Friday, April 12, 2013

Africa: Ancient Ways, Global Influences, and 'A WISE WOMAN'

I loved the juxtaposition of these two shops.  
Ancient Ways and the Cell Phone store dwelling side by side in perfect harmony when their roots are centuries apart.

We just completed our first Women's Conference here in Ghana in the city of Koforidua.
For all the differences in our lives and cultures, there are more things we women share in common than you might think.

Our theme was 'A Wise Woman' from Proverbs 14:1.
Every wise woman builds her house:  but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.  

Our topics included:

  • Cultivating a rich spiritual life through God's word and prayer
  • God's model for a wife in her marriage
  • Window of Opportunity:  Raising godly children
  • Getting ahead of God:  A Cautionary Tale from the life of Sarah
  • Lessons from 2 Women named Mary
  • And of course, The Proverbs 31 Woman

We committed ourselves afresh to putting 
GOD FIRST in our lives.

During our question and answer time it became apparent that some of the Ghanaian cultural traditions can work to undermine marriage.  Of course, Satan takes advantage of this in Christian marriage and it results in a foundational lack of oneness between a wife and her husband.


And His truth sets us free from cultural tradition, the lies of the enemy, and our own selfish inclinations.

Will you keep these women of Koforidua in your prayers?
Ask that the Lord work this truth into their lives and not let the enemy discourage them with the cost of discipleship or the time it may take to yield fruit.  

Some of the women at the  Koforidua Women's Conference

Teaching on marriage reminded me again how easy it is to slip into an 'each for his/her own' attitude.

At its core marriage is a UNION.  
It's more than a partnership.  
The WHOLE is vastly greater than the sum of its parts.

Do you know a couple that exemplify this?
Gary and I have friends that do and they are always uplifting company.

He is loving, appreciative, and willing to clear the dinner dishes.
She is loving, kindly generous in word and deed, and lets him know she thinks he's awesome in every way.

Want to know one of their secrets?

Jesus asked, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do the things I say?"
Our friends honor Jesus as Lord.  And they reap the benefits of a loving marriage that is a wonderful picture of Christ and his bride, the Church.

I remember years ago reading Nancy Missler's book, Why Should I Be the First to Change?

That question came up several times among the women at the Conference.

It reminds me of what I used to say when my sister and I were facing discipline after some squabble:  Do Carrie first!

I wanted her to receive correction first.
My motive was that if my Dad spanked her first, her sad tear-stained face would lessen his earnestness and soften my spanking.

In marriage we want God to work on our partner first.  
After all, they must be far more in need of it than we ourselves.

Who is most at fault is always the wrong question.

The Holy Spirit talks to me about my own sin.
Satan talks to me about my husband's sin.

Consider the source takes on a whole new meaning doesn't it?

Does your marriage need a little maintenance?
Are you in need of repairs?

You might have to get out the maintenance manual and go through the checklist.

Remember to:

I'll end on the same note where I began.  
Here's the sign just inside the church where we held the Conference.

It takes us back to Calvary where our redemption was purchased, 
then reminds us to turn off our cell phones:)

Just for fun here at two more classic shots.  
No great blazing colorful sky, no exotic wildlife, but just the oh so out of place and context signs and business names that I have come to love here in Ghana.

Shots I missed:
The Kingdom and the Power Fast Stop

Remember the Christian women of Koforidua in your prayers.

That God's word would bear fruit in their lives and bring them joy and peace.
That the Lord would open the eyes and hearts of unbelieving husbands to bring them to salvation and maturity in Christ.
Wisdom for these women as they impart the truth to their children.  Pray for a new generation of believers who are strong in the word of God from their youth and dedicated to being 'workmen of God who can rightly handle the word of truth'.
Make these women like Dorcas who ministered to others.
Increase their love and knit their hearts one to another in prayer and fellowship.
Inspire them to reach out in their neighborhoods and with their extended families to share the good news.
May God do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think in them and in us.

Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
. . .a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.
. . .Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
Proverbs 31:11-12, 30-31 NLT

In His great love,

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