It Starts With Me Taking Responsibility

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If you want to do all that God has called you to do so that He gets the glory and you get the joy, then it starts with you taking responsibility for your life.
There comes a point in time when you have to man (or woman) up and take responsibility for your own life. That time is now. No more can you blame your parents, your teachers, or lack of opportunities, for who you are or who you are becoming. The Bible tells us that “we are more than conquerors” through Christ, which doesn’t leave much room for excuses  (Romans 8:37). Jesus said it, so we better believe it!
Too often people allow the past circumstances to determine the future outcome. The only power that your past has over your future is the power that you give it. God has a great plan for your future so quit making excuses as to why or how you can’t get there. Take responsibility for the person you are today and trust that God will provide you with all you need to become the person He is calling you to be. Jesus doesn’t agree with our excuses nor does He affirm us when we play the blame game. As He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Your weaknesses are simply opportunities for Jesus to reveal His grace in your life.
 Do you recognize any situation, limitation, or person in your life who you’re blaming for how things have turned out for you? Instead, choose to take responsibility for your life and trust that Jesus will turn any weakness into a strength for His glory and for your joy.
“…I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Source: http://bible.com/r/GX

Disappointment: God’s Provision and Protection

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From the moment Pam picked up the phone, I knew something was wrong.

For months, Pam had been waiting to hear some good news on a new opportunity and as she said, the perfect opportunity. Pursuing a new career wholeheartedly, she was so disappointed when she received the news that she had been passed over for another candidate.

Devout in her faith, Pam had prayed diligently and believed that God had opened doors and ordained this new venture just for her. She was not only significantly disappointed, she was also greatly disillusioned that God had not opened the door she expected. In fact, as far as Pam could see, God had not opened any door. She was confused that she could have been so mistaken about the plan God had revealed to her.

After she vented her frustration for a few minutes, I suggested she thank God for this very moment. My comment perplexed Pam.

“Be thankful for something I wanted to happen did not happen?” She asked. “Yes, Pam, thankful because God is either planning to provide something better for you or protecting you from something that will bring harm to you” I replied.

As a parent, this is a conversation I have often with my sons.

Now, when they look back, they see how this principle has played out in their own lives: the sports team they didn’t make, the girl that broke their heart or the job they did not get.

All of those situations are orchestrated by God so that we will arrive at the exact place and plan that He has chosen for those who seek Him and walk in His will.  

When we discover God’s perfect plan, we can see how His provision and protection provided the opportunity.

Consider 3 ways to strengthen your trust in God in times of disappointment:

1. Believe that God loves you and wants His very best for you.

God created us, gifted us uniquely and has a perfect plan for each of us. He is the author of our story He knows what happens in the next chapter. He orchestrates events to help us arrive at the perfect plan He has for us when the page is flipped.

In Isaiah 40:26, we read,

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.”

We are not forgotten by God in our disappointment.  He knows exactly where we are and He is simply ensuring that His best becomes ours.

2. Surrender your own desires to His will for you.

It is impossible for God’s perfect plan to be revealed to you while seeking your own path. As a young girl, my mother tucked me in each night and as she did, she symbolically reached out her hand and asked me to place my worries in her hand. She explained that she would carry them for me and that I need not continue to carry them.

She asked me to surrender to her the concerns of my heart. As I grew older, she taught me to surrender the concerns of my heart into the hand of God and rest in HIs peace. With an open hand, surrendered to the Lord, He is able to fill it with what he believes will be the abundant life in Him.

3. Trust the promises of His Word.

God has promised again and again in His Word, that He will never leave, nor forsake us. Times of disappointment are opportunities to be refined by fire to be more like Him in every way. In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are encouraged to “trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding and He will make your paths straight.”

With all of its twists and turns, one way streets and seemingly dead ends, God is leading us to the opportunity where we will be best used by Him and the place where He will prepare us to live and worship Him for eternity.  We miss His best for us when we do not trust Him, but instead, believe in our own way.

Many months after that phone call with Pam, we met for lunch for her to tell me about the unbelievable opportunity she had been offered. She was so thankful that she decided to trust that God was providing her something better.

As it turned out, the position she had been hoping for a few months earlier had already been eliminated in a merger transaction. She would have been unemployed, and living alone in a new city where she would have relocated. Pam’s mother had become critically ill during these days and Pam would have been far away and unable to care for her needs as she would have liked.

Of course, only God new Pam’s needs and He protected her from an opportunity that would have ultimately been more disappointing than not receiving the offer at all.

In times of deep disappointment, it is wise to remember that God is either protecting us from something not in our best interest or preparing to provide something better.

Believe in his plan, surrender your own plan and trust in the path he sets before you.

Source: http://www.propelwomen.org/content/disappointment-gods-provision-and-protection/gjeb63

The 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman

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The 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman

1. Faith – A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15

2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)

3.  Mothering – A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)

4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)

5. Service – A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)

6. Finances – A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)

7.  Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)

8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)

9. Time – A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )

10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)

Lowest Point

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If Joseph had not been sold as a slave by his brothers, he would not have ended up in Potiphar’s house. If he had not been in Potiphar’s house, he would not have been thrown into prison. If he had not been thrown into prison, he would not have interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s officers and then be summoned to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and eventually be promoted to become prime minister over the Egyptian empire.

If you think you are at the lowest point in your life today, God is telling you, “Don’t give up. It isn’t over!” Just like Joseph in the Bible, God can make the lowest point in your life the launching pad for one of His greatest callings.

All Things

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We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose
Romans 8:28, NIV.

No matter what you may be facing, no matter what trial you may be going through, God has a plan to turn things around in your favor. He is working behind the scenes, and He is working for your good!
Are you a believer in Jesus? Do you love Him? Then you are called according to His purposes. Right now, He is orchestrating the right people to come across your path. Right now, He is orchestrating the right opportunities to open up to you. Right now, He is arranging things in your favor. You may not see it in the natural, but look with your eyes of faith today. Show your love for the Father by obeying His Word. Come before Him with an open and humble heart and trust that He is guiding you. Keep standing. Keep believing. Keep hoping. Keep declaring His Word and meditating on His goodness, knowing that He rewards the people who seek after Him!