The Proverbs Project: Day 20

Samara W

Scripture:

Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.

Proverbs 20:18

Observations: Success doesn’t just happen. Success requires as sound plan. A successful plan outlines a step-by-step approach to accomplishing an intended goal. As we plan for success let us not overlook the very important step of securing sound counsel (advice, guidance, direction or instruction). King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, submits the need to seek guidance concerning our plans–that without good counsel plans fail; but in a multitude of counselors plans are established (Prov 15:22). Gleaning from people who are knowledgeable, wise, experienced and have your best interest at heart is a crucial step in success of our plans.

Application: For the past week this verse has been stirring my spirit. As I meditate on it and think about the way I normally plan, I must admit that seeking advice is a step that I rarely take. My planning process has been to make a decision, pray and execute. I’ve been successful to a certain extent, but acknowledge that had I gotten guidance from a knowledgeable or experienced person, I could have avoided unfortunate and unnecessary situations. I am encouraged to take this counsel and implement it as a part of my planning process.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your word, advice and counsel on life and for teaching me how to live a successful life. Help me to be receptive to the things that don’t come natural to me, like actively seeking advice. I pray that you would put people in my life that would provide sound counsel to my life. I pray that you would also make me sound counsel to others. Lord, I ask you this in your name. Amen.


Samara has a heart for seeing women and girls stepping into their God given destiny. She’s at her best when she’s loving on them and encouraging them to embrace their Brilliance. Her favorite thing in the world is being a wife and Mom to her 4 sweet, strong, smart daughters.

The Proverbs Project: Day 19

Joelle M

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21 ESV

As a teacher, you often fall into the category of a control freak or a perfectionist. As much as those might be descriptive words they also have to come along with flexibility and openness. In a split second your plans might fall apart or you may have a schedule change you need to abide by. Honestly, as much as you can plan, there are always curveballs. Similar to life, we can plan as much as we want to (for us control freaks), but God may have other plans for you. Even if you’re not a control freak and you’re a go-with-the-flow type of person, your whole life can be altered in a moment’s notice. Take note of the word “purpose”. There is so much depth to what God has stored for you that’s intentional and supersedes all that we might have planned (or not).

Two things that I am currently still working on is setting my heart in a posture of listening and trusting. So often we’re consumed with our day-to-day, whether it’s consumed with activities or we’re just hanging out, that we forget to be intentional with tuning in with to God has to say. Our God is a good God who doesn’t have plans to harm us, but plans for good. Whether or not that very moment may be planned, His purpose is well thought out and sustainable. Wouldn’t you rather trust God’s (the one who created the universe) plan than your own? #GodsPlan AYE.

God thank you for being a good God. Thank you for the purpose and plans you have over my life. Please help me be open to listening and trust your plans beyond mine.


Joelle is a Second Grade teacher with a concentration in Urban Education. One of her greatest joys is finding community in the most uncommon places and making it home.

The Proverbs Project: Day 18

Megan D

Scripture:

Proverbs 18:21

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Observation:

The power of the words we speak is a theme throughout the bible.  The Bible begins in Genesis with The Lord speaking and the earth forming.  God spoke life into existence.  The bible says that The Word of God is alive, it is living, and inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The power of spoken words cannot be denied.  The author in Proverbs is ascribing that our words are equally as powerful, but the choice is ours as to whether they are life giving or death bringing.  He goes as far to suggest that those who love to “talk” or gossip, will reap the consequences.

To me, our words carry so much weight.  Whether it is from the platform or whether it is to a friend or colleague, the way we say it and the intention behind it can actually shape the way it is received.  In verse 24, it says there are “friends” who destroy each other.  I never want to be thought of as the person who is always negative or speaking death over people.  I never want to be the friend who is destroying.  I want to be the person who is giving life!

Application:

I think there are 3 very important ways we can be intentional about speaking life.

• Speak life over yourself

I don’t know what your self-talk looks like, but sometimes mine is pretty terrible.  I can be my harshest critic.  Honestly, if I’m not speaking life over myself, how can I expect others to take it seriously when I speak it over them?  Find some verses that really speak to you and speak/pray them over yourself every morning.  My go to verse in this season is 2 Timothy 1:7.

• Speak life over others

When was the last time you made an intentional effort to find the good in someone?  Intentionally encouraged them, not just when they did something good?  Sometimes, people actually need someone to call out the gold in them before they start living in that truth.  Make it a priority to encourage someone or to speak God’s promises over them.  Remind them they are a child of the most high King, that they have a plan and a purpose, that they were created by God ON PURPOSE, that they are the head and not the tail.  The Bible is full of amazing encouragements that apply to every single one of God’s children.  Find someone today and speak LIFE over them.

• Pray

When we practice praying the Word of God out loud, we are planting seeds of Truth and reminding ourselves of God’s promise to us.  Practice praying out loud.  Practice praying the Word of God out loud.  Even if you feel silly, if you are consistent, you will being to see that the words you are speaking are actually giving you life.  The more practiced you become, the more confident you will be in speaking life over others.

Prayer:

Father thank you for your son Jesus.  Thank you for your Word and the power of life that lies within it.  Forgive me for my negative speaking and any time I have had a critical spirit.  I pray that you would help me to know your word and know your promises, so that I can begin to speak them over myself and others.  Help me to always encourage and lift others up, even when I am tempted to speak death.  Let the words that come out of my mouth be encouraging, lovingly challenging, and like water to the soul.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Untitled Design

Megan is a single gal living in NYC (the best city in the world) and working in ministry. She is passionate about helping women grow in their confidence of who God has created them to be and helping them develop their God-given gifts and talents.  She has lots of great stories to tell so just ask!

The Proverbs Project: Day 17

Karen Cecilia
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:27

Spoke too soon…

Have you ever had a foot-in-mouth moment when you realized that you spoke too soon? A moment when you misread the tone of an email, only to realize later that you were totally off base? Maybe you caught just a snippet of a conversation someone was having and jumped to some conclusions only to find out later that you completely missed the mark? How about one of those moments in life when it looks like the hits just keep coming and you’re like God, why is this happening to me?! Only to have the Holy Spirit lead you to understand that things aren’t happening to you, but for you and for the benefit of others…Oops. Spoke too soon. 

I think we all go through moments like these. I’ve gone through several this week alone! Moments where I’m tempted to speak quickly–whether it’s slapping a label on a person and/or situation or maybe just being quick to complain. Sometimes in the discomfort of a situation, an offense, a misunderstanding or just a challenging season of change, we can be quick to speak and quick to react. Proverbs 17:27 tells us though, that verbal restraint is a character trait of someone with knowledge and that having a cool spirit is a sign of someone with understanding. Why? Because we don’t always immediately see the full picture of what God is doing or what he can do. The Bible tells us to be listeners (James 1:19), to be slow to speak (James 1:19; Ecc. 5:12) and to seek wisdom (Prov. 4:5). Before anything else we should be quick to listen God’s voice and the wisdom that we should be quick to seek is his. Ecclesiastes 5:2 says:

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. 

God is in heaven and we are on earth–the picture this paints for me is that his point of view is far more vast than my limited view. He sees and orchestrates his purpose to the big picture; I only see in part. So I need to seek him for understanding of his bigger picture. We get to ask God to show us what he sees or to get a glimpse of what he’s doing in a circumstance that may seem challenging to us. What I was quick to call a set back is actually just a set up for breakthrough. Spoke too soon. What I see as falling apart is God rebuilding from the foundation up to make things stronger than ever. Spoke too soon. What may seem to be taking forever to happen in your life may just be God getting you to the right place at the right time. Spoke too soon. 

Father, thank you that you always see the big picture. Thank you that you’re patient and kind with us when we don’t! Help us to be slow to speak and to be cool-spirited and wise. Holy Spirit, help us to remember that you always know what’s best and that you don’t leave us through challenging seasons, but instead, you’re working all things together for our good. Jesus, I pray that you help us to see others how you see them and to see situations as you do rather than to speak too soon. In your name, Jesus, amen.


karen

Hi Friends! My name Karen Cecilia and I’m just a girl with a passion for writing, loving people and building the local church. I was born, raised and am currently living in the greatest city: New York (I ❤️ NY!). I blog and am an aspiring author.

The Proverbs Project: Day 16

Karen Cecilia

Commit your work to the Lordand your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

 

I tend to think that I’m a pretty patient person…for the most part, anyway. Over the years I’ve learned that time doesn’t always do what we want it to or bring what we want it to bring when we want it to be brought. Ha! I don’t know about you, but moments like those can either discourage me and make me question the things in my heart, or worse yet, the promises of God on my life, or they can stir my heart into restlessness.

Lately, I’ve been feeling that old stirring feeling of restlessness creeping up. There’s so much that I want to do, so much that I want to step into, so much that I want to achieve and grow in. My heart leaps at the thought of it, mostly because I know those things are God-dreams. They’re desires that have been placed deep in my heart that I haven’t even fully uncovered or discovered yet. The plans are good, they’re SO good in fact, that sometimes I forget to do the part of committing my plans to God and allowing him to establish the way for me. I had a choice to make this past week between going along with some immediate plans that I’d made (that were good) or holding out a little longer, and going along with some alternate steps that I believe God is establishing for me. I wrestled with this decision. I STRUGGLED with this decision, because in my heart, I had already planned my way. But I had to come to the realization (and thank God for leading me to it) that at the end of the day, his way is better and his timing is better. If I’m building my life around his call on me, then his steps will always be the path better than mine, my route may be good, but his will be better. I may have planned my way, but he establishes my steps.

Father, thank you for your plans and thoughts towards us that are always good. Thank you for establishing our way when we commit our work to you. Help us to remember to commit our work, our hearts, our thoughts and ways to you. Help us to trust that you will establish our plans and show us the way. In Jesus’s name, amen.

The Proverbs Project: Day 15

Shanelle C.

S: Proverbs 15:13

A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.

O: When someone experiences joy, peace, comfort, their face will look happy. However, for those with a broken heart, their spirit is crushed. And, they may look and/or act sad, upset, or troubled. I can tell when a face is ‘cheerful”. Can I do so when one has a crushed spirit?

A: It’s good to have a discerning spirit so you can tell when someone has a broken heart or down spirit. So today I will pray for that discerning spirit that way I have the opportunity to love, encourage, and be kind to a brokenhearted person. I pray that the Holy Spirit blesses me with kind and encouraging words to speak.

P: Lord, please bless me with a discerning heart and spirit so I can help encourage those with broken hearts.

The Proverbs Project: Day 14

Quenesha L

Proverbs 14:4

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. (ESV)

No cattle, no crops; a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow. (MSG)


During this season of my life, I have been repeatedly faced with the challenge of choosing to do what is easy and comfortable or going beyond contentment and working hard towards more meaningful things. The human brain’s default is to seek safety and control and order. But the verse tells us that we will have to tend to the messiness of the oxen in order to reap the fullest harvest. I’m not a farm expert, but I can imagine that it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world to care for cattle. You have to feed them, clean up after them, and they probably don’t smell great. You have to deal with crap (literally) in order to get to the crop. I find myself rationalizing why I shouldn’t take the next step or put forth effort to reach the next level, sometimes without even realizing I’m just looking for a way to make myself most comfortable in the immediate. But because I know I’m inclined to stay in places where I feel like I have the most familiarity and control, I constantly have to look inward and ask myself if I’m just trying to take the easy way out and missing out on opportunities for growth.

Jesus, thank you for not taking the easy way out!! Thank you for wading through the messiness that is ME and believing I was worth it. Holy Spirit, help me to not be complacent with anything less than the full harvest that God has prepared for me. I pray for passion, perseverance, and purposefulness, in Jesus’s name, amen!