Wednesday, June 29, 2011

#200 - Prayer Warrior

Good morning! I'm enjoying a nice, cool, Indiana morning. Birds chirping, the sound of cars going by, and there's the sound of a trickling water fountain near by as I sit by the pool at my parents house. It's a nice day. Definitely more cool than our South Carolina mornings where the temperatures quickly soar into the 90's. If I were to guess, it may only be in the 70's yet this morning.... such a different experience than "home." 

Anyways... let's go ahead and get into the Word this morning...
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.
James 5:16 (NKJV) - Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 
James 5:16b (AMP) - The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. 
The Hebrew breaks down "looks well" to the following: look out or about, spy, keep watch, observe, watch closely. "Household" has one description as this: family of descendants. At the passing of my grandmother just a few days ago, Sunday evening at 9:00my perspective has most definitely been changed, shaped.... rocked would even be a term. I watched as a woman of God went to meet Jesus. In the last hours of her life I sat there in the room with her, my mom & my cousin looking through a spiral ring notecard holder. As I flipped through this spiral notecard holder, I was immediately confronted with the fact that a prayer warrior was getting ready to go be with Jesus. 

Even Tyler Jr made her prayer list. :) 

Who would pick up the slack of the prayers that were sent up. There in my grandmother's binder was a prayer list of her family. 95 in all. As the grandkids got married, she added to the number of "in-laws" on her prayer list. As children continued to be added to her lineage, their names were added to her prayer list. 95 names in all... with I believe, at least 3 on the waiting list. (Trinity who will be arriving in October, and 2 other cousins are pregnant.) Quite a legacy. 

I just think about how easy it is to say, "Hey, I'm praying for you." But there were truly people like my grandma who really were. They didn't have to make a public acknowledgement of it, they just prayed. They just went to the throne with your name. James reminds us of how the prayer of the righteous availeth much. The prayer of the righteous brings great power. My grandma's greatest desire was to know that everyone on her prayer list knew Jesus. In her last days, she addressed some of her children, making sure they would do everything they could to ensure their children and grandchildren knew Jesus.  What an example. She was leaving, and wanted to KNOW that people who were left here on earth would pick up where she left off and pray. 

I believe that part of what the Proverbs 31 woman did was pray. She looked well to her household. The greatest thing that could occur in her household would be that everyone in her household would accept Jesus into their lives. I believe Proverbs 31:27, is also addressing that. She is not only looking to the every day details of her household, but also the spiritual atmosphere, the spiritual thermometer. Who needs Jesus? Who needs salvation? The Proverbs 31 woman makes it her business and mission to see that, people's eternal life, "goes well." Last I checked, it would not be "well" to die and live an eternity in Hell. As a Proverbs 31 woman, and as a Christian in general, our mission should be to see and know that ALL GOES WELL with our household. All goes well with those we know and love. 

I don't know about you, but as I looked over the list of 95 people, I was convicted. Is my prayer life what it could be? What it should be? Praise the Lord for a generation of people who knew how to pray, who have led by example. I don't want that to end with my grandma's generation. I want to ensure all my loved ones are saved and walking in God's blessing. 

How is your prayer life? Could you pick it up a little bit? 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My family: Christmas 2010
Good afternoon! I just wanted to check in really quick. I most likely will not be posting a regular message this week.  We were made aware that my Grandma (my mom's mom) was not doing well.... we made the trip to come see her arriving Sunday morning at 3 a.m. Out of 95 family members, my grandma had a list of who she was waiting for.... me, and another cousin Jen were the last few grandchildren she was waiting on. Jen arrived to see grandma at 1:30 on Sunday morning, I arrived at 3:30. We said our good-byes, loved on her, and she went home to be with Jesus at 9:00 that evening. Praise the Lord that again, he allowed me to get back in time to say good-bye. Just like with my other grandma.... I arrived in time to say good-bye, and on that day she passed too.
Grandpa Ellis, Dad, Mom & Grandma Boney (Bonewitz)

Farewell to Grandma Boney, an amazing woman of God... a prayer warrior... she is dancing on streets of gold, enjoying a long awaited time with Jesus. :) What a glorious time she must be having!

 We will miss you Grandma!
Grandma at Christmas.... she laughed so hard she was crying! :) What a fun memory to leave me with! 

Both my mom & grandma laughing with tears!

See you later! :) 

Friday, June 24, 2011

#199 - "Lord, What Should I Focus On?"

Good morning! :) Excited about a fun day! But let's go ahead and get into the Word... I'm hungry and I think "Mungo" will be getting up soon! (Yes... "the boy" has so many Nick Names! Here's the progression of his most recent nick-name.....Tyler Junior  > Junior > Junior Asparagus (Veggie Tales) > Asparagus > Asparamungo > Amungo > Mungo. ) Anyways... he had lots of Nick-Names... my favorite of which, I haven't ever really called him.... Teej. I think that's cute. His cousins in Indiana call him that. I think it's cute and unique, but so far, it doesn't automatically roll off my tongue. So here it is, Mungo! *shaking head* I'm sure that WON'T stick, in Jesus Name! (Can I get an AMEN!)

Ok... let's go...
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].
This morning began an interesting Quiet Time. I never know what quite to expect when I go into my time with the Lord, EXCEPT, I always expect to get something. I recently mentioned a quote that I've heard a lot, "There is no problem that sustained thought can not answer." This morning as I started off my Quiet Time, the Holy Spirit clarified that quote from a Christians perspective. He said, "There is no question that sustained SEEKING will not answer. Seeking is a combination of prayer AND listening."

Lately, my mind has been racing through all the things I "think" I should be thinking about. Have you ever done that? Your mind is on overload because you think you should really be thinking about a lot of things. So many things vying for you attention and time, your thoughts & your mind? You feel at times that your mind is spinning just to try to figure out "WHAT LORD should I focus on?!" Often, if you are anything like me in the past, I didn't ever slow down enough to ask the question, or sit long enough to listen to the answer. Can you relate? So.... on you go, your mind spinning, physically your just grasping at whatever the next project is, not really knowing if it's what you should be working on, but just working on it for the sake of "completing something" that seems worthwhile.

This morning after the Holy Spirit clarified this "definition" for me, I listed out all of the MAIN things that have been competing for a mental position in my mind. I listed out 15 things. As I completed my "immediate" list, I looked it over, read each item and to myself wondered how in the world would all of this get answered or completed?

Here is how the conversation continued...
"Let me start you off with the RIGHT question to ask me.... Everything you listed is important to you. Not everything is important to focus on now. The question to ask me is: 'Where should I focus my thoughts & time?' Some things I have in the works and will inevitably work themselves out. I am working on them. Isn't that better than YOU trying to do it? And some, I'll answer as you need the answers, not all at once." 
"Ok," I thought. That made sense. But I still wondered in my head after looking over the list, "What will I focus on?" Nothing from my list was really jumping out at me. The conversation continued...
"As you looked through the list of things, you're right, NONE are what I want your attention on. You didn't even have listed what I want you to focus on. This is it: Give. I want you to focus on giving..... I want you to give to others. I specifically have people I want you to give to. (1)________ (ear) (2) ________ (prayer) (3) ________ (time).
Interesting. As I went back and re-read Proverbs 31, I noticed areas that SHE is giving too.... and wouldn't you know it, the Holy Spirit directed me to do the same! She reaches out her filled hands to the needy, whether in body (in the physical / time)mind (a listening ear), or spirit (prayer). I just found it so interesting how the Holy Spirit gave me THREE, VERY SPECIFIC people, and gave me THREE, VERY SPECIFIC areas He wanted me to give to them. Very specific, and each different.

What was most important to the Holy Spirit had not even made it to my list! Isn't that funny. Here's a question.... what does your list look like? Those things vying for your time.... what do they look like? AND, if you asked the Holy Spirit what you should be focused on, would HIS answer have made your list? I was honestly a bit surprised that His answer was not on my list. All the things on my list seem very important.... but just not what my focus SHOULD be. Isn't it interesting thought... the things on my list were very focused on completing tasks that I was INTERNALLY focused on. HIS one item of importance was focused EXTERNALLY, giving of myself to someone else. Pouring into others instead of pouring into myself.

Food for thought. Might be an interesting question for you to ask today.  Lord, what should I focus on? 


Here's a few recent and cute pictures of Tyler Junior and his little friend Zoe. :) So cute!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

#198 - A Tactic of the Enemy: The Wife!

*blowing breath out*

Whew. *wiping brow* It's been a full morning already. The first 2 hours of being awake was heavy! And that was even before getting into my quiet time! My husband is so smart. We talked a lot this morning, I reviewed some notes that I recently took, and overall... it was just a pretty emotionally full morning. I believe that today's devotion is going to impact you. If anything, connect some dots on some very important things to do.  We are going to take a "field trip" from our Proverbs 22 chapter of today, and jump  back earlier into the Old Testament. Let's get started....
2 Chronicles 26:5 (talking about King UzziahHe set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the things of God; and as long as he sought (inquired of, yearned for) the Lord, God made him prosper.
2 Chronicles 32:31b (talking about King Hezekiah) - ... God left him to himself to try him, that He might know all that was in his heart.
Proverbs 31:11a - The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely... 
This is going to be full. I'm going to do my best, with the direction of the Holy Spirit to bring it all full circle.

First of all, if we look at the beginning of Proverbs 31:11, we see that it is talking about the heart of the Proverbs 31 husband. His heart trusts in his wife. His heart is confident in her. His heart relies on her. His heart believes in her. She is not how some would view as the "weaker vessel" or as the "lesser of the two," she is VALUABLE and he is relying upon her.

Let's take a trip back to the beginning. In the Garden, there were Adam & Eve. How did the enemy infiltrate mankind? He got to the woman. Satan chose his tactic to get to Eve, the wife, to bring down mankind. His plan worked, in the short-term (obviously Jesus came back and gave us a way to Victory! Praise the Lord!) I heard an amazing woman of God say last night that she noticed when SHE was not on her full game, it was very quickly after that she would notice her husband would come off his game. If the enemy is successful in getting the wife down, getting the wife distracted, he has the potential to get the WHOLE mission of the couple off course!

As we peek into 2 Chronicles 26:5, it tells us that as long as King Uzziah sought the Lord, inquired of, yearned for the Lord, that because of it, GOD made him to prosper. Marry that with the lesson from Adam and Eve. It becomes SO MUCH MORE important for WOMEN to stay in a position of SEEKING THE LORD! It ultimately makes it a key in why the Lord makes us to prosper. YOU, woman of God, like in the beginning of time are a target. Like it or not, you have a bulls-eye on your back. Just ONE of the tactics of the enemy, if he can get to the woman, he has potential of disrupting the whole mission. Whether that be through strife, discord, discouragement, busyness, focusing on the unimportant... whatever it is, the tactics have been set out by the enemy.

The Woman's Responsibility: STAND GUARD! GIRD YOURSELF with the Word and with strength. Serve, give, love people. Pursue your calling. Don't delay. Distractions can cause you to get off course, be aware of what is taking your time. Be aware of your heart. Pursue the Lord! Pursue deeper revelations into the Word. EXPECT to get clarity. EXPECT to be directed. Like King Hezekiah, God wants to know your heart. What are you putting into your heart? What is going in? Is your heart getting purer or is your heart static? Staying the same? Blank?

The Husband's Responsibility: PRAY! Knowing that YOUR WIFE is one MAJOR tactic of the enemy to destroy your mission and ministry as a couple, PRAY FOR HER! Pray a hedge of protection around her. Pray for her mental stability. Pray for her growth in her walk with the Lord. Pray for her sharpness, that she would be able to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit with clarity. Plea the blood of Jesus over your wife. Protect her from the enemy with your prayers!

The Proverbs 31 husband TRUSTS in his wife with his heart! She has has spent time girding herself up, strengthening herself, and because of this, he trusts her. She is guarding herself from becoming overwhelmed. She has safe-guards in place. Where she is vulnerable & obedient, is to being LED by the Holy Spirit, and that is exactly where we want to be.

We can learn from the past. We can learn from the beginning. The enemy's goal was to take out Eve. His goal was to distract Eve, get Eve into disobedience. Woman of God, recognize this as a warning. This is ALL THE MORE reason for you and I to be diligent in our pursuit with the Lord. Our marriage and our calling as a couple is dependent upon our stability & obedience. If we know that we are a target of the enemy, it makes it crucial that we are always armed. That our foundation is in the Word. That our stand is on the ROCK! Stability is key, pursue it! Don't be victim to the enemy, be the VICTOR!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#197 - Thoughts Matter

Good morning! It already feels like a warm day here in Columbia, we may have to hit up the pool for a bit. Well, let's get started in to the Word.
Proverbs 21:5 - The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent tend only to plenteousness, but everyone who is impatient and hasty hastens only to want.
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.
As I sat reading in my journal and reading through today's Proverbs, I couldn't escape the concept that "Your Thoughts Matter." Yesterday as I sat, listening to what I felt the Holy Spirit was telling me, here were some of the things I got from it:

    • You are not subject to your circumstances. When you do things God's way, your circumstances are subject to YOU!
    • Your expectation and believe DOES matter!
    • People SEE your beliefs by how you live. 
Then as I sat down this morning, I felt like with the theme of "A Journey of Belief" or "A Journey of Faith." Have you ever felt like you were on a journey in your spiritual walk? One day you believe, another day you may be a bit down, the next day is better... and on and on the cycle goes. Ultimately you want to be rooted in faith and rooted in belief, unlike the person in James chapter 1 who is like a wave, tossed to and fro in the sea, wavering, unstable in all his ways.  Thankfully, being in the Word on a consistent basis has a way of keeping one grounded. Keeping one emotionally stable and headed in the right direction, though my question yesterday was this: How does someone steer clear from doubt or discouragement? 

The gist of the answer was something like this: Have a clear vision. Have the stories of faith and victory, a plan, the vision, the pieces of the puzzle INGRAINED in your mind and on your heart. Have it SO ingrained there that you know it like the back of your hand. So ingrained that every bit of it is real to you. Continue to RENEW your mind to THAT story, that vision!

This is where your thoughts come in. Your daily thoughts matter. Down to the minute, those things that you allow your mind to dwell on really matter! One thought can lead you down the path of doubt & discouragement, or one thought can lead you down the path of faith, belief, victory and favor. One thought! The Bible does not say that "doubt" won't come. For a believer, it most likely WILL come. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy (Jn 10:10), and if he can steal your faith and belief, he has won! As believers, we need to be PREPARED when the enemy comes, when he tries to plant thoughts in our mind. We need to know HOW and WHAT we are going to do when that happens. It's not a matter of IF it will happen, it's a matter of WHEN it will happen. How are you going to stay on the path to hope, faith & belief? How are you going to keep from getting discouraged? The vision, needs to be there, firmly. We need to be able to QUICKLY look to something, an idea, story, vision, plan, promise, scripture, whatever it is for you, but we need to be able to IMMEDIATELY access those thoughts and dwell on them. When the enemy comes, we need to be able to take EVERY thought captive and put it under the obedience of Christ Jesus. BUT, with the thought that Satan tries to plant, we need to be able to replace it with something else. Replace it with a thought of victory. Replace it with the picture or idea, the story of victory that we've ingrained on our minds and heart. If we are scrambling for that vision, unclear of how or what to think on, we are headed down a road of doubt and disbelief.

Thoughts matter. Today, take the time to PLAN your thoughts. Be ready when the enemy comes. KNOW what your thoughts are going to be! Know what you are going to think on . Philippians 4:8 reminds us to,  Think on THESE things, "... whatever is pure, lovely, of good report....meditate on these things." 

Your thoughts matter.

Monday, June 20, 2011

#196 - Draw It Out!

Good morning! :) We're going to get right into the Word this morning.....
Proverbs 20:5 - Counsel in the heart of man is like water in a deep well, but a man of understanding draws it out.
Proverbs 31:18 - ....her lamp goes not out.... 
"Lamp" in the Bible often refers to as several things; Wisdom from God, direction, the Holy Spirit living inside of us, Jesus (ie: "I am the light of the World, no one comes to the Father but through Me.") To me, "lamp" means, having the ability to receive answers, HAVING the answers. I know I have said this before, but I recently heard the saying that, "There is NO problem that can not be solved without sustained thought." The ability to HAVE the answers! As it directs in Proverbs 20:5, COUNSEL is like a deep well, but a man of understanding DRAWS IT OUT! Counsel, direction, Wisdom from God, the RIGHT Counsel, Counsel directly from the Holy Spirit! As believers, we have the ability to DRAW OUT the answers. BUT, like a deep well, it WILL take a little bit of work!

A deep well... think about it. In the Bible, when someone was going to get water out of a well, they would have to not only first have the well dug, but dug down deep enough to hit water. Once that was in place, they would have to lower a bucket down low enough to draw up the water. Then, with their muscles, most likely some sweat and grunting, lug the full, heavy bucket up to the top of the well. It was not a sweat-less process. It took some effort.

The same is true with us as believers. As it states in Proverbs 20:5, COUNSEL (aka: answers from the Holy Spirit!!!) are in the heart of man! Last time I checked, we are "man." Sure, I'm a woman, but the point is that this verse is talking about US! Equally, a MAN (or woman) can DRAW OUT THE COUNSEL. Read it for yourself! Isn't that what Proverbs 20:5 says? IF we CHOOSE to be a person of understanding, we can DRAW out the answers that are already within us! Again, if we are saved, we have the Holy Spirit living in us, right? So, since we have the Holy Spirit ALREADY living in us, we have ALL the answers to EVERY question ALREADY within us! Our job is to just DIG. Our job is to DRAW out the answers. That may take some praying. That may take some time. That may take getting in a quiet place with no distractions. That may take SUSTAINED thought. It may take some work! Just like Proverbs 20:5 says, counsel in the heart of man CAN BE drawn out. "Drawn Out" is a verb. It requires ACTION. In whatever your situation is, to draw out the answer will most likely take some work, meditating on the Word, prayer, etc.

Our answers are already here. It's our job to DRAW THEM OUT! If you notice, the Proverbs 31 woman has caught on to this concept as it says that HER LAMP does not go out! She is constantly seeking and in tune with the Holy Spirit. She is constantly drawing out the answers. She succeeds because she DRAWS OUT what the Holy Spirit would have for her in regards to business, family, servants/employees, etc. She draws out the answers and she SUCCEEDS!

That was a good Word! In what area to you need to draw out answers? Pencil it in your calendar. Take the time to seek, to dig, to get quiet and get YOUR answers!

Praise the Lord for making things known to us!!!!
Have a blessed day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

#195 - She Laughs!

Good morning! It's a beautiful day in Columbia! I had a nice, relaxing day yesterday. What a blessing. Let's going ahead and jump into some Word this morning!
Proverbs 17:22 - A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. 
Proverbs 31:25 (NLT) - She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
I decided to read Proverbs 31 today in the New Living Translation just for a little bit different of a perspective.  I came to "she laughs" and just felt drawn to it. She laughs. She laughs. She, this woman has the ability to enjoy life. She laughs. Carefree. Without fear. She laughs.

I just think of the days I've had when I haven't laughed. The days where maybe I've cried. Everything has mounted up, I maybe was taking on the cares of the world, trying to figure out God or... in some cases, play God. I remember days when I have not laughed. Days when I have not been "carefree." Those have not been fun days.

I remember watching a program that featured someone who was healed of cancer. They took Proverbs 17:22 to heart. In their spare time they just watched comedy programs. They rented movies that made them laugh. They watched comedians. They spent their days just laughing! Laughing and laughing! What good medicine!

Laughter. The ability to heal. Heal a broken heart, heal frustration of yet to be reached goals, heal unanswered questions, to heal the unknown. In today's busyness, sometimes we forget to laugh. Sometimes we are to wrapped up in life that laughter does not come automatically. I am going to recommend that today you find a way to laugh. Look up jokes online. Watch a funny movie. Get on the floor with your child and have a tickling war. Find a way today to laugh. I know I could use it.

Speaking of laughter... Tyler Junior went to bed late last night because we had dinner with some friends. He is just now waking up. As I turned up the baby monitor, this is what I heard: "Mama, mama, mommy. Amy. Amy. Amy. Amy." Lol! He has heard daddy calling me "Amy"... so sometimes he will repeat my name over and over. He's done that recently in a store, he just said, "Amy! Amy! Amy!" I can't help but laugh. I'm Mommy & Amy! :) What a fun age!

Well.... go have a good laugh today!

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#194 - Where is the Prize?

Good morning! :) God amazes me. His timing is perfect. And.... he cares. He cares about everything in our lives. He cares about our needs, our wants, our desires. His desire is to bless us, we are His children! I see things at such a deeper perspective now being a parent. How the desire for a parent is to provide MORE than just the bare necessities of a child, but to provide the fun things too. To provide those things for your child where their eyes light up with excitement, they are filled with joy. Whether it be just time playing with them, swinging them around or whether it be a new toy, the joy it brings to a parent to provide MORE than the necessities is now quite apparent. God wants to do the same thing for US! He wants to do that for YOU! He wants to see you giddy! He wants to see you so excited at the blessings HE brings to you. Just like a parent. He IS YOUR parent! Isn't that a blessing! He is OUR parent! He is OUR Father! That is good news. Let's get into today's Word...
Proverbs 15:23,29 - A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment--how good it is! ....He hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous...
Proverbs 31:16 - ....expanding prudently....
Just yesterday, God amazed me. He does it frequently, but it is fun when you can see how God's timing is better than our own. Several months ago I was considering pursuing some avenues that I "hoped" would provide some extra income in our family. I remember as I thought about it and considered it, in my mind I just didn't feel at peace about it. It was going to call for a lot of time researching some things on line, then if MY PLAN even panned out, MY PLAN was going to cause me and Tyler Junior to have to travel one way about 4 hours, on a frequent basis. To me, my plan sounded very toilsome. I was willing to make it work. I was willing to FORCE all of the puzzle pieces into place, even if they did have to be bent some. I was willing to make MY plan work and let God tag along.

In the back of my mind as I continued "mentally" pursuing this idea, I still settled with a feeling of hesitancy. I did not have peace. One day in my quiet time, I finally just heard clearly, "No. Not now." I had received my direction. I did what most children may do when they don't get their way, I protested. "But... but but but...." I wanted God to know why MY IDEA was a good one and why it should work NOW! It was MY IDEA and I wanted to do it NOW! lol. I laugh just thinking about how that does sound like a little child, nonetheless that was how our conversation went down. Needless to say, I eventually listened. I hung up my idea, not knowing if anything would ever come from it or if it would hang forever, un-pursued.

But isn't God amazing. Isn't his timing perfect and his connections divine?! I have continued to daily do the things that I felt like the Lord was leading me to do. I have continued to just be obedient (for the most part.... an occasional plight for forgiveness would come in). I have stuck to what I KNEW I was directed to work on. Sunday after church as I was talking to our Pastor, he said something, prophesied, over this specific area. I made a comment on the way home from church to Tyler, but just left it at that. If GOD wanted to open up doors, I was going to let him but as it stood, I was just going to be still with the, "No. Not yet."

Then, wouldn't you know it, just yesterday, someone came up to me talking to me about the very same thing. They did not know I had hung up this "plan" just months ago. They not only came to me to specifically make some recommendations, BUT they also gave me a name to this divine connection. The divine connection is someone they knew well, and is the business owner, the actual person I would need to speak with about my idea. They are not 4 hours away, but right here in Columbia!

I think about how it would've turned out if I would have pursued MY PLAN on MY TIME. I think of how the last 3-4 months would have been toilsome, time spent on the computer searching things, time spent driving places that were in vain. Time. Wasted time. I just sit here and thank the Lord that I listened.... sure, maybe stubbornly at first, but I didn't pursue MY plan in MY timing. As this person talked to me, I just felt an abundance of peace. I didn't hear harps, or birds chirping, but I felt peace. I felt like THIS was God's Timing on the idea that I had. HE had planned this person to talk to me. And who knows, if they wouldn't have seen some things I had done, if I wouldn't have continued to be obedient in the day-to-day things I was called to do, they may have never contacted me to connect me with this God-Contact!

Sometimes the word "wait" can be the hardest word for us to hear. Wait. "But, but but but.... I want it NOW! I want it NOW! Work it out NOW God!" His timing is SO much better. Even when it's hard to wait. I once heard Tony Evans talk about this very subject. He said something like this: "There are two scenarios. Both of these single women want to get married desperately. They want to find Mr. Right. Take the first lady. She gets to work at 8:00 in the morning, busies herself for the Lord immediately upon arrival. It seems like no time has passed. She has pursued exactly what the Lord has wanted her to pursue with excellence. What seems like about 5 minutes goes by and they look down at their watch and wouldn't you know, it's already 3:30! It's close to time to go home. She has been so busy getting things done, that she hardly noticed how much time had passed. Then, there is the other woman. She gets to work at 8:00 in the morning. All she can do is sit there and think about how frustrated she is that the Lord hasn't brought her the "Mr. Right" she has been waiting on. She sits there, sulking, doing nothing. Not pursuing the calling God has on her life because she wants to be married. She wants Mr. Right. So, as she sits at work, it seems like five, six hours has passed. She looks at her watch and in utter discouragement she sees that it is only 8:05! All this doing nothing and only 5 minutes has passed!" His point in the story was this, if you are a believer and still clinging on to a promise that is yet to be fulfilled, pursue the calling on your life with fervor!! Time will go by so quickly and the prize that you have been longing for all along will be waiting for you on the other side of your obedience!

Now... I don't care who you are... that is GOOD STUFF! That is some AMEN material right there! The prize that you have been longing for all along will be waiting for you on the other side of your obedience! 

Holla! Amen!

Be blessed my friend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

#193 - WORK IT!

Good morning! It seems like quite the active morning here on my porch! Birds have been playfully and loudly playing and dancing in our backyard and I have shooed 2 lizards off of the screened in porch where I am sitting. I'm not "scared" of lizards or anything, but one of them sat on the screen just a few feet from where I am sitting, and that was just weird. He didn't make for a good "working companion" so I helped him out. :)

On another note.... it's a BEAUTIFUL morning! There's a nice breeze coming through the screen, and Tyler Junior is officially 19 months old today! Wow! He's just months away from being a big brother and turning 2 years old! How fun!

Well... let's get rolling into some Word this morning! :)
Proverbs 14:30 - A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.
Proverbs 31:17 - She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.
Spiritual fitness. Mental fitness. Physical fitness. All areas of fitness that we should aspire to attain. One thing that I feel tremendously helps in the areas of spiritual & mental fitness is having a regular quiet time. Taking specific, set apart time to read the Word, meditate on the Word, and quiet ourselves long enough to listen to the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord that Jesus knew what He was doing when He said that He was leaving us to be with the Father, BUT that He would leave something better for us, He would leave the Holy Spirit. What a blessing and honor that we are NEVER alone as believers, but are always just a question away from receiving direction from the Holy Spirit. What a blessing that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, always available, always there, always willing to direct us if we are willing to listen. How exciting that the "hidden secrets" are not indefinitely hidden, just hidden for those who are willing to seek after them and find and receive them. They are there for US to have! Amen!

Spiritual and mental fitness. Available if we are willing to consistently pursue it.

Physical fitness. Eich.... Yikes. Well, I like maybe some of you have a bag of excuses I sometimes carry for my lack of consistency in this area. My most recent excuse in my bag has been "pregnancy." OK... it may be a good excuse, but really, at any time, any excuse will do. Right? Maybe you've been pretty consistent in this area. Well, at 24 weeks pregnant (around 6 months for those of you who don't speak the 'pregnancy' language), I officially stopped running about 2 weeks ago. It had gotten sporadic at best, and my last run left me kind of sore. I ambitiously thought I would go buy a running belt, but never got around to it. Then on Friday morning, I decided to swim laps for 20 minutes. I also did some push-ups and dips. I was quite proud of myself. (I also woke up and did that this morning! Whoop! Go me! haha!) Over the last 2-3 years, having knowledge about a 10 minute fitness program called "4321" has really changed my life in the area of my weight and fitness. It also extremely reduced some of the risk factors that I had for Type 2 Diabetes, results in blood work proved I had made some awesome improvements just by changing a few things in my life. One of those things was 10 minutes of working out just four days per week.

Recently, I have noticed that the firmness of my arms that I had developed over the last 2 years had been getting a bit "weak." My once small, but bulging bicep wasn't quite so perky. I knew that I hadn't really done a done to give myself toned muscles, but what I had done was consistently applied effort to have strong and firm arms. What is consistent effort? Where my arms were concerned, it was only 3 minutes, 4 days per week! That was it! 3 MINUTES! The key was, it was consistent. Over a period of time, the flab that hung onto my arms began to turn into muscle. It was quite exciting to see. In the mirror, I noticed that my shoulders were looking nice in a tank top. That was enough to continue the small but daily steps I had began.

So today... can you implement something small for your fitness? You may not care to look like the cover model on today's "Health & Fitness" magazine, and that is OK! But.... maybe take a few minutes to reflect on this question.... What is your responsibility in the area of fitness? Like me, you may have some excuses in your bag as well, but at the end of the day that is all they are, excuses. It may not mean getting a gym membership, but can you do three minutes a day just to tone your arms? Can you do squats or sit-ups to tone your legs and abs? Simple things that will allow you to live a much longer & energetic life.

The "Fitness" tab will give you some ideas on 10 minutes that WILL really work for you, if you consistently work it! The Proverbs 31 woman is working it, will you?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dr Apt

I pray you have a blessed day! I have a doctors apt this morning so won't be posting a devotion today.

Be blessed!
Amy J. McCart-Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, June 9, 2011

#192 - Focus on Obedience

Good morning! :) It's a beautiful day out here in Columbia! Birds chirping, a cool breeze and blue skies. Let's get started in the Word because Junior will be getting up soon! :)
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.
Matthew 6:27,31 - And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life. Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? 
This morning I had a some questions for the Holy Spirit... primarily on specific direction. I sat, in my mind I felt a little bit scattered, like I was just saying, "Well, what about this? What about that? Should I do this?" It was as if my thoughts were running out ahead of me to try to answer the questions. My thoughts were hurried and seemed chaotic. I slowed down enough to listen, and from that comes today's main theme, "Focus on Obedience."

The root of my 'firing of questions' to the Holy Spirit stemmed from anxiety or worry, but it was as if He had to slow me down. Re-focus me. Re-ground me. Remind me of my current tasks at hand, projects He's told me to work on. As I hurriedly listed off all the things that I had questions on and seemed to feel a bit of stress rising up on the inside, I just heard that still small Voice say, "Just focus on obedience." An area, where just two days ago, I had to ask forgiveness.

Columbia summers are hot, humid. Sometimes just walking out of the house or car, it feels as if the air is sucked out of you for a split second until you get acclimated to the heat & humidity. Once you adjust, it's usually OK... but a summer without a pool would be tough down here. Our development has a pool conveniently about 100 yards from our house. It's very nice to just be a short walk away. Well... we had not paid for our pool pass for the summer yet. We still had our key-fob that would allow us to get in, but just hadn't paid or gotten the newly issued ID cards with our picture on it. Not really thinking about Proverbs 31:29, and her "strength of character," I proceeded to periodically scope out the pool to see if the "pool man" sat checking ID's. I found that there was normally no one there in the morning. Confession time. So, a few times Junior and I rode our bike by the pool, seeing no guard, rushed back home, got on our swimsuits and headed to the pool for a few hours of refreshing, cool swimming.

I know, I know. Some of you may be laughing and my deceitfulness... some of you may have gotten your stones out already! Well... let me tell you the rest of the story. No, I did not get caught. No, I did not get in trouble. Honestly, if I weren't telling YOU publicly right now, I don't think really anyone would have known. I reasoned that, we were going to buy our pool pass soon, we just hadn't yet. Once we did buy it, it wasn't even going to be pro-rated, we'd pay the same price as everyone else. We just hadn't paid it yet. I reasoned that it was OK for now. I didn't really like having to sneak. It felt dishonest, which isn't typically a quality I hold. Tyler and I joked about me "not being a rule follower" because he has always been pretty straight and narrow... I have usually been the "spontaneous" or "adventurous" one of the two of us. I'd joke about "not following the rules" and getting in to the pool, he would chuckle a little, but shake his head. Monday after dinner, Honest Abe Tyler, Tyler Jr, and I played outside in the backyard in the sprinklers. We did have a blast. Tyler Jr was loving it! He just ran around laughing, getting soaked, it was definite entertainment! Before bed I was reading and that's when the conviction began. I couldn't shake that what I was doing was wrong. We hadn't paid for the pool, so I shouldn't be going. Tuesday morning I made up my mind. Tuesday at lunch, I told Tyler I wasn't going to the pool anymore until we paid. Junior and I would just play out in the sprinklers or the hose, or stay inside where it was cool. And... I had to obviously ask for forgiveness from my Father. Tyler was surprised about my newly-found "pool honesty" and our day continued.

Wouldn't you know it, Tuesday afternoon, Tyler told me that he was going to surprise me but that I could go down and pay for the pool passes and get my picture taken! I was so excited! Yippee!!! Would it have happened if I had continued in deceit? Or would it have been another few weeks?

So, this morning when I was reading about the Proverbs 31 woman, and read about her "strength of character," I couldn't help but think about my temporary relapse. It's hard to be blessed when walking in disobedience or walking in a lie, even if it seems like a little one. A lie is a lie. I thought about her. Her strength of character stems out to even her honesty. Someone with a strong character is honest, trustworthy, they do the right thing.

"Just focus on obedience," I'm reminded of the Holy Spirit's words this morning. I don't know what it is for you. Maybe it's something like my "confession" above. For me, this morning, it was about being obedient to the things that Holy Spirit has directed me to work on. It was about being obedient to the current tasks He has me working on, not trying to bring on other things to do, but just focusing on the few things HE has directed me to do. Spending my time doing those things. If I do that, my daily accomplishments will not be in vain, they will actually be fruitful and purposeful.

What was the last thing the Holy Spirit told you to do? Are you working on it? Are you working towards completion? Have you gotten distracted with other things that seemed good to you? Have you forgotten what the last thing the Holy Spirit directed you to do? Maybe it's time to re-visit. Maybe it's time to check again, are we on the right track? Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing? Am I being diligent? Am I focusing on obedience?


Here's Tyler Junior and I at the pool yesterday! GUILT FREE! Having a great time! Look at how brave he is!!! Tyler said, "Maybe an Olympic diver?".... any cheerleaders out there know that it actually is a pretty good extension! :) (Though, I'm not speaking my son is going to be a cheerleader! HA!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

#191 - Keeping the WORD at the Forefront

Good morning! I pray you are having a blessed day so far as I am! Finished Day #2, back writing/editing first thing when I wake up.... it feels so productive! Praise God for counsel from others. :) OK... let's get going this morning....
Proverbs 7:1-3 - MY SON, keep my words; lay up within you my commandments [for use when needed] and treasure them. 2Keep my commandments and live, and keep my law and teaching as the apple (the pupil) of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
Deut. 6:5, 7 - the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.... teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Proverbs 31:14 - She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household's food from a far [country].
Keep my commandments & live. I am on a bit of a time schedule this morning, but the Holy Spirit assured me that He had a Word for today. I was impressed, as I often am, that the Holy Spirit did quickly pull together His Word from God's Word. Often in the Bible, like in Matthew 4, the Word of God is compared to food. In Matthew 4, Jesus is being tempted by Satan to turn rocks into loaves of bread to eat. Jesus uses the Word in His defense and tells Satan that the WORD of God IS His food. Proverbs 7 this morning begins with keeping and observing the Word, God's commandments, for doing this we will live. Further, if we flip back to Deut 6, we are told to even impress and continually teach our children the Word. To impress upon their minds, daily, consistently, upon waking and upon going to sleep, we are to remind our children AND in doing so, we remind ourselves that we, "Love the Lord with all our heart, soul & might." By saying it outloud, we remind our MIND, and as we continue in the Word, those words we tell our children begin to take ROOT in our hearts. As we do this, we are "raising up a child in the way they shall go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it." Verbalizing our love for the Lord, our commitment to love and be obedient to him, plants something powerful in our hearts, plants something powerful in the pliable hearts of our children. Pliable: easily bent, flexible, easily influenced, adaptable, adjusting readily to change. As our children grow older and older, the world will want more of a say in how they believe. As parents, we have a responsibility, like it talks about in Deuteronomy 6, to TEACH them early on, to raise them up in the Word of God, to instruct them of God's commandments, to abide & follow them. We are raising up a godly generation that this world so desperately needs!

I looked at Proverbs 31:14 in a new way this morning, thanks to the Holy Spirit. "She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs." The Bible often refers or likens "food" to the "Word of God," in this situation, I could see how it may be doing the very same thing! Our Proverbs 31 mother, is LOADED with the Word of God! "She brings her household FOOD from afar." Our Proverbs 31 woman acts with a purpose. She is purposeful. She is planting the WORD of God into her children and anyone who is in her household! She comes, DAILY, bearing the Word, just like it commands us to do in Deuteronomy 6. Upon rising and upon going to bed, planting the Word, setting reminders of the Word, remembering the Promises of the Word.

I'm reminded of how important is the REMEMBER the Word. In Proverbs 7, it talks about binding the Word on your fingers, placing them upon the tablets of your heart. Setting out reminders! Remembering the Word. Today.... what does that mean to us? For Tyler and I, it often means setting reminders on our cell phone. Our cell phone rings often throughout the day to remind us of one of God's promises, to remind us of a Word that we are standing on for our life. For you, it may mean, writing the Word on your bathroom mirror, putting a scripture on the door as you leave for work, putting a scripture on the dash of your car so you see it as you drive. Setting out those IMPORTANT reminders, keeping the Word at the forefront of our minds.

What is going to be YOUR reminder today of God's promises in YOUR life?? Hold on to them! They are hope! They are true yesterday, today & forever!

Have a blessed day! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

#190 - Bit by Bit

Good morning! It's cool on the porch this morning. Overcast, but the birds are still chirping. I couldn't help but think this morning that next year at this time we will have an addition. Trinity will be 9 months old! Amazing to think. Last year this time, that was Tyler Junior. Each season just brings adjustments, but equal blessings. God is good. Well, let's get started... are you ready?
Proverbs 6:6-8 - Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!-- 7Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler, 8Provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest.
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.
There are lots of types of people out there. Starters, finishers, the detail people who are great at perfecting things - putting on the polished touches, but all are important. Have you ever started a project, but for two weeks later the project to lay on your kitchen table only partially completed? Half done. Cluttered, but you plan to come back to it. In the mean time, it is what it is, an unfinished but started project. What about this.... you are working to complete something good, but then something new catches your eye. Ooooohh! This new idea seems great, exciting, fun. So, you jump ship, leave the first project, maybe even the second project to work on this new thing, this new idea. Now you sit with not one, not two, but three projects, started, but unfinished. Maybe all equally good, maybe even all "God" ideas, but there they all sit, unfinished.

I find myself realizing how quickly that was becoming me. Tyler and I were riding home from church yesterday, talking. It's always good to talk to him because he provides great perspective for things. Upon completing my book in January, I set it aside for 3-4 months to take a break from it. I knew that the draft was completed, but the book was far from complete. I had something to work from, I had 70,000+ words as a place to start. I remember starting the project, getting specific direction "how" to write a book. That directions were to work on it bit by bit, little by little. "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." In my quiet time one morning, the Holy Spirit told me to just write for one hour, four days per week, first thing when I woke up. Even against my "religious" thinking, before my quiet time! The Holy Spirit directed me to write for ONE hour even before I had my quiet time. The funny thing is, guess what? It worked! It's funny how the Holy Spirit know us. He knew that first thing in the morning, I was fresh. First thing in the morning, I wasn't tempted to take a nap, or nodding off.

Well... the last few weeks, as I've been working through the editing process, I thought I would just do things my way. I'm smart, right? I can figure things out on my own, right? So without asking, I determined that I would do my editing in the afternoon during Tyler Juniors nap time. After several weeks, I found myself frustrated. A whole week would go by, and I would not have worked on my book at all. Nothing progressing, nothing moving forward. And even sometimes, like picking up a shiny coin, I would pick up a new thing, a new project.... one more thing to distract me from my goal, completion of my book. SO... on the way home from church yesterday, Tyler mentioned a quote I have heard him say before, it's something like this, "Broken focus is often the enemy to success." He pointed out these several projects I had picked up and gotten distracted with, and he saw it, I was starting to get overwhelmed and frustrated. I was starting to not know how I could get everything done. He reminded me that it would probably be good to FINISH my book and the other projects could follow. I immediately thought about the Proverbs 31 woman. What does she do? She CONSIDERS a field, she doesn't jump in immediately with both feet, she first CONSIDERS it. She expands prudently, not wanting to neglect her current duties, her current projects. Like the Proverbs 6 ant, she progresses little by little, she does bit by bit, until a project is completed and she can take on a new one, she can add to her plate.

What has worked before? How has the Holy Spirit directed you in the past? This morning is one of those "pat yourself on the back mornings" for me. I feel good. I woke up, wrote for an hour. THEN I read my Bible, now I'm writing this devotion. I'm working towards completion of a project that I started. I completed the book bit by bit, from September to December... it only took 4 months to write 70,000 words, doing little by little. Not overnight. Just a little bit at a time on a consistent basis.

What's a project you are working on? I heard a quote yesterday, "Continuity leads to emotional stability." Maybe it's having a regular quiet time.....if you just got consistent, the same time every day, I would almost bet that all around you would be more at peace, more stable, more solid.

What is it that you may need to look at? What is it that you can begin, or begin again to just do bit by bit?  Take advise from the Proverbs 31 woman, take advise from the ant. Is there something you can do & complete just by doing a little bit by bit?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

#189 - Avoid Shipwreck!

Good morning! Well... I must say, I have had an enjoyable morning. I am on cup of coffee #2, so that in itself is exciting! The majority of my pregnancy thus far, even the smell of coffee has been yucky to me, but my taste for it is back! Yippee!!! I have always enjoyed this part of my morning, my blond, yummy coffee, prepared especially for me by my husband. It's a highlight of my morning. :) Aside from that, this morning I am thankful for a screened in porch. Why? You know the sound of a fly, buzzing? Well, I've heard that sound several times this morning and noticed a really large fly. I'm excited because he just buzzes away without getting near me. Thank you screened in porch! Random... I'm hungry, so we need to get moving so I can go eat! Ha!
Proverbs 31:26-27 - She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.
1 Timothy 1:5-6 - ... the object and purpose of our instruction and charge is love, which springs from a pure heart and a good (clear) conscience and sincere (unfeigned) faith. 6But certain individuals have missed the mark on this very matter [and] have wandered away into vain arguments and discussions and purposeless talk. 
1 Timothy 1:19b - ... some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith. 
First of all... I hear you already. "Amy, are we on this verse again? It seems like you have been talking about Proverbs 31:26-27 a lot lately. Let's move on already, I've got it." It's amazing to me how the Holy Spirit is going to get His point made. He may come at things 100 different ways, but He is going to drive HIS point home to help US as believers avoid shipwrecks. His desire is to help US avoid destruction that that may come from sin or being too quick to speak. Today's Word is for a few, not for everyone, but DEFINITELY for a select few. A warning to avoid danger, sadness and inconveniences.

Both in Proverbs 31 and 1 Timothy, they reference 2 of the fruits of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23, kindness & love. As a goal of becoming the Proverbs 31 woman, we see that she is operating in the fruit of the Spirit. What is fruit? How do you get fruit? Fruit can not come until something is planted. I'm no farmer, but I know this much, if you don't plant an apple seed, you will never have apples. As believers, if you don't PLANT God's Word in your life by READING it, meditating on it, consistently studying it, you cannot produce the FRUIT of the Spirit. To have fruit, you have to plant!

TIP #1 - PLANT THE WORD! Study the Word. Meditate on the Word!

As we see in 1 Timothy, their purpose comes from one specific fruit of the Spirit, love. They are charged by love to help people avoid minor and major shipwrecks. Their purpose is love! Their instruction stems from love! What comes out of their mouth, the actions that they do, come from what they have planted. They have planted the Word, and the fruit comes out which is kindness (Proverbs 31 woman) and love (Paul & Timothy)!

The cause of shipwrecks? What went wrong? Why did the boat sink? Why did believers wander away from the faith? Why did people "miss the mark?" It most likely began with subtleties, even what seems innocent & harmless, but ultimately it remains what it is, gossip. Idle chatter. Vain arguments. Purposeless talk. What seemed harmless at first, led ultimately to a shipwreck.

I mentioned that today's devotion may not be for everyone, but it is really for a specific few. Why? The Holy Spirit said that their are some people who are rowing in REAL rocky waters. You are treading thin and heading for destruction if you don't change coarse. He said you still have time! You can still make adjustments. There is time to re-steer your ship and head a different direction, a direction that isn't headed straight into the rocks. IF corrections are not made, that is when one "misses the mark," "wanders away from the faith," that is when one SHIPWRECKS. Let the warning be out that I received. "Words specifically can get people into a lot of trouble. If they would just STOP talking at MY prompting. They will sense Me telling them to be quiet. Tell them to LISTEN to My Voice."

TIP #2 - LISTEN to the PROMPTING of the Holy Spirit. When you feel that uneasy sense deep inside you that maybe you shouldn't be talking, LISTEN! ZIP your lips and STOP TALKING!

TIP #3 - AVOID gossip, purposeless talk, & vain arguments.

So... avoid shipwrecks. The damage can be extensive & expensive. Is it really worth it to keep talking?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#188 - Observation is a KEY in Winning!

Good morning! The birds are in full harmony this morning & I love it. Tyler Junior is still snoozing, but when he wakes up he'll have a little friend just getting here that he can play with.... Zozo! He will be excited!! So... not time to dilly dally this morning, lets get going! :)
Proverbs 1:8-9 - My son, hear the instruction of your father; reject not nor forsake the teaching of your motherFor they are a [victor's] chaplet (garland) of grace upon your head and chains and pendants [of gold worn by kings] for your neck.  
Proverbs 31:1-2 - THE WORDS of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother taught himWhat, my son? What, son of my womb? What [shall I advise you], son of my vows and dedication to God?
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 was reminded again this morning of the importance of learning, observing, taking in.  As adults, even learning STILL from our parents. Allowing ourselves to but all of our "great wealth of knowledge" aside, and to just listen, to take in, to humble ourselves in submission to the fact that someone else may know more than we do. Proverbs 31 reminds us that King Lemuel is learning about who he should look for in a wife by listening to his mother. She is teaching him the qualities that are important, that will ultimately bless him and even take him further in life! She is teaching him & he is listening.

We've most likely all heard the phrase.... "You have 2 ears & 1 mouth for a reason!" Actually, if you think about it, you have 2 eyes, 2 ears & 1 mouth. In that case, 80% would be for receiving information, where only 20% would be for giving out or speaking. The Proverbs 31 woman practices this in Proverbs 31:27 by "looking well" to her household. She is taking in what is going on. She is OBSERVING! That goes along with Proverbs 1:8-9, heeding the instruction & teaching of parents leads to WINNING! They have gone before us, they have experienced more, they have learned things we have not learned. The lessons they have learned can lead us to experience victory! I've heard the phrase, "Experience is the best teacher." But truly it is OTHER PEOPLE'S experience that is the best! Learning from their mistakes, victories, journey, can speed up our path to victory! To paraphrase Proverbs 1:8-9, "The instructions & teachings of our parents are like putting a trophy in our hands or a medal around our neck. Their instructions lead to our victory."

"Looks well...." - Looks well is observing. Looks well is evaluating. Looks well may even mean slowing down to take an inventory. The Hebrew further describes it as: to watch closely, to spy, observe, look about.  The Proverbs 31 Woman has slowed down enough to make sure what is going on is what should be going on. She has slowed down enough to THINK and most likely LISTEN. The really awesome thing for today's Christian is that when we slow down to LISTEN, since Jesus departed, He left the Holy Spirit as our Guide. We have the Holy Spirit that hears us & can direct us. We must be in a position to listen though.

I was doing some research on how part of winning comes from observing. An article popped up on Internet Poker. I'm not a proponent of gambling, but many of the recommendations line up Check out some mistakes people make and see if it doesn't apply to Believers as well! I think it is right on the money! ;)

  1. Deliberately pursuing other activities while playing. (ie: Hello Multi-taskers! - I'm definitely guilty of this one!)
  2. Allowing yourself to be constantly distracted. (ie: Any of these strike a cord? - Cell phone, texting, FB, twitter... constantly having something you are doing. - OK, I'm guilty! )
  3. Failing to pay attention when you're not in a hand. 
  4. Playing in more than one online game before you have proven that you can consistently win in one. (ie: Are you working on establishing good habits, but jump from one thing to the next before really solidifying anything? Do you have a goal, and it changes before you have a chance to accomplish it? Always pursuing something new before winning at any one thing? )
  5. Failing to take good notes. (Learn from others experience!)

All just food for thought. How are you doing? If you took an inventory, how would you be doing in the 80/20 rule? Are you observing? Listening? Watching? More than you are speaking? I heard a minister once say, "I already know everything I'm going to say, by saying it, I'm not learning anything new. If I listen to someone else, at least I may be able to learn something new." 

Observing is a major key to WINNING and experiencing victory. How are you doing?

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