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By Evangelist Barbara Colbert-Brooks
The Lord has a way of reminding you exactly who He is, and who controls it all. Even the winds and the waves, the earth, and the skies, all belong to Him. While we sail the murky waters of life, all sorts of storms will seek to impede our travels. To mind comes the story told in Luke 8:22-25 “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake.” So, Jesus and his disciples were crossing to the other side of the lake, and as they traveled, a stormy wind came upon the lake and began to fill their vessel with water. The disciples feared that they would perish, and went to get Jesus, who was asleep in the back of the boat. When they wakened him, crying out their fears, Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and the raging waters, they immediately ceased and calm prevailed. Jesus then asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were amazed and declared “What manner of man is this! for He commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
How quickly we choose to entertain perish, instead of power. Inevitably, when “crossing over to the other side” from one journey to another in our lives, storms will come. Our hearts being the vessel that fills with troubled waters fearing death by drowning in the midst of the storm. Yet we forget that Jesus said, “Let us go over unto the other side of the lake …” He spoke it and He included himself as “us”. It is God’s will that we cross over in our lives, from one place to another, always growing and always knowing that He is with us through it all. Though we may think He’s sleeping, and unaware of our troubles, He is really just resting in the faith and power that He alone possesses, but gives unto us as well, when we believe on Him.
I believe that when the disciples woke Jesus from his slumber, He was a bit annoyed. Being summoned from His rest to do something that they themselves could have done, had they had faith enough to believe. Luke says that He rebuked them for their lack of faith. Suggesting that what He had done, they themselves could have done, had they not given place to fear. How true for us today, giving fear place over power. The Lord is with us every day, every way, and everywhere, yet we still fear and tremble, for lack of faith in His power. He commands us to boldly travel this life, knowing we will encounter challenges, but believe that His power will never fail. If we have the faith to believe, then we have the power to prevail, even over the winds and waves.
God did not render us powerless, but powerful to overcome all obstacles that come our way even as we cross over to the other side. Also, believe that our bravado in the Lord is not in vain. There is always a promised land of milk and honey, the answered prayer, or deliverance long last fulfilled, waiting on the other side. Then we shall be able to declare for ourselves, that like Jesus, we were that “manner of man” who, when facing the storm, commanded the winds and the waves to cease, and in His Name, they did obey!
By Evelyn M. Bingham
SUN COLUMNIST & POET
Financial independence for women, is a subject dear to my heart. Each woman must gain, maintain and cherish her independence, and become savvy in the management of her money. By manage, I don’t mean tracking or hand carrying, or ATMing it from its source, straight to the beauty parlor, department store, boutique, restaurant, theatre etc., with perhaps a brief trip to the supermarket. Take care of your in-come, for it’s a guarantee that the out-go will take care of itself!
Money management is knowing the source and amount of your finances, it is having a savings and checking account, understanding bank charges, taxes, about credit and debit cards and their wise use. It is in understanding and knowing the sources of investing and savings funds, and providing for your retirement. There are many companies and individuals available to assist you with your financial planning. Find someone in whom you can trust and have rapport with, and who will teach and guide you through the process and steps of learning, without making you feel totally mindless and inadequate.
Whatever your source of finances, whether you are self employed, in the work force, receive social security, an allowance, allotment or stipend, or are retired, each of us needs the feeling of independence, even though it may not be actualized at the moment. Work on it, because without it, your sense of pride, dignity and self worth is greatly threatened. It is a gravely demoralizing feeling to not have your own! You may have heard the saying from years ago, and it still rings true, “Mama may have, Papa may have, but God bless the child that’s got its own”! Many times it is not how much money we have, but how we manage and budget what we do have.
Having and managing your own money, makes you stand a little straighter, move a little more gracefully, feel a little prettier, feel a little happier and speak more confidently. It causes the best that is within you, to want to extend beyond itself. It makes you want to help others to get, maintain and enjoy the fruits of their labors.
A woman who has and who manages her money wisely, commands respect. She is respected by herself, her spouse or significant other, her children and her family and friends, and the world in general. She can be a mentor and model of what a woman of determination can be or attain. She should always be in a learning mode of self education.
Each of us, as women, should take every opportunity available to instruct the young girls and women with whom we are in contract with, that education is the key to a future of financial independence, and the tool to be used in the accomplishment of their dreams!