Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Heart Song: Financial Blessing

This last week has been an amazing week of blessing for our family like we’ve never seen.  Every day God has done something unexpected for us that has blessed us and I want to tell you about two of those days.

Blessing #1:

On Monday of last week, my husband Troy was saying his goodbye’s and he headed out to the garage to start his car for work.  He came back in to tell me it wouldn’t start so he was going to ask our neighbor up the street if he would give our car a jump from his truck.  So our kind neighbor drove his pick-up truck over and helped my husband jump-start the car.  After several tries, nothing, the battery was totally dead.

At this point, my husband was starting to wonder why God was delaying him.  It just didn’t seem normal that the car couldn’t start after the jump.  So my husband decided to call a service company to come out and replace the battery.  My husband happened to recognize the man as an old classmate of his.  It ended up that Troy was able to encourage him and they made a connection to keep in touch.  After all was said and done, we paid $150 to replace the battery.  We hadn’t scheduled that into our budget and it was an extra stress we didn’t need.

The next day, Tuesday, we received a letter in the mail from the city treasurer.  They said that after reviewing our file, they discovered that we had over paid by $170.  Inside the envelope was a check.  It was more than what we had just spent for the car.  God had blessed us for some reason we don’t really have the answer for.  All I can say is that God is good, and he cares about our every need. 

Who has ever heard of the city treasurer handing out money???

Blessing #2:

A few months ago my husband and I reconnected with friends who go to an amazing church in Las Vegas.  After telling them where we believe God has called us, they said that we should come to Vegas and visit their church and receive prophetic prayer.

Have you ever known anyone who has said they are going to Las Vegas for prayer???  -Well, now you do!

So after Troy and I got home, we discussed it and agreed that this is where God is leading us.  I looked up the hotel costs and flights and realized that this small trip was going to cost a small fortune.  We started to doubt if this was really where God wanted us to go.  Thoughts started bombarding us like, “Can’t we get prayer anywhere?” and “Do we really need to go all the way to Las Vegas? Are we sure God is really leading us there?” 

I felt positive that God was leading us there and that we were following Him no matter what confusion came.  So once again, weeks later, I looked online for a hotel deal.  Still nothing below what we wanted to pay without it being a total dive.  I was about to just charge a stay at the best deal I could find, then something inside me said, “wait.”  That evening our phone rang, it was the Hilton and they wanted to offer us a hotel deal in Vegas if we would listen to their presentation.

I couldn’t believe it!  They ended up offering us a 2 night, 3 day stay with a few bonus certificates thrown in for $110!  (But that’s not the end of the story!)

A few days later, my husband was booking our airline tickets and after searching for the best deal, he got on the phone with the airline and they arranged for us to pay for one person and the other can pay the buddy pass price of $100!  Round-trip tickets ended up costing us $566.  (But that’s not the end of the story either!) Those tickets were booked last Wednesday, then the next day, Thursday, my husband’s phone was ringing off the hook from billable clients!  That day, Thursday, he made over $500!  God blessed us again by reimbursing us! This time we knew why, it was because we were obedient to where God was leading us.  We took that step of faith financially.

God’s word says that if we obey Him and follow His lead, blessing will follow.  Isn’t that exciting?

Deuteronomy 28 (Message Bible)

 1-6 If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:

   God's blessing inside the city,
   God's blessing in the country;
   God's blessing on your children,
      the crops of your land,
      the young of your livestock,
      the calves of your herds,
      the lambs of your flocks.
   God's blessing on your basket and bread bowl;
   God's blessing in your coming in,
   God's blessing in your going out.
 7 God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They'll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads.

 8 God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he'll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you.

 9 God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you.

 10 All the peoples on Earth will see you living under the Name of God and hold you in respectful awe.

 11-14 God will lavish you with good things: children from your womb, offspring from your animals, and crops from your land, the land that God promised your ancestors that he would give you. God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won't have to take out a loan. God will make you the head, not the tail; you'll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God, your God, that I am commanding you today. Don't swerve an inch to the right or left from the words that I command you today by going off following and worshiping other gods.

Where is God leading you?  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"American Idol"

American Idol is one of the most popular reality shows that’s viewed weekly.  If you’re not familiar with the show, let me explain…the contestants compete against each other with eliminations each week.  They all are hoping to be the last one standing to be bestowed with the title, “American Idol.” 

Have you ever thought about that title?  The person with that title will be the “Idol” of all Americans –well the Americans who tune in and vote.  That winner, the “American Idol,” will be someone who is admonished, adored, applauded, and even worshipped by most.  They are given special privileges and rights because of their title as “Idol” and we continue to applaud them even though they have no clue who we are individually.  The “Idol” doesn’t know us personally even though we worship them and buy their albums.  What is the benefit, then, to believing in and worshipping an “Idol”?

How about another type of idol?  I’m not talking about the show “American Idol,” I’m talking about the term idol defined as:

idol |ˈīdl|
an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.
• a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered

In Genesis chapter 31, Rachel is leaving her father’s household with her husband Jacob and her sister Leah to travel home.  Just before she leaves, she decides to take her father’s household gods and hide them.  Here is an excerpt from my book, “Path of the Blessing”:

   Rachel and Leah agreed that they should do whatever God tells them to do and Jacob then leaves with everything he had accumulated to go back to his father Isaac.

   While leaving, Rachel steals her father’s household gods.  Now why in the world would Rachel feel that she needed to bring in some false gods into her life right after she has just witnessed how the Lord has been providing for her abundantly?  But this happens all the time in today’s world.  Right after experiencing a blessing from God on their path, many choose to go back to cling to the false gods of their past. 

   It’s hard to let go, and move forward onto an unknown path, and the false gods that used to bring comfort, are beckoning for us to return to them.  That comfort can come in the form of alcoholism, drug abuse, food addiction, deception, controlling attitudes, people pleasing instead of God pleasing, vanity, isolation, pornography addictions, self-pity, lying, astrology and so on.

   Rachel’s faith was wavering on her path, returning to the gods of her past and bringing them along on the journey ahead was a bad move and this was causing her to slip a little on her path of blessing.

Today we are the same as Rachel was thousands of years ago; struggling to let go of our idols.  What have you made and American Idol in your life?  What have you given special rights and privileges to that aren’t benefiting you? Are you ready to let go?

Here’s my challenge to you~
Let those false gods of safety, security and comfort stay behind as you move forward on your path of blessing; deepening your relationship with the One True God all the more.  Take a moment and write down what those false gods are in your life that you need to let go of, then throw that paper away!  Get a fresh start on a new path!