Thursday, December 18, 2008
- We listed all debt from the least amount to the greatest amount, and began paying off our debt from the smallest debt owed and worked our way up to the top.
- Double up on payments when possible
- We made a budget everytime we got paid, allocating every single penny, being careful not to wastefully spend
- Remain faithful in paying your tithes....it will stretch your faith, but God is faithful to provide all your needs! We promise!
- Try to tithe to yourself as well. This is called the 10-10-80 method (tithe church 10%, yourself 10%, and pay bills & living expenses off the 80% left)
It doesn't matter how much or how little you make, God wants us to be faithful stewards with what He has given us. Our goal for 2009 is to save more money and give more money. As we pay off the debts, we are able to give to ministries, family, missionaries, etc. In the book of Acts, the first Christians went without a need in the Body. Wouldn't it be nice if we got back to that philosophy of giving?
So, what are you waiting for? Do you have the faith to give over your finances to the Lord? Ask for the Lord's wisdom in this matter. I trust He will speak! I leave you with this verse I read just this morning during my quiet time with the Lord:
"Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?"
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I have decided getting along with non-believers is much easier at times than getting along with Christians. I've found myself here recently absolutely amazed at the behavior of some fellow-Christians God has providentially placed in my life. I use the word providence because I know the Lord has a purpose for me and you crossing paths with every single person we encounter in life. We don't get to choose those people!
I have attempted to avoid one person I have been having difficulty with, thinking that was the best method to keep the peace. Well, that didn't work. Then I thought, "I'm not going to let this person talk to me this way, I'm going to start retailiating and putting this person in their place!" Well, that only created more hostility. I found myself being very angry, judgmental, and completely consumed about their sinful behavior.
I really wanted this person to change, while all along God was asking me to change!
In a conversation with my friend, Lori, (who is not a difficult disciple!), she challenged me to stop trying to control the other person's behavior, and instead, to take control of my behavior toward this difficult disciple. Then Lori wisely lead me to the word of God:
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
My favorite season by far is fall: the smells, colors, and cool air just make my heart feel all warm and fuzzy. We just hit our cool temps here in Dallas this last week, so it was time to officially make our home fall friendly!
So, I put my Martha Stewart skills to work and decorated our mantle on a dime! My hubby and I went shopping together and had a great time! Awww...we are approaching our first holiday season as man and wife! What about you? What do you love about fall? Enjoy these pics!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Perhaps it's more disheartening to me because I am married now. D and I went to see an excellent Christian film, Fireproof, a couple of weeks ago, and it is a must see for everyone: married or single. We came out knowing one thing for sure:
Every marriage will go through the fire...the couples equipped to extinguish those fires can survive.
I encourage everyone to go see this movie, or send a couple as a treat to go see it! Let's fight for our families and have marriages that are fireproof against the schemes of the Enemy.
Enjoy the trailer of Fireproof
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I am angry.
First, let me say I do not consider myself a democrat nor republican. I have given both parties a fair and balanced look. Tonight, my decision has been made crystal clear.
I am endorsing and voting for the Obama/Biden ticket.
But, first let's get back to why I am angry. I am so offended by Palin's negative comments of Obama being a former community organizer. (Here is the entire transcript of her speech.)
She boasts of first being involved with the local PTA-what does she think that is?
As an employee of a faith-based inner-city community organization/ministry, I am highly offended of her insinuations that community work is not a noble or respectable work. It further solidifies for me that the GOP is not for all people, but only a few. The work millions of Americans are doing in communities, especially those communities where "the least of these..." reside, is honorable, worthy, sacrficial, and deserves respect.
Shame on you, Sarah Palin!
I admire a man who desires the office of the presidency recognizes the value of community. In my opinion, that is putting "country first."
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I definitely live here in the Bible belt!
What are your thoughts about women teaching from the pulpit at church?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
I've been reading the book of Titus, written by Paul who urges Titus to teach sound doctrine so that people may be led by the truth that leads to godliness. I believe we women have to be so very careful who and what we allow to 'teach' us...
Check out the article & let me know what your thoughts are. In the meantime, let us remember that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
As many of you know, the first 5 months I was married I was not working full-time. I was finishing up school and being a full-time wife. Since beginning to work in full-time ministry, our household has really been hectic. Gone are the days of cooking every night and keeping our apartment clean! I'm still trying to figure out how to balance work and home. I am seeking the Lord on how to bring more order and harmony to the demands of work and home. I don't know how working mothers come home after a full day of work and tend to their family. God bless them!
I've been doing some thinking, and more than ever I am understanding God's call for women to be keepers at home (cf. Titus 2:3-5). God is really speaking to my heart about the importance of women being freed up to be home--even if it's just for a season. I do not think this means women have to be stay-at-home full-time, but perhaps it means switching from a full-time job to a part-time job.
Or, take for example, one of my sister-in-laws who has prayerfully applied for some jobs closer to her home and with more paid holidays. She and her family cannot afford for her to come home permanently at this time, but possibly working 3 miles from her home will allow her to get home quicker to her family (oppossed to the 1 hour commute she is doing now). I applause her for this move of faith!
Anyway, I say all of this to express that though I have been called to full-time ministry for such a time as this, I believe the Lord is preparing my heart to understand the importance of my role in the home in the future.
What about you? Where do you stand on this issue?
If you are married with children:
Can you honestly say your home has top priority? Is your home suffering due to your work outside of the home? Is the environment of your home one of an oasis? Are you aware and on top of the spiritual well-being of your home? Your marriage? Your children?
If you are married without children:
Your husband and your home should still be a top priority for you. True, being married without children you do have some flexibility, but this time without children is so foundational. This time should be spent treasuring your relationship with your husband. Are you becoming one more each day? Use this time to properly prepare as much as possible for children in the future: financially, spiritually, and even learning how to parent a child God's way. Anything outside of the home is not more important than this!
If you are single:
I wish I would have taken the wise counsel from my older friend, Julie when I was single. She encouraged me to save my money when I was single and get out of debt. Sadly, I did not take her advice, and let me tell you....bringing financial debt into a marriage is not fun! So, get a second job! Cut down on going out to eat, and dare I say...shopping!!!!!! In doing this, you will honor the Lord and honor your future spouse by becoming a good steward with your finances. One more thing: ask the Lord to begin speaking to your heart about the role of a wife and mother. When I was single, I got my hands on everything I could read about this topic.
I never meant for this post to be so long, but as you can see, the Lord is really stirring my heart about this topic. I think it's no coincidence, because as I am called to minister to women, this is an area we American women need to prioritize: our home. I have been challenged by the Lord in this area, and I pray you will take these things to the Lord in prayer as well.
Let's set our hearts to Him to help our homes not be hectic!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
D & I have been married now for 4 months. You can tell we are happy by looking at our waistlines! Yikes! I have not gained 15 pounds as the title suggests, but being a newlywed is a lot like being a freshman in college. Remember the 'freshman 15' everyone warned you about? Well, no one warns you about the Newlywed 15!
When I went to the doctor last month for my annual check up, I lamented my weight gain to my doctor, and her response was, "Oh yeah, that happens to us all in the first year of marriage!" She told me to give myself a break and not be hard on myself, it's just life change.
Well, I don't like this part of life change. My husband and I have been working out little newlywed tails off in the gym. He's lost 7lbs and I've lost about 4. We decided we weren't going to go on any "get thin fast scam diets," but do it the healthy, organic way--eating healthy and working out. Here's a couple of things we are doing together:
-Exercising 4-5 days a week doing lots of interval cardio and resistance training
-Eating lots of fiber: vegetables, fruits
-Drinking lots of water!
-Trying to cut out processed sugar (this has been hard!)
-Eating fish 2 times a week (my husband, not me...I don't like fish)
-Cutting back on starches, but not entirely
-NO FAST FOOD! (we haven't had fast food all year)
I will admit, I have been discouraged. I am trying to look at this whole weight loss thing through a realistic, fresh way. I want to be healthy, I want this to be a lifestyle change, I want to be strong & have endurance, I want to challenge myself, and I want to be willing to work for those changes. It takes time though. We live in a society with lots of quick fixes, and a healthy lifestyle is not a quick fix, it occurs over a lifetime. So, I am giving myself some goals, but I'm not saying to myself, "I have to lose 10lbs in 10 days!"
One more thing, Sunday when I was having a pity party and punishing myself with unhealthy thoughts, the Holy Spirit brought to mind a verse we often quote as Christians, but rarely believe or practice. This, I believe is the key to my efforts:
and do not rely on your own understanding.
Acknowledge him in all your ways,
and he will make your paths straight.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Friday, May 02, 2008
Betty and I also host a daily television program, LIFE Today (http://www.lifetoday.org/), which airs around the world. I also founded the ministry of Life Outreach International. With the help of countless supporters, Betty and I have been sharing the life and love of God in word and deed in the U.S. and abroad. We focus heavily on Africa, feeding more than 400,000 children each month and drilling hundreds of fresh water wells.
You are a true example of the opportunity and success that America offers people who have had difficult challenges. I can relate, because I am the product of a forced sexual relationship on a 40-year-old woman. As I child, I spent time in a foster home, then with my birth mother and a stepfather who could not read or write. Later, my violent, alcoholic father came back into the picture. It ended when I pointed a gun at him in self-defense as he threatened to kill me. By the grace of God, I did not have to pull the trigger. A couple of years later, I committed my life to Christ and God changed me, established my life, and gave me a future. My wife Betty and I recently celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. We have three children and 11 grandchildren.
We both know that life can be difficult, but God Almighty has provided a helper through the person of His Holy Spirit to walk through the valleys and also enable us to experience success without our gain becoming idolatrous addiction. He offers us the very things that you claim to be discovering in a mind-boggling journey wrapped in New Age philosophy and relativism. The Apostle Paul warned against the human tendency to justify ungodly ideas by "changing the truth of God into a lie" and allowing our own appetites and desires to control us rather than the proven principles of the Bible.
Here is my great concern. You have obviously seen good Christians whom you admire, such as CeCe Winans and Nicole C. Mullen. I know both of these wonderful women and I am sure they shared the reality of a personal and deep relationship with Jesus Christ. But where have we, as Christians, either in our prayer life or in our example failed to connect with you and inspire you so you could see Jesus as He really is? Many have seen limited portraits of God, such as the extreme suffering depicted in Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ. But you may not have been able to see the power of the comment Jesus made to his mother when he fell beneath the weight of the cross in that movie. He commented, "Mother, I came to make all things new."
As believers, Betty and I are praying for you and encouraging every person with faith in Jesus Christ to lift you up in loving prayer before the Lord. You are a special person and it is my prayer that you not miss anything God has to offer. I pray that your journey will inspire all of us to examine our lives and become more consistent, compassionate, effective witnesses for Christ. Perhaps each of us as Christians should feel some weight of responsibility for not more effectively demonstrating the great message of hope found in Christ. Those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will never be disappointed in Him.
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
More importantly, I have a deeper love for the Lord and the Word of God, which in turn has deepened my compassion to share it with others. I am grateful for the many friends and family members who believed in me, encouraged me, and affirmed me during this time. Your love and support saw me through!
I'm almost there...
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I think bridal blues is like post-pardum after pregnancy-but for brides!
I've been warned by many former brides that after the big day, things can become a little nostalgic. I mean, the day just zips by. All of that planning, all the fuss, all the flowers...and it's over. I look at our pictures and I just want to cry! How can we get that day back? Oh, how I wish we could! The Bible is so true in saying our lives are but a vapor, a mist.
People say the fun truly begins after the wedding, and I will say I believe them, but I want to put my dress back on one last time! I asked my husband the other day real sweetly if I could put my dress back on, and he quickly said, "NO!" Oh well...I guess I do just need to move on!
I think I am feeling this way because for a girl's whole life she dreams of that day, that moment...and then it is just gone. Friends were telling me, "Just take it all in." I did take it all in, and it truly was a great day. It was the commencement of a blessed future with my husband, as we now are on the journey of becoming one each day, sharing laughs, cries, disappointments, and even sharing the bathroom!
Maybe I shouldn't be blue! It's a beautiful day outside and I am truly blessed to be experiencing God's goodness in the land of the living!