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The Beauty of Obedience: Purely Loved 2018 Recap

1 Samuel 15:22-24 New Living Translation (NLT)

22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

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This past weekend was the 2nd Purely Loved purity retreat. This one, I lead. I took over the reigns from my dear sister who started this all in 2017. I felt the weight of it all. The pressure, the burden of going to war for the entire retreat and every woman involved. There were many times I wanted to just leave it all! Not because I didn’t want to have the retreat but because the warfare was so great! Satan was not happy and he was making it well known that he was not going to stop his antics. So I had to stand in faith and choose obedience. Hearing some of the stories over the weekend showed me that the ladies had to press through and choose obedience as well! We chose to obey God and trust Him. I’m so glad we did! My dear friends, if God told you to do something, you have to make up in your mind that you will stand firm and press in and through to the finish! We never know who needs what God has given us the honor and privilege to give to others! It was an honor to serve my beautiful sisters in Christ this past weekend! It was an honor to serve alongside some of the most selfless women I’ve ever met in my life! My God’s hands were all over and in this entire event! Everything spoke to me! Every challenge, every push back, every tear, the fears, the laughter; God used it all to speak to me. And while speaking to me, He was healing and blessing the hearts of His daughters! He’s a powerful, multipurpose, multitasking God who truly does more that we could ever ask, think or imagine!! At one point I was so overcome with the love and presence of God that all I could do was cry like a big baby! And you know what, all these ladies, most of who’d just met me for the first time, came and formed a group hug around me and told me that they loved me! I’m about to cry now just thinking about it! The love that was shown to me and that the ladies showed to each other was just overwhelming! I can proudly say that we made the devil very mad this weekend! Chains were broken, wrong thoughts renewed, hard hearts softened, walls torn down and joy was restored! These beautiful women left being reminded of their rightful place as royalty in the hands of our great God! (Isaiah 62:3) What a beautiful experience to have women from different ages, stages and backgrounds come together to share their burdens and leave walking in freedom! Only God can do something like this!

I never thought in a million years that I’d be working with women, because I’ve had not so great experiences with women in the past but even this, because of my obedience to Him, God has redeemed. I’m so grateful that He did! I have an incredible circle of strong godly women around me now! Obeying God when it goes against everything in our flesh is even more rewarding!

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This retreat was filled with the Spirit of God! The weather was perfect, the setting was beautiful! God’s presence met us there, stayed with us throughout the entire weekend and sent us down the mountain with a bang! In our Sunday prayer time before check out, God showed up in a mighty way with words of encouragement, confirmation, affirmation and prophecy! I’m still in awe of all that happened this past weekend and I’m so grateful to have been a part!
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So now as I plan for Purely Loved 2019 coming in March, I’m keeping in mind that I must obey and that just like God was with me in this past retreat, He is with me and has already gone before me for Purely Loved 2019. Purely Loved 2019 will be a bit larger, longer and is requiring me to dig in deep to trust God like never before! The warfare has already begun, so please keep me in your prayers! If you’re interested in attending, send me a message at purelylovedretreat@gmail.com and I will put you on our list so that you’ll be among the first to know when registration opens in September. Interested in being a sponsor, send me an email for that as well!! If you’d like to see more pictures of Purely Loved 2018, click on our SIFH Sightings page to get the full experience!

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Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

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Lord, Use Me!

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What if you just absolutely knew without a shadow of a doubt what it is that you were called to do? What if you had this detailed plan in your head of how things were going to go and who would be involved and how absolutely wonderful it was going to be? Then you decide to surrender it all to the Lord and He blows it all up, flips it upside down, moves people and places around and you’re smack in the middle watching as if in the eye of a tornado as everything starts to swirl around you at a dizzying rate and you have ZERO control! Can you relate even a little?

I thought that I’d graduate college, have a very successful event planning company and then I prayed, “Lord, use me!” Well, I had this wedding that I was planning and then before I knew it, I lost all control of that wedding and that was the end of my event planning company. Ironically, at this time I really began to hear God as if He was standing right next to me, like loud and clear to the point that I thought the sleep deprivation I’d experienced from taking care of a little had taken its toll. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of God answering my prayer of Him using me.

I lost jobs, embarrassing interviews, arguments with my husband, no money, struggles that happened in the past 8 years and it was all because I prayed for God to use me! He was directing me and I was fighting Him!

Here’s the thing, when we ask God to use us, this means that we have given Him sole control. He reminded me one day that, daughter, you don’t get to choose your assignment. Your obedience is what I need. We don’t get to choose who, what, when, where or how. We must obey. The train wreck happens when we try to work God’s plans into ours instead of the other way around. God takes our prayers quite seriously and He honors them. So, be careful what you pray for!

On the journey to Him “using” us, He works on, in then through us. He reaches down to clean us up and clean us out. He removes the things in us that would taint His purpose for us. He removes the things in our hearts that are not of Him and this can be quite painful! He also moves at His own pace and how many of you know that His timing is NOTHING like our timing!!?? But even in this godly surgery, He doesn’t let any of the pain go to waste, He uses it all, even the things we think are so minute and unimportant.

What is Healed

What He’s doing during this surgery is healing us in the process of using us. Sometimes this surgical healing requires Him to remove us from certain people and situations, environments, anything that would hinder His work in us and through us. He takes great care in healing us because He doesn’t want  us to spread toxic pain to others and He certainly doesn’t want us to hold on to it. If we want God to use us, we must first go through a healing process. Healing from things and people who hurt us, the pain that left a tarlike residue. We can’t move forward if we don’t allow Him to perform the surgery on our hearts and in our minds. So if you feel as if you’re stalled, then perhaps this is the reason why?

Are there some areas that you won’t talk about, can’t talk about without crying? Is there a person in your life (friend, relative, male or female) that you know isn’t good for you, or you feel that God has warned you about but because you don’t see anything wrong, you stay because you don’t know how to leave? Do you wonder if you’re stalled because God doesn’t love you because of the things you’ve done in your past or you feel that you’re too dirty to love? This is why I’m offering the class HEALED I know that I’m not the only one who’s had these feelings and I am more than willing to share how the Lord has helped me.

If you’ve prayed for God to use you and you’re wondering why you’re stuck, then ask Him, what’s holding you back and He’ll show you. If you need help in this process then perhaps HEALED is for you!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

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Sexual Healing Series

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Hi!!

I know, it’s been a while. But, when God says to pause, I pause and when He says to move, I move. It’s now time to move, to do something new. I thought that the time was done for Savin’ it for Hubby but God was preparing me to move it in a different direction.

This new direction if for those of us that are no longer virgins but have decided to follow Christ and are now wondering, so now what? Where do I go from here? What so many of us fail to see is the brokenness that remains because of our past sexual decisions. So God led me to my own story of redemption. How did I get past my past, my hurts. What’s my “after Christ” story? He showed me that a lot of His daughters are here, married, single or divorced.  So, beginning next week, Monday May 8th, 2017, we’ll begin a series called “Sexual Healing”. I know the Marvin Gaye song just popped into your head, sorry, but this will have nothing to do with him!

God didn’t lead me to teach about purity until after I was already married and a lot of people believe that marriage takes away the need for purity and that’s a huge lie! Purity still matters in marriage! Also, many of you aspire to be married but I’ve found that many women think that getting married will take away all the pain, heartache and heartbreak from their past, also another huge lie!

Well, in this series I will go back to my story, and through it walk with you on the path to sexual healing. I will teach you what God taught me.  I’ll share about how I had to forgive myself, others and even deal with my anger towards God! I’ll also share how all we will ever need comes from Him and that having a spouse should be an addition to your wholeness and not meant to complete you. Also, I’ll cover redemption, restoration, and how to go to God in dealing with loneliness which can also happen in marriage! There will be questions and lots of scriptures so be prepared with your Bible and your favorite journal or notebook and pretty pens! Transparency is key for this to be successful and it won’t be an easy walk but it will be so worth it!

So, will you make plans to join me? Jump in with both feet, an open heart and mind? Find an accountability partner and lets get healed! I’ve created a Facebook Group just for this series. This is where we can dialog, questions can be asked, answered and we can share what we’re learning as well. This is a closed group. If you’re interested, the link to the group is below and I will approve you for access. I’m praying with and for you!

FB Group Link: Click here

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

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JESUS…

Jesus Is…

  1. Truth
  2. Faithful
  3. Compassionate
  4. Forgiving
  5. Loving
  6. Never keeps a record of our sins
  7. Is slow to anger
  8. Kind
  9. Gives us value in the eyes of God
  10. Sees and speaks to our potential
  11. Outrageously loves us with an uncommon love
  12. Exhibits mercy
  13. Freedom
  14. No condemnation
  15. Giver of life
  16. Lover of our souls
  17. Provider
  18. Redeemer
  19. Restorer
  20. Great

Who is He to you? 

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon