Purposeful Faith

Category - womens ministry monday

Have Courage!

Have Courage!

I am delighted to welcome Deanna Fields. God has put a message on her heart that we all need to hear. Her words remind me to press into all that God has for me. Thank you Deanna for joining us for Ministry Monday.

Post by: Deanna Fields

In Disney’s newest Cinderella movie, there’s a scene where Ella’s dying mother shares a secret with her daughter, “Have courage.”  Ella’s mother knew it would be difficult for her to grow up without a mother and that she would need courage.  In the same manner, our Heavenly Father has been whispering this same secret to us throughout time.  Now if we’re honest, I think that most of us would confess that we struggle with fear…having no courage.  I know I have!

Many years ago I struggled with fear in many areas.  Our church had launched the first of many short-term mission trips.  It didn’t cross my mind that God would want me to be a part of one of those teams, but while talking with my husband he asked if I was planning to go and I said, “NO…but I haven’t really prayed about it.”

The instant I spoke those words, I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon me to pray.  The next day, I went to the prayer room and the whole time I was thinking “Lord, I really don’t feel like you’re calling me to this, but if you are please be specific with me.  Ireland…it’s really pretty there, and I love working with children.  Israel…hmmm, that’s kind of scary, but whatever you want Lord.”

Boy was I surprised when my Bible opened to Matthew 10:5-6, which basically says Do not go in the way of the gentiles, but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  Really God?


Fear gripped me.  The next few weeks the Lord continued to send confirmation and I really couldn’t run from Him anymore.  So back to the prayer room with all my excuses.  “We don’t have the money…My kids are too young and I can’t be gone that long…I’m so busy with the ministry YOU gave me…I’m afraid to fly…It’s scary over in that part of the world!  Basically, I was begging God to change His mind.  Again I was blown away when my Bible landed on Luke 1:11-13, which basically says…

 “then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said
‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard….’”

God had heard my prayer.  He knew I was afraid and guess what…He still wanted me to go to Israel.  My husband and I didn’t understand why, but we knew we had to face our fears and walk in obedience.  Then something amazing happened!  With the help of the Holy Spirit, we stepped over that fear, and later released our family into 16 other short-term trips and two study abroad trips.  God dealt with that fear in us…but it was a battle for me!

We ALL must continually seek to be a people
who walk in the courage of God.

God wants to impart His courage to us.

How do I know this?

In 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, Paul prays a blessing that says, “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”  

If you take a look at the focal point of these verses, which is the word encourage, you can find the intent of this prayer.  The actual meaning of the word in this instance is deeper than the meaning of comfort (which is what we think of when we hear the word encourage).  In this instance, this is like God giving us Himself, His Holy Spirit, so we can actually walk out courage in our lives.

Courage is a constant theme throughout scripture where the Lord continually encourages His people with phrases like “fear not” “have courage” and “do not be afraid.” We need a constant reminder that God is in control of our life, and we CAN do all things with Him and through Him!

What areas do you need courage to say yes to God? 

Don’t allow the enemy to intimidate you into doubt and fear.  You will miss experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit by trying to live a safe and comfortable life!

So today I’m planning to lead a women’s retreat to Cambodia next summer…and I’m excited!  This is a new adventure for me.  We are travelling to a place where the culture is extremely different from ours, and the treatment of women can be oppressive in many instances.  The harsh reality is that I won’t understand what these women have experienced or how they feel.  I really don’t have a clue of what’s in store, but I know that God has prepared the way.  So I can walk with courage, not fear, into this incredible opportunity.

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DeAnna Fields bio

bio picDeAnna Fields has been the Women’s Ministry Pastor at Beltway Park Church in Abilene, Texas for almost 16 years.  She loves women of all ages, and works to connect the generations at her church. She and her husband, Doug, have been married for 30 years, and are blessed with three daughters. DeAnna graduated from Texas Tech University in 1984 with a BBA Marketing degree, and is amazed that the Lord wastes nothing she learned in that environment to reach out to the women in her church and community.  It is her passion to encourage women of ALL ages to seek the Lord in every area of their life and understand that we serve a God of resurrection power and healing.

Everybody Needs Encouragement


I could not be more delighted to welcome Jan Greenwood to Purposeful Faith today. Her book, Women at War, both uplifted my heart and rekindled fervor for Christ. Jan, a natural encourager and an endurer, is flame-lighting the world with truth. Thank you for that, Jan. We are truly blessed by you and your mission. Love, Kelly

Post by: Jan Greenwood

Most of us are starving for a little encouragement.

We’re walking around parched, prone to self-doubt and focused on what must be done.  Some of us are downright afraid.  Some of us have fallen into a pit of discouragement and feel totally alone.  Some of us are riding the mountain top of breakthrough and find that even good, God things bring stress and fear.

Can you relate?

I’ve recently been in a serious battle for my health. I’m grateful that many have been encouraging me.  However, I often run into friends who say something like “I have been thinking of you, but I didn’t want to bother you.  I know so many others are already encouraging you.”

I wonder why we think we should limit encouragement?  

Or why we think our encouragement is inferior or too late?  

People are made to be filled with courage…
to be comforted, built up, and empowered by you.

I Thessalonians 15:11 says “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up…”

I cherish every face-to-face encounter, notecard, email, text, post or even a like, love or follow on social media. They remind me I’m not alone and fill me with courage. But everyone needs encouragement to arrive in ways they can manage the impact and influx.  It’s not that they don’t need encouragement but simply they need it delivered in a manner they can receive it.

I think this is the major reason we limit our encouragement –we’ve experienced encouragement from another in a manner that was insensitive to how we are feeling, out of order, embellished or at a moment where a response was expected of us that we simply didn’t have the capacity to give.

I’d like to share some of my favorite ways to both give and receive encouragement that are simple, inexpensive, really effective – and never arrive at a bad time.

It’s never a bad time to send a note.  I still love snail mail.  It speaks to me and says “I care.  I thought about you enough to buy a notecard, think of something kind to say, write it down, and even spend a little more to put the stamp on the envelope.” It makes me feel special and cared for. A written word, no matter how small or short has great value. So go ahead and send a text, email or social media like.  It all lasts…it lingers…it can encourage multiple times.  If you add a scripture or a brief prayer – double points for you!

It’s never a bad time to pray. Pray each time that person comes to your mind and trust that you are depositing faith, hope and courage into your friend.  (You’ll notice I didn’t say it’s never a bad time to pray with the person you want to encourage.  Ask permission, don’t make it too long, and be sensitive to the environment, timing and how the person is feeling.)  I like to imagine I have a giant prayer bowl on the altar of God that is filling with the beautiful aroma of prayer.  When I feel weary, afraid or even downright fearful, I will lift my eyes to heaven and ask God to throw down some fire from that altar. The prayers of others get me through.

It’s never a bad time to say I love you. People are drawn to those who can express an authentic concern and affection for them and their needs. A thirsty man can spot water from a mile away.  People will be drawn to your genuine encouragement.  That same thirsty man can smell insincerity. Never lie or overstate your concern.  Keep it simple.  Touch them if appropriate.  Look them in the eye.  Don’t overstay your welcome.  Follow their cues.

It’s never a bad time to send a gift card especially for restaurants or grocery stores. People love to eat (have to eat) and often in the midst of a difficult season preparing a meal for your family can be a really big drain on your limited strengths or resources.  (I also love home cooked meals, but they require a lot more coordination/energy for both parties. Cards allow me to meet the needs of my family as they come and on tough days that means I’m not in the kitchen at all. Double points for me!

So go ahead and act on your impulse.  You are made for this!  You are an encourager and your love and concern for others is powerful.  Don’t withhold.  Don’t worry.  Don’t delay.  Someone right in front of you needs to be encouraged.

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About Jan

encouragementJan Greenwood, author of Women at War and Pastor of Women at Gateway Church, is a fervent developer of women.  As a speaker, author and pastor of women, she’s taught many how to create powerful, healthy female relationships.  Jan and her husband Mark have been married over 30 years and live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area. Follow Jan on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.




About Women at War

Women at War is revolutionizing the way women treat one another and the value they place of their own gender.

Pink Impact

Learn more about Pink Impact, the annual women’s conference at Gateway Church.




Women’s Ministry Monday: A Televised Awakening

televised awakening

I am delighted today to welcome Diane Maudsley, both a friend and a passionate women’s ministry director to share her story for Ministry Monday. As you will see, God proves he can reach anyone at anytime. Who are you hoping he reaches?  Don’t lose hope…

When the time is right, God will get the right message in front of their sight.

Diane’s story proves this…

It was Easter Sunday, 27 years ago, when the grace of God visited my small apartment living room as I knelt in front of the television listening to an evangelist teaching about forgiveness.

That day was by far one of the most, if not THE most, impactful days in my spiritual walk with God.

I had grown up learning about God, hearing about His magnificence and power, learning in Church and in Christian schools that He created me and this great world, and I knew all about His Son, Jesus, …but did I, really?

My soul was lost and desperate – it was searching the TV airwaves (there was no internet or iPhone then of course) for a glimmer of hope for my wretched life.

The man on TV called it “Resurrection Sunday”!
He was looking right into the camera (into MY eyes).
He told me Jesus died on the cross to forgive ME of MY sins…!!!

Why had I felt like I have never heard that before?

Why did it feel like I was hearing this for the very first time???

27 years later I can tell you why, spoken best by the words of Paul the apostle: “Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation…” (Eph. 3:2-3)

I was given a gift, a “revelation,” as I tuned to the right place at the right time for my heart, my soul, and my mind to receive this free gift of grace from heaven!

It was MY day of visitation!

Have you experienced yours?

When you open your heart to welcome God in,
surprisingly you find he walks right in.

Just as the veil or curtain was torn in the temple when Jesus died on the cross, the veil was removed from my eyes so I could see the Lord’s true forgiveness and grace!

Before this moment, while my life’s journey had taken me on many shallow roads of “doing good,” I was not standing on the solid ground of salvation, therefore I strayed from the “path of righteousness,” being easily swayed by temptation.

Do you subtly stray?

Does temptation often call your name?

Does that thought scare you?

Today I am the mother of 3 amazing gifts from God, my daughter who is 23, a son who is 20 and another son, who is 17.

Sure, it is scary, knee-worthy even, but because of my experience with a saving knowledge of God and His Son’s sacrifice on the cross and glorious Resurrection, I can rest assured that God is in control of their lives, just like He is in control of mine. I pray that they will have great testimonies of redemption and grace in their lives as they find Christ and follow Him to their destinies.

Resurrection always waits: “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)

It calls us to more: “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies” (Psalm 107:2)

Will you answer?

When I was set on the path of righteousness my life truly began anew. The road was not easy, but it was alive and hopeful and I declare to you today that I have been redeemed from the enemies of shame, guilt and regret.

Let’s remain awake and alive, shining the light of Christ everywhere we go.

God used a television evangelist that morning in my life. May He awaken the sleepers and use our testimonies to raise up a shining army that brings hope to those dwelling in darkness!

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

About Diane Maudsley

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 10.23.51 AM
Diane has been Women’s Ministry Director for Hope Church in Wilton, CT for 6 years and loves the women she gets to serve! She thrives on seeing a woman’s faith grow and come alive through the reading and study of God’s Word.
When she isn’t serving at her church, she is  teaching horseback riding to children, most of whom have special needs. She is a PATH certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor since 2011 and loves seeing the children come to life on the back of a horse!