Monthly Archives: June 2012

Ramaining Postive…

A great perspective of daily reflection from an amazing sister in Christ names Tracie Louise. Remaining positive under difficult circumstance is hard, but just because a day will get the best of us from time to time doesn’t mean we are becoming negative. Don’t write your blogs solely about how bright the sun shined today, but write the truth and tell how it rained later that day and ruined plans – however also write on how after all was said and done…. YOU saw the rainbow.

Transparency is a great virtue, and is rare to find. Keep perspective and stay the course. Tracie… you are an amazing woman, and my hat goes off to you!


Mark 4:37- 40 – Ye Of Little Faith

“…And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”…” – ESV / Commentary

Hot Pursuit of The 31 Woman (2 of 4)

Proverbs 31, ESV and KJV, The Wife of Noble Character. What women can learn, and apply to their lives, by following in the foot steps of this marvelous and noble woman of God. A fun fact about Proverbs 31:10-31 is that it’s an acrostic poem, meaning that each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Leave a trail of Noble Character and Inward Beauty for Others to Follow After

V.15 – ‘She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.‘ She is up before the sun, showing that idleness and laziness have no room with her (see verse 27). There are great benefits to rising up early; it is a quiet time free from the noise and distractions of the day, and it is an ideal time to spend with the Lord in quiet meditation and prayer. In mark 1:35 we have a great example, our Lord Jesus Christ who paved the way –  ‘Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed… Also this Psalmist was in the habit of morning prayer when he said – ‘My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.‘ (Psalm 5:3 ).  If a person sleeps in late, by the time they really get going it may seem that half the day is gone, and in that time they accomplished very little or nothing at all. The key is beginning well. The virtuous woman is diligent, yet flexible and realistic. Secondly, the virtuous woman makes sure that her family gets off to a good nutritional start, by cooking them all breakfast, which according to studies is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast gives your brain the nutrients and power to carry out the tasks for the day. Young women today, in many cases, hardly know how to prepare meals.  Many families eat out frequently, ordering food that can be brought back to the home.  How many families today actually take time to sit down and eat a meal together around the table?  Often families don’t eat together at all, they often don’t pray together, and the often don’t read together; as a result they don’t stay together. Remember in the last verse how it mentioned her fetching food and doing the grocery shopping for the family? Well she took this food and made a meal for her husband, her children, and her maidservants. This term “food” is also used in Psalm 111:5 of God’s gracious provision of ‘food‘ for those who fear Him. Now this God fearing woman did not live in poverty, for the verse states that she fed her maidservants (her female maids).  Though we are reminded that under the Old Testament those who honored and feared the Lord were promised not only spiritual blessings, but also material blessings, and certainly the woman described in Proverbs 31 had both.

V.16 – ‘She considers a field and buys it; From her profits (with the fruit of her hands) she plants a vineyard…‘ In context the word for consider is ‘zamam‘ meaning devise, plan, purpose, plot, or deep thought. This word considered is usually used in the sense of evil or wickedness throughout the Bible scriptures. Yet in Psalm 17:3 this same verb is used of determining a course of action, ‘You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress‘. When wicked men plan and plot evil they often will put a lot of thought into it. We can think of the horrific attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11/01. These successful attacks were the fruit of long term and thought provoking planning and premeditation. It was a very carefully thought, and carried, out operation. Now the virtuous woman considers a field, meaning that she carefully and deeply thinks about the land. She is looking at the land from every angle; time, upkeep, cost, long-term effects, etc… She doesn’t make an irrational or emotional decision, she is solely relying on her logic and wisdom. She may have even discussed it with her husband. Then the verse says she buys it, literally meaning that she takes it, seizes it, and snatches it up! The fact that she buys a field indicates that the godly woman was involved in financial decisions relating to the family. However the verse wraps up by stating ‘from her profits (with the fruit of her hands) she plants a vineyard‘. The purpose of the field was to provide a place for a vineyard so that the family and others could enjoy the fruit of the vine. The fruit of her hands can signify the result of her labor, and to cultivate a field and to maintain a vineyard requires much labor. Before we buy something we need to count the cost, before we buy the field, we need to ask, “Am I willing to work the field?” Many things that we purchase can require a lot of maintenance, and as stated above, if we are unwilling to provide the labor that is needed for the maintenance, then the purchase is unwise. Secondly ‘with the fruit of her hands‘ can also be understood as ‘the fruit of her earnings.‘ That is, with the fruit of her hands (as we saw in verse 12-13) she was probably able to earn enough money to purchase and plant a vineyard. She may have even employed her servants (from verse 15) to work the field or to help her work the field. How many women buy all kinds of things on the spur of the moment without giving the matter careful thought and deliberation? As she races out to the shopping mall with her friends, can her husband safely trust in her? Don’t think this can’t work vice versa though, men.

V.17 – ‘She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.‘ To start he word for girds is ‘chagar ‘ meaning to gird, to bind on, or to put on a belt. Just as a man would ‘gird his sword’, seen in 1 Samuel 17:39, this industrious woman girds herself with strength. In Biblical days men and women wore outer robes or tunics, but if the tunic was un-girded it would interfere with a person’s ability to walk freely. In a sense to be ‘girded’ means to be ‘ready for action’. Psalm 18:39 ‘For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle’. In Ephesians 6:10-18 we see that we are to be ready for battle, no so much in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense by putting on the whole armor of God, ‘…Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places…‘ This kind of inner strength of truth and character builds up and produces an outer strength filled with tenacity and vigor. Some translations say ‘loins’ rather than the word strength. The ‘loins’ are regarded as the seat of strength as seen in 1 Kings 12:10 and Nahum 2:1.  The term refers to the abdominal or hip region of the body, the region of strength and procreative power. This virtuous woman has a reservoir of inner strength which is able to energize her and enable her to accomplish physical tasks which require a great amount of physical strength.  She is not weakened by slothfulness or laziness but she is a wonderful example of due diligence and industry.

V.18 – ‘She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.‘ The word perceives is ‘ta`am ‘ and it translates to taste, perceive, or eat. So she is quite literally ‘tasting’ that her merchandise is good. Now the same word is found in Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” God’s goodness must be tasted and be personally experienced.  Only those who have truly trusted Him have tasted of His goodness and experienced God for themselves. The word for merchandise is ‘cachar‘ meaning traffic, gain, profit, gain from merchandise.  The word is found twice times in Isaiah 23:18 ‘Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the Lord; it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing.‘ (also found twice in Proverbs 3:14). The Proverbs 31 woman seeked wool and flax, produced garments and linens, traded for food from far away lands, prepared the meals before the sun had risen, and without idleness; considered, bought, and planted a vineyard (verses 14-16). Here in verse 18 you see that she is reaping what she has sewed, the good and blessed fruit of her diligent laboring, while being wholly blessed by God with a good harvest. She experiences the sale of the product, seeing that her trading is profitable. The results of the labors of her hands and the strength of her arms.  Learning that success results from good hard labor. Homes in Bible times were illuminated at night by olive oil lamps, however the virtuous woman’s lamp did not go out at night, that is, it was not quenched, put out, or extinguished (see Isaiah 1:31).  What was she doing at night?  Probably the activity mentioned in next verse, verse 19. Here was a woman who worked day and night with amazing fortitude. If you were to pass by her house late at night you would see that her light would still be on.  We wonder when this woman ever slept because in these verse she is working late at night, while in verse 15 she rises while it is yet night (early morning, before the dawn). The fact that she rises indicates that she did get some sleep. We have the expression, “early to bed, early to rise,” but she seems to have been in the habit of “late to bed, early to rise.” Some women are up late at night pursuing questionable activities using vain lamp light, but then they sleep through half the day, missing out on superior sunlight. But the godly woman is diligent both day and night, and is able to get the necessary sleep, without overindulging. Believers need to evaluate their nighttime activities to make sure that they are pleasing and glorifying the Lord – things which are profitable and worthy of eternity. During the day we normally have our duties and our schedule; things we need to do and places we need to go. Our time is usually well accounted for during the day, but after sunset is usually the part of the day when we have ‘Free Time’ and it is important to recognize that this time belongs to the Lord. May we be about our Father’s business!

Click the Picture to Watch the Video…

V.19 – ‘She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.‘ She knew how to use her hands with skill in providing clothing for her family and perhaps for selling or trading.  This verse describes a very ancient method of spinning used in the days before the spinning wheel even existed. Let’s begin with the distaff – it was a staff used for holding the flax or wool which would be spun into thread by means of the spindle. Now the spindle would turn and twist the fibers into threads.  The spindle was a round stick with tapered ends used to form and twist the yarn. The spindle and the distaff are the most ancient of all instruments used in the craft of spinning, specifically hand spinning. About eight to ten inches long, spindles were used to guide the thread as it was fashioned into cloth. The weaver sometimes turned the spindle by rolling it across her thigh. The wool or flax was wound on the distaff, which was stuck upright in the ground or held under the arm. The spindle, which had a circular rim to steady it when revolving, was attached to the thread being drawn out from the distaff.  By rotating the spindle, the spinner twisted the thread.  An example of hand spinning is found in the ancient book of Exodus 35:25-26:  ‘All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair‘ If a woman’s hands are idle and if she is not engaged in worthwhile, constructive, and edifying pursuits then watch out! In Proverbs 14:23 it says, ‘In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.‘ and in Proverbs 19:15 it says, ‘Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger.’ Do not be idle and you will not taste of poverty or hunger. Be smart and profitable by utilizing your 86,400 seconds, per day, wisely in edifying activities that produce muchness.

V.20 – ‘She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy‘ Verse 20 is an example of parallelism that is found so often in Hebrew poetry. In these two phrases of paralleled ideas are set forth. Both phrases emphasize the fact that the virtuous woman has compassion toward the poor and needy and she shows her compassion with concrete deeds of mercy. She loves the poor, not in word or in tongue only, but also in deed, action, and truth. The word for poor here is ‘`aniy ‘ in the physical it means poor, weak, afflicted, wretched and in the spiritual it means humble, meek, or lowly, as seen here in Psalm109:22 ‘For I am poor and needy, And my heart is wounded within me.‘ (click here for more). No one can make progress in his or her spiritual life until he realizes how desperately needy he or she really is. Recognizing that only the Lord God can supply that which is needed, as it is written, Psalm 145:16 ‘You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing‘. God’s people are to be of likeness to His character. One of His attributes is having a heart of compassion for those who are physically, spiritually, and materially poor and needy (scripture reference click here) – Isaiah  41:17 says, ‘The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, Their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.‘ However in the law – Leviticus 23:22 – God told the Israelites ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.‘ The godly woman of Proverbs 31 faithfully obeyed the following commands, “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11).  Early in Proverbs 31, believers are encouraged to plead the cause of the poor in verse 9. In Proverbs 14:21 a benediction is pronounced upon those who show compassion to the poor and help them, ‘He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.‘ In studying this Hebrew word which is translated into poor and it reminded me of a prophetic verse I read not to long ago in Zachariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey‘. We can then be reminded of our Lord’s amazing condescension, ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.‘ (2 Corinthians 8:9). The word needy is used to describe the spiritual condition of God’s people. Every believer needs to recognize his or her spiritual bankruptcy, ‘I am poor and needy.’ What we need only God can supply, when He faithfully supplies that which we lack, then we are rich in Him indeed.

As we consider our responsibility to the poor today, some words of caution are necessary. Don’t be duped, a man may deceptively beg for money for groceries and end up spending it on alcohol, drugs, or other vain things. Another might ask for gas money and use it to support some wicked and destructive habit. Different approaches need to be used, for example; if a person is truly hungry, and you believe it is proper to help, you can sit down with him at a restaurant, or go get him/her take-out. As he eats his meal there is opportunity to share the gospel with this person of need. Not only are you satisfying his or her physical hunger, but you are also providing opportunity for spiritual nourishment, which is his greatest need of all. If a car repair is really needed, don’t give the money to the poor man who may wrongly use it, but directly to the car mechanic.  Make sure the money is used for the right purposes, for discernment is a much desired virtue.  There are times when the right thing to do is to not give any money. There are people who routinely go around to churches looking for handouts and financial gifts. Supporting this kind of behavior will not really help the person to be responsible for themselves in the long term. After he profits from you he is off to the next church. We don’t want to support irresponsibility. In Bible times, the poor, blind, and lame depended upon merciful alms-giving in order to survive. Things are somewhat different in our American society where there are all kinds of government programs to assist the poor and needy. Now wise stewardship should take this into account. Our government is going to spend a great deal of money supporting the poor and needy (and we contribute to this through our paid taxes), but our government is not going to spend any money on God-honoring missionary efforts. Also we should always remember that meeting a person’s physical and material needs does not solve his greatest problem. If we give a person food, clothing, and good housing for his entire life, then he dies and eventually goes to the lake of fire, what have we really done for this man? How much better to support Christ-centered mission agencies which have workers who are concerned about the material needs of the poor, but who are even more concerned about their spiritual and eternal needs. May God give us much wisdom and discernment in how to best meet the needs of those with whom God puts us in contact. The virtuous woman was wise while about her business and God’s business. We are to always be about God’s business while we are about our own. Snatch up every opportunity to share the gospel and use your intuition and discernment, that God has blessed most all women with, to correctly provide for their physical need and may the Holy Spirit give us the words to speak when providing for their eternal needs.

Those are our tips on how to be a Proverbs 31 woman for today! Continue coming back and reading them as many times as you need! I personally have them posted on my  fridge so I never forget! Thank you for joining us in this study, next time we will be going through verses 21 to 26. God Bless and we’ll see you next week!

Matthew 18:1-4 – Humble Like A Child

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven…” – ESV / Commentary

The Other 90%

How to be a Good Steward of your Money!

Today I was thinking about none other than… yes that right, MONEY! The bills have just came in, another $800 out the door, down the street, to the post office, and into the hands of someone who will cash my check, leaving me with …. almost nothing. My mind shortly becomes flooded with thoughts and images of soon living out on the street carrying nothing but my Bible, a suitcase full of items, and tattered clothing. I immediately had to stop myself and remember that I am a child of God; with my God all things are possible, he promises to provide for my all needs, and in my hands lies the Ultimate Manual To Life which guides me.

They say that money is the root of all evil, but I must strongly disagree. For it is not the money that causes evil but the mismanagement of money that causes evil. We tend to mismanage our money on account of many other sins such as; pride, covetousness, gluttony, lies, self-idolatry, gossip, debt, pretending (to be rich), wasting, fearing men and so many others. So for the sake of reflection, I’m compelled to give you the biblical ethics and tips on how to be a Good Steward of your money.

1) Remember All You Have Belongs To God –
Everything we have belongs to God and is a good and perfect gift from above coming to us from our Father of Lights (meaning God created everything the sun, moon, and starts; a reference in which traditional ritualistic Jews of that time understood). All which we possess God has allowed and bestowed upon us, this includes our jobs and our money. Have you, or a friend, ever prayed for God to get you that job from that ‘one’ interview? I know I have… then the next week you/they get that call from the interviewer and get the job. Later you go out and celebrate but can’t stop taking about how God pulled through when you needed it! Well guess what most of us do after we get done celebrating and praising God? Oh you don’t know? Well we FORGET about God and the provision He had for us and granted us. Soon we are taking advantage of the Job, which leads to money, which leads to paying bills and entertaining ourselves. Where is God Now? Nowhere! We need to always remember every time we get that paycheck in the mail that GOD bless us with the job to begin with.

Deuteronomy 8:18 ‘And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.’

Jeremiah 9:23-24 ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.’

John 3:27 ‘To this John replied, A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.’

Psalm 24:1-2 ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.’

More Reading Found Here —>

2) Always Seek God First-

You would be surprised what happens when you seek God first. When we consistently read our Bible’s, study and meditate on His word, spend time with Him in prayer, fellowship with others in the body of Christ, sing Him songs and hymns, share His Good News professing him to all we come in contact with, etc… whatever you can thing of – God blesses you for it! He gives you treasures and blessings here on earth in this life, but you are also storing up treasures and blessing in Heaven for your eternal life. Also God wants us to seek Him solely, we cannot have anything else put before him, that includes our money and finances. The moment we make God small our problems and troubles only get larger. He is all powerful, he created the Heavens and the earth, what is our small financial problem to Him? So remember God will always provide as long as you seek His kingdom first.

Matthew 6:33 ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’

Isaiah 33:6 ‘He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.’

Matthew 6:24 ‘No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.’

Colossians 3:1 ‘If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.’

The More I Seek You Video —>

Trusting God To Know What’s Best —>

3) Tithing it’s not just about the Money –

Here is what really gets me about a lot of people, and Christians, these days. Yeah, the economy is tough, you’re barely getting by, but the thing is that; you are no longer trusting God with your life or finances! I was talking to my neighbor yesterday, she’s 78 years old and goes to my church, full of wisdom and childish charm. She was telling me stories of all the people she’s encountered who went to Church and were having financial problems one after another. She would ask, “Well are you tithing your first of your wages to God?”, they would reply, “NO…”, with a quizzical look on their faces. Then soon advice and wisdom poured from this woman’s lips, “Well I’ve found when I faithfully give my tithe to the Lord he always over-provides for my needs – but I’ve found that when I don’t tithe i get into a lot of trouble and begin to drown in my troubles and sorrows’. These people would take her advice and start giving and soon enough these people would have all their needs taken care of and a little extra to go out and spend on entertainment. When you don’t give your first-fruits and just wait till the end of the month you see what you have left and feel its not enough and then just don’t give. Always give your first-fruits from every check. It’s not about the money it’s about trusting the Lord with the money He’s given to you, then seeing the increase that comes from such great faith.

Malachi 3:10 ‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing. That there will not be room enough to receive it.’

Proverbs 3:9 ‘Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the first-fruits of all your increase…’

Deuteronomy 14:22-29 ‘You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.’

2 Corinthians 9:7 ‘So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.’

Get more Understanding Here —>

4) Giving Freely For Needs of Others –

When you care for the needs of other, God blesses you for it. When you provide for the physical and spiritual needs for others, God provides for the physical and spiritual needs for you. We are to love one another as we love ourselves, we are not to be partial in our giving. If the body of Christ were to all give, as they had, to fulfill the needs of someone else in the body of Christ – Do you think that one single person would have debt? lack of food? lack of supplies? lack of clothes? lack of a place to live? I don’t think so! So let’s be a real community and start providing for the need of those in our Home, our Church, and our Local Community.

Acts 20:35 ‘I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Proverbs 28:27 ‘He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.’

James 2:15-16 ‘If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?’

2 Corinthians 9:10 ‘Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness…’

Become Generous By Learning It’s Importance Here —>

5) Saving and Preparing for the Unknown-

So, yes, God does provide for our needs, what we do with what we get is up to us. Now we never know when tragedy will strike; when you will break your leg, when you don’t have money to make rent, when you can’t go on the vacation you already booked a flight for, when someone you love dies and you’re stuck with all the medical bills, when you get cancer, or when your car breaks down and don’t have enough for a tow and the repairs, etc… Whatever that tragedy may be in your life, it comes unexpectedly. We go through trials and suffering from time to time, and every time we successfully handle it we come out emotionally, physically, and spiritually stronger and closer to God. It produces endurance and patience. So to help prepare somewhat for these money costing crisis’ we need to be able to save up money. So only spend money on what you need, don’t waste (food, time, money, etc…), have discernment, think everything through before making a purchase, and take a certain percentage from every check to put into a ‘safety account’ (a second savings account).

1 Corinthians 16:2 ‘On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.’

Proverbs 21:20There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up’

Proverbs 30:25 ‘The ants are not a strong people, but they prepare their food in the summer…’

Proverbs 27:12 ‘A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty.’

For More Tips Check Out Here —>

6) Budgeting and Planning a course of Action – 

God was a God of Order. God also always has a Plan. So start filling the shoes of the ‘Big Man Upstairs’ and start stepping out into the image He created you in. Get organized, get planning, get budgeting! When you don’t plan things out and count the costs, you are setting yourself up for failure. Whether you are planning to buy a car, rent an apartment, buy a house, make a wedding happen,  or go on a 3 week vacation… budgeting helps immensely because it shows you where your finances are currently at and how much surplus you will have every month (as you start making more, sometimes less, money). Budgeting helps you adjust to financial changes as well, and relieves  frustration from you, and subsequently your family. So get smart and start your financial blueprint now, always factoring in that 5%-30% for tithe!

Luke 14:28 ‘For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish?’

Ecclesiastes 11:2 ‘Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.’

Proverbs 15:22  ‘Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.’

Proverbs 24:3-4 ‘By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.’

Get Help Creating You Budget TODAY —>

7) Worrying About Not Having Enough-

Do not worry about tomorrow or the future to where is gets in the way of your daily activities, your sleep schedule, or your relationships with God – and others. Concentrate on the things that you know you can take care of today, practice time management, and if you don’t get something done today just leave it on the list of Things-To-Do-Tomorrow… When you get anxious or worrisome about money and finances, like I recently did, just lift up God’s name by giving Him your burdens. For it is written His yoke is easy and His burden is light! God always provides; ask and you will receive, pray without ceasing, and know your God is ALL powerful. Everyday is trouble – so starting today let tomorrow think about tomorrow and today think about today.

Matthew 6:34 ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’

Psalm 127:2 ‘It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.’

Philippians 4:6 ‘do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.’

Matthew 6:25 ‘For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to to his life?’

Worship God and Stop Worrying —>

8) Contentment For What You Have-

Contentment – this is a tough one. Our culture so vivaciously has been shoving covetousness down our throats for years; you’re not beautiful enough, young enough, skinny enough, cool enough, famous enough, or rich enough…. but if you want to be all these thing DO THIS! The problem with this is that it subliminally makes us NOT trust in our all powerful creator God who can do anything; provide for our needs, fill our voids, give us eternity in a place filled with NO pain, suffering, tears, etc… Our God will never leave or forsake us, so be content with your life, embrace the perfectly and wonderfully made YOU that you are. What do you gain from having every material thing that you have ever wanted in your life? When the whole world just sits in your hand will you actually be happy? Happy that everything you have is superficial, brown-nosing, and without a doubt incapable of loving you whole heartily in return? What is there to gain from always wanting more and losing all joy? The one who is content in life, themselves, and God will always bear fruit (the good things) even when drought comes to the world, or to others, God will be there feeding you what you need. Our home is not here, it is in Heaven, then things we have here we do not take with us.

Hebrews 13:5 ‘Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.’

Ecclesiastes 5:10 ‘He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.’

Mark 8:36 ‘For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?’

Jeremiah 17:18 ‘He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.’

Luke 12:15 ‘And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’

Contentment, What It’s All About —>

9) How Not To Fall Into Debt

Debt! A BIG problem especially in the United States. Since the invention of the credit card Americans have been taught that if we don’t have something we can still buy it with ‘someone else (credit companies) invisible money, but we failed to realize the not so invisible debt that comes along with that. Who would have thunk it!? Soon this debt chases after you, runs you over, and BOOM! you’re dead instantly, and you weren’t expecting it or prepared for it.Debt controls people lives with covetousness and rewards points then enslaves them with interest.

Proverbs 22:7 ‘The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.’

Proverbs 11:15‘Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe..”

Romans 13:8 ‘Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.’

Ecclesiastes 5:5 ‘It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.’

Getting Out of Debt God’s Way —>

10) Fraud Leads To A Void-

Fraud will only lead to karma, meaning you will reap what you sow… eventually. I don’t care if you don’t like the government and you want to skim by on taxes. Or maybe you do like the government because of the free welfare and food stamps you get because you are too lazy to get a job so you foster 5 kids (or you jut keep popping them out on purpose). Who cares if the insurance company messed you over something good. The point is fraud is fraud, though others may not see God does. You know what he sees?….. cause He doesn’t see trust and faith in Him that’s for sure. But He certainly does see deceit, stealing, hatred, abuse, greed, lust, mocking, unjustness, etc… (use your imagination). Then he cries for you because He loves you. He is wiling to forgive you, but you must repent fully and turn to Him, turning away from this sin and never do it again. Fraud causes strife and destruction because it is a lie, cheat, and scam. Fraud is a hidden sin that most don’t share but keeps to themselves. However a lie (like fraud) treas apart the soul like a knife through butter and eventually gets found out and exposed. So please refrain from fraud.

Jeremiah 22:13 ‘Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice, who uses his neighbor’s services without pay and does not give him his wages.’

James 5:4 ‘Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath.’

Colossians 4:1 ‘Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.’

Proverbs 13:11 ‘Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.’

Galatians 6:7 ‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.’

11) Taxes… Yup You Gotta Pay Em’ –

We are to submit to the power of our earthly authorities and laws as well as God’s laws. So if the federal and state governments wants us to pay taxes, pay them. You will regret it if you don’t, because when you don’t you get fined and you get to go to ‘Club Fed’ – federal prison. Jesus even payed taxes, even though the sons of the tax collectors didn’t have to pay. Let’s follow Jesus’ example and display Christ-likeness. We are also to render all the things that belong to God as well, so don’t forget that tid bit!

Romans 13:7 ‘Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.’

Luke 20:21, 25 ‘Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth: 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”…..And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’

Matthew 17:25-27 ‘He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel.Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.

12) Investing (Get Rich Quick) –

Basically work hard and diversify. When you make an investment be willing to put the needed work into it that it requires. So if you buy a building to invest and run a restaurant, be willing to plan, start it up, and manage it! If you plan to play the stocks, you will have to take the time to research the stock market to know when to pull your stocks out of a certain company and reinvest them into a different company. Do not waste money on worthless investments either, always have discernment and consider (do not rush into) each financial risk that you take. Wisdom and understanding is a key to success in any financial endeavor, so invest in areas that you already have much knowledge of.

Proverbs 12:11 ‘He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.’

Proverbs 13:11 ‘Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.’

Proverbs 19:2 ‘Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries his footsteps errs.’

Proverbs 28:20 ‘He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.’

Investing Money Go’s Way —>

Well those are my thoughts and I hope that you enjoyed the post. Keep in mind… Don’t Worry, Be Happy! With God we can do all things – become a Good Steward of God’s money!

Big & Rich – That’s Why I Pray

“Some stupid video posted as a joke, somebody’s life gets ruined
Out of everything we can create
Where is the cure to keep the sick from losing
Babies having babies ’cause their parents are always gone
Somehow we have forgotten how to make a house a home
How to make a house a home

I’m begging for forgiveness, I wanna make a difference
Even in the smallest way
I’m only one person, but I can feel it working
I believe in better days
That’s why I pray, yeah
That’s why I pray, yeah…” – Big & Rich – That’s Why I Pray

Isaiah 41:10 – HELP

“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand….” – ESV / Commentary

Hot Pursuit of The 31 Woman (1 of 4)

Proverbs 31, ESV and KJV, The Wife of Noble Character. What women can learn, and apply to their lives, by following in the foot steps of this marvelous and noble woman of God. A fun fact about Proverbs 31:10-31 is that it’s an acrostic poem, meaning that each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Virtue is Beauty

V.10 – ‘Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.‘ In this text the word for virtuous is chayil meaning to display valor, strength, power, ability, might, or efficiency. So literally this statement reads “Who can find a woman of strength, valor, or ability…” meaning that this woman displayed a high level of firmness and strength in her abilities. We also find this same expression used of men in Exodus 18:21 – ‘Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [such] over them, [to be] rulers of thousands, [and] rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens…‘ Moses was to find able men with these ‘virtuous’ attributes – but these men, as we see unfold, were not easy for Moses to find. When using this expression towards women it is found in 2 other places; (1) Ruth 3:11 ‘And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou [art] a virtuous woman.‘ and (2) Proverbs 12:4 ‘A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones.‘ Using these three references, we find out the importance and meaning of being virtuous  (1) Being able and virtuous means to fear God, be honest, love truth, and hate covetousness (which is Idolatry, which is Sin). (2) When you display such firm spiritual strength, and strength in character, people will notice because it’s abnormal to the culture around you. But like Ruth, do not let the world sway you – but instead keep firm and be bold. (3) A virtuous woman does not cause shame to her husband, or the family name on that matter, because she has these characteristics her price is above rubies, which are rare and expensive, she is a true daughter of our Lord and Savior and is hard to find. She has an inner beauty and a strength of character and a moral firmness that is lacking in the vast majority of women, even believing women, today.

V.11 – ‘The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.‘ In this text ‘trust’ is batach  meaning have confidence in, to be bold, to be secure, and to feel safe. The word ‘spoil’ is shalal  meaning plunder, gain, or spoil. No need in this context is the same found in Psalm 23:1 – ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want‘ – it means to ‘be in need’ or to ‘be lacking’. In both instances the word is used with a negative changing the meaning to ‘not be in need’ and to ‘not be lacking’. So if the Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need, because the Lord will provide that need for me. Get it? Let me help; what the text here is saying is that; if i have a godly wife I will not (1) be in need of spoil (money, equity, etc…) and/or (2) be lacking spoil. As stated above this word can also mean plunder or gain; which is usually used in the gain or plundering of valuable items from defeated enemies after obtaining a victory in battle. This doesn’t mean that if his wife is not virtuous that he would, in desperation, go into battle and gather up as much plunder as he could. But because his wife is such a benefit, even financially, he will have no need of soil. As we see in the next few verses; she keeps the home so well, is so industrious, and is so productive in all her efforts – that the result of it all is great gain and even profit. Sadly today some wives are so lazy and careless that they cause the family great financial loss, rather than the opposite.  They go on shopping sprees, incur immense credit card debt, or waste countless hours each week glued to habitual unproductive activities (television, gossip, etc).  How can her husband safely trust in her? After she has finished destroying the family it results in him having a great need of gain – considering all that she has lost. Here, it’s not only the women, but many men are at fault as well, though we’ll save that talk for the Proverbs 31 Man.

V.12 – ‘She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.‘ Verses 11 and 12 go hand in hand, he knows he can trust his wife because she does him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. Proverbs 18:22 says, ‘He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.’ This statement is only true when a man finds the ‘right wife’ – which would be a virtuous, noble, god fearing proverbs 31 woman. Some men will find a woman who will be a ‘crown of her husband…‘ and others will who is a ‘rottenness in his bones…‘ (Proverbs 12:4).  In verse 12 the word ‘will do’ literally translate to deal fully with or bountifully with, repay, or reward – because in Hebrew there was no actual word for ‘do’. In 1 Samuel 24:17 David had spared Saul’s life, and Saul’s response to Davids act of mercy was, ‘…You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.‘ Also in Genesis 20:15-17 the term is used of when Josephs brothers remembered what they did to Joseph “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” “Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him…‘ Here Joseph also had mercy on his brothers lives as well. They did not repay evil with evil, but they re-payed evil with godly conduct; goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and righteousness. The virtuous woman doesn’t serve her people/husband that which is good one day and that which is evil the next day.  Her husband can count on her to do him good and to be a blessing to him, and their family. He can count on her to do this today, five days from now, one year from now, ten years from now, and all the days of her life.  She is not up and down, hot and cold, because her godliness is marked with consistency.

Put Away Rivalries and Put Back Affection

V.13 – ‘She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.‘ The word for seek is ‘darash ‘ and it means to seek with care, require, enquire (consult), or search. The word for willingly is ‘chephets‘ which means to delight in, to desire to, or to purpose oneself. The word for works  is ‘`asah‘ which means to produce, to make, to deal, or to prepare. If you didn’t know wool is from a sheep’s coat – it spun and woven into yarn/string then knitted together to make a cloth. Even today we still wear wool sweaters and coats. Flax is from a plant, and in the same way as wool, was spun into yarn/thread which later became linen. Now flax is special, because the finest of them all was found, and grown, in Egypt under almost perfect conditions. From flax can be made a variety of materials including coarse canvas, rugged sails for ships, and even thin delicate scarves. As we see in the text she ‘seeks’ flax and wool, which are basic materials needed to make clothes and garments. However, by using the literal translation she is consulting, and seeking carefully, for these items. More than likely she is looking for ‘the best‘ buy or quality. The last part bums me out, because a lot of people forget about the importance of this last half, ‘willingly works with her hands’. WOW! That is such a beautiful statement. The virtuous woman’s hand is never a forced hand. The husband does not demand this from here, nor makes her feel obliged to do this. According to text she does these things willingly; meaning she delights, desires, and purposes herself to seek and find these materials to work with. This woman is looking to prepare, make, and produce an item for dealing (selling) out of them…. and she DELIGHTS in it. In our modern, computerized, electronic, entertainment-saturated society we have lost the art of working with our hands.  Most women don’t delight in making clothes with their hands. Instead they delight in shopping for clothes at the mall and thus adversely affecting the family budget. However the virtuous woman desires to work with her hands to productively (financially) benefit her home, her children, and her husband. This wise woman uses her time and individual resources in the best way she can.

V.14 – ‘She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.‘ Simply put; she does the grocery shopping! Who hasn’t traveled 10-20 minutes to the grocery store to get the best deal? Huh? Well this next virtue actually goes a little deeper than my first statement; the Bible teaches us that with food and clothing we can be content (1 Timothy 6:8) and the virtuous women plays a key role, as God’s instrument, in providing both. Interesting how the author of this Proverb compared the virtuous woman to being like a merchant’s ship. The word here used for merchant is ‘cachar‘ and it means to travel about in or go about in trade – to be a trader or trafficker. The buy, sell, and trade, commodities to make profit. Now she wasn’t being compared to a merchant, she was compared to the ship! The merchant ships then carried hundreds, maybe thousands, of rare, useful, and desirable items from far and distant lands/countries. in this verse it says that she is bringing ‘food from afar‘, the word for food here actually means ‘bread‘, which was a common item to eat in those days. For the sake of the lesson it’s food in general. But does this mean that she traveled to different countries and lands to bring food home? Probably not! The picture this verse paints is this; today the wife usually says, “Dear, I need some money because I’m going to town to do our weekly grocery shopping.”  Whereas, the virtuous woman said, “Dear, I’m going to town but I don’t need any money because I’m taking some of the fine linen which I have made and will trade it in for some items of food which you will really enjoy.” Now how can her husband complain about that? The virtuous woman produced a product (with the wool and flax) in which she could then trade to get a wide variety of foods form near and far.

Those are our tips on how to be a Proverbs 31 woman for today! Continue coming back and reading them as many times as you need! I personally have them posted on my  fridge so i never forget! Thank you for joining us in this study, next time we will be going through verses 15 to 20. God Bless and we’ll see you next week!

A Thousand Points of Light

“A thousand points of light: It’s a phrase we as Americans have come to understand as expressing the notion that a greater goal, a greater light, can be achieved as everyone shines from their respective place on the map. Peggy Noonan most famously employed it in a speech she wrote for former president George H.W. Bush. But its origin is most likely derived from C.S. Lewis, who in his book The Magician’s Nephew wrote, “One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out…” (click here to read more)

The goal for Harvest America was to have 1,000 churches join and project a live feed into their church… well America, with your prayers, help, and donation we have exceeded that 1,000 church limit!

If you would like to see the prayer map click here… and keep praying for God to increase the viewers and churches joining this great message and pray for great revival in America…

To join the prayer team to pray for Harvest America, people to get saved, for the leaders/guest speakers, the live bands, etc click here… there are currently 6,389 people all across America praying for you or a friend right now…

If you know someone you want to be prayed for to watch this live feed and accept Christ into their hearts click here… and just jot their name down to be submitted into the prayer cloud – which there are currently 41,617 people being prayed for across America…

It’s still not too late to join Three30, so if you have the resource to donate to Harvest America click here… and join today. Last year Harvest rented out Angels Stadium and Dodgers Stadium for a total of 2.7 Million dollars just so people could hear the Gospel message to get saved, they couldn’t have done it without the Body of Christ; so lets join together, give freely, and watch how God Moves! This is not the ONLY way to give there are also other ways to give other than online, for more info click here….

Want to watch the live feed at a location near you…. click here and just type in your city name or zip code and you will find a local venue where you and a friend can go and watch and learn about Christ!

 Thank you and God Bless!

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