Friday, October 19, 2012

Money, money, money...

Hebrews 13:5
"Let your character and moral disposition be free from the love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and intense craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present circumstances and with what you have. How can you do that? By realizing that God Himself has promised: I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not ever leave you helpless in any degree, nor forsake you, nor relax My hold on you. DO NOT believe any thought or suggestion to the contrary"!

I recently spent way more than I should have on me. The family budget for the month took a hit. I am taking steps to recover some of the funds and tightening my spending for the coming months to move back into a healthy place. 

I've pondered the "why?" behind my actions and am still working on it. The Bible verse from Hebrews gives me some clues. I have learned that I shop (and overeat) to address some feeling I'd rather not face. When I'm not content, according to Hebrews, I have forgotten or don't really believe that God is with me, loves me and will not fail me. The key is there. Now to unlock my heart and get that truth working in it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Advice to the young

A young friend asked what I've learned so far that would benefit him. Here's what I said...

It's hard to condense a partial lifetime of learning into a few pieces of advice, but here goes:
1) Love God (which includes friendship, listening, talking, obedience, humility...) with your whole being and love Him more than anything (activity, item you own, etc) or anyone else in your life. This takes practice and effort and sometimes just takes "chilling out" with God.

2) Care for your soul - there is a place for things other than God that feed one's soul. Those things should be done only to the extent that you have something in you to give to the people closest and dearest to you first and then the rest of the people around you.

3) Use the gifts God has given you (we all do have spiritual gifts) to build up the people closest to you first, then the church you are part of, then the larger church in the world and then the people around you that don't yet know God.  Enthusiastic and consistent use of gifts in love will often result in God giving more spiritual gifts to you to steward.

4) Love and be friends with people who show interest in God whether they enter a relationship with God or not.  Keep those friendships.  People are not projects/evangelism targets.  They see our hearts and know whether we really like them as people or if we're just being "friends" so they can be saved.  Lots of damage is done by Christians who leave God and His timing and love out of the pursuit of unsaved people.

5) Remember that everyone has something to teach you, no matter if they're 2 years old or 100, rich or poor, homeless or not.  If you approach people with that humility in your heart, you will be a very rich person.

What would you add?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Still Waiting...Expectantly

I've waited what I think is a long time for God to fulfill a desire He planted in my heart many years ago. I'm still waiting AND I think I'm waiting with more grace and patience than every before. I've learned much in the waiting:

God is always good
God is always on time
God LOVES me and has good plans for me
God is favorably inclined toward me
While I wait God is "tweaking things" (remember "You've Got Mail"?), positioning me and the myriad other details needed to fulfill that dream so we/they converge at just the right time.
While I wait God is changing me (and sometimes I think that's why I am still waiting!); He is refining my attitudes, my longings and my character.

Waiting is good and it is challenging, especially for people like me who COULD run ahead and make things happen for themselves. Had I rushed ahead, I could have missed these excellent lessons or learned them in a much more difficult way.