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 18: Dare to Live With A New Focus

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Most of the time, our day starts out fine and then we may find ourselves in a funk of some sort. We start to feel emotional, discouraged, out of sorts and even a little depressed. Webster defines the word “funk” as a cowering fear or a dejected mood. The definition of funky is to be overcome with great fear, terrified or having a bad smell. Most of us can truly say, when we are in a funk…our attitude stinks!

The funk always starts with a focus problem. Every emotional hole we find ourselves in, starts with a circumstance that disrupts our faith focus. Once our focus is skewed, we begin to spin out of control. Instead of living above our circumstances as an over-comer, we begin to live down under the mess. A place where we find ourselves scared, needy and dependent on others to fix things for us.

Its time to truly fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God- Hebrews 12:2-3

So how do we fix our eyes on Jesus? How can we repair our vision? Shift our focus?

Read his word, and truly study each scripture. A funk happens when you lose perspective, by losing focus. It happens when we take our eyes off Jesus and the faithful God that He is

Focus, FOCUS AND FOCUS. Nothing can snatch you from the Father’s hand…unless you allow it. When life gets you down…LOOK UP to the God, who picks you up!

Today’s Dare: Take your position as a woman who belongs to God. Stand firm, be solid in who you are and whose you are. Don’t be afraid, do not lose hope. Redirect your focus on the one who is faithful! Dare to make any decision that will get you up and out in order to have a change of focus. Pray and ask God to help you learn from the funky place and help you move out of it!

Prayer:Lord you are the Lord of freedom, of life and of liberty!. Help me to learn how to recognize a funk when it is headed towards me. Help me guard against it. When I am tempted to slip, help me stand firm in my position as a person loved by you!

All I can say is AMEN to that!

Stephanie

Day 17: Dare To Live In The Miracle of Who You Are

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By the grace of God I am what I am- Corinthians 15:10

We have all been to the fair and seen the contorted mirrors, the ones that distort our view…they can be pretty scary, but we know its all fun. However, the real mirrors of our lives can often be just as scary. The distorted views and images that we carry around with us…of ourselves. It warps our view about who we are. Rather than seeing the miracle that God created, we see a distorted and shameful woman who is not perfect and ashamed of her imperfections.

From the time we are a young girl, we want to know  “Who am I, Why am I here, Where am I going?” As we grow up , we long for significance, appreciation, acceptance and love. We wonder constantly if our lives have meaning and purpose. Too many of us spend our lives trying to get better at being ourselves instead of what God has called us to be. Some of us never get a full understanding of who we are at the core level, so we stay in constant search mode. It is then, that you must plant yourself in the center of God’s word

Psalm 139: 13-16

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

We often look at ourselves through our mistakes. God looks at us and sees our purpose and the miracle of himself in us. You do not have to have a title of always be doing something of significance…significance comes from just being somebody. You are already a wonderful women, created by God for his purpose!

Today’s Dare: When you look in the mirror, see God’s daughter staring back at you. Get out a childhood picture of yourself and put it somewhere prominent. Make it your Facebook profile. Each time you see it, remind yourself that although you were born in this world…you are not of it!. You have been reborn into a spiritual reality. You are no longer who you once were!

God is determining your days…you are headed some where!

Prayer: Lord , help me to stay connected to you..to the truth…that you live in me. I am set apart, so that wherever I am, you can do your will through me. Your word is living and active and planted within me. Help me live in the miracle of who I am!

God Morning My Beautiful Friend! You are one gorgeous person!

Stephanie

Day 16: Dare To Choose Whom You Will Serve and the Direction You Will Take

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Meditate on Romans 8: 28-29, Hebrews 12:1-2, 5-7, 10-13

Sometimes I dare to sing in the midst of my storms! I push myself to be confident enough in Christ’s care and love for me that in midst of trials and tribulations I just start to sing…an old baptist hymn…one from my childhood…one that reminds me that His grace is still sufficient for me!

You see not everything that happens in our life is good, but regardless of what happens, God is still working in it. If we look to him, we will find the strength for the hard times and patience in the daily things and JOY IN ALL THINGS!

Its easy to do right and say we are faith driven, when things are going well. But when someone irks our nerves, our children upset us or our job overwhelms us…do you still find joy in those situations? When bad things happen, everything we believe in is tested. Our surrender to a good God is threatened by the things we cant understand, fix, or control. Yet the nature of surrender is to let go and let God have everything that concerns us. We have to believe at the very core of us, that no matter what we are in God’s hands.

We are halfway through the September Faith Dare and I pray that daily, you have challenged yourself to believe in the bigger picture that God has for you and your life.

The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, all of our sufferings, trials, and hardships are working together for our good. All of us have a path, a race and route to get to where God wants us to be. In the moment there maybe pain…but eventually comes the peace

Today’s Dare: Focus your eyes and attention on Jesus and put your trust in him in the midst of pain. Believe that this pain will produce righteousness in your life in practical ways. It is working to make you the person that God wants. Dare to choose the bigger picture. Stay focused on the plan that God has for your life

Prayer: Father, yes I am often weak and emotionally. Change me! Give me the courage to fix my attention on the bigger picture, the greater good and on you Jesus. I want to be conformed to your image. Give me the grace to endure whatever it is that is taking me there!

God is worthy to be praised daily! Have you given him your first fruits this morning?

Stephanie

Day 15: Dare To Believe You Are Complete In God!

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Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom  2 Corinthians 3:17

As women, we all long to hear the words “You complete Me”. It totally melts our heart. We all want to be loved, searching for that person or those people who will complete us, make us whole.

But what if we believed it is Christ who completes us? Or that we actually are complete because of Christ in us and his work for us? This love is really what makes us balanced, centered, secure and yes COMPLETE!

If we truly believed that we are complete in Christ, we would stop our search for something more or some one more. Many of the single women I know, would not spend endless nights in desire or lust for a warm body, because their wait would be a time of preparation!

There truly is freedom in embracing the truth that all we are and all we will ever be is now hidden in Christ and constructed by the power of Christ’s work in us. Yesterday we studied that fact, that we are perfect in Christ and can not do it by ourselves. We wear ourselves out trying to perfect ourselves, but the truth is, in Christ we are made perfect and complete. God does not judge perfection the way we do. Perfect in a Spiritual sense is one who is being completed through maturity, growth and surrender to God.

Wives: You have all that is necessary to love your husbands in a way that is meaningful to him and pleasing to God. Come to Christ daily for a complete filling of all you need for this calling

Mothers: You are complete in Christ. You have already been given all you need to be the Mother that your child/children need. God has a plan for each life you created. You are in partnership with God in developing human lives. This is high calling

In the Workplace: You have all that you need to get along with people, live in integrity and be a light! You are made complete for the all the tasks at hand. God put you right where you are, trust him to give you success in your line of work and to work through you

In Ministry: You have to claim your competence and completion in Christ. You are a Jesus follower and a difference maker because of God. Seek him daily to be filled with his power. God makes you whole, complete and ever ready for what he calls you to be.

All of life is ministry, so all of us, regardless of what we do daily, whatever our position, need to be filled daily and ready to live a life of completion by Christs power each day

Today’s Dare: Dare to see Christ in yourself and the way you view yourself and others will change. Pray for family members who are not a Christian…view them as complete in Christ. Ask God to show them to truth..ask God to show you the truth as to who you are in Christ!

Prayer: Father work your truth in me. By faith I thank you that I am enough, competent, adequate , and sufficient for all you have called me to be, because YOU COMPLETE ME!

I cant wait for the manifestation of the work that God is about to do in your life!

Stephanie

Frequently asked questions about Ovarian Cancer…

Frequently Asked Questions

Ovarian Cancer Myths

Does promoting ovarian cancer information increase anxiety among women?

A recent scientific study in Britain dispelled this idea; promoting cancer information really reassures the public. (British Medical Journal 1999) It is important to empower women with the knowledge to take charge of their health and be good advocates for themselves.

Is it true that a woman who has had her ovaries removed cannot get ovarian cancer?

Technically, women who have their ovaries removed cannot get ovarian cancer. There is a rare type of cancer called primary peritoneal carcinoma – a close relative to ovarian cancer that can develop without the ovaries.

Does ovarian cancer have symptoms in its early stages?

While the symptoms for ovarian cancer tend to be nonspecific and can mimic nongynecologic conditions, a large national study shows that an overwhelming majority of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer did have symptoms, sometimes even in the early stages. The most common symptoms reported include: abdominal bloating or discomfort; increased abdominal size or clothes that fit tighter around your waist; increased or urgent need to urinate and pelvic pain. Additional signs and symptoms are: Persistent gas, indigestion or nausea; unexplained changes in bowel habits; unexplained weight loss or gain; loss of appetite; feeling full quickly during or after a meal and pain during sexual intercourse; a persistent lack of energy, low back pain and shortness of breath.

Source: A. Goff, M.D., Lynn Mandel, Ph.D., Howard G. Muntz, M.D., Cindy H. Melancon, R.N., M.N. 2000. Ovarian carcinoma diagnosis. Cancer 89, No. 10: 1097-0142

Prevention, Risk and Hereditary Factors

Is there an association between Hormone Replacement Therapy and ovarian cancer?

The latest interpretation of data resulting from the Women’s Health Initiative study suggests that postmenopausal women who take combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) continuously may face a higher risk of ovarian cancer. While researchers say the findings shouldn’t affect most women’s decisions to take HRT to relieve moderate to severe menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, the possibility of an increased ovarian cancer risk support recently revised guidelines that call for the conservative use of hormone therapy.

Source: Anderson, G. The Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol 290:1739-1748).

Does the use of talc (talcum powder) as a feminine powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer?

A number of past studies found an increased risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder use, but these studies were considered inconclusive because of limitations in the way data were collected and analyzed. More recent studies, such as one using data from Harvard University’s Nurses’ Health Study in 2000, find no overall risk of ovarian cancer from talc use and only a modest increase in one type of the disease – invasive serous ovarian cancer.

Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Vol. 92, No. 3).

If a family member has ovarian cancer, can genetic screening determine if other family members will get the disease?

Approximately one out of every ten ovarian cancer cases is hereditary.

Most hereditary ovarian cancer can be attributed to two genes, BRCA 1 (breast cancer gene 1) and BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2). Women who inherit a mutation in these genes are at greater risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.

A thorough evaluation of family history (i.e., a history of breast, colon, or ovarian cancer) can identify women most likely to have a hereditary cancer risk, and genetic testing can determine if these mutations exist. Although having these mutations increases risk, it does not mean a woman will definitely get the disease . Furthermore, while genetic testing can indicate where there is increased risk and help determine appropriate monitoring, women should consider the psychological and possible insurance ramifications before proceeding with testing. Experts suggest that all genetic testing be done in conjunction with genetic counseling.

Source: Cancer Control, July, 1999; Genet Test, 2000.

Is there any way to prevent ovarian cancer?

Currently there is no way of preventing ovarian cancer.

There are, however, several measures that have been found to reduce a woman’s risk of developing the disease. Oral contraceptives can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by fifty percent if taken for at least five years. Research has also shown that pregnancy and breast-feeding significantly reduce ovarian cancer risk. (Br. J. Cancer, March, 2001).

Tubal ligation and hysterectomy reduce risk, though researchers are unclear exactly how. Finally, prophylactic oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) also reduces the risk. (Gynecologic Cancer Foundation Slide Presentation, 2000). Health professionals recommend that all options be discussed thoroughly with a physician.

What are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs on the surface of the ovary that are quite common in women during their childbearing years. Most cysts result from the changes in hormone levels that occur during the menstrual cycle and the production and release of eggs from the ovaries. Most are harmless and go away on their own.

What is endometriosis? Can it cause ovarian cancer?

Endometriosis is a chronic and often progressive disease that develops when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the inner surface of the uterus, grows outside of the uterus. These implants occur most frequently in the pelvic region and on the reproductive organs but can appear in other areas, such as the bladder, as well.

In spite of the high prevalence of endometriosis in women the world over, researchers have been unable to determine its cause. Endometriosis can cause pain and scarring, and it is believed that 20 percent to 40 percent of women diagnosed with this chronic disease are infertile. (National Cancer Institute)

Researchers hypothesized that the most likely link between endometriosis and ovarian cancer is the association between endometriosis and infertility. It is well established that ovarian cancer risk is reduced with each pregnancy. Consequently, women who do not bear children, whether by choice or due to infertility issues, are believed to be at greater risk for ovarian cancer. (The Gynecologic Sourcebook, Third Edition)

Do fertility drugs increase your risk of developing ovarian cancer?

Use of fertility drugs does not increase a woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer. On the other hand, the scientists did find an association between ovarian cancer and certain causes of infertility itself, such as endometriosis.

“Some women who receive fertility treatments develop ovarian cancer because of underlying conditions that cause infertility, not because of the treatments themselves,” said Roberta Ness, MD, MPH, of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Public Health.

Source: American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 155, No. 3: 217-224).

Is there a link between breast cancer and ovarian cancer?

Both breast and ovarian cancer can be caused by mutations in the BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) and BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2) genes. Women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, or a personal history for either, particularly if diagnosed before age 50, should be aware of increased risk for the other. Women who have had breast cancer before the age of 50 are twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer, as are women who have not. (National Cancer Institute – What You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer, 1998). Additionally, ovarian cancer has also been linked to colon cancer (via different genes).

Screening Tools, Detection and Treatment

Does an elevated CA 125 level always indicate that ovarian cancer is present?

Not always. Although a CA 125 blood test can be a useful tool for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, in premenopausal women, it is not uncommon for a CA 125 count to be elevated due to benign conditions unrelated to ovarian cancer. Uterine fibroids, liver disease, inflammation of the fallopian tubes and other types of cancer can elevate a woman’s CA 125 level. (ACOG Patient Education – 1996) The CA 125 test is more accurate in postmenopausal women. It is also important to note that in about 20% of cases of advanced stage disease, and 50% of cases of early stage disease, the CA 125 is NOT elevated, even though there is ovarian cancer present. As a result, the CA 125 is generally only one of several tools used to diagnose ovarian cancer. One of the most important uses of the CA 125 test, however, is to evaluate progressive disease and tumor response in patients undergoing treatment, and to monitor the levels of women in remission for evidence of disease recurrence.

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are carefully designed research studies that involve people. Some clinical trials are conducted to find ways to improve the medical care and treatment that is available to women with ovarian cancer. Some trials test ways to detect and prevent ovarian cancer or its recurrence. There are also clinical trials that study how to improve an ovarian cancer patient’s quality of life during and after treatment.

Is the blood marker LPA (lysophosphatidic acid) an effective screening tool for ovarian cancer?

LPA or lysophosphatidic acid is a substance that stimulates the growth of ovarian tumors. One small study found that levels of LPA in blood plasma are elevated in about 90% of women with early ovarian cancer. There are clinical trials going on presently to determine the effectiveness of LPA in detecting ovarian cancer. (JAMA, August 26, 1998) However, it is still to early to know if this test will be a good screening tool. This test is not yet available to the public.

Who is best trained to treat ovarian cancer?

Gynecologic oncologists. Research has shown that the five-year survival rate is greater when the initial surgery is performed by a gynecologic oncologist. (NCI) The initial surgery and staging of ovarian cancer is critical to determining the appropriate course of treatment, and ultimately survival outcomes. A gynecologic oncologist is an obstetrician gynecologist who is further trained in oncology to specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of women with gynecologic cancers. To find a gynecologic oncologist in your area, visit the Women’s Cancer Network website at www.wcn.org and select “Find a Doc,” or call 1-800-444-4441.

If there are no accurate screening tools, how is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

An exploratory surgical procedure called laparotomy is generally required for the definitive diagnosis of ovarian cancer. During this procedure, cysts or other suspicious areas must be removed and biopsied. After the incision is made, the surgeon assesses the fluid and cells in the abdominal cavity. If the lesion is cancerous, the surgeon continues with a process called surgical staging to ascertain how far the cancer has spread.

“Ovarian cancer is more than a woman’s disease. ….”

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant or cancerous cells are found in the ovaries. An ovary is one of two small, almond-shaped organs located on each side of the uterus that store eggs or germ cells and produce female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Cancer Basics

Cancer develops when cells in a part of the body (in this case the ovary) begin to grow out of control. Although there are many kinds of cancer, they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells.

Normally, cells in your body divide, and form new cells to replace worn out or dying cells and to repair injuries. Because cancer cells continue to grow and divide, they are different from normal cells. Instead of dying, they outlive normal cells and continue to create new abnormal cells forming a tumor. Tumors can put pressure on other organs lying near the ovaries.

Cancer cells sometimes can travel to other parts of the body where they begin to grow and replace normal tissue. This process, called metastasis, occurs as the cancer cells move into the bloodstream or lymph vessels of our body. Cancer cells that spread from other organ sites (such as breast or colon) to the ovary are not considered ovarian cancer

There are many types of tumors that can start in the ovaries. Some are benign, or noncancerous, and the patient can be cured by surgically removing one ovary or the part of the ovary containing the tumor. Some are malignant or cancerous. The treatment options and the outcome for the patient depend on the type of ovarian cancer and how far it has spread before it is diagnosed.

What is the general outlook for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer?

In women age 35-74, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. An estimated one woman in 71 will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed this year and that more than 15,000 women will die from ovarian cancer this year.

When one is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, the 5-year survival rate is over 90%. Due to ovarian cancer’s non-specific symptoms and lack of early detection tests, only 19% of all cases are found at this early stage. If caught in stage III or higher, the survival rate can be as low as 30.6%. Due to the nature of the disease, each woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer has a different profile and it is impossible to provide a general prognosis.

Source: American Cancer Society