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God has been speaking to me A LOT about wealth. I’ve been listening to a series on financial stewardship and then He started to show me how he views money ( Kingdom) not the worlds idea or way. First of all God wants His children to thrive. We can’t move His Kingdom agenda forward if we don’t have resources. He even says, I have plans to prosper you. He says I have good plans for you. He says I came so you can have life and life more abundantly. He also says I will do beyond what you can imagine. So, let’s break this down.

What is your mindset about money?

Do you have a poverty mindset about money? I did but God is shattering that now.

What do you and would you use the money that has been given for?

We must look at money like a single brick. God gives you a brick. What are you going to do with that brick? Are you going to use it to take care of your family? Are you going to use it to build something that God considers will last and change lives? Are you going to use it for ill gotten gains? He is very clear that it’s all His. We are just stewards. For where your treasure is, so is your heart. Do you turn your back on others? Do you think the money is yours? It’s important that we begin to see things from God’s point of view and not our own. The only way we can do that is to spend time with God and let Him reveal the unknowns. He says I will teach you thing you do not know, great and unsearchable things. Wisdom only comes from God. God says the love of money is evil but not money itself. If you are tightfisted with your money, then you may have a heart issue that God wants to help you with. He doesn’t want you to be foolish but He also wants you to hold everything loosely.

After the financial stewardship series, God led me to this book- Poverty, Riches, and Wealth. Let me share an excerpt…

Chapter 3

The idea that all believers should be wealthy seems offensive, arrogant, and prideful at best, and ignorant, exaggerated and misleading at worst. Yet it is 100 percent true all of the time. Now, before you decide to jump off my ship and swim to the safety of Familiar Island, let me be clear that not every believer should be rich, because rich and wealthy are two completely different things. Let me contrast poverty, riches, and wealth for you and see if you agree. In Proverbs the wisest king who ever lived often used contrasting truths held in tension to reveal his ageless wisdom. ( Remember he asked God for wisdom). Here are a few examples from Solomon’s writings.

Ill- gotten gains do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death

The wise of heart will receive commands, but a babbling fool will be ruined

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.

He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, but he who sleeps in the harvest is a son who acts shamefully.

So your probably wondering what do these verses even mean. Keep with me.

Poverty lives for today, but wealth leaves a legacy. ( Disclaimer, God will sometimes allow you to go through very trying seasons to get your heart realigned. Job went through a challenging season. Joseph went through a challenging season) However, that is not where you are suppose to stay.

Poverty finds problem in every opportunity, while wealth finds an opportunity in every problem. Stop the self pity. You are an heir.

Poverty feels entitled, while wealth feels empowered. What has God called you to do? Do you even know? God will give you strategies for wealth that will align with His purposes for you.

Poverty fears the future, yet wealth makes history. Fear cannot harm you if you don’t let it. Read about who God says you are. I had to spend a lot of time with God to get out of that mindset. Fear robbed me. Now I can see where I am becoming stronger.

Poverty blames others for it’s condition but wealth takes responsibility even for things that were not its fault.

Poverty asks what are you going to do for me? Wealth asks, “Who is worthy of my investment?”

Poverty hangs around with other disgruntled sorts who validate, but wealth surrounds itself with other powerful influencers. God should be your number one influencer by the way. Watch the company you keep always.

Poverty votes for candidates who will increase its entitlements, while wealth elects officials who will sacrifice today’s comfort for tomorrow’s children.

Now let’s contrast the difference between rich mindsets, and wealth mindsets.

Rich people get their identity from the things they own. They are easily impressed when others have bigger shiny things. Wealthy people’s identity comes from who they are, not what they own.

Rich people either spend a lot of time trying not to lose “their” money, or spend time wasting it on themselves. Wealthy people’s money is just and expression of who they are, so they are confident in their well being.

Rich people work for money, while wealthy people’s money works for them.

Rich people think of their assets, but wealthy people dream of their legacy.

Rich people give to people. Wealthy people invest in people with the expectation of a return. A predetermined outcome. A changed neighborhood, a transformed life or business.

Rich people think their money protects them, they have a sense of being above the law. Solomon put it like this… A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own imagination. But wealthy people are inherently humble, because they are thankful, knowing that the source of their provision is the Lord.

Rich people have a vision for the things they can buy. Wealthy people have a vision for the legacy they are leaving.

Rich people compete for money. Wealthy people are compelled by destiny.

Rich people step on others to move up. Wealthy people measure success by the people they help up.

The rich person’s goal is to make money, whereas a wealthy person’s profession yields profit as the fruit of serving others well.

Okay so let that all sink in. I was convicted as a read this book but one more thing before I go. GENEROSITY IS THE KEY TO PROSPERITY. It’s one of the best kept secrets because your generosity determines the capacity of your distribution system that reciprocates your investment in the Kingdom. Give and it will be given to you. Read the book of Luke and Proverbs. Think about it this way, if prosperity began with receive instead of give, then each of us would be powerless to produce wealth until someone decided to contribute to our welfare. You always have something to give. Where are you sowing?

 

Voting can seem useless when we see what’s going on in Washington. Let’s break this down together because your vote matters more than you know. The word voting means you have a choice between two candidates and you’re vote may just be the vote that swings the pendulum in the direction of your choice. So, let’s take a look at what midterms even mean and who the candidates are and what they “supposedly” stand for.

Midterms mean-

A midterm election refers to a type of election where the people can elect their representatives in the middle of the term of the executive or of another set of members. … Regarding elections to the United States Congress, the point of reference is the president’s term.

The 2018 United States elections will mostly be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. These midterm elections will take place in the middle of Republican President Donald Trump‘s first term. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. This is very important for you and me in terms of the changes we want to see.

Candidates and what they stand for and against. You can go to a number of websites to get a list of your candidates for your state and see what each one represents (ballotpedia.org) (isidewith.com)

Seats are as follows by state

US Senate candidates and US House candidates ( do your research ) These men and women play a vital role on the change you want to see. GO TO ( Votesmart.org) (isidewith.com) and put in your state and you can also look up candidates and where they stand on positions and if they passed the courage test. Were they transparent in answering voter’s questions? Some won’t say where they stand on certain positions like abortion, immigration, gun control; some of the more heated subjects that is. That may be a red flag for you.  I know it was for me. I personally am not impressed with any of the candidates and you may not be either but don’t let it stop you from voting for someone versus no one.

Governor

State Senate

State House

Special state legislative

State Supreme Court

Intermediate appellate courts

Local Judges

School boards

Municipal government

Local ballots

 

 

Because They Said They Loved Me: I Let Them Define My Worth

As I sit and look at the title, I am overwhelmed with emotions: anger, sadness, disbelief, and a whole lotta truth. I let them define my worth. I allowed them to take control over my life. How? Why?

I spend a lot of time thinking about those questions. I never saw myself in these situations and neither did anyone else. I had strong opinions, a sharp mind, and an independent spirit. But before I knew it, I was left with a broken spirit, mixed opinions, and an anxious and uncertain mind. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

It was the deepest, darkest secret I kept. And this wasn’t about any particular situation/relationship as much as it was my relationship with men. It ran deep and dark, and I never realized the impact it had on myself and on my self-worth.

In these depths of despair, I couldn’t see a way out of this cycle. It seemed anywhere I turned pushed me further and further away from getting to a safe place physically, mentally, and emotionally. I looked around and within and realized that my self-worth had been damaged long before I even realized it was possible. This made me really question myself.

Was it me? Was this normal behavior, and I was the one in the wrong? I knew deep down inside that wasn’t the case, but I was stuck in quicksand being guided by those who kept my head above, but my feet locked in.

I kept busy with school and helping others because I couldn’t help myself and I never wanted people to feel alone and like me. I kept up the smiles and laughter, but I was hurting so bad. Part of me thought that this was normal. This was all I knew and saw. But nothing about this was normal no matter how many people tried to justify it. Nothing about my self-worth, relationships, and life were normal.

I constantly blamed my anxiety. But when I take a more in-depth look, I allowed my anxiety to be a scapegoat for their inability to truly love me, and for me to love myself.

As I sat there, and realized all of this and its consequences, I just wanted to continue to abuse myself, abuse my body. The irony in that statement, and the sadness when I think about it sends goosebumps up my arm. How was I going to break this cycle, this avalanche effect?

Everyone and no one around me could understand what I chose to not disclose or disclose without detail. I knew I was alone in this battle. This was because only I could make amends with myself. I had to choose to forgive myself and work my butt off to not hate myself.

It’s like starting over again. Some days are unbearable. Some days are just painful. Some days I see the beauty in the little things that I used to overlook. I see a new strength in my weakness, a healthy pride in my humility, and perseverance in every step I make. This journey in the end is about loving myself so much, so relentlessly, that because they said they love me doesn’t take away from the love that I already have for myself. And hopefully, their love adds to my complete self.

By Lady B (check out her website)

All throughout the Bible we see where God was calling certain individuals to do impossible things. When I feel overwhelmed by what He is calling me to do, I remember a couple of things. God made each one of us for a specific purpose. Each one of us has natural abilities and talents that were placed inside of us before we entered into the world. God designed and made our DNA. There is not one thing He doesn’t know. HE CREATED US. The power He must hold in just a single breath is incomprehensible. Lysa Terkeurst said, “If God is calling you to do something you feel is beyond you, you are in good company. God has a history of calling people to things that are beyond themselves.”

Abraham was old

Jacob was insecure

Leah was unattractive

Joseph was abused

Moses stuttered

Gideon was poor

Samson was codependent

Rahab was immoral

David had an affair

Elijah was suicidal

Jeremiah was depressed

Jonah was reluctant

Naomi was a widow

Peter was impulsive and hot tempered

The Samaritan woman had several failed marriages

Zachaeus was unpopular

 

When I sit down to write, I invite God in, I ask him where should the story go today? Each time you invite Him in to an area of your life, something supernatural begins to happen. For me, out of nowhere my sentence structure tightened up, my vocabulary increased, my storytelling became more interesting. It was subtle but significant changes. Remember impossible for man but possible for God. If you draw close to Him, more will be released. God is the gift that keeps on giving.

There is not one thing you cannot do with God’s help but there are many things you can’t do without his help. God says, apart from Me you can do nothing. Those are big words and God is a God of action/justice so if you are going solo, you may be in danger.  Let him work in and through you. It’s not really about us. It’s about His plan unfolding. Many people including Christians believe that in order to move the kingdom forward you have to be a pastor or work in a church but God uses people from every walk of life and in every industry. He may place you in the entertainment industry or the finance industry. He loves you so much that he will insure it aligns with your passion so you don’t burn out. If you don’t get anything else out of this piece, get this, it all starts with a relationship. You won’t know if you don’t cultivate your relationship. How can you say you know someone if you don’t spend time with them? What do you think happens when this life ends? Invest in God and He will invest in you. That’s His promise!