Only God Gives Financial Security

It is important that I trust God with my finances. If I want God to bless me financially, I must remain focused on the truth that he is the source of my finances and he is the one who supplies my needs.

What does that mean? It means I’m not looking to an employer for my security. I’m not looking to my savings for security. I’m not looking to anyone or anything other than God to supply my needs.

When I turn on the water, I don’t really think the water comes from the faucet. I know that the water really comes from a reservoir. It just comes to me through the faucet. In the same way, the income that God wants to give you may come through a job or through something else. But the source is God.

This means I don’t need to worry about which faucet he uses to supply my needs. In a sense he says, “If I turn off one faucet, I can just as easily turn on another. If you lose one job, I can give you another. I am your source, not your job. I am your source, not your bank account.”

Good word from Rick Warren today

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Goals NOT Resolutions!!

So I have made the decision to follow Rick Warren’s daily devotional this year.  Since I am not much of a writer, much of what I share are not my own words, but some of my own thoughts.  So that is my disclaimer starting with this blog and any blog I write on my goals this year.

Life Goal….to get to where I believe God wants me to go and be what I know God wants me to be.

I have two words for the year instead of one…..PEACE and DECLUTTER

So I have to know first where I am now and what I want to change in each of these areas:

Spiritually

Financially

Emotionally

Relationally

Physically (YUCK!!)

Occupationally

“It’s never too late to make a change.  No more drifting” (Rick Warren) … gonna have direction!!

Do not be vague about your future, be specific about any goals.  Describe what you want exactly, because the more general you are, the less power it has.

Find one promise in the Bible to go along with your goals (there are over 7,000 promises in the Bible).  Mine is Isaiah 32:17 – “The fruit of righteousness is peace; the effect of righteousness is quietness and confidence forever.” Isaiah 32:17.  This is also my life verse.

“If you want to go fast, go by yourself.  If you want to go far, go with others.”

African Proverb

I picked this up this week while making a game plan for my goals this year.  I have my goals written down, but have I told others and prayed about them daily?

Do you have goals this year? Are you trying to reach your goals on your own?  Have you been open enough to share your goals with a small group of friends?  Are you praying every day for the goals you have made?  Do you really want success?  If you are not praying for success what are you gonna pray for?….failure?  Don’t just keep your goals to yourself.  The more you pray about them, the more your depending on God.  If you set your goals and have only prayed about them once, then they really are not a desire you have, they are just a whim.

“The people who succeed in life are people who are willing to do what they don’t feel like doing.  They are not mastered by their mood; they are mastered by the Master.”

“If you are going to really reach your goals in life, sometimes you have to delay gratification. You have to do the tough thing instead of the fun thing, the right thing instead of the pleasurable thing.”

“Any goal that’s worth achieving is going to have obstacles in the way. You need to have a long-term view so, when difficulties come, you can persevere knowing that you are going to get past it.”

“God’s timing is perfect and ours is not. When you find yourself in God’s waiting room, just be patient and persistent. A God-given vision will always be fulfilled.”

What was it Jordan Easley shared Sunday morning?  “Just because there is a pause doesn’t mean God is not working.”  Something along those lines.

So today, make a point to pray about and think about each of your goals every day.  Enlist a group of friends to go along with you.  Success is never a one person job; it takes a team.  The stronger your team, the more you fulfill your dream.

Why are you Going to Haiti

Why are you going to Haiti?  My answer before the trip was, “to love on the momma’s that take care of our orphans.”  I know many go to love on the kids, and I did that too, but God gave me a clear vision that I was going to love on the momma’s.  And….loving we did!

We spent time washing their feet, massaging and putting lotion on them.  We prayed!  We worshipped a God that hears our EVERY pain, praise, and prayer.  We continued to clean their hands, massaging and putting lotion on them.  Then continued to praise a God the hears their EVERY pain, praise and prayer.  Some stood behind and massaged their shoulders, while others prayed specifically for EACH of the momma’s personal prayers.  How did we do that?  How did we know what their requests were?  God gave us a sweet angel, named Ameriss, who is American, who attends Long Hollow, and knows Creole because her mom came here from America.  Ameriss went to each momma one at a time and we asked them how we could pray for them….and for the first time we could communicate with the momma’s.  My prayers that morning were that the momma’s would open up to us and cast their burdens on Jesus, ‘cause He cares for them.  They were able to do that and break down the wall that seemed to be there.  I saw that wall crumble.  I saw momma’s broken.  I saw momma’s feeling God’s presence….because definitely was present!

Guerline Guilloux was MY momma!  She has fibroids, she shared, and is in a lot of pain and cannot sleep at night.  I/we prayed with her.  She slipped me a note during the washing of the feet.  I read it later.  She came prepared to communicate with me.  It was in English and it said.  “I am sick, I need to see a doctor so you can help me.  God bless you.”  This breaks my heart…..it wrecked me!  Not only do these momma’s take care of their orphan home, some of them have many children of their own.  They are tired, they need love too!

Later that day, Guerline came and found me.  She wanted to take me to her house in the orphan village.  It was up this steep, rocky side of a mountain/hill.  I knew I could not make it with my knee issues…that broke my heart also.  She then had a boy with her, and he spoke some pretty good English.  Enough for all three of us to communicate together.  This was her son, Jeff, who is 16.  So I looked up and saw Holly Ann and called her over and introduced them.  Jeff then told me he had a sister named Lorgens, age 12, however I never did meet her.  I learned from Jeff that he wanted to be a Chemist.  I think he will be….he is very smart.  He wrote down all their names for me.

After that morning with the momma’s, we saw MORE of the momma’s.  I think they now felt they were a just as much a part of Long Hollow as the children.  My soul was HAPPY!  Let us not forget about the momma’s.

His eye is on my little sparrow, Guerline, and I know He watches her.

ACTION…..CUT….ACTION!!

I think I heard this about 100 times last night as I had a couple video shoots for a friend.  I had my first paid video shoot last night for a….well, I am not quite sure yet what it will end up being.  My understanding was a promotional video for a literacy foundation.  I  was a 40ish year old who just received her GED.  I had a blast!  I would hear…

ACTION….CUT….awesome….great….do over….ACTION…CUT…great… awesome…again….ACTION….CUT…change…redo….ACTION…CUT…wait…ok this way….ACTION…CUT

I had so much fun!!

I was thinking today how this all reminds me of MY God….

ACTION….go

CUT…..stop; reflect

Awesome….awesome

Great….great

Do over….don’t give up; change

Change….do different

Change outfit….change your look, your face, your attitudes.

Wait….ugh how I hate to wait on God sometimes.

Sometimes our life is just one big production from God operating through us.  And yet this IS NOT EVEN our HOME if you have a relationship with Jesus and our Father God.  It reminds me not to give up.  Jesus is our biggest  cheerleader.  Just keep on swimming….keep on swimming, as portrayed by my favorite fish, Dory (oh and I can’t wait for the 3D version to come out….click here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmyUkm2qlhA

Our life as a believer in Christ, a follower of Christ, a friend of Christ is not over until he says CUT.  So just keep on trying, keep on doing, keep on changing, keep on keeping on!  AND focus on the “great job’s”….”awesome’s”…”perfect’s.”

II Choronicles 15:7

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. (NIV)

But it’s different with you: Be strong. Take heart. Payday is coming! (The Message)

But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded. (NLT)

But as for you, be strong; don’t be discouraged,for your work has a reward. (HCS)

But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded. (ESV)

 

When God is FOR you who can STAND against you?  Romans 8:31

Joy

…when troubles come my way, consider it an opportunity of great joy, for I know that when my faith is tested, endurance has a chance to grow….let it grow…and when endurance is fully developed, I will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. ~ James 1:2-4

I am going thru the book of James in a Bible Study for the second time, and my main focus this time is to memorize the whole book of James.  I know to some that seems to be all spiritual or something, but it has been a while since I have done any scripture memory.  I was challenged and I’m gonna take it and try and do this.  Maybe my blogging will help me stay accountable.

One version of the Bible says….”consider it pure joy”.  Now one of the first things I know about this book of the Bible is that James is talking to the Christian Jews.  He is talking to believers in this book.  This isn’t even talking about trouble we look for; it is about troubles we “fall” into.  So that means…sometimes we don’t even see that bump we tripped over or that hole we fall into.  And boy are there all kinds of colorful tests we can fall into….and sometimes not just one, but many.  What are some troubles or trials we fall into sometimes?  Money (reminds me of RED with debt), Green (reminds me of envy), Blue (reminds me of the blues/depression), etc.  You probably have some you can think of.  And we are to consider this JOY…hmmm…kind of hard, but God promises that we WILL endure, and when we endure, we grow and when we grow we are made complete and perfect (achieving a goal or purpose), needing nothing.  So come on…can we consider some JOY in this?  It’s all mental and how we picture it in our minds.

Beth Moore, showed me a neat thing in her study, or reminded me of it.  The word “trials” is “peirates” in the Greek.  Take and “e” out of that Greek word and what do you get?….PIRATES.  What do pirates do?  They ROB us.  They can take our hope, our security, our dignity, our dreams and sometimes people.  Trials don’t get to steal from followers in Christ unless we hand over the goods.  Let’s not hand over the goods.  Let’s “stand up” or as I would like to say “get our big girl panties on.”  Hold onto Jesus….hold tight while these winds and waves toss us about!  Holding onto anything, but Jesus, and the sea will swallow us up.

Oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  You will have to wait until the next post and next few verses. 🙂

Camp Sweet Camp

Pass It On

Many things going through my mind at the moment.  First, I miss my girls.  They are at church camp with over 1,000 students from our church there.  They are investing their lives in God and in the lives of others.  When we moved to Tennessee our goal was to make sure we attended the church of our choice in the same town we lived in and the girls went to school with the same kids.  My second goal was to find a church that had kidz choirs.  Many of you know and some of you don’t,  that I have directed/coordinated kidz choirs for about 18 years before I moved here….two musicals a year (I love those times).  Well the girls fell in love with Long Hollow Baptist Church and at the time Long Hollow did not have a kids choir program.  Another church in town did, but I felt God calling us to Long Hollow….again to follow the first goal…kids that go to Long Hollow and our school.  I was resolving that God had closed the Chapter of directing choirs in my life and I was OK with that.  Took me awhile, but I was OK.

Oh, and on the camp note….did you know to BEWARE of the nachos at camp.  Evidently the camp nurse had Heather text me and tell me to make her an appointment for the dentist….that she chipped a tooth on the nachos…lol…what??!!

I am excited to hear about their camp week.  Camp was so important to me as a young person.  I attended GA (Girls in Action)/Acteen Camp every summer.  What is GA and Acteen’s?  It was a mission group for girls in church and was all about serving and missions.  In Indiana, they offered one week of tent camping and another week of cabin camping and our church would pick one one year and do the other the next year.  I still remember the week of tenting camping in the rain..uggghhh…I believe I came home mildewed myself!!  I still remember Mrs. Gillespie, “mother mission” and a wealth of stories she shared.  I still remember songs from camp.  I still remember meeting others from other churches and becoming friends, and the last night around the campfire singing “Pass It On,” a perfect song to pass our love of Jesus on, being very tearful because we were leaving new friends.

After years of going to camp as a child and middle schooler, I didn’t have a chance to do that again until my College years when I went to Florida to be a camp counselor at GA/Acteen camp for seven weeks in a row.  For when I was 13 years old my family with three other families agreed to plant a church in our area.  We did not have another Southern Baptist Church in the tri-city area in northwest Indiana.  I went kicking and screaming because I had to leave my friends in my church.  I went through four years of NO camp, NO Christian friends.  It was hard on my little immature life…lol.  The church didn’t grow much until after I left at age 18 to go to college.   I literally RAN to Southwest Baptist University to find me some Christian friends!!  I hungered for kindred spirits that loved my God….and I found them!  My girls are spoiled; they can actually get smothered in Christian friends here.  And I LOVE IT for them!!  I pray for wisdom for them, for clear vision, in a world out there, that is very non-Christian.

Ok….skip six days from when I started this blog.

The girls came home for a day and the left again to serve in at Kidz Camp!  A first for both of them.  Don ended up needing to go pick up Heather on Thursday because she was running a fever.  I think she slept for two days solid and trying to recuperate today.  She has lost her voice in this process…NOT a bad thing…lol.

I find it truly fun for God to bring all my past camp experiences to mind while the girls were at their Student Camp.  When the girls returned, Holly Ann shared that God has called her into the ministry!!  I truly am NOT surprised by this!  She has one of the most amazing hearts I have ever known, and cares deeply for people.  I am excited to see where God leads her.  She has already begun thinking about how to encourage and reach her Soccer team this year.  GO GOD!!

I wish I was more disciplined to write things more often so my blog moments are not so scattered in one post…maybe I will get the hang of this soon J.

Toodles

To KNOW God and make Him KNOWN

So I have been trying to get a first blog post for over a year now.  What is holding me back?  The rules, that I might have set on myself of what or how I want to say things. I knew I wanted to always try and focus on the positive and not focus on anything negative.  I also get a lot from books and make lots of notes.  Not everything I have to say are my OWN words, but words I want to OWN.  In those cases I will put where my sources come from.  That being said I will share where my reading journey is right now.

I just finished reading a book by Priscilla Shirer, He Speaks to Me ~ Preparing to Hear from God.  I am currently reading 7 ~ an experimental mutiny against excess.  I am also doing the Beth Moore Bible Study, for the second time James ~ Mercy Triumphs.  Why the second time?  Because this time my focus will be on memorizing the whole book of James, which I have also wanted to do for over a year now.

So I heard God speak to me, as he often does, through someone else’s words.  And it was a clear indication for me to write my first blog about this, because it had EVERYTHING to do with what I want my blogs to be about.

I recently heard on the radio and in other places in my memory a phrase that goes something like this….People are not interested in what I am against; they are interested in what I am for.  So then again I’m reading today in my “7” book, and the same concept comes up.  At this particular point the author, Jen Hatmaker (and a little side note, you might want to friend her on Facebook, she is hilarious) is on a month of where she has only picked seven pieces of clothing to wear that month (undergarments don’t count…lol).  In Isaiah 58:5-6, it says…

“Do you call this fasting, a fast day that I, God, would like?  This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation to the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.” (MESSAGE)

Ok, kinda sounds heavy but this is what I get out of it.  I sure like my “religious” yokes.  It sure shows someone where I stand, BUT…did they see God?  I have a lot of “I don’ts” while the world or others around me have a lot of “I do’s” that I do not agree with.  But when it is all said and done, did they see God or what I stand for?  What IS God’s idea of a fast or a stand we might take?  It is far less about what I am AGAINST and far more about what I am FOR.  Is what I am fasting or standing for, something I think I am denying myself from OR do I really look at it as a way God is saving me from a yoke of oppression?  Isaiah was not talking about a fast from abstinence, but from self-obsession.

So I hope and will pray that in my journey of blogs that you will see more of what I am for than what I am against…what I do rather than what I don’t.  That the most important thing in my life and my true life PURPOSE  is to know God and make him known.

Toodles