Character

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Happy New Year!

 Goals are what most people focus on at the beginning of a new year. As I was praying about what to write, I felt I should discuss character. For without good character, success means nothing.

 Character has to do with the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual; a person’s good reputation. Synonyms are: integrity, honor, moral strength, moral fiber, strength, fortitude, backbone, resolve, grit, willpower, reputation.

 In the bible, there are several places that tell us where strength of character comes from.

 1 Corinthians 1:30 says that Jesus is our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption. As believers in Christ, we get strength of character through our relationship with the Lord. It’s in our DNA. We grow in it as we grow in our knowledge of who we are in Christ. God is holy and we are too because we are in him.

 Trials and troubles help form character as we endure through them. Enduring means we continually put our trust in the Lord through tough times. As we trust him, it develops strength of character in us. Romans 5:3-5 and James 1:2-4 attest to this. When our faith is tested, endurance grows. As our endurance is developed, we become strong in character and ready for anything. It’s going through those tough times with joy because of our trust in the Lord. We have joy and peace in believing. True character development comes through faith in God.

 In Matthew 13 and Mark 4, Jesus tells the story of a farmer planting seed. In it, he speaks of different types of ground the seed is sown on. The seed that lands in the gravel is like a person who hears God’s word and instantly responds with enthusiasm. Because there is no character, when the emotions wear off and difficulty arises, they have nothing to show for it.

How often do we hear something, get excited about it. and when it gets difficult, stop going in the right direction? It happens at this time of year all the time. We make New Year’s resolutions and don’t keep them. The gyms are packed in January. After that, the numbers continually go downhill because people don’t endure. They give up. We all do it. We decide we are going to improve, but don’t want to pay the price for the improvement. When we do stick to it and pay the price, the benefits far outweigh the cost. We accomplish something and good character is built in us.

I want to encourage you to endure through the hard, difficult times. When you do, good character is developed and it makes for smooth traveling. Proverbs 11:5

Generosity

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What is something God cannot do without? According to 2 Corinthians 9:7 in the Amplified translation, he can’t do without “a cheerful, joyous, prompt-to-do-it giver whose heart is in their giving.”

Christmas is a time for giving, as we all know. Sometimes the purpose of our heart is not to give. Sometimes we give because we have to. Have you ever given somebody something because they gave you something? Many times I’ve heard people say they needed to send someone a Christmas card because one was sent to them. OR how about buying someone a gift because they bought you one?

God’s not looking for us to give without having heart. 2 Corinthians 9 talks about allowing giving to be the purpose of our heart. It exhorts us to give not because we have to and not to give reluctantly, half-heartedly, or unwillingly. It should be a main part of the purpose for living.

God’s nature is to give and if you are a Christian, it’s your nature too. John 3:16 is the most familiar verse in the world. What does it say about God? It says because he loved, he gave. This doesn’t mean we only give to people we love. God gave to us while we were in a vile state, as sinners. God didn’t love that about us, but he loved us and wanted us to be part of his family. The only requirement for it was to receive his son, Jesus as the Lord of our lives. It was to receive his gift.

When someone is given a gift, they can receive or not. They can decide to use it or let it sit on a shelf. It’s the same with the free gift of God in Jesus Christ. We can receive him and allow him to make a difference in our lives, or hear the truth and let it sit dormant somewhere, or say “No, I don’t want this gift.” It seems crazy for us to do either of these things, but we do.

When my husband, Robb, first received the Lord, I said, “No thanks. I’m a good, religious person. I’m not like you.” Then I saw the change God made in Robb’s life. He was a completely different man. It was faith in God that changed him. I realized I needed what he had. He had a relationship with God that I did not have, although I was religious.

Let’s get back to allowing giving to be the purpose of our heart. When we have God’s nature in us, we can give to people we don’t want to because it’s the purpose of God’s heart to be a giver. Our purpose should be to give, not because we have to, but because we get to. What a joy and privilege it is to give to others! 

During this Christmas season allow God’s love to control you so the purpose of your heart is to be a giver like he is.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Gratefulness

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For me, it paves the way for Christmas. I love to give, but being thankful puts me in a frame of mind to be more giving.

I think it’s really good to focus on being thankful before the Christmas season begins. Thankfulness gets us to thinking about what we have and how blessed we are all year long. Then we won’t be disappointed when we don’t get what we want and we won’t become self-centered. Gratefulness paves the way for being a giver.

Grateful people are giving people even when they don’t have a lot. They give of themselves as well as give what they have.

There are lots of benefits to being a thankful person. Here are a few I’ve found.

Grateful people are happier.

Gratefulness improves our relationships.

Gratefulness improves our health. 

An attitude of gratitude causes us to be more optimistic.

Gratitude increases our ability to appreciate and enjoy the good things in life.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 states it very simply – “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

God wants us to be thankful. He’s given us everything in Christ Jesus. What more can we ask for? As we think about all he has done for us, it should cause us to be grateful from now and throughout eternity.

I want to encourage you to keep a gratitude journal. Every day write down at least one thing you are thankful for. You can write more than one if you like. It will help to keep your perspective on the good report. It will make your life better in every way. It will bring you great peace.

Shame

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All of us have experienced shame of one form or another. It may have been in a minor way (which actually is embarrassment), like having your pants split in public, or in a major way, like something really bad you did from your past. NO matter what, we all deal with it.

The truth is Jesus bore our shame. He wiped our slate. He made us righteous in him. We are his masterpiece. As we embrace what God’s word says about us, it enables us to stand tall knowing who we are in Christ and whose child we are.

Romans 10:11 is a powerful affirmation of this.

Rom. 10:11 “NO ONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL HAVE REASON TO FEEL ASHAMED.” Weymouth

Rom. 10:11 Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.” God’s Word Translation

Colossians 1:22 says that we are blameless in God’s sight because of the blood of Jesus. This means we are innocent of wrongdoing, without guilt, faultless, above reproach. With this there is nothing to be ashamed of. When God looks at us he sees Jesus.

Recently, I saw a movie about a girl who was a little chunky and did not like herself. She fell and hit her head. As a result of the fall, she began to think she was pretty. She walked confidently, faced people and challenges, and went after her dreams as a result of the change.

When we come into a relationship with the Lord, we change our thinking. We renew our mind to what God says about us in his word. Shame leaves because we embrace what God says.

Shame keeps us from walking confidently.

Shame keeps us from pursuing our dreams.

Shame makes us shrink back.

In Christ the shame is gone. It’s been lifted.

We can do all things through Christ which strengthens us.

We are more than conquerors because of God’s love for us.

We are without fault.

We are blameless.

We are God’s masterpiece created in Christ.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

We are made in God’s image and likeness.

No matter what kind of shame tries to come our way, we have the antidote. It is a Father who loves us and has written many wonderful things about who he created us to be. We look and act just like him.

We have the ability to stand with confidence before shame or any negative thought that comes our way and declare,

“NO SHAME FOR ME. I AM FREE.”

 My prayer is that we would believe what God says about us so we can walk free from any shame.

Excellence

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I like to look at fun and special things that are celebrated every month. One of the things for September is self-improvement. Self-improvement makes me think of excellence. Excellence makes me think of my husband. He is known for being a man of excellence and for his teachings on it. Excellence isn’t perfection. It’s just doing something better than you did it before.

The dictionary defines it as, “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.”  My husband’s definition is, “Excellence is the attention to detail that gives rise to superior performance which leads to promotion in life.” Another thing my husband always says is, “Today’s excellence is tomorrow’s mediocrity.”

What is excellent for you may not be excellent for me. My granddaughter recently learned how to ride a bike. She does an excellent job at it for her. Her brother, who is two years older, also rides a bike. He has a lot more confidence and rides much steadier than my granddaughter. Her excellence is his mediocrity. If he rode with the unsteadiness as she did, we’d think something was wrong with him. They have a little sister who is starting to stand on her own. For her age, she is doing excellent at it. Of course, if the other two looked like she did when they stood, it would not be excellent.

The Bible tells us we are going from glory to glory and faith to faith. Philippians encourages us to “press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ.” These two statements tell me that we should pursue excellence. We should not settle where we are, but we should constantly be in a state of learning and growing.

Psalm 1 says as we give ourselves over to the word of God and meditate on it day and night we are like trees planted by rivers of living water. Trees continually grow. Others benefit from the trees as they grow. People will benefit from you as you grow and do not get stagnant. Think about a pond that has no way for water to flow out of it. What happens to it? It gets filled with algae. It becomes no good for anyone. Disease grows in and on it.

That’s what happens with us when we do not pursue excellence. We become like a stagnant pond that looks ugly and is filled with disease. Instead of bringing life to others, we bring death and sickness.

Our desire should be to continually bring life to others. This happens as we grow in every area of our lives. I want to encourage you to pick an area to grow in. Pursue excellence in it. Then add another. Of course, you should ask for the Holy Spirit’s help. He will show you the way.

Happiness

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Happiness is a choice. It’s how we decide to look at things. It’s saying the glass is half full instead of half empty. How we get to that place is a discipline. It’s not living in a fantasy world. It’s living in reality and finding the best in every situation.

The trouble is most of us try to find happiness in people and in our circumstances. Circumstances change or don’t happen the way we’d like them to and people disappoint us. But there is an absolute from the Bible that will always fulfill our emotional tank if we let it.

Psalm 62:1 states our soul finds rest in God alone. This is an absolute. In our society absolutes no longer seem to exist. For example, there was a time when if you were born with male genitalia you were a boy. If you were born with female genitalia you were a girl. Nowadays, it seems that is not an absolute.

When we find the word alone or only in the bible, to God it is an absolute. Absolute means – complete, perfect, thorough, definite, unquestionable, unconditional; the ultimate reality.

Our soul is our mind, our will and our emotions. In order to find true emotional fulfillment of any kind, we can only find it in God. God is the ultimate reality. As we focus on him and his love for us and who he made us to be in Christ, this makes us happy. We find true happiness in him.

Romans 15:13 says we have joy and peace in believing. As we put our trust in the Lord we find true joy and happiness. It’s not related to people, things or circumstances. It’s based on a real relationship with him.

Psalm 84:12 states,

“O Lord Almighty, how happy are those who trust in you.”

Why is it as Christians we don’t seem happy? I always use Romans 15:13 as my gauge. When I’m not believing God’s word about myself or my circumstances, the joy goes. Worry and unbelief are happiness stealers. Trusting in the Lord causes us to receive and maintain happiness completely.

We have so much to be thankful for and to be happy about. Let’s start with the fact that the greater one lives in us and we get to spend eternity with Him. That’s enough to make us happy for eternity. It’s funny how we will say, “Yes, I know that, but….” I say it to myself, but the fact is there is no “but”. When I’m honest with myself, it’s because my focus is not on who I say I believe in. If it were, I’d be happy.

So today, I’m exhorting you to keep your focus where it needs to be. Get it off of you, others, things and your circumstances. Put your focus and trust in God and your emotions will line up.

DON’T WORRY. BE HAPPY!!!!!

Leadership

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Everyone is a leader. You might be thinking this statement is false, but it’s not. We all lead in some way. Someone is looking up to you and watching you always. The toddler looks up to the preschooler. The preschooler looks up to the elementary aged child. The elementary kids look up to the junior highers… All this continues throughout life. Someone doesn’t have to be older than you in order for you to look up to them or for you to make an impact on their life.

Hebrews 6:12 tells us to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit God’s promise. When we look up to people, we think they have something we don’t or are better at doing something. There are many reasons people impact our lives. The idea is that we should, to the best of our ability, impact people for the better and in a positive way. We should lead them in the path God wants us to go.

How do we do this? First, we should follow Christ. Let him be your example. Let him lead you. He has given the Holy Spirit to lead and guide into all the truth. Psalm 73:24 says that God tenderly and wisely leads us. Of course, where he leads will always line up with what his word says.

Then the Bible has many things to say about how a leader acts. We will cover a few of them.

In order to lead people into a “God-saved life”, as the Message Bible states, becoming a servant in whatever way we can is a must according to 1 Cor. 9:22. You might be thinking that servants aren’t leaders, but Jesus said whoever is the greatest among you is the servant of all. We lead through our example of serving others.

1 Corinthians 13:13 reveals there are 3 things that lead us to completeness – trusting steadily in God, having unswerving hope and loving extravagantly. As we walk in these three qualities we lead others to walk toward the completeness we have in Christ.

James 1:13 out of the Message Bible tells us to “lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue and let anger straggle along in the rear.” The King James Version says to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. As we lead  we should listen… listen to God and listen to the needs and ideas of others. We should talk less. Proverbs says in the multitude of words, sin is not absent. A good leader doesn’t say a lot and doesn’t allow anger to control them.

A good leader motivates, leads down right paths and treats people fairly, Proverbs 16:10.

In these few scriptures I have given, we can see that everyone of us lead in some way or another. Our goal should be to lead others to Christ through our words and actions to the best of our ability.

What a Man wants

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Did you know June is International Men’s Month?  In honor of that, I thought it would be good to devote this month to men and what many men like in women. I’m not asking women to be something they are not, but I believe it will help us to understand and get along with them better.

 

From my vantage point it seems that the women’s movement has demeaned men. All people need to be respected. No one should be put down because they are not like you, aren’t the same sex, creed, etcetera. They shouldn’t be disrespected because someone like them hurt you or hurt someone you know.

 

The bible is very clear that we should respect all people. It seems in order for one to look good they have to put the other down. We look our best when we are who God made us to be and walk in it. There is never a reason to put anyone down. Always look for the best in others. My husband says, “The only time to bend down to look at someone is when you’re bending over to help them up.”

 

With those thoughts in mind, let’s talk about men and how we can relate to them better. I realize these will be generalities, but they will be helpful.

 

The greatest need men have is to be respected. Unfortunately, as women at times we do not realize when we have been disrespectful to a man. Let’s look at respect from a very basic point of view. Respect for a husband would go further. To respect means to be polite to, to regard, be civil to, to show consideration toward, to be kind to, to be mindful of….

 

Oftentimes, men react the wrong way toward us because that’s not what they are experiencing. When we make them feel good about themselves and focus on their strengths, to them it is showing respect. Women’s needs are different. They want to feel loved and cared for even when they are in the business world.

 

So what are some ways we can show respect to men?

 

Be a good listener. Don’t interrupt them. Let your body language tell them you are interested in what they are saying.

 

Remember what he likes, especially when it comes to a boss, boyfriend, husband, Dad, brother, son.

 

Let them try to figure things out for themselves. Men are notorious for not reading the directions because they want to figure it out for themselves. Let them do it. It makes them feel good.

Never criticize a man in public. Constructively talk to him in private.

These are just a few ways to show respect to a man. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook all month for more.

 

Sources:

Five Women of Destiny

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Each and every person has a destiny God has planned for them. Jeremiah 29:11 clearly states

For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. NIV

Thoughts bombard us that shout we have no hope and no future. “God couldn’t possibly use me to do anything for him. What about my past?...”

There are five women in the bible that had no idea what God had planned for them. In spite of their past, they were the only women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. They were Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. Let’s take a quick look at the history of these women.

Tamar

-       Tamar Was The Daughter-In-Law Of Judah.

-       Tamar Was Barren.

-       Tamar’s Two Husbands (Judah’s Sons) Died.

-       Tamar Posed As A Prostitute.

-       Tamar Was Deceitful.

-       Tamar Had Sex With Her Father-In-Law.

-       Tamar’s Son Who Was Conceived From This Act Is In The Lineage Of Jesus.

You Can Find The Account In Genesis 28:1-36.

Rahab

-       Rahab Was A Harlot.

-       The Flax Represents That She’d Turned Her Life Around. Flax Was Used To Make Linen.

-       Faith Came To Her By Hearing. Instead Of Walking In Fear Of The Israelites, She Put Faith In God.

-       She Was Courageous. Her And Her Family’s Life Were In Jeopardy Because Of The Spies. If She Got Caught It Would Mean Death To All Of Them. Although They Gave Her Their Word, There Was No Guarantee That They Would Respect The Oath They Made To Her.

-       The Scarlet Cord Represented The Blood Of Jesus. The Blood Of Jesus Saves Us From Utter Destruction.

-       Rahab Is In Hebrews 11, The Chapter Many Call The Faith Hall Of Fame.

-       Rahab’s Faith Was Displayed By Her Works.

You can find these accounts in Joshua 2:1-21, Joshua 6:17,22-23, Hebrews 11:31, and James 2:24-26.

 

Ruth

-       Ruth Was A Moabitess.

-       The Moabites Came Out Of The Incestual Relationship That Lot Had With His Daughters After They Fled Sodom.

-       They Were Gross Idolaters, Worshipping Chemosh And Baalpeor With Obscene Rites.

-       The Moabites Offered Children As A Sacrifice To  Their God.

-       Chemosh Was The God Of The Moabites. He Is Synonymous With Sorcery, Adultery, Incest, Prostitution, And The Sacrifice Of Children In The Fire.

-       Ruth Married An Israelite And Became A Widow.

-       Ruth Came To Know The Lord. Ruth Was Willing To Give Up Everything That Was Familiar To Her In Order To Serve God.

-       Ruth Honored Her Mother-In-Law.

-       Ruth Was A Servant.

-       Ruth Walked In Integrity.

-       Ruth Was Selfless.

-       Ruth Was Submitted, Willing And Obedient.

To read the account of Ruth, go to the book of Ruth.

Facts about Moabite religious rituals http://www.truthinlove.com/casting_out_demons/Sexual/Sins/child_molestation.htm

Bathsheba

-       Perhaps Bathsheba Was Raped By David, Perhaps She Consented

-     Bathsheba Loved Her Husband, Uriah Because She   

             Mourned For Him.

-       Bathsheba Conceived A Child Out Of Wedlock. The 

Child Died. There Is No Evidence That She Was Bitter Toward David

        -   Bathsheba Respected The King.

        -   Solomon Wrote About Bathsheba, His Mother,  In

         Proverbs 31.

To learn more about Bathsheba go to 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 2 Samuel 11:26-27,

1 Kings 1:16, 31 and Proverbs 31.

Mary

-     Mary Was A Teenager.

-       Mary Knew The Torah Or Would Not Have Anticipated A Savior.

-       Mary Believed The Word.

-       Mary Asked A Question, But Was Not Questioning.

-       Mary Was A Submitted Woman.

-       Mary Meditated.

 

To learn more about Mary go to Luke 1:26-35, Luke 1: 46-55, Luke 2:51

I hope you can see by these ladies’ lives that God doesn’t look at our circumstances, who we’ve been, what we’ve done, how old we are, etcetera. God has a plan for all of us. As we trust in him, we will walk in his plan.

Faith

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I’ve been thinking about faith and exercising my faith. I had to ask myself if I was actually exercising my faith or just coasting through. I discovered I wasn’t being proactive about my faith. I would recite scriptures and pray, but I wasn’t moving forward. When things would come up, I would use my faith, but I wasn’t using it on a regular basis.

When we don’t use our physical muscles, do they work well? The answer is no. How often do people go to the gym after not having gone in a while and complain about how sore their muscles are or are unable to do what the instructor wanted? That’s because those muscles hadn’t been used in a while.

If you never lift weights, you can’t expect to go to the gym and lift 500 pounds. It doesn’t work like that. You begin with something you can manage and increase the weight. Eventually, if you’re consistent, you can lift 500 pounds.

It’s the same with our faith. We can’t wait until we are having a crisis to exercise our faith and expect it to work.

Faith is a muscle. We should practice using our faith on a regular basis concerning smaller things so when a big opportunity arises we are ready. Our faith muscle knows how to work.

Heb. 5:12-14  for though by this time you ought to be teachers, You need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of god; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. NKJV

As we exercise our faith, our senses get exercised so we can discern how and when to use it.

Let’s take David as an example. When David met up with Goliath, he didn’t hesitate. He knew he killed the lion and the bear when they tried to take his sheep. He slew them with his slingshot. He knew he could do the same with Goliath. Goliath was a much bigger foe than the lion and the bear. Goliath was not only huge and experienced, but he had an entire army behind him. David had a lot to lose if he missed. His senses were exercised. He knew how it felt to use the slingshot. He’d done it many times before. I’m sure he practiced daily, just in case. He didn’t allow his slingshot to get rusty.

It’s the same with our faith. We need to trust God for small things on a regular basis, so our faith muscle has been exercised. Then it won’t be rusty when a situation arises to really have to use it.

Today, ask the Lord for something, or ask Him to help you with something. Do it daily. Exercise your faith. He wants us to be dependent on him. He wants us to trust him. Be proactive with your faith.

 

Women's History Month

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Being a woman is a gift from God. We add much value, whether we think we do or not. Proverbs 31:10 states it. It says,

“Who can find a virtuous woman? Her worth is far above rubies.” You might be thinking that you are not that woman. Well, if that’s what you think and you’ve made Jesus the Lord of your life, you are wrong.

A synonym for virtuous is righteous. When we make Jesus our Lord, we are made righteous in him. Being a virtuous woman isn’t something we are trying to become. It’s who we already are in Christ. Which means all the character qualities displayed in the woman described in Proverbs 31 are true about you.

 

Most people, when they read Proverbs 31, see it as someone they have to become, but that’s not the way it is. It is a picture of the woman God made us to be in Christ.

Don’t look at the things she does, because if you do, you’ll get really frustrated. Look at the character qualities that are revealed in what she does.

When you made Jesus Lord, the seed of all those qualities was planted in you. It takes watering it, weeding it, feeding it, and giving it some Sonshine that causes it to grow. When a baby is born, it’s a human being. Nothing can change that. The seed is in the baby to become a man or woman depending on if it’s a boy or a girl. The baby is nurtured and cared for and grows into an adult. The only thing that can stop a baby from turning into an adult is if the baby is not fed and cared for and dies. It’s the same with us. When we get born again God’s seed is planted in us. We care for it by spending time in God’s word, praying and spending time with God. This causes us to grow. It becomes more evident each day that the seed of God is growing in us.

 

Let’s look at some of the characteristic of this woman. These are for single, as well as married women. Always keep in mind that Proverbs 18: 22 states that when a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing. The qualities found in Proverbs 31 don’t pop up when a woman gets married. They are qualities already evident in her life that she is growing in.

Proverbs 31:11 says her husband trusts her. In other words, she is a trustworthy person. She was trustworthy before they met.

Proverbs 31:12 states that

“She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”  This means the seed is in us to do good towards people.

 

Proverbs 31:13 says she “willingly works with her hands.” The ability to work willingly is in us. Which means we can go about doing what we do with a willing heart.

I hope you can see that The Proverbs 31 woman is not someone we are trying to become. My granddaughters are not trying to become women. They are growing into women. You are not trying to be a virtuous woman. Everyday you are growing into that virtuous woman, who is in you, becoming more evident to others and to you.

 

 

 

 

 

SCRIPTURE CONFESSIONS

 

I AM A CAPABLE, INTELLIGENT AND VIRTUOUS WOMAN BECAUSE IT’S WHO GOD MADE ME TO BE.

 

Prov. 31:10 A capable, intelligent, and  virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. AMP

 

 

 

 

I WILLINGLY WORK WITH MY HANDS.

 

Prov. 31:13  She seeks wool and flax,  And willingly works with her hands. NKJV

 

 

 

 

I HAVE SPIRITUAL, MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STRENGTH.

 

Prov. 31:17 She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. AMP

 

 

 

 

 

I WATCH OVER MY HOUSEHOLD AND THE BREAD OF IDLENESS, GOSSIP, DISCONTENT AND SELF-PITY I WILL NOT EAT.

 

Prov. 31:27 She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat. AMP

Fear Vs. Love

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I’ve received some requests about addressing fear. We all deal with fear of some kind. Sometimes we give in to it and sometimes we don’t. One thing’s for sure, fear will present itself and it’s what we do with it that will make the difference in our lives.

If I asked, most people probably think that the opposite of fear is faith. Actually, fear is faith in the wrong thing, but it is faith in something. Roget’s Thesaurus states assurance, calmness, happiness, faith, confidence and more are antonyms for fear. According to the bible, that is not true. 1 John 4:18 tells us perfect love is the opposite of fear.

1John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. NKJV

Love is what drives fear far from us. 1 John 4:8 states that God is love. In thinking about fear we find if we think about God, fear will leave because God is love. In many circles people don’t associate God with love. He has been presented as someone who waits with a club to beat us down when we do something wrong, but that’s not God at all.

God made a way for each and everyone of us to escape the consequences of our sin by sending Jesus to live as a man, be tormented, die on the cross and go to hell for us. Jesus never did anything wrong, but he, the Father and the Holy Spirit wanted us back and were willing to redeem us no matter what the cost.

Today we all have the opportunity to receive the gift of eternal life by asking Jesus to be the Lord of our life. As a result of doing so, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit come to live inside of us. When they come, love comes because they are love.

When fear presents itself to us, it’s up to us to focus on the love God has for us to get us through the situation. He never leaves or forsakes us.

As little children when we were afraid, we would run to our parents for safety. They would comfort us and the fear would leave. It’s the same thing with God. When fear comes we go to him. As we put our faith in him, or should I say in love, the fear goes because like a child, we know everything is going to be all right.

God loves us. He watches over us. He is an ever present help in time of need. He strengthens, comforts and encourages us. He has given us the courage to move forward and face the fear that is before us.

Without him, fear wins. With him, love always wins.

We are more than conquerors because of God’s love for us.

God loves you. Let it sink deep into your soul.

 

Breaking Bad Habits

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Goals, goals, goals! At this time of year many people are thinking about things they would like to accomplish this year. The problem is, in some cases, to go in the direction of a goal wrong habits have to be broken. Those habits prevent us from going after our goals.

 

Identifying a bad habit is the first step in breaking one. Sometimes we are blind about our bad habits. We may not realize we have one. If this is the case, ask the Holy Spirit to show you. He not only will show you, but he will also give you steps you can take in breaking it.

 

After singling out one wrong habit, watch for what triggers you to do it. If you don’t already know, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what prompts you into doing it. We all have something that initially causes us to turn to something we shouldn’t or causes us to act in a wrong way. Making that discovery helps us to overcome the habit we want to stop.

 

For example, you may want to lose weight and have been unsuccessful at it. Ask yourself what triggers you to eat the wrong kind of things or to eat too much. When that is established, you will see it coming before you start eating too much or eating the wrong food.

 

Bad habits can’t be stopped unless there is a good habit to replace it. This is true in every area of life. When we have wrong thinking, we replace the thought with a good one. If we are spending too much time mindlessly being on the computer, we replace it with doing something productive that will benefit ourselves and others. When we eat the wrong kind of food, we can replace it with good food that satisfies the craving…..

 

As I stated in the beginning, awareness of the habit is the first step in overcoming it. Start by tracking it.

Ask yourself –

When does it happen?

How often does it happen?

Who are you with when it happens?

Where are you when it happens?

What triggers it?

 

Don’t feel guilty or condemned that you have this habit. Be thankful that you are aware of it and with God’s help will break it and start a new good one. Know that you will have failures and successes along the way, but don’t give up. It takes 66 days of being consistent to break a habit and form new ones. Remember, you can do all things through Christ which strengthens you.

I acknowledge the wrong I do to God. He is faithful to forgive me and cleanse me from them.

1John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.

Holy Spirit guides me into all truth and shows me things to come.

 

John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 

 

Because I am a believer in Christ Jesus I can no longer be condemned.

Rom. 8:1  So those who are believers in Christ Jesus can no longer be condemned. God’s Word

I destroy arguments and opinions that are contrary to what God says about me. I take every thought captive to obey Christ.

2Cor. 10:5 We destroy arguments and  every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to  obey Christ

For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

 

Phil. 4:13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

 

Hope

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Christmas is a season of hope. People have hope for the coming new year. The cheer that the season brings gives hope. Focusing on the true meaning of Christmas gives hope to everyone.

For others it is a time of hopelessness. They have no vision for the future. Negativity keeps their world without a future to look forward to.

Keeping hope alive should be at the forefront of our thinking. Without hope there isn’t a reason to live. Jesus came to give hope to the hopeless. He is the hope for mankind.

Discouragement is a hope robber. Circumstances can make us become very discouraged. God’s word gives us the antidote for it. King David had the opportunity to become discouraged many times. After all, he had the king of his nation hunting him to take his life. In Psalm 42 and 43, David asks himself why he is discouraged. Then he gives himself the antidote for it…..which is praising God! We can’t spend time in true praise of God and still be discouraged. The praise makes hope arise in our heart.

When we are without hope, we get depleted of strength. Having hope in God gives us strength.

Proverbs 13;12 says that

“hope deferred makes the heart sick.”  Defer means to put off, to shele, to decide not to proceed with. I don’t believe this scripture is referring to something that takes a long time to happen. If that were true, God’s heart would be sick. He has waited over 6,000 years to see his plan manifest completely.

I believe deferring hope means we put it aside. We quit hoping. When we do that, it makes our heart sick. Too many scriptures talk about the good that comes with hope.

Having hope brings so much good into our lives. My encouragement to you is to look over the scriptures below to encourage you to keep hope alive in your heart. Don’t allow anyone or any circumstance to steal the hope that is in you.

God is the God of all hope. He fills you with joy and peace as you trust him. Then you are able to abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. God is love. Love’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances.

My prayer for you is that you allow hope to remain big in your heart and that the Lord leads you to the place where that hope is fulfilled.

HOPE GIVES US STRENGTH

Psa. 31:24  of good courage,  And He shall strengthen your heart,  All you who hope in the LORD. NKJV

WHEN WE ARE DISCOURAGED OR SAD, WE SHOULD PUT OUR HOPE IN GOD AND PRAISE HIM.

Psa. 42:5  Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him  For the help of His countenance.
Psa. 42:11  Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God;  For I shall yet praise Him,  The help of my countenance and my God.
Psa. 43:5  Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God;  For I shall yet praise Him,  The help of my countenance and my God. NKV
Psa. 43:5 Why am I discouraged?     Why so sad?    I will put my hope in God!     I will praise him again—     my Savior and my God! NLT

OUR HOPE IS IN GOD’S WORD

Psa. 119:49  Remember the word to Your servant,  Upon which You have caused me to hope.

Psa. 119:81  My soul faints for Your salvation,  But I hope in Your word.

Psa. 119:114 You are my hiding place and my shield;   I hope in Your word. NKJV

WE ARE HAPPY WHEN WE HOPE IN THE LORD

Psa. 146:5  Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,  Whose hope is in the LORD his God, NKJV

Prov. 10:28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked are all in vain. NLT

THE LORD TAKES PLEASURE IN US WHEN WE HOPE IN HIS MERCY.

Psa. 147:11  The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,  In those who hope in His mercy. NKJV

WHEN WE LET GO OF OUR HOPE, IT MAKES OUR HEART SICK

Prov. 13:12  Hope deferred makes the heart sick,  But when the desire comes,  it is a tree of life. NKJV

DEFER – PUTOFF, SHELVE (DECIDE NOT TO PROCEED WITH)

WE ARE BLESSED WHEN WE HOPE IN THE LORD

Jer. 17:7  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,  And whose hope is the LORD. NKJV

IT IS GOOD TO HOPE AND WAIT

Lam. 3:26  It is good that one should hope and wait quietly  For the salvation of the LORD. NKJV

HOPE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT OR MAKE US ASHAMED.

Rom. 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Rom. 5:2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Rom. 5:3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
Rom. 5:4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Rom. 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Rom. 5:1 By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus.
Rom. 5:2 And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
Rom. 5:3 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us,
Rom. 5:4 and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.
Rom. 5:5 In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! MSG

FOCUS ON WHAT GOD IS PLANNING FOR YOU

Rom. 12:12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. nlt
Rom. 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Rom. 12:11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
Rom. 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Rom. 12:13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. nkjv

WE HAVE HOPE THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES

Rom. 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. NKJV

GOD IS THE GOD OF HOPE. WE ABOUND IN HOPE THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Rom. 15:13 ¶ Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. NKJV

GOD HAS A WONDERFUL FUTURE FOR US

Eph. 1:18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people. NLT

GOD’S LOVE MAKES HOPE FADELESS UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

1Cor. 13:7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. AMP

WITHOUT GOD THERE IS NO HOPE

Eph. 2:12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. NKJV
Heb. 6:18 So God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence.
Heb. 6:19 This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God’s inner sanctuary. NLT
Heb. 6:18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
Heb. 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, NKJV

WE HOPE FOR WHAT WE HAVE FAITH IN

Heb. 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. NKJV

PUT YOUR HOPE IN THE GRACE THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS

1Pet. 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; NKJV

OUR FAITH AND HOPE ARE IN GOD.

1Pet. 1:21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. NKJV

WE HAVE FAITH IN WHAT WE HOPE FOR.

Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. NKJV

Turning a Setback Into A Comeback

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How do you turn a major setback into a comeback?

Let’s look at some people who did….

Steve Jobs, Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain, Dorothy Hammill,

James Altucher, Robert Downing, Jr., Brittney Spear, Stanley Kirk, Burrell (aka MC Hammer), George Foreman, Walt Disney, Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper & Martha Stewart to name a few.

 

In the Bible we see people who made a comeback to God. They lived for him and then backslid in some way, but came back with full force….David, Peter, John, Johnmark, Zacaharias, Abraham…

 

Sometimes the setbacks we have are because of our own negligence or failure. Sometimes they are from something we had no control over, like the loss of a loved one or natural disaster.

 

No matter what the setback, you can comeback better than before as you put your trust in God and take steps to move forward. Don’t despise the size of the steps, just make sure you are headed forward.

 

When someone falls spiritually what should they do?

First off they have to recognize their sin. A comeback cannot occur when there is no acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

 

Once you acknowledge what you did, repentance for it must take place. I don’t mean where you beat yourself up about it. You must realize you did something wrong, that you sinned.  It’s important to admit it and confess it out as sin, but don’t allow condemnation and guilt to control your thinking.

 

The next step is to acknowledge who you are in Christ. You’re forgiven. It’s forgotten in God’s mind because Jesus bore our sin on the cross. God sees us cleansed and he made us righteous in Christ. Focusing on who God made us to be in Christ keeps us on the right path.

 

As you meditate on who you are in Christ, your actions follow. You begin to act the way God intended for you to.

 

Of course, coming back from a spiritual setback requires time given in prayer, bible study and reading, going to church and being with people who encourage you in your walk with God.

 

Every one of these actions requires faith. You can’t just go through the motions. Find a place where you can latch on and hold tight to it. Ask yourself what you can believe at this point in your journey with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a scripture you can meditate on and stand on. It will be a battle, but you can do it because God gives you the strength through Christ.

 

Ask yourself what you can learn from this setback.
Ask – What was the cause of this setback?
Ask – How did it begin?

 

Discover which thoughts began to lead you down the wrong path so you can change them. Philippians 3:15 says if we’re thinking different than the way God wants us to, he will reveal it to us. Just ask and he will show you.

 

Focus on the God-thought that will move you forward. Don’t look at the past. When we focus on the past, we can’t move forward. Did you ever try driving backwards to move forward?

 

Remind yourself that everyone has setbacks, but don’t compare yours to someone else. We are all different and react differently.

 

Remember, the fact that you recognized the problem was a step forward. Soon you will begin to see some progress and you’ll be beyond where you were to start with.

Mental Health

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October is Mental Health Month. Many times we wait until we have a difficult time physically or mentally to take care of ourselves, but health should be proactive. That includes health mentally, physically and spiritually. Interestingly, all three are intertwined. When we are not healthy in one are, it generally, affects the other two areas.

Where do we begin being proactive with our mental health? It begins with God’s word. 2 Timothy 1:7 is a familiar verse to many Christians. It says,

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” As we meditate on the fact that God has given us a sound mind, we see it manifest in our lives. I like the way the Amplified Bible translates it: “calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” God’s Word Translation says God has given us “good judgment”.

We begin to get off track mentally when we believe the thoughts that tell us anything that is contrary to what God says about us and our situations.  

Romans 12:2 tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind”. New Living Translation says,

 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person by changing
the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you
to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect
his will really is.

 

Joshua 1:8 tells us of the importance of meditating on God’s word.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth,
but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may
observe and do according to all that is written in it. For
then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you
shall deal wisely and have good success. Amplified

 

Good mental health begins with meditating on God’s word. As we meditate on it, we begin to see ourselves doing it and our actions follow. This scripture says that our way becomes prosperous, we deal wisely and have good success.

It’s a choice and a discipline to think on what God’s word says. Negative thoughts about ourselves, others and our circumstances bombard us daily. It’s easy to believe everything, but God’s word because it’s not what is all around us. It can be what’s first and it can become second nature to us as we give ourselves over to it.

Colossians 3:2 tells encourages us to “set our minds on things above, not on things on this earth.” As we think about what God has done for us in Christ and focus on our eternal reward through Christ, it keeps us mentally strong.

God’s Word Translation of 1 Peter 1:13 says, “your minds must be clear and ready for action. Place your confidence completely in what God’s kindness will bring you when Jesus Christ appears again.” As we place our confidence in God’s kindness toward us our minds are clear and ready for action.

It’s thinking on the good report. It’s thinking about what God has done for us in Christ and what we have to look forward to when we get to heaven that keeps us mentally healthy.

 

I have two more scriptures for you. The first one is Philippians 4:8 from the New Living Translation:

 

Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right.
Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

 

The other isIsaiah 26:3,

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you.” NLT

 

The Bible is filled with scriptures that teach how to have good mental health as we keep our thoughts on God and his word. I pray you have been encouraged by this article.

Self Improvement

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God designed for everyone and everything to get better and better. Improving is the name of his game. Sin brought decline into the world. It is up to us to make the effort to move forward in our lives and become all he has made us to be in Christ.

Philippians tells us to “press toward the goal” and “to run to take hold of the prize.” In Hebrews the writer tells us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” There are many other verses encouraging us to continually move forward.

The flesh wants to sit back and be happy with where it is at. It doesn’t want to rock the boat or do anything that would bring improvement into our lives. It’s our job to makeadvancements necessary to bring about change.

Where do we begin? As Christians we start with knowing it is God’s will for us to improve. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says we are going from “glory to glory and faith to faith.” The Message states,

2Cor. 3:18 All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. MSG Bible

We don’t excel for ourselves. We improve for the sake of others, especially the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 14:12 tells us “let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” NKJV

Self-improvement isn’t about self. It’s about others. As we improve, we are able to help more people. Any time we let anything go or get in a bad state, it limits our ability to help others.

Prov. 22:29  Do you see a man who excels in his work?  He will stand before kings;  He will not stand before unknown men. NKJV

I like how the Message Bible puts it:

Prov. 22:29  Observe people who are good at their work—  skilled workers are always in demand and admired;  they don’t take a back seat to anyone.  MSG

To excel means stand out, be the best, top, exceed, better, eclipse, outshine

How will you be the best you that you can be? Being the best doesn’t mean competing with or comparing yourself to others.

It’s about competing with yourself out of your relationship with God. Choose to be better because you are going from glory to glory and faith to faith and you represent the creator of the universe.

Philippians 4-9 gives us an idea of how to excel.

The Message Bible states:

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. MSG

1.  Rejoice in the Lord. Celebrate him. Phil. 4:4

2.  Be considerate, kind and unselfish. Phil. 4:5

3.  Don’t worry. Worry steals God’s word. It chokes it. Phil. 4:6-7

4.  Pray and thank God, then his peace settles in. Phil. 4:7

5.  Think on good things. Start by thinking good things about yourself. Remember that later on in this chapter Paul tells us that we can do all things through Christ. It’s only as we meditate on who we are in Christ that we are able to excel. The negative thoughts about ourselves cause us to freeze and retreat. Phil. 4:8

6.  Act on who you are in Christ and on what God has shown you. Phil. 4:9

I hope this encourages you to find an area in your life to improve in. Always keep moving forward. It’s God’s will in Christ for you. If you’d like more, go to my Facebook page to hear the entire teaching.

Make a Difference

Did you ever think you couldn’t make a difference in people’s lives because you didn’t think you could make a big difference? Making a big difference begins with making a lot of what seem to be little differences. The little differences add up to be big differences and sometimes they lead to a discovery thatmakes a big difference in and of itself.

MAKE JESUS LORD AND GROW IN GOD

We begin with making positive differences in our own life. We can’t make a difference in others when we don’t make any difference in ourselves. The biggest difference we can make is by making Jesus the Lord of our lives and then move on to living for him. Each day, as we walk with God, change takes place in our lives that produces positive differences we pass on to others.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE EMOTIONALLY

As a believer in Jesus find your peace in him. Others will see it. They’ll want you around because you have peace and then they’ll want what you have. You’ll be making a huge difference in their lives because of the peace you’ve found in him.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE BY BEING AN EXAMPLE

Our lives are the truest book anyone can read. What do people see when they read you. Do you stand out because your life lines up with God’s word to the best of your ability? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us to honor God with our body. There are many scriptures that encourage us to follow other people’s faith & to follow them as they follow Christ. Hebrews 10:24-25 says as we trust in God’s word people see it and it prompts them to act the same way.

HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL WAYS YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES

Really love people and stand on the side of good.

Respect people because they are made in the image and likeness of God.

Be the best on your job, no matter what your job is.

Serve the Lord enthusiastically.

Be happy.

Be patient.

Be prayerful.

Be generous.

Be hospitable.

If people persecute you, pray for them.

Don’t try to act important, enjoy the company of ordinary people.

Be teachable. Don’t think you know it all.

Be kind to your enemies and those who have been unkind to you.

Serve people.

 

Of course, there are many things we can do to make a difference in this world. It begins with small acts that add up to be big ones.

 

What A Man Wants...

Since June is International Men’s Month, I thought it would be good to talk about “What A Man Wants”, besides sex. We all know they like that. Men can buy that, but they can’t buy a woman who consistently, sincerely, displays these character qualities to him...

From my conversations with many men, the number one thing they desire is respect. Actually, it is a biblical thing for them to desire that.

Ephesians 5:33 tells us to respect our husbands. The Amplified Bible says.

“Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and  that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].”

That is a mouthful and is a huge teaching in itself. In this article I’m giving you a few things to think about. Take time to expand it on your own.

Men desire women with strength of character.

This means she has integrity, honor, moral strength and backbone. Proverbs 31:10 asks the question: “Who can find a virtuous woman?” Virtuous means righteous, pure, moral, & ethical. Ladies, he may go out with a “Bad girl” at some point, but he’ll marry one with strength of character. He knows she can be counted on to do what is right.

Kindhearted is another attribute men are looking for in women. He’s not looking for a male companion.

Here are two scriptures that exhort us in the direction of being kind:

1Pet. 3:4 but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. (Message)

Prov. 31:26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions.  (NLT)

Most men do not want a woman who sits around and does nothing all day. They want someone with some ambition.

The ambition she has enhances him, their family and their home. It isn’t something that throws out the baby with the bath water. Ambition has to do with - hard work; drive, determination, initiative, motivation, enthusiasm, resolve, commitment, sense of purpose, zeal.

I hope you can see that this can happen inside the home, as well as outside. First, we should show ambition in our home by getting things done there. Then we can go accomplish things outside of our home.

These are just a few qualities men are looking for in a woman.

Go to Bella Undaunted’s Instagram and Facebook accounts this month to learn more.

VICTORY!!

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Attitude isn’t everything, but it will definitely make a difference in our outlook on life and it affects every area of our lives.

In a poll done by http://www.1000advices.com/polls/polls.html, people were asked what the key to happiness was. Here were the findings….

WHAT IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS?

MENTAL ATTITUDE – 59%

LOVE – 23%

ACHIEVEMENTS – 8%

CREATIVE ACTIVITY – 5%

MONEY – 5%

 

Mental attitude, not things or people, was the key to happiness. It’s all about a state of mind.

 

Brian Tracy, a personal and business success author, shares this concerning attitude:

  • FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
  • FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION
  • LOOK FOR THE GOOD
  • LOOK FOR THE VALUABLE LESSON

IT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU THAT COUNTS. IT IS HOW YOU REACT TO WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE UNEXPECTED PROBLEMS OF ANY KIND.

DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE HELPS YOU LIVE LONGER. YOU ARE LESS LIKELY TO SHOW SIGNS OF AGING, ARE LESS LIKELY TO BECOME FRAIL, AND ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE STRONGER AND HEALTHIER. NEGATIVE ATTITUDES MAKE YOU WEAKER.

 

The dictionary defines attitude: a settled way of thinking about someone or something. Synonyms are: mental state, mindset, disposition, perspective, point of view, opinion, way of thinking, thoughts, feelings, outlook, approach

Much can be found on the subject of attitude, but the foundation of it can be discovered in the bible.

WHEN WE THINK OF ATTITUDE MOST OF US THINK OF EITHER POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE AND THAT IS TRUE. EVERY ATTITUDE CAN BE PUT INTO EITHER OF THOSE two CATEGORIES. I WENT THROUGH THE BIBLE TO FIND WHAT SOME OF THOSE POSITIVE ATTITUDES WERE. 

THANKFUL, COMPLIMENTARY, SERVANT, RESPECTFUL, TEACHABLE, KIND, OBEDIENT, PEACEFUL, WILLING, RIGHTEOUS, FLEXIBLE, GENTLE, CONSIDERATE, FRIENDLY, FORGIVING, HUMBLE, SUBMISSIVE, WISE, GRACIOUS, PATIENT….

 

Since attitude concerns a state of mind, Philippians 4:8 tells us what to think about:

Phil. 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. NLT

In verse 6 Paul tells us not to worry, be anxious or fretful. Instead we should pray and give thanks. Thankful people have good attitudes. Worry, anxiety and fear create negative outlooks. Thankfulness causes us to think on what is good, true, honorable, just, right, excellent and praiseworthy. Thankfulness is a key to a good attitude.

Philippians 2:1-11 tells us to have the attitude of Christ which was that of a servant.

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Jesus completed his mission because he had the right attitude. He humbled himself and had the attitude of a servant. He gave himself for others. When we give ourselves for people our focus gets off us and onto others. He positively went out to do his Father’s business. He was able to do this because he knew who he was. He was the son of God. In spite of how it looked, he never lost sight of it and it propelled him into having the attitude of a servant.

As we focus on being a child of God, it’s easy to have the attitude of a servant because we want to please our heavenly Father. Giving is part of God’s character and a part of ours since we are his children. Living a life to serve others fosters a positive attitude.

Joseph’s life found in the book of Genesis, exhibits taking on the attitude of a servant. Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery. He could have had a bad attitude and not performed well on his job. He could have had a victim mentality. Instead he chose to have the attitude of a servant. He became the best in Potiphar’s house. Then when he was thrown in jail unjustly, he make the right hand man of the jailkeeper. He could have been bitter, but he chose to be better. Let’s allow his attitude to be an example to us.

 

In 1 Peter 3:1-6 Peter tells wives that their husbands can be won over by their godly behavior. He discourages focusing on outward beauty and encourages cultivating inner beauty. Let’s look at it God’s Word translation.

1Pet. 3:3  Wives must not let their beauty be something external. Beauty doesn’t come from hairstyles, gold jewelry, or clothes.

Peter tells us that beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude. He isn’t telling us not to talk. He’s making a statement about attitude. Ladies, let’s face it, we create the atmosphere. It doesn’t matter where. It could be at the office, at home, school, out with others, wherever….If we have a bad attitude, everyone knows it. They can feel it and it screams when we walk into a room. When we have a gentle, quiet attitude, we bring peace and happiness to others.

Let’s look at the definitions and synonyms for these two words...

Gentle – having a mild and kind nature or manner; having a gracious and honorable manner

            – to cause somebody to become less agitated by means of          words or actions

KIND, TENDER, SYMPATHETIC, CONSIDERATE, UNDERSTANDING, COMPASSIONATE, GOOD-NATURED, MERCIFUL, SWEET-TEMPERED

 

Kind – having a generous, warm, compassionate nature; showing generosity or compassion; not harsh, unpleasant, or likely to have destructive effects; showing courtesy or caring about somebody; full of love

 

GOOD-NATURED, WARM-HEARTED, CARING, AFFECTIONATE, LOVING, WARM, CONSIDERATE, HELPFUL, THOUGHTFUL, UNSELFISH, COMPASSIONATE, ATTENTIVE, UNDERSTANDING, BIG-HEARTED, BENEVOLENT, FRIENDLY, HOSPITABLE.

 

A kind and gentle attitude brings exhibits tenderness, understanding, thoughtfulness, benevolence and warmth. One of the qualities that is displayed with a bad attitude is coldness. Everyone can feel it when we walk into a room.

 

This is only the tip of the iceberg concerning attitude. There are thousands of books written on the subject. I encourage you to study it for yourself from the bible and other resources. Be the one to make a positive difference in people’s lives everywhere you go. Be thankful and have the attitude of Christ.

Love,

Linda