You are rich…now what are you going to do?

folded hundred dollar bills

The holidays have become a time when consumer culture comes out in full force. Black Friday, the annual post-Thanksgiving discount shopping spree, results each year in multiple deaths and injuries of consumers trampled by crowds in stores and shopping malls.

The is time of year when we are supposed to be the most giving, grateful and happy… right?

Yet research suggests that Americans overall happiness has been on a steady decline since the 1950s while our consumption of stuff has only increased.

Our pursuit of what brings true happiness is broken.

We tell ourselves that if we can just get that promotion, get the bigger house or get the latest and greatest gadget… happiness will follow. Soon after we get our hands on the new thing, in the matter of days the happiness wears off and we are left feeling empty again.

So how do we find true meaning and happiness?

We find meaning and happiness when learn to: “LEAVE SOME HARVEST BEHIND”

What do I mean?

God has blessed you with your own harvest to manage and take care of.

Deuteronomy 24:19-21 (NLT)
19 “When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all you do. 20 When you beat the olives from your olive trees, don’t go over the boughs twice. Leave the remaining olives for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. 21 When you gather the grapes in your vineyard, don’t glean the vines after they are picked. Leave the remaining grapes for the foreigners, orphans, and widows.

This scripture in Deuteronomy is talking about the blessings that comes your way from God. When God pours out a harvest in your life, the goal is never to try to keep it all for yourself.

Deuteronomy 24:19
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all you do.
When you learn to leave some harvest behind, God pours out His blessings on you not only in your finance but this scripture promises that He will our out His blessing on ALL you do!

The blessings come when we focus on storing up treasures in heaven.

Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Your heart follows whatever you treasure more. 

If we treasure stuff more than helping others, our hearts and lifestyle will show it. 

REAL TREASURE or REAL HARVEST is not stuff…it’s found in your heart by living a giving lifestyle or leaving some harvest behind.

Most of the world lives on less than $2 dollars a day. As Americans we forget that we are in fact very rich and very blessed.

How are you handling the harvest that God has entrusted to you?

Do you see yourself as abundantly blessed?

Like the passage in Deuteronomy, how often are you trying to go back to make sure you picked up everything you may have left behind?
Maybe this is a better question:  “Who owns your field?”

Luke 12:16-21 (NLT)
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods.19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

When we try to hold on to all of the harvest and not give any away, we lose our life in the process.
Jesus said:

Luke 9:24 (NIV)
24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

It’s easy to forget where our harvest of blessing come from.

James 1:17 (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
It’s not just this time of year when we are supposed to be the most giving, grateful and happy.
God has called to live a giving lifestyle. A life where we: LEAVE SOME HARVEST BEHIND.

You are rich…now what are you going to do?

Question: “What can you do this holiday season to “Leave some harvest behind”? Leave a comment below. 

Model these two things for stronger relationships

Group of Friends Together, Teamwork Concept

Do you desire to have stronger relationships?

Model faithfulness and trust.

These are two crucial components to having stronger relationships.

One of the greatest examples of faithfulness and trust between two people is found in 1 Samuel with the story of Johnathan and David.

They were both princes of Israel, one by birth, the other by marriage. They were both in line to assume the throne of Israel. Both were mighty men of valor, and were respected and trusted by the men they led in battle. Each had accomplished great feats, relying on God for victory. They were zealous, driven, resourceful, courageous, bold, meek, humble, and so much more. They knew and respected government, wielded authority and zealously served those under and over them.

They both modeled faithfulness and trust to one another and to their king.

They could have been enemies and rivals, yet they set aside jealousy, resentment, bitterness, competition and lust for power, choosing instead to become the closest of friends. They knew how and when to laugh together, cry and show their emotions together, sharing hopes and dreams, thereby cementing their friendship forever. They were real men, able to show the true, proper and right love of a brotherly friendship, willing to lay down their lives for one another. So great was their friendship that at one of their partings, “they kissed one another, and wept one with another, but David more so” (I Sam. 20:41; NKJV).

David and Jonathan modeled faithfulness to one another allowing their trust and friendship to blossom in to a strong bond. How rare this kind of friendship is in the world today.  I believe this is what God longs for in His church among His people because he models this behavior to us.

Look at the following verses:

  • Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
  • Psalm 9:110 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
  • Romans 10:11 Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.

Faithfulness and trust are at the core of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Trust is a synonym for the word Faith.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

We can have assurance that God will be faithful because unlike humans, God models consistent behavior. Our faith in Him is based on His track record and a “God who does not change” ( See Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8 )

Like David and Johnathan, God desires that we lay aside jealousy, resentment, bitterness, competition and lust for power, choosing instead to model faithfulness and trust.

Faithfulness and trust are not only a core part of the Christian faith but they also lie at the heart of all healthy, functioning, cohesive relationships, whether that be in business, church, marriage, or families. We cannot even begin to have healthy relationships until we first model faithfulness to others and choose to trust. Move your relationships from breakdown to breakthrough by modeling faithfulness and trust.

Question: In what ways do those around you model faithfulness and trust? Leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know what you are saying?

 

Shout!

 

I had a dream once that changed the way I think and talk.

In this dream I was taken into a wedding feast that was a black tie party. The room was dimly lit. Everyone was awaiting the coming of the bride and groom. Guests were mingling with one another but the conversations were very superficial and meaningless. A horrible smell filled the room. Was it a sewer problem? Could it be the “other person”? As I watched the people, the lighting brightened and I saw everyone in the room very clearly now. There black tuxes and black evening gowns were all covered in vomit and human waste. But none of them recognized it was on “all” of them. They just continued to talk with one another as if nothing was wrong.

In prayer the Lord began to reveal the full meaning of the vision:

The black tie party represents how we present ourselves to others. Everything clean, neat and in order. Everyone is putting on there “best face”. The vomit and human waste are the words and evil thoughts we have placed upon each other through gossip, slander and backbiting.

As Christians we can “curse” other people with the power of our words. The words that we speak to each other are either a blessing or a curse. Our  gossip and foul speech will be used by the enemy as arrows against our bothers and sisters in Christ!

Your words have power.

Ephesians 4:29 (AMP) says:

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.

 

Foul.  Polluting.  Evil.  Unwholesome. Worthless.  These are the words that are not to come from our mouth.

Good.  Beneficial.  Bless.  Give Grace.  These are the kinds of words that are to come from our mouth.

Your words can cause a breakdown or a breakthrough in someones life.

Proverbs 18:21 it says: 
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

You can choose to use words that puke all over people or you can use words that contribute to the spiritual progress of others.

Do you know what you are saying?

Question: In what ways have you experienced that power of words? Leave a comment below!

 

Episode #8 “Why you need a base camp to have a breakthrough” [Podcast]

view of Everest with tourist and buddhist prayer flags

In this episode we are going to talk about “Why you need a base camp to have a breakthrough”

The Base Camp is the base of operations and starting point for an extended long journey. The Base Camp is the place of Safety, Shelter and Supplies and the Base Camp is where the medic is stationed.

If someone is injured during the climb, the injured are returned to the base camp. If the weather gets crazy the climbers return to the base camp. Jesus created an atmosphere, a place of refuge, a “base camp”  for people to encounter Him.

Question: How can you be a base camp for someone? Leave a comment below!

9 ways to die and discover your life in the process

 

Hikers

Simple. In the moment. Decluttered. Rewarding. Fulfilling. Free
Are these words that describe your life? I wish I could say every word described my life but I am on a journey.  I am finding that the less I cling to, the more my life represents the words above.
I’ve been on a this journey for over four years now but didn’t realize what God was doing with me until recently. I can piece together the “ bead crumbs”  God has sprinkled along my path guiding and leading me along every step.  This journey started years ago while reading Matthew chapters 5-7. It is these verses that have transformed my life more than any other and continue to as I read them weekly.

I am learning what it means to be in the moment, to not worry about tomorrow, to store up treasures in heaven and pursue what has eternal value. I’m also discovering the painful truth of  how selfish I am, how much I want my own way and how I often cling to things that have no eternal value and expect to find fulfillment and meaning.

We tell ourselves that life is about gaining more when true joy and fulfillment comes through giving, surrender, and dying to ourselves.

Matthew 10:39New Living Translation (NLT)
39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

We cling to possessions for our identity…

We cling to a career for our identity…

We cling to our gifts and talents for our identity…

…losing our life in the process.

The less I cling to in my head, home and heart the more I find the life God desires for me.

The more I die to, the more alive I become.

I discover what it truly means to live when I  die to:

  1. The need for more
  2. Ego
  3. Independence
  4. Anger
  5. Guilt
  6. Fear
  7. Regret
  8. Worry
  9. Comparing yourself to others

The journey of dying to ourselves is not easy.

It is the best life God has designed for you and me. A life of clinging to less, dying to more and discovering our life in the process.

 

Question: What would you add to the “Dying To” list and why? Leave a comment below.

Episode #7 Why people are walking all over you and how to make it stop [Podcast]

Men's sport shoes on a concrete floor

 

Today we are going to talk about:

“Why people are walking all over you and how to make it stop”.

In episode 7 I discuss reasons we do not stand up for ourselves and how we allow others to cross over on to our “property” freely. Without healthy boundaries, we give people permission to cross over the boundaries we should have in place.

So how do we stop people from walking all over us?  

Set up healthy boundaries.

We do this when we are willing to engage in healthy:

  1. Confrontation
  2. Rebuking
  3. Exhortation
  4. Forgiveness
  5. Group Intervention
  6. Consequences
  7. Discipline
  8. Restoration
  9. Limit Setting
  10. Possibile separation

Question: What steps are you taking to set healthy boundaries and move your relationships from breakdown to breakthrough? Share your comments below.

Show Notes: 

Boundaries book by Dr, Henry Cloud Click Here: http://amzn.to/1tYY4sw

Episode #6 Five ways to stretch toward your breakthrough [Podcast]

plant in arid land - climate warming and drought  concept

In this episode we are going to talk about “5 ways to stretch towards your breakthrough”

If you’re unable to stretch, you’re unable to contain the new breakthrough God wants to bring to your life. God is always trying to get us to move forward with Him. He is always encouraging us to draw near to Him,  to surrender more to Him and lay down our old ways of thinking that hold us back from His best for our life. God wants us to expand our vision of who He is and all that He wants to do in our lives.

In this episode I share how our dry, brittle ways of thinking about God and our circumstances can keep us from stretching.

Click below to play:

Show Notes:

FREE 1 Day Breakthrough assessment ($18 dollar value!)  by clicking here: http://bit.ly/V4eb8I

Here are 5 ways we need to stretch towards our breakthrough: 

1. Take inventory of your old wine-skins ( Old ways of thinking, old way of doing things)
2. Be willing to venture out and try new things
3.Don’t try to place God’s new thing into your old dry habits
4.Believe by faith that God has the best things in store for your life as you let go of your old wine skins
5.Tell others

How to discover what really matters in life

happy mother and baby having fun at sunset beach

 

What are my values?

I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. Reflecting not on what I say my values are, but looking at how I behave.

Our values determine our priorities. Our priorities are the things or relationships that come before the lesser things in our life.  The lesser things in our life are not decided by what we say are our values are,  but by how we behave. Our behaviors shows what really matters to us.

How many of the things or relationships we say are our priorities actually are? When our behavior contradicts what we say are one of our values, we are only deceiving ourselves.

Luke 12:34 (NLT) says:

34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

This scripture is saying that we prioritize our life around the things and relationships we believe will bring us the greatest value. All too often what we value and prioritize our life around are things and relationships that will not last in eternity.

Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT) says:

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.

What are chasing today that will not matter in eternity? What or who are you neglecting in the process?

Where your treasure is there your heart will be also or what you value there your priorities will be also. 

If you want to have true fulfillment in your life align your values with Gods. You only have one life. Prioritize your life around what will last throughout all eternity and will bring true fulfillment in this life.

How can you decide what your values truly are?

Ask yourself:

  1. What do I say my values are?
  2. How do I behave?

After you write what you say your values are and what you actually do, take the next step to make the decision to align yourself with:

  • What God values.
  • What you desire your values to be.
  • How you behave.

Discovering what really matters in this life stores up treasure in the next.

Eposide #5 “Contentment, the desire for less” [Podcast]

Content. Is this the way you would describe yourself?

So much of our life is filled with the pursuit for more. More stuff will never bring contentment. Being content is what leads to true peace and fulfillment. Are you content? Find out how to be content in this episode.

Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Click to play video:

Click below to play audio only:

 

Episode #3 “How to get ahead financially by owning nothing” [ Podcast ]

In this episode we are going to talk about “How to get ahead financially by owning nothing”

Person holding an empty wallet - showing bankruptcy

What do you own? Do you see yourself as an owner or as a manager? I explain these questions in this weeks episode!

Show notes

Click Here:  FREE 1 Day Breakthrough Budget Worksheet With Scriptures

Questions from podcast:

  1. What are some ways we can be good manager of what God has entrusted to us?
  2. What is something you can do today to change how you view what you “own”?
  3. What are some things you can cancel to help you align yourself with Gods way of handling finances? ( Cable, Netflix, Starbucks, etc. )