A Good Name

Perfume

“A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.  And the day you die is better than the day you are born.”  -King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 7:1

The richest and wisest man on this entire earth left us this wise statement, “A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume…”  That wise man was King Solomon, and the quote is recorded in the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 7, Verse 1.

It’s not man who gets this privilege of this statement, but God does.

A man or woman judges according to his/her own understanding, most importantly, his/her own walk with their Lord.  If the relationship is a solid one then they’ll see and understand what it means to have “A good name!”

Not everyone will say good about you because they’re not good themselves.

So, then, what does it mean?  God is the only one you should be concerned about having a good name with.  The next statement goes on to say, “And the day you die is better than the day you are born.” Why?  Because it’s at death, we see the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. Victor, Overcomer, Savior, and Redeemer!

Only He needs to see your good name.  People can’t judge this no matter how wonderful they are.  They cannot read the heart of man; only God can do that.  Live for God.  Live to be holy and righteous before the only One that decides where you’ll spend eternity.  You can choose to have a good name before a holy and righteous God or with man who cannot save you from anything.  Choose to have a good name with Almighty God.

Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

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God Surprises Us

I love that God speaks to us in the everyday events of our lives!  Today at Animal Kingdom, we saw The Lion King Festival, Finding Nemo the Musical, and 3D It’s tough to be a bug. In each one, we got front seats and got to interact with the actors! I love to see my kids get the best, and I make no apologies for it! I love them and enjoy surprising them because they’re great kids, and I love to reward them and see their joyous little faces!

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Well, guess what?

God loves to surprise us, too!

 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” (Jeremiah 29:11)

He longs to show us His faithfulness and to be gracious to us, not because we deserve it, but because he loves us and enjoys blessing us! I can’t ever do for my children what God longs to do to bless us! He doesn’t make apologies either for blessing us!

I wish I could write all God showed me about His awesome character towards us!

Serve Him, My Friends!  He is worthy of our praises even in our dark days. He is the light that leads us on! Excited to know God and privileged to give Him my heart, mind, and soul!

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

(Psalm 103:1-5)

 

“Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.”  (Deuteronomy 7:9)

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.” (1 John 3:1)

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. (Mark 12:30)

Be Like Daniel

be-bold

King Darius had just done the layout of his kingdom, broke it down into 120 provinces, appointed a ruler to each province, and CHOSE Daniel and two other administrators to supervise the high officials and to look over the king’s interests.  Daniel proved himself to be trustworthy and reliable, more capable than all the other administrators and high officers.  Daniel had great ability, and the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.  (Reference Daniel 6:1-3)

Daniel had enemies who were jealous of his success when what Daniel was doing was simply obeying God, remaining above reproach, and doing his job.  We can see this in Daniel 6:4-5, which states Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.  So they concluded, ‘Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.’”

When you do what God wants you to do and live by His standards, never expect the world to applaud you because the world won’t applaud you.  Daniel remained honorable and steadfast, walking close to the Lord.  His enemies were looking for a way to bring him down, “but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn.”  So they decided to plot evil against Daniel.  It’s important to note, Daniel had already been through trials, but God delivered him out of each trial safely.  No weapon formed against the Child of God is going to prosper.  Nothing Daniel’s enemies had thrown his way worked.  Nothing Daniel’s enemies did to him prospered.  Like Daniel, we, as children of the Living God, can be bold and courageous, and because we are Children of God, we know our God is able to deliver us out of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

Daniel’s enemies devised a plan and So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, ‘Long live King Darius!  We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions.  And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.’  So King Darius signed the law.” (Reference Daniel 6:6-9)

But in the face of this decree, Daniel remained faithful to God.  We can take a lesson from his wholehearted devotion.  The enemy will do whatever he can to trip you up, but we have been empowered by the Lord Most High.  We can take a lesson from Daniel when he combatted his enemies through prayer, “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.”  Nothing stopped Daniel from talking with his Heavenly Father.  And let’s face it when there is nothing we can do and no place left to turn, there is nothing left of us to get in the way of God’s work.  What better way to keep us on our toes than trials.  They shape us and refine us, and we learn lessons, and if we are wise like Daniel, in the face of trouble, we continue our communion with the Lord and seek Him for counsel.

isaiahDaniel’s enemies were checking in on him, found him praying even though the decree had been put into law.  The high officials and administrators made their way to the King and questioned him about the decree, and King Darius said to them the decision stood, an official law of the Medes and the Persians and could not be revoked.  We can also take a lesson from this just because there’s a law does NOT mean the law is correct.  For example, the law, in this case, was no one could pray to anyone or anything except for the King, but Daniel knew God’s law which states, “‘You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you.” (Reference Deuteronomy 6:13-14)  Daniel chose to continue obeying God rather than man.

Now it may have looked for a moment his enemies would succeed in their plan, but that’s not the case.  Yes, his enemies were jealous and a thorn in his side.  They were busybodies, and they turned Daniel into King Darius:  “So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, ‘May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.’”

In keeping with honesty, I would have looked at the lions, been scared out of my mind, and would try conversing with the lions if they were looking at me like I was thanksgiving dinner.  “Hey, Mr. Lion, How Are Ya This Evening?  Hope all is well.  Please don’t eat me.”

Daniel, however, was bold and courageous.  God shut the mouths of the lions and protected Daniel.  Daniel was prayed up, strengthened by the Lord, and slept soundly all night… SURROUNDED BY LIONS.  King Darius, however, refused any of his usual entertainment, fasted, and got no sleep.

Daniel’s example of courage and steadfast obedience to God is a lesson to us all.  What the devil meant for Daniel’s destruction God used to shine forth the glory of God and was for Daniel’s good.  Here is the result of Daniel’s situation:

Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?’

Daniel answered,  ‘Long live the king!  My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.’

The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den.

Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

“Peace and prosperity to you!

‘I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.

For he is the living God,
    and he will endure forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
    and his rule will never end.
He rescues and saves his people;
    he performs miraculous signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.’

So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

King Darius gave glory to God.  Daniel’s enemies were fed to the lions who devoured them before they hit the ground and prospered.

As God protected Daniel, God protects you.  As God gave Daniel courage, God emboldens you.   God gives you hope, salvation, and deliverance.  God gives you healing emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically.  Take your stand, and do NOT be conformed to the customs of this world.  The world offers you NOTHING.

May God abundantly bless you,

Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7

HIS GRACE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH…


my-grace

“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.’  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:8-10


GRACE IS GOD’S UNMERITED FAVOR,

A GIFT HE HAS LAVISHED

UPON HIS CHILDREN.

 


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As children of God, we find favor in His eyes.  In other words, He approves, supports, considers, sustains, and honors us, showering us with loving kindness – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

“What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?  Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.  Everything your Heavenly Father has is made available to you.” -Psalm 8:4-5


We all have weaknesses and limitations.  However, it’s great we have weaknesses BECAUSE God’s power is demonstrated in our weakness as the verse says, “My power works best in weakness.”  While we may be limited by our weaknesses, God is NOT limited.  He can work through us and in us.

Once we recognize and admit our limitations, our reliance on God becomes stronger and helps develop our character.   When we admit our weaknesses to God, it deepens our worship because we’re affirming God’s strength.

We, as children of God, are immersed in His unmerited favor, and He is the One who keeps us and strengthens our faith as we rely on Him and depend on Him.

God’s grace is more than enough, and His grace affords unspeakable joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, beauty, and loveliness.  His grace is filled with good will and loving kindness.


NEVER LET YOUR WEAKNESSES OR

YOUR LIMITATIONS

KEEP YOU AWAY FROM GOD.


Whatever weakness you find yourself dealing with, Child of God, HIS GRACE is sufficient for you.  Whatever your limitation, HIS GRACE is sufficient for you.  HIS GRACE strengthens you to cling to what God calls good and to shun what is evil. HIS GRACE drives you to that which is noble, true, pure, and trustworthy.  HIS GRACE sustains you, upholds you, and keeps you.  HIS GRACE raises you above your circumstances and above the storms of your life.  <> IF all you had left was His grace, that would be all you need.


HIS GRACE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH!


Much Love To You All,

Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.