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Sermon: The Power of Woman by Dr. Myles Munroe

2004 Women’s Conference presentation.

Modern culture has reversed the roles from ancient biblical times. Roles have been confused with their purpose.

Staying home does not make you a woman.

Working does not make you a man.

First three questions to ask during courtship/dating.

  • Do you love God’s presence?
  • Are you working?
  • Can you improve me?

Alone = All in one / all one

The Woman’s Reaction to Societal Constructs

  • Rediscover their original purpose
  • The female can only be fulfilled when she understands and submits to this purpose.

Notes from Dr. Munroe’s slides

The Woman’s Reaction to Societal Constructs

  • Rediscover their original purpose
  • The female can only be fulfilled when she understands and submits to this purpose.

The Principle of Purpose

  1. God is a God of purpose
  2. Everything was created with and for a purpose
  3. Not every purpose is known.
  4. Where purpose is not known abuse is inevitable.
  5. If you want to know the purpose of a thing, never ask the thing.
  6. Purpose is only found in the mind of the maker of the thing.
  7. Purpose is the key to fulfillment and preservation.

Understanding the Creation of Mankind

  • God created MAN (THE SPECIES, PLURAL)
  • Man is a CREATED spirit with God’s nature
  • Spirits have no gender
  • The physical assignments to a spiritual being
  • God MADE the MALE and FEMALE
  • MAN and WOMAN are the same, MALE and FEMALE are different
  • Male and female are earth suits for the MAN and WOMAN.

Male and Female

  • Male and Female are equal but different.
  • Male and female compliment each others.
  • Male and female are both leaders and lead differently.
  • Male and female respond differently.
  • Male and female are respond differently
  • Male and female have different needs

Male and Female Purpose

  • Male
    • Image
    • Worshipper
    • Dominator – leader
    • Head
    • Provider
    • Cultivator
    • Protector
    • Developer
    • Teacher
    • Giver
    • Source
  • Female
    • Image
    • Worshipper
    • Dominator – Leader
    • Helper
    • Incubator
    • Producer
    • Encourager/supporter
    • Nurturer
    • Prophetess
    • Receiver
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What I Know about Coaching

Coaching is a build-up process.

If someone is tearing you down or making you feel less-than, they are not coaching you. They are attempting to deconstruct you to better acclimate you to their nature and tolerances.

What I Know About Coaching

Criticism is not coaching

Last week, I was pulled into an impromptu meeting at 8:30am by my manager. He called it a “coaching” session, yet began by telling me I had gotten into a full-on argument with a client on the phone and was condescending, combative, and argumentative. I interjected with, “I did not argue with anyone.” He then told me I was being defensive and he wasn’t going to battle back and forth with me.

I’m rarely in the mood to be called names, but nonsense at 8:30am before coffee by someone who had none of my respect due to their lack of management skills made for a very succinct and direct rebuttal.

I didn’t appreciate having my character, personality and tone mischaracterized. Most definitely not in words commonly used to stereotype, demonize and dismiss Black Women. And absolutely not by the only Black Male manager on the open floor he was dressing me down on.

He didn’t appreciate me speaking up for myself. He actually said he was stunned at my response. Meaning he was stunned that I didn’t quietly accept what he called “criticism.”

He claimed that the caller had called back to complain. He said he had listened to the call and heard me sounding argumentative, condescending, combative and defensive. Because he seemed so surprised that my voice was calm throughout the call when he played it back for us both, I concluded that one of the white women sitting near to me flagged the call time because they took offense at my confidence (the caller had hung up while I was transferring her to a colleague). I did make comments about the call with the person I was transferring to after I realized the caller had hung up.

While the manager listened to the call for what seemed to be his first time, he said with surprise, “I agree with everything you’re saying. It’s clear she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” However, he eventually clung to my drawling the word, “Yes.” As a very condescending inflection.

He kept asking me, “You don’t think you’re being condescending?”

I kept replying adamantly, “No, I don’t.”

I’ve been in customer service for 30 years. Birthed and bred in McDonald’s customer care where the customer is always right and when they’re not, we refer back to rule #1, smiles are free and listed as such on the menu. I matured on executive floors with extremely entitled personalities and received compliments on my professionalism, discretion and diplomacy throughout every level of service.

The only people in all these years to ever call me “defensive” are who were set on diminishing and silencing me. Managers and teachers who didn’t want to be questioned or corrected. Those who didn’t want any standouts or freethinkers in their ranks. 

The 8:30am critical “coaching” session is now viewed as a marker in my life.

Building Self

One of my favorite self-esteem boosting quotes in high school and college was, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” by Eleanor Roosevelt.

One of my favorite affirmations when I began Bible Study years ago was, “This is my Bible. I am who it says I am.”

There have been many times where I have simply bit my tongue to allow a conversation to end with no fuel from me. Most of those times I would ruminate on what was being said and come back the next day with a calm measured rebuttal or follow-up questions. The time I took to think was also a cool down period. For most of the last twenty years, I’ve had managers I’ve highly respected… with a job I loved at a company I wanted to stay with. It may go without saying, but I’ll say it: my former managers did not call me names. If they needed to correct behavior, they spoke their mind plainly – told me what the issue was, what my actions were and what they should have been for their desired outcome.  

If I go further back in life, there were very few points during my formative years when I spoke up for myself. I looked to my parents and elders hoping they would speak on my behalf. At an early adolescent age, I realized my parents were not interested in defending me with their words. They didn’t really value words as defense or guidance. Mostly because they stayed in scrappy survival mode.

In my early teens, I began to actively reject words people tried to forced into me. My way of rejecting at the time was telling myself I was not what they were calling me. I would then tell myself who and what I was. It was an internal process.

Back to now. Here I am in my late forties, finally speaking up in the moment, telling someone they can keep their negative words about me. All while he’s basically begging me to agree with him that I’m a difficult and unpleasant person.

Honestly, as unpleasant as the experience was, it is an absolutely amazing illustration of how the enemy cannot destroy us without our complicity. What is someone trying to get you to agree to that is counter to who you are?

He pseudo-manager fired me. Of course, he didn’t tell me directly. I got a call from my agency thirty minutes before the end of my shift. He told them the reason was because I couldn’t handle criticism. I told the rep, “That’s a lie. I literally just finished an hour of coaching with another manager who knows how to speak to people and got a good amount of guidance from him.”

That being said, I don’t think there’s been anywhere God has allowed me to stay that did not benefit my spirit. If a place is turning me dark, He cuts the cord. I always think I can hold on for my material goals, but my goals have never held any weight with His will and plan.   

Good coaching makes all-stars out of novices

I ran track and trained in field sports throughout my youth. I played basketball throughout high school and into college. I understand teams and individual performance. I appreciate coaching and training.

I started playing basketball at the age of fourteen. Prior to trying out for the freshmen squad, I had never held a basketball. I was made to feel very awkward in my skin. I was tall, skinny and often tripped over my long limbs. My family called me clumsy and uncoordinated. I believed them.

During the first two years of high school I lived with an aunt. During freshmen year, shortly after I joined the basketball team, she attended one practice game. Afterwards she told me she wasn’t going to bother coming again since I couldn’t play anyway. She never saw me improve. She never witnessed the athlete I developed into. She wasn’t a coach.

My coach didn’t believe what my aunt said I was.

My three coaches turned me into an all-star by junior year. Senior year I was co-captain of the Girls Varsity Basketball Team.

I know what good coaching will produce. Good coaching creates results previously unimaginable.

Praise God always. We don’t have to know or see anything as long as He is in charge of our lives. Give thanks and be blessed as you go.

#allihavetosay #thankyoulord #morningreflection #fired #job #woes #toxicworkplace #keepmovingforward #harvestlifer #harvestlife #joycomesinthemorning #love #peace #joy #nofucksgiven #zerofucks #unshakeable

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Quote: “Parted from me yet never parted.”

Last week’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds used a beautiful greeting between lovers that really spoke to me. It was repurposed from the original Star Trek series, Season 2, Episode 1.

T’Pring: “Spock. It is I.”

Spock: “T’Pring. Parted from me, and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. We meet at the appointed place.”

T’Pring: “Spock. Parted from me, and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. We meet at the appointed place. I await you.”

(Star Trek, 1967; Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, 2022)

Shortly before hearing this greeting, I had written a poem with a similar theme (see next post for full poem), snippet below.

Reality is never knowing you
Even as my spirit calls you home.
Though we’ve only ever shared shy fleeting touches, my body
Flushes with memory of joys
Yet to come.
How can there be certainty of a future while languishing on a broken detoured path?

#startrek #starcrossedlovers #poem

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Exploring Love, Compassion & Character w/Cory, Ketanji, Chris, Jada, Will

In this video I explore love, compassion and character through recent public interactions with Senator Cory Booker, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith.

“I want the world to see your character.” ~ Sen. Cory Booker

Definitions

Compassion: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others

Character: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual

Love: an intense feeling of deep affection

“I want to be a vessel for love.” ~ Will Smith

Reference verses:

Philippians 2:1-4 (love and compassion)

1 John 3:12-16 (love and compassion)

1 John 4:7-11 (love)

Romans 5:3-5 (character)

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Video MR 3.1: Prelude: Womanhood Juxtaposed with The Crown on Netflix

“Who do you think you are? The Queen of England?”

Have you ever wondered who Elizabeth II, the Queen of England thinks she is? This first part of our third Marriage & Relationship study discussion explores the roles of women within a discussion of The Crown on Netflix.

The last two #Zoom discussions were recorded and I’m working to get them posted to this blog. As I review them for editing, I’m convinced this series should have been titled “Bible Conversations with Friends” or something similar. The faceless voice you hear in this video is my long-time friend, Dorina. When Dorina and I met over thirteen years ago in a corporate office in New York City, she didn’t identify herself as a believer and I had just begun my intentional faith walk and Bible learning.

Over the years, I’ve ascended and descended on the waves of life. There were some points when Dorina considered herself an ashiest or agnostic but would still engage in conversations about my faith journey. Four years ago, she began her own intentional faith walk and has been most interested in discussing marriage and divorce, ergo the title of this series. I’m truly glad to be able to share some of our great conversations with you all! Even better, you’re welcome to join us! Email for up-to-date details.

You can watch Part 3.1 of the discussion on Adam & Eve here:

Marriage & Relationship: Modern Concepts vs. Biblical Principles
Part 3: Adam/Adamah + Chavah/Eve | Man + Woman | Human + Spirit
Text: Genesis 1-5, Revelation 22

Video Part 3.1: Prelude: Womanhood Juxtaposed to The Crown on Netflix

  • Intro: Culture of Womanhood
  • Navigating roles of woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother | Queen, Princess, Prime Minister
  • Which role(s) do you abdicate in your life?
  • Which role(s) do you focus on daily or regularly?
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Marriage & Relationship Study Primer

I’ve mined the depths of my blog to give you easy access to material related to Marriage & Relationship: Modern Concepts vs. Biblical Practices! This list was pulled from eleven years of content to aid, boost or guide study. Read through at your leisure.

Studies

Study: Courage to Trust God’s Plan
Study: Courage to Build, Maintain and Restore Relationships
Study: Courage to Hear, See, Believe and Obey God
Faith Study, Part 1: The One in Whom We Believe (Hebrews)
Women in the Bible: RUTH

Bible Chapters

A Chapter a Day: Ruth 1
A Chapter a Day: Ruth 2
A Chapter a Day: Ruth 3
A Chapter a Day: Ruth 4
ACAD – Nations: Genesis 17
ACAD – Nations: Genesis 18
ACAD – Praise: Genesis 29
ACAD – Blessings: Genesis 48
ACAD – Praise: Genesis 49
Romans 8: Life in the Spirit…, God’s Everlasting Love
ACAD – Helper: Hebrews 13

Pop Culture vs. The Bible

Pop Culture vs. The Bible: Intro
Pop Culture vs. The Bible: For the Sake of His Praise

Relationship

A Personal Relationship with God is Paramount
Khalil Gibran on Joy and Sorrow
My Greatest Enemy
Proving Ground
People who hide themselves are impossible to know.
Devotional: Not My Will, But Yours
When Truth Destroys
Face-to-Face: Sharing God’s Glory With One Another
Kahlil Gibran on Reason and Passion

Women

Who do you want to be like?
Trust no man… 
No hero is coming to save me.
Minister to me.
A Foolish Woman vs. A Wise Woman
Wife… do you respect me?
Women in the Bible: WOMEN of FAITH

Men

A Faithless Man vs. A Faithful Man
Who will speak for this woman?
An Open Letter: Woman to Man
Husband… do you love me?

Marriage

Man & Wife = Leadership & Management
25 Things to Think Twice About Before You Marry
My hopes for my marriage
Our Nakedness
Awareness of Nakedness
Sacrifice, Submission, Surrender
Interview: Matt & Sarah Hammitt on Their Marriage & Song (Lead Me)
Testimony: Charlie & Dorothy Duke: The Greatest Walk Ever
Samson’s Purpose was Greater than Marriage
Singleness is not the prize.
My husband is not my soul mate. Shawnda’s response to “My Husband is Not My Soul Mate”
I AM HE
He Is My Husband…
A Lesson in 1 Kings 13 – Man of God from Judah Meets the Old Prophet from Bethel
The Importance of Communication
Separation from the Unequally Yoked

Family

Sermon: Family Matters – Present
Family Matters – Past
Sermon: Family Matters – Future
What are you teaching your children?

Faith & Obedience

Think on these things…
Are You Saying “NO” to God?
Pleasing God While in the World
Happy Thoughts in the Morning
Healed to the best of your understanding.

Love

Meister Eckhart on love…
About Love
Show Me the Love
Can I Love You?
I asked to be a lover…
…and the people said “HELL NO!”
I Love You, But God Loves You More
Love Anyway: Things I Learned During My Harvest
Devotional: Love and Justice

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ACAD – Remnant: Genesis 45

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your animals and go back to the land of Canaan. Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the land.’ You are further charged to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Give no thought to your possessions, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments. To his father he sent the following: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. Then he sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Do not quarrel along the way.”

So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” He was stunned; he could not believe them. But when they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.”

Genesis 45:1-28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Genesis%2045:1-28&version=NRSV

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Seduced by the Enemy, Part 3: Wanting to be seduced

Showtime aired a series called Penny Dreadful. It’s a comulgation of numerous horror stories from myths, literature, pop culture and religious texts. It’s a show I wasn’t interested in being interested in. I caught an episode here and there and the storyline began to intrigue me. After a while I was looking for the show. This last season had a Bride of Dracula theme that reached deeper into darkness than that story.

The pursuit

The heroine’s name is Vanessa Ives, a devout believer in God who believes she is damned and being pursued by demons. To protect herself she used witchcraft, spells and chants. During the third and final season Miss Ives learned that the demons stalking her life are Dracula, who was presented as the brother of “Lucifer the fallen angel”, and Lucifer himself. They both were fighting to claim her because they believed she was the Mother of Evil and would usher in the end of days and reign with her chosen partner for ten thousand years. She learns this in a hypnotized dream-state so she had no idea of the form Dracula took in the physical world to pursue her but she knew he was close. A portion of her conversation with the two went like this:

Dracula: You are powerful…become the wolf, the bat, and the scorpion. Be truly who you are.

Lucifer: He’s appealing to your lust. Your appetites. You are spirit and soul.

Dracula: You want her soul. I don’t need it. Give me your flesh. Give me your blood. Be my bride…. I love you for who you are, Vanessa.

Vanessa: I see you clearly now. Two brothers fallen from grace. The spirit and the animal. You seek my soul and you my body, but both belongs to another. He who vanquished you. He who is my protector and stands with me even now.

Dracula: Who are you to defy me?

Vanessa: I am nothing. No more than a blade of grass, but I am. You think you know evil, here it stands…. I tried to be normal…then he asked me about my faith and I answered truthfully: God’s immortal glory lives in me as in all of us.

At the point of that conversation, Vanessa had not yet met Dracula in the flesh. However, by the time she recalled the conversation years later, she had already met him and was already falling for him in the physical world. He was an unassuming museum director who came across as bashfully charming and somewhat forgetful. By the time she realized who he was, she was already firmly caught in his web. The seduction had already happened and she was no longer interested in resisting. When she confronted him, she thought she still had a fighting chance to save herself and to defeat him. She railed at him that she would never submit to him. He calmly replied, “I don’t want your submission. I want to serve you. Accept me.”

As she fell into his arms in actual surrender, she professed, “I accept myself.”

She had been running from him and his expectations of her, accepting herself could only mean she had finally accepted all the evil she knew she was capable of. As she surrendered in Dracula’s arms he bit her neck and began her process of dying.

Coming to grips with reality

“What is planted in the soil of contemplation will be harvested in action.”

For most of this year, I have been in a state of running constantly along a mental scale balancing between what I’ve long thought to be my future and what is presented before me right now. I teeter between everything I’ve come to believe is required of me and alternatives that may detour me but may also flesh out my life, i.e. fulfill certain areas.

I’ve come to a point where temptation has lost its mystique and air of danger. I used to run from things that tempted me to act against my best interests, but now those things appear as non-threatening options and opportunities to change and/or improve my life in some way. I’ve reached a point where the thought of giving in to a seduction sounds much better than not being wanted at all. The pursuit, even by the enemy, is a declaration of sorts that can translate to a lonely and tired heart that there is some worth to this life especially if someone finds something of value in me to pursue. Something precious to them to battle for. It becomes unimportant in the moment, that that something may be my soul. After all, what can I see of my soul in this life?

Becoming the seductress

After the serpent seduced Eve into disobedience, she turned and seduced Adam into the same. She thought something better than what she had in hand was at her fingertips. She reached, she tasted, she offered. After giving in to a pursuer, becoming the seductress is a natural next step – even if only to share the ecstasy of your fall from grace.

Wanting what we want transforms us. We become active in our efforts to acquire what we desire. We find ways to be where we want to be and get what we want to get. We use our wiles, our charm, and our coyness. We tantalize with the chime of our laughter, the lilt of our voice and the movement of our bodies. In some species, this is part of the mating ritual. But for humans, we add deeper or shallower connotations to our biological urges and tendencies. Essentially, we want to be wanted and we need to love. There is no more basic desire than to share life with someone with whom the wanting and love is mutually reciprocated. And therein lies the foothold for temptation to take root and lay a path to disappointment and possibly destruction.

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Don’t lead with your pain.

There’s been an unconscious mantra making rounds in my head for the last few months. Don’t lead with your pain. Simple enough as thoughts go. A complex algorithm as far as implementation goes. No matter where I begin my life story, death has a starring role… or at least a pivotal one. I’ve always thought so anyway. In recent months, I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell my story differently. What do I begin with? How do I punctuate or embellish? How do I include others in my current narrative?

In January, my company moved to a new location. The office space was shuffled like musical chairs and I was eager to meet and get to know new people – people I hadn’t been sitting near for the last five years. I’ve been making my rounds in the new office – chatting, dining, walking and cycling with people. Getting to know them from where I am now. Repeating to myself all along, don’t lead with your pain. Don’t mention Mom (dead). Don’t mention siblings (dead, dead, in prison, drug addict). Don’t mention dad (dead). Don’t mention singleness (lonely). Don’t mention friends (deserters). Don’t mention hopes (disappointment). Don’t mention dreams (deferred). Don’t mention ambition (dust). Don’t mention life (pointless).

It doesn’t sound as if I’m left with much, but I give thanks as often as I remember for the measure of joy, and faith God has blessed me with. These two things keep me going. They keep me moving. They add purpose to my days, my years, my life. I love conversation. There’s no pleasure like eating a good meal with good company and good company is revealed through good conversation. Walking in the fresh air brings peace and serenity even if for only the duration of the walk. And cycling has become the joy of my life. In sharing these activities, I have lead with my joy – simple everyday joy-filled moments. I have opened myself to begin new narratives with each new person I engage with.

I’m coming to embrace the idea that my story doesn’t have to be about me, ergo my pain. Perhaps my story is the prologue to our story. Our individual stories flow into the multiplicity of us. How do we begin? Where to do we start? What are we leading with?

Just a thought, but everything begins with death, darkness, or a void.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. {Genesis 1:1-2}

Be blessed as you go.

Shawnda

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7 Truths About Marriage You Will Not Hear In Church

NisheEver wish you had the answers to a test before you walked into the classroom? Maybe some of you did have the answers, but you better keep that to yourself. I took some really hard tests during my time in college. And if you spent time in college you remember review days. The professor would…

via 7 Truths About Marriage You Will Not Hear In Church — Thought Catalog