Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters
Foolish Freedom
Welcome New Friends!

I am so excited to know that I have some new guests for "Sweet Tea" today.

Some of you have stopped by for a visit after our meeting yesterday in Green Bay, Wisconsin at Lifeway's Fully Loaded.

Others of you have stopped by after visiting the Proverbs 31 Ministries Daily Devotion. I feel very honored to have you and look forward to getting to know you. If you will leave a comment I will stop by and see you over the next few days!

We had such a RIDE yesterday here in Green Bay. God showed up for us didn't he ladies!?

The thing that struck me most yesterday was the deep pain and struggles represented in my workshop within the hearts and lives of so many ministry leaders. My topic is "Ministry to Women in Crisis". Over half of my group were Women's Ministry Leaders! One by one, at break, at lunch, at dinner, in the ladies room and last night by email, their stories come.

My prayers flowed last night along with my tears of gratitude.

I am not new to ministry to women in crisis. With the help of my amazing husband and many dear friends, I started a Crisis Pregnancy Center in Tampa, Florida over 20 years ago. When we opened the doors what I expected was to help young women who were facing unplanned pregnancies to find hope and help that would enable them to choose life. What came in the door was abuse, divorce, poverty, sickness and disease, rejection, homelessness, hopelessness and heartbreak. I remember in those days crumbling before the Lord in my fear and panic.

What can I do for these people Lord? I have no idea what to say.

God gave me many Words over those early days and continues to lead me through His Word every day.

Last night as I considered the new territory that He has placed me into, I recalled some of those words.

2 of those reminded me of the FREEDOM in ministry that He has promised to people like me and probably you, who wonder...

Why in the world Lord, have you chosen me to do ______________? (You fill in your blank)
I can be quite a mess at it Lord. I often don't know what to say or what to do. I feel so helpless and sometimes foolish.

1 Corinthians 1:20-25 (New International Version)

20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

And the one He used to draw me into ministry:

Jeremiah 1:4-9 (New International Version)

4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,

5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew a]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[a] you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."

7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth.

As I go out this morning to minister to my sisters again, I go in the Foolish Freedom of the Lord.

He is the healer.

He is the provider.

He is the comforter.

He is the answer.

I am on a foolish follower filled with gratitude and love for the opportunity to pray with a sister, listen to a fellow minister who is filled with heartache, encourage a friend to "Stay the Course"!!

Let's just be Foolish today friends!!

Thank you for stopping by, I am truly blessed!





7 Comments:

Blogger Melinda said...

So blessed to hear that He moved in such a mighty way in Wisconsin! So thankful He started with that tiny mustard seed of faith all those years ago in Tampa, and that He's continued to make that plant flourish nationwide through today and beyond. So grateful to be a part of it.

STS starts in Fort Worth on Oct. 6th and God is all over it.

Love you...can't wait to talk!... Read More
Melinda

Blogger Jennifer said...

He is so amazing! I feel so humbled to be a part of it. I keep wondering why the Lord has urged me to read Jeremiah and today I asked Him to reveal it to me. Well, He just confirmed what I have thought through your post.

You are such a vessel!! He is using you in MIGHTY ways.

Jennifer

Blogger Tammy said...

When I think of where God has placed me this question comes to mind "Why God?" Then He answers "Why not?"

Jeremiah 1:4-9 is one of the verses I go to when I'm feeling small and foolish. Its a honor to be walk with you in this "foolish freedom."

Our God is amazing and full of surprises!

Blogger Debora Wilbourn said...

Pat your blog today was just what I needed to hear. I was just having this discussion with a friend yesterday! I have a fear of stepping out of my comfort zone where women might bring such giant problems that I might not have a clue what to say to them or where to direct them for help. There are so few resources where I live to even have a place to recommend!

But I keep coming back to the knowledge that it's not my ministry, it's His and as long as I am a willing vessel, He will do the work - but boy did I need your encouragement today!

I had a blessed time last evening at the simulcast and look forward to more this morning!

Blessings,
Debbie

Blogger Pat said...

Thank you ladies. It is so cool to have so many like minded girlfriends along this walk isn't it. God uses us to encourage one another. You each encourage me, I ma grateful if somehow I am able to bless your hearts back!
Have a great Monday!

Blogger Becca Christensen said...

This reminds me of a study I'm doing by Jennifer Rothchild with my small group about what's in your thought closet (it's called Me, Myself, and Lies)...

It's easy to doubt ourselves or wonder how God can use us...but for, 14 or so years now I've been able to watch him use you and your vision for our city. It's been an incredible blessing and it's hard to believe that I was 10 when we first partnered with you as a family for the Walk for Life!

I love you and your heart for women, children, and the unborn. It's a joy to be able to play a very small part in that with you. : ]

Becca

Blogger Paula (SweetPea) said...

I sent you an email about your P31 devo. Great job.

Seeing the words Crisis Pregnancy Center reminds me when I was in college and THAT was the place I wanted to work. I want to be the Director for one of the sites, though none around us existed. Two hours away was the closest. But I thought it was so cool that I could use my degree in Business and be able to FREELY speak Jesus' name as a part of my job. I think i still have the red and white tri-fold brochure. I kept it long past my changing career goals. Just as some sort of reminder, I guess.

Thanks for the sweet tea today. I take mine with two sweetners please. :-) smiles

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