Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chick Chat: Conversations with Boys

On occasion, I am blessed with random inquiries from young men.  These are some of my favorite conversations: unplanned, unpredictable and unique.  Their inquiries always intrigue as well as encourage me; gleaning insights into the mind and life of a woman. 

What I love about my conversations is they are genuine, sincere and out of necessity to them and to us.  Sauntering in to my office, seated on the other side of my desk, we catch up on casual conversations. And then the fun continues.   

“Can guys and girls be best friends?”
Great question!  If you would have asked me ten years ago, I would have said yes.  However, time and experience has afforded me the opportunity to learn and know differently.  Question for you: does your mom have a guy best friend other than your dad?  Is there a guy that your mom goes to hang out with, do life with, talk about deep insights with?  Does your mom go on day trips with this best friend or stay up late on the phone, texting endlessly?
That’s what I thought!  Of course the question can be interchanged from mom to dad.  Either way, the principle remains the same, guys and gals cannot be best friends.  The person you marry is your best friend.  Also, the Bible is pretty clear with the boundaries within marriage, concerning husband and wife relationship as well as nurturing your marriage. 
Ultimately, it comes down to two things: mind and emotions.  The dynamics of a guy gal relationship affect the mind and emotions.  To guard your heart, you need to know the condition of your mind and emotions prior to entering in a guy gal relationship. Additionally, to further protect your heart, you need to place limitations on how far your mind and emotions are involved. 

“Why do girls use the God card?”
Ah, what the wild card is to the game of Uno is the “God Card” in the Christian community as it relates to romantic relationships.  It’s the game changer.  Guys and gals use it at various times, in various situations and when they do use it, it’s the last round of ammo in the Christian arsenal to deter a person.
Dialoguing through the question, the reality is that guys use the “God Card” just as much as the girls.  In this particular conversation, the boys wanted to cast blame on the girls for using the “God Card” instead of just saying things the way they needed to be.  I could sit there and listen to their heart about why they wanted to blame the girls and spend time venting.  However, there are three issues that need to be resolved.
First things first, the issue of position; the guy is the pursuer, the leader and the initiator.  The responsibility of the guy is to seek God’s heart to know about the relationship before it even begins, know how to cherish and care for a girl’s heart as well as seek God’s approval before initiating something more serious.
This in itself brings up a couple of choice topics: do you seek God’s direction before you pursue a girl or during the pursuit? Do you wait to know if there is a “spark” or seek God’s direction for this relationship?  How much does God want to be involved in my relationships: platonic and romantic?
Second issue is that of accountability and mentorship.  It’s important for guys to be accountable to other guys as well as have mentors.  This gives opportunity to learn, grow, ask the hard questions, learn how to cherish a woman’s heart, how to provide, how to lead, how to nurture a relationship and so forth.
Last but not least, the issue of skill. Some people, flat out, just are not equipped with the skills to communicate how they feel, what they want, what they need and at what pace they need the relationship to develop.  It’s a pretty rampant problem within this generation let alone the Christian community. The “God Card” gets pulled most often when someone doesn’t know how to respond, is responding out of fear or past pain, or out of religious position. 
 I hope this article has been insightful and helpful.  As always, I welcome your questions and comments.  If you have any topics you’d like to learn more about, send me an email.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chick Chat: Learning to Love

Think about all the things we’ve learned throughout life up to now.  We’ve learned to crawl, walk, run, talk, cry, laugh, smile, hide, find, dance, put on make-up, dress ourselves, ask for help, sing at the top of our lungs, balance our check book, cook, clean, read, write and so forth.  We’ve also learned how to comfort those who are sad, listen to a friend, make friends, overcome unfortunate situations, feel disappointment, rejection and sadness. 

At every season of life, we are learning new things.  Whatever we are learning in that season is helpful for that season we find ourselves in but is also for the seasons to come.  What would it look like if we never learned a new thing?  What would it look like if we refused to grow and adapt to the seasons of life and our surroundings?

I absolutely adore newborn babies. The first couple of years are the most precious.  Everything is new: their first steps, words, smiles, coos and not to mention all the outfits, toys, blankets and bottles.  How a child communicates with us during this stage—diaper changed, hungry or sleepy—is different than the years to follow. 
Once a child learns to communicate his/her need, a new process begins.  It seems there are various stages throughout a child’s life where one process ends and a new process begins.  It’s the process of retraining a child.  Makes sense right?  Of course! Imagine with me if you will that a baby cries to communicate what he/she needs. 
Fast forward five years later and the same child uses the same skills to communicate his/her need.  Most likely not the best way to communicate with parents, family and new play dates.  Let’s fast forward five years later, the child is now ten years old, and the same child continues to communicate with cries that have escalated to tantrums and loud screams. 
And we wonder, “Is this really happening?” Oh, but of course because this child is now an adult and a glimpse into his/her life shows that he/she still cries, throws tantrums and gets into fits of anger in response to not getting his/her needs met.  I’m sure you’ve seen it a time or two and said to yourself, “seriously!”  Ever wonder how it happened?
At every new stage in a child’s life, it’s an important opportunity to retrain.  Taking the time to retrain a child in communication as well as teach new skills helps the child to evolve.  It allows the child to face varying situations with knowledge and skill to walk through them equipped.   With each new season, it’s an opportunity to recalibrate.
As an adult, I’m learning that recalibrating is a necessity.  In every season of life, recalibrating helps to adapt, stay flexible and grow in maturity.  Acquiring new skills are important to staying mentally sharp.  Last but not least, as the seasons present themselves, learning to love is an asset.
Being purposeful to grow in love, to learn how to love better and gain deeper insights in love does wonders.  How we learned to love others and ourselves when we first got started in life will be different as an adult. The love chapter in the Bible is the hallmark of how to love as well as what love is. 
Love is patient, kind, always trusts, hopes, protects and perseveres; love never fails.  Starring at those words, “love never fails”, leaves me speechless.  “Really!  You’re telling me that love never fails?  It doesn’t give up on me when I don’t get it right?  It doesn’t point fingers at all my shortcomings, failures or mistakes?  It doesn’t wait for me to become the person I should be?”
Love never fails because this love we speak of is unconditional love. This love is a love of choice and not that of a feeling.  The love we speak of is a love that is deeper than deep, wider than wide and higher than high; we could not weigh or measure this love no more than we can determine its circumference.  This love is ours if we choose to receive it.
Just as we choose to learn and grow to adapt with the seasons of life, so it is with love. We choose to receive love. We choose to learn new facets of love.  We choose to put on love like we choose to put on an outfit; an absolute must, a necessity not an accessory.  We choose to give love away and give it in spades.
This love originates with God, manifested in the form of Jesus to demonstrate to the world what love looks like, how love receives and responds and who love is available to.  Love covers over a multitude of debts, transgressions.  Love does not keep record of wrongs, is not easily angered and banishes fear.  Just as darkness cannot hide light so fear cannot abide in love.
In every season, love is always a foundational fixture.  Learning to love in every season is a precious commodity; it’s rare and priceless.  It’s free to all, but chosen by few. It always starts out with many admirers and advocates, but quickly narrows with age, understanding and in action.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Approach: Rejection

The other day I was driving home and just started crying. Not sure if it has ever happened to you, but I seemed to be overwhelmed with emotion and the only way the emotion was getting out seemed to be through tears.  Behind my sunglasses, my eyes well up waiting for their turn to roll down my cheeks.  Of course, fighting back the tears wasn’t an option because I think it was “a ready or not, here I come” sort of thing.  I reached over to open the center counsel to grab a napkin, wiping my cheeks, I just cried.  It’s in that moment where you hope everyone on the road is rocking out to their favorite song, not to notice the uncontrollable sobs. 

As I was driving, I was asking the Holy Spirit to help me understand what I was feeling and what was going on.  Prior to the cry fest in my car, I had felt sad, borderline depressed and wasn’t sure why.  I was feeling bits of anger and at times vacillated back and forth—sad, angry, depressed and repeat.  Then the million dollar question, “why?” rolled off my lips and floated into the air. Waiting for an answer, I turned off the radio, grabbed another napkin and kept driving.

Eventually, I got the insight I had been waiting for—stages of rejection.  “What? Seriously! I totally thought I was over that”, I exclaimed.  But really, I wasn’t. I hadn’t even left the first stage of rejection, which is denial. Oh yes, my friend, like grief, rejection is a process.  The reason being is it’s a traumatic experience.

For example, the school you had your heart set on didn’t reciprocate the same desire.  What about the boy that rejected you because he wasn’t “feelin’ it”. Maybe your husband that left you for another woman, changed his mind or has emotionally rejected you.  What about the team you tried out for, but didn’t make. Perhaps, it’s the job you thought would be a good fit and the interview went well, but you found out they decided to go with another candidate.  It can be quite a traumatic experience for you.

For me, I thought I was completely over an experience I had back in January only to realize I wasn’t yet finished with the process.  Yes, it was a traumatic experience for me. Yes, it rocked my world.  Yes, it did affect me in a way that I wasn’t prepared for.  Why?  Because all the signs and conversations pointed in one direction, yet at the end of the conversation, I was rejected and didn’t expect it. I definitely didn’t prepare for it because of course, I wasn’t expecting it.

Nonetheless, here I am four months later, crying in my car and overwhelmed with emotion. Clearly, I’m not done.  When I got home, I researched the stages of rejection and here is what I found. I share it with you in the event you ever find yourself in a place where you are rejected and it’s a traumatic experience for you.  Keep in mind, not all rejection is traumatic.  Some are just a doozy and others roll off your back like water on a duck.

Stages of Rejection

At first it is extremely difficult to take in the rejection experience. It often feels like being totally abandoned and left to fend for yourself. Denial is the state that occurs here. The rejection does not feel like it actually happened. It feels surrealistic, a trauma someone else is facing, not you.


The next emotion experienced is rage. You are angry with the person who rejected you. You may feel this anger intently or it may be experienced as more distant. Often the rage becomes self-directed. You express anger at yourself for not being "good enough" for the rejecter. You dwell on second guessing and wondering what could have been. You blame yourself for his leaving and at that point you are indeed broken hearted.


The next stage is bargaining. You say to yourself, "If I change this or that, he will come back to me." If I stop smoking, I will be reunited with my boyfriend."

The next stage is depression when you begin to realize that the person who rejected you is not coming back. This stage is filled with sadness where the tears fall and the longing ache for the rejecter is realized. Bitterness is also part of depression. It is at this point that you feel extremely resentful that you gave so much of yourself to your lover and now he is gone. You also realize that your vision of your former lover is tainted and he is not the virtuous person that you believed him to be. It feels like he bought the heaviest boots he could find and stomped all over your heart.


The final stage is acceptance where you understand that the time to dwell on this loss is over and it is time to move on. 

If you find yourself walking through rejection, I want to encourage you read through the stages.  There isn’t a time frame and it isn’t a step by step process. You can experience any one of the stages at any given time in any given order. 

When you find yourself processing through the stage, take time to feel what you feel.  What you feel is valid because what you experienced was real. Second, ask the Holy Spirit to help you process through it, to help you understand the emotion, why you feel what you are feeling and to help you better understand the emotion.  I always suggest journaling. It’s an avenue to get what’s going on inside you on paper and out of you. 

Even though you can’t say what you want to say to the person(s), or maybe you are waiting until you cool off, journaling can also help you sort through your emotions.  It’s a safe place for you to be you and to say what you need to say.

Choosing to forgive takes time. When you choose to forgive it’s for your benefit.  By saying you forgive, you are making a choice.  This next part is important so re-read it if you have to.  Between the time you choose to forgive and you are ready to move on, you are healing.  That place between does not have a time limit, it doesn’t have an expiration date.  Healing takes time.  That time is a gift, so please take it.

At times, I think we forget that we are human.  We don’t go from forgive to forget in one step. It’s a process and we all process experiences, emotions and situations differently and at different paces.  What happened to you was unfortunate.  Choose to forgive, take time to heal and then be ready to move on.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Straight Talk | Roots & Fruit

I enjoy learning new things.  When I was younger, I really enjoyed school.  When I got into college, I was introduced to a Biblical Literature, a degree offered at Northwest University. This was right up my alley because it involved research, research and more research!  Just about every week I was working on a research paper.  I didn’t mind it so much because I was a new Christian. All the study and research helped me better understand the Bible.  My passion for studying and researching didn’t stop once I graduated college. 

Today, I still find myself studying and learning new things.  When I was preparing for this article, I wanted to better understand roots. So what better place to start than learning about plant and tree roots!  No, I didn’t dig up a tree or dissect plants, but I did do a little recon work and found out some pretty exciting stuff.   

Did you know roots are the organ of a plant? Yep, it typically lies below the surface of the soil, has major functions and grows in any direction where the correct environment of air, nutrients and water exist.   Given the right conditions, roots can grow in such a way to crack foundations, snap water lines and lift sidewalks.   

Learning about plant and tree roots has been quite fascinating.  For the most part, it gives me more insight into how people are intended to grow. Think about it for a second.  Plants and trees have roots. The function of their roots are to absorb the water and nutrients, anchor the body of the plant and tree to the ground, store food and nutrients and provide basis for support. 

We aren’t too different if you think about it.  We have roots; we just don’t show them the same way.  For example, our roots extend to family and friends. They support us, help us grow, feed us with affirmation, direction, influence, and provide an anchor.  Also, our roots can be our environments and experiences.  Our environments and experiences provide nourishment for our belief systems, shape our perspectives and ideology.   

The depth of our roots is dependent upon what they are rooted in.  Perhaps you were rooted in a loving, strong and supportive family.  You were cared for, nurtured and encouraged.  Maybe, this happened throughout the generations in your family.  Naturally, your roots would be deep, given the right conditions to grow and to bear fruit accordingly. 

Say you weren’t rooted in a loving, strong and supportive family. Quite the exact opposite: inconsistent, unstable, favorable toward abuse and neglect.  Instead of care, nurture and encouragement, you felt forgotten, enslaved or an accident.  Perhaps, this happened generationally in your family.  Naturally, your roots would be shallow and you would bear fruit accordingly. 

Have you ever asked yourself the question: why do I do what I don’t want to do and the thing I want to do I don’t do? Yep, you do the do-do!  Essentially, we ask the million dollar question, “Why do I keep going around this same mountain?”  It’s a great question.   Let’s take a gander real quick at the world in which we live. 

Currently, our society tells us to correct the behavior. For example, if you have an anger problem, manage it.  If you are overweight, change the way you eat and exercise.  If something about your body isn’t up to “standard”, go under.  If you are depressed, anxious, suicidal, etc. then take pills.  Should you be afraid of losing control, making a mistake or appear without the answer, then control everything. 

If you have found that correcting a behavior isn’t working.  If you have tried to manage a habit, pattern or cycle and you aren’t getting very far.  If you have found yourself at the end of your “rope” per say, and all the chanting, poking and card reading isn’t working. Perhaps, you should stop chopping the fruit off your tree and go to the root.  Here is what I mean. 

When we have a problem and want to change, we go after what is being produced, i.e. the fruit.  Instead of trying to modify, correct or manage a behavior, head straight to the source.  In other words, go to the root cause because it is the source, the origin and the underlying support for what’s going on. 

Take a moment and read through the following scriptures. Next, journal what you understand them to mean and what sticks out to you. 

Job 18:16
His roots dry up below and his branches wither above.

Job 29:19
My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches.

Psalm 80:9
You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.

Proverbs 12:12
The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers, but the root of the righteous endures.

Isaiah 11:10
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.

Isaiah 27:6
In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.

Isaiah 37:31
Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.

Jeremiah 12:2
You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.

Jeremiah 17:8
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Matthew 13:21
But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

Luke 8:13
Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

Romans 11:16
If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Romans 11:18
do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.

Ephesians 3:17
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

Colossians 2:7
rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Galatians 5:13-26
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Straight Talk | Introduction

I believe your life has incredible value and unfathomable purpose.  Without a doubt, I believe you are an incredibly important person. There are things you can do that no one else can do the way you do it.  There are people you can connect with that others cannot.  You possess a way about you that no one else can quite seem to emulate.  I believe that you were made and destined for greatness.

I also believe that throughout life, it is very possible that we lose sight, our focus changes and our passion dwindles.  I believe that we are a by-product of our environments, reflection of our influences and quite often, our own worst enemy.  More importantly, I believe that we can change if we choose to do so and we do not have to do it alone 

As we embark on this series, “Straight Talk”, I want to lay out the intentions of my heart and the purpose of this series.  First, my desire is that all of God’s people are whole, healed and walking in the Spirit.  I want so much for people who are far from God to come into a relationship with God that is growing, consistent and full of his abundant life.  

Second, I know this world we live in is full of pain and hurt.  Most of the time, we stuff the pain and the hurt, suck it up if you will, and move on.  Minimizing what was done is injustice to you.  And to be quite honest, this is what I’m after. I want to give the pain and the hurt a voice if there isn’t one by providing opportunities to identify with as well as point you in the direction for healing.   

Lastly, my intention for this series is for it to be used to help you or perhaps someone you know.  We are a very quiet group when it comes to pain and hurt. There can be a lot of shame, guilt and condemnation associated with painful experiences.  Often times, we are silent because we don’t know who to turn to, we are afraid or we are too proud. 

The people I’ve asked to help me write these articles have personal experience.  They are passionate to see you be healed and whole. They desire to see you living an abundant life.  They love the Lord and have a deep and growing relationship with God.  Additionally, they are professional.  

Naturally, I may not know all the answers, but I will find out or direct you to the best person who can help you.  You are not alone. God is up to something good and can’t wait to hear what he has done in your life. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Approach: Never Neverland

It’s been awhile since I’ve lasted posted and thought I would change things up.  In the last couple of months I’ve been able to identify some obstacles and make head way on achieving my goals.  All in all, it’s been a pretty exciting couple of months.

In a previous article, “God Please Make Me Skinny”, I talked briefly about changes made because of situations I found myself in as well as highlighted a couple gifts such as time and change.  Since then, I’ve embarked on a couple new adventures, learned a little bit more about myself and have moved on to new found victories.

First, I started a new diet. I know, “diet” is such an ugly word or at least it can have a bad connotation.  It is, it can be, but I was pretty excited to make some more changes.  Wanting to know how to recover from burn out and chronic fatigue syndrome, I started to research what changes I needed to make.  Another reason to change my diet is to lose weight so what is being done at the chiropractor isn’t counterproductive.

Seemed to me a choice needed to be made: to invest or not.  And since I am an investment, it only seemed fitting to proceed as so.  About now, I’m going to a chiropractor a couple times a week and a counselor once a week.  I’ve changed my workload and schedule, sleep schedule and exercise routine.  Embarking on my next change, I didn’t know what to expect.

Okay, that’s not entirely true because on some level you know what to expect.  I guess what I’m getting at are the little surprises and what you learn about yourself.  What I found out about myself was surprising. First, I couldn’t figure out why I was always craving sweets.  I didn’t want them, didn’t need them but there was something deep inside me that sure did want them.  Trying my best to muster up every ounce of self-control, I kept pressing on.

About three weeks into the diet, I had a profound revelation and gained some much needed insight.   Maybe you can relate or this might be something you’ve only heard about.  The need for sweets, the emptiness like a black hole to never neverland that was somewhere in the depths of my inmost being, seemed to have my attention in a very real way.

The relationship dynamics in a family are powerful and have an incredible amount of influence throughout a person’s life.  However, there is nothing like the individual relationships a child has with their parents.  As for me, it was my relationship with my dad that had a greater effect on my than I realized. 

So here is the revelation: my craving for sweets was a way to cope with life, stress or to sum it up, just about anything and everything.  The love hate relationship is true. I would go through or experience something and didn’t possess the tools to appropriately process through the situation in a healthy way. The comfort I felt numbed the rejection, abandonment, fear, etc. that I felt. Unfortunately, this isn’t what God wants and it isn’t what we really want.

What I started to do when I feel a craving is pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help me identify why I have a craving and to fill the emptiness I feel.  I dialogue through what I’m feeling, identify where it is coming from and how it’s all related.  I’m a believer that there is a link between patterns, habits and patterns that are either healthy or unhealthy. 

My goal is to identify the unhealthy and replace it with the healthy.  This is definitely something I can’t do on my own. I’m in need God’s help.  Some wisdom that a mentor gave me, and this isn’t just for this particular situation, but for the rest of my life, and I share it with you: God is found in our weaknesses.  In your weakness there is His power and strength.  Get to know your weaknesses because that is where God will be found. 

More to come and for those wondering about how my relationship with my dad fits into all this, that article is on its way. Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Next It Girl | 3 of 3

Before we begin Part Three of “The Next It Girl”, let’s run a quick recap.  In Part One, we learned how our name and reputation reflect our walk with God.  Moving over to Part Two, we learn that swag naturally flows out of your relationship with God; the deeper your relationship, the greater your swag. It’s in your relationship with God that you know who you are in Christ, your unique skills and abilities as well as your purpose. When your relationship with God is deep and abiding, it’s not teetering on the trends of this world.

Without further ado, Part Three, “The Fear of the Lord”. 
We have two uses for fear.  Most of the time, we use fear to describe how we feel when we are afraid, in danger or in pain.  For this article, we are heading to the second use, the reverential awe.  You’re absolutely right!  This type of fear is hardly used or discussed, well, unless you are at a Bible study or in church listening to a sermon.  Nonetheless, it’s of utmost importance to understand its place in the book of Proverbs.

King Solomon, the wisest man on the earth, wrote the book of Proverbs and felt it rather important to talk about and have the fear of the Lord in our lives.  When you read through Proverbs you can see its benefits, uses, importance and significant value.  Does the fear of the Lord still apply to life today?  Is there a specific time and place for the fear of the Lord?
To best understand why “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1.7, NIV), let’s dissect the verse, starting with the name Lord.  This a very special name used for God.  It’s Hebrew and translates to “I AM”. This name is incredibly sacred, so sacred that no one used it. Instead, the priests took the vowels from the Hebrew name Adonai, meaning Lord and infused it with the consonants, YHWH, thus producing Jehovah, translated to Lord God.
The very name, Lord, was revealed to Moses at the burning bush.  “I AM”—the God who always had been, and who always would be, whose name will be forever remembered from generation to generation—speaks to Moses.  Mind you, this name of God isn’t used because it’s sacred so when Moses uses this name, he is communicating to Israel that he has a personal and covenant relationship with God.
To help you better understand the magnitude of this name let’s dip into history for a moment.  The Hebrews are in Egypt under Pharaoh’s captivity, used as slaves to build his kingdom.  The Egyptians worshiped gods, lots of them. For example, they worshiped falcons which represented Re the Sun god.  When a falcon would die, they would mummify it and give the bird a ceremonial burial. Archeologists have found various animals mummified by the Egyptians in honor of the gods they represented.
The contrast between Hebrews and Egyptians is a similar theme throughout the Bible: God is alive and active, He is a covenant making and keeping God, He is “I AM”.  Let’s flip back over to Proverbs 1.7 for a minute, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. King Solomon is helping us to position ourselves to be in a personal and covenant relationship with God when he says that all knowledge begins with the fear of the Lord.  When you know who the Lord is, what He is all about and how your existence is dependent upon Him, nothing else is of significant importance.
The second part of the verse refers to a fool or morally deficient person, “but fools despise wisdom and discipline”.  King Solomon is saying that a fool will choose to ignore knowledge of the Lord, go about his way only to find out at the end of his days, that he has spent his life deficient in every aspect. The philosophies of this world and human traditions have limited value and benefit. King Solomon desires that we have all the blessings and benefits that God has for us. 

Here are some of the benefits you will find in the book of Proverbs:

·         9:10,  fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; knowledge of the holy one is understanding

·         10.27,  fear of the Lord adds length to life

·         14.26, he who fears the Lord has a secure fortress

·         14.27,  fear of the Lord is a fountain of life

·         15.33,  fear of the Lord teaches wisdom

·         16.6,  through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil

·         19.23,  fear of the Lord leads to life

·         22.4,  humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life

What does this mean for the God’s It Girl?  Good question, glad you asked! First, knowing who God is, his purpose for life and your life as well as having a personal relationship with Him are of utmost importance.  Sure you can get places with your looks, swag and who you know, but nothing will ever pale in comparison to the personal relationship you have with God.  The philosophies of this world come and go, but God will always be.  People will come and go and let you down, but God will always be there.

Knowledge doesn’t happen overnight.  You get knowledge from studying, applying and experiencing.  The fear of the Lord isn’t limited to a location or conversation.  It’s a way of living.  Your attitude and action are a reflection of your relationship with God; it’s your worship. Out of your respect for God, your actions and speech change accordingly: morally, ethically, spiritually, etc.

Did you know there are thirty-one Proverbs?  That’s one for each day! Try it and don’t be afraid to highlight.  To see how God is active in your life, start journaling: write down the verse that jumps out to you, what you sense the Holy Spirit saying to you with the verse, jot down a couple key highlights from your day and a few prayer requests.  In a year, pull out your journal and see how God has been actively involved in your life.