Virtuous meaning, ”of strength," that is, moral courage.
She has no problem with her husband’s authority over her. She is reserved for her husband’s love and affection, and how to work along with him in harmony. She is not into manipulations of any sort.
It takes strength and courage to be a married woman who chooses to do what is right. Despite temptations and challenges, one must make that final decision to do what pleases God and in so doing, the marriage is preserved from destruction.
It’s easier to yield to one’s flesh, and to retaliate when things aren’t going well. Sometimes for every negative, non-right decision, there is a negative counter reaction that spirals out of control, thereby exasperating an already bad situation. Both individuals can now easily fall into situations that can destroy the union.
A virtuous woman has her good days and her bad days, she is not exempt from challenges. She always keeps before her what is proper and right. Righteousness precedes her in all matters. She knows how to communicate her feelings within proper bounds of speech. She knows how to pray and wait on God to fix anything that needs to be fixed. She knows how to remain steady in her attitude, and behavior towards her husband regardless of disagreements and conflict. She makes her appeal to God. She has learned how to depend on God for everything, great and small. Her mood paints her home environment with peace and calm. She doesn’t let problems change her disposition. This is the definition of spiritual maturity.
If she has children, they learn what it means to submit to authority over them by what they see their mother do. The Old Testament makes several references to kings, by stating who their mothers were. In the case of an evil king who influenced God’s people for the bad, it gives the name of that king’s mother. This is profound! The mother has the greatest influence over her children. She is the first parent they built a bond with from the womb. She spends the most time with them, they hear her words, they see her moods, behavior, and reactions. Mothers have the power to raise children for evil or for good.
When a male child sees their mother disrespect their father in any way, be he in the home or living apart, that male child learns that ‘women’ in general will have the potential to treat him that way. He then will eventually do one of three things. 1. Learn that the way to deal with women is to be aggressive and controlling, or 2. Learn to be abusive to invoke fear as a preventative measure, or 3. Learn to let her have her way in order to avoid conflict.
The female child responds by learning that men aren’t worth respecting and she can possibly, eventually take on a certain perspective as well. She can either 1. Learn to be manipulative to get her way using any tactic that will subdue the man, or 2. Do as she pleases and not care one way or the other, or 3. Learn to verbally abuse and put the man down every chance she gets. There are a few exceptions to this where male or female children discern what is wrong and loose respect for the parent causing the most injury in the home.
Both children are quietly watching and learning about relationships by the home environment that is set before them. Mothers have the awesome responsibility to guide their eyes and minds to take in proper relationship patterns and habits.
The virtuous woman’s children praised her for they felt her worth, and they recognized what a good person she is, and how they have benefitted from her. They appreciated the happy home environment she helped to cultivate.
Children will always mirror in some way, a reflection of ‘mom’.
If mothers can have this kind of power and influence in the home, and on the psyche of their children, what manner of women ought we mothers to be????
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt as if the walls were closing in on you from every side? Did you think to yourself that this is as bad as it gets? Felt like throwing in the towel?
Well, I've been there on more than one occasion. The pressure was so great that all the human emotions that kicked in, tried to bring me to the point of despair. But God, yes, God was there, right in the midst of my storm, and He made Himself strong on my behalf!
The apostle Paul, and others too, had the same traumatic experiences as they sought to serve God. You are not alone!
Troubles bring distress naturally, and normally.
Being baffled and puzzled brings despair, or a sense of hopelessness.
Persecution makes one feel forsaken.
Being Cast down brings on depression, and sorrow leaving one to feel suicidal.
It’s the peace of God that keeps our troubles from overwhelming us to the point of distress.
Though we may be puzzled and perplexed about what’s happening to us, the promises in His Word will dispel despair. We are kept by the power of His Word. His Word gives us hope!
When persecution comes, we know that He is with us at all times and we are not alone.
We may feel cast down, depressed, and sorrowful, but it never leads to self destruction or suicide.
There is no way we can survive, thrive, or persevere without God’s peace, God’s presence, God’s promises, and God’s power!
Those who look on, or observe us will see the power of God manifested in our trials, and in our sufferings. They will see joy, and uninterrupted peace, and calm as we navigate through. This is an enigma, and a foreign picture for the world. They experience the opposite in their life struggles. They turn to all sorts of things as a form of rescue, but never get the peace and help they need.
Keep trusting! Keep believing, Keep holding on, and by all means keep the faith!
You can't withdraw what you never deposited! If there is some way to do that, please let me know!
There's a trillion things out here to feed our minds with. It is non-stop, continuous, and it bombards us every minute. This is specifically designed to keep humans so preoccupied in hopes that one would never stop and think about the things that are pertinent to life.
There use to be a time when the television stations signed out and there was nothing to watch. Technology has now made it where your mind can feed 24/7 on any and everything. You get to decide when to shut it down.
What are we feeding our minds with? When the pressures of life come, what do we fall back on for comfort and help? How much of the word do we even remember or can recall?
God has design it where those who are saved, are never left without direction, comfort, or joy. We can have as much of Him as we like. Every scripture passage, ministry, or bible study time, sinks deep into the recesses of our hearts and when we need to be reminded, comforted, or helped, they come to the surface of our minds where we can retrieve them in our time of need. You can't retrieve what you've never deposited!!!
Christendom has become a society of one liners, catchy Christianized phrases, and antidotes. I've heard them all so many times that I can't stand it! Where is the depth and profound sharing one with the other? When I am going through ups and downs, I want to hear from someone who has knowledge and first hand experience with Christ. One liners and adages won't do.
This world is on a serious, dangerous course, and there are challenges coming to those of us who say we belong to God! We are going to face personal attacks like never before. Are we ready to weather the storm that's coming? Can we support and encourage someone else in the midst of it all?
Make worthy deposits so that you will be able to withdraw on that investment when the time comes! Keep distractions out! Feed your mind and heart with what will transcend this earth, and you will be a walking power source for all who stop by!
The real power and influence of a woman lies in her ability to always take a stand for what is right! It doesn't matter how she is treated, her moral choices will have its foundation in what is just and right.
This month is 'Women's' month. Many are trumpeting causes for women's rights. Yes, women are devalued, abused, and unappreciated. But today, I would much rather present an entirely different perspective on womanhood.
All of my life I have observed women of all ages, status, and nationalities in life, and there is one thing that stood out for me the most and it was always the woman who had integrity! A woman with integrity is priceless!
A woman of integrity has the strength and courage to stand up for what is right even if it means putting her own head on the chopping block for it. She will be that voice when no one else stands with her for she is clothed in the comfort and peace of knowing that God stands with her.
A woman of integrity raises her children to mirror the same moral principles she is living before them. Here is where her power lies. It lies in her ability to influence her children in all that is morally and spiritually right. This paves the way for their success in life.
Life can pack a punch at times, and unfairly so, but a woman of integrity does not waiver, bend, buckle, or bow, neither will she change her position. She stands tall and takes the blows that life throws at her. She handles every cruel word, every gossiping tongue, every judgement, every lie told, with grace. She knows that it's only a matter of time before the record is set straight. She realizes that it is God who shuts mouths, and wagging tongues. She has no need to avenge herself.
A woman of integrity is consistent because 'Truth' needs no memory of its own. There is no need to cover her tracks because she is clothed in honesty. Lying lips have to work night and day to keep the story straight and even then, it all crumbles and falls apart.
Each woman needs to make a declaration with herself to honor herself by always doing the right thing. This is where your true beauty lies. This is how you shine and stand above all the rest!
It is 'Women's' month; stand with me, and be all that you were created to be, A Woman of Power and Influence, and a Woman Of Integrity!
"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment." John 12:3
It's a known fact that being in close proximity with others often leaves something behind. Whether it is a comment, a thought shared, or a tone of voice, we leave lasting impressions on one another.
When I was eight years old, my grandfather signed me up for piano lessons with an African American, middle-aged woman, in Harlem. She had a studio on 116th street and 5th Avenue. I can remember it as if it were yesterday. It was a long narrow room with Baby Grand pianos lined up against the circumference of the walls. The pianos were worn, but they played beautifully. Sometimes there would be a student on each bench playing their notes. Those lessons were five dollars an hour. I didn't know it then, but that was a steal of a price!
Although I don't recall her name, I do remember what she left behind. She wore the reddest lipstick I had ever seen and costume jewelry flanked her neck as it hung down the middle of her breasts. She always wore dresses. What I will never forget is that awful smelling perfume. It was as if she bathed in it. It was loud, and strong, and overwhelming to say the least. It nauseated me. It was hard for me to concentrate because my stomach felt sick. I had to endure this every week. I guess I got use to it, because I did learn how to read the notes and play piano.
By the time my grandfather returned to pick me up, paid her the five dollars, and asked how I was getting on, I would run to the black winged Dodge parked out front. What I noticed was that the smell of her perfume lingered even in the car. I couldn't get that smell to go away. I opened the windows in hopes that it would dissipate, but it clung to me. I could even taste it. Every week for one hour, she left a lasting impression on me and it was mainly from her perfume.
What lasting fragrance are you leaving behind when others walk away from your presence? Are they inspired, refreshed, encouraged, or strengthened?
Mary left such an impression on all who were in her presence that day when she anointed the feet of Jesus. I'm pretty sure that as that odor of ointment filled the air, it sat on those in close proximity. That smell lingered and traveled where those who were a distance off caught a whiff of it.
What is the last thing a person recalls after we have walked away from them? What will they remember when we're gone? How did we make them feel in the process? Would they look forward to seeing or hearing from us again?
Yes, we all leave a fragrance behind that is directly connected to who we are. The question is, "What type of fragrance do we want to fill the atmosphere?"
2 Samuel 18:9-17; 1 Kings 2:5; 26-34
So what can we learn from the story of Joab? Joab was the son of Zeruiah, and the commander of King David's army. He was not only a great warrior, but he was also a shrewd politician. He could play both sides against the middle to serve himself.
Joab disobeyed King David's commands on a few occasions. He killed two men, Abner and Amasa, during peace time, and he did not bring Absolom, the king's son, back from battle alive, instead, he killed him. Joab clashed heads with King David over political and personal issues a couple of times. When King David decided to show mercy to someone, Joab was ready to have them killed. Joab was a man who was vengeful, selfish, and looked for ways where he could succeed in the kingdom. This sounds a lot like some of us in the body of Christ, unfortunately.
Joab also was ready to follow Adonijah, Solomon's older brother, who was trying to take the throne from Solomon. Joab knew that Adonijah should have been next in line to take the throne as the eldest, and he wanted to position himself right under him, but God had for Solomon to rule as Israel's third king.
When King David became old, he told Solomon to kill Joab because of the things he had done years earlier. Solomon did just that.
What can we learn from Joab's service to his king?
2 Samuel 18, 19:1-8 (just a few scriptures).**
"Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions." Proverbs 4:25
Focus on your mission and purpose in this life!
God has given each of us something to do for His kingdom. We have a mission to accomplish for His glory. As you hear about new laws, and new bills being passed, let not your heart be troubled. We were forewarned by the scriptures exactly what we can expect in this dispensation and time. I'd much rather focus all my energy and strength fulfilling the purpose for which I was saved to serve.
Fix your eyes!
By all means, be aware of all that is going on around you, and in your sphere of the world, but don't take your eyes off of Jesus! The noise of the world has a way of making us look to the left and to the right. We are running a race of endurance that can only be run by looking straight ahead at the finish line. Distractions causes us to loose our pace, and our momentum. If our eyes are fixed on the Lord and His word, we will be able to help one another run the race that is set before us.
Things are going to get much worse moving forward!
This is only the beginning of the down hill journey on this earth, but we can trust God to navigate us through! He is our strength, our guide, and our literal salvation. Pray about all you hear and see. Be salt, and be light in the midst of the darkness. Represent Christ wherever you go! Be a soldier that's on a mission who's seeking to get the job done!
These things can be distractions, depending on how we use them!
Keep The Faith!
2 Timothy 3:12
"Yea, and all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
THE LORD GOD EXPERIENCED AND ENDURED THE FOLLOWING FROM PEOPLE:
On days when you think no one understands, or no one can feel your pain, look up and be reminded that 'Jesus Can'. He knows exactly what it feels like. Who better to comfort us in our time of trial but the Lord God!
Sometimes our greatest challenges, and greatest trials are from the hands of those we know personally. Within the Christian community and without the Christian community, and from your own family members as well, you'll experience some of the same things Christ did! Keep your head up and hold on to the Lord. He will give you the ability to cope, to tolerate, and to navigate through it all.
Remember this, all who suffer with Christ will reign with Christ. It's an honor to be counted worthy to suffer for His name!
A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. Prov. 10:1
Solomon said this. He aught to know. Look at the family he came from. Solomon learned, from observing his older brothers, how not to be, and where you could end up in the end. King David had such sadness with his sons. What a burden they proved to be. King David had only to blame himself for the destructive outcome of his family. For you see, it was all due to the consequences of his own sins. When David took what wasn't his (Bathsheba), and murdered an innocent man (her husband, Uriah), he sealed the fate of his own family. The sword never left his house.
Let's take a look at David's family. Amnon rapes Tamar, his half-sister and forever ruins her life. Absalom, his older brother, finds out about it, two years later, and has his brother Amnon killed. Absalom sleeps with his father's concubines in the face of all Israel, in plain sight, and forms a coo against his own father, King David. Adonijah makes several attempts to prevent his younger brother, Solomon, from becoming king. Adonijah was older and normally he would have been next in line for the throne, but God decided differently. God chose Solomon to be king. Solomon had to sternly address his own mother on the issue of her son Adonijah who tried to use her to get the position he so coveted.
Solomon saw or knew some things within his own family that was unreal, horrible, and destructive. There was jealousy, envy, evil, and treacherous behavior, crimes, sexual assaults, murder, lies, and deception. What older sibling could he look to for advice let alone godly advice? He saw the character and the lack of integrity his brothers had.
Some of us have experienced negative things within our own family that have forever impacted our lives. It does happen, more often than not. Just like God did in David's household, He does for others. In the midst of all the murder and mayhem, God raises up a Solomon!
God is grieved when the family structure fails to be what it ought to be. Children are the innocent victims in it all. They are hard pressed to be emotionally, and psychologically whole. When you are born into a severely dysfunctional situation, you're already doomed before you get started. Children growing up in such environments become conditioned, and more than likely will repeat the cycle of dysfunction.
Hope can be found in Jesus! He can help us break that cycle! He gives power, real power to escape the chains of a terrible life. You and I are not responsible for what we were born into, after all, we didn't pick our family, but we can certainly do differently.
Having Christ in your life makes all the difference! You can now become what God intended you to be. You can rise above it all and lead your family into a new way of thinking and being. Bad Family Blood doesn't have to be what runs through your veins!
"Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be move."
God assigns certain trials and situations with our names on it. He has a spiritual purpose in it all. He knows the weight of the burden and how we feel. He sees the affect it’s having on us. So, He sends His grace, that special enabling ingredient, that helps us to bear up under the strain of it all. He sends an encouraging word directly from His lips to our hearts to cheer us along the rough path.
Sometimes He allows the tongues of others to spew discouragements, accusations, and negative things as He did with Job. Job’s closest friends began to tell him why he was in the situation he was in. Oh how much that must have hurt. Even Job’s wife put in her personal assessment and request under the circumstances. She felt he needed to turn on God, walk away, and just die. She was bending, buckling, and bowing under the circumstances; understandably so.
I reserve criticism for Mrs. Job, because she was in great grief and under great strain. She had lost all of her beautiful children all at once. All of her hopes and dreams for them were dashed, and her future without them was extremely bleak. She was a mother in great pain. She lost all faith in God, and she wanted her husband to do the same.
Things can get that tough for us when God chooses to assign trials with our names on them. I know from personal experience how hard it can get as you are trying to hold on to your faith and endure what was sent your way. I too have experienced the harsh criticisms from those looking on. It can add insult to injury, and emotionally handicap you, but God sees it all and knew everything that would happen before he sent that trial your way.
God provides everything needed to endure the storm with your faith in tact, while developing more within you. He has a beautiful way of communicating with us during these times, and in those moments when He is silent, He is still speaking, although it’s hard to hear His voice. In those silent times, He wants us to remember His written word to us. There are bible verses that become precious, crucial, and powerful to us when we read and meditate on them. They give off such power, and as a result, we’re able to keep keeping on.
God provides resources for us that enable us to persevere and get through the hard times. Job had some of God’s resources too. He had his faith, prayer, and the words of God that he had heard and known at that time. We have the entire word of God in the form of a bible.
Only God can sustain what He has gifted to us. Looking back, I can see how the crisis, and trials of the past were ‘gifts’ to me from God. I despised them then, but I cherish them now because I’ve seen the benefit and outcome of going through hard times. We mainly learn in hindsight. Hindsight is 20/20. I have a greater measure of understanding about God and who He is. I’ve tasted of that power that raised Jesus from the dead. I ended us seeing how much He loved me and the intensity of His desire for me to come into the blessings He was holding in His hands for me. This perspective can only be gotten through enduring trials. It’s tough, but it’s worth it all.
Hannah became seriously depressed and stopped eating because she was deep in the throws of a trial (1 Samuel 1). David became depressed and wanted to die because he felt that eventually his adversary, King Saul, would kill him. David stops complaining about the problem and begins to pray (Psalm 13). Job, in all of his distress, and physical illness, regrets the day he was born. He is depressed and in great sorrow. He keeps having long discourses with God and eventually, God responds (Job 3; Job 38-41). When God responds to Jobs questions, he comes into a greater knowledge and understanding of God and how He operates. He learns that God's sovereignty (God can do as He so pleases) rules!
When life gets really hard packing a punch, it's perfectly okay to cry and to let your emotions go. That's why you were given tears! Cry, cry, and cry some more! You must feel the pain of your circumstances. Never try to dull the pain with anything! You must feel every aspect of your trial. God intends on using all of your trials as a ministry to others! Cast your burden on the Lord and remember this; God collects every tear you cry. "You keep track of my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in the book" (Psalm 56:8)? God records all of our tears and puts them into His bottle. He will crystalize those tears and give them back in the form of pearls! I lie to you not! I have my own set of pearls and I give you the honest side of truth!
As a writer, I enjoy giving you the honest side of truth! As an artist, I create what doesn't exist. Each day I look for new and creative ways to use every ability God has so graciously given me.