THE FOUNDATION OF EXCELLENCE: Lesson 3 Bonus Content

“Heavenly Father, good morning. I love you. Thank you for your mercy and grace. I ask for guidance as I establish a strong foundation in which to live. Lord, I desire to be committed, consistent, unwavering, and unshakable in my walk with You.”       In Jesus name Amen.

Scripture Memorization:   John 3:16 The Message (MSG)“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”

Establishing a solid unshakable foundation keeps you focused, and clearly defines your priorities. Here is where you will develop the spiritual aspect of your life. “Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation! Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ. Take particular care in picking out your building materials.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (The Message) 

 Faith is your moral compass that you draw guidance, strength, and protection. It is your beliefs. It is your loyalty and commitment to God. It is what you put your trust in. Faith is something, which is believed with strong conviction. Hebrews 11:1: “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen“.

Leahann Pearson shares her statement of faith for you today.

My faith is unshakable because of the faithfulness that God has shown me through every season of my life. Despite my wind-whipped faith at times, He has always remained unchanging and has loved me unconditionally.  Even though I have had vast obstacles in my life (including being on my death bed at the age of 15), the joy of the Lord has been my strength.  He has remained faithful and brought rain in season, at just the right time, EVERY TIME. When I begin to feel dry again, He speaks truth into my heart, that He will bring rain (provision) just like the former rains He has supplied (Joel 2:23).  It is not always easy walking by faith not by sight, but the Lord also shows His faithfulness and unconditional love through the unwavering support of my family and mentors around me.  Through this community of supporters, what I would rather refer to as the Body of Christ functioning as it should, my faith has remained rooted and built up in Him (Colossians 2:7). This group of believers has encouraged me daily and given me a pool of multiple counselors to draw wisdom and insight from to help establish my plans (Proverbs 15:22) This has allowed me to run with endurance the race set before me. Indeed, He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11).

Family being our number one priority when comes to human relationships.                                    The word family is one of the most loosely defined terms in the English language; because it means something different to everyone. While one person may define family as the relatives who share their home, another may consider family to include extended relatives residing near and far. Still, someone else views their beloved circle of friends as family. Families are vastly different, but they all function under one single premise: shared love and commitment.  Family structure has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. The Leave it to Beaver family is no longer the standard, and several variations on family have been created.                                                                                                               The nuclear family is the traditional type of family structure. This family type consists of two parents and children. The nuclear family was long held in esteem by society as being the ideal in which to raise children. Children in nuclear families receive strength and stability from the two-parent structure and was God’s design for a family. But in America today, only 22 percent of families live in a nuclear family.                                                                                                                                                   The single parent family consists of one parent raising children.  One in four children is born to a single mother. Single parent families are generally close and make up 25% of our homes today.          While most people think of family as including children, there are couples who either cannot or choose not to have children. The childless family is sometimes the “forgotten family,” as it does not meet the traditional standards set by society. Many childless families have extensive contact with their nieces and nephews.                                                                                                                      As a result of a marriage where both married partners have children from previous relationship this creates a blended family.  When they join their lives together they create a new family dynamic.  Blended families are about as common as the nuclear families. They tend to have unique challenges.

For many people, family extends far beyond parents and siblings. Extended family refers to the many relatives connected by a person through DNA. In-laws, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles might be a part of someone’s extended family. Many family units, especially in other cultures from around the globe, live with extended family members under the same roof. Extended families can also live far apart, but remain connected through their common history, heritage and tradition, and commitment to each other.

Many people consider friends to be as close or even closer than extended (or immediate) family. People who have lost close family members or have become removed from them may create a family unit of friends with similar interests and goals to become replacements or enhancements to a lacking family structure. This type of family unit, while nontraditional, can be just as close, if not closer, than a traditional structure. You can’t choose your blood relatives, but you can choose your friends! In having the option to decide who to bring into your friends-as-family unit, you have the ability to draw in only positive and supportive beings. In addition, some people who have supportive families also have an extensive network of friends who they consider a second family or as additions to their blood or legal relatives. They have the best of both worlds; and highlight the notion that lives are made richer by the loving and supportive people you surround yourself with.                                                                                                                                                                                                       family.lovetoknow.com

God calls us to care for family with upmost urgency and priority.

Community is the activities that take you out of your home: career, work, philanthropy, and more. Community is friends, neighbors, and people that you share common interests.

As humans, we all crave interaction with others and have a deep desire to be loved and respected. Feeling alone can be one of the most heart-wrenching emotions a person can experience, but sometimes it seems hard to build relationships with others due to different backgrounds, among many other factors. At times, it may not seem worth it to try and make the connection with someone, but community is important to both our physical and mental well-being. There can be different reasons for keeping to yourself, but ultimately it’s the fear of being rejected that keeps one from taking that step forward.

According to Wellbeing People, belonging to a community has several benefits, such as support or exposure to positive influences. Feeling as though you can count on others for support can take a lot of stress off of a person. Having someone to vent to or a shoulder to cry on can influence us to better ourselves and support others as well. When you’re surrounded by support, you’re less likely to relapse into old habits that you’re trying to get away from. People can hold you accountable and you can do the same for them.

Many people do not realize the importance of community, but a community is often what makes a home feel like home. It’s a place where we can share experiences and stories with one another, or simply ask how a neighbor’s day went.

Also, our strengths may be someone else’s weakness within a community. That provides an opportunity to reach out and get to know someone else, to make them feel welcome and at home the same as you do. Not only can you provide strength for someone else, but by making that connection, you’re also increasing their level of health as well as your own. Community is important for our entire well-being, whether it is by relieving stress or finding a partner to go on runs with. Community is a place of acceptance and sharing.

The Center for Public Impact defines community as “a group of people who share an identity-forming narrative.” No matter what your background or ambitions are, there’s a community out there for you.                                                                                                  Benefits of Community written by Archway

THE STUDY

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This is a short but significant lesson. It is an opportunity to write your statement of faith. What do you believe? Who is a priority? What is important to you? I want to encourage that you share your statement of faith with a friend or by posting on this blog site,  www.bonnieliabenow.com or on the” Excellence with Simple Elegance” group page,

www.facebook.com/excellencewithsimpleelegance. I believe your statement will be an encouragement to others.

 

Take time today to Search for a life verse in God’s Word. Pray for God to lead in this search. You have the option to Use one of the scripture verses given in this study.

Stories shares truths; reveal life lessons. I love stories of women. Especially women in the Bible. Every time I read these stories, God is so faithful to give a refreshing perspective; bringing with it a lesson that is so timely and personal.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

One of my favorite stories is this story of Ruth; a Moabite princess who lived simply, lived passionately, intentionally and with conviction.

 Read the story of Ruth.   I would suggest reading the book of Ruth in three different translations.  www.biblegateway.com   It is a wonderful resource.

It is a wonderful story that gives a clear picture of how God orchestrates events in our lives to bring about His purpose.

 The orchestration of events began in Bethlehem. “Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.”(A Jewish family)

 Elimelech and Naomi and their 2 sons traveled to this neighboring country.

The Moabite princess, Ruth, became acquainted with this family. Now, we don’t know all the details of this story.  I believe that Ruth is drawn to this family for reasons she just doesn’t quite understand yet.    Ruth married into this Jewish family becoming Mahlon’s wife. We are told that they all live there in Moab together for ten years.

 As a young Moabite princess, she may have had all her needs met, but it was apparent in her story that there was one need not met; a spiritual need that the heathen gods of Moab did not satisfy. An urgent need for a living god. The gods of stone and of wood did not provide an unconditional love. Hanging with this Jewish family, who loved and worshiped the God of Israel—I believe Ruth got just a taste of God’s extravagant—unfailing love.  And she wanted more…Series of events orchestrated by the one true God, the God of Israel. In this story, it is evident that Ruth experienced the love of the Father. And from that encounter came a simple…simple statement of faith.

I will go where you go, I will live where you live,
                                                              your people will be my people, your God
                                                               will be my God, I will die where you die.
                                                                                                                —Ruth 1:16–17, CEV

Promise

“In Christ you are a new person. Your past is forgotten, and everything is new.”

 Blessing

“May the Lord bless you and keep you.”

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