As I mentioned in last week’s Fast Wednesday, I attended an annual conference last week. Its called the cnFMSDC (Central North Florida Minority Supplier Development Council) Conference & Trade Fair. Its mission is to link large corporations with minority businesses. I was nominated and awarded 2013 Buyer of the Year. The award is recognition amongst my peers and others for all the work I do in the state of FL and elsewhere helping to develop minority businesses…thanks to all my friends and colleagues who did attend and for all the love shown.
Today’s topic deals with how we have to be steadfast and unmovable working on the things we are called to do and “be present” and fully involved. We must not let ANYTHING steer us away from our purpose! Many obstacles came up last week, just with me getting to and in the hotel, a problem with the rental car, a problem with a recorder for one of my responsibilities, leaving the event a day early because I had made a previous commitment, and being tired throughout the event because some of you can imagine the planning it took just to be out of the office for three days and to return this week to a MOUNTAIN of work and things screaming to be done which certainly made me not want to blog this week on Fast Wednesdays.
However, as the topic depicts for us “The Blessing is in the Pressing!” I recall a friend from CT who first made this statement years ago and it just set well down in my spirit because its so true. How many times have I been tired and did not want to get up and pray and dragged myself out of the bed and got so inspired or did not want to go to church or bible class or Women’s Ministry or exercising or (you name it) and received such an overwhelming blessing because I pressed on. Furthermore, I would like to share that we have to “press” during times when we need to address situations or confront someone who is not treating us or others fairly.
Example, last Friday was the Trade Fair at the conference. There were over 500 exhibitors with IBM being one. I had to setup the booth to look appealing, etc. so I brought a beautiful, crystal bowl from home and put candy in it (Jolly Ranchers). Well, the trade fair began at 9:00 a.m. I was sharing with a gentleman how to do business with IBM and a young lady stops by, at 9:07 a.m., and starts picking up “lots” of the candy. Normally, I would not confront anyone but I promised myself that I would start speaking out more. I asked the gentleman to excuse and I went over to the young lady. She looked at me, and, apparently was in a spell or day dream or something and starting stammering “oh, I am so sorry, I don’t know what was wrong with me.” I smiled and said “yeah, I thought or knew something was wrong.” She put down half the candy and moved on. I went back to the gentleman I was speaking with, and said, I had promised myself to be more “present” when situations like this occur and so I apologize that I stopped talking to him and went after the young lady. He said “no problem, and commended me on doing a great job of confronting and with a smile no less!”
Needless to say, I will continue pressing, and I hope and pray you do as well!
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT) –58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Hebrews 12 (MSG) “Discipline in a Long-Distance Race” – 12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
4-11 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?
My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.
12-13 So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
14-17 Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxlpAnpqrRE&feature=kp (Lily of the Valley)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI4N0bH6T4U (He’s Sweet I Know)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APEiWRXBViY&feature=youtu.be (Its Not Over Until God Says its Over)
Dear Lord, thank you for enabling me to walk in love, in wisdom and in the fullness of fellowship with all. Thank you for spiritual prosperity and blessed finances. I confess that you are a very present help in trouble and that you are more than enough. You are able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessings) come to me exceedingly and abundantly, so that I am always and under all circumstances furnished in abundance for every good work and deed you would have me put my hand to that you may get glory. AMEN.
Love, Joy and Peace,
Debra J. Ellis
Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us: 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 (and some brothers) 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 blog 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: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press: https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com/