Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#187 - Excel Them All!

Good morning! It's so good to be back! I'm enjoying my screened in back porch, the breeze, the sounds of birds & the aroma of hydrangea's & gardenia's. Wow. They smell amazing! I have finally started to get my sense of smell back. Being pregnant, for about the last 4 weeks my hormones have been a bit off and I haven't really been able to smell. Don't get me wrong, that was nice when it came to changing a dirty diaper.... but unfortunate for Junior, he would probably run around a little longer with it because I couldn't smell that it was dirty. Anyways.... smell is good! Something that I definitely realized I took for granted.

We had an amazing vacation and enjoyed a lot of time in the water and in the sun! Tyler Junior has been a little fishy for the last 9-10 days, and he definitely has a cute little tan (despite the fact that he had spf 60 on all week!) I'm excited to get back into the word with you, and today seems like a perfect day. The 31st. It really allows us to dive into the whole chapter of Proverbs 31, who this woman really is, and discovering our role in it all. Let's jump in.
Proverbs 31:1 - THE WORDS of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother taught him...
Proverbs 31:30 - Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!
Proverbs 9:10 - The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding.
Proverbs 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
I believe as women, when we read Proverbs 31:10-31 and we begin to understand a little bit of the depth of this godly woman, our first instinct is to want to work on ourselves. As we read down through the verses, we want to work on becoming all we can be, striving to mirror the attributes of this Proverbs 31 woman, this Ultimate Woman. I think that is the first and most obvious take away as we read this chapter. One that may not be quite as obvious is one that takes us back up to verse one in Proverbs 31. Who is the speaker & who is directing these thoughts & descriptions of this woman? It is a mother speaking to her son. The obligation of a mother to share with her son what he should be looking for in a woman, ultimately his wife. King Lemuel here has taken heed the advice of his mother, he has obviously recalled it because he is able to recount it, so his mother must have made it a priority to teach & re-teach the godly characteristics that he should be looking for in his wife. The message here to us? The obvious, work on ourselves and becoming this godly Proverbs 31 woman. Secondly and often not practiced as much, teaching who this woman is to our sons. Teaching who this woman is to our daughters. Taking the time, as we raise up godly little warriors in our boys, to teach them what exactly they are looking for in their mate. Sure, it may be 20-25 years before they will really be applying the things they have learned, or looking for these qualities, but as with King Lemuel being able to easily recount what is mother had taught him, repetition in who "she" is will allow our sons to one day marry a strong partner, a godly woman, a woman who does "excel them all" (Proverbs 31:29).

Who is she? She is a woman who fears the Lord, respects the Lord, worships the Lord. As we look at Proverbs 31:30, we can see that, but more importantly, we can go back to Proverbs 9:10 and see the significance of it! Reverent & worshipful fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of Wisdom! The chief part of Wisdom! This reverent & worshipful fear of the Lord leads our Proverbs 31 woman to gain Wisdom. To gain the most important attribute that essentially leads to almost all other things, decisions & outcomes. The fact that she has attained Wisdom, allows us to know in her daily dealings with purchasing real estate, working with people, planting a vineyard, whatever she is doing on that day she is proceeding with Wisdom. Wisdom attained by fearing/respecting the Lord.

I remember hearing a quote that is pretty powerful by Eleanor Roosevelt, one that I'm sure our Proverbs 31 woman also abides by, it says: "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." Proverbs 31:27 tells us that this Ultimate Woman does not take part in gossip, in talking about other people. She does not take part in idle chatter, but steers clear of it. She does not even allow herself to wallow in self-pity or discontentment. She straps on her boots & just "gets over it!" Surely she addresses situations that need addressed, but self-pity is not something that she allows herself to take part of. She changes her situation. By Wisdom, she allows herself to be directed to make the necessary changes so that self-pity & discontentment does not have to be a part of her life. She is led & directed by Wisdom. The outcome? A life that she loves. A life that she can enjoy. A life that she can "taste & see" that it is good (Proverbs 31:18)!

Wherever you are at today, take an evaluation. Are you a mother? Are you single female? Single male? Father? Single women, married women, take the time to daily work at becoming this woman. Take the time to seek out and attain the reverent fear & respect of the Lord so all your dealings can be done in Wisdom. Take the time to work on becoming this Proverbs 31 woman, not just for success but to be an example. If you have children or plan to, one day your son will be looking to you for an example in what he wants or does not want in his wife. Mothers, it's never to early or to late to begin teaching your sons & daughters who this Proverbs 31 woman is. What a son should one day look for in his wife, and what a daughter should aspire to duplicate. Fathers, you're not off the hook. You can equally teach your sons  what they should be looking for in a wife and teach your daughters the values in striving to become all God has called her to be. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, aspire to excel them all! With Wisdom ALL things are possible. With God, ALL things are possible! Today, begin to teach your children the qualities of a godly young man or a godly young woman. It's never to late to teach them the godly way to excel!


Vacation Pictures 
What fun!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vacation! Yippee!

Good morning! I pray you are doing well. This week I am on vacation! Wow! Really?!? Yep! Enjoying the sun, sand, beach, pool, family, naps, reading, relaxed time.....etc!

I may completely take off from posting a blog each morning......BUT there could be mornings where I just can't help but post all the good things I'm learning. Soooo....stay tuned, check back.... If you don't see new posts then you just know I'm getting a nice tan. ;)

Have a blessed week!
Amy J. McCart-Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, May 20, 2011


Going to enjoy my DOR today! :) Yippee! I think I may go see a movie! :)

Have a great day & enjoy your weekend! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#186 - Obtain FAVOR!

Good morning! Well... I just wanted to give you all a "potential" heads up. It seems like lately there have been several issues with posting to "blogspot." I am currently sending this post via email. Some mornings "blogspot" comes up with errors when posting, causing and inconvenient additional time spent trying to remedy the problem. I have been considering switching sites for a long time, but... now may be the time I actually "jump" ship. "Wordpress" is another common blog posting site, so I may export all the devotions, and continue there. Regardless, you will always have the ability to just go too: www.amyjmccart.com and it will take you out to the devotion for the day. 

I just wanted to give you a "pre-warning" that those changes may be coming soon. I don't want to catch you off guard! :) Enough with the "techy" stuff, let's go ahead and get into the Word. 
Proverbs 18:22 - He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 31:12 - She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.
Maybe there are others like this, but when I am reading a verse, in the back of my mind my thoughts typically go to this thought: "OK, how does this apply to me?" OR "What's in it for me?" Now... please put your stones down, I don't claim to be perfect by any means, and maybe it's wrong or selfish of me to think that, but it is what it is. 

I looked up the word "true" in the dictionary. Here are some definitions: real, sincere, not deceitful, genuine, authentic. For all intensive purposes, Tyler found me, at least, ultimately he chose me to be his bride! I believe he found a TRUE wife. I am real, sincere, not deceitful, genuine & authentic. The benefit for my husband? He obtains FAVOR from the Lord. The Hebrew further describes "favor" as: pleasure, delight, goodwill, acceptance, will, desire. By a man, let's say Tyler, or for you, your husband, Our Husbands obtain FAVOR from the Lord because of us. Because they found a true wife, you, a wife not deceitful or insincere, a wife who is genuine & authentic.... because of these very reasons, they obtain GOODWILL from the LORD, they obtain their DESIRES from the Lord, the obtain DELIGHT from the Lord, they obtain ACCEPTANCE from the Lord. We can THANK GOD every day for FAVOR for our husbands & our families just because of the mere fact our husband chose us! 

Now... let me ask you kind of a stupid question. When something good happens to your husband, does it spill off into affecting YOUR life? Absolutely. If he gets a raise at his job, does it affect your life? Sure! You may be able to pay debt off quicker, upgrade your car, go on a vacation, bless others... a number of things. When good things happen to your spouse, you are an automatic bystander who is affected. Your family, your children, they are affected when good things happen. So, our husbands receiving FAVOR is a very GOOD thing! 

Something the Proverbs 31 woman does additionally, she adds icing on the cake. She comforts, encourages & does her husband good as long as she lives, "til death do us part." She is blessing her husband daily. She is encouraging him & comforting him. She is his best friend and confidant. She is playing into this "FAVOR" verse quite perfectly. Back to one of my potentially selfish thoughts.... "What's in it for me?" When I encourage my husband....let's take last night for example. We were apart for awhile and had a conversation via our Blackberry Messanger... I went on telling him all of these things that were his strengths. How he is so naturally good with people and people love him. How he is a born leader. How I've always been impressed with his hunger to learn! He's always reading a book or studying something. How he is an amazing public speaker, and has a great way of just capturing an audience. I wasn't telling him these things out of a selfish motive, I was just wanting him to hear his strengths again. I wanted to encourage him, lift him up. What happens in turn? As Tyler is "FAVORED" in all areas of his life, He wants to bring me, his wife, and family along with him to his place of favor. We are the people he wants to share it with. He's not interested in sharing his "received favor" with some "Cute girl at his Corporate Headquarters," he's interested in staying TRUE to his WIFE because he found a GOOD THING. He found a woman who would encourage and comfort him all the days of his life! 

A true wife? Favor is sure to follow! Believe for FAVOR today  for your spouse. Speak blessings into his life. Thank God that HE HAS FAVOR! Speak OUTLOUD that He would have favor as he is out, favor as he is in his workplace, favor in his income. THANK GOD for it! It says it in the WORD! If it says it in the WORD, put your Stamp on it! Call it done! By SPEAKING it OUTLOUD, you bring GOD into remembrance of HIS WORD! 

"Thank You Father that MY HUSBAND has favor today! Thank You that he has favor with his boss! Thank You that he has favor with people that he meets. Thank You the you put him in the right place at the right time to receive Your awesome favor! Thank You that he is favored in his income and that his income is increased! Thank You that YOUR FAVOR overwhelms him in every area of his life. Your Favor brings blessings & increase, joy, health, fullness, opportunity & prosperity. Thank You for YOUR FAVOR!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#185 - You are Valuable!

Good morning! Woke up hungry... so, guess what?! I put some cinnamon rolls in the oven! Yum! Not an every day or every week occurrence, but it sure is yummy to have a treat like that every once and awhile. :)  If you are not following me on twitter (@amyjmccart) or Facebook... you may not have the update from our appointment yesterday. We had a great ultrasound and enjoyed watching baby kick and move... drum roll please.... the news is, we are having a baby girl! :) Our Trin-Trin is on her way! Trinity Faith is her name. We are so excited to meet her. We've talked about her for so long, in many ways we feel like we already know her... along with her younger brother & sister (Timothy & Taylor). About 9 years ago, shortly after Tyler & I got married, for some reason we decided to begin praying for our "yet to be conceived" children. We began praying, and even went ahead and named them. Tyler Junior, Trinity Faith, Timothy Isaac-Josiah & Taylor Liberty. Over the last 9-10 years as we have prayed for them (and their spouses), it's as if we have gotten to know them, like their personalities & gifts have even taken shape...well, at least become known to us. The amazing thing is, they have always been, before we even prayed, they were. If you remember in Jeremiah 1:5, it says, "Before I formed you in your mothers womb, I knew you." Our children are already meant to be, God already has a plan for them, they were predestined to be on this earth. God said, before He even formed them, HE knew them! He already has put giftings inside them, He already has a plan & calling for their life, He has already placed a sense of humor or strong personality inside them. God already knows them and they have been created for GREATNESS! Anyways... we are excited to meet Trinity and excited to watch her blossom into an awesome woman of God. A long enough intro!?! :) Let's get into some Word!
Proverbs 31:10 (KJV) - Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
When I study the Bible, I have a parallel Bible. It reads the King James Version (KJV) in one column and the Amplified Bible in the other. In most devotions, I quote scripture out of the Amplified Bible. I feel like it typically gives a broader idea of the full context of the verse. It often puts in parenthesis meanings of words in their original Greek or Hebrew, and to me, it just gives me a fuller picture. I've read Proverbs 31:10 so many times in the amplified, that today I decided to just begin again reading down through the KJV.  One word caught my attention. Price. Price. Price. It is talking about a person here. It is talking about "HER" price. The "Price" of the Proverbs 31 woman. Her price! The word "price" just really caught my attention.

Have you ever had the opportunity to do some work, but the amount you were going to get paid did not seem worth your time? Maybe you had the opportunity to "make money" or spend time with your grandchildren, or spend time with your husband. Maybe it was even "make money" or take a nap! Sometimes a nap is something we could all use! "Price" jumped out at me because I just recently had that opportunity. I could do some work for "x" price. I'm always for a few extra dollars, and I wouldn't call me lazy.... but I must say, finding out the "price" made me look at my time and evaluate it. Is the "price" worth my "time?" What is my "price"? What am I worth?

Here in Proverbs 31:10, we see that the Proverbs 31 woman is valued HIGH above rubies. FAR above rubies! Her worth is much greater! In a world where material possessions are looked upon as "great value" and keeping up with the "Joneses" has been the motto for most people as they chase down success, I heard a story recently that put things more in perspective. A now successful business woman told of what it was like when she got started. Her business floundering, little success, but she continued in the pursuit. She would see a nice car, a BMW or Mercedes, and not wanting to be what she classified as "materialistic", she determined that she didn't want to own one of those. She would see a big, nice house, 4000-5000 square feet. She determined, it was too big, she did not want to be materialistic. She would see nice jewelry, and determine she didn't need it, she did not want to be materialistic. Only later to realize that all the while she was being materialistic. Here she would walk into a car dealership, and she would see her own self worth or value as LESSER than the value of that $50,000 car. She would see the nice house, and see herself as LESSER value than the house. She would see the jewelry, and see herself as LESSER value than the jewelry. It wasn't about being materialistic, it was about the small value she was placing on her own worth. Her "price" on herself was very small. She did not see herself as worth much, of great value.

Here, in Proverbs 31:10, we see that this Proverbs 31 woman, her VALUE, her PRICE is FAR above that of rubies! Her worth is FAR GREATER than those precious stones. I found some interesting information. The worlds largest ruby has been found weighing over 8.2 pounds and is 18, 696 carats. A little bigger than the traditional 1 carat "diamond" ring. No price has been put on this stone, but the highest "priced" ruby coming in at 302 carats has a price-tag attached of $500,000.* Look at our Proverbs 31 friend, her price is FAR ABOVE that of rubies! Her value is far greater!

Friend, YOU are also worth FAR greater than rubies & precious gems! Do you realize that YOU are God's most prized possession!?! YOU! That you are greater than the value of ANY gem, stone, diamond. Your value is GREATER than the largest house or castle. Your value is greater than the BMW or the Mercedes AMG that you see driving down the road. YOU! YOUR VALUE is much greater than ANY of those things! YOU are worth MORE than ALL of those things combined! YOU, wherever you are sitting right now are such a great investment to God, He sees such great potential in you that He was willing to give up His most precious gift for YOU! He gave up that which was closest to Him so that YOU would have a chance at life. So that YOU would be able to pursue your dreams. YOU would be able to have children & laugh with them. Watch them ride a bike or be silly at the dinner table. He wanted YOU to have a chance to pursue those things which make you happy, see you succeed as a seamstress or business owner,  teacher, actor, model, writer, cook, inventor, public speaker. He sees so much in YOU that He gave up everything so that you would have a chance to live. Your value is so great! Your value, like the Proverbs 31 woman, exceeds that of rubies. Your value is priceless.

Today, know that a love runs deep for you. Today, pursue those dreams you have knowing that YOUR VALUE is greater than all the possessions available. See yourself in the house or car. You are of greater value than it! The house on the river with the quiet trickling sound, the big kitchen, the large family room to entertain, it's value is not greater than YOU. Dream again! Let your dreams come back alive! Dream again! God is no respecter of persons. It's His desire to bless you and see you succeed. You are Valuable!

Monday, May 16, 2011

#184 - Walk Away PROFITABLE Every Time!

Buenos dias! Well, today is an exciting day! We go to have an ultrasound and "officially" find out that we are having a girl! We've always believed that our "Trinity" would be #2, so it will be fun to get to see her and hear the "official" word from the Doctor today! Yippee! So dad, Junior & I will have an exciting appointment! Tyler Junior is going to be a big brother! How fun!

Well how about it? Let's get started in some Word.
Proverbs 16:3 - Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed
Proverbs 31:16 (NLT) - She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
Isn't the Word awesome?! This morning I was just really reminded of how much of an entrepreneur our Proverbs 31 friend is. We know that she is the "Complete Package", and included in that, she is a "Business Woman!" Isn't that interesting. She is smart.

The New Living Translation tells us that our Proverbs 31 friend is "profitable" in her dealings. Those exploits that she pursues, she is making money, she is progressing, she is moving forward. When we look back to Proverbs 16:3, we can see how one can be successful in any endeavor, let's take another look.
  1. Roll your works on the Lord - The first part of our assignment as we pursue a new endeavor or a business venture, an idea, is to roll that idea, roll that business venture, roll that thought onto the Lord. What does that mean? How are we to do that? The amplified version gives us a bit more insight on exactly that, it tells us to "COMMIT" that idea and "TRUST" that idea wholly to the Lord. "Wholly" in the dictionary is defined: entirely, altogether, totally, completely, without exception, exclusively. The "works" or "ideas" that we have, the "pursuits" that we want to chase, the "business concept" that we want to launch out into must FIRST and FOREMOST be committed to the Lord. Once it is committed and entrusted to the Lord, take a look what happens to it! Take a look what HE does with that idea, business venture, thought...
  2. He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will - So, as we commit the thought or idea to the Lord, He begins to change things. The idea goes forth, we daily commit and remind Him of our trust in Him with the idea, we expect Him to further clarify and fine-tune the idea.... and look what He does! He not only clarifies and fine-tunes the thought, the idea, the business venture He does something even BETTER! He makes OUR THOUGHTS in regards to this idea, our thoughts in regards to the business venture, He makes OUR THOUGHTS to come into agreement with His will. Areas that we may have had things a little bit off or wrong, they get tweaked. Our thoughts are changed and perfected to be like HIS thoughts! The good news? His thoughts are PERFECT and His thoughts and His plans always succeed! So? What happens next? 
  3. Our plans are established & succeed - Wha-la! Like a perfect batch of cookies coming out of the oven, our plans are successful! Like the Proverbs 31 woman, "our dealings are profitable!" Tell me this, WHO doesn't start a business but to be profitable?! That is the goal! People don't start a business to fail. People don't start a business to loose money. People start a business to succeed, to be profitable. The missing link in most failed business'? I would bet you could guess. The LACK of rolling the business or idea onto the Lord. The LACK of allowing our thoughts about the business to come into line with the Lord's thoughts for it.
How can we assure our success? Follow the above steps. I once heard a minister say that he NEVER has lost any money in ANY business investment! WOW! Outside of his ministry, he is a millionaire. Why? Because He allowed the LORD to be his counselor. In an economic downturn, his bankers advised him to do certain things with his financial portfolio. He took in what they said and told them, "Let me pray about it, I will get back with you." He left, He prayed about it. He brought it before the Lord and came back to meet with his bankers. In turn he told them, "No, I don't want to do what you are recommending... this, this and this. I would like you to do this ________." He had them move money into certain areas that made no sense to them. They were recommending their other high profile clients to do things completely different. Well... do you know what? Not long after, those very bankers came back to him and said, "Sir, do you realize out of ALL of our clients and ALL of our portfolios, everyone lost money but you! You were the only one who gained and increased during this economic time. Maybe we should have taken advice from you on what to do with everyone's money."

Praise the Lord! Everything about the Lord is about making us increase and prosper! He is not a God of lack. He is not a God of subtraction and division. He is a God of addition and multiplication. When we really COMMIT & TRUST our ways and plans to Him, when we really seek Him and allow Him to fine-tune our thinking, HE WILL! He will give us exactly the information to succeed & like the Proverbs 31 woman to walk away profitable!

Friday, May 13, 2011

#183 - Trust & Patience

Good morning! This morning Tyler had coffee with a few Christian businessmen. He came home encouraged and excited. Great fellowship & friendship does a heart good. I did not have the opportunity to get together with other Christians to fellowship this morning, but let me just say, Praise the Lord the Jesus sent the Holy Spirit that we could fellowship with Him always! Day & night, anytime. So this morning, as I sat whining to the Lord about several things, He encouraged me. As I sat, questioning Him, my life, my purpose, my progress, He encouraged me. Sure, I must say, it is wonderful to have Christian friends to encourage you and lift you up, but when those people aren't readily available to just pour into you, Praise the Lord that we can go to the Word for encouragement. We can go into prayer for encouragement. We can turn our eyes off of ourselves and pray for a brother or sister in Christ for encouragement. We can pray for the lost for encouragement. We can take our eyes off of ourselves and send a note of encouragement to someone else. It's amazing how things like that all can help. But, Praise the Lord, that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, our spirits are re-born, and we now have the Holy Spirit living inside us ALL OF THE TIME! We are never alone & never far from encouragement that we may need. What a blessing. How divine that God thought of something that great! That we truly are never alone! Let's jump into the Word now...
Proverbs 13:1a - A WISE son heeds [and is the fruit of] his father's instruction and correction... 
Proverbs 13:22b - ...the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up. 
Proverbs 31:13 - She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].
So... as I was whining to the Lord this morning, the main question that He kept asking me over and over was this, "Will you trust me? Will you trust me? Will you just trust?" I came back with "But Father..." and continued on with all of my reasons why He was taking too long... why this and why that. Then, the first verse I read after my whining was, "A wise son heeds his father's instruction." My Father has amazing blessings that have ALREADY been LAID UP for me! The question is, WILL I TRUST? Will I trust His timing? Will I trust HIS way of doing things? Will I trust HIS plan? I was whining last night too... I sat and journaled until I fell asleep. This morning He just reminded me, "My strength is made sufficient in your weakness." He reminded me, "Will you allow MY strength to shine through? Will you allow ME to show you My strength?" I don't know how you are in all situations, but I personally don't like to be weak. I'm not sure what it is about me, maybe it's all the books I've read, maybe it's my knowledge of how important a Positive Mental Attitude is, how important positive confession is, or who I'm married to. It could be a combination of them all... but I've never liked to let my "armor" appear weak. I don't want my countenance to appear weak. The greater One lives inside me, therefore I am strong! Nonetheless, it was a good reminder, "My strength is made sufficient in your weakness." Will I allow Him to be my strength? Absolutely. 
While He is my strength, I will continue on like the Proverbs 31 woman. I noticed that she "seeks out" her materials she needed, she "works with willing hands." She does not passively wait around and do nothing. She continues to "seek out." She continues to "work to develop." Marching orders for Amy? (1) Trust. Trust that He has things under control. (2) Work. Work like I trust Him. Work like I believe that He is finishing the work that He started in me. (3) Rely. Rely on His strength. Allow myself to be vulnerable to His strength and not just count on myself. He is ultimately in control. 
Finally, I wanted to finish up with a story. Yesterday and this morning I was remembering about the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. I remember reading about it, as well as hearing someone speak about it once. I pulled an excerpt from Charlie Dexter that I thought was really good, and encouraging! Check out his website to read the full article. 
"Zig Ziglar, the famous motivational speaker, once told the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. It seems that this tree when planted, watered, and nurtured for an entire growing season doesn't outwardly grow as much as an inch. Then, after the second growing season, a season in which the farmer takes extra care to water, fertilize and care for the bamboo tree, the tree still hasn't sprouted. So it goes as the sun rises and sets for four solid years. The farmer and his wife have nothing tangible to show for all of their labor trying to grow the tree.
Then, along comes year five.
In the fifth year that Chinese bamboo tree seed finally sprouts and the bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet in just one growing season! Or so it seems….
Did the little tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew. The same principle is true for people. People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success, while get-rich- quickers and lottery winners usually are unable to sustain unearned sudden wealth."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#181 - A Way of Life for Others

Good morning! I pray you are blessed today! We are excited about a blessed day, being led and directed by the Lord and being in the right place at the right time! God has great things for you too today, are you ready? 

Let's get in the Word...
Proverbs 10:4 - He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
Proverbs 10:16a-17 - The earnings of the righteous (the upright, in right standing with God) lead to life....17 He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray [but also] causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others.
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]. 
Wow... this morning I was reminded of what continued to bring me to tears just over a week ago. I had the opportunity to attend a conference where I witnessed about one thousand people on a Sunday morning give their life to Christ. To watch as young and old made their way down coliseum steps to make a bold proclamation that they were committing their life to Jesus was enough to make tears roll down my eyes... but that was just the icing on the cake that morning. Earlier an offering was taken up for several different ministries, one of those ministries was for a music group called Day One. Day One introduced a new project they were working on called Operation Haiti. We watched a video that brought me to tears, and the tears kept coming for the next several days... even just thinking about it brings tears. The video showed children after the earthquake wandering the streets of Haiti for food. On the screen flashed a child, maybe 1 year old, or 18 months old, wandering the streets for food. No home, no family, no care, nothing. As I sat there thinking about my almost 18 month old son, Tyler Junior, I could help but picture my son there. Roaming for food, putting anything in his mouth hoping that it would be something good. It was amazing to me. I just couldn't help but think, these kids are special too. Just like Tyler Jr is so precious and special to me, these children are also special. They also deserve a chance. 

I cried further as an offering was taken up, not being able to give the amount of money that I wanted. I just wanted it to be for more. I wanted to give more, to do more, to help more, to make more of an impact, to provide food & shelter for these children roaming the streets. 

The verses this morning provide us with HOPE, that when we are diligent, it does matter! 
The hand of the diligent makes rich.... The earnings of the righteous lead to life.... He who heeds instruction is not only himself in the way of life, but is also a way of life for others...
We look at the life of the Proverbs 31 woman, she opens up FILLED hands to the poor, she is helping the needy in a variety of ways. Be it with food or shelter, emotional support, love, she is a beacon of light to the poor. 

It reminds me of other verses, "The Lord give us POWER TO GET WEALTH." "The wealth of the wicked is stored up for the just." The list could go on. I feel like we, as believers have a RESPONSIBILITY. A responsibility to be more and do more, to achieve more. God has ideas just WAITING for a believer who will take hold of it and run with it. Ideas, inventions, business' that will create great wealth and in turn will allow US, Children of God to give to the needy, to help the poor. It should not be up to the government to tax us on this or that to raise money, but in the Bible the body of Christ did it! They were not mandated to pay money into a program, they supported children and widows, poor and needy who could not provide for themselves. The BODY did that. I'm just reminded of the great opportunities that we have here in the U.S. Opportunities to make ideas a reality. There are not a shortage of Million Dollar Ideas.... they are there! There is not a shortage of talent.... there are cooks and bakers, seamstresses & designers who have not been discovered yet.... who are sitting in a cubicle somewhere entering data into a spreadsheet and doing something COMPLETELY unfulfilling with their life. Not operating in their gift, but just making a dollar bill. There is not a shortage of Million Dollar Business', business ideas are out there! Business' that are going to succeed! Business' that people need, that is going to provide a great service or product! The ideas are out there, there is no shortage. 

I'm reminded of a verse in Isaiah 6:8 that says, "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Sure, there are people needed to GO. Missionaries needed to GO. But... there are also people who are equally important on that mission field, sure they may be in the comfort of their own home, but they are the people that are PROVIDING! SUPPLYING the funds! SUPPORTING! There are people equally important who maybe aren't called to work in an orphanage in Haiti, but you are called to fund it. You are called to create wealth with the talents God has given you. YOU can be a way of life to others!

Receive your idea! Receive your invention! Receive your business! Now, take hold, have faith, pray, listen and GO!

Monday, May 9, 2011

#180 - Reverent Fear of the Lord

Good morning! Happy belated Mother's Day to all you moms out there! :) I pray you had a great day. I had a great day getting to spend time with my two favorite boys! :) Tyler Sr & Tyler Jr!

OK... let's get going today... more of a look into the life of who this Proverbs 31 woman is...
Proverbs 9:10a-11 - The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom... 11For by me [Wisdom from God] your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life shall be increased.
Proverbs 31:30 - Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! 
In Proverbs 9:10, the Hebrew further describes "fear" as: awesome thing, respect, reverence, piety. We're talking about having the utmost respect for the God Most High! The King of Kings. Though we can cry "Abba Father" and cry out to him as a Father figure, we also have a healthy respect for Him, there is a humility that would cause us to bow at His feet because He is so great. A worshipful respect, a worshipful honor, to hold Him up, highly exalted. This is honoring to our Father. I'm just briefly reminded of how Sarah called Abraham "lord" with a lower case "l". Now, don't get me wrong... I'm not going around calling Tyler, "lord", but the same feeling behind it is one of respect. A respect and honor. I know I have times with Tyler, where he is more of the person where I sit on his lap and get a hug, but equally so, I know he values and appreciates it when I show him respect as head of the home. When I value his opinion and recommendations instead of always "questioning" or "second guessing."

Bottom line, what is a great benefit to having a reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord? Proverbs 9:11 lets us know the great news! Those who fear the Lord, honor Him, respect Him, THEIR days shall be multiplied, the years of their life will be increased! Imagine this... living a good life, living a long life because you are a "good person", but then you add honor, respect, fear of the Lord to the equation and the already decently "long life" that you have is extended! Your years are increased! Time with loved ones is extended! Time to accomplish great things for the Kingdom, time to pour into your grandchildren or great grandchildren is increased. TIME. Fearing & honoring the Lord gives you a precious commodity that so many people long for more of, TIME!

Our Proverbs 31 friend has figured out a way to accomplish this. Proverbs 31:29 tells us that SHE excels them all! She excels ALL women! Verse 30 explains WHO will be praised. It's not the woman with a 6-pack set of abs, though our Proverbs 31 friend is in good health and physically fit. But it is the person who above all else, honors, respects & fears the Lord.

I took time this morning to just think about what that really means. What does it mean to "fear" the Lord, or show Him "reverence." I came up with a list that I think is a good start. Let me know what you would add.... what do you think?

  • Obedience - One who is obedient to His Word shows him honor and respect. One who follows His commandments for our life. 
  • Study - One who honors Him by KNOWING and STUDYING His Word. His direction for our life. 
  • Love - I'm reminded of Jesus talking in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. In Matthew 5, Jesus talks about loving those who love you, don't even SINNERS do that? Jesus says, "But I tell you, Love your enemies & pray for those who persecute you." Later it talks about whatever you do for someone else, it is as if you are doing it TO Jesus himself. How are you treating even your enemies? Those people who get under your skin? The potential "thorn" in your side... how are you praying for them? Are you wishing evil upon them? Are you even praying for them? What does your heart look like when you pray for them? Ask God to give you compassion for them, to show you more into why they are acting as they are. 
  • Praise - Honor & fearing the Lord through praising Him! Thanking Him. Through song, through your words, through offering thanks. 
Honor, respect, fear, obedience... I desire to let my Father know that I honor Him above all else. That I don't put anything in front of Him. That I fear Him out of respect. I humble myself out of respect for ALL He has done for me. For sending His ONLY Son just for me! In return, He blesses me & you even further by increasing the years of our life. What a blessing. 

So... today... can you attempt to honor, respect or fear the Lord in at least ONE way? Show Him today that above all else, like the Proverbs 31 woman, that you too have a reverent & worshipful fear of the Lord. 

Why the Numbers?

Hello! :)

So, are you curious whey there are numbers beside each devotional? Well.... here it is, the plan is 365. Creating a devotion for the year, so my husband thought it'd be a good idea to add #'s to the beginning of each. Once completed.... maybe before, but at least by 365, the plan is to turn these devotions into a book. Keep the comments coming. Some comments may be highlighted in the final book, so make sure to let me know what you are thinking!

Have a blessed week! Happy MONDAY! :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

#179 - Hold the THIEF Accountable!

Good morning! It's going to be a blessed day here in SC, what about where you are?? Let's jump right into the Word this morning!
Proverbs 6:30-31 - Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; But if he is found out, he must restore seven times [what he stole]; he must give the whole substance of his house [if necessary--to meet his fine].
The thief! Another verse that immediately jumps to my mind when thinking about the "thief" is John 10:10,  "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." Who is the thief? Most often known as Satan! He is the thief and out to steal whatever he can get his hands on, it it makes us unhappy, he is after it. If it takes our focus off of our calling on our life, he is after it. If it puts us in strife & anger, he is after it. Satan comes to steal, kill & destroy, and IF we let him, that is exactly what he will do. 

I remember several years ago, Tyler's car was broken into. The broke the window, tried to unsuccessfully steal his CD player from the dash, but they did get away with a set of golf clubs & his new iPod. He was obviously upset about it. He's not much of a golfer, so he wasn't too distraught over those, but he had just got his iPod and was really upset about that. Being the "techy" that he is, he had downloaded several books, Success CD's, songs, etc onto the iPod and was using it a lot. Though the iPod was a gift, it was adding a ton of knowledge to him as he was working out, driving, or just out and about. Tyler was constantly putting good stuff in him. 

Several days after the iPod was stolen, he was still really upset. The police hadn't found the thief yet, and we weren't totally holding our breath on that happening. Then... I had an idea. I said to Tyler, "Why don't you just sow the iPod and bless the person who took it." We know how sowing and reaping works, and when you sow you can expect 30, 60, 100 times back what you have sown. BUT, we also knew about Proverbs 6:31. He blessed the PERSON that stole it, but the spirit behind the person that stole it was Satan. Satan is the thief! And we were holding Satan accountable to what the Word said! Satan was going to have to repay 7-fold of what he had stolen because that's what it said in the Word! Satan had to repay SEVEN TIMES the cost of the iPod, as well as the cost of the knowledge Tyler was gaining from what he had downloaded!

The rest of the story? A few weeks had gone by, and we were still thanking God for a successful outcome. We were thanking God for the victory. Wouldn't you know it, Tyler received a phone call. The  company we work with had chosen Tyler among thousands of people to help pilot a program with cell phone applications. In being a part of this program he would receive a free iPhone and free service for 6 months. Now, this was when the iPhone was brand new and very expensive. It was most definitely the hottest thing on the market at the time and not many people had it. That along with the free service for 6 months added up to being a lot. We didn't add up the total value, but believe it was probably close to 7 times what had been stolen from him. 

The Word works when you WORK THE WORD! God's Word is true ALL the time, we just have to first KNOW the Word and then Work the Word through confession and continually meditating on the Word day and night. 

Has the enemy stolen from you? Hold him to repaying! Don't just let him ride off with a "free car" or "free TV" or "business partners" or whatever it is that he has stolen! Satan is accountable to the WORD OF GOD! Expect that YOU will receive a 7-fold return for what he has stolen from you! Stand strong, and watch your victory come! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

#178 - JOY!

Good morning! It's a nice morning here, a bit of a cool morning, but I anticipate it will turn into a warm day. The joys of living in the south! :)

Let's get started:
Psalm 30:5b - Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
As I was reading through Proverbs 5 this morning... the verses that really jumped out at me were Proverbs 5:21 & 23. Proverbs 5:23 went on to say, "He will die for lack of discipline & instruction..." As I read that, even though it was the main scripture that jumped out... as I took some time to just listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, I just kept hearing, "Joy comes in the morning. Joy. Joy. Joy comes in the morning." The phrase repeated in my ears.

I sat on this subject of "joy," I took some time to reflect on what all I have to be joyful about. An amazing husband, an awesome, funny son, a baby on the way (Trin), a home to live in, an awesome family, a business, the ability to stay home with Tyler Jr, God as my Provider.... I have so much to be joyful about. Just last night before going to bed, I was reading and read an excerpt about a man complaining about having no shoes until he beheld a man on the street with no feet.

Have you felt like weeping has endured long enough? The night has seemed to drag on, the weeping, exhausting? Joy comes in the morning. Allow today to be the day for joy. Allow today to be the day where you just let your hair down. I envision cranking up your favorite CD in the car with your favorite happy song on, putting the windows down and just driving. Singing. Belting out the lyrics, tune of no importance. Just finding that place of joy. Being spontaneous. Stopping to get your favorite ice cream... a cone, or blizzard, a yummy McFlurry. Whatever it is, allowing it to be a spontaneous day. If it can't be a day.... maybe it's just a spontaneous stop, or spontaneous hour. Taking a long lunch break to catch a matinee, a fun afternoon movie!

Joy comes in the morning. I am praying that today would be your morning. It would be the morning YOUR joy comes. Weeping has endured too long. We only have today, today. We are creating our story, creating our legacy now, we may as well enjoy the journey & do it with joy.

May today you experience your joy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

#177 - Complete Focus!

Good afternoon! :) We've had an eventful morning with one of Tyler Juniors little friends being over for awhile. They are like two peas in a pod! So funny to watch play together, tackle each other &... well... the occasional "toy snatching" has been a re-occurring theme. Nap time is officially upon us so the house is nice & quiet!

Let's jump into some Word today:
Proverbs 4:25-26 - Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright.
Proverbs 31:16, 24, - She considers a new field before she buys it...  she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.... She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them... 
The power of focus. As I think about our Proverbs 31 friend, I can't help to think about the many accomplishments that follow her. In today's time, if she had a "Bio Sheet" it would surely be a long list of success', business' she owns, and lives she has impacted. Listing off just a few of the areas that she proactively worked in, I can only imagine that to accomplish all she accomplished took a skill of discipline & focus. In the few verses:
  • She CONSIDERS purchasing a new field.... so she weighs her options. Like Proverbs 4:26, she CONSIDERED the path of her feet before she took that path. She was most likely well informed about the property, educated about the sales process, knew the amount of money she was willing to spend, & well prayed up. 
  • She BUYS the field. With her business skills and savvy, with money she has earned most likely in other successful endeavors, SHE decides the investment is a good one and takes the plunge. 
  • She PLANTS the field. Let the work begin, and the income to follow. This woman is an entrepreneur. 
  • She MAKES garments. She has something she believes in, something that she believes will be a benefit, help and serve other people, and she makes a FINE product. Her skills as a seamstress, her creativity, her pursuit for excellence shine through with yet another endeavor of success. 
  • She SELLS garments. She saw a need & filled it. Now, her fine quality product that she has made is being sold, marketed & bought. People see the use & benefits of what she has produced & she sells it! Like any business person, I'm SURE she has made a profit with her talent of sewing & with her idea of this helpful piece of clothing. She is PROSPERING! 
This is only covering TWO verses of this Proverbs 31 woman! But, with the power of focus, she is able to be productive AND fruitful in her endeavors! It took focus for her to find success. It took diligence & consistency to succeed. 

Success takes focus. Like Proverbs 4 discusses, success requires a fixed gaze ahead, a fixed gaze on the destination. What is YOUR destination? Are you working on one area to accomplish success? Do you have a few areas that you are working on? Reading Proverbs 31, you get the feeling that her life is full, that she is succeeding in all areas. I would anticipate when she was sewing, her COMPLETE focus was there. When she was planting a field, her complete focus was there. What are YOU working towards? PLAN it. Put it in your calendar. Add CONSISTENCY, and when you work at it, give it your COMPLETE FOCUS. That includes your rest time. When it's time to rest, allow your complete focus to just rest!

Now, put your mind to where you want to succeed & apply COMPLETE FOCUS!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

#176 - Accompanied by Favor

Good morning! It feels like a Monday. We got back from a conference around 3:30 a.m. yesterday.... so, it ended up being a day of catching up on some Zzzzzz's. :) Praise the Lord! It's great to associate with winners in life, people who are interested in more than just being average, but really aspiring to something great and doing something about it. Isn't it great to be around people who stretch you to want to be better?!

Well... let's get going today.
Proverbs 3:3 (AMP) - Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3:4 (NKJV) - And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.  
Proverbs 31:26 (NKJV) - She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness
The power of kindness. I confess Proverbs 3:4 over my life all the time. Tyler and I often shout it out to each other when one of us is leaving for a meeting, or just to go out to the grocery store. We'll say, "You have FAVOR in the sight of God & man!" We confess for, and believe for favor as we just live our lives. Favor in appointments, favor in the grocery store, favor with people that we meet.... heck.... even favor at Subway! Friday we ate at Subway and I asked the gentleman checking me out if it was "free-cookie" day. I just believed for favor. Guess what? I got 2 free cookies! It wasn't "free cookie" day for anyone else, but it was for me, because I expect favor.

One thing as I was reading Proverbs 3:4 that I noticed was this... it was not the beginning of the "thought," something came before it. There was a "prerequisite" to receiving what it mentioned, "favor & high esteem in the sight of God and man." I had never really noticed it before today. It noted in Proverbs 3:3, "Let not mercy, kindness & truth forsake you." Basically, don't leave home without them. Let them be a guide to your life. Those will lead to the "favor & high esteem" that we desire. I noticed also that our Proverbs 31 friend has the law of kindness on her tongue. She is operating in this "kindness," and from her many great accomplishments,  since she is abiding by this principle, I'm sure she received favor with God & man on her many exploits. Favor when she was buying land. Favor when she was selling her garments to the merchants. Favor as she assigned work to her maids. Favor as she sewed & created things. Favor as she woke up early & spent time in the Word. Because of operating in the "law of kindness" she experienced favor and so can we!

I remember a time last week... hopefully you weren't the person I was following. There was a mini-van in the median waiting to merge into the lane I was driving on.... Me, being the KIND, UNSELFISH person that I am... slowed WAY down, practically slamming on my breaks to let this vehicle merge. It was most definitely one of those times when I felt like I was going out of my way to be nice. What did I expect in return? Simple, just a friendly wave to acknowledge my kindness. You know the wave. The wave that says, "Hey! Thanks for letting me in! That was nice!" When I didn't get the wave I expected, the "nice gesture" since I slammed on my breaks to let this man in, what did I do? The "kind, unselfish" me, in all the sarcasm I could muster, went ahead and waved vigorously to this man. He may not have seen me, but, out-loud I also shouted in sarcasm, "YOU'RE WELCOME! NO PROBLEM! MY PLEASURE for letting you in!" I was basically ticked off at his lack of the "Thanks Wave." OK... not that I'm all proud of it or anything, and I'm sure you've never done that. But as I read Proverbs 3:3, this scenario went through my mind and replayed. I would anticipate the "mercy & kindness & truth" that Proverbs 3:3 is talking about is not associated with "what do I get in return?" Or "what's in it for me?" Sure, I was only looking for a "Thank You wave" as a gesture... but, if I were truly operating in pure, unselfish, kindness, even that wave would have been unnecessary for me. But instead, like when I was a child, I defiantly acted out like a kid! Probably looking & sounding totally stupid if you could have seen or heard me with my sarcasm. All over a wave?! How ridiculous!

The amplified version of Proverbs 3:3, talks about "shutting out selfishness." Living a selfLESS life instead of a selfISH life. Focusing on "I, me, mine." We are encouraged to shut out, to forsake, to put away the selfishness. To not consider the "what's in it for me" or "what will I gain if I do this unselfish act?" The prerequisite to gaining the favor in the sight of God & man that Proverbs 3:4 talks about is AFTER selfishness has been put aside. AFTER the selfish motives have been put away.

The cool thing with God... just because you may screw up once, doesn't mean you are written off all together. Sure, until this morning, I didn't even remember my obnoxious act from last week. But, Sunday night I received great favor in the sight of God & man. Basically received the opportunity to talk to a very influential person on the phone for an hour. Receive guidance & counsel, receive direction. It was nothing beyond an act of God to have this amazing opportunity. It was one of those moments in life that you write down. A moment that you mark up as a "life-changer".... a "game changer." Favor so great that it's unexpected. But what does the Word tell us? Ephesians 3:20 basically says this: "Now to Him Who, by the power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and far above all that we DARE ask or thinkinfinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams." OUR God can & will do MORE than we could even expect for. Even in our "positive expectation of favor," He can even exceed that! That is what he did for Tyler & I on Sunday night. Praise the Lord!

So friend, how about we team up on this together? How about we work towards acting out in kindness. Letting our kindness outweigh our sometimes selfish or childish acts? That even if we are just conscience of it, we can focus on the good, the positive, the kindness. Sure... those mini-van's of life experiences may pop in every once and awhile... but, maybe next time you will think about it before retaliating. I think I probably will. It was like that 5 year old just came out in me! 

Well, have a blessed day! And believe today that YOU will have favor in the sight of God and man! Whatever you are doing, wherever you are going, believe that the FAVOR of God will accompany you! 

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