One of the biggest challenges among women seeking destiny is being...not following, not imitating, not envying, but BEING a Woman of Excellence in all things...especially ministry. Whether our ministry is raising children or teaching them, exhibiting excellence will make the difference in the rise and fall of that ministry. Why? Because not being a Woman of Excellence in our endeavors will cause us to be overlooked, passed over, and to miss out on opportunities DESIGNED to elevate us!
Are you a Woman of Excellence? If your answer is no, here are a few first steps to take in order to begin changing your character:
1. Start TODAY by keeping your word at least 80% of the time. If you have to carry around a notebook with a list of your obligations to help keep you accountable, do so! Write down and check off every time you keep your word. At the end of each day, at least 80% of your list should be checked off. When you can not keep your word, you must force yourself to contact the person you are obligated to and share your sincere apologies and explanation. Congratulate yourself each day, because it is rare to meet someone who keeps their word so consistently!
2. For ONE YEAR, thirty (30) days at a time, do more than is expected in whatever you do. PERIOD. Even if it is something as simple as staying an extra five minutes late, or coming in an extra five minutes early. Do something everyday, for 365 days, that is above what is expected; and, above what you are being paid for!
3. Say thank you more. It sounds simple, but saying thank you often serves two purposes: a). Thank you lets people know that you are aware and grateful for them and their investment in you. This subconsciously gives them confidence in your ability to manage what is being invested. People who don't say thank you appear entitled and lazy...and ungrateful of course!
3. b). Thank you improves your outward demeanor and image. I don't know about anyone else, but it is almost impossible for me to say thank you without a smile...even if I'm typing it! A smile gives you a positive and confident image. People are drawn to such a person. This allows you to connect and share your purpose!
The Lord has a great and worthy plan for your life! If you have not received Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take a moment to say this prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I believe You are truly the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. Please forgive all my wrong-doing, and let me live in relationship with You from now on. I receive you as my personal Savior, accepting the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross. Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You. Amen"*
Now it is time to get on the path of purpose! How can we help you?
Send us a note of inquiry and we will be happy to pray with you or provide resources to help you stay accountable to Christ, AND your pathway of purpose.
*Taken from Sept. InTouch Devotional
InTouch Ministries, Inc., Atlanta, GA
And Samuel told him [Saul], "Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD has anointed you king of Israel..."
~1 Samuel 15:17 (NLT)
As an extreme introvert, one of the people in the Bible I have learned much from is Saul, Israel's first king. Like him, I can be shy, and was an extreme "people pleaser" at one time. No matter how much, or little, I have to speak publicly, I get extreme dread, sometimes sick, and am always physically drained for at least a couple of days afterward. I could see myself, as Saul was, hiding in a closet among my clothes when Samuel came calling to anoint a king for Israel! "ANYBODY BUT ME, LORD!!" would be my screaming thoughts!
But what Ive learned from Saul may not be what most people would think of. I have learned the biggest tragedy about shyness, and the way to avoid it.
The biggest tragedy about shyness is seeing oneself in a mirror and not through God's eyes. Saul saw himself small in his own eyes, but God saw him as a man worthy of leading His chosen people. Someone strong physically and spiritually, fearless and a mighty warrior. The Lord saw Saul as a man who would become a friend of God, following His commandments and living as an example of Godly leadership. So although Saul was physically strong and attractive, had a great reputation with the people (mainly because he was a people pleaser), and a valiant battle record, God regretted His choice in Saul. Why? Because instead of seeing himself the way God saw him, Saul never could quite come to the place of assuming the fullness of the calling God had for him. So he continued to allow his shyness and insecurities lead his choices until they became a stronghold for him, and an abomination to God.
Had Saul saw himself the way God saw him, he would never have doubted a single command. He would never have questioned whether to obey God or follow the people. He would have taken the most irrational risks to follow God's simplest instruction. He would have been as bold as a lion, fearless as Leviathan, surrendered as clay in the hands of a potter. Had he saw himself the way God saw him, he would have kept his inheritance and his legacy would have been established forever instead of cut off. His shyness would have become a testimony of GOD'S power in the face of a severe human challenge!
So here is the tragedy: Being led by shyness (or any human nature) instead of God's direction, will always lead to rejection.
The way to avoid such tragedy is: Having God's perspective of who He called us to be PLUS humble obedience, leads to boldly assuming the position in which He has placed us. This level of trust and surrender pleases The Lord and commands His blessings!
I will worship toward your holy temple and praise your name
for your loving-kindness and for your truth
for you have magnified your word above all your name.
In relationships I don't think the phrase, "actions speak louder than words" always applies. I completely understand what people are trying to say when they say this, because hey, God demonstrated His love by His actions. But only a percentage of Love is demonstrated by actions, because not all of the "Love Languages" are action based (Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Giving/Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Providing, Opportunity Enthusiasts). Likewise, God demonstrated, but He also, more frequently...often with no evidence attached...speaks of His Love for us, and expects...no...COMMANDS us to believe and trust His WORD that He does in fact Love us. Each person's "Love Language" reflects the expressions and behaviors that we place the most value on personally. What we value most is what will be reflected in pure and authentic Love. As the scripture says, God has magnified His WORD above all of His Name (i.e. His character traits). Here we see that God clearly places more value on His WORD than anything else we know about Him. It pleases Him more to know that we trust what He says without expecting evidence or support. And so it is with some expressions of human Love. No matter what Cher will tell you, the way you know whether someone truly loves you is not "in their kiss," but is founded in their values. If you don't know what a person values most, it will be impossible to know whether their expression of Love is cheap and fabricated, or pure and authentic. So in order to find out whether the love is real, spend more time uncovering a person's values and whats in their HEART, than examining their external accomplishments or, as my pastor calls it, their "press clippings" about themselves!
Love Purely and Authentically Friends! ~dlb
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Cor. 12:9 (KJV)
I love the King James version of this verse because of the second word Paul uses for weakness. He uses the word "infirmities." Both "weakness" and "infirmities" have the same Greek root definition, but infirmities adds a little more spice to emphasize the anguish we feel in our hour of despair. Mixed in, however, is the word GRACE which secures our glorious victory, not in spite of, but as a result of our infirmities!! This meaning of Grace used here is Strong's Number 5485 speaking "of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues."
For most of my Salvation I spent my hours of despair praying for God to "help me" with one sin, offense, problem, trouble, or another. I won't say that nothing happened, but what I will say is that my prayers often brought with them many trying situations designed to grow and test me in the areas in which I had prayed. In recent years however, I have started praying for "Grace" instead of help with my challenges.
What I have found in praying for Grace in my challenges and personal weaknesses, is that my effort is typically left to do nothing more than to endure. What I mean is this: when I have a challenges, or when Im struggling with sin, my earnest and anguished prayers are for God's GRACE to grow me or strengthen me. As I endure in faith, diligently seeking His Grace to be victorious, I indeed emerge victorious, and well beyond (overcoming) those challenges. His Grace becomes truly sufficient; my infirmity becomes my ally, not my enemy!
Start TODAY praying for GRACE in all of your weaknesses, aka "infirmities!"
Make Mondays Matter
God Is Love
"And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." ~1 John 4:16-17
What's Love got to do with it? Love is complicated. Love is surprisingly simple. Love brings joy and grief, confusion and clarity. God's Love has been heatedly and widely debated. What does it or doesn't it look like? Is it free? Free for some and costly for others? Or none of the above? One thing I know for certain is that God's Love can never be comprehended, so I will never try to simplify it. What I have done is taken 12 passages from scripture that speak specifically to God's love...what it looks like, how He displays, shares, and withholds it, and exactly what He Himself has to say about it. At the same time, we will look at 12 separate passages that emphasize what our love should look like here in this world. So, join us each month beginning on January 7th as we touch the surface on why Love has everything to do with it!
Thank you all so much for your consistent readership and support on this journey. I look forward to another exciting year with each of you! If you would like to connect with me personally, or have questions or suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
With Much Gratitude,