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Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Cried

I cried.

I cried for the woman who
hasn't had a mother in 17years

I cried for the girl who lost her mother at 11 years
because of lies and fears

I cried for the gaping loneliness that
fills too much space in the heart

For the times when, even in noisome crowds
you can still feel oceans apart

For the piercing, aching soul
That wants God to come and make it whole

I cry for the truth that time does not heal all wounds
That some pain lingers so you can remain compassionately in tune

Like the ONE who is pierced
He's reminded of THE BRIDE
Jesus' pain is a reminder we're not yet at his side

I cried for the need to be broken again
to tenderize the heart
and give wisdom through the mend

I cried
for no one can love me
quite
like
God does

It's futile to expect agape
where there is no self-love

I cried
for the tragedies committed
by humanity upon humanity
for the "sake" of humanity

Then blamed on the Divinity
of the Trinity
Oh, this IS iniquity

And the only one celebrating the
murdering and the hating
is the prince of Flesh Baiting

And the one celebrating rage
and disillusion is the prince of
Confusion

I cried
Because genocide didn't start
with death on a sidewalk but in the heart
of those who buy into the
paid-for advertised lies.

And

Someone will tell me
it is futile to cry
it is childish to cry
it is foolish to cry

Well,
I'd rather pluck out my eye
than to watch life pass by
and keep a DRY eye
or impassive lid

When I hear of women killing their babies
and treating their children like kids-
NO, they're not goats

They are the voice of the future
who don't get to vote
So...yes
I cried, I cry, and

Feeling God's pain
like life giving blood
flowing through my own veins?

I still cry.


(c) 2012 God Ideas LLC
Shantae Charles




Saturday, June 30, 2012

God In The Middle of YOUR Schooling

This post is dedicated to my middle school readers who are sometimes burdened with the angst of
pre-teen drama, hormones nobody told you would suddenly sprout out of nowhere, popularity, inner circles and cliques, and that's all before the school bell rings! God brought me back to a very memorable moment and I'd like to share what I gleaned after He walked me down memory lane.


I still remember my first day of junior high (now called middle school for most). I had made up in my mind that I was invincible, determined, and nobody was going to cramp my style or slow me down. I had grown up in one of the most crime ridden neighborhoods at the time in South Florida, and I had gotten into the Magnet Arts program at my school in the "rich" neighborhood. Granted the parents and teachers there did not want those ghetto kids from the other side of the highway soiling their school reputation (but that's another article) even in 1990. There was still considerable racial tension. But I had been accepted to the Arts program and the Photography program, and lo and behold, as with all gov't sponsored programs, I had to choose which program I was going to start and complete (which no multi-talented child should have to do, but I digress)through middle school. I chose the Art program and today I am an Art teacher among other things.

I remember that day clearly. I walked into the school just as bold as you please and did what any confident, bold, seventh grade girl who was new to junior high would do: I walked up to the most popular 9th grader and asked him out on a date. Imagine my surprise when he laughed me to scorn! Along with his posse, by the way. Yep, he had a crew of obnoxious friends and I was about to get schooled on "what not to do the first day of school when you are the lowest on the totem pole of coolness".

I was about to get taught a lesson that did not stick fortunately. I have come to understand that visionless people will spend their lifetime trying to "teach you a lesson" that God never intended for you to learn. Lessons like "how to be negative" or "how to get over on the system" or "knowing your place is beneath me" or even "how to be rude and vindictive". Just because an instructor shows up, doesn't mean the lesson is for YOU. Sometimes you have to tell people, "I love you, but I respectfully disagree and I don't receive that for my life." I have come to this conclusion: when God is teaching, always take notes!

This young man who I thought on first glance and outer appearance was someone I would want to get to know, turned out to be a jerk, a bully, and someone who took pleasure in being hurtful and mean, not just to me, but to anyone he thought was beneath him. He tried to "teach" me that you don't roll up in new territory trying to take on giants. Well, that's exactly what Joshua and Caleb did! Now, I did learn the important lesson that it is NEVER cool to approach any guy for a date! (What was I thinking?) As for the rest, well because I didn't cower in shame, or show any embarrassment for being rebuffed, he and his cronies took it upon themselves to harrass me for quite a while.

My nickname? Colors. Yep, I was just as bright and flourescent then as I am now. I still like to be colorful and that hasn't changed, but let me tell you it was a HUGE joke to them. Everytime they saw me, they'd sing Ice T's song. "Colors" and follow me down the hall. That song was the soundtrack of my 7th grade year. I didn't care what they thought about how I dressed. I simply ignored them, and you know what? It eventually stopped. I refused to let them dictate my day. I didn't walk a different way to avoid them. What they did not understand was that I had a will of iron, and no teasing, taunting, or bullying was going to make me succumb to their foolish behavior.

It would be many years later, on a trip home during my freshman year of college that I saw one of the guys who had been instrumental in keeping the teasing going. He couldn't have recognized me because he was actually trying to flirt in his McDonald's uniform! I could not believe this was the same guy who had made me entertainment! I really wanted to give him a piece of my mind, and remind him who I was and how he had treated me, but I didn't.  I realized it simply wasn't worth it, and that life had probably done a number on him already, and I didn't need to add to that.

I never saw him again, but I still think about what might my life have been like if I had made different choices? Would I have been caught up in having fun in school and never really learning anything that would help me in life? I remembered this guy being really arrogant and really smart. Why was he flipping burgers?

Maybe that's you today. Maybe you've been so busy looking at what you have or don't have, or what someone else has, that you haven't really been paying attention to your own life-o-meter. Time is ticking, and if you spend it worried about other folks' business, what will happen to your own time? Will you miss those doors of opportunity because you enjoy window shopping at the lives of others?

I believe that God allows us moments where past collides with the present to show us that it wasn't as bad as we thought, and that our future will be brighter than it is right now. Take those moments, learn from them, share the lessons you've learned, pray for those who used you, mistreated you, ridiculed you, tried to make you feel insignificant, or tried to marginalize you.

Don't let the attitudes around you set you back, but propel you forward, move you to be great because the God who created you is great. Walk confidently down the hallways of life, because class is really in session all around you. There is always a lesson to be learned when God is in the middle of your schooling!

Blessings!


Friday, June 8, 2012

PG31 THANK YOU 4 SHARING THE JOURNEY

Congrats! You made it! You stayed the course, you joined in with ladies around the country in this challenge! God is good, isn't He? I trust and believe, and know that something in you shifted. Whether it was your attitude, your study and prayer time, your venturing outside of the box to do something different, or even getting involved in an online study, I am so THANKFUL that you decided to join us!

I want to share with you that many did not publicly accept the challenge, but over 50 women were participating at any given time! This study will be left online, so if you want to recommend it to that Sister who just wants to push herself to go higher, it will still be available.

I would love your feedback on the challenge, what you learned, what God revealed to you while studying, and where you grew. Feel free to drop me a line here or on FB or Twitter, where yes, more young ladies were participating! I'd love to hear from you!

If you would like to join me for another Challenge, go to www.thenextgenerationleaders.blogspot.com
Beginning June 11th, we will kick off our S.A.L.T. Sessions (Spirit and Life Truths) with the Charity Challenge! Stay tuned for more and subscribe now to the blog to get the updates delivered to you!

Let's Pray:

Father,
I thank you for my precious Sisters in You, for every woman who took the challenge. I pray your abundant favor, grace, and increase on their lives, as they go out and make your name great in every sphere of influence they operate in. Keep them, continue to speak into them and reveal your intent and purposes for them beyond this study in Jesus Name, AMEN!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

PG31 Challenge #31 PUBLIC AFFAIR


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:30-31 KJV,NLT

 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Key Word: PUBLIC

Reflect: If we will believe the media, this is what we could conclude: being nasty,rude, trashy, disrespectful, arrogant, adulterous and irreverent is the way to get what you want in this life. Those of us who live in reality and operate in maturity know this is simply maketing, image creation, and persona packaging. Sadly, there are many who pattern their lives and behavior after Reality TV, Soap Operas, and Music Videos.
One study showed that exposure to media depicting ultra-thin actresses and models significantly increased women's concerns about their bodies, including how dissatisfied they felt and their likelihood of engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors, such as excessive dieting. (Science Daily 2008)

You could find many more cases of Women being affected by what they see. Why? The eye gate is an entry point into your soul and spirit. The Word of God tells us that the eye is the window to the soul. There is a constant attack on you as a Virtuous Woman to darken your eyes, to cloud your view of how you see yourself and more importantly, how God sees you. As a Virtuous Woman, you are beautiful inside and out, but lasting beauty comes from the inner you. The Inner You is what will continue to grow beautiful with time as you nourish your Inner Man. Yes, crows feet and wrinkles may appear, but your Spirit Man doesn't have to wither with time. It can be as Beautiful and Vibrant as you want it to be.The Aging process comes due to sin and we try to fight it, but it will come nevertheless. In God's Beauty Contest, your Spirit Man is front and center. Yes, man looks on the outward appearance, but God is looking on the heart. Give your heart it's beauty treatment today in the Word of God. Pour out your heart to God and lay it bare. Let Him take the ugly things, attitudes, and emotions out and fill you again with His Beauty. I dare you to wade in the Beauty of Holiness today under the Living Water who is Christ Jesus.


ProACTION: Write out Proverbs 31 and place your name in it. Declare it over yourself today.

See below:
b]A wife of noble character who can find Shantae?
Shantae is worth far more than rubies.
11 Robert   has full confidence in me
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 I bring him good, not harm,
all the days of my life.
13 I selects household goods 
    and work with eager hands.
14 I am  like the merchant ships,
bringing my food from afar.
15 Shantae gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for those she oversees.
16 Shantae considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 I set about my work vigorously;
    my arms are strong for my tasks.
18 I sees that my trading is profitable,
and my lamp does not go out at night.
19 In my hand I holds the reigns
    and grasps the purpose of what I need 
20 Shantae opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in the blood of Christ.
22 Shantae makes what her house needs for covering;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Robert is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 Shantae makes creative things and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with goods.
25 Shantae is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction and kindness is on her tongue.
27 Shantae watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Shantae's children, natural and spiritual  arise and call her blessed;
    Robert also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but Shantae surpasses them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but Shantae, who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor Shantae for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

PG31 Challenge#30 NOT SUPER...SURPASSING WOMAN


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:29

 "There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!"

Key Word: SURPASSING CAPABLE

Reflect: Most of the Women that I admire have not yet graced the cover of any magazine. They are Pastors, Teachers, Professional women who are starting their own companies, and Homemakers who are raising their children with an eye towards eternity. As a Woman of Virtue, your greatest legacy is in what you impart to the next generation that will live on after you. Will you leave a great invention? Will you leave a great work of art or a literary work for others to read? Will you find a cure and leave a generation with hope? Will you leave a legacy of righteousness that your children will carry on? Yes, there are many things you could be doing to satisfy simple needs in the present time, but as a Virtuous Woman, you are looking towards the future, making plans for Next while diligently fulfilling your purpose in the NOW. Don't settle for mediocre, average, or normal today. Instead, press on and SURPASS. Surpass all expectations, labels, limitations, and estimations. God has given you the power today to have Record-Breaking Success! As you put him at the forefront of your family, friends, finances, and future by Faith, everything else will be added to you (see Matthew 6:33). God celebrates when we look like Him (see Ephesians 3:20)! No, we are not Superwomen. We are surpassing Women, Women who excell in life because the Excellent ONE lives on the inside, empowering us!


ProACTION: Give/sow financially into the life of a Surpassing Woman or consider giving 31 dollars to a local Women's Charity. Search out a Women's organization in your area that glorifies God and connect!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

PG31 Challenge #29 Let The Praise Go ON


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:28

 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Key Word: PRAISEWORTHY

Reflect: One of the things that can put a smile on your face faster than anything else is a compliment. For the Virtuous Woman, "Thank You's & I Appreciate You" can vary. You may be too busy to hear the applause for being encumbered by many things or on the other hand you may be in a place in your life where it seems as if no one is noticing how much time, effort, and mindpower you put into running your office, your school, your household well. Rest assured God knows and he cares. As I reflect back on my years in teaching, one thing that has kept me encouraged is the letters, cards, and even the return of some of my most difficult students back to the classroom to say, "Thank You!" Whether you have natural children, adopted children, god-children, or like me, children who adopted YOU, someone notices the care and concern you show. So, My Sister, don't be weary in well-doing for you will reap if you do not faint. If you're married and it seems as though the praise has stopped flowing, talk with your spouse and communicate your feelings, and remember that praise flows both ways. If you're single, well, this is definitely a characteristic that you want to look for. The mate God has ordained for you may love you, flaws and all, but he will also point out and praise what is good about you. This is part of a healthy relationship. So, Sisters, take heart and continue the work that God has graced you for, making every effort to walk out a life that is worthy of praise!

ProACTION: Take time today to praise ten females that you don't normally spend time with or talk to on a regular basis. If you are single, write 31 qualities you desire in a mate (none can be physical attributes) For those who want to go the extra mile, find and journal 31 verses in the Bible in regards to relationships and/or love.

Monday, June 4, 2012

PG31 Challenge #28 FRESH BREAD


Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:27 NKJV

 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Key Word: IDLENESS
  1. not working or in use: not working, operating, producing, or in use
  2.  lazy and unwilling to work
  3. frivolous: frivolous and a waste of time

Reflect: Have you ever heard the saying, "an idle mind is the devil's workshop"? This is a phrase that can become so overused that it loses its meaning. Parents use it when they want their children to actually get up and do something besides loaf around. Churches use it to describe the member who warms a pew but does not contribute to the life of  the ministry. When allow something to idle, according to the definition, you are saying that it can't work, operate, or produce. You're also saying that it could work, but it won't, and finally you are saying that you'd rather waste time than fulfill purpose. As Virtuous Women, we have to be aware of time stealers. Even good things, that are not God things can become time stealers. I encourage you today to make every minute count. The 31 minutes you pray at the beginning and end of your day, really are some of the most critical times of your existence. Your prayer life is positioning you to carry out and complete the natural assignments for your life. If you're too busy to pray, you really are too busy. God has blessed your agenda to be full. It only makes sense to hand the agenda over to Him, to ask His blessing, His wisdom, His covering on it. Instead of eating the bread of idleness, ask for God's daily bread, the direction for your life that never grows stale. He's got fresh supply waiting for you in the place of prayer!


ProACTION: In your Downtime or Me time today, Ask God to show you where you have idle time. Commit that time to doing something to build up the Kingdom of God.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

PG31 Challenge #27 LAW ENFORCEMENT


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:26 Wycliffe Translation

 26 She opened her mouth to wisdom; and the law of mercy is in her tongue. (She opened her mouth with wisdom; and the law of love, or of kindness, is upon her tongue.)

Key Word: LAW
  1. binding or enforceable rule: a rule of conduct or procedure recognized by a community as binding or enforceable by authority
  2. a piece of legislation

Reflect: As I was talking with my husband the other day, I was brought back to a time in my life that was particularly unpleasant, but yielded an important lesson. I was not raised in a "Christian home". My family environment was one where everyone was versed in the art of profanity. Cursing was as natural as breathing. Thankfully I had many positive role models within my immediate family that modeled something other than the profane. But, for the most part, my atmosphere was continually bombarded with profanity. Of course this law of the land eventually had its effects on the way I talked, spoke, and communicated. After giving my life to Christ, this was my nemesis. I had to renew my mind, and train my tongue to practice another law: the law of kindness. You and I both know  that people are not always obliging in helping you to practice law: you know, the law of kindness. IN fact, some people are willing to go to extra lengths to see you fail in your efforts to renew your mind and renew your tongue. I encourage you today that if you are struggling in this area, whether in thought life, speech, or you are simply realizing that your conversation is continually negative, trust God with your mouth today. Ask the Lord to fill your mouth with good things and your mind with good thoughts. Ask God to teach you the law of kindness. Then, connect with a community of young ladies who are speaking the language of kindness, who can hold you to improving yourself in this area. You cannot expect to fill your ears with worthless talk and be renewed at the same time. You must make some adjustments. With God's grace, you'll find yourself speaking the language of the Kingdom of God, the language that heals and transforms our environment and our inner man. Let the Lord enforce His law that is written in your heart.

ProACTION: In conversation today, call out those who are not operating in the law of kindness. In media programming, change the channel or go to another site if you hear profanity. Reflect today on how many times you had to actively combat negativity and profanity. I would love to hear your thoughts today!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

PG31 Challenge #26 WISE MOUTH


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:26

 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

Key Words: WISE MOUTH

Reflect: If we can admit it, we as Women have a way of using words to slice. Before giving my life to Christ, I was a skilled smart alec. It got me into trouble many times, even to the point of being banned from my senior trip in highschool. I won't repeat what I said, but it infuriated the administrator to the point where she was out to get me for the rest of the year. Oh, yes, when we want to, we can say all the wrong things with the right intonation. As Women of Virtue, we have a responsibility to refrain from using our words as weapons against each other, our spouses, and instead, turn that weapon of warfare on our true enemy: satan. When we recieve the Spirit of God, we reckon our old man  and it's deeds dead in Christ. So that neck rolling, foul mouth,  tongue popping, eye-cutting you? All that should have died with Christ. Instead, our mouths should be filled with wisdom, because we are in our Word, and we are getting filled with wisdom for our lives. Just because we feel it or think it, doesn't mean it needs to be said, or that it's coming from a place of love. If you find yourself wanting to cut down rather than build up, Pray, "Lord, set a guard over my lips today. I only want to say what builds up and brings positive change."


ProACTION Only open your mouth today if you have something kind or wise to say.

Friday, June 1, 2012

PG31 Challenge #25 Beautiful TIMING


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:25

 25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.

Key Word: TIMING

Reflect: When I think back to the time when I was single, I ask, God, how did you put up with me? I remember a particularly embarrassing time when I was staying briefly with three, count them THREE other young ladies who were all engaged. I thought to myself, God, when is it going to be my time? Don't you have someone for me? I truly loved my friends and I was happy for them, but come on-- seeing them getting all mushy-faced and teary-eyed every time their fiancees showed up? It was starting to grate on my nerves. I felt like they weren't really being that sensitive to the fact that I was the only single (I've been guilty of this myself now that I'm married)! I remember going out onto the deck where we were all living and crying my little heart out, I felt so saddened, and lonely, I  prayed, God, help me! I don't want to feel like this! I don't want to be annoyed by their happiness! Suddenly, an angel, a real bonafide angel was right there. I was speechless. He touched me and said, "You needed help?" I nodded. He smiled and disappeared right there. Now, I know some people don't believe in angelic encounters but Jesus had them (Luke 22:43, Matthew 4:11). I want you to know, I was too shocked to cry anymore! God, had seen my distress, really, my temper tantrum, and sent an angel to help me get over myself! After that point, I remember being able to spend the rest of that brief time surrounded by talk of matrimony, and wedding arrangements. It no longer bothered me. God made everything beautiful in His time. As for the couples? Two of them married, and the other couple wound up marrying someone totally different. See, I was fretting over what was going to happen and I needed to take my focus off of my future mate and enjoy my time being single. When I fell head over heels for Jesus, everything else fell into place. So, Virtuous Woman, your time is coming. Rejoice and appreciate the time you have right where you are. Just remember, if you cry out for help, don't be shocked when it shows up!


ProACTION
If you're married, write down what your process of courtship was like for the next generation or your children. If you're single, think about what you want courtship to look like. How long will you court? Who would you want involved in the process to hold you accountable?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

PG31 Challenge #24 Kick Up Your Heels!

Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:25

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.

Key Word: REJOICING

Reflect: Every culture understands the language of smiles. One of the things that sets Women of Virtue apart is the joy of the Lord that is our strength. Joy does not mean that everything is going well. It means that the well you have on the inside is not powered by circumstances or feelings but by the Holy Spirit. There have been many times when I have wanted to feel sad, but I just could not. When God is your source of joy, he keeps the inner man refreshed, revived, renewed, and filled. Even in times of tragedy, we can be assured that God will comfort us. He is our source of Joy and Peace. He is our wholeness when we feel broken. He is our righteousness when we feel wronged. He is our safety even when we feel threatened. This is why He is the Rock of our salvation. All other ground, including living out of our soulish feelings, is sinking sand. With joy, we can drink from the well of salvation! We can dance with no music, run when nobody is chasing us, and clap our hands when there is no audience! God is looking on, the angels are looking in on us, wondering about this blessed thing called redemption! So, Virtuous Woman, kick up your heels, your sneakers, your flats today, and let someone know, "this joy that I have, the world didn't give it, and the world can't take it away!"

Listen for a pick me up!

ProACTION
Find 31 verses on Joy or rejoicing! Begin to declare these over your days! Arm yourself with the weapon of praise today!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

PG31 Challenge #23 Women Of Honor


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31: 25

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.

Key Word: HONOR

Reflect: In our society, everywhere you turn, there is a suggestion of "the hottest". What do I mean? The hottest style, the hottest look, the hottest shoes, dresses, purses, etc. If you want to be the next "it girl" you must have, must buy, must wear, must be connected to A, B, and C. But the Word of God tells us what the hottest clothing really is: Strength & Honor. I wonder if that reality show title would sell? Ladies, don't buy into the hype that clothes make the wo(man). At the end of the day, keeping your integrity, keeping your word, standing up against injustice, and maintaining your standards are what make you God's It Girl. So, hold your head up high today, and walk down your runway of life, knowing that in God's sight you are Tops! I've even got your runway music today :)


ProACTION
Write down who you think are the 31 Most Influential Women to you and why. If they are within reach today, let them know how much they have influenced you to be the woman you are today.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PG31 Challenge #22 FILL 'ER UP!


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31: 24

 24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes. NIV

Key Word: SUPPLIER


Reflect: I don't know about you, but it seems as though women really never have down time. Whether we are married or single, most of our day is spent supplying a need. As one friend shared with me, having children means you are never alone for the next 18 years. Everyday, there is a constant pulling and tugging on you as a woman. Your role as mother, wife, aunt, friend, daughter, sister, is always in demand. This is why we need the strength of God and the supply of His life in exchange for our own. As we face life's daily demands both from within and without, we need daily bread to sustain us. We need His voice daily to lead us, guide us, protect us, fill us with hope, promise, and joy. If we are to supply our family with the necessary resources, we must open up the storehouse of God's supply and get filled. Lord, fill our cups today. Listen and get refreshed!



ProACTION
Write down your 31 all-time favorite songs that minister to you. Post one for us today if you have the time.

Monday, May 28, 2012

PG31 Challenge #21 HIGHLY ESTEEMED


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:23

She advances the estimation and the respect in which her husband is held.

Key Word: RESPECTED


Reflect: A wise woman once said, "If you want to know the real character of a man, look at his wife when he is speaking." Some women have developed the fine art of guarding their expression, but displeasure, dissatisfaction, and dislike can not only be seen but felt. Body language experts make their living by coaching public speakers and politicians on how to not reveal their true position. As Virtous Women we can choose to bring honor to our husbands and the significant men in our lives by showing them respect. It means we season our words with grace, that we allow them time to wind down, that we share in their interests, that we are their loudest, and first supporters.

ProACTION: Find a verse that describes your Husband and share it with him today. If you are single, find a verse that decribes a male friend and share it with him today. You'd be surprised how encouraged they will be!



Sunday, May 27, 2012

PG31 Challenge #20 ADVANCING Manhood


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:23

Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.


Key Word: REPUTATION

Reflect:
The industry of the wife leaves the husband free to take his place among the elders that sit in councils.  Barne's Notes
She advances the estimation and the respect in which her husband is held. (Kiel & Deitlitzsch)

Just the above statements could send me on a preaching frenzy, but I will abstain! I know you are wondering about the topic. Advancing Manhood? I thought this was about Me? It is! As a Virtuous Woman, you ARE the lethal weapon. Ask any campaign manager. If the candidate's wife is promiscuous, volatile, unpredictable, lacking in self-control, addicted to any controlled substances, it almost always spells disaster. Contrary to popular belief, Men as well as Women are looking to marry well. Good character ranks right up there with a good credit score. Notice, the Virtuous Woman's spouse (not boo, homey, dog, boyfriend) is respected. He's not infamous. He sits among the politicians and lawmakers of the day, not with the criminals behind prison walls. I am by no means saying that incarcerated men can't change or are less. I know plenty of men who made mistakes, repented and turned from a life of crime and God is using them tremendously. The key word is turned. They no longer seek a life of crime, thuggism, or infamy, and as a Virtuous Woman, you shouldn't entertain men who do.

ProACTION: If you're married, write down 31 qualities of your husband, package it up nicely, and deliver it to him today. If you're single, write 31 things you will not do for male attention and 5 things that are absolute deal breakers in your relationships with the opposite sex. I would love to hear your thoughts, PG31!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

PG31 Challenge #19 Handy Woman


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:22

She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Key Word: HANDY

Reflect: If you are like me, you might have those days where you wake up, look in your closet and decide I'd rather be comfortable than fashionable. You might be an emotional stylist, dressing the way you feel, or simply a blue jeans and t-shirt or dresses only lady. Whatever your style, know that God sees us all as finely garbed in His sight. This Virtuous Woman wears only the best and is skilled at making the best for her household. What has God put in your hands to make the best of? For her it was linens and fabric. For you, it may be your love of gardening, your skill with computers, your expertise in the kitchen. Whatever it is today, know that God's hand is on it, and in it!
 

ProACTION: Get handy today writing some thank you or appreciation cards to at least 10 ladies you see. Put it into their hands this weekend. If you really want to see God move, write a letter of appreciation to someone you know doesn't particularly care for you or talk to you. Make the note sincere and find something positive to say.




Friday, May 25, 2012

PG31 Challenge #18 COVERED


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:21

 She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all in her household are doubly clothed. HCS

She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet. NKJV

Key Word:CLOTHED

Reflect: As I was meditating on this verse, I came upon something that I hadn't seen before. Even though I've read it plenty of times, this thought seemed to magnify: this virtuous woman is covering her family in prayer and the blood of Christ. I shared it with my husband, and he encouraged some more in-depth study. Turns out, the "scholars" thought this was the case too, upon further investigation. In the natural, this speaks to the virtuous woman not having concern for the health and comfort of her family during the winter. The word clothed here is translated "doubly clothed", both inwardly and outwardly.

Spiritually speaking, we want our families doubly clothed. I know I do! I want my family covered and clothed naturally, but also spiritually. How do we cover our families spiritually? Through prayer, through applying the blood of Christ for protection, even as the children of Israel covered their post and lintel during Passover. Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb provides protection for our households. Christ's righteousness is the robe we put on when we accept what He did on the cross. Righteousness becomes our shelter from the storms of life. Our justification comes from receiving by Faith what Christ has done for us. Virtuous Woman, take your concerns to God today.He is our Covering.



ProACTION: Draw the number 31 in block lettering and write inside 31 things you want God to cover today. Let's pray: Father, thank you for knowing the things of my heart. I lay them before you today, these issues, these people, these things, and ask that you cover them as you have covered me. I trust you to take care of every person and issue either supernaturally or through the wisdom you will give to me, in Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

PG31 Challege #17 Love, Compassion, Action


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:10-20 MSG

  A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.

Key Word: Compassionate ACTION


Reflect: We are halfway through the challenge, and if you've been reading and meditating, that's good news! After all, this challenge is about us, taking our lives and becoming better as women, as sisters, as mothers, as wives, as colleagues, as friends. As we reflect back over the first section of verses, what stands out, is how many verbs describe us! We are always on the move and on the go, but every action for the virtuous woman is fueled by love and comapassion. The planning, the shopping, the trading, the investing, the helping are all due to an earnest desire to give the best to those around her. Take heart today, that God knows how much care you show to your community, your family, and most importantly to seeking His heart and will. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.


ProACTION: Take time to gift yourself with love and compassion. Spend an hour today doing something to refuel, whether that be taking a nap, a long bath, making a playlist of your favorite music, trying a new place to eat today. I would love to hear how you loved on you today!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

PG31 Challenge #16 WHOLLY HELPING


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:20

 She spreadeth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy

Key Word: HANDS

Reflect: Notice with the Virtuous Woman that both her hands are involved in the process of serving. This is a proactive woman, who takes the initiative. She doesn't wait for the need to find her. She is giving both liberally and laregely. We must not only give outwardly but inwardly. I have seen women who demonstrate giving in a very practical way, yet their words cut and give no healing. I've also seen the reverse: Women who bless, but will not lift a hand to do more than offer a kind word. We can give in action yet never speak an affirming word, or we can be guilty of speaking wonderful words, but never stepping out to align our actions with those words. We must be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within us. Sometimes that will be through our prayer closet, other times it may be through our food closet or clothes closet. Many times it will be both. May God give us His discernment of how to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus today.

ProACTION:
By word or deed, or both, affirm five of your sisters today. If you can do it in person, all the better. Your reaching out may be the Word or Act of encouragement to pull them out of depression, despair, insecurity, or unsurety today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

PG31 Challenge #15 STRETCHING & REACHING

We are just about the halfway point of our challenge! I know the Word of God is changing you, because it is life-giving! I would love to hear from you!

Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:20

She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.KJV

Key Word: Stretch & Reach


Reflect: When was the last time you availed yourself, got out of your comfort zone? You know, our comfort zones: sewing circles, exercise groups, coffee and tea groups. When was the last time you invited a Sister into your world who didn't talk like you, dress like you, look like you, wear letters like you, doesn't share the same zip code or social status as you?

As I meditated on this verse, the thing that stood out is the Virtuous Woman's readiness to stretch out and reach forth. It requires desire and energy to build relationship with those who are not "convenient" to us. The poor and needy are often ignored, condescended to , or scorned in our society, but in reality, more than half of our population in America registers as poor and needy. How will you stretch your mindset and reach out today?

ProACTION: Visit a Social Service agency either in person or online and find out what you can do to help. For example, if you are in education, you could offer to tutor the homeless. Find an immediate need and work to get involved by June 9.

Monday, May 21, 2012

PG31 Challenge #14 OPEN TO GIVING


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:20

She opens her hands to oppressed people and stretches them out to needy people. GWT

She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy. KJV

Key Word: OPEN

Reflect: I don't often get a chance to share this particular time in my life, but when I was a middle schooler, my family went through about four months of homelessness, shortly before Hurricane Andrew. Through a series of unfortunate life events, my mother, my sister, and I found ourselves evicted from our home, leaving an abusive stepfather for the unknown. As it turned out, I learned some lessons early on: Even if it means being homeless, NEVER compromise your integrity to fulfill a temporary need. I won't share everything that happened, but I will say we wound up in a home where my mother was taken advantage of and my sister and I were treated like slaves entering through the back door. We were out of our school district and we had to get up around 5:00 am. With no money for busfare, we walked to our middle school, at minimum 10 miles from where we were. Our host home took any finances my mother made, leaving her struggling to save money to get another place. Our house host would buy groceries and feed her family a full course meal. Our meal for four months? Lima beans, white rice, and water. To this day, I do not eat lima beans. What am I getting at? To this day, I am now in my mid-thirties, I remember that this family, though they
had taken us in, were not really stretching their hands to the poor and needy. This was not a situation we had created. Instead, they took advantage of our unfortunate situation to stretch their own meager earnings. Shortly after we finally moved into our own place, Hurricane Andrew hit. This family's house was completely wiped out. Now, the tables were reversed. They came to us for help. It was in this that I saw my mother step up and forgive, not return evil behavior for evil. Yes, my Mother could have easily said, "You treated us like the stuff under your shoe!" But, she didn't. She gave them food, offered what financial assistance she could, and taught us a valuable lesson. No matter how ugly people get with you, you don't have to return it. To this day, I continue to give to those in need with the resources I have.


ProACTION: Start where you are. You don't have to be Oprah, to see a need and fill it today. Reach out and sow a seed to someone you know. Don't pass them by today!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

PG31 Challenge #13 SPINNING PURPOSE

Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:19

She lays her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. KJV
Key Word: SPINDLE
Reflect: She layeth - By her own example she provokes her servants to labour. And although in these latter and more delicate times, such mean employments are grown out of fashion among great persons, yet they were not so in former ages, neither in other countries, nor in this land; whence all women unmarried unto this day are called in the language of our law, Spinsters. (Wesley)

Woman of Virtue, God is spinning a beautiful tapestry out of your life. He's spun in good times, hard times, times of pain, times of joy, times of disappointment, he's also woven in times of satisfaction and reward.  The pattern of our lives may seem non-descript or undiscernable, but if we keep spinning, keep asking, seeking, and knocking, we will have the pleasure of seeing the garment of our lives as God intended in it's completed state. So, Virtuous Woman, I urge you, don't give up or give in for in due season, you will reap if you do not faint!

ProACTION: Take an old worn garment, cut out a square, and write upon it Jeremiah 29:11. Take time today to thank God simply for weaving your story and completing the tapestry of your life. Remember, if he knit you together in your Mother's womb (Psalm 139), God knows exactly how to get the glory out of the tapestry of your life!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

PG31 Challenge #12 LIGHT UP THE NIGHT


Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:18

 She sees that she is making a good profit. Her lamp burns late at night. GWT
Key Word: BURN


Reflect: As a Woman of Virtue, you carry within you a passion from God. What is stirring in your heart and constantly on your mind? What cause do you find yourself championing? That is where you will find fuel for life's daily grind. For me, education, equipping, and imparting to the next generation of artists is my passion. For you, it may be a different area of need. Whatever God has caused your heart to burn for, feed that flame! Don't let the cares of this life choke out the purpose God has placed in you!

ProACTION: Buy 2 scented candles, write your favorite verses or verses that are tied to your passion on it and present it to someone you know needs the Word of God to light their way. I would love to see your candle online with the Word of God!

Friday, May 18, 2012

PG31 Challenge #11 Confidently FLY


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:17

 She dresses herself  with strength and makes her arms strong. ESV

Key Phrase: Dressed With Strength


Reflect: It's the event of the year, the event you have been waiting for: a going away party, an engagement party, a promotion party, a retirement party, and Proverbs Woman, you must look fly.So, you splurge: Louboutins? Check. Prada bag? Check. Tiffany& Co? Check. Your favorite scent? Check. Spa day? Check. You're decked out and sure to be the talk of the evening, but how much time did you spend preparing your inner woman? Woman of Virtue, God wants you to deck out your inner woman with the same care and attention to detail, and He wants you to do it daily. The verse tells us, that the Virtuous Woman takes care to dress herself with strength. How can we do that daily? It starts with prayer. Prayer is the undergarment for our spirit man. 1 Peter 5:5 tells us to be clothed with humility. Humility is strength restrained. She makes her arms strong. God wants us to make our arms strong by carrying our burdens to him and laying them at his feet. Where we leave the burden is where we can pick up His yoke, His anointing to handle the situations we face on a daily basis. His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. When we humble ourselves and admit we cannot fix it, complete it, or handle it without God, He makes a great exchange with us in prayer. We can face the world confidently looking fly on the inside and the outside. To help me remember this, God said FLY stands for Fully Loving You. When you love yourself and see yourself the way God sees you, you spend the time getting dressed for success!


ProACTION: Take a picture of your FLY self today and post online and/or share what God has given you strength to do today! (Testify!)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

PG31 Challenge #10 STRONG ENOUGH


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:17

 She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms. (KJV)

Key Word: GIRDS-

a. To encircle with a belt or band.
b. To fasten or secure with a belt or band.
c. To surround.
2. To equip or endow.
3. To prepare (oneself) for action.
To summon up one's inner resources in preparation for action.


Reflect:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8JsRxVczmQ


ProACTION: Listen to the reflection. While listening, write a letter of surrender to God.

Here's my letter:

God, I am not strong without you. But with you, I am infused with the strength to do any and everything you have called me to. I surrender to you and ask you to encircle me with your favor, fasten me and secure me in your truth. Surround me with your presence and glory. Surround me with wise counselors. Equip me for the work and endue me with your power and anointing. As I prepare myself for action, I surrender to your inner resource, the Holy Spirit, to be stirred up and active in my daily life decisions. By the authority of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

PG31 Challenge #9 INNER-GY



Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:17
 She arms her waist with strength, and makes her arms strong. (World English Bible)
Key Words: Armed & Dangerous


Reflect: She takes care of her own health and strength, not only by means of useful labor, but by healthy exercise. She avoids what might weaken her body, or soften her mind - she is ever active, and  ready for every necessary exercise. Her loins are firm, and her arms strong (Clark's Commentary).

I know I can speak for many women who do not find the gym an appealing option. So, what can you do to get in shape that doesn't involve a gym? You can 1) Walk rather than take the elevator, even parking your car a distance to force the walk works 2) You can spend the next 21 days changing your diet.* 3) You can utilize your office space to do lunging & tightening your stomach muscles for ten seconds at a time is said to be equal to stomach crunching. 4) You can head to the playground and get active with your children. Rather than watching them play, play along. If your husband works out, join him at least one time a month. You get the exercise and the relational benefit too. 5)Take a 3 minute breathing break. Put your timer on (most phones have them now) and close your eyes. Inhale, making your belly appear like a blown up balloon. Then exhale slowly through your mouth, counting to 5. Repeat this for the break.

Will you begin all of this today? Highly unlikely. Can you get started? Most definitely. You, Virtuous Woman are loved by many. It is absolutely imperative that you take care of YOU!

ProACTION: Write 31 qualities about you that have nothing to do with your outer man in your journal. Be brutally honest. Then, highlight the things you know are not bearing godly fruit. Pray about them and ask God for the strength, the wisdom, and the right Word to help you renew the spirit of your mind so that it is more like His. Remember, we are under construction! Work It, Ladies!

*My consistent diet is soups, salads, chili, lots of fruit, fish, rice, mixed veggies & turkey casseroles and very little bread & pasta. I indulge during holidays but otherwise I am pretty consistent, and I have been the same weight the past four years. I have now added plenty of purified water to that with a daily cup of coffee and applesauce. I am by no means advising this as the perfect diet, but it works for me. Please consult your physician or nutritionist before changing your diet

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

PG31 Challenge #8 SYNERGY



Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:17

 She puts on strength like a belt and goes to work with energy.

Key Words: Strength & Energy


Reflect: We are going to marinate on this for a few challenges. Today, Virtuous Woman, got wants you to know He is the Heavy Weight in this relationship. He has armed you with the belt of truth. This belt is special to us, as we have an advantage of what is commonly called 'women's intution'. We can read a situation within seconds, working both sides of our brain. Science has proven that when words and body language don't match, it's considered a lie, and women will trust your body language over the words coming out of your mouth. What does this mean for us? It means that often times, we can tell when our sister is down, feeling out of sorts, depressed, much faster than our male counterparts. The nurturer kicks in and we find ourselves mothering, coddling, and at times pacifying what could be toxic behavior and attiudes. We want our sisters to feel better. We want our mothers to not go through yet another divorce. We want our daughters to stay away from negative influences. We want our sisters to get out of that abusive relationship. But if we provide intervention where we need to provide intercession, we are telling God that He is not Big Enough. Today, my Sister, my Friend, Woman of Virtue. Put on the strength of God, and go to work in His energy. In this life, we and the people we love will face trials and trouble, but Let God fix it, as you fix your eyes on Him. He's so much better at it.


ProACTION: Call on three people today that you know are struggling with pressing situations. Use your break time today to pray with them, agree with them for the victory and encourage them to let God be the Heavy Weight today. We want to hear from you! Share your testimony!

Monday, May 14, 2012

PG31 Challenge #7 CHECKPOINT


Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:16

 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. NIV

She picks out a field and buys it. She plants a vineyard from the profits she has earned.GWT

Key Words: Consider, Buy, & Plant


Reflect: 31:16 She Considers - Whether it be fit for her use. The fruit - With the effects of her diligence she is able to buy. Planteth - She improves the land to the best advantage (Wesley Notes)

Today, God is asking us to take a moment to Check our lifestyles. Are we considering before we buy into what is presented before us? This virtuous woman was making an investment. She was handling her business as some might say. She was taking the profits from other ventures like trading and making a real estate transaction along with buying the materials to create a crop for ongoing revenue. Today we would call this residual income. According to the history and culture of the time, she was a woman of means as was her husband; they could afford to purchase the land, but did not make the decision frivolously. They counted up the cost. According to the Hebrew language, this was a purchase or transaction that required men to get involved. Many times the mantra, "I'm every woman, it's all in me" is simply not Biblical. God created male and female, not to compete, but to complete His work with the qualities He placed in us that truly compliment each other. When you leave out men, you leave out a perspective that can enhance, reinforce, and strengthen your God-given mandates.


ProACTION: Pray for a Proverbs 20:6  Man in your life. If there are none, pray that God would send those kind of godly men to provide good counsel. In your journal today, write 31 things you want to have accomplished in the next 10 years, and 3 things you can do now to ensure that it happens. Share that plan with a trusted friend to keep you accountable.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

PG31 Challenge #6 WISE COUNSEL

Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:15

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. KJV

She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls. NLT
Key Word: Rise, Prepare & Plan

Reflect: There is a balance in your life that God wants to achieve. It can only happen with your cooperation. If you are like me, you may just be getting to bed at 2am. On the reverse, you might be the Woman that wakes at 4am to prepare your day. Whether you are a night owl or an early bird, the key here is that while it is yet night, you are planning for NEXT. Notice the time for preparation is made at the time of provision. This woman of virtue balances the need for sustenance with the need for a strategic plan for her household. She leads, but she also delegates. She has a personal touch for her household, but also has the wisdom to focus her attention and energy on her best and highest use of time. As one writer says, "You can't afford to leave prayer out." When you work 18 hour days, when you have children, spouse, 18 credit hours as a college student while working full time, your day can easily get out of balance. Prayer helps you to put it all into perspective (have you prayed 31 minutes today?).

ProACTION: Take at least 15 minutes today to call on someone at least 10 years older than you. Ask them to share (can be in any format) what they wish they knew at your age that they know now. Record it in your journal, and share with us, one piece of advice.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

PG31 Challenge #5 GREAT EXCHANGE


Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:14

 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. (ESV)

Key Word: Enterprising

Reflect: She is like the merchant ships,.... Not like a single one, but like a navy of them, that cross the seas, go to foreign parts, and come back laden with rich goods: so the church of Christ, and her true members, like ships of burden, trade to heaven, by prayer and other religious exercises, and return with the riches of grace and mercy, to help them in time of need; and though they have often difficult and dangerous passages, are tossed with tempests, and covered with billows; yet, Christ being their pilot, faith their sail, and hope their anchor, they weather the seas, ride out all storms, and come safe home with their merchandise (Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible)

What an awesome picture! I've heard the saying, "She's a brick house" but God calls us a fleet of merchant ships! You Woman of Virtue are praised today as an enterprising Woman, a woman who imports and exports the best for your house, who is willing to go the distance even for that which nourishes. With God as the Capatain of our ship, we can rest in the storms of life, we can enjoy the smooth sailing and allow him to guide us. Have you gotten on board in WorSHIP? In FellowSHIP? In RelationSHIP with God? We can make no positive, great exchange in this life that lasts without Jesus, the Captain of our Soul. In intimacy with Him, we can export the cares of this life, the weight of this world, and import his love, joy, peace, goodness, meekness, gentleness, self-control, and faith among other things. We can make an exchange today, and load ourselves with the daily benefits found in the presence of God. You, Woman of God are carrying precious cargo--YOU! You've got gifts, talents, abilities, and a personality specifically designed to bless this world. So, take the load off today, and load up on righteousness, peace, and joy in the presence of God. Only then can you truly unload your purpose.

ProACTION: Express your love for the Lord using some form of the arts today (singing, drawing, dancing, writing, playing a musical piece) and share with someone 10 years younger than you. Then listen to what they have to say.

Friday, May 11, 2012

PG31 Challenge #4 WORK IT!


Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:13

She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands. KJV


Key Words: Seeking, Willing, Working
Reflect: Here she manufactured; for she worketh willingly with her hands. And all her labor is a cheerful service; her will, her heart, is in it. It needs no arguments to prove that women, even of the highest ranks, among the Greeks, Romans, and Israelites, worked with their hands at every kind of occupation necessary for the support of the family. This kind of employment was not peculiar to the virtuous woman in the text (Clark's Commentary).

Many times we associate Virtuous Woman with Paralyzed Woman. What do I mean? Many picture her as a picture perfect, unmoving trophy wife to be taken off the shelf and dusted for special occaisions. Not So! The PG31 Woman is seeking, willing, and working! She is seeking the materials she needs, she is willing to shape the materials, and she is willing to get her hands involved in the process. What about you? Are you seeking new ways to sharpen the skills God has given you? Are you willing to go the distance to sharpen those skills? Are you planning your work, and working your plan? What are you waiting on?
ProACTION: Put your hands to work creating something for God today. It can be an art piece, the next chapter in your novel, the business plan you've been procrastinating on, the music piece you keep putting off. What ever it is, let your hands get busy! We would love to hear how you Worked It today!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

PG31 Challenge #3 WORSHIP

Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:12

She helps him and never harms him all the days of her life. (God's Word Translation)
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (KJV)
Key Word: ALL
Reflect: As a Woman of Virtue  you have the happiness of your husband in view constantly.Your good is unmixed; it is constant and permanent, not double-minded and unstable.  As a single woman, God's happiness is your primary focus. Having a hard time digesting that? I did too, once. It used to be all about me: my hair, my clothes, my stilettos, what made me feel good & look good (wives can have the "all about me" syndrome too). But at the end of the day, I still felt something was missing.  The more I submitted to God, the more complete I felt, and soon I began to realize, that if I had Jesus, I had everything I needed. The desires of my heart began to come alive as I let God's desires become first priority.
ProACTION: As you pray today, ask God to make His will first priority today and try not to be surprised as He rearranges your day. Instead of having lunch, make studying the Word your main course. Pop in or Youtube your favorite songs as you get in the Word for at least 31 minutes. Hear what God is speaking to your heart. We would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

PG31 Challenge #2 ENRICH SOMEONE ELSE

Good Morning ProACTIVE Woman!

I encourage you that as we activate our full potential as Women of God to journal your experiences. You can look back and reflect, and share with your son or daughter what you were thinking and how you responded to each challenge.

Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:11
The heart of her husband does safely trust in her, so that he shall have no lack of gain. KJV

 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. NLT

Key Word: Trustworthy
Reflect: As a Woman of Virtue, it is imperative that we be trustworthy. God, our Husbandman is looking for Women he can trust to be obedient to Him. How can we greatly enrich God? By giving Him our life, body, soul, and spirit. As a single woman, your commitment to Christ can help you gauge how committed you would be in a relationship. Are you always putting off time with the Lord? You will do the same in relationship. If work consumes you now, it will consume you then. Can God trust you to keep His word? Can God trust you to keep your promises to Him? As a married woman, trust is huge. Can your husband trust you to cover him in prayer or will you make condescending remarks about him to your girlfriends or co-workers? If your husband is looking to improve himself physically or professionally, are you looking for ways to assist him? After all, we are created to be help that is suitable. God has entrusted the care of another human being to you, not to parent, or lord over, but to compliment and strengthen.
ProACTION: Look in your closet today. Pick out one thing that has greatly enriched your life. Now give it away. If you are married, consider doing something today, no matter how small to enrich your husband today. We would love to hear what happened as a result!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

PG31 Challenge #1: PRAY

If you are reading, it's because you have decided to take the PG31 Challenge or at least see what it's all about. This challenge is all about becoming the Woman God wants you to be, God's Way, through the Word of God. As we look as some aspects of the Proverbs 31 Woman, we want to hear what God is saying about our personal walk. Each day we will post a verse, a reflection, and a challenge, entitled ProACTION. We would love to hear your thoughts on the verse, the reflection or how you carried out the challenge below. We will be posting on FB as well. So, Let's dive in!


Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:10

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  (NIV)

Who finds a diligent woman? For she is precious beyond incomparable precious stones.
 (Aramaic In English)

"Who can find a wife with a strong character? She is worth far more than jewels.
(God's Word Translation)

Key Word: Worth

Reflect: As a Woman of Virtue, you are NOT just anyone. The three translations point out that your Worth is not in question, but the ability to discern it is. So many times I've heard women say, I'm not good enough. I say, it depends on who's looking. God calls you fearfully and wonderfully made. Your true worth can only be found in the Lord. Today, don't try to measure up to anything but the Word of God. You'll find peace in doing so.

ProACTION: During your prayer time today, ask the Lord to describe you in one word. Meditate on that word. Find out what it means. Then begin to speak that word over your life today. Share below what word the Lord used to describe you. He may speak directly to you, it can come from a passage of scripture, it may be a word that comes to mind and imprints itself in your heart as you pray. I can't wait to hear from You!

Monday, May 7, 2012

What Is The PG31 CHALLENGE?

Let's make this clear: This is a lay aside the weight challenge. What kind of weight? All of the negativity, unrealistic expectations that are laid on you & I as Women of the Most High God.

The world wants us to live a PG13 existence: wear what we say, do what we say, live like we want you to live, and your life will be so much better. But WE KNOW THE TRUTH. Life is found only in Jesus Christ. That's what this challenge is about. Reversing those PG13 mindsets and returning to Biblical Womanhood, the PG31 Kind.

PG31 stands for Pro(Active) Girl 31. The Proverbs 31 Woman is not someone just twiddling her fingers. She's engaged in her faith, her family, her friendships, and her finances, while appreciating her femininity. She's a homemaker, and an entreprenuer; in short, the Lady's got skills, and SO DO YOU. So, join me for 31 days and challenge yourself to be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, a better financial steward, and become not just better to others, but be better to YOU.

God wants to take that PG13 mindset, forever a teenager or young adult and mature you. We will explore these next 31 days what Biblical Womanhood looks like. The daily challenge is to begin and end your day with 31 minutes of prayer just for you. Ask God into the dressing room of your heart. Ask Him to prepare you for the day, and ask  Him to undress you from the cares of this life at your day's end.

I am so excited about what I know God is going to work in and through us. The challenge begins May, 8 through June 9. Even if you cannot complete every challenge, I encourage you to meditate on a verse daily from Proverbs 31 and pray. Thank you so much for stopping by and getting ProActive!

Blessings,

Shantae Charles
PG31

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To My Young Sisters: Friendship

Young Sister:
Today, I want you to know that who you are today may not be who you are tomorrow. You've got dreams, plans, and aspirations that are sure to come to pass as you stay focused. But Young Sister, there is almost one element that can get you off track faster than a boyfriend: Your choice of friends.
Friends can take you in the direction of your dreams or they can detour you on the way to your destiny. We would all love to think that nothing influences our decisions, but Sister, it simply isn't true. Some of you will choose a dress because you and your friend want to match, some will choose a hangout spot because your friends like to go there but you're not too picky. You might even choose where you get an education because your Bestie is going there and you want to room together and hang out on campus. So, though the reasons may be harmless, we do in fact allow our friends to influence our decision making. This is why it is of utmost importance to choose your friends wisely.
The Bible says that bad company corrupts good moral character. You might not think that your friends behaviors and opinions are rubbing off, but they in fact do.  Friendships create emotional ties. You are allowing another sister or brother into your spiritual space. Take a look at the poem below for a moment:
True Treasure

When you have found someone
Who values the core of who you are
Who values the time you spend with them
Who values the experiences you share
Who values your tears and your smiles
Who values the knowledge and wisdom you impart
Who values the trust you gift to them
Who values the truth enough to never tell you a lie
 Who is a reality check that never bounces

Then never let go
For you have found true treasure
You have found a friend
Friends really are true treasure. They should add value to your life, and desire the very best for you. So Young Sister, make every effort to choose wisely and more importantly, be the kind of friend you want to have in your own life. Never forget that God desires to be your closest friend. If you let Him, he will guide you into right friendships and spare you unnecessary pain in the process. Once you find that friend that sticks closer than a brother, value that relationship. Water it with care, hugs, friends night out, prayer, and compassion. It will grow into a friendship that can weather storms and will be a place that others over time will admire.
Remember, he that has friends must show herself friendly, so ask God to point you in the right direction and get to it!