Portrait Of A Beautiful Women

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

The model woman described in Proverbs is a portrait of ideal womanhood. The focus of this portrait is a woman’s relationship with God, not her specific abilities or marital status. She realizes that regardless of her natural talents or acquired skills, or all her accomplishments, her strength comes from God. This women shines as a bright beacon in this wonderful Old Testament book. Today as we see women of all ages following the wrong role models, we are refreshed to find a timeless example of virtue, responsibility and good sense. Here, in this lovely picture of womanhood, is a woman who embodies the qualities which every believing woman should strive for in her personal life and appearance, in her family life, and in her daily duties.

“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

Who is a virtuous woman today? Proverbs 31 tells us that it is the woman who puts God first. Cultures change, but this woman’s God-inspired character still shines brightly across the centuries. However, the Proverb 31 woman is sometimes misrepresented. At times, she has been described as nothing more than a glorified maid. That is not the standard that He has given you to aspire to. That is not who God says is more valuable than precious jewels. The focus of this portrait is a woman’s relationship with God, not her specific abilities or marital status. The Proverbs 31 woman realizes that regardless of her natural talents or acquired skills, or all her accomplishments, her strength comes from God.

“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:31

Many women find Proverbs 31 discouraging. Don’t let that happen to you. Remember, this very capable woman is ultimately praised not so much for all she accomplishes as for one thing: She fears the Lord. The woman who is worthy of praise is not necessarily the one who does all her own sewing or is a great cook or is a natural beauty. The woman who gets the praise is the woman who fears the Lord. That’s the target to aim for. Not outward beauty. Not a perfectly decorated home. Not even more intellectual knowledge or a biblical scholar. Instead, aim for a bold, all-consuming love for God. Then you too will be worthy of praise…”worth far more than rubies.”

Father, help us to boldly love You and to live our lives worthy of You. Help us to act in a manner pleasing to you and show grace to others as you have shown grace to us. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

From Busy To Fruitful

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
 
As busy people, we often find it difficult to be still. Whether we work, volunteer, stay home with kids, or are retired, we are busy running from one thing to the next without much time in between. We hardly have time to accomplish what is required of us in a given day, let alone find time for ourselves or for God! However, the reality is that, without His help we cannot be all that He created us to be; and all that others need us to be. The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life. As the Psalmist wrote; “We are merely moving shadows and all our busy rushing ends in nothing…” Psalm 39:6  Just like any other relationship in our lives, to sustain a healthy relationship with God; we have to make time to connect with Him one-on-one. This can be done through prayer, bible study and worship, and can be done any time or anywhere. 

 “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
 
Often God has to shut a door in our lives so that He can subsequently open the door that He wants us to go through. There are times in life when you want to be surrounded by other people, in the thick of it, when you are ready and willing to jump into whatever life throws at you. And then there are other times when you want to hide yourself away and take refuge. You want to go to a remote place where the only one who can find you is God. There’s never a point when you reach full spiritual maturity and you don’t have to grow anymore. There is nothing in or of this world that can compete with knowing God and who He is through Jesus Christ. You can’t have one foot in the world and one foot in the faith and be growing as a Christian. God doesn’t want us to be busy; He wants us to be fruitful! Take time to go from busy to fruitful…a place God intends for you to be. Be still and remain in His presence.
 
“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your word to renew me.” Psalms 119:114
 
Father, please help us to remember to make room for You in our dailey lives so that we can and be all that you created us to be for those who rely on us. Thank you for all that you do in and through us. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

Misery Loves Company

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.” Psalms 35:4
 
In this life, we will face a number of injustices. Some that we bring down on ourselves. Some from the sin and wickedness in the world and even some from within the family of God. God places people in our lives for a variety of reasons. Some we may know only in passing and some we will become very good friends with.  Some people have insecurities and bring conflict  into our relationships. Some may be guilty of reading negativity in everything that others say to them. They may invent drama to fill their emotional release. This war with our mind is insecurities often caused by unsettled issues from our past. We have to learn how to avoid playing mind games with you own circumstances.
 
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
 
God commands us to love one another. However, sometimes that requires loving from a distance. Not everyone that we meet is compatible with our personalities. One thing I’ve learned is that not everybody is going to like us. No matter how saved and loving we are, there is always going to be someone who will dislike us for any number of reasons. And yes, sometimes these people are the people we care the most about, people that we call our friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is wrong or bad…just bad for each other. If you can not bring out the best in a friendship then you are probably going to bring out the worst.
 
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” Psalms 1:41 NIV
 
Pray for the people in your life that hurt you. Learn to love these people from a distance. Through God’s grace, one day you will realize that the hurt will start to fade away and begin to be replaced with love. Surrender all your concerns to God. Show grace and accept grace. If you find yourself in an un-healthy relationship, remember this…God often removes people from our lives to protect us. Think about that before you run after them!
 
Father, Help us to recognize which people are healthy in our lives and which ones to let go of. Reveal those who pretend to love us. Remove those who love to hate us, and protect us from those who wish to harm us. Help us to learn to love each other in our shared space. In Jesus Name.’ Amen.
 
Sweet Blessings

Outside Of His Will

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul….” I Peter 2: 11

Is there something in your life that you desire and yet, you know that this would be outside of God’s will for your life? Most of us have a bad habit or two. Some habits are just irritating, such as talking too much or laziness while others more damaging like gossiping, smoking, overeating, drinking too much, overspending, or even swearing. It’s very important that we have a constant check on ourselves, on whatever things we see or hear and do in our day to day lives. Bad habits in particular enter very stealthily into our life and before we even realize the impact, they become a part of our life and we become so addicted to it that later it becomes very difficult or nearly impossible to give it up.

“Change your hearts and stop all your sinning so sin will not bring your ruin.” Ezekiel: 18:30

The Bible warns us against surrendering to temptation. Remember temptation targets us for defeat. Complete victory over sin comes when we dislike our bad habits as much as God dislikes them. He hates anything that we make more important then Him in our lives. Build your faith today by depending on God’s power to live victoriously over trials and temptations. As we grow in our faith we have a desire to become more and more conformed to the image of Christ. When we have bad habits that hinder our witness for The Lord it stands in direct contrast with the example that Jesus Christ lived while on earth.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

When you are young it is easy to give up bad habits. But when they take hold, it becomes impossible to uproot them. Don’t wait for bad habits to grow in you, drop them while you have control over it or they will get control of you a stand between you and complete surrender to God. Matthew 6:24 “You can not serve two masters at the same time…” While bad habits won’t keep you from eternity in Heaven, they will keep you from completely and wholly serving God in your journey on earth.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31

Jesus did not die on the cross so we can just keep on doing sinful things, He died a cruel death so that we can “go and sin no more” (John 8:11) If we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, the Lord will show us what is acceptable. He will give us the power to live victoriously over trials and temptations. To conquer the bad habits in your life, surrender your whole selves unto Him, pray and count your many, many blessings!

Father, forgive me if I have allowed any bad habits to take root in my life that are not pleasing to you. Help me to keep myself an example of You. In Your name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

Serving The Lord With Excellence

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

How does a Christian develop a spirit of excellence in a day when almost anything can be passed off as good enough? Excellence does not necessarily mean the absence of mistakes. There is a difference between striving for perfection versus endeavoring to be excellent. Achieving excellence is an impossible task without the love of our Lord. A person who strives for excellence doesn’t give up when he makes mistakes, and he doesn’t avoid tasks for fear of failure. The true goal of excellence is to do the best you can with what you have at every moment.

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

Excellence means giving your maximum in everything that you do. Many people give their minimum to God. We are called to strive for excellence in order to be the best testimony for the Lord that we can be. Non-Christians are watching to see what kind of a difference Jesus is making in your life; you can point others to Him by being diligent in your tasks. Do you know you can do God’s work shoddily, and in the process stir up His anger against you? Our Lord Jesus Christ served God with passion. His zeal was overwhelming. Jesus would have been doing everything with His whole heart so that the Father may be glorified.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Excellence is a reflection of the God we serve. Always remember that to pursue excellence in your works is to rely on the grace of God’s hand in all you do. To be excellent at whatever God has called you to do, you must first ask for His strength to accomplish the task and His endurance to complete it. Prayer is an important part of pursing excellence; you cannot do it on your own. Excellence cannot be achieved by personal merit, but only through divine grace. His divine power has granted this to us, but we must come to Him in prayer. Make a commitment to excellence today! Strive to be a faithful bearer of the image of a perfect God.

Lord, help me to walk excellently before You in speech and in service so that I may be more effective in your ministry to others. Thank you for the perfect example that you sent us in Your Son. Help us to be worthy of our task. In your Name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

Walk The Talk

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” I John 3:17-18

Being a child of God brings with it some awesome responsibilities. One of the most troublesome is that it is not enough to just “Talk the talk” we are required to “Walk the walk,” following in the foot steps of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. That means that we have to back up our talk with action. We can say all we want about how loving we are, but the real proof is in our actions. If God’s love is a motivating force in our life, then helping others is going to be a natural by-product. It is much easier for us to testify about Our Lord and Savior than to proclaim Him through our lifestyle. Yet we are called to do both. Not because it earns us points, or favor, with Our Heavenly Father; but, because that is the way He calls us to be.

“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18 NIV

James writes, “Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” It is easy to praise God with our words but dishonor Him with our actions. God places opportunities in each of our days to shine His light and walk in His ways. You just never know what taking those opportunities to show the Love of God will do in just one person’s life not to mention what it can do for your own relationship with our Heavenly Father. Don’t miss those opportunities and don’t miss out on your own drawing nearer to the Father.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

A lifetime of talking about our faith, can be undone, in a moment in another person’s eyes by our actions. Works can’t save you, but they are a surefire way to show that you’re saved. You can talk the talk, quote the Scriptures, and say “Hallelujah!” all you want, but if your life bears no fruit, your words are virtually valueless. Don’t just say you love others, show that you love others. Ask yourself this question: Are you walking the walk or just talking the talk? Choose to let your actions reflect your words and not just be a hearer of the Word, but a doer! Make a commitment to Christ to put some action behind your faith!

Father, you have blessed me with so much. Help me to be wise and compassionate to those that you bring across my path. I pray that others see your love that dwells in me. Amen

Sweet Blessings

This Little Light Of Mine (Using Your Spiritual Gifts)

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8

The Bible teaches us that there are nine gifts of the Spirit. These 9 gifts are divided into three sets of three gifts. 1) Gifts that say something; Tongues, Interpretation of tongues, prophecy. 2) Gifts that do something; Healing, Miracles, Faith. 3) Gifts that know something; Wisdom, Knowledge, Discerning of spirits.

The gifts of the Spirit are not to be confused with the Fruit of the Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is spiritual grace in the character of the believer. The gifts of the Spirit are used in directing and blessing the church. The day we are born again in Jesus Christ we receive at least one spiritual gift…a spiritual “birthday gift.” These gifts are to be used to build up the body of Christ.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Using these gifts are pleasing to The Lord. What is your gift? Helping others, singing, planning, or playing music, writing, teaching, parenting, and serving? These are all gifts from God. No matter where you are in life, there is a specific purpose for you and for your gifts. How do you find the gift that you have? The answer is you find spiritual gifts just as you find natural talents. God gives us all the blessing of different gifts to serve Him and to serve others! Are you aware that God has given you certain passions and abilities to use for His glory? And then His Holy Spirit nudges you to use it.

”You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Father, thank You for the spiritual gifts that You have so freely given me. Help me to use them for your glory. AMEN

Sweet Blessings

God’s Amazing Grace

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

Grace…unmerited, boundless, free. Our Fathers amazing gift of grace. What joy to enter the covenant of grace! More than we deserve and greater than we imagine. Our faith teaches us that grace can only come from God and is only made available to us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It is completely unmerited and totally undeserved.

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

It’s both a mystery and a miracle to me that each day, God causes the sun to rise on the good and the evil. He does not separate them. He allows His grace to shine on both. Each year, He brings rain to the righteous and the unrighteous. He does not distinguish between them, but rather God refreshes it all. It’s a wonderful way of applying grace to an undeserving world full of undeserving people.

We will never do everything perfectly while we’re here on this earth, there will always be room for growth. Learning to live a grace filled life requires us to look at others and extend the same spirit of grace that God extends to us. If we don’t live grace filled lives we are treating God’s grace, love, kindness, mercy and patience with contempt. It’s like saying to God, “I only value You when it applies to me.”

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

The best way to know which areas of your life you need to focus on is not to compare yourself with others, but to slow down a bit and allow the Lord to speak into your life regarding areas that need attention. Some of the best ways to do that is to spend time daily in the Word. Read, pray, and listen to the still small voice of God. Let His word transform you today so that you may share God’s amazing grace with others.

Heavenly Father, May we live grace filled lives that extend grace and love to others. May we be patient, kind and merciful to those who see differently then we do. Help us to be shining examples of your amazing grace. In Your precious name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

Clothed With Strength And Dignity

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

‘Dignified’… the very word speaks to something in my spirit. I imagine a self-controlled woman making deliberate choices about what she says and does based on her priorities. I imagine a woman whose personality is not changed by circumstances, but exhibits grace under all kinds of challenges.

What is dignity? We find it mentioned in Proverbs 31:25 as something to be desired, “She is clothed with strength and dignity.” The dictionary defines dignity as “the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed.” Based on that definition and the entire chapter of Proverbs 31, I believe a woman clothed in dignity is one who knows who she is in Christ, and chooses to act in ways consistent with her high calling as a child of God. Sometimes, it’s easy to be so busy running around doing things for God that you forget all He really wants is your heart.

“Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain, but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!” Proverbs 31:30

I think of Rahab, [Joshua 2,6] who chose the things of God rather than the things of this world. We are enticed every day with worldly thoughts, attitudes, and way of life. Rahab understood that drawing near to God and his people would give her the strength she needed to choose wisely. That strength allowed her to believe in a better future far beyond the walls of Jericho. Rahab inspires us to believe in a better future beyond this life and become a strong woman of dignity and strength.

Proverbs 31 continues to give us a description of the virtuous woman and we see she is a woman of strength and honor, and is well-prepared for the future. She also is a woman of wisdom and speaks kindly to others. Where does this woman receive her strength and honor? It is from the Lord. When a person is strong in the Lord, they will also be honorable and receive honor. Your strength and power does not come from how much you can accomplish in one day. It flows out of your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Who is a virtuous woman today? Proverbs 31 tells us that it is the woman who puts God first.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” Proverbs 31:10

Precious Lord, help us see True beauty is found inside when we develop godly character and are clothed with Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Sister’s Of Our Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35

‘The sweet blessings of ‘Sisterhood Friendship’ is a precious treasure. The strongest foundation you can have for building healthy friendships is making sure that our own relationship is right with God. At the heart of friendship is selflessness instead of selfishness. I can’t imagine any deeper demonstration of friendship than one who puts your good over their own and who promotes your welfare even if it demotes their own. Jonathan’s friendship with David was such a friendship. The scripture says; “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1

True Christian sister friends will build each other up emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Christian sister’s love to be together simply because it feels good. We receive strength, encouragement, and love. We talk, we cry, we listen. We discover the best of friendships with our sisters who know and accept our weaknesses and imperfections. We walk arm in arm through the difficult times, learning the beautiful meaning of ‘grace’. We pray together, believe together and dream together. Together, we are one voice proclaiming that we are ‘Daughters of a King.’

We are a circle of friends from all across the country who have been brought together through our love of Jesus Christ. It is one of our greatest desires, that through our journey of life’s joy’s and challenges that we bring grace and honor to our Sisterhood. That through our journey we may leave a legacy of the value of Christian sister companionship, based on Godly behavior, for the many sister’s who will walk in our footsteps.

Dear Lord, thank You for all of the friendships and beautiful blessings You have placed in my life. Help me to see this challenge as a sweet reminder to show Your love to those around me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings