We are Virtuous Women.
Our Core Values
It’s all about Jesus: We seek to give Christ preeminence in all things. We exist for His glory, and not to exalt ourselves or this ministry.
The Bible is our Authority: We believe the Bible is the infallible and inspired Word of God, the only foundation for life and our ultimate authority. We want to be women who meditate daily on the Word and apply it to our personal lives.
Unity of the Church: The greatest witness to the world that Jesus is the Son of God is the unity of His church. We are determined to foster and maintain unity among believers and churches. Virtuous Women will empower women to strengthen their local churches.
Discipleship is the Goal: We are called to make disciples, not just converts. We are driven by a desire to see the Great Commission fulfilled.
Empowered by Prayer: We submit our plans and decisions to God in prayer and intentionally encourage women to make time with God a priority in their lives.
DEVOTIONAL | SHANNON MILLER.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do, when spring comes after a very long winter, is to let yourself soften into joy and not hold back. What if it is snatched away again? Isn’t it foolish to be this happy? Are we really out of the woods yet?
“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience,” Brene Brown has said. “And if you cannot tolerate joy… you start dress rehearsing tragedy.” That is, you imagine something bad is going to happen simply because things are going so well – and that scenario in your head drains the joy right out of that moment. Her research has shown that not participating fully in the joys of your life won’t make the pain of the losses any less. In fact, diving deep into happiness when it comes, will build your resilience for the next difficult chapter. But how can you do that when you’re met with fear and foreboding? She has found that whole hearts start giving thanks. You enter joy with gratitude.
What does the Bible tell us about experiencing the highs and lows? It contains many calls to mourn, and many calls to rejoice, but no commands to stifle our feelings. Only one example comes to my mind, of God telling someone to suppress feelings. He told the prophet Ezekiel, “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears,” (Ezekiel 24:16, NIV). The next day the prophet’s wife died, and he did not mourn publicly, as a metaphor of how the Israelites would lose their Temple and their homes, and be forced to start a new life before they could properly or outwardly mourn their losses.
The ruler of this world tells us not to let ourselves mourn or rejoice. Because mourning looks like weakness, and rejoicing looks like folly, if you are destined for captivity, slave labor, and destruction. But we are not exiles in Babylon, and we need not obey him. We are citizens of the kingdom of light, invited to come out of the shadows and experience every moment, knowing that our Father is working it all together for our good (Colossians 1:12-14, Philippians 3:20, Romans 8:28).
And was the research right in saying that we enter joy with thanksgiving? The Greek word translated “joy” in the New Testament means literally “grace recognized,” and in Psalm 100 for example, joy is inseparable from giving thanks to God. So we look for His grace, we offer thanks, and we receive joy, even when it is mixed with sadness. In Ann Voskamp’s words, “Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living.” We know that trouble will come, but we are still invited to experience the goodness of God and His gifts to us today, entrusting the future to His care (John 16:33, Psalm 34, 1 Peter 1:3-6).
So if life has offered you a new beginning, or a dream is finally coming true, give loud thanks to your Father for His good gift (James 1:17). Let out the sails of your heart and laugh, sing, dance, and shout for joy!
DEVOTIONAL | SHANNON MILLER
“Love talked about is easily turned aside, but love demonstrated is irresistible,” said humanitarian Walter Stanley Mooneyham. His words echo a Biblical principle: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth,” (1 John 3:18, NIV). In these times when most of our human interactions are through screens, how can we demonstrate love instead of just talking about it? And in this climate of controversy, how do we strike a loving balance between advocacy, activism, and relationship?
When we must communicate with words in the absence of hugs, and sometimes in the absence of facial expressions in video or tones of voice in a call, is it still possible to convey love in the way that we speak? I think so. It requires a few actions of us before we speak.
Before tapping Send or Post, we can ask ourselves a few questions: Do these words exalt Jesus over me, and over any person or human agenda? Have I balanced truth with grace, as my Lord always does? Does this message honor the Creator’s work in every person who might read it, respecting them not because they agree with me but because they were made in His image? What is the Holy Spirit saying to me about the timing of this topic? Have I prayed for the person I’m trying to influence? Do I have an outstanding debt of forgiveness toward the person I’m speaking to?
These questions are my attempt to unpack the guidance of Colossians 3:12-14, NASB: “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
Finally, in my own experience I have found that ideas can be exchanged in a crowd, but love is most easily received in a one-on-one or small group setting. So instead of logging on to catch up with dozens of friends, can I give one person the gift of my time and undivided attention on the phone? If I only have a minute, can I text or send a short voice recording of a prayer for a family I love? Could I write out a thank you note or a blessing?
I will never do this perfectly, but with a bit of intentionality every day, I can make more of my words serve the Lord’s purpose for me to love people and reveal the treasure He is.
DEVOTIONAL | SHANNON MILLER.
“Kindness messes people up,” the Convoy of Hope volunteer coordinator told us. As we prepared our hearts to pray with people at the last station of the community outreach, he explained how the toughest people can be affected when they receive one act of kindness after another for an hour or more. By the time they arrive at the prayer station, having received a medical checkup, job placement help, a haircut, a meal, and more, they can be remarkably open to receiving prayer and hearing about God.
Have you ever been overwhelmed by kindness? Maybe a stranger wrote a check to cover what you had no means to pay. Maybe a friend showed up with a homemade meal on one of the hardest days of your life. Maybe a mentor prayed over you, counseled you, and reminded you of your worth at your lowest point. I get teary-eyed just remembering moments like this in my own life.
When I consider the kindness that God has shown me, it messes me up even more. No one has ever been as kind to me as Jesus has – choosing me, loving me, and being crushed under the punishment I deserved, while I was still in sin (Romans 5:8). “So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding,” (Ephesians 1:6-8, NLT).
If I look long enough at the loving-kindness the Lord has lavished on me, my walls begin to crumble, my cynical thoughts about the world fall silent, and my shame dies. As A.W. Tozer wrote, “His love is an incomprehensibly vast, bottomless, shoreless sea before which we kneel in joyful silence and from which the loftiest eloquence retreats confused and abashed.” When I stare into the sea of His kindness, my very identity changes. I realize that if it is true that the God of the universe decided before the foundation of the world, that bringing me close would be worth the agony of the cross, then most of what I’ve believed about myself is a lie. And when I begin to understand how I’ve been loved, I am able to love others freely – out of the overflow of a full heart. I pray that you too will be reminded of how lavishly you are loved today, and that your kindness in turn will be used by God to tear down the painful lies that others have believed.