“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” Luke 14:28
When I worked for the church, this was one of my boss’s favorite verses. After all I worked in the business office for the church and he was an accountant. While, I had examples set for me throughout my life about how to manage my finances. One thing I began to realize while working at the church was the financial cost was not the only cost you had to be aware of.
I was meeting with small church leaders, and non-profit leaders, as well as those who dreamed of starting a church or non-profit. Since the common theme to these entities is to bring in tithes, and donations, many of the people I would sit with would have a “business” plan for how to handle getting and spending the donor dollars. The one thing they over looked was the cost of their time, their energy, and even the cost of relationships that building these things cost them.
The same can be said for entrepreneurs, if you are focused on the sale, and not the relationship, you are missing a huge cost that could destroy your whole business.
But let’s get personal, are you trying to build yourself up to be something you are not? Are you living a life of fake it til you make it, just hoping you will make it before you are discovered you are faking?
Counting the costs does not just work in the non-profit or for profit world, it works in our everyday life. Where we spend our time, our energy, and our money.
A mentor once told me that one of the things he noticed while he traveled around to meet with high net worth individuals, was that the bigger the wealth the small the TV’s and the bigger the libraries. Another words, the higher wealth individuals were not concerned with what was going on with reality TV, or even the news, instead they were focused on learning more, and improving themselves. They were not caught in a game of comparisons, hoping not to get caught faking it. Also, because their life did not revolve around Netflix and chill they were able to see with a broader vision of where they were going and what they were doing.
Whatever journey you are on today, I challenge you to count the cost mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and monetarily to truly understand what your journey will cost you.
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- Do a self Assesment of where you are and where you want to be?
- What is the cost of achieving your goals?
- Begin weaning yourself off of the the things that are distracting you from your goals.
May our sons in their youth be like full-grown plants, and our daughters like pillars destined to decorate a palace. Psalm 144:12 ISV
I remember going to the local rodeos when I was younger and I would see these little kids dressed up in their best wranglers, brushpopper shirt and little Stetson cowboy hats, and their Justin Boots. The Girls were not to be outdone, often dressed similar with a pop more of color and sometimes even a bow popping out from under their hat to hold back their long pony tails. They looks like tiny adults walking around. The more intriguing thing to me, is that most of them had better manners, could maintain eye contact and carry on an enjoyable conversation when most adults I had encountered could not do that.
I often wondered what the difference was between city folks, and country folks were. Now, I realize I am using a broad generalization here but for the most part I came to some conclusions. Many times the country kids knew more than the city kids the importance of hard work and team work. They had chores, that the family relied on them to accomplish to keep things moving. The city folks might have chores, but the consequences for missing a chore wasn’t as strict in the city as it was in the country. The Country families had family dinner time, where it was not about racing through the meal, but instead it was about a time to connect and learn about each others hopes and dreams, and provide wisdom to the next generation.
While both country and city kids were afforded countless opportunities to pursue their dreams it still relied on which ones embraced the opportunities that came their way. It also depended on which kids were mature enough to embrace the opportunities and not squander them.
Now, I am not saying that all city kids are lacking anything, after all I was raised a city kid. However, I am recognizing that even though I was raised as a city kid the importance of the things that were instilled in me by sitting around the dinner table with my family, and doing chores. When the adults take the time to invest in their children, they afford them the opportunity to receive blessings for their future at a much younger age. They set them up to be the answer to prayer for a mom who is praying for their future son or daughter in law.
Whether you live in the city or country, what are you doing today to fan the flames of your children’s hopes and dreams?
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- Ask a young person about their hopes and dreams
- Listen to them intently
- Encourage them to Dream Big!
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Matthew 5:11
I remember growing up and learning so much about the freedom we have in the United States to express our beliefs. I also remember learning about hundreds of thousands of people around the world who could not openly express their love for Christ for fear of being imprisoned, or even killed.
As I am writing this we are about to celebrate our country’s birthday, and amidst all fun and fan fair of a fun celebrations all over the country, I want us to reflect on what freedom really is. The birth of our nation afforded our fore-fathers the right to be able to speak freely, believe freely and yes, I will say it even bear arms freely.
Today’s political climate has so many narratives that actually threaten the foundational points this country was founded on. As each one gets challenged among the political parties, we must be diligently in the word of God to know where our strength comes from.
We cannot be complacent in our faith, we must stand up for it. We must not be worried about what the world says of us, but instead we must focus on what God has called us to, and what He says about us.
Let this birthday be a reminder to you to stand strong in your faith, even as core Christian fundamentals are being attacked. This may not be an easy season we are stepping into, but God is faithful and we are blessed.
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- Read thru the Beatitudes
- Treat July 4thas a celebration for how you will move forward in your faith
- Stand Strong in your faith
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10
I believe that many women today can relate to this verse. Over the last few years we have heard a lot about the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. These movements have shined a light onto the victimization of women. It has helped and sometimes hurt our ability as women to stand up and be heard when we have been wronged.
We have watched “powerful” men fall as women speak out, but the same women speaking out have been raked over the coals for speaking up. It seems like the first woman to speak up was the hero, the ones who came after were treated more like lemmings just following the leader. These “followers” were discounted, made fun of and their voice was disqualified.
Does this mean their story didn’t matter? Absolutely not. While I know there have been accounts that were made up, there are still a large majority of women like myself who have been victimized. Some of us handled it in the courts, or workplace when it happened some of us didn’t; but only felt strong when others came out about the same things.
In the moments of being a victim some things happen, you start to feel isolated, alone and like you are the only one in the world this horrible thing has happened to. While we know not all circumstances are the same, we also know that our reactions to the circumstances are varied as well. However, there is hope. There is a way of realizing you have a right to stand up for yourself. The persecution of you seeking righteousness for your situation may come from just sharing your story or from testifying in a court case. There will be people who won’t believe you and will believe your offender, there will be people who will disqualify you at every opportunity. However, they can never disqualify what God has qualified. So walk boldly and confidently in your faith that God has you in the palm of his hand.
Here at DIVAS Impact we have been attacked for being a women’s organization that doesn’t talk about #MeToo or #TimesUp. Don’t get me wrong, like grief the journey from victim to victory has many stages, and I feel that these movements help you check off a couple of the boxes. However, we at DIVAS Impact have made a choice to focus on women who want to move past being a victim to walking in victory. Then being able to share our stories in ways to not only bring other women out of the darkness they find themselves in after victimization, but to also help women identify some ways to help keep them from being victimized.
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- What does this verse mean to you?
- Have you been victimized?
- Have you found your way to victory after victimization?
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
Growing up in a home with a dad who was a police officer this was one of the verses I heard often. It wasn’t until later in life that I understood that my dad had to go into some very dark places and sometimes look evil directly in the face. Being a peacemaker is not always about being calm and docile it is about using all means necessary to bring the situation under control. They do not go in looking for a fight but they are equipped not to back down from one either.
This also reminds me of our military troops who are sent overseas. They may have a mission to eradicate terrorism in a region, but their overall mission is to bring peace to that region.
Too many times, I think people see this verse as being a people pleaser verse, and I don’t believe that is what it is saying at all. I believe it is telling us to seek peace and justice in all situations.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this verse.
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- What ways do you bring about peace?
- What are some other examples of a Peacemaker that you can think of?
- Where would you like to see more peace?
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8
When you hear pure in heart, I bet you have a few things that come to mind. Maybe it is someone you see that does amazing things for their neighbors, someone like Mother Teresa. Maybe you think of children with all of their innocence.
What would it be like to think of the phrase pure of heart and see your face come to mind? Being pure of heart is not for everyone else and something that you strive for. When Jesus was talking about this, he is encouraging you to let you know the type of followers He is looking for.
So how do we become pure of heart?
First off by not holding offenses, or better yet living a life where you are unoffended. I know, I know, it is hard today when so many things are thrown your way that you just don’t agree with. But let’s think about it, don’t you think Jesus was faced with things daily that went against the things he agreed with? People were always asking him questions trying to second guess his knowledge and belief system, yet with each answer he remained calm and spoke plainly.
There are many things that pollute our hearts today, whether it be on the TV, radio, social media, or just driving down the road and some of the billboards. The way we stay pure, is by being mindful of what we allow into our hearts when we encounter these things. Being pure of heart is about asking God to come in and flood your heart with His glory, building up your immunity to the toxic vibes we encounter each day.
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- Are you living a life pure of heart?
- What are some things you do to purify your heart?
- What areas do you struggle with living a life with a pure heart?