STRUGGLING WITH BEAUTY

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Many women, myself included, have dedicated our time to loving and supporting husbands, children, and even grandchildren. Often the life of a wife and mother is accompanied by a career, church, volunteering and at some point caring for elderly parents. It is a life we choose, a life we love BUT…
As we, women, get older our body transitions releasing a new dimension of self. This transition is triggered by menopause. It is not until a woman is post-menopausal, which usually coincides with children moving out and parents moving in, that there is time for introspection and lifestyle adjustments.

As we evaluate where we have been, where we are and where we are going we become very critical of self. Women struggle with personal beauty but not the way the advertisers think but based on how we thought we had cared for ourselves. Baby Boomers know that menopause is coming so we do those things to prepare: eat right, exercise, and have regular medical check-ups but post- menopause still seems to bring unplanned issues.
I have very short hair, I struggle to keep it styled nice so I wear wigs. Having short hair is not the issue the problem is dealing with a receding hairline with short hair. Suddenly, I have begun to notice other women who have short hair and receding hairlines, particularly Black women; these women look beautiful to me however I don’t know what their personal struggle may be. My struggle with beauty is my hair: I do not want to look masculine wearing short natural hairstyles and I don’t always remember to put on make up and wear earrings when I go out.

I have a friend who is over the age of 60 and is naturally a size 3, she has been desperately trying to gain weight, yes gain for a few years now. Most people would say she is the perfect size but to her she is to skinny; that is her struggle with beauty.SHOE

I know quite a few women, post-menopausal of course, who once bought clothes to match a new pair of stilettos. These women can still fit the clothing but because of back problems, knee pains or other medical issue cannot wear the high heals. Though they know shoes do not make a person look good they had built a reputation over the years of being fashionable thus after all these years they now have to rethink how they dress.

The struggle with beauty is personal, unique to each individual.

I have noticed that there are women who just let what will be be. There are women who are loosing their hair and they don’t try to hide it. They have problems with bladder leakage and they buy panty-liners and keep on going. There are women who have problems with arthritis, bad backs, to much weight and now choose to wear comfortable shoes and have given away their high heals. These beautiful women have developed a sense of self that has allowed them to redefine what beauty is.

And this is what happens when a woman makes the transition and allows that dormant dimension of self to come forth. She is now free to stop being all things to all people and be all she can be for herself.WOMAN ON THE PHONE

EARLY MORNIN’ RAMBLIN’s

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RAMBLING #1 God’s Correction

The Bible says: Whom the Lord chastens He loves. I remember back in my “I’m really really really Christian” days I and my sisters in Christ would brag about how “God” was straightening us out! We thought God would take us to the shed and get us! We even prayed that God would go “get” so-and-so! But then I learned that God’s love was not like man’s love and so I had to rethink Hebrews 12:6: “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (NKJV)

The Voice translation is a bit more palatable: “For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He corrects each one He takes as His own.” (Hebrews 12:6 The Voice) I can understand discipline better than chastening and correcting better than scourging! Father God is not an abuser He is love. He will allow us to suffer the consequences of our actions and teach us the right way through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16). Good thing I am a follower of Christ and not a follower of the church.
RAMBLING #2 MOTIVATION

I changed churches not because it was not a wonderful place- it is, I just needed, really really really needed, a deeper study of God’s word. I have been going through some serious stuff and 10 in 10 was not going to cut it FOR ME. (Notice I said for me.) I use to be a regular participant in Les Browns Monday evening motivational calls it was encouraging but…. My Facebook friends post very encouraging phrases, Bible verses and quotes and I really like them; they are like temporary boost. I record Joel Olsteen on Sunday mornings, his messages are laced with biblical truths and very encouraging. I have not watched the past three Sunday messages- I just don’t have time for jokes. (I love your jokes Joel!) The question is: How motivating is all of this?
Motivational words, messages, can be like a cup of coffee, something to jump start your day but it will not sustain you.
I still listen to Andrew Wommack Ministries, I can listen to the same message over and over and over and over again and still learn something. Last night I attended Vision 101 which would be the equivalent of the New Members class in most churches. I was reminded of the importance of vision: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18 KJV

The problem with motivational messages: you have to be motivated to do something. If your life is a mess you need to ask: Are you being motivated to stay in your mess? Les Brown is very good at encouraging people to keep going despite the circumstances BUT his messages are based on people knowing where they are going. Many people think they have a vision but they are perishing.
“Where there is no vision from God, the people run wild, but those who adhere to God’s instruction know genuine happiness. Proverbs 29:18 The Voice
You can sit in a church Sunday after Sunday, attend Bible study classes, listen to all the motivational speakers you want it will not help if you are not headed in the direction God wants you to go in.

RAMBLING #3 MOVING ON

Moving on is easier said than done especially if there is emotion invested. It is hard to leave a job that you have been working at for years if you loved what you do. It is exciting yet sad when you move out of your childhood home into your own home for the first time. Divorce, death and other life events can force change. But there are other times when you need to move on but you feel it is optional.

I often tell a woman who is mistreated / abused by her husband that she can love him from afar. If you are married to a man who hurts you (emotionally or physically) then he has it backwards. He is supposed to love you “…just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her”( Ephesians 5:25 NKJV). Jesus loved us before we were born, while we are here on this earth and He will continue to love us- He does not have a bad day. You have got to move on- hard as it is to make that first step you can.

At some point a child is suppose to grow up and get out, unfortunately, children have become a part of many parents life plan. We are suppose to raise (train) our children in the way that he (or she) should go (Proverbs 22:6 KJV)- the operative word being “GO.” Far to many parents have dedicated their lives to their children and do not encourage their children to leave the nest. To be a responsible adult you have to have responsibility.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NIV

Sometimes you can rebuild but you have to know if where you are now is where you need to stay. Other times you have to know when enough is enough.

God is not punishing you so don’t stay in a mess. Motivational speeches are good but when you are doing what God called you to do there is no need to listen to those early morning calls.
Develop a vision for your life, know what God wants you to do and do it. This will mean that you have to move on but it is OK. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NKJV) RAMBLINGS COMPLETE!

Don’t Forget to Praise

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16 NKJV

I am not going to breakdown the word lust, most people associate the word with sexual pleasures -it’s more than that. I am reminded of this verse because I was on the verge of a very HUGE pity party despite just finishing a chapter in my book on “distractions.” But God…

Have you ever experienced a “but God” moment? This happens when you after stepping out of the boat and briefly walking on water and you are going to sink but God – reaches out His hand and rescues you.
A “but God” moment happens when you are surrounded by people who want to kill you because you had sexual intercourse with someone who was not your husband but God intervened a said the one who is without sin should throw the first stone. And you lived.

While you are seeking the Lord’s intervention for your sick child a so-called friend comes to tell you she is dead. You get home to see friends and family crying and offering you words of condolences. But God stops by and commanded “tulitha cumi” and your little girl got up.

The Bible is full of “but God” moments because we focus on the natural and not on the supernatural. We focus on the flesh, the tangible things of life and we solve problems based on what makes the flesh feel better-lust.

“But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:26 NKJV

I was hard on myself this morning because I allowed the cares of this world to take my eyes off of the promises of my God. I forgot to praise Him. But God reminded me of His promises by leading me to a specific message by Andrew Wommack Ministries: CHRISTIAN SURVIVAL KIT and reminding of the series that is currently showing on television (and I have listened to before) HARDNESS OF HEART. I went to bed listening, I played the CD’s all night long so I could hear them in my sleep, I woke up listening to the messages that I had heard on more than one occasion in the past.
First I whispered: “Praise God” The words served as a release valve as all my troubles left my soul and praise entered my very being. And I began to praise Him some more louder each time. BUT the people around me did not know because this was an inside job.
If you look at me I seem as calm now as I did yesterday when I was on the verge of a spiritual breakdown. I walked calmly, I talked calmly, I was the epitome of calm to the observer I was actually crying inside, asking God what was going to happen. Trials and troubles were building up, the good news is I knew enough to seek Him.
God knew yesterday would happen and He made sure that I would wake up praising Him today- if I was obedient to His command. He sent me to Vision Church-Miami on Sunday Morning where Pastor Mathias gave a message entitled “GOD DOESN’T WANT COMMITTED CHRISTIANS ?” In this message I was reminded of the covenant I have with my Father in heaven.
It is in remembering the covenant and the super-natural abilities of my God that I praise Him again this morning.

 

 

I WANT

by M L FLOYD     I have a hard time accepting the idea of the government giving me what I need and I do not understand how other Christians believe it is as it should be.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NKJV

So many people quote this verse yet are angry because Social Security may get cut. There are church activities that help their parishioners sign up for government programs! Do they not believe the Bible?

I can tell you I have heard churches of various denominations preach about giving so that God could bless the giver. Was this just a fund raising tool?

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”” Luke 6:38 NKJV

Do you not believe it is God who gives or do you think the government is God? Some people may believe that God works through the government. Really? The government who endorses: same sex marriage, abortion, and sexual promiscuity; and whose leaders lie frequently?

Jesus said “come to me” not go to the government. (Matthew 11:28) In addition He said: “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—” (John 14:16 NKJV)

There is to much government dependence among God’s children. To much justification of lifestyles based on government standards. To much dependence on scientific theories, medical practices and academic philosophy.

My life goal is to be 100% dependent on Jesus, what about you?

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 NKJV

THREE YEARS FOUR MONTHS AND FIVE DAYS

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I did it! On December 1, 2011 I began reading THE EXPANDED BIBLE today May 5, 2015 I finished! I have read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation on numerous occasions using various translations- King James, New King James, Amplified, The Message, The Voice and New International Version. I have read the entire Bible in one year and in 4 months, this time I chose to take my time and study God’s Word.
I did not read it in the order it appears in the book, nor did I give myself a set number of chapters to read a day, some days I only read one verse.
I like THE EXPANDED BIBLE, I had received a complimentary copy in 2011 for review. I like the comments, and other translations that are placed next to the word or phrase. But I know this Bible is not for everyone, for a beginner it might be to much information. For those who want to just read without the detailed study the comments will interrupt the flow. I wanted to study God’s word which is why I like this Bible better than the Amplified translation.
Every time I read the Bible I learn something new and every time I finish reading the Bible I realize there is still more to learn. Taking my time reading THE EXPANDED BIBLE was a great experience, however, it will be a while before I take on the task of reading from Genesis to Revelation again (I will stick to topical studies).