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2014 Moldova Ladies Conference

On October 17, 2014, we set out for Chisinau, Moldova, for the 7th annual Moldova Ladies ConfTeamerence. This is was the 3rd year that One Purpose was able to be part of this wonderful event. In addition to Beth, Laura and Miriam, our team included Claudia Gandy and Susan Stamper. We were in-country until October 26th. One Purpose had the opportunity to sing for the Doxa Deo Church worship service on Sunday evening then on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we sang for three mini conferences in the villages of Rezina, Anninii Noi, and Budesti. In these same mini conferences, we each did shorter versions of our teachings for the Moldova Ladies Conference later that week. The topic of this year’s conference was “Becoming a Woman of Excellence”. We noticed in the villages many of the women taking notes. That was such an encouragement to us.

On Wednesday evening we met with Domicella, a group of young women from Doxa Deo Church. Laura talked to them about purity and One Purpose sang. On Saturday, the Moldova Ladies Conference was held at the CCI Moldova Missionary Training Center. We praise God that over those five days we had the opportunity to minister to approximately 220 women. Many of the women shared at the end of each day how God had spoken to them through the teaching.

We are excited that we have been invited back this coming fall. Please pray for us as we begin to look at what God would have us teach and sing.

Visit our Photo Album to see more pictures of our time with these precious women.

Getting It All Done (Excerpt from 31 Days of Encouragement – Miriam)

“I BROUGHT GLORY TO YOU HERE ON EARTH BY DOING EVERYTHING YOU TOLD ME TO DO.” John 17:4

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you just cannot get everything done that you set out to do that day? I often get to the end of my day and wonder where the time went. I get frustrated at only getting half of the things checked off of my “To Do” list.

Notice in our key verse that Jesus, when He was speaking to the Father, said He had done everything “you told me to do.” I led two of the women I disciple through a study called Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. In it she tells us that Jesus focused on God’s agenda and not His own. That statement really struck a cord with me. How often do I focus on my own agenda and not give a thought to the Lord’s? I get so distracted by what I want to do or what everyone else wants me to do, and then I get frustrated when I cannot get it all done.

The truth is that I have time in every day to do what God wants me to do. That’s why it’s so important for me to spend time with Him each day so I’ll know what He wants me to do. In Psalm 32:8 the Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” What an awesome promise!

You may be saying, “I spend time in God’s Word, but I don’t hear Him telling me what to do.” I’m not saying that you will get an audible answer from the Lord for your daily “To Do” list. Notice again in our key verse that Jesus says, “I brought glory to you here on earth.” Ultimately, our main purpose here on earth is to glorify God, so as long as what you are doing accomplishes that, you are doing God’s agenda. He will sovereignly guide us as we spend time in His Word.

Psalm 1:1-3 says it very well:

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers.
But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants;
day and night they think about his law.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season without fail.
Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.

I don’t believe this scripture is saying that as long as we do what God wants we will never have any trouble. I do believe it is saying that when we focus on the things of the Lord and earnestly follow His Word, we will prosper as far as God is concerned. Jesus accomplished everything God had planned for Him to do, and He did it in 33 years.

How will you spend your time? Will you focus on your agenda or God’s?

A Vessel for Honor (Excerpt from 31 Days of Encouragement – Laura)

“BUT THIS PRECIOUS TREASURE – THIS LIGHT AND POWER THAT NOW SHINE WITHIN US – IS HELD IN PERISHABLE CONTAINERS, THAT IS, IN OUR WEAK BODIES. SO EVERYONE CAN SEE THAT OUR GLORIOUS POWER IS FROM GOD AND IS NOT OUR OWN.”
II Corinthians 4:7

Perishable containers, jars of clay, weak earthen vessels. Paul uses these phrases to describe us. The mystery is this: God places His precious treasure, His light and power in us. For what purpose? So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and not our own.

Talk about grace! We have been given something we most definitely do not deserve. God’s presence living in us. Throughout scripture Christians are compared to vessels. In the book of Job, God says that we dwell in houses of clay, referring to our physical bodies. Paul admonishes Timothy, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil (vessel) God can use for His purpose” (II Timothy 2:21). Without Christ, we are powerless, purposeless clay vessels, unclean and useless. When we are filled with Christ (the treasure) we become holy and set apart for His purposes. Paul explains that the purpose of
the treasure is to show God’s all surpassing power.

At our house, we have a pitcher (vessel) used only for sweet tea. Empty, it is of no use, but filled with sweet tea, it becomes useful and fulfills its purpose. There’s nothing as refreshing on a hot summer day. God’s purpose in creating you was to glorify Himself. We honor God by bringing Him glory therefore fulfilling our purpose. “Christ is the One through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see…everything has been created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16). You were not created for yourself. You were made by God and for God to be a
blessing and refreshment to others. “I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them” (Isaiah 43:7).

God’s presence takes up residence in you when, by faith, you trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sin. We are empty vessels. God draws us to Himself by showing us His love. Paul tells us in Romans 5:8 that His love was shown on the cross where Jesus died and shed His perfect blood to wash away our sins. When we accept, by faith, what Jesus did for us on the cross, He picks up the dirty, empty vessel. He washes us with Christ’s blood and fills us up with the Holy Spirit, His treasure. We become useful to the Master Potter.

God has specific purposes in mind for you. How has He designed you to bring Him glory? Take time today to listen to Him through His Word, praise Him for the honor of shining His light and power, and bless Him for the privilege of being His vessel for honor.

A Bright Sunny Place (Excerpt from 31 Days of Encouragement – Beth)

“BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD.”
Matthew 5:8

One of my favorite places to sit with the Lord in the early hours of the morning is at my kitchen table. It is a bright sunny place overlooking a small pond in my backyard. A few weeks ago, as I sat in this place with the Lord, I could barely see through my own tears. My spirit was broken and my heart was hurting. The day before, I had left the special Bible that my mother gave me on the kitchen table. This particular Bible was so special to me because my mother had written love notes to me and highlighted special passages as she read through it the year before she gave it to me. I enjoyed using that Bible during my quiet times with the Lord for over four years. It was one of my most precious possessions. My heart sank when my family and I returned home from church the day before to discover that our new puppy had shredded and half-eaten my special Bible. When I saw the Bible scattered and torn all over the kitchen floor, it was as though the breath was knocked right out of me. I fell to the floor, weeping and trying to gather all of the pieces. The Bible could not be salvaged.

The next morning, as I sat in my usual sunny place, my spirit felt dry and empty. This beautiful sunny place suddenly became a sad, dark place for me. I wept many times over my loss. I battled an empty feeling for several days as I sat in my special place. My emotions began to consume me as I grieved for my Bible. It was during one of these times with the Lord that I sensed Him speaking to me. In a voice as clear as the words on this page, I heard Jesus say to me, “My precious Beth, you have been worshipping the time and routine of spending time with Me. I want you to worship ME.” My choked response was, “Lord, what did you say?” Again, the Lord said to me, “I want you to worship Me in spirit and in truth.” I fell on my face before the Lord that morning and confessed my selfish heart. The words of Deuteronomy 8:5 rang true that “you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” At that moment, the dry and empty place within me began to warm up and become sunny again. This was a life changing moment for me.

According to scripture, those who worship the Lord “must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Friend, are you worshipping the habit of meeting with the Lord or are you worshipping HIM? There is a significant difference between the two ideas.

Seasons

Seasons, we have them in nature and we have them in our lives.  Right now, here in South Carolina, we are beginning to enjoy Spring (although not the pollen that comes with it).  Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 says:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:   a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

This is true for the ladies of One Purpose and our families.  We are experiencing a change of season in our lives as well.  In two weeks The Christys will celebrate the marriage of their daughter Ann-Marie to Tyler.  The Beachams experienced this change almost three years ago when their son Jimmy married their daughter-in-love Lindsey and this fall they will become grandparents as Jimmy and Lindsey welcome twins into their family.  The Greers have already sent their daughter Blakely off to college two years ago, but this fall will send their youngest and last at home, Jordan, off to college as well, and become “Empty Nesters.”   In the midst of all these wonderful seasons, we are all experiencing the season of either caring for or helping with elderly parents.  This brings with it some challenges that are at times very difficult.

One of the songs we love to sing is Desert Song (by Brooke Fraser).  Read the verses here:

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow 

These verses seem to represent the different seasons in our life.  Some of our seasons seem like we are in a desert, while others feel like we are going through the fire.  Still others seem like we are in the battle of our lives.  Thankfully, there are seasons that are like a harvest when things are good.  The bridge of the song brings the message home though.  It says:

All of my life, in ev’ry season, You are still God.  I have a reason to sing.  I have a reason to worship.

That is truth!  No matter what season you are in — whether the desert, the fire, the battle or the harvest — He is still God and you do have a reason to sing and to worship.  No matter where we are in life — no matter the season — there are four things that are true about God:  1) He is completely sovereign; 2) He is infinite in wisdom; 3) He is perfect in love; and 4) He is good.

So, rejoice in whatever season you are in, even if it’s a hard one.  God is faithful and will bring you through to the next season and you will be more like Jesus because of it.  Romans 8:28-29 tells us that the Lord takes “all things” and uses them for our good to make us more like Jesus.

As we — the ladies of One Purpose — go through our seasons, would you pray for us and our families.  Pray for a blessed and beautiful day on April 13th for The Christys as they celebrate and for Ann-Marie and Tyler as they begin their life together as husband and wife; pray for Lindsey Beacham and the twins — for safety and protection for her and the babies these next 6 1/2 months and for Jimmy as he prepares to be “dad”; and for The Greers as they celebrate Jordan’s graduation from high school and then prepare to send her off to college.  Pray for all of us as we care for and lend help to our elderly parents.

Let us know how we can pray for you, too, in whatever season you are in.  We would be honored to do that.

Be Steadfast In the New Year

In Psalm 51:10, the psalmist asks the Lord to renew a steadfast spirit within him.  The psalmist, David, is crying out to the Lord for forgiveness and cleansing because of his great sin.  As we look back at 2012, we see some things we are not proud of or some hard things we went through that caused our faith to waiver.  The meaning of steadfast is, “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.”  We want 2013 to be different; we want to begin with a fresh start.  The Message, which is the Bible in contemporary language by Eugene Peterson, puts Psalm 51:10-12 like this:

God, make a fresh start in me,
    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
    put a fresh wind in my sails!

When we ask him, God will give us a fresh start.  He will take “the chaos” of our lives and reshape it into something new and fresh if we will just allow Him to.  Verse 12 in the New Living Translation puts it like this:

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.

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The catch is we have to be “willing to obey” Him.  Too often that part is the hardest to accept.  We want a fresh start, but we want it on our terms.  So here are a couple of questions as we look to the new year.  Are we willing to obey whatever He shows us needs to change in our lives in order to start fresh?  Are we willing to let Him reshape our lives into something even better?

As we close out this year and look ahead to 2013, it’s our prayer the Lord would enable us to be steadfast in the coming year.  Whether we are celebrating a new home, a child getting married, taking care of aging parents, or whatever it is we are going through, we pray that we will be steadfast to follow Him, and at the end of 2013, our mouths will declare His praise (Psalm 51:15).

We Struggle Just Like You Do

Last month we went to Moldova with two other women as part of a five-member team to once again speak and sing for the 5th Annual Moldova Ladies Conference in Chisinau, Moldova.  The conference was held at Crossover Moldova’s Missionary Training Center.  During our eight days there, in addition to the conference, we also had the privilege of going into two villages and sing and speak about living victoriously by putting on the full armor of God.

We not only shared from God’s word, but we also shared from our own life experiences how God has helped us.  We shared about struggles with taking care of our elderly parents, being the moms of teenagers, and making ends meet financially.  Many times we heard the Moldova women say how they were surprised to hear we had some of the same struggles that they do.  No matter where we live, what we look like, or how old we are, we all have struggles in life.

In Ephesians 6:10-20 Paul reminds us we need to make use of the “weapons” God has given us:  the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteouness (verse 14); the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (verse 15); the Shield of Faith (verse 16); the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit (verse 17).  No matter what part of the world you live in, if you are a believer and make use of these “weapons” God has given you, then you can be victorious.

Paul goes on to encourage us to pray for one another.  The Message, a modern language translation of the Bible, puts verses 13-18 this way:

Be prepared.  You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.  Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.  Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words.  Learn how to apply them.  You’ll need them throughout your life.  God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.  Pray hard and long.  Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open.  Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

That part about keeping each other’s spirits up is so great!  We need to pray for one another and encourage one another.  We were never meant to do this life alone.  As believers, we have the Holy Spirit living in us, and then God also has given us a family of believers here on earth to pray for us, encourage us, and strengthen us in the faith.  What a blessing.

So, just in case you were wondering, the members of One Purpose struggle just like you do.  Pray for us!  We covet your prayers.  We would love to pray for you, too.  Let us know how we can pray for you by emailing us at onepurpose@crossoverusa.org.

 

Sing Out Loud!

When One Purpose went to Moldova last fall we had the amazing privilege of meeting several of Crossover’s church planters and their wives from Central Asia.  They were at Crossover Moldova’s Missionary Training Center (MTC) for some time of refreshment, training, and rest.  We had the opportunity to just sit and visit with the wives a few times before they left.

As we sat and visited with these precious women we learned they were all first generation Christians.  In other words, they were the first of their families to come to know Christ.  I don’t know about you, but I am probably the 10th or so generation.  These precious women and their husbands have accepted a call on their lives to take Jesus to their villages in Central Asia.  These are places where they could, at the very least, be jailed for talking about Jesus.  As they began to tell us about a typical worship service, we just sat and listened with unbelief.  When they meet to worship, they do so in one of their homes sitting on the floor around a table with a prepared meal.  This way, if the authorities come to check them out, they can honestly say they are meeting for a meal.

Here’s the part that really got the three of us.  Whenever they sing for worship, they have to do it one at a time.  In other words, one would take a verse and sing softly and then another and so on.  No wonder while they were at the MTC they worshipped loudly with their voices and instruments.  They laughed and cried and rejoiced.  We would hear them down the hall.  It was wonderful.  Can you imagine not being able to worship as we do here in the United States?  We have so much freedom!

Sadly, I’ve noticed that we take that freedom for granted.  Recently I had some vocal issues that caused me to have to be on vocal rest for a few weeks.  That was so hard for me!  It would even bring me to tears on occasion.  I can’t imagine not being able to worship in that way on a regular basis.  Yet that’s how it is for our brothers and sisters in countries where the name of Jesus cannot be proclaimed freely.

So the next time you have the opportunity to sing in church with your brothers and sisters in Christ, sing out loud.  That’s how it will be when we all join together in heaven.  Listen to this account from John in Revelation 7:9-10:

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.   And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

Wives and Mothers First

One of the statements we have each made throughout our 21 years of ministering together has been that our first priority is being wives and mothers first.  While we know God has blessed us with many opportunities to minister together and separately through music and the spoken word, His first ministry for each of us was to our husbands and our children.

Proverbs 31:27 says, “She carefully watches all that goes on in her household…”  That is a verse I believe we have each tried to live by.  God didn’t bless us with husbands and children just for us to leave at home and not care about.  We are each blessed with husbands who support what we do.  They pray for us and support us.  They help us know when to say no to something and remind us, if we need reminding, to slow down.  We couldn’t have lasted these 21 years together as a group if not for the love and support of Jim Beacham, Foster Christy, and Tom Greer.  We are thankful for these precious men and it is our desire that it be said of each of us:  A worthy wife is a crown for her husband… (Proverbs 12:4).

Between us we have seven children:  Jimmy (26), Rachel (23), and Mark (19) Beacham; Ann-Marie (25) and Lolly (22) Christy; and Blake (19) and Jordan (17) Greer.  Add to that the Beachams have a daughter-in-love Lindsey and the Christys will soon add a son-in-love, Tyler.

When we began singing and ministering together, Mark, Blake and Jordan had not even arrived on the scene yet.  What a blessing it has been to watch each of our children grown up  physically and spiritually as each of them came to a personal relationship with Christ.  I would say that for the most part the children think of each of us (who are not their mothers) as “aunts.”  I know we think of them as part of our families.  It has been exciting to watch each of them grow and make their faith their own.  The many times we have joined together to pray for them through the different phases of their lives are countless.  Isaiah 40:11 says, “He will feed his flock like a shepherd.  He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart.  He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”  We know He has lead us with our young, and now that they are no longer young (nor are we), we are thankful God continues to lead us as we learn how to be mothers to older chilren — not so much parenting, but being there to give wisdom.

I know our challenge to each young wife and mother would be to put your family first after the Lord.  When you have these priorities set, everything else will fall into place.

 

Our Heart

The last song on our second CD, United in Spirit, is “Our Heart.”  Here is how the song starts:

Our heart, our desire, is to see the nations worship.

Our cry, our prayer, is to sing Your praise to the ends of the earth;

That with one mighty voice ev’ry tribe and tongue rejoices.

Our heart, our desire is to see the nations worship You.

(Words by John Dhisum and George Searcy; Copyright 1993 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/Integrity’s Praise! Music)

All three of us have hearts that are sold out to missions and to seeing God’s word reach the nations.  So, when we recorded our second CD, it was our desire that it would have a mission emphasis.  This was in part because of our love for missions and because of the experience we had on our first overseas mission trip together in 2000 to Brazil.  We had learned four English songs that we had translated into Portuguese.  We learned them phonetically and they were a great resource as we sang in the schools, churches, and on the street corners of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Over the next couple of years as we started praying about recording another CD, we knew we wanted to put a song on it that was in Portugese.  That is how “You Are My Hiding Place” came to be on this CD.  Then as we talked more about it, we felt like the entire CD could be a great tool for God to use to help us share His message to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthews 28:19). 

One Purpose is under the umbrella of Crossover Communications International.  Crossover is a globally integrated church planting movement, which intensely desires to see God glorified among all the peoples of the world.  We have the opportunity every time we are ministering somewhere to share about Crossover and how God is using this movement to train church planters and plant churches all over the world.  We consider it a huge blessing to be part of this movement and love telling groups about the amazing ways God is working “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

In October we will have the opportunity once again to return to Chisinau, Moldova, for the Moldova Ladies Conference.  This conference started five years ago as a joint effort of Joy of Abiding Ministries, Crossover Moldova and Crossover USA.  This will be the third year we have gone as a group.  Two other women will go with us:  Cori and Elena.  Beth will be the main speaker at the conference.  Laura, Cori and I will also teach in the villages and lead workshops at the conference.  Elena will keep us all running smoothly.  One Purpose will also sing at various times throughout the days we are there and for the conference.  This conference and the mini conferences in the villages are a great way to encourage, through God’s word, the wives of our church planters.  These couples are on the front lines of the work to reach the nations for Christ. 

Would you please pray with us as we meet and prepare over these next few months.  Pray that God will guide us as we study His word and prepare the messages He lays on our hearts.  Pray also for the funds to be raised for our airfare and traveling costs.  We each have to raise a little over $1700.  We are trusting God for this provision as we truly believe He has called us to go and share our heart with these women who love and desire to serve Him, too.  To learn more about Crossover, please visit www.crossoverusa.org.