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God, Money, and Gebedo!

I think I may change the theme of this blog from “Dying Empty” to “God and Money”.

In trying to be authentic with what I write, I’m finding the central issues that affect my daily life most often revolve around God and money.

Dying empty is more of a cool phrase, a cliche` even of how I hope to live. But the reality of my every day is a constant struggle between God and money. How to have more of both without selling out my soul/calling/faith nor denying money and living in hypocritical poverty.

Hypocritical poverty would be denying my family’s needs, my wife’s desire, and my own dreams. It’s acting like I’m not living in a blessed country, in a great time in history, filled with limitless opportunities. I’ve got passions and skills in the hottest areas/industries (the internet) and yet I question my time and work ethic because I fear losing what’s most valuable.

So anyway, its a process that I need to work thru. I do expect to get revelation of whatever hinders me and walk in God’s fullness sooner or later. But for now I’m just venting to you. Comments are always welcome.

Thanks.

Image source: mofya.sinjela

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What IF…

I use to always ask myself, what IF I were rich, how would I live differently? (Of course I got that from some self-help guru or book).

But now, I’m starting to see flaws in that type of thinking. It assumes that money is the largest obstacle in our lives and with it removed, we will then be able to live to the fullest.

It causes us to put on-hold the things that really matter, assuming there will be no Katrina nor earthquake to get in the way of our plans. The other day I began asking myself a new question:

What if my natural circumstances don’t change, but I simply stopped worrying about the future and I reduced my current level of stress… living now in the peace of God… how would I live differently? I think we all have questions that we need to ask ourselves. Questions to put us in proper perspective, and keep the main thing the main thing – and the lame things far away from our focus.

So what’s your question?

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We Need Not Seek Significance

A chasing after the wind…

When we seek to be fulfilled by what we do and not by who we are.

As a friend of mine said, as long as we are seeking for joy and happiness we will have nothing to offer anyone. If we have trusted our souls to the works of Christ, we have been adopted into a family which overflows with life, love, and joy.

But when we take our eyes off of this and think we have to DO something to become valued, we miss the point and live like orphans in search of approval. No, we don’t need significance. We need a revelation of our inert value which will bring its own contentment. And then everything we seek to do will come from already being significant – and not striving to earn it.

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Find Your Unique Godly Balance

Unless you find your unique & divine balance, you’re going to compare yourself to others, live your life like others, or feel inappropriately special or condemned. Finding your unique place will not affect your today and probably not your next year. But try 10 years. You could become YOUR ideal self, but not the person God wants you to be.

If you’re a disciplined student of successful people of the past, you could duplicate their habits and principles and turn into a one-of-a-kind copy cat. Someday, we all will need to stop envying others, quit following formulas but follow God and become our true selves.

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Reversing My Nature

Today this just hit me. I can use my weaknesses as a trigger to engage my goals. Thus reversing my nature.

For example, one of my goals for the year is to write 150 personal/motivational/scriptural posts to this blog. The problem is, I have the habit of always reading and consuming content instead of producing it.

And so tonight I used my unction towards reading another blog / magazine as an indicator that I should be writing my own. What is it in your life that you could use to reverse your nature?

Perhaps an urge to eat sweets will remind you to workout? Or a thought to going shopping can remind you to balance your checkbook. Or what about seeing someone who always makes you upset causing you to pick up your prayer life? You think this could work?

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Hustlin’ Jesus

Most people that I know who “hustle” or even use the word in their vernacular do it for one of two reasons: 1) Their day job doesn’t pay as much as they’d like so they need to hustle/gig/freelance every chance they get for more money.

Or 2) Their day job/life isn’t satisfying so they hustle to try to get that missing part fulfilled. Now me?

Well I’m probably both of these two combined. But today I started thinking about hustlin’ Jesus. Or in other words; spending that extra time in my nights and weekends pushing / promoting something (or someone) that won’t add to my bank account on earth but would increase my net worth in heaven.

When we talk about contentment – we normally tie that to our concepts of “purpose” which are often just the glorification of ourselves… So what if instead of bringing myself fulfillment thru self-exaltation – I lifted up the name of King of Kings? Most of us live compromised lives from 9-5. We do what we gotta do because we gotta do it. Sacrifice for the sake of security. But I see its the spare time where we exercise our wills, dreams, and true self.

We hustle to make our dreams come true. But I feel like its time to start hustlin’ Jesus so that His dreams would come true.

Comments?

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Spiritual Health Parallels

Regular reading and study of the Bible is like a balanced diet.
Both are essential to life. Praying in the spirit is like weight training. Both build strength and stamina.

You can’t live without eating. But you can live well if you don’t workout. And because of that, many people only focus on diet and not strength training. Maybe their life doesn’t require much activity or strength. So they think.

But others live a life that demands fitness and endurance. Thus they need to not only eat right, but they need strength that comes from praying in the spirit. Or was I talking about weights? Either way, I’m re-learning the power of prayer. Paul said to Jude that he could build himself up by praying in the spirit.

So if you find yourself weak, and in need of…’something.’ I encourage you to start a prayer regime. Be consistent. Don’t try to over exert yourself. But just start, and stay committed. Make sure you eat before and after to compensate. And in a short time you will grow stronger.

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Habits and Structures Govern Earth while Sensitivity and Spontenaety Reflect Heaven

I’ve tried but I can’t seem to do it. That is, manage God. And when I think I’ve got him all figured out he breaks free from what I thought I knew. But myself? I work better when I have healthy and holy habits. Most people do. Even when our structure is chaos to others – when it is predictable to ourselves we have more peace and security. So to maximize our own lives, we need to put in place structures, goals, direction and order. Now back to God. I find the best way to keep in step with Him is be ready for the unexpected. We know we are to love people, but normally the setting and timing will not be according to our time table. (See the Good Samaritan story) So if we can be ready and sensitive to both the Spirit’s leading and people’s needs – especially at inconvenient times I believe we’ll release and reflect heaven.

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Humps and Buckles

“Its Time To Get Over The Hump”

This is my word to you for 2010.

(Perhaps I’m just projecting on you what I believe the year is for me… Well so be it! If the shoe fits, then don’t trip!)

I can’t say I’ve had many humps in my past or mountains that I’ve become too familiar with. But lately, (2 years or so) there seems to be unhealthy patterns that have come a gone at a rhythmic rate. And not by coincidence either.

In Matthew 4, Jesus confronts the Devil and wins. But the enemy is said to leave for “a season.” I’m seeing that pressures come in waves and seasons trying to get us to buckle under their weight and return to old patterns of living.

These patterns can be either unhealthy or just not ideal for where God wants us to go. So every time we buckle under these weights we revert back to the bottom, to inch our way up the same hill or hump.

But perhaps 2010 could be the year we no longer succumb to the stress and pressures. And rather press on for dear life to make it to a new level – closer to the destiny we were birthed for. That is my prayer for you.

Godspeed to your own unique journey, challenges and dreams.

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Life Lessons From Old Folk

I have a grandfather.

Like most grandparents there is a trait that most stands out similar to others in their old age.

He speaks his mind!

Completely, unemotionally and without bias. He will tell you about yourself; at least according to his not-so-humble opinion. But there is a second trait that the elderly have which is not noticeable to the eye but it stood out to me via scripture.

{John 8 is the reference.} The story is of a woman is caught in adultery and brought to Jesus for confirmation of their condemnation.

Jesus, instead of affirming their judgment asks that the person who is without sin casts the first stone. And so the story goes, all the accusers drop their rocks and walk aways “STARTING WITH THE OLDEST down to the youngest.”

I love it. Most people think of the elderly as being the most wise, the most experienced, and most discerning.

Now that could be true. But what about them being the most aware of their own brokenness and sinful nature. And with that realization they are the first to drop their judgment on others. I wonder what would happen in our lives and relationships, if we who are young and think so highly of ourselves – would gain such a perspective before we get old.

[image source: http://blogs.fayobserver.com/faytoz/2009/05/14/getting-older/old-people-cross…]