how to be debt free

In the Lord’s Prayer, one of the requests Jesus teaches us to make to our Father is to “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”.  Last week, I got heaps of amazing insights on what everyone thought Jesus meant by this request – see “debt consolidation”.  So this week, I’d like to go to the next step.

What are some tips you could share that have helped you to forgive & be debt free?

I’ll start w an idea & then please, please add your wisdom w a comment to help others & me.

a forgiveness tip:  do it FAST.  I’ve found it easier to forgive quickly than wait & do it later.  Usually by then, whatever has hurt me begins to fester & grow.

Your turn:

Around the world: Ethiopia – by Isabell

In Ethiopia, I experienced Jesus alot! I disovered it was a very poor country because of the people didn’t seem to have very much & the some of the kids didn’t have parents.  My favorite thing about Ethiopia was getting to help other kids!

I went to see king Menelik’s pic & crown in the museum.  It was very awesome.  I also got to see the oldest, most complete human skeleton in the world, named “skeleton Lucy”.  I hope you will help us raise money for water wells that we want to help drill.

time for FUN

 

i wish

i wish

I think God is thoroughly amazing!  He has designed each of us w such unique personalities – completely incredible!  While I tend to be a somewhat reflective, I love that He gives us what we need, when we need it, despite our natural bends.  Here’s what I mean:

This week has been a bit intense – I had my Greek mid-term (EXTREMELY stressful since I’m trying to just pass the class), preaching Wed night, Senate elections for Isabell & David’s school, along w preaching Sun.  Needless to say, I’ve been pretty focused & didn’t know how much of a break I needed.  Yesterday, was a BLAST!!!  My friend, Janice & I went snowboarding yesterday – 1st day of the year & had a fantastic time w no major injuries (not going to discuss the “injury from snowboarding” topic).  I got to ride fast & furious, catching no edges & it was completely great – didn’t know how much I needed to blow off some steam! 

That’s what I think is cool about God – He gives us what we need, when we need it.  So regardless of your natural bend, be sure to give God space & opportunity to give you what you need, even if you think you don’t need it. 

What have you noticed God giving you over the last few weeks?

God is working in us!

Philip 2:13 says that God is working in us to will & do of His good pleasure.  In light of the idea of working out our salvation with fear & trembling from verse 12, we could see God as our work out trainer – helping us have the desire & power to do what He wants (work out our salvation). 

God is working in each of us.  When Paul wrote this, he used the present tense & in Greek, this means an ongoing & continuous action.  So God is working in you & me today, even at this moment, helping us to have the desire & abilities (resources, etc) to accomplish His will.  If you get more specific, those times in your day when you feel like being kind, patient, friendly, generous, forgiving (see the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5) – these are God moments.  He is working in you – be encouraged & offer Him some cooperation (I can’t say that word without thinking of Seasame Street).

Make today a God-watch day – watching for Him working in you His desires & abilities!

Philippians 2 – Work Out!

I like to work out.  Last week was exciting because I got to work out 5 times!  The purpose of my workouts are: to build strength (lift weights) & cardio fitness (jogging).  At this time, I’m doing better w weight training than cardio, but I do both pretty much every week.  Some of the benefits I find from working out include:

  • more energy (necessary to keep up w small children)
  • stress relief
  • clears my thinking
  • burns calories
  • greater endurance
  • better self-esteem
  • builds strength
  • keeps my heart & muscles healthy
  • strengthens my bones to prevent oesteoporosis

So, in Philip 2:12, Paul tells us to work out our salvation w fear & trembling.  Truthfully, when I lift weights & if I do a really good job in a workout, I experience both fear & trembling when I’m lifting weights.  I’ll talk about this more in Chapel on Tues.  If you can’t come, then I’ll blog on it to explain better after Chapel 😉

In Chapel, we’ll also go into one of my fav verses in the Bible – Philip 2:13: God is at work in me to will & do of His good pleasure.  Chapel is going to be GREAT & I’m REALLY EXCITED!!!

economic crisis

This has been an interesting week with the stock market – to say the least.  Reece says that the stock market in America dropped 17% in the last week – virtually unprecedented in recent history.  I think the economic thing is making the global community a bit jittery & understandably so.  However, it is my humble opinion that the economic crisis is revealing a deeper abyss – the misconception that wealth is the solution to the emptiness that echoes in the chasm of each human heart on the planet.  While I completely appreciate the value of wealth & its ability to improve the ability of the poor to survive, let’s not be misled that it is an answer to the neediness of our hearts. 

Reece told me about something that happened in Louisiana with a drilling rig on a lake that accidentally broke through the bottom of a lake only to discover a salt cave under the lake – watch the video below to see what happened.  While you’re watching, think about this question:  could our present economic strain be revealing a deeper chasm?

lake drain

Louisiana – fun times!

I’m sitting in the New Orleans airport w Reece & I’m thanking God for the conference we just attended.  We heard some really great speakers & got to have some great God time, as well as hook up w some long lost friends & make some new friends as well.  Getting out every so often is really refreshing – it can give you a new lease on life!

We’re really looking forward to getting home & being w our kids – I made mom look at all my kid pics on my blackberry during breakfast.  This is one way that I know I miss them! 

God really spoke to me & encouraged me during this time away – some I’ll share a bit later.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • members class in the morning
  • getting into Philippians again
  • working on the Lord’s Prayer:  give us today our daily bread (so excellent!!!!)
  • getting to work off some of the delic food we ate down here
  • putting my kids to bed tonight
  • hearing God
  • worship this weekend!

thoughts on God’s love

In my “Lord’s Prayer experiment” (see the 1st post on the Lord’s Prayer), this great adventure has shown me some interesting things about God & my connection with Him.  In my last post, I talked about God as our Father & about our perceptions of who God is in our lives. 

This morning God, my Father, has been talking with me about the basis of His relationship with me – He loves me, as His child.  Everything He does originates from His motivation of love for me, His motivation of love for you.  Possibly the worst trick you could fall for, is not believing that He loves you, taking His love for granted or ignoring His love for you. 

Because of God’s love for us:

  • He provides what we need for each day. 
  • He forgives us & enables us to forgive (the premise of any relationship that has depth)
  • He directs my daily path
  • He protects me

All because He loves you.  All because He loves me.  I pray that your Father’s love for you would never become common, mundane or taken for granted.

pressure management

You probably don’t need me to list anything that may add to the pressure in your life, so here’s something good to think about:  God has your future in His hands and you can trust Him.  For me, this was really helpful  to hear this morning in my time w Him.  From time to time, when I feel lots of pressure, sometimes I find my mind wanting to escape from the pressure.  In prayer this morning, I was kind of daydreaming when I felt God inviting me to settle into Him rather than go down the daydreaming path.  This was an interesting experience because when I was daydreaming, I was really restless.  When I followed God, the restlessness stopped & I felt a calm serenity with great depth.  In my prayer time, I stayed w God & received an internal confidence that is even lingering w me now. 

We all have pressures & stresses – from our own choices & from things beyond our control.  I’d encourage you to be mindful of how you deal with such pressures & stresses.  God designs our needs to be met in Him.

Greek observations

You have to be really smart for Greek & I’m not sure I’m of such a high intellectual caliber to get it.  I’m in my 3rd semester of Greek & my class meets weekly for about 2.5 hours on Monday nights, translating parts of Romans.  Again, you have to be really smart for this class.  Tonight, I’m not feeling very smart.  Its probably because I’m tired, at least I’m hoping this excuse will make things look better in the morning.  I just don’t feel very smart.  Do you know that Paul doesn’t use verbs in some of his sentences?  That’s about all I want to say on this topic.