Lady Wisdom

Lady Wisdom | 3dlessons4life.com


Tonight at church pastor shared a shorter sermon on the strength found in our diversity as a body of believers. Then, he invited 4 multi-racial friends up on to to stage to share their story and talk about how we can better cross the divide between races and build bridges toward unity.

Five stools were placed at the front of the stage, but only one of them was occupied by a woman. Each time the microphone was passed to her, my ears perked up.

Every word she shared was laced with hard-earned wisdom.

I found myself leaning in. I wanted to gobble up every morsel she offered.

She embodied what I’d read that morning during my quiet time:

You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
    when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She’s worth far more than money in the bank;
    her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
    nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
    with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
    her life wonderfully complete.
She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
    Hold her tight—and be blessed! ~ Proverbs 3:13-18, MSG

I don’t know about you, but I long to be like Lady Wisdom. I want my countenance and conversation to speak life into others. I’m studying Proverbs in hopes of making some progress, and I wanted to share 4 ways Lady Wisdom walks.

4 Ways to Walk Like Lady Wisdom

  • Stay on your knees: A wise woman walks with reverence and respect. Her life is a worshipful offering to her God.
    • “Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning” (Proverbs 1:7, MSG).
  • Savor the Truth: Lady Wisdom has no taste for wordly fare. Her pure palate fills her mouth with common sense and discernment.
    • “Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice? …My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—I can’t stand the taste of evil!” (Proverbs 8:1 & 8).
  • Yield to authority: Submission characterizes the life of a wise woman. She is an obedient follower.
    • “A wise heart takes orders; an empty head will come unglued” (Proverbs 10:8, MSG).
  • Keep your ears perked up: Lady Wisdom has a teachable spirit. She considers life her schoolroom and is always adjusting her understanding based on the tutelage of her Master Teacher.
    • “Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights” (Proverbs 18:15, MSG).

Tonight, I listened in as Lady Wisdom shared how God had turned her wounds into wisdom. Her life was broken but beautiful.

“Charm and grace are deceptive, and superficial beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord reverently worshiping,
obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect,
she shall be praised.”
~Proverbs 31:30, AMP.

 

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I’m sharing “Lady Wisdom” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

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15

The Trust Fall

The Trust Fall | 3dlessons4life.com


We called it the Faith Course.  Every summer, I’d hop on a bus to chaperone another group of girls from our youth group at summer camp. They played big ball volleyball on the sand court and wrestled over a greased watermelon in the lake. Those adventurous girls got bruised, but they never gave up. The last event of the weekend was the Faith Course. Each team would run together to overcome a series of perilous obstacles including scaling a ginormous wall and crawling through a dark, dirty tunnel.

The last obstacle was the Trust Fall.

The girls would take turns climbing up the ladder of the tall playground slide, and then they’d cross their hands over their chest as a youth worker placed a blindfold securely over their eyes. The rest of the girls stood at the foot of the ladder with arms locked forming a net to catch the brave girl at the top.

The object of the challenge was to fully trust your teammates. You had to fall back into their safe arms.  Some girls required a little coaxing to participate.  So, I would stand on the sidelines and cheer them on with a big smile on my face. “Go ahead, you can do this! We’ve got you.”

I must confess in all those years, I never climbed the ladder myself though.

I always stood on the sidelines and watched.

The thought of falling backward blindly terrified me.

When I started studying these two verses in Proverbs 3, I discovered that in the original Hebrew the word “trust” here is a picture of a servant lying helpless and facedown waiting for direction from the master….

I’m sharing “The Trust Fall” at LoveGodGreatly.com.

To read the rest of this post, join me here.

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1

365 Opportunities

365 Opportunities | 3dlessons4life.com

I was trolling Facebook when I came across a simple white graphic with 4 words that captured my immediate attention:

1 Year. 365 Opportunities

I smiled and sat up just a little bit taller. My perspective shifted, and I felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders and flung into the pit of despair where it had originated.

You see, I’d canvased the year ahead, but all I’d noticed was urgent demands and unsolvable problems.

4 simple words flipped my mental switch.

Each day is a gift. Each day holds promise. Each day provides a new platform for God to show up in spectacular fashion.

Tomorrow, the sun will kiss my face with God’s favor. The warmth of His love will envelop me in a blanket of grace.

Every day is a fresh page for God and I to write something beautiful.

5 Opportunities to Pursue in the New Year:

  • Live with Contentment: We can choose to rise above doubt and discouragement and reach forward in God’s strength.
    •  I have great joy in the Lord because now at last you have again expressed your concern for me. (Now I know you were concerned before but had no opportunity to do anything.) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing.  I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.  Nevertheless, you did well to share with me in my trouble” (Philippians 4:10-14, NIV).
  • Love our neighbor: We can say no to selfish living and serve each other with love.
    • For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13-14, NET).
  • Encourage the weary: We can swim against the current of mediocrity and support like-minded friends who rise above the tide.
    • Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10, NIV).
  • Seek His Face: We can press in close to Christ and confess that we desperately need Him.
    • Then I confessed my sin; I no longer covered up my wrongdoing. I said, ‘I will confess my rebellious acts to the Lord.’ And then you forgave my sins. Selah. For this reason every one of your faithful followers should pray to you while there is a window of opportunity. Certainly when the surging water rises, it will not reach them. You are my hiding place; You protect me from distress. You surround me with shouts of joy from those celebrating deliverance. Selah” (Psalm 32:5-7 NET)
  • Share God’s message: We can speak the truth in love and pray for hard hearts to receive salvation.
    • Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them.Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out” (Colossians 4:2-6, MSG).

In Ephesians 5, Paul tells us to “make the most of every opportunity” in the last days. I love how the JB Phillips translation communicates the urgency of this challenge: “Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don’t be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of God.”

I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but I know who holds the future. I know the Author and Finisher of my Faith has promised to finish the work that He has started in me. I can press forward into 2017 seizing every moment for His glory because God’s plot lines always wrap up with spectacular endings. I am only looking at one page of my story right now, but the next page just might be my turning point.

Tomorrow holds 86,400 seconds. You might just blink and see God transform your obstacles into opportunities.

 

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I’m sharing “365 Opportunities” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

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26

Turn the Page

Turn the Page | 3dlessons4life.com

 

It’s been said that January 1st is the first blank page of a brand new 365-page book.

Welcome to page 5. How is it going so far for you?

I must confess that I am still lingering on the finer details on page 326 of my 2016 publication.

I feel like I am a little behind on my editorial deadlines. I am not done with 2016 yet, and I’ve received a new assignment.

I keep looking back and trying to apply white out to certain lines that I’d like to revise. I wish I could elaborate a bit more here and there.

Is it just me, or does 2016 need a little bit more work?

Sigh.

Today, I decided to set down my red pen and highlighter. I surrendered to the inevitable. I cannot continue to re-work 2016.  It’s a closed chapter.

Time to turn the page.

I am already on page 5 of 2017, and precious moments are slipping by. If I keep trying to fix 2016 (or 2015 or 1999), I am never going to write a bestseller today.

I can’t revise what has passed. I must put all my creative energy into writing a beautiful story today.

How to Turn the Page:

  • Reflect with wisdom: Take time to consider how well you fleshed out the character of Christ last year. Even if 2016 was a bit of a horror story, did you learn more about who Jesus is? Are you growing in wisdom? That’s progress, my friend.
    • Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown (Proverbs 4:6-9, NIV).
  • Respond with grace: Don’t beat yourself up over the unfinished narratives or muddled plot lines. You can lament the tragedy, but you shouldn’t turn your focus backward permanently. Remember your story is not finished yet. Greater things are yet to come, and God loves to re-write epitaphs into glorious epics.
    • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose…What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:28 & 31). 
  • Reconstruct with purpose: Adopt a new perspective. Freshen up what is tired and not working in your portfolio. Allow yourself to dream big again. Put on your creative lenses and write with new passion. Envision your happy ending and dip into a new inkwell.
    • Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14).

Today is a fresh page.  Make your life a story worth telling. 

 

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I’m sharing “Turn the Page” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

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37

Rewind: The Year in Review 2016

Rewind 2016 | 3dlessons4life.com

Taking a look back is good for the soul.  We are so forward focused that we’re prone to forget how far we’ve traveled. But, if we slow down and look in the rear-view mirror, we just might see evidence of God’s fingerprints on every page.

Let’s rewind 2016:

January: Let’s Choose Rest

Let's Choose Rest | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I choose rest.

  • I will linger long and be fully present for my loved ones.
  • I will treat my body with tender care.
  • I will set aside time to remember God’s goodness.
  • I will cultivate a heart of gratitude.

May I purpose to choose His rest, rather than feeling frazzled and fatigued.  

Rather than live a weary life, I want to worship.

Rather than being overworked, I want to be overwhelmed by His presence.

I choose rest.

 

February: Avoid Blind Spots

Avoid Blind Spots | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you neglect to pay attention to your blind spot, a total wreck is inevitable.

I don’t want to miss out on the journey that God has laid out for me.  I pray for God to teach me to exercise wise judgment, rather than running roughshod over others on the road.

A wise traveler follows the rules of the road to avoid a washout:

  •  Focus on the road ahead and turn off distractions:  On the road of life, we need to create a quiet space and turn off the noise.
  •  Drive defensively with a watchful eye:  Pray for protection as you move forward.  Ask God to help you heed His signposts.
  •  Look in the mirror:  God’s Word will point out obstacles in your path.
  • Glance over your shoulder:   Look back at the terrain behind you and avoid colliding with someone who is not traveling in the same lane as you.
  •  Leave space between yourself and careless drivers:  A little distance creates space for you to respond wisely, rather than react out of fear.

The best way to avoid a crash is to stay in your lane and move forward on the path that God has lovingly laid out for you.

 

March: He Holds My Hand

He Holds My Hand | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day, the rain poured down hard and heavy. Nothing on the horizon had prepared her for this onslaught. The wind blew so fiercely that she could not stand.

On the ground in the midst of the mud and mire, she looked up and cried out for help.

Quietly, she felt a Presence beside her. He reached for her hand, and she surrendered her will to His. Her Champion picked her up and carried her through an overwhelming wall of opposition.

Hand in hand, they pierced through the darkness and despair to the other side.

A song of praise now fills her frame.

 

April: Head Home

Head Home | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sabbath is a returning home. God is my dwelling place — a refuge from the war that threatens to swallow me whole. Rather than rushing on in the wrong direction, I must choose rest and allow Him to renew me.

Sabbath is a surrender. I don’t know which way to go without Him. To avoid the road to nowhere, I must head home and allow Him to help me relocate my True North.

Have you lost your way? Get off the road for a bit.

Head home. A cozy spot close to His heart has your name on it.

 

May: Break Every Chain

Break Every Chain | 3dlesosns4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How are things going with [insert name of my tough cookie here]? she asked.

“The same,” I responded. Nothing has changed. Her spiritual eyes are still darkened. She is seemingly deaf to the voice of the Lord.  Her pace is steadily progressing on the road to destruction with no U-turn in view.

So, I sit in my office and cry out to the One who came to set captives free.

And He tenderly reminds me:

My love breaks every chain.

 

June: Take it Easy

Take it Easy | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I gathered up my belongings to head back home, my dad leaned in to give me the traditional Cuban kiss on the cheek and smiled.

“Cojelo suave,” he said. Take it easy, kid.

Suave is not my style. My style is harried and hurried. I want to stuff more into my day, and I stretch out the week by staying up way too late. I am the proverbial 5-year-old in pig tails refusing to rest when her eyes are obviously heavy with sleep.

I drove home with my dad’s words on my heart.  Cojelo suave

My spirit hears the tender voice of my Savior inviting me to lay down my load, sit down at His feet, and take it easy for a spell.

What would happen if I did?

 

July: Be Blessing Counter

Be a Blessing Counter | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know I need to surrender my expectations. I know I need to walk in grace.

My unhappiness is not someone else’s problem. I can adopt a different perspective.

Rather than complain about what is not, I can choose to be thankful for what is.

I can determine to count my many blessings, and by naming them one by one, I will fight the ugly.

 

 

August: How to Fight the Worry Monster

How to Fight the Worry Monster | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I have the worry gene,” I confessed.  Left alone with my thoughts for more than 90 seconds, I will construct an imaginary apocalypse.

The Worry Monster is lurking around in the corners of my mind seeking to squelch my joy and steal my serenity.

Have you met the Worry Monster?  His ability to magnify your fears knows no bounds if you give him free rein.

Just a few days ago, I received a series of frantic texts from a friend who was facing the bully head on.  My response was simple:

Stop, Breathe, and Pray.

It’s like stop, drop and roll when your mind is on fire. You must turn your worries into prayers.

 

September: How to Host a Pity Party

How to Host a Pity Party | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pobrecita literally means “poor little thing.” When Barby says it, it’s a term of endearment and deep understanding.

Pobrecita is quite similar to the Southern girl’s “Bless her heart.” And, because I speak Spanglish and had a close friend from Macon, Georgia in college, sometimes I will use these two phrases in conjunction for double the emphasis.

Pobrecita.  Pray for her. Bless her heart.

The problem is that unlike Barby, I do not always have the gift of mercy. Sometimes, I think I have the spiritual gift of complaining (Yes, I know that this is not actually a fruit of the Spirit. I am working on that.)

So, I like to think: “Pobrecita Me!”

…My Pobrecita Persona can really rob me of my joy if I let it sit in the driver’s seat of my heart.

Pobrecita Me loves to throw a good pity party.

 

October: Just Breathe for 31 Days

Just Breathe for 31 Days | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m tired of running ragged.  I want to be still and know that He is God.

I want to press in to know Him and spend my time investing in moments that have eternal significance.

I’ve forgotten how to “just breathe” and be.

Are you tried of the endless, crazy hamster wheel of life?   We’ve raced along on an adrenaline-infused rhythm for so long that taking a break seems boring, barren, and baseless.

The enemy loves to get us busy.

When was the last time you “just breathed,” friend?

Let’s slow down together and remember that inhaling is a gift of His mercy.

 

November: Being Politically Right is Not About Me

Being Politically Right is Not About Me 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why can’t we just learn to listen to one another and realize that no one in the White House is going to make things right?

We live in a broken world, and only God can redeem and restore us. He alone can uproot the seeds of sin and death that our willful, disobedient choices have planted.  Only God can unite and heal what seems completely broken and divided.

As we look toward the next four years, what exactly is my role as a Daughter of the King in the midst of a disruptive, captive land? My job is not to prove how right I am. I am not here to be the Holy Spirit and convict the hearts of men….

 

December: Christmas Heart

Christmas Heart | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t want Christmas to be about the perfectly decorated tree or the number of beautifully wrapped presents.

If I don’t have Christmas in my heart, I will never find it under the tree.

This year, I want my heart to be the only present under the tree. I want to offer my weary, ready for nap heart to Jesus.

It’s a good thing He loves broken and needy people. Because I really need Him.

Instead of running ragged on the Christmas treadmill this year, I am going to jump off the crazy train and plop down at His feet in my jammies.

There will be no stockings hung by the chimney with care, but I will be hanging on to Jesus.

I’m going to wrap up my heart in the wonder of Him this Christmas.

 

Q4U:   If you were to rewind your 2016, where would you note God’s fingerprints of grace all over your story?

“Rewind: The Year in Review 2016.”

 

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