will never lose our vision because our eyes are focused on Him.

It’s all because we know Him, we feel concern for our sister and brother. For He clearly taught us the value of genuinely caring for one another.

It’s all because we know Him, our victory has already been won, because we believe in a Blessed Redeemer, who took the shape and form of God’s Son.

It’s all because we know Him, we will not be paralyzed by fear. For we have a loving Father who will wipe away our every tear.

It’s all because we know Him, there is no questioning our fate. For we know that our future lies beyond the beautiful Heaven’s Gate.

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Blown Away By Lori Hatcher

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he average wind speed in South Carolina is between 6 and 7 miles per hour -- a gentle breeze. Today, though, the wind roared. It descended upon us with a fury that rattled the windows, tossed the treetops, and flung lawn furniture aside like bowling pins after a strike. That it came at night made its power especially impressive, because we couldn’t anticipate each gust, only hear the effects as we peered out into the darkness.

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

Jesus described the Holy Spirit as like the wind in his legendary conversation with Nicodemus in John 3. “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.”

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The Holy Spirit is like this in our lives as well. Sometimes his voice whispers to our hearts. It may be a prompt to do a kind deed, write an encouraging note, or make a phone call. Gentle but persistent, the thought will slip itself into our consciousness like the reminders our mothers would whisper about keeping our elbows off the table or saying please and thank you.

at the close of my prayer time. I invite the Lord to speak his will to me. If I sense his prompting, I record the idea that surfaces, so I won’t lose it when I move to the next task of my day. Buy that book on marriage for Molly; she’s struggling, the Holy Spirit said yesterday. Or Send that email to Pat; she needs to know people are praying for her. His ideas are always timely and useful. At other times the Holy Spirit roars into our consciousness like the wind on this winter day. It swoops across our lives, leaving us stripped and buffeted, gasping for breath. His words point out sin or something we’ve been unwilling to surrender, and we are ashamed and convicted. Face to face with our own selfishness, laziness, or lack of faith, we tuck into ourselves and weep, disappointed that we have failed my Lord.

Other times the Holy Spirit’s blast swoops into our lives to give us a glimpse of his power and majesty. We see through spirit eyes how mighty he is on our behalf, or how holy, or how magnificent. We If we don’t listen for God’s quiet voice, picture him on his throne, with we can easily miss it in the noisy bustle of thousands of angels crying, life. I’ve learned to sit, still and intentional, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord!” and


we are swept away. It’s much harder to miss these tornado encounters with the Spirit, but we are sometimes guilty of worshiping the experience rather than the One who caused the experience. God always reveals himself so we’ll be better equipped to serve, believe in, and tell others about him. Have you learned to recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice in your life? The best way to develop this

listening ear is to spend time in prayer and the Word every day. When the Holy Spirit speaks, what you hear will always agree with the Bible. He cannot contradict himself. So whether the Spirit whispers or roars today, I encourage you to be quick to obey. God has a plan, and he’s inviting you to be a part of it. Lori Hatcher is the author of Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms and the blog, Hungry for God; Starving for Time (www. LoriHatcher.com). A women’s ministry speaker, she enjoys walks with her dog, chocolate covered almonds, and sunshine. She and her husband live in Columbia, South Carolina.

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The Only Things Missing Were White Hankies Waving and Tambourines... by Deborah Hightower

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

Between visitors, my mom and I talked. Her Three years ago, my mother passed from earth to strength was failing but it seemed she had so heaven. She spent the last three weeks of her life much to say. During her rest periods, I sang to in the hospital – two weeks in the critical care unit. her “…rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, again I say, rejoice…come bless the Lord...” I had a rule for visits from friends and family. I sang to her about rejoicing in the Lord even NO crying! I believe the sick need to see hope during this very trying time. Truthfully, I was and strength in the eyes of visitors. The critical singing to myself as much as I was singing to care unit was not full of patients so non- her. Mid chorus, she opened her eyes and said family members were allowed to visit. Several to me “I’m ready to go to heaven to meet my people from her church, nieces and nephews Father who has prepared many mansions had stopped by to visit on this particular day.  for me.” Then … she asked me a question. 

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room that day. Actually, it wasn’t contained in her room; it poured around the glass walls into the entire critical care unit. I prayed for her peace during transition and comfort for her soul - I prayed for peace and comfort for my daddy, my daughter and me - I prayed for and thanked God for family support during the time of grieving. I prayed Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” If the Pentecostal ladies had been there - I’m pretty sure the white hankies would have been waving and the tambourines shaking.

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

When is the last time you called on the Comforter, Teacher, and Helper?

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“Will you pray for me?” When my mom asked me to pray for her, emotion overtook me. I broke my own rule! When I cry, typically a tear falls like a silently flowing river. But let me tell you… the quiet flowing river turned into a Lucy-like loud cry - a cry of thanks to God for my mama - a cry of praise for His grace and mercy - a cry to the Comforter for comfort - a cry of groan for my physical sadness - a cry out of spiritual gladness because I knew her destination. She was headed to a place where her body would be brand new; a place where her heart disease-riddle body would be free from pain; and where all the suffering would be replaced with newness and eternal, everlasting, forever and ever happiness and wholeness. A Pentecostal prayer service was held in her

Deborah is the co-author of the bestselling, The Secret to Winning BIG: Top Strategies for Winning BIG in Life and Business. She is also an award nominated singer-songwriter. More information can be found at www. deborahhightower.com.

www.inspiredwomenmagazine.com


wisdom and in the fear of the Lord, don’t you think we could avoid many of the pointless arguments, cold shoulders and the silent treatment? Where does this heart of wisdom come from? How do we cultivate a fear of the Lord in our homes and in our relationships? We gain a heart of wisdom when we learn to number our days. The phrase, “Teach us to number our days”, has a much stronger meaning in the original Hebrew. It means to: Consider, be skillful in, reckon, prepare for and appoint with intention the temporal, brief mornings and evenings of life. (That’s just my lengthy amplified paraphrase.)

Good Intentions Don’t Count by Abby Kelly

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am doing a Bible study about intentional living. So I wasn’t expecting a verse about marriage to pop off the page. But then I shouldn’t be surprised, God is always intentional about getting our attention so that He can make us more like Jesus. “Teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

The Bible also says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10)

There’s a catchy little phrase that has spawned many a movie. “Live each day as if it were your last.” That saying is a modern assertion of the truth of Psalm 90:12. Even unbelievers know that acceptance of our brevity brings freedom, genuine love and a correcting of priorities. How many stories are told of someone diagnosed with cancer who suddenly determines to reconcile with a long-estranged sibling? How many times have we heard of someone learning they have months to live and suddenly choosing to work less, spend more time with family and begin seeking God? There’s no denying that numbering our days produces wisdom and ignites intention in our hearts.

Don’t you imagine in that our unions would be much improved if we governed them with So what if we could harness this knowledge of wisdom? If we related to our spouse with our few and temporal mornings and evenings

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

Don’t see anything about marriage in that verse? That’s because you’re not reading it with the intention of seeing God’s plan for your marriage. It’s there.

Often, I don’t think we approach our marriages intentionally. The expectation is for love and fuzzy feelings to buoy the relationship through the hard times. But when things get really gritty, there’s no deep-seated recourse, no Biblically founded intention to hold the marriage together.

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so that we might have this wisdom now for years, and could calculate how many days, our marriages and other relationships? they’ve been married. We number those days. Therefore, we’re halfway toward a heart of In American vernacular there’s a big difference wisdom. between having good intentions and living intentionally. I go to bed each night with good Next time strife or bitterness raises its head intentions to speak kindly to my husband or that gulf slowly widens between you and tomorrow and pray for him. I have good your spouse, stop and count the days. They intentions when I plan to make his favorite are few. Psalm 90 goes on to say that we have dinner tomorrow or remember to ask about 70, maybe 80 years if we’re lucky. that meeting he had yesterday. Good intentions are my plans to go to the gym and eat more We are finite creatures. All our miseries and vegetables. complaints are so small and short-lived compared to the eternal glory purchased for us by Christ. The first step toward governing our marriages with wisdom is to recognize how fleeting they are. Next, we must intentionally order, prepare for and appoint our days.

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

It’s so easy in the heat of the moment, to assume that this crisis of miscommunication or hurt will ruin our lives, make or break our relationship. It can’t destroy us if we don’t let it. When we number our days, view them in the true light of their brevity, it’s much easier to take a step back and intentionally form our response or reaction to every situation.

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So, do the math. Number your days. Let that practice form within you a heart of wisdom, the beginning of the fear of the Lord. And then But living my marriage intentionally requires intentionally, with more than good intentions, that I apply some elbow grease to those conduct your marriage with wisdom. intentions. If I don’t do the hard work to make good on those intentions, then that is all they Abby Kelly is the author of The remain—good intentions, and I must plan Predatory Lies of Anorexia: again to live intentionally. Marriage is one of those few relationships that we commemorate every year. Save for the embarrassed hubby that forgot several times, most couples know exactly how many

A Survivor’s Story. She blogs at Predatory Lies. She and her husband move frequently with his Army career but they currently live in Georgia. When she’s not writing, she loves to take long walks with her dog, Brave.


Let Your Faith Move You to Heights Unattainable in Christ

by Jennifer Workman

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

What is faith? The Bible expressively tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1-NKJV).” In other words, regardless of whether you are physically or visibly able to acquire something, you stand firmly believing that unequivocally it is going to happen. Faith is not to be underestimating and although God has given us all access to faith, many of us don’t utilize it productively in various areas

of our lives. Many of us express passionately our faith in God but “life” usually happens and really tests to the core what our belief truly is! It is easy to say I trust God when we go through tests in our lives that seem to be “short lived” and really don’t affect us to the core of our being. But, it is another thing to go through a “wilderness experience” for an extensive period of time, whereas, it seems to matter how much you pray, fast, what decisions you make or otherwise, it has the appearance that things are unchangeable. Do you still believe and trust God in those instances?

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It appears to be those “elongated occurrences” in our lives that really troubles us and really exposes what is truly in our hearts and how we truly feel about God. Some people say that they love God and is faithful to him but when trouble comes, it is those same people that “curse” God and fault him for the situations that arises in their lives; they have completely thrown “faith out the

Press against fear, press against circumstances, press against “naysayers,” press against obstacles...

inspired women magazine MARCH / APRIL 2014

window” and is now playing the “blame game.” God doesn’t want us just to love and trust him in good times, but he requires that same level of faith and trust even in our darkest moments of life. It is at these “dark moments” that we should affirm our faith through the word of God and speak “life not death” (Proverbs 18:21-NKJV) to our situation.

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As it relates to our faith, we need to be like a long distant runner. A long distant runner is a focused individual. He or she comes onto the field with focus and determination to win the race that is set before them. Although they have trained and prepared themselves, they are aware that there may be obstacles that may occur in the process i.e. bad weather, time delays, physical injuries or otherwise. But, although that may or may not be the case, they are ready! As they make their mark, they are looking ahead. They are not focused on what or who is beside or behind them. They start and

run the race with such grace and tenacity and sometimes in the process, they may start to feel the fatigue of running for a long time but they don’t allow those pains and distractions to hinder their progress; they just keep running until they reach their destination. Likewise, that is how every person should be when it comes to their faith in God. It is firm and unshakeable. Life and everything that comes with it can’t impede their progress because their trust isn’t in self but in God. Satan doesn’t want us to have that “conquering mentality” because he knows that, that is the way we grow in God and is able to reach those unattainable heights of faith. But, faith requires a continual press. Press against fear, press against circumstances, press against “naysayers,” press against obstacles and even those negative thoughts that seem to dominate your psyche and believe as the long distant runner do that you will win. It is at this point that God enables you to move forward and endure things that you never thought that you would have been able to endure and thus you grow and mature spiritually and increase in your faith. So, my brothers and sisters, “Hang on in there” and trust God in all areas of your life for he has promised to “never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-NKJV)” and that is what faith is and that is what will take you to heights unattainable in Christ!

Jennifer Workman is a full-time Freelance Writer, Inspirational Speaker, Web Designer, Published Editor and Broadcaster. Her work has appeared on websites such as Highways Byways Ministry to Incarcerated, Master Kare Plumbing Services and Simply Victorious Ministries, the State Newspaper, Empowerment Magazine, Today’s Chrsitian Woman Magazine, Ruby for Women Magazine, Faith Filled Magazine, etc..


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Inspired Women Magazine March / April 2014  

Inspired Women Magazine exists to encourage, motivate and inspire faith and divine excellence in women. It is a magazine geared towards wome...

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