Being a Good Man: Trustworthy

Genesis 39:1-10

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate.  And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”  But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” 10 So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.” 

Hello and welcome back to Being a Good Man. Let’s jump right in to the craziness of Joseph’s life. The situation Joseph found himself in is not an uncommon one, especially now with social media; men are encountering women more and more than ever before. BUT men, just because you have encounters does not mean you need to act. Let’s look closer at Joseph to learn how you too can be a goodly person (v.6).

  1. Endure with a Good Attitude

Joseph was sold into slavery and taken as a slave to a foreign land that involved traveling through the desert. Take notice, he was “taken as a slave”. That means there was no emergency exit row with extra leg room, no car service with air conditioning and radio nor was he driving the newest and latest hands free capable car, he was a slave and he traveled as such from his home to a foreign land. Regardless of his circumstance he still conducted himself well. How do I know? Look at verse 2:

“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

Joseph was just bought and taken out of a hole in the wilderness. A hole he was placed in by his brothers. [Now scripture does not state whether this man knew these were his brothers who sold Joseph or not]. But can you imagine being the head of the US military and being given a random man another group of men found in a hole (v.1). I know if I found a man in a hole and was going to give him employment, the last place I would put him would be in my house, near my family. But Potiphar did, he placed Joseph in his house [or Pharaoh’s house which could have been the same place]. This seems insane, how did he get to the “White House”? Look at the map below.

Joseph was sold into slavery in Dothan after he went to visit his brothers out in the field (Gen. 37:14-17). The Joseph traveled over 200 miles as a slave before cars, trains, buses and airplanes existed with the Ishmaelites. Once he arrived in Egypt, Potiphar purchased and him and just like today when making a purchase you check the reviews. After a 200 mile journey, the Ishmaelites became familiar with Joseph’s strengths and abilities. This long journey was probably a long, hot miserable experience for Joseph but it was also good for him because by the time he arrived in Egypt, the Ishmaelites could recommend him to Potiphar based on what they learned about him during the long journey. So now, Joseph is working in the house.

“…his master saw that the Lord was with him and the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” 

What does it look like to have the LORD with you? The second part of verse 3 is the highlight of God being with him. Things are looking up for Joseph’s master, ever since Joseph arrived every job they give him prospers.  Let’s begin with his strengths:  Joseph was intelligent and articulate; his father kept him from working in the field and required him to study.  He may not have been super muscular either because of this. Do what you can do well and try your best at any task given to you, any right-minded person will see your strengths when you are given various tasks. Commit to all you do and watch God bless you as he blessed Joseph.

2. The Lord is With You

And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.                                                                             And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had…”

The second point I want to make from looking at Joseph’s situation is how man elevated him based on his favor with God. This is the real version of “started from the bottom now we here!”

He went from a pit to being the head of Potiphar’s estate. You need to look at this and be encouraged! Who cares where you started, when you have God’s favor your future can look nothing like you ever imagined. A servant turned CEO – only God can do that. And if you notice in the text, it mentions three times “the Lord was with him”. Joseph did not get here because of a college degree or a business connection, he had the LORD on His side. Remember in all you do, God is with you always!

3. Make it Better

The third point I would like to make is: be a blessing wherever you go.

So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field.

This is amazing and inspiring! Joseph’s presence in the master’s house allowed God’s favor to overflow from Joseph to his master. Are you a benefit to your employer and household? Survey your surroundings and see are things better when you are around, do people move closer to you at work when they need help? Reflect over different places you have been, did people who interacted with you grow and learn when you came around? If so, then you God is using you to reach people. It is important to acknowledge this as God not anything you did. God will place you in different arenas to move through you to make an impact in the lives of other people. But in this you must keep your eyes open because others will take notice and they might become jealous or worse. This brings us to the next point…

4. Be aware

 “And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.”

Men when you begin to accomplish things pay attention, are women looking at you or your stuff? When Joseph first came to town after surviving a 200 mile journey through the desert, Potiphar’s wife paid him no attention. She probably did not even know his name nor care. But, the brother Joseph just came up; he’s running the show now, new job, responsibilities, people working for him and now… Mrs. “Potiphar” is intrigued. She has a man, he’s the only person above Joseph, meaning he is “Top Dog” but she is not satisfied with that, she wants the new young one. (Just a little head’s up gentlemen, if your boss’ wife ever wants to sleep with you…JUST SAY NO!) Now pay close attention to verse 8:

and she said, Lie with me. But he refused…”

Gentlemen learn just because you have been made an offer DOES NOT mean you should accept. Rebuke the fear of missing out and simply say no!

5. Resist temptation

I cannot stress how important this next step is for your life: you need to resist temptation!

But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife.

I know it’s hard out here, women just throw themselves at you, ladies DM you, pictures appear on your phone without request however, it does not give you a reason to sin. Take these steps and apply them to your life when you encounter temptation.

  • Recognize your blessings. When Potiphar’s wife tempts him, Joseph immediately responded by saying: “Look, my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. There is none greater in this house than I.” He refused but he also knew it would take more than a no to resist the temptation. He had to remind himself what he had to realize he was not lacking anything. 
  • Appreciate what you have.  Joseph accepts what all the master has given him and what he did not give to him. “There is none greater in this house than I; neither has he kept back any thing from me but you.” This is the 80-20 rule Old Testament edition. Joseph says I have everything (80%) the only thing I do not have is you (20%). “I could be with you but that means I would be giving more than I would be getting.” For Joseph, it was clear, what he had was better than what he did not.
  • Prioritize your relationship with God. If you find yourself in a situation where you are willing to lose your belongings and job, think about what you have with God. Notice what Joseph says in the latter part of verse 9, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Joseph had lived life with God’s favor, that’s how he was raised differently from his brothers, was spared from death, and became a servant who rose to leadership in his master’s household. This one moment could have a negative affect on his whole future. No woman is worth losing God’s anointing on your life.

6. Be trustworthy

10 So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.”

This is the last point and title of the post because this is one of the qualities that makes you a good man. Joseph’s trustworthiness is highlighted in verse 10. Did you see that? Let me repeat it: “…she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. She kept trying and he said, “NO!” She tempted him everyday but he held onto his relationship with God, his job, his status and most of all his good name. Was this easy for him? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But he did it, why? I believe it was God’s favor. It was the holding onto God’s favor through this temptation of sin that allowed Him to resist this woman. The strength gained from refusing to lie with her allowed him to maintain God’s favor in the future.

Men, I encourage you to be trustworthy men. My favorite definition of trustworthy is: above suspicion. The resistance, recognition of blessings, appreciation of life and prioritization of God moves you above suspicion. You will not be questioned because of how you live your life. You know you are a good man when things go wrong or a rumor is spread about you and your wife is unbothered. This means you are above suspicion. How great would it be to live above suspicion because your character and actions have proven you are worthy of trust. Don’t you want that kind of life? A life above suspicion, a life of blessings and to know wherever you go God is blessing others just because of you. I know that is the kind of man I would want for myself, family and friends. So, I encourage and pray you are becoming a good man.

Be trustworthy, be blessed and  be a blessing!

God bless

 

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Beyond Belief, Living to Serve

In all honesty, this should have been my first post but I waited because I was nervous and a tad lazy. It took a lot of time choosing the scriptures and the right translation but I knew I could not procrastinate any longer because God was calling me to write this. (It is important to click the links to read the bible narrative to understand this post in its entirety, it is long but so worth it). Let begin…

Matthew 16:13-18 tells us of the conversation Jesus had with the disciples about his identity. (Did you click the link?) Here is when I ask you:

Who do you say Jesus is?

When you define Jesus in your life, it is also important to acknowledge His father as the source and creator of the universe. (Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27) This parable gives insight into doing work for Christ. Some have been blessed with many gifts and some just a few but the key is to work your gift to so it will increase. The servant with one wasted his time and his talent. There are so many things he could have done with it beside bury it. 

 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

What gift/ talent have you been given by God? How are you sharing it with others?

Luke 12:35-48 tells us to stay prepared for the Lord’s return. Identifying and sharing your gift needs to be a top priority in your life! “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

I encourage you to take time to learn about yourself. What are you naturally good at, do you receive compliments on anything you do or say? You must prepared to share your gifts because one day Jesus went seeking to be fed from a fig before it was in it’s season. Mark 11:12-14 NEWS FLASH: He can come at any time!

In John 21:15-18, Jesus visits the disciples and speaks with Peter. Here is where it is made clear that God is calling his followers to contribute to His kingdom. He gives a direct command to Peter to feed his sheep. This means we can no longer walk through life believing Jesus came, died and rose again but going to work, the store and on vacation never sharing with others who and what we know. We need to tell everyone about it, we are called to serve.

Galatians 5:13 “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”

Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

Romans 7:6 “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Remember, serving is not in vain. “For in due season you shall reap if you faint not!” Galatians 6:9

May you live a life of serving and be blessed beyond your dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Start Over…and Smile

As I was watching the movie Internship, it made me think about my experience starting over which led me to search for  For King and Country’s song “Fix My Eyes”.

Video by zmzhong7

 I love this song! It really speaks to my life after being born again and it was a song I heard not long after God called me out of the classroom to go into ministry.  The words to this song are amazing because it’s a message to self acknowledging the way I was is no longer how I can be. Going forward, I will fix my eyes on Jesus.

“See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” Isaiah 42:9

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

Reading these scriptures help me remember how far God as brought me. I can recall, a year ago as I was walking through the airport in Arizona with tears streaming down my face, I was so disappointed and sad to leave teaching internationally to return home. (Little did I know but God was getting ready to completely change my life for the better but, in order to do so it meant I had to let go of the life I was living to receive the new one He was offering.) In the final weeks of the school year, I heard God call me back home to Kansas. It was one of those moments where I was glad to hear Him speak but I did not like what He had to say (hey, just being honest). I wanted Him to speak to me and lead me but I wanted something different, more pleasant, fun or at least let me know for how long but no, I was just called home. As a sat there waiting for my flight, I began chatting with two other ladies and the tears continued to fall, partly out of sadness but they were also the result of fear. The ladies were kind and asked what was wrong, so I shared with them I was headed home after being gone for 9 years, how I felt like a failure for having to go home, I did not have a job lined up and now I would have to move back home after just spending the last year living on my own. Both ladies were super sweet, telling me things would be okay and to trust God. One lady proceeded to tell me how she had done the same thing years before and she was only home for a short time, met her now husband, has children and completely appreciates that time she spent back at home. Her words gave me hope, I then began to reason with God making a request for the life this lady had while still struggling with reality.

After the ladies and I went our separate ways and I carried their words of encouragement with me, hoping to be able to relate to them one day. As I continued on my journey, I passed by a shop with this magnet:

I thought…what? Why would a caterpillar think the world is over? Does it not know what is suppose to happen after it stays in the crysalis? But as I questioned this magnet I also prayed Lord I hope I become a buttefly and after I prayed, I purchased the magnet. **Now at first thought, it clearly states it was a proverb, this is not a scripture nor a divine visit from an angel but it spoke to me (plus, Paul’s letters were just letters until they became the New Testament).

Well, I made it home and that is when I first heard this song, then I read those scriptures for the first time and I hung this magnet up in my room. I was bound and determined things would get better on the other end of this trip home. They just had to get better! For the first six months, I thought about leaving every day and the many ways I could “escape”. It was not easy to start over especially because there were things in my old life I truly enjoyed but the more I read, prayed, worshipped and focused on the positives of being back home, the happier I became. (I shifted my thinking. See Counting My Blessings and Gratitude Journals)  Even when I could not see what was ahead, I fixed my eyes on Jesus until I could see what God was having me reach toward because Isaiah says, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching for those things which are ahead.”

Now as I prepare for my next season, I listen to  “Soar” by Meredith Andrews because after being called to start over, I entered a season of waiting.  I can truly say it has been a blessing though, I have learned so many new things, I can apply new knowledge to keep from repeating the old mistakes, I have had time back home to tell people thank you for what they had done for me (Luke 17:11-19) and I have been preparing for the new things God is about to do in my life (Isaiah 42:9; 43:18-19). I joined a financial planning course rooted in scripture with Crown Financial, I joined a new church, wandered into a singles ministry which is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and have gone back to school to prepare to go into ministry.

Whether life caused you to begin again or you feel led to make a change, starting over is a BLESSING! It is a second chance (for some it may be the seventeenth chance) but Glory to GOD for the opportunity. Starting over is a good thing because this time we will soar and that is something worth smiling about!

Thanks for reading, I hope you were encouraged. Be blessed!

 

Video by Made New Media

The Time Has Come to Unify Christian Music Stations

In 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,18 Paul writes to the people in Corinth and it is his message that I base this letter to every radio station across America that plays uplifiting, spiritual, Christian, gospel music, etc. See these words from Paul and let it sink in deep:

10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided?…

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Over the past year I have become a frequent listener of Gospel and Contemporary Christian music. The separation in “genres”, if you can call it that is saddening. Songs by gospel artists are often covered and played on the Contemporary Christian stations but the original artists is never played and Gospel stations continue to uplift new artist, never making mention of singers who are Contemporary Christian artists, it is time to bring all the good music together.  If Rihanna, Jay-Z, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus can all be on the same station, all music lifting up the name of Jesus should be found on the same stations. We are followers of Christ and the separation of our stations makes us no different than the church in Corinth that claimed they were baptized by Apollos and Cephas. As followers of Christ we need to unify and bring the world together not continue to stay on our side of the line; this is the Christian station and over here is the Gospel station.

“Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27

 

Let’s not just quote this on Sunday mornings, let’s live this Monday through Sunday.

Spotlight: Go For It! You Will Not Fail

A thirteen year old boy made up in his mind to learn and play the Star Wars theme song at no other than the house of the famous composer John Williams. I am a little embarassed to say but when I saw this video, I cried. It may have been because Mr. Williams came outside and greeted them but it also may be the attitude of young Bryce Hayashi. I was inspired that I need to just go for things-commit and go for it! Bryce did just that and what a positive ending it was for him. In these moments where a great idea pops in your head, fear of failure can come after discouraging you but this is where changing your mindset will help you conquer your fears. Believe good things are coming your way! Go for it, you will NOT fail!

Spotlight: Gratitude Journals

GratitudeJournal600px

Photo courtesy of http://www.lifepowertip.com

Today I am really excited to share with you the idea of “Targeted Journaling”. You may already be a a faithful writer or you may want to begin writing but are not sure what to write about.  Sometimes the idea of writing can sound boring or scary but I’m here to tell you, it does not have to be a bad experience. Writing is such an awesome way to communicate your thoughts with God and to clarify what you are thinking. I love to journal because I have so many thoughts, ideas, and plans that writing them down helps me see if I am really interested in following through or if it was just a passing thought. The good thing about having a journal is that you can choose the topic, the utensil, the colors and what you write about. Having a personal journal is very different from writing class, there is no grade, no time limit and best of all, you do not have anyone who will read it. This is solely for you!”Journaling “is different than a diary, this is your way to communicate to God and express yourself. Targeted journaling is even more different because it allows your book to have one main focus. The type of targeted journaling I am going to talk to you about today is having a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is not a “woe is me”, “my life is crazy”, “LORD please help me!”, a gratitude journal has one purpose, it is to highlight the blessings in your life. It is your way to live out Philippians 4:8 which tells us to focus on the good things. Life can flash so many advertisements, posts, and chaos that it can become easy to focus on the negative and to feel life you are Eeyore but you must realize the devil wants you to focus on those things. It is in these moments where we are most tempted to move away from God but stand firm and find the joy.

Image result for eeyore under rain cloud

My prayer for you is that you would be Tigger. Bounce around with infectious positivity and happiness. So whether you are an Eeyore, as curious as Baby Roo or scary like Piglet, choose to be a Tigger by having a spirit of gratitude. Here is one way you can change your mind to change your life.

Step 1: Choose a journal

Look at the images below for ideas, your journal can be as decorative or plain as you want. The idea is for you to have your own go-to space to write your thoughts.

Image result for diy gratitude journal Image result for diy gratitude journal

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Start writing
One way to begin each day is to start giving thanks to God. As you begin to write, other thoughts will begin to flood your mind and before you know it you will have a list of things pleasing to you. I have also included some gratitude journal writing prompts that will help you.

  

Be encouraged to make this a family, team, group or church project. Encourage one another to focus on the positive things for a 30 day of gratitude challenge (feel free to make it longer). Your mind and spirit will be renewed as you focus more on what you have than on what is missing. This keeps negative thoughts from flooding your mind causing doubt, desire and the feeling that God is not moving because He has and is moving. You will notice the more you write the more  you see how blessed your life. A gratitude journal will put things into perspective of how much you have whether they are experiences or things, God has done so much for you, there is never a time when you can make a complete list. So resist the devil’s temptation to make you feel you are lacking, you have been blessed abundantly so start living it every day.

 

Be blessed, be positive, and most importantly, be a blessing!

Being a Good Man: Being Boaz

Boaz-Logo-How-We-Law

Dear Young Men,

The story of Ruth and Boaz has been one of hope for many women for years. They feel if they become the Proverbs 31 women they will find their Boaz but the problem women are having today is they are being transformed into the Proverbs 31 woman but the skills they have been equipped with are being wasted on men who are not equipped to need them. (It’s basically having the top tools in the tool box with nothing to use them on). This is because not all young men are not taught how to act to meet their Ruth. So, here are some helpful tips to transform men, young and “old-er” into the Boaz the women of the world are looking for:

  1. Boaz is a business owner

This is so important because it is the first thing we learn about Boaz after discovering he is kin to Naomi. In Ruth 2:1,3 learns about his occupation, not his shoe game or how many kids he has. His reputation preceded him and it was a good one. Young men please understand yes it is important to have a good physical appearance because physical attraction is important in any relationship but have more to offer than a closet full of shoes. His money went toward establishing a life for himself. He was the man in charge of a LEGAL business. He managed his money well, saved and was able to have employees. His business was successful and it attracted a woman looking for a man who was a leader, not a loser.Men, when women see you respected at work it is a turn on. Put your best foot forward and think about the future goals not your weekend goals

2. Boaz, a godly man

Young men notice in Ruth 2:4 Boaz approaches the field blessing those around him. He was not yelling, rapping a derogatory song nor cursing. The first words out his mouth are not even about himself but glorify God and they are a prayer to the people he has encountered. One of the worst turn-offs are men who only know how to have a conversation rapping songs and cursing. Use your words to share your intelligence, preach God’s word and draw others toward you not push them away.

3. Boaz has a trustworthy and knowledgeable circle

Ruth 2:4, 6-7 The servants greet him with a blessing. He is an emloyer who the employees greet happily, they do not dread his appearance nor look down. Co-workers, colleagues and assistants can speak volumes about your character. What do your co-workers have to say to your date, girlfriend or wife when you are not around? Are you the guy in the office leading others to be better or are you the dead weight?

Another key person is the servant of Boaz turned to (remember he owns the field so imagine the pressure on this servant when the boss comes around asking questions about the new girl he did not hire) was alert. As soon as the question was asked, Boaz had a detailed answer of what happened. Have you surrounded yourself with people who you can trust to keep an eye on your business when you are gone or do things fall a part every time you step away? Maybe it is time to find a better group of friends.

4. Boaz was protective and wise

Ruth 2:8-10 speaks of Boaz’s plan to keep Ruth protected while she worked. He is aware of what could happen to her so he establishes healthy boundaries and communicates them to her so they are in agreeance. He also speaks to the men to communicate to others how to treat Ruth. At this moment she is only his servant and yet he respects her and leads by example when he expects the other men to respect her as well.

5. Boaz acknowledges her as a child of God

Ruth 2:12 He watches how she works and has received more information about her, he realizes she has a servant’s heart. This is key because he does not use this information about her home life to take advantage of he but instead prays for the LORD to fulfill her. This is his second acknowledgement of God. The first was directed to his servants and know he is telling Ruth he sees she has been sent from God, not as a pick-up line but as a true believer whose eyes have been opened to the glory of God.

6. Boaz asks her out

Ruth 2:14 This is so important today because this is the time to social media. Men it is completely UNATTRACTIVE to give your number and/or say let’s hang out some time. When these are the words that come out of your mouths, you prove you are not a leader and do not stand up for what you want. If you are interested say I would like to get to know you more, can we go to dinner some time? A date scheduled through a verbal conversation is much more likely to start out successfully than one that occurs via text or DM. Verbal dates show the woman you are a man who is willing to assert himself. This moment is what separates the men from the boys. Be a man and ask her out, it is romantic, sweet and your voice will play over and over again in her mind. A text message is dull and akward. Step it up men, you can do it. You will be glad you did.

 

*I am fully aware there are men who have done the things I have shared are turn-offs and have girlfriends and/or wives however if you did not have to work for her odds are you will not appreciate having her. Most often the girls who are entertained by that childish immaturity become baby mamas and soon after the relationship, men are quick to label as crazy. Save yourself, her and a child the drama by stepping up to be the man God has planned for you to be and be the Boaz to one Ruth.

Just Right: Trusting God with Your Life

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

This particular verse may seem small, it can easily become lost behind the other verses of Psalm 23. However, it is this profound declaration of God’s identity that sets the tone for the remaining text. The psalmist acknowledges the LORD as a shepherd, a word synonymous to pilot, leader, escort, and guide and if this is who the LORD is to you, it immediately makes you the opposite of these words- a follower and some who comes after, goes behind and trails. Now do you see why those five words are profound?  The LORD truly is my shepherd and that is how I have been so many great places. My mind could only desire places I had seen but letting God lead me, he took me to places I never knew existed. I can truly say this is a verse to live by because once you come to trust God, the easier following Him will be.

One way that helps me see this scripture in modern day is by reflecting on the trips to the store and the mall when I was a little kid; just as we would begin to unfasten our seat belts, mom would say, ‘We are only going for  [something specific]” then she would say, ‘You. Don’t. Want. Anything.” (haha remember those days?) How wrong she was? As soon as I entered I saw so many things I wanted. From the moment we walked inside, I would see things everywhere- shiny things, big things, fun things…but whenever I asked for something she would turn to me and say, ‘You don’t want anything.'” Naturally, this would cause me to drop my head fall, my face would become sad and I am mos certain there were some tears (I knew better than to throw a real tantrum). But you see, back then I was too young to understand that the things I would pick out for myself were temporary so I should trust what my mom would pick out for me. My mother’s words were wrong though because I did want stuff, I wanted a lot of stuff but it was the meaning behind her words that were right.

Here was the person who had been eating right, taking care of me and exercising from the moment she discovered she was pregnant with me. For years before I even knew this toy or candy would exist, she had been taking care of my needs. Her life was based around doing everything that needed to be done to be sure I was a happy healthy kid because she loved me. I always knew she loved me because I felt it, every time I cried or was sick I would always run to her and she was always there for me just as God is always there for us too. Before we were born, He sent His son so we could live joyous, grace-filled lives yet we go through life throwing tantrums and finding ourselves frustrated at the Him because we are not getting what we want.We have no idea what we want may not be what we need but God does. This is why He allows the tantrums, grunts, slammed doors and silent treatments. He loves us and cares for us so He wants us to step out the door into world acknowledging there may be some things we think we want but trust in what God gives because it will be better than what we think we want. Everything He does in your life is for your good. You will never have more problems than you can handle and you can always trust you will have unmeasurable grace, mercy and blessings. He has given you a life just right for you and that is better than anything we could choose for ourselves.

I encourage you to let the LORD be your shepherd today! Once you do, you will be glad you did!

Stay blessed and be a blessing, until next time!

Syeeda

Slow Down and See His Glory

Jeremiah 2:25
“Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, ‘I can’t help it. I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.”
 In the 21st century idols no longer are hand -made sculptures of animals in place of God (well not everywhere) but mankind is still making their own Gods. The DVR list-God did not make that, you did! What about that long to-do list that is longer than your grocery list, how much on there involves worshiping, praising and serving God? Are you more eager in the morning to jump in the drive-thru and more anxious to get to work or go hang out with your friends than you are to read your bible and pray? Are you willing to fly across the country for work and drive across town for a relationship but have never visited the church you pass every day on the way to work? These things are alien gods, they give you something to do but never really grow you.

But God is so good, you can choose today to let Him come in and change you for the better. Be encouraged this morning to give God control over your time, allow Him to lead your life each and everyday. You will feel better, more productive and be transform into His likeness Satan is busy filling hearts and minds with thoughts of becoming richer, better, stronger, and faster but it is a trick. He does not want you to succeed, anytime you have the thought you want to volunteer, call a friend, donate to charity and then the immediate doubts of all the reasons why you should not go begin to stir inside of you THAT IS SATAN! He wants to cause you to doubt, fear, be lazy, get distracted so you will not help others. When you do only for yourself, you alone are impacted but when you do for others, there is a double blessing. Pray, let God lead you to where He has planned for you and trust His plan is to prosper you and not to harm you.

Now is the time to get up, smile and go BE a blessing!

 

Spotlight: Musical Sensation, Miss Bri Babineaux

Ladies and gentlemen! I introduce to you, Miss Bri Babineaux!

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A few months ago I stumbled across Bri Babineaux () singing on YouTube. She is a talented and brave young woman with a new album titled “Keys to My Heart.” Her first single “I’ll Be The One” has been on my mind for quite some time as I wondered if God could use me to be the one. According to Ezekiel 22:30, the Lord was looking for someone to stand in the gap but could not find one, today young Bri sings she will stand in the gap.

This song among many others on her album are completely inspiring to anyone who hears. From beginning to end, there is not any song you will want to skip over. As I played the album through on Spotify, I claimed each one as my favorite. Her voice, the music, the words and the annointing of her songs usher the Lord’s presence into my office, car and home. I love this album!

Bri shares her testimony on the album like a vocal journal of her experience with being transformed by God to be used for others. I personally am so thankful for her willingness to surrender because it has helped me. As I am writing this, I decided to listen to the album over again in its entirety to give you my response to the music

1. Intro – I think I might like this. It definitely sounds like something I can bump in my car..she gave God the keys to her heart. I want to do that. Lord help me give more of myself to you. (Oh song 2 has started)

2. Heaven Must Be Something Like This – Yes, this girl can sing! I want to hear the praise team sing this. Loving the words. Our hearts are crying, “HOLY! HOLY!” I love the different melodies, it’s almost like three songs put together. “I enter the throne room and bow to my knees.” Then there are the two sections where she breaks down with no music and sings Holy over and over. I love it! Yes Heaven must be something like this because I feel His presence.

3. Run Over – At first listen I understood the song to be a reminder that God is gentle, He will not force His way into our lives. So He is telling us to accept His love into our lives. I like the word “let”, which means it is a choice to accept what He is offering.

4. I’ll Be the One (Lyric Video) – To be honest, when I first heard the song I thought I want want to be the one He can use, send and trust but I’m scared. People in the bible were persecuted and this is not the most desireable way to end one’s life. So as much as her words are important, I wanted to be the one “as long as I was safe and free from criticize. This song has helped me start this blog because I have changed from my old self, though not perfect I am different and I did not want people to see this and judge me. But when I think about being afraid of what others say or do so many scriptures come to mind to encourage me to go forward to share God’s word. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. ”  Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24 and above all else I remember Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,  and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” 

5. My Everything – This song is so beautiful. God is my everything. Give it all up, the unhealthy relationship, the job you only have for the money, the storage unit you keep full of things you may need in the future, etc. Let (there’s that word again) God be your everything. If you have no money but you have God, you are rich. No food but you have God, you will be fed. Have everything with God and in return give Him you.

6. Jacob’s Song – Most repeat! I had heard in passing about Jacob’s struggle with the angel (Gen. 32:22-31) but reading the story was moving and then to hear a song about it. I definitely have some things before the Lord and bound to hold on and not move until He blesses me. And just like Moses, I will not go forward unless His presence goes with me so people will see I am a child of God. Bless my soul and change my name. I refuse to let go!

7. I’m Desperate (feat. Sha Simpson) – I get chills listening to her plea. This is so honest and raw. I need to be free. Delivered. I have definitely been in this situation where I need soul ties and generational curses broken. If you have never been desperate for a true change and God’s hand to move in your life, the song might not hit home for you but if you are at that point where something has got to change and you know no one can do it but Jesus be desperate for Him (but don’t make the mistake of forgetting Him when He does).

8. Love You Forever – It is so sweet, this is a song of true trust. I will love you “even if it never gets better.” God is acknowledged, praised, glorified and trusted. This song is one of commitment, I will love you forever. The words “I will” are powerful, they are a promise, a covenant, an assurance, an agreement, a vow, a contract. She recognizes her life with God may not be ideal, things may not change, they may stay the same and she accepts and still dedicates her life to loving God. Now this is God, Alpha and Omega, her personal savior, Father and Friend which means He can do anything, change anything and give the perfect life we all dream of but she understands though He has all that power He may not do it but she is grateful for what He does give. Her love is not conditional it is unchanging. I will love you forever is a song of commitment, God will hear so be careful to sing along if you are not ready to love God through the times He does not move how/when you want.

9. Grace – Have you ever spent time with God really asking for forgiveness for things you have done in detail? If so, you will completely appreciate the grace He gives. “I’m thankful for Your grace.” 

10. Lord of All – I grew in a Pentecostal church so I absolutely love how upbeat this song. Dance. Clap. Beat the tambourine (especially at the end). “YOU ARE THE LORD OF ALL!  YOU ARE THE ONE WHO MADE A WAY OUT OF NO WAY!”

11. Holy Spirit – This is a cover of Francesca Battistelli’s song. Both versions are amazing!

12. Set a Fire – Jesus Culture cover. Another song with powerful words. Singing to God is praise, in the words of India Arie it is called a Songversation. Asking God to move and lead from within means the Lord begin to give you unctions to do things out of your comfort zone, give, pray, donate, and share. So after do not be surprised if you have this song on repeat for a week and you recognize you now have a soft spot for the homeless you previously pass without a care or you now want to go check on your elderly neighbor across the street.

These are not just careless words to set to beautiful melodies, they have meaning. I hope you enjoy this album as much as I have. See you on the next Spotlight.

Be blessed