As I sit in Silence..

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March 1st, I embarked on a 31 Day Fast. I am not on Social Media, enjoying a life of clean eating, along with exercise, limited TV and not doing any type of interaction with friends and only immediate family.  Praying twice daily for clarity on some life decisions and for the answers for others, who sent me prayer requests.

After 9 days, my senses have cleared tremendously, they are more sharpened. I can see beyond distractions and my time has been put to use doing things of value. My long talks with God has been a back and forth negotiation of sorts.  I hear his voice clearly, there is no compromise. Revelations on who and what, I should put my time into starting in April. It has been hard!! He is revealing the truth behind the veil…It is during these times, I can really sense a spiritual shaking in my life. I can hear the spiritual battle taking place between good and evil. My spirit man communicates with God, accepting responsibility for sin and repenting hourly…every second sometimes.  God knows my heart. He knows everything…everything we believe is hidden.

Most evenings I sit in silence, listening to praise and worship music. I am hearing every single word. Applying it to my life…applying it to my life, yes really applying it! Questioning whether I adhere to it or just sing it? Do I rock and raise my hands to the beat or the fact it truly applies to my life?  Does it truly minister to my spirit man, because I am seeking change, guidance or simply something that I have overcome? All these questions came forth in my silence and I had to take an honest look at myself, my life, my circle of friends and my future.

Initially I sought Gods daily answers on what scriptures to study. Every evening, God gave me a Chapter. Its awe inspiring that each one centered on sin in some form. How one mans downfall can affect all who are within reach. How our faith must withstand challenges, pitfalls and be put to major tests. How each point of our lives, each place we are planted is important to our process. I begin to decipher the sin in my own life, the excuses I made and the changes I would need to put in place.

Several days ago, God  pushed me into Revelation…the end times. I believe it is paramount and no coincidence that I have developed a passion for this book. It can be a scary book for many…yet a comfort for those who truly are committed to living for Christ. Revelation will scare the hell of folks…literally!

As I sit in silence, I stare at myself more in the mirror. Wondering if my sin is just as visible on me as it is on others. I’m taking note of each and every  person I come in contact with. I study their face, their eyes, their skin. I smile, they smile back. I can often see the stress, the chaos, the sin in their lives…yes its visible. It manifests itself, whether we attempt to hide it or not. Its not cute to look at on everyone, better yet yourself.

As I sit in silence, I realize that this walk with Christ is not easy, yet its paramount to get it right…not perfect…but right.

Right, requires a renewing of the mindset, right requires a heart transplant, right requires a spiritual death.  Right, requires a decision on our part. Right requires patience. Right requires faith.

However right, brings a multitude of blessings…right brings peace, right brings love, right brings light..right brings clarity.

As I sit in silence, away from every thing and everyone…even some people who I hold dear and near to my heart, I can do nothing but hold on to faith…press through…pray through..listen through…

Because I know Right brings Life

…and I’d rather have that over death any day..

Be Blessed

Stephanie

 

What are little boys made of?

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The first instant replay was recorded in Genesis! Genesis 1 gives us a play by play overview of the beginning of the world. In Genesis 2:4-8 God formed man, The Hebrew word for formed is the same word that is used of a potter forming and shaping clay. It suggests an artistic, inventive activity that requires skill and planning- a work that is done with great care and precision.

We can only imagine what it must have been like for God to take simple dust from the ground and to skillfully fashion it into man with countless atoms, cells, organs and complex intricate systems that mystify brilliant scientists.

Then lo and behold, God breathed his own breath into the form so that he became a living soul, a reflection of his own likeness!. He created him out of the dust of the ground, then placed him in the garden of Eden. The Hebrew word for garden indicates an enclosure, a plot of ground protected by a wall or hedge. This designated space was to be man’s new home, where he would be joined with a wife and start a family.

Later we see in Genesis 2, that when a man gets married, he leaves his family or origin, in order to initiate a new family unit. So when God put man in the garden, it appears God set the man up in his own place to be head of a new home.

The mans responsibility to leave and launch a new family unit indicates that taking initiative is at the core of what it means to be a man. God doesn’t want boys to remain boys. He wants them to become men. He wants them to grow up, leave their parents, launch out, start new households and become the men He created them to be.

From the man’s perspective: “Quality is the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something. Also meaning a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something.

There are many qualities that men possess and there are many qualities that are looked at in a man from a woman or anyone’s prospective. As it applies to women, A man’s qualities should compare to a woman’s father…. if the father was present in your life. He should display similar qualities.  Nevertheless, he should display Godly qualities. He cannot be measured from  TV or reality shows. He must be measured to the standards that were instilled in you as a child or from the example of a male figure from your childhood. Many woman and men try to compare their spouse or significant other to someone they know or some love story they have seen on TV or read in a book.

Even though, you may look for qualities that were displayed earlier in your life, the man should show qualities of a man after Gods heart. If he is doing this, he will do just as the word tells us in Genesis 2. When he marries, he will leave his family and build his own empire. He will lead his family with the guidance of God’s word!

Many woman make the mistake of comparing men to previous relationships or what their friends and family relationships look like. We are all different and women all look for different qualities in a man. Don’t miss the man that God has for you because you are comparing him to someone’s man. There are some women whose standards are lower than yours and their quality of men may not  meet your qualities.

Have you ever wondered if your qualities were to high for any man to meet and maybe this is why you are alone?

Look for the qualities that display a Godly man, qualities that he is seeking God for the relationship FIRST.  If his qualities look anything Godly, you are starting in the right place for a man with the qualities that will make you an excellent husband.”

Well there you have it! Its time to reevaluate your now and future relationships against the Godly measuring stick!

Love you my sisters

Stephanie!

 

 

Say Yes!

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Have you decided to say YES LORD with every fiber of your being? Know that if you do, the battle will not be easy! Saying Yes to God means saying yes to the things God says about womanhood and the way we live our lives. Which means saying no to the other voices that vie for our attention- the voices on TV, the internet, magazines, ads and thousand other things that tell us what women should be and how we should think, dress and act. People that tell us what we should aspire to and how to conduct ourselves in our relationships with men.

Jesus said that those who love Him would keep His commandments (John 14:15). Obedience is an evidence that we are truly children of God (1 Peter 1:14, Hebrews 5:9, 11:8) In fact according to scripture, those who disobey His word and have no desire to obey Him, do not even have a basis for assurance that they belong to Him!

Discovering and embracing God’s design for your life will bring incredible blessings and joy. You will discover your true identity and purpose. In addition, your relationships will grow and be strengthened and it will point others and encourage them to say YES LORD as well!

Its going to be an ongoing journey. Yet it will be worth every bit of time and effort! Truly I pray that this week you have discovered why womanhood is important and understand it from God’s perspective.

We are starting a new journey on Monday. Conclude this week by writing out a prayer, asking God to truly teach you what true womanhood means and to help you grow to be a true woman of God!

Love you, be great!

Stephanie

Created Equal?

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Are Men and Women created equal?

Both have equal worth, value and dignity as bearers of God’s image. Male and female are equally part of the creation that He called “man”

In an effort to not be offensive, some modern translations of the Bible have tried to obscure the gender imagery found in Hebrew text. They have substituted “human beings” etc for the word “man” and “them” for the word “him”. But in the Hebrew text, this verse clearly says that “man” equals “him” equals “male and female”

So why does the Bible call humankind “man”? Genesis 1:27 gives us the stunning truth that all humans bear the divine image- men and women bear it equally. It also states that God refers to us collectively with a singular male pronoun. In choosing the word “man” as the common name, God indicated that male and female would share a common condition for which he would provide a common solution.

God actually underlined the profound unity and equality that exist between us. This common name shows that women comes from man and is not independent of him. It shows that both sexes exist to tell the story of God and that this story is told together- with both male and female as parts of a unified whole

You see the story line of gender is not about male and female, its not about us at all, its about the man JESUS CHRIST! The man whose redemptive work applies to both sexes equally

The Hebrew word for man is adam, which is closely related to the word for ground, adamah. Its a generic term that refers to all human beings. After the fall, Adam becomes the proper name of the first male. And later Jesus Christ comes as the last Adam to redeem “adam” (mankind) and bring many sons and daughters of God to glory!

In God’s eye the female is as much a part and expression of “adam” as the male. This means that both can trace their beginnings to the dirt of the ground. Both bear God’s image fully and individually. It means that God values both equally! Because both are “adam” both are equally represented by the first man, Adam.

Both are fallen and in need of a savior and the good news is that both are equally represented by the second man-the last Adam-Jesus Christ! Together we make up the church, He loves, the bride, He sacrificed His life to redeem. Male and female  are connected. Together-united as a whole- they tell the story of the gospel

Although we are different, we are equally important to God’s plan.

When God named male and female “adam”He had the last Adam in mind. So when we appease the whims of man, we change “man” to something we think is more inclusive, but in doing that we diminish the true meaning of the word

If woman is not part of man, then how can she be represented by the first man, more importantly, how can she be represented by the last man, Jesus Christ.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Email me or drop your comments below!

Stephanie

 

Additional Readings:  Genesis 5:2, 1 Corinthians 5:45, 1 Corinthians 15:22

The Ultimate Plan

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Our first post took us back to the beginning, Genesis, and the fact we are created to display God’s image. God created us in His likeness, our purpose is to put God on display!

The responsibility to reflect God’s image was not just given to us. Mankind was created as male and female in relationship-to display something about the divine relationship that exists within the triune God. Our relationships were created to tell the incredible story of God.

Being created in Gods image gives us dignity, privilege and responsibility. He has crowned us with glory and honor and given us authority over the earth. Its a awesome responsibility to go about our daily life and all the while reflect the image of the Almighty. However the image of God has been marred, it is begging for redemption…transformation…recreation. You see God knew from the beginning that sin would distort and destroy the male female relationship. Amazingly he patterned the first couple’s relationship to  correspond with the amazing relationship that would one day counter all of the horrible tragic consequences of sin

Gods eternal plan comes to light in Ephesians, chapter 3 and then in chapter 5. He ties the mystery of Christ loving the church to the earthly picture of male and female sexuality and marriage. According to scripture, the relationship between a husband and wife is powerfully linked to the story of Christ and his Church Bride. God created male and female to foreshadow and testify about that amazing relationship and event.

Men were created to reflect the strength love and self sacrifice of Christ. Women were created to reflect the responsiveness, grace and beauty of the bride He redeemed! Marriage was created to reflect the covenant union of Christ and His Bride!

Your womanhood has nothing to do with you, but displaying the glory of God and His powerful redemptive plan.

Male and female relationships has little to do with us, and much to do with God! Our marriages and relationships should be truly God ordained, mirroring the union of Christ and his Bride

I asked a fellow friend and my Boaz, his interpretation on Ephesians 5:23. Here are his thoughts…

From A Mans View:

When you look at Ephesians 5:23, it states that the man is the head, however we often take that scripture out of context. Many men take advantage of that scripture and use it to run their home negatively! Some men view that as ‘I am the head of this marriage, this house, I make all the decisions, and my wife must submit to them, regardless” However, if I as the man is not following God, that is a dictatorship and I as the head would be leading us to hell! When we read on further in Ephesians, it breaks down exactly what we as men should be doing as the man and head of our home.  My job as the head includes many things. I must honor my wife, nurture my wife, love her, take care of her, pray for her, seek God to make sound decisions for her and my family. I am responsible for her! God is really the head of our marriage, and we as men need to seek God to become a representation of a Godly head of our home!

Does your marriage or relationship with your significant other reflect that great redemptive plan of Christ?

Stephanie

Additional Readings  Ephesians 5:23, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:30-32

 

On Display For God

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We start Divine Design at the beginning. Who are we as God’s creation, as women? What was God’s purpose for us?  Well Genesis gives us all the information we need to truly know who we are as men and women of God

Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that God made man in his own image and that he also gave them dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens…the lifestock and over all the earth. God gave man dominion over everything. God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him!

In the first Chapter of Genesis, God paused before his final and greatest creative act. There was no question in his mind about what he was about to do. He had settled on His plan long before the foundation of the world. It was already in motion.  God had made the galaxies and planets, the sun and the moon had all been formed and aligned. The earth had ripened with life, the ground had sprouted vegetation. The sky, sea and land now teemed with vegetation.

Everything was in place, everything was ready. It all led up to this moment. The moment! The significance of what God was about to do was deeper and more profound than even the angels could fathom. He was about to make man- and to make him male and female

Humans were the only creatures that God created in His Image and after his likeness. This included the ability to think and make moral choices. It means we share his nature. We have personalities, the capacity for creativity, truth, wisdom, love, holiness and justice. We display his image!

So in essence we are on display for God!. Its not about our ability to pretty ourselves up with makeup, be a size 8, dress beautifully or be what others want us to be. God wants us to put him on display, so that everyone who looks at us sees the beauty of HIS IMAGE. That is truly an honor and responsibility to bear the image of God!

So now that you know what God’s ultimate purpose was for us as women…

Do you feel that your womanhood displays God’s glory?

Stephanie,

Additional Reading: Psalm 8:4-6, Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:24

 

Day 30: Moving Forward and Trusting God

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You did it! It takes 30 days to form a new habit. During the past 30 days, you began the transformation of a new habit of seeking God, processing truth and finding ways to lie out God’s Word. You also practiced dying to self by choosing the right things-ways of doing life that are biblical but might be uncomfortable.

Our best fullest life becomes ours as we focus not on self but on Christ and his ways for us. It is amazing how making this change, even for a day can make a huge difference in attitude and action. But as you move forward, you can be certain of one thing: there is an enemy lurking about trying to rob you of your faith. You must purchase a security system and install it on your life! The security system is Joy. To install it, you must remove your previous system of fear, worry and doubt. Once you change service providers, your life will be safer, more peaceful and fuller. You have to make a decision to change. The offer is always open…but you have to choose the new provider.

When we do something repeatedly, it becomes a habit. When a habit is done repeatedly and well and is producing something good, it becomes the art in which we live.

Develop the at of looking up. Make a habit of intentionally choosing your focus on Jesus Christ. Focus on who He is, how faithful e is, who you are in Him. Surrender to His plan…always look up!

Your life is no longer your own. Your life is not random, it is hidden in Christ. You are protected, shielded, cared for, provided for…all by Christ!. You are covered by his faithfulness and power. To look up, focus your attention on what is biblically true rather than on what you are feeling..

In moments of stress, pain or doubt…stop. Choose instead to tell yourself what is true about you, your life in Christ and God’s love and faithfulness. Take a new position, stand firm in who Christ is and who you are to him. Look up! Look to Him! Choose to believe.

Start a new morning habit. When you look at yourself in the mirror, thank God for the truth. Say to him ‘Thank your Lord, that I am alive in YOU! Thank you for the gift o salvation. I am your work and you have prepared good works for me to do today, as I live to honor you!”

Do not give up! Do not allow discouragement to have its way in your life, fight it with biblical truth! Set your focus on faith in God!  Thank God that his grace renews you daily! Refuse to lose heart. Instead always focus on truth and look up!

Today is a new day of basic faith, one truth at a time, one choice at a time and one day at a time!

I pray that you enjoyed the 30 Day Faith Dare and that you experience God’s Love and Presence on the Journey Of Life! I pray you learn to challenge yourself daily! Trusting God with your very life and following his profound truth!

His word works! We just have to apply it!

Be Blessed!

Please connect with Simply Soul Sisters on Facebook, Periscope and visit us online at http://www.simplysoulsisters.com

Until next time, stay in God’s presence!

Stephanie