Posts Tagged ‘WOW’

August’s WOW – IRA or ERA

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartProverbs 23:5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle towards heaven.

Wow, I don’t know what you think when you read that verse, but my head and my heart so need this visual truth. It’s almost like you can see dollar bills of every denomination sprout wings and fly away, especially after a session of bill paying, huh? Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by today for our Coffee Hour! It’s that time again, our WOW time! Whew, I can’t believe August is almost gone. Where has this year gone? Anyway, if you’re new to CPM and TCU, WOW stands for Weapons of Warfare and/or Words of Wisdom so grab your coffee and your strand of faith and let’s go tie some knots as we put ourselves into our WOW for August.

Just last week, I parked my car in the credit union parking lot, ready to bang my head on the steering wheel as I contemplated what I was about to go do: — no, I wasn’t about to rob the bank; J however, I was going to withdraw yet again from the savings account. My mind raced with all sorts of thoughts, positive, negative and everything in between. I was getting closer and closer to the ledge of despair as I calculated how much we needed this month. “But at least we have it,” I muttered aloud. Another negative thought pulled on my emotions, and again I pushed it away with a positive thought. I reminded myself that it never pays off to put our hope in money.  But let’s be honest: it sure does help us along, doesn’t it?

I tried not to dance with the enemy by entertaining the constant thoughts and questions flitting through my head as if they were all doing the fox trot on hallowed ground, but I wasn’t quite able to send all of them out on their butts. I had sort of a scowl in my heart, and honestly, I questioned God, asking Him why I had to be tested so much; I’d surrendered to my calling in ministry; what more did/does He want? A groan escaped me as tears ran down my face, tears that cried “When will you put my husband back to work?” More tears came trickling down as more questions surfaced unspoken: When would I have to stop simplifying and minimizing in the name of a budget, and when would my needs be met according to His riches in heaven? (Phil. 4:19)

What an emotional tug-of-war that was, aka, a pity party and I was the only party present! Have you ever been present at anyone else’s pity party, or thrown your own? Well, there’s nothing positive about a pity party and the longer we stay there, the more uninvited guests will show up; you know, negative Nellie, desperate Debra, sad Sally…you get the picture.  I blew my nose, wiped my face and gathered my purse and phone, ordering the thoughts to go away.  Truth pushed me out my car door and into the door of the credit union, the truth that at least we have a savings account to take from.  Funny thing was I walked right up to a teller; there was no one in line. I guess God didn’t want to give me any more time in my pity party.  I was in and out of there so fast my head was sort of spinning!

By the time I got home, I had left my pity party, physically and emotionally; I had moved on to the next thing: my last class for the semester! It wasn’t until the next morning in my own Coffee Hour with my Abba that He reminded me of that pity party with Proverbs 23:5 and I can still hear Him in a gentle kind of stern voice ask me: “Will you set your eyes on that which is not?” Oh, His Word can really render me silent and humble! And then I finished reading:”For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle towards heaven.”

Oh, Coffee Hour friend, there is nothing concrete about money and as I continued on with my time with Him, I was reminded that to have an Eternal Retirement Account is so much better than to have an Investment Retirement Account. What are we investing in? Are we diligently and consistently seeking after the things of God, with God and for God? How do we spend our days? Are we too busy worrying how our next bill will get paid, so much so that we miss out on those moments where we just know His fingerprints were left upon us and He provided?

Really what it comes down to is we just need to be about His business because He’s all about ours and He does have our every need in His heart and will meet it. Perhaps we confuse need with want and when we focus on a want, perhaps that want may escort us right into a pity party. Will we walk into that party, or will we turn the other way and seek to find a praise party?

The more I learn, the less I know, but this I do know: HIS WORD NEVER LIES! His promises are checks that will not bounce! You can deposit them…in the depths of your soul that you may withdraw from them whenever you need them.

As you read this, I pray that you will hear Him ask you these questions in such a loving and assuring voice and that you would know that you know that you know that He will never leave you high and dry, never leave you or forsake you and He will never leave you in time of need…as long as He’s invited to the party of your life!

Love,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

July’s WOW Worship…or Worry?

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart“Cast your cares on the Lord; He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

Happy day to you and thanks for returning for our Coffee Hour and our July’s Weapons of Warfare and Words of Wisdom! Grab your coffee, journal and your Strand of Faith. I’m praying you will tie some major double-knots in that SOF! I left off with hearing the words “worship or worry”!

I shook my head with conviction as I pondered on those words. Immediately I confessed my choosing to worry instead of worshipping. I got the movie and watched it from where/when it had started, ever so slow and sneakily. I should have harnessed it right back on track, but instead I followed the pull and rewinding it and really looking at it, I can see the track it took me to: seeking control! That’s not living up to God’s standard…to trust Him in all things knowing that His plan is to lift us up, not tear us down! Oh, how true it is, another mini download He gave me: the more we seek control, the more we worry.

Oh to be utterly and completely out of control trusting the “One “who has all the control. I guess a good way of saying it is the more I relinquish control the more in control I am.  But there’s more; He wasn’t done with me yet and He added some distance to my intended run! And what I heard next did stop me in my tracks…I nearly tripped over this gentle form of conviction: “Did you know that worry is a form of worship?”

As I stood there for a few minutes, I repeated those words with my own question attached to them: “How and who?”

“Worry is a form of self-worship!”

Ouch… Yes, my Coffee Hour friend to worry and be anxious about anything is missing the mark by not living up to His standard by failing to believe He loves us enough to carry us over and above all that worries us and causes us anxiety. Oh, how I love these promises that come right after the simple directive of casting our burden upon the Lord, our Abba, for He will sustain us and He will never let us fall…so this is as much for me as it is for you, Friend. Are you crumbling under worry and anxiety, or you casting all that concerns you upon the One who loves you and will never leave or forsake you?

Father, forgive me for thinking higher of myself than I ought to by trying to tend to, hold on to every detail physically, emotionally and spiritually. Please help me to worry less and worship you more…knowing YOU got this!

Letting go…hourly…of worry,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

July’s WOW Worship…or Worry?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartPsalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord; He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”

Thanks for taking time out of your day for our Coffee Hour! I almost forgot about our monthly WOW, Words of Wisdom and/or Weapons of Warfare. Oh, how true it is that the Word is our greatest tool, turned weapon , in times of difficulty, times of reaching out to others, times of joy, sadness…all the time the Word is powerfully refreshing, granting a new perspective, especially if we make a habit to feast upon it! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith (SOF) and let’s go and talk about worry!

I am really good at minimizing this word, offering a cliché statement like, “everybody does it,” or “who doesn’t have worry?” Well, over the last several weeks, more than I care to admit, I’ve been in a constant state of worry and anxiety, finding it difficult to take a deep breath, let alone breath normal. Let me tell you, I am learning that neither of those statements actually negates this truth: that while the Bible doesn’t call worry a sin, He does grieve when we worry. Why? Because to have worry and/or anxiety as a constant companion is actually a failure to trust the “One” who loves us so much He sent His Son to die for all that I/we worry about, for every ounce of our worry and anxiety! I so wish I would have had this vision earlier of disappointing Him. I can almost see Him standing there, looking at me run around like a chicken with my head cut off, shaking his head not in frustration or anger, but in sadness, holding His hands out, asking ever so quietly, “Are you going to give me that which worries you, Evinda, that which is causing you so much anxiety?” Oh, what a visual.

I can honestly see how easy it is to get caught in a whirlpool and undercurrent of worry! Why oh why did I minimize the dangers of worry and anxiety? There is absolutely no excuse, especially since many of His promises have come alive in me in my lifetime! Well, I am guilty as charged and now because of what I know, I must choose a different way of stress management.

Let me share how I came upon these truths:

It wasn’t until I was out for my run just the other day that this hit me…nearly stopping me dead in my tracks while allowing a source of lightning of understanding pulse through to my soul. There I was, running…not very fast. As a matter of fact, my thoughts were definitely running faster than I was, felt like at the speed of lighting. Inside my head was what felt like a thousand details to tend to for our Five-year anniversary party which was just a few days away at that time and you would think the faster the thoughts came, the more I picked up speed. Normally that’s what happens…but not this time; I think a turtle would have caught up to me!

As I wrestled with several of the details, I’m sure if someone were to take a picture of the inside of my brain, they would have seen a giant roller-coaster whose track went in every single direction, including dips and climbs, and someone resembling a freaked-out mouse on the track! 🙂

I can hear you say, “Why didn’t you delegate?” Oh, I did, trust me…but could have done so even more! Anyway, I’m running along and all of a sudden, in the quietness of my soul two words came up and out and I mean I actually spoke them after I heard them! “Worship or worry”?

I almost stopped but I wanted to hear more…and I did!
Join me tomorrow for the conclusion to our July’s WOW!

Letting go of worry…one minute at a time

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

June’s WOW Life in the Fast Lane and the Narrow Road

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartMatthew 7:14 “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Thanks so much for joining me today for our Coffee Hour and more of our WOW for June. Can you believe it; June’s about gone! Whew, talk about the fast lane! Grab your coffee and your strand of faith, and let’s get back to my car situation where I had completely blown by a dummy light, which turned out to be a real warning sign!

There is a double edged sword to being in ministry because what I teach, I must live and as I write from my heart to yours, I have to tell you, I have told/taught my trench students over and over again to pay attention to the emotional dashboard, analogizing it to the dashboard in our cars! Well, hello! My car was trying to tell me something and I was too busy to listen! Really!?!  Yes, because I was too busy, and didn’t make the time to take the time, I blew right by the warning signs.

A few days after telling my husband the first time, I got in my car…in a hurry, and saw the light again. Hey, at least I was slowing down enough to see it! I dug into my memory bank, deeper … farther … oh, yeah, there it is! I remembered! This light was trying to tell me something about my tire; that’s right. I breathed a sigh of relief and pushed it back, though not as far down, but still down the hallway of my mind, moving on to my next destination. It could wait for later, I thought. Besides, the car felt fine. I didn’t feel anything different.

Well, later didn’t come until a week later, and only after my husband had asked me, for the “inth” time, if I had gotten it taken care of and got tired of hearing me say, “I haven’t had time,” did he take it to our local tire place. When he came home, he was a tiny bit irritated with me, letting me know that, unbeknownst to me, my tire was screaming for help and what apparently started as a little hole, became a bigger one and had to be replaced!

How in the world did my car even know that? As I realized the possible ramifications and just how many angels He must have had watching over me as I went here and there and everywhere on the crazy freeways of California, and how wonderful my husband is to take care of things I just don’t make the time to take the time for…my heart squeezed with humble joy, knowing I am loved that much. Oh, how I take so many things for granted.

I hugged my honey, and thanked him for taking care of it for me, for making me feel taken care of as well, and didn’t think too much more about it…until the next day when I got in the car to go to a meeting that required some freeway driving.

I don’t even remember where it was I was going; all I remembered noticing a difference in how the car drove! It was ever so slight, but I noticed that the ride was smoother and there wasn’t this pull … to the right.

That made me think; wow, life can be like that, right? Little by little, day by day, if we don’t do our tune-ups, do our maintenance, meet with our Maker, aka the Tour Guide, life can tend to pull us off track, off the narrow road and onto a path more traveled, and before we know it, we are going with the flow and against God’s will. When that happens, Coffee Hour Friend, stop, right where you are and allow yourself to be guided back to the narrow road!

Love from above,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

June’s WOW Life in the Fast Lane and the Narrow Road

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartMatthew 7:14 “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks for joining us for this special time of the month, our Words of Wisdom and Weapons of Warfare. Oh, how awesome it is when something in our lives collides with a circumstance and fills it with wonder, with hope, widening our knowledge while narrowing the road in our journey. Come on; grab your coffee and let’s go talk about the narrow road.

As I read this verse, and did a little research on it, I was reminded of something that actually brought it to life for me. Before I tell you how and why, I have to ask you this: did you know that gate and road are analogous to “way” and that “life” is used in this context as eternal life? So let’s rewrite it just to wrap our hearts around it: For the way is narrow and the way is hard that leads to eternal life!

Wow, in other words, the high way to heaven is the hard way, a narrow way but the good news is that the closer we stick to our Travel Guide through this life, the more we’ll hear and see the warning signs and the less we’ll detour. I must admit, there are times when I’m moving so fast I forget to acknowledge He’s even there.

As I was driving along the other day, I noticed one of my, what I refer to as, dummy lights on the dashboard … “what is that telling me?” I wondered aloud. Well that thought was fleeting, as I pulled off the freeway headed towards my first to-do of the day, thinking about the rest of the day’s appointments and things I needed to get done at the office … until I got back in the car several hours later and there it was again.

Later on, I told my husband that the light was on, thought it was something to do with the tire, but I wasn’t sure. His response: “You should take it by Good Year tomorrow.” Again I pushed it into the crevices of my brain!

Oh, how many times have we done that when temptation of any kind strikes? You know what I mean, when we ignore that little still voice of the soul that warns us not to do something? I know I have my hands raised and anything else I can to admit: I’m guilty! Those warnings are there for a reason: to keep us from danger and/or harm!

Our bodies give us signals; for example: I know my body doesn’t do well with too much sugar, especially the chocolate kind, but it’s even more dangerous for me right before bed. Why? I’m so glad you asked: Because I wind up in a full-blown hormonal panic attack! Do you think that has stopped me from doing it again? Uh, well, no. I have repeated it but not very often. I try to pay attention to that warning within.

But what about those life-altering warnings that had we heeded, just maybe things would be different; for example, a not-so-healthy relationship choice, or a temptation to return to an old not-so-healthy habit/behavior because, what the heck, everyone else does it?

When we are so busy living life in the fast lane, we can tend to lose our way, wind up on the wider road, go in a direction we shouldn’t…but the good news is that God can right the wrong turn, the wrong choice, the wrong road taken…if we slow down enough to take the time to make the time to seek Him in all things. The farther we stray from His Spirit, the more we’ll miss those warning signs and the wider the road comes. The wider the road, the faster life goes. I know this because in ministry, though I know what I believe and am confident of my relationship with Him, life can get very fast and though the road is still narrow, I can tend to lose my way if I get even just a step ahead.

Join me tomorrow for the conclusion to this month’s WOW! And remember, keep your eyes and ears open for the warning signs that try and keep you away from the road less traveled…and try to avoid the fast lane!

Love from above,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

 

Shades of Greed

Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Luke 12:15

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to come have coffee with me, to turn it all off for a few minutes and just encourage your soul. I pray that this month’s WOW has given you plenty of knots in your red Strand of Faith. After all, there’s nothing like a splash of perspective to put out the fire in our souls that can often send us off on a desire to acquire things that make us spiritually haywire!

So I left off with a questions/cry out to God, what are you trying to teach me? I got my answer and it came in the form of a vision at a sweet time of prayer with our connection group. I don’t remember who was praying, but my soul was quietly agreeing, my mind on the prayer requests when He reminded me of a sweet time years ago that He brought me to and through: It was the morning after being placed on workers’ compensation. I was sitting in my big comfy chair, sipping my coffee, trying not to choke on my sobs. I was almost yelling at Him, telling Him I was a court reporter and I didn’t understand why He was allowing this carpal tunnel and tendonitis situation to become so unbearable that I could not even hold a pen, let alone report the oppressive family law matters we heard every day that relentlessly filled the court room five days a week, six hours a day!

His gentle response told me that that is what I did for a living; now He was going to perform open-heart surgery, spiritually speaking, so I would be equipped and ready to do what He created me to do. And I remember what happened right after that, as if it were yesterday. I saw a huge mountain, and there were waterfalls all over the place so you can imagine the sound … the beauty … from atop. What happened next was so beautiful … I jumped and as I jumped, I said I trust you, Father, to provide for me. I trust that you will never leave me or forsake me. I trust that the plan you have for my life is not to harm me, but to lift me up and give me a hope, a future … The funny thing is I have never landed … but I do remember feeling a peace that transcends all understanding that has guarded my heart and mind and kept me mid-air, so to speak, my life no longer mine but His.

As He replayed that moment for me, He gave me a different ending: this time in the vision, there were two people, holding hands, getting ready to jump. This is my husband’s time to take his jump off the mountain, trusting the Lord our God with all his heart, soul and mind for a new direction that will lead him to his purpose in life, not land him in a job that will simply pay the bills, but to be spending his life on eternal things.

See, the shades of greed can keep us from our purpose; the pursuit of money, love, acceptance, achievement, power, food, sex … whatever it is that we require to acquire which causes us to count on our own resources and keep us believing we are independent of God, these are all detours.  Tweet This!

God never intended for our financial blessings to divide families, cultures, religions …He never intended for us to desire anything more than Him which is why He warns us against idolatry. Anything that we desire to acquire that rents more space in our head and heart is a form of greed/idolatry! Everything we have is borrowed, gifted to us temporarily. What would our world look like if we were to spend our external blessings (time, money, ourselves) on eternal purposes?  Tweet This!

Let’s not forget what money and/time cannot purchase! Let’s give ourselves completely over to eternal things.

All of us are presented with choices when the desire to acquire things comes upon us; our choice will determine the height of our jump or the depth of the term haywire. In such a time as this, I can resort to the desire to control and return to my vocation of court reporting to give us the money to acquire more, pay bills, taking me further and further away from my calling and purpose, or I can grab the hand of Jesus, and my husband’s and jump … who knows, our purposes may entwine!

As George and I begin to jump, hand in hand, there is a warning to us as well as a reminder for us as we begin this jump of faith: Take heed, beware of covetousness (shades of greed) for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he/she possesses, but in He who possesses all.

Thanks for joining me … be sure and come back for Faith-filled Fridays with Debbie!

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

Shades of Greed

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartLuke 12:15

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Thanks so much for joining me today for more of our WOW for February. I’m so thankful that you choose to take a break and get away from it all. I pray that you are able to tie some knots in your red Strand of Faith and leave our time together encouraged in your relationship with a loving Father who pursues us relentlessly in order to refine us! Grab your coffee and your red Strand of Faith and let’s return to the Shades of Greed!

So let’s get back to this guy in the crowd telling, not asking, Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance.

As I put myself in this scripture, especially with what is going on in my life, I can literally see me blurting out something that’s on my heart: “Teacher, tell my husband he can’t quit his job. Lead him to hang in there until You bring something else his way.”

I have tears running down my face as I typed those last words. See, that’s me right now, wondering why in the world I get to go through this new season with my husband being unemployed! Yup, he quit his job, and his last paycheck came with his last day, just a few days ago. That realization sinks in like a dead-weighted anchor going to the depths of the ocean floor … but the Author of my Hope lifts my countenance up, reminding me that my actual provider is not my husband, but Jehova Jireh, through George.  After all there are literally a hundred verses to remind you and me of this very truth! Psalm 54:4 tells me that God is my helper. Philippians 4:19 tells me that my God will meet all my needs according to His riches in Heaven. Hebrews 13:5 tells me to keep my life free from the love of money, to be content with what I have for He will never leave me or forsake me. I mean, these are some potent promises … if I believe!

I truly don’t consider myself a material girl. I do often joke around saying that I work as a court reporter one to two days a week because it’s expensive being me! Come on, you know what I’m talking about: the hair, the nails, a monthly or semi monthly pedi to keep the ingrown toenails away, a bi-monthly facial to appease my vanity and need to not look so haggard. That’s just maintenance; I’m not even talking about a new outfit every now and then, new gym clothes so I can feel better working out, and let’s not forget the necessity for larger jeans and smaller bras! Oh, gotta love menopause!

As I listened to our pastor talking about normal versus weird as it relates to our finances, I was affirmed by and agreed with him in every statement he poured out from his heart that day. Truths such as: Normal people believe life is measured by what they get; weird people measure life by what they give. Tweet This! Normal people use money to buy temporary things, things with external value while weird people use their money to gain life-changing experiences, things that are eternal in value. Normal people ignore God with their finances; weird people put God first in their finances.  (Ian DiOrio) Incidentally, when you take the “X” out of external, what do you have? Eternal! When shopping unnecessarily, ask yourself does this have eternal or external value! And please don’t think I’m saying not to shop; retail therapy can be okay and fun … once in a while!

Anyway, both my husband and I learned these principles a long time ago so as I sat and listened to this powerful message, I thought to myself, I get it but what I didn’t get was why the apparent test around the corner with my husband giving notice without another job to jump into? The hundred dollar question of the week: What are you trying to teach me in this, Father? I truly don’t measure my life by the possessions I/we have for they are only borrowed anyway! I don’t believe there is anything that I covet or have an attitude of greed about … or is there?

Join me tomorrow for the conclusion to this month’s WOW!

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

Shades of Greed

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartLuke 12:15

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Thanks so much for coming by, Coffee Hour Friend. It’s that time again, our WOW time to use scripture as a weapon of warfare to apply to the currents of life as they billow in and sometimes over us. Grab your coffee, and your red Strand of Faith. I’m hoping this WOW will be incredibly knot worthy for you!

So last week, our pastor finished up the series “Weird, Because Normal’s Not Working,” and his final message was based on being weird with our money/finances. His timing for that message was interesting, especially considering what’s happening in my life, but let me not detour … just yet.

Allow me to lead us to Luke 12:13 first before we go to our WOW. I think it’s important to put our Words of Wisdom and Weapons of Warfare into context so we don’t just feel like we are making it fit somewhere in our lives.

See, Jesus is hanging out with the crowd, standing out in the crowd and He’s doing one of the jobs He was sent to do: Teaching. Now, it’s curious to think about; was He going to talk about this next topic or did the statement from the one in the crowd spur this teaching? Whatever the answer, it doesn’t matter for this lesson made it into the Number 1 Best Seller, the undisputed Word of God. Tweet This!

The statement that inspired the message: “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Now, right away, we know this lesson is going to be about money … or is it?

Jesus’ next words to the man in the crowd, and to you and me, are, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” Let’s put this on pause for a moment. There are a couple of instances in the Bible where there were disputes, and real nasty ones, about birthrights and inheritances, true stories of people doing drastic things to get what they felt was theirs.

Have you ever watched families fight, after a loved one has gone to his/her eternity, over what’s left? There is never a winner! It’s something that leaves a completely bitter taste in the mouths of anyone fighting … and for those who’ve watched. The fight destroys families; I’ve had a front-row seat as I watched a conflict with my mom’s small inheritance rise to the level of destruction between my brothers … to this day they are not speaking. I’ll spare you all the gory details and just give you the framework, because the fact that my mom had anything left to leave in and of itself is a miracle and could be a whole other blog!

But what she did have left over, my youngest brother deemed it was his and his family because my mom had said as much to him. The problem in all of our eyes was that mom wasn’t of sober mind when she said that and we knew in our hearts that she would want it all divided equally. My other brother had a fit and about fell in it, and it truly wasn’t about the money; he didn’t need it. No, it wasn’t about the money, but from the outside looking in, I can see that his need/greed to prove a point, stand for what he believed was right still keeps them from speaking … four years later!

All I can do is pray for them from a distance; that somehow He will open up the eyes of their heart and help them to see that the things we become greedy about, including trying to prove a point, are all temporary, external, with no eternal value!  Any time the subject of my mom’s inheritance comes up with either of my brothers or my sister, I’m so thankful for the words I am able to speak because of the understanding God has granted me in that painful process: each of them believes in their heart they were standing for the right thing, a right principle, but neither one’s stance should create a silent barrier built with bitterness and … pride.

Could it be that pride is somehow related to greed? Tweet This! I dare say it is! Pride is a shade of greed. Oh, to put this in words … pride isn’t greed but a shade of greed, a shadow that either intensifies the greed, making it more powerfully visible in our life, or something that hovers off in the distance, with little to no power over the propensity in each of us to display a form of greediness. In other words, pride can intensify the greed and the things which we are greedy for, making greed darker, easier to see, more obvious to the eyes of anyone watching.

I’ve reported countless cases in lawyer’s conference rooms and in the courtroom where greed was the thread woven through the facts of each case, leaving a trail of emotional bankruptcy for both sides because when greed is involved, no matter what shade, there is no winner!

Have you ever wanted to stand up in the crowd and demand that God convict the heart of someone to share their inheritance … or see your point of view … or do things your way?

Oh, the sweet conviction of His Words of Wisdom to use as Weapons of Warfare against the shades of gray!

Join me tomorrow for more of this month’s WOW!

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

Beyond Sundays-Luke 10:27 January’s WOW

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartLuke 10:27: So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’”

Happy Wednesday and thanks for joining me for our Coffee Hour and what I hope will be the conclusion to our first WOW for 2015 … we’ll see! Grab your coffee and come on in! 🙂

So wrapping up the soul part, let me share one final thought from the Greek concordance which squeezes my heart, and soul, with hope:  “The soul, as an essence, differs from the body and is not dissolved by death”!

So the heart in our WOW refers to the seat of the mind and also the sphere of Divine influence; the soul refers to the “spirit” and the mind, translated to “dianoia” refers to our deep thoughts, the exercise of our minds. Again, three separate parts acting as one.

Let’s move on to the strength part, loving Him with all of our strength. The “strength” refers to our physical abilities and the Greek concordance translates it very matter-of-factly for this particular context:  “power, might, ability; it describes the full extent of the power wherewith we are to love God.”

In other words, to hold nothing back! This is mind-blowing to me because this first part of our WOW is re-iterating that it takes our emotional, physical and spiritual selves to love Him … Just as He loves us with all three parts: His Father first loved us; then He sent His Son to die for us and then He gifted us with His Spirit, that we may love Him back with all our entire being. The light bulb is burning brighter: it is only then that we will be equipped to love our neighbors as ourselves!

But here’s the amazing part: WE AREN’T ALONE! HELP RESIDES WITHIN US!

Whew, I think it’s time to wrap this up with a little summary. There are several diamonds in our WOW that lead us to the three principles about loving your neighbor as yourself:

  1. A lack of compassion is often easy to justify, even though it is never right; in other words, a lack of compassion could stem from a critical spirit which then causes us to put parameters around how we love, leaving out those who need love. Jesus said: the least of these … and there were no other descriptors or conditions!
  2. Our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed or social background who is in need … period! Jesus said in Matthew 25:45, “In as much as you did not do it (show love/compassion) to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” And when we do act in love by meeting a need, we don’t need to tell them how we feel it would be best used. A gift is a gift. This is going beyond Sundays and becoming doers Monday through Saturday of what we learned Sunday!
  3. Love is more than a feeling; love is a verb, for loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength leads us to and equips us for putting that love to work.

So the next time we see someone holding a sign asking for help, Father, help us not to pretend we don’t see them! When we cross paths with one less fortunate, let us not be as the priest when he came to “a certain man” and determine that neighbor to be less than, or label them an outcast, and then go out of our way to not help. And when You, Abba, go out of your way to cross our path with a stranger needing help, grant us wisdom and discernment that we would not be that Levite who knows your Words, tries to abide in them and by them, however, stares right at and into the less fortunate and then deliberately walks away! Help us to take our faith beyond Sundays and be on the lookout for our neighbors. You have promised us when we’re about Your business, you are all about ours!

Thanks for hanging in there with me as we dissected and digested this month’s WOW! Join me tomorrow for a little light-heartedness!

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

Beyond Sundays-Luke 10:27 January’s WOW

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartLuke 10:27: So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’”

Thanks so very much for taking time out of your busy day to stop and have a little coffee break with me and some words of wisdom to use as weapons of warfare when the flame of life turns up! Let’s get back to our WOW before January is gone!

So we are cutting up this scripture and trying to digest every tiny morsel of it and not leave any leftovers. Why? Because if we leave any of it out, there is no way we can love our neighbor, let alone recognize our neighbor, as ourselves. Remember, a neighbor is anyone we come near as we are going along in our life.

It’s sad to admit, but don’t you think we’ve gotten so judgmental in so many areas, especially when it comes to the homeless and the less fortunate? Oops, let me get back in my own car, and my own lane! 🙂 I know that there are times when I don’t hesitate to express what I’m thinking about all sorts of things that are critical in nature. As I sat and listened to the message that inspired this series and re-read this portion of scripture (Luke 10:25-36) I was and remain potently and powerfully convicted that it is NOT my role to determine how and why the less fortunate, the different ones, the homeless, are where they are. And I am so humbled by Jesus’ sweet way of convicting … His ways are gentle and never does He take someone by the gruff of the neck and rub their nose in their stuff! I know, that may have been a bit crass and I apologize but sometimes visuals are so necessary!

So in order to truly grasp how to love our neighbor as ourselves, we need to follow the order of the verse. God is the God of order, and I know down to my toes and back up to my soul that the first part of this verse makes the final part possible.

We did a little bit of digging into the heart, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wondered why in the world does He repeat Himself in His command to us about how to love Him: with all your heart, with all of your soul and with all your mind? I didn’t forget strength; I’m just focusing on these three now because I wonder, is there a difference?

Well, I’m thinking it’s time to discover the answer to both of those questions. Grab your shovels and let’s go do some digging together with the prayer that what we find will cast work like a spotlight on and in our journeys as we encounter neighbors. 🙂

Oh, Mylanta! The word Soul/souls is in His Love Letters to us over 500 times. Don’t panic! We’re not going to dig in all of them! We’re going straight to the one for our WOW.

Oh, this digging never ceases to amaze me. The Greek word for soul is “psuche” and is derived from “psucho” which means to breathe… gently and voluntarily! It also means breath. Ah-ha, so that confirms Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” I know; this is not making sense but hang on as we go a little deeper.

The first translation says: “The breath of life; that vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing.”

Well that sounds a bit impossible, doesn’t it? To love Him with every breath sounds like a set-up for failure! Could it be that that’s how much He desires that we love Him; as much as we breathe – a light just went on: Is this for emphasis for us to understand that He desires that we love Him as easily as we breathe? 🙂 Hmm, let’s keep going. Wow, what a lofty goal to reach for.

I just have to get out of my box and spread my wings in the skies of research! Bear with me.

Yes! I found something on www.biblebb.com that will bring us some clarity and I just love how they put it: “It is not ‘air’ that made us alive but the ‘spirit’ or our ‘soul’ that caused us then to start breathing the air.

I also found something on this site that explains one of the other parts we are to love God with, and this will be a bit of a shortcut. We’re going to jump over the strength part right now and go right to the mind, not out of our minds 🙂 because “spirit” and/or “soul” can also be translated to mean “mind.”

In Acts 4:32, “All the believers were of one heart and mind.” You might think those are two separate parts, and physically speaking, they can be, but think on these words for a bit:”The concept is that our ‘mind’ is really our ‘spirit/soul’ ….not the brain matter, but what is operating on and through the brain: our soul.” 

Oh, how I pray I haven’t confused you. Let me give you two more analogies that many of us who have yearned to understand the Trinity have heard because those same analogies can be used here for the heart, the soul and the mind.

We all know the egg is made up of three parts: the shell, the white and the yoke, but they are one, function as one! Or how about the apple’s parts: the core, the flesh and the skin! So it is with loving our God with all of our heart, with all of our soul and with all of our mind! They are three distinct parts that function as one!

Whew, I think we will be able to wrap this up tomorrow! Thank Goodness; February is right around the corner!

Loving our time together,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda