Who do you trust to provide?

Who do you trust to provide?

Are you stressed when your checking account is overdrawn. You thought you had more money than you actually did. You are broke. Now what are you going to do?

Who do you trust

Watch this short video:

If you find yourself hanging your head, here are a few things that you can do to find help.

Find Healthy Financial Advisors

Turning on the Dave Ramsey show can be a very smart thing to do. I have known a number of families who have been overwhelmed by debt who have turned to principles of Financial Peace and found God’s peace in their finances. We have used the “envelope system” most of our married life to budget our finances and live within our means. These principles work because they are based on God’s principles.

Find Faith in God as Your Provider and Protector

Financial pressure shows who you depend on. Do you trust God to provide for you and show you how to be a faithful steward? Or do you rely on yourself to figure everything out?

After we had adopted our sons, my husband began waking up in the middle of the night. He was stressed about the cost of the adoption and how to provide for the needs of our large family.  He realized that he was trying to figure things out himself and it was causing him to lose sleep. Wayne knew this Scripture where Jesus said,

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” Matthew 6:25-26 NLT

Yet my husband Wayne, like most of us knew what Scripture said, but didn’t have a personal revelation of the Father Heart of God as his provider. He needed a fresh understanding of God’s goodness.

We also needed a fresh understanding of God as our protector. The economic downturn impacted everyone we knew. We needed to see God as the beacon of light keeping us from harm. We were concerned that in the economic stress of the time, we would be shipwrecked as a family.

Find Faith-Filled Solutions

As we began to pray together, the weight of this financial load began to lift off of my husband. We had a very clear word to sell our house to pay off the debt of the cost of our sons adoption. The economy was poor and large houses like ours were not selling well. But we believed that God had spoken to us. So we went to work as a family. We painted and had the home looking better than ever.

The real estate agent was a friend of ours. She and her husband followed in our footsteps and went to Brazil to adopt four children. We signed the contract, she put up the sign and left for the 6 week trip to Brazil. Before they returned from Brazil, not only did our house sell but we had moved out of it before she returned home to a nice commission check (which helped them pay off their adoption).

God had provided and protected us once again. Our faith in His goodness grows every time we face a difficult situation.

God is Good!

If you are in a tough place right now, know that you are not alone. Find the financial advisors to help you. Find fresh faith in God to provide for you and protect you. Find faith-filled solutions on how to walk through the situation trusting in God to help you.

I would love to hear your comments.


 

9 Words to say in healthy relationships (Linkup)

9 Words to say in healthy relationships

Do you think you are always right?

Healthy Relationships

I was in argument with my husband and I sensed that I shouldn’t say another word. But, I had 4 words that I wanted to say, to prove my point. You guessed it. These four words were the gasoline that took our disagreement into full blown war.


It’s more important for you to be in right relationship with others than to try to always be right. Admit when you are wrong it will go a long way to heal your relationships.
Tweet: It’s more important for you to be in right relationship with others than to try to always be right http://ctt.ec/Kq9If+

Life-Giving Relationships are Mutual

My husband Wayne and I love to perform wedding ceremonies for couples. Using these following 9 words are helpful in every life-giving marriage. If you haven’t used these words in awhile, humble yourself and make them a part of your healthy relationship vocabulary.

1. I Was Wrong

If you are a human being you will make mistakes. Learning to say these simple words “I was wrong” help you to admit your short-comings. Saying “I was wrong” is the starting point of learning to change harmful habits in your own life.

Notice the words are not, YOU ARE WRONG! If you think you are always right, it shows a lack of maturity and insecurity in your life. You may feel pressured to perform. Your confidence is built on your performance.

Living as a disciple of Christ calls each of us to stay connected in life-giving relationship with the ultimate Life-Giver. Jesus said this,

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

John 15:5-8 MSG

Jesus is the only perfect human being who came to do with His father in heaven told him to do. Only God is right all the time. A big weight will come off of your shoulders when you realize that apart from Him you can do nothing.

2. I Am Sorry

The beautiful words “I am sorry” only mean something if you are willing to change. By staying in an intimate life-giving relationship with Jesus, his life will flow into you if you stay connected to Him. Inevitably, there will be habits in your life that need to be pruned for even more healthy relationships

Learning to say “I am sorry” in words and actions will change your life. The good news is that saying “I was wrong, I’m sorry…” does not mean “I’m terrible, I can’t do anything right…” There is no shame in being sorry.

If you have made Jesus Lord of your life, He has already freed you from condemnation. Add this Scripture to one that you meditate on:

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”

Romans 8:1-2 NLT

There is no condemnation for you. You don’t have to live under a low-lying cloud of condemnation feeling worthless about yourself if you get something wrong. There is freedom to say “I’m sorry” because you know that Jesus has already paid for your sin and guilt on the cross. It’s from that freedom, that you can and should acknowledge to your spouse and others when you have been wrong.

3. Please Forgive Me

To forgive someone is to cancel their debt. Before you are able to get to the point of genuinely saying these 9 words, you need to forgive them. You need to stop being angry and resentful for what they have done to you. When you have been hurt by someone, that hurt clouds your judgement. You may only see what they have done to you.

If you forgive them from the heart, the life-giving spirit of God freely shows you the way that you have fallen short in the relationship too. The Holy Spirit will also protect you from taking on blame or condemnation that is an exaggeration of your offense. You are able to take responsibility for your action, without being beat-up on the inside of you.

Life Giving Relationships Last

When there is mutual love and respect in relationships they last. Toxic relationships are marked by manipulation, control, condemnation, and blaming. Any cycle of ongoing abuse needs the help of life-giving counsel for health to be restored in your relationship.

I would love to hear your comments on this. Leave your comment below or join the Life-Giving Linkup!

#LifeGivingLinkup Time!

We all need encouragement. No matter what stage of life, we need others to share the journey with us. We don’t want to be alone. It’s more fun together. Let’s Linkup in a life-giving journey of encouraging each other.


Filled with Joy (Link Up)

Filled with Joy

Filled with Joy

Do you think you need to wait till your circumstances are just right to be full of joy?

When my children were small, I didn’t think that there would ever be a time that I wasn’t changing diapers, nursing, or waking up in the middle of the night. But my wise mother used to say “This too shall pass.” AND it did.

Be encouraged by this short video:

Now as my adult children launch into the world, I miss the times that I could hold them in my arms. It was much easier to wipe away their tears.

It is bittersweet being a mom of adult children. I rejoice in the wonder of launching children into adulthood. Yet, I miss the everyday struggle of being a mom of little ones.

Yesterday, my college daughters arrived for Spring break in Hannah’s car. They drove the whole way having “sister-time.” We sat on the couch and cuddled watching a movie. It felt like old times – but not really. Everything has changed.

As long as we are in this world, we will experience change. But change does not need to stop the flow of joy. Joy is a fountain of life that flows from God Himself.

So this morning as my children sleep in our condo, I reminisce about the old days of when they were young. When I never had enough time for myself…

Tweet: I know that I have to let go of the past, live in the present, and lay hold of the future. http://ctt.ec/M1fCF+  Join #LifeGivingLinkupI know that I have to let go of the past, live in the present, and lay hold of the future. I remind myself of this verse:

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14 NLT.

We never reach the perfect stage of life. We are always letting go of wonderful things in life to reach forward to the next season.

I am filled with Joy when…

… I let go of the past, but cherish it’s sweetness.

… I live in the present, and embrace the new normal.

… I lay hold of the future, with hope and expectation.

#LifeGivingLinkup Time

 
We all need encouragement. No matter what stage of life, we need others to share the journey with us. We don’t want to be alone. It’s more fun together.

Sometimes, I experience lonely days.  Days when I need encouragement. If you are an author, speaker, blogger you know what I mean. You began your blog to encourage others, but sometimes you feel alone.

It doesn’t need to stay that way! Let’s Linkup in a life-giving journey of encouraging each other.

Here is How a #LifeGivingLinkup Works:

1. Link up you life-giving & encouraging post with the button below.

2. If you haven’t begun your blog, leave an encouragement in the comments for others.

3. Visit other blogs on this linkup and leave a comment on the post linked up before yours.

Let’s encourage each other!

Sue

 

 

Overcoming Fear with Faith

Overcoming Fear with Faith

Fear is one of the most negative human emotions with many forms: anxiety, dread, doubt, uncertainty, and insecurity, just to name a few. Sometimes fear shows up in a racing heart and sweaty palms when you think a burglar is in the house. Other times, fear is hidden in caution—because it’s only a figment of our imaginations, of what could happen.

Overcoming Fear with Faith

When does fear plague you the most? Does fear attack you in the middle of the night when you are all alone? Does fear sneak up on you in a crowd of people? everyone experiences fear. Sometimes it means waking up to your worst fears, like when i woke up in the middle of a house fire.

Fear is no respecter of age or gender or position in life. if you spend your life trying to avoid fear, you won’t be able to live. fear is an unpleasant emotion for everyone. It may be caused by the belief that you are going to experience physical or emotional pain. You may have mixed feelings of dread fear is hidden in or anxiety. You may be fearful of heights. There are phobias of all kinds of things.

Overcoming fear with faith requires a change of focus. As long as you focus on the things you fear, you will magnify their power to control you.

Tweet: Overcoming fear with faith requires a change of focus. As long as you focus on the things you fear, you will magnify their power to control you.

But if you focus your faith on God, He will move mountains with your faith.

Surrender Yourself to God—Trust in His Faithfulness

I wouldn’t have admitted to you or myself that I was paralyzed by fear from moving forward. I just found myself dreaming at night. Alone in my sleep, I could admit that it was time to move into a new season. It was time to face my fears and follow God’s promptings.

I wrote in my prayer journal:
“Lord God, you know how fearful I am. I desperately want Your will. In Your name, Jesus, I ask you to fill me with faith even to write this journal entry. I don’t want to make a mistake. If I am honest with You, I’m afraid of failure… By faith, I am surrendering myself to You.

“I will go anywhere You want me to go. I will say anything You want me to say. I will do anything You want me to do. I trust You.”

As I surrendered to God, I felt His peace flood my heart. I began to remember His faithfulness in leading and guiding Wayne and I through difficult transitions.

I share these details, because at the beginning of any journey we will often experience the fear of the unknown. As we walk with God, He makes all things possible in His time. Sometimes we walk forward afraid, but look back at His faithfulness.

Our journey is never just about ourselves. Our journey is about others. We encourage others with the courage we receive from God.

I have discovered a miraculous gift—contentment. I am more content than at any time in my life. I wake up consistently joyful, ready to inspire others on their adventures of faith.

Put Yourself in God’s Story

If you are a mom, you likely laid down things you were passionate about in order to raise your children. You may have made sacrifices so that you could be home with them. You may have needed to be a working mom. If time has passed, are you in a new season, too?

Ask yourself this question: If I could do anything in the world, and I knew that I couldn’t fail and that I had plenty of money, what would I do?

Your unique answer to the above question reveals your passions and dreams. God has made you with a destiny. I would love to hear about the things that God is placing on your heart.

Open Your Heart

Open Your Heart – Change Is Coming

Open Your Heart

I woke up with a smile on my face. “Wayne, you won’t guess what I dreamt this time.”

For six weeks I had the same type of dream. Every night I had another baby. One night it was twin toddler girls with dark hair. In the dream I am flabbergasted that I had more children. Six is enough! In my dream, I’m learning to know their names and embracing the fact that I am a mom again.

Another night it’s a baby with reddish blond curls, and she is clinging to me in a bathroom stall, abandoned by her mother. I go to the front desk of the hotel and say, “Whose baby is this?”

The concierge looks at her computer screen and back up at me, “She is your baby, ma’am.”

“What? another baby!” As six weeks went by, night after night I had a different child. All the children were of different ages, genders, and races.

At every major change or transition in my life, I have dreams of babies. In this particular season in life, we had been at our present congregation for seventeen years. for most of those years, we had both been serving as associate pastors.

“What did you dream this time?” Wayne asked.

“This time I was a mother engorged with breast milk. The milk from my breast was dripping to the ground. I jumped into my car and sped toward my children…” Any nursing mother of a newborn knows the urgency a mom feels to get to her child in this situation.

We quietly pondered the dream. “Wayne, I think God is trying to get our attention. change is coming.”

Open Your Heart to the Unexpected
No matter how much you try to prepare for upcoming seasons in your life, there is no way that you can truly know all the twists and turns of our journey of following God.

At this point, we had laid our life down for the city of Nashville serving in a variety of ministry roles. That morning I had no idea that our transition would lead us to relocate to Frisco Texas to plant a new church. God didn’t show us the whole picture at that point.

If you are facing the uncertainty of change in your life, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Open Your Heart to Discovery
A friend shared with me that she sensed that God was laying before us stepping stones. He was calling us to step out on each stone even if we didn’t know exactly where it was leading. As we stepped out in faith, we would see the next stone and know the way to go.

You may be in a similar situation, facing the uncertainty of change.You don’t have to have it all figured out. You can step out on the first step trusting that God will lead you every step of the way.

Open Your Heart to Change
Life is changing every day. If you try to hold back your children from moving into adulthood, you will only make change more difficult.

Keep a positive mindset to change. Your anchor through every change is God. In fact, He is the One who is moving your forward. Open your heart to “give birth to new babies.”

Open Your Heart to New Beginnings
For Wayne and I, our sense of the meaning of the series of dreams that I had was that God had more Spiritual Children for us. We didn’t know that we would be like Abraham and Sarah leaving our house and family and traveling to the place He would show us.

Open Your Heart to the Future”
Now as we prepare to launch Life Bridge Church in 2015, we are beginning to see the bigger picture of the future. As we discover our “spiritual children” and build friendships in Frisco Texas we are incredibly thankful…

…Thankful that we trusted God… Thankful for the process of discovery that prepared us for the future.

Dare to Dream in 2015
I don’t know what you are facing in the year ahead, but I encourage you to dare to dream. Let God take you outside to gain a different perspective. Look up as He shows you the stars and tells you about making the impossible, possible.

I would love to hear from you. What dream is God placing on your heart? What changes have you gone through?

A Call to Character

A Call to Character 

Character is developed through an intimate walk with God. As moms we need to learn to walk with God in a new way.  Like little children, we need to keep our hands in God’s hand as He leads us. He has given us His character through the fruit of His Spirit.

A Call to Character

When you are walking in Christ’s character, you will have gentleness with your children, you won’t jerk them around while buckling their car seat. If you have patience, you won’t scream at them in irritation or glare at them in anger. If you have kindness, you won’t shake or slap your child. If you walk as a life-giving mom, you will discipline your children in love.

Love Your Identity: Overcoming Manipulation

Love Your Identity in Christ

If you are trying to live up to an image of what it looks like to be a perfect parent, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The only perfect parent is our Father in heaven. Although He was a perfect parent and He had provided a paradise for Adam and Eve to live in, they still chose to disobey Him. As a human race, we chose to rebel against our perfect Father.

Love your identity