Julie East, Weekend Lay Director
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
God's vision for MDST #178 comes from His heart to the hearts of women. The theme is "A Woman's Heart, Cherished by God." In a lifelong search to be loved and cherished, I had filled my heart with temporal things. Praise God that His love transcends my past hurts, poor decisions and insecurities (and the enemy's attempt to use these things in my life to render me unloved and ineffective).
It takes a constant vigilance over our hearts to stay connected to God in such a way to know, believe and walk in His love for us. The bible offers us clear, practical ways to walk in His love; we must make the choice to live by our faith in Christ, and not on the shifting sand of our emotions:
We must know that He loves and cherishes us:
Jeremiah 31:3 (Amplified) The Lord our God speaking to Israel: "The Lord appeared from of old to me saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you."
We must believe that He cherishes us:
John 14:1 (NASB) Jesus speaking to the disciples: "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me."
We must walk in how He cherishes us:
Philippians 4:4-9 (Amplified) Paul writing to the Christians in Philippi: "Rejoice in the Lord always (delight, gladden yourselves in Him); again I say, Rejoice! Let all men know and perceived and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near (He is coming soon). Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace (shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and loveable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think of and weigh and take account of these things (fix your minds on them). Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.
I am excited to see this vision and theme unfold for the team and pilgrims! It is my prayer that this weekend will facilitate healing and love for women's hearts.
Your sister in Christ, Julie East