Mary Southerland is an international author and speaker. She is also a survivor. Women identify with Mary because she has survived the road of clinical depression, infertility, adoption, full-time ministry, sexual abuse, chronic physical pain, and the daily stress of life. Through God’s power, Mary has emerged with joy, strength, and victory. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women with a message of hope and equip them with practical truths from God’s Word to live their lives with power and purpose.
Mary’s books include, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap, Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry, Trusting God, Knowing God by Name, Fit for Life, You Make Me So Angry, Joy Journal, 10-Day Trust Adventure, You Make Me So Angry and How to Study the Bible. Mary founded Journey Ministry and is the Co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a conference and devotional ministry for women.
One of Mary’s greatest pleasures is serving beside and teaching with her husband, Dan, an author, pastor and mentor of church planters. Mary relishes her ministry as a wife, a mother to their two children, Jered and Danna, and Mimi to her six grandchildren.
Mary’s goal is to leave it all on the playing field of life, skid into heaven with her hair on fire, saying “Wow! What a ride, Lord!”
November 13, 2020
With: Gwen Smith
November 14, 2020
With: Gwen Smith
March 16-25, 2021
Girlfriends in God Holy Land Tour
With: Mary Southerland, Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith
7 hours ago
Looking out my den window I noticed two of my neighbors puttering slowly down the street. Ernestine, with her bald head snuggled in a woolen cap, held tightly to Patti’s supporting arm. Patti’s chestnut hair, just two inches long, shone like a victor’s crown of a cancer survivor.
The previous year, Patti discovered she had breast cancer. For three months she endured chemotherapy followed by seven weeks of radiation. As God would have it, her final treatment fell on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, she had much to be thankful for—a full life, a loving husband, and Ernestine Nevils, her new next-door neighbor who had moved in two years before.
During Patti’s cancer treatment, Ernestine was right by her side, an extension of Jesus’ hands and feet providing love, encouragement, and support. One year after her final radiation treatment, Patti was given the opportunity to return the kindness to Ernestine. A trip to the doctor revealed that Ernestine had lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. Now Patti was the nurturer. She took Ernestine to her first chemotherapy session and explained what to expect. She told Ernestine what to eat, where to have a wig made, and how to deal with depression.
God has not called us to go through life alone. All through the Bible he brought people together for mutual encouragement and support. One day the angel, Gabriel, gave Mary some incredible news, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35 NIV).
And what were the next words out of Gabriel’s holy mouth? “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” (Luke 1:36-37 NIV).
Does it seem odd to you that right after telling Mary the startling news about her unusual pregnancy, he told her Elizabeth, her relative and friend, was is in a similar situation? Not to me. God knew Mary would need a friend.
Immediately, Mary packed her bags and went to see Elizabeth. When she walked into her cousin’s home, Elizabeth prophesied over her, affirmed her, and encouraged her. Not only that, Mary saw by example what to expect with her own labor and delivery.
Oh sister, God knows that we need godly girlfriends to walk alongside us during difficult days. It’s even better when that friend has experienced a similar struggle in her own life. As Paul wrote, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Mary had Elizabeth.
Ruth had Naomi.
Paul had Barnabas.
Shadrack had Meshack and Abednego.
Our key verse today tells us one reason having a godly friend is so important: “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up…A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV).
A cord of three strands. Me, you, and Jesus. That’s a strong cord right there.
As I watched Patti and Ernestine make their way down the street that chilly November day, I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving for Girlfriends in God… friends with whom we can be His hands and feet when one is too weak to walk unassisted, His strong arm when a burden is too heavy to bear alone, and His voice when a friend has forgotten the words to the song in her heart. That’s a strong cord right there.
© 2020 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
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12 hours ago
Dear Lord, I thank you that You designed women to live in relationship with each other. Open my eyes to see someone who needs a dose of Your love today and give me the wisdom to know how to be an extension of Your grace.
In Jesus’ Name,
1 day ago
Who says dreams don’t come true? Our son grew up with one dream in mind - to play college football. That dream came true. Jered was the starting fullback on his college football team and was on academic and football scholarship. I, of course, taught him everything he knows!
When college football scouts from all over the country began to recruit Jered, I discovered it was quite a process. The scouts keep track of the statistics on high school players, watching certain ones for three and four years. College coaches show up at high school games to talk with high school coaches and watch their potential players in action. Letters start filling the mailbox along with promotional material for their college football programs. Then the phone calls begin.
When the players are high school seniors, the process becomes even more intense. The college scouts request game film highlights, academic transcripts, detailed applications, and teacher recommendations. They meet with the high school players themselves, inviting them to visit the college campus for a weekend. After months of “courting” the final phase begins.
The students narrow down their college choices as the college scouts do the same. At some point, each one makes a choice and the dance is over. During the entire process, both the college recruiter and the student athlete have one thing in mind – making the best choice because both want to be on a winning team. Life is much the same.
If I were running the world, I would assemble a team of winners, choosing the smartest, brightest, most experienced, most talented, wealthiest, and most successful as members of my team. However, there is a God, and I am not Him.
God has written a different plan for the most important invasion of all time. It is the plan of invading Satan’s territory – Earth – and retaking it under the banner of His son, Jesus Christ. It requires us to offer our lives to Him as a living sacrifice. The choice is not only holy and pleasing to God, but it is an act of worship.
Take a close look at God’s choice of recruits for the job - the weak, the poor, the broken and sick, and the lonely and defeated. God chose the most ordinary people to accomplish the most extraordinary feats. Why would God choose such flawed people to do His most important work? The answer is a very simple and yet a profound spiritual principle. God’s power shows up best in broken people.
Do you want to be used by God? I have good news. God wants to use you. In fact, He will use you because that is His plan and has been all along. When we pray for the Lord to use us we are asking Him to do something that He already wants to do.
Perhaps our prayer should be, “Lord, make me usable.” Only He can fully prepare us for service. It is not our ability that the Father is concerned with – it is our availability. Today, make yourself available to the One who knows you best and loves you most. Celebrate the truth that God chose you for His team and even now is preparing you for the game of life.
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© 2020 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved. ...
GIRLFRIENDS IN GOD Encouraging and equipping women in the love and truth of Christ. CLICK HERE to learn about the RISE UP Conf in Asheville, NC:
"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8