A Recollection of this lovely Weekend (2nd Summer Reading Tour has begun & Sponsors/Mentors Connection Lunch)

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What a gloriously filled weekend this last weekend in June turned out to be! Well, Hello July!

When I look back on all that the Lord has done and all that He continues to do, not only in my life and my husband’s life but my dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ all around me, I can truly say we are blessed!

O.k. first thing’s first! I love organizing fellowship opportunities for my sisters and girlies to minister, be ministered to and to connect. Especially now at a time when it is so easy to idle their time away during the holiday season, I am elated this Saturday’s Summer Reading tour program turned out to be a smashing success as we volunteered, toured, ate, read aloud, learned, gathered feedback and spent time with each other. More importantly I desire to pursue my passion, God’s calling on my life and encourage  others to do the same. Most importantly, it is important to me to glorify my maker and I’m not just saying that. Let me explain this a bit further:

Just a bit over a year ago, my husband and I went on what one could call a long sabbatical from the ministry of music. Even though my heart strings and spirit longed to simply do what I was created and did for as long as I could remember, worship, give my all and be completely involved. God had other plans during this time and season of rest. I’m happy I had no other choice. If you read my previous blog posts, you’ll see just what I am talking about.

During this season of rest and being in a form of wilderness, the Lord developed other areas in my life: My prayer life, my educational pursuits in the Word of God, completing my second book, writing and copyrighting songs, building and dedicating time to quality community non-profit programming and last but surely not least, investing in my marriage and family first.

I believe we all should take the time to reflect, revise and renew ourselves in the Lord, no matter how young or old you believe you are, if you are involved in ministry. You can’t keep pouring out without taking the time to recharge and plug into the one true anointed source. I’ve learned we should be doing this daily through prayer. Remember Paul’s admonish to Pray without ceasing? (1Thessalonians 5:17)

I’m not exactly at the place I would have thought my husband and I would be. My husband’s journey and spirit of David continues to encourage me. We are all a working progress, God’s masterpiece in the making and we all have room to grow.

Most recently, we have been discussing and teaching from “Leap Over a Wall” in our church’s Fusion Young Adult Sunday School class at Solid Rock. It’s amazing to see how much we can all relate to David and learn from him. His story speaks to all of us.

Just look at all that David went through even though He was anointed, He had to go through what we would consider a long wilderness season, trials, temptations and triumphs before He was ready for his divine appointment, purpose and role as leader of a nation and king (2 Samuel 5). While He was going through his prior experience, his perspective, reaction and relationship with God determined the caliber of leader and king He would later become. Please note: He was always a leader at heart even though it was discounted from the very beginning by those around him.  I would say it was his struggles and how he stood and overcame in the midst of those struggles that made him one of the most memorable characters and kings in the Bible and I daresay even today!

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(Story behind the picture above: We were blessed to fellowship with some amazing young adults from the Pentecostals of Alexandria and some of their sweet staff last Wednesday)

We will continue our adventures in the Word of God this month in Sunday School and beyond with characters from the Bible (I can’t wait, I’m so excited, can you tell?) and this month’s book  reference is Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” What On Earth Am I Here For? Do you know your purpose, how did you come to find it? Was it on your knees in prayer or while you were serving in your local assembly, the church or in your home community?

For more encouragement, you can access an e-book copy of Radiant Pearl in Progress here. We have a contest taking place this month for those readers who leave a review on Amazon and on Radiant Pearl’s Facebook page. Winning reviews will be featured in upcoming publications and the extended-advanced printed copy of Radiant Pearl in Progress that will be made available in stores by June 2014 as informed by the publisher.  You are a radiant pearl in progress and I am excited to encourage you to acknowledge it and be blessed by that fact that God is still working on you, through you and around you.

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Soles to Souls Giveaway!

I have before me at least 7 brand new pairs of Gorgeous Kate Spade soles pictured below and I would love to give away each and everyone of them. Although, I am tempted to keep them all for myself, I am learning the art of Temperance-A much desirable fruit of the spirit, and so in moderation I proceed and will move forward in everything, including the procurement of shoes.

To delve just a little further in the fruit I mentioned above, there are three scriptures of reference I would like to share here before we must part & later meet again: They are hailing from three different marvelous books, but all achieving the same ends in my life right now, the message vivid to me in this season is the importance of “temperance”  What stands out to you as you read these scriptures?

  • 2 Peter 1:6 (Temperance is interchangeable with self-control).
  • Titus 1:8 (Although this is in reference to one of the highest office in the land, it applies to the esteemed office of being a child of God-Temperance here is also to be self-controlled).
  • 1Corinthians 9:25 (If even athletes exercise this fruit of temperance/self-control to win an unperishable prize, how much should we in order to wear an everlasting crown someday. We shall wear a crown some day, Oh to have temperance!)

Heart’s prayer this day: “Lord, as I grow in faith each virtue you have instructed in your Word, help the fruits in my life like temperance, to culminate in love.”

Now for the Giveaway Portion…:insert drumroll here: The moment you’ve all been waiting for, since the poll last month! 😉 If you would like to win this beautiful spring shoe featured here there are many ways to enter. Please see below for all details and ways you can be selected as THE winner of this fabulous brand new pair of shoes!!

  • Tweet about the Giveaway
  • Leave a Blog Post Comment
  • Follow @stacyzant on Twitter & mention so I can know you are entering giveaway! 😉
  • “Like” Radiant Pearls-Pearls of the Earth and this post (shoe collage) on our facebook page, then share (3points)
  • Link to us from your Blog and follow this blog.
  • Tell your Community (For 25 more entries, post a link to this giveaway on your blog,  favorite community, forum, facebook group, or any other place where you think people would like to hear about the chance to win! Note: You can do this once per day, but each entry must be a different community.)
  • Join Our Newsletter (We send the occasional newsletter with beautiful messages like in this post, opportunities to connect with other beautiful people, giveaways and seasonal fun events happening near you!)

Click here to easily enter this “solestosouls” giveaway through Rafflecopter

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Created in the image of God!

Just the other day, on a hot summer afternoon I had a most interesting encounter and what could be considered a life altering experience  in Smoothie King. I sat in my car for a little while but the A.C. just wasn’t getting cool enough and this was my opportunity to get a slurpee…next to ice-cream who can think of anything better on a hot summer afternoon? Perhaps, we could if we thought hard enough but let’s move right to the purpose of this post! 😉

While cooling off I began speaking with two gentlemen who looked like interns in the area but they were traveling mormons assigned to this region of the U.S. Before I knew it we were exchanging thoughts about Jesus and the call to share their faith. Although, we do not think the same it was interesting to learn why they find it so important to devote two years to being a missionary before entering a traditional mainstream career.

As I made my way to the counter, the employee began to shake his head  and made the statement “I just don’t understand how people can believe that stuff” I asked if he could explain what he meant and he began to share he was once a church goer but now he wasn’t sure what to believe anymore and why certain things happen…the employee began to share his thoughts on evolution while we discussed Jesus and the core of what we believe as Christians. It was amazing to think just a couple days before I was praying alongside my husband that God leads us to people who are hungry and who desire to know Him! Here I was in a very ordinary place, around every day people who desired to know truth and for someone to plant a seed of the Word that would demonstrate just how real God is and how we were created in His image! After answering questions and sharing examples in the scripture I left my business card as a point of contact for a future bible study. I know even if I never see that employee again it was God’s plan for me to be there to plant a seed in that particular moment. Even if someone else is to come and water that seed that was planted, the opportunity was given to fulfill a specific purpose in that God-given time.

All of this brings me to the chapter I am reading in Captivating that talks about “God’s Heart for Relationship” Not only was man created in God’s image, but woman was too. Why would we want to be derived from anything else-like an animal that evolved into human when the Bible tells us God made man in His image…God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good (Genesis 1:26-31)  the Lord created us in the form we are in today, even knowing the number of hairs on our head. (Luke 12:7)

As a woman, we have so much to discover that lies within the creature and the creator who created everything!  As He knows so much about us, shouldn’t we have a heart and desire to know all we can of Him and the splendor of His majesty! There is truly an infinite amount of possibilities to discover when we search for Jesus with all our heart! who we are in Christ! “The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships in fact, this may be the most important thing we ever learn about God-that he years for relationship with us. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know, the only true God” (John 17:3). The whole story of the Bible is a love story between God and his people. He yearns for us. He cares. He has a tender heart.” (pg. 28)

We are relational, yes! as it is highlighted in “Captivating” women especially love to foster, nurture and create new relationships, it is exciting for us and rightly so! Over the past few summer weeks we have established new relationships through GOAL’s “Esther’s Circle Book Club” and how exciting it has been to see how different we relate to each other and distinctly how we relate to our maker, Jesus! Below are three of the many questions we will discuss this weekend as we meet and tour in the city of Locust Grove. Feel free to answer the questions below to be apart of the discussion and see which other Esther’s are posting on their blogs by visiting here.

  1. Which way do you tend to go? Controlling and driven or desolate and needy?
  2. How does that play out in your life?
  3. Where do you take the ache in your heart if you don’t take it to God?

“Captivating” thought provoking quotes

Quotes I’ve found very interesting and thought provoking so far:

Like so many other women I was left alone to navigate my way through adolescence, through my changing and awakening body, a picture of my changing and awakening heart. No counsel was given for the journey into womanhood.

We know the expectations that have been laid upon us by our families, our churches, and our cultures. There are reams of materials on what you ought to do to be a good woman.

“We’re all living in the shadow of that infamous icon, “Proverbs 31 Woman”, whose life is so busy I wonder, when does she have the time for friendships, for taking walks, or reading good books?

Why is it so hard to create meaningful relationships and sustain them? Why do our days seem so unimportant, filled not with romance and adventure but with duties and demands?

Aware of our deep failings, we pour contempt on our own hearts for wanting more. Oh, we long for intimacy and for adventure; we long to be the Beauty of some great story.

Because God knows our heart is core to who we are. It is the source of all our creativity, our courage, and our convictions.

We think you’ll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things; to be romanced, to plan an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That’s what makes a woman come alive.