For some, Christmas can be a time of excitement, fun, and generosity. Unfortunately though, for others it can be a time of worry and anxiety due to finances. Sometimes the end of the year, corresponding with Christmastime, comes with extra expenses. Then on top of that, purchasing gifts can add up…especially if you have numerous events like family celebrations, work parties, church events, Secret Santa gift exchanges, outreaches or charitable giving that requires some of our finances, etc. Sometimes it can be stressful figuring out where the money is going to come from for all of that.
The wise thing to do would be to budget for the end-of-year expenses and Christmas giving. It’s a good idea to allocate or set aside a little bit of money each week or each month for this purpose. Regrettably, many of us haven’t exercised this kind of wisdom (or unexpected events and expenses have prohibited us from doing so). Because of this, when we don’t use wisdom sometimes we have to pay the consequences of poor decision making. That being said though, God still cares about our finances. He cares about the details. Additionally, even when we mess up He still cares about helping us.
Several years ago, I learned a few strategies for praying over finances. With Christmastime being a stressful time for finances for many people, I thought this might be a good opportunity to share some of those strategies and a Prayer for Your Finances. These strategies and prayer work anytime though–they don’t just apply at Christmas!
Remind God of His promise provision
God is our provider. We can approach God boldly with His promise of provision. Philippians 4:19 promises us that God will supply all of our needs. Jesus also gives us an example to pray for our needs in the Lord’s Prayer. Moreover, one of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh, which means “the Lord will provide”. All throughout scripture you will see countless examples of the Lord’s provision. When praying over your finances, remind God (put Him in remembrance) of His promise of provision.
“Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.” Isaiah 43:26 (ESV)
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
“Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”” Genesis 22:13-14 (NLT)
“God is my helper! The Lord is the provider for my life.” Psalm 54:4 (GW)
Take a look at this hilarious short video clip of Joe McGee when he was at a point in his life where he was frustrated financially and decided to put God in remembrance of His promise of provision.
Have you ever heard the saying that God will leave the ninety-nine to look for one who is lost? I had a bit of an epiphany about that while singing in the shower the other day. One of my favorite praise songs lately is “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury. During the chorus part of the lyrics say:
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
“Leaves the ninety-nine” stood out to me. Then I thought of the scriptures that mention the Parable of the Lost Sheep:
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 (NLT)
“So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” Luke 15:3-7 (NLT)
Hello everyone! Since today’s blog post falls on #GivingTuesday, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a participating organization that is very close to my heart—Glory House. In case you don’t know #GivingTuesday is the biggest day of the year for on-line charitable giving.
“#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”
This year I have partnered with the Glory House Ministry for #GivingTuesday to help spread the news about their Restoration Program. This is a wonderful ministry that I have come to know and love over the past several years. They are helping women and their families transform their lives. Women come from all over the United States to break free from drugs, alcoholism, anxiety, depression, and other life issues, Please check out their Website and Facebook to learn more about what they do.
Several years ago Susie Barnes, Executive Director of Glory House, started asking me about the success skills classes that I teach at a local college, and we agreed that these “life skills” weren’t just applicable to college students. EVERYONE needs to learn and know these skills! We decided that this type of class would be a perfect fit for ladies going through the restoration process.
So, I developed a curriculum for a Life Skills class that helps the ladies learn how to practically apply God’s Word in everyday, real-life situations. We focus on topics such as communication skills, time management, note taking skills, goal setting, career prep, money management, problem solving, overcoming insecurity, finding their gifts and talents, and much more. We learn about the practical side of these various life skills and then also focus on what God’s Word has to say about each of these areas of life as well.
I’ve now been serving at Glory House for the past 6+ years! I love working with these ladies so much—they feel like family. Honestly, sometimes I really wonder who gets more out of our classes…them or me! God has really taught me so much, and I’ve grown spiritually and developed my own gifts more just by serving them. Supporting Glory House is a perfect opportunity to shine God’s light to some wonderful people who will in turn pay it forward by shining an even brighter light of a restored life that glorifies God and points people to Jesus.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
Take a look and Ms. Jerry Kay’s, Ms. Amanda’s, and Ms. Emily’s stories…
This year Glory House has a goal to raise $14,000 on #GivingTuesday. $14,000 is the amount of money it takes per month to keep Glory House running. Reaching this goal will enable this ministry to continue bringing Hope, Healing, and Direction to women and their families everywhere. Meeting their goal will also help Glory House finish 2017 strong financially.
Take A Practical Step to Support Glory House this 2017 #GivingTuesday:
I would love for you to join with me in supporting this life changing ministry on this #GivingTuesday! Please pray about giving towards their $14,000 goal. If you are ready to give now, you can click on the secure Glory House PayPal link below…
Know someone else who could either benefit from Glory House or who would be interested in supporting this ministry? Share this post via the sharing links below!
The other day my son told me to ask Siri what zero divided by zero is. This was her response…
“Imagine that you have 0 cookies and you split them evenly among 0 friends. How many cookies does each person get? See, it doesn’t make any sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies. And you are sad that you have no friends.”
Nice. Gotta love Siri’s sarcasm! #FunThingsToAskSiri
You Might Be Making a Difference Without Even Realizing It
A lesson I’ve learned over the last couple of weeks is that sometimes you might be making a difference without even realizing it. I shouldn’t be surprised by this. I pray for this all of time. I even claim this as a positive confession from time to time. In fact, I have some daily positive affirmations that I have saved in the notes in my phone. One of them says, “People see Jesus in me. I win people over by the way I live without saying a word.” One of my heart’s desires is making a difference in the lives of the people I encounter. Sometimes though, I just don’t even know I’m doing it!
Dare I say the worst semester ever?
OK, I’ll try to make a very long story short here. This past semester of teaching was…well…horrendous to put it lightly. I mean, it was bad. So bad that I came very, very close to turning in my resignation. The college class that I teach had undergone a complete overhaul and the outcome was an exponential increase in my workload and a decrease in pay…and nearly a complete loss of autonomy, and a severe increase in stress, and tremendous loss of time with my family, and loss of joy in teaching, and… OK I’ll stop there.
This workload (and everything else) also increased significantly for the students as well. It actually felt like our class and new changes were hurting the students instead of helping them. Grades were significantly down compared to previous semesters, and more students were failing than ever before. This is what weighed on me the most because I truly believe in making a difference in a positive way in the lives of my students, and this class typically allows for that. However, that was not the case this semester. Or so I thought.
Making a difference? Yeah right! How about: A lost cause