Wisdom for your future.

imagesFriday 7th December 2012

My little girl is almost 15 months old and has quickly changed from being a baby to being a toddler. She is at the stage where she is loving to learn about everyone and everything around her. She eagerly watches as I show her how to do things and she copies so much of what I do. She listens as I explain simple things to her and she willingly tries to do what I ask of her.

I think that as we grow up, our eagerness and willingness to learn and accept advice from others can fade away. We very much live in a society that suggests that we are weak if we need help from others.

However, Proverbs 19:20 (ESV) says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”

What decisions or choices in life are you currently facing? What situations are currently happening in your life in which you know that you need help? Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and guidance from people you trust and who have the knowledge and experience that you need.

A Girl of Wisdom is wise because she doesn’t isolate herself from others. She knows that one of the keys to having a successful life is being willing to learn from those around her. Accepting help today means gaining wisdom for tomorrow.

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Living a life beyond yourself.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

I have some amazing friends travelling and volunteering in Africa at the moment whilst others are preparing for similar ventures in Asia later in the year. This isn’t the type of tourist holiday where you sit on a beach (although they are good too). Rather, it is a person giving their time and skills to invest in those in poverty.

In Proverbs 31:20 (NCV) a wise woman is described as a person who “welcomes the poor and helps the needy.” I love this verse and it excites me to see it in action in my own life and those around me.

There are many forms of “poor and needy” in this world. There are those who have little in the way of food, shelter and water, while others may be suffering from illness or isolation. It’s not just in Africa and Asia, but in our own communities too. We can all do something to help others, the questions is, what are you doing?

1. Think and pray about what you can do. Think about the skills that you already have- you’ll be amazed at what you are already capable of!

2. What stirs your heart? Homelessness, human trafficking, adult illiteracy…. there are so many!

3. Find volunteering organisations that are known for what they do and have proven that they are trustworthy and effective in helping those in need.

4. Think locally and globally. There are things you can do on a regular basis to help those in need in your community as well as overseas volunteering opportunitiees.

A Girl of Wisdom lives outside of her own needs and desires. She is selfless in her motivation and genuinely wants to see poverty abolished. When she sees the needs that exists in the world, she is moved with compassion to reach out her hand to help.

The hallmarks of a true friend.

Tuesday 24th July 2012

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the many types of friends in life, from acquantainces to best friends. Reflecting back over the last decade or two, I’ve seen my friendship circles change. In part this is due to changes in seasons like finishing school and starting university or even moving interstate. Yet some friends, regardless of the happenings of life, have stayed true.

There are many verses in Proverbs about friendship and here are two of my favourites: Proverbs 17:9 (NLT), “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,     but dwelling on it separates close friends,” and Proverbs 17:7 (NLT), “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

What is it about friendships that helps them grow and continue for many years? Here are a few thoughts on the hallmarks of a true friend.

1. Loyalty. A true friend sticks by you no matter what is going on in the world around you.

2. Speaks the truth. This kind of friend doesn’t gossip about you behind your back. They care about you and if they have a concern, they come honestly and directly talk to you about it themselves.

3. Makes time. In this busy world, a true friend finds time to be with you and continues building the friendship through their words and actions.

4. Forgives. Both people in a friendship are bound to make a mistake and hurt the other. Asking for forgiveness and being forgiven are vital to building healthy friendships.

5. Laughs and cries. Life is full of ups and downs and a good friend can laugh with you during the good times and can sit and cry with you when things are not going well.

There are many more traits of a good friend and this week I encourage you to reflect on two things. Firstly, reflect on the friends in your life. Do they exhibit the hallmarks of a true friend? Secondly, how about you? What are you like as a friend?

A Girl of Wisdom is first and foremost a true friend. She is also able to recognise the true friends in her life and continually works at building life long friendships.

Ideas are free…so what’s yours?

Sunday 23 October 2011

I recently heard someone say that they come up with
a new idea each week, one which will help lives and change situations. It challenged me to do the same. So I began to think.

Through my work as a Child Advocate with Compassion, a not for profit working in nations of extreme poverty, and also my volunteer work for Collective Shout campaigning against the sexualisation of girls, I see the need for people to speak out about the great injustices in our world. I also know that a good idea can make a huge impact and that ideas are free.

I often think about an ideal world, and want to see lives being helped. I simply care and often am alarmed by the issues, depravity and sadness that negatively impacts children.

One idea came to me after I picked up a new mobile phone. I received a booklet giving me instructions on how to use the phone, but what it didn’t give me was any responsibilities I should adhere to as a user. I was thinking along the lines of information regarding sexting, online harassment, tagging inappropriate things on facebook or even the downloading of pornography. My idea was simply to make information available for parents and young people, as a way of protecting against harm, educating families of possible issues and having a mechanism to have an open conversation.

So I contacted a national telecommunication company and put my idea to them. And they agreed to roll out the idea in a couple of phases. I didn’t do this to get kudos for my idea, nor to make money. I did it because it was an extension of my advocacy and care for a healthy society.

What about your idea? Will you think of something that will give an uneducated child an opportunity? Will you do something to fight for those less fortunate? Will there be an idea that will impact widows or an innovative idea that will bring justice for the voiceless? Remember, ideas are free. What’s yours?

Deb Malcolm is a passionate advocate of women’s and children’s rights. For more information, visit www.collectiveshout.org and www.compassion.com.au

Time for a good spring clean?

Monday 12 September 2011

I love spring. I love seeing flowers begin to bloom, birds building their nests and the sun shining once again. I also love a good spring clean, going through my cupboards, wardrobe, pantry and the like and having a good clean out of anything that I haven’t used in ages or don’t need anymore. It’s amazing what I find at the back of cupboards- things collecting dust that I had completely forgotten were there!

Just like a clean out of a house is good, sometimes we need to do a bit of an internal spring clean of ourselves. Proverbs 21:3 (MSG) says, “Clean living before God and justice with our neighbours mean far more to God than religious performance.”

Who you are on the inside is important to God. I encourage you in your prayers this week to ask God to show you any areas within you that need a spring clean. You might be surprised by what shows up!

A Girl of Wisdom desires to live a pure life. She’s not afraid to uncover any cobwebs that may be within the corners of her heart and she asks God to help her work through any ‘dusty’ parts of her life.

The Power of One

Monday 15 August 2011.

“The Power of One” is one of my favourite movies. It’s about a young boy growing up in South Africa during the years of Apartheid who, in the midst of his own difficult circumstances, saw the injustice surrounding his country and decided to do something to change it.

There have been countless people throughout the ages who have made a difference in and through their life. Some of them are known to us – Jesus, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela come to mind. Even more people are unknown in the books of history but have still made a difference in the world around them.

Proverbs 31:10 (MSG) says, A good woman is hard to find and worth far more than diamonds. This chapter then goes on to describe the character of this woman in the various facets of her life, from house work to helping those in need.

Making a difference is not about fame or glamour. It’s done in the everyday things of life- from the way that you show love to those around you, to your words spoken both publicly and privately. It’s knowing that your life, the life of one person, can and will make a difference through the choices you make.

A Girl of Wisdom chooses to grow godly character within her life that overflows into the world around her. Regardless of what she’s doing or who she is with, she chooses to make a difference by reflecting Christ in all she does.

Will you stand the test of time?

Monday 18 July 2011

Where would you be without friends in your life? I know I would certainly be worse off if it weren’t for some pretty amazing women who believe in me and walk with me through all the ups and downs of life.

I love how Proverbs talks about friendships. Two of my favourite verses on this subject are, “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family,” found in Proverbs 18:24 (MSG) and also “Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble,” Proverbs 17:17 (MSG).

What kind of friend are you? Do you encourage, support, build and strengthen the friendships around you?

What kind of friends do you have? Are they the kind of friends who do likewise?

A Girl of Wisdom is not a fair-weathered friend. She stands the test of time and no matter what her friends are going through, she is the kind of girl who is right there with them. She encourages, uplifts and builds the relationships in her life.

Put Your Hand UP!!!

Monday 23rd May 2011

Have you ever experienced a time when you weren’t sure what to do? Faced a difficult issue? Or even a great opportunity but needed guidance on what step to take next? 

From time to time, we have all experienced situations like this.

Proverbs 12:15 (NLT) says, “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.”

There are times in life when you need to put your hand up and ask for advice. It’s a sign of strength when you are able to do this! Here are a few thoughts about who to ask for wisdom:

1. Ask God. He always cares, listens and responds to you. Sometimes it’s not in the way or timing that you expect, but go to God first for He is the source of all wisdom and knowledge.

2. Ask someone you trust. Someone you know who will keep your conversation confidential, who will listen with compassion and be able to support you.

3. Ask someone with experience. Nothing is new under the sun. Somewhere, someone in the world has faced a similar circumstance to you and has walked through it well. You can learn so much from their experiences and apply it to your own.

A Girl of Wisdom is not afraid to put her hand up for help and to ask for advice when she needs it. She knows that she greatly benefits from asking God what to do in her circumstance and from the counsel of trusted friends.

What are you walking into?

Sunday 27 March, 2011

Have you ever walked along a beach when there is a sports game going on and suddenly found that you’ve been knocked in the head by a stray ball? I sure have and I can tell you that firstly, I didn’t see it coming and secondly, it really hurt!

We are all walking somewhere in life, be it into a conversation, a work environment, a friendship or a home. We live in the midst of ever changing situations and circumstances. Hopefully, most of the situations and conversations we walk into are positive and constructive, however, there are also times when they are not.

Proverbs 22:3 (MSG) says, “A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.”

A Girl of Wisdom chooses to walk through life with open eyes and ears so that she is able to respond appropriately to the situations around her. She is the kind of girl who looks ahead at circumstances, even if for a brief moment, and is able to get a sense of what is happening. This may be through seeing people’s body language, hearing a change in tone or even a general feeling that something is not quite right.

Let’s be women who recognise those moments in life when we need to “duck” and avoid trouble.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Saturday 30 October, 2010.

A few years ago I was faced with a decision. This was not the kind of day-to-day decision like, “What am I going to eat for lunch today?” Rather, this decision would have a major impact on my life and those around me. I knew I needed time and wise advice to help me make it.

Proverbs 24:5-6 (NIV) says, “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.”

Some decisions will have a profound impact on your life and it’s during these times that someone who can give wise advice is needed. Sure, you may not be “waging a war,” however, you may be faced with other situations such as the decision to move geographically, start a new business, change careers or even to get married!

So what decisions are you facing at the moment? A Girl of Wisdom seeks to find good counsel from someone who she knows has her best interests at heart.

Whatever decision you are facing today, I encourage you to seek these kinds of people out, pray and have a good chat with them, knowing that in the abundance of advisers, good decisions can be made.

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