“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign for ever and ever.’” Revelation 11:15
I feel like my heart is overflowing with emotions. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. The memories! The music! The sweet aroma of Christmas baking! The candles and decorations! These are all the things that make Christmas, right?
I have had to adjust my thinking over the years to make Christmas traditions in other locations. Amsterdam was easy enough with similar traditions to my Swedish heritage. In Thailand, we learned that it’s ok to put up a Christmas tree in shorts and bare feet. Since leaving Thailand 13 years ago, my family has gone through many other transitions. My children have all left home, one at a time. Now that Tod and I are married, we still seem to be searching for new traditions.
But are these traditions what make Christmas? If we strip away all the presents, all the lights, all the feasting, with what are we left?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
A local pastor here visited a country in SE Asia recently and had the opportunity to go to a remote people group who not only had never heard that there is a God who loves them, they did not even have a word for “God”.
I have been reading a new book by a missionary who is attending our church this year while on furlough. He and his wife have brought a literacy program to a tribe in Papua New Guinea who previously did not know how to read the Bible in their own language. They have seen lives transformed as people are now able to read God’s Word themselves.
At our last retreat this year, my mom and I talked to the ladies about the recent funeral for the late king of Thailand. We spoke of how different it is to live in a kingdom rather than the republic we have here in the US. So these are my rambling thoughts today. Christmas is only Christmas because The King of all kings planned from the time He created the earth to send His Son to take the punishment for our sins.
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8
This is Christmas. Jesus is the King who came as an infant, submitted Himself to the punishment of death that we deserved, rose again to life, and will come again as the King who will reign forever.
The theme of our retreats next year will be ‘Seeking the King’. In any relationship, we can always come closer, know someone better or more. Jesus invites us to seek Him and come closer to Him.
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8
I encourage you all to take time to seek the soon-returning King above all kings and come closer to Him!
July 20, 2017
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21
This morning as I read this verse, I thought of my mother. We have both been mindful of walking with our King, as that is the theme of our retreats this year. She heard a speaker last week talking about the two kingdoms that exist – one of light and one of darkness. What a glorious gift God has given us through His Son, Jesus, that we can be citizens of His heaven even here on earth as we walk with our King!
This is the good news that we are able to share with the ladies who attend our retreats. No matter where we are in life, God is there, ready to answer when we call on Him! We have had ladies from all walks of life -women who have grown up in church and women who have found Jesus after living their own way for many years. God’s message to us all is still one of love, hope, peace, and mercy.
Thank you for your prayers for the retreat in February. Probably the most special time for many ladies was our small group discussions. Ladies were able to share painful areas of their hearts in a safe, confidential group while waiting their turn for the pampering. More than once when I went to tell them it was time to go for their haircut or manicure, they would ask if they could finish talking and praying together first!
Our next retreat is less than one month from now at a local Lutheran church. This will be our 4th year here with their multi-cultural congregation, but our first 2-day retreat at this church. We start the retreats now with each of us on our team sharing one Bible verse as we are introduced, then worshipping our King, followed by a short Bible teaching from my mother. Our speaker, Linda Holub, will then be talking with the ladies about facing life’s challenges with God’s truth instead of the lies we tend to believe. We emphasize the Word because we understand it to be the Sword of the Spirit that will break down the walls that we have built around our hearts.
One essential aspect of our retreats is our prayer team. We have said many times that we do not want to go on with our retreats without covering them in prayer. We have a roster of local people who have signed up to pray for one hour each during the entire retreat. We have seen a more powerful move of God in our retreats since we started doing this. Now that we have a two-day retreat, we are looking for more people to join us in this concentrated prayer! Please let us know if you would like to take one of those hours.
Our prayers for the retreat:
- We want God’s Holy Spirit to move in the lives of every person attending the retreat, drawing us all closer to Him.
- Pray for each of us speaking, that we would communicate God’s message to the ladies. Speakers at this retreat are Linda Holub, Shirley Anderson, Tina Queen, and myself.
- Pray for safety and health for all attending, and proper functioning of all our equipment.
If you would be willing to pray for one of the hours during the retreat, please let me know. The hours are Saturday, August 12 from 8-5, and Sunday from 11:30-6.
The world seems to be in chaos. The upcoming election in the US has people confused and angry. Wars, refugees, financial issues and increasing natural disasters cause us to wonder how much longer it will be before our Lord returns.
Jesus said in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
How are we able to find peace with the turmoil that surrounds us?
When I first returned to the US from Thailand my life was in turmoil. At that point, I did not know if our marriage would survive. I did not know how I could provide for our children. I did not even know where we could live. When I heard Matt Redman’s song Blessed Be Your Name for the first time, I knew I had a choice to make. The Lord gives and takes away, but I knew that I had to choose to hang on to Jesus for dear life and let Him be the solid Rock on which I would stand.
He has proven Himself faithful to me over and over again. In our King’s Daughters retreats I have the privilege of sharing with other women how they too can hang on to Jesus.
The mission of The King’s Daughters is to help women find their identity in Jesus. In two different churches that we attended recently, the pastors spoke about how important it is to find our identity in Jesus. At another church, the visiting speaker talked about how we need to know to which spiritual family we belong. What a difference it makes in our lives when we know that because Jesus has ransomed our lives, we are children of the King of all kings, the Most High God!
In 2016 we held three retreats locally. From those retreats, several people have said they want to join our team! God’s timing is so incredible. I should be finished with school by Christmas (it has only taken me 5 years to get a 2-year degree!), so beginning in January my time should be more free to hold more retreats. We are so excited to have a larger team to work with and amazed at how well their gifts and talents mesh with the direction we feel God is leading The King’s Daughters. More on that in January!
Thank you for your prayers for The King’s Daughters. At each retreat we have a team of people who prayer each hour of the retreat. God is faithful and has been working in ladies’ lives, bringing them into a deeper walk with Him!
I know this is early for the holidays, but for the next 7 weeks my nose will be buried in my textbook or the online homework, so have a blessed Thanksgiving and a fantastic celebration of our Savior’s birth!
March 27, 2016
Happy Resurrection Day, everyone!
My heart is so full this weekend. Words of the worship songs I hear. Pictures in my mind of scenes from The Passion. Time spent with my mom this past week and watching her precious eyesight diminish. News of the suicide bomber in Pakistan.
Easter is a time of victory. Our enemy thought he won on Friday, but Sunday proved him wrong! Jesus is and always will be the Victor!
Last year The King’s Daughters held 5 retreats in our area. Each one was unique and special. God moved in each of them in a different way, but in all of them drawing women to a closer walk with Him.
Last weekend we held the first one for this year. It was a time of stepping out for my small team and myself. Not only are we organizing the retreats, but we are each taking our turn in speaking and telling our own stories of how God has given us beauty for ashes. God seemed to be weaving a tapestry of our words and the music we played to bring to the women the message that God loves them with a lavish, redeeming, healing love. One woman made the comment afterwards, “This retreat was a true reflection of the love I carry in my heart and soul for our Savior, the Lord.”
This summer we have two more retreats scheduled. Would you join with us in praying for God to continue to use us to bring women to Jesus? No matter what our lives have been like, we all need Jesus. As I write this, I am listening to ‘Have it All’ from Bethel Music. That is the cry of my heart, for Him to have it all and use it for His purpose! And my prayer is that we can communicate this passion for Jesus with the ladies who come to the retreats. This Easter weekend is a vivid reminder of His passionate love for us!
May God richly bless you with a deeper, exploding love for Him this year!
1 campfire, 2 speakers, 4 newly single moms, 5 tents, 7 children (ages 4-14). All of these equal the birth of the idea for The King’s Daughters Princess Retreats in 2008.
I remember hearing the song ‘Beauty From Pain’ by Superchick and holding on to God’s promise that there will be a dawn after I’ve gone through the pain of being separated, then divorced, from my husband of so many years. The song says that God will bring beauty from my pain.
When I go to our retreats and see what our decorator, Tina Queen, has done to make the rooms beautiful, I see the beauty from pain.
When I hear the stories and see the ministry going on during the retreats, I see beauty from pain.
When I see ladies approaching the cross at the end of our retreats, I see beauty from pain.
I am amazed at how God has grown this ministry. This year we held five retreats. The retreat we did two weeks ago marked our 12th event (13 if you count camping). We have had altogether over 100 ladies attend the retreats and an additional 35 ladies who have helped at the retreats in some capacity, from singing and speaking to washing the dishes.
Our prayer has been that the hearts and lives of ladies attending will be changed. One comment we received from the last retreat was, “I loved the bonding moments from other women. It was great to learn from other’s experience. Truly life changing.” Praise God!
We look forward to praying and building our team this winter as we then begin to plan next year’s retreats. Will you stand with us in prayer for this ministry? Our focus in praying this winter will be:
- For the women who have attended to enter into discipleship relationships for continued growth
- For more laborers for the harvest (more team members for us)
- For God to be glorified in our lives as we balance our time with family, work, school, and ministry
May God “bestow on [you] a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” Isaiah 61:3.
July 29, 2015
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below! Praise Him above, ye heavenly host! Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! AMEN! -Doxology
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. -Paul
A driverless truck rolling down a parking lot. A collapsed ceiling. Bills that are surprisingly twice as high as anticipated. A contagious illness in the home of a newborn. Cancer. These are some of the obstacles our enemy likes to throw our way.
A friend of mine told me this morning that the one gift she wants from God is peace. Even in the midst of all of these trying circumstances, we can have peace when we know that God is in control.
This year we have had two retreats already and women’s hearts have been brought closer to our Father. We have three more scheduled for this year, including one this coming weekend. Dear friends, please pray that God will continue to move in the hearts of each woman present at the retreats. One lady said, “This retreat provides a combination of spirituality and pampering. In a loving environment I was able to look at and let go of things to get closer to God and His love.”
At each retreat, we bring God’s Word to the ladies to remind them of who they are in Jesus. We can have peace when we know who we are in God, and when we know His lavish love for us.
As God leads you to pray for The King’s Daughters, please remember the next retreats:
August 1-2 at The Living Center in LeMars, Iowa
August 23 at Morningside Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa
October 3 at Word of Life Church in Sioux City
My prayer for the women is that they will be rooted and grounded in our Father to grow in grace and peace in Him.
February 1, 2015
Lilly (not her real name) will be 18 this spring. She already has two children. She was excited to hear about our King’s Daughters retreat. Her boyfriend even said he would pay for it. Then he left her. Now she is so depressed that she talks of wanting to go to sleep and not wake up. Ever.
This is why we organize the princess retreats.
Last year we held three retreats, all at local churches here in Sioux City. Two of those churches have already set dates for us to return this year.
The first retreat was with the Asian ladies of a Lutheran church. Some of these ladies expressed to the pastor afterwards that they were amazed that we ‘white’ ladies had gone through many struggles that are common to them. They loved wearing the hats at the tea party and were reluctant to take them off afterwards. To them, wearing a hat means you are working. They loved being treated to all the pampering.
We are adjusting our schedule as we go, so by the third retreat, we included small group discussion. During one discussion, Angie (again, not her real name) began to cry and tell of her difficult marriage. One lady in her group was able to talk freely with her and lead her to Jesus!
This is why we organize the retreats!
We are so excited about the retreats coming up this year. The first one will be Saturday, February 7 at the Iowa Beauty School. Holding it right before Valentine’s Day, we plan to emphasize God’s love for us and end the retreat with a call to come to know His incredible love for us.
Please pray for the retreats coming up and the ladies who will be attending. Our prayer is that not only will ladies ‘feel’ good with the pampering, but that God does a tremendous healing work in their lives.
As we go forward this year, would you consider the following:
- Pray for the ladies coming to the retreats to draw closer to Jesus and find healing in Him
- Pray for us as we organize the retreats, to follow God’s direction
- Pray for finances for the ministry, as the ladies who need it the most are least likely to be able to afford to attend
On a personal note, I had the joy of marrying a wonderful man this past November. God has used the time we have spent working together cleaning a business every evening for the past 2 ½ years to grow our relationship into the love we now have. My children and my mom all love him – we’re still working on the cat!