Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A few months ago I had an ex-coworker ask me how I could have joy in the midst of financial crisis. I felt at a loss for words. My husband and I have been in “financial ruin” for about 3 years. We live beyond paycheck to paycheck. But I believe that our winter is almost over and our spring is just arriving.
So my friend Amy and her husband are new Christians, and while being mentored by a wonderful couple, they still deal with lots of world views. She had many questions that caught me totally off guard. I wish I would have had time to think about some of my answers better. Amy and her husband had 2 cars, 2.5 children (how is that even possible?) and a house with an adjustable mortgage. Their payments had gone up to a crazy amount and even with two good jobs, things were getting tight.
So back to Amy. “How can you have joy and happiness and never have a cent to your name?”
2. God didn’t make me to be depressed. (I am very bad a being depressed. I almost always find a bright spot.)
3. I trust God.
On the days when it felt like my world was going to cave in during the first year I looked to God. Cried out to Him, sometimes feeling like He didn’t care. I joined a women’s Bible study and shared my situation with a few women there. They prayed and encouraged me. One thing that I learned is that the devil cannot take my joy or happiness, but rather it is given away. I would make a choice to hand over what every joy or happiness that the LORD would bring into my life. I really needed the rays of sunshine, no matter how small, so I would cling onto verses, words spoken over my family and me, and words that God would give to me. Not to mention a smile from my children, or an encouraging word from my spouse. So let’s look at some verses.
Psalms 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Ok, the anger part could be left out but I really feel like His favor is for life, is a very important part to having joy. I don’t just have God’s favor for a moment when things are going well, but for life, my whole life. Don’t just look at today and say, my life stinks, I am a loser because... Look to God and say it’s ok that weeping may endure for a night, because joy comes in the morning. I want His future. I may and can weep during my trials, because I know that God is going to take whatever situation it is and not just take care of me but glorify Himself in the process. I live to praise and glorify God every day. On the bad days and on the good.
Luke 12:28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
I knew that no matter how bad things got, God would always be there. He will clothe me, he will feed me. Think about the Jewish tribes in Egypt. He feed them in the wilderness with manna, even when He was frustrated with them.
7Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
This is important to me. Most recently because I feel like I have something that God has put into my heart to share and yet we have one car, and I am home 10 hours a day with my three children. But what does this verse say? Do not fear, do not be anxious in the year of the drought, I will continue to yield fruit? What? God brought people to me, when I couldn't’t go to them.
God will take your situation and work it for the good. Don’t give up; don’t give away your joy. Hold tight to the dream God put in your heart. Don’t look down. Keep your eyes cast up toward God, He will keep you, clothe you, feed you, love you, hug you, understand you, and most of all give you joy every morning. Just look for it! Don’t forget God is our source of joy, our greatest desire, He is our success.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Power of words

I have been praying over which of the two writings I have to put up first. I believe that this is the one that I am suppose to share first, since that I believe this is part of our "aroma". I want to help our "aroma" to this world to be as Christ like a possible. I wrote this to for a work place environment, but someone mentioned the power that it could have with a spouse. So thank you for that insight.

A few years ago, I was having a real hard time with comments that co-workers would make that would just slice right to the core of who I believed that I was. I truly cared for my co-workers, and tried to work in a way that would be pleasing, not just to God, but also my co-workers. I often felt that at any given moment they ganged up just to make comments that would hurt me. I am not a person who naturally has quick comebacks ready, well maybe a curse word or two, but... So there I would be wishing that I could come up with some cutting remark so that they would know that I have had enough of what they were saying, and instead I would walk out of the room frustrated that I had no words.
Turning the other cheek is very hard when it feels like it is day after day. Sometime people know that they are good at cutting people to the core. I had talked to these women about God and I believe that they knew where I stood in my faith. So I felt like I was an easy target. One night I had an idea for the six or so women that I worked with in a very small office. Although I knew they would never agree to something like this, because it really shows us for who we really are.
So here is the idea, if you think that you might even have a small problem with a mouth that seems to have a mind of its own.
Take a notebook with you everywhere you go. Every time you feel like/say something that might be hurtful, write it down. At the end of the week, pull out the notebook and take a look at all the comments in it. Now that you are no longer in the situation, do these comments sound cruel? Would you take them back if you could?
I believe that God wants us to control the part of our thought process that has the quick comebacks.
I don't have the problem of telling people what I am thinking, but I do have to confess that I am more aware of the bad things that I think about people.
How can I love these people if I am harboring anger?

Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) "The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it with eat its fruit."

God wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That means controlling not only our tongue, but also our thoughts. It is easy to say mean things and a lot harder to say I am sorry. Forgiveness is hard too, especially if it was a deep cutting hurt.