Treasures

“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” Matthew 6:20 NIV

This time of year we need to think of others. God tells us to give 10% of our income to the local church. If we all did this there would not still be needs all over the world but people, at least most people, believe that if they have left over money at the end of the month then they might give some to God. Wrong! That is not what the Bible says. First of all God was here first and all that ever was or ever will be was his, everything. That is why I know that anything I have or earn is from God. It is for me to use to do his will and I will obey his commands. I was raised in the church and my father taught me about tithing when I was a little girl. On weekends I got allowance say $1.00 so I took 10 cents with me to Sunday school for my offering . It doesn’t matter if you get $1.00 for allowance or $2,000.00 a week in pay. It’s still 10% that God expects. 90% of your income totally blessed will go so much further than 100% cursed by God but in your pocket. I have a silly example of tithing. When I decided to tithe after my stroke I had 0 income. I received disability from Uncle Sam and decided to tithe on that. I don’t have a lot of needs but I buy mascara because I have beady little eyes I don’t like. I used to buy a few tubes at a time. Then I began tithing and I don’t remember the last time I bought mascara but it was years ago and it hasn’t gone dry yet. I never need body wash because I always get scented ones as gifts. So God does supply all of my needs, always. Everyone has heard the phrase “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I really don’t need one more trinket. My room is the only home I have and it is only so big because I live in a nursing home. This morning I was given a little bear. Cute but I didn’t need it. So I gave it to a dear friend worrying about an upcoming surgery. He was upset and scared so I hope it helped. It did feel good. I love to give every time there is a special new need. And I do above what I tithe because My God loves a cheerful giver. I get so blessed every time. Our church has a motto “find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it”, well they take that very seriously. Our church has spent millions of dollars doing just that. Now they are having a fundraiser to collect money to help with human trafficking. They are having a walk-a-thon in January and I have decided to walk. Ok so I can’t walk but I will roll for $. We can all be used by God and it can be in simple ways. He just asks for a little. So little that you won’t miss it. Another way to help is pray. It is free! God is still large and in charge and he does answer prayers. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. I have seen some crazy wild answers to prayer and have been blow away time and time again. I get to be apart of it wow!

Wouldn’t you like to be apart of what God is doing in the world today?

God’s Provision

“I am the vine; and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit ; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

This verse has so much to say about our walk with God. Who God is and how he sees his awesome plan for us. God is the one who made us and he is apart of us. We were never meant to be apart from God. Our need of him is so very important in every aspect of our lives. If we want to be all that we can be then we need to cooperate with him. He does know what is best. He has great plans for us. To be a people for himself that will bear much fruit, this fruit is the characteristics and traits that will further his kingdom. We will be loving, joyful, peaceful, long-suffering, gentle, good, meek, temperate, and faithful. These are the fruits he desires to see in us. He uses the example of a grape vine for good reasons. If God is a grape vine then we are connected to him and will produce fruit like his. Grape vines produce grapes. We can not on our own decide to produce some other fruit such as tomatoes. We are to be more like him each day. He decides what we need to be and what is best for all. We also need to stay connected to him. He is our power source. When we do what we want and not what he has asked us to do we will be week, and ineffective . We need to spend time with him. A relationship with him is very important. Anyone you have ever had a relationship with is first, important to you. You spend time together, sharing, the good and the bad together, and grow closer to each other. Another thing about a vine is being connected, always, every day. If you are not connected to him, his vine, you are disconnected. If you are disconnected you will die. It may be a slow, miserable death, but with no nutrients you will die. When a vine dies it is cast off and burnt up. You don’t want to be cast off or dead do you? You will not be very productive if you are dead. As I was reading my Bible today I was in Deuteronomy. The Israelites had just spent forty years wandering in the wilderness and the whole time God provided for them. They were brought out of Egypt in such a mighty way. Even when they faced their first struggles God was strong. Splitting the Red Sea so they walked right through, in the mud, no! The walked on solid, dry ground. He provided water when they needed it, food for thousands of men, women and children. They demanded meat and God sent them quail. Their clothes and shoes held up for forty years and did not wear out. During this time they married and raised families. He kept them safe and strong. Because there were more people after forty years and all the original ones died in the desert. Only Joshua and Caleb remained from the original bunch. When they came into the promised land God fought for them. No matter how big or how strong their enemies were, they did not stand a chance. But he warned them to leave certain people alone. Because he had already blessed them, such as Esau’s family and Lot’s family. Those who God has blessed shall remain blessed.

Do you want to be one of God’s blessed people?

Satisfaction

“I have food to eat that you know nothing about. My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:32&34 NIV

When you are passionate about something you will find so much satisfaction in doing it that you can forget other things. I sold homes when I was younger and I would get so busy that meal times would come and go and what I was doing was so satisfying that I wouldn’t even notice that I had missed a lunch. I felt I was making a difference in someone’s life and that kept me going. That wasn’t anything that was life changing but it was important to someone. Right now I am so close to God and seeing him do so much. I am so amazed that he is willing to let me be a big part of what he is doing and now I am making a difference. God is so good and I want to do all I can for him. In Matthew it says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.” Whenever I think of doing God’s work I get excited. I’m saying, “Send me, send me.” I want to be a part of when God is moving. It brings so much satisfaction. He is so busy in so many peoples lives and I just love being a part of it. So many people are busy worrying about what they need or want. “What about me?” When I started running after God and making a difference in others’ lives. Especially wanting to see people growing in their walk with God life got so much more exciting. I didn’t even think much about my needs but they are always being met and exceeded. So many others needs are being met and exceeded also. It is all consuming. I get so excited that I just want to see and do more. Before my stroke I just didn’t get it. I didn’t get involved and I didn’t have a special relationship with God. He might move in a service that I was in and I would see it but I didn’t really understand. Now everything is different. I will never forget the time the music we were singing just lept off the page and I saw every word and what it truly meant to me. I sit up on the front row during worship and the passion and emotion of the worship team seems to flood over me like a tidal wave on the beach. I get so emotional and God’s love is so strong. I just want to be more involved. It is never enough. If I have been praying or given money for a certain need I am so blessed when God moves.

Do you want to be a worker too?

I Have a Maker

“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter shaped it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Jeremiah 18:4 NIV

God is the ultimate designer. Before we were ever born he knew us. He knows who we will be and all we will do and become. He designed our personalities and all the life experiences that end up making us who we were meant to be. We don’t ever need to think of ourselves as mistakes or worthless because great thought and planning went into all of us.

He knows the number of hairs on our heads. Who our parents will be. Where we will be born and when. We are all well thought out. God does not make junk. His is only perfection. Just what he wanted all along. He knows what you will do and everyone you will meet. You were made for a reason. The number one reason is to get to know Jesus and to learn to love and worship him with all you are.

He wants to be in every area of your life. But to do this he will have to purge out some of the junk. Sin, hurts and trials that have consumed us. He wants to take them for us. Give them to him and he will carry them. Don’t try to take them back just because you weren’t done fretting over them he needs room for his presence to dwell.

Helping you discover all you can be. That is the Holy Spirits job in you. He has a career all planned out for you and gives you the wisdom you will need to do it well. Maybe he wanted you to be a scientist and you discover cures for disease that will change many lives for the better. Maybe you were meant to be a chef. Creating awesome new meals that others will love and rave about.

Will you have children? Helping them discover all that God has for them throughout their lives is a rewarding job. I know from having three beautiful daughters that are wonderful inside and out how blessed I am to have them. Then they have grandchildren for you and the blessings in this cycle of life just continue on.

Each and every person makes a big difference in each life they touch. It can be in positive ways or in negative ones and the choice is up to you. Every area of our lives was well thought out and how it will work to make the best of our lives come from it. We are not here just for ourselves but to be a blessing to other lives as well. We need to make an effort to make a difference in every life we come in contact with. Saying a kind word or a simple act of kindness. The more I learn how much I am loved, the more I want to show others how much they are loved.

What can you do today to make a difference in your world?

Thy Will Be Done

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the father is not in them. For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2: 15-17 NIV

As I grow in my relationship with the Lord my ways have changed so much. Things that used to matter don’t matter anymore but his ways matter more and more to me. I just don’t care much for things anymore. I like nice things don’t get me wrong. I just don’t bust my butt to get things anymore. I’ve come to learn that who I am and where I’m at is more important.

I moved to this retirement home in 2006 and was looking forward to hard work and getting my life back. Going home. I struggled to do little things. My legs just did not want to do what I wanted them to do. It was depressing. I remember when a case worker told me one day, “Get used to it your not getting out of here.” That comment ate at me for a long time.

I felt like God had punished me and even if I deserved it my life stunk. I was getting out of here one way or another. I kept an open mind and tried to do everything I could. I was always finding ways to help out around here. I wrote a book about what happened to me. About my stroke and what I went through. It helped so many people see it from different eyes.

I got to know so many people here. They kept asking when I was going to write another book. Me? I’m not a writer? But after time God gave me another book. It was like being dictated to. God spoke and I typed. It was good I loved it. It was a very awesome time. People loved it. I followed it up with another one. Currently I am working on a devotional with a good friend. God taught me so much over time.

The more I trust him and pray that he will use me in his ways, the more he does and my life is so blessed. I may have lost many things in my life but my life is better than ever. He is using me and blessing me more than I could imagine. I see things differently now. I have so many friends who have become family. I love doing whatever I want and being retired. I don’t even have to do the cooking and cleaning. I feel at times like a spoiled kid.

A spoiled Kings kid.

Do you want to really live? And know it’s forever?

He Cares for Us

‘In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them.’ Isaiah 63:9 NIV

When we suffer he cares. In this life we will have trials. That is a given. But when we suffer he blesses us with his presence. Knowing he is with us can bring comfort. Knowing we are not alone and that he will help us is important for strength. When we are weak he can be strong.

When I am dealing with hard things such as my health and pain it always helps to know he cares and he will in his time bring about what is best for me. His best is always more than I expect. He loves me and as I focus on being the best me I can be for him he wants to bless me.

He always is doing special things for me. Whenever I think I am going to need something a special gift I never expected will show up. Like this week the bag of chocolates I got for Christmas was almost gone. I had really enjoyed having a little treat after lunch each day and even though I can do without. A package came from my daughter of a large bag of chocolates.

Just God’s way of sending blessings my way. Extra special blessings. I always say thank you. And I feel that he cares always.

I had pneumonia a few months back and it came on quickly and strong. One minute I was enjoying time at church with friends and feeling fine. Then at dinner I felt dizzy and nauseous. I had to go to bed. I kept feeling worse and worse. This had never happened before and I thought I was having a heart attack.

I had to trust that God knew what was wrong and that he was in charge. But that didn’t happen at first. I gave myself a panic attack first. I felt my heart race and knew I needed to relax. God helped me fall asleep when I thought I couldn’t. He helped me rest over the next few days even when my roommate was loud.

They did lots of tests and assured me that in time I would be fine. It took about three weeks before I got to feeling like myself again. Dizziness and plugged ears almost drove me crazy. God was with me though. It just took a lot of rest.

Recently as I prepared to go to the conference at church I awoke In the night worrying about everything that could go wrong. My ride being late. Not being able to open doors and get around on my own. I laid awake for quite some time thinking of everything that could go wrong.

I finally said a prayer that he would take care of all my needs. I reminded myself that he had it under control and I had nothing to worry about. As the conference came and went it went off without a hitch. Better than I ever expected. I had a great time.

Let him take your cares for he does care for you.

You Can’t Out-give God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Psalm 3:5 NIV

” And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:19 NIV

God spoke to me this morning as I was talking to him. He has been opening my eyes to his ways a lot in the last fourteen years. I can understand how blind we can be at times. Going through life day by day it’s easy to get focused on ourselves and our daily struggles. It took him bringing me to a place where my every breath was up to him.

He has taught me so much about how he works. As I was growing up my father and grandfather taught me so much about giving to God first. Tithing was something they had learned was very important and they always saw his blessings through it. So as I began working I tried to continue that tradition.

When I got married and it was no longer just my money I felt it was more important to submit to my husband and let him be the head of the house. He always felt there were so many bills and never enough left over for God. That’s where he was wrong. But it wasn’t up to me to correct him. That’s God’s job.

What we need to understand is that God has commanded us to give and he has very good reasons. We also need to understand that God knows everything. He is not ever going to ask us to do anything that is not good for our best. He has promised to work everything for our best. That’s all the good and bad.

I had to get to a place where I had nothing so I could see that the little I gave was blessed.

I remember the story of the widows mites from when I was a child. This poor widow gave two copper coins as her offering, they were only worth less than a penny but it was all she had. Jesus saw how much it was to her when others gave large amounts and didn’t even miss it.

Many people have been blessed with a lot of money. Some aren’t Christians and know nothing about tithing but they give large amounts away to hospitals, research, even feeding children in other countries. They have learned the blessings of giving. God can use them just as easily as Christians.

First we need to understand it is not our money anyway. When we were born we had nothing and when we die we take nothing. Who was the first person? Adam but everything he ever had was given to him by God. God promised to always give us all we need. He knows all so he knows how to do it. We don’t need to know how.

If you try to make a budget first it will never make sense. His economy does not work the way we can understand. He is looking out for billions of people’s needs all at once. This last week I got to go to a convention for leadership training. They spoke of a need in one of our churches for a food pantry. This remote city had limited resources and great needs.

I felt God speak to me to give an amount. My mind told me how will you do that? My heart told me, ‘God can use me as well as anyone else and I want the blessings he has for my life. He obviously knows more than me. So I gave.

He can bring blessings into my life through unexpected sources. Gifts, inheritance, unexpected money from many places. I am supported by social security. They pay for all of my needs since I became disabled. Leaving me with $100 a month for clothes and miscellaneous needs.

That is not much but after Christmas last year I felt so blessed. I got so much I did not expect from others that I have no needs. The food has been great lately and I haven’t even needed the snacks I used to buy and keep around. My shampoo and other supplies seem to go a lot farther than normal.

I give my tithe every month and wish I could do more. Some months he does ask me to do more. I give and he supplies the need. It is so much more blessed to give than to receive. You can even test God in this one area and see just how impossible it is to outlive God.