I wanted a baby, but God had other plans…

Posted by on Feb 22, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

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I am so excited that my sweet friend, Candise Farmer, of Enough Grace Ministries, said “YES” and wrote a guest blog for Joytime!

You will surely be blessed, my friend, as Candise shares a glimpse of her story:

 

Have you ever considered a disappointment of your life to be a ministry launching pad? Or perhaps, your astounding talent … could it be the springboard that catapults you into a new spiritual outreach? What about a profound life experience – might it serve as a catalyst that drives you into a fresh work for the Kingdom of God?

Everyone has one!

Each of us has a significant life event, a God-given talent, or a painful circumstance within our lives that can propel us into ministering to others. We find this Heavenly intent in II Corinthians 1:3-4 as the Apostle Paul reflects upon the purpose of our trials: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

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In 2012, I became an irreversible barren wife, and with that dreaded regret becoming a reality, I entered into a pit of depression, bitterness, and doubt. As a believer and follower of Christ, I knew that my only restoration would be found in my relationship with God. And so, with a broken heart and amidst my crushed dreams, I persisted in spiritually crawling to the Lord for my healing. I wish I could say, “Suddenly one day, all the despair left and I was instantly delivered into a life of contentment.” But that is not the case. It took time – quite a bit of time. But God was faithful. Over the course of several months, He gently used His Word to bring me life again, and with His healing, He called me to write my first book, Green Pastures of a Barren Land. God’s commission was simple, yet profound; I was to share my journey of loss and to extend to others the Biblical principles that He used to save my life.

Just this summer, at a student church camp in Dayton, TN, I was challenge by God – via camp pastor Tim Brady – to identify “my spiritual launching pad.” I had never thought about that before. A spiritual launching pad? Could it be that my encounter with infertility, miscarriage, and childlessness was the “starting block” that God had set beneath my spiritual feet of ministry? The more I listened to Bro. Tim’s message, the more I began to realize God’s plan. He had designed my walk through biological barrenness to be a Divine “take-off” for ministering to others.

This month marks the second anniversary of the inception of Enough Grace Ministries, a 501c3, non-profit organization that God led me to found. My failed reproductive aspirations have spiritually birthed much more than I ever anticipated. Springing off of my “childless platform” is a passionate team of EGM board members who desire to reach people with the message of hope which can only be found in God’s Word.

God has opened doors of ministry that have enabled me to share of His grace that has filled my emptiness of childlessness. Our ministry has been able to serve churches, women’s groups, and student assemblies by presenting, sharing testimony, and facilitating Bible studies across the country. Disappointments in life come with many faces, but God’s Word is the same restoring balm for peace and joy through those times.

God has a plan for our lives, and by recognizing our spiritual springboards, we can serve Him and others more effectively. What is your “spiritual launching pad?” Everyone has one! There is a thrill in the “take-off,” and there is a reward with the ride.

For more information on how to book EGM for your ministry event, please visit www.enoughgraceministries.com.

unnamedBy: Candise Farmer, author, speaker and founder of Enough Grace Ministries

Click here to view a video of Candise sharing EGM and its resources on Life Today with James and Betty Robison. http://lifetoday.org/video/green-pastures/

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Ready? Set? GO!

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

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Do you send emails on a regular basis? In my job as a pharmacy professor, I send a lot of emails. Some emails are quick and to the point. Other emails are more detailed, especially when the email involves instructions about a very important project.

When I type out an email, it is very important that it is concise and correct. It needs to be free of spelling and grammatical errors and it needs to express my thoughts clearly. So, before I send an email, I re-read it several times. I proof it for errors and rework my sentences to make sure I am communicating the way I intend.

I can proofread and rework my sentences all I want to, but there comes a time when I must click the send button. There is a time when the preparation of the email is over. There is a time for the email to GO!

This makes me think about my walk with God.      

When God calls me to do something for His kingdom, there is usually a preparation period. I think about it. I pray about it. I stay submerged in God’s Word.  I seek out good Christian counsel about it. I begin to make plans to do what He is calling me to do.

The preparation period is important, but there comes a time when I must take that next step to DO what He is calling me to do.

Joshua was a mighty warrior. His charge was to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. As the Jordan River stood between his people and their destiny, Joshua prepared. He told the people to consecrate themselves before God. He told them to get ready.

The day came when the preparation and planning period was over.   The day came when Joshua and the people had to GO!

 

“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 

the water from upstream stopped flowing.” ~Joshua 3:15-16a

 

I wonder if there is something God is urging you to do.   I wonder if He has placed a specific calling upon your life.  Maybe there is somewhere He is urging you to go.  Maybe there is a new project He is calling you to start.  I wonder if you have spent time thinking, praying and planning.  I wonder what your next step needs to be.

I wonder if you are fearful about that next step.  

God had a specific calling on Joshua’s life.  Joshua’s calling was not easy.  It involved hard work!  As Joshua was preparing to fulfill his calling, God told Joshua to be strong and very courageous.  

I encourage you to be brave and take that important next step, my friend.  Be strong and very courageous.  Remember, real faith is not passive.  Real faith requires action!

Get ready. Get set. GO!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Joy

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In your darkest hour, do you trust Him?

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Blog | 3 comments

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One Sunday morning, I stood in the hallway of my church, waiting to talk with a friend about her upcoming visit to see her Doctor.  You see, she had a strange pain that could not be explained and after seeing multiple doctors, she was told there was a good chance it was cancer.  She had some scans done the previous week, and she was going to find out the results of those scans the next day.  She was in a dark place.

As a church family, we had been praying and I had prepared myself to encourage her with all kinds of wisdom.   I just knew she would be anxious and upset.  I just knew she would need someone to talk to, so when my friend came around the corner that Sunday morning, I was ready.  I was ready to give her the encouragement she needed.

Yeah!  About that.  What happened next could not have surprised me more.

As I hugged her and started to tell her how sorry I was that she was going through this trial, she stopped me dead in my tracks.  She began to tell me how she was NOT worried and I could see in her eyes ….that she really was NOT worried.  She began to tell me that God was in control of all things and He was allowing her to go through this for some purpose.  She told me she knew God had a plan that she could trust.  And then she said something to me that has stuck with me ever since.  She said, “I want my life to bring glory to God.  If me having cancer will do that, then I am ready.”

Whoa!  That was not what I was expecting.

This was not a conversation about her being healed or about it not being cancer.  This was a conversation about trusting the God of the Universe with the outcomes.

I was speechless, and as our conversation ended, I began to feel challenged in my spirit.

Did I trust God that much?

Did I really feel in my heart that I was willing to go through whatever in order to bring glory to God?

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”  ~Matthew 16:24-25

This friend of mine had two small children and yet, she was not doubting God because she was going through this trial.  Oh, I’m sure she struggled in her own private place because she loves her family and she wants to raise her children, but she had complete assurance that God had a plan.  She believed with all of her being that she could trust Him…no matter the results of that scan.

I do not know what you are going through today my friend.  I do not know what trial you are facing, but here is what I do know.

I know that God loves you and nothing you go through catches Him by surprise.

I know that God will never leave or forsake you.

I know that even if you or I get the worst diagnosis possible or if a tragedy strikes our family, God never changes.  He is constant.   He is who He says He is.

I know that this life is temporary and the struggles we face will only last a little while.

I know there is a real eternity awaiting those of us who are in Christ.  It will be more wonderful than our human minds can fathom.

Remember….we serve a God who is trustworthy.  Surrender your darkest hour to Him.  Trust Him my friend.  No matter what, trust Him.

I am grateful for you and would love to hear from you! Email me at joy@joytime.org

~Joy

 

 

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