The Process of DIAMONDS

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Shine like a Diamond

“Who can find a Virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”  -Proverbs 31:10 NKJV

What are you worth?

Diamonds are formed deep within the earth – about 100 miles deep!  While buried there it looks nothing like a diamond.  Rather dirty, uncharacteristic (- like the lead of a no.2 pencil) and unknown.  This uncharacteristic, unknown, you may even say insignificant small mineral must withstand the process of its environment- and looks COMPLETELY different.

The Process: Take a small amount of carbon mineral and allow an incredible amount of heat to be applied.  Temperatures around the range of 2200 degree F.  Yes. That high!  It still look dirty and unattractive; however, all of unnecessary elements and components are being purged and removed from the rock. It is being purified.

The high temperatures aren’t sufficient.  Now apply an incredible amount of pressure to the element, 750,000 pounds per square in.  Its structure becomes organize and features stabilize into a beautiful lattice.  Then it is rush to the earth’s surface and allowed to cool.

May be like me you’ve went through ‘heat’ a long time.  Physical and relational pain, lost, discrimination and “the junk” you weren’t looking to get, but got.  Don’t grow tired.  Don’t get weary!

Now Pressure is at your door.  You’re pursuing a better career, but the pressure hurts.  You are wanting to start non-profit organization, charity or mission- but the pressure is overwhelming. You’re trying to complete your degree, but the pressure. Then faithful pressure we receive from loving family and concerned supervisors- though we know deep down it is exactly what you needed!

Do not give up. This message may not be for you.  Perhaps a friend of yours who is struggling in a specific area.  Perhaps they are trying to draw closer to God, but have been unsuccessful.  Temptation hard to avoid. Strongholds difficult to break. Maybe you know someone that’s have been raped or abuse and asking, “How could God allow this to happen?”

Believe me, Friend. Be encouraged!  This is not in vain.

Do not give up.  Do not lose heart, for God- the Master Designer- is making something that will display His Glory!

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Galatians 6:9

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” 

Shine like a Diamond!

Leading Women – Moving Pass Your Past

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Have you ever heard something over and over again, and suddenly it finally sticks!  And you get it.

I’ve heard this song on the radio many times.  I’ve listened to the words repeatedly, even sang it out again and again, but it wasn’t until last week- about 6 days ago- the words finally took root in my heart.  The song is entitled:

You Are More…

Written by Tenth Avenue North.

Leading Women, at the core of their being, in the depths of their soul know this statement is true.  They have read in His Word- according to Ephesians 2:10 NIV:

For we are God’s handiwork (NLT says- “Masterpiece”), created in Christ Jesus to do

good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

They’ve not only read and heard this taught from His Word, but they’ve meditate on it and seek to live it!

The truth is there is more to you than the mistakes and sins you’ve committed in the past.   There is more to you than what you’ve done in one instance or snippet of time.  Yes, “You Are More…!”

There are things in her past she may not care to share, sins, failures or embarrassments she has done, but that does not stop her from reaching out to someone else.

The words of the song go: You are more than the choices that you’ve made, You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, You are more than the problems you create, You’ve been remade.

This woman may indeed have hurt a good friendship, been responsible for the breaking of a committed relationship, or she betrayed someone.  She may have once used drugs, slept around, may be responsible for the lost of a little life…. or done other things she regrets and hold a sincere remorse for.  But this woman does not stunt in personal growth because of past sins or sins others have done against her.  She believes a profound truth that has helped her to keep moving, which is:

By the AMAZING grace God extended to humanity when he sent His Son Jesus the Christ to die on an old prickly heavy and uncomfortable  man, woman, boy or girl who believes and receives Christ as their Savior and King! John 3:16, 1 John 1:9. was charged for her guilt, and “past” is removed forever.  This all happened, the moment she believed and

A Leading Woman no longer live in condemnation or shame of her past, for the “past” was removed forever. [Hebrews 10:17]  Rather she is growing, thriving in all that she does, and passing on the grace she’s abundantly received to many others.  TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Remember, Leading Women walk confidently, speak clearly and with authority, knowing she was design by God, the Loving King and the purpose He has designed her, she seeks to live out as best she knows! (Psalm 139:14, Jeremiah 1:5, 29:11)

Leading Woman of the Week:

Priscilla Shirer

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Priscilla Shirer, a wife and mom first, and a speaker and author, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. She hosts many conferences all over the globe and has spent more than a decade addressing major corporations, organizations, and Christian audiences across the United States and around the world. Priscilla has authored 10 video driven studies numerous books including A Jewel in His Crown, Discerning the Voice of God, the New York Times Bestseller, The Resolution for Women- This is a book I have read and it has personally impacted my life, one (compound) word describes it- Life-Changing. She considers it a privilege to serve believers from every denomination and culture by helping them to know the truths of Scripture intellectually and by encouraging them to experience these truths practically by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Taken from http://www.goingbeyond.com 

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Leading Women – Intro

We are in a time and a season when the influence of women on our culture have reached an all-time high. Today, women can have any job or perform any task that a man can. Women teach, are engineers, go to the moon and back, we can obtain the highest, most extensive degrees, they can even perform all of the duties of a Priest. Women are doing today what was unthinkable a few decades ago, juggling a number of roles, accomplishing new feats and raising society’s stakes!

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Women are leading in a number of areas and capacities today, and rightfully so- many of them earned it!

As we lead in various sects and capacities in our nation or wherever we find ourselves, remember that our Gift to Lead is God-given, and must be used for His honor and the expansion of His Kingdom on the earth.

When God made the first made man and woman, he imparted to them a covenant known as the Dominion Covenant. Genesis 2:26 reads,

“Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule. King James says, “And let them have dominion.”

God was saying that He has given man & woman the authority to have dominion in the earth. In other words, man and woman was made to rule; we were designed to lead.

From the beginning God had given Adam and Eve authority to rule over all of creation with vigor and strength. We are not to follow every thought or belief sent our way, but we ought to lead. We are to lead other women into a path that is right with compassion. We are to lead in the workplace, not following every tabloid news or gossip-based conversation, but start the trend of positive conversation. We are to lead our kids, whose potentials are still to be seen and very lives we are responsible for. Whether we lead a mission, disaster relief, or mom of kindergarteners group; a club, a team or an army of people, let us lead so others ultimately see our Creator in us.

I’m sure you’ve heard the statement, “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Just a glimpse into how much women affect our society. Tony Evans in his book, “Kingdom Woman,” (co-authored with his daughter Chrystal Evans-Hurst) stated that “Women have been equipped with such an innate capacity for influence that they can change the world for good or, unfortunately, for bad.”

Hopefully you know God made you lead. Hopefully you believe the authority we have been given by God and must be used unto Him. This is not to promote any one person, but to build God’s kingdom.

To be the LEADING WOMAN He has called you, walking in grace, excellence and a continued commitment toward OUR KING- Christ himself, you must use the following:

  1. Lead with Excellence as unto Him. In whatever we do, we ought to do it as if we are presenting it to our King. In reciprocation, knowing that God gave his best to us. Doing our best in everything, which also means in leading others: we must be fair and just in doing so, remembering it is the Lord who allowed us to lead in the first place.
  2. Meditate on His Word- Leaders, men and women alike will get discouraged at times and next to prayer, they know to find encouragement through the Word. It is during these times that passages like, “I will never leave you nor forsake,” (Hebrews 13:5) and “only be strong and of good courage!” (Joshua 1:7) can mean so much. Or sadly when our enemies come against us again, we know and believe that, “The Lord will fight for you…” (Ex. 14:14). It’s His Word that keeps us in hard times. It’s His Word that breathes life to the dead situation, His Word declares “we are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath” (Deut. 28:13). It’s His Word that encourages us, guides our steps and lights our path.
  3. Walk in wisdom- realizing that good leadership takes planning, effort and strategy in leading today.
  4. Display love to everyone. Everyone you come into contact with especially fellow sisters in the Lord. Heb. 6:10 & John 13:35. Some people are thirsty for it, in a world with a serious drought in Love.

 

You were made to lead. You were designed to direct others to the King rather than be directed astray, into a hundred different directions, which do not give Him praise. God formed you with a specific Plan and Purpose in mind- so stand tall, keep your head up, walk in confidence and assurance that God and the Creator loves you and is with you. Do not be afraid of men’s faces, but in liberty and dominion walk into the destiny Christ had laid out for you!

See-Job 25:2, Ps. 37:23 and Matthew 16:19

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In 1950, women made up 29% of all working people- the workforce.  70% of whom held clerical or secretarial positions. (4)

 

TODAY, women make up 50% of the workforce (49.9% in 2009) and hold a variety of positions, qualifications and income levels. (5)  In fact, 70% of married women who have kids also have an outside job.   A much higher percentage than in 1950!

The roles and responsibilities of women have sky-rocketed.  They must keep a clean & welcoming home, raise healthy balanced kids, balance the budget, run their forty-hour-a-week office/clinic/classroom, attend to aging parents, love their husbands and teach Sunday School…… .Modern Woman

The role of women are so complex and demanding: it’s mindboggling at times.  One article refers to the working women as a “Jugglers of multiple roles.”  So,

How many roles can you juggle?  5, 6 or up to 8 items all at once!

And the question still remains:

Where do women find the time to do all they must do.

Are you just, barely getting from day to day, rather than THRIVING in every area of life.

Are you constantly late?  Do you ever have time for YOURSELF?

Do you procrastinate often?  Not enough time to exercise and eat the right foods?   Read this!

 

When a woman has too much to “juggle” or spend too much time in a given role this leads to Role Strain. (1)

Consequences of role strain

  • Strained personal relationships
  • Decline in physical health
  • Anger and hostility
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Fatigue & tiredness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

And other unhealthy and addictive habits can develop like Alcoholism and Overeating.

 

It was never God’s will for us to lead imbalance, anxiety-filled, unproductive live!

It was Christ who said,  The Thief came only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  But I am come that you might have LIFE and have it more abundantly. -John 10: 10

Our Lord also taught us that know matter how much stuff, jobs,assignments we must complete– To put Him first!

Matthew 6:33 says,

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

And Do Not Worry About Your Life.

Allowing ourselves to be overworked and over-stressed, trying to jungle everything, and “control” our lives, rather than Walking by Faith and remembering God’s promises to us are true.  (2 Cor. 5:7 Rom. 1:17) and He is guiding our every step (Ps. 37:23).

Here are some Tips on coping with stress and living a balanced life (1):

1.Setting attainable personal and professional goals. Periodically ask yourself, “If something catastrophic happened to me today, would I have any regrets about the way I have lived my life?” To prevent burn-out, set limits.

2. Choose a partner and others who share your goals. Choose competent and trustworthy support people, such as child care providers and secretaries.

3. Establish your priorities. Make time for your family (attend school performances and sports events, take family vacations) and GOD and take care of yourself (eat right, get enough exercise, sleep). Remember to maintain a sense of humor.

4. Two potential spheres of support (ie, work and family) can serve as a useful role model for children.

So take care of yourselves- go to the beach, have a makeover day, treat ourselves to a sundae!  And Please Please Turn off that cell phone!

If you implement these steps you’re well on your way to Living a Balanced Life.

 

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            – 3 John 1:2
Reference

1. http://my.clevelandclinic.org

2. http://stress.about.com/od/relationships/a/women_balance.htm

3. http://www.workingmother.com/blogs/mommy-favorites/how-live-balanced-life

4. http://alanis.simmons.edu/edith/opportunities

5. http://www.economist.com/node/15174418

A Healing Savior

 

Jesus was walking one day, surrounded and engulfed in a crowd and teaching the people of His Kingdom when a certain ruler whose daughter was to the point of death, interrupted his speech saying,

“Come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” (Matthew 9:18, NKJV)

While on his way to heal this twelve year-old girl, he was interrupted by a woman who had had an issue of blood for twelve years.  A woman crept up from behind and touched Jesus; for she said in her mind- verse 21,

“If only I may touch his garment, I shall be made well.”

She was instantly healed.  And Jesus turned around and said to her, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” (Matthew 9:22, NLT)

Jesus had just healed this woman suffering from a disease for twelve-long-years and he gave his full attention to her, but He did not forget the young girl!

The servants of the ruler whose daughter was sick, told him, “Don’t bother the Teacher anymore. Your daughter is dead!”  Jesus overheard their words and immediately responded,

“Do not be afraid; only believe.”  (Mark 5:36, NKJV)

When he came to the house of the ruler’s daughter, behold the place was crowded.  There was a lot of movement and commotion. Some were wailing at the top of their lungs and others laughing because Jesus had said, “the child is sleeping.”  Jesus drove them all out of the house and with the young girl’s hand in His palm said,

“Little girl, I say to you, arise.” (Mark 5:41, NKJV)

And immediately she too was made well!

But lest we forget the widows….  They are a group of women Christ will never forget and neither should we.

Jesus had come to a city called Nain, and he was surrounded by a large crown and many disciples.  As He entered the city, the entourage of a funeral percussion intercepted them.  And it was a dead man, but this dead man was the only son of a widow woman.

Oh, what agony she must have been in that afternoon!  Oh, what pain she must of endured.  Her husband had passed away earlier and as painful as that had been, she still had hope- for her son was yet alive!  She will see her son grow up, have his own kids and live an amazing future!  But now her son was dead too.

When Jesus saw her, he had compassion on her and said,

“Do not weep.”  (Luke 7:13, NKJV)

And he says the same thing to us.  Christ sees when we cry.  He see our tears in the midnight hour, feels our pain.  He certainly did for this woman.  She saw her loneliness, her anguish and sorrow.  And that is the purpose for his coming to earth, to bear our sorrows and be acquainted with our grief.  Thankfully, He is a God that shares our pain and is touched by our infirmities and diseases.           (– Heb. 4:15, Matt. 8:17)

And Jesus said,

“Young man, I say to you, arise.”

Then Jesus presented the young man standing and whole back to his mother.

What a Healing Savior we serve and trust!

Follow Your Dreams…..

I was at a Women of Faith Conference last year, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The theme of the conference was BELIEVE.

Simply: Believe.

And when I think of the word “believe”, a flood of thoughts come pouring through my mind.  You often hear motivational-speakers or motivational coaches say:  Believe in the impossible,

Believe you have it in you!

Believe and you will achieve!

Believe to reach that goal, dream, ambition or position in life.

And while these self-motivating phrases may be good and even noteworthy; WITHOUT Christ as the center of your dreams, goals or ambitions- what profit is it!!

Mark 8:36 reads

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Matthew 16:26,   “…Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Nothing.

And when we look around we see very many successful and famous people of the world, but so many giants and leaders for Christ!

And I believe Jesus wants us to dream and go far in reaching great heights for Him.  And I believe He wants us to do it as unto Him.

Are you dreaming? Good.

But who is at the center of your dreams?

Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:9 and Romans 10:9

Women of Integrity- Ruth II

[Quotes are paraphrased unless otherwise indicated.]

Let’s take another look at the life of Ruth as we seek to gain insight and strength on our journey.

So Ruth had left her parents, her brothers and sisters and entire family, she had to leave her friends and the comfort and familiarity of her home country.  Ruth left all made networks and connections behind, along with the idols and gods of Moab, in order to serve Naomi.  What a sacrifice she made, just to bless Naomi who had lost all hope when tragedies struck her husband and both sons leaving her to fend alone.  Now she was a widow and childless.

Was Ruth a woman of integrity for leaving her home to tend to her mother-in-law?  … Absolutely.

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Ruth’s famous lines are still remembered: Where ever you go I will go… Your people shall be my people, And your God my God.

Ruth and Naomi returned back to Bethlehem from Moab after hearing that the long, difficult famine in Bethlehem had relinquished.  Orpah, Naomi’s second daughter-in-law had left them, and the family Naomi had left Bethlehem with; now it was only Ruth returning to Bethlehem with her.

As soon as Ruth arrived in Bethlehem she did not rest or recuperate from their sojourn,  Ruth went directly to work!  She asked her mother-in-law, Naomi,

“Let me go to the field and pick leftover ears of grain” that both they may have sufficient food.

Naomi responded, “Go!”

Ruth was now in need a break. With a spirit of humility and a mind to work, Ruth gleaned the field as best she could.  It turns out that Ruth just happened to land on the field belonging to Boaz.

Who is Boaz?

A wealthy “man of standing” and “influence.” But Boaz was also a close relative to Naomi!  In Israel a close relative can “redeem” their relative’s family.  He can buyback all of the property Naomi lost when leaving Israel, marry Ruth and raise an hier to a woman who had no hope for an heir.  [Read Ruth ch 3 & 4 to see how the story ended.

While Ruth was gleaning, Boaz returned to see his field; another incredible odd that met on the same day.  When Boaz saw Ruth as gathering in the field, he asked, Who is she with?

The foreman of the harvest said, She came with Naomi.  Did Boaz know Naomi?  More than likely.  Let’s listen to what he says to Ruth.

Boaz calls to Ruth to come over, then says,

“My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field….”  Remain here, focus on the reapers and follow them.  Boaz told Ruth, Let your eyes be on the field.  Like he was a coach, he encouraged and pushed Ruth to glean as much from the field as she could.  His kindness was rare.  Practically unheard-of.   He also told Ruth, I have commanded the young men not to touch you?  And whenever you are thirsty, drink from the water jugs (these were set aside for workers only).  Boaz and his workers treated Ruth like she is and was always apart of them.

When Ruth heard Boaz gracious words, according to Ruth 2:10 she fell to the ground and bowing her face to the ground.  NLT says “she fell at his feet.”   They she asked Boaz, “What have I done to deserve such kindness?”  Why have you noticed by you– a foreigner.

1. A woman of integrity possess a spirit of humility and gratitude.

You see, Ruth knew and understood her situation.  She was a Moabite that had moved to Israel.  Plus she just met Boaz.  Why would Boaz treat her a foreigner, a stranger with generous favor? [Favor – isolated, unmerited kindness.]  But Boaz was no typical man, he also feared God.

Note Boaz’ answer to her question “Why?”.  The reason he showed kindness to Ruth was because her reputation preceded her.  Boaz heard how Ruth had left her parents, brothers and sisters and her entire family; how she left her country: a place of familiarity and comfort to join her mother-in-law Naomi in her time of grief.  Boaz had no problem opening his field to this kind of woman.

2. A woman of integrity maintains a good character, a righteous reputation and everyone she meets testify to this.  

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