Wednesday, June 30, 2010

#26 - Friends like Jess

Good morning. It's a bit overcast here in Columbia this morning... a quick time-out for a "SHOUT OUT" to USC! Baseball Champs - Congrats! Proud to live in Columbia! What a great victory for my home-town team!

Anyways.... enjoying a nice cool morning. Birds chirping, the fan blowing a nice breeze on me, the boy sleeping and my blonde Kahve coffee re-filled. Could life be any better? I know that it will just keep getting better! But PRAISE THE LORD that I have learned to love and enjoy RIGHT WHERE I'M AT! I haven't always been like this. I spent years living in condemnation. Wishing I were "further" in life. Wishing I had accomplished goals sooner. Living in defeat and living in the "someday", "when I", "eventually". Let me just tell you, that's not a way to live. Missing so much of the now because the goals of the future are still unattained. So... each day, you live in the future, in the goals that haven't been accomplished yet, missing all the joy that could be found in today. Praise GOD for a re-newing of my mind. Praise God that though I still have many goals that are yet to be accomplished, I have learned how to enjoy the now and love the present. I heard a quote that said, "It's taken you your WHOLE life to get to where you are RIGHT NOW, that is a long journey, and a great accomplishment."

Anyways... let's go ahead and get started today. 
Proverbs 30:14 - There is a class of people whose teeth are as swords and whose fangs as knives, to devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among men.
Proverbs 31:20 - She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].
Honestly, Proverbs 30:14 sounds like a bit of a morbid verse to choose for one to focus... but WOW, we are going to see how different of a "Class of People" that our Proverbs 31 friend lives in. Really we are going to look at opposites, and how beautiful it really is in the end..... just wait. :-)

There are many "classes of people" out there. Many whom you do not want to be associated, and a select few that you do. This class of people, that it talks about in Proverbs 30:14 is that class that you want to steer clear. Who are they?  They are the greedy, the mean, the spiteful, the angry, the upset, the selfish. These are the people only out for themselves. It talks about how their teeth are as swords & fangs are as knives.... they are going to do WHATEVER it takes to get what they want. WHATEVER it takes! If that means physical harm, so be it. I picture a cat, when it's angry, fangs out, hissing, slanted eyes, angry.... actually I made this very face yesterday when I saw a cockroach in my house! I HATE COCKROACHES! (And, believe it or not, I even made the hissing sound... right before he met the bottom of my shoe & I sent him to meet Jesus!) ANYWAYS... I picture this "class of people" as "spiteful", looking for a way for them to push all others out of the way to get to their goal, their prize. The verse talks about teeth & fangs... obviously a part of the body that is in the mouth, so this "class of people" could partly be tearing down not only physically, but also with their words. Slander, ugly comments, mean or untrue accusations, all in the name of "getting what they want."

Who is this group of people that they are devouring? The poor & needy. The Hebrew expounds on these people as: afflicted, wretched, weak, poor, lowly, humble, subject to oppression & abuse, needing help, in want, deliverance from trouble. They are the "already low", so easy to conquer since they are down. Man, I don't know about you, but there have DEFINITELY been times when I have fallen in one of these categories! I can think of a time just 5-6 months ago where I was "afflicted." The dictionary defines "afflicted" as being distressed with mental or bodily pain. Have you ever been there? Distressed mentally. Distressed with pain in your body? 

Several months back, call it hormones, call it truth, call it whatever you want, but Tyler said something to me and I had a MAJOR break down. I was crying, I was bawling! I don't recall exactly how the topic came up, but I was already feeling insecure about this area.... it was in the area of "friends." My honest feeling about "friends" over the last 10 years has been, "I don't really need them. I don't really have time for them. I don't really want them." I didn't want to put forth the effort to be a friend. In my mind, that's why I got married. Tyler is my best friend. He is my favorite person on the planet. He is who I love spending time with, hanging out with, relaxing with, going to the movies, dinner, church... dreaming with, creating memories with.... he is my best friend. I thought, "Why do I need another friend? I have everything I want and need in Tyler (and God)." Well, Tyler on the other hand, for 10 YEARS has pushed me to "make friends" or "go have lunch with so-and-so". I begrudgingly did it sometimes, all the while hating it. Feeling like I was trying to "force" this friendship when I didn't even want it, and me and "so-and-so" did not even really click anyways. Ahhhh! 

If you know Tyler and I.... we have a lot of "friends" that we are in business with. People who would call us "friends"... people we could call at 3:00 in the morning and they would get up and drive 4 hours to get us if they had too, people who are truly "salt of the earth" good people. Friends. BUT... maybe it's a guy thing, but as I cried and reflected on the "truth", I thought about how Tyler has "all these friends"... guys that he really likes to be with, no strings attached. And, as I cried, I felt like all my friendships were "surfacey" and "shallow." I have had a few good friendships in my life that went deep.... and none of my friendships reflected any depth. No deep, down, "you can see my soul" sort of friendships. So, I cried and cried and cried. When I got real with myself, I DID crave this friendship with someone other than my husband. A girl. Someone I could laugh with, be silly with, have fun with.... be me with. As I studied the Proverbs 31 woman, I did not see ANYWHERE it talking about her having "friends". That made me feel better.... I thought, well, she didn't make time for friends (amongst her being perfect and being super-woman), I don't have to make time for friends. That held for awhile. But I continued to search. I continued to dig. And, like always, the Bible revealed more to me.

Our Proverbs 31 friend what does she do? She opens her hand to the poor, she REACHES OUT her FILLED hands to the needy, whether in body, mind or spirit. She is PRO-ACTIVELY a friend to others! SHE "reaches out!" SHE comes with a "solution" with the "answer", SHE comes with FILLED HANDS! Who does she come too? The poor, the needy... the afflicted, the sad, the hurt, the "AMY's"!! People just like me. People just like YOU! She comes to be your friend, my friend, a friend to other's, when they need it most, she comes. When they are down, she cries with them. She loves them. She shares their hurt with them to help them heal, to help them get better. Ecclesiastes 4:11 ... if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Our Proverbs 31 friend was and is the blanket. She is the hug to bring warmth back to someone who is cold with sorrow. Someone who is so down, hope seems gone. What does she bring to the table? She brings friendship, she brings warmth.

She reminds me of my friend Jess. I can't think of ANYONE who is a better example of this! Our Proverbs 31 friend reaches out her FILLED hands to the needy.... in body, mind, or spirit. Let's look at some examples. I was NEEDY. I was 36 weeks pregnant, 9 MONTHS! It was the middle of October. How was I needy?

In Body: I could not do everything I wanted to do. We were in the process of MOVING! (Perfect timing for a prego lady, huh!) I was SO pregnant and knew Tyler Junior could come any time. We were moving into a home, and I wanted it to be ready when we brought our boy home. Let me tell you, I was needy in the "physical" arena.... I just couldn't DO things like a non-pregnant women. Jess, got our spare set of keys to our house, she came over when we were not even at the house (since we hadn't moved yet) and she PAINTED! She came over after she got off work and PAINTED. She came over late at night when I could help and she PAINTED. She came over on her lunch break and PAINTED. She PAINTED! Words can not explain how I felt. Words can not explain how much she taught me through her unselfishness. Through her desire to help. Her desire to be a friend and with FILLED HANDS, willing hands come and help when I could not. 

In Mind: I recently had some friends get married. So much was un-done, so much was not ready, there were so many loose ends. My friends getting married were trying to continue working, family was not really present to provide much help, if any help. And guess who showed up? You guessed it, Jess! She took the bull by the horns and made a list. 10 days out...maybe 4-5 days out. She made a list of EVERYTHING that needed to get done yet. Flowers, music, brides-maids gifts, groomsmen gifts, this, that, this, that... the list went on. She saw a need. The bride was not able to do EVERYTHING, mentally exhausted and could not do it all. Jess made a list and began checking things off. Doing and delegating, Jess made it happen. She was mentally there for the needy with FILLED HANDS, willing to think and do. 

In Spirit: Jess is that person that when you walk in a room, a group of people, a meeting, people gravitate towards Jess. They want to be around her. She makes people feel good. Granted, she may not be what you expect. She is not the "Christmas Tree".... the bouncy, really out-going person that you may expect. She is not the "life of the party" person. She is very laid back, but very fun. She meets people at their point of need. To some, she is a friend. To others, she is a  financial blessing in their mailbox. To some she is clothes. She is a helping hand. She is a smile. She is whatever she needs to be. I don't even know everything she does. I catch so many "end of conversations" as I walk up and hear Jess talking to someone. I can tell, they are discussing "something Jess did to help." 

People like Jess are what it talks about in Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. She makes people better. She is an iron sharpener. 

So... my new thinking. I need to be a friend. To have friends, I need to be a friend. The Proverbs 31 woman was a friend to people in their greatest time of need. When someone was low, and sad... when someone was in need. She was their friend, she was there for them to hear them, to cry with them, to love them. To keep them warm, to remind them of hope and to keep them going to the next day. She was there for them. And those people who grew up from their despair, who moved on from their sorrow, it is those people who will be there for our Proverbs 31 woman in her time of loss, in her time of sorrow. She will be showered with friends in her time of need or loss. 

I need friends. Not only are they iron sharpeners, not only do they make me a better "Amy", but there may come a time when I will need a shoulder to cry on, or a friend to laugh with. Someone to celebrate victory with me. To have a friend, I need to be a friend. To come to others with FILLED HANDS, to be a friend like Jess. 

Tomorrow is my DOR, so make it a GREAT Thursday! :) I am going on a "friend date" with my friend Jess. :) Cultivating friendship. Smoothies & a movie with my friend Jess.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bonus: Pix of Baby Bella...

Here are some pictures I took of my new little niece, Baby Bella. She's so cutie. :)

#25 - "Yes Mam" - "No Sir"

Good morning! It is a beautiful morning here in SC. Enjoying my 2nd cup of coffee.... had my "first breakfast".... or "mini breakfast" already, some applesauce. Will probably have some cereal in a little bit. So, this morning... I'm just reminded of the fact that, "I don't have to figure it out." I was going back and forth with the Holy Spirit on some things, specifically which direction to go, what verses to focus on this morning.... and I partly was feeling a sense of "pressure". Sometimes I don't "feel like" going the direction that the Holy Spirit wants to go. I may think that direction is "boring" or that everyone already knows "that". So, as I was reading and meditating.... I just didn't feel a leading one way... yes I saw many options of how we could go this morning. But I just didn't feel strongly about which way to go. And, it was just a little pressure or the word "manufacturing" comes to mind. I never want to "manufacture" anything, my desire is that each morning, these devotions are Holy Spirit led. So... what did the Holy Spirit say.... can we say "Booo-Yah!" to me! He said, "So Amy, whose are these devotions anyways? Are they yours or Mine?" Yah..... booo-yah! He sure does have a way of letting Himself be known. So yes..... what did I say? (*Tail between legs) "They are Yours." - "Ok then, let me determine the direction. I can promise, My Word is not and will not be boring. I have aligned it specifically for the people who need to hear it. So though the topic may seem like something you have known for a long time, their are people who need to hear it." Alrighty then.... enough said. We are going with the topic of the Holy Spirit not topic from Amy!! And that is the way I like to keep it! 

Proverbs 29:15,17 - The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother to shame. Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your heart.
Proverbs 31:27a - She looks well to how things go in her household...
Well, you are talking to a girl who grew up getting her fair share of spankings! "Whippin's" as they would say in the south. I guess in the south they also call them "Beatin's". "Girl, did you get a beatin?!" Well, I got some "beatin's" growing up! My parents were not afraid to get out the belt and show me who was boss if I did not behave. I was a very, very stubborn child growing up. I left MANY scars on my sisters.... especially my older sister, Angie. She still has a pretty big one on her leg from me scratching her. She was on the piano, and I wanted to play it.... since she wouldn't get off, I was going to MAKE HER get off! Blood, crying & probably a spanking later..... she did get off the piano, but I'm sure I didn't get to play it. 

Just because we are in the 21st century, does not mean we have to cave to how the "world" handles discipline now adays. Over and over the Bible talks about spanking your child. Aside from the scriptures listed above you can see many places in Proverbs that talks about disciplining your children... Proverbs 19:18 - ...discipline your son while their is still hope. Proverbs 13:24 - He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early. Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. And the list goes on... rod of discipline, rod of discipline, rod of discipline. So in other words, "Mom, Dad, pull out the belt, get out the spoon, go cut down a switch and SPANK that child!" 

I am not a fan of the "Time-Out" aspect of discipline. It just seems like today's "New-Age" way of disciplining a child... it just seems like the "World's" spin on how to discipline your child. It reminds me of the child that took his/her parents to court. I would guess that child did not get spankings, they probably had "time-outs". For a child to think they have a RIGHT to second guess, or question, or to the extent of taking their mom & dad to court... the parents OBVIOUSLY missed the whole idea of discipline. Who is boss in our house? Dad. Who is next in line? Mom! And you better guaranty that I will not hesitate to give spankings, and they will hurt. 

I remember my mom spanking me.... she felt so bad. The belt left marks on my little booty and on my legs. But I was SUCH a stubborn child. My mom just had to believe, "Lord Jesus, I pray that this stubbornness will be turned for good in Amy's life. I pray that she will be stubborn after You!" Bless her heart! And, when I got saved, my stubbornness did pay off. I'm still stubborn, just in different ways. A godly stubbornness can bring success. And to be a success, you almost HAVE TO be stubborn! 

Well, our Proverbs 31 friend was not afraid to keep her household in line. I can hear her now, "Little Johnny, I told you no once, you know that is not allowed. Go, cut down a switch from the tree out back, you are going to get a whippin." I guaranty she did not threaten little Johnny with a "Time-Out". And, in Proverbs 31:27, it says SHE looks well to how things go in her household. SHE did! If her husband was on a trip, or in the field (aka: at work), it says SHE looked well to how things go in her household. She did not wait for "Dad" to get home to spank  little Johnny. It said SHE managed the runnings of the household. So, if you were bad, you better bet MAMA is putting the smack down! :-) Literally!

I believe, that was one reason why the children could rise up and call their mother blessed (Proverbs 31:28). They respected their mother because she disciplined them. She taught them obedience. She expected well-behaved children, and their was no other option but for the children to BE well-behaved! 

In the South.... that comes directly along with hearing the well-behaved, good children saying, "Yes Mam." "No Mam." "Yes Sir." "No Sir." It is expected. At least for the children where their parents PARENT them. Even in the south, some parents allow TV, DS games, and school to parent and raise their children. But, still a large majority are teaching manners. When I moved to the south, it was so sweet to hear a child say "Yes Mam" to me. I LOVED it! So sweet. So proper. My children will DEFINITELY do that. It's kind of an unfair advantage to my sisters in Indiana. My children will come home for Christmas saying "Yes Mam/Yes Sir" and "No Mam/No Sir" to all the adults and seem very polite. But I realize in the North... that is not how it is done! 

But manners.... it goes along with the responsibility of parenting. Do your children chew with their mouth open at the table? Do they use language that is not acceptable? Do they answer YOU, mom or dad, in a rude manner? If the answer is Yes. It is YOUR responsibility for them to do it properly. No one else is going to teach YOUR kids! Tyler and I have talked about some of the things he plans on teaching Tyler Jr (and Timothy when he comes along) when they are old enough. Tyler plans on having "Daddy-Day-Out" to teach Tyler Junior some important tips on manners. For example.... going to a Chick-Fil-A (my husbands favorite fast food place), and just having Tyler Junior scope out when a lady is coming to the door, going out of the way and saying, "Let me get the door for you mam." Imagine a 5 year old doing that! So cute! But, so proper & respectful! Tyler feels strongly about it because his Granddaddy taught him to do things like that. It is proper, it is respectful and it is right. School will not teach those principles. It is up to the Mom's and Dad's to take time, to plan time, set time aside to discipline when needed and to teach manners. 

The children are part of the "household", in Proverbs 31:27.... so Mom's... see that your "household" is running smoothly. Including your children. It does start with you. Do you respond in kindness? Do you eat with your mouth open at the table? Or do you "chomp" your gum? Do you tell people to "shut up"? It all starts with you. Are you setting the example that you want your kids to follow? They WILL do what you do. Like the old "LIFE" cereal commercial.... the little boy just doing everything his dad was doing. Or... when I was teaching school, I gave a girl a detention for cussing. Later her mom called me upset about the detention... and do you know what the MOM did? She cussed me out on the phone. Well.... I then could not completely blame the student. She learned from her mom. Kids will take on your positive attributes, or they will take on your negative attributes. 

What kind of kids are you raising? Are you purposefully teaching them? In their manners? In their speech? In their actions? In their behavior? 

Moms - YOU see how things are going in your household. Are things going WELL?
DO you have any stories about you? Or about your kids? DO share them! :-) Do you agree? Disagree? Share that too! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

#24 - Political Strength - What's it mean?

Good morning! The boy has already been up & fed, and now snoozin again. :) Really enjoyed & learned a lot last night on #blogchat via Twitter. If you are on Twitter, follow me: @amyjmccart. I often post great quotes I read, updates on when I post a new blog, etc. Social Media/Marketing is here to stay, so my plan is to take advantage of it! Jumping in with both feet! :) It's a great way to pursue your passion, and learn from people who know more than you! Especially with Social Media! And, the best thing is, It's FREE! You can also add my husband to your Twitter followings: @tylermccart. He's really gifted in areas of leadership, business, entrepreneurship, public speaking, sales, purpose, passion, the Word and being a great husband and daddy! :) Check out his Vlogs via his YouTube Channel ( Great stuff on finding your purpose, pursuing your passion, seasons of growth, etc. 

Ok.... well let's get rolling this morning...
Proverbs 28:2 - When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but when the ruler is a man of discernment, understanding, and knowledge, its stability will long continue.
Proverbs 31:25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it].
I know we have looked at strength in the Hebrew before, but this morning I would like to take a look at it again. Strength is talking about: might, strength, material, physical, personal, social or political. Our Proverbs 31 friend has political strength. And right now, we need some men AND women of God who have this Political Strength! I recently read a quote that was really an awakening. Dr. Mike Murdock tweeted something quite interesting that I had not thought about, but he said "Obama's response towards Israel will determine God's judgement on America." But, this is true! When we read about the end times, we know that all will turn on Israel & God's judgement will begin. I don't know about you, but I'm excited about going home to be with Jesus. I am excited about being raptured and walking streets of gold, but I also feel like I have a lot of life yet to live, a lot of memories yet to create, children yet to be born (Trinity, Timothy & Taylor) and things to accomplish for the Kingdom. There are people who need to know Jesus before it's too late. For our NATION to have stability that will continue long, it is IMPORTANT, not just important, it is CRUCIAL that we have a person of God in office who will lead with GODLY discernment,  understanding & knowledge! 

Another reason why it is important to VOTE! Did you vote in your recent primaries? (Last week!) I wear the "I VOTED" sticker with great pride. That is part of our RESPONSIBILITY! To prayerfully elect godly men & women into office to bring our nation back to a nation that our founders would be proud of. To honor the men & women who DIED FOR OUR FREEDOM, and KEEP this nation the LAND OF THE FREE! It is not a matter of black or white, our president could be green. IF it is a godly man or woman of God who will RISE UP and STAND ON THE WORD, they have my vote!  

So, political strength. How can you begin to have it? You have no desire to run for office? You have no passion to get involved in your upcoming elections, debates, etc? Let me offer a way for you to begin to take part.

I recently got this from Founder of Outreach America, Gary Newell, and it is very helpful. What to do when fear or sin creeps up in your life.... the 4 R's. I had to do this just this morning.... let me tell you why and how to use the 4 R's through my experience this morning...

Using the 4 R's: Recognize, Resist, Reckon, Redirect
  • RECOGNIZE - Father, right now I recognize that when I heard the door nob shake a little bit, the first thing that came to my mind was fear. I repent of this fear. I had fear that some man was going in to Tyler Jr's room and taking him out of his crib. Right now I RECOGNIZE that fear. And because I recognize it, I want to thank Satan for allowing me to see that I obviously haven't totally turned Tyler Jr over to You. So, right now, I RE-TURN over to You Tyler Junior. I put him back in YOUR care! And while I am recognizing this, simultaneously, I also want to lift up to you President Obama & Lady Gaga. I pray for their salvation. I pray that they would have a Damascus Road experience. That, like Saul, who persecuted Your People, who persecuted and killed Christians, walked the road to Damascus, scales came over his eyes and he could not see. You allowed the literal scales to come OFF his eyes, and he could finally SEE! Because of that experience, his name was changed to Paul and he wrote a large part of the new testament. Right now, I send forth ministering laborer's of the gospel that will go out and minister to President Obama & Lady Gaga. That those people that go forth will speak to them and they will hear, that these ministering laborer's in their lives have great influence with Lady Gaga & President Obama. Their words have great weight to them. I pray also those closest to them would get saved and be an influence to them. Father, I pray that President Obama & Lady Gaga would have this Damascus Road experience. That they would go from not being Christians, to being RADICALLY SOLD-OUT to YOU! That they would make the sort of impact that Paul did on Your people! That they would become MINISTERS of the GOSPEL! I call President Obama & Lady Gaga SOLD OUT BELIEVERS in the NAME OF JESUS!
  • RESIST - I now RESIST Satan and tell him that he HAS TO FLEE from me! I will have no part in fear. I will not be like Job (Job 3:25) and live in fear. Get behind me Satan! I resist you!
  • RECKON - I RECKON myself dead to fear! I RECKON myself dead to sin. A dead person can not have fear. A dead person can not sin. So, right now, I reckon myself dead to this fear for Tyler Juniors safety. A dead person can not fear or sin. 
  • REDIRECT - Right now I REDIRECT my thoughts and stand on the WORD! I call Tyler Junior SAFE all the time! I claim Psalms 91 protection upon him AT ALL TIMES. I thank you Father that angels have charge over and around him at all times! I thank you that he will grow up to be a godly man. He will make an impact all over the world for Your Kingdom. He will make a greater impact for the Kingdom than Tyler & I. He will leave an amazing legacy for seeing people saved, healed, whole & utilizing their calling. He will make a WORLD-WIDE difference! I call him SAFE in Jesus Name! Thank you that BIG ANGELS are standing guard around him at all time, and that NO ONE can mess with him! 
The Purpose of the 4 R's: 
  1. Recognize - Recognizing your sin, repenting, turning this area of challenge back over to the Lord & praying for some people who are influential. Kind of like an "I fell, I lost the ball, I fell short, but now I'm not only going to ask for forgiveness & get it, but I'm going to CHARGE THE HILL! I'm going to come back fighting!"
  2. Resist - Doing what the Word says. Resist Satan and he has to flee from you!
  3. Reckon - Calling yourself dead to this sin now and in the future. It will not have control over you!
  4. Redirect - Find scripture that will back up this area of sin. Find scripture that will "counter" this area. For me, the sin was fear of safety, so I found scripture that promises safety. Now, I can stand on the WORD, which is more powerful than anything else!

A few things about the 4 R's... imagine, any time you sin, you fear, you gossip, you say unkind words, you look at pornography, you lie, women- when you don't submit to your husband, or you try to control your husband, when you manipulate someone to get your way..... WHATEVER area of sin that you may do (we have all fallen into sin!)..... IMAGINE, just IMAGINE applying these 4 R's each time you sin! One thing that I found was interesting that Gary said was that  gradually the sin came further and further apart. Gradually, he found that he was not having problems with the area of sin that was a struggle. Why? Because imagine Satan's thoughts every time you sinned and then you went through the 4 R's. Man, he gets ticked off! He thinks, "Dang it! If every time I cause Amy to sin she is going to pray radical things and salvation for these influential people.... man, I don't want her to sin. I'll go cause someone else to sin. Someone who isn't going to put up such a fight. Someone who is just going to be complacent and continue to let me pull them off the road into a ditch. I'm not going to mess with Amy. She is screwing up my plan for President Obama & Lady Gaga. I do not want them to be Christians because they have such influence." 

SO, you have no desire to be in politics. Well a few things you can do to make a difference. 

  1. Utilize your RIGHT to VOTE! VOTE for godly men & women into office. If you don't, your lack of voting is allowing men & women who are NOT of God to be in office. Don't base it upon color. Base it upon the WORD! Do they believe for and pass bills that would line up with the Word? (Abortion would not line up with the Word, do they believe for that?)
  2. Pray for those in office! - Make it a priority to pray! You are directly affected if you don't. Especially if America does not support Israel.... judgement is upon us. Your prayers matter! Pray BOLD prayers! Pray people into President Obama's life that will change things. 

PS - If you don't agree with me. I still love you! :) That is ok. Don't feel like you have too.... but boldness, truth & transparency is important. I definitely don't claim to know it all...but, I'm going to tell it how I see it. 

Thanks for reading! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

#23 - Sales & The Christian

Good Morning! So... I woke up without an alarm clock this morning. Pretty wild. I slept GOOD! :) It's going to be a great day. :) SOOOO happy to be enjoying my blonde coffee this morning. Along with bringing the kitchen sink to Jill's, I also brought my Vanilla Hazelnut Kahve coffee, and my sugar-free French Vanilla (COFFEEMATE) creamer (I can't do the other brands of creamer, gag!) So.... enjoying a nice morning. Sitting out on the balcony, very woodsy out here. Nice cool breeze. No flies. :) (Yippee! No sending them to be with Jesus!) Jill and Bella I guess will be getting up sometime around 10:00ish. :) So... blueberry muffins, eggs, grits, bacon & fruit for breakfast! YUM! (And no, I do not do this at home all the time! My apologies Tyler.)

Let's dive in. Pretty good stuff this morning. 
Proverbs 25:15 - By long forbearance and calmness of spirit a judge or ruler is persuaded, and soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance.
Proverbs 31:24 - She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service].
Good stuff! Well, let's automatically take a look at our Proverbs 31 friend. Did you realize SHE is a SALESPERSON!!! Can you believe it?!?! Amongst everything else, she can sell! And, I don't believe just sell, I believe she would be among the top ranks in sales of Corporate America today! The woman knows how to sell! She is not the woman we grew up thinking she was.... she is not the typical picture of who most view as a "godly woman." The long hair, pulled up in a nice, tight, clean hair bun; the long, drab skirt; little or no make-up looking a bit on the homely side; bent over a wash board scrubbing clothes until they are clean; then hung over a stove, flour on her face, flour on her splattered white apron cooking for the family. I believe if this was still our picture of the Proverbs 31 woman, we would be mistaken. And, as a sidenote reminder, she has built up her business that now she does enjoy having maids (Prov. 31:15), and if I had maids I can tell you I would not be doing the scrubbing of ......hum.....anything! So... let's move on. 

Our Proverbs 31 friend leads others to buy her product! Others, plural. She leads them. She knows the good things about her product, the "sales features & benefits." And why does she feel good about SELLING her product?? Because it is high quality, it is FINE! She is adding value to the marketplace. Her product is adding value, take a look: this girdle frees one up for service. It is HELPING people. She has provided a product that adds value & helps people! 

How do we know she has a pretty big size business? Well, she sells her products to merchants, plural. Since I used to be in the "Merchant Service" industry, I set up "merchants" to accept credit cards. What is a "Merchant?" It is a business or business owner. A company who provides a good or service to others. Our Proverbs 31 friend has merchantS that she is selling too. Her products are hitting the marketplace and being sold from many stores, vendors, malls, etc. She is a BUSINESS WOMAN. She is a SALES PERSON. And she has a product that the market needs and wants!

What about this "judge or ruler" being persuaded? How is this bonelike resistance broken down? Well, let's look at persuade. The dictionary tells us persuade means to advise or to urge. Some synonyms are: to urge, influence, move, entice. So this judge, with soft speech is able to be influenced. With soft speech his opinion is able to be moved. Despite his bonelike resistance or resolve not to "move" his opinion, with some persuading, he does. 

That brings us to something of great importance. Sales. When I was working, one of my top years, along with managing an existing base of business, I also got new business. Sold. Won accounts. I added over 18 million dollars of new sales volume to my existing portfolio. I knew and know how to sell. That was only one year. Not to mention each other year the new sales volume. If I were to go back and could look at it... during my 4 years of working in "Corporate America" I probably brought in over 45-50 million dollars of new revenue. Not too bad. And throughout the "nation", not only was I "Rookie of the Year" my first year, but was in the "Top 5" performers by my second. I say that all to say, I know sales. What does a good sales person run into the risk of doing? One word. Manipulating. Instead of leading and guiding, instead of showing the pro's and con's, but still leaving a way out, a good sales person most likely has the skills that they can even manipulate the person who does not need their product or service to purchase. Manipulation. What is one of the most common, easiest sales lines? Ending the sentence with what you want them to choose. For example: "So, would you like to purchase just the two cases, or do you want to go ahead and get four?"  

Where is the danger? Honestly, the person I have to be the MOST careful to doing this to is my husband. I know I am a good sales person. I know he is also a good sales person. BUT as a wife and as a Proverbs 31 woman, my goal is to lead. My goal is to lay out the facts. My goal is to include options. Pro's & con's. And often, when I know I could EASILY get my way, word my desire in a way that sounds appealing and obvious, "Of course, that sounds great. Yes Amy, you should go buy that or do that." Instead, especially with my husband, I choose to lead not to manipulate. Many women have the ability to do this to their spouse. To position your plee so your spouse will look upon it favorably. 

Well, ladies, men.... IF we are the GREAT sales people that we think we are, we should be able to LEAD people to purchase. We should be able to show them the value that will be added. We should know & have the confidence in our products so much that they can see how much it will benefit them. 

So today.... whether you are in sales....or whether you are trying to convince your spouse, sibling, friend, boss, etc of something... how about try to lead versus manipulate?

And let's close with a few parting tips....


  1. Are your products made of good, fine material? And are your products high quality?
  2. Does your product add value to people? Does it make the lives of others better or easier? 
  3. Have you found your "target market" of who may need your product or service? And are you trying to lead them to purchase your products or use your service?
  4. Do you know the features & benefits of your product? Are you able to "LEAD" others by informing them about your product? What makes it so good? What are the features they may not see if you didn't point it out? How can you inform & educate them?
  5. Are you "LEADING" others to purchase versus "manipulating" them into buying something they do not need?

Welcome! :)

In addition to all the followers.... I just wanted to send a shout out to the newest one to the group, Michelle! :) Glad to have you joining us on this journey Michelle! :) YIPPEE! :) For sure let me know your thoughts as we go... I love feedback!

As for me & the boy....we are in Georgia right now. I'm a bit on the exhausted side. Just spend the last 2 hours cutting up fruit. :) We are at Jilly's... and I just wanted to have lots of yummy, healthy options for snacking over the next few days. And who knows... with a child sleeping, now was the easiest time to do it! Papa is runnin solo right now. I did give him explicit directions on what to eat while I'm gone (to make it easy, even put it all on the same shelf in the fridge!) :) I made sure he focused on what I was saying because Mom did have food ready for him!! :) lol! Funny story....we had lots of food options in the fridge.... and one day Tyler opened it and said, "All there is to eat is yogurt and broccoli." Now we have a running joke about it.... "All there is to eat is yogurt and broccoli." God placed us specifically with our mate for a reason! How did they eat before a wife???

SO... as far as my official "Friday" post... we are going to play it by ear. Check back, I will hopefully post one.... but their is a possibility that I will not. If know I'm pre-occupied with a 7 month old, a 7 day old and.... well.... just enjoying some quality time with 'da Thrill! :)

Again... welcome Michelle! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

#22 - Debt: Your Business, Your Life, Your House

Good morning. It's a great day! :) The boy & I get to pack up and head to 'da Thrill's (Jill - my sister-in-law) and help out with her, Doug & baby Bella for the next few days. We are excited. :) Excited to cook, bake, change little baby Bella diapers... and just spend some quality time with Jilly. :) We have a full day ahead of us, packing and driving! :) So as some people say, "Daylight is burning, let's go!"
Proverbs 24:27 - [Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.
Proverbs 31:16 - She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
Today we are going to somewhat piggy-back off of Tuesday's post: Plan to Prosper. We talked about planning and debt. We are going to continue off of that topic today. Let me preface this... please take the "grocery store" approach to what you read today. When you go grocery shopping, you purchase what you need, you don't always take everything. Today, take what you need. Yes, I believe it is all truth, at the same time you still need to seek out the Lord and see what does HE have to say to YOU specifically about this? I come from the standpoint of a business owner. We have planned & are moving forward. We have left "status quo" and have chosen to pursue more. We have left TV and the bowling leagues and the hobbies, scrap-booking behind (for now) to build a business & establish a business that will yield greater returns down the road. We are not better than the person who chooses to stay home and watch TV each night, we have just chosen a different path. So, I speak from the standpoint with the "end in mind", the standpoint of "moving forward", "moving ahead", "progressing towards a goal that has been set". To the person that is happy with where life is, and where they are, this may not all apply to them. SO...with that said, let's get started. 

Proverbs 24:27 prefaces the verse with, "Put first things first", ie: let's make the most important thing, the most important thing. What is the most important thing? "Prepare your work outside and get it ready." In the Hebrew, we look at the word "work", and see the translation to business. In other words; Prepare your business outside and get it ready. Get your work in line. Prepare your business, build it up, make it profitable, have a plan, work the plan, delay gratification. Do you really need all the "other things" in life right now? Are those "most important"? Is your work/business progressing forward? Is it being built? AFTERWARD, build your house. AFTERWARD. After you have built your business, done your work, then build your house. AFTERWARD. 

Let's look at the life of Jacob. Genesis 31:41 really says all that we need to know: "I have been twenty years in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks..." Jacob, at this point was in the "life-stock" business. He has developed a business and has grown a flock. Now that he has worked he is going to build a house

Now, I am a studier of the Word. I have not attended seminary, and I dare say there are countless people and scholars who have studied more than I. But, in what I see from where I we, Americans, may do things a bit backwards from what they did in the Bible?? Let's compare: Jacob worked 7 years for Leah, then another 7 years for Rachel, then another 6 years establishing a business of life-stock. Today, what does the common young person do? Let's look: Go to college 4 years (collect student loans of $100,000), get married, get a loan from the bank to buy a house ($150,000 in debt from the start), get a loan for a new car ($12,000 in debt), get a loan for our wife's new car (another $12,000 in debt), get a job, have kids, 30 years later pay off the loan from the bank for the house, never out of debt for our cars- just keep trading them in for a newer model, and then an occasional person may build a business. The American Way: start in debt, die in debt. Hummmmmm..... do he two ways sound different to you? Am I just being "legalistic", or do we do things differently now? Some may think I am totally being legalistic, and that is OK if you think that. I really am OK with it!! No hard feelings. REALLY! But, does anyone really "buy" things anymore? Is it all on loan or credit? 

I recently heard a multi-millionaire, you may be familiar with him, Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul) say something like this: "In my 30's, I went strictly on the cash system. Using a debit card just didn't seem like money. Writing a check, just didn't seem like money. Using a credit card, just piled up the debt. But, when I handed over the cash, I was a little tighter to hold that dollar bill." 

Our Proverbs 31 woman is considering to BUY a field. It doesn't say in Proverbs 31 that she owns her home, but I would guess she does. It says she is getting ready to BUY a field. It doesn't say she is going to go downtown, get a loan from the bank, only 4.5% interest, pay it off in 30 years, then own the field. She is going to BUY it. 

So Tyler and I.... this is one thing we have taken pretty literally. We are proudly out of debt. We own our cars. My car, a Nissan Altima, is the same car I have had since I graduated college May 2000. It has over 200,000 miles on it, but we own it. Granted, we are excited for the Lord to bless us with an upgrade that we can own debt-free. Recently, we finally retired Tyler's car. The Lord blessed us with the ability to pay cash for a newer vehicle. We REALLY needed a newer vehicle. Tyler had a Toyota Camry. We drove it so much we called it lovingly, "Hotel del Camry". We drove a lot of miles on that baby. We bought it when it had 35,000 miles on it, and finally gave it to a new 16 year old driver (for his first car) with over 400,000 miles on it! Check it out for yourself! 
:) Wow! I know! By this point... the camry wasn't pretty to look at, but it drove very well. We kept it maintained and serviced, and it ran great! Never really gave us ANY problems at all!! I expect the new 16 year old could get another 100-200,000 miles out of it (IF he had too!). But, it was a blessed vehicle. We now, THANKFULLY, PRAISE THE LORD drive a Nissan Murano.
(My dad driving the Murano on the beach in Daytona when we went on vacation.)

What a blessing! :) And a definite upgrade! But for us... we believed for it, we spoke it, we thanked God for it, we had a picture on our refrigerator and we waited in faith to receive it, and when the time came, we paid cash for it. 

Currently... against a lot of people's opinion, we rent the house we live in. We owned our first home, moved from there to an apartment, and now a home we are renting. I have heard it before, "You are throwing your money away. You are wasting money! You are not building equity." Yes, I have heard it all. And, believe me, I have said it too. I have thought it. I have fought it. It has frustrated me. But, we committed to following a conviction on this, and following the Word. We are renting. BUT - their is light at the end of the tunnel. We have already believed, it is as good as done, we will pay for our next house. We will own it. No 30 year plan. We have believed, we are planning, we are preparing, we are building our business, and we THANK GOD for being able to OWN our next home free and clear! 

With all that said.... let me add this. Like we discussed yesterday....the borrower is subject to the lender. Yes, this is true. And from where I stand, IF you want to be subject to the lender, you can be! True, that does put you somewhat enslaved, or bondage to that lender, but it is your free will to have loans from the bank. Even though it says, owe no man nothing but to love him. There are some, who have no plans of ever owning a business, who enjoy watching TV every night, enjoy relaxing, do not own a business nor do they ever want to or plan to own one, and are OK with being a steadily making payments over the next 30 years. To that person, a loan from the bank is probably the best thing. Because, let's face it... if there is no plan to do anything bigger, or make/save income to purchase a house, this person would NEVER own there home. Tyler and I just chose to do things differently. Granted, we are not "building equity" now. But, as I see it, we are doing things like how Jacob did it. We are working. We are building our business. We are preparing. And we will BUY our next home.

The person who is enslaved to a loan or to a dollar bill.... if God called them right now to go be a missionary, guess what, they could not. Until they are able to sell their home, get out of debt, they would not be able to follow the Lord's leading on their life. If I were a betting person, I believe there are probably a lot of people out there that are called to be missionaries but can't. They are shackled to the bank. In 30 years, when their student loan and home loans are paid for, when they sell their cars... then they may be able to go. 

What to take away? Yikes....I guess whatever you want. Just a different school of thought. And truly... I'm OK if you believe I am wrong with my thinking. This is how WE have chosen to live. Some may choose to be enslaved temporarily. Some may choose to be enslaved for 10 years and then they will own their home. Good for you. It really is a matter of choice. What is best for you, your family and the career path you have chosen. For some, 10 years paying on a loan may be the best thing. 

Take what you will....but I do encourage you to consider. Consider before making the next big purchase on loan or on credit. Ask, reflect, get quiet before the Lord.... is this truly what you are suppose to do? last thing. Don't go sell your house, your cars, your everything to get out of debt and live in an apartment based upon MY CONVICTIONS. Seek God for YOU. Receive a conviction for yourself in this matter. See what God would have YOU to do. 

Love ya'll! :) Time to pack and hit the road! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Good Morning.... or afternoon. :)
Enjoy reading today in Proverbs 23 & Proverbs 31:10-31. What are some verses that stick out to you??? Let me know.

I am enjoying my DOR (Day of Rest). I'm just now going to get the boy up!!! And yes, it is NOON! :) Not to mention, Mama woke up at 9:00, then went back to bed. LOVE my DOR! Time to get in the Word for me now too. :)

Have a blessed day!
Here's some more pictures of my doll baby. :)

Below: Is he a little angel, or what!?!
Below: First bike-ride with mom! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#21 - Plan to Prosper

Good morning to all! Already taken down 2 cups of yummy coffee, and have done a lot this morning. It's amazing how much you can do when you wake up early!! Love it! Well... I am guessing that many of you that are reading this blog have been reading it on a somewhat regular basis. Would you consider "following" the blog? Or... when something really jumps out to you let your friends know about it... forward the link. ( I'm excited about what God is doing & is going to do as I am in the process of writing a few books right now. "Blog followers" help when I do get to the point of talking to publishers. So only IF you feel these posts have added value to you and are beneficial, JOIN as a follower & invite your friends! :)  

Well, let's go ahead and get rolling. Yesterday's post really just floored me. To me, it was quite a revelation.  Quite a revelation that God truly wants us to get past having to "sacrifice" things in our life. That he wants to know He already has our Isaac, that He already has all of those things closest to our heart. And with Him already having ALL of those things it truly makes "sacrifice" a null thing. He already has it all. Then, it just gives us the opportunity to walk in the blessing, being directed by Him. I'm still getting stuff out of it! It's amazing how the written word can really make revelation jump out at you! Now today.... there was a TON of stuff in Proverbs 22... but, the Lord led me down a certain path.... it wasn't the "fun" path that "I" wanted to choose...but I guess He feels like it's an important one. So, if you have some steel-toed boots, you may want to get them out. I may be stepping on toes this morning! :( I guess ultimately it will be good. Let's get started...
Proverbs 22:7, 26-27 - The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Be not one of those who strike hands and pledge themselves, or of those who become security for another's debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take your bed from under you?
Proverbs 31:16b - ...with her savings she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
The American Way. That is a source of our conversation today. How "The American Way" is different from "The Biblical Way." So, as we read... we see how the borrower is servant to the lender. Or another plain way to put it is this.... the credit card owner who does not pay their balance off every month is a SLAVE to the credit card company. Here Martin Luther King went to great lengths for the Civil Rights movement... to bring about full freedom to the African American population and here we are, white & black alike, walking right back into the bondage of slavery. We have chosen to enslave ourselves. We have put the shackles on our wrists, the shackles on our ankles... we are marching in a straight line all the while typing quickly on our new iPhone, carrying our iPad or new NetBook. As we are walking in line, we turn around to see the person who is shackled behind us, and check it out... the lady behind us pushes up her Chanel sunglasses and slings her Kate Spade purse over her shoulder to show us her new Droid she is playing on. As she pulls out her Coach wallet, she says "Pick a Card, any card".... we see an array of credit cards, lots of pretty colors in lots of styles... Visa, MasterCard, Discover.... oooohhh and the pretty one..... American Express. She puts them back in her Kate Spade, and we all continue trudging along, chains clinking & dragging as we walk. 

As I was reading & listening to the Holy Spirit about this... hum.... what seems a bit of an "un-fun" topic, He revealed to me this: 
Amy, many people who have a $30,000 or $40,000 income will never have more. Not because I don't want to bless them with more, but because they can not manage what they have. They live beyond their means, not below their means. They seek to please themselves instead of pleasing Me. It takes having a plan. Most people do not have a plan so they will continue to live in the land of "not enough." I have laid out a plan for them. I have also laid out a plan through many men, many books. The resources are available. If people would become resourceful, I will lead them to what is right for them. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I am ready. Will My People ever decide to appear? 
If you know me or Tyler well, you know that we like quality things. I enjoy my Kate Spade diaper bag, Coach purse, Maui Jim sunglasses (and Coach sunglasses before they got lost in Las Vegas)... we enjoy quality things. We enjoy the best of life. And, I believe that the good things are made to enjoy. They are made especially for people like me (and you) who love the Lord, who are ministers of the Gospel (in our respective fields of work). I believe God WANTS us to have the best. Let me add this... those items above, we paid cash for. If it was on a credit card, it was paid off when the bill came in the mail. And for us.... most things are acquired after we have set and accomplished a goal. 

But let me be transparent... some of our mistakes..... maybe you can learn from & apply a solution now? Before resigning from my job in Corporate America, I made more than most people, more than the "average" income. When you added my income, my husbands income & the income of our business that we run.... that most definitely added up. Transparency: in retrospect, over the last 10 years if we could go back and do anything different, what could we have done differently during those years? It's one word, one plan, operating off a what? A BUDGET. 

Tyler was reading recently that out of a large selected group of millionaires, many of them brought home only between $70,000-$90,000/year. Well... obvious math, Tyler and I easily brought more than that home. What is different from these millionaires & Tyler & I? They had a plan. Yes... we were still living below our means, but without a true budget, without a true plan. As I was listening, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that many people have the ability and income to be millionaires, but never will be simply because they do not know how to handle the income they bring in now. They have NO plan. 

So, what did we decide to do? We decided to itemize our income & spending... as we looked through our bank statement, categorizing where money was going... we found what was not too surprising: $5.00 to fast food here, $15.00 to fast food there, $46.00 to a decent restaurant here, $35.00 to a decent restaurant there.... another $7.00 to Firehouse Sub here, a quick $8.00 to Chick-Fil-A there. Our money had quickly dwindled, disappeared with nothing much to show for it. Not much additional in savings. No "rocketing" investment portfolio. Not to mention our waistline increased as well. All due to one thing, Lack of Planning. Lack of a Budget. Lack of having groceries in the house, fruits & vegetables for a healthy snack, breads & meat for sandwiches.... healthy food for a good dinner. We were operating like the article said, and were indeed on our way to become a statistic. 

Resources are available. People that have been called by God to write anointed books & material in the realm of finances. They are there for you. 

We know that our Proverbs 31 friend was not a woman of the "World's Statistic." Not only did she buy land, own business'.... but we see in Proverbs 31:16 that she did have a SAVINGS. She did set money aside. Their is wisdom in setting money aside. Their is wisdom in preparing & planning. When the Lord does call you to complete your assignment, or brings you to the next position in life, will you have been prepared for it? If your assignment calls for money, He may not even move you to the next position in life until you are able to get your finances in order. 

I believe that the best of the best was made for Men & Women of God to have & use. But, I also believe that IF we are going to partake in these goods, we should be able to pay for it now. "The borrower is subject to the lender." I prefer not to put myself back in the shackles of bondage. I enjoy being out of debt. And I am excited to be on the path where we are responsible and diligent with what God has given us, so He is able to bless us with more. Like the servants who were given the "talents" (Matthew 25:14-30), the servant who buried his talent and did not increase it was called a "wicked & lazy servant." His master said: " least if you had put it on deposit with bankers I would have received it back with interest..."

I believe their are million dollar ideas, inventions, business', and books within the Men & Women of God. Money can do a lot of good thing. Will you be one that will be able to take care of more than just yourself. Will you be able to help others & bless others with your overflow? 

So... make a plan. Plan to take an inventory of your income. What comes in and what goes out. Make a budget. Use the "envelope system" if you need too.... put cash in an envelope... label them: "Groceries", "Date Night", "Bills", etc, until you get your finances under control. 

Make a plan. Set a budget. The best is there for you. Will you position yourself to have it? To stroke a check cash for that designer pocket book? For your next car? For your next house? Do you believe God can do it? I do.

Are you "planning" in order that you may prosper?


A few books that have helped us:

  • Richest Man in Babylon
  • Become a Millionaire God's Way
  • Trust God with your Finances

Monday, June 21, 2010

#20 - Past the Point of Sacrifice

We had such a great weekend. We spontaneously did go and meet new Baby Bella. She is so little. We enjoyed seeing Jill & Doug as they adjusted to the new life of parenthood. We obviously had a blast with Pop & Yaya (Tyler's parents). We also had the opportunity to spend some time visiting Grandmother & Granddaddy & Mama (maw-maw). A blessed weekend & a blessed Father's Day. Tyler Jr had Mama write a note to dad for Papa's Day & daddy started to cry. That's always fun when you can make a grown man cry out of joy. :) Just thought I'd share a few pictures with you and then we will dive in to this mornings devotion. 
SO CUTE! - So, there's Tyler Jr, Mama, Papa & Baby Bella... - I know Baby Bella is super cute IF you can get your eyes off of the DOLL BABY Tyler Jr! And his 2 little teeth. What a little ham! For 7 months, you would've thought he knew what it meant to say "Cheeeeeze!" I can hardly stand it! He's so cute. He is definitely Mama's little man. His Papa isn't too bad either! ;)

(left) Another Doll Baby picture of my boy. Cuter than a Gerber baby in Mama's opinion. He was sitting on Pop's Tractor! 
(right) Daddy & Jr riding the bike at Pop & Yaya's. The boy had such a good time. Of course any time that everyone just focuses on him is a good time! He definitely didn't lack on the attention this weekend!

Alright... there is a little insight into the life of Tyler & Amy McCart (and family). LOVE life! Before diving in to our verses for today...I read something interesting in the notes of my Bible...a specific call out to the young men out there, check this out: "...invaluable chapter that one realizes that it is first of all intended for young men. It is the mother's God-given task to provide youth with this information..." So, single men... if your mother did not teach you about this Proverbs 31 woman, it is now YOUR responsibility to study who she is, to study & know what she is all about, and if you are willing to wait for & believe for this Proverbs 31 woman, she can be YOUR WIFE! She can be all you ever wanted, needed, dreamed of. She can be the woman who you never thought was possible to be in existence... designed specifically for you, not only to meet your needs but to be SOOO much more than that. To excel, to stretch you, to make you look good among city leaders, to be more than a wife & mom doing dishes, cleaning dirty faces & doing laundry, but a LEADER, a business woman, and like David, a woman after God's own heart. Young Men, I challenge you to study this woman. She is there for you if you want it. But FIRST, would you recognize her if you saw her? If not, it is time to know, to learn who she is! And ladies, it is time to become this woman! Last but not least....moms, it is never too late to begin teaching your boys what to look for in his future wife... begin teaching him today! Small but true, slide in those truths about what his wife is going to be like. Let's go ahead and dive in this morning....
Proverbs 21:3 - To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Proverbs 31:29 - Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all. 
Where do I believe the Lord wants us to be? Where are we suppose to get too? I believe Proverbs 21:3 is taking us to a place of fullness. A place complete in every aspect. A place of love & devotion. In the Hebrew, the word "sacrifice" breaks down as some of the following words: sacrifices of righteousness, sacrifices of strife, sacrifices of dead things, the covenant sacrifice, annual sacrifice, thank offering. Those are what we are looking at as far as "sacrifice". Not that they are not "acceptable", but there is something even MORE ACCEPTABLE. I believe, MORE pleasing, MORE complete, MORE full. 

I believe Proverbs 21 is trying to take us to a deeper place. I believe Proverbs 21 is trying to take us to a place free of sacrifice, free of trying to "prove our love" or "commitment".... I believe that Proverbs 21:3 is trying to take us PAST the place where Abraham brought Isaac to the alter, where he was about to "sacrifice" what was most precious to him out of obedience (See Genesis 22). Abraham was proving to the Lord that HE was the most important. That HE was the truest source of his love. That above ALL else, Abraham was committed to his Father. The familiar story you know, Abraham continues in obedience, in faith that he will leave with his son ALIVE... all the while he binds his son, lays him on the alter, wood ready, knife in hand and just before Isaac is sacrificed, a ram appears in the thicket. Love has been proven. Faithfulness has been proven. I believe that is where Proverbs 21:3 is trying to take us. Past the sacrifice of your favorite food, past the sacrifice of chocolate, of TV, of internet... past the sacrifice of your love or passion. I believe Proverbs 21:3 is trying to take us to a place where our love has been proven. Where it is evident that ALL has been on the alter, and that our true love & focus is our relationship with our Heavenly Father. 

I believe it is a place where we are in tune...a place where "our thoughts become agreeable with His will, so our plans are established and succeed" (Proverbs 16:3 amp). I believe the ultimate goal is to be in a place where during your quiet time with the Lord, during YOUR time of study and YOUR time of listening to his voice, you are able to get out your planner and plan out your day. As you write down what you feel like you need to accomplish, you ask the Lord, "Is this what you would have me to do today? Am I missing anything? Am I on track to accomplish my assignment and why I was put here? Are my daily tasks what YOU would have me do Lord?" And then, there, as you quiet yourself and listen, in your mind you hear His voice.... at first you go back and forth within yourself thinking... "Is that just me? Am I thinking that? Are those just my thoughts?".... but you continue to allow yourself to be quiet and you hear, "I am pleased. You are beginning the process of allowing Me to lead your life. You are beginning down a path where you will experience blessing beyond what you could plan. As you put Me first, as you listen to Me, I will line up what you could not have imagined. Continue to listen. Continue to seek Me. I will direct your steps. I will take you to places you never even dreamed. Continue. Continue in Me."

What about our Proverbs 31 friend? It tells us she has arrived to that point. She is past the point of sacrifice. She has proven her love, her devotion, her commitment. It says she has excelled them ALL. Who has she excelled? My Bible lists out the women whom our Proverbs 31 woman has surpassed..... it is quite an extensive & impressive list...

  • Miriam, the one who led a nation's women in praise to God (Exodus 15:20-21)
  • Deborah, the patriotic military advisor (Judges 4:4-10)
  • Ruth, the woman of constancy (Ruth 1:16)
  • Hannah, the ideal mother (1 Samuel 1:20, 2:19)
  • Shunammite Woman, the hospitable woman (2 Kings 4:8-10)
  • Huldah, the woman who revealed God's secret message to national leaders (2 Kings 22:14)
  • Queen Esther, the woman who risked sacrificing her life for her people (Esther 4:16)
Our Proverbs 31 friend has excelled ALL of these women. 

So....what can be your take away from today? I really think it boils down to a deeper passion, a deeper love. Where you go past the point of sacrifice. Sacrifice may be required in order to get there. As YOU listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say to YOU, yes He may reveal an area of sacrifice that is needed. Maybe a love that you have that IS greater than your love for the Lord. An addiction that you have that is exalted above your walk with Him. The way you dress? You like to look pretty and right now showing off your "goods" has been a greater priority than dressing in a modest trendy fashion. Your association? You love the people you hang out with, you love the parties, the fast life, the  feeling of importance? Maybe the drugs, maybe the alcohol... or it could just be as subtle as an addiction to having to always KNOW what is going on in your Facebook world.... or having to be in the "know" with your blackberry messenger contacts? Only YOU know what it is for you. It may take sacrifice for you, and it may not. As you listen, you may just hear the Voice drawing you in, saying, "Come. Just come as you are. Just come. Come closer. Draw nearer. Just come."

Draw nearer to a point that your love has been proven... that as Proverbs 21:3 talks about, you are past the point of sacrifice. Your daily actions have been directed. You are walking & living in FULLNESS. You are in the CENTER of where the Lord wants you to be. You are on the path to pursuing what you were put on earth to pursue. You are walking in your calling! You are living in the center of your PURPOSE. Draw near to the Lord today. Come.

Social Sharing