Uncategorized | Pearls of Promise

Discovering Another Name for God

I thought I knew all the names of God like Jehovah Jireh—“the God who provides,” Jehovah Shalom—the “God of Peace,” and Jehovah Rapha—“the God who heals,” but this week I discovered another name of God in the Psalms. In Hebrew, God is also “El Nasa,” or “God forgives.” This name of God is used in Psalm 99:8 where it says, “LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.” We all know that God is a forgiving God but did you know that it’s part of his name and character to forgive? He embodies forgiveness!

So if we are created in God’s image and he forgives us for all of our waywardness, why is it so difficult for us to follow suit and forgive others?

Even our heavenly Father doesn’t stay mad forever.

Micah 7:18 says, “He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.” The Hebrew word for “steadfast love” here is “hesed” and also means “unfailing love” and “loyal love.“

Is our love for others unfailing and loyal? Are we willing to forgive even the unforgiveable?

In my own life, I could not be used in ministry until I forgave those who disappointed, or betrayed me over the years. I’m sure I let my heavenly Father down countless times, yet the God who forgives, forgave me. I do not deserve this gift so who am I not to forgive others? When I finally forgave, it provided inexplicable freedom, and I learned how to see people through a loving God’s eyes. I had to realize humans make human mistakes. I had to let go of the scripts I had written for other people. Instead I pray over them and release them to God.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, let’s be thankful for forgiveness and let’s follow the standard that “El Nasa” has set for us.

 

 

Why Should We Look Back?

It’s important to occasionally reflect back to see God’s hand in your life.

I am preparing for the “Pearls of Purpose” Branding Workshop next Tuesday where I am speaking on “Communicating Your Brand.” In my presentation, I turn the clock back almost ten years, when the Lord first called me to start a ministry to help women. But what should I name it?

A name is important in branding.

I prayed, and the name “Pearls of Promise” came to me. Having emerged from my own unstable childhood thanks to the strength Christ provided, I wanted to help women overcome past and current dysfunction. I know that “Pearls of Promise” was not my idea. It was a gift from above.

Pearls are formed through eight-ten years of distress in an oyster shell. I would be dealing with women, who just like a pearl, endured years, perhaps decades of trials, and I wanted to help them to live in victory, not defeat.

I’ve had many confirmations that “Pearls of Promise” is the right name.

In Israel in 2014, a Jewish scholar told me that in the story about the Proverbs 31 woman, the verse, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” was originally in the Hebrew as: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than pearls.” The verse was edited by the Jews because pearls were unclean, formed in ocean bottom dwellers; oysters. I thought, “Yes! That is perfect. God can take us unclean, bottom dwellers, clean us up and make something beautiful out of our lives.”

Then there was the day I was getting ready in my bathroom, an everyday task. I was putting on makeup when the Holy Spirit whispered that the acronym for Pearls of Promise was “POP.” Why I hadn’t thought of that, I don’t know. As a fatherless girl, I have always leaned on God as my Father, and this ministry, “POP” was from Him and belonged to Him.

As Pearls of Promise approaches it’s tenth birthday, we will have been a part of eight books by the end of the year, have produced almost 850 blogs, a number of magazine articles, have hosted a dozen retreats and conferences, have encouraged women at countless luncheons, retreats and events and have been interviewed on radio and television. We have also partnered with another ministry on our own radio show, “A Time to Dream,” now moving into its third year. In addition, we are now producing video blogs. All this is being done with the sole purpose of helping women (and some men) overcome difficult dysfunction and to glorify God through our work.

Psalm 77:11 says, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.”

Today might be a great day to look back and recognize how far you’ve come. How has God cleaned you up and made a beautiful pearl out of your life? Will you thank Him for what he’s provided?

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Please consider attending our Pearls of Purpose Branding Workshop (In Partnership with A-GO Strategy) next Tuesday, August 7th in Irving, Texas. At this workshop we will:

•    Build your brand

•    Validate your career direction

•    Confirm your life’s direction

•    Create a mission statement

•    Confirm your unique gifts

•    Cast a vision for where you are going

•    Improve your social media skills on LinkedIn

•    Clearly communicate your brand with purpose and passion

Sign up today and receive a 50% discount using the promo code “Pearls.” https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pearls-of-purpose-workshop-personal-professional-branding-tickets-46500157222?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

 

 

 

Four Things God Renews (Part 4)

#4 Creation

I think about creation a lot when I’m at my relative’s lake house near Coldwater, Michigan. Late in the day, boaters have retired for the night and the waves have calmed down to a gentle ripple, set in motion by the cool breeze hitting the water.

As I watch the native birds taking in their evening meal before settling down for their night’s rest, I once again realize that God’s creation is beautiful, and I’m a fan.

But it’s not perfect. Not yet anyway.

Earlier today, while playing golf, I could hear a growling animal near one of the tee boxes in the middle of the course. Whatever it was, it was not happy that we came close to it’s brushy home. I wanted to hit my shot and get out of there before it bolted from the bushes!

But one day, we won’t have to worry about wild beasts. Scripture says, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). Children won’t need stuffed animals anymore. They will be able to pet the grizzlies, hang out with the zebras and ride the leopards.

Creation will be renewed and take on a whole new look.

Like the animals, we will also be different once the sound of a trumpet ushers in eternity.

When Jesus returns, Christians will either meet him in the air or we will rise from the grave and be reunited with our spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:52 says this will all happen in the twinkling of an eye and our bodies will become imperishable. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, no human mind conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” In other words, we can’t wrap our brains around how transformed and wonderful eternity will be, but the Bible gives us previews.

According to Revelation 21:4, God will wipe away our tears. Wouldn’t it be great to never be sad again? There will be no more death, which must mean no more sickness, no more mourning and no more pain. Cancer will be gone, heart attacks eliminated, diabetes defeated and we won’t need any more anti-aging cream. Doctors will be out of business and given a new job in eternity. We will have indestructible bodies with no return policy required.

Sign me up!

As I get older, a redeemed creation sounds better and better, and I am thankful that one day we will all experience this amazing change. I look forward to living in peace and harmony with the rest of the created beings.

After all, I’ve always wanted a pet lion.

 

 

 

Random Act of Kindness by Shirley Surtani Gomez

Shirleysurtaniedited
Our guest blogger today is Shirley Surtani Gomez. Shirley is a blogger and a college-level teacher of “English as a Second Language.” Shirley recently moved to the Nashville, Tennessee area after many years of living in Dallas Ft. Worth and serving as an ESL professor at Dallas Baptist University.
randomactofkindness
Before you all get misled into believing that it was I who committed this random act of kindness, let me say, right off the bat, that the Good Samaritan was not me.
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It was showering as I was driving home from work last Thursday. I was at a stoplight, waiting to make a left turn when I noticed a man get out of his car. He quickly made his way to the car next to his and closed its hood. For whatever reason, the hood of the car was open and this man decided to brave the rain and close the hood. It may have taken him about a minute but the impact of his gesture, I’m sure, will last a lifetime for the driver of the stranded car. I’m no mechanic, so I don’t know if water coming into the hood could have caused even a slight damage to the engine. But I do know that this man, who didn’t have to do this, chose to do so. I immediately felt impelled to write about this, especially since this type of kindness is quite rare, especially in the world we live in today, where I, Me, and My are pronouns that take precedence over others.
How many of us would have done the same thing? I know I wouldn’t. I just wanted to get home and avoid getting soaked in the rain. But this small act of kindness taught me that there are selfless people who daily choose to put others before themselves. Putting others before ourselves does not always come easily or naturally. In fact, it can be difficult especially because the human urge within us is to think of ourselves first. I wish I could confidently say that I value others more than myself, but the truth is, I don’t always do. And if you were completely honest, you probably would admit to feeling the same way. I believe most people would.
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But I do know of someone who has loved and continues to love selflessly—our Lord. He who laid his life for us not only committed a selfless act, but in doing so, paved the way for us to have a relationship with God. He who has committed the ultimate act of selflessness has asked us to follow his example and consider others before ourselves, to put their needs and desires before ours. But even if we don’t do so, His love for us still remains strong and selfless. Doing good may not always be easy, but it is not impossible, especially if you know the very source of all goodness. So, whose hood are you closing today?
God Bless,
Shirley Gomez
Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_netsay’>netsay / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

The Danger of Asking for Favor

Christine Caine

“Our favor is for God’s purpose, not for status.” Christine Caine

As I listened to well-known author, speaker and warrior against human sex trafficking, Christine Caine yesterday, I chewed on her words about “calling,” especially the part about pride.

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Coming out of a media background I’ve struggled with the “P” word. You know one of the things God says he hates. “The LORD detests all the proud of heart” (Proverbs 16:5).

In those twenty years of television, it was all about promoting yourself because you wanted people to watch your sportscast. Bad research and low ratings didn’t usually result in a renewed contract.

heart with cross

But ministry is different. It’s not about me. It’s about God.

So, when is it too much publicizing about an event?

Am I posting too many photos of myself?

What does it look like to promote the One who deserves promotion?

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Caine also said, “Humility is not making yourself out to be a worm. We know we are not able. He is great.”

But I feel that I did start out as a worm-like creature. The lowest of lowest. Fatherless with a mentally ill mother. Poor in a wealthy environment and ostracized because of those circumstances. Downright ugly. Overweight with coke bottle thick eyeglasses. Only God could lift me out of that pit and I am eternally grateful.

But I’ve still had to get to a point where I am content with where the Lord has led me in ministry work.

Are you content with where he has you right now?

I used to want to be like well known speaker and Bible study author Beth Moore, reaching millions. “Give me favor, Lord.” But who was that prayer about? Me or God? Praying for favor can be dangerous with the wrong motives.

Lisaspeaking

Instead, the Lord has me consistently speaking to a hundred or less. A more intimate group. I have found there is more emotional healing in smaller numbers.

The prayer needs to be: “Lord, enable me to best exalt you.”

I also had to come to the point with my book manuscript about the fatherless (The Only Father I Ever Knew) that this is not about being a best-selling Christian author. It is a book for God, about God and dedicated to God.  It’s not about me. Before this book could be finished there had to be a heart change. When I ask for favor, it’s about helping as many people as possible to overcome their father wounds and know the perfect Father. It’s not about making the Best Seller List.

So where do you stand on all this? Do you struggle with pride?

Do you find yourself focused more inward than outward? Sometimes dwelling on our problems can be prideful as well.

Ask God to clean out any prideful ways in you. Realize that your calling is about Him, not about status. Then walk confidently in who He created you to be.

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