Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A Poetic view on Finances

Lizelle Rohlandt

Lizelle is a new friend of mine. I hope to get to know her much better than I do now, because, well, I think she is awesome. At ladies bible study the other day she asked us to listen to her proposed poem, written by herself, that she was going to use in church soon, as she was asked to speak on tithing.

I thought it was amazing. She is very gifted with words and uses them to God's glory. I asked Lizelle if I could share her poem here with you all as I am sure you will appreciate her words as much as I did.



HERE GOES......

Finances & tithes
----------------------------

God gave you a job, and it pays good money too.
And all that He asks is that you give back what is due.

Malachi tells us to bring the full tithe to the storehouse,
The first fruits gathered by you ànd your spouse.

You don't cover expenses and tithe on what's left.
Let me tell you some truth, that's equal to theft! 

He will open the heavens and pour blessings on you,
Whatever your circumstances, He will get you through!

I know this, Yes! I can testify! 
When you want to give up, God helps you get by.

See, I've made mistakes that were spiritually wrong, 
Because I didn't take them to the altar where they first belong! 

Live by The Word, and receive His blessing.
You'll find that money is not worth stressing! 

It can buy you clothes, a house or a car;
Food, medicine, even a band-aid for that scar. 

It can't fix a broken heart or buy you love...
No one can provide better than the good Lord above!

Hand over your burdens and financial issues,
And you'll learn of His love, mercy and values.

If He can provide seeds for the birds,
He'll provide in abundance if you only pray the words.

If you don't ask, you won't receive.
Else, you can't tell me brother, that you believe?

Trust God with your finances it's not to late. 
Start paying your tithes, don't leave it to fate!

His plans for you is to succeed and prosper!
And there's so much more that He has to offer.

For there's a man that loves you more than life itself,
So focus on Him, not your earthly wealth.

My time is up, and I have to go.
But remember this... What you reap, you will sow.

                                                                                    - Elle Rohlandt 

                     


Such profound words from Lizelle.  Something we should practice financially, and practically.  If you are not a breadwinner, one can tithe one's time.  One can tithe one's abilities and creativity.  There are so many ways we can give back to God what God has given us. 

I hope this poem inspires you as much as it has me.  Please leave comments of encouragement for Lizelle.  I am sure she would appreciate it.

2 Corinth vs 6-7:  (6) Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].  (7) Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift]

God bless
Tracy

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Choices Review

My One Word for this year is CHOICE!

When the Lord brought this One Word to mind I was already set on another but this word hit me like a brick wall.  A lot of my day to day misery was due to bad choices.  Choosing to harbour resentments, choosing to think on people who had hurt me, choosing to think on my failures, and the list goes on.....

This word has helped me make a conscious effort to get my ducks in a row!

Firstly, I started thinking about the choices I was making!  They were not lining up with God's word.  It says in Phil 4 v 8 to think on good things, honourable things, etc (Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart])

I was not doing this.....

Secondly, I was not speaking positive things into my life.  In Duet 30 v 19 it says CHOOSE life: (I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants)

I was not doing this.....

Thirdly, my thoughts, oh my goodness, my thoughts!  They were all over the place, negative and in constant turmoil.  In Romans 12 v 2 it says to renew my mind daily:  (do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].)

Is it any wonder that I was constantly snappy, constantly on edge, constantly making wrong choices?


Now, I am not saying that I have overcome all the above.  I am working on it.  I have been spiralling into this negative mind set for a while now and fighting to keep my head above water by clinging onto the Word and the Lord has sustained me.  But I wanted more than sustenance!  I wanted growth, joy, deliverance and victory.  One blogger I have gotten close to reminded me that the Lord ALREADY has given me victory in an area, and that I was to act on that!  What a revelation that was.  I have victory in an area and yet I was wallowing in the mud of negativity because, well, I was choosing to.

It is a habit.  I think we all get into those bad habits.  It is a habit to choose unwisely!  But the consequences of those choices can really sting!  My focus this year is to start making good choices.  I want this deciding to make good choices to become a habit!  In some areas I am succeeding.  In others I am battling.  But I can say with honesty that choosing has become a more deliberate thing.

My encouragement to you is to make a cuppa tea or coffee, and sit down and write down those 3 or 4 major choices you make daily that are hindering your spiritual growth and choose to start working on them.  The rewards are humbling and amazing.

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Marriage is so last Century!

Today one often hears that marriage is so "last Century", that its old fashioned and not for this day and age.  Well, I beg to differ!  When I go to the various "Marriage" pages on facebook, you see how well they are supported and followed and I see this to be true of Christian pages as well as secular pages.


Marriage is still very popular and a good, true, long-lasting marriage is certainly something a lot of people, men and women, long for!  I think the problem is not the lack of desire to be married, I think its once married, the desire to push through, under many stresses, be in it for the long haul, is what is lacking.  I think people get married hoping it will last forever, but forget that in order for it to last forever, you have to work at it, work through it, and figure it out as you go along.

I think people get married today thinking, "well, if it doesn't work, we will just quit and go our separate ways!"

Marriage IS tough!  Not only because of the joining of two completely different people, personalities, outlooks and upbringings, but also because of all the outside stresses of our world!  Much stability in the world comes from family, so the devil is driven to destroy marriages every where!  And, sadly, he has much success in these areas.

I think if two people, no matter how different, agree to find a way, agree to not give up, no matter what, that marriage will succeed.  But if one wants out... there is pretty much not much you can do about it, other than pray!

This weekend we watched the movie "The War room" and I found it to be very encouraging in how to tackle relationships that come under strain from every angle, inside and outside of a marriage.  Our best weapon as Christians is to pray for our spouses, to lift them up before the Lord, to ask Him to help us be the wife He wants us to be to our husbands.  To Help us change bad attitudes and to leave the work necessary in our husbands to God!  Only He can change what needs to be changed.  Yes, it may start with us, but truly, when you lift your marriage up before the Lord, He works in ways you would never imagine.

I know that many marriages don't make it and that is sad.  But if you are still married and its getting tough, turn to the Lord for the saving of it, because in my experience, the more I tried to "fix" things, the more I messed it up.  But when I went to the Lord, and asked Him to help me, He changed me, and He changed the heart of my husband!

Here are some excellent practical resources I have found:

Ashley and Dave Willis's website is Patheos Sixseeds and you can find them on facebook HERE.

http://sixseeds.patheos.com/


Happy Wives Club's website: Happy Wives Club and you will find them HERE on facebook.

http://www.happywivesclub.com/


Messy Marriage's website: Messy Marriage and you can find them HERE on facebook.


These resources are great encouragement for those struggling in marriage!  Also a great resource for those considering marriage!  There are many more resources out there but these are the ones I like at the moment.  I encourage you to push through, the rewards are great and God is a great rewarder of those who seek to do His will.

Gal 6 v 9:  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
2 Chron 15 v 7: But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.

God bless
Tracy

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Expect the Unexpected!

So, a few weeks back I was in my usual "Why is God not coming through for us?" mode when my husband came home and started telling me about a conversation he had.  And part of that conversation was to "expect the unexpected"!  Well, imagine my thoughts in that moment!  Yeah right!  I felt badly about my thinking and it took me a little while of Word-searching (God's word) to start getting more perspective in my heart and so too in my emotions.

Those pesky emotions!!!!

Fast-forward to a week later where my emotions are all behaving as they should and I am speaking right things in my mind and heart....

I wake up, and before I get up, I determine to pray!  You know, ask the Lord for that which we desperately need, and so I start out.... "Dear Lord Jesus...."  And I paused.  I decided instead of asking the Lord for the things we desperately needed in that moment, I would praise Him, I would worship Him.... and so I did....!


Then I got up!  Traipsed off to the kitchen to feed the ever hungry hounds and before I had set about this task I got a text!  Of course, in need, I assumed it would be bad news, but NO.... It was awesome news.  Our needs had been met!  By an unlikely source!  By an unexpected never to be expected source!   I was stumped!  I yelled for my still snoozing hubby and informed him of the text!  His words.... Yes, expect the unexpected!

Only God right?!  Only He could chuck in the unexpected like that!  I am humbled and grateful!

My encouragement to you is twofold:
  1. When tempted to beg the Lord for your needs (and I am not saying, don't ask, His word says DO ask), praise Him rather.  God wants a sacrifice of praise.  And every single time, He changes circumstances!
  2. Secondly, expect the unexpected!  Don't expect the worst, despite our pesky emotions trying to get us to do just that!  And remind yourself of all the times the Lord has ALREADY come through for you.

God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Tend that Tree!

In the last few days, in a heap of emotional turmoil, I came to the conclusion that I need to find contentment in the state of my various relationships.  Now, I am not speaking about my hubby.  We believe that marriage is something that constantly needs upkeep and maintenance :)  I am speaking about other close relationships I have, or have had.

Due to a very hurtful and ugly season in our extended family, there are still broken relationships and I know that there is nothing I can do about this until the Lord changes things.  Without going into any detail, its not what I want, broken relationship, but unity is not what they want..... and that rankles, just a little, a lot!

Then there is the relationship with my daughters.  They are my heart!  But they are starting their own lives and there is distance.  Now, I am not saying this is deliberate or intentional.  But I think I am over-sensitive about the distance because I can't say I was ever buddy buddy with my Mom, and I wanted more with my daughters.  I'm over-sensitive to the issue because of the family saga!  I see other moms and daughters and their closeness and I long for that.

I think it is the season they are in, partly.  Maybe our personalities too.  But they know I love them, and I know they love me.... but..... I long for more....


So, in defeat I decided to accept that how things are, is how its going to be.  I decided to be content with the relationships as they are,

Then God.....

Then God showed me this scripture!  I was not looking for it, but it jumped up out of the page, grabbed my face on either side!  Focused my eyes on Him.... and my hope was restored.

That scripture is this:

Prov 27 v 18:  Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat of its fruit;  so he who patiently and faithfully guards and heeds his master shall be honoured.

Did you see that?  Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat of its fruit!  I was overwhelmed!  To me, I believe the Lord is saying to continue investing in my relationships.  My family ones, my old friends, my new friends, and I WILL eat of the fruit of that investment!

My hope is restored.  And I messaged my own Mom and let her know I love her!  I don't do that enough.

My encouragement to you today is not to give up sowing into your precious relationships.  I don't mean the ones that you perhaps should not be in (bad friendships, abusive relationships, etc).  I mean those with your families, your nearest and dearest!

God bless
Tracy


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