Women of Worship present their new small group series OVERCOMER: Unleash unstoppable strength, unmovable faith, and unbelievable power. The Bible promises we were created to enjoy lives of freedom, even when the world around us seems to be filled with darkness.
We were created to be overcomers, conquering the obstacles in our lives. In Overcomer, Dr. Jeremiah explores the powerful relevance of spiritual armor as we confront challenges in our lives. Enough living in defeat! It is time to find renewed strength and claim the promises of God’s Word to overcome life’s greatest threats.
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
Overcomer a Small Group Study based on the book by Dr. David Jeremiah. The 1st, 3rd & 5th Mondays at 6:30 pm
Session 1: February 18, Session 2: March 4, Session 3: March 18, Session 4: April 1, Session 5: April 15, Session 6: April 29
Session 7: May 6, Session 8: May 20
  Reading Through Overcomer

Words To Live By “Overcoming Fear with Faith”

by Francine Rodriguez
 

Faith that conquers is great faith, but faith that continues is even greater. In Hebrews 11 the Old Testament heroes conquered kingdoms, performed great acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness they were made strong, became mighty in battle, put foreign armies to flight. But that was not always the case…Others were tortured, not accepting their release so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mocking’s and scourging’s, chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawn in two, tempted, put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins, and goatskins being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (Men of whom this world is not worthy) wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. (vv.35-38). If they would have recanted their faith they would have been delivered, but they endured suffering because they were looking for a heavenly and eternal existence, not a temporal one. They did not fear death because they viewed their trials through the eyes of faith. “God help us to see our trials the same way.”

To grow our faith, we need other people: Battle Formation: While the Roman shield was carried by an individual soldier, it was most effective when combined with the shields of other soldiers.

In Paul’s day, archers of the Roman army would put cotton like material on the tips of their arrows and soak it with pitch. Before they shot the arrow, they would light the material. It would burn slowly but it was very hot. When the arrow hit the target, the pitch would splatter and start little fires, sometimes even the soldiers garments were set on fire.

To prevent this the soldiers would get into battle formation called the tortoise or phalanx. This is called the shield of faith; they would lift their shields and interlock with the soldier next to them. This shield of faith is utilized in community. Sometimes God will strengthen us when we are all alone but most often he strengthens us through the words or presence of other people in our lives. So do not neglect the benefit of following Jesus as a part of a community of believers, and let God grow your faith alongside, and as a part of His people.

God never intended for people to follow Christ alone. To grow faith that dispels your fears, you need other people. Faith is Contagious! “Every Word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” As long as you believe God, your shield is up. When you believe Satan’s lies, your shield comes down.

Faith is the most important element in life– without it; it is impossible to please God. At the core, faith is an act of trust by which we commit ourselves to someone or something. Faith is believing in the object of our trust. Believing in ourselves. Believing in another person. Ultimately, believing in God.

Faith is so important that it is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible!

The power of our faith rests in the object of our faith. At the foundation of all love is belief in the object that is loved. If we do not believe in a person we cannot love him or her. The same is true in our spiritual journey. We must begin with God: believing that He exists, believing that He cares, and believing that His love is real. “There is no fear in love but perfect love cast out fear” (1John 4:18).

The object of Abraham’s faith was not just the promises of God. His faith rested in God Himself. The key to the Christian life is our faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrificial and atoning death for our sins. We do not only believe that He died on the cross as a fact of history, but we believe that He died for our sins personally.

When we trust what Jesus did for us on the cross, we receive the gift of eternal life. (John 3:16-18) God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves.

What Abraham believed in his mind and heart, he put into action with his life. He turned trust into travel and experienced God’s grace and power along the way. Despite his imperfections God blessed him and Sarah with their promised son Isaac. Through them the nation of Israel was born- the lineage of Jesus Christ was begun. The plan to bless the world with a Savior continued to develop. God’s plan rested on the shoulders of a man who practiced faith.

I pray that we will be like the saints of old. Each one of them trusted God in a unique way. Their confidence in God’s promises resulted in personal obedience to His will for their lives. They clung to the hope that God would eventually triumph over what was challenging them. May we believe the same!



Be of Good Cheer

by Anita Mondragon

“In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33

 I’ve heard this verse quoted since I was a little kid, and since becoming an adult, I have experienced it…literally; so I should not only KNOW it’s words, but I should at this point in my life realize the truth and the power in these words!

Yet, here I am again, going through some stuff; and while my boat is hurled about upon the waters of life’s troubled sea, I find myself doubting once again.  When you’re in a storm, holding on for dear life, it’s difficult to “be of good cheer.”


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The War Is Not Over

by Anita Mondragon
 

“Things are not what they seem.  This is a world at war.  Each of us has a crucial role to play….  A battle is raging, and it is a battle for your heart.” -John Eldredge

Years ago, I read a book by John Eldredge, entitled:  Waking the Dead.  There were many things in there that spoke to my heart!  In one chapter called, “Spiritual Warfare”, he says, and I quote, “This is the heart of our Enemy.  He is determined to hinder and harm and ruin God’s image bearers.  To steal and kill and destroy…the story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you COULD be, and fears it!”


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Will You Fall or Stand?

by Anita Mondrgon
 
“The Bible is the story of two gardens: Eden and Gethsemane. In the first, Adam took a fall. In the second, Jesus took a stand.” –Max Lucado
 
I can really identify with the first garden! I believe most of the human race can. However, the second garden is where I usually fail. How about you?

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Our Weakness Equals His Strength

by Anita Mondragon
 
Dr. Jeremiah was telling the story of Denny Morrison the speed skater.  During his career, he encountered many obstacles, but with fierce determination, he pushed through them all to arrive at his goal.  I’m sure during the times of his severe health problems, fear crept in as well as discouragement; but he never gave up!
 
We as saints of God are to have the same fierceness regarding our walk with God.  The Bible tells us in Proverbs 24:16, “for though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again…”  How can that be?  What gives us the strength to keep getting up?  It is nothing less than girding our loins with truth, and our faith and trust in a mighty God. He gives us the strength and the courage to rise again and keep going!
 
We all experience various times of weakness throughout our life. But we must always remember that Jesus has already won the battle. We possess the victory through Christ and His shed blood. Paul reminds us that we are not fighting for victory but from the victory that Christ already secured for us at the cross.
 
So when the enemy comes knocking…do we run…or STAND?  The choice is yours; but be careful how you choose, for one choice makes you win…but the other, makes you lose!
 
Make the choice to win!  Stand your ground, and let the Lord fight your battles. We must align ourselves with the truth of God if we are going to stand firm in our faith. You do your part through prayer and the study of God’s Word!  Remember what the author said?  ….”If your Bible is falling apart, it usually means that YOU are NOT!” Buckle up before going out!
 
See Psalm 119:28- “I am melting away from anxiety and grief; renew my strength, in keeping with your word.” 
Worship and Praise are also weapons of our warfare against the enemy.  Practice them daily along with your Bible reading and prayer time! Allow God to fill the broken places of your life.  Let Him bond them together and strengthen you with His peace!


On Your Feet Soldier

by Anita Mondragon
 
Overcoming is a spiritual issue. There are three main obstacles to overcome sin, the world, and the

devil. When we face these obstacles, we must NOT look at the physical implications. The devil will ALWAYS make the problems appear to be much larger than they are! I don’t have a dishwasher, so every time I have company over for dinner, by the time they leave…I have dirty dishes on the stove, the counters, and filling both sinks! It looks like it will take me all night to get the kitchen cleaned up. But…once I sort everything out, I find, it’s not really that big of a job after all. The same holds true of the trials and tribulations we face in life. Sometimes, our problems look insurmountable…but if we give them to God and let Him sort them out, we will find they really aren’t that big! Ministry is no different. When and if God calls you to do something…just go ahead and do it. There will be many who tell you that you’re NOT qualified, you can’t do it, it’s impossible, stop being proud, etc. The disdain and angry remarks will continue long after you have accomplished your task. But if you do it as unto the Lord, and in the power of HIS might, you WILL achieve success! Dr. Jeremiah gave five key points in becoming an Overcomer. 1. Refuse to be discouraged. Be persistent in your calling! 2. Reinforce your focus. Look to God for direction and help. 3. Reflect on your past victories. Take a look at what God has brought you through. So encouraging! 4. Run toward the problem or challenge. Meet it head-on! 5. Remember WHO your captain is…THE LORD ALMIGHTY. Do it for Him! In his message to the troops, General Dwight D. Eisenhower started out his speech with these words, “…The eyes of the world are upon you…” The eyes of the world are upon us Believers who profess to KNOW and serve a living God as well, but even more importantly, the eyes of the LORD HIMSELF are upon us, and when we follow His call, He will show himself strong in our behalf and we WILL succeed in our purpose! Take a look at 2 Chronicles 16:9…it’s a promise you can count on! 9  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. -2 Chronicles 16:9 KJV The General’s speech went on to say, “Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely…. But I have full confidence in your devotion to duty and skill in battle.” Can God Almighty say that about you? Is your heart completely His? Can He count on you to be devoted to His cause? This battle between Believers and Satan’s hoards is REAL people! ON YOUR FEET SOLDIER! Put on the full armor of God and get ready to fight! Anita Mondragon




 

Face To Face

Face To Face
Anita Mondragon
 
We, Christians hear all the time that we need to have a relationship with Jesus.  We have all heard the Great Commandment…”To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”  Why is this so important?

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“May We Have Permission To Slap ‘Em Silly In Jesus’ Name”

“May We Have Permission To Slap ‘Em Silly In Jesus’ Name”
By Esther Hernandez
 
Wow!  “Heart Wide Open” just gets better and better. Meaning that God continues to move in my heart and allows me to see wonderful things in His word and in His people.  “May We Have Permission To Slap ‘Em Silly In Jesus’ Name” touched a time in my heart that I will never forget, nor do I want to.

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Keep your hands in your pockets (then you won’t be able to slap them)

“Keep your hands in your pockets (then you won’t be able to slap them)”
By Anita Mondragon
 
As most of you know, my dad was a Baptist preacher for over forty years, so I saw many things from behind the scenes.  Many of those things were the ‘dark side’ of professing Christians.  They were the smiling faces of Christ Himself on Sunday morning…but catch them after church was over, and you’d be looking down the roaring mouth of Satan ready to devour anything in his path!

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Are Some of Us Stuck With Messed Up Mustard Seeds?

Here we are…almost at the end of this study.  I must say, I’m having mixed feelings about this book!  I’m enjoying it very much, but at the same time, it has opened my eyes and caused me to see a few things about myself that I KNEW were there, but I’d denied them for years!  Why?  Because they are UGLY!  That’s the part I’m having trouble with…I think it’s called, “Conviction”!
 


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Learn To Forgive…And Forget

LEARN TO FORGIVE…AND FORGET!

Like all young parents, I made many bad choices.  They were done with the best of intentions, but I was new at being a mom, and some of the choices and decisions I made turned out to be the worst things I could have possibly done!  Yes!  I was stubborn too, and would not listen to wise counsel and advice given to me.  And…I sure didn’t need God’s help!  Or so I thought! I knew it all!  I was an adult and could make my own decisions. WRONG!  I see that now…you know what they say about ‘hind site!’


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Does God Want Out Of Our Quiet Time?

Well…I must admit…Shellie hit me right between the eyes a few times in this chapter!

My intentions are good. The desire of my heart to be close with the Father, is sincere! But I get distracted very easily! I’m like those birds in her back yard she was talking about. Some new idea strikes me…and off I run to pursue it. Instead of falling on my knees in prayer, looking in Scripture to see if this is what HE wants…I decide it’s a ‘good’ thing…and run after it. This has gotten me into more trouble than I care to think about!


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I Suppose CliffsNotes Are Out

The title of chapter three in the study book Heart Wide Open is, I Suppose CliffsNotes are out.  That got me to thinking…”What are CliffsNotes anyway?”  I asked a few folks, and finally looked it up on Google.  The definition was, a series of student study guides….    It still didn’t make sense to me, so I looked up the Urban definition and here’s what it said:  

“I got the cliffnotes.” noun. Used to brush people off during a potentially long-winded story or explanation of current events.
When someone is talking or telling you a story and you don’t want to hear it, say “Thanks but I have the cliffnotes,” to shut them up. This works in many ways, like if someone asks if you’ve seen a movie, etc., you can say you have the cliffnotes (to the movie). You can experiment and enjoy (ticking) peopleoff.
by mike viviano June 13, 2007
 

In other words…


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I Know I’m Not A Super Saint!

As I read chapter 2 of Heart Wide Open, I again could see myself.  I know I’m not a “Super Saint”!  I am anything but!

I’m more like the children of Israel.  I know God’s promises to be true…I’ve experienced them many times.  I can recall several times when He rescued me from certain death.  Times when He proved to be The God of, More than enough!’  But, like them, I seem to forget often!  They wandered in the wilderness for forty years….  Why?  It surely wasn’t because of God!  He promised to give them the land…but they were afraid.


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Heart WideOpen

I began reading the book, Heart Wide Open, and like many of you, as I began to read this book, I could see myself in it’s pages. I’ve gone to church pretty much all my life. I know what the Bible has to say. I am a born-again Believer. …But my “relationship” with Jesus, most times is not as intimate as it should be!
 
Oh yes, I have my moments where He is all I need and want, but they are far and few between. He’s heard me say that I love Him. I tell Him that almost every time I pray. But in all honesty, I don’t always live like I love Him.

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3 Responses to “Women of Worship”

  1. Terri Garrett McCarley says:

    So. nice to read reflections of attendees. Bible studies have a way of touching areas we like to ignore. Glad to know more women are having experiences they never expected. I felt the same way when I did Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer type studies. So much richness is available when we really dig into the Word. Good I so good.

  2. LINDA PEREZ says:

    Open the heart of my eyes Lord and how about me to unclutter all the ugly that may be in my heart give me directions and guidance through my life so I may be victorious Give me definition of things I may not understand but most of all show me how to love as You Love and to help my sisters in our ministry class to understand words they may not understand to pray for one another to learn to trust again to pray out loud so that my father may hear me Proverbs 3:5 calluses to trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not at your understanding and continues in Proverbs 3:6 acknowledge Him in all your ways and he will make your path straight I thank you my father and I thank you sister Francine for the opportunity to deal with my inner feelings because you have made this possible with this ministry class God bless you all and I love you and sister Anita thank you that was beautiful and you’re right we all have to deal with things and be out of denial and I guess we should all start by helping each and one of our Sisters in Christ so they may see the light that shines upon our faces because of our Father Almighty God bless you all may the Lord watch over you and keep you safe at all times

  3. Anita M Mondragon says:

    Linda- I love your response. It’s like a prayer! How wonderful that you take responsibility for your own self first and let God begin His work in you, and then you share that with others! That’s what we all must do! The verse says, “Search ME oh God and know MY heart! …” May God bless and keep you always sister! And thank you for the encouraging words! -anita

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