Feb 8

Snow and More…Snow

2010 at 8:02 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Girltalkers

We had a record snowfall here in the Washington, DC area this weekend. Two feet of snow fell from Friday to Saturday. Just look at my vending machine! They are saying that we haven’t had this much since 1922.

The plow didn’t make it to our neighborhood until last night so we have been hibernating since Friday. Other than the 12 hours when our power went out, we had tons of fun. Eating was our chief activity. I’m so glad we live in an age where we know the snow is coming beforehand: plenty of time to stockpile good food!

Even when the power was out, we made the best of it—trying to imagine that we were camping (without heat, electricity or running water, that’s practically what it was!). We used snow to boil water on the gas grill for coffee and huddled around in blankets laughing and talking. It was a fun memory (especially now that the heat is back on!).

Crazy thing is, they are calling for more snow tomorrow. I’m just grateful that our street is plowed so that I can get to the grocery store and restock before it hits.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more talk on the new clubs.

coke machine snow

Feb 5

Friday Thoughts

2010 at 8:27 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Gospel

It’s been such an exciting week here at girltalk! We now have almost 800 members of The 5 O’Clock Club and over 300 members in The FAM Club. How encouraging to join with so many of you to rise early to seek God and pray and fast for our families!

We’ve published a few 5 O’Clock Club testimonies that will spur you on in your efforts to rise early. And by the way, today is the last day we’ll choose every 28th member to win a Starbucks card, so if you haven’t already, sign up by midnight tonight.

More encouragement for you club members coming next week, but today we want to take a detour from our “club talk.” There’s an article we don’t want you to miss. This past week, Albert Mohler shared a story, “Adopted for Life….and in Death” that deeply affected us all. It’s a reminder to continue to pray for the people of Haiti, even as the tragedy fades from the public consciousness. And it is a powerful picture of the grace of adoption we have received through Jesus Christ.

For the girls,
Carolyn

Feb 4

Fighting Laziness & Pursuing Holiness

2010 at 5:35 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O'Clock Club | The FAM Club

This morning we received an email from one new club member, Kristin. Here’s a snippet:

Today is the second day for me in the 5 AM Club. By God’s grace, I have not hit the snooze yet, and that is a HUGE deal for me…seriously. I was so excited about this club that I sent out the idea to the women at our church. As of now, we have 17 college girls that are joining the club and waking up early to meet with Jesus. Praise God! It’s so encouraging to know that there are women all over the place fighting against laziness and pursuing holiness. Thanks SO much for initiating this club!

“Fighting laziness and pursuing holiness” might seem to be getting harder as the week goes on. The snooze button never looked so inviting as it did this morning!

We’re not sleep experts, but in our experience, you’re at the most difficult point right now. The initial adrenaline has worn off and your body is rebelling against the change. But our experience (again, we’re no experts) is that if you push through, it will get easier soon. Your body will adjust to the new routine. In the meantime, we recommend an extra long nap or an early bedtime!

But just because rising early (or fasting) is hard, doesn’t mean we can’t do it or that it isn’t worth it. J. Alec Motyer explains in his comments on Philippians. 1:9-11 Read it carefully. Then read it again:

“And this is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

“Our obedience, discipline and hard graft are not insignificant or optional. On the contrary, they are the God-intended context for growth. But something else energizes the growth till the fruit is ready for harvest: all is done through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (verse 11)….In this setting the daily task of obedience remains hard, but not fruitless. We are often neglectful, frequently failing, ever inadequate; yet the end is secure, for God is at work.”

Getting up early to sit at Jesus’ feet is hard, but not fruitless. We may fail, but the end is secure: God is at work. So let’s persevere in this “context for growth” to the glory and praise of His name!

Feb 3

How to Stay in the Clubs

2010 at 12:20 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under The 5 O'Clock Club | The FAM Club

So it’s day three of the 28-day challenge. How’s it going? Are you on your third cup of coffee and thinking about getting an espresso machine? Is your stomach complaining so loudly you can hardly hear yourself pray?

Do you wonder how you can keep this up for 28 days, much less a lifetime?

John Piper explains how, in his comments on 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12:

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul prays for us—and I pray for you even as I write this—that God will “fulfill every resolve for good” that we have. This means that it is good to have resolves. God approves of it. It also means that our resolving is important, but that God’s enabling us to “fulfill” the resolves is crucial. Paul wouldn’t pray if God’s help weren’t needed. “The heart of man plans [resolves!] his way, but the Lord establishes [fulfills!] his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

But it matters how we resolve. When Paul says, “every resolve for good and every work of faith,” he is not describing two different acts. He is describing one act in two ways. It is a “resolve for good” because we will it. It is a “work of faith” because we depend on Jesus to give us power to fulfill it. That’s how we resolve—by faith in Jesus.

So Paul says that the fulfilling of the resolve is “by his power.” That’s what we are depending on. That’s what we are looking for when we resolve. We are looking to Jesus who promised to be with us and help us. “I know that through . . . the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19).

We are praying for YOU that God will fulfill these resolves for good and that you would depend upon Jesus’ power to do them. So, I guess we know how things will turn out. We’re confident that, by His power, you can stay in the clubs!

Feb 2

Thanks for Joining Us!

2010 at 4:52 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O'Clock Club | The FAM Club

When we called each other at 4:45 am yesterday morning to prepare to open the clubs, we didn’t know what to expect. “What if it flops and no one signs up?” we wondered.

“And why do we always launch new stuff so early?” Janelle asked in her groggy morning voice (I wish you could hear what she sounds like at 5 am!). No one answered her.

I mean, if you didn’t know better, you might think we were trying to sabotage our own blog. Why else would we start two clubs with such unappealing membership requirements as less sleep and less food, and then kick them off at 5 O’Clock in the morning?

But you all began to sign up before 5 O’Clock! We tried to keep pace—accepting each request as it came in; but we soon fell hopelessly behind and the site was so overwhelmed that we could no longer access the management page. By late afternoon our site designer came to the rescue, and accepted your requests in one large batch. We are working hard this morning to add the newest members.

As of right now, The 5 O’Clock Club has over 600 members and The Fam Club has over 250—and both are growing! (By the way, you’ll notice the names are sorted alphabetically, but we have a record of the order of signup and will be contacting the Starbucks card winners shortly.)

What’s exciting to us is not that we have a lot of names on our rolls, it’s what your eagerness to join these clubs represents—your hunger for God’s Word, your passion to grow in prayer, your longing to see the lost sinners in your family come to Christ, your awareness of your desperate need for God’s grace, your determination to sit at Jesus’ feet each morning.

These themes echoed throughout your comments. We wish we could post them all here, but our site—already creaking under the heavy load of traffic—simply doesn’t have the space. But here’s how a few of our fellow club members answered the questions:

“Why do you want to join The 5 O’Clock Club?”

Maria
To join women from around the world in pursuing godliness in this discipline of rising early and sitting at His feet.

Janell
To help me get a spiritually healthy habit started and doing it together makes it that much sweeter

Cara
I have three little ones who seem to be conspiring to wreck my quiet time in the mornings: a nursing baby, who wakes up at a different time each day, and two preschoolers who are making a rocky transition to sharing a room. I want to get up earlier so that I will be able to meet with God for a few minutes, at least, BEFORE I begin nursing the baby and intervening in the hey-get-out-of-my-bed arguments.

Esther
By God’s mercies & grace, your blog has been a means of grace to help me start & spur me to seek the Lord daily 1st thing in the morning… ever since then, (it’s been 1 year & 7 months already!), I’ve been enabled to enjoy doing it every morning. Praise God!

Stacey
My sweet 5 AM friend Valerie and I have been alternating calling each other each week since the beginning of January to wake up and it has blessed us so much to be in the Word first thing each morning. It has definitely gotten easier and look forward to see how the Lord will continue to use it for His glory in our lives.

Misha
My husband and I have been waking together at 5 for about 2 years now. My parents made this a regular practice as well. It has been such a blessing to us in our spiritual growth as individuals as well as a couple. We want our boys to benefit from this practice as well.

Rachaelle
I am the wife of one and the mother of ten children- ages 10 mo. - 10yrs. The Lord has been urging me to rise early for some time. This sounded like a beautiful way to encourage me to do just that. My godly mother was always such an example and encouragement in my life to get up early to spend time sitting at the feet of Jesus. Since she has gone to be with the Lord, it has been a battle to get up early with consistency. Thank you for this encouragement. God bless you all.

Molly
Because I think its good reading the Bible and I’m doing it with my Mum! (I’m seven years old)

Shauna
My mom asked me to join the club along with my sister, aunts, and grandmother. I already spend time with God, but I would like to be more deliberate in my time with Him. I also think it would be great to do this together as a family.

Kara
I have three little kids- 4, 2 and 10 months. I will not get a moment to read the Bible if I don’t get up early! I have been part of the “6 o’clock club” of my own since I read your book “Shopping for time.” I used to think I would get a time to read the Bible during the day, but day after day I would not get to it, promising my self and God I WOULD do it tomorrow for sure. Something had to change. When I started getting up before my kids and enforcing the “don’t get up before 7am” rule for my early riser my bible reading got consistent and profitable! It has been a blessing ever since! For the first few months my sister called me every morning. Now my husband and I wake up together so it is easier to get up! It is my favorite part of the day. Thanks for the encouragement on this blog and for us moms to make time with the Lord.

Amy
For the encouragement of knowing others are waking up at the same crazy time that I am

“Why do you want to join The FAM Club?”

Karla
I’m wanting to enter for my four grandchildren!

Margie
To lock arms with others that are crying out to the Lord on behalf of family members.

Jennifer
God has called us to adoption so we have a lot of kids. Some of our kids come with special needs and also some pretty significant scars, some visible and some invisible. I want to pray for them that God will do some amazing work in their hearts that will show His glory and His work in their lives that they will be an amazing testimony of God’s grace and mercy.

Mikel
I am the first Christian in my immediate and extended family that I know of and long for the rest of my family - mom, dad, brother, uncles, aunts, etc - to know Jesus in a real way!

Sara
I would desire not much more in life than to see my siblings..[five younger brothers] saved by the Lord Jesus in my lifetime

Laura
How important my role is as a mother to do everything I can to win my children’s hearts to Christ. I teach them, train them, and pray for them, but have not fasted for them. The stories that you have posted have struck deep, and what better what to get on my knees for my girls than with fasting. I hope I can keep this up until all my children are saved, and then fast for their children… so until the day I die!

Vanessa
My husband is not saved. We have 5 children ranging in age from 2 years old to 20 years of age. Obviously the little ones haven’t received salvation but neither have the big boys. I would love to take a day and a meal a week and spend it in prayer for them. (If not more!) My greatest hope and prayer is one day my whole family can share a love of Christ together.

Nicole
words cant even begin to explain what something like this means…I just want to SEE GOD WORK in the LIVE OF THOSE I LOVE!!!!

Jennifer
My mother passed away in August and my father was just recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. My mother had made a profession of faith, but my father never has…I want to truly commit to praying for his and my brother’s salvation.

Betsy
What a joy, honor, privilege, and blessing to be able to fast and pray for my family, my church, Sovereign Grace, and other needs I hear about. I agree with David Brainerd who wrote: “Blessed be God that I may pray.”! Thanks you four for providing this opportunity to pray and fast with and for others!

Britiney
To pray for my mom.

Anna
I have been concerned about my younger brother’s salvation. He is a young teen that is in a Christian home, but I don’t see a heart that yearns for God. I have prayed for him off and on, but now I want to make the commitment to fast and pray before the Lord for him.

Sarah
My immediate family has been awakened to the beauty and delight of God in Christ, but our relatives are still far off and constantly mock and ridicule us. I LONG for them to love the light and be saved! This will help me to regularly pray for them - especially my Gram, whom I love dearly.

Feb 1

Join Our Clubs

2010 at 7:50 am   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under The 5 O'Clock Club | The FAM Club

UPDATE, 9:00 am: Wow! We’re thrilled that so many of you are joining the clubs! Due to the overwhelming traffic on our site, we’ve experienced a few technical glitches. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of entries are showing up at the moment. We’re so sorry! But signup is working and we are receiving all registrations. We’re seeking to resolve the problem and hope to have it fixed very soon; so check back to find your name in the order it was received. And if you won a Starbucks card, we’ll contact you shortly via email!

It’s club day, girls—let the fun begin! Check out our new clubs page and officially become a member of The 5 O’Clock Club and The FAM Club. You can share a testimony and read the testimonies of others. You can also read past posts on both clubs and see which of your friends have joined. And if you are one of the first 28 people to join (after the four of us) or in the 28th slot after that, we’ll send you a Starbucks card.

Our hope and prayer is that these clubs encourage you as you seek to rise early to meet with God and pray for those you love!

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worth of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Janelle for the girltalkers