Financial Empowerment for FREE!

ebook readingSmashwords have put on a reading celebration this week from Mar 02, 2014 to Mar 08, 2014. You will find many titles available at discounted prices or for free during their Read an E-Book Week promotion.

Financial EmpowermentThis is a great opportunity for you to grab a copy of my book, Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances for God’s Will. It will be available in various formats for FREE for this week only.

Lots of other authors will have their books available through this promotion so now is the time to stock up on new or favorite titles.

Financial Empowerment will help you to manage your personal finances using biblical and practical solutions whether you are challenged in this area or not. So if you haven’t received your copy or if you’d like to gift it to someone, please use the coupon code RW100 when you checkout. 

Remember, this pricing is available only on Smashwords.com and you can use the coupon to get Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances for God’s Will for FREE through to Saturday, March 8th, 2014.

Once you’ve read Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances for God’s Will please let me know what you think of it by leaving a review on Smashwords or a comment here on my blog.

I pray that you and others will benefit tremendously by applying the principles discussed in this book.

Thanks & Happy Reading.

Here to your financial empowerment God’s Way,

Pamela C

P.S. Don’t forget to spread the word to friends and family.

7 Ways to Receive Your BreakThrough Part II

This is the short version of a message I shared at church. Be blessed!

BreakThrough

BreakThrough

Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”

And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.  And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.

Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.                          2 Samuel 5:17-2

4. Be willing to wrestle with God all night.       —Gen. 32:22-32

Jacob wrestled with God all night to receive his breakthrough. For him it wasn’t about money; he was wealthy. He needed a transformation in his life. His breakthrough was about getting a blessing that would change him from the inside out.  Jacob held unto God all night until He blessed him. And God blessed Him and changed him from being known as a trickster or swindler (someone who couldn’t be trusted) to being a prince with God.

What life transformation do you need? Are there areas in your life that remain stagnant or become worse? Do you have character issues or a reputation that stains you wherever you go? Are you willing to stay up all night seeking the Lord to receive your breakthrough? To wrestle with God is to passionately pursue Him and have an encounter with Him that changes your life and perspective. Maybe seeking God in the night season when there are no distractions and you can fully focus on Him is the answer to your breakthrough. Don’t let go until God blesses you.

5. Your heart must hold onto the promise. Speak God’s word over your life not matter how bad it looks.         —Joshua 1:8

Abraham believed God for his breakthrough – to have a son and become the father of many nations. In Gen. 12:1-3, the Lord gave Abraham (then Abram) promise that he would be the father of many nations. Years passed and in Gen. 15:1-6, Abraham confronts God about the promise because the only heir in his house was his servant’s child and Sarah wasn’t pregnant yet. God assured him of the promise, made a covenant with him and changed his name from Abram to Abraham (father of many nations). God also gave him a visual – the stars – to help him understand the vastness of the promise. Then Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. When Abraham is about to sacrifice his only son (Gen. 22), God reiterates His promise with two visuals – the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. All those years, can you imagine, Abraham had to hold that promise but God gave him the tools to do it: his new name along with the visual of the stars and sand. In everyday conversation he was being reminded of the promise every time someone called his name. He was being reminded of the promise when he felt the sand under his feet and gazed at the stars at night.

To get the breakthrough you have to hold unto the promise (the word God gave to you). You have to hold to the Word – meditate on it day and night and live it out in your life (Joshua 1:8). You have to keep speaking in faith what God promised you (Heb. 4:14) – be it healing, deliverance, or another promise He has for you. Jesus’ ministry to you is to bring to past the word you speak concerning yourself that is according to the will of God. Therefore be careful what you say – not only in the prayer closet but in your daily conversation. You must hold fast (keep speaking) that confession until your breakthrough happens.

6. Examine your heart (rather ask the Holy Spirit to examine you) and ask for forgiveness where you have fallen.       —Psalm 51

Nothing severs our relationship with God like sin. Sin not only brings a barrier between you and God but it stops the blessing (Deut. 28:15-68). David is an excellent example for us. He wasn’t a perfect man, yet God calls him a man after His own heart. I believe one of the reasons he says this of David is because he was quick to repent whenever he faltered (2 Sam. 12:1-15).

Today, though we are under a better covenant than David was we too sin at times. However, God is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you (give you the ability to overcome the temptation) from all unrighteousness (1 <st1:bcv_smarttag>John 1:9). Don’t let sin come between you and the wonderful relationship you have with God. Be quick to forgive and be quick to ask for forgiveness. It is needed to continue in right relationship with God and to experience your breakthrough.

7. Don’t just call on Jesus but believe that you will see the glory of God.          —John 11:1-44

Mary & Martha called on Jesus for their breakthrough; they wanted their brother to be well again. However, as scripture points out Jesus delayed his visit for a few days and by the time he reached there Lazarus was dead. But His intention was still to restore Lazarus though dead. He encourages Martha – at her objection to have the stone removed from the tomb opening – to believe and she will see the glory of God (vs.40).

Often times we accept our sickness or problems quickly and are ready to give up. But your sickness or problem is not meant to end you but to honour God and promote His glory. (vs.4). How? When God gives you your breakthrough you will by all means praise Him and tell others what He has done for you. Ask God to show His glory in your life. Why His glory? Because the God of the breakthrough can make the impossible become possible and real to you. He can destroy the works of the enemy and bring you the breakthrough you need.

8. Step outside the norm or the status quo. Ignore what others may say.          —Mark 10:46-52

Bartimaeus needed a breakthrough – he wanted what he never had before – the ability to see. He was known for who he was – a blind man begging on the road side. Vision is something we take for granted but for him not being able to see meant living below standard and having to beg at the wayside in order to live. No vision was darkness over him – no work, begging all the time, being out in the scorching sun, being snubbed and ridiculed. Bartimaeus wanted more and saw the opportunity when he heard that Jesus was passing by. He was not willing to let this moment pass him by. He yelled out to Jesus until he got his attention. He ignored the naysayers and kept shouting until Jesus took notice of him. Then Jesus asked Bartimaeus … “What do you want me to do for you?”

Is there something in your life that you’ve never had before? Have you thought about how your life and those around you would be better if you could have your breakthrough? Maybe you need a clearer vision your purpose and help to get you started on that road but it’s hard to see or conceptualize and you need God’s direction. Hmm… What do you want Jesus to do for you? What breakthrough do you need from Jesus today? What is it that will get you on the path that God has ordained for you?

What are you willing to do for your breakthrough?

Will you pray and weep until your voice isn’t even heard or wrestle all night with God (pleading in desperation) to get your blessing. Maybe you need to mix your prayer with regular fasting, or make a vow to the Lord in advance of the breakthrough. For you, it may be as simple as asking God for direction or strategy or it may require boldness and faith doing to do what you’ve never done before.

Whatever the need, we all need a breakthrough – our countries, our churches, our families, and ourselves. Let’s pray to get the breakthrough coming….

Don’t forget to share with others to encourage them in the Lord.

7 Ways to Receive Your BreakThrough Part I

This is the short version of a message I shared at church. Be blessed!

BreakThrough

BreakThrough

Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”

And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.  And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.

Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.                          2 Samuel 5:17-25

What is a breakthrough?

David described his victory over the Philistines like the powerful force experienced when water breaks over the banks of a river or like a tsunami that washes away everything in its way. In honour of the Lord he renames what was once called the house of the giant (Valley of Rephaim) to the Lord Who breaks through (Baal Perazim). Where the enemy (the Philistines) thought they were strongest because they had their baals (gods) with them, God proved even stronger!

Today you don’t fight the physical war against people but a spiritual one against the enemy of our souls. We fight against the attacks of the enemy – sin, sickness, failure, lack or poverty, defeat or oppression of any kind. These problems are like the enemy’s floods that are meant to carry you away or to destroy you (Is 59:19). However, when God is the Lord of your breakthrough for you, He advances over and above the enemy’s flood. The Lord pushes back the enemy’s flood of trouble, sickness, lack, and all negativity with the flood of His blessing, goodness, love, favour and every good thing you need in life.

** God wants to give you a breakthrough in those areas of your life that the enemy appears to be the strongest.

Do you need a breakthrough?

  • Is there a need that is long overdue?
  • Have you been waiting on the Lord for a long time and nothing seems to be happening? Do you need God’s hand on your life?
  • Are you pregnant with a vision, dream or desire that seems to mock you?
  • What is your need? To be healed, to have a house of your own, to be relieved of the burden of financial debt, to have a positive income stream to help provide for your family, to see family members come to the Lord…?

Whatever the need, the Lord your God, is the Lord of Your breakthrough. The Word shows us what others have done to receive their breakthrough from God. Let’s see what you can do to receive for your breakthrough?

1. Ask the Lord what to do. Be prepared to seek the Lord.         —2 Sam. 5:17-20

David needed to fight and win the battle against the Philistines who had come after him. So David (as he often did) asked God what to do before going out to battle. He realised that he was in a better position whenever he consulted God. He not only asked what to do but he did as God directed. God gave him strategy on how best to defeat his enemies.

For you to receive your breakthrough you need to ask God and then step out in faith and in obedience to do as God said. God is the Master Strategist and has the upper-hand over the enemy, follow His leading and you will be victorious and rejoice.

2. Make a vow or commitment to do something for the Lord. —1 Sam. 1:1-20

Hannah desperately wanted a child. Being taunted by her rival about her barrenness didn’t make it easy to bear. Hannah poured her heart out to God. She wept her prayer and made a vow to the Lord to give back when she received her breakthrough. She offered to God the thing she wanted the most – a child. What a commitment!

What about you? Don’t be reserved. If you have to cry, then cry but let God know your burden and express your desire to Him (vs.10). If you are as determined as Hannah was about receiving her breakthrough, maybe you too need to make a commitment to the Lord. Is there an area in which you’ve been meaning to serve but haven’t yet? Is there something you will sacrificially vow to give to the Lord? I’ve seen friends vow their first pay check to the Lord when they needed an income stream and God blessed them. What can you vow? Make a vow to the Lord and when you receive your breakthrough be sure to follow through.

3. If you want to get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done before and fast your prayer.         —Esther 4:13-17

Esther fasted and prayed to save her life and those of the Jews. She did something she never did before – she risked her life for the sake of her people by going before the king uninvited. However, before she took that risk, she and her people prepared themselves – they fasted and prayed to God for three days. Why? She knew only God could touch the heart of the king and give her favour with him.

Do you need to take some risk? Do you need to mix your prayers with fasting? As Jesus said there are some situations that would need prayer and fasting to bring deliverance, to be resolved or for breakthrough to come. Examine your life and the circumstances you are experiencing? Have you tried different ways to deal with your problems but they still prevail? Consider spending time in prayer and fasting. Even a commitment to skip a meal for a season would help bring light to your situation.

Next week, I will share the second part of this message.

Don’t forget to share with others to encourage them in the Lord.

Are You Eating Your Seed? Part I

Eating your seed

Eating your money

Recently after making a purchase the Holy Spirit confronted me about it? Why? I had just left home pondering over making a small but reasonable purchase in advertising that would help me spread the word about Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will. I even had the option of taking a trial period but didn’t. What did I do instead? I spent money (more than the cost of the advertising) without hesitation on something else. I convinced myself that it was good because I was celebrating a special event but at the same time it was short-lived.

I realized how easy it is to make frivolous or unplanned purchases. Those type of purchases that have no lasting value and eat away at your future. I noticed how hesitant I can be at times when it comes to investing in my future via savings, business or career building. Do you experience that sometimes? I guess what the Apostle Paul said even applies how we manage money – what we should do we don’t and what we shouldn’t do we do. Thankfully by the time I reached home, I decided to make the investment in promoting my book and trust God that it would help reach those who need it.

I think that we can all identify with making these types of unplanned purchases. It’s an ongoing battle to keep focused on our goals. The problem with these out-of-order purchases is the negative impact on our future. It’s like a farmer eating all his seed. That wouldn’t be right now, would it? But what really is your seed? To the farmer the seed has potential to do be (1) food and (2) income generation and reinvestment. So to us, the seed is money.

For us, the seed (money) carries the same potential. Whatever money we have can be divided into (1) food and consumables for our daily living and (2) investment for our future.

Generally, most of our money tends to go towards food or bread. But do you understand what bread is?

  • Bread is a by-product of the seed. It is derived from the seed
  • Bread is for instant gratification or enjoyment
  • It’s a consumable item to be used now or within a short period. If not used within a specified time it becomes of no use or value to the consumer. e.g. Bread spoils within a few days; other foods if not consumed after a specified period are not safe for consumption; electronics or cars or other items loose value with use or deteriorate or become obsolete
  • It has no long term future benefit

In summary, bread has a now benefit not a future one.

On the other hand, the seed also have another benefit if treated differently. If it is planted instead of consumed, then the gains can be far-reaching. For the farmer, a planted seed means future profit or income. What we give, save or invest is the seed we are planting for our future. When we plant our money it grows, increases in value or amount, brings a return to you or benefits you.

What you give grows. Giving doesn’t seem to have an initial benefit but it gives much needed blessings to the giver. The kind of blessings money cannot buy.

Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. –Malachi 3:10

Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you. –Luke 6:38

What you invest grows. Investing can provide streams of income that is expected or unexpected.

His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys. –Matthew 25:21

Then you should have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received what was my own with interest. –Matthew 25:27

If you give, save, invest the seed it will benefit your life. If you eat all the seed, it is consumed and gone forever and not able to provide any future benefit. You and I have a choice.

The Lord also pointed out why we so easily eat our seed, that is, waste your financial future:

(1) Fear of the unknown. In my case, I wasn’t sure of the outcome of my investment in advertising. I would pay now but would have to wait to see the results of doing this type of business – if I would gain any exposure at all, if it would convert into sales and other connections. However, with frivolous purchases the thought about our financial future often does not come until after the purchase as been made!

(2) The strong urge for instant gratification. When we buy and consume something we wanted (clothing, food, electronics, etc) we receive an immediate tangible item in exchange for our money. Although these things are short-lived, the pull for instant gratification is what compels us to spend. Unfortunately the feeling quickly dies along with the item we purchased.

This is a situation most of us find ourselves in. We are trying to balance the financial scales which often topple over to the spending side. Even though we have dreams or goals that require an initial outlay of our time, money and efforts we often spend for instant gratification or temporal gain rather than for delayed satisfaction and a better future.

Not only did the Lord bring this to light from a personal perspective but spiritually as it relates to building the kingdom of God. You see, looking at my scenario, the investment in advertising was not just about selling books but about (1) sharing the message of the good news (2) helping people in the body of Christ move from financial struggle to success and (3) encouraging others to serve God wholeheartedly with their money.

Not making such an investing in the kingdom of God displeases the Lord and negatively impacts the work of the gospel. Often times the toss-up between spending on ourselves and making an investment in our future and in God’s kingdom result in our seed being eaten. Why? We want to please ourselves more and think we are deserving of or entitled to whatever we want.

But there is a danger in this. How can we avoid eating up our seed? Next week’s post will explore this.

7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Life

tomorrow starts now_22836421_sLook carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. — Eph. 5:15-17 (AMP)

It has been a while since I have submitted a blog post. Even though I had many ideas about what I wanted to write and even jotted them down, the inclination to write wasn’t there.

For months my family and I have been dealing with the care of my mother who recently went to be with the Lord. As I dealt with the passing of my mother, the Lord impressed upon my heart the importance of making the most of the time we have. During this time, two truths have stood out for me all the more:

1. No one knows the day, hour, minute when they will say goodbye to time and hello to eternity
2. We often have no idea what an impact we have on others but the ‘little’ things we do or by what we say

As I reflected on the above scripture and others, my question was, “How can we who are still here on earth make the most of our time?” Here a few things I have learnt from God’s word and from reflecting on my mum’s life:

  1. Live intentionally.    Eph. 5:15-17

We have to live purposely and act wisely in all we do. This decision alone can bring us to success. Having no purpose, living aimlessly and witlessly, it not what God intended for us. My mum was always looking ahead. She set her goals and worked, saved and prayed towards them and thankfully accomplished them.

We must also know and do God’s will. We have to start with the basics: acknowledge our sin, ask Jesus to be Saviour and Lord over our lives. This is the beginning of living intentionally. Live as He instructs you to do in His word. As you continue seeking Him, He will direct you into your purpose. Just obey because whatever God plans for you is good.

  1. Prayer effectively, fervently and always.          Jam.5:16-18

Mum always liked writing. There was a note for everything. Her view was that if you forgot you could always refer to your notes. But recently I discovered that she did not just write notes but she wrote prayers too. One prayer note I found read something like this, “Lord I need Your ability today to do whatever You need me to do. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”

Prayer is a constant effort – pray within your heart, write your prayers, verbalize your prayers. But whenever and wherever you are, PRAY. God will certainly answer.

  1. Work hard but in all of it honor God.        Col. 3:17

We should make to best of what we have and be a blessing to others in whatever way God has called us to do. Mum worked hard all her life. We heard the childhood stories of carrying water and helping her mum press clothes. She worked her way from being a maid to an Executive Housekeeper and even after taking early retirement, she kept herself busy. But in all of the hard work, she loved her work and was ever thankful to God.

We have to nature of God and should also like and enjoy work. Whatever you do, when you do it, do it well and God will be pleased with you and bless your work.

  1. Play too. Enjoy life. Enjoy what God has provided for you.    Eccl. 3:13-13

As much as Mum worked hard, she also enjoyed life. Every opportunity to celebrate particularly with her family, she did. It does not mean she did not face her challenges, she certainly did. But she recognized God’s blessings on her life and her family’s and saw it fitting to enjoy and appreciate them.

  1. Give much and you will be blessed with more.  Acts 20:35

Mum was a giver, a constant one at that but yet she never lacked anything. What the scripture said in Prov. 11:24-25, it was true of her. She generously gave but yet had all she needed and wanted.

Mum gave to those she knew and to those she didn’t. As her child, I have seen lives blessed by her giving and for myself have learnt well the joy of giving to others. When you give, you are God’s hand of blessing to someone else in need. And you are blessed all the more for it.

  1. Fulfil destiny. Serve God’s purpose in your life time or generation. Acts 13:36

David served the purpose of God in his generation. I think my mum did too. Personally, I think she made a decision to leave this earth when she did. She wasn’t a pastor and even heavily involved in regular church activity but she served others well. As I looked into the congregation who attended my mother’s Farewell, and I listened to the stories of those who knew my mother, I saw a woman who served and blessed others. She provided for their needs in some way or listened as they shared their troubles and offered sound advice to those willing to accept it. Oh, that we would follow such example. Serve God by serving others.

  1. Love a lot. It’s the best gift from God to you and the world.  1 Cor. 13

My mum made it a point of saying, “I love you” to me and my siblings whenever she ended a conversation with us. She showed her love by always remembering the special days in our lives or by doing unexpected things for us. But she just didn’t show love to us but to others – there was always some assignment she had for one of us to take something for someone or do something for them if she was unable to do it. During her sickness she thought of others and sought ways to help them even if it meant asking one of us to help because she couldn’t.

One more point I’d like to add is this:

Give thanks in every thing and in every day.    1 Thess. 5:18

Life does not always go the way we want it to but every day we arise from our sleep is a new day God has given to us. He is showing us His new mercies to us every morning and displaying His faithfulness. For that, we ought to give thanks and make the very most of every opportunity to do good in whatever way the Lord would want us to.

As we make the most of every opportunity we will have success; we will fulfill destiny.

Are you doing the best with each day God gives you?

Does Your Money Pockets Have Holes?

“Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”’”

Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!

“You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”

Haggai 1:2-11 (NKJV)

Ever wondered why life is so challenging or why you struggle financially? Is it frustration to keep working so hard but not see any substantial progress?

Have you ever considered if your service to the Lord is lacking in some way? Are your priorities about you only and not about God and honoring Him in all you do? Are you more concerned about building your life than seeking the kingdom of God?

In reading Haggai, I realized that we too can fall into this trap and not even realize it. We could be so focused on building our house (our lives, our careers, our wealth, etc.) that we miss the mark and put God on the back burner of our lives. We could be found having an “I” attitude and not be God-centered people.

Today, I’d say to all of us, “It is time for us to build the kingdom of God.” We may not have a physical structure to build such as a church, hospital, clinic, teaching center or library for people in need. But we do have a spiritual building to construct – the body of Christ. How do we do this? First, know Christ personally, intimately, feelingly. Next, make Him known – to compel others to come into the kingdom.

We can build God’s kingdom through preaching the gospel, teaching His word, sharing His love or caring for those in need. We build when we actively participate in different ministries within our church such as administrative work, hospitality, prayer or intercession, cell groups, and so on. Whatever part we play it would please God to see us building His kingdom.

I’ve just given a few ways we can build but often times we don’t want to do anything because life is just too busy. What are we so busy doing:

  • Building our houses or doing some kind of home improvement (vs.3)
  • Working and trying to make more money which never seems to amount to enough (vs. 6)
  • Socializing with friends – which often takes priority over spend time with God or with our family

If we examine our daily activity, the honest response we should have is “Lord forgive me for focusing so much on me and so little on You.”

If we consider our ways as Haggai said we would realize that we are often banging our heads against the wall, or striving so hard in life and making no substantial progress. There are Christians who can attest to the words in Hag. 1:6 which I summarized in this way – Spinning the wheel of no progress. You invest a lot but receive a little return. No matter how much you eat or how special your meals, you never feel satisfied. As for clothes you think you must the latest fashion or you want more. You work hard but the money is never enough. Frankly as soon as it is earned it is gone.

Then we wonder why we struggle so much.

In my book Financial Empowerment, I share some of the reasons why we financially strapped but in this word the Lord really brings to light our heart motive. We look out for ourselves more than others. We take care of ourselves more than we seek ways to serve God by serving others. In other words, we walk in disobedience to God and fail to please Him.

The lack or financial struggle some of us experience is a directly result of our unwillingness to serve God. Put it another way, (vs.10) the blessings of God are withheld from us because we focus on serving ourselves more than God who deserves to be glorified.

If you are facing financial challenges, I urge you to examine yourself. Consider your ways. Then have an attitude like the psalmist David and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and cleanse you. Be willing to ask for forgiveness and turn from doing things the I-way to the God-way.

Consider these questions and let the Holy Spirit search your heart and heal you:

  • Are you busy building your house, your life or your career while God’s business goes unattended?
  • Do you care for the widow, father the orphan, feed the hungry, aid the sick, witness the love of God to others, or even help build or maintain the house of God?
  • Are you so caught up with your life, finances or businesses that you forget to serve the Lord?
  • What is it that is keeping you from God’s service but still not satisfying you?

These may be hard questions but necessary. Sometimes we need to step back from life and take a hard look to see where we have gone wrong. The blessing of doing this is that we have redemption through Christ to lift us up and bring us back to a heart of worship towards God in everything we do. As we align our will to God’s; He will set our lives in order and pour out His blessings on us. Your financial struggle will be over and you will find joy and peace in the house of God.

Success Is a Series of I Cans

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. —Philippians 4:13 (AMP)

success comes in cans

I can do all things through Christ my strength

When we see the outcome of someone’s efforts that cause them to be wealthy, well-known in their field or outstanding in some other way, we focus solely on that result. Most people tend to look at success as a one-time event but it really is a series of events that culminate into something outstanding. Success is a series of “I cans”.  Whether we are working towards a closer relationship with God or being better moms, wives, dads, husbands, siblings, children, business owners, employees, or students and so on – it takes a series of efforts to make it happen. Although we may have specific defined goals, success is ongoing positive progress in whatever area of life we are aiming to grow.

A successful life is a constant work in progress and through it we have many responsibilities. In the midst of the daily activities, many have a desire in their hearts to do something beyond the norm, to do the extraordinary for God or to fulfill their God-sized dream. Yet, many conclude that they can’t. `I can’t` become such a normal part of our conversation that we don’t realize it:

  • “My life is too busy. I have so much to do that I can’t possible fit in another thing. ”
  • “What’s the point; I couldn’t possibly get that done even if I tried.”
  • “It’s just too hard. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”
  • “My uncle didn’t think it was a wise career choice, so this is what I ended up doing.”

Yet the question remains, since God put it on your heart to do something, if God gave you a dream, why do you think you can’t do it. It’s not that it would happen overnight, but it certainly can if you begin by saying, “I can. Yes, I can.” But you have to stop saying “I can’t.” When you say you can’t do anything, what are you doing?

  • Belittling God who imputed His grace and strength in us
  • Believing more in the circumstances around us than in the promises of God
  • Making our challenge or problem bigger than what it really is
  • Thinking lowly of ourselves and therefore making ourselves powerless to do anything good
  • Resigning ourselves to failure and a limiting, fruitless life

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.

Henry Ford

Success is a series of “I cans”. This does not mean that we won’t fail at times but the wonderful part is that you’re still alive and well and God hasn’t finished with you and me yet. Every morning we arise from our bed we have another opportunity to do something great. We can honor God in whatever we do. We can minister to someone about Christ. We can help feed a hungry person or pray for healing of someone who is sick. We can work towards our life’s mission or destiny – that passion or desire that God has placed on your heart to complete.

When we say “I can”, we are:

  • Glorifying God in our lives and giving others to opportunity to praise God for the good they see us doing (Matthew 5:16)
  • Failing Forward and progressing toward our destiny. We are seeing the prize before it arrives and pressing towards it. We are focused on the goal (Philippians 3:14)
  • Relying on the strength and wisdom of God to do what seemed insurmountable at first (Philippians 4:13)
  • Walking in the abundance life Christ paid the price for (John 10:10)

You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.

Michael Phelps

Sometimes we think that when we move forward to achieve a dream that we have to give up – time, pleasure, relationships, money, certain foods or overeating, etc.  However, we are actually gaining in life rather the losing. The reward of daily success is far sweeter – what you give up cannot compare to what you will gain. From the experience of giving up you grow in character, in knowledge, in wisdom, in favor with others and if you embrace the success journey you will gain much more that the goal or prize you want to receive.

Success is doing what you have to do to achieve what you have dreamed.

Success is the ability to think soundly, speak confidently and act wisely while trusting and honoring God all the way (Joshua 1:7-8).

Success is a series of I CANs. You have a choice. You have the power to choose – success or failure. You have the power to say “I can”.

I hope today you will choose to say, “I can and I will” and therefore begin TO DO. Remember, you can through Christ being your strength. Recommit yourself today to the Lord and to the desire He has placed on your heart to do. He will give you strength to do it. Yes, YOU CAN!

Share a word – What have you put on hold that you need to say, “Yes, I can” to?

Financial Empowerment Quiz

Are You Financially Empowered? Take this quiz to find out.

Whether you are facing financial challenges of not; take this short quiz to how you stand financially.

These questions are based on some of the subject areas covered in my book Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will. It discusses the problems we face in different areas of our finances and shows how to manage money using God’s principles. Financial Empowerment is about how you view and manage your money in light of God’s word. It’s about using biblical solutions as well as practical ones in our personal finances.

Take is short quiz to find out if you are financially empowered.

Note: Please check one answer that best describes your situation.

Check out the Financial Empowerment page for more details.

 

Think Prosperously

God's plan to prosper you

What kind of thoughts normally enter into your mind? Are they good or bad? When someone compliments you, do you counter it with words like, “Really, I don’t think so,” or “That’s nice to say but I am not really like that.”? When you are pursuing your goals do you often think that you are going to fail?

Prevailing negative, demeaning, limiting, unhealthy and sinful thoughts have a way of entering into our minds quite easily:

The world system: We are bombarded daily with negativity via television, radio, newspapers, internet, organizations and people.

Our sinful nature: We have an uncanny yet natural tendency to think and act negatively too. Even when we have accepted Christ our negative thoughts and ways can continue to prevail unless we constantly renew our minds.

Our immediate environment: Have you realized that when you were younger, you believed you could do anything and actually did most of the time? But as you grew into adulthood, your mindset shifted. Our family, friends, work colleagues and other people have shaped our belief system. The sad thing is we have learned from most of them to simply let life happen and don’t seek to change. Or someone told us not dream too big or try too hard at anything because they don’t want us to get disappointed if we fail.

The reality is this; we kill our dreams within before we even get started. We believe more in lie that in truth. We think we will fail more than succeed. We expect to struggle and not to prosper. But the truth is God wants the best for us. Recently, the Lord really impressed on my heart to diligently counter every negative thought of frustration, setback, failure, and lack with His Word. His Word is filled with promises of positive outcomes, success, prosperity, abundance, good health, strong families, great relationships and more. Regardless of the negativity around us, God actively works to bring everything in alignment to His will and for our benefit (Gen. 50:20). As a child of God, your focus should be on succeeding or prospering in whatever you are doing.

A few weeks ago, I was sharing with a friend about my book and the effort I need to put into marketing and promoting this work. As I was outlining the industry suggested time lines to begin seeing a certain level of success with the book, she stopped me in my tracks. She reminded me that although it is good to learn the market and how it works, I must view this all from God’s perspective. I should do the work and trust God to prosper what I am doing. I should always put God in the midst of everything I am doing to have good success.

Psalm 1:1-3 says that if we don’t do evil but find or have pleasure in God and His word, He will make us prosperous in what we do. He will bring our work to maturity or cause it to be successful. Other scriptures like Joshua 1:8, Jeremiah 29:11, 3 John 1:2 remind us to connect with God, know His word intimately (eat, drink and sleep His word), live out loud His word and He will cause our lives to prosper.

God’s Word says you can succeed in life but do you believe this truth? You can say all the right words. You can do all the right things. But what you believe determines what you will achieve and receive. Remember, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Furthermore, God blesses you based on and above what you ask or think.

Therefore approach everything you do believing that God will help you to succeed. Rearrange your thoughts to accept that whatever you do shall prosper. Think prosperously.

How do you counter thoughts of failure? What helps you to keep thinking in line with God’s good will for you?

God’s Provision Ahead

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

—Matthew 2:9-11 (NKJV)

For Christmas, we have made it a family tradition like others to decorate a Christmas tree. In addition, we would always place the manger scene under the tree to keep us focused on the reason for our celebration. One morning while sitting in the family room, I looked across at that tree and my gaze fell upon figures of the wise men with the gifts. It was then I realized, “God provided for Jesus’ needs the very day He was born. He was the beneficiary of those gifts that were presented.” Then I thought, “God provided for me even before I was born.”

2 Peter 1:3 (AMP) clearly says, “For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).”

Often times we worry about our needs and wonder if we have enough for now and the future. But throughout Scripture, God has proven to us that He is not only our Creator but He is as a Father who protects, nurtures and sustains us by His power.

God feed us. In Genesis, God planted a garden for us. The earth is filled with food, water, shelter, gold and other precious metals for our use. He has filled our mouths with good things. He satisfies us daily.

God gives us wealth. He wants us to be financially empowered. God did not allow Israel to come out of slavery as an impoverished nation. But they came out with riches having more than enough to build a tabernacle unto the Lord. God delights in our prosperity.

God provides shelter. God makes land and houses for us. He provided a Promised Land with houses and vineyards that Israel did not build nor cultivate. He does the same for us. Many of us are blessed with beautiful houses to live in.

The story of Jesus birth shows God’s Fatherly love for His Son. God provided for Jesus through the wise men. God will also provide for you through similar means as you receive gifts this Christmas season. But beyond this giving and receiving season, God daily provided what you need in many ways. He is constantly bearing gifts on you because He wants the best for you. He is one special Father who knows what you need even before you ask Him (Matthew 6:8).

During Christmas 2012, honor Jesus for the gift He has given – eternal life. Also thank God the Father for daily providing for you. And appreciate the Holy Spirit who has come to guide you and comfort you when you need help.

I thank God for providing in advance for all my needs. Do you recognize how God provides for you even before you ask?