Tag Archives: money

The Funds Are In

Hola,

I have great news! I am fully funded for my mission trip to the Dominican Republic! I received two checks yesterday that put me over my support-raising goal! I am so thrilled! God is so faithful to provide!

*deep breath* My mind has not totally wrapped itself around the fact that I will be traveling to another country in July. I have another Dominican Republic team meeting on Friday. I also start rehearsing the drama we will be doing on Saturday. I think things will become more real when I start the drama reherasals. It gives me something tangible and concrete to do. It takes this concept from discussion to application.

If you donated to my cause, thank you. If you’ve prayed for me, thank you. I ask that you continue to pray for me as the trip draws near. And please, definitely pray for me while I’m gone from July 2-14.

Dominican Republic Support Update

Hola!

Good news! I received three support checks early this week. God is faithful and He has now provided a large chunk of the money I need to go to the DR.

I am still short on the total amount of financial support needed. But I am so excited for the financial boost that I’ve received.

Praise God!

Money Matters

Guess what!?! Another blog about money.

I can understand why God said what He said about serving two masters–God and money. They really do compete with each other.

Allow me to explain. I’m currently in the fundraising stage for my trip to the Dominican Republic. I’ve received one check thus far. Although I am thankful for that, I also realize I’ve got a long way to go.

I used to live in Nebraska. Now I live in Tennessee. Many of my support letters were sent to folks in Nebraska. I understand the United States Postal Service takes awhile. Things take a week to get where they’re going rather than a few days. So I understand there is a delay due to the mail and the distance. I’m trying to roll with that.

My roommate, who is also going on this trip, has lived in Tennessee all her life. Just last week, she went to her old church and her brothers’ church to fundraise. She came home with about $700. I am thrilled for her that her fundraising trip went well! However, meanwhile, I am battling thoughts of comparison. I keep thinking to myself, “I wish I could go back to the church I went to as a kid and ask for money. I bet I’d get a lot. And all in one day. I wouldn’t have to wait for letters to come in either.”

One of my greatest mental battles is comparison. If I’m not careful, I constantly compare myself to others. I size them up. Put them down. Lift them up. Over and over and over again. Though that’s a normal thing to do for most people, it is not a biblical thing to do.

In the Bible, God says that we need to compare ourselves to His standard and not compare ourselves to other people. So I should not compare my fundraising results with those of my roommate. But wow! I am oh-s0-tempted to do that all the time. I’m am currently enduring a mental barrage from Satan with that particular issue.

I am also enduring a mental attack of fear and worry. Fear that I won’t receive the money I need to go. Fear that I’ll miss fundraising deadlines. Fear that I didn’t put enough effort in to my fundraising. 

God says that perfect love casts out fear. He also says that worrying does not add even an hour to my life, so I don’t need to worry. Yet that is what I’m dealing with now. Last night, for example, I was attacked by the enemy in that area. My sleep was interrupted and delayed because of thoughts of worry.

James chapter 1 says that we need to be doers of the Word and not just hearers. So though I know I’m not supposed to worry and fear, that’s not enough. I also need to stop doing those things. It’s not enough to just realize that fear and worry are bad. I, instead, need to be a person of faith and peace.

Last week, I heard a sermon on unbelief. That’s a big issue under hot contention within my mind right now. 

Unbelief is thinking I won’t receive all the funds. Unbelief is worrying. Unbelief is spending my days in fear.

Belief is knowing that God will provide. Belief is living full of faith. Belief is enjoying days and nights in peace.

Unbelief is a passive destruction of faith.

Belief is an active war for faith. 

It’s annoying how alluring and easy unbelief is. It’s so easy to hide in a dark corner of our mind in an effort of self preservation. We think it’s not harmful to be full of doubt and be surprised when something works out for us. That right there is deceptive thinking.

Here’s the truth. The God that created the world out of nothing–FROM NOTHING–lives inside of me. The Holy Spirit was present when the world was created. And now the Holy Spirit is inside of me. It’s at work inside of me. The same God that raised Jesus from the dead…that Holy Spirit is inside of me. And, it’s not just a portion of the Holy Spirit. God is infinite. Infinity cannot be reduced. The infinite God and His power lives inside of me.

And yet, I have the worried fear to doubt Him and His ability?!? Does that even make sense? It does not. Yet it seems safer to doubt Him.

If God can create the world out of nothing (and He can; He did), then He can provide me $1400. He can spur His people to send me a check. He can protect me. He can give me sleep-filled, peaceful nights. 

It is not safe to live in unbelief. God disciplines people who live in unbelief. God rewards people who believe. Although I’m glad God disciplines His children, I don’t want to enter into a time of discipline because of my unbelief.

So here I am writing this blog. As an active measure of faith. To say, “Yes, God. I believe you will provide. Help my unbelief.”

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.

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.

Everything Is Tedious

Last week I did a lot of repetitive, seemingly never-ending things.  It tested my positivity patience.  I was working on a few projects that required a lot of editing and restructuring.  With all of the redos and undos it would’ve been very easy for me to become cranky.   However, I kept my attitude at a relatively reasonable level.

If you’re at all familiar with the Bible, you’ve heard of the book of Ecclesiastes.  Solomon, the author of that interesting book, revealed that everything is meaningless.  He had all the riches and wisdom in the world, but it was all meaningless…

…without Christ.

With Christ/God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit, everything is meaningful.  However, without the one True and Holy God, every single thing you’ll ever do, buy, partake in is totally meaningless.  Infinite riches and happiness mean zilch without Christ.

I struggle with doing things that I think are pointless.  For example, I used to work at a grocery store.  Part of my job was “conditioning” the product.  Basically, that means walking around the whole store and making sure the products look good on the shelves.  I made sure that everything was facing the right direction and that all of the rows of stuff were pulled up to the front so that they could be easily reached.  I’d spend hours walking around and pulling the product to the front and straightening it out.  Then…moments after I’d made everything neat and presentable, someone would walk up and take off a bottle of shampoo.  So, my big effort to condition was ruined.  It felt meaningless. 

I did not like seeing all of my effort go to waste.

While I was driving home one evening and pondering all the editing I’d done that day, I thought to myself, “Everything is tedious.”  Not just conditioning in a grocery store.  But everything.  Driving is tedious.  It’s the same thing all the time.  Typing is tedious.  Eating is tedious.  Going to school is tedious.  Sleeping is tedious.  Working is tedious.  Everything is tedious.

It amused me that tedious and meaningless kind of have the same ring to them.  And, since I’m a Bible-believing gal, the similar phrases of everything is meaningless and everything is tedious made me laugh a little.

As encouragement, just remember that no matter how high profile you are or what job you do, everything is tedious.