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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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

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

 

There’s an infection festering…

So I’m back on my “soapbox” of sorts…but if you really know me, YOU KNOW I never really get off the box, so here it is…1385812_544709578937958_1285207439_n

There seems to be a lot of “church hurt” going around and I am still trying to understand how and why it is often ignored. It amazes me how quick church members that deem themselves to be a family, become a cult when others do not support or agree with what is happening within the four walls of their home. You will find that many of these leaders and church members ostracize those who chose to voice a different opinion or those who may opt to leave.

Leaders and  church members must stop throwing band aids on “church hurt” not understanding there could possibly be an infection festering underneath! There is a reason for everything!  We must stop telling individuals to “pray on it” and think that a few scriptures of harboring bitterness will cause them to turn the other cheek and walk away with a cheerful heart!

It’s not that easy and people should not feel guilty because they can’t “get over it” as quickly as you can.  We have to remember we are not all on the same level spiritually and ignoring legitimate hurt  and providing a scripture is NOT going to make it better….neither is it “What Jesus would do!”  Even after our talks, things should change. We must do better in “fixing” issues that are causing grief within our churches. I understand that NO ONE is perfect! However, allowing leaders and church folks to run rampant, doing and saying what they want, because of their position or due to their “history” within the church or with the Pastor is wrong….and wrong is wrong…PERIOD!

It’s time we stop sitting in the pews coloring, sucking peppermints and ACTING like we don’t see blatant issues like racism,  misery and ugliness sprouting up within the sanctuary. Harboring the mentality of “I just come get the  word and go back home,”  ignoring the devils WITHIN the church walls.   Really?  Truly being a disciple, and  “going into the world preaching the Gospel” requires more than that!   I’m so glad that God or his Disciples  did not have that  “It aint my problem” mentality. Holiness is a lifestyle…its time we stop playing church on Sunday and BE the church all week!

We must do better…the church is becoming obsolete. Folks are running from temples and institutions because of distrust, falseness and “church hurt.” Leaders and members are not being held accountable for their wrongdoings and folks DO notice.. Outreach has become a very important tool in this day and age, because people ARE forsaking “the coming together.”   They are taking notes on how we, as saved folks, treat each other and our behavior… and some folks are failing miserably.  We are representing Christ and it’s time we take it seriously! I’m grateful that my own “run” steered me towards a church that embraces Christ first and genuinely, no filters….more of him and less of me and everybody else!  (yes, this is MY church plug, email me to get connected 🙂

For those of you who have been hurt, remember the “church” is in you! Your personal relationship with God is all that matters. Once you get that solidified and in your mind, you will not be dependent on man’s four walls of religion to make or break you spiritually. Your walk will become more faith filled, and “mans idiosyncrasies” will not phase you or limit your walk with God.

Your ability to see past the mess and press towards the mark will keep you in the race and WINNING will always be your testimony!

Unfortunately, your ability to sit down and color won’t become any easier… and hence the soapbox remains your platform.

Let the doors of the church open…

Peace, Love & Empowerment

“V”