A note from Chris Adams: Today’s post comes from a sweet friend and women’s leader, Karen Alexander-Doyel. She serves the Lord tirelessly through every circumstance He has allowed in her life, including stage-three cancer and widowhood, among many other experiences. I know you will connect with her heart as you read her encouragement to all of us during this holiday season.
As the year comes to a close, we enter a time of year filled with friends, responsibilities, family, shopping, cooking, and much more. I have to admit that I truly love the sounds and smells of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I enjoy some of the hectic, some of the crazy, and some of the busyness.
This is a time of year to be grateful. We have more to be grateful for as believers than anyone else in the world. As we think about our Jesus and remember our blessings, it’s also a good time to be grateful for our opportunity to lead women and those who lead with us.
So what does that look like? How do we show gratitude for those we serve and those we serve with? I want to make a recommendation to you. My friend, Chris, recently said to me, “Karen, you need to do the study Breathe by Priscilla Shirer.” She was not promoting material, but recognizing a need in my life. As I began this study, I immediately recognized that this is a gift to me from my friend.
I have been recording every part of Scripture that refers to the Sabbath for years. God has pricked my heart over and over again about learning and obeying the principles of the Sabbath rest. I have known in my spirit that I was missing something, yet never followed through to get it. As we serve our Lord, it is easy to get too busy for Him. Your team members are finishing a busy year and already planning for the next year. How wonderful it would be if you could show your gratitude by providing, as Priscilla says, “liberation from bondage.” Give them the gift of boundaries.
I recommend you take your team through this study. Maybe take a Saturday together and work through it. I can hear you groaning now. You’re probably thinking, “When will I have time for this?” All I can say is this will be worth your time. It will help you focus on the things of God. You will be able to help each other as team members eliminate the unnecessary. You will learn to say “No” to people and “Yes” to God. As we teach others God’s Word, we must obey God’s Word. There is a principle to be learned and obeyed in this study that needs to begin in the lives of leaders.
This is “the most wonderful time of the year” and each and every day needs to be the best. God has a plan and it is always best. Give the gift of Sabbath rest to your leadership and watch them become energized, joyful, and ready to serve another year.
Karen Alexander-Doyel was a pastor’s wife for 28 years. After the death of her husband, God opened doors for her to share her journey. She is a conference speaker, Bible study teacher, seminar leader, and has written several studies that are on CD. She is a Lifeway Ministry Multiplier and teaches across the country and world. Karen’s heart is to daily fall more in love with God and His Word. She delights in sharing and encouraging women to “seek Him with all your heart.” Her joy and passion is now passing this love to her grandchildren. The verse God is continuing to burn in her heart is Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I but Christ in me; and the life that I live in the flesh, I live by faith in Jesus Christ, who loves me and gave Himself for me.”