The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

“O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek to be consoled, as to console. To be understood, as to understand. To be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” –St. Francis of Assisi

This famous prayer comes from one of the most beloved preachers of the twelfth century. Coming from an affluent background, St. Francis squandered his wealth on a lavish lifestyle until he had several notable encounters with the poor, which led him to take up the cause of the weak and oppressed. His family and friends mocked him because of this decision, but he knew that lasting joy came from taking care of the needy and standing up for justice. Through trials he kept this incredible eternal perspective and changed many lives.

How can you die to your love of comfort and acknowledgement and see ways to bless others instead? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

Why God Chooses the Unqualified

“In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.” –Madeleine L’Engle

God loves to exalt the humble, especially those who come from dysfunctional homes and poverty, struggle with addiction, or have few worldly gifts. He loves to do the miraculous in people’s lives and show grace in our weaknesses. When others see how God has changed you, especially if you’ve overcome significant barriers, they will not be able to doubt God’s power and goodness.

How have you seen God display His strength in your weaknesses? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

Because of Jesus, Christians heal more q

Because of Jesus, Christians heal more quickly after divorce…

Did you know that Christians are almost 3 times more likely to heal fully after divorce than people having “no religion?” It should come as no surprise to us that the most powerful predictor of whether someone can move to healing after divorce is the strength of their faith. Christian faith makes a big difference in women’s ability to put their life back together and successfully live with hope and purpose. They are able to live again because of their faith and trust in the Lord.

This life-changing Live Again DVD series, led by Michelle Borquez, addresses eight crucial issues that women face, who have been devastated by divorce. Michelle is the national spokesperson for Beth Moore’s “Loving Well” television special and for GLO Bible. She has authored several books like Live, Laugh, Love Again, and others. She has experienced the pain and devastation of divorce and hosts the eight sessions. Each session offers women a fresh purpose and perspective through stories of hope from real women who have found healing and renewed purpose. The series offers sound Biblical guidance on eight key issues from experts, opening the door to healing and awareness of God’s purpose for a woman’s life – even after divorce.

The Live Again series (http://www.liveagaindvd.com) helps women know that they are never alone in the process of healing. Hearing from other women and being in a safe place to talk about tough issues offers them a way to find out how a loving God will make them whole again. Check out this series for your church and begin the adventure of becoming a safe place for forgiveness and healing for these women in your church and your community. The church has what these women need. They need God’s love to move to wholeness after divorce.

Divorce Shatters–the Gospel Restores Wh

Divorce Shatters–the Gospel Restores

When a tragic divorce shatters a family, people find their hopes and dreams destroyed. For many women, this is the greatest loss of their life. They feel devastated. They are desperate for emotional and spiritual help. Many women struggle with loneliness and shame. They need to face the pain and begin to forgive themselves and others in order to move forward with their life. Many feel unsafe and need to find security. All-women recovery groups offer women a safe atmosphere, by providing the extra time they need to heal and get back on their feet.

Michelle Borquez (http://www.liveagaindvd.com/series) knows this pain herself and has put together the Live Again DVD series (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S27dkhlUko) with other godly women who have been through the experience themselves. Michelle knows that Christian faith makes the difference in a woman’s ability to put her life back together and to successfully live with hope and purpose. She knows it is only because of her faith and trust in Jesus that she will be able to Live Again. The DVD series deal with eight crucial issues for women on moving to wholeness after divorce.

Marriage is a covenant that is meant to

Marriage is a covenant that is meant to last forever. We believe that. We believe that it should be protected at all cost. However we live in a broken world, filled with broken people and that includes broken marriages. Divorce will affect every town and every church; no church is exempt.

What you need is a program that is easy to use, proven effective, and one that points women to the ultimate source of their healing: Jesus. Michelle Borquez has put it all together for you in 8 DVD-led sessions that will help women find hope and healing as you lead them to understand God’s redeeming love. Michelle brings the experts directly to your church in the Live Again Series (http://youtu.be/vyV-LptIaTg) that can be used by women’s small groups or as an at–home personal study for a woman dealing with her pain on her own. A Live Again participant says, “ I learned to center myself on God because no one person can fulfill me. Healthy people are good partners but they won’t complete you. Only God can do that. What matters is how God sees you.” This series will help your church guide women in rebuilding their lives and becoming healthy contributors in God’s Kingdom.

Getting Away From Hurry

“Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is.” –Amy Wilson-Carmichael

Our culture idolizes busyness and stress. Having no time for anything else implies that a person is important and lives a meaningful life. The truth is much of our busyness serves no lasting purpose. To enjoy life and take it slow allows us to rest in God and focus on what’s truly consequential and fulfilling.

How important are the things that are causing you stress? What can be cut out? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

There are few things in life more devast

There are few things in life more devastating and earth shattering than going through a divorce. Statistics today show that over 1.2 million women will likely experience divorce this year. Some of these women may have seen it coming, for some it will feel like they have been hit by an oncoming train. What ever their experience, all of them will feel lost and alone. As the Church are we ready to help them discover real hope? Is the church a safe place for these women to receive forgiveness, healing and confidence to Live Again as they embrace Jesus as their Healer? The reality of a divorce is both overwhelming and unimaginable and so many churches feel not ready to handle the delicate and unique emotions that a woman has after experiencing the devastating blow of divorce. That is why Michelle Borquez has worked with countless experts to create Live Again. This DVD series was developed by women for women and will help your church reach out to women in your ministry and your community with hope and healing they can only receive through Jesus Christ. “Live Again is grounded in the Word of God and leads women to the Great Physician who created us, longs to heal us and redeems our lives, “ says Yvonne Ortega author of Moving from Broken to Beautiful. This life-changing series addresses eight crucial issues that women face in the aftermath of divorce. You can check it out at http://www.liveagaindvd.com The series will make your church a safe place for women to talk about the tough issues that they face as divorced women. It will make your church a refuge.

Happiness and Peace in Christ

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
–C.S. Lewis

When we enjoy life, we enjoy God since He is the creator of all joy and peace. God is the ultimate source of our pleasure and delights to express Himself to us in the form of a friend’s kind words, a sunflower, or dancing. On the other hand, when we look for fulfillment in things that go against God, we soon realize that our happiness is short-lived and we only experience hurt. God isn’t out to steal our joy though; He invites us to fully come alive by participating in His work which saves lives. Nothing could be more exciting or fulfilling.

We all have unique ways of experiencing God’s joy. In what activities do you feel God’s pleasure the most? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

The Difference Between Effort and Earning

“Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone.”
Dallas Willard (from The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’ Essential Teachings on Discipleship)

Our past and future sins are not counted against us because we are under God’s grace. We don’t need to earn His favor because we already have it. God wants you to know Him as a friend, but for any relationship to work both people need to put in effort. Our part entails acknowledging God’s love and grace and simply responding to them. We will never love God more than He loves us, and when we fully realize this we can’t help but follow Him.

Have you allowed God’s love and the knowledge of what He’s done for you soak in? How do you find yourself responding to this unmerited favor? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

Forget Not All His Benefits

Forget not all his Benefits

Remember God’s faithfulness to you. Sometimes we forget that God doesn’t just save our souls; he tangibly touches our daily lives. He forgives as well as heals your illnesses. He redeems your life from hell and makes you aware of His love in the small things throughout your day. If ever you are discouraged or in need of encouragement read Psalm 103 for reminders of God’s promises and love towards you.

Where have you seen God’s benefits in your life today? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.