Archive | January 2012

Pay Down Debt

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7

A nation, business or home built on debt is owned and controlled by outside forces. There is no freedom or liberty to be found in leveraged ownership, only obligations and payment plans. Debt is unemotional and uncaring when it decides to call your loan, or make new demands you are unable to fulfill. Debt is deceptive in its ability to draw us into its pleasures in exchange for our time, energy and focus.

Short-term borrowing is subtle, because it can easily become a shortcut that only satisfies our immediate gratifications but with long-term ramifications. I have missed God’s best because I got in a hurry, and thought I had to make things happen, so I presumed on the future. Ease of credit can lead us to grow impatient with prayer and make purchases pre-maturely. However, blessings come from waiting on God’s prayerful provision.

“LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15

Thus, start immediately and implement a plan to pay down your debt. Begin by paying off the credit card with the smallest balance, and cease from spending with the convenience of credit’s plastic purchases. Eradicate your mortgage by the time your children start college and you will have added margin for their extra educational expenses. Delayed gratification is a discipline God blesses. Like a hiker with a light backpack, without the weight of debt you are able to freely follow the Lord’s call.

Turn to Christ instead of credit, and watch Him create opportunities you never conceived. Waiting to pay in cash is an exercise in faith, and a refraining of the flesh. A smaller home and older car, with peace and contentment, is much better than more, with regret and restless nights. Debt free living liberates your life and increases your generous giving. Therefore, pay down debt so you are free to love and serve others more effectively.

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law” Romans 13:8, (NASB).

Where can I begin to aggressively pay down my debt and increase my giving?

Related Readings: Isaiah 30:18; 64:4; Micah 7:7; Hebrews 11:8-12

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God!!!!! Im Lonely

There are times when I just feel low. When I feel as if no one around me is truly seeing me, and recognizing what I am going through. I imagine that if I died at that given moment, no one would care except for my immediate family.

I sure your reading this and thinking, “Wow!! What an emo post. ” But I sure that everyone has moments like this, when you just feel disconnected from the world around you.  When you think that everyone is treating or looking at you differently because of a wrong you committed.

Fortunately, a recent passage I read in devotion makes me hopeful. I will keep this passage in my memory bank for hard times.  The passage is from Deuteronomy 32:10, and highlights the fact that despite how horrible we are (or think we are) there is someone out there that loves us unconditionally and is always with us.
“In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye…”
~Deuteronomy 32:10 NIV

This text refers to Jacob, Jacob the deceiver; Jacob the con artist; Jacob the thief. A coward who decides to flee from the drama he orchestrated. Despite this, Jacob is someone God went looking for. In the desert where he hides, God comes to him and shields him from harm. In spite of all his crimes God still sees him as the apple of his eye.
After reading this passage, I compared myself to Jacob. I wanted to see the differences between us but then realized that there is no difference.  NOTHING….how many times do I envy someone for something I lack? How often do I do subtle things to bring others down to the level I feel they should be? (Yes, I am horrible)
However, through all this, God is reaching out for me. He is searching for me in the wasteland of my sinful, blemished life.  He is caring for me, shielding me from harm. Despite my nasty (selfish) character traits, God still sees me (and you) as the apple of his eye.
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6 Biblical Lessons on Relationships

After 35 years in ministry and 30 years of marriage to Serita Jakes, Bishop T.D. Jakes has outlined key life lessons learned from these two great institutions.

The following are 6 sample “Lessons from the Heart”  excerpted from “The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible: Life Lessons on Relationships from the Inspired Word of God.”

1. Overcoming Our Differences in Relationships.
The art of relationships requires that a man who is very different from his woman finds common ground with her and vice versa. We are meant to balance each other by attracting people whose strengths may be our weaknesses. Together as a result of our differences and unique distinctions, we complement each other. Understanding only comes when you stand under a real desire to know, love, and comprehend the other person, embracing the uniqueness of who they are.
2. Healthy Relationships Require Emotional and Spiritual Freedom.
You often won’t know what you have, let alone need, in your life until you clear the mental and emotional room to experience the here and now. We don’t have to stay buried under the past or cycles of mistakes, even though it may seem insurmountable. You can move on with your life. You have to keep your mental and emotional house clean and in order. Praying, journaling, mediation, and exercise are common ways for you to be sure your emotional issues of the past aren’t seeping into your current relationships.
3. It Takes Courage to Really Love Someone.
Deciding to love gets harder as you get older. It’s more and more difficult to fall in love because your “faller” gets broken. We’ve all had relationships that didn’t work out for one reason or another. The loss of a relationship can be a traumatic experience and can affect us in our lives for months and sometimes for years. You need to understand what role you played in the relationship’s demise, and work to come to peace with your partner’s behavior as well as your own. No matter what has happened to you, the only hope of a healthy future relationship is to let go of the past.
4. Healthy Compromise in Relationships.
Negotiating win-win possibilities in relationships often means seeing things through the eyes of the others involved in the situation or problem. In most cases of healthy compromise, both parties feel they are “right.” Healthy compromise is the hallmark of healthy relationships. The Lord’s peace often results when each side comes close to His viewpoint, His perfect plan for both parties. We cannot remain so entrenched in our view that we cannot change or adapt, and we must know when not to compromise too far.
5. Safeguarding Your Relationships.
In order to maximize your life and relationships, you have to minimize your load. You must focus on what’s important when it comes to your relationships. Lightening your load means knowing when to release things. Most of don’t realize that the key to release ourselves is within our own hands. You can move ahead and conserve your strength for things that count, things you can change, things you can control. Have the wisdom to see the importance of giving you all to your relationships today!
6. Evaluate Who You Are.
When you see yourself as valuable enough to deserve love and attention from the other person, you form a boundary that you will not compromise. A little self-esteem goes a long way in garnering the courage to ask and answer questions that reveal who you really are and what you really want. Once you look realistically at who you really are and what you desire in a healthy relationship, you are ready to enter into the research that will lead to sound decisions.

How to commit suicide…

One day the wife a friend of mine called to tell me that she was on the way to the hospital because my friend had collapsed at work.   

Earlier that day just before leaving for work he poured a bowl of cereal and went to the refrigerator for milk there was none.  He decides well it’s not that serious I’ll just add water.  He takes a couple of bites and sits the bowl on the counter.  After running back upstairs to grab his tie and briefcase he charges out the door.  He’s halfway out of the driveway before he realizes that he’d forgotten his cereal.  He pulls back into the garage, runs inside and grabs hs cup only to discover that a family of ants had beaten him to it.  “Argh!!!” he exclaims.  He slams the ingredients from the cup into the garbage disposal and flips the switch… it doesn’t work.  “Oh my god!!!”

He immediately calls his wife to ask whether she knew of this mechanical failure and she replies, “Yes.”

“Well, why didn’t you tell me about it?!” he yells.

“I didn’t think it was that serious, I was going to tell you today.”

“You didn’t think it was that serious?!  See, that’s what I’m talking about, you never take anything ‘that’ seriously.  You should have told me last night, I would’ve had someone out here to fix it!

“Look, what is your problem?  You never call me at work and when you do, this is what you call about?  I’m at work, I don’t have time for this. Bye! -click

This of course sends him into a complete tizzy.  He jumps back into the car and heads off to work fuming.  Traffic is horrible and the cereal episode only made arriving to work on time even more difficult. Once there he receives a phone call explaining that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer and they needed him to come down to see her.   Well, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  All of this was too much to handle and his mind/body broke down.  After receiving various sedatives and being monitored for a few hours he was released and told to take it easy for a few days and he’s now doing a lot better.  (true story.)

Now, my purpose for calling this one how to commit suicide is to bring attention to how we get to that point in the first place.  The trojan horse called stress is to blame in this case but the funny thing is, it only has as much power as YOU give to it.  Whether voluntary or involuntarily, your body will find a way to escape too much stress.  People that go through with the thought of committing this self-destruction typically do so because the ‘stress’ of life becomes too much to bear.  It’s actually more common than you think for people to have such thoughts but luckily not everyone continues down that path.

If you think about it, that’s what we spend the majority of our time doing…trying to avoid stress.  That’s what our heavens or after life promises are…no dying – stress, no sickness – stress, no disagreements – stress, and so on.  It even says on the tomb stones… rest in peace.

Well I’d like to ‘suggest’ to you that you don’t have to wait until death to experience peace.  If you’d like to have less stress in your life…wait for it….let it go!  Yeah, it’s that simple.  Stress is an unwelcome visitor in your home (body)…kick him out! (ha)  Seriously though, you only have what you’re holding on to…aren’t there more pleasant things in life that to hold than self-destruction?

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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