Faith, Hope, & Love

I often talk to people struggling through difficult circumstances. Relational, moral, occupational, financial, or health issues. Generally speaking, this is true--one of the greatest statements of faith in the wake of difficult circumstances is to claim the truth that "for those who love God all things work together for good." God loves us so much, that he will take the tough times of those who place their faith in him and use those tough times as a catalyst for hope, and ultimately good.

The next time you're faced with a trial or a failure, claim that truth. What seems like a failure now, will soon be transformed into a good thing--a victory--by the God who loves you. It could be the thing you were so sure was the best plan for your life, was actually less than best. Trust that God knows what's best for you and loves you enough to work out the best for you even before you know it's the best!


Searching For God Knows What

I'm a big fan of Donald Miller's book, Blue Like Jazz. So when I picked up his book, Searching For God Knows What, I expected a similar reading experience. BLJ was raw, honest, humorous, and just resounded with my soul. SFGKW came off as if Miller was trying too hard to be clever. There was just something missing. It wasn't awful. It just didn't strike the strong chord that Jazz did. So I guess this is a mixed review. I'm not saying it's not worth reading; but if you haven't read Jazz, read that instead.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Contentment (and the blog lives!)

I haven't posted anything to the blog in about 6 months. I needed a break from it, but lately I've been feeling the urge to share again.

Last Sunday I started a new series called AVOIDING THE NIGHTMARE AFTER CHRISTMAS. We're just looking at some sound Biblical financial principles. Last week I talked about contentment. I really do believe that contentment is one of the strongest indicators of spiritual maturity.

Sunday we looked at 4 ways to cultivate contentment in our lives, but now I wanted to bring up a counter-point. Buying stuff is not always wrong! In fact, often, it's necessary or helpful. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you make a purchase:

  1. Do I have the money for this?
  2. Do I only want it because it's shiny and new?
  3. How will this item improve my work/life?
  4. Have I shopped for the best deal or read user reviews?
  5. Is there anything more important I should be spending this money on?
  6. Is this purchase good stewardship of the money God has entrusted to me?
There's nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while. After all, you work hard for your money. Just remember, that it's called a "treat" because it's something different/special. If you never say no to your shopping urges, it's not a treat -- it's just undisciplined, unwise discontent.