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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

From Moth to Butterfly: There is Joy in Your Struggle!

Dear Ladies,
I am writing this entry to remind you that you can find joy in the struggle of transformation. Instead of seeing yourself with dry bones or in the state of depression, see yourself alive and well in Christ breathing in the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. There are always going to be struggles, but what do we do with them? Do we allow them to stretch us, or do we retreat back and give in to the struggles? Think about your surroundings. While in the processes of transformation, like a moth shut-in a cocoon, there is inner work taking place. Every Christian goes through struggles and or cycles of growth. Are we going to resist the inner change that is taking place?

I am writing about the spiritual side of transformation, but I am also thinking about things in the natural. Will we stay at a job for security reasons though our land is dry and the environment is stale? I guess this depends on if we are growing. For some God is facilitating a move, but there is little faith by the developing moth to take the necessary leaps. One would rather stick with what they know instead of embracing the new life that He has already prepared.

I woke up this morning thinking some really laborious thoughts about my life. When it was all said and done, the one thing I felt God was speaking to me and has been for a few weeks now, is that there is joy in the struggle. The time in the cocoon is crucial, but everyone moth has to allow the change to take place. The butterfly will take flight when it is ready. Some will stay and allow God to show them the joy in the struggle and eventually they will be released from their cocoon experience. God has given you the provision you need until you are ready. Some will make changes and find joy as they step-out and do new things as in a time of change and or struggle. Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength!

What are your next steps? Pray and ask God to reveal to you where you are in your struggle. Things can get cloudy. Ask Him to confirm to you where you are in the process and what He wants you to do. Pray, pray, pray! Listen, Listen, Listen.

To hear more about this, come hear me speak at Community Life Center Church (19048 Edgewater Dr.) in Port Charlotte, on Saturday, May 14th @1:00.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Renting-to-Own Reflections: Which Path Will You Take?

Dear Gals,
The "rent-to-own furniture"concept is often an arrangement that is amicable and workable. The key component is the word contract. One understands that there is a binding agreement and responsibility between both parties entered in the contract. Yes, some default on these rental agreements, and they should be aware that there are financial consequences involved with prematurely withdrawing from a legal and binding contract. Let’s not forget about the declining movement of a credit score if one engages in this irresponsible behavior. Keep in mind, the furniture will grow with wear-and-tare before the product is paid off even if it is a love seat! So, these are just a few of the natural components of "renting-to -own".


Many men and women want to "rent–to-own" or try out their partner before they marry. I have heard men jest about "trying the bike out first" or"take that bike for a ride". This is demeaning. In fact, this comment means they are referring to women as objects. Ironically, the are saying that they could be furniture. You'll understand what I mean as you read on. I have also heard a lot of women say they want to try it this way for fear of another "bad relationship".


Let's explore the pathway of "renting-to-own" relationships, while remembering that the Bible tells us it is "better to marry than to burn" (1 Corinthians 7:9). It's blunt, but true! Sure much of getting to know someone can be done without sinning and through the dating process; however, if one engages in fornication or living together before marriage, they are not following the will of God for their lives. When one sleeps with someone before marriage, they must understand that they are uniting their spirit with this person and the Lord. They are making an unholy three-corded union because they are not married before God. When the couple breaks up, the tie has to be broken or they will never be released to move forward. This is a very painful and laborious process for most! Why not date for a longer time instead of sleeping together? Why not move out and date your man? It's just a thought!

People who have broken up with a partner that they have been sexually active with understand the three-corded concept. I will boldly say that these ties go beyond the bedroom. This means that an unmarried couple will have influence and relationship with family members and extended family members of these significant others. It touches the realm of friends and coworkers. This goes for marriage too! Thus, then if one divorces or breaks-up after the spiritual cord is in place, it effects more than just the couple. People who have suffered a divorce, whether the actually person, child, and or other family member, understand how painful it is to cut these ties. If it is because of a significant other, they have put their child through unnecessary pain. Keeping these relationships in play, child or family member, is difficult when the spouse or significant other leaves. Many children see this repeated over and over. I worry that they are getting the message that relationships are about pain and not love. This is true for the ones who find this pattern repeating.

It is also imperative that one understands that one should NOT enter into marriage without contemplating the union. When one "rents–to-own", they are not promising to be there forever though they may say it. They do not understand the word commitment- the kind that God wants us to engage in-they do not understand the word covenant. It reaches beyond sickness and health; it means to death do us part! It means that you can count on me to be there tomorrow and the next tomorrow! Women, we have a need for security and to feel loved. Just because you are “renting them” does not mean that they are going to stand by your side. Sweetie, you cannot count on them no matter how good it feels. You are living for the moment and not for eternity. It's not too late to tell you man that he needs to marry you. See what he says. You will have your answer. I don't even want to address the males who are still married and in the process of getting a divorce. It's ludicrous! God is faithful!




Yes, I know that there is divorce in the church too, but I have to believe that God is raising up a people who understand that His love is patient, kind, believes all things, is not puffed up, and is long suffering (1 Corinthians 13). This does not speak the language of I I I ...or me me me...! Buying means that we are in it for the long haul. It also means that smart couples really do read their Bibles and pray together. It means we start putting our lives in God’s hands and that we walk in God’s ways. Instead of fighting about what they are NOT doing, it should be a fight over: oh honey, let me get that for you. No, honey, let me do that myself. No, love, I want to serve you. How often is this the language of love in our homes and relationships?



When one "rents" something, it implies that one can turn it back in with no questions asks, or one can think that they can stop making rental payments on it. After all, the owner of the company or person will just go back to the store or where they came from. Does this line up with the word of God? Not really. God has also come up with a blue-print for successful living and renting a “significant other” is NOT in it; dating is in His plans. He has given us clear guidelines, and one needs to follow the principles that lead to life and not death. If you are in a relationship and you are living with someone or sleeping with them, it's not too late to tell them about God's plan. You can visit a church and ask a pastor to help you with the scriptures. If you are not in the relationship to get married, then why are you in it all? God has a design for marriage and not for fornication. It's never too late to make things right! We serve a God who allows for second chances.

I welcome your thoughts and comments!

Illy



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stepping Out!

Dear Ladies,

I am used to doing things behind the scenes. I love to avoid being in the limelight or the center of attention. I know it is hard to believe, but I have to make myself do things.

For example, I did not volunteer to be the game planner and person for our showers at our church, but I was drafted by Pastor LaDonna Jones. Even though I resisted, I am thankful she gave me this opportunity to grow. This was my second shower, and I had so much fun! I was out of my comfort zone, and I survived. The games were a blast. I laughed a lot too. You know the Bible says that laughter is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22)! Had I said no, I would have missed out on this blessing.

So ladies, when you are given an opportunity to do something you have never done before, see it as a chance to grow. Step out in faith. Take a chance!

Rebecca Black - Friday (OFFICIAL PARODY VIDEO) - Sunday - Sadie B

Enjoy this song! Hope to see you at church on Sunday (if you live in North Port, FL)! I'll be there worshiping!!!! Will you?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mary Alessi- Another Breakthrough & New Day Dawning



Dear Women of God, It's time to press in, but spring cleaning is in order! God does not want to put new wine in our old wine skins. Remember that in the cycle and processes of life we grow. There are times when He prunes us; there are times when we must let things go and let the new come too. Just remember God is looking for a willing vessel. Ask God for your breakthrough as you surrender it all to Him. I know that's what I am going to do!