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Friday, March 21, 2014

Forever Lessons...wounded

I was catching up on some of my beloved blogs and Heart Choices had a link to Faith Barista (see link on bottom right side of my page) who is having Jam with me Thursdays! Each week she provides a topic for you to think over for the week. On Thursdays you post a comment as related to your faith and that particular topic.

The topic this week is wounded; an inspiration prompted by lent week.

Here is my take on this subject.

My first thought was how often Christians wound their own brothers and sisters. This is a real wound, or it was for me. So wounded, I avoided anything church for three years. One day I realized, hey! I'm the one that is really missing out and distancing myself from God. It is shocking how quickly one floats away from God's kingdom when you don't have the accountability and fellowship of fellow brothers and sisters. If you have stayed away from church for ANY reason, look at your life and determine if things have changed. What you ask? Allow me to give a list of possible slippery slopes (again this is experience).

* language - using words you wouldn't think of using before?

* jokes - caught up and laughing at the expense of others?

* company - finding yourself spending time with people that need God's word spoken into their lives but you now feel unable to share because of the choices you've made?

* windows to the soul - are your eyes seeing things they should not? TV shows, movies, news programs, reality TV or even magazines and books that expose your mind and soul to items that are breaking God's heart and tearing you away from Him?

Wounded soldiers need to go to the hospital and await treatment and healing.

This verse has really stood out to me:

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by hin and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4

Jesus paid the price for our mistakes and hurts. He too was hurt by his closest friends - but he still loved them and us enough to give his life so that we can be saved from our sins and live out eternity with him.

The first stop on the healing road is a one-on-one with Jesus. Allow him to hear your hurts and anger, but then allow him to talk to you. Allow yourself to forgive - what is that part in the Lord's prayer...and forgive us our trespasses AS WE forgive those who trespass against us (Matt 6:12 Common English Bible Version). You see the anger here is most likely NOT righteousness anger - not when you get past justifying your anger and sort out what is causing it, you can admit that fact - I was hurt and you need to pay! AND we are forgiven as we forgiven! He was crushed for our iniquities. Gotta forgive!

How do most people make someone "pay" for hurting them? What I see the most is passive aggressive actions. Intentionally ignoring them, saying half-truths, ranting, offering up a prayer request...all very wrong in the motive department. Maybe I'm more aware because God has been talking with me on such things - Oh mouth on my face...ZIP IT! Let's see how Jesus handled the hurt...

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open up his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

We should not allow the mouth on our face to open up and spew hate. Humble yourself before the Lord and allow him to take the hurt. Pray for the person you feel hurt you so you can see them as God sees them. One last thought on this - there is a HUGE possibility they have no clue they hurt you.

The next stop on the healing road is - back to fellowship or the hospital we go! I know... no one likes to go to the hospital, but God tells us to not forsake the assembling of yourselves together (Heb 10:25). Find a church and determine that you are sticking. It doesn't matter where you go to church in your belief, you will not agree with everything and you will have personality conflicts - this is a natural result of interacting with people.

The Christian walk is not some utopian society that you have joined - the Bible lets us know that we WILL have tribulation (John 16:33). What is tribulation? What you feel when people don't think like you think or want to do what you want to do. Tribulation can be the result of standing up for your Lord and Saviour knowing the results are going to be huge - like laughter, taunting, losing a job, or even losing a friend. Tribulation is also that time you were wounded so deeply, at church.

Wounded - it hurts, it heals, it strengthens!

Let the salve of God's love heal your wounds ~



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Budget Smudget!

This writing will continue with the "write it down" theme.

Several years ago I co-taught a finance class for a group at church. Most of those attending were single kids in college or just out and we wanted to give them a good foundation to handle their money responsibly.

Here are some highlights...

Rule #2

If you make $100 and spend $101 you are over spending. This happens frequently with CREDIT CARDS! Contrary to popular beliefs, you do not have to have IT right now!

Rule #3

Pay yourself each paycheck. What? Save some money. It is suggested that you save 10% of your paycheck. If you have a program at work that will take that money before it touches your hand, I highly suggest taking advantage of that type of system. Otherwise, talk with an investment company like Edward Jones or any other you know of, and set up a bank draft that moves the money to another account automatically so you are held to the decision.

Rule #5

Set a dollar amount and make yourself wait 24 or 48 hours before you make the purchase. Let's say that amount is $100. You go home and figure out where the money is coming from and then take that money out of savings and go purchase the item. As you start seeing that total dwindle it makes you rethink some of your purchases.

Ready for Rule #1?

Tithe. Find a church or religious organization, i.e. mission ministry, and give them 10% of your paycheck. WHAT! that means if I pay myself and pay tithes then I only live on 80%. Yes, you are good at math so this whole program should be easy peasy for you! The absolute BEST 10% you could ever spend is on a tithe. Even if you don't believe in God (and I'd like to discuss that with you too) tithing is a spiritual law that works for all. You give your 10% and God will bless you financially. It is the one subject in the Bible where he says "test me in this" (Malachi 3:10). For those of you that attend a church - your tithe belongs only in the church where you attend. It doesn't matter if you LIKE what the church is doing. God instructs us to give the first tithe (10%) to the storehouse and then give offerings where we want. If you take God's first tithe and decide you will make the decisions as to how, where, and when it is divvied out, you will not be blessed. If you tell others it is okay to not give your tithes to your church because you don't like brother or sister so-n-so on such-n-such committee - then you are deceiving them and will be held accountable. There is also a little matter of paying back more to the storehouse when you steal from God - but that is another lesson.

Back to the budget smudget!

Here is a suggest step 1 to getting a budget going.

1) Sit down and list every bill you have each month.

Housing (rent or mortgage)








auto payment

Auto repairs


credit card bills

if you are behind on bills this will be a little overwhelming...hang in there! You CAN do this.

life insurance (this might be twice a year)



dr's visits

Eating out

entertaining - fair, movies, zoo, renting movies, concerts, ball games, traveling

2) Add it all up and then divide by the number of paychecks you recive. Remember to keep this monthly. Now you know how much per paycheck you HAVE to have to keep things even.

If you don't have enough money to get you through the month then begin chiseling things down.

Do you need 165 channels on the TV?

Do you need the newest phone that comes out?

Do you need to eat out 6 times a week?

Do you need a brand new car with huge payments?

Do you need to carry the newest hand bag?

Do you need 15 pairs of jeans?

Remember this asks for need not want. I have found there is truly a difference and it will give you such financial freedom when you discover the difference between those two words.

With your money each month for Gasoline, entertaining, & groceries, get envelopes and put your allotted money back each paycheck. Once the money is gone - so are the groceries or movies or long driving trips. Tough, I know, but you learn to shop differently - what stretches versus favorite cookie - wait for the perfect movie to rent versus something to fill the night. Go to a matinée versus a night movie at the theatre.

This lesson in a nutshell - It's another hard lesson, but learn to think about what your are spending and determine if you can cut some corners to keep your family out of the poor house. Teach your children the lesson too - have them set up envelopes for their allowances too.

You work hard for your money - don't throw it away on things you don't NEED.

A day at a time!