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

Worthy Of Your Calling

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2
 
How monumental is the command that we walk in a manner worthy of God. Stop and consider His divine perfection, there is nothing to equal Him! The good we do is God at work within us. It doesn’t matter if our calling is a stay at home mom, a wife or a career mom, the point is that we live worthy of whatever it is God has called us to be. It means being honorable and admirable at all times and telling the truth when a lie looks so much easier. It means saying no when everything within you wants to say yes and loving when you’d rather hate. It means giving God what you have and trusting Him for the rest and giving your time when it would be easier not to. It means being like Christ.
 
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
 
Sometimes we dwell too much on our own weaknesses. It is easy to dwell on the feelings that we are unworthy. Unless we learn to look at ourselves like God looks at us, we will never reach the potential that He has for us. The devil bombards our mind, and he comes against us in every way and tries to condemn us and make us say bad things about ourselves. But we need to realize that we are a child of God and dearly beloved by Him. Therefore, walk worthy of His call. When discouragement comes, stand firm in your faith, and God will mold you into an instrument of His love to others.
 
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
 
God has called you to be a light of His love and forgiveness to a world locked away in utter darkness. Are you doing your best to walk in a manner worthy of the sacrifice that has been made for you, Holy, acceptable to God? If not, begin today by the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus our Lord and begin to cultivate the life of faith in you. Abraham Lincoln wisely said, “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”
 
Father, Please help us to be worth of our calling. Help our actions and words glorify You and point others to Your amazing love. Help us to lift up those around us and challenge those who know You to pursue Your heart more passionately. In Your Precious Name. 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

A Gift Of Age

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4
 
In our culture, aging is often viewed as some kind of disease that, if we ignore it and don’t talk about it might go away. Like we can somehow push back the edges of mortality. Growing old graciously should be one of your life’s goals. You don’t need to fear aging, or try to gloss over your uneasiness about approaching it. There is a reason we want to grow old gracefully: so that younger generations can observe the gracefulness in our lives which speaks of God’s power at work in us.
 
“Now also when I am old and grey headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalm 71:18
 
What does age really represent? Days and nights spent living your life, coming through a myriad of experiences that sometimes seems so monotonous, only to be interrupted by life-altering surprises and unforeseen tragedies. Your age reflects years of collected wisdom. Your age also represents wonderful experiences. You’ve exchanged some of the energy of youth for them, but the older you become the more wealth you have in your treasure trove of memories.
 
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27 NIV
 
Mother Nature and Father Time may have brought you backaches, baldness and bifocals and probably a wrinkle or two. Your hair is changing color and your body is not quite so nimble. None of these things give you any less value! Time is the one resource that cannot be renewed. Life zooms by, so why carelessly waste your time worrying about the perils of aging? If you are still alive, God kept you around for a reason. Find out what it is, and then pour every day and every ounce of energy you have left into it. You can be ‘old’ at twenty-five and ‘young’ at eighty-five. Any measure of health and happiness enjoyed at any age is a gift from God. The memories you’ve made along the way are precious and priceless. Thank God for every year he’s given you. Live and love every moment of your life until He calls you home. It is called “A gift of age.” 
 
Father, thank you for all the years that you have gifted me with on your beautiful earth. I pray that my life has shown your goodness and love to others. I pray that my children will be blessed by my journey. Give me the grace to finish the race. In your precious Name. Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

“Blessed Are The Peacemakers”

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”Matthew 5:9 NIV

The world needs peace. The home needs peace. The office, the factory, the school, and the family need peace. To have peace there must be those who bring the peace of God. We are called to bring the peace of God into the life of others. In the middle of the storms of life, you can be a person who brings the calm that others so badly need. When you look around you, you can see anguish, worry, doubt, and fear in the life of others. You can reflect the peace of Christ and bring a kind word of love and assurance. Give away the calm love of God. Bring the healing of His grace, love, and peace.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14 KJV

Sin has a way of creeping up in our lives. There’s no big warning sign that sin is about to manifest itself somehow through our lives and then boom, something comes out of our mouth or a thought crosses our mind and suddenly there it is. Often that can lead to strife among our friends and even our own family. Yet, there is a call from the Lord Jesus for us to be peacemakers at the same time. How can that all work together. I believe there are two catalysts to making peace as a peacemaker. One is forgiveness and the other is humility.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19 VIV

Let’s face it, not everyone likes you or me. We may have enemies, even in the Christian body. But the Bible is clear that we are to make peace with those individuals. Whenever we encounter a situation that is hostile and fraught with tension, we are to be the peacemakers. The Bible teaches us to do whatever it costs to live at peace with all men. There’s a peace that comes from having an inner peace with God, one that allows you to sleep at night because you have been perfectly honest with yourself and with God.

Personal peace is only possible through Christ! Not only is it only possible through Christ, but it comes as a gift from God, totally removed from our circumstances of life. Even if one’s life is filled with controversy, anxiety, or even constant troubles, the peace of God can and will rule in the heart of the true believer. The peacemakers are those children of God who not only have great love for God, but also have love for all of mankind and they attempt to do everything possible for the advancement of peace everywhere.

Father, I thank you that I have found peace with you through Jesus Christ. I thank you that you have renewed my spirit. Help me to live with everyone in peace, that I can forgive as you have forgiven me and give me a humble heart. In Your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet blessings

“But For The Grace Of God…”

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 NIV

We’re all guilty of being critical of other’s. It’s so easy for us to judge others because they are different then us. We often see other people as sinners and ourselves as saints. When, in reality, we are just as big of a mess as they are. We forget our sin without any difficulty while pointing fingers at other’s sins. We judge on appearances, we judge based on attitudes and temperaments on education or employment, and on social status. The truth is none of us are saints. We are sinners saved by grace! God will hold us all accountable for being judgmental.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 NIV

Self-respect is the key to self-esteem. We should follow Jesus’ example, He extended love and grace to everyone. He looked past the sins of others; He looked beyond the rough edges of fishermen, tax collectors, and adulterers and reached into their hearts. He interceded for those who hung on the cross beside Him, asking, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they do.” He interceded for everyone despite all the sin they were mired in. He never once judged or criticized.

“Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 ESV

Jesus set an example for us to follow. We cannot hope to feel good about ourselves unless we are living a life of respect that values others above yourself. God did not give us knowledge/discernment for self-righteous elevation. Our godly character should give us a greater capacity to love. When you hear yourself putting someone down, stop and lift them up in prayer instead. Let us always thank God for His grace and extend His magnificent love to others. Never forgetting the simple phrase, “But for the grace of God go I.”

Lord, I ask you to keep me humble. Help me to keep my eyes focused on my own behavior and to show your love through my actions. I ask this in Your name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

Attitude Of Gratitude

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16

Nothing promotes health of body and soul more than a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings; as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father’s house?

Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Do you remember to say thank you to God whenever He does something for you; answering a prayer, sending a friend to comfort you, helping you solve a problem creatively, or granting you wisdom? Naturally it isn’t difficult to give thanks when blessings are being showered on us. But the Bible says to give thanks in everything. How do we give thanks when trouble is overwhelming us? Hebrews 13 discusses giving a “sacrifice of praise.” Praise becomes a sacrifice when we thank God in times of trouble.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:5-7

Gratitude goes deeper than thanksgiving. It says that I have my priorities in order. That I love the One who blesses me even more than His blessings. When you are depressed, make a list of your blessings; it will change your focus. Choose to fill your mind and thoughts with your blessings. Feeling an appreciation for those blessings can change the way you feel and brighten your spirit during difficult times. Having a grateful heart during tough times is a tremendous testimony to others of God’s grace. As believers we always have something to be thankful for. Through the gift of His Son, Jesus, we have a loving relationship with God that will last forever. His mercies are new every morning, and we have the assurance of knowing we are never alone.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love is eternal.” Psalm 136:1

Ask God how He can use you to make a difference in the lives of others. Although our needs may have multiplied, there are many who lack even the basic necessities. Our God will guide and provide if we are willing to serve. There are life-lifting benefits of an “Attitude of Gratitude. So with hearts filled with gratitude and contentment, let’s not forget the gracious gifts of the Most High God.

“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”

Dear Father, thank you for all the many blessings you give to me every day here on earth. Please give me a thankful heart and may I remember your Word that reminds me to give thanks in all circumstances. Gratefully in Jesus’ name. 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

Finding Joy In Sorrow

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

How do we remain joyful when inevitable tragedy faces us? We cannot expect to go through difficult times without feeling the impact of such events. We can expect to experience sadness with loss. How does joy come from trusting in the Lord in times of difficulty? God’s ways are not our ways. We may not comprehend the notion that joy can come from despair, love can grow from forgiveness, or life can grow out of death, yet Christ showed us all of these things.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8

God does not promise us that we will be exempt from trouble or sorrow. Tears will come, have faith, one day soon, deep inside there will be a joy that is difficult to understand. It is a joy from God, produced by the Holy Spirit. Share your tears with God. Sometimes, the tears of grief are really a prayer, even when there are no words. Your tears are so precious to God that He records each one of them and stores them in a bottle.

“You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book.” Psalms 56:8

What a wonderful God we serve. He is a God of infinite love and is ever present to give us peace in our darkest days, yes, even when we face illness and death. The blessing in our sorrow that is born on the battlefield is embraced by God’s beautiful, intimate presence. When we are suffering, he comes near, picks us up in His loving arms and comforts us, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Lord, we know You are the source of our comfort. You’ve walked where we walk, you’ve grieved as we grieve. Keep us always mindful of Your presence. I trust that You will take that which brings sorrow in our life and make it a source of joy. Amen

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson