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Quote: Two powers in the world…

“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”
Muhammad Ali Jinnah

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Women, Power & Greatness

I have been fortunate to work for powerful women for most of my work life. They aren’t running the world, but they are certainly running their lives and are sought-after leaders in their professions. I didn’t get along with some and others were difficult to acclimate to. There were even some rocky patches with the women with whom I formed very good work relationships. Every woman I have ever worked for has been opinionated, outspoken, ambitious, direct and unapologetically herself. That is what I love and respect about each of them. The ones I didn’t get along with were the ones who didn’t respect me as an individual with thoughts independent of theirs. The ones I worked well with, were the ones who not only respected my individuality but also respected my counsel.

When you stand in the presence of greatness – any form of greatness – you learn to be a greater version of yourself.

Just as iron sharpens iron, greatness begets greatness.



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Womanhood: The Seat of Feminine Power

Over the past few years I have come to the realization that the  feminist agenda has become the death of femininity. The essence of womanhood is buried deeper and deeper into rhetoric and nonsense with each new political agenda women and men dream up regarding equality between the sexes.

When I was younger, I screamed for equal rights and recognition as loudly as the next woman. However, as I have grown and matured in my womanhood, I realize that there is nothing about manhood that I want or aspire to be. I have come to view the feminist political agenda as a battle cry for aspiring to maleness.

I am not equal to man. Nor do I want to be viewed as such. I am not interested in being slapped on the back, punched in the face or wrestled to the floor. I am not interested in nose to nose combat or shoulder to shoulder competition for rewards that appeal to men. I AM A WOMAN. I was created purposefully and significantly different from a man. I function differently. I think differently. I desire differently. I pursue differently. I plan differently. I live differently. Women and men are different beings. That is okay.

No man is my equal. No man can nurture and birth life within their body. Manhood is a completely different process and experience than womanhood. No man is going to understand firsthand the monthly flow of my blood or the ache of my breasts. No man can fully empathize with my swelling or my birthing. Nor can any man fully appreciate all my concerns about pregnancy – the ability to become pregnant, capability of carrying a healthy child to term, the timing of pregnancy, location of birth and considerations of how to bring a child into the world – in a hospital medicated into oblivion, or cut open to accommodate a doctor’s schedule or someplace focused on my peace of mind and spirit. Women have a creative power that is fed from a spiritual well. And we are losing touch with our true selves with each successive generation that buys into the “think-like-a-man/be-like-a-man” foolery.

Women have a different seat of power than men do, which leads to a different expression of power than men have. We’ve been throwing away our power because we think what men have is so much better. It’s not. Men depend on us much more than we depend on them. Ask one. Then ask follow-up questions. His love or his hate of womanhood is going to be rooted to a woman who was prominent in his life and therefore had great influence in the man he has become.

American women have allowed themselves, and men in general, to minimize the importance of family. The woman is the true power in the home and the man is the natural authority. Why has this become so abhorrent? Power and authority when joined together is magnificent. Women are the incubators and birthers of generations. Yet we have allowed the deterioration of society to make us feel as if we are only sexual organs, paychecks and a vote. That’s what a strict adherence to feminist political theory has gotten us. We’ve degenerated ourselves, yet we are looking to men to build us back up. We have the power to recreate our public image and we are more than capable of doing so.

Women have the power to change how we are represented in the media and the substance of our representation via entertainment. More and more we have delegated the raising of our children to society-at-large, entertainment, schools, neighborhoods, friends and extended family. We lament about a disconnected society without acknowledging that we disconnected from our homes first. The family is the first unit of society. When we disregard our power and influence within our family (with our spouse, children and other family relationships) we are also disregarding our power and influence in larger society circles.

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ACAD: Giving Thanks – 1 Corinthians 1

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you — so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Divisions in the Church

I appeal to you, brothers,[a] by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach[b] to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,[c] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being[d] might boast in the presence of God. And because of him[e] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to uswisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”


  1. 1 Corinthians 1:10 Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God’s family, the church; also verses 11, 26
  2. 1 Corinthians 1:21 Or the folly of preaching
  3. 1 Corinthians 1:26 Greek according to the flesh
  4. 1 Corinthians 1:29 Greek no flesh
  5. 1 Corinthians 1:30 Greek And from him

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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“Don’t worry, I’ve got you!”

SupeNLoisAs“Don’t worry, I’ve got you!”

Remember when Superman caught Lois Lane mid-air and said these words to her? Lois looked at him incredulously and said, “You’ve got me, but who’s got you?!?!”

I never thought of it this way, but it’s just come to me. She wasn’t interested in his power. She wasn’t interested in his strength. Nor his ability to fly. She wasn’t even impressed that he had saved her from certain death. Her one and only question was about HOW he was able to do that. WHO was EMPOWERING him? In other words, she could have said: Yeah, you may have me for the moment, but when your steam runs out, then what?

I’m passing on the question: Who’s got you?

When you’re doing superhuman feats, are you relying on your own strength or the Source that supplies you?

When you’re receiving supernatural help, are you aware of who is enabling the person reaching out to you?

God has you covered and supported. He’s the power of the universe. Nothing greater. Relax into Him. He’s been wooing you and whispering to you for a long time: “Don’t worry. I’ve got you.”

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Seduced by the Enemy, Part 1: Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy

Can one born in sin truly recognize sin?
If all of life is a thought, then what is death?
If faith is an alignment of mind, heart and will, then what is doubt?
If no weapon formed against a believer can harm them, then how can a believer be destroyed?
If nothing can separate a believer from the love of God, then what can possibly turn a believer away from God?
If Jesus Christ died for me, why is it so hard to live completely for Him?

These questions may sound philosophical, but they have very practical answers.


Part 1: Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy

1. to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt
2. to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance

“Seduction” has a romantic connotation in world culture, however, synonyms for the word “seduce” include decoy, lure, deceive and tempt. None of those words have a romantic ring to them. The word “enemy” can also be misleading, in that it leads one to look outward for danger instead of inward. The spiritual attacks aimed at knocking believers from their walk with God targets the believer’s internal organisms of belief, faith, heart and thoughts. Even though the perpetrator of the attacks is the spirit we know as Satan or the devil or the god of this world, our most dangerous potential enemy is our self. The self that can be seduced into believing something other than the truth. The self that can be beguiled into a change of heart and led astray from their faith. The self that can be deceived into thinking they are less than they are. In a very real sense, a believer can seduce their own self away from God.

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.   ~ 1 John 5:18-19, 21

If we believe God’s word, nothing Satan/the devil/the evil one attacks us with will harm us. We have only to stand and resist his attacks. Faith is our shield and the Word of God is our sword. The Word of God says that our faith will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:11-17). Above we read in 1 John 5:18 that the evil one cannot touch us. So if the evil one, aka Satan aka the devil cannot breach our faith, how can he harm us?

He can only succeed against us when we are without our faith – when we have set aside our shield.

Does one not become one’s own worst enemy if one is assured of victory, yet chooses to forfeit said victory?

We are our biggest enemy because we have the ability to choose between life and death – every day, every step, every thought. Satan can’t do that for us, he can only camouflage death (choices leading to death) to make them look like life (or rather the type of life we seek in the world).  

It’s important for a believer to know who they are in Christ – saved, delivered, anointed, more than a conqueror, ambassador of Christ, minister of reconciliation, a priest, and a king seated in heavenly places. It is equally important to know who we are when we are not in Christ. When we operate in the flesh (seeking to satisfy our SELF) we are on a slippery slope leading to sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Believers who are susceptible to seduction by the enemy are those who think they can accept Christ, God’s saving grace, and still operate outside of Him, outside of God’s grace. Those who believe they can praise the Lord in the morning and still speak death to their life in the evening. Those who plant a fruitful tree yet starve it at the roots. Their left hand is not aware of the doings of the right. And their thoughts are not expressed by their actions.

I am such a susceptible believer.   

I am the most dangerous and destructive enemy I will ever encounter. I need to know that about myself.

You need to know that about yourself.

There is nothing that comes against you that can do more damage than what comes from within you. So the true battle is getting your SELF under control. Once you are in control of your SELF (or every time you regain control of your SELF), submit your SELF under the authority of Christ. It is through Christ that we have the power to continue to walk according to the Spirit of God and it is through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God that we are convicted and corrected of our errors during our walk.

I thank God for His firm hold on me and His persistent voice within me.    

The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit, not with our flesh (our SELF, our sinful nature). So don’t be seduced by SELF (by your flesh, your sinful nature) into seeking temporary worldly pleasures over God’s eternal promises.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.    ~ Galatians 5:22-26

 Q:  How many times must I die to self in order to live in Christ?

A:  As many times as it takes to REMAIN in Christ.

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Small Ripples, Big Impact

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers — the moon and the stars you set in place — what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?  ~ Psalm 8:3-4

Life lesson: though I may be a pebble or a tiny insignificant grain of sand, the ripple effect of my life can be great.

Over the last few months, I’ve been trying harder than usual to make sense of life (in general) and the people who have crossed my path (more specifically). Attempting to understand the vagaries of life and relationships has proved to be a futile effort which soon ended with me throwing up my hands and accepting that nothing matters at all. A devastating thought. Crushing, actually, and depressing because if nothing in life matters, it stood to reason that I didn’t matter either.

I concluded that I’m not significant to anything or anyone. It didn’t matter how I loved or showed love, what I said or what I did, if I showed up or if I didn’t, it didn’t matter what I thought or believed, what I learned or what I dismissed. Nothing about the process of my journey mattered, or my experiences or my lessons. It all amounted to naught. From inception I was a waste and my time here could be likened to a waiting room, a transition space I paused in before being released into a place where my existence would matter. A paradise where my love would be accepted and my open heart would not be derided or neglected.

My underlining thought was: How much longer must I suffer here, in a world full of people who have no care for me, no concern, no openness, no honesty, no true sense of sharing?

I hadn’t dared approach my heart condition during this season of brokenness. Primarily, because I had believed myself to be in a season of wholeness. A season of recovery. I had believed myself to be in the midst of reaping a bountiful harvest of blessings – so joyful of heart and spirit, so clear of mind and purpose. I wanted to enjoy every moment of that sense of wholeness without giving one iota of concentration to the encroaching darkness, the crippling loneliness, the horrendous sadness. This month, I’ve reached a point where I not only have to concentrate on my dark, lonely sadness, but I also have to give voice to it in order to let it go. I have to acknowledge it so I can shine a light on it and defeat it.

About face on Facebook

One issue in the midst of all this is technology. I have increasingly become discouraged with technology, primarily social media. The internet makes you feel only a few clicks away from people living hundreds or thousands of miles away. That accessibility creates a false sense of intimacy and that false sense of intimacy makes online interactions feel like real relationships. That’s the web I got entangled in, during a time I was confronted with the fact that my person-to-person relationships didn’t amount to a hill of beans either. So, in effect, I crashed due to a software malfunction or overload because I was trying to compute people in my actual and virtual worlds with malware.

A few months ago, I deactivated my Facebook account because I felt I wasn’t benefiting anyone, therefore it wasn’t benefiting me.

A line from Reese Witherspoon’s 2006 Oscar acceptance speech for Walk the Line, has never left my mind. Her whole speech is beautiful and encouraging for any woman doing any work in this world, but her closing line, which she attributed to June Carter, sums up this whole internal conflict of mine:

I want to say that my — my grandmother was one of the biggest inspirations in my life. She taught me how to be a real woman, to have strength and self-respect, and to never give those things away. And those were a lot of qualities I saw in June Carter. And people used to ask June how — how she was doin’. And she used to say, “I’m just tryin’ to matter.” And, I know what she means, you know. I’m just trying to matter and live a good life and make work that means something to somebody.  ~ Reese Witherspoon

I, too, want to matter. I want to count for something. I want to feel as if my presence isn’t a waste of space in this continuum of life.

This weekend God showed me how I mattered to His network. Oh, being shown my place in His web of connections has had an equally awe-inspiring and humbling impact on me! I’m still processing… but from a clean reboot this time.

Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority…  ~ Psalm 8:5-6

I matter to the Most High. And His words of love have been penetrating me this weekend!

I opened an email from Cyndy Lavoie yesterday after posting This Time. Her email had been sitting in my spam folder for exactly seven days. I hadn’t even been trying to look at email let alone spam, but a series of erratic movements with my mouse pulled her email up before I even realized what I was looking at. As a matter of fact, I sat looking at her name for at least a full minute, blinking, trying to guess at why I would have an email from her.

See, Cyndy Lavoie is a contact from Facebook that I corresponded with no more than 5-7 times via FB page posts or blog comments over the pass summer. We have never met, nor have we spoken voice-to-voice. She lives across the continent in another country. I had linked to her blog through the page of a mutual “friend” on Facebook. Her blog posts touched my heart and I sensed we were on a similar journey.

She started her email to me with: “Not sure if you remember me, we met on Facebook (somehow!! LOL) and you have been coming to mind lately, and it occurred to me that I’ve not seen you on Facebook for quite some time.”

God’s Social Network

In addition to to the onslaught of my technical difficulties, I started attending a new church. For pretty much the full time I was on Facebook, I read The Daily Bible Verse every day. I posted scripture and commentary from it regularly on my pages. Some time before closing down my Facebook page,  I noticed the pastor writing the commentary headed a church in New York City. One day I googled the church.  In September, I contacted the pastor and inquired about the small group Bible studies listed on the church’s website. He invited me to the one that evening and I’ve been participating ever since.

Today, after service, many of us went to lunch. On the walk to the restaurant, a young, very lively couple introduced themselves to me. I learned that they had just relocated back to New York after a year living in Texas. Through the course of the afternoon, I learned she’s an actress and he’s a software developer. I was seated quite a few people down the table from them, but their energy was so contagious I moved closer so I could hear their conversation. As I pulled up a recently vacated seat, Carl, the husband, said, “LaShawnda, I was hoping to be able to speak to you! I heard that you found the church through The Daily Bible Verse.”

“I did! It’s been an amazing experience!”

“I’m the developer that developed The Daily Bible Verse. It’s been taking off like you wouldn’t believe.”

“Getoutahere! You’re a person! {Yes, I said that!} I thought it might be some corporation with layers and layers of ridiculousness!”

“Nope – maybe one day! For now, it’s just me and Dave. I’m the technical guy and he’s the commentator.”

I don’t think I can adequately explain how powerful this is to me. Carl and Dave impacted my life before I ever met them, saw them or knew their names. They were part of my day. Part of my study and learning. I have shared the product of their work with people I don’t know, haven’t met or seen. They are both modest men, living modest lives who share a passion for the Word of God and a desire to distribute the Word to the masses. Upon meeting them both, I told them how their work impacted my life. Though the meetings were months apart, their responses were the same, “Thank you, that encourages me!”

My amazement is for the way God has moved us all to the point of contact. We’ve come from all corners of this country and connected in New York City. We’ve gone back and forth with churches and arrived at Grace. More amazing, the majority of the Grace community are transplants. Looking at this maze of connectivity gives the lie to the thought that nothing matters. The “coincidences” of impact and connection points to the fact that EVERYTHING matters. Even when comprehension is out of reach. Even when darkness blocks the source of light. Even when life beats you down within a blink of giving up – that blink makes a world of difference.

The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.  ~ Stephen W. Hawking

Encourage Yourself by Donald Lawrence & the Tri-City Singers