Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stewardship and Giving Back

The Lord has placed it upon my heart to speak on this topic. I am not the best steward of my family's finances and it has gotten me in trouble more than once. It has also put a strain on my marriage.

I have heard the saying that if you give when God says to give then He will repay you for your faith. I remember a time in college when I had $5 in my pocket. It was my gas money. I had nothing else for a week. I worked at a fast food place, so I could eat while I was there and my manager let me take leftovers home sometimes, if I couldn't afford groceries that week. Well on this particular Sunday, God told me to put my last $5 in the offering plate. I resisted because without it I wouldn't get back and forth to work or school that week. After a short prayer I dropped it into the offering plate.

That afternoon I went to visit a friend. She had borrowed money from me a few weeks earlier. I didn't ask for the money. I was there for lunch as planned. She gave me the $20 she owed me. I know this may sound like coincidence to some, but I believe it was God. I had peace when I gave up my last $5 and swear I heard "I told you I would take care of you. For your faith, you are rewarded." I heard this last line after my friend gave me the $20 unexpectedly.

So I am pressed now to tell you about a friend who's blog reminded me of stewardship. I would like to tell you about the book she has written. You'll notice the link in the right hand column. It is titled, "The Busy Person's Prayer Book" I have read the book and it is wonderful! It is filled with short, easy to remember prayers, for lots of different occasions. They are easily memorized so that when you are scared, angry, sad, impatient, feeling lost or any other number of feelings, you can recall a prayer from this book. It is great for children also.

The author is a dear Christian woman who wrote this book to help others during their time of need. I pray that she may be blessed many times over for her continuing faith and relationship with God.

This Is Something New

I am adding a link to this blog so please bear with this post.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Open The Eyes of My Heart Lord

Here's a sermon that really touched my heart and I just have to share.

Politicked - Avalanche from Ed Young on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Learning to love again

I have some to realize, through prayer, that I am not a nice person. God has been showing me where I am being completely selfish. I have spent so many years doing for others that I have spent the past 2-3 years becoming very selfish and worrying that if I give of myself again that I will once again become lost.
God has shown me that in order for me to grow and become the woman that I should be I must learn to let go of my fear and learn to love not only myself, but my children and my husband once again. I love them, but not in the self-sacrificing way that I should and that will make me a better person.

God, I pray that you will open my heart so that I may let my loved ones inside once again. Allow me to accept the good with the bad and to remember that the good will always outweigh the bad as long as my heart is with you.

1 Cor. 13:4 "Love suffers long . . ."
Being patient is a form of love. In order to be patient we must respond nicely to a bad situation. Instead of getting angry and huffing and puffing, we must take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and respond with kindness. The next time someone is yelling or belittling you, stop, breath and think about your true feelings for this person outside of the situation. I once read that "harsh words are never truly forgotten." I'm not sure how true that is. I do know that it takes ten positive statements to counteract every one negative one.

I challenge you (and myself) to treat our closest loved ones as visitors in our home instead of like our enemies. Bite your tongue instead of screaming.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Following God's Plan

God had to set me straight once again. I was so excited about this writing job that I had applied for. Finally a regular paying job that paid me once a week. Alright, go me!

Then came the news, Sorry you're not the quality writer we're looking for. OUCH! That was a kick in the butt. And the ego. So then I'm back to square one and could have used the money. My book isn't exactly flying off the shelves.

So I began praying about it and WHAM! God informed me that there will be time for that later. Right now is the time to get my family in order and focus on my fiction writing career. I'm still adjusting. I REALLY wanted to be bringing in some money to pay off our debt. But that's not the plan. And I have to follow God's plan if this writing career is going to work.

I am praying everyday that I will follow God's will and not my own. It's a little easier when I pray about it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Do you talk to God?

The other day I was out walking on a nature trail, talking to God, telling Him how beautiful the birds and the trees and flowers are. Just inhaling the serenity of my surroundings.(This doesn't happen often so I was absorbing as much as I could.)

I glanced over to my right and a tree caught my eye. It just jumped out at me. The tree was straight at the trunk and about a fourth of the way up it begin to curve to the left then around to the right and straight up again. The tree was as tall as the others, it simply had a big curve near the bottom of it.

Have you ever seen a tree like that? One that has grown around power lines? Or one that was curved this way and that? I would like to think you had. If not then keep a look out because they appear everywhere. I digress.

When I spotted this tree on my walk, God spoke to me. (No I'm not crazy) He explained that a tree will grow straight up but sometimes there is an obstacle in its way or sometimes it gets trimmed back by outside forces (in the case of the power lines). Does the tree continue to grow in the direction of the obstacle or the direction? No. It grows around it towards the sun. And then He whispered, "That's what you must do. You must grow around your obstacles. It will not be easy and it may hurt but you will find your way and you will stand stronger than the short, growth stunted person that you were."

All I can say is WOW. Here I was just walking along, communing with God, and He throws this life changing message my way. Have you talked to God lately? Not a formal prayer but more like a phone conversation between two friends. Perhaps all you do is pray and you forget to wait quietly for the answer. Take a moment and listen. It just may change your life.