All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders. 1 Chronicles 7:40
I saw an interesting question from a friend on Facebook today and it had me thinking of the perspective of everything I read. The question was:
“Men, what are your thoughts about reading books by women?
There was more to her question but that one sentence stopped me to think when was the last time I heard a man recommend a book written by a female author.
Then I started asking myself what perspective do I read the books from? Whether I am reading a self-improvement book, Christian living, leadership or the bible, how I identify with the author can dictate how much I buy into the ability for me to have the transformation promised in the book.
Early on in my married life I would read Danielle Steele novels, I was hooked, I would sit and read a complete book in one sitting. This did absolutely nothing for the upkeep of my home. I began to feel guilty after arguing with my husband over why the house was so trashed. So I would barter with myself, I can read a chapter after I clean up the breakfast dishes, I can read another chapter after I start a load of laundry and dust, I can start another chapter after I clean the bathrooms. The house was getting cleaned my husband was not happy but a little more satisfied. I was miserable, being jerked back to the reality of snotty noses, baby diapers, fixing dinner, and cleaning…. None of the characters in the stories I read had to put up with this. Why couldn’t my husband be like the romantic love interest in the story I was reading?
See, when you read a book, any book it has the ability to transform you and transport you to another place and time, but when you stop reading you are still right back where you were when you started unless you are moved to action.
Why did those Danielle Steele novels speak to me? Because she was a woman writing about the things many women long for, but very seldom talk about. However, I cannot tell you one man I know of that has read a Danielle Steele novel. There are very few that will admit they have read Emily Dickens or Maya Angelou.
All my life I have been told that the Bible is THE LIVING BREATHING WORD of GOD, as much as I believe that today when my friend asked that question I began to think there are some ways that I feel the Bible does NOT apply to me as a woman. I was feeling a little uninspired as I began flipping through the Bible reading about Warriors and I came across 1 Chronicles 7:40 All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders.
When you read that as a woman, first thing I notice it says is “Choice Men”. I was about to be dismissive of the verse and go on searching for something more along the lines of what I wanted to read about.
Please tell me I am not the only one who does this?
But anyway as I began to move on I felt God tell me to wait.
Asking me how could there be so many descendants of Asher without women?
It said these men were heads of families, that means they had women who handled everything while they were away at war.
It said they were choice men, choice men only associated with choice women.
Brave warriors you know what I am going to come back to this point….
Outstanding leaders, one thing I know for sure is outstanding leaders raise everyone around them to be outstanding as well.
Going back to Brave Warriors, as a veteran, who is married to a veteran, I will tell you it is very difficult to serve during a time of war, I would never minimize the warrior mentality of a service member in the field. However, as a mom of a service member, and daughter of a police officer I also know that it takes a warrior mindset for those of us at home while our loved ones are serving on the battlefield.
Yet when I read this scripture there was even more that He whispered to me. That there are many women, maybe you are one of them who are standing strong as the head of their home. Women who are Choice women, and brave warriors and outstanding leaders.
In a verse that has over a dozen words, I was letting one small word disqualify the whole sentence and how it applied to me. What if instead I stopped and asked God to reveal to me how He wants me to see His word, and even more how He wants me to apply his word.
Funny thing, when I was done reading the Bible today, I was not snapped back to the reality I started with, like when I read those empty romance novels. Instead I was transformed with a new warrior mindset by a God that loves me and knows me more intimately than any author could ever write about.
Let’s be mindful of what we are feeding our minds, our bodies and our souls so that we can be transformed from the inside out by our heavenly father.
Questions to Ponder:
What are you reading?
How is it moving you closer to or further away from your purpose?
The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.Psalm 119:64
When I was a little girl people would always ask me where I got my pretty blue eyes, I would giggle and say “Key-Mart”….Yes, everything back in the day came from K-Mart, but the truth was I had my daddy’s eye.
My dad’s eyes are unique and have a unique perspective. He and I have often been able to see and recognize things that many overlook. He is an Army veteran and retired Police Officer. He taught me how to look for things.
I remember one car ride where he was telling me about when you are looking for something in an open field, like a deer. You would lookout as far as you could see and then bring your gaze back toward you. This allowed your eyes to catch what you were looking for instead of your eyes chasing where the deer had been.
Another thing my dad showed me was how to see people, not their circumstance. There were times when he would bring homeless people to our home, so they could get a shower, a hot meal, their clothes washed and even new clothes, and see if there were ways my mom and dad could help them find a safe place to stay. They would minister to these people in physically and spiritually.
My daddy’s eye’s taught me to search the world from the perspective of my Heavenly Father.
I don’t know about you but when I look at social media, the news and even sometimes driving down the road, it is hard to remember that the earth is filled with love. Right now all my physical eyes can see is pain, anger, and war.
However when I take the time to look around with my Heavenly fathers eyes I am able to see things from a different perspective. I set my vision out towards heaven, and for all those out there running scared, and in pain, I am able to see them as they run into my view. I try not to see their actions, but see beyond to what is the root of their pain.
One thing I have begin to realize is so many people just want to be accepted, to be seen, to be heard, mostly they just want to be LOVED.
To many of my friends Christian and non-Christian are spreading their “Truth” to be correct from a worldly perspective, but my challenge to myself and each of you listening today is to be relationally right by sharing God’s truth of Love, Peace, Joy & HOPE!
“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?
“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
“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?