Tag Archives: economy

Here and There

Where’ve I been? I’ve been thinking and growing and learning and reading and Twittering and Facebooking and YouTubing and Googling and living. I’m online all the time.  I’m probably online more than I’m offline.  However, I must confess that WordPress.com is not my most frequented site.  I often think about how I should blog and then I don’t.  Same old story.  You’ve all heard it before.

If you ever wonder what I’m doing, check out my YouTube or Twitter.  I update Twitter A LOT.  It’s so easy and simple. And, since it limits me to a small number of characters, it’s quick.

Anyway, what’s new with me?  Last year, I read the Bible in its entirety.  My church really encourages that.  And for good reason. You learn a lot and grow a lot when you read the Bible. This year, I’m reading the Bible again.  I plan to read it all the way through every year for a long time. I’ve come across a few really great biblical resources and that’s enhanced my learning further. Check out the New Spirit Filled Life Bible, the Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study Bible, The Truth War by John MacArthur and The Beatitudes: The Pursuit of Happiness by Spiros Zodhiates.

I am most likely going to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip in July.  I’ve never been out of the country before so it should be interesting.  I’m also a superbly picky eater so I’ll need God’s grace to eat food that I’m not used to eating.  I try and expand my food vocabularly as often as I can, but I’m still stubborn nevertheless.

I’m writing for A Time To Love Magazine once again.  I do CD reviews and feature stories for them.  It’s a great online magazine.  You should check it out!  I plan on posting here on WordPress to direct everyone to the articles/reviews I write there.  For the February issue, I reviewed VOTA by VOTA and The Tree by newcomer Julianna Zobrist, for example.

Right now I’m listening to Andrew Petersen.  I received his CD in the mail today.  For the March issue of A Time To Love (ATTL), I’ll review Anberlin’s New Surrender and downhere’s Ending Is Beginning.

Soon ATTL will publish my articles about fiercely focused parenting, Darlene Zschech and Plumb.

And, since I’m bouncing around randomly anyway, I have one other thing to share.  If I can sum it up, anyway.  It could be a whole blog in and of itself.  

Christians have three stages: Blessed, Broken, Multiplied.

Blessed
We are blessed to be a blessing.  God wants us to bless others with what He gives us.  We also have to allow Him to put His hand of blessing on what we’re doing.  In order to get that blessing, we obey what He commands us to do.

Broken
This whole concept comes from Matthew 14 and 15, by the way.  Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and mulitplied it.   We are all given seeds in the Kingdom.  We need to sow them, water and nourish the seeds others have planted, harvest seeds and sow.  We cannot eat the seeds we are given, either.  We cannot selfishly just think about ourselves and therefore eat our seed.  We need to share what we’ve been given (the breaking of the bread).  Take seeds for example: Something has to die to lead to growth.  The seed dies.  We, as Christians, have to die to our flesh to see growth in the Spirit.

For reference later, I believe I’m in the broken time.  I’ll explain more in a bit.

Multiplied 
If you know even a little about Jesus, you’d know He performed miracles.  Two of them involved loaves and fish.  One miracle fed 5,000 and another fed 4,000.  Jesus was with his 12 disciples at the times of these miracles.  They started out with just a few loaves and fish.  The disciples took the loaves/fish to the groups of people (broken into packs of 50.) Then each person took the bread they were given, broke it in half and then gave it to the next person.  If even one person would’ve eaten the bread they were given out of fear that they wouldn’t get enough, then the whole rest of the group wouldn’t have eaten.  We cannot eat our seed, we have to sow it.  When we share what God’s given and blessed, He multiplies it.

On to me and how this applies to my life….

I’ve been in a time of financial brokenness for a realllly long time.  It started in May of 2008 after I was laid off from my job.  It lasted all summer.  It even continues into now and I’ve got a high-paying job.  (I haven’t gotten paid in over a month.  Long story there…)

Anyhow, on Sunday when I was at church hearing this message on blessing, brokenness and multiplication, God told me that I was in the broken stage.  Awhile back, God revealed that He wanted me to be a sacrificial giver.  I have a strong desire to support those in the ministry financially.  God gives us money so we can filter it through to His Kingdom and what He wants accomplished.  I grasp that and agree with that.  I don’t hoard the money I’m given all for myself.  I give it away to what God tells me to give it away to.

Now that I’ve got that heart attitude, I’ve experienced strong financial resistance against the giving.  However, if giving financially was easy, then it wouldn’t be sacrificial, would it?  No.  So I’m really learning about sacrifice right now as I find it difficult to even pay my own bills because of extenuating circumstances beyond my control.  *cough*not being paid in six weeks when I should’ve been paid in two weeks*cough* 

So God showed me I’m in the broken period.  I’m being broken financially.  I’m walking in a higher level of humility and dependence on Him than I’ve ever been before.  I know that God will bless me and I will prosper financially in the future.  Not so I can be rich and comfortable.  But so I can fund His Kingdom and the work He’s doing.

I believe this time of financial brokenness will end soon.  I believe my giving will be multiplied.

Thanks for reading.  Pursue God’s best!

Sow What?

First off, I mean sow in the sense of reap and sow and not sow in the sense of a pig.  Not the sow that rhymes with cow.

I’ve been faithfully sowing into God’s Kingdom via tithes and offerings to various things at various times.  However, I am still struggling financially to even pay for my own things.  I firmly believe that I need to give 10% of my firstfruits to the church.  And I do that.  I do it gladly and with joy.

However, I am living in a world that does not live by God’s principles.  I am living in a country that is receiving the brunt of God’s judgment because this nation has been disobedient, prideful and idolatrous.

I am living by the Kingdom economy, but the world economy still has an effect on me. 

So this is my way of expressing myself because America’s disobedience affects me personally.  I will still continue to sow into the Kingdom.  I know I am blessed and will be blessed for doing so.  I am faithfully waiting to reap the fruit of my sowing.

Dear The Media

Dear The Media,

I honestly believe that you are quite responsible for the not so great economy.  When you repeatedly talk about how bad the economy appears to be, you give Satan entrance to make it worse.  I challenge you to speak positively.

Not listening to your negative spin on culture,

Lindsay

In lieu of Coke, I drank sweet tea

You’d think that after sitting around and thinking for three weeks that I’d have wonderful things to say.

You’d think my words would be eloquent and divinely inspired.

You’d think they would be full of revelation and profound truth.

You’d think…

I’d say that, yeah, I have learned a lot in this time. Yeah, I do have great things to say. Sure, if I sat here long enough and proofread every word three times this blog would flow seamlessly. Certainly I’ve received words of comfort from God. But I don’t know if I’d term them revelationary. (Yeah. That’s a new word.)

My roommate suggested that I fast something until I get a job. I decided to fast pop/soda/coke/cola/soda pop. Truth is, I’d often find myself plotting ways to go out and buy pop. I’d plan my day around my cola intake. I’d say that’s a case of the flesh overtaking my self control. Time out for a mini-lesson. Your flesh is your sinful, lustful, selfish side. Your spirit (that is, if you’re a Christian) is the God-seeking, submissive, righteous, holy side.

Since last week, I’ve not had any pop. It hasn’t been that hard to abstain from drinking it.

However, I noticed that I started drinking sweet tea and eating more candy bars instead. Rather than totally overcoming the urge for sugar, I just transferred the method of sugar intake. Not exactly a successful fasting exercise.

Good news is that I realized this was happening and I’ve taken steps to properly align myself, God, the flesh and my desires.

Some of you may find it weird that I have to starve my flesh into submission. I don’t find it strange. I find it necessary. Contrary to the way America works, our flesh and self-fleshness (‘nother new word combo) are not in charge. The flesh shouldn’t rule all of our desires. We shouldn’t go about our lives driven by our latest lust.

If I’m not careful, I find myself scheming for the next thing that I want. Take now, for example. I want an iPod Touch. My flesh is convinced that I have every good reason to have one. Examine the truth and you’ll find that I already have an iPod Nano. The Nano works fine. I’m unemployed and frankly cannot and should not afford another iPod right now. The main reasons I want an iPod Touch are so I can have wireless connectivity and email wherever I am. I want to beef up my cool factor. I want to have another toy to play with.

I don’t need a new iPod. I just want one. For totally stupid reasons.

If I were still employed, I would’ve purchased that iPod around the time I got laid off. I thought I had enough money to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I was planning a trip to New Mexico. I had a newly-deposited stimulus check from the government sitting in my bank account, waiting to be used. I was loving work. I was rolling in self competency.

And then all of that dreaminess and money freedom ended on a Tuesday morning when my boss came in and said my position had been eliminated.

I went from iPod dreams to an, “I’m unemployed,” reality.

Three weeks later, here I am with my third (perhaps fourth blog) about the fact that I’m unemployed. I still haven’t lost hope. I’m still expecting God to do great things.

Here’s what’s different:

1. I’m no longer controlled by my flesh (and ultimately Satan; since he drives all pursuits of the flesh).

2. I’m stewarding the money God has allowed me to temporarily use as my own to pay my bills, sow the seeds of His kingdom and give back to Him mainly in increments of 10%.

3 I’m a prisoner of hope. All I can do is hope. I cannot be negative because I find no moral, spiritual, physical, mental or sensical reason to be negative.

4. I enjoy my life everyday because I’m desperate for God, His provision, His work, His might, His comfort and His promises. I’ve learned the lesson that I need to be desperate for God all of the time. On the good days, the bad days, the sad days, the glad days. All days must be desperate days. Apart from God, I can do nothing. I was aware of that verse and concept but I just didn’t quite get it until I found myself in desperation.

I used to be ashamed of desperation. I have always been the put-together, proud person. I would only tell my life story experiences after they were wrapped up, taken care of and had a happy ending.

And now I am desperate…and I am celebrating it! I need God–more than I need a happy ending, more than I need a great job, more than I need a husband, more than I need food on the table.

In my current mental movie, I see the Nashville skyline on the left and God standing on the right. I hear Him say, “Do you choose to be alone with everything–your dream job, a good paycheck and friendly coworkers? Or do you choose Me alone, your everything? What do you want? Commuter? Or community? Do you want to be alone in your car on the way to work most of your life? Or do you want to work in the community where you live and build relationships with the neighbors around you?”

As I gaze upon the city skyline, I sigh. I see falsely glamorous, busy activity and aimless pursuits in circular, repetitive motion. When I fix my eyes upon Him, my Creator, I see true peace. I see a flowing river next to a stable, rooted, healthy tree.

Without vision, the people perish. Thankfully, you’ve just witnessed me receiving something revelationary.

I choose He alone, my everything.

Curse the crisis

I believe that America has talked itself into a financial crisis.

If you watch or read any amount of news right now, it’s littered with opinions that we’re in a recession or we’re going into one.

I do not agree with those headlines.

I believe we’ve cursed ourselves into crisis. We keep talking about how bad the economy is and how bad things will get. We are speaking curses over our lives.

As a follower of Jesus, I’ve learned that God inhabits the praises of His people. I’ve also learned that we can prophesy things into our lives. We can speak in faith and expect God to work.

Satan is the thief of joy so he loves it when people speak negative things. Satan covets cursing.

People (except for a few) are not living by Kingdom principles. What are Kingdom principles? Well, living by Kingdom principles means living biblically. It means trusting God to be our provision. It means giving God 10% of the firstfruits our income. It means encouraging and uplifting each other. It means believing and living in faith and not failing and falling in fear.

I don’t walk around every day fearing that I’ll lose my job and end up homeless on the street. I do walk in confidence knowing that God is my provision, my shield, my refuge, my comfort, my strength.

Take a look around you. Most of what you’ll see is fear. God is not a God of fear. That means that an opposing force is at work. Satan flourishes in fear and prospers in panic.

I don’t believe we’re in a recession. We are, however, in an excession. A world in excess sin, idolatry, independence and negativity.

God loves to bless His people with prosperity…when they are obedient. Immediate obedience brings immediate rewards. As I walk in faith and obedience to Christ, I’m not afraid of all of these terrible things that the news proclaims. The world’s headlines are not my heartaches.