unSTUCK

I can’t express enough how thankful I was for the year 2018. I was at a stand-still. I felt so stuck. God brought me back to a place I convinced myself that I escaped forever. At 28 years old, I was pushed to confront the little girl within me that was still raging for justice for the hurt I experienced growing up. I experienced a childhood I needed to heal from. I sobbed my heart out and embraced that little girl. I had to be where I was for her to be healed. She was stuck. I was still waiting for God to defend me and proved my anger over the years was justified. It was that I was lost, rebellious and reckless. Some things were done and said to me when no one was watching. People barely paid attention when my hurt was expressed in anger. When I messed up and could not seem to merely get it right. I hugged her and told her she was free; she was loved, she was enough. She has always been enough. God had vindicated me. It wasn’t how and when I thought he would, but I am blessed AND HIGHLY FAVORED. I regained freedom in forgiveness. It was a moment of brokenness for me. I was thankful for another altar build where I could rely on God with that fearful part of me. 

It was a season of growth, pruning and character building for me.

At the time I could only describe it as “feeling stuck.”

I wasn’t sure how to move forward or seek God about how I was feeling.  There were times when I felt insignificant, at times frustrated, and depressed even. I thought I had to learn how to cope, but God was showing me the root of my issues. It was always more painless to cope than to heal. Healing meant I needed to surrender that hurt little girl, I had to feel that main, and see how ugly that scar was. I realized God fought for me already AND WON! There was no need for me to continue to defend myself. I no longer desired to fight that same old battle. I could not answer destiny’s call hauling her along hidden in the shadows. I know the direction God is pulling me in, but I felt STUCK! I felt like I was in a position where I was incapable to move. I couldn’t go forward. I certainly had no desires to go backward. I wanted to get away from where I was, but I was unable to.

I had to deal with the unpleasant things I was unable to change or get away from. 

I was progressing and changing but I still felt stuck, not at the same level or stage I started the year with but by the things I could no longer run from. It was challenging to achieve the things I wanted to do, formerly did, or even had planned to do. I was frustrated. I didn’t know how or when I would ever move on from where I was. I wanted to implore God, why here of all places? I felt desolate. I realized God was at work, doing something more extraordinary and bigger than myself. God wanted to spend more time with me. He was dealing with me. The instruments he used didn’t matter if they brought out a change in me. It was time for me to grow.  Whatever made me uncomfortable was what I needed to get closer and deeper in Him. What will you sacrifice to see yourself the way God perceives you? 

God trained me to be empowered and equipped for the task at hand. He prompted me to draw strength and encouragement from Him through His Word, and during my prayer time. 

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and beforethou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 

I faced many unpredicted battles, roadblocks, setbacks, mountains, and giants along the way and I thought, how am I ever going to win? It’s supposed to be my undefeated season. God’s Word helped me realize it still was and will always be through Jesus. NO MATTER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!

God was my peace and my motivation. God encouraged me to see beyond my distractions and fears. 

In the end, I was able to say…

“…If God be for [me], who can be against [me]?” Romans 8:31

I am becoming who God destined for me to be. Speaking of “Becoming” I’m looking forward to reading Michelle Obama’s book.

Isaiah 43:2 speak to my entire life story,

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Resistance represents a part of the journey. I thought I was just stuck and focused on everything I was not doing. I won battles that could only be fought alone in the presence of God. I rested in Him. When I felt insignificant, I rested. When I was vexed, I rested. When I couldn’t discern what to do, I rested. When I felt unaccomplished, I rested. When happiness felt far-fetched, I rested. When I was frustrated, I rested. By rest, I don’t mean sleep all day or do nothing. I mean I put in work when and where I could. I trusted God’s Word and His plan for me. I managed whatever time I had to prepare and planned for what’s henceforth. When I won, I rested. I rested because I recognized there will be other battles, but I rejoiced in him for every battle and minor victory I already won. This year I’m resting in knowing it is my season to soar like the eagle God says I am! 

My vision is direct. My goals are set. Faith without works is dead! 

An eagle will NEVER surrender to the size or strength of its prey. It will consistently put up a fight to win its prey or regain its territory. I told myself this and now I’m telling you, disregard what is behind you and be brave like an eagle. Fight to preserve what you love. Don’t devote another thought to the size of your enemy. King David didn’t. He completely trusted in God. He knew there was a cause. There will constantly be a cause. Put differently, identify your “why” and remember it. Fight for your vision. Be clear and focus on getting results. Grasp the bigger picture. Don’t complain about the storm, rise higher and SOAR ABOVE it. That’s what an eagle would do. An eagle flies into the storm and uses the wind of it to rise higher. Confront your challenges and when you feel tired implement the wind of them to rest and rise higher. Change. Grow. Learn something new. Defy the critics! You don’t possess time in your 24 hours. Make plans to soar higher!

We were created in the image and likeness of God. We ought to comprehend some things from that. Myles Munroe said it best, “God identifies himself with the eagle.” “If an eagle meets another bird at top flight, it has to be another eagle. They are the only birds that can fly at their altitude. If you keep running into pigeons, and ducks, and ‘tubaka’ doves you are flying excessively low. Eagles NEVER flock! You will exclusively discover them one at a time. What you think is more important than what you do.” Don’t let culture or traditions trap the God-given abilities you were born with. He also said, “convention makes no room for creativity. It doesn’t allow you to believe beyond the norm. The secret to anyone rising is what happens in their belief system.” Don’t limit yourself to failures, or other people’s perspective, believe who God says you are. The rest will be history!

SHIFT YOUR MINDSET AND SOAR!

Business Women of Faith -Terika Haynes, Coupled For Wealth

Many women in the Bible were hardworking women. They worked hard for their families and the kingdom. These women were go-getters. They didn’t sit around and let life happen to them. They worked hard and make things happen. They were a blessing to those around them. Their legacies live on even still today.

Let’s look at the Proverbs 31 woman (Proverbs 31:10-31). It was said of her that she was a “virtuous woman”. She never once praised herself. Her handwork and those she was a blessing to saw it fit to acknowledge her as a woman that is “far above rubies”. She was not lazy, she was trustworthy, she was a good negotiator, she was hardworking, she was generous to those in need, she took diligent care of her family, she didn’t bring shame to her husband, she was kind in her speech, and most importantly she feared the Lord. Her works were evidence of the type of woman she was. She was never identified by name but many women, myself included, aspire to follow her example of handwork and consistency.

Another successful businesswoman in scripture was Lydia (Acts 16:11-15). She was very diligent in business. She was a successful seller of purple. Purple was a very expensive product in her time that was in high demand. As a part of her success, she lived in a large house and had many servants. However, “she worshipped God”. Her success did not prevent her from worshipping God. She was never too busy with her business affairs to seek him. She always found her way to the riverside to pray. Which was where she was converted. Although she had remarkable success Lydia was humbled. She was open to hearing the truth from the Apostle Paul to be saved. She was clearly a woman of major influence because her entire household was converted following her conversion. She was a well-known businesswoman and being saved did not make her less of a successful woman. In fact, she was hospitable and a blessing to the kingdom of God. She was kind in opening her beautiful home to those that were traveling to preach the gospel. Her home was a place of fellowship with other saints. She was a successful businesswoman among the Philippian saints.

Lydia and the Proverbs 31 woman are just two examples among several other successful hardworking women in the Bible. Let’s hear from a modern-day hardworking successful businesswoman.

We are honored this month to have with us the beautiful business woman Terika Haynes. Terika Haynes along with her husband are owners and founders of Coupled For Wealth. Coupled For Wealth is a successful “business and career consulting firm”. Their mission is a commitment to “empowering, and equipping, individuals and couples striving to launch a new business or take their career to the next level”. They “provide customized coaching that maximizes value for their clients in a take action and prosperous atmosphere”.

 

Terika is full of faith and energy. She is a go-getter make it happen type of woman. We are excited to have her as a guest at Chazaq Rose. Her spirit and business mindset are encouraging. She is driven to say the least.

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1)    What is Coupled for Wealth?

“That is a great question! “Coupled for Wealth” was given to me, by God, in a dream one morning before work. The name itself is a mantra which means, together, we are meant for prosperity. This idea holds a twofold purpose. First, it’s a confirmation for both Orlando (my husband) and myself. Secondly, it’s an assurance between us and our clients. We are a career coaching and consulting firm. It’s our mission to partner with aspiring entrepreneurs and career-minded individuals and couples to support them on the journey to success and prosperity in their endeavors.”

-Thank God for that. That’s inspiring!

2)    What role does your faith play in Coupled for Wealth?

“Faith is an essential part of our business. It’s like wind to be a hurricane; without it, hurricanes could not exist. It took faith for me to share my dream with my husband. I tell you, I thought he was going to burst out laughing, tell me to go to work, and he’ll call me later. Instead, he embraced it immediately! Orlando quickly began working on developing a plan and set it in motion, allowing me to be able to fully focus on my corporate position at the time.

It took faith to believe that anyone would even take us seriously and to my surprise, we received our very first client, Works by Dina a week after we launched. I was encouraged, but soon after, my faith was tested when I had to choose between Coupled for Wealth, this so-called dream of mine, and my current career, which meant financial security. This was tough as I had worked hard in my career for seven years.

Thankfully, being apostolic has afforded me to not only have true salvation but a powerful covering that I am aligned with. Through my submission to my husband, my bishop, and my pastor, I have a solid support. And so because of my faith, success for Coupled for Wealth is undeniable.”

-It’s always a blessing to have God as the center and the covering of your leaders. Having the support of one’s spouse can make or break things. Beautiful testimony.

3)    What drove you and your husband to start Coupled for Wealth?

“DESIRE! The desire to equip and empower those who simply want more. More in their career, more in their business, more out life period. Also, our own personal desire to build more than just a marriage and a business, but a desire to leave a legacy of success, love, unity, and prosperity.”

-That is beautiful and powerful! Wealth transfer.

4)    What is the strangest thing you’ve gotten inspiration from?

“I get inspiration almost from everything but the strangest thing that has ever inspired me was getting a cavity filling. That’s a long story in itself.”

-That is interesting. I think I’m going to look at one and see what I come up with.

5)    Why was it important to build Coupled for Wealth with your husband?

“He is the number one man in my life and is second to none when it comes to wanting to see people succeed! He is fine! Very well spoken, respected, extremely brilliant, an all-out silent assassin! I am glad I got him before someone else did, as a business partner of course!” *winks*

-I have no doubt he is thankful and appreciative of that. When I first graduated college he was the one that helped me find a well-paying job through his agency. The two of you work well together. *winks*

6)    What does a woman like yourself wear for business as usual?

“99% of my closet is business attire. I have blazers in almost every color. Of course, every businesswoman needs at least one power suit. My button downs always with a fun pleated skirt seems to do the trick. Oh, and a pair of closed toe four-inch pumps.”

-Yes! Dressed for success. I like that, “power suit”. My business ladies invest in your power suit.

7)    How do you ensure you look modest and professional?

“Cover everything so that there are no distractions, especially when you are in business with a lot of powerful of men. The only thing I want your peers to focus on are the words coming out my mouth. Unfortunately, many women miss this important lesson, it is hard to take us seriously, if we’re dressed as if we’re heading to a sleepover or out for a nightcap.”

-This is so important! Especially when the business world is said to be male-dominated. Not only that, women are expected to sell their bodies to gain corporate success.

8)    How often do you wear blazers as a business professional?

“4 out of 5 times. It’s my guilty pleasure. They always fit great. They come in many styles and colors. A true business staple that can be beautifully mixed and matched with anything.”

-Absolutely a business staple! It’s hard to go wrong with one.

9)    In what ways as a saved woman do you dress differently for business?

“I am not wearing any plunging necklines, high splits, miniskirt or dress pants. You can be fashionable while remaining modest.”

-I agree with this. Modesty is beautiful, even in business.

10)  What advice would you give a future business owner?

“Invest in yourself and get a coach! Even Michael Jordan had a coach! It is one of the greatest R.O.I (return on investment) your business will ever have.”

-Very well said! It’s my goals list for this year. A couple more months and I’ll be there.

11)  Who is your role model?

“My role model is Sheryl Sandberg and Daniel Davy.”

-I know one of the two for sure to be an amazing leader. I don’t doubt the other is one also.

12)  What’s your appetite for risk?

“Starving like Marvin; I’m never satisfied.”

-There’s always room for growth and improvement.

13)  In relations to business, what is your greatest strength and/or weakness?

“My greatest strength is getting down in the trenches. My weakness is that I can sometimes be a perfectionist.”

-And that is why you do what you do and excel!

14)  What is a business fashion “don’t” for you?

“Backless dress shoes! Please don’t do it.”

-Absolutely!

15)  Where do you see Coupled for Wealth in 10 years?

“A billion-dollar company that has completely altered funding the kingdom of God as we know it today.”

-In Jesus name! I am here for it.

 

Thank you for your time Terika! Be sure to connect with Terika and Coupled For Wealth at www.coupledforwealth.com, on Facebook “Coupled For Wealth” (@coupledforwealth), on Instagram @coupledforwealth, and email them at info@coupledforwealth.com.

 

httpchazaqrose.co

 

“Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” Proverbs 31:31

 

I aspire to be a woman that works hard, flourish in my gifts while serving others and being a blessing to the kingdom of God. We should enjoy what we do and take pleasure in them. We are women. We are strong. When our hearts are filled with love and kindness it will be evident in our works and surroundings. Invest in yourself to be a blessing to others. As my husband would often say, I want to die empty. I don’t want the things God placed in me to be buried with me. There’s no use for them in heaven. I want to pour out the gifts God has blessed me with in this world where it will be useful to others. When it’s all said and done no matter how successful we are, it means nothing if we don’t fear God and lose our souls. If we want to achieve true excellence in the things we do it starts with God. Our actions will speak for us. Like these three women, we want to be successful in our endeavors with Jesus at the center, not apart from him. We want our gifts to serve others and the kingdom of God.

The Little Foxes

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Songs of Solomon 2:15

The context of the verse is Solomon and his bride delighting in one another, which started in chapter 1 of the book and carried on to chapter 2. Verse 15 of chapter 2 caught my attention. I was wondering what the little foxes could be and how they would ruin their vines. Foxes are animals usually symbolic of deceit. They’re known for being subtle and crafty. Does this remind you of anyone? There are diverse ways this verse could be applied. I thought of it in terms of relationships. My relationship with my husband, my relationship with God, and The Church’s relationship with Christ.

“take us the foxes”

Whatever the foxes are, this right here is telling me that I can’t catch them on my own. It’s implying teamwork, “US”. Like Solomon and his bride, my husband and I need to strategize as a team against the foxes.

“the little foxes”

This tells me “the foxes” isn’t one huge fox or many huge foxes but several small ones. The trivial things. The petty things that are subtle. The things that get brushed off or go unnoticed but has lasting and damaging effects.

“that spoil the vine”

These little foxes apparently can cause some considerable damage. When something is spoiled it just needs to be thrown away. It can no longer serve its purpose. It’s no longer fit for use. We really need to beware of these little foxes; intentionally paying attention.

“for our vines have tender grapes”

“Tender grapes” here to me implies something that is already fruitful. It’s delicate, growing, and maturing. Unless the little foxes are caught those fruitful vines and tender grapes will be spoiled.

Solomon and his bride compared their relationship to a vineyard that is fruitful. His bride concluded that if they don’t come together to protect it, it will be ruined by the little foxes. Likewise, my marriage and my relationship with my husband will be ruined if we don’t work together against the little foxes that can destroy a marriage or intimacy. The same is true for my relationship with God. God is faithful in doing his part. I need to stay alert and beware of the little foxes that can destroy my relationship with Christ. I don’t have to do it alone either. I have his Holy Spirit to help me maintain our relationship. Both relationships need to be guarded against the forces that will stunt their growth and fruitfulness.

The following 7 little foxes can spoil any good relationship:

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In my relationship with Christ these little foxes can be sinful appetites, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life, comprise with worldly standards, disobedience, and indulgence in the desires of the flesh. I’m thankful for the power of the Holy Ghost to help me overcome these things in our relationship. He helps me to live a godly lifestyle that will keep our relationship growing and thriving.

This scripture can also be seen in relations to “The Church” (Bride of Christ) and its relationship with Jesus (The Groomsman). There are many little foxes that will attempt to spoil this relationship. The primary little fox in relations to this specific scripture is false lying prophets. The prophet Ezekiel talk about them in Ezekiel 13:4-16. The Apostle Peter also talk about them in 2 Peter 2:1-3. These are people who come in the name of the Lord and claim God said things he had not said. They cause people to believe the lies they are speaking and hope in them. God is against them. They seduce people away from the truth of God. The false teachers that are teaching heresies and their own truths that cannot be found in scripture. They will not go unpunished. God cast the angels that sinned down to hell for judgment. He will do the same with all false teachers and lying prophets that are deceiving his bride. They’re mentioned again by John in Revelation 2:2. These are people claiming to be an apostle but are liars who will be exposed by God in the end. Foxes are known to be destructive to vineyards. If the church is not cautious these little foxes can spoil many in the church through false doctrine and teachings.

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TEAMWORK, unity, is one sure way to catch the little foxes and destroy them. Whether it’s alongside your spouse or with the Holy Ghost, we need more than just ourselves to prevent our fruitful vines and tender grapes from being spoiled. We might be able to identify the little foxes individually, but it takes working with one another to conquer them. Solomon’s bride realized what they had was special, but it would take the two of them to protect it.

 

BEWARE OF THE LITTLE FOXES!

Faith and Beauty – Felicia Crowe, SHIFRA Beauty

“Mirror, mirror, mirror on the wall

Tellin’ those lies, pointing out your flaws

That isn’t who you are

That isn’t who you are” -King & Country

If we’re all honest we can admit we have all had moments in our lives where we felt less than beautiful. That moment for me was while I was pregnant and after I gave birth to my son. I struggled with feeling beautiful. I gained so much weight. I dreaded stepping on the scale during my doctor visits. My skin broke out and was discolored on certain parts of my body. I can’t recall right now what condition my doctor said it was, but he promise it would eventually go away after I give birth. The stretch marks that showed up at the very end of my pregnancy was icing on the cake. While I was grateful and blessed to be pregnant my self-esteem went down the drain. I love my son and would do it all over again. I couldn’t imagine not waking up to that big bright beautiful smile he greets me with every morning. However, the struggle was too real. I faced confidence struggle I never imagined I would experience in my life. I kept telling myself I had 8 weeks to get back to “normal”. I was in for a surprise. I did not go back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and the process back to “normal” was a lot slower than I wanted to have patience for. The truth of the matter is my body would never be what it was before and that is okay. It’s a new kind of beautiful. It experienced changes that were permanent, but they serve as a reminder of one of the most beautiful processes in life. While others thought I looked fine I felt fat and unattractive. I assumed my husband would feel the same way, and others would have no mercy when they blurted out how “huge” I became. My husband was beyond sweet in reminding me I am beautiful, and I should be patient and kind with myself. As soon as I looked in the mirror he knew what was about to happen and would tell me to leave myself alone. I even caught him privately scolding one of my little brothers after he continued to tell me how I still looked pregnant. My brother meant no harm and I knew that. I was still hurt by it though. My husband able to see the hurt on my face each time my brother would say that. I remember him telling me, “babe you’re a mom, your body has been through a lot, you gave birth to our son, that’s beautiful, you should look at yourself and be proud of that”. I’m sure you can imagine how emotional I was. He was right. I shift my focus and changed my thinking. My son by far is one of my greatest blessing and miracle but you know what, like any other woman I have fears and insecurities. I now love and appreciate my new body. I’m focused on being fit and healthy and being the mommy Ozi needs. I have been granted one of the best honors in life. Who God says I am is far more important than my cruel feelings. “Godfidence” (confidence in Jesus) is the best form of confidence.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” -Provers 31:30

It was an honor to interview founder and owner of SHIFRA beauty, First lady Felicia Crowe. SHIFRA believes in “Preserving Live and Beauty”. SHIFRA is about making a difference; not only in preserving our natural beauty but also in the life of others. One dollar from every item sold will go to New Beginnings, a non-profit adoption program. SHIFRA is not only an investment in yourself, it’s an investment that will help make a difference in someone else’s life. That is beautiful!

Lady Crowe is beautiful inside and out. I am glad to have her a guest for this faith and beauty blog. Her transparency is relatable. You will laugh and be blessed.

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1) What is SHIFRA?

“SHIFRA is an all-natural skin care line.”

We need more of that in a world driven by artificial things.

2) How do you define beauty?

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think everyone sees beauty in their own way. I see beauty in almost everything. I cried during the Avatar ride at Disney because it was so overwhelming beautiful to me.”

This is hilarious to me. I’m imaging seeing your crying face on a ride.

3) What beauty standards do you live by that are from the Bible?

“The Proverbs 31:30 Scripture comes to mind “beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised”. It reminds me to not get so caught up in my outward appearance. Sometimes the pressure to make myself beautiful by the worlds standards conflicts with what God is asking of me. The praise you get from being “beautiful” will fade when your looks fade but what God sees as worthy to be praised is forever.”

I agree and there is so much that’s conflicting.

4) What is in your purse right now or beauty bag?

“Let’s take a look in my beauty bag that is currently located at the bottom of my diaper bag under all the extra outfits, diapers, bottles and snacks. I have SHIFRA’S Manuka Honey Lip Balm, Rose Mint Lip Oil, and a travel size Rose Water Face Mist (obviously *winks*). other items include eyelash curler, clear brow and eyelash gel, mirror and tweezers.”

This is funny to me because I carry around my son’s diaper bag with some of my belongings. Things go missing quick. I love the lip oil and hand cream!

5) Why was it important for you to do a natural beauty line?

“Crafting natural products just feels right! When you have a few family members diagnosed with the evil C word it makes you more conscious of the toxins you put in your body every day.”

I appreciate people with the gift and passion to create less toxic beauty products.

6) How do you handle stress?

“Small stress: I take deep breaths (in through the nose out through the mouth) Major stress: I don’t get often because I do this often…Worship!! Not patty-cake worship but the kind of worship that transcends you to the feet of Jesus. You just lay there for a while and It all becomes so unimportant in His presence.”

Yes, and Amen! Worship and prayer is the best stress reliever. A lasting one at that.

7) Why do women need SHIFRA?

“The skin is the biggest Organ we have. We must take care of it and SHIFRA provides natural God given care for all of your skin needs.”

Come to think of it, I don’t think too many people remember the skin is an organ. It would make a worlds difference in how we choose to protect and take care of it.

8) How do you showcase beauty?

“I walk in purpose knowing I am a daughter of the king and when people look at me I want them to see through me and see Jesus. The joy, the love and the mercy. That’s a beauty I don’t mind showing off.”

“I walk in purpose”… I love that!

9) What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear beauty?

“My children.”

This warms my heart and of course, I’m thinking of my sweet little Ozi.

10) What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

“That I was the perfect wife and mother. Even though I know I’m far from perfect it was still amazing to hear “

You are a great mom and wife.

11) How do you feel when people tell you that you’re beautiful?

“I feel surprised! Like ‘who…me’?! lol.”

Lol! It is true others tend to see us far more beautiful than we view ourselves.

12) What do you want women to feel when they use SHIFRA’s products?

“I want them to feel a difference in their skin. I want them to feel like they are glowing.”

I do feel a difference and feel good I’m making healthier choices for my skin.

13) What is your favorite SHIFRA’s product?

“That’s a tough one. I would have to say the Radiant Face Oil. It has made a world of difference for my face that started to lack luster.”

I need to try that one. It hard to find the right products that don’t dry out my face or cause a breakout.

14) Do you like the way you look? How does SHIFRA help with that?

“After having three children via C-section and in my 30s I honestly struggle with feeling confident in my looks but my husband constantly tells me how beautiful I am and that really pushes me to not give up on my appearance. SHIFRA is a whole skin care line that pampers your skin with goodness so you can’t help but feel better After using it. The Honeycomb body wash makes me feel 20 again!!”

I don’t think I need to go into details about how much I felt this and can relate.

15) What do you think it means when people say that beauty comes from the inside?

“Love, Joy and Peace aren’t necessarily tangible so when people see it manifest outwardly they are attracted to the beauty that can only come from within.”

I agree true beauty can only come from within.

This interview was beautiful and refreshing. Be sure to follow SHIFRA Beauty on Instagram, @Shifra_beauty. Purchases can be made at shifrabeauty.com. Thank you, First Lady Crowe, for taking the time to answer these question and, sharing your thoughts on faith and beauty. For more information and further questions email SHIFRA at shifrabeauty@gmail.com.

Almost everything in its right is beautiful to the appropriate set of eyes. Beauty is often equated to attractiveness. However, it is so much more than that. It’s class, grace, and elegance. True beauty is not in outer appearance. It’s not expensive clothes or costly hair groomings. Physical beauty ultimately fades away. As the word of God put it, we are frail. Here today, gone tomorrow and forgotten. It doesn’t matter how well we dress and present ourselves if our spirit is nasty. It doesn’t matter how beautiful we deem ourselves if our soul is filthy or Godless. True beauty should reflect Christ image and likeness within us. True beauty is the mind of Christ in us. It can be seen in those that fear the Lord.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” -Proverbs 31:30

Who are you apart from your physical health and beauty? If your beauty diminishes, will you fade away along with it?

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12 Fashion Staples for Your Closet

Make day to day dressing easier, fun, and enjoyable for yourself. Replace your “I have nothing to wear” in my closet with these 12 wardrobe staples.

 

  1. PROPER UNDERGARMENTS!

I can not stress enough how important this is. Give some thought to your undergarment and avoid embarrassing fashion crisis. The wrong kind of undergarment can ruin your outfit. Things like a T-shirt bra, versatile bra, the right kind of underwear, a full body slip, and shapers are essentials in a woman’s closet. Proper undergarments are the foundation of a great outfit and feeling confident in your look. I know you love your striped Victoria Secrets bra but try not to wear it underneath your crispy white tee. I have done this. Cringe! Embarrassing.

  1. A LITTLE BLACK DRESS (MODEST BLACK DRESS)

Every woman should have a LBD. It is chic on its own or can be fun with a couple of accessories. It’s a perfect go-to for any occasion. Find one that compliments your figure.

LBD

  1. A TAILORED BLAZER

A tailored blazer is great inside and outside of the office. It’s flattering on any size or silhouette. It’s perfect during the cool springs or over a nice cocktail dress.

  1. A BLACK PENCIL SKIRT

A black pencil skirt works well for a quick business formal or casual, and Sunday evening service look. You can dress it down with a chic striped shirt or tee shirt. You can add a blazer for a more sophisticated look.

  1. A WHITE TEE

You can’t go wrong with a nice white T-shirt. It is versatile. You can wear it as is, with a trendy skirt, layer it, or throw a leopard scarf over it. It’s perfect with an oversized or plaid blazer.

  1. A MIDI SKIRT

A midi skirt is very flattering, womanly, and modest. It’s perfect for church and the workplace. I have long legs and honestly think I look the best in midi skirts. It’s very flattering to my long legs.

  1. THE PERFECT JEAN

Every woman needs a couple of flattering jeans. They’re great for your day to day schedule, grocery store runs, casual outings, and semi-formal wear.

  1. A CLASSIC WHITE SHIRT

The possibilities are endless! Whether it’s for the office, a day around town, or your favorite Sunday skirt, a classic white shirt adds simple elegance.

  1. A TRENCH COAT

Trench coats are a classic. You can wear it over just about anything, look and feel comfortable. It’s an investment.

  1. AN EVENING BAG

You don’t NEED a closet full of purses if you have the right kind of purses. A chic handbag or clutch is great to have. It’s perfect for your evening events and girls’ night outs.

  1. BALLET FLATS

You can still look chic or “dressed up” in a nice pair of ballet flats. They great for long days. You can transition from day to night in them. They will look good with your jeans and button-down blouses.

FLATS

  1. DAY TO NIGHT HEELS

A pair of neutral hue heels is a must-have. It could be black, grey, or nude. Get yourself some classic pumps, strappy heels or sandals, or some ankle boots you can transition from a daytime look to night time wear.

 

“Buy less, choose well.” – Vivienne Westwood 

A JOURNEY OF FAITH: Baby Adams

 

My husband and I discussed having children before we decided to get married. We talked about whether we wanted a child, how many children we wanted, and how soon or late in our marriage did we plan to have one. We took the road least traveled by many newlyweds. Neither one of us wanted a honeymoon baby or a child in within our first year of marriage. However, I didn’t start taking birth control pills until after we were married. I guess you can say I was playing with fire, considering it takes birth control pills about 3 months to be effective. We planned to have a child within or after 3-5 years of marriage. In the meantime, we had plans to travel, budget and save money. I thought we had the perfect plan to grow as a couple and be prepared by the time we have a child. Right off the jump, life threw us many curveballs, and God reminded me “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). We can make plans, and we can pray for our choices and decisions but God has the final say on how we get to whatever is destined to be.

 

Since my early teenage years, I struggled a lot with terrible cramps and sharp abdominal pain. Some people advised me it was normal, while others advised me to see a gynecologist. My pain worsens over the years. My doctor had me on prescription drugs because the typical 200 mg over the counter painkillers did not work for me. I had a tough time believing any pain that has me in a fetal position and in tears every month is normal. I have done blood work, Pap smears, and several other tests. Everything always came back normal. My body was telling me otherwise. I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know what exactly. Of course, I didn’t stay off google so you can imagine my thoughts once I started reading all sorts of crazy diagnosis that matches my symptoms. My husband and I made an appointment with my gynecologist so I could get started on my birth control pills. I was not too fond of birth control pills but once she mentioned it would help relieve my pain, I was on board. She scheduled an ultra sound for me to attempt figuring out the source of my pain. While birth control pills work great for some women, it was a nightmare for me. I was in pain, my appetite changed, I was moody and irritable, I had daily migraines, and I no longer had a monthly cycle. The list goes on. I tried different pills and the side effects went from bad to worse. The side effects from the pills were more than I could handle, I eventually advised my gynecologist I no longer wanted to take them. Justin and I went in for the Ultra sound results. It turned out all these years I had been suffering from a complex ovarian cyst. She advised me all they could do at this point is monitor it then decides what action to take. I would either bleed out from it or need surgery to get my ovary removed. During that time, I went to the ER several times. They prescribed some pain killers and told me things I already knew. It was frustrating. I started thinking the absolute worse. Since I was being monitored, my gynecologist scheduled a follow-up ultra sound appointment.

I went home wondering, God why me? What sin in my past did I commit to deserve this? I couldn’t stop thinking about my situation and started imagining the worse. I was consumed by “What if” thoughts. There I was talking birth control pills to not have any children, for the time being, just to face the reality I may not be able to have any. It was a tragedy for me. One of my biggest fears in life was not being able to have children. I had enough and cried out to God for healing. I told God I refused to see another doctor, I need him to heal me. In December 2016, one of the ministers (Jamal Crook) at my church made an altar call for anyone that needed a healing from God. I went to church that night expecting something from God. The word he preached spoke to my need at the time. My husband and I held hands and went to the altar. Minister Smith walked over to us to pray with me. She asked me, what did I want God to do for me. I told her what I needed healing for. She touched and agreed with me against the spirit of infirmity that was attacking my body. I went home believing I was healed. I made a fleece to God that night and asked him for three specific signs of my healing. It was not long before it was that time of the month. I felt some pain but I rebuked the pain and remind my body the Lord healed me. I did not accept the pain. The pain I felt stopped instantly. I went day after day, no pain. I was so peaceful and pain-free I forgot what time of the month it was. My husband in disbelief kept asking me if I was okay. This was unusual for me. The first part of my fleece was answered. I had asked God that the pains I have experience would stop completely from the day I was healed going forward. It did. I am pain-free until this day.

 

 

December 22, 2016, I went to my OBGYN follow up appointment. They did an ultra sound. My husband and I waited in my gynecologist office for the results. After what seemed like an eternity, she walked in ready to discuss the results. I had no doubt God did what he did but I was super nervous. I had made up in my mind no matter what she told us that day I choose to believe and trust God. She sat down and opened her file. After a little casual conversation, she reminded us a complex cyst usually bleeds out or must be surgically removed. The damages can leave a woman sterile. She told us in my case my complex cyst was completely gone. It was 100 percent gone. I shouted with joy, thank you, Lord. God did it. I prayed for healing at church and God healed me. My second fleece to God was that he would remove whatever mass or infirmity I had on my ovary and restore me entirely. God did it. This was just a beginning to an amazing testimony from God I did not deserve. Then there was the third part of my fleece which I mentioned I would share soon enough. I didn’t know when or how but I trusted God would finish what he started.

One of the most annoying thing for me as a newlywed was people constantly asking me am I pregnant yet or when are we going to have a baby. I don’t think I will ever understand why people think that is an okay thing to do. Pregnancy is so personal but not too many people respect that privacy. I had gained some happy weight as a newlywed and to my amazement, different people would just rub my belly and asked me if I was pregnant. It was so embarrassing for me and made me very self-conscious. I knew I had gained some weight but I didn’t realize it was enough to make others assume I was pregnant. Not to mentioned it was now a sensitive subject for me. My husband and I were already facing pressure and trials no one would really expect within a year of marriage, this was icing on the cake. We lost a lot and I felt pressed on every side. God took me through the book of Job and Hebrews to keep me encouraged. No matter how hard and how much I prayed all I got from God was “patient endurance”, just trust me. I would love to tell you how strong my faith was, especially after God miraculously healed, but that was not my story. I struggled a lot to hold on to God’s promises. My prayers were no longer words or in the Spirit, I would simply cry. I was crying more than I was praying. I was very frustrated and saddened. I was at war with my mind and the word of God. I was somewhat angry with God because all I would hear from him was “patient endurance”, let go and trust me. I did not understand and I wanted to be in control. Everything seemed to be outside of my control and I had to depend entirely on God. There was not a thing I could do to change anything, except trusting God. It was difficult!

 

 

It has been a journey of faith. There was a point in the process I truly felt like Job. “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true”, Job 3:25. God told me no, what you feared most is going to be a testimony for my glory, trust. In other words, shut up Tara, shut your emotions up, you don’t know what you are talking about. I learned to praise God on a promise. I learned to see through the eyes of faith and God’s perspective. My circumstances said no but God said not yet, my timing. I studied every scripture I could on faith and trusting God. We prayed. When I couldn’t pray, I cried and let the word of God minister to my spirit. The book of Hebrews, Job, and Abraham’s story ministered to me in ways they never had before. The things we were facing didn’t disappear but I was able to focus. I could hear God during the storm. I could take my eyes off our circumstance and thank God for what was already done. His word strengthens me. I could let go of my fears and have faith in God’s promises. No matter what, I knew his timing is perfect.

 

 

Towards the end of last year, my friend Marie Houston and I was hanging out. She told me she had a dream to share with me. God showed her something concerning me. She told me God showed her myself and two other ladies pregnant around the same time with baby boys. She said I believe what God showed me and you need to believe it too. You guys will have a baby soon. I love Marie and I trust her. She’s one of my good friends but I laughed. She laughed with me then said Adams, I’m serious. I strongly believe when God says something, he will confirm it and it will happen. In my mind I thought, she doesn’t know the half of what I have been dealing with. Marie being Marie, never failed to remind me. In May of this year, after a church service, Demi told me by this time next year I’ll be holding baby Adams. Once again, it was laughable to me. I call her Dr, so I said whatever Dr. She told me I should get ready. When I was praying she prayed for me and God told her Hannah and Abraham’s wife. I was no longer laughing. I went home and meditated on what she told me. Both women experienced the miraculous and have an incredible story of faith (Genesis 18, 1 Samuel 1). I started thinking about what the two women had in common and how that could possibly be me. They were both barren (Sterile, infertile), could not have children and God blessed both with a promised child. I thought to myself, so I am barren and God is going to give us a promised child. I did not know what else to think. Like Sarah, I laughed when God said I was going to have a child. I decided maybe I should try what Hannah did instead. I prayed and cried to God. I poured out everything I was thinking and feeling. I even repented if I doubted in any way. About a week later, my husband told me God showed him what he needs to do for me. He told me God told him to anoint me and my womb then we’re going to have a baby. I said okay if that’s what God said. June 7th of this year, I received a message from my friend Jasmine Gilkey. She lives in Kansas and didn’t know anything about what was happening in our lives. She told me the Holy Spirit led her to pray for my baby, that my faith would be strengthened, that I would be encouraged by the stories of other women in the Bible of his power. She told me she kept praying for my faith to increase regarding me being blessed with a baby. She said she messaged me as soon as she got out of prayer because if that was truly from God she needed to let me know so my faith could be strengthened and know that he heard my plea. She expressed how shocked she was because she’s all the way in Kansas and God had her praying like that for me. She encouraged me to anoint my belly, pray in faith, and speak life that the fruit of my womb will be blessed. She reminded me I would have a testimony of faith to share with others. I shared all of this with my husband along the way. While I struggled, he was always full of faith and hope. On June 18th of this year, Akil Thompson was at my church preaching. It was an on-time word and as usual, I made my way to the altar. It wasn’t concerning any of my circumstances. I was simply touched by the word and wanted to be at the altar. While I was on my knees praying in the Spirit, Amanda Jordan was next to me and started praying for me. Whenever anyone prays with me at the altar, when I’m able to, I try to quiet myself down to hear what is being prayed over me. If you know anything about being at the altar, you will understand. She prayed that my womb would be open, and she prayed against any lies and attacks coming against my mind. I spoke with her after service and she told me God told her to go pray for my womb. She said she went where Justin and I normally sit to find me but I wasn’t there. The Holy Spirit told her to follow him and he will show her where I am. She said she walked around and when she got to where I was the Holy Ghost said, there she is. She did what God told her and prayed for my womb to be open because he wants to deposit something in there. She said I don’t know what that means to you but pray and ask God. I knew exactly what it meant. Justin and I went home that night, he anointed with oil then we prayed. If God didn’t already do enough, my friend Shanette Hyacinthe texted me early June 20th “had a dream you were pregnant with a big baby boy!!”. She texted me at 7:13 AM. I was quite amused and I told God, not another person Lord I have no doubt. While I was laughing, I remembered my conversation with Demi, she laughed and told me I would be pregnant by the end of June.

 

 

Justin and I found out we were pregnant at 4 weeks, July 20th. By that time, I had my suspicions but I didn’t want to take the test. The first thing I experienced was a process in early pregnancy called “implantation bleeding”. When that happened I said to myself, oh my it’s really happening. It wasn’t long before that was followed with me falling asleep everywhere at random times, I was super tired even when I got adequate sleep, then nausea, and the most obvious my cycle was missing in action. Even then, I refused to test. When I finally build up the courage, it was a big fat positive. We conceived in June. My plan was to find out first then surprise Justin. I always imagine how cute and awesome that moment would be. I couldn’t keep my cool, screamed and rushed him to join me. We were both full of shock and joy and more shock. I eventually disappeared to be alone and cry. Justin found and told me it’s our moment I can’t cry alone. My favorite part in all of this and what truly melt my heart was God’s faithfulness. Everything happened as he said it would, in his timing, his way, and his will. I’m thankful because my Lord is faithful. He alone gets all the glory. Perhaps you can relate, maybe not. Your mountain may be different from mine but faith in God alone can move any mountains.

 

“With God everything is possible”

Matthew 19:26

A FRIEND LIKE JONATHAN

 

 

Some friendships are seasonal and some last a lifetime. Each person has his or her own idea of what a friend is. No one wants a friend that is disloyal, dishonest or deceiving. If you value friendship, you want a loyal friend, someone you can trust, someone you can count on and have your back. None of us want a friend that is only loyal in our presence. You don’t want a friend that will betray your trust in your absence. We must have the good qualities we want in friendships ourselves if we expect others to have them. There are good friends, there are bad friends. You are one or the other or has been one or the other. If you have been a good friend but have not had a good friend, that is okay. Learn from it and move on. Continue to be good to others, don’t start sowing the bad seed of friendship. Regardless of what your idea of a faithful friend is, we could all use a friend like Jonathan, David’s friend.

“Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.” So the two of them renewed their solemn pact before the LORD. Then Jonathan returned home, while David stayed at Horesh.” 1 Samuel 23:16-18

Saul haunted for David day after day to kill him but God didn’t let Saul find David. Imagine how you would feel, on the run for your life because someone is on a daily quest to kill you. David was anointed to be king and God was with him but he had enemies. God protected David from harm and his enemies. There’s no doubt in my mind David was down, troubled, possibly depressed, and terrified. David had a wise friend. One who could encourage him in his time of trouble. Jonathan wasn’t just a wise friend but he was a loyal friend to David. “Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.”” 1 Samuel 23:16-17

It takes a wise friend to remind you to stay strong in your faith in God during what may seem to you the most terrifying season of your life. Jonathan reminded David who God already anointed him to be and not even own father could change that. He reassured David of the will of God and his loyalty to him as a friend. He was not afraid to let David’s enemy (his own father) know where he stands. We all need a friend like Jonathan that is going to encourage us during our trials, remind us to stay strong in our faith in God, and will be a loyal friend to stand with us through our trials. We know we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. We all need a friend that will stand with us in prayer and be an encouragement. Find a friend that encourages you to seek God’s wisdom and trust in God. We don’t want friends like the three friends Job had (Bildad, Eliphaz, & Zophar). Friends that will mock us and speak evil of us. Sometimes, God will use people as his device to allow infliction and fulfill his purpose in our lives. We don’t want a friend like Amnon had (Jonadab); he advised him to his own destruction. At times, we tend to forget what God has already done for us, how he brought us through and out, and nothing is too hard for him. Our circumstances can cause us to be fearful and feel hopeless. We may be so troubled at times we fail to pray or please God in our faith. It is impossible to please God without faith. In your difficult seasons, you need a friend like Jonathan to remind you to stand strong in your faith in the Lord. God’s will, will prevail!

 

 

”Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character”. 1 Corinthians 15:33

“Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.” 2 Kings 2:2

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.” Proverbs 22:24-25

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26

 

 

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

Proverbs 17:17

ANXIOUS?

For anybody that’s struggling with stress & anxiety:

I struggled a lot with anxiety in my college years. I know that it’s different for everyone, being that the source of anxiety and levels of it varies. I became obsessed with proving my parents wrong & anyone else that said my life would amount to nothing. At the time, I wasn’t making wise decisions or living entirely right, so I struggled a lot. I developed so many fears. I was afraid I would never graduate, I would never become successful, or ever become who I planned to be. The list goes on. I did not think I had what it takes anymore to achieve my goals. My anxiety grew as I started focusing on where I should have been and the things I should have accomplished at that point in my life. Constant trips back to the mistakes I made was fuel to the fire. I became so anxious, I started having panic attacks any time I thought of my past or future. I hated where I was, so much that I had the worse thoughts one could imagine. I was so uncertain about life. I did end going to the ER several times. 

I did not tell my parents what I was going through. They were a part of my problem at the time. I did not think they would understand, nor have a solution for me. I tried so hard to live up to their expectations, and when I fell short the criticism was not constructive but rather unbearable. I tried to perfect everything I did and was unreasonably hard on myself. I lived a stressful life. I was already saved. I gave up the world and worldly things. Alcohol used to be one of my coping mechanisms. I didn’t turn back but I didn’t know how to deal my stress and anxiety or who I could talk to. People don’t really talk about being stress or anxious or depressed.

One night, I had the worse panic attack I had ever have. I was losing my mind, strength in body, and I felt like I was going to die. The spirit of fear was in my room with me. I felt like I was being sucked into this never-ending black hole of fear and darkness. During my darkness, I heard the voice of God. He said, “The Word”. It repeated in my mind, until I got the understanding, grab your bible and read it. I did. I read out loud. All I knew after that was that I woke up the following day in complete peace. I prayed and asked God to show me what was happening to me and what I can do about it. He did. God showed me fear was the root of anxiety. The Bible has two types of fear, the Fear of the LORD and the spirit of fear. I was dealing with the spirit of fear. It is not of God. I had to rebuke it and pray against it. I studied several scriptures about the difference between the two. I also study scriptures about what the Word said about being anxious, worrying, and God’s promises about the future. 

I continued to pray. I memorized scriptures of love, truth, and trust in God to help me overcome. With God, I conquered the spirit of fear. I could discern what the source of my fears was, what about them that causes me to be anxious, and lead to me panicking. I could deal with each one and eliminate them out of my life.

God gives us a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. I spend a lot of time exercising, reading, and cooking. I went walking and running often, and intentionally take notice of the positive things in my life. Whenever I felt anxious, I could identify what it was, pray about it and read the word. I focused on life one day at a time. God knew my future, I trust him to give me an expected end. I stayed away from things and people that would give me any reason to be anxious. I focused on things that brought joy and peace. I made pleasing God my priority. I learned to manage stress and found the proper response to anxiety. 

Today, even though I have faced many trials and stressful events I no longer struggle with anxiety or have panic attacks. When I feel overwhelmed, I take it to God and find peace in him through his word. I step away from things and people that are toxic to my well-being. Most importantly, I learned to deal with myself. I must be honest with God and myself about what is truly wrong with me and face these things.

BY FAITH

“… The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17

 

Remember “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1

“Through faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:15

Keep hoping for your unseen healing.

Keep hoping for your unseen breakthrough.

Keep hoping for your family and friends’ unseen salvation.

Keep hoping for whatever it is you need from the Lord.

Keep hoping because your faith will be the evidence of your miracle not yet seen. If it seems like you’re running out of time, you might be because our timing has a start and an end. However, in the beginning, God. He is eternal. He has no end. Time exists within him. He simply is everlasting. Hope for your unseen miracle in him. Your clock might be ticking but all is already established eternally in him. Live by faith. Not what you’re able to see. The unseen is evidence of faith. Have a never-ending hope in God’s power to fulfill his promises to you. Have faith the Lord will get the glory out of your situation. Your miracle might seem delayed or simply will not happen. Sometimes there’s a wait, wait on the Lord. Praise him in the meantime. Worship him in the meantime. Serve him in the meantime. It is hard, but he is always on time. Faith doesn’t promise us instant results or miracle. It’s simply evidence of the unseen things we’re hoping for. God’s will can be in a blink of an eye, minutes, hours, days, months, or years from now. His will, his timing.

Jesus waited until Lazarus died then showed up & raised him from the dead.

David waited years to become king after he was anointed a king. 15 years, he was on the run for his life.

God waited 40 years to speak to Moses concerning his people in Egypt.

Abraham didn’t birth his promise son until he was 100 years old.

Joseph spends years in a dungeon because he was freed. He was innocent.

Live by faith! Can you imagine if any of these people gave up or complained throughout their journey? When you live by faith it leaves little to no room for complaining, you can remain hopeful, encouraged, and focus. God’s glory will move mightily in your life when you live by faith. Hebrews 6:12 encourage us to be “followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”. We must patiently endure for us to obtain our promises, like Abraham and many others did.

SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS

It is important that we seek God for a Spirit of Gentleness [Meekness]. It is a vital Fruit of the Spirit when it comes to dealing with other people.

It’s so important to be careful how we speak to other people or about other people. I can admit I have failed in this area countless times. I made a conscious effort to be kind and gentle. It did not always come to me naturally. Through prayer, fasting, and many test and trial this Fruit of the Spirit became evident in my life.

Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”

Proverbs 12:18 “Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.”

Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

Choose to respond gently and in love towards other people. Choose words that heal. Think of words you use to describe others and consider how you would feel if these same words were used to describe you. If it’s hard for you, God is able. Ask God to help you to be gentle and choose words that are not hurtful to others. God is gentle with us. Even in our disobedience he gently led us.

God can use a heart full of gentleness. 1 Samuel 16:7 “…The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God instructed Samuel to anoint David as king because he looked at his heart and rejected his brothers. We can’t always tell what’s on the inside. Sometimes outward appearance can cover the content of what’s truly in the heart. Acting kind and then having means thoughts or bad attitude towards others is not from a gentle heart.

There’s unfading beauty in a gentle and quiet spirit, it’s precious to God (1 Peter 3:4). People are fragile. Even more fragile and important than other things in life that holds so much weight and value to us. Our actions toward other, whether seen or unseen, can be proof of our heart’s condition. Whether it is hard or gentle. A gentle heart is gentle and kind to all, not just those we like or relate to. If we are honest, none of us deserve the kindness of God but he gave it to us anyways.

Choose to show God’s gentleness to other. Colossians 3:12 “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”