Keep It Moving…

My Soul Sister is guest blogging today! I love her words. You can reach her at mizzjonez0813@gmail.com
Good Morning! I pray that as we embrace the middle of this week, all
is well or getting better for everyone. The holidays typically are saturated
with scents, sounds and shopping. However, for some, it brings sadness.
The holidays are difficult for some because this is not a time for
celebrating. Certain activities, songs or different events are sorrowful
triggers of memories of loved ones who are no longer here. For others, it
can be a constant reminder of a societal or wrongfully accepted status (that
until the holidays) which remains annually compartmentalized: I am single, I
am a widow/widower. I am divorced. I am alone. Even being in a room full of
people, a person can still feel as if they are alone or lonely.
First of all, you are never alone. Also recognize that unlike what some people may
think or believe, it is okay to have your feelings.  Even Jesus felt like He
was in the world all by Himself(Matthew 27) Your life is live, not a reality
show or the movies.  Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other forms of social
media can wreak havoc on your mind if you allow it. Talk to God and share
what’s on your mind and heart.    If you know someone that you are
comfortable in revealing your concerns, do it.  Reaching out and gathering
with old/new friends is another way to combat the holiday blues.    Try and
treat yourself to something special. It can be a steamy, aromatic bath, buy
something for yourself, read and relax with a good book or veg out on some
movies or a television sitcom/show. Try to volunteer and fill your time with
or by helping others. There is nothing like performing community service to
remind you of how blessed you really are.
Family, when we are blessed to celebrate any holiday, that is a present in itself.  Unwrap the joy of the knowledge that you are loved. Let the Light of God shine in your heart instead of lonesomeness.  A kind word extended is always better than a mouth that stays closed due to self-imposed isolation.  The more you open yourself
up to the gifts that God has surrounded us with, the better you will feel.
Psalm 23:4, 38:9, 62:8
” Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil:  for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him:  God
is a refuge for us. Selah”
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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 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