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women’s ministry

Cultivate Truth

Summer VLOG: Week 7

 

Cultivate Truth: 100 Days in the Word

With only two weeks left in our series, take a few minutes to reflect on what you’ve experienced these past two months. How has cultivating truth in your life changed you? Our lives can be busy and full and the habit of daily being in God’s word can be a challenge for all of us. We hope you’ve seen the difference it makes and that you’ll continue the commitment to your personal soul care. Together, we can thank God for not only changing us, but growing us deeper into relationship with Him.

This week, we welcome Becca Boganwright to share how we can engage with Jesus and experience the fullness of His love.


Hi Friends!

Especially during the summer time, it can be easy to constantly look for ways to “escape” the chaos, stress, or even mundane things in our everyday lives. While there is something to be said for taking a much needed break, the things we do to escape are often short lived and never produce a lasting sense of fulfillment.

Escaping leaves us empty, but engaging with Jesus fills us.

To engage with Jesus is to experience how wide and how deep His love for us really is. How do we not just know His love but experience His love? Especially in times when we feel lonely, unseen or insecure? One of the ways we can engage with Jesus and experience His deep love for us is by going back to those moments of difficulty and searching for Jesus in our most painful places.

If you choose to engage with Him and search for Him, I know you will find Him.

With love,

Becca



Let’s Dig Deeper:

This week, read Days 43-48 of Embraced. Answer the following questions on your own or discuss them with a friend and/or your community group:

  1. What types of “escape behaviors” ultimately leave you feeling empty? Why is this?
  2. Slowly read through Ephesians 3:16-19. What is the difference between knowing Jesus loves you and experiencing His love for you?
  3. What are some personal barriers you might have that keep you from experiencing how deep God’s love for you is?
  4. Take some time to remember an experience when you felt lonely, unseen or insecure. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and imagine being in that place. Now, reflect on what you’ve just read about how much Jesus loves you and turn that memory into a prayer, asking Jesus to reveal Himself to you. How do you experience Jesus in this place?

 

Becca Boganwright has been leading worship at Sandals Church for over a decade and has the immense privilege of being one of the Cultivate teachers. She is wife to Andrew, the Marriage and Men’s Ministry Pastor at Sandals, and is mother to Kingston (12), and Nobel (11). Not only is she passionate about Jesus, music, family and education, but she’s also a middle school science teacher—which means she’s got just a little crazy in her—and she LOVES it.

 


You’re invited to experience Cultivate Women and our vision of spiritual growth in a community of kindness. This year, we’re thrilled to include our always popular Cultivate Marketplace with your Cultivate Conference registration. We’re curating a special selection of vendors to bring you the best and most beautiful items to browse, including NEW Cultivate merchandise. When you join us, not only will you experience food, friends, worship and teaching from Tammy Brown, Melody Workman and our special guest speaker, best selling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, but you’ll get to shop too! Don’t miss this incredible weekend! Register today at cultivate.sc/conference

September 21 & 22 | Sandals Church Hunter Park | 150 Palmyrita Ave, Riverside 92507

Cultivate Truth

Summer VLOG: Week 3

Cultivate Truth: 100 Days in the Word

It’s Week 3 of our Cultivate Summer VLOG series and we’re so glad you’re here! If you’ve missed any part of our series so far, simply visit our home page to catch up. It’s never to late to join our Cultivate Teaching Team as they share wisdom, insight and truth through Lysa TerKeurst’s best selling devotional, Embraced!

This week, we welcome Lori Albee as she encourages us to seek God in our decision making.


Hi friends,

As women we face many decisions, but some can be more crucial than others. It seems lately the media has highlighted so many people who, when hurting, compound their pain by making decisions that lead them on a path of destruction rather than healing. This week we discuss how making crucial decisions in the dark can have devastating consequences and we are reminded that nothing we’ve done is beyond God’s redemption.

By being women of exceptional kindness, love and intentionality, we can help one another embrace God’s direction for our lives in the midst of whatever decisions we are facing. 

With love,

Lori



Let’s Dig Deeper:

This week, read Days 15-21 of Embraced. Answer the following questions on your own or discuss them with a friend and/or your community group:

  1. Without saying specific names, think about a time someone either reached out to you or didn’t reach out to you at a crucial time. Talk about how that impacted you either negatively or positively.
  2. Share about a time when God brought you out of something difficult. What was that process like for you? Encourage one another by sharing how you’ve grown or how your story has enabled someone else to keep going during a hard season.
  3. If you are in the midst of a difficult season, consider sharing with your group leader or someone you feel safe with.  You are not alone. If you’d like to connect with a pastor or licensed minister at Sandals Church, we’re here for you.
  4. Who in your world may be feeling stuck, hurting, or be facing a crucial decision? Without saying specific names, share your plan for how you are going to be intentional in not only praying for them, but also reaching out to them this week.

Lori Albee has had the opportunity to take on many roles in life…teacher, stay at home mom, Women’s Minister, and currently, the Environments Design Lead at Sandals Church. By far, however, her favorite role is being a wife to Matt (the funniest guy he knows) and mom to Cam and Raimi. Lori is a lover of God’s Word, sunsets, creativity, nature, beauty that comes from brokenness, second chances and she’s a believer that we are all far from over. She’s so excited to be with you on this journey through Embraced this summer! 


Registration for our Cultivate Conference & Marketplace is OPEN! You’re invited to experience Cultivate Women and our vision of spiritual growth in a community of kindness. Join us for worship, teaching, marketplace vendors and more. In addition to our special guest speaker, best selling author Lysa TerKeurst, you’ll be encouraged by our Cultivate Founder, Tammy Brown and Melody Workman, Cultivate Lead. Save the date, invite your friends and join us for a weekend of exceptional kindness!

September 21 & 22 | Sandals Church Hunter Park | For pricing, information and to register visit cultivate.sc/conference

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What Being “Spiritually Wise” Means to Me

Hey Cultivate Sisters! I am so glad you are on this journey of Cultivating Community with us this summer. Over the month of June we are going to take each week and study what our Cultivate vision statement is all about and why it matters. God’s Word has a lot to say about being spiritually wise, relationally kind, emotionally healthy, connected in community and serving on a team. And several of our Pastor’s Wives are excited to share some of their wisdom and experiences with you this month. So you will get to read from them and then go through the scripture passages and discussion questions with your group!

This week, we are going to go deeper in discovering what it means to be spiritually wise and I want to share a little about what this means to me personally. Many of you know my story – born into a Pastor’s home, raised as a Pastor’s kid and then grew up to marry a Pastor! Church life has been my life for my ENTIRE life. So much of that has been good – I’ve learned and memorized a lot of Bible verses, heard a lot of great messages, been to exciting conferences, met some great heroes of the faith…experiences and lessons I am so grateful for. But the dark side of being a “lifetime Christian” is something that I call counterfeit spirituality. This is something I struggled with for many years. Counterfeit spirituality is when things or people can look spiritual, sound spiritual and even “feel” spiritual but actually be phony or contrary to God’s Word.

If you have spent any time reading the Gospels in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), you will see that Jesus was at odds most of the time with the religious leaders of His day – the Pharisees and Sadducees. These men were the ultimate biblical scholars. They knew ALL THE THINGS. They could quote Jewish law backwards and forwards. People revered them as being holy and set apart for God. They were separate from “common people.” They were highly educated, intelligent and considered to be very very….wise. And wisdom, as we know from the book of Proverbs is something we are all supposed to be growing in and seeking to become:

…“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding..” (Proverbs 3:13)

So then why was Jesus always against them? Why did He even call them names? (yes Jesus actually did this..granted not names we would normally say today, but I might throw punches if you called me a “whited tomb full of dead men’s bones” – Matthew 23:27)

I actually think the worst thing he called them was hypocrites. Here is the definition of a hypocrite: A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs that he or she does not actually possess.”

Dang Jesus.

You want to know what the Pharisees despised the most about Jesus? It wasn’t that He could do miracles they couldn’t do, or that people liked him better or even that He would embarrass them at times in front of crowds when they would try to “trick” him with their spiritual dilemmas. It was the fact that Jesus could see straight past their their holy robes and wordy prayers right into their hearts. He KNEW them…really knew them and they hated it. They were smart. But they definitely weren’t wise.

Here’s the problem: We have confused what it means to be smart and what it means to be wise.

A smart person can memorize a verse. A wise person lives it out.

A smart person can can see their sin. A wise person confesses theirs.

A smart person can learn how to speak Christianese. A wise person chooses to live like Christ.

A smart person can say the right thing. A wise person does it.

A smart person can look spiritual. A wise person actually is.

More words about wisdom from Proverbs:

“The reverent fear of the Lord (that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome) is the beginning and preeminent part of wisdom – its starting point and its essence.” (Proverbs 9:10 AMP)

What I had to learn as I struggled with counterfeit spirituality all throughout my teen years was this:

Information about God doesn’t equal Transformation by God.

Becoming spiritually wise has less to do with your external appearance and much more to do with your internal awareness. Becoming aware of your words, your emotions, your thoughts and your actions and learning to align those with the heart of Jesus.

Do you want to know if you’re becoming spiritually wise? Ask yourself these questions:

Am I kind?

Am I discerning?

Am I loving?

Am I even-tempered?

Am I quick to forgive?

Am I eager to gossip or listen to it?

Am I seeking godly counsel?

Am I aware of how people experience me?

Am I teachable?

Am I in God’s Word?

This list isn’t exhaustive but it’s a start. Here is my challenge to you: Don’t answer these alone. To grow in wisdom is to invite someone into your life as a gentle truth teller. So sit down with someone who loves you and is cheering you on as you grow in your faith and answer them together. Be humble. Be honest.

Becoming spiritually wise is a process and we all experience setbacks and restarts. And that is okay – there is always grace for growth. And in this process, you will learn so much about God’s heart for you and how He can use you when you are a daughter that is wise and helping other women become the same.

Let’s continue to grow spiritually wise together!

Much love,

Melody

 

 

Let’s Dig Deeper…

  1. Who is someone in your life that you would define as being “spiritually wise?” How has their wisdom impacted your life?
  2. Read Proverbs 9. Underline or circle every time the word “wisdom” is used. What are some trademarks of wisdom? What are some of the benefits?
  3. Do you struggle with counterfeit spirituality? Why is it easy to settle for information rather than transformation?
  4. Read Proverbs 13:20. Becoming wise means investing in wise friendships and avoiding foolish ones. What friends in your life are helping you become a woman who is spiritually wise? Are their friendships you might need to distance yourself from?
  5. After sharing some of your answers to the list of “am I” questions above, spend some time praying for one another – that God would continue to help you grow in wisdom as you cultivate His word into your hearts and lives.

 

Melody is the Cultivate Lead at Sandals Church and also leads worship there. She is married to Adam, the Discipleship Pastor at Sandals. Together they have 3 kids. Elijah is 13, Mehretab is 11 and Addison is 10. Melody loves spending time at the beach, a good massage, and good food. After living on the east coast her entire life and hating winter, she has fully embraced becoming a California girl.