Category Archives: Prosperity

A 5 Day Lesson in Generosity

A 5 Day Lesson in Generosity... a start in my journey to overcome greed

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18 (NIV)

A 5 Day Lesson in Generosity

There are many, many things that I need to work on and improve upon in my life. Thankfully God doesn’t convict us or work on too many of our flaws all at once! He doesn’t want to overwhelm us, and he meets us where we are. This week I thought I would share with you something that God has been teaching me the last few weeks. It’s the concept of generosity.

Recently, in my church small group we’ve been doing a book study on Andy Stanley’s Enemies of the Heart. It’s been a very convicting study. I started the book thinking that I didn’t really struggle with some of the “heart issues” he discusses. However after further study, I found myself saying, “Crap. I totally struggle with that.”

Greed

Unfortunately, greed was one of those heart issues. I never really considered myself a greedy person. After reading the book, however, I discovered that greed and selfishness are issues that I still need to conquer. Tithing has never been an issue for me since I was taught that growing up. Also, I’ve always been giving with my time and gifts. Sometimes though, I have a harder time letting go of money, material things or even my desire for superficial things in life. Sometimes I struggle with contentment.

NOTE: God wants us to be blessed, prosperous, and have good things. However He does not want those things to become idols or lord over us. Nor does He want them (or the desire for them) to pollute our hearts with greed and selfishness, causing us to become less effective in loving Him and our neighbors.

With each heart issue Andy Stanley covered a practical step to overcome that issue. (You know how I love practical steps! 😉 ) According to the book, the best way to overcome greed is by practicing generosity.

He listed a few examples in the book of ways to apply generosity. First and foremost though, he suggested that we pray and ask God to show us how HE would have us carry out acts of generosity. For after all, we are just managing His assets/money anyway. I also remember hearing another pastor give similar advice many years ago. He suggested that you pray each day and ask God to show you how you can be more generous that day. 

My lesson in conquering greed started with 5 days of generosity.

Day 1: Giving 2% of my paycheck

Continue reading

Your Gifts Are Intended to Point People to God

Your Gifts Are Intended to Point People to God

Your Gifts Are Intended to Point People to God 

Last week we discussed how your gift will make room for you.  We also mentioned that our gifts should advance the kingdom of heaven.  One of the primary purposes of our gifts is to point people to God.  Through our gifts, people will see God in us.  People will see that God gave each of us a variety of unique talents and abilities that could have only come from God.  Our gifts can serve as an avenue to reach people for God or to speak into the lives of others.

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12 (NLT) 

Unfortunately, you CAN use your gift without acknowledging God.

It is completely possible to operate in your gifts and use them well but still not point people to God.  Unfortunately, we see it every day in the secular world.  You don’t have to be Christian to be gifted—God has gifted EVERYONE.  You also don’t have to be Christian to figure out that you can use your gifts to become prosperous.  There are droves of celebrities worldwide that are not Christians.  They have discovered their gifts and have used them to get wealth, fame, honor and influence.  God MEANT for our gifts to do this…but that’s only half of their purpose.  Additionally, God intended for our gifts to direct others back to Him, to point people to God which is where the gifts came from in the first place.  We need to keep in mind that someday God will hold us accountable for how we used our gifts too.

God is absolutely big enough and powerful enough to not only use our gifts to bless us but to point people to Him without it removing any of the benefits.  We will NOT suffer if we use our gifts to glorify God.   Continue reading

Your Gift Will Make Room For You

Your Gift Will Make Room For You

Your Gift Will Make Room For You

God gave us our gifts and our talents for a couple of purposes.  One is to point people to Him, which we’ll talk more about later.  Another purpose of our gifts is to bring us prosperity, honor, influence and happiness.  Pretty cool, huh?!  The bible says that your gift will make room for you.  I’d like to encourage you today that God does want you to be Happy, Healthy & Prosperous, and He will use your GIFTS to help you accomplish that!

Your gift will make room for you…your gift is designed to prosper you, to make you money and bring you wealth, and to provide for you. Your gifts were designed to help you make a living.  They will advance you in life and move you forward.  God wants to bless you through your gifts.  In turn, your gifts will be a blessing for other people too.  Your gifts will meet a need, and consequently you will be compensated for that.  It’s a win-win!

It’s pretty cool to me that I actually get to do what I love (teach, write, speak) and get paid for it!  I think for so long I felt like I was just going through the motions in life, in my jobs, and in my roles.  I lacked a sense of purpose.  I think a major factor in that was that I hadn’t discovered my gifts yet and wasn’t fully using them.  I was frustrated because I was operating outside of my gifts.  When I started to discover my God-given gifts and started to use them, joy was an automatic by-product.  Knowing that I was helping others with my gifts and getting paid to do so was a huge bonus!  The proverb that your gift will make room for you started to make a lot of sense to me. 

YOUR GIFT WILL MAKE ROOM FOR YOU MEANS THAT IN ADDITION TO ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, YOUR GIFTS & PURPOSE ARE MEANT TO PROSPER YOU AND BRING YOU SUCCESS AND FULFILLMENT.

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16 (AMP)

“A present [gift] is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.” Proverbs 17:8 (NKJV)

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)

When we faithfully operate in our gifts the way God intended (to serve Him and His people), those gifts will bring promotion into our life.  If used right, Continue reading

Having Trouble Getting to Sleep?

Having trouble getting to sleep?  Try using these bible verses to help... Having Trouble Getting to Sleep?

Sleep is vital for life.  In fact, I happen to think that sleep is a necessity to help us be happy, healthy and prosperous!  Obviously sleep can help us to be happy.  You can actually see the effects more in reverse—when you don’t get sleep you get unhappy!  A sleep deficit can have a definite negative impact on our emotions.  We also need sleep to keep us healthy.  Our bodies restore and repair at night as we’re sleeping.  A lack of sleep can weaken our immune system and increase our chances of getting sick.  Lastly, a lack of sleep can hurt our finances too.  Our prosperity can be influenced by the state of our emotional well-being and our health.  If our happiness and our health are suffering, it can lead to a loss in prosperity.  If we’re not happy and healthy, we’re less creative, miss work, have poor decision-making abilities and thus make less money.  In fact, it can actually cost us money and time if we have health and/or emotional problems. 

When my daughter was a baby she refused to go to sleep.  She fought sleep like crazy.  This actually lasted until she was a toddler.  At one point we even had to put duct tape on her light switches so she would quit getting up in the middle of the night to turn the light on and play!  This didn’t work either…she then just got up and played in the dark. 🙁 So her refusal to sleep on top of a bit of colic as a baby made us made pretty sleep deprived.  I was one worn out momma!  Saying I was sleep-deprived was an understatement.  That’s when I decided to try to find a scripture to pray and confess over her (and me) to help us go to sleep and get a good night’s rest.

I’ve since found these verses and others I’ve discovered to be extremely useful even after my daughter’s sleep boycott years.  Sometimes getting enough sleep and/or going to sleep is an ongoing battle for me, and boy does it show!  I’m super cranky when I’m tired.  I’ve had to lean on and confess these verses over myself on a number of occasions…

  • Nights where I didn’t feel well
  • Nights when I was anxious about something coming up the next day
  • Nights when I was dealing with conflict with someone that was eating me up (I can sit awake for hours at night having imaginary conversations and clenching my jaw so much that it hurts the next morning! I think there’s a reason the bible says don’t go to bed angry–Ephesians 4:26.)
  • Nights when I couldn’t quiet my mind from all the busyness and to-do lists
  • Sometimes nights when I brought sleep difficulty on myself due to drinking coffee after 5pm (I’ve gotta stick to decaf or herbal tea at night!)
  • Nights when I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep

Here are some of the bible verses I’ve found and used to help me with sleep: Continue reading

Why Losing Doesn’t Make You a Loser—Part 2

Learn why losing doesn't make you a loser...

Why Losing Doesn’t Make You a Loser—Part 2

Last week we discussed how sometimes we learn more in losing and how sometimes a win is disguised as a loss.  I shared some personal examples of situations where it seemed like I was losing, but it ended up being a “win” in the end.  There were so many times in my life where I actually won from losing.  Thankfully, I’ve been able to recognize those wins by taking some of the practical steps that I shared last week.  This week I’d like to share some examples from the bible of winning from losing, and I will share some more practical steps that have helped me to realize that losing doesn’t make you a loser and how not to lose hope.

There are examples throughout the bible where God turned losing into a win.  My pastor calls it “turning the tables on the devil”.  There are stories in scripture where it looked like they lost but they really won—a bigger “win” than if they never “lost”. 

Starting in Genesis 37, you can read the story of Joseph (this is one of my favorite bible stories!) and his circumstances of seemingly losing over and over.  First his brothers were jealous of him and hated him.  They originally made plans to kill him but ended up selling him into slavery instead (telling their father that he had been killed by wild animals).  He then worked as a slave in Egypt (Genesis 39) and was eventually put in charge of the entire household, but he was later falsely accused of rape and sent to prison.  There he was favored and put in charge of all the other prisoners.  Ultimately he ended up interpreting some dreams for Pharaoh and ended up being made ruler of Egypt only being outranked by the Pharaoh (Genesis 41).  His brothers who had first meant him harm wound up humbling themselves and bowing before him.  In the end, Joseph was in a higher position than he could have ever achieved without “losing”, and he was able to save his family and the lives of many others through the process.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

Have you had someone hate you, betray you, falsely accuse you or forget you?  Remember Joseph.

In Daniel 3 you can read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and what appeared to be “losing” for them.  Continue reading

Why Losing Doesn’t Make You a Loser—Part 1

Learn why losing doesn't make you a loser...

Why Losing Doesn’t Make You a Loser—Part 1

This past weekend my son’s baseball team played in the end-of-season championship tournament.  They made it to the final championship game.  Those little guys played one of the best games they’ve ever played, and their competition was tough.  Boy, was it a nail-biter!  It was actually a bit stressful to watch.  Anytime a mistake was made, there were gasps because we knew every move mattered, and every play counted.  It was a very tight, close game.  My husband, Eric, is one of the assistant coaches.  At one point nearing the end of the game I asked Eric, “Are you nervous?”  His reply kind of surprised me (especially since he’s such a competitive spirit!).  He said, “No.  It really doesn’t matter if they win or lose.  Either way, I’m already really proud of them.  They’ve played a great game.  I couldn’t ask for more.”  My friend sitting next to me leaned over and said “Good answer!”  Eric knew that losing wouldn’t make them losers.

In the end, our boys did end up winning. 🙂 The final score was 5-4.  Ball caps were flying in the air.  Parents were jumping out of the stands.  It was very exciting.  However, I remembered my husband saying “it really doesn’t matter if they win or lose”, and even though they won, I completely agreed.  We were all so proud of how they played the game.  Even if they lost, I think it still would have been a win in a way.  Winning is good but maybe losing is sometimes okay too.  You see, not everybody who loses is a loser.  Sometimes it’s the game or the process, not the outcome, that matters.  Sometimes we learn more in losing.  Sometimes a win is disguised as a loss. 

Senior Cheer-Tracy

Tracy-HS Junior/Senior Cheer

It reminds me of times in my life where I experienced losing, but in the end it was really a win.  I can think of examples throughout my life where this has proven to be true.  I remember trying out for the cheerleading squad when I was in junior high.  I didn’t make the cut.  I was devastated about losing, and I felt like a loser.  I will never forget something that happened that day though.  Continue reading

Feeling Lucky? It’s Not Luck, It’s Favor.

Feeling Lucky It's not luck it's favor ...Learn how to be more lucky or have favor Feeling Lucky? It’s Not Luck, It’s Favor.

There’s a lot of talk about luck on St. Patrick’s Day.  People who know me often call me a lucky person.  Today I thought I would share the secret to my “luck” with you.  It’s not luck; it’s favor.

I think God blesses people.  I think many “coincidences” are God-ordained moments and opportunities.  In my opinion, many people are just favored, not necessarily lucky.  I also think that this has a lot to do with what we speak out of our mouths.  There is TREMENDOUS power in words (I could share enough on this for a whole series of posts).  If you’re somebody that always says, “I never win anything” or “I’m just not lucky” or “I don’t have good luck” etc.  Guess what…You’re going to have exactly what you say.  On the other hand if you say and agree with what God’s Word says, that you’re favored, then you’ll have exactly that!  You’ll be favored (or some might call it lucky).  Either way, it’s good to be favored or lucky.

“Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12 (NIV) 

Some good things that come into our lives are a direct consequence of our actions.  The flipside is true as well.  I think some bad luck is just flat-out reaping what you sow or in others words…Karma, getting what’s coming to you, or getting your comeuppance.  Eric actually thought I made that word up, when I said I hoped somebody would get their comeuppance (I think I actually said “comeupins” probably with a bit of a southern drawl).  So I looked it up to show him that it was a real word and that I didn’t make it up.  I think I have a lot of sayings that I picked up from my parents or grandparents that he’s never heard before so he thinks I just make stuff up.  In his defense…I really do sometimes! 🙂  In fact the other day I went to a Moms In Prayer luncheon with a friend, and we were admiring the table setting.  I told her that it was very “Pinterestable”.  One of the other ladies asked if that was a word, and I had to admit “No.  I just made that up.”  However, I did later go and google that word and found that other people actually already use it, so I guess I didn’t really make it up!  I didn’t make favor up though—it’s real.

As Christians, prosperity is something that is ours simply because we are children of God.  God wants us to be prosperous.  I don’t call my site Happy, Healthy & Prosperous for nothing!  I also believe that prosperity is so much more than wealth or monetary or superficial gain.  I believe Continue reading