Back To School by Trish



The pool parties have ceased, the firecrackers from summer festivities have long been lit and for those with children, the leisure schedule enjoyed during the summer months is no longer. School is now in session and structure has been re-established in the home to maintain organization for a year of learning.

As we see our children prepare for academic growth, it can serve as a reminder of how important learning truly is.

How many of us as adults now out of school have set aside time to restructure our lives in a way that is conducive for continual growth and development? What is it that we’re taking time to learn in our lives?

For some, education is a passion that has been pursued to the maximum ability and for others, it is looked upon as something “finally over”. Can I tell you that the process of learning should never be over? That doesn’t mean everyone will go on to achieve accelerated levels of education within a classroom setting- but  we must all realize that to stay sharp in  our gifting, we must embrace a teachable spirit and adopt the mindset to continually learn.

I believe in operating in excellence. In that I believe we have much to learn from those who have blazed a trail before us. Whatever our field or craft, we can learn from those who have been before us and humble ourselves to be mentored by the wisdom of others.

God has placed incredible gifts on the inside of each of us and we have an obligation to be a good steward of those gifts and sharpen our skill sets for His glory!

I love the verse that says, “your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men”.(Proverbs 18:16) What if I’m given an opportunity to reveal God’s glory in my gift and I’ve not adequately prepared for such a moment? Each day is an opportunity to grow, to develop and to display excellence. Notice that I said excellence and not perfection.

Please note that I am not talking about a performance trap that causes you to wear yourself out and demand perfection but rather a life that is humble and yields itself to the wisdom of others.

I want to encourage you today to fall in love with learning. Increase your knowledge in the current field you’re in or a field of interest. Take up lessons or reading in an area that sounds fun- start somewhere and determine to not be stagnant in life.

To inspire your “growth spurt” consider the following ideas to keep you motivated:

1)      Take a class that teaches you a craft or skill of interest (ie: cooking, sewing, Zumba or any other fitness program)

2)      Find books to read that encourage growth and development (ie: spiritual growth, marriage, parenting, organization ideas)

3)      Research online tutorials regarding areas of interest

4)      Make a list of topics that interest you and seek out mentors that are experts on such things

5)      Journal ideas and inspired thoughts of dreams not yet achieved and ask God for the wisdom in making them a reality

Lastly, I want to leave you with some key scriptures to help support your new or rekindled love of learning.

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

James 1:5

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.

Proverbs 2:6

For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 28:26

He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a [self-confident] fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered.

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

Proverbs 19:8

He who gains Wisdom loves his own life; he who keeps understanding shall prosper and find good.

Another jump-starter to increase in wisdom is to read the book of Proverbs. There are 31 chapters in this book, so you can read one chapter a day for each day of the month!

Go ahead ladies, get to work… School is now in session!



Risky Business- Finding The Courage To Love Again by Kenika



I didn’t know if I quite wanted to go here, but alas I feel I must.  I have learned that love can be incredible, amazing, fulfilling, exciting and inexplicable, but it can also be brutal.  The very nature of love is a risk.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Let’s stop right there. The next part of the verse in the King James Version says, “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Wait a minute!  God sent His only Son.  The only one He had. He did not have a back up, or another that could compare.  The only child that He begot, He chose to give away.  Not for a specific cause and not for certain people, but for “whosoever”. That is really messing me up right now.  Just anybody huh? Whether the richest, nicest, most generous, and incredible person, or the most wretched, evil, conniving, manipulative, destructive person, love drove God the Father to give His only, His first, and His last to “whosoever”.

So perhaps this presents a model that we can somehow follow.  As much as God has commanded His love toward us, and even commanded us to love others, we have managed to turn love into an interview process for a select few. Whereby certain people receive our love and others don’t.  God made this super huge sacrifice without a guarantee of who would make the decision to appreciate or even receive it, but we are ready to throw in the towel if one person lets us down or breaks our heart.   Because two or three people have violated our trust, we come to the resolve that absolutely no one can be trusted.  Imagine if God was this way.  He sent His love, but one person rejected His love, so He decided to take it back.  My stomach is literally churning and my heart on fire right now thinking of how grateful I am that He is not like us.  If He removed His love, the gift of His Son, we would not have access to grace, mercy and forgiveness of sins.

God the Father understood that love would present a risk, a gamble that does not guarantee a return, but He gave no attention to that, He loved us so much that He did it anyway.  If people have disappointed you whether family, co-workers, friends, or church folks, you will literally have to fight the urge to throw love and kindness out the window of your life.   We love because God commanded us to  (Matthew 22:39), and we trust that same God that He will place the right people in our lives to love us in return.   However, the essence of love is risk, there is no guarantee that it will be returned by anyone in this earth, but let’s follow the example of our Maker and choose to love anyway, knowing that there can be no great reward without great risk.

There’s no reward in life without risk” ~Barry J. Farbar

“The greatest rewards in life go to the risk takers” ~Jim McCormick

“To win without risk is to triumph without glory” ~Pierre Corneille

“If you take no risks, you’ll never be hurt, but you won’t really live either” ~Dr. James Shiovitz


Teaching Your Children Respect by Sonya

dreamstime_xs_18740058Matthew 7:12 “Do for others what you would like them to do for you,” is a scripture I quote to my kids often. This is the golden rule and a great scripture to live by and to teach your children.  Respecting others is a trait that you have to teach your children in order for them to be successful. They have to understand it is not all about them.  To serve, honor, love and respect others requires humility on our part and having your children learn that is a great blessing.

To demonstrate respect I believe your marriage is key and what your kids look to for what defines respect. If we as spouses are not respecting our mates in front of our kids then that is a problem and I am speaking to myself on this as well.  I have to make a conscious effort to put myself aside and my own desires to win an argument or sometimes second-guess my husband. That is just wrong and to teach my children to respect their daddy is one of the biggest gifts I can give my kids especially in front of them. For instance, if daddy has the final say on something as a wife I need to support him and be on the same page. Supporting my husband’s decision on something in front of our kids speaks volumes especially on discipline. If my husband gives a harsher discipline then maybe I would give than I still have to support that even if I don’t agree with it. By showing that I side with daddy shows respect to not only my kids but my husband too. This doesn’t mean my husband and I don’t go back and discuss that discipline and maybe come up with an agreement for next time to discipline. By valuing my husband higher shows my children respect.

Another way to show your children to respect their parents is to teach your children about first time obedience. Having them understand that listening to you on the first time shows respect. I know I started out giving my kids 1,2,3 counts but realizing they kept disobeying because they got so many chances and the respect was lost. Therefore, I had to reevaluate my parenting and realize if they can listen to me on three than they can listen on the count of one. Teaching them to listen and respect me on the first time shows your children respect. This also carries over to other adults that have authority over them and they will listen and obey others the first time. Leviticus states it clearly, “Show your fear of God by standing up in the presence of elderly people and showing respect for the aged,” Leviticus 19:32. Respect is a great character trait and building our lives on God’s word shows our reverence for God. I encourage you to not compromise your character and stand up for the truth by treating others the way you would like to be treated. Showing and teaching your children respect will be the best gift you can give them.