In her best-selling book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah Winfrey offers this advice to the girls at the school she funds in South Africa: “Don’t just shatter the glass ceiling, reach beyond it.”

Ah, sisters, this is exactly what our loving Father asks of us. He supports our success in this world, of course – good health, a happy marriage, career success – but this is not His ultimate goal for our lives. Nor should it be your goal or mine. Success in this world is the glass ceiling. We, dear sisters, are called to punch beyond it to success in the future world of God’s Kingdom. God offers more than anything this would could possibly offer – more that the best, the brightest, the most powerful and the richest of this world have achieved or ever could achieve. He bids us to reach beyond.

Good health, a healthy human body, is a great blessing. We should strive to keep ourselves well with good food, proper rest and appropriate exercise. When our bodies and our best efforts fail us and we do become sick, we pray for healing. God wants to bless us with good health. More than that, more than He wants you to have a healthy human body, the Father wants to give you an immortal body. 1 Corinthians 15:53 [NIV] For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. Even the healthiest human body will eventually die. God wants to give us eternal life. 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 [KJV] 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? [See 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 for the full picture.] Revelation 21:4 [ESV] He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Sweet sisters, reach beyond good health today – reach for eternal life.

A happy marriage is a great blessing. We pray for that for our children. We work toward that in our own marriages. God wants to bless us with happy and successful marriages in this life. More than that, He seeks to marry us (the Church) to His Son. Revelation 19:7-9 [NIV] 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people.) 9 Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These are the true words of God." Beloved, reach beyond a happy marriage in this life – reach toward that eternal union.

A successful career is a great blessing. It is good to be able to provide for yourself, your family and those in need/those less fortunate in this world. We are called to share our abundance with others and we are promised a reward for it – one that is immeasurably more than what we gave in the first place. Luke 6:38 [NIV] Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Paul prepared for a successful career and carried it out with zeal, but he understood that God wanted something more from him. Philippians 3:4-7 [ESV] 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. [Read all of Philippians 3 for the full story] Dear ones, be thankful for success in this life, but willing to give it all, use it all, for the greater success of attaining and knowing Christ. Reach beyond success in this life – reach for the success that lasts forever.

I have been blogging as the New Church Lady almost every week for just short of four years now. I still have many words of encouragement left in me. However, this is my Aloha blog. I feel called to move on to the next thing, but I do not know yet what that new thing might be. I simply feel compelled to move on. Please pray with me for clarity of vision for where God will direct me. Know that I still seek opportunities to serve you all, according to His will.

Sweet sisters, I love you more than you know. My heart will always be with you, wishing you peace and joy and success beyond this world’s constraints. 

My final words for you via this blog: Don’t just reach for the earthly ceiling; punch past it and reach for the eternity beyond. 

I would love to hear from you any time. I will always welcome your prayer requests, your comments and your questions. 

Aloha sweet sisters,

Nancy White, New Church Lady