Fast Wednesdays, April 25, 2012 — Who are the Poor in Spirit?

Greetings:

Understanding that I’m a little late this Wednesday, I commit to having the posts out to you somewhere between Tuesday and Thursday in the future (still basking on the fact that we have been going at it for more than six months, October 5, 2011). I do realize that most of us know we are fasting on Fast Wednesdays, however, we will digest the post either the day prior to, during, or the day after Wednesdays as I am still 125% committed to IBM!

LOL.. I will also post at least once a week but will start to shoot for twice…thanks for your patience and support!

Our randomly selected winner of a prize from last week’s post is a colleague at IBM, Elisa McCoy, and here’s her feedback/comment:

AMEN!  I have been blessed. Unfortunately I’ve not had time to get to the Blog site just yet. The best is yet to come!  Keeping the faith. You’re an encouragement. God bless you.

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Thanks Elisa …please send me your mailing address…your prize will be in the mail!!!

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FINANCIAL:
I’m sharing a picture of Madame CJ Walker, first US female millionaire…I have this picture in my office, in front of my desk…I plan becoming a millionaire and she’s my inspiration!

Women Behaving Wealthy: Your purse costs $500, your smartphone costs $350, your wallet costs $200, your cosmetics cost $250 … you have more than $1000 in your bag, but how much do you have in the bank? See the seven signs that tell you if you’re a woman behaving wealthy or on your way to constantly broke at: http://www.blackenterprise.com/2012/01/04/7-signs-that-you-are-a-woman-behaving-wealthy/

PHYSICAL:
FYI, I read scripture just about everyday and most days more than one because they are motivational and inspiring for me. Actually, I have started an exercise and health program through Spark People. I’m just starting to play with it. However one of my “Fast Break Goals” is to read an inspirational quote each day…so decided to go for the scripture but have been reading and will share some other quotes as well…

Fast Break Goals
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
Track your physical activity on the Virtual Fitness Center : 1x / day  info
Read an inspirational quote each day : 1x / day  info

http://wfl.sparkpeople.com/myspark/wfl_mysparkstart.asp. Its a free tool for those of you interested.

SPIRITUAL:
This week, I was reading Matthew 5:3 (below). I always wondered who are the poor in spirit? I did a little google search on the topic and found the following nugget to share with all:
 

(Matthew 5:3) 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Poor in Spirit means acknowledging God’s ownership of everything and that we are responsible to be good stewards of those things with which we have been blessed. Our attitude should be one of faithful servants and not one of pride, envy, lust, and gluttony. We are called to use what we have and are given to provide for our self and serve God’s people.

Meditation on Being Poor in Spirit

What is Being Poor in Spirit? – Let us first examine what it is not.

  • Does it mean owning nothing? No, it is not necessary to be poor in goods to be poor in spirit. Poor in Spirit is an attitude of how we attach ourselves to property.
  • Does it mean we do not need to take care of ourselves? No, with anything that we have we are called to be good stewards considering how it should be properly used to take care of and serve ourselves and others.
  • Does it mean ignoring our particular talents? No, our talents are gifts from God, given to be used wisely. We are called to use of talents to take care of ourselves and to serve others.
  • Does it mean that we need to degrade ourselves? No, we are to humbly acknowledge God as the source of all of our blessings and use them wisely. We are not to abuse ourselves or consider our blessings a curse, a sign of our sinfulness.
  • Does it mean living without luxuries? No, we are encouraged to have luxuries in our life as long as we keep them in proper perspective and do not allow the desire to have more and more keep us from serving God’s people.
  • Does it mean having a poor spiritual life? No, we are called to deeply develop our spirituality as we become closer to God.

Now let us consider what Being Poor in Spirit truly means.

  • Does it mean considering all property belonging to God? Yes, we are called to always keep ourselves in perspective of God, acknowledging and thanking Him as the source of all good things.
  • Does it mean being good stewards of that with which we have been entrusted? Yes, we are called to take care of what we have been given, not only for our own benefit but for others as well.
  • Does it mean having a spirit of thankfulness towards God? Yes, we are called to be thankful people.
  • Does it mean being detached from those things we own? Yes, what we own should never control us nor consume us in the endless pursuit of possessions.
  • Does it mean denying ourselves at times? Yes, we need to consider not ourselves but others in our decisions and at times sacrificing something we want to help another is the right decision.
  • Does it mean respecting those who serve us? Yes, when people serve us, we should not consider them less than ourselves, putting them down in our thoughts, actions, or words.
  • Does it mean respecting everyone around us, regardless of their circumstance in life? Yes, everyone is deserving of respect as human beings, regardless of whether they are earthly poor or rich, whether they have lots of power or none at all, or whether they have exceptional skills or not.

Prayer for an Attitude of Poor in Spirit: O Generous & Loving God,

We thank for You all things that we have, the people around us, and the abilities You have granted us.

Help us to understand that these things, people, and abilities, were given to us for the service of Your people and not for our own gratification, power, or pride. Help us to humbly accept Your gifts and the bounty of life, never letting the acquisition of possessions become a end goal in itself.

Help us to be good stewards of those things with which You have blessed us, considering not only our needs and wants but the needs of others as well, remembering that everything good comes from You and that someday we will join You with nothing but ourselves.

Help us to respect all people regardless of what they have or can do for us.

Help us to be Poor in Spirit and keep our focus on You.

Amen.
Prayer for Fast Wednesdays, April 25, 2012: Father, I pray that we become more wealthy financially, physically and spiritually! That we give of our time, treasure and talents to help others generously. That you will continue to bless these talented people who share with me Fast Wednesdays. That you empower them to spend time in their community addressing the needs of others for when they help your children that’s when you excel at helping them in their needs. Amen, Amen, Amen!

Love, Joy and Peace…Debra J Fuller Ellis

P.S. Last week, as many of you know, I was traveling a couple of days. I went to Tampa, FL, where I received an award for my volunteer service. Actually, throughout the U.S., 2600 IBM employees with 100 or more hours of volunteer service in the year of 2011 received awards from President Barack Obama. These awards (Letter from the White House, certificate and pin) were presented by our local Corporate Citizenship Programs team. Sixteen of us received the award in the IBM Tampa Bay area. (Team Picture included)…


My award is dedicated to my grandparents and parents who instilled community service into me as a child. One grandmother was so active she has a street named after her in Wade, NC, Clara Street. I know and vividly remember how she was instrumental in having street lights and plumbing installed inside homes and so much more. Then there’s my dad whom I saw literally take the shirt off his back and give away because someone asked for it … so I had very tough acts to follow … to GOD be the glory!

 

 

Reminder & for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: Titus 2 — A God-Filled Life 3-5Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.

Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog http://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com

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