Friday, March 4, 2011

Do you offer God your Leftovers?

I am reading with a few others on Wednesday night Frances Chans book "Crazy Love". This past chapter gave us interesting and good discussion. As I have grown and matured I will never forget being a jr. high youth leader and the kids wanting to learn about Revelations. Judy do you remember that? It was cool because I got to learn too! And the even more amazing thing is I remember it!! In our series we talked about the 3 churches in Revelation and the one I clearly remember is the church of ladosia. Now I know I didn't spell the church correctly. But........the cool thing is I was able to use my knowledge about the church to help and challenge two guys in the class. You see many times as Christians we give God what we have "left". We don't give him everything we have! I am guilty of this especially if I am tired or don't want to do something. i.e. my husband signed me up for it! ;) But we as Christians need to giving God everything that we have weather it is in relationships, worship, ministry or in our own spiritual life. There are many more areas that we can give God 100% too. But how many times do we go into a situation and say "God I have this much time for....." or I am really tired so here is a quick prayer or the Purdue game is on. Can't that wait? We need to STOP doing this and saying God here I am. Use all of me. God does not want what we have "leftover". He wants ALLLLLL of us!!!!! How cool and AMAZING is it to know that the creator of the universe wants to know and have a personal relationship with you! I am in awe of that! I encourage you to check out Frances Chans book "Crazy Love". Good stuff!

The Enemy of Debit

Wowzers! I am such at a loss for words. For the past 4 weeks Josh and I have been attending the Dave Ramsey course and tonight I am totally broken. Let me share with you some key pieces to my past. Growing up I worked from the time I was 16 but did not have access to the funds easily. My mom did and I had to ask permission to use the funds that I had worked for. She was wanting me to be responsible but this kind of back fired. At the age of 18 I had a used car paid for, lived at home and had a great job. I fell into the trap of lies. Lies that you have to have credit to get a car, house, go on a trip amongst many other things. Around the age of 18, I had gotten a gas card to "build my credit" but boy oh boy did I fall and I fell hard into the mouth of debit. Credit card companies liked me because they made LOTS and LOTS of money on me! You see after the gas card, came a cell phone, after the cell phone came shopping at AE. You want an AE card so you can get xx% off. Sure why not I'll just pay it off at the end of the month. No problem. The mall and the bookstore became my Best Friend. I would received a Master Card, Visa, American Express along with the gas card and the AE card. I was loaded! I bought stuff to fill a void in my life that only could and can come from Jesus Christ. I would buy stuff before I went to work and would hide it in the car. I took friends out to eat. I bought clothes and shoes. I bought CD's. I have NOTHING to show for it now! My dad helped me out by giving me some money to pay the debits down. I no longer have the credit cards and all the credit cards are paid off but two. I tried debit "counseling" but did not make progress due to fees. It is by the amazing grace, mercy and love of my wonderful husband Josh and dad that I was able to get rid of those cards. My point I am getting at here is I learned a very easy lesson a very hard way! DO NOT GET A CREDIT CARD!!!!!!!! No matter how GOOOODDDD the offer looks. You can pay CASH or use the DEBIT card!! I think of how I have nothing to show for it. I think of how much money I spent. I was living at home, car paid for, no other real expenses and I BLEW $15,000/yr plus some because I had Credit Cards and I was wanting to be accepted. My credit card/shopping addiction goes further into being like an alcoholic at a bar. I could not get enough of the adrenaline high that came from shopping. I have come a long way but still have a long way to go. With Dave Ramsey I CAN do this and God's help! I am making a choice to be more responsible in what I do with what God has given me. Cash HURTS...immediate! Credit FEELS GOOD! Use cash until it STINGS!!!! I am glad that I am saved by grace. Nothing more. Nothing less.