Recovering from Identity Theft

Thank you Shiloh Ministries for letting me speak at your Women’s Conference.

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Recovering from Identity Theft

Shiloh Ministries invited me to speak at their women’s conference. I’ll post a few snippets until the full video is ready.

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Did you need it?

Did you need it?

I think that’s a simple question and even a simple concept. I think we all could use the “need” filter in our lives.

Did you need it? That’s what I’d like to start asking myself. When it comes to food or accessories and just stuff in general, did I need it?

There’s nothing wrong with buying. I’ll admit, I’m pretty cheap, so it’s not like I have go on a spending frenzy, but there are other things I could cut back on. In particular, I’m thinking of food and drinks. If someone eats the last cookie, there’s no need to be upset, did I need it?

If someone gets something I wanted or if I thought about buying something that is unnecessary for my life, it’s OK to not have it, if I didn’t need it. Note what I said, a lot of things are just rooted in wants and not needs.

If I don’t need it, I think it’s OK if I don’t have it. Some wants are therapeutic, so I’m not knocking that. I love books, and I don’t think I need a lot, but I mentally and emotionally feel better reading. Thus, possibly creating a small need for them.

Did you need it? Did it serve to enhance your well being on life? Did it make you better or does it make you better? If not, you maybe didn’t need it.

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Restless Riches

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. – Proverbs 23:4 NLT

What does this verse even mean? If seems obvious, doesn’t it? Yet, we fall prey to the idea or ideal of being rich all the time. We do. Society does.

Some want wealth for selfish reasons. Some want wealth for selfless reasons. And in our desire for more, sometimes we focus on wealth too much. So I think there are three simple things to gather from this verse, and more of course.

1. Never let your desire for more cause you to want less of God. Now, I don’t know if people would willingly admit that, but by our actions this seems to be true. We start focusing on spending more time making money and eventually spend less time with God.

2. Don’t run yourself ragged trying to be rich materially and not spiritually. “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) If it doesn’t have eternal value, it really is of no value.

3. Know when to quit. Don’t quit being a provider. Provision and hard work are important and God honoring. But don’t allow yourself to be so consumed with wealth that you miss the important things in life. If you always spend today trying to make more money for “one day soon”, you’ll miss out. Todays run out for all mankind, and you don’t want to miss out on today because you were constantly chasing riches for tomorrow.

Money is an important thing. It’s not the most important thing. Don’t wear yourself out chasing what’s not the most important thing, whether that’s money or anything else.

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Saved and Forgiven

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The Company You Keep

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.

Beware of the company you keep. If iron sharpens iron, then what does a dull tool do? It either doesn’t perform its task or makes it harder to complete the task. It’s the same with the people we surround ourselves with.

People are either making you better or worse, and you have to choose if you want to let them bring you up or down. You have to ask yourself if you bring someone up or down too. Bad company corrupts good character.

I love that verse in 1 Corinthians. When I finally realized what that verse meant, it was like a light bulb.  While we should hope to have a positive influence on someone, it doesn’t mean that they won’t have an influence on us. We have to be wise enough to know who God is calling us to, and who He is calling us from. We may want to help everybody, but we may not be called to help everybody.

After all is said and done, the big question is who are you? What type of company category do you fall under? My big point is that I want to make sure I’m not the bad company and that I’m not the dull tool. How about you?

Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

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Get the Candy

Get the candy. That’s my advice to you today. Just get the candy.

My dad wanted candy so bad. He was a candy guy. Hiding candy in the living room or in his nightstand. He was that kind of candy guy. He could give Willy Wonka a run for his money.

And when he went into the hospital he really wanted me to bring him some candy. For whatever reason, Sweet Tarts were what he was craving. Eventually, I got the candy, and although my mom was the one that took it, I’m glad I got it.

It was so annoying at the time. Why does my dad want me to drive 30 minutes to just bring him some candy? I just couldn’t fathom why he was so adamant about it. I’m so glad I got the candy. That was the last thing I gave him. And had I knew then what I know now, I would’ve brought him all the candy I could every day that I could.

I look back on my attitude about it, it definitely could’ve been better for sure. But I also look back on that moment and just ask myself, for how many people should I just get the candy? How many people just need 30 minutes? How many people just need some flowers? How many people are at the end of life, and waiting on someone to sweeten the ending?

Today, who should you get the candy for? Before you say no, before you get annoyed about it, just ask yourself, what would it mean if I did this? If all my dad wanted from me before he passed was some candy, then the least I could do was get it.

Don’t wait to do good. The wait may be too late.

Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Galatians 6:10 NLT

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The Comparison Trap – Job 21

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No Coincidence

How often are we praying for what God is already answering? Don’t you just love that question? Shouldn’t it fill us with joy? We serve a God that already has the answer to our request! See below:

This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.” Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah.
Genesis 24:14‭-‬15 NLT

Abraham’s servant was sent to find Isaac a wife. He prayed to God, and as he was finishing his prayer, Rebekah was on the way. As he was finishing his request, the answer was arriving. That means that while he was praying, God was already doing.

So a couple of things here:

1) God is faithful. Abraham was God’s, and he knew God would be faithful in His promise to bless him. Rebekah was already a part of God’s plan to show His own faithfulness.
2) Sometimes God is waiting on us to ask. Sometimes God is waiting on us to acknowledge the need that we have that only He can meet.
3) Be specific. I had a professor that used to say “God is in the details.” I don’t know whether or not he was a Christian, but his statement couldn’t have been more true. Abraham’s servant had a specific request, and God answered specifically.

It is nothing short of amazing that Abraham’s servant is able to find Rebekah. God is faithful and will make sure that the details work in relationship with His faithfulness. As I’ve said, there is no such thing as coincidence when we’re dealing with divine providence.

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More or Less

I want to make it a point to not disqualify compliments. I’ve noticed that about myself and about others too. If someone compliments or congratulates me for something, it’s not my job to disqualify it by demeaning the work or effort.

My advice is, just take the compliment. If someone says you did good on something, don’t find something negative about yourself to counter it. That’s neither humbling or honoring. It’s really the opposite.

False piety isn’t pretty. It’s fake, and that’s the issue. There is nothing wrong with thanking someone for acknowledging your work. Even better, as long as you acknowledge it is by God’s grace that you’re able to do anything, you should certainly be happy that people notice it. That’s a great opportunity to glorify God for your gifts.

Take the compliment and glorify God when you do. It’s that simple.

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