Prosperity, Wealth and the Gospel

Like the spokes of a wooden wagon wheel there are many aspects to wealth.

What does wealth mean to you? Do you consider yourself wealthy

  • in love
  • in friendship
  • in kindness
  • in perseverance
  • in patience
  • in finances

In Proverbs 10:4 wealth is wealth. It is monetary wealth. Before you fall off your chair, if you are sitting, or raise your hand and utter, “but, but,” I am NOT preaching a prosperity gospel. I don’t believe in a prosperity gospel.

So what are we to do with Proverbs 10:4? Like the spokes of a wooden wagon wheel there are many aspects to wealth. Certainly God provides all our needs and there are times that He blesses us with considerable financial wealth. In those times what we choose to do with that wealth perhaps is an indication of our understanding of proper stewardship.

What speaks to me the most from this verse is wealth in serving God especially as it pertains to God calling me to speak, teach and write[three spokes of the wooden wheel!]. Many times wealth is truly measured by our heart connected to God’s and the joy of the wealth that is Him. This leads to the condition of our heart and the practice of reflection.

I am very thankful when Holy Spirit highlights verses such as Proverbs 10:4 causing me to take inventory of my heart. Rather than thinking in one direction about God’s ordination for me it opens up my mind and heart to joyfully and simply serving God.

Proverbs 10:4 reminds me I am a wealthy women indeed!

The Old is Made New Again

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Restoration. The word holds hope and joy and of things yet to come.

When my husband was a teenager his stepdad bought this 1960 356B Porsche Cabriolet. At the time it was in perfect working condition, or so we thought. My husband has always wanted this car and his stepdad told him one day it would be his. A few years ago, after we had comfortably settled my father-in-law into assisted living, we brought the car home. The car had sat garaged for many years and began to fall into disrepair. My husband’s intention was to always restore the 356 to its former beauty.

Here are some things we’ve discovered in the process. It is by the grace of God alone that whenever my father-in-law drove this car he was safe. The ‘mechanic’ that had originally restored the car had done so in such a way that if it weren’t for Providence, driving this car could have resulted in a catastrophe.

The other thing we have learned is restoration takes time. A.LOT.OF.TIME. My husband completely gutted the inside of the car, has taken apart all mechanical and moving parts and has spent countless hours cataloguing all parts, researching and locating original or close to original parts as possible, networking with other Porsche restorers and finally coming to the point of putting it all back together. Please don’t misunderstand me, even though many times this task can be frustrating and seem daunting, it brings my husband joy. He loves working with his hands and God has uniquely gifted him with knowledge, wisdom and passion for this type of work. By trade he is an aircraft system engineer and aircraft mechanic.

Restoration. It can be the same in our own life can’t it? Allowing Holy Spirit to completely empty us of who we thought we were in Christ. Taking apart all the working pieces only to make room for the putting back together with a newness in our minds. It isn’t easy and it most definitely can be messy, it can take countless hours of prayer and crying out to God and may even require godly counsel for spiritual and emotional healing.

But God.

But, God promises that after suffering for a little while HE will RESTORE you. He will make you stronger, firmer AND more steadfast.

Precious One, that is truly good news!

Shalom!

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But God

 

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It didn’t take me long to embrace this season of restoration. In fact, I jumped and was caught in a bed of springtime flowers. “Here I am Lord, restore me!” Reality check. Restoration is a process.

The saying “Let go and let God” comes to mind. Hmm, letting go. Sometimes I think we hold on so tightly to the way we think things ought to be we actually lose sight of Who God is and what HE is doing! The current conversation I am having with God; “But God, I’m such a good helper!” “My child, I don’t require your help.” “But God” “My daughter there are not ‘buts’, just be.”

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be.

Shalom!

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Open The Floodgates!

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Last year, in an attempt to conserve water and because our state was in a severe drought, we set our sprinklers to come on once a week; just enough to give our plants a drink and hopefully keep them a brownish green.

The summers here can push upwards of 100+ degrees, and even though we live relatively close to the bay, we have micro climates causing the differing temperatures around this region. Needless to say, our plants began to die. I decided to start pulling out the dead plants to prepare our yard to become drought resistant. I started working on a fern like plant that was completely dead and thought that it would simply come up out of the ground with little to no effort. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was relying on the presumption of my first mistake and rather than test the ease of pulling this dead plant out, I grab a hold of it and yanked. Now, mind you, I was wearing some heavy duty, industrial strength gardening gloves; not those dainty gloves with cute designs of flowers and flower pots and gardening tools. There is nothing wrong with those glove, in fact I have owned many in my passion for gardening days.

Did I mention this dead plant had very dead thorns that were still as sharp if the plant had been alive? During my second mistake one of those thorns pierced through my heavy duty industrial strength gloves and into my skin. Thankfully, I was able to get the thorn out and continue my work.

Months later I realized that my finger was still sensitive where the thorn had gone into my skin and realized there was still a piece of the thorn left! With the help of some essential oils I was able to retrieve the rest of that pesky thorn.

Sensitive. That is how the subject of tithing can be. Very sensitive. I mentioned in this blog post about a Bible software I had been wanting and received a complimentary download of the basic package. It was while using this software that Holy Spirit began to speak to me about tithing from a verse in the book of Joel. I know, I was surprised as well and I love when He connects verses together and they walk hand in hand like the best of friends!

The seed shrivels under the clods; the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are torn down because the grain has dried up. Joel 1:17.

This verse reminds me of Malachi 3:10. While the NT does not comment on how much we ought to tithe, only that God loves a cheerful giver, signaling that we, indeed, ought to give.

And what does God say he will do when, we stepping out in faith, bring the full tithe to him? He tells us to test him. The Sovereign King of all heaven and earth and everything in it tells us to test Him and see if he will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that there will not be room enough to store it! When was the last time you tested God with your tithing? Do you trust Him to do what he promises and to be Who He says he is?

The storehouses in Joel 1:17 were desolate because God’s children had turned away from God and having turned away they also stopped giving back to God.

Thank God for giving you the faith to bring your full tithe to Him so that there will be always be food in his house and wait expectantly as he pours out a blessing so large you will simply have to give more back to Him because you will not be able to contain it!

Precious One you were set apart to have faith that God will do what he promises and to believe He is Who he claims to be.

Shalom!

The Same Power

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This morning I woke up singing the song “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp. Specifically, these words.

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

These words remind me of Romans 8:11. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior then HIS Spirit lives in you! The same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the grave. If you grab a hold of nothing else today, may it be the truth that the Supernatural power of Christ lives in you and you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. Not some things but all things.

Precious One, dig deep into God’s word, He’s waiting there for you.

Shalom!

 

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Go Tell It On The Mountain

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When our son was a little guy he was quite the curious boy. I spent a lot of time telling him not to do certain things. Not because I didn’t want him to explore, his curiosity is one of the things I love about him, but because his curiosity was usually about things that could hurt him.

There was the time we were getting out of the SUV and before I could tell him, “Don’t touch that!” He stuck his sweet chubby hand in the exhaust, yep, still has a scar on his pinky from that one. Or, the time when we were at the happiest place on earth and he decided to see if he could fit his head through the slats in the metal gate as we were waiting in line for a ride. Thankfully, another dad was there to gently help my husband extract our son from that predicament!

We teach and encourage our children about the things they should and shouldn’t do, hoping they are listening and will eventually pass down to their children these nuggets of wisdom. In the same way the prophet Joel was admonishing the children of Israel to remind all future generations of what turning away from God looks like.

This reminds me of God’s promise to bless a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep his commandments (Exodus 20:6). When we choose to love and obey Him, to seek out his will for our life and live accordingly, he promises to bless a thousand generations. PROMISES. Wouldn’t you love for a thousand generations of your family to be blessed simply because you love and obey him?

Pray in faith, thanking God for showing and helping you to love Him and obey his commandments. Thanking Him for the gifts of confession, repentance and forgiveness, thanking Jesus for showing you the sin and unforgiveness in your life and thanking Holy Spirit for always helping you to confess, repent and forgive.

Precious One, you have the ability to bless the generations. Will you?

Shalom!

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Prayers of a Pastor

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There we sat, the room empty, except for one other man. The light was dim and dingy. Off in the corner the television was on and bleating louder than it ought to have been. She sat next to me doubled over in pain with tears streaming down her face wondering what was taking so long. It was 3:30 in the morning. The man brought my attention to the rain that had started again and the howling of the wind.

I sat feeling helpless trying to control the panic beginning to creep in. I closed my eyes and began to pray. I simply said, “Jesus we need you.” The door opened and we were called back. The man came right up next to me and followed us. Just as I was beginning to feel unsettled about this, he said, “I want you to know I was praying for your daughter.” With a relieved smile, I answered, “Thank you.” He said, “As a Pastor that is my job.” I thanked him again and told him there is something special about the prayers of a Pastor.

As we sat in the exam room engulfed by the privacy curtain, listening to the activity of a busy ER, I marveled at HIM. His lavish love poured over us creating a sweet perfume for our souls. Before I ever uttered a word in prayer, God had already answered and placed that Pastor right near us.

If that isn’t love, what is?

Precious One, God is ever close, his love knows no bounds and he is always listening to the sweet tinkling of your voice.

Shalom!

PS she is fine and God is good….ALL the time.

What Are You Lacking?

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What are some of the things you feel you are lacking? Maybe it is confidence, or compassion, perhaps it is knowledge or maybe it is basic needs. If you are a believer in Christ, you lack NOTHING. God’s word is filled with so many promises and you get to choose if you will spend time with him daily so He can reveal His promises to you.

Precious One, stay connected to The Vine.

#lacknothing #earthasinHeaven.

Shalom!

No Longer A Slave To Fear

 

This morning as I woke up these words from this song kept resonating through my mind “I’m no longer a slave to fear.” And as I sit at our big living room window looking out at the slightly foggy, mostly gray, wet dampness, as night turns into day, I felt led to listen to this song.

Immediately, Holy Spirit began to download a plethora of information. Over the past several weeks He has shown me that while the enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy, the drought IS over. that HE, the one true living God is restoring all the years that the enemy has stolen. That as a believer in Jesus Christ we have the authority to tell the mountains, that stand in our way and take our focus off of God, to move.

In quick succession the following verses came to mind.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 1 Corinthians 3:17.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36.

I believe fear is one of the greatest weapons Satan uses to keep us bound and tied down. Fear immobilizes us. We know deep in our soul what God has called us to do, what our gifts are that we hear God, but fear, fear steps in and distracts us from what God’s calling is for us.

Here are some of the lyrics to No Longer Slaves

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
‘Til all my fears are gone

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

As I continued to listen to this song I realized this is what deliverance feels like. It isn’t some big production with glitz and flashing lights. It is a subtle, gentle assurance like the petals of a rose as they drop one by one until there is nothing left.

Precious One, you are no longer a slave to fear. You have been set free.

Shalom!

 

Sheets of Rain

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As I sit at our big living room window enjoying the last of the dark of night before the sun comes up, I am reminded of the song; Everything. Here are a few of the lyrics.

“God in my hoping; There in my dreaming; God in my watching; God in my waiting.”

And, I watch literal sheets of rain fall.

We live in the state that for the last five years we thought would become a desert, yes, that state. Now there may be concern that we might need to build an ark!

And yet, I see God. I see God in the sheets of rain. The visible presence of a supernatural and loving God.

I am overwhelmed, I am awed and I am humbled that my God would choose to reveal Himself in a very real and tangible way. He doesn’t have too; Scripture tells us we walk by faith not by sight. He loves us so much He many times chooses to show us that his presence is always with us and there are countless times we completely miss these beautiful blessings of His nearness to us.

Precious One, the drought is over in more ways than one, but you can only see this by staying connected to The Vine.

#readGod’sword #daily.

Shalom!