Wednesday, March 31, 2010
If you need a car, then let your need be known, advised Burkett, "because God may have a car out there already in the hands of someone who would like to give it to a needy person. That person may not know a needy person and will end up selling the car for a fraction of what it's worth."
If you need help with maintenance and making decisions about your vehicle, you could help start a vehicle help ministry in your church. An idea is to recruit people knowledgeable about cars to meet at the church once every two months on a Saturday morning. At that time, single parents can bring their vehicles for checkups, maintenance, or advice.
"I know nothing about cars," says Laura Petherbridge. "Like many other women it's an area where I can get stressed because I'm vulnerable. It's a tool that I need, and when it's broken, I can't control it. So I suggest you get someone within the church to counsel you on how to keep your car maintained."
Don't be embarrassed to accept help. Be honest about your needs, and other people will respect your honesty and will help in whatever capacity they are best suited. As time goes on, you will marvel again and again at how faithful God is in providing for your needs.
"You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary Promised Land. There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people" (Psalm 68:9-10 NLT).
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Cheryl and Cathy were both divorced and both had two young children. They decided that living together in Cathy's home would be beneficial for all. Cathy stayed home during the day and watched the children and took care of the housework, and Cheryl went to work to meet the living expenses.
The period of time they spent living together was not without difficulties, but the arrangement was truly a helpful and special time for both of them. Cheryl says, "I think one of the best things I got out of it was having a friend for life. Through thick and thin, no matter what, I can always call Cathy."
If you decide to share a home with another divorced parent to save on expenses, you will have to set down clear rules and expectations. You will need to discuss things such as groceries, meals, transportation, television use, child care arrangements, housecleaning, expenses, and other things to help your living situation be more comfortable and beneficial to all. It is important that you communicate with the person you are living with and continue to work together, being respectful of each other's feelings and needs.
"Your friendship was a miracle" (2 Samuel 1:26 Msg)
Monday, March 29, 2010
"My husband left me with the house and with large house payments. I didn't even make that much money. I ended up getting another job. I worked two jobs for almost two years, twelve hour days," says Patsy.
"In a two-year period," says Tim, "I went from what I thought was a perfect life to living in an apartment by myself with two houses now for sale."
Susan had to move from the house she and her husband built together because she could not keep up with the expenses after the divorce. She says, "All of sudden he was gone, and I couldn't pay this mortgage. I stared foreclosure in the eye, and that's a scary thing."
Figure out what percentage of your income goes into the house. Your home should consume about 40 percent of your net income. That percentage includes payments, utilities, insurance, and telephone bills. If that percentage is not affordable, immediately consider other options.
Above all, keep persevering because God does have a place for you to live that is just right for you. He promises to supply all your needs, so rest easy and trust Him.
"God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others" (2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT).
Sunday, March 28, 2010
"'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it'" (Malachi 3:10).
"I believe the Lord doesn't demand a tithe. I believe He asks for a tithe," said Larry Burkett. "I also believe that a tithe is the clearest outside indicator of where we are spiritually. It is really a measure of 'Do I trust God, or do I just say that I trust God?'"
Laura Petherbridge shares, "This is what I told God, 'I'm going to continue giving You this 10 percent, and I'm going to trust You for the rest.' Then the blessings from God began coming. Within two weeks my job went from part-time to full-time with a raise. I had several items that I decided to sell, and I received close to what I paid for them. A friend fixed my car for me, free of charge. A family member rolled up three one-hundred-dollar bills and slipped them into my hand as we said good-bye.
"One time after another, God kept meeting my needs. There was no logical human explanation to it. God was faithful."
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1).
Saturday, March 27, 2010
If you struggle with this, Larry Burkett's suggestion is to get an envelope for each expense category on your budget. Then, write the expense name and the amount budgeted on each envelope.
When you get paid, put the budgeted amount in each envelope. That amount is all you have for the month to spend on that expense; therefore, when you go to the supermarket, bring your "Food" envelope and shop carefully. When the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category until next month. Do not borrow from other envelopes.
Perhaps you are not a planner, but it is a good quality to cultivate. God is pleased with a sensible plan, and He will help you stick to it. In the Bible, in 1 Chronicles 28, God shows Himself to be a careful planner. He revealed to David a detailed plan for David's son, Solomon, to follow to build the temple. Solomon, like you, may have been overwhelmed with the extreme details of the plan, but David reminded him that God would be by Solomon's side every step of the way.
"David continued to address Solomon: 'Take charge! Take heart! Don't be anxious or get discouraged. GOD, my God, is with you in this; he won't walk off and leave you in the lurch. He's at your side until every last detail is completed'" (1 Chronicles 28:20 Msg).
Friday, March 26, 2010
1. Write down your monthly gross income from your employment, and add to this number any additional monthly income. Subtract taxes and your tithe. This is the total amount of money you have available each month.
2. Make a chart with four columns labeled "Expense Categories," "Monthly Expenses," "Amount Spent," and "Amount Left Over."
3. Create eleven or more rows under the columns. (The number of rows will depend on the number of expense categories you have.)
4. Under "Expense Categories" write the name of each category or item you spend money on each month; for example, housing, food, car, insurance, debts, entertainment, clothing, savings, medical/dental, miscellaneous, and child care.
5. Under "Monthly Expenses" record the amount needed for each category in a typical month. Use past bills/receipts to help figure these numbers. You can adjust them later if you need more or less. Your goal is to have your total monthly expenses equal your available income.
6. Under "Amount Spent" record throughout the month the amount you spend in each category and what you spent it on. This column will help you track your problem areas. For example, under "Food" you might find you spend a reasonable amount at the supermarket, but the quick trips to the convenience store add up.
7. At the month's end, under "Amount Left Over," record any surplus or deficit in each category.
You can find online budget calculators and other financial planning tools at Crown Financial Ministries Web site, www.crown.org/tools.
God promises to provide all you need. He is the giver of all good things, so create and maintain your budget with prayer and thanksgiving for the good things God has provided.
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever" (1 Chronicles 16:34).
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"I needed to learn how to pay bills and live on a budget," says Cathy. "I had never done this before. I sat down with my father. He helped me lay it out on paper. He said, 'You need to quit subscribing to these magazines; you need to cut back here; you need to give this up.' I needed to change all these things to work my life around this new financial amount."
Making decisions for a crisis budget can be difficult, but you must not put it off. Realize that you will have to do without some things you are accustomed to.
Cynthia Yates says, "You've got to become proactive. This is a situation where unless you start to do something now, it's going to get worse one second from now."
What will you do with the financial amount God has given you?
Jesus tells a parable about three men who were each entrusted by their master with certain amounts of money. The first man "went at once and put his money to work and gained five more [talents of money]. . . .
"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. . . . 'Master,' said [the first man], 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" (Matthew 25:16, 19-21).
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
There are many reasons I want to obtain wealth. I want to provide a good life for myself and my family, create more time to spend with people, and give wealth away in some very fun ways.
At the present time, we’re not in a position to give over and above our tithe, but we have some ideas of what we’d like to do once we are in the position to give.
Imagine being able to put a crisp $100 bill in someone’s mailbox. Or maybe leaving one on your table after a meal well-served. Try handing one to a child and watching their parent’s surprise when they notice what their child is playing with.
Giving is a motivating factor for building wealth. There is something exciting about giving just because you can. There are some very specific things you can do if you have money to spare. Try giving directly to individuals in need. Reward those for a job well done. There is much fulfillment in giving to others.
How do you give? What ideas do you have?
Financial pressures during divorce can be enormous. Financial needs keep coming, and whenever you get one area under control, another comes up. There is often not enough money to meet all the needs.
Cynthia Yates shares her story: "I was trying to hold up under the weight of all the debt my husband and I had accrued. It turned out that my husband had not paid a bill in a very long time. We had been separated for a while, and before I knew it, creditors were calling left and right, and they were threatening me. I was working two, three jobs, menial jobs. After I worked my two jobs during the day, I made arrangements to be able to sweep the floor of a produce warehouse in exchange for free fruit and vegetables for my son and me."
Change your focus from despair to goal-setting. We will help you learn to develop a survival plan and stabilize yourself financially. There is hope for every financial situation, no matter how impossible your circumstances may appear.
"Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?" (Romans 8:24).
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Elsa Kok shares her situation: "I understand the place of being financially in a hole. I ended up with all of the debt from the marriage. My credit was absolutely destroyed. Building financial security was a process. I had to get counsel. I had to go to someone and say, 'I need help. I can't pay these bills.' Somebody helped me lay out how I could budget my money; that was not something that came naturally to me."
Take a realistic view of your income and develop a budget immediately. Before you balk at the thought of creating a budget, consider a new definition for the word budget. Think of it as meaning "the freedom to live within your means."
Rose Sweet says, "I used to hate the word budget and now I love it because I realize it is a set of boundaries that helps keep me safe from worry. If you don't know how much money is in your checking account, if you don't know what your bills are, and if you are always trying to borrow money, you are in fear and have underlying tension all the time. If you are living within a budget and not overspending, you can enjoy life without that fear."
Over the next few days we will discuss how to create a budget, and we'll offer insights and instruction concerning divorce and finances.
"Get wisdom—it's worth more than money; choose insight over income every time" (Proverbs 16:16 Msg).
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Bonnie Keen says, "Before my new husband and I started seeing each other, I had a peace with Christ. I said to God, 'I'm going to trust who You are and not who I am, and in Your plans to restore me and not my own.' There came a peace over me.
"I thought, 'If I never marry again, that will be all right.' I didn't need a man. I needed God. I needed Christ's grace and the realness of who He is. It's incredible how God has restored me. I never imagined God would restore to me a sense of peace, a sense of love and joy in a sacred marriage, and the ability to walk in grace with my ex and his wife and their children.
"It's never too late. I know how it feels. What the enemy wanted to do in the upheaval, the trash, and the mess of my life, God has taken and turned it around because He's a redeemer."
Perhaps someday you will remarry. And if you are walking in the peace and grace of the Lord, you will be blessed anew by the wonder of it all.
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple" (Psalm 19:7).
"They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations" (Isaiah 61:4).
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Your old computer could be transformed from potential landfill refuse into a useful computer for folks that would not otherwise be able to have one... single-parent families... seniors...
Contact Pastor Steve for more information.
Lauren says, "When you're in a dating relationship, you can't see the problems. Marriage is different than a dating relationship. Jim and I had ten months of bliss. We had not one fight, but it's a completely different thing interacting with somebody twenty-four seven. That's where the problems come in. We weren't equipped to deal with them. It was a negative thing for a long, long time."
Honestly assess your readiness for a new relationship by answering the following questions:
1. Do you need someone else to be happy?
2. Do you live in the present?
3. Do you have a balanced energy distribution?
4. Have you learned to be single?
5. Do you have a problem-solving attitude?
6. Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses?
7. Are you thankful for trials?
8. Are you spiritually secure and complete with God?
Trust fully in the love and promises of God. He knows what is best for you.
"So we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. . . . There is no fear in love" (1 John 4:16, 18).
Friday, March 19, 2010
Sometimes your search for a new relationship or a new mate can take almost a frantic pace. At times like this, you need to slow down and stop. Think for a moment about why you desire this new relationship or mate. Wanting a new relationship right away is damaging on many levels, so be sure that you understand your motivations. You might discover that you are not ready for a relationship at all.
The Bible says that our actions are a reflection of our faith. People around you should be able to see your faith through the actions you take and the decisions you make. What are your actions saying about you?
"I'm always aware that there are children watching me throughout this divorce situation," says Bonnie Keen. "They are watching what I do with my grief, what I do with my anger, what I do with my ex-spouse, and what I do with my body. What do I want them to see?"
As you make decisions about where your life is headed and what your life's foundation is, realize that these decisions do not affect you alone. People around you are watching and learning.
"You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did" (James 2:22).
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Whether you are married or single, you will only be complete in a relationship with God through His Son Jesus. Examine your spiritual life to see if you are complete through Christ, or if you feel that another person would help to make you whole.
"My heart will never be fulfilled until I realize that I am complete and that the only Person who truly loves me unconditionally is Jesus Christ Himself," continues Rob.
Humans are imperfect. We are flawed, and we do not have the ability to fulfill another person.
Jesus Christ, though, is perfect. Because of His love, you can be in a right relationship with God, and you can flourish in that relationship. God has a higher purpose for you than to find a mate. Trust Him.
Cathy shares, "Marriage is supposed to be the strongest relational bond here on earth, but I realize now that I put my marriage before Christ. I clung to my husband and depended on him too much. I should only have that kind of dependence on Christ. When everything was taken away, it was like God said, 'Okay, Cathy, you're alone; you're stripped. Now let Me show you who you really are. Let Me show you how much I love you. Let me show you the person I created you to be."
"But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever" (Psalm 52:8).
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Dr. Jim A. Talley says, "There are thousands of people who are jumping into another relationship or moving in with somebody. The rationale is, 'Well, I can't afford to finalize my divorce now. It's only a piece of paper.' It's only a piece of paper? If you're driving down the road and the registration of the car you're in belongs to somebody else and you get stopped, it's only a piece of paper. But you go to jail for driving a stolen car. You should not go into another relationship until you have your final divorce decree in hand."
"The first date I went on," admits Marc, "frankly was a disaster. And that's just to put it mildly because I still felt married. I was in the separation mode at the time. I wasn't completely divorced, so I felt like I was cheating on my wife even though she was already doing that. I really felt funny. I wasn't ready for dating, and I shouldn't have been at that particular time in my life."
Choose to do what is right regardless of what your former spouse is doing, what others are doing, or what others are pressuring you to do. If you are pursuing a new relationship on your own, choose to do what is right because this is your life you are handling. A wrong decision about a new relationship can lead to even greater harm than the first relationship brought you.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12).
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
1. What are you the day before you get married?
2. What are you the day before you have your final divorce decree in hand?
3. What are you the day after you have your final divorce decree in hand?
The answers are b, a, and b. The first answer is easy. The second answer is tricky because you may feel single at that point, even though you are not. The third answer is also difficult because you may still feel married because you have been in that state for so long.
"If you are still married, you are not available to date," says Sabrina Black. "Even though you feel emotionally divorced from the person, you are still married by law and by God's standards.
"When you start to bring other people into the mix, then you start to make comparisons, which is not fair because this is not a person who has a history with you. This person has come in and seems like icing on the cake."
In the divorce process, taking shortcuts does not lead you to the correct destination, but to twisting, deceiving side roads. If you want to be successful in future relationships, you must follow God's instructions and timing. Think carefully about whether dating is a safe, wise idea.
"Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention" (Matthew 7:13-14 Msg).
Monday, March 15, 2010
He says, "My heart still held this mindset that if I could find the right woman, then I could find my own happily ever after. That was the basis for my Great Dating Crusade. It led me into a series of roller coaster experiences where I would meet a new woman and we would hit it off, but no matter how wonderful the new relationship started off, nothing ever worked out. All the relationships crashed and burned."
Rob began to question God at that point, asking, "Where is the love? My heart still feels empty inside." He realized that God wanted him to understand that he was trying to fill his heart with something that could not truly satisfy his needs. Rob desired to be loved, accepted, and celebrated just the way he was, imperfections and all. He realized that Jesus Christ is the only Person who could love him to that deep degree, the only One who could love him unconditionally.
"Mortals make elaborate plans, but GOD has the last word. Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; GOD probes for what is good. Put GOD in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place" (Proverbs 16:1-3 Msg)
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Gary Richmond says, "We are by nature two things: romantic and sexual creatures. If we find ourselves being validated, softly spoken to and shown kindness to, we have very little control over drifting into romantic and loving feelings. The best way to avoid that is to avoid being in a situation that calls for romance and wait until it's the appropriate time. In God's time, He makes all things beautiful. In our time, we can really foul it up and make it more difficult to untangle."
Dr. Jim A. Talley defines dating as two people who spend time alone together exchanging emotional energy. Does this definition apply to any of your relationships?
Keep your opposite-sex friendships in the right setting. If you find that in your mind you continually drift down the path of attraction and romance with a certain person, you may need to remove yourself from that friendship. If you are not free to date right now because you are still married or because you are not fully healed, keep yourself away from situations that might tempt you.
Make an effort to build up same-sex friendships instead, or renew relationships with family members. Not only is it important to remove yourself from tempting situations, it is also important to replace those situations with God-pleasing activities or behavior.
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak" (Matthew 26:41).
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Gary Richmond says, "I have seen time after time where people found themselves involved in a relationship following a separation only to discover that finally their mate wanted to reconcile the marriage. They were then caught with the dilemma of falling out of love with the person they had become attracted to, before they could start the painful process of repairing the damage that had been done in the first relationship. It makes it twice as hard when you let people enter into your life. It adds more problems."
A person who feels the need to date for the purpose of experiencing personal healing should not be dating. A person who is fully healed and whole through Jesus Christ should face the question of dating with wisdom, looking at it from all possible angles, as well as considering where the relationship would be headed in the future.
God's first choice is that you reconcile with your former spouse if possible. Keep that in the forefront of your mind as you make decisions about dating.
"GOD, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. . . . So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don't cheat on your spouse. 'I hate divorce,' says the GOD of Israel" (Malachi 2:15-16 Msg).
Friday, March 12, 2010
"I don't know if it's God's intent for me to remarry," says Harriet. "But that, along with every corner of my life, is His now, and I don't have to worry about it anymore. He has taken a broken shell of a woman. He has taken this vessel that was emptied of all its content, and He is turning me into His work, a masterpiece that's His making. I don't even know how to be thankful for that, but I know He'll help me to."
In the Bible verse below, God's instructions on how to face adversity are radical—but so is His healing. Don't settle for anything less than what God wants for you!
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).
Thursday, March 11, 2010
"You have to heal from your past relationship," says Lauren. "You have to give yourself time to realize what it is you're healing from. You might not know you're insecure or that your self-esteem is so low that you'll appreciate any type of attention. You haven't had time to figure out what went wrong. You have to grow."
Your weaknesses are reminders of God's strength and sufficiency. When you face hardships or are frustrated by your inadequacies, take a good look at the God you serve. He is bigger than your problems. He will empower you with a much greater strength than you can ever generate on your own. Let God fulfill your needs because He is the only one who can. Here is how Paul viewed a burden he was carrying:
"At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become" (2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Msg).
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Life is one of the most precious and wonderful gifts that we have. I am not saying that is going to be easy or that things in life will always work out the way you thought they should. There are times that are hard and that will seem that things will not get any better. That is NOT true!
We all have our own struggles and issues in life. Its how we choose to deal with that issue or situation that will help us grow in life and become a better person. There are things in my life that have not worked out whether it be a relationship or what have you, I would get down and think well maybe if I had done something different or if I had? But that is not the case. GOD helped me know that she was not the right one for me. We need to know that what we thought we needed or wanted may not have been what GOD really wanted for us.
When one door closes we need to not get upset or mad, just because one door closes means that another door will open and that door will be bigger and better that we could have ever imagined! Growing up I have always wanted to be a Police Officer. Getting older I ran into some medical issues and I can no longer pursue that career in life. I got up set and sad. Finally I got to the point and asked GOD why, why me? GOD wants me to do to do something more! One door may have closed but that is okay! GOD has opened a new door for me and I don’t fully know what it is yet but I know I am a whole lot happier and I am more at peace with my self and I have more direction in life with GOD... and its amazing and wonderful!!!
When a door closes in your life or something does not work out, don’t get up set and sad. GOD will help you and lead you on the right path and will open bigger and better doors for you then you could have ever imagined! Love GOD and life stay strong in life and keep moving forward!
"When a problem hits you and really hits you hard, do you have a panicked feeling or do you have problem-solving attitude that will carry you through?" asks Gary Richmond.
When Jim and Lauren met, Jim had been divorced for three years, she for just days. Their courtship was quick. They married ten months after her divorce. But the excitement of the new relationship quickly faded and the reality of day-to-day living set in.
Lauren says, "It was hard because even though our spiritual walk had strengthened, we had not dealt with all the insecurities from our past experiences. We didn't want to be hurt again. We didn't want to feel rejected. We wanted to guard our emotions. We were both struggling for control the whole time. The fights get pretty bad when two people are trying to be in control. The other thing was that we were both insecure because of our first marriages. We had not gotten to the point where we felt safe and secure within ourselves."
When the problems came, Jim and Lauren were not prepared to deal with them properly because they had not healed fully from their previous marriages. They did not have security and wholeness as single individuals. When two individuals who are not secure in themselves come together in a relationship, the results can be catastrophic.
"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you" (Isaiah 41:13).
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
"The relationship was filling in gaps that needed to be healed, not just filled in. My healing was being delayed, and once the relationship broke off, the hole was even bigger than it was when my wife left," says Marc.
When the painful gaps from your first marriage are being filled with something other than Christ, you can falsely think you are healing. The open wounds and bitter losses from your first marriage and from the divorce process need to be filled with God's healing power.
Here are some ways to begin filling the gaps God's way. You can read the Bible and study specific passages in depth, spend time with Christian friends, pray, do volunteer work, start a new hobby, spend time listening to God, get involved in a Christ-centered support group, attend counseling, read, and enjoy family and friends. This is not to suggest a whirlwind of activity, but relaxed, focused moments spent building relationships with God, family, and same-sex friends.
"By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see" (Acts 3:16).
Sunday, March 7, 2010
"I met my second husband six months after my separation from my first husband," shares Jeannette. "I immediately got emotionally involved because I had this deep, soul-level pain that was just excruciating, and no matter what I did, it wouldn't go away. So I got into this relationship, and slowly it started taking away the pain and I forgot about the pain. Shortly after that, I got married and knew I had made a mistake, but I had invested too much and didn't want a second failed marriage. I continued in the marriage and tried to save it the best that I could, but you can only do so much and pretend so long. It just fell apart."
You never want to be needy when getting involved in a new relationship. Learn how to be single and how to be whole and fulfilled first. Also, learn about relationships and what makes relationships successful in God's eyes. Several excellent Christian books exist on relationships, communication, emotional healing, and spiritual growth. Also, talk to your church leaders about seminars or conferences you can attend to increase your knowledge. Delve into God's Word and learn more about the wisdom He has for you.
If your heart is crying out to be nurtured and rescued from the pain and despair, let God be your comforter.
"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem" (Isaiah 66:13).
Friday, March 5, 2010
"Also, when they begin new relationships, they talk about that past with the new person. If the new person cares in conversation about it, a great illusion develops that both parties in the new relationship are becoming more intimate in sharing their feelings than they've ever been before, even with a former mate. They need to be careful to know that they haven't achieved great intimacy just by sharing their problems."
Intimacy with another person is more likely to be developed when you share your dreams for the future. This does not mean fantasies of having a new relationship, but the hopes and plans for your future that you will strive for with or without that other person. These are the dreams and goals God has called you to fulfill.
Juana shares an experience she had during her separation: "I can remember kneeling before God in that quiet, little apartment. I didn't know what the future held, but I could see God's goodness, and I could see that God had this goodness waiting for me in the future. I remember having confidence that my future with God was so bright, and now I am living it."
"The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good" (1 Peter 5:10 Msg).
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The movie is called “Faith Like Potatoes”. It's a different kind of movie. Folks like me sometimes miss what’s going on out there and I’m greatful that I was informed about this one.
Its not every day when there’s a movie about farmers, let alone a farmer/preacher, and even though its about a farmer/preacher on the other side of the world there’s just something of a bond between us, because that’s the way it is with farmers.
The true story takes place in South Africa and just watching the trailer makes me wish I could farm there. At least they don’t have thirty below zero month after month! But the message of faith that comes from that farmer/preacher is life changing in itself. I know it really gives me a boost. In a day and age when religion in the Western World is basically an extension of a materialistic culture its refreshing to come across real faith and in farming real faith is badly needed in order to even survive in this day and age. One quote from the trailer. “Where there is faith, there is growth”, speaks volumes! The opposite is where there is no faith there is no growth and that should speak to a person just as well. Farming runs on faith! Many parables in the Gospels are about faith and most are related to a farming story, that should say something!
So to a dirt farmer and cattle man such as myself this is great news that there’s a movie out there about the two things I love, farming and faith, (of course this isn’t saying I’m leaving out family cause I figure they’re in both of those categories).
At the beginning of the separation or divorce process, emotional demands take up 85 percent of your energy, leaving only 15 percent for mental, physical, and spiritual needs. It takes as long as five years to return to a more even distribution of your energy. Unfortunately, most people enter new relationships and remarry in an unbalanced state, while they are still affected by the emotional impact of divorce and not fully capable of applying mental and spiritual wisdom to the relationship.
Rob Eagar says, "If you come out of a relationship and then immediately jump into another one, your heart does not get a chance to fully heal; therefore, you are walking along wounded emotionally. You are vulnerable, then, to starting this new relationship without a whole heart, and you're going to try to suck your need for acceptance and significance out of this person all the more. You're not really in the relationship for the other person. You're in it for yourself."
Give God the opportunity to take care of you and to reveal His glory and power to you. He knows what you want, and He knows what you need. He loves you and will take care of you if you will let Him.
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:8).
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
If you don't slow down and wait before starting a new relationship, you won't heal.
"I got into another relationship right away," says Angie. "I was elated for a while. I thought, 'I am out of here and on to better things.' Thankfully the Lord saved me from that and opened up my eyes to what I was doing. I almost married him. I ended up breaking up with him, and after that the pain was worse than my divorce. It was like going through another divorce. During that period I was so broken, so depressed, and so hurting. God used that experience to take me on my journey of healing."
Let God use your painful circumstances for your healing and growth. You can be a strong, secure person when your identity is in Christ. Slow down and let this happen before you even remotely consider a new relationship. God can heal your deepest pain and meet your deepest needs.
"Slow down. Take a deep breath. What's the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?" (Jeremiah 2:25 Msg).
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Have you ever thought you had it right only to find that you were dead wrong? For the longest time, I thought I would become financially successful through careful math, but later I found that I was severely mistaken. I was always looking for better interest rates, crazy and wild ideas for making more income, and new investments that promised to yield unbelievable returns.
I’ve changed my focus. I started realizing that in order to be financially successful I had to change myself; change my behavior. Through experience, I’ve learned that being successful is not so much about finding the best deals, it’s about being honest with yourself and sacrificing any love for money (or possessions) you might have.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. -1 Timothy 6:10 NIV
In other words, you need to let go! Don’t let yourself be so consumed with money that you forget it’s not really about money, it’s about how you live your life. You’re just a manager of God’s money!
With all that being said, I’ve found three unforeseen benefits of financial behavior modification. These will happen for you if you decide to change that person in the mirror!
What are the 3 unforeseen benefits of financial behavior modification?
- Your income will skyrocket. It’s true. I’ve experienced an amazing increase in income over the past year because I decided to let go of my desires and let God do as God purposes. I got uncomfortable intentionally. I stepped out in faith and moved away from a job of comfort into a new field of the unknown. I think there are points in our lives where we have to let go of what we have so we can embrace what God has in store for us. Agreed?
- Your emergencies will turn into inconveniences. As you turn to more conservative investments and build your emergency fund, you will experience a peace like you’ve never known. You won’t have to worry about dishing out money when your refrigerator goes out because you need to “hold on” to your prized stock investment. Instead you can just write a check from your emergency fund.
- You’ll be in better health. Think about it. If you’re constantly worried about your finances, don’t you think that results in more stress, higher blood pressure, strained relationships, unhealthy eating, and more horrible consequences? Of course it does! Improve the way you handle money and you’ll change your health for the better.
This is only the beginning. There are more benefits to financial restraint than I could possibly list. Stay disciplined and you will see results. Push yourself to change your financial habits and you will succeed. READY? SET? GO!
"Whatever you depend upon for your happiness will always end up controlling you; therefore, if you feel you have to get married in order to be happy, then the approval of the opposite sex will control your self-esteem. How other people view you will dominate the way you view yourself."
If you sincerely desire God's love more than the love of another person, then you are growing and maturing and you might be ready to consider a new relationship. If you think you are ready, then be sure the relationship is His idea and not yours. Remember, do not make decisions based on feelings. Use wisdom, God's Word, prayer, and Christian counsel to make all decisions, large and small. Let your self-esteem be grounded in Christ. If you desire a relationship with God above all else, your heart will truly be fulfilled.
"'For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,' says your God" (Isaiah 54:5-6).
Monday, March 1, 2010
Never depend on someone else for your happiness. Another person cannot make you happy, and it is not another person's responsibility to do so. If you are considering a new relationship, wait. If you are currently in a relationship, ask the other person to wait before taking the relationship further. There is not a set amount of time to wait. How long you wait depends on how long you were married before, how well you deal with conflicts, and on your personal rate of healing.
Gary Richmond says, "It takes one year of healing for every four years of marriage. Some people have control over that in terms of working it through, and different people heal at different rates, so it's a general statistic. But I've found over time that it's a wise statistic. One of the great tendencies of humanity is for us to say, 'It'll be different for me. This doesn't apply to me.' It really does."
Perhaps you, too, feel that your situation is different, that your new relationship is based on more than feelings or neediness. If that thought has come to your mind, prayerfully consider your past losses, your rate and method of grieving, your spiritual maturity, and your ability to find complete joy in being single. True happiness is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy" (1 Peter 1:8).