Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#227 - Laying the Foundation for Godly Children

Proverbs 31:1-2a - THE WORDS of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother taught him... What, son of my womb? What [shall I advise you] son of my vows and dedication to God?
Proverbs 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying]...
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Here in Proverbs 31, we could almost ask the same question because we are truly going a full circle with this Ultimate Woman of God. As we take a look at where the teaching of the "Virtuous Woman" really came from, we see in Proverbs 31 verse 1, the teaching is coming from King Lemuel's mother. She is ultimately teaching him basic godly principles. Early on in the chapter 31, she teaches him to not drink wine lest it pervert his judgement, speak for those who are not able to speak for themselves, judge righteously over the poor and needy, and then she wraps up the entire remainder of chapter 31 with qualities and characteristics of a godly woman, who we refer to as the Proverbs 31 Woman or Ultimate Woman. King Lemuel's mother is responsible for laying the foundation of what he should desire in a wife.

The Ultimate Woman does TWO things:
  1. Mother's TEACH Who the Proverbs 31 Woman is. 
  2. Mother's MODEL Who the Proverbs 31 Woman is. 
As we begin in Proverbs 31:1, we see firsthand how this King is learning what to look for in a wife, his mother taught him. His MOTHER taught him what to look for. His MOTHER is "advising" him as to the godly characteristics that will help him to accomplish God's calling on his life. This mother has vowed and dedicated her son to God. She has committed him to God. Now her desire is to raise him up to find his ULTIMATE COMPLETER. She knows his flaws, his weaknesses, his pitfalls. She knows those very areas in his life where she has had to provide assistance, maybe a crutch for him. Maybe support, encouragement, maybe some polishing up details of a project he has started but not completed. Mom knows just what qualities her son needs in his life to complete him VERSUS compete with him, in order for him to accomplish the great calling God has on his life.

I wish we knew a bit more background on this "King Lemuel," but he is an unknown king, and his background is a mystery. They Hebrew says he may be the same as King Solomon, but it is unknown. Knowing the background of kings in the Bible, we can look back to II Chronicles 24:1 and see that Joash began a 40 year reign as king beginning at age SEVEN!! He began as King at age 7!! Wow! Quite an early age to be running a nation! Do kids these days even tie their shoes at that age? Have they graduated from velcro to actual laces? I'm being a bit facetious here, but in all reality, most parents barely let their children play outside after dark when they are age 7, and here we have a 7 year old running a NATION! 

So... the question is... Mom's when is it too young to begin teaching your boys the qualities that are important in a wife? Mom's when is it too young to begin teaching your daughters the qualities they should aspire to attain as a godly woman/girl? In the case of King Lemuel, he could be 7, we do not know. But teaching our children from an early age is something that is a responsibility of mother's. 

I would anticipate that King Lemuel's mother isn't speaking from a hypocritical platform. I would anticipate, the characteristics she is teaching, she also models. At least, aspires to model most if not all of them. If we could go back and watch her, I bet we would see her raising up her girls to learn these qualities. One, through them watching her live out the qualities. Two, through teaching them hands-on to hone in on these qualities as well. As for her sons, as we can see in Proverbs 31, she is verbally instructing her son what to look for. She is steering her son towards the women of God he should be looking for in a wife. She is warning him to steer clear of the "loose woman" that may tempt him along the way (Prov. 31:3), she is addressing even the tough topics. She does not blindly let him just fall into the hands of the wolves (the loose woman). She is guiding him. 

Are you a Mom? If so, how can you begin today to lay a foundation for your children? Are you doing this already? What are some tips you may have to steer children in this way? Please share!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#226 - Wake Up Your Brain!

Proverbs 30:2-3 - Surely I am too brutish and stupid to be called a man, and I have not the understanding of a man [for all my secular learning is as nothing]. 3I have not learned skillful and godly Wisdom, that I should have the knowledge or burden of the Holy One.
Proverbs 31:10a - A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman--who is he who can find her?
Brainless. Have you ever went through your day and just felt like you had your brain turned off? Like you left your house without it? You left your brain & your cup of coffee on the counter as you headed out the door for work. Then... you went about your day just taking whatever came, accepting it and adjusting accordingly. Good & bad, you just accepted it.

This morning before I got into reading the Word, the Holy Spirit addressed this very issue with me. Here were some of His thoughts to me:
You have a lot more choices than you really are aware of. Choices to accept things & live with them, or simple choices NOT to accept certain things & live with them. Many believers go on with life never thinking, just accepting! If you & others would wake your BRAIN up, you would realize areas, little, simple areas of victory you COULD be walking in. These victories causing you to be more productive with less toil, happier & more fulfilled than you could have thought. 
Little, simple victories. I'm all about victories in my life! For me, part of what the Holy Spirit was referring to related specifically to energy, or lack there of.  Being 35 weeks pregnant, I have definitely had LOTS of times recently where I have been completely drained and in need of a nap. I've got to the end of my rope many days and had to sleep. The Holy Spirit addressed with me, speaking to my energy levels BEFORE getting tired. Speaking to my energy levels during a time I felt fresh. As it says in Romans, calling things that are not as though they were. Sure, we all have choices. I could leave my brain off, and when fatigue hit, just go with it and take a nap. Wrong, no, not necessarily. BUT what the Holy Spirit was wanting to reveal to me was this, I do not just HAVE TO accept what comes. I have choices! You have choices! So often, our brain is turned off to our rights as a believer, the promises that are ours. It takes a conscience effort to keep our brains turned on. To really evaluate, Is this right? Should I accept this or choose something different? Is there something better? What does the Word say?"

As it talks about in Proverbs 30:2 and Proverbs 31:10, we can live being stupid or being intelligent. Proverbs 30 talks about the stupid man living off merely his secular knowledge and this knowledge is as nothing. How awesome that as believers we CAN walk in skillful & godly wisdom. We have access to not just walking through life accepting what comes our way, but with our brains ON, and being tuned in to the Holy Spirit, we truly can live a better life! We can life a blessed life even in the simple areas. Even in the simple day to day activities like housework or grocery shopping or having energy! We can look to the Word for ANY situation we are going through and apply the Word, confess it & walk in it. Specifically for me & energy, I could choose to apply the Word this way:
Thank You Father that Your Word says in Isaiah 40:31, "But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired." Father, since Your Word says it, I'm going to believe it! Therefore I CHOOSE to have ENERGY! I choose to be RENEWED! Thank you Father for giving me energy! Thank you for being true to Your Word and performing it! I praise you that I can have a day filled with energy, energy that YOU promised! Thank You FATHER for ENERGY TODAY!!! 
Do you see how easy it would be turn on or off our brain? For me in this situation, to turn off my brain and accept fatigue without even a second thought. Or turn ON my brain, accept the WORD of God & His promises and receive energy! Unfortunately, many a days have went by where my brain has been turned off in this area, and I have just accepted fatigue.

What is it for you today? I challenge you today, don't just accept what comes your way today. Filter it! Do you REALLY want to receive it? Does it REALLY line up with the Word of God? Wake up your brain and walk in the promises that God has for you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#225 - Manipulation or Love?

Proverbs 25:15 - By long forbearance and calmness of spirit a judge or ruler is persuaded, and soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance.
Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
The Dictionary defines forbearance as patient endurance. The Hebrew breaks down soft (speech) tongue as tender, delicate, soft, gentle words. 
What about those hard to deal with people? Stubborn? Or even just those people who don't see it "your" way? Maybe you are trying to convince your spouse of something YOU want.... his resistance is frustrating and you just want to have your way. 

I used to be (and really probably still am) a very stubborn person. I believe the difference between my childhood stubbornness was the defiant iron will that came from my eyes, the hardness, the bonelike resistance. Like a bulldog, I was not going to let go or give in if I had my mind set on something. My teeth would have to be pulled out before I would let go of my grip on "my way." Patient endurance did not define my means of acquiring things, nor did opening my mouth in skillful or godly wisdom. 

Both Proverbs 25:15 & Proverbs 31:26 give us insight into breaking down bonelike resistance. It boils down to one word, not manipulation, but love. Love does not manipulate. Love does not try to twist words, position words in the best sales manner to succeed. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is soft. And with soft, kind, gentle words, love pulls, love does not push. Love draws in. Love does not force. 

Equally, in all of loves efforts to guide, give counsel and instruct, love also leaves the right for the recipient to refuse counsel, refuse guidance, refuse instruction. Love leaves room for freedom of choice. In attempts to break down the bonelike resistance, the stubbornness, love speaks softly. Love speaks in kindness. Loves true desire is wholeness, but love is strong enough to open hands of release. Love is strong enough to let go. 

Manipulation is a perverted way to get something that we want. Manipulation twists, and turns, positions in a sneaky way. Manipulation gets what it wants at any cost. Manipulation will lie & deceive. Manipulation is close-minded to anything but getting it's way. Manipulation's mindset will have it's way one way or another, even if it has to force it. 

Love allows freedom. Love softly and delicately prods. Love has soft eyes. Love draws in. Love yearns for, but because of it's great depth is willing to let go. With kind words, love ultimately seeks what is best, but allows freedom of choice. Love listens. Love is unconditional. Love is in spite of mistake. Love is in spite of betrayal. Love is present at all times, even in disappointment. 

Gentle words. A soft tongue. Love leaves God in control of the outcome. 

Substitute your NAME in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 where the word "love" is. Do you epitomize the meaning of "love?" Does your name fit?  

  • _(LOVE)_ is patient  

  • ______ is kind.  

  • ______ does not envy,  

  • ______ does not boast,  

  • ______ is not proud.   

  • ______ does not dishonor others,  

  • ______ is not self-seeking,  

  • ______ is not easily angered,  

  • ______ keeps no record of wrongs.  

  • ______ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  

  • ______ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

  • ______ never fails.
How are you handling your current situation? In Manipulation or Love? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#224 - If YOU Don't, Who Will?

Proverbs 24:11 - Deliver those who are drawn away to death, and those who totter to the slaughter, hold them back [from their doom].
Ezekiel 3:18 - If I say to the wicked, You shall surely die, and YOU do not give him warning or speak to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked way, to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand.
Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
Totter to the slaughter. Do you see that Christian friend of yours as they are walking hesitantly down the wrong path. They are tottering in their feelings and emotions. They are wavering, but led by an emotional pull to follow what "feels good." They focus on "self." This is what I want! This is what I deserve! It's MY life, this makes ME happy. Maybe it's an unbeliever, a co-worker, high school or college friend, someone you know who has NOT accepted Jesus as their Savior. They continue down the path of the world, with one ultimate outcome if nothing changes. Death. Hell. Eternal destruction. On that day, they get to the pearly gates and their name is not on the list, so they are cast down to damnation. Would they ask you the question? Why didn't YOU tell me? We were friends. Why didn't YOU let me know the importance of this decision? Why didn't YOU make it important enough for me to see it?

In either case, it sometimes may put us as a believer in an uncomfortable situation. Maybe you have watched this friend walking down the wrong path, all the while, feelings of frustration and maybe even anger are welling up inside of you. You see the decisions that are being made, soaked in self. Soaked in 'it's my right.' Soaked in everything but commitment and selflessness.

Maybe now is the time for you to open your mouth. It says the Proverbs 31 woman opens her mouth in skillful & godly Wisdom. However, it does not say it is easy for her to open her mouth. It does not say that the words she says came easily. I would anticipate, she sometimes had to address the difficult subjects. I would guess she has had to confront the uncomfortable situations, maybe even call someone out. Maybe truly having to "call it like it is." While everyone else stands by, watches silently as this person heads down the path of destruction. I would anticipate at times, though risking maybe even a friendship to open her mouth, she opens her mouth in attempts to SAVE her friend or family member. In love, but risking their very relationship!

Have you had that conversation? Is there someone in your life who YOU need to address the tough questions with? A Christian friend tottering, going the wrong way? A Non-Christian friend living every day as a risk without knowing Jesus?

We know the outcome of the non-believer. It tells us in Ezekiel plainly. They shall surely die. Here is the kicker, it also reprimands US if we do not warn them. If we do not open our mouth!  If I say to the wicked, You shall surely die, and YOU do not give him warning or speak to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked way, to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand. 

His blood, her blood, that guilt will be on MY conscience, YOUR conscience. It will be on OUR hands if we don't attempt to warn them. WARN them. That's all! Warn them. Give them fair warning of where they are going. Give them fair warning of the danger that lies ahead if they continue down that path. Once we have done that, we can rest assured that we have at least done our part. We have at least warned them. Sure, praying for them is still good if they choose not to change their ways, but at least the blood will not be on our hands. 

Who needs to hear from you today? Who needs a wake-up call? 

If YOU don't talk to your friend, WHO WILL? Will anyone? Are you the ONLY person who will tell them the truth? If YOU don't, WHO WILL? 


Need a book to read? Check out one of these!

Get Over Yourself - Jennifer Bechham (book)
23 Minutes in Hell - Bill Wiese (book or You.Tube Video hyperlinked!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

#223 - To Drink or Not to Drink?

Proverbs 23:33-35 - [Under the influence of wine] your eyes will behold strange things [and loose women] and your mind will utter things turned the wrong way [untrue, incorrect, and petulant]. 34Yes, you will be [as unsteady] as he who lies down in the midst of the sea, and [as open to disaster] as he who lies upon the top of a mast. 35You will say, They struck me, but I was not hurt! They beat me [as with a hammer], but I did not feel it! When shall I awake? I will crave and seek more wine again [and escape reality].
Proverbs 31:17a - She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]... 
Food & wine. Proverbs 23 talks directly about both subjects and most definitely gives us warnings in regards to both! Just for the sake of shedding some light on something new, I figured we'd touch on alcohol   today. It was not something foreign in the days of Jesus, and definitely is not something foreign today. Now... don't get your stones out quite yet... keep them in your bag. I'm going to give you maybe just some insight, opinions, and a look into what the Word says. Take it for what it is, and if you disagree, that is OK too!

As I read Proverbs 23 this morning, I had a flashback to my early days of college. Maybe like some of you, I too had some wild days before really becoming sold out to my Maker. Memories that maybe I'd rather forget, but are still there, in the deep recesses of my mind. I specifically remember a party I was at one summer, and Proverbs 23:35 describes my sense of "awareness" and rather "lack of awareness." "They struck me, but I was not hurt! They beat me [as with a hammer], but I did not feel it!" This verse is talking about someone who definitely had a lot to drink! This person would not even feel it if they were beat. Unfortunately, I can remember a time being in that state. (Praise the Lord for redemption, huh!?) 

Proverbs 23 is talking about not getting to this point. Not getting to the point of, lets say, "tipsy" or to the extreme "drunk." A bit earlier in Proverbs 23, in verse 20 it goes to the extent of even saying, "Don't associate with winebibbers."  Winebibbers in the Hebrew is described as: drunkards, to drink heavily or largely. 

The Proverbs 31 woman girds herself with mental strength. If one were too swayed from alcohol, or drunk, it would be a little difficult to be mentally strong. It may be a little challenging to pursue the God-given task set on one's life.

This is not meant to be an "in-depth" Bible study on drinking, but there is a lot you could study in the Word about the subject if you are interested. Did Jesus drink? From my minimal study on the subject, yes He did. But was it fermented wine or unfermented? :) From the standpoint of Proverbs 23, our main take-away could be this... Don't get drunk. Let's not allow alcohol to impair our mental capacities to make decisions, impair our judgement. Wine with a glass of dinner? What is my opinion? My opinion is, check it out for yourself. See where you want your stand to be. Maybe if one is in a ministry leadership role and it would make someone else stumble... maybe it's not such a good idea. If someone is not, then maybe for you, it's OK. To drink or not to drink? That is an question I will let you determine the answer for yourself.

Have a blessed day! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

#222 - Pencil in Your Maker!

Proverbs 22:17-19 (AMP) - Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; 18For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them19So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord, I have made known these things to you today, even to you.
Proverbs 22:18 (KJV) - Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.18For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.19That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
Proverbs 31:11a - The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely... 
Listening for change. We have the ability to LISTEN and by that very act, bring about change, not JUST change but change AND trust. Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise. One of the definitions in the Hebrew for ear is: to uncover the ear to reveal; the receiver of divine revelation. How many of us could use some divine revelation? I would say that divine revelation would be nice to receive EVERY day! Wouldn't you? Literally, think about your activities and decisions that you make throughout the day, wouldn't a little divine revelation be nice before making that decision? Whether big or small, it sure would be nice to have a little insight from God before making that decision, huh? 

The King James Version continues in verse 18 to say, For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee.   I was very interested to read how the Hebrew defines within. Check this out: belly, womb, body. Maybe this is just a very close concept to me being that I am 34 weeks pregnant, with a baby in my womb. For those of you who have been pregnant, you will know what I'm talking about, but let's just take last night for example. Trinity moved and moved and moved. Almost every move she made, I was aware of it. Her being "present" and "active" was something that I was FULLY aware of. Being in the womb, every kick, every jab, every hick-up does not go unnoticed. Last night I even had to, believe it or not, tell her it was time to go to bed! Mom was going to sleep, so it was time for her to go to sleep too! (She's still working on the obedience thing!) 

Here in Proverbs 22:17-19, it is talking about taking "wisdom," "words of the wise," to that same degree. That they be so embedded inside you that there is no escape from them. You feel the "jab" of wisdom when you are making a decision. From within your belly, as you make that decision, wisdom is SO within you, it's as if a little elbow nudges you in the ribs. WISDOM is present, there is no denying it. WISE WORDS rise up from within your belly. There is no hiding them. They are there. Like a baby in the womb cannot go unnoticed, especially at the latter part of pregnancy, WISDOM for  a Christian is the same. Wisdom is within and comes out in every decision. 

How to get wisdom? There are 2 main ways:

  1. The Word of God. - Hiding the Word in your heart. Consistently putting priority on the Word of God. Placing the Word of God, your time reading, meditating and seeking the Lord as the #1 priority in your life. 
  2. Association - The power of association is huge. As Proverbs 22:17 says, hear the words of the wise. Placing yourself in environments to learn. Whether it be under the authority and teaching of a man/woman of God (ie: your pastor, a Bible teacher, etc), or friends who prove to be "iron-sharpeners" in your life, as it talks about in Proverbs 27:17. Keeping the Word continually on your heart, in your mind, on your lips, and coming up from you belly! Being around people who the Word rises up from within them. In any given situation, the Word comes out. 
The Outcome?

Proverbs 22: 19 - So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord. 
The Hebrew talks about trust in this verse as: confidence, security, refuge, act of confiding. Refuge. When you think of refuge, you think of safe place, strong tower, safe from harms way. A place where you can go where there is no fear. A place of complete safety. A place of confidence. When we think about it from a decision standpoint, it is a decision made in complete confidence. Not wavering. Fully secure. 

The Proverbs 31 woman epitomizes this. Her husband trusts in her in this same way. He is confident in her. He relies on her. The Hebrew defines it as a bold trust & to feel safe. He does not have any doubt in her. He feels safe in the decisions she makes because she has proven herself to be one that hides the Word in her heart and associates with those who do the same. 

So today... what does that mean for you? Could you take some time to pencil in your Maker? Do you have consistent time with Him? Daily. Does He take 1st priority in your life & calendar? If not, maybe that would be a good place to start. Daily time to put His Word in your heart. Will you pencil in your Maker today? 

Friday, August 19, 2011


Yippee! A day of rest again! Love it!

Have a great Friday and blessed weekend! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

#221 - Comparing!

Proverbs 18:24 - The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 31:30a - Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain...
She has more friends than I do.
She's prettier than me.
She always has such a cute outfit on.
People invite her places all the time.
Her house is nicer than mine.
She is so nice.
She's always buying something new.
She is always doing something fun.
She & her husband always go out to eat.
Money doesn't ever seem like a big deal to her.
She's so good at making things.
She throws lots of parties.

Who is the "she" in your life? Who are the "Joneses" in your life? Are they there? Do you find yourself frequently discontent only when you look at the life of someone else? If you are truly just looking at your life, living your day, you actually like it.... you enjoy your life, until you compare it?

It's interesting, I found the Holy Spirit revealing some things to me this morning about this very issue. As I reflected on the "Joneses" in my life, I found myself realizing, all the areas where I felt inadequate or insecure (ie: all of their strengths), mirrored a lifestyle that would not even fulfill me. As I thought about my true perfect day, it would not be doing the daily and weekly activities that the Joneses did.

Tyler was sharing with me about a recent audio he listened to. It was by Marita Litweiller (author of Wired That Way). She went on to describe personality types. How opposites attract. What brings energy and life to different people. What energizes one person would be completely draining to the next person. They were not designed for that 'strength.' Where one person is energized by working out, running, lifting weights... the thought of being so "die-hard" would be draining to someone else. Equally, the bubbly wife always entertaining guests week after week, would be draining to the next mom. We were not all designed to be the same. We were designed to be different. We begin to get drained when we are trying to BE & DO those things that are a strength of someone else. Whether your a "one-person friend" or a "30 person friend," it's OK! You were designed just that way!

In the King James Version of Proverbs 31:30 it begins with, "Favour is deceitful, beauty is vain..." "Favour" in the Hebrew is also defined as "acceptance." "Deceitful" is also described as: in vain, disappointment, lie, wrong. So we're not just talking about the charming and graceful woman here in verse 30. We can look at it in a whole new way! We could also say this, "The woman who focused on being accepted is deceived, disappointed, living a lie. She is operating in vain."

Our desire to be accepted, to be like the "Joneses," to be like that co-worker who seems to have it all together is all vain. It all brings disappointment. I've heard this phrase that is helpful: "You will only ever be SECOND best if you try to be someone else, but you can be #1 at being the best YOU!" 

You can finish #1 ALL THE TIME when you are focusing at being the #1 YOU! When we compare, we will always find ourselves disappointed and discouraged. What are YOUR strengths? What is YOUR perfect day? What makes YOU happy? Focusing on those questions will help us to really experience fulfillment in this walk through life as a Christian. You are not called to be like "her." Be the best YOU and feel the wonderful release of pressure you've placed on yourself to be like someone else!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

#220 - Happiness for your Health!

Good morning! I would like to share with you something the Holy Spirit shared with me before we jump into some WORD.
" do not always have to receive a great 'revelation.' Sometimes basic truths are as important or more important than the hidden treasures. A basic foundation is essential to a solid house. Being in the Word, PERIOD, is important to gain direction for today.... but even for 10 years from now. What you & my children learn today may be something that emerges in a time of need 10 years from now. They are filling their arsenal. It's like adding quivers, bows to your stash. You will have what you need when you need it because of consistently filling yourself up with the Word." 
As we begin, remember, God's Word does not ever return void. When we place importance on hiding His Word in our heart, it takes root. It is placed there to emerge in a time we will need it. Continue to put the Word in your heart! Continue. Don't feel like what you are doing is in vain. Every day, every act of consistency is important. You may not know why the Word you hear for yourself today or tomorrow is good, but you may find 723 days from now it comes up out of your spirit at the exact time when you need it.
Proverbs 17:22 - A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 31:25b - ...she rejoices over the future... 
Proverbs 31:27b - ...the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat. 
It is important to our health to be happy! Have you ever heard that before? I remember when a popular book came out and it was accompanied by a DVD series you could watch. I remember watching some of the segments and it talked about this exact idea. A woman was featured on the DVD who was healed of cancer. Like the verse talked about, a happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing. To help this verse come to a reality to her, she and her husband spent night after night renting and watching funny movies. They would watch comedians. They would do anything and everything that would bring laughter. As she spent time laughing, rejoicing, enjoying every day and night, healing came to her body. Before long, she returned to the Doctor to find out that the cancer was gone from her body.

In our world today, "self-pity" often seems easier for us to hold on to than laughter. It is often easier for us to share the "whoa-is-me" syndrome with our friends, people from our church. In our efforts to share the negative with others, we package our negative in the form of, "Please pray for me. You'll never believe what happened....." Then the negative begins to spill out. Now... don't get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of prayer, and having prayer warriors go to the throne of God on my behalf, or on the behalf of someone I know who is in need. Although, Tyler and I are often very cautious of who we tell to "pray for us" or who we let into some of the "personal" situations that we may be addressing. We often take in great consideration, can this person believe with us? Can they be in agreement with us on what we are believing God for? Can they keep their words positive and not speak negative over the situation? Can they keep themselves from using our "prayer request" as just another form of gossip to share a "whoa-is-me" story with someone at church on Sunday?

Our Proverbs 31 friend rejoices over the future. She applies the "happy heart" and the "cheerful mind" to her day and her life. She avoids the "self-pity" that could easily creep itself up in the event something did not go as planned. A broken spirit dries up the bones. Self-pity adds to a broken spirit.

Do you need health? Do you need healing to your body? Maybe take a dose of the medicine it talks about in Proverbs 17:22. A dose of happiness for your health. Say good-bye to the "whoa-is-me blues" and bring on the laughter!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#219 - Feel Confident with Your Decision!

Proverbs 16:33 - The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him].
Proverbs 31:16a - 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]...
Have you ever had an important decision to make, a decision that is a pretty big deal, that will affect the next several years of your life? Maybe the rest of your life? It's important, you really want to make sure you make the right decision. It's going to affect everything.

As you begin your decision making process, you begin to weigh the options. Maybe you are a list person, so you write out all the pro's & con's on a piece of paper. You may fold your paper in 3 sections, use a ruler to make a straight line and begin to neatly bullet things out. Or, maybe you're the type that just gets out a sticky note, and scribbles a few things down. You may be the thinker. The person who sits on it for awhile, days, thinks it over and over. Quietly & to yourself, but you just think. Then, there are those of you who are talkers. You just have to talk to enough people, hear yourself think outloud, hear the ideas come out, get the opinions of others to help narrow down your decision.

Whichever type of person you are when you make decisions, hopefully you do pray or take a minute to just bounce it off the Holy Spirit.

Whenever I read Proverbs 16, I think of it as a "Power Chapter" when it comes to making plans & deciding things. Verse after verse it talks about "plans." Something that I found comforting this morning was the very last verse, "The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him]." Since the term "lot" isn't something that we commonly use today, I decided to get a bit more clarity and check how the original Hebrew defined "lot." The definition that made the most sense to me was this: a systematic way for making decisions. 

So here you are.... the big decision on the table. Maybe it's a job, moving to a different city, getting married, buying a house, changing churches, starting a business, closing a business, beginning to have kids... whatever the "big decision," it's on the table. Whatever your "lot," your "systematic way for making decisions," you begin the process. What I like, as a Christian, is the latter part of the verse. Though we plan, we systematically sketch out our thoughts, pro's and con's, at the end of the day, the Lord is going to ultimately direct us. Especially when we are seeking Him, acknowledging Him, considering Him, we are going to be led the right way. We are going to choose the "right spouse," the "right house," the "right city to move to." God is not in the business of leading us awry, but leading us down the path of life, godliness & favor. 

Our Proverbs 31 woman, follows the same process as we do. She "considers." The Hebrew breaks the word "consider" down as this: to fix thoughts upon, devise, plan, consider, to purpose. In the case of Proverbs 31:16, she is considering buying a field, basically jumping into a new business venture. She takes time to fix her thoughts, her undivided attention upon weighing her options. Is this a wise business decision for her?  

Friend, take comfort. God will not lead you astray. If you need one last "check" in finalizing your decision, a rule of thumb I always use is this: Let PEACE be your umpire.  In the natural, if I am not sure which way to go, I follow peace. With which decision do I have the most peace? The Holy Spirit is peace. I allow peace to direct me. I also heard Tyler say this recently, which is extremely helpful, "The Holy Spirit always pulls, the enemy, Satan always pushes. There is pressure with the enemy." If I feel pressure, I typically stray away from that decision.

As you acknowledge the Lord, take peace. Whatever the decision you make, it is not accidental. Take confidence in knowing, since you acknowledged the Lord, He will not lead you astray!

Monday, August 15, 2011

#218 - Don't Fret! Expect Favor!

Good morning! Well.... I'm officially 33 weeks pregnant today. I get to go to the Doctor this morning to check and see how Trinity is doing. :) Whoo-hoo! Our little girl is growing and SO is mama's belly! I measured my belly the other day.... I have definitely surpassed Tyler!! I am currently 44 inches around. Whoa! I have also graduated out of most of my bed-time t-shirts and have started snagging Tyler's t-shirts. Ha! All is well though. Trin is healthy, I am healthy, Tyler & Tyler Jr are healthy.... and we are all excited to meet Trin in a few weeks. Wow! Could be as soon as 35 days and I will be full-term. It seems closer when you break down the days. I'm definitely doing my best to enjoy each day! Tyler Junior will soon not be an only child getting all the attention, so I want to enjoy this time. Although, I must say, it will be nice to have my body back! :)

Ok... ok... let's get into the Word this morning so I can scoot off to the Doctor. :)
Proverbs 15:15 - All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].
Proverbs 31:25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
Have you ever found yourself asking questions similar to these?: How are things going to turn out? Will it be good for me? Will I like the outcome? 

I've found personally that it really takes an active effort to keep my thoughts on the positive, rejoicing over the future, though I may not know the exact details of how circumstances will turn out. I don't know if you can relate, but in a time of change it can be easy to err on the beginning of Proverbs 15:15, allowing anxious thoughts and forebodings to creep in. What are "forebodings?" The dictionary defines it as a strong inner  feeling or notion of future misfortune. Proverbs 15:15 tells us that days are made evil because of this very thing, dwelling on the possibility of future misfortune. That is what makes ALL THE DAYS evil, by dwelling on the potential negative that COULD happen.

Do you see the glass half empty? Or do you see the glass half full? Do you expect favor in the situation you are in? Or do you look at all the possibilities where things could turn wrong? If we broke things down, we could say that Proverbs 15:15 is telling us to SEE THE GLASS HALF FULL! Take on an optimistic spirit. Take on a FAVOR mindset. Be favor minded!

Our Proverbs 31 friend is rejoicing over the future. She has done what she can do. She has prepared what she can prepare. She determines within herself, to now, rejoice over the future. The preparations have been made. Like her thoughts are, "Let the outcome be what it may, but I am going to set myself in agreement with favor. I believe that God is working everything out on my behalf. I am prepared. I am ready and the future is going to bring great things to me & my household! With God on my side, who can be against me?"

Don't fret. Don't care. As it says in the 1 Peter, "Cast ALL your cares on Him for HE cares for you!"  

As you set yourself in agreement with the WORD and not the WORLD, watch God work on your behalf. Regardless of circumstances, regardless of the situation, put yourself in agreement with the Word. Speak it out loud!
"MY GOD will even make my mistakes to prosper! I walk in divine favor! All things are working together for my good in Jesus Name! With God for me, who can be against me? ALL things are possible with God. Favor, favor, favor! God's favor is working for me now!"
Don't fret! Agree with the WORD and watch favor line up on your behalf!

Friday, August 12, 2011



I am going to enjoy my Day of Rest! SOOOOO excited! It feels so needed. Have a great Friday and a blessed weekend! :) 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#217 - Let God WIN Through YOU!

Good morning! :) All is well here in Columbia, SC. I've been meaning to post a "prego" picture....since I haven't gotten around to it, I'll at least give you an update! :) I am almost 33 weeks pregnant.... that means only 5 more weeks until I am full-term (38 wks)....technically 7 more weeks until my due date of October 3rd. Trinity is definitely growing and ACTIVE! She has been kicking a TON. I have had a great pregnancy. Praise the Lord, I haven't been sick at all (I'm redeemed from sickness). Other than the need for the occasional nap, I have been pretty good. Sleeping at night has been a bit interesting. For those of you who have been pregnant, you know what I mean! It's like trying to roll over with a heavy bowling ball on your stomach! Arghhhhh! I must admit, yesterday was quite a day. I commented to Tyler, "If I could just take off my stomach for an hour... or even just a few minutes, that would be so wonderful! I'll put it back on... but if I could just have a quick break. Breath normal, not be so heavy." 5, 6, 7 weeks seem like a long ways away yet to continue to be pregnant. Do I sound like I'm getting antsy? OK... preach to me, I need it! "Amy, enjoy ever step of this time. Don't wish it away. You will soon be in a different phase, taking care of a newborn. Enjoy this time with Tyler Junior and with your husband. This will be the last time Tyler Junior is an 'only child.' Enjoy it." 

Ok.... Ok... good preaching! :) I need to hear it sometimes! :) Well, we are going to get started into the Word. I actually did follow today's scheduled reading and got into the Psalms schedule, so let's go!
Psalm 41:1-3 - BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) is he who considers the weak and the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the time of evil and trouble.The Lord will protect him and keep him alive; he shall be called blessed in the land; and You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will sustain, refresh, and strengthen him on his bed of languishing; all his bed You [O Lord] will turn, change, and transform in his illness.
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]. 
Did you ever realize what POWER there was in helping the poor, needy or weak? I remember hearing my mom tell me about my dad giving money to a man on the street. If I remember correctly I believe they were in California visiting my brother. Where there were homeless everywhere, streets lined with different men and women, hands out, asking for money or food. The question came up, "How do you know they aren't going to use the money for drugs? How do you know they aren't a phony and do this for a living? There are so many of them, everywhere, we can't give to all of them." My dad's response was simple, "We cannot control what they do, we can only control our obedience to the Word." At that moment, my dad had felt led to give to that specific man on the street. From there, it was as if he was lending to the Lord. As it says in Proverbs 19:14, "He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will repay to him." My dad was walking in obedience & a leading he was prompted to follow. 

As we read Psalm 41, we see how GREAT being a blessing and considering the poor really is. Not only is it the right thing to do, but in doing so, the Lord in-turn will sustain, refresh & strengthen us if we are sick, if we come down with something. The LORD will refresh us! The Lord will change & transform the illness to healing! The Hebrew says that it will be overturned, turn about, be reversed, be overthrown! The illness brought on by the enemy will be OVERTHROWN! Boo-yah! God sees. God sees when we give to the poor. God sees when we are kind to the poor. The Proverbs 31 woman opens her hand to the poor. She reaches out to the needy. Whether in body, mind or spirit, she helps them, she offers her assistance, she gives them food, or friendship, whatever is needed. 

If sickness comes upon our body, we can put God in remembrance of His word as it says in Isaiah 43:26, "Put Me in remembrance [remind Me of your merits]; let us plead and argue together. Set forth your case, that you may be justified (proved right)." We can remind God of our merits, our deeds or actions we have done to honor Him. Isaiah tells us to DO IT! We are not being selfish to REMIND GOD. We are putting Him in remembrance of what His Word says. It shows action on our part. It shows that we know His Word. It shows faith & diligence to put Him in remembrance of His Word. Then we are to STAND. Stand on His Word. Stand on His promises. Stand, without wavering. Stand!
My desire, My will is health & wholeness. Don't give up children. Don't give in to the enemy. What the man of God said was true, 'My children give up too easily. They need to fight.' Yes. Fight the good fight of faith, that includes the fight against the enemy. You have everything you need to win. The will to live & the will to win is key. If my children give in to the enemy, they tie My hands. Don't give in to defeat. STAND! Stand! Be strong & courageous  & STAND! Put on your armor, take up your shield & sword & stand. If you feel weak, STAND! Watch MY strength come upon you to STAND & FIGHT! Your stand shows Me your faith. Your stand coupled with My strength & power & your will to WIN! Let the weak say, 'I AM STRONG.' Their strength comes through Me. I will show Myself strong. I need you to stand so I have someone to win through!
Let God win through you! Stand. Fight. Watch your victory come to pass! If God's Word says it, will you believe it?

Help! Quick Question!

  • How have YOU personally applied Proverbs 31:15 in your life? 
  • Do you have any tips that may help others? 
  • Do you have a certain routine that you go through? 
She rises while it is yet night and gets 
[spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. (AMP)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#216 - "But I'm Not Good Enough"

Proverbs 10:6 - Blessings are upon the head of the [uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright, in right standing with God)...
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.
Proverbs 24:16a - For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again... 
Have you ever read the Bible and come across a scripture and thought, "But, I'm not righteous. I've messed up. I guess this verse doesn't apply to me." With your head hung down a bit in defeat, you just accept that maybe the "blessings" in the Bible don't apply to you because you are just "not good enough."

As I began reading Proverbs this morning, I honestly couldn't get past Proverbs 10:6. I got a whole SIX verses into reading the Bible until I had to stop. "Blessings are upon the head of the [uncompromisingly] righteous." I sat and pondered that word, righteous. Racing into my head came all of the most recent times I've messed up. Maybe done something that I shouldn't have done, maybe having not been as patient as I should have been, maybe I said something that was 'off-color', maybe I acted out of selfishness. Immediately, the enemy wanted me to reject Proverbs 10:6 for myself, to hang my head in defeat and just accept the fact that the verse is just not talking about me.

I decided to look up "righteous" in the Hebrew to see what the original meaning was talking about. The same Hebrew word was used for both Proverbs 10:6 & Proverbs 24:16. Tsaddiyq. It's pronounced, sad-eek. Tsaddiyq in the original Hebrew means right in one's cause or righteous in conduct & character. I was interested to find that no where in the original meaning for this word did it say "PERFECT."

"But, I'm not perfect. I've messed up. How can I be considered righteous? 
How can these verses actually include me??" 

I have good news for you! Proverbs 24:16 says, For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again. The righteous. The tsaddiyq man falls. Falls. What does "falls" mean in the original Hebrew? It is the Hebrew word naphal and the definition includes "to fall short, to fail."

This righteous person, right in his/her cause, righteous in his/her character & conduct MESSES UP, FALLS SHORT, FAILS! Usually this righteous person has good intentions, but the bottom line is that he/she falls short and sins. Here is where grace & faith come in. Romans 3:24 & 28 remind us that we are justified FREELY by God's grace... man is justified by faith.

Though we may fall, we can KEEP GETTING BACK up! Though we may sin, the grace of God is there every time to forgive us and draw us back into right-standing with Him! Matthew talks about how many times you should forgive... not just 7, but 70 times 7. Forgive your brother over and over and over. If he/she is willing to come for forgiveness, forgive! And God is the same. If we are willing to come and ask for forgiveness, he will heed His own Word! He will forgive. Restoring us to a place of right-standing with Him.

What of the Proverbs 31 woman? She excels them all.... but just by knowing Romans 3:10 & 12, we know she is not perfect. "There is no one righteous, not even one... ALL have turned away...." Even the woman who appears perfect, she was not. She has also messed up! She too, needed to cling to grace & forgiveness.

You are deserving. Jesus went to the cross for YOU. You are the child of the Most High God! Being a child of the Most High God, makes you an HEIR! Have you ever thought about the rights of an Heir? Not just ANY heir, but the heir of Jesus. A "co-heir with Christ" as it says in Romans 8:17. Because of the grace of God, you ARE good enough! Receive the blessings that are yours today. And if you mess up, go to the throne of grace & receive the forgiveness that God is waiting to give you. He desires your humility to Him. Your humble spirit. He desires to forgive no matter how great or small the sin. Don't let Satan talk you into thinking you are not good enough! Because of Jesus, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! Go out today and be blessed!

QUESTION: Can YOU share with me about Proverbs 31:15?

Proverbs 31:15 - 
She rises while it is yet night and gets 
[spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. (AMP)

  • Can you share with me someone you know who represents this verse? Do you have a story? I'm looking for women examples of this verse and would love to hear your feedback. 

  • OR... what are YOUR thoughts on this verse? Does it stretch you? Do you like it? Is it something you are already good at? Was it instilled in you when you were younger by your mother? 

Please share your story! :) It may be added in the book I'm currently working on, "The Ultimate Woman."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#215 - The Ultimate Game

Proverbs 9:3,6 - She has sent out her maids to cry from the highest places of the town...Leave off, simple ones [forsake the foolish and simpleminded] and live! And walk in the way of insight and understanding.
Proverbs 31:15 - She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.
Life is busy. Would you say these would be some of the priorities you deal with? Job, kids, family, cleaning the house, owning a business, doing laundry, cooking, working to have a consistent quiet time, working out, reading maybe some self-improvement books, trying to stay organized, keeping the bedroom picked up and clothes in their place, spending quality time with your spouse.... and then maybe even some down time for you. With all the priorities we already have, is there really room for anything else?

I looked at Proverbs 9 this morning and noticed that it is talking about "Wisdom" here. Wisdom is sending out maids to help guide people to insight and understanding. Wisdom is trying to steer the foolish, those who may be on the wrong path. She is trying to steer them to the path of LIFE. Wisdom wants them to live. We know that our Proverbs 31 friend walks in wisdom as well, and she also has maids. As a Proverbs 31 woman, do we have more of a responsibility? As a Christian, with our long list of things that occupy our time, do we have more of a responsibility? We are reminded of this responsibility also in Matthew 28:19, where it tells us to "GO and make disciples!" Here we see Wisdom doing that very thing, leading people to insight & understanding (which ultimately is Jesus.)

I would anticipate that our Proverbs 31 friend does the same as Wisdom. Being on her game to share the gospel. Being on her game to step out in boldness and ask the tough questions. Being on her game to steer others to the path that leads to life. Sometimes it is as simple as one question, "Do you know Jesus? Do you know what he did for you?"

To be on point. To play in the "The Ultimate Game," the game of leading people to the truth, leading people to life.

As we go about our productive, daily lives... today, is there anyone in your path that may not know Jesus? Could YOU be the one to ask them the question that may very well change their life? Change their eternity?


Check out the video in yesterday's post! 
Jesus did all of that for YOU, me & the person who needs to know Him. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

#214 - Two Paths

Proverbs 8:2 - On the top of the heights beside the way, where the paths meet, stands Wisdom [skillful and godly];
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!
Have you ever found yourself at a decision point? A point in life where you have 2 paths, 2 distinct paths. One path you are more drawn to, it is more comfortable, it may even feel better. You see the lights & glimmer, lots of possibilities with the first path. The first path makes you feel good, IF you can avoid the uncomfortable gnawing in the pit of your stomach. IF you can ignore the gut feeling that quietly tries to prompt you NOT to take that path.

There is a second path. The second path does not seem to make logical sense. From first glance, it seems to be drawing you away from your ultimate destination, what seem to be your goals, your dreams, the opportunities that are jumping at you. The second path seems rougher, less obvious, it seems to show less glitter, less possibilities, less glamour. For some reason, this 2nd path, though you don't want to be drawn to it, you feel like it is the path you should take. All the reasoning in your mind, you try to shake it off, you try to tell yourself the other path is fine, it's the path of "opportunity & advancement."

You know the path, don't you? You've seen both of them. Maybe it is the path of career advancement. It appears glamorous, but with just a hint of "the world" and "compromise." Maybe it is the path of the comfortable relationship. You're dating, he is not a Christian and has no desire to make that decision, but you are great friends, comfortable, other than your faith, you have a lot in common. Maybe it's the path of honor. Honoring your father & mother, or holding on to bitterness & unforgiveness to wrongs that were done you. Maybe it is the path of destiny. Do you continue in the job where you are comfortable, make good income, unfulfilled, but doing well? Or do you jump out into what you are really called to do, what you are really passionate about? You've always wanted to write a book? You've always wanted to be a teacher? You've always wanted to own a restaurant and cook for people? You've always wanted to be a minister? You've always wanted to be a missionary and share the gospel?

As I continue to read and study about the Proverbs 31 woman, she has chosen her path. Her path leads her to reverently & worshipfully fear the Lord. Her path leads her to make decisions based upon her respect & honor for the Lord. Her path leads her down the road less traveled. Her path leads her on pursuits she maybe never imagined, pursuits that she started maybe uncomfortable, unsure.... the path where she did not know what the next step was, pursuits nonetheless where at the end of the day, she prospers.

I encourage you today to look at the paths that lie ahead for you. Do you take the path that leads to godliness or the path that leads to compromise? Do you take the path that honors our heavenly Father or the path that ensures worldly success? Do you take the path that is merely comfortable or the path that causes you to fully rely on the Lord?  

I anticipate, as the following poem reads.... if you take the path of the Lord, it will make all the difference!

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could 
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.

The Road leading to Jesus does make all the difference!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

#213 - The Path of Clarity

Proverbs 4:12, 18  - When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble. But the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared].
Proverbs 31:18b -  ...her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night ...
It's early in the morning, and you are standing in the forest. The early beams of light are shining through the trees onto the path. The vision is magnificent. The light morning fog is lifting and the path before you is lit up as the rays embrace its outline. There is no mistake. You know exactly where you are going, the path is leading you. Your direction is sure. With the light as your guide, you begin your journey to your next destination.

Clear & open. No questions. No confusion. Clarity. Do you just want to know that you are on the right path? Headed the right way? You CAN know. Proverbs 4 tells us our path is clear & open, like the morning light shining to give you direction it makes your path brighter and clearer! Clarity. The questions are subsiding, the fuzziness of decisions are coming into focus. You CAN know exactly where you are supposed to be. You CAN know the exact path and direction that you are supposed to be traveling. Isn't that good news?!

The Proverbs 31 woman keeps her lamp on. Her lamp burns continually, just as the light of dawn, the light reveals areas where we may not want to step. The light magnifies areas we want to avoid so we do not stumble.

What is the "light?" How can I have it? As a believer, the light within us is continually burning, the Holy Spirit is continually at work within us to direct us on this clear path, this path of clarity.

I was reminded this morning to acknowledge the Lord more frequently throughout the day. When a question arises, or a decision needs to be made, to take a moment and stop. Stop and ask. Even if the question is just in my head and I pause long enough to acknowledge the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will direct me. Often, a question that I need to ask is this, "Holy Spirit, what should I do next? I'm feeling tired and fatigued, do I just press on to finish this task or should I take a break?" He knows exactly what I need to do in order to complete the tasks that HE has laid out for me for the specific day. In acknowledging Him, I do not stumble. He shines clarity on the tasks at hand. He makes my path clear. He shines light on the activities that are on my "to-do list" that may be in vain, the activities that may add no value that I just "thought" would be good. HE will direct me with clarity.

I encourage you today. When you are feeling weary, having questions, feeling like you are going to stumble.... take a moment... pause... close your eyes and envision the morning light shining in through the trees on your path... envision clarity and ask the Holy Spirit what you should do. He will give you clarity. He will shine light to your path.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

#212 - Prove It!

Good morning! It is one of those mornings where God just overwhelmed me with His Word. Proverbs 3 is so full of good nuggets & insight. Where do we even begin?! If I could... if I had no other responsibilities or schedule (aka: getting a child up and feeding him! ha!), I think I would just enjoy sitting here and reading over and over all the topics that are covered just in this ONE chapter! For the sake of time, your time & mine, we will stick with one or two main "take-aways" from the Word this morning. Let's get started!
Proverbs 3:1 - MY SON, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments...
Proverbs 3:9-10 - Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of all your income; So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine.
Malachi 3:10 - Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Proverbs 31:18a - She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good...
I'm sure you NEVER do this... but, a shot in the dark.... have you ever questioned God's Word? Maybe in your heart, deep down you believe it, but in your mind you'd thinking, "Come on God! Where are the results?! This is what it says, why isn't it happening? When is it going to happen?" I'm sure you never think that, but I must say, at times I have.

I woke up this morning and began my normal "routine." Got my yummy coffee that Tyler made for me, grabbed my phone, the baby monitor & my Bible, turned on the lamp light on the end table (because who knows, lamp lighting is SO much better than the bright ceiling lights!), and sat comfortably on my couch, propping my Bible on my lap with a soft pillow. Tyler had a meeting with his boss... which by the way, according to Proverbs 3:4, TYLER shall find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight  of God and his boss, Kim! Since he had his meeting, he was gone early, so it was just me. Me, the silence & my Bible. Quite a good combination!

As I journaled, I was just putting God in remembrance of His Word! I was THANKING Him, according to certain scripture, for what I have believed for to come to pass. I was REMINDING God what His Word says. Ok, are right, God did not forget what His Word says, and the Bible also says He is a Performer of His Word. He brings His Word to pass. As I thanked Him, I was just reminding Him that, I too, know what His Word says. I too, am standing on faith that His Word works! After doing all this, and taking some time to journal and write down what I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying to me, I cracked open my Bible to Proverbs 3. Wouldn't you know it, the very first verse says,  forget not my law or teaching.

I immediately thought of Joseph. I thought of Joseph's long journey from being thrown into a pit by his very own brothers, being sold into slavery to a passing caravan, being accused of making a pass at another man's husband (but being innocent), being thrown into jail unjustly and staying there for years, until finally he was lifted out of the place where he was and put into a position, 2nd in command over the WHOLE nation! He literally SAVED nations from starvation during a point of famine. I thought about Joseph because I can only imagine, being human, that at times maybe it was a bit discouraging. That, like me, maybe he too wondered, "Lord, where are the results? Where is the fruit from the dream that you showed me as a teenager? When is the time going to come where I see & live my dream?"

I would anticipate that those thoughts had to go through Joseph's mind at some point. My solution. Patience, obedience & putting God in CONTINUAL remembrance of His Word! One area where we can be faithful that is EXTREMELY important is the area of tithing. What is tithe? By definition, it is 10% of our increase. 10%. Not our "loose change" that we flippantly just throw into the offering plate as it flies by. The neat thing, is what the Word promises, in numerous places, but here you see it in Malachi & in Proverbs!
Proverbs 3:9-10 - Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of ALL your income; So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine.
Malachi 3:10 - Bring ALL the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and PROVE ME NOW by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
I take some things very literally.... and with this, I take it literally also. In Amy's translation of the dictionary, "all" means "ALL." "Everything... leaving nothing out. ALL."  Even if I get a gift, birthday money, Christmas money, any increase of income, I choose to give the 1st fruits of it, 10%.  The blessing that follows is that in the Bible, Malachi 3:10 is one of the only places where THE LORD says to PROVE ME! Or in another translation, TEST ME. He is telling us that HE WILL PROVE to US that if we are faithful, HE will bring to pass the blessings, the overflow. So much that our "storage places" (aka: in today's time, bank accounts.) will overflow & increase. We will not even have ROOM for all that He has in store for us. Now friend, THAT, is good news!

Our Proverbs 31 friend is able to "taste & see." She has tithed, she has operated in patience, faithfulness, diligence, and she gets to the wonderful place of TASTING & SEEING the fruit of her labor! She is enjoying the increase & blessings that come along with faithfulness. Praise the Lord.

God is NO respecter of persons. His Word will work for you too! Prove it Lord! Prove it! Let's put Him in remembrance of His Word. He IS faithful and He WILL preform it!

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