Life happened…and continues to happen.  I always thought when I truly surrendered my life to Christ that Jesus would always be #1 in my life.  I wouldn’t allow life to get in the way and detour me from my calling until Satan started to use the very blessings that God gave me over this last year to bring Jesus down to #2. 

This last 2 years have been the best years of my life.  I met my now husband on Eharmony and quickly fell in love.  After waiting for several years for the right man to come along, God blessed me with my husband today.  Since then, we have married and are soon expecting our first child.  We have also found our dream home and moved.  It’s been a whirlwind of blessings from God and I couldn’t be happier, or could I be?

Over the last couple of months I have slowly started to feel an emptiness inside me; a void that I haven’t felt in quite some time and I couldn’t quite pinpoint it, until today.  At first I thought it was just me being sick from my first trimester of pregnancy, but it wasn’t.  I have been so consumed with being happy and so full of joy that I forgot to have a real relationship with Christ.  Relationships take effort and I was not putting in my effort at all.  I got wrapped up in trying to be a good wife, working full-time and continuing my relationships outside my marriage all while forgetting the one thing that I needed to have 1st on my list.  I still praised and thanked God for every blessing, went to church, and even went to bible study, but I was just going through the motions because my real priority and desire in my life was my husband and maintaining a household.  Well at least trying to maintain a household, still working on that one…

It was easy maintaining God as my #1 priority when I was single, but it was much harder when I got married and tried to find that balance.  Life happened to me in the best way possible, and I let my relationship with Jesus fall through the cracks.  For the first time in a long time I sat down and did my devotionals and dove into the word.  There is where I found my heart to be filled to the top erasing the feeling of emptiness that I was starting to have.  It goes to show that you can have everything you want in this life and can still be empty when you don’t have Jesus.

As I sit here writing this my heart is genuine with praise and thanks to Jesus for continuing to be there even when I said thank you for the blessings and then left Him behind.  So as I start to ask myself and Jesus what he wants to call me to next, I hear Him whispering in my ear a verse that I have always loved. 

Be Still and know that I am God. – Psalms 46:10

It’s time for me to get back on my schedule of making Jesus # 1, spending time in the word daily, and praying fervently.  It’s time for me to do a 180 degree turn towards Christ and ask him to REVIVE my heart.  It’s time for a revival and I can’t wait for God to lead me and you in the right direction.

How are you doing today?  It’s the beginning of 2017 and everyone has their goals that they are trying to reach.  Are you trying to fill the void with things of this world, or are you trying to fill it with Jesus?  It’s not just time for a revival in my heart, but a REVIVAL in everyone’s hearts.  Let’s pray for God to return a burning desire in our hearts to follow Him and for our relationship with Him to grow deeper.  My word for 2017 is REVIVAL.  What is yours?

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? – Psalm 85:6

Courtney Kacer


Do you ever wish you could have a “redo”?  Some decisions I made in my past were hurtful to myself, and others and I am sure it saddened our Heavenly Father immensely. 

I know I’m not alone in these thoughts.  Even Paul said “For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Corinthians 15:9).

So what do we do with these negative thoughts from the past?  My wise friend, Sue, told me that part of forgiving others meant you had to forgive yourself.  How do you do this?  God promises if we repent He will forgive us and then remove the sin altogether.

“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”        Psalm 103:11-12

If our transgressions are removed from us there is nothing to regret or feel guilty about , right? This seems so easy – yet it is so hard to wrap my head around. 

Someone once told me that guilt is from Satan and conviction is from God.  Guilt often consumes you – makes you feel hopeless.  I am here to tell you right now that if we are truly following God – we should have nothing to do with guilt.  It is where Satan loves to have his way with us.  Don’t let another day be driven by guilt.  Rebuke Satan right now.  

Conviction on the other hand is something God places in us through the Holy Spirit. Conviction is a way out.  It’s knowing what your doing is wrong. Its knowing you will never go back to those old habits. It’s where freedom is. We must be careful not to sit in conviction either.  Conviction requires an action from us.  We must respond to what the Holy Spirit is telling us.  Once we have responded, we are to move on.  It is all part of the process of forgiving yourself.

Let us never forget why Jesus died on the cross.  It wasn’t just for everyone else.  He died on that cross for you and me.  For us to be forgiven.  If we choose not to forgive ourselves we are saying His death was in vain.  That He shouldn’t have done that for me.  If you have these thoughts I ask you to be reminded of who you are in Christ.  You are a child of God and He makes no mistakes. 

I can say my past is my past.  But, I can also say I’ve learned some great lessons from my past and I am able to have compassion for others who have similar stories as mine.  I am able to not be judgmental. I am able to give hope to those in the midst of sin, who feel hopeless and unforgiven. I am able to do these things because our Heavenly Father has forgiven me and has removed those trespasses from my life – I am truly free. Freedom and forgiveness go hand and hand.

Now I can say all the glory goes to God – for He redeemed me and forgave me and has shown me how to forgive myself.  I live my life knowing this as I journey through this thing called life.  I am reminded of who I am today; reminded of where God has taken me and I am thankful.  He loved me enough to use my story to glorify Him.  How awesome is that??

So today I pray you find forgiveness in yourself.  Allow your story to glorify our Heavenly Father.  This can only happen if you forgive yourself.  Allow God’s light to shine bright so others have no choice but to ask you to tell them your story – the story of how God redeemed you, forgave you and used you to help others.  See how God uses your story.  Freedom awaits my friends. 

Debbie Wayns


Why is it so hard to forgive?

I have been asking myself this question lately.  Why is it so hard to forgive people whether it is big or small?  If Jesus calls us to always forgive, why don’t we have the heart that makes it simple and easy?  It comes down to a couple of different revelations that I have had over the last few days.

1)      We are selfish people through and through.  We live with a sinful heart that just can’t completely understand the magnitude of what forgiveness does.  We forget that we want and need forgiveness on a daily basis, yet why should we extend that hand of grace to others?  We feel entitled to get what we are owed.  We should get an apology or what is due to us because we deserve it.  There are so many times where I have been stubborn in my forgiveness because I felt that I was owed something all while forgetting what Christ did for me.

2)      We feel that by forgiving someone by definition means we need to be friends or reconnect some sort of relationship with them.  This is more understandable with the major hurts in our lives.  Maybe you were abused at some point in your life, or an unspeakable thing has been done to you.  Maybe your spouse or significant other cheated on you during your relationship.  Whatever it may be it is extremely hard to forgive someone that has done some major damage to your heart and soul.  The truth of the matter is though that forgiving someone does not necessarily mean reconciling with them. This is a long process that happens through time.  We can forgive someone but still decide that a relationship with that person is not possible, or we can put boundaries up. 

3)      We forget the ultimate act of forgiveness that was given to us personally.  In the back of my mind I know that Christ died for me and what a sacrifice that was, but when I am in the midst of being angry with someone I forget really what type of sacrifice it was.  I truly believe that if we could humanly grasp the full concept of the sacrifice that Christ made for us, and we could keep that at the forefront of our mind, then we would be able to have a heart that forgives a little more easily.

4)      We think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person we are forgiving.  My very imperfect mind will always say at first, why should that person deserve my forgiveness when they can’t apologize?  My big a-ha moment was when I realized that the act of me forgiving someone was not to give them a gift or to bless them, it is was an actual gift and blessing to myself.  Caring around a torch of anger, frustration, or disappoint for someone lays a burden on your shoulders that takes a toll on you.  God doesn’t want you to carry that burden.  He wants you to be free from the shackles hate and rage.  God always wants us to glorify Him by the act of forgiveness.

There are so many things that we do that need forgiveness.  I couldn’t imagine having to try and forgive someone who abused me, or cheated on me.  I know that there are so many of you out there that struggle with not understanding the pure evil that may have been done to you.  You struggle with the anger and the questions of why me?  And now you get angry with the very fact that God is calling you to forgive that person when we all know very well that they don’t deserve it.  I can’t stand here and try and understand that level of forgiveness, but I do know that God is a loving God and He wants us to heal through living a life that remains in Him.  Forgiving someone is not a gift that we are to give to that other person.  It becomes a blessing from God to us when we give the anger and hurt to Him to carry leaving us to be able to live a life that is filled with His love and joy.

We here at Women180 are praying for you right now.  Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we are called to do, but nonetheless called to do by God.  It is a continuous struggle that never gets easier.  We pray that you lean on God for wisdom and guidance and for Him to show you the way.

Matthew 18:21-22 says Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?  Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Courtney Kacer



Can I just be totally honest with you here?  I have written and re-written this blog probably 3 times. I even had a complete draft done that just needed to be spell checked and proofed and when I came back to my computer, it was gone.   At this point I questioned whether or not I should even attempt this subject.  Then our very own Courtney Kacer reminded me that this was surely Satan trying to stop me.  So here I am, writing this again, praying for some peace with this draft and hopefully finalizing something that can be posted. 

Lord, I pray for Your guidance in this series that I cannot shake to write.  I pray for Your wisdom and peace as You lead me in this writing.  Amen.

Forgive(ness).  Is this hard for anyone else besides me?  When I first became a Christian I put this on the backburner for quite some time. 

The Webster Dictionary simply defines this as

“to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) ; to stop blaming (someone) ; to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong) ; to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed).”

Sounds simple enough right? 

Shortly after I truly started following Christ my church had a women’s treat. I had no idea what I was walking into, but was excited to have a “mini vacation”.  I expected some bible reading, speakers who would speak about God, and maybe even meet some other women who were in the same set of mind as me.  I had no idea that God would reveal himself to me in a way that changed my life forever. 

I had an opportunity to speak with one of the speakers.  Her name was Sue.  I had never met her, but she had been going to our church for a long time and was highly respected. When she came to my table and asked if she could sit with me I immediately got nervous.  I couldn’t understand why this women – who had just spoke to all these women – wanted to sit with me.  I know now that God totally ordained that whole situation.  She immediately asked me if I understood what it meant to forgive others.  I was taken aback for sure.  Who was this lady?  And how dare she ask such a personal question? My quick response to her was “yes – of course”, hoping she’d go away and I could continue my mini vacation.  Seeing that my bible was on the table she asked me to look up Matthew 6:14-15 and read it out loud. 

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15

As we picked apart this verse I asked so many questions.  The more she answered, the more questions I had.  The more I understood one thing the more I got convicted about another.  We sat at that table for almost 3 hours – talking, crying, and laughing. It was at this table I truly understood what it meant to forgive and to be forgiven. My take away from this conversation was who had I not forgiven that would prevent me from being forgiven?  Thus began this journey I was on for some time.  It has been almost 10 years since this retreat and to be honest, I’m still on this journey of forgive(ness). 

I found out later, because Sue and I became very close friends, that God nudged her big time to speak to me all weekend.  She said she fought it because after she spoke she was exhausted and truly wanted to rest, but God wouldn’t let it go.  I’m thankful she was obedient and came to sit with me. 

So here I am – about to share a piece of myself about forgiving others and being forgiven.  I pray you join me as we venture into why this is so important to God and why it should be so important to us.

I leave you with this last thought before I sign off this week. 

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.  Otherwise it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” – Letters of C.S. Lewis (19 April 1951), p. 230

Until next time my friends, Be Blessed – INDEED!!

Debbie L. Wayns

The Truth About Happiness

It is too often that I forget that happiness is not the same feeling as joy.  We often intertwine happiness and joy thinking they bear the same definition, but when I really think about it happiness seems to be a temporary and sometimes fleeting emotion.  It comes and goes according to the situation.  When joy comes to mind it gives me a sense of peace and contentment even through the hard times.  It links with a feeling of consistency and can only truly be achieved when we know that Christ is our Lord and Savior. 

I recently connected with a new Author, J.E. Berry and she just wrote a book on just this topic.  The Truth About Happiness gets released today July 7, 2016 and will be available on Amazon.

The synopsis of this book really makes us dive into what makes us happy and our worldly views.  We can start to look at the real meaning of Joy and what it looks like to get rid of the roadblocks that get in our way of experiencing the contentment and peace that God wants us to receive.  J.E. Berry describes it perfectly below:

The great dream of the world. To be “HAPPY”. But what does that even look like in our eyes? Do we have a true grasp on what that means or even how we draw it from the source? Most of us have started off with a false perception of what happiness is. Rather a believer or not.

In a world struggling to define and understand what happiness looks like, The Truth About Happiness comes as a cool breeze where there seems to be little air to breathe at all. Offering clarity on the topic of happiness through biblical truths and encouragement to help readers carry out those truths. Addressing practical struggles, such as suffering, choices and perception, with practical scripture text to produce spiritual growth, discovery, and personal Bible study.

The Truth About Happiness is a personal journey for each reader. Each chapter focuses on areas that can keep us from experiencing the fullness of joy in Christ while offering encouragement and hope through Scriptural truth. Each chapter also includes a personal reflection and challenge for readers. The author offers an honest look at real life topics while challenging readers to actively weed out the hindering seeds deep within and walk with Christ toward a life He has designed for them.

Women180 definitely recommends this book and we hope that you will put this on your summer reading list.  Click on the link below:

J.E. BerryAuthor

Untamed Wisdom

 Copyright: <a href=''>antonioguillem / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Copyright: <a href=''>antonioguillem / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Wisdom can come in many shapes and sizes.  In the past few blog posts we have discussed being wild at heart which can move us into a phase of rebellion, but the question is how do we get ourselves to transform into the people we really want to be?  How do we transform our hearts to be full of contentment and joy? At the end of the day having our hearts content is what we are truly striving for in life right?

It all comes down to having wisdom and knowing that’s God’s truth is wisdom.  We will continue to chase our tails trying to find that one thing that makes us happy, until it doesn’t anymore, and then we move onto the next worldly treasure.  We will constantly reside in a state of restlessness because we just don’t know what that missing piece is to be completely joyful.

Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps? – Genesis 31:27

God wants us to come to him and lay our troubles at His feet so He can carry the burden.  He wants us to whole heartedly seek Him instead of finding temporary satisfactions within the boundaries of this chaotic world.  He wants to set us free with His truth.  His truth being that God sent His one and only son to die for our sins.  To die for our selfishness, to die for people like us even in the midst of our denial. 

I remember when I was looking to fill the void that I had during my rebellious years.  I was so consumed with trying to make me happy that I was desperate to fill that painful need in any way possible, except turn to Jesus.  I ask myself over and over again, why?  I had the answer to my troubles staring me right in the face, and yet I still turned my back and thought that I had a better way.  My way just led to a deeper depression and a deeper longing and desperation to fill that need. 

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:32

The answer to my problems was me being able to fully surrender to God.  The wisdom of truth needed to be planted into my heart and not just my head.  God says that if we fully seek Him then He will show himself to us in ways we could understand.  He will open our eyes and our hearts to His truth and His wisdom. 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

My challenge to you today is to think about that void you may be feeling.  What are you trying to fill it with?  Is it working or do you find yourself disappointed and looking for something more after a short period of time?  Maybe you run to food for comfort, or alcohol to tune out painful memories and situations.  Maybe you go from one relationship to the next and wondering why none of them work out?  Maybe you go shopping for the next big thing to heighten your status.  Whatever it may be let’s challenge ourselves this week to dig deeper into why we do certain things and whether or not that leaves us feeling empty or joyful. 

If you feel a little more on the empty side I want to encourage you to reach out and pray to our heavenly Father and ask Him to guide you.  Ask Him to show you the truth and teach you His wisdom, and then hold on for the ride of your life as God fills up your heart with joy and laughter.  Loving our God and His son Jesus Christ was the best choice I ever made and it wasn’t until I asked Him to show me Himself did He change my heart to fully surrender to Him.

As God has worked on me over the last few years, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but I can finally tell you that I believe that I am transforming into the beautiful butterfly God had intended for me to be.


Courtney Kacer (Smith)

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If you were to sit down and ask my parents what I was like as a child they would definitely smile and say “a little rebellion”.  I was the child who weighed possible punishments to do things I wanted to do.  If what I wanted to do was worth the spanking or grounding, then I would do it.  If it wasn’t then I would save that rebellious activity for another day.  I remember my dad telling me I could only go so far on my bike one bright sunny day.  He wanted to be able to see me and know that I wasn’t too far away.  I chose the spanking that day when my dad caught me flying by the boundaries he had set for me.  Sound familiar?

I am an adultnow and I would like to say that I grew out of that stage of my life, but not so much.  When I turned 18, all I could think of was how I didn’t have to live under my parents rules.  It was me time and I was about to make my own decisions.  I had my own rules.  The consequences of my decisions did not come in groundings nor did they come in spanking or lessons learned from my parents.  They came in guilt and shame and a whole lot of disappointment.  This time I couldn’t blame it on my parents being unfair.  I only had myself to blame.  

My decisions to better myself with a crowd of people who were just as rebellious as me ended in years of turmoil.  I thought I found my freedom in drugs, alcohol, and sex, but what I found instead was a prison cell.  Years of shame and insecurities came after and feelings of worthlessness.  I was Alice falling down the rabbit hole with nothing to grasp onto.

I finally reached out in the right direction and took a hold of Jesus’ hand and my life transformed.    I write to you today because there are so many of us out there that have this wild heart that naturally likes to rebel.  We tend to think that we need to tame ourselves and we have to sacrifice giving up control in order to follow Christ.  For some of you that may mean rejecting the one thing that can truly give you freedom, and for some of you it may mean that you struggle with fully surrendering to Christ.

It wasn’t until God started to transform my heart did I realize that the answer to my question was that it wasn’t a sacrifice to follow Christ.  It wasn’t just a bunch of rules I needed to follow.  It was a blessing to follow Jesus.  The rules to follow melted away as my heart desired to transform my life to live to glorify Him. 

Don’t let your thinking of having to tame yourself detour you from what your heart longs for every day.  Let your heart and mind open up to the idea of being untamed.  Redirect your wild heart to be wild for Jesus and let Him work in your life and grant you the freedom that you so long for.  This goes for those of you who may not yet know the Lord and those of you like me who do know the Lord but struggle sometimes with feeling too tame for our natural tendencies.  

Take those thoughts captive and bring them to the Lord.  Ask for Him to change your heart and your attitude and realize that true freedom, joy, and contentment means being rebellious against our old ways. Let’s untame our hearts to be wild for a life that strives to glorify Christ.

Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good. 

Psalm 25:7

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 

 2 Corinthians 10:5

Courtney Kacer (Smith)



Untamed - Wild at Heart


We are all wild at heart.  Wild in the sense of us wanting to be free to do whatever we want to do without a care in the world.  A longing for that true sense of freedom bubbles up on the surface of our hearts.  Have you ever just had those moments where you just think to yourself if only I could just not care about the consequences that may arise with me just letting completely loose?  I know I have.  If I am being completely honest, sometimes I feel constrained by the “rules” that I should be following as a child of God.  My heart wants to do something or many things that would definitely not glorify His kingdom.

There were times before I was a Christian where I would think that I would have to sacrifice “my freedom” in order to surrender and give my life to Christ.  There were too many rules I would have to follow and I would not be able to live a life that would fulfill my desires.  

There were several years in my life where I gave into making Courtney happy in every moment.  What I wanted right then and there is what I would do.  Temporary satisfactions were fulfilled no matter the price.  You could say my days of drugs and alcohol would label me a wild child.  I was free to do what I wanted, when I wanted and I was soaring like an eagle, or was I? 

I look back to figure out why my heart finally drifted towards Christ and it comes to one answer.  Giving into what I thought was fulfilling my wants and needs was really driving me to be enslaved within the prison walls of this world.  We are not meant to just live this life, but eternal life.  The void that I was trying to fill was really the need for a relationship with Christ that would give me this eternal life.  

Satan wants us to continue on a path that serves only ourselves.  We may think we have everything we want, but let’s be honest if we do not have Christ there will always be something missing.  Our perception of having to tame ourselves to follow Christ is one of Satan’s lies.  God made us wild at heart, we just have to redirect it towards Him and His kingdom.

Throughout the next four weeks we will be talking about how we can become untamed for God and live with the wild freedom that God intends for our lives.  If we block out Satan’s lies then we won’t feel like it is a burden to follow Christ and His rules, but we will be able to look at following Christ as the answer to our freedom.

Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. - 1 Corinthians 7:21

[ The Believer’s Freedom ] “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. - 1 Corinthians 10:23

[ Life by the Spirit ] You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. - Galatians 5:23

Courtney Kacer (Smith)

Arm Yourself: Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God

My dear sweet sister in Christ, Michelle Moore wrote a book to help equip ourselves with the Armor of God.  Once I opened the book I couldn’t put it down.  Michelle takes experiences in her life and intertwines it with the lessons we need to learn to fully equip ourselves for battle.  The battle of spiritual warfare.  Some of you may know exactly what I am talking about, and some of you may experience this every day but not know exactly what to call it.

Spiritual warfare is so prevalent in today’s society.  As the world spirals downward into pure darkness, the bright shining lights that have a heart for God become the ones for Satan to bring down.  Satan attacks us left and right, trying to throw us off our game, trying to destroy the good we are trying to do for God’s kingdom.  We need to arm ourselves with the best armor we can so that we may continue to live a life that glorifies God.

Michelle goes on to talk about the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation, the shoes of peace, the breastplate of Righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the robe of love, and the power of prayer.  One of her most important pieces of truth is learning who we are in Christ.  We can’t apply these pieces of armor unless we know that we have the authority to use them. 

Michelle states, “No one can take any of our pieces of armor without our permission first.  So let’s resolve from this day forward that no one will take from us our true identity, which is found in Christ.”

The best part of reading this book was reminding myself that as a child of God, I have power in the name of Jesus.  I think we often forget that.  We get so busy in our day to day lives that when a slew of things go wrong, we chop it up to just having a bad day.  We need to be in close fellowship with Christ everyday so that we can draw near to Him and live on His strength.  This book reminded me of the different pieces of armor we can put on.

Arm yourself is a great reminder for women like me who have been a Christian for a while, but it is extremely valuable to readers who may have just accepted Christ into their lives, or maybe you are seeking the truth of Christ and haven’t quite committed yet.  There is a war going on for our souls, and the longer we stay in the dark to who we really are, the easier it is going to be for Satan to win.

Satan can’t keep knocking us down if we know how to put our armor on.  I highly recommend this book and hope that when you are looking for your next book to read, you think of Arm Yourself:  Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God by Michelle Moore.

Please check out Michelle’s website.  The book is available on Amazon.  Click the links below.


About the Author:

“Wife. Mother. Blogger. Author. Worship Leader. Bible study leader. These are just a few of the many hats I put on every day. If you were to take a closer look you would see hats I put on that I have had to hand over to God through the years…Depressed, insecure, hopeless, anxious, fearful, angry, heartbroken, wounded, ashamed.

Praise God He is a miracle maker, prince of peace, counselor, redeemer, healer, and He fought for me! Now I can say with confidence I am restored, set free, victorious, loved, chosen, set apart, a true daughter of the king!

God has inspired me to inspire you. I want every woman to know there is freedom and healing in the awesome power of Jesus! My book, Arm Yourself, starts off with my personal testimony and the struggle I’ve had with depression and anxiety. I go on to explore how the study of the armor of God saved my life and in each chapter I explore what each piece of armor is, how to use it and what it protects. I want women to not just learn to cope, but to learn how to arm yourself!



As the sun set she walked down the aisle and at that moment I suddenly forgot about the beauty all around me.  All I saw was Courtney walking towards her now husband, Shawn, knowing that her prayers were being answered by our Heavenly Father.  I immediately got emotional remembering all the time and prayers of Courtney making personal changes to submit to God for whatever His will held for her future. She had been on quite a journey.

I didn’t think I’d get so emotional watching her walk down the aisle.  Because I knew God would bless her with either the husband she so desired, or a change of desire to live her life according to HIS will. Either way, I knew Courtney would be blessed and bless those around her.  Yes, I am speaking of the founder of Our very own Courtney got married this past weekend.

As I have had a week now to reflect and pray and ask God to reveal to me why so much emotion was felt by me I was constantly reminded of LOVE. There is something about God’s perfect love that gets me every time.

I remember a while ago my mentor telling me that Love is not a feeling but an action.  That confused me and really forced me to look deeper into that statement.  The bible says:

“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:18

“We love each other because he loved us first.” 1 John 4:19

What this tells me is that Love is a verb, an action. Something we are to do, not just feel.  As a married woman of 14 years, this was a hard lesson to learn.  I wanted to always feel loving towards and by my husband.  But life happens, right?  Through those stupid arguments and sometimes more serious disagreements, the love we have for each other is there – whether we feel it or not.

Let’s look at this deeper.  Jesus loves us.  This is a fact, right?  How do you think he feels when we blatantly sin against him over and over again.  I imagine he feels the same way, but on a much bigger level, when my daughter does something that she knows she shouldn’t be doing and does it anyway.  Am I disappointed? Absolutely!  Do I still love her?  Absolutely!  Jesus is love.  He loves us regardless.  He proved this when he sacrificed himself on the Cross for our past, present and future sins.  His actions showed us what Love looks like in action.

So why was I so emotional watching Courtney and Shawn getting married?  Although I know Love is an action, it’s also wonderful to feel.  I felt their love and it was contagious.  Everyone at that wedding felt love.

You can’t talk about love and not mention the below verses:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Yes, I am one of those mushy fairytale women who are in love with Love!! I’m thankful that as I have grown in my faith this has evolved into not just a feeling but an action.  It is something nobody can take from me.  I love because He loved me first.  This tells me I can be as mushy as I want.  I can love and be loved without hesitation. 

“Let all that you do be done in Love.”  1 Corinthians 16:14

So as I conclude today, let us be reminded to live and love others the way God intended and Rejoice in the Love He has for us.

Debbie Wayns

Can I be honest with you?

Can I be honest with you?  This past week I’ve been pretty irritable.  I can’t tell you why.  Nothing happened.  Nobody upset me.  I was just plain irritable for no apparent reason.  I think I played it off for the most part to the world.  But at home, where it’s safe, I don’t think I hid it well.  I never addressed it in my quiet time with God, because there was no reason for the irritableness.  So I just remained irritable thinking this too shall pass. 

During this time, I’ve been praying to God to give me what HE wants me to write about next for this blog. He’s been very quiet in this regard.  So I leaned on my go to verse “Be Still and Know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) and just waited for His guidance.  Then today in my quiet time I came across this verse:

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” – 1 John 5:14

I dug into this verse a little deeper in my commentaries.  One of them mentioned that our hearts had to be right with God and then our prayers would be a mirror vision of His will. So I sat and asked myself was my heart right with God?  Was something keeping my prayers from being heard?  Was there sin I wasn’t acknowledging?  Was I being unforgiving towards others?  Then bam, just at that moment, the question of the day – was my irritability keeping me apart from God?  Do I need to ask for forgiveness and acknowledge this sin?  Why hadn’t I thought about this sooner?

Well, just yesterday I acknowledged my irritability to my husband and apologized to him.   I was honest with him and told him that I really didn’t know why I was irritable but he surely was not the reason.  Bless his heart, he immediately said “no problem” in the most loving and tender way.  But I know it was a problem.  I wasn’t being nice and it was not ok. I knew that just acknowledging it to him would help me be more mindful and thoughtful towards him.  It was pulling my sin out of the darkness and bringing it into the light.

“to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” – Acts 26:18

Today I woke up and was not irritable.  In fact, I was in a great mood – almost silly.  It’s no surprise the verse that stuck out to me today was that “if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” According to His will.  If your heart is right with God – it will be according to His will.  If you are in God’s word regularly – it will be according to His will.  If your sin is not in the dark and in the light, acknowledged and confessed – it will be according to His will. 

And just like that, this blog appeared. 

Father, thank you for this lesson.  Thank you for your unconditional love for us.  Thank you for hearing our prayers.  Bring to light of what is holding us back from you as we continue to grow with you. Show us how to restore our relationship with you and have the relationship you so desire from us.  I ask this confidently and with expectation that you hear this prayer.                                                                                                                                                                                        In Jesus Name I Pray.  Amen.

I Am HIS Masterpiece

For we are Gods masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

The other morning while having my quiet time with God, I looked out my window and noticed the sun rising slowly.  Just then I saw these magnificent colors appear.  God was literally painting a masterpiece right in front of my eyes.  I grabbed my phone to take a picture but the colors just werent justified through its lens. I have the same reactions to sunsets as well.  My 12 year old daughter now has the same passion of sunsets as I do, and will quickly shout out Mom, look at that one. How blessed are we to witness such a creative God. I once was in a bible study and I remember the author of the study once said that when we see such beauty such as sunrises and sunsets its Gods way of saying He loves us.  And our response should be I love you too

Ladies, just like a beautiful sunset that God created, he also created you exactly how he wanted you to be.  With every stroke, He colored your hair, your eyes, your skin tone, your smile.  He made you perfect in HIS image.  We are one of Gods work of art.

I have a pretty big personality always have really.  My mom used to say I could make friends anywhere I went and they all would become my best friends within 15 minutes.  Its true.  I love meeting people, getting to know them and growing relationships with them.  Most people would have been surprised to know that when I was younger, I was comparing myself to anyone I met and always fell short from who I truly wanted to be.  My self-worth was pretty bad.  If only I could be like that person or this person.  The more people I had in my life, the more inadequate I felt. I was one of those people who could be in a room of 50 people and still feel unworthy and lonely. But you wouldnt have ever known this because I usually made myself the center of attention. I realize now its how I controlled the situation. I was funny and loud and portrayed the confidence I wanted everyone to think I had.  I had horrible insecurities that most people never even knew about.  I often lied about myself and who I truly was.  I lied so often about myself I started believing them. I made myself into someone I wasnt. This person I created was much better than who I actually was.   In my eyes a masterpiece was not part of my description of who I was. You should know I come from an extremely loving family who would tell me often that I was loved.  These insecurities came from deep inside me that stemmed from me truly not knowing who I was in Christ.

Today I know who I am in Christ.  I am perfectly made in His image.  I still have a lot of friends, and if I am honest, still often the center of attention, but for completely different reasons.  I still have no problem talking to strangers and making friendships quickly. The difference is there is joy in it all now.  I am no longer comparing myself to anyone because I am exactly who God wants me to be today.  I know that as long as I am open and willing to grow with Him, He will reveal Himself more to me and I will gain a better understanding of who I am.

 This is why knowing who you are in Christ is so important.  Whether you come from a loving or tragic background, if you dont know who you are in Christ you will seek your identity in places that are not secure or everlasting.  God promises us He will never leave or forsake us.  This we can hold onto and walk in confidence with.

This has been quite a journey weve been on together.  I cannot believe this is the last part of the Who Am I series.  So here I am Saved, Chosen, Free, and HIS Masterpiece.  O ladies, there are so many more amazing descriptions of who you are in Christ.  I pray today you commit to knowing who you are in Christ.  Dont stop here. Dig deeper in the bible and find out more ways who you are in Christ.   

Thank you for allowing me to introduce myself here on Women180.  The feedback some of you gave me was encouraging and I hope to continue down this journey God has me on with writing.  Until next time my friends, Be Blessed INDEED.

Debbie Wayns

I am Free

I Am Free.

On August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared:

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we're free at last!’”

We have heard these words spoken time and time again, and they are a perfect depiction of Dr. Martin Luther Kings desire for freedom for all mankind.

So what does freedom mean in Gods kingdom?

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.- John 8:32

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.- John 8:36

 In John 8:32, 36 Jesus declared that he will make free anyone who puts their trust in Him. This type of freedom allowed me to walk away from my own selfish desires and serve God the way He intended. This is freedom Freedom from self-deception, sin, and the lies Satan continues to try and convince me to be true. 

You may ask how do I know the truth?  For me it is in Gods Word.  My quiet time with God is the time I learn Gods truth. I am constantly learning ways to be more and more like him. If not for this time in Gods Word, Id surely start believing the lies Satan tells me.  The truth is in the Bible.  We must be in the Bible to rebuke all Satans lies. We must be in the Bible to know who we are in Christ, which eliminates self-deception.

This morning in my quiet time, God revealed a picture of Jesus when he was a man that surprised me.  In Mark 13:32-33 Jesus said:

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.

Ive read these verses time and time again, so its not new to me.  But today, as I was preparing my heart for this topic of Being Free I began to think about how at this time, not even Jesus knew when He would be back.  Because He was man at this time, he didnt have this knowledge.  Stay with me here  While Jesus was man, he was restricted.  He was limited and held back.  My dictionary states that to be free is voluntary, without restraint; without cost, to set at liberty.  This was not the case with Jesus when he said “…no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son. When Jesus was a man he was limited, but when He resurrected he was free to be who He truly is with all His divine knowledge. Dont we all want this?  To be who we are truly intended to be without restraint or limitations? this is Freedom.  As we know who we are in Christ, we can have this freedom.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23, 24

I had a conversation the other day about sin whether one sin is greater than another.  It is easy to imagine that murder is a big sin, especially compared to lets say, a white lie.  But let us all remember that a sin is a sin and any sin keeps us separated from God. The good news is that we have redemption through Christ Jesus. When Christ died on that Cross, we were forgiven.  We are free from what we so justly deserve. This makes me want to sing the words: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we're free at last!

But wait, there is more! 

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more Jeremiah 31:34b

Not only are you free from your sins, but they will never again be remembered.  But you have to do somethings first.  You have to confess your sins, walk away from them, and live your life in freedom. My friend, stop living in your sins.  Stop believing the lies that you are not worthy of Gods love.  There is no sin that cant be forgiven.  Redemption is there and God is waiting for us to claim it by laying our lives at Jesus feet.  You are His child and you are FREE from the bondage you live in today.  You just have to believe in Jesus and realize any feelings that make you feel tainted are LIES.  I pray you walk away from this blog knowing a little more of who you are in Christ knowing YOU ARE FREE. 

Debbie Wayns

I Am Chosen

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” – Ephesians 1:3-6

What does being Chosen mean to you? 

My daughter, who is 12, auditioned for Oklahoma a few weeks ago, and as she waited for the results, I asked her what happens if she wasn’t chosen?  She immediately said she would feel sad and unwanted.  I’ve felt like this 12 year old many times – “sad and unwanted”.  Before Christ, my identity was based off of acceptance of others.  I wanted to be “chosen” so badly I often made decisions that would ensure my spot in this group or that group. When accepted it was instant gratification, although short lived because I soon had to fight for my right to stay in that group.  I still felt like I had to find my perfect place to be understood, often being like someone else – mimicking someone else’s behavior to be liked. Don’t get me wrong – I chose to do everything I did.  I was fully aware of the consequences.  Although none of that mattered.  All I wanted was to be loved, accepted and CHOSEN.  You see, I was seeking acceptance from everyone BUT God. 

In my teens and then 20’s I remember saying I wanted to be married.  Innocent dream for most, but this desire went much deeper for me.  I wanted to be chosen.  I tried to manipulate guys I was dating to choose me, to no avail.  Instead, I was left feeling “sad and unwanted”.  It was a vicious cycle.  I was seeking acceptance in all the wrong places.  Thankfully God also chose my husband, Justin.  I admit when I first met him I felt chosen.  He sought after me, loved me, and chose me to be his wife.  But as I sit here in this reflection, I realize that God chose both Justin and I to be together.  We were both already chosen well before we ever met.

So what does this look like today?  Knowing that God chose us long before we even existed allows no room for pride to set in.  We had nothing to do with it.  I didn’t have to act a certain way.  I didn’t have to wait for someone to pick me.  In reality God had to wait for me to finally reach out and grab the hand that He had already extended.  I admit it took me awhile to choose Him. If there is any regret of my past it is that.  So here is God Almighty who already chose me long long ago, just waiting for me to seek and choose Him back.

Then there is me, who thinks I can do this without Him… and therefore denied Him time and time again. Like Peter who denied Jesus (Matthew 26:34), God knew I would deny Him, yet He still chose me!! Thankfully when He chose me, He already knew how stubborn I was and would continue to be. He knew the journey I would have to take to finally get to Him.  So He waited patiently.

As a parent of a 12 year old, I admit my husband and my patience run thin with our daughter at times.   As her parents we see what her potential is.  We see just how she could affect the world in a positive way with her gift of empathy.  We want her to understand this gift now so she can use it immediately.  It is sometimes frustrating because she is not mature enough to fully understand what this means or how to use it.  So we wait patiently.  To see what God will do with her and this gift.  We will have to go through some struggles and trial and hope her journey leads her right where God intended her to be.  These trials will be painful and frustrating. But we will never give up on her, because the love we have for her outweighs all the mess she has and will gets herself into. 

I say all this because it’s the only way I can imagine what God felt like waiting for me to come to Him but on a much bigger scale. As He sat patiently waiting for me I’m sure He was painfully watching me make decisions that would lead to consequences that I would not like.  He may have gotten frustrated because I would make those decisions again and again never learning the lesson He was providing..  I remember when I finally turned and chose Him. I felt this immediate LOVE like never before.  I felt complete in that I had finally been ACCEPTED.  HE chose me long long ago, and now we can live together in harmony, on the same team.  Being chosen to me means my acceptance is no longer in other people.  It is solely in Him.

Do you ever feel like you are missing something?  Like you are searching to fill this void and nothing will quite fill it?  We are here to tell you the solution has a simplicity to it that you would have never thought possible.  It is whether or not you are willing to accept the hand of Jesus as He has already CHOSEN you.  If you need prayer or would like to reach out to learn more, please contact us on our website

Debbie L. Wayns

Not So Different

    I sit here reflecting what our world has become and is becoming.  It is headed on a very dark path that just keeps getting darker.  The terrorism that has hit different countries over the last few decades increases and we wonder why?  What is going on where people think they are justified in taking innocent lives in the name of the their beliefs?  I can’t imagine that our world has come to that, but can I?  As I sit thinking about Easter Sunday coming up it dawns on me that the justification of taking innocent lives has been around for thousands of years which brings us to the death of Jesus Christ.

    Jesus was born for one purpose, to die on the cross for all of our sins.  He lived a life full of every temptation imaginable so that he could relate to us, yet still living a perfect life.  Jesus did nothing wrong, but in the eyes of the religious leaders of the Jews, Jesus was a criminal.  They were set in their ways and their laws and had no room for a Savior to come to save the world.  With Jesus claiming He was the Son of God, the Jews were charging Him with blasphemy.  He threatened their positions as high priests and the jewish law which in turn led them to take Jesus out of the picture.  Jesus was innocent, yet the leaders sentenced Him to death.  In fear of the reaction of the religious leaders, the other people said nothing when the Romans questioned them.

    Jesus was tortured beyond recognition and crucified on the cross.  Nails were driven into his wrists and ankle bones to hold Him on the cross.  So much innocent blood was spilled.  Just as in Jesus day, innocent blood is spilled today.  Most recently, the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.  My heart breaks with seeing the connection of behavior more than two thousand years a part.  People justifying the deaths of others to uphold their beliefs.  So what are we to do?  We pray…

    We pray for the victims and their families that God comforts them through these dark times.  We pray that God reaches the hearts of the people who don’t know Him.  We pray for the terror to subside from these senseless acts of evil and is replaced by the strength of our Lord knowing that one day there will be judgement.  We pray for peace to fulfill our souls once again.  And as Jesus said with His last dying breath, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do,”  we pray for the terrorists themselves that God drastically changes their hearts in the hope that they may one day know the one true God. 

    We may never understand why these acts of terrorism happen, but just as God used Jesus’ death to save the world, we trust and hope that God will somehow use these acts of terrorism in a way that could help others.  We have no idea what that looks like, but if we grasp onto hope rather than grasping onto fear we can move forward in healing.

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. - Psalm 9:18

We wait in the hope of the Lord; he is our help and our shield. - Psalm 33:20

Courtney Smith



Who AM I? -- I AM SAVED!!


Easter is one of my favorite times of the year.  To acknowledge Jesus as who HE is and HIS mission- is truly what it is all about.  Often people ask, “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?” “Wasn’t there another way?” Ultimately, the consequences of our sins would lead to our death.  The only way to save us from ourselves and the consequence of death through our sins was for God to beat it with death.  The death of Jesus Christ.  His blood was spilled so that we would not have to face our own death of eternal life.  Jesus through his death on the cross gave us eternal life – SALVATION.

Let’s dig into this a little deeper.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

God says that a person who sins must die (or be punished). BUT, we get the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus.  This is why Jesus had to die on the cross.  He gave us the pathway to righteousness to be able to be with God Himself.

“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.” – John 1:4

Bringing light to everyone is exciting news to me.  We no longer have to walk in darkness.  We have a lighted pathway guiding our every step.  Walking in darkness leads to walking in our own transgressions which usually ends up in walking in sin.  This however is a choice.  We can choose to walk in darkness or we can choose to walk in the lighted path that Jesus provides.

“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

John MacArthur says it beautifully, “The Son’s mission is bound up in the supreme love of God for the evil, sinful ‘world’ of humanity that is in rebellion against Him.” 1   It amazes me that Jesus was lifted up on the Cross to take away any Judgment that you and I should have received.  It’s a humbling thought actually.  

“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life...” – John 3:35-36a

I love this.  It is an immediate response when we accept Christ.  “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” (Emp. add.) We don’t have to earn it.  We don’t have to do anything but believe.  

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

How do you respond to this gift?  I admit I often take it for granted.  It is those times when I read a passage describing what Jesus did for us I remember and respond with great gratitude.  This past Sunday I watched – The Passion and through the beautiful music and interpretation I was brought to my knees.  As the tears fell down I looked up, thanking our Father for His great sacrifice. 

I end this today how I started last week.

I am SAVED.  

“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” – 1 John 5:11-13  

Whoever believes in God’s Son has eternal life.  Isn’t this Great News!! There is such simplicity in this verse. Reminds me of the statement “it’s not about what you do, but who you know”. 

As we head into all our Easter Celebrations, let us not forget.  Let us remember that through His death on the Cross – we are Saved.  But let us also not forget the next important thing - that Jesus rose from the dead, and for this, we can praise and thank God for all eternity.

Debbie L. Wayns


1 The MacArthur Bible Commentary – John MacArthur

BroomTree International

Women180 likes to highlight certain Christian organizations that are doing unbelievable work in God’s Kingdom.  This month we would like to highlight an organization that is moving mountains to bring God’s truth and word to the “unreached” population.  

Who are the unreached? An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance. Can you imagine living in the darkness of extreme, war, poverty and brokenness WITHOUT a flickering light of hope in your surroundings? Never having heard of Jesus- His grace, hope, joy and redemption? Maybe you intimately know or have known this darkness.  Can you remember how your life changed when your senses experienced God’s light?

One of the greatest commandments Jesus made to his disciples, was to“Go, and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:10)  Literally, “GO.” 

That can be intimidating for most of us. For centuries brave missionaries have shed their comfortable lives to go live among the unreached across the globe. We’ve entered an era where reaching these groups has gotten easier and easier, yet nearly 3,000 people groups (about 2.8 billion people) still live in this spiritual darkness. Why is this? Despite grand efforts from the global Christian church:

  • 99.7% of missional resources are directed toward where the church ALREADY IS.
  • only .3% goes where the church IS NOT. *

BroomTree International is a ministry that is bridging the gap from simply “giving” to faithful servant missionaries, to “investing” in His faithful servants of the African church who have the culture, proximity and understanding to reach the unreached in places we cannot go. 

“Our process is to Gather, Explore, and Facilitate both ministry and strategic partners who work together to fulfill the Great Commission.  Working together will multiply talents that make greater impact in reaching unreached people groups of the world today.” – BroomTree International

BroomTree’s mission statement is simple.  Serve faithful servants who make disciples for Jesus Christ.  They assist by directing resources for short term needs that advance long term strategies. They work together to make disciples through His church who advance His kingdom on earth to glorify His name.  

It’s not just about sending people over for a few weeks to help out where needed.  It is about equipping indigenous churches with the knowledge of God and the tools and resources to then go out and make more disciples. To bear fruit that REMAINS and transform communities to walk daily in the word.

Ladies, our main purpose in life is to bring people to Christ and grow not only our relationships, but to help others grow as well, yet I sometimes feel that we stay in our own little bubble.  We often don’t think about how we can help those in faraway lands, but we can ALWAYS help.

You may be thinking how can I help? There are a couple different ways.  The number one way to help reach the “unreached” is by fervent prayer.  We may not be able to travel around the world, but we can pray for God to open up the hearts of the people who don’t know Him.  We can also pray for the people who are on the ground, traveling to dangerous places.  We can pray to give them strength, wisdom, courage, and the resources to be able to do God’s work where we cannot.

Secondly, we can help by donating to organizations like BroomTree so that they can help equip the African Church with the tools needed to spread God’s word and change lives. We may not be called to do missions in the sense of traveling to unknown lands, but we are ALL called to be missionaries in spreading the Gospel.  There are so many ways to do that- and BroomTree is demonstrating how we can really focus on discipleship as a tool to transform lives.  Please take time to pray for BroomTree International and to pray on whether or not God is calling you to donate to help spread God’s great news.

Please take a look at BroomTree’s home page to learn how they are assisting local African church networks employ a disciple-making strategy. They started in Kenya in 2012. This year they have local servants traveling into South and North Sudan, Egypt, Chad and Uganda to train other churches in this strategy that will empower an entire continent to GO and make disciples of ALL the Nations.

“We are within range of penetrating every dark place on the planet with the light of the Gospel more than ever before in history. We pray that you will join with us.” - BroomTree


Courtney Smith





*(for more definitions and statistics visit or   


I am so excited to introduce you to Debbie Wayns who will permanently be a part of Women 180.  We share a vision of helping women come to Christ and grow.  We want to encourage women who are struggling through this dark and fallen world and show them that there is continuous hope in Jesus Christ.  I can’t wait to see how God is going to use Debbie in Women180 and I am overwhelmed with God’s provisions.  Debbie will be doing a short 4 week blog series/study on who we are in Christ.  I hope you enjoy and I ask that you continue to pray for us as we walk in obedience to God’s path that He has laid out for Women180.

Courtney Smith


When Women180 asked me to write a blog for them my first thought was “Why Me?”  Am I the only one who still has an identity crisis from time to time? I admit these thoughts don’t happen as often as before I knew Christ, but Satan surely knows how to slither himself right into my path whenever I let my guard down. 

So I find it fitting for my first blog for Women180 to introduce myself.  I would generally start with my name, tell you about my family, and how long I’ve been in ministry.  But today I am going to do things a little different.  I want you to know who I am in God’s eyes.  This is a good reminder for me as I ask the “Why me?”  I have to remind myself who I am in God’s eyes all the time – so I can be the best I can be for God.  So here are a few gems that I have stored away in my heart.

I am SAVED.  

“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” – 1 John 5:11-13  

Whoever believes in God’s Son has eternal life.  Isn’t this Great News!! There is such simplicity in this verse. Reminds me of the statement “it’s not about what you do, but who you know”. 

I am CHOSEN.  

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” – Ephesians 1:3-6

This is a humbling verse for me.  The fact that HE chose me seems like an oxymoron.  It took me a few years to let this sink in – I just assumed I chose Him – which I did, but the reality is that HE chose me first.  Those times when I’ve felt left out or maybe lonely – I remember HE chose me and I can walk a little taller knowing whose team I’m really on. 

I am FREE. 

“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” – Romans 8:2

I don’t know about you, but freedom gives me hope.  Not just freedom from my past sins, but the sins I’m surely going to do today and tomorrow (“for we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans3:23). Recently during a Jeremiah study I also learned that not only are we forgiven of our sins – but they will never again be remembered (Jeremiah 31:34b). I don’t know about you, but this was GREAT NEWS to me. 

Finally, and the one that warms my heart with such comfort. I AM HIS MASTERPIECE. 

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” –Ephesians 2:10

So here I am – Saved, Chosen, Free, and HIS Masterpiece.  O ladies, there are so many more amazing descriptions of who you are in Christ.  I pray this is an introduction of many more days we explore who we are in Christ. So the answer to my question, “Why me?” – Why not me? Yes, I am broken – an imperfect follower of Christ. But God says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 35:18). We are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. (Psalm 139:14) I pray today you commit to knowing who you are in Christ.  Finding your identity in Him allows you to know you are HIS – and nobody, not even that sneaky Satan can take that away from you.

Debbie Wayns



I had a very big A-ha moment today during my quiet time with God.  I have been feeling like a cloud has been hovering over my head.  Ideas would pop into my head to write, but I couldn’t bring myself to open up my laptop.  Laziness would overcome me or I would just go blank with the idea that just ran through my head 5 minutes prior.  Why couldn’t I just write? 

The word SELF comes to mind.  My motives were all wrong.  When asked today in my study by Beth Moore to define biblical greatness and what it would look like on me, the answer was clear as day.  Selflessness.  My pride gets in the way of my obedience to God.  I know when God is calling me to do something.  Sometimes I drag my feet because I become selfish and just don’t want to do it.  I make up excuses of I am busy or I’m just too exhausted.  And sometimes…sometimes I do obey God, but for the wrong reasons.  It came to me that I sometimes walk God's path for me because of the blessing that I may receive for being obedient.  Ouch…that is hard for me to write on paper, but it is true.

I am actually in tears writing this because my heart really is to live a life following Christ.  I want to do everything to glorify God, but I find myself just drowning in my selfishness and looking forward to weighing what I am going to do according to what I will get in return.  If I am walking the path I think God has laid out for me, but doing it not to glorify Him, but to actually glorify myself, then I am being sinful.  

It pains me to know that I do not always put Christ first.  And it pains me that my pride continually gets the best of me.  As I read Luke this morning I found that I am not much different than the original disciples.  In chapter 9 verse 46 it says, An argument started among them about who would be the greatest of them.  They were actually arguing amongst themselves as to who would do a better job.  Their focus was on how they would be perceived rather than on doing Jesus’ work and glorify God in return.

Just like the disciples, God knows our thoughts and He knows our hearts.  If our hearts are not in alignment with glorifying God then what we think is being obedient to Christ really isn’t being fully obedient.  As I write this, my heart is full of conviction.  I kneel on my knees and ask for forgiveness.  Forgiveness of my selfishness and my pride.  The cloud is starting to dissipate and my desire to write is slowly starting to come back.


I ask for your forgiveness today of my selfishness and my pride.  It’s an ugly monster that keeps popping up into my heart.  I ask that you take that away and show yourself to me.  Overwhelm me with your presence and ignite my fire for you once again.  I pray for your conviction if the pride starts to rear its ugly head once more so that I may stop it in its tracks and re-focus on glorifying you.  In your name I pray.


I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. Leviticuss 26:19


Falling Trees

                I sometimes feel like a tree that is falling.  The tree is in the direct line of the powerful gusts of wind that blows its way.  The tree stands tall for a while, but as time goes on it starts to lean.  The tree has roots in the ground that are to hold itself up, yet the striking gusts of wind don’t stop.  The roots start to give out and eventually the tree starts to lean heavily.  If the tree does not obtain a support system to keep it upright against the wind, the tree will be lost forever.  Sound familiar?

                We can sometimes feel like we are getting hit left and right with trials and tribulations.  They are hard, exhausting, time consuming, and emotionally draining.  There are times when we can honestly think there is no way out of the situation.  Doubt starts to rise in our hearts and we start to question the very foundation of our lives. 

                The holidays can be times of joy and laughter, but for some people it could be a struggle.  Loneliness, financial issues, and tension amongst family members can add to a less than desirable state of mind.  Depression sometimes sets in and a choice to retreat to anything to relieve the pain comes to mind.  It may be drinking, overeating, drugs, companionship, or many other things.  Hope seems to be lost, but is it really lost?

                Our natural tendency is to immediately relieve the emotional pain that we feel.  Unfortunately, Satan jumps on these moments of opportunity to tell you that the temporary pleasures of this world will help you to forget.  It will make you feel better.  For a moment…a short moment, you feel ok before the pain starts to show its ugly head again.  The negative emotions start to hit you over and over again just like the wind hitting the tree.  Eventually, you start to fall further into spiritual darkness and you start to lean.

                The answer is to grow your roots in the foundation of Christ.  Our roots in Christ strengthen our foundation and resolve against the enemy.  We always need a support system to keep us upright.  My support system is and needs to be Christ.  The more we stay in the word the stronger we get.  We grow through our trials and tribulations and maintaining our hope. Confidence stands against the wind.  Christ is our only answer.  Christ is our  real hope. 

                If you are in a pit of spiritual darkness I pray that God comforts you and opens your heart to look to Him for the answers and not the things of this world.  God can replace your loneliness and depression with the joy and peace of His very essence.  There is hope even through our toughest times.  We just need to remember that when we accept Christ into our hearts, we are purchasing our support system to keep us upright in the wind.  How exciting is that?!

You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:17

Courtney Smith

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