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Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Woman of Destiny

It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years. ~ Abraham Lincoln

God says to you, “I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, TLB).
You are a woman of destiny! What does that mean to you?

Dictionary says destiny is “the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events; the power or agency that determines the course of events.”
As Christians we know that power comes from God. Psalms 139:16 (TLB): “You [God] saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!” Yet, far too many Christian women don’t believe these promises apply to them.

There may have been a number of people, over the course of your life time that have killed your hopes and dreams. That is the enemy’s modem operandi. Jesus said that Satan “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” He then said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). While Satan has been scheming to destroy your life with lies and abuse, God has been methodically laying out his plan.

"Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before" (James Buckham). If you believe that God Almighty is in control, then your situation is not out of control.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Consequences

In his book, History's Worst Decisions and the People Who Made Them, Stephen Weir tells the story of Thomas Austin's ill-fated plan in 1859 to have a Christmas hunt on his land 60 miles from Melbourne, Australia. Austin imported 24 rabbits from England and released them onto his property, where they promptly started multiplying like, well...rabbits.

Within a few years, over 3,000 square miles of farmland around Austin's estate had been stripped of vegetation by the rabbits; and by 1866, the devastation spread as far as 2,000 miles north to Queensland. By the 1940s, the rabbit population was estimated at 800 million, and each rabbit was figured to have cost one Australian dollar in damage. To this day, Australians are still fighting Thomas Austin's rabbits.

Bad decisions have long-lasting effects. Our choices often come with unintended consequences. They set the direction of our lives, whether for good or ill. The value of making wise decisions is a lesson we all need. As you make decisions big and small, pray for guidance and make them prayerfully and thoughtfully.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Expressing Boundaries

Is important we learn to say "No." One of the reasons that many of us find it so difficult to say no to people is that we genuinely don't desire to hurt anyone's feelings or have them upset with us. Therefore, we've learned to please, to placate, and to pretend so that we don't make waves. In addition, many of us have been taught that as Christians we should go the extra mile, do more, submit to authority, and always think of others before we think of ourselves. Therefore, whenever we do say no, we feel guilty.

Yet the Bible tells stories of people who chose to say "No." Earlier in Jewish history we find two midwives who said "No." They refused to obey the Pharaoh's orders to murder Hebrew babies (Exodus 1:17). Queen Vashti, Queen Esther's predecessor, refused to allow herself to be treated as a sexual object for her husband's drunken friends to ogle. When her husband ordered her to parade herself before them, she said "No."

Ask God to give you the courage to say "No" when necessary for your good, for another person's good, or for His purposes and glory!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What is Radiant Beauty?

Jesus said: “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17-18).

I tell teens and women with negative body image that when a person follows Jesus she receives a special inner beauty that is reflected in her outward appearance. People may not know why she’s beautiful. In fact, some may say, “She’s not what we call a beauty (by our cultural standards), but there is something about her…some sort of radiant, spiritual beauty.”

The darkness of evil has not, nor will ever, extinguish the light that comes from Almighty God. Jesus is the Creator of life, and His life brings light to us. When we follow Jesus, the true Light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into temptation and sin. He lights the path ahead of us so we can see how we should live. When I allow Jesus to shine in my life, He guides me and I need not fear stumbling in the dark.

Whenever we run, God is there—to express His love for us and reveal His purpose for our life. David articulates: “If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Ps. 139:11-12).
In what ways have you allowed the light of Jesus to shine in your life?