Something Beautiful

Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message…

“..Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” ~ Matthew 26:10, NIV

I am completely crazy about cool jewelry, so when the Lord prompted me to take off my favorite necklace and give it to the woman who had just admired it, I tried to pretend that I didn’t hear Him.

“It’s mine, God!” I reasoned. “It isn’t replaceable! Why would ask me to do that?”

My self-plan didn’t like the God-plan that was laid out before me. God was asking me to give up something that meant a lot to me so that another woman could be blessed. It seemed crazy. Unnecessary. But, in this instance, through the strength of Christ, I chose to obey even though I didn’t want too. It hurt. It cost me big. I felt the loss.

God softened my childish heart, however, as the woman wept at the Lord’s blessing. As I silently confessed my selfish thoughts, God poured a deep joy into my soul. He showed me that my sacrifice was an act of worship to Him. Blessings boomeranged right back to my heart as I humbly thanked Him for allowing me to participate in His moment with her. It was a beautiful thing.

There are just some times I’d rather give gifts that don’t cost me too much. But that’s probably something that only I wrestle with, right? (Kidding.) It’s hard to be open handed with things that we hold dear, isn’t it? Some of us struggle with an unwillingness to give away material things or money. Others of us hold tight to our schedules, affections, positions, jobs or our availability. Still more of us hold tightly to our children, grandchildren, spouses, friends, parents or other people in our lives that we want to keep a tight reign on.

The Bible addresses this issue and shows us a beautiful picture of surrendered devotion in Mary of Bethany. The offering she poured out onto the feet of Jesus was worth a year’s wages. She lavished her costly perfume, her attention, her affection, her time and her worship on Jesus because she loved Him. He was her Savior. Her Friend. Her Hope. The Healer who had miraculously brought life back to the stench of death that had fallen on her brother Lazarus.

“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Matthew 26:6-13, NIV)

The Message paraphrase says it this way:She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. (Matthew 26:10)

When I read this story, I’m compelled to wonder: when God looks at my life, does He see a beautiful thing? Does He see me do anything that is wonderfully significant for Him?

What do you think He sees when He looks at your life?

Does He see a beautiful thing?

When we open the hands of our lives to God’s presence, to His service and for His glory, rest assured Godwill see a beautiful thing. When we obey God’s promptings and listen to His voice that whispers to our soul, He fills us with peace, satisfaction and His beauty.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tis the Season of Catalog Changes

I can’t believe we had Thirty One’s Fall Reveal already.  It was AMAZING!  No this is not about all of the newness coming our way which will tickle you PINK.  It is to shed some light on how to make a catalog change an AWESOME experience for the consultant and her customers.

For those in direct sales, you know the introduction of NEWNESS creates a lot of excitement.  You are eager to share the catalog with friends, family and customers. You want everyone to be excited so YOU can fill your calendar for the next few months.  But unfortunately, there are still a few weeks left in July.  I don’t know about you but I would like to get a paycheck in August, so sharing needs to be done in a way to NOT lose business in July.  Yes, it can be tricky BUT it can be done!

As a hobbyist, I was one of those people who wrote off the current season and eagerly shared the new catalog.  I didn’t have a plan nor was I thinking about what it could do to my current month end.  I was just pushing for the Fall – the busiest selling season of the year.  I figured my customers had the same catalog for the last six months so they were ready for something fresh.  I know I was.  As soon as I shared the new, sales for the current month dropped or sometimes stopped.  Could I have expected anything more?

Here are some tips and tricks to keep the excitement building for the new catalog while grabbing those last sales in the current catalog.  So, whether you are a new consultant or a seasoned one, let’s all make the most of the next few weeks as we get ready to launch a NEW catalog season.

Here are some of the tips to finish off the season strong:

  • Use Customer Care Card or Door Prize Slips to secure bookings and leads at events. Those who book with a date, get a sneak peak at the new catalog.  Let them be the first to receive it in the mail.  Follow-up is important.
  • Use Hostess Stacking and booking games at parties.
  • Keep the party fun to keep your calendar full. To keep your business growing, your goal should be at least 2 bookings from every party or event.  Ask yourself, would you have fun at your parties?  If not, time for a change!
  • Build strong relationships with customers and hostesses. Communication before, during and after the party is the key to building trust and begins building a solid relationship.  They will trust you and people buy from who they trust!
  • Think outside the box for a home party.  Everyone is on the go, so, why not take your party on the go? From a backyard barbeque, an afternoon at the park with your girlfriends and the kiddos, a pool party, the beach, a night out with girls, an ice cream social and traveling with friends and family.
  • This is tricky time – products and prints will be selling out. Know what is available, and be ready to offer options.  Have an idea about what is coming to encourage conversations with potential hostesses. It allows you to have a one on one conversations,  making them feel special because you are providing them with a sneak peek of the upcoming hostess and customer specials.
  • Offer a fun enticing way to get their hands on a book!  A Last Chance, First Glance party. Give your July hostesses the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the new fall catalog at their party.
  • Reach out customers who liked a certain print to help them finish their collection if it is leaving.  Encourage your hostesses or customers to plan parties or purchase early in the month (or as soon as the list comes out), as items begin to sell out closer to the end of the month.

So, what is YOUR best tip for keeping momentum during a catalog change? Share your tips with us.

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Art of Community

Thank you Today God is First for today’s message…

I have a friend who spent three months living in Israel with Jewish believers. During one of their conversations the Jewish man noticed how often my friend came to visit him only to discuss a project. He turned to my friend during dinner and admonished him: “You western Christians! You always seem to need a program or an event to get together. Why can’t you fellowship with one another just because you love each other!?”

My friend was convicted by his assessment. They began to talk about how Jesus modeled love for the disciples and how they simply hung out together because of their love for one another. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Jesus often spent unhurried times of fellowship with the disciples. They shared countless meals together. It is often during such times we get to know others at a deeper level.

Love for one another is one of the greatest signs of faith in Christ. However, the pace of life often contributes to a life being lived for the next event instead of a relationship rooted in the love of Christ.

How many relationships do you have in your life that would allow you to fellowship simply because you cared for one another?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

 

You’ve Got the Gear for Great Things!

Sunday’s have been a time when I shared messages from others but today, this touched my heart and I felt as if I wanted to share personally with you.  The post I read started like this:

Pretend with me for a moment. Let’s say you are on an island in the Pacific. Pick an island, any island, but make it a tropical, lush, and beautiful one. You walk out onto the porch and see some equipment laid out just for you. You know what it is, and you know what it’s for. You’re excited! You’ve always wanted to do this, but never had the right gear.

You slip into a black sleek wet suit, zip up the front closure, and most likely marvel at the way it holds everything in. Then you squeeze your feet into squeaky black flippers. I know they’re tight, but go ahead and wiggle your feet in. Next, you strap a heavy oxygen tank on your back. One arm. Now the other. Finally, you slip a facemask over you nose and eyes, and place a mouthpiece between your lips.

But rather than heading out to the ocean to explore the marvelous coral reef, vibrant fish, and swaying flora, you turn around, go back into the house, fill up the bathtub, and settle in.

I know it sounds silly but think about how many times you may have done the same thing. God has blessed us with many gifts and talents yet how many times do we run from the abundant life to stay in our comfort zone – living in mediocre faith.

I have done it many times.  Always being behind the scenes, not wanting to step out in faith.  Letting fear and doubt keep me from experiencing all God has planned for me.  The truth is, we all have the gear we need, it is just up to us to jump in.  Experiencing our pre-ordained opportunity (destiny).

How many time have you had the argument with God, telling him the many reasons you are not the right one for the job (or the opportunity or the calling)?  I know I have.  Lately, my argument surrounds my memory issues and how I am “not good enough”.  Yet, when I stop and embrace the challenges (actually blessings), I am amazed at the abundance in my life.  I need to take time with God each morning, not just talking (praying and asking) but listening to what he has to say.  The message may not always be clear (brain fog has me struggling) but God’s message will come through one way or another.

I let fear keep me from God’s abundance.  I let the comparison game keep me from stepping out of my comfort zone.  I let the inner gremlins dance in my head and question my faith and my ability to know what God wants me to do.

Many are suited for great things and didn’t even know it.  As a result, they live a life never experiencing the many blessings God has for them.

Here’s my question for you today: What will you say to God when He calls your name or taps you on the shoulder and says, “Now’s the time?”

Perhaps today is the day.  Will you JUMP in, walking in faith or will you retreat within your comfort zone?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Homeland Security

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message:

“A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels, and her value is far above rubies or pearls,” ~ Proverbs 31:10

I just got back from seeing the 9/11 Memorial. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

After the horrific events of that devastating day, President George W. Bush appointed the new cabinet position of Homeland Security. It is defined as the deterrence, prevention, and preemption of, and defense against, aggression targeted at United States territory, sovereignty, population, and infrastructure as well as the management of the consequences of such aggression and other domestic emergencies.

In a speech on July 16, 2002, in the Rose Garden, he explained how Homeland Security would deal with the threats of the 21st century in our country. “Our unity is a great weapon in the fight. And by acting together to create a new and single Department of Homeland Security we’ll be sending the world a signal that the Congress and the administration will work together to protect the American people and to win the war on terror.”

As I read President Bush’s description of homeland security and the perilous dangers that threaten our country, I was reminded of the danger that threatens our homes as well. There is a war going on to destroy the God-ordained institution of marriage in this country and around the world. Interestingly, Webster’s dictionary defines marriage as “the institution under which a man and a woman become legally united on a permanent basis.” Almost every word of that definition is under attack today. We need our own “homeland security” to establish the deterrence, prevention, and preemptions of, and defense against, aggression targeted against our marriages.

For a man to guard his heart usually means he must guard his eyes. For a woman to guard her heart, it means she must guard her emotions. “My coworker really listens to me,” Barbara mused. “My friend, Peter, truly cares about my problems,” Clare reflected. “Bob at the post office likes me in this red sweater,” Mary pondered. Each of these thoughts sets off the “homeland security alarm.” Homeland security begins in our own hearts.

Homeland security also means that we work to protect our families.

The Proverbs 31 woman has represented an ideal for women throughout the ages. While she intimidates some, all would agree she is a role model worth emulating. Scripture describes her as smart, skillful, thrifty, and strong. She’s a good cook, a savvy money manager, a contributor to the community, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a blessed mother, a faithful friend, a loyal wife, and a devotee of God.

As Proverbs 31:10 states, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” The New International Version calls her “a wife of noble character.” But I personally like the Amplified version that describes her as “a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman.” The Hebrew word that’s translated “excellent” or “virtuous” can also mean “wealthy, prosperous, valiant, boldly courageous, powerful, mighty warrior.

She fights Satan on her knees in prayer, she fights her hectic schedule to keep her priorities in proper perspective, and she fights to guard her heart against ungodly influences of the society in which she lives.

In verse 27, we see that the Proverbs 31 woman “watches over the ways of her household,” or as another translation states, “she carefully watches all that goes on in her household” (NLT). The phrase “watch over” means to “hedge about as with thorns,” much as a mother bird might protect her young with the thorny rim of a nest. These same words are also used in the Bible as a military term, such as to watch over a city.

I envision the wife of noble character walking around the wall fortifying her home, fully equipped to take on any enemy that threatens to invade her marriage. But lest we imagine the enemy is always some outside force, I believe the greatest enemy can be what happens in our own hearts and minds.

Homeland security? I believe it begins in our very own hearts and homes.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!