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!

 

 

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

Day 28: Dare To Seek Another’s Best

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Less of me and more of you  God! We have all prayed this prayer at some point in time. But when God really starts to answer this prayer, it can be trying! Praying for less of me is in essence praying for the stripping of self. The type of stripping that can leave one vulnerable and naked!

A stripping of selfishness seems to hit most in our relationships with other people. God created us for relationship, so it makes sense that he strips us and changes us the most while we are in relationships. It would be easy to follow the way of love, if we lived in a cave by ourself…however the majority of us don’t. We live surrounded by people…people who test our patience daily

People who hurt us, push our buttons…real life…real relationships…real people. We need a real God and the power of his love. We all have people in our lives who don’t like us…some may even hate us. People who feel like we are an enemy…so what are we to do, when we are confronted with those people and their feelings towards us?

Love them…do good to them…bless them. Speak kindly of them and to them. Pray for them. Speak to The Father about them. Give to them, sow seeds of kindness

Today’s Dare: Is there someone in your life who keeps hurting you? What would turning the other cheek look like in that relationship. Today practice speaking kindly and speaking words that will bless others. Pray for those who have hurt you and ask God to bless them. Find something good you can do for someone who hurt you. Imagine the kindness person you know and duplicate that kindness!

Prayer: Lord teach me to live in you in such a way as to lose myself in your love, your way, your life. I desire to follow you, paying attention to your words!

Let the law and love of kindness spring forth today!

Stephanie

 

Day 27:Dare To Be Generous In Love and Practical Kindness

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Mediate on Luke 6:38, Galatians 6:7, 9-10

Life is filled with ordinary days. Most people go about their day, doing their own thing and minding their own business. But there are some people who think of ways to bless others every day. Many live out their faith by finding practical solutions to help friends and neighbors in need. God calls us to this kind of kindness, this special type of love for our fellow man

Its often easy to think about grand ideas of love, grace and forgiveness and even giving. However actual thoughts not manifested are simply that.

We are to be conformed into his image as givers, generous with our time, hearts, money, concern, and everything else that makes up life. We should embrace specific principles that can help us think more of others..

Giving is a biblical principle

The way we give will be measured back to us. When we give in good measure, we receive back more than we give. We reap what we sow in relationships. We must keep focused on loving others, giving freely and doing good. Do not grow weary. Every opportunity to do good is a God sized opportunity.

Today’s Dare: Make a list of the people God has placed in your life-relatives, neighbors, co-workers, church members etc. Who on that list is going through something and needs to blessed by love? What practical things would meet their need? How can you gather resources to help them? Think of an act of kindness that blessed you in the past…why? reciprocate that act to someone else today

Prayer: Forgive me for focusing on my own needs more than on the needs of others. Open my eyes and my heart to needs around me and give me a willingness to do what I can to love others in practical ways. Make me a giver and give me a generous heart and spirit!

Amen

Stephanie

Dare 26: Dare To Walk In Humility and Grace

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Meditate on Romans 8:5, Philippians 2:5-8, 1 Peter 5:5-7

Have you ever known or encountered and arrogant person? What kind of effect did their attitude have on you? If people matter to God, its no wonder we are instructed to  put others before ourselves, humbling ourselves in the process. For many, this kind of living is unheard of…putting others above ourselves is unheard of.

God has a better way. Humility involves shadowing the life and nature of Christ. We need a humble heart if we are going to live in love towards others and if we are interested in honoring Christ.

God opposes us when we walk in pride. We should all desire a relationship of grace, intimacy, and connectedness. For that to happen, we must humble ourselves.

Humility does not mean lying down on the ground while everyone walks over you. Humility is a life submitted to God. Humility is saying to our Father, “You are God and I am not!” Walking in humility towards others is not that difficult to understand, it is simply putting them first.

But it can be hard, because we are selfish by human nature. But part of the Faith Dare is allowing God to shape us according to the new spiritual nature we have inherited in Christ. That nature is humble and loving. Christ gave us the true example of humility…by dying for people who didn’t care, still in their sins and so undeserving!

This is the attitude we should carry through life. Rather than feeling entitled to receive, we need to be free to give. When you have humbled yourself and place your cares in God’s hands, you have more space in your mind and heart to humbly love more people!

Today’s Dare: Humble yourself in attitude and action. If you have the opportunity today to overlook and offense…do so. Think of ways you can be more flexible and less demanding. Challenge yourself to get out of self and look for the needs of others. Listen to the opinions of others before inserting your own

Prayer: Lord teach me your way! Show me how to walk as you walked, love as you loved, live as you lived…humbly obedient and yielded. Help me be self controlled and alert.

Amen!

Stephanie

 

Day 24: Dare To Allow Your Heart To Connect and Your Mind To Engage with Others

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Meditate on Romans 12:9-10, 15-16

Sometimes we feel we simply do not have time for people! It seems funny or strange to say that, but it can often be a reality for many. But too often, it is based on what we place our value on amidst all of the things that we have to do.

God has created us for relationship not just with him but with others as well. We were created to connect, to do life together, to hear each others burdens, to care with our whole being for another whom Christ loves.

Honoring the value of people is a choice we make when we dare to live the Jesus style of life. He loved people, walked with them, ate with them, processed with them, directed them, cried with them, healed them, gave to them and forgave them. I really want to learn to value people, the way Jesus did!

Although the value of sincere love has become watered down in today’s society, we know that God’s love is different. It is pure, not self seeking. It is patient and kind. It always believes the best in others, it doesn’t fail. So its easy to see that we must really need this type of love if we are ever going to truly connect with people in way that brings healthy relationships. Without the love of God, we are left to our selfish ways.

Today’s Dare: Dare to watch for needs around you and see what you can do to meet them. Invite someone over for dinner, out to coffee or lunch, to a movie. Join a small group at your church or school. Make people a priority! Be genuinely happy when others succeed!

Prayer: Lord I do not want to live a self absorbed life, nor do I want to live behind self protective walls and barriers. Teach me how to love others in an authentic way that enriches their lives and honors you. Father lead me into relationships that are your choice for me and to friends who are part of your design for my life.

Amen!

Stephanie

 

Day 23: Dare To Quit Being Critical Of Others

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Jesus is the epitome of compassionate, loving and kindness…He is always looking for the best in people. He was quick to love, kind in correction, strong in conviction and humble in his dealings with people.

Many times, in our dealings with people, we can be critical, we don’t understand their decisions, their choices…we can get frustrated to the point of pointing fingers in judgement.

What would happen if we just laid down  the stones? The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus ” Teacher this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such woman. Now what do you say? They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”

Its familiar, yet  many times we don’t apply it to our own lives…The sinless one among you, go throw the first stone. Well I know I am certainly not sinless, but I have certainly thrown some stones in my lifetime! The throws may have taken place in my mind, but the judgements were still harsh. When we judge others, we are walking further away from living like Jesus and drawing closer to doing things our way

Here are other verses to ponder   Matthew 7:1, Romans 14:13, 1 Corinthians 13:5

Our critical nature, comes from our own insecurity or the need to control other people. But since it comes from our hearts, it is not innocent. When we are critical, we are not a reflection of Christ.. If Christ is living in us, we must view people as Christ does. A critical spirit can keep us stuck. When we are filled with the negative, there is not much room for the positive.

So how do we go about laying down the stones?

Love from the center of who you are! Run from evil, hold onto good. Bless your enemies, no cursing under your breath. Get along with each other. Don’t hit back physically or mentally!

Today’s Dare: Identify the last time you threw stones at someone. Ask God to forgive you. Look for the good in people and begin to acknowledge it. Ask God to show you each time you begin to judge someone. Stop and just say no to the stones of judgement. Put a rock on stone in a prominent place to remind you not to throw stones at folks!

Prayer: Lord, my human flesh can be so strong…my throw stoning arm is too well developed. Help me Jesus. Take truth to the very core of me and change me!

Now thank God for working the change in you at this moment!

Stephanie

Day 22: Dare To Practice, Speak and Choose Forgiveness

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Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did  1 John 2:6

Meditate on Psalm 143:3-10, Luke 6:37

Jesus said we are too forgive. Too be honest, it is often hard for me. But God says that if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. God was making a very serious point

Forgive in the Greek language is aphiemi , which can be translated as lay aside, forsake,, leave, let alone, omit, yield up, put away

Forgiving does not require forgetting. Just because we abstain from our favorite food for awhile, does not mean that we forget what it taste like. The way it tastes is in our memory, even though we are not currently digesting the food…in the same way an offense will most likely be in our memory, but when we have forgiven or laid it aside, we are not digesting, internalizing or holding tight to the hurt anymore. We are not living in the offense, although we may remember it. We have laid it aside and given it up, because Jesus said this is the way to live.

It takes courage to offer an apology and set things straight on our end. It takes courage to follow Jesus, and forgiveness is an example of courage. It takes courage to let go and trust God!

Today’s Dare: What or who is hanging around in your mind, because you haven’t let it go and turned it over to God. Check your forgiveness, if you need to forgive someone, consider writing a letter or setting up a time to meet with them. Dare to take a step towards forgiveness. Make a decision to quit speaking negatively about the person who hurt you…speak only positively about that person or don’t speak about him or her at all

Prayer: Lord search my heart. Am I holding on to anything or anyone I need to let go of today? I desire truth in the inner parts of me. I want to be obedient and live a life of forgiveness. Show me the practical steps in my own life and situations

Take that step towards forgiving someone today!

Stephanie

Day 19: Dare to live As An Overcomer

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Meditate on John 16:33, Romans 12:21, 1 John 5:4

When living under the problem of the day, we will often find ourselves crushed by the weight of circumstances. With our focus off our faithful God, we move into a place of living under the problem and the weight of the emotion associated with it. This results in a mix of anxieties

It is not Gods best for you to live UNDER anything. We all will go through things in life, but we are never to be under them.

Its easy to be consumed by the conflict. When we focus on self we begin to live under it rather than being and overcomer through faith in Christ. In order to live above the circumstance, stay out of the funk and keep your eyes on Jesus.

God gives us many opportunities to practice walking out our faith and establish our belief through our circumstances. Chose today to be positive and to walk in the faith that God knows you and loves you

Today’s Dare: Have a positive stance regarding your current problem . Focus your eyes on Jesus and your faith on Him. Do not focus on what you feel in the middle of the situation. Find ways to live over and not under. Find something good you can do just for today that will enable you to overcome the negative and give you a positive to think about.

Prayer: Father it is so easy for me to settle down under my problem, without even thinking about your power to help me rise above. Help my unbelief and teach me how to be an overcomer in you!

Its already done!

Stephanie