August 8, 2012

Guest Blog: Modern Good Samaritans

“As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, some robbers attacked him. They tore off his clothes, beat him, and left him lying there, almost dead. It happened that a priest was going down that road. When he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. Next, a Levite came there, and after he went over and looked at the man, he walked by on the other side of the road. Then a Samaritan traveling down the road came to where the hurt man was. When he saw the man, he felt very sorry for him. The Samaritan went to him, poured olive oil and wine on his wounds, and bandaged them. Then he put the hurt man on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he cared for him. The next day, the Samaritan brought out two coins, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of this man. If you spend more money on him, I will pay it back to you when I come again,'” (Luke 10:30-35 NCV).

Sometimes, in life the unexpected is performed by the unlikeliest of characters.  A lawyer approached Jesus and asked, “Who is my neighbor?”  Jesus replied by telling him the story of the Good Samaritan.  A traveler in desperate need of help was passed by the two people who were expected to help, a priest and a Levite, presumably Hebrew, religious leaders of the day.  If anyone’s going to help a dying man, it would be a religious leader right?  Wrong!  In this case, a Samaritan, someone of a race historically mixed with and despised by Hebrews and vice versa was the unlikely hero of the story (Knowles, 2004).

In life and business, the opportunity to extend or withhold help will present itself to us.  What we choose to do in that moment will positively or negatively determine our future outcomes.  Researcher Thomas Tang and his colleagues conducted a study to test a model of employee helping behavior that explored the intrinsic (i.e. “The Good Samaritan Effect”) and extrinsic (i.e. money) motivations of employees’ decisions to help or not help a co-worker.  The study concluded that money negatively affected an employee’s willingness to aid another employee and intrinsic (altruistic) motives (i.e. “The Good Samaritan Effect”) was positively related to helping behavior.  The Samaritan had no obligation to help the dying man, yet moved with compassion he tended to the half-dead man above and beyond the call of duty.

Fast forward a couple thousand years and this is how the story of the Good Samaritan might look like in today’s business environment.

A Modern Samaritan

A woman wakes up from a coma wondering where she is.  A stranger is by her bedside and her body is wracked with pain.  “What happened?” she wonders and to the stranger she struggles, “Wh-who are you?”  It even hurts to speak.

“Who I am isn’t important,” he responds. “Only that you get better”.

*****

James sat in his office—recovering from his daily, verbal beat-down from his abuse boss and ready for a night out with his sweetheart makes ready to clock out.  But just then, he hears shots outside the office.

James leaves the office and sees a crowd gathering and curiosity prompts him to push forward to see the spectacle.  When he saw the couple gunned down like dogs on a highway, the contents of his stomach ascended past his mouth and onto the victims’ helpless bodies.

What he did not know was that the unfortunate couple was his boss and his boss’ wife, Waldorf; they’d been so disfigured by the beating and shootings, that they were unrecognizable.

“How can these people just walk past them and stare doing nothing?” James asked, half to himself and half aloud.  He wiped his mouth as he dialed 911 and soon the paramedics arrived.

He watched them load the bloodied bodies in the backs of the ambulances wondering “what if that was my wife?  Or what if that was me?”  James shuddered at the thought.  As the paramedic began to close the door he called out.

“Wait!  I’m coming too!”

“Are you a family member?” the paramedic asked confused.  “No, but I’m paying the hospital bill!”  And just like that, he hopped in the van and they were off.

*****

The woman looks at him again and asks, “Who are you?” in slow, laboured breaths.

“Who I am isn’t important,” James repeats, looking at her husband out of the corner of his eye.  “Only that you get better”.  It wasn’t until the victims were cleaned up that he finally recognized them.

His response grated on her more than all the combined pain of her current condition and a single tear slid out of Waldorf’s right eye.

What James did for Waldorf and his wife was purely altruistic; when he found out that is was them, it no longer mattered what type of relationship he’d had with his boss.  He had the opportunity to extend or withdraw a helping hand.  After all, if he’d refused, he would have [mentally] been justified in his actions—his wife was waiting on him for a romantic dinner date.  However, he set aside his personal needs to help a total “stranger.”  Like the Good Samaritan in the above passage of scripture, James was moved with compassion, and in both cases, lives were saved.

My Conclusion

Neither James nor the Good Samaritan knew who they were helping, but they helped anyways.  This was Jesus’ point to the lawyer—the victim in the story was robbed and stripped naked, thereby leaving him unidentifiable.  His lack of identity emphasized the importance of aiding someone regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, and other labels used to categorize individuals.  When it’s all said and done, we are all human, and based on this shared humanity we should reach out and care for others in need when the opportunity arises.

In business, you never know who your next customer might be.  You do not know how a small act of kindness could turn that person into an enthused brand ambassador or loyal customer.  However, that should not be the motivation for helping others only an added benefit for doing so.

Oh!  Did I mention, months after Waldorf and his wife recovered, he visited James and apologized for his nasty behavior toward him?

About the Author:

Namie Bimba is the daughter of missionaries and is an MBA Candidate at Regent University.  She blogs about various life experiences, events, culture, fashion, theology, and more at www.missbimba.tumblr.com.

References:

  • Biblegateway.com. (2012). The Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-27. New Century Version. Retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2010:25-37&version=NCV.
  • Knowles, M.P. (2004). What was the victim wearing? Literary, economic, and social contexts for the parable of the Good Samaritan. Biblical Interpretation, 12(2), 145-174.
  • Tang, T., Sutarso, T., Davis, G., Dolinski, D., Ibrahim, A., & Wagner, S. (2008). To Help or Not to Help? The Good Samaritan Effect and the Love of Money on Helping Behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(4), 865-887.

Previous Post: “Introducing Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

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July 31, 2012

Introducing Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York

I wanted to share a special blog with you all that is was originally posted in my DA Weddings blog, but because the subject is a successful wife and “momprenuer” I knew she’d be a perfect fit and inspiration for you all.  So now I present to you: Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York!

Today I’d like to introduce to you Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York.  Hopefully, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard about her, although this is her first debut on DA Weddings.  Since 2004, Ceci has been building a fabulous empire of charming sophistication, bespoke (custom made) pieces, and all-around luxury that no one can deny.  Her empire–namely as it concerns invitations–is built on creations that will absolutely have you in raptures over the beautiful, bespoke designs.

About Ceci

Ceci is stunningly beautiful, refreshingly original, and amazingly multi-faceted individual without whom the world of weddings, fashion, and design would be lacking that certain something that only she can offer.  As a contributing editor and blogger for many sites such as Style Me Pretty and frequently featured in various publications such as Town & CountryBRIDESMartha StewartElegant BrideElleInStyle, and many others, Ceci has very decidedly created her own voice in the creative industries as a trustworthy name, luxury brand, and true designer.  To learn more about Ceci Johnson, please see here.

About Ceci New York & Ceci Weddings

Ceci New York was the artiste’s first venture.  The company, founded in 2004, is a one-of-a-kind luxury invitation brand catering to royalty, A-list celebrities, corporate clientele, as well as other high profile individuals and brands.

Her techniques are fresh breath of air in a sea of designers who rely heavily on templates and other cookie-cutter type design processes.  All of the designs created by Ceci New York are high-end, ornate, “things” of beauty that any bride or other stationary-seeking individual would be thrilled to have.  To view her exclusive line of Ceci Weddings invitations, please visit her site.

About CeciStyle 

CeciStyle is a weekly “style letter” absolutely brimming with inspiration, education, and always—sophistication.  In it she utilizes her graphic design and visual styling experience gives expert advice on style, entertainment ideas, last-minute gift ideas, and much, much more.  From fashion and décor to invitations and weddings, CeciStyle is a place for you the be enthralled by it all.  Subscribe to CeciStyle today!

Awards & Accolades

Ceci’s vast industry experience and reach has allotted her some very much deserved awards and accolades, some of which include:

  • “25 Top Trendsetters” by Modern Bride
  • “Expert Stationer” by New York Magazine
  • “Invitation Innovator” by WEtv

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Ceci also serves as a spokeswoman for several networks, a panel expert for Wedding Central, a frequent television guest, as well as globetrotting speaker on branding and style to brides and industry professionals alike.

Ceci Johnson’s incredible taking of all that is wedding, style, and sophistication is truly a testament to her unique, creative abilities.  Be inspired by Ceci’s incredible and decorative abilities today, you won’t be sorry!

For more information and inspiration by Ceci Johnson, please visit her website or follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

For Ceci Weddings Pricing, see here.

Original DA Weddings Post: “Introducing Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York

Previous Post: “Your Cake & Eat It Too!” (Of Marissa Mayer)

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

July 26, 2012

Your Cake & Eat It Too!

I’m sure many of you have heard of the new Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer: the former Google exec with a new appointment and a new addition—or at least a new addition on the way.   She seems to have it all.  But is it really possible?  Can she really have it all?

Women, true to form, have lauded and lashed out against her, at least verbally.  Some like me—and hopefully you—are thrilled for her new position and wish her God’s absolute best, but others, either afraid that she will fail or hope that she will fail, respond with jealousy and anger.  It’s very likely those in the “old boy’s club” are not too thrilled about Mayer’s appointment, but as women, we should be doing everything in our power to support her.  If she can’t rely on us, then who can she rely on?

Supporting Marissa as Christians

First of all, as women who are also entrepreneurs and writers, we should support Marissa Mayer because it is the godly thing to do.  Jealously and envy have no place in the Christian woman, neither do plotting and scheming against anyone.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God,” (Galatians 5:19-21 emphasis mine).

Paul teaches the Galatians, a sect of Celtic [Gaul] Christians of the time, that there are many acts which will cause us to miss heaven and among them are:

  • Hatred
  • Contentions
  • Jealousies
  • Outbursts of Wrath
  • Selfish Ambitions
  • Dissensions
  • Envy
  • Murders [Slander, Character Assassination]

When we partake in these actions, we throw off the image of God and put on an entirely other and ugly image.  No wonder the men likely don’t respect poor Marissa!  Women don’t, so why should they?

We should be focusing, rather on good thoughts or good “energy” as the world calls it as far as Marissa is concerned.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:22-26).

We should instead be displaying these godly traits:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Longsuffering [Patience]
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-Control

The fruit of the spirit is what we should be walking in towards Marissa and others like her.

Supporting Marissa as Fellow Women

We should also support Marissa because her success can be ours as well.  If and when she succeeds, that could mean phenomenal things for women who work.  We can have mom-friendly work environments where women will not have to be afraid to take babies to the doctor’s office, attend school recitals, and even turn the Blackberrys and iPhones off at a certain time.  We can create and support environments where women don’t have to be scared to become pregnant and increase their families for fear of being fired.  Who knows?  Maybe woman, wife, and mom-friendly work environments will cause us to be better at all of those jobs as well as simultaneously becoming better at work and in society as a whole.  Who wouldn’t want that kind of environment?

It’s lovely and very desirable to have a husband who is the breadwinner; however, some of us have destinies to complete outside of our first position as wife and mother so we should do everything we can to support a seamless relationship between home and work by supporting the Marissas of the world.

It is possible to have it all, just like the Proverbs 31 Woman did.  However, it will be easier on all of us if we work together or at least support each other when we are awarded fantastic positions, make new acquisitions, soar to new heights, and yes, become pregnant for the first time at age 37.  Marissa Mayer must already be a phenomenal woman to accomplish what she has, so let’s make sure that her growing baby will live in a world that understands it is ok for a woman to succeed in the home and out.  Let’s bless Marissa and in turn, be blessed ourselves!

Related Post: “How to Balance Motherhood and Career (if You’re Not Marissa Mayer” by FORBES Magazine

Previous Post: “Beauty AND Brains

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

July 18, 2012

Beauty AND Brains

Esther, like Daniel, the three Hebrew Princes, Joseph, and her cousin-uncle Mordecai, found herself in the court of a foreign king.  Her people were brought to the Babylonian kingdom, soon overtaken by the Medes and Persians, and under the rule of Xerxes I a.k.a. Ahasuerus.

Esther’s Dual Captivity

Ahasuerus’ wife, Vashti, embarrassed him in front of his likely drunk princes, government officials, and military men by not appearing and thus bought herself and one-way ticket to former “queendom”.  Beautiful virgins were taken from all over the empire and dragged to the royal citadel to become part of the king’s harem in hopes that one of them would be worthy enough to land the newly vacant role of Queen.  Esther, formally known as “Hadassah”, was among these women.

Now most PG-rated ministers will tell you that the king simply wanted to look at the women, pick who was prettiest, and make her queen.  They would be wrong.  The king spent one night—not sleeping—with each virgin, allowing them to cross over from the virgin’s harem to the experienced women’s harem to remain indefinitely until the king called them by name.

This, as I’m sure you know, is against everything Christians and Jews—especially ancient, traditional Jews—believe in.  Sleeping with a man you were not formally married to or at least not considered married until after the [sexual] intercourse took place; marrying a foreigner, etc.  There were rules against that kind of thing.  And yet God allowed it.  Could it be that the king’s acquisition of Esther was made to mirror the acquisition of the entire people?  The prophet Jeremiah prophesied time and time again that those who gave in to the Babylonian captivity would flourish and be blessed while those who resisted it brought themselves under a curse (Jeremiah 29).  Likewise, had Esther fought the king and his servants or allowed herself to sink into the depths of despair, then she would have missed her blessing and ultimately been destroyed.  But Esther knew her God.

Esther’s Smarts

Another Babylonian “acquisition”, Daniel knew the benefit of knowing his God as well.

“But the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits,” (Daniel 11:32).

Like Daniel, Esther understood that her situation was not traditional or even desirable, but she also understood that she could choose to make the most out of it and allow God to do “exploits” through her.

Esther put on a positive attitude and through her amiability, God gave her favour with the eunuch who ran the entire harem.  It was he that instructed her on what she should wear for her encounter with the king.  I don’t know if the king liked a certain kind of jewelry, perfume, Medo-Persian lingerie or what, but whatever the eunuch gave Esther to wear, she apparently wore it very well and I believe that her willingness to adapt and learn coupled with her optimism and favour was what moved the king to select her.  Of course, God’s hand was in all of this from the beginning; however, Esther played her part in the grand scheme of things very well.

Eventually, Esther won favour that had her king-husband overruling himself, countering edicts, and offering her up to half his kingdom on multiple occasions.  Needless to say, Esther had Ahasuerus in the palm of her hand.  I can imagine that they had a very long, happy life together despite his non-Jewish heritage and religion.  God absolutely used Esther “for such a time as this” and through her position and favour, allowed her to save alive her entire captive people and set the stage for Nehemiah and Ezra to lead the people back to Israel.  Today, Esther’s tomb is still guarded and lauded by the Muslim, sworn enemies of Israel and Christianity in Modern day Persia [Iran] despite her Jewish-captive status.  If that isn’t a lasting legacy, I don’t know what is.

Take a Cue from Esther

What I love about Esther was that she was not religious; that would have cost her her life or at least her favour in the royal harems and court.  Esther was discerning with her faith; she knew when to keep it to herself and when to display it.  She also did not employ manipulation, fear, or mere beauty to get what she wanted.  If she had, her favour and position never would have lasted.  Esther chose instead to use her brains.  Yes, her beauty was absolutely a tool and benefit, but it was not all she had.  I dare say there were other, prettier girls in the harem with her, but something about her caused her to stand out.

What do you have in your possession?  As women, especially in the corporate world, we are encouraged to act or dress a certain way that will attract the desired attention and help us up the corporate ladder.  That is not God’s way; it’s manipulation.  Then there is the other extreme who try to equate themselves to men, take no care for their appearance or even hide it, attempting to force the men around them to see only their work and not their face or form.  This doesn’t work too well either.  It is possible to be a successful female entrepreneur and businesswoman whilst being attractive and well-dressed.

Your appearance can be an asset to you just like it was to Esther, but don’t let that be the end; allow it to only be a means to an end.  Think like this “people notice me because of how I look”, (be realistic, not arrogant), “but I will allow it to be a platform for my true gifts and talents”.

Numerous times in the past when I would apply for particular jobs, the hiring managers would verbalize their desire to hire me because of how I looked.  Even back in high school a guest speaker informed me that she would trust me as a [future] wedding planner because of how I looked and presented myself.  And just the other day, a movie executive interested in helping me publish my first book told me that my “great name” was one of the benefits that place me ahead of other aspiring authors.  And guess what?  I have the knowledge and expertise to back up those beauty and name-based remarks.

So again I ask you: what do you have?  Maybe you’re like me and have a good-looking outer shell in your favour.  This also means that many people have probably underestimated you because of your beauty; story of my life.  Most people have no clue of the God-ideas and depth that are within me.

A few weeks ago I participated in a conference call with Marshawn Evans, marketplace mentor and reinvention strategist, who recalled a time when an ex-boyfriend of hers doubted her ability to write a professional column for a magazine saying, “What are you going to write about?  You’re a pretty short book”.  WOW.  I’ve had a lot of things said to me in my day, but never anything so ugly.  Luckily for Marshawn, she’s written that column, SKIRTS in the Boardroom, had a successful law career, and now has a thriving branding and marketing business; all by her early 30s.  Sucks for him whoever he was.

Marshawn Evans

So for the last time, I ask you: what do you have?  Beauty is a God-given gift from the Father of Lights who desires that you use it for His glory (James 1:17).  That beauty will serve as a “foot in the door” which will lead to a platform to display the full set of gifts and talents God has given you as well.  Don’t be a Vashti and hide behind your religious convictions, false humility, and futile desire for the world to judge you based on your talents and not your beauty.  The world will see your outer shell before they ever give you the time to display what you are gifted to do.  Don’t fight it.  Go with the flow, put your trust in God, and allow Him to make you and Esther in your realm of influence!

For the entire story of Esther, see the Book of Esther.

Previous Post: “Wisdom in the Workplace

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

July 12, 2012

Wisdom in the Workplace

Since we’ve been on a “captivity kick” lately, first with the four Hebrew boys and refusing the king’s negative influence, next with the young princes keeping the God-Factor, then with Joseph’s integrity, we’re going to continue the theme with Mordecai’s wisdom.  When most people think of the Book of Esther, they think of the woman’s fortitude or Haman’s anti-Semitism, but they don’t really think of Mordecai.  Yet he was truly a remarkable man.

Mordecai the Guardian

From the scriptures, we know that Mordecai was Esther’s elder cousin who raised her after the demise of her parents.  Some commentaries even think that he might have possibly been even raising her to be his wife.  Whatever the situation, Mordecai set his face to raise this young girl with godly morals, a level head, and a true sense of family.  He had no idea his little “Hadassah” would one day become the queen of the Medo-Persian Empire.  But Mordecai was not just a good Jew and family man; he was employed by the royal court of Ahasuerus.

Mordecai the Scribe

Mordecai sat in the king’s gate or court which meant that he was a man of intelligence and knowledge; very likely a scribe.  His wisdom of the Medo-Persian culture and palace life gave him the wisdom to counsel Hadassah into taking a Babylonian name, and not disclosing her lineage or religion.  It was also this wisdom—coupled with his palace access—that allowed him to save the king’s life.

“In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.  So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name.  And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king,” (2:21-23).

Mordecai reported an assassination attempt on Ahasuerus, the culprits were captured, and executed.  This was an excellent example of Mordecai’s wisdom.  And although it took him a while to be rewarded for it, he was when the timing was right.  And my, was it an honour!

“‘What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?’….And Haman answered the king, ‘For the man whom the king delights to honor, let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head.  Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor.  Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!”’  Then the king said to Haman, ‘Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate!  Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.’  So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’” (Esther 6:6-11).

This honour foreshadows the honour God would give him in the form ascension in government.

Mordecai’s wisdom is also shown in his unwavering faith to God—he refused to bow before the enemy of God’s people: Haman.

Haman, a descendant of the Amalekites and sworn enemies of the Jewish people, was the second highest man in all of the empire.  It ate him up that Mordecai refused to bow to him so he sought to take him out.  But God honoured Mordecai and in the end, Haman and his sons were hung on the very gallows he built for Mordecai.

Mordecai the Governor

Mordecai was made governor, a.k.a. “prime minister” over all the empire in place of Haman.  All that Haman had: his position, his authority, and his property was given to the man of God.  His position combined with the wisdom he instilled in Esther to conceal her ethnicity and religion until the right time was what preserved the entire Jewish population of the Medo-Persian Empire from destruction and brought about the Jewish celebration of Purim.  God justly and greatly compensated his son Mordecai for properly employing divine wisdom.

The Principal Thing

King Solomon, like Mordecai, knew the importance of wisdom.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding,” (Proverbs 4:7).

This means that whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you work, you must get wisdom and understanding.  It could be the difference between a new client and a miss; a new business venture and a business failure; a promotion or a demotion.

Wisdom can steer you from bad investments, bad partners, bad employees, as well as bad people to share your dreams and aspirations with.  Wisdom gives you the discretion to temper your faith with your career and professional associates.  Proverbs is full of the promises that can be given due to the hearkening to and application of wisdom.  And just like Mordecai, God can and will prosper you in a “strange land” and you will flourish in your sphere of influence.  But you must exercise wisdom!

Previous Post: “Living a Life of Integrity

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

July 4, 2012

Living a Life of Integrity

In the last two posts, we’ve been discussing Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael—the four Hebrew princes taken captive to Babylon.  We’ve discussed their spiritual resolve to not assimilate as well as the God-Factor, both of which allowed them to excel to the top positions in Babylonian government.

A Life of Integrity

Today, we’ll be discussing a similar prince in a similar situation.  Joseph, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, was transplanted against his will to Egypt, the empire that controlled the world at that time, as a mere slave.  Sold by his brothers to his distant cousins, the Ishmaelites and Midianites, they bought him to Egypt and sold the 17 year old to Potiphar, a chief officer in Pharaoh’s government.  For the full story, read Genesis 37; 39-47.

While in Potiphar’s home, he rose above all the other common slaves and slave masters until he became the governor of Potiphar’s estate.  His power was so widespread that the Bible tells us Potiphar only worried about what he had to eat (Genesis 39:6).  Potiphar did well to utilize Joseph’s talents in his home; unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife took notice of Joseph and believed him to have “special talents” as well.  So she threw herself at him.

This is where Joseph’s integrity and quality truly shined through.  Had Joseph forgotten his God and his integrity, he could have easily become puffed up with his talents and gifts without repentance that are without repentance (Romans 11:29), but Joseph feared the Lord and respected Potiphar, so he ran.

And what did Joseph get for his integrity?  Slammed in jail.  But God looked out for Joseph and even though he was technically a prisoner, he rose to the same position as governor in the prison.  The warden favoured Joseph so much so that he entrusted Pharaoh’s imprisoned cup bearer and baker into his care.

While in prison, both servants had two seemingly similar dreams, but with drastically different results.  God enabled the young man to interpret their dreams, and they came to past just as he said.  And what did Joseph get for prophesying the reinstatement of Pharaoh’s cupbearer?  Forgotten.  But God did not forget him.

Joseph’s integrity, paired with God’s favour, caused him to be brought before Pharaoh to describe and interpret two troubling dreams he had.  His gifts literally made room for him (Proverbs 18:16).  But not only that, his integrity with Potiphar and the prison warden enabled him to rise above his unfair lot in life.

God gave Joseph the description and interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams to Joseph which pleased Pharaoh, intimidated Pharaoh’s courtiers, and caused the young Hebrew to be promoted to the position of governor or prime minister over all the land of Egypt.  Most may believe that this is the end of Joseph’s testing, but that is not true.  The last true test involved how he treated his family after he’d ascended to the second highest throne in the land.

When a famine prophesied in Pharaoh’s dreams came to past, Joseph’s brothers were driven to Egypt to buy grain so their families wouldn’t starve.  He could have had them thrown them into jail without a moment’s thought if he had allowed himself to harbor unforgiveness in his heart.  He could have given them a punishment to fit the crime and it would have been just by man’s law, especially with all of Egypton his side.  But Joseph had integrity.  He tested his brothers, made sure his full blood-brother was still alive, blessed them, and bade them return to Egypt permanently.

In every level of testing, “from the pit to the palace”, Joseph never forgot his God or his integrity.  I would that so many of us were as steadfast!

Are You a Person of Integrity?

Joseph’s integrity seeped into every aspect of his life; in fact that is what the word denotes.  It means to be whole; the same through and through.  And the truth of the matter is, if Joseph did not have good character in one area, it would have eventually seeped into the other areas of his life.  Like a beverage spilling onto a pile of napkins, the liquid will not stay on the top, but seep further and further down until every layer of the pile is affected.  So what does your life look like?

Do you lie to your kids or spouse?  You’ll start to lie to your employees.  Do you list tax write-offs that shouldn’t technically be added to the list?  You’ll likely start mismanaging your company fund or finances.  Whatever your problem area is, you first need to admit that it is a problem or even a sin, depending on what the issue is. God can fix it if you let Him.  And when He does, you have the opportunity to right your wrongs and become true person of integrity.

When you operate in integrity, God will bless and favour you like He did Joseph.  Whether people acknowledge your character or not, God will and He will do it for all to see.  Choose now to live a life of integrity!

Previous Post: “Keeping the God-Factor

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

June 27, 2012

Keeping the God-Factor

Last week, you might have read my post “Don’t Eat the King’s Food or Drink the King’s Wine!” based on the experience of Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael—better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego—being taken captive to Babylon.  We focused on the refusal of eating and drinking from the king’s table in order to avoid his influence of doctrine and spirit which was wholly intended to help assimilate them into Babylonian culture.

Removing the God-Factor

Today our post will focus on the God-factor in the young Hebrew men’s names.  When King Nebuchadnezzar took the Judean princes captive, one of the first things he did was change their name.

  • Daniel became “Belteshazzar” or “Baltasar”
  • Hananiah became “Shadrach”
  • Mishael became “Meshach”
  • Azariah became “Abed-Nego”

This renaming was not just a foreign king exercising his royal captor rights over his new captives, but it was a pointed effort to remove the “God-factor” from their names and replacing it with a “god-factor”.  But to better understand this, let’s look at what the names mean.

  • “Daniel” means “God is my judge”
  • “Hananiah” means “the grace of the Lord” or “Jehovah is gracious”
  • “Mishael” means “who is what God is?” or “He that is the strong God”
  • “Azariah” means “the Lord is my help” or “God has helped”

The Babylonian or Chaldean names they were given are as follows:

  • “Belteshazzar” or “Beltasar” means “keeper/revealer of the hidden treasures of Bel” whom the Babylonians worshiped
  • “Shadrach” means “inspiration of the sun” which the Babylonians worshiped
  • “Meshach” means “of the goddess Shach” Shach being the Babylonian Aphrodite [Greek] or Venus [Roman] whom the Babylonians worshiped
  • “Abed-Nego” means “servant of the shining fire” whom the Babylonians worshiped

Nebuchadnezzar no longer wanted to hear the “El” in Daniel or Mishael nor the “Ah” in Hananiah and Azariah because it was the reference to El Elion and Jehovah and other names of God; with their Hebrew names every time someone called their name, they called on God.  But with their new Babylonian names, the false gods of the Babylonians were called upon instead.

You may be wondering as fascinating as this teaching is—hopefully you think it’s fascinating—what does this have to do with writing or building a business?  Glad you asked!

Keeping the God-Factor in your Work

The God-factor in your ventures and endeavors may not be as literal as changing a name from Judeo-Christian to pagan; however, it is possible to have it and even to remove it.

You have heard me speak of Tolkien’s theory of Sub-creation before, and I will mention it again here.  Sub-creation, the ability to create within our own spheres of influence, mimicking the Ultimate Creator, is an excellent way of keeping the God-factor in your work.  It is possible to have it as a non-Christian, but it is all the more effective and evident if you are a believer.  When you sub-create, you see God’s hand in your work whether you write about Him overtly as I am or whether it just happens to be the spirit of a piece such as in The Chronicles of Narnia series and even in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

You can also keep scriptural values and mindsets in your work whether it is your office or your blog.  I don’t [usually] preach in my DA Weddings blog, but I silently uphold the Gospel by refusing to celebrate or encourage homosexual “marriages” or commitment ceremonies.  Furthermore, anyone who works for DA Weddings in the future will have to maintain that value in their work as well.  Also in many various pieces I write as well as in my Desired Assistance company mission, I firmly believe in operating in a spirit of excellence, much like Daniel.

Keeping the God-factor could mean that you refuse to take on a particular project or accept a particular client.  It could mean that you discretely shun the language typical for a particular scene or publication.  Whatever your “Babylon”, God will allow you the ability to work in a secular, ungodly environment and maintain your relationship with Him.  And when the time comes, He will use you to demonstrate His supernatural power in a way that will elevate you and exalt your before the world.

Previous Post: “Don’t Eat the King’s Food or Drink the King’s Wine!

Reference Video Series: “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory” (Bishop Tudor Bismark).

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

June 20, 2012

Don’t Eat the King’s Food or Drink the King’s Wine!

When we as Christians think about the spirit of excellence, we automatically look to the prince, Daniel, as our example.  His [cousins] Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego—also shared in this spirit of excellence.  But how did they achieve it?  Let’s find out!

Refusing the Influence of Babylon

At the very beginning of the Book of Daniel, we are introduced to the four young men as well as their pathway to excellence.

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself….So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.  Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.’  So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.  And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies,” (Daniel 1:8; 11-15).

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—princes ofIsraelbrought captive toBabylon—respectfully refused to eat the meat and drink the wine of King Nebuchadnezzar.  It was not that the food and wine were evil in and of itself, but rather what they represented.

In the spirit, the king’s meat represented doctrine which is closely related to bread in the Bible which as we know represents the Word (Acts 2:42; 46).  Therefore, if we “eat” from an evil king’s table, we eat of his influence.

Similarly, the wine or drink of the king represents his spirit (Amos 9:13 AMP; Revelation 14:8).  Wine is even nicknamed as “spirits” because it has the propensity to influence a person and make them act a certain way that is out of character.  Therefore, if we partake of the king’s wine and drink, we partake of his ungodly spirit.  Do you want that? I don’t.

Thus, the four Hebrew princes decided not to “defile” themselves and instead chose to refuse the kings richness and ate fresh vegetables and water and milk.  And when the eunuch charged with their care saw the pleasant appearance of their countenance, he never tried to feed them anything but their special diet again.

The Results of the Princes’ Nutritional Abstinence

Upon the princes’ graduation from “Babylon University”, King Nebuchadnezzar personally examined all of the young captive graduates and found that the four were “TEN TIMES BETTER than all the magicians and astrologers who were in ALL HIS REALM” (Daniel 1:20), TEN TIMES BETTER!

Now let me break this down to you. Babylon, the seat of the Babylonian empire, the greatest empire in the world at the time, was an absolute cesspool of Occultic practices.  All of the “wise men” or “magi” of the time who were considered the best in the world, were there.  These people were psychics, necromancers, witches and wizards, mediums, pagan priests/priestesses, and many more who excelled in their demonic professions and practices, yet Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah excelled them all!  The learned men including the advisors and counselors of the king and the heads of “BabylonianUniversity” were completely outshined.  Just as Joseph had outshined the wise men and magicians of Pharaoh’s court, so did these young princes.  Not to mention that the Bible says they were TEN TIMES BETTER “in all matters of wisdom and understanding” which mean they exceeded every Chaldean [Babylonian] expert in every subject.

Don’t Let Babylon Influence You

Three years ago this month, I heard Bishop Tudor Bismark preach a message on this very subject.  In it, he stated that the “system [ofBabylon] is designed to attack young people” (The Kingdom”, King Jesus International Ministry).  He could not have been more right.

When Nebuchadnezzar took the Northern Kingdom of Judah, he took the very best of the kingdom.

“Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans,” (Daniel 1:3-4).

He took the most handsome, the most intelligent, the fastest learners, and the most socially adjusted young men from among the royal family and upper echelon of society and took them back toBabylonto indoctrinate them with their culture, religion, and overall thinking.  In short, they wanted fully assimilated Hebrew princes so you could not tell the difference between Hebrew and Chaldean.  It’s a very smart plan if you plan on assimilating an entire people, detaching them from their God and history, as well as shifting the future of their lineage.

Newsflash: you may be in New York, London, or Lagos, but Satan’s demonic plans to forcefully assimilate you into his kingdom has not changed.  The spirit of Babylon still seeks to take your talents, your God-given gifts, you ideas, concepts, and inventions and claim them for his own use.  Don’t give in!

Don’t drink the spirit of the age whether it be apathy, passivity, or lukewarmness.  Refuse to eat from his doctrines of tolerance, homosexuality, free love, and other doctrines of devils.  If you do, you will be assimilated into the Babylonian culture of our day like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah’s undiscerning and unrecognized peers.

All of the gifts God has given you, literary skills, entrepreneurial ventures, vocal abilities, brilliant inventions, and more will never be fully realized in you unless you fully submit them to God and refuse to be influenced by the dark kingdom.  Every good and perfect thing comes from God (James 1:17); don’t let Satan use your good for his vain glory.

Previous Post: “Plagiarise for Jesus

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com

June 13, 2012

Plagiarise for Jesus!

Yes you heard me correctly and yes I spelled it with an “s” instead of a “z”.  [As a rule, I generally lean towards British spelling when I have the liberty.]  I was wondering what I should write about today and then it hit me—plagiarising for Jesus!  This may sound irresponsible and potentially illegal, but hear me out.  When I think of literature such as the Bible as well as other books with sound doctrine written by other men and women of God, I think of literature that is not “come up with” but rather, “downloaded” from another source.

Permission Granted

The word plagiarise means to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own; to use another’s production without crediting the source (Merriam-Webster).  As Christians and thus, as sub-creators, we possess the ability to receive divine downloads from heaven to be recorded for the inspiration, encouragement, and edification of mankind (see “Sub-Creation or Smuggled Theology”).  The Apostle Paul said this to his spiritual son Timothy:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,” (II Timothy 3:16-17).

Those of us with the ability to write were created to do so with the blessing of God as well as the ability to receive recognition and monetary compensation for it; His only request is that we give Him the glory for the ability to write it.  He is the Creator of everything after all.

 

The Best Inspiration

The leading of God is the best and surest way to write, or for that matter create, anything worth writing or creating.  If one attempts to write on their own—which is not wrong in any way—if innate ability is there, great work can indeed be done.  But with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which is possible with or without being a Christian although it is much easier to come by as well as much more frequent, is the best way to avoid mediocre work and especially writer’s block.  In fact, every single time I have written under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I have never suffered a bought of writer’s block; not once.

Writing with God’s leading is a gift.  It is not like plagiarising a paper of someone else’s with or without their knowledge.  Instead, it would be as if I wrote a song and gave you the full permission to copyright and record it.  It is a privilege to be considered worthy of such a gift from such a God.  If you want to write that popular blog, winning article, or New York Times’ Bestseller, then trust God to give you the divine download you need to achieve what you must.

Previous Post: “Write to Connect

June 6, 2012

Write to Connect

As a human being and especially as an entrepreneur, you absolutely need to harness the power writing to connect.  Now that connection could be to yourself or to other people, but the connection—whatever it may be, is paramount.  Let’s look at the three different ways you can connect through writing.

Connect with Yourself

Connecting with yourself through writing is absolutely important if you expect to connect with other people.  Often at the beginning of English or writing classes, the teacher/professor will have the students start of by answering a question about themselves; other times, the students are required to keep a journal.  Answering the indicated questions and keeping a journal allows the students to connect with themselves further than they would have without the journal.

I have kept a journal off and on since I was 11 or 12.  Oftentimes, I am able to look back at my journals throughout the years and see where I was—good or bad—at that time because it was plainly expressed in my writing.  Sometimes I cringe, other times I’m thrust into a state of retrospection, and other times still I am astounded at what God has brought to past or revealed to me over time.  You see, as I began to mature in Christ, I started to keep journals of that relationship specifically.

Many times God will speak to me and I will immediately record it in a journal and if I keep it before my eyes, it is an encouragement, instruction, as well as indications of what to look and hope for.  It helps me connect in my relationship to God which rebounds and allows me to connect with myself.  I also have a Promise Journal which I employ to record the manifestation of God’s [prophetic] word to me as it comes to past.  I find it very encouraging and also believe that it increases my faith and in turn encourages God to keep doing what He’s doing. It’s wonderful really!

In some cases, I will write letters.  These letters could be to God or to an actual human being.  I find that especially in these letters to other human beings, it helps me make plain and connect with my emotions and heart concerning that person and I can say things that either do not need to be said verbally or need to be tempered with wisdom, discretion, etc.  Then I either keep the letter in my journal or destroy it so no one will ever find it.  You see, these letters are more for me than they are the other person.  It helps me deal with my pain or frustration without drama or angst and then when it’s all said and done, I can throw it in the trash, shred it, or if I’m feeling particularly dramatic—burn them and flush the ashes down the toilet.  Works every time.

Journaling—whether about everyday life or you relationship with God—is an excellent way to connect with where you are spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

Connect with People

Writing to connect with people is also utterly important.  Just think if God had never decided to inspire the prophets of old and apostles of the new dispensation to write the Bible.  We would only have myths and legends passed down by word of mouth for thousands of years that would have been so skewed by the time they reached our generation that there might not have been any truth left.  But instead, God in His infinite wisdom understood the power of the pen and caused His Holy Spirit to infiltrate the minds of His people to have a living testament of His Words and will in the form of the Bible.

When any kingdom or nation wanted to implement their government and law, whether it was the ancient civilizations or newly formed democracies, each ruling class will make constitutions and decrees for the people to understand and implement.

Whether it is the business plan for your company, the manufacturer of your new shiny car, the college you apply to, or the text message from your significant other sent at just the right time, writing allows people to communicate and thus connect with other people.  We would be very likely clueless without this connection, especially in a day and age where we are always on the go, working virtually/remotely, and rely on technology to communicate on all plains.

Connect through Translation

Now that we understand the importance of writing to connect with people, we must understand the importance of translation in that connection.  When your church’s prophet stands up to deliver a message in tongues [heavenly language] chances are—and proper order indicates—that the said prophet or another prophet must translate the message so all present will understand what exactly was said in tongues.  My spiritual father his fromHonduras, but pastors inMiami,FLand in order to reach all of the people under his church and influenced by his apostolic network and ministry, he translates his books into English and Spanish.  If I were to teach a writer’s workshop inHolland, I would need a translator to interpret what I am saying to the participants and vice versa.  But translation does not just deal with different tongues of men and angels.

I visited my best friend’s law school a couple months ago and to me, the professors might as well have been speaking Chinese.  It is the same when someone starts rattling off on the topic science or math or finances.  Since I do not “speak” the languages of government, science, math, and money so I need someone to “translate” it into terms that I can understand.  And similarly I can go a million miles per hour talking about the things of the Spirit, fairytales, and weddings and you may need an interpreter because you do not speak those languages.  So you see that translation is paramount.

The Jewish Torah and the Greek Septuagint had to be translated so that people who could not read Hebrew or Greek could still know what God was saying to them.  I have a very good friend who is a private banker and I keep telling him he needs to put his wisdom and experience into a book because when he teaches and writes about finances, he puts them in terms that anyone—even children—can understand.  In my wedding blog, DA Weddings, I do not typically use highfalutin, academic, or spiritual words or terms because it’s a wedding blog. I use conversational, informal language and style of writing because that is what communicates what I need to say about weddings best.  And as you can see, I use an entirely different style of language for DA Inspires and my column, A Different Generation.  Writing styles must also be translated for the best level connection with the anticipated readers.

If we expect to make an impact in this life, we must write to connect.  Whether by blog or article, interpretation or translation, business plan or book, we must do it.

Previous Post: “Don’t Be a Eunuch!

 

If you would like to use this post, feel free!  Just be sure to include this blurb with today’s blog:

Desiree M. Mondesir is the CEO and Founder of Desired Assistance or “DA” virtual writing and editing company which also encompasses DA Inspires, DA WeddingsDA Luxury and her self-titled authoress blog.  As a dedicated writer and entrepreneur, Desiree seeks to inspire the imagination, educate her readers, and challenge the toxic mindsets of individuals all over the world.  Sign up for a FREE subscription at www.dainspires.wordpress.com