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V for Virtuous – She finds opportunities
Why you should follow this example

womanvineyardThe week ahead of you is going to be busy... groceries, appointments, guests, payments, tests, meetings, reports, cleaning, washing, cooking, working, counseling, shopping, reading... you put everything down on a paper, you scratch your head, and those new lines on your forehead are created...

Sometimes things we do suck all the time we have, leaving us little time left for new things, new ideas, new opportunities...

Opportunities are like treasures, hidden, full of codes and signs – few of us notice them. While the V-woman controls her finances, she's also on the look out for new opportunities to increase her gain. She could have used her profits to buy new fabric to clothe her family, but she decided to use it on more ways to increase their gain... plant a vineyard. Who would think of that?

According to How to Grow Stuff, "starting a vineyard is no small task, but is one that can reap big rewards. With careful planning and execution, you can ensure that your vineyard will provide abundant crops for many years."

People who aim for new opportunities look at things from the top and so they see farther, they see things that are not so in-your-face – which is what the majority of people see. That's what makes them different, that's what makes them stand out... because they do things nobody thought of doing! This is Marcia, she lives in Johannesburg and I've known her 15 years by reputation, and over 10 by working together with her. Always full of ideas, always busy doing something worthwhile. She doesn't just follow people's examples, she likes to be the example and that to me is the perfect opportunist.

Proverbs 31: 16- She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.


In faith,

Cristiane Cardoso

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V for Virtuous - Introduction

vwomanPeople say they want to look like celebrities or like people who did amazing charitable work in the past. I'll be honest with you, I've never aimed that way... It's not that I don't respect what some of they did or do, it's just that I don't really know them personally - how can I want to be like a stranger?

But there's a woman I aim to be like that I know quite personally. In fact, most of my friends all feel the same way about her... she's amazing, a true example to be followed, and I see women moulding themselves like her everyday... she's a true inspiration.

She's the Proverbs 31 woman. The only woman the Bible describes with specifics. The way she handles herself, her family, her work, her time, her money, and her responsibilities. Most Christian women have heard or read about her, and though she's popular with them, there's a bit of controversy when it comes to the things she used to do - it's totally not popular these days anymore...

Let's place her description below, think about it, and start writing about her in the next few days shall we?

10. Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

11. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.
12. She does him good and not evil, All the days of her life.
13. She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.
14. She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.
15. She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.
16. She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17. She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
18. She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.
19. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.
20. She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
24. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25. Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.
26. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27. She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
29. "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all."
30. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

PS. Come back next week to learn more about the V-Woman...



In faith,

Cristiane Cardoso

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The natural calculator

womansilcI'm sure he said that because he thinks this... but if he thinks this, why did he do that? What if he did that because he didn't want to think this? Though it's very likely that he thinks this because he wanted to do that.

We are masters of such conclusions. Women are natural calculators, there's always an equation, some kind of sum, a problem we think we must solve. The equal sign is there and there's an 'x' and a 'y', but not enough to give us a proper result, and so we assume.

And just like a movie director, we begin our own version of why, what, who, where, and how. Until we come to the most possible conclusion in our minds. And it's often negative, the kind of result that usually insults us. So the anger and frustration spreads like a virus, throughout our thoughts and emotions, we can't help it, we just have to explode at some point.

But our emotional state incites other people's emotional reactions, leading us to more problems. It's no longer about an 'x' and a 'y', but a couple of other unknown factors, adding to a more mysterious life algebra.

Instead of just going back and looking at the root -- where it all began, when it was just 'x' and 'y', we begin working with the new 'w' and 'h'. It's now more negative than ever. We feel despised, unappreciated, disrespected, unloved, and uncared for. Self-pity kicks in.

We vent at our friends and they feel our pain and begin trying to solve our problem, which for them, it's something like 'wx' and 'yh' -- their heartfelt advice completely misses the point. We take it anyway, we think 'why not'. Disaster comes like a tsunami.

Let's face it, we're no movie directors, our assumptions are often way off the board, and our friends don't understand a thing about what goes on in places and with people they were not with.

If you want to know what's really going on, don't assume - just ask. And if no answer comes your way, don't judge, just pray. You'll be amazed at what prayer with perseverance can achieve for you.



In faith,

Cristiane Cardoso

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When you're despised

despisedwoman"Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"

"He said to them, "You will surely say this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.'" Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow."
Luke 4:20-26

The Pharisees and religious people looked down on the Lord Jesus because of where He came from. As usual to hypocrites, they recognized His spiritual authority but didn't accept it, and with envy in their heart, spoke harshly about Him.

But the Lord Jesus wasn't intimidated by them. Those who are born of God and filled with the Holy Spirit are not afraid of people like that -- they understand their spiritual deficiency. Jesus spoke boldly and to their face about the time of famine in Israel when the people were not fed by Naaman, the foreigner. This made the Pharisees extremely angry at Him, even to the point of wanting to push Him off the cliff.

Isn't this what happens today with us too? People look down on us because they see no capacity in us. In fact, they like to criticize us. It's interesting to note that these people won't just let us be - you know, when you don't like a restaurant, you simply stop going there. You don't camp outside that restaurant and keep making a scene outside about how much you hated it. And yet, this is what these people usually do... they hate us, but they keep checking out what we're doing, as if they were obsessed with us somehow, looking for things to prove their hatred for us. But their hatred doesn't come from anything we've done, but from evil itself.

That's why, those who are born of God, don't take what their 'supposed enemies' say personally. They understand them, they're just being used.


In faith,

Cristiane Cardoso

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Confusion strikes again

silcdissapointedFirst, you're shocked. Your mind is all over the place, you can't make sense of it all and confusion strikes you.  Then you're sad. A deep sorrow pins inside your heart, tearing it slowly and painfully. Then anger comes in like a boss, suggesting all kinds of emotional behaviors. You're upset. You want to do something with your hands, give some payback, bring down the house. And then as if that wasn't enough, an accusing thought comes to the surface, filling you up with guilt and despair.

I've lost count of how often I've been there. It feels horrible and no matter how many friends and support you get, nothing is enough, until you finally surrender all of it to God. The problem is that it's never done in the right time. It's as if you need to be faithful to your human nature that wants to go through all the motions all the way.

These steps can help:

1. Recognize you were not the one who caused the disappointment. So if there's anyone who should be crying and suffering, that is the other party.

2. Look at the half-full glass. If it weren't for the disappointment, you wouldn't have known who you were dealing with and a greater disappointment would surely come next. You're being spared from worst.

3. Let go of it. Holding on to all the memories that lead you to the disappointment will only make it harder. Stop investigating what else happened, you're too hurt to go there.

4. It's not your fault, move on. No you don't have to be in sorrow or show others you're still there. You can still pick up your bags and go to a better future.

5. Trust God. He'll never disappoint you so hold on to Him and believe that He'll take care of you from now on.



In faith,

Cristiane Cardoso

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