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Over time, I thought I knew what was mine
I accepted that fate made it what it was meant to be

I can’t claim to be the innocent party at all – that I confess
But I knew that it wasn’t right from start

Oh life, the more you live the more you learn,
That things don’t turn out the way you hoped it to be

Loving and learning goes hand in hand
Until it’s “you” who’s stopping yourself from doing the living

So, be your better half and learn to live with a good attitude
Don’t block the blessings and destiny, from getting to you

 

Love,

Sue

P.S. – It’s been a while, but I promise to write more. ^_^

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Dating Someone Else Even Though You’re Married

This Man Is Dating Someone Even Though He’s Married. Sounds Disgusting, But I’m On His Side.

 

Jarrid Wilson is a husband, pastor, author, and blogger. And he has a confession that has everyone talking lately. You’ll see why below.

couple

On Jarrid’s blog post titled, “I’m Dating Someone Even Thought I’m Married,” he writes:

“I have a confession to make. I’m dating someone even though I’m married.

She’s an incredible girl. She’s beautiful, smart, cunning, strong, and has an immensely strong faith in God. I love to take her out to dinner, movies, local shows, and always tell her how beautiful she is. I can’t remember the last time I was mad at her for longer than five minutes, and her smile always seems to brighten up my day no matter the circumstances.

Sometimes she will visit me at work unannounced, make me an incredible lunch, or even surprise me with something she personally baked. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be dating someone even though I am married. I encourage you to try it and see what it can do for your life.

Oh! Did I mention the woman I am dating is my wife? What did you expect?

Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean your dating life should end.

I need to continue to date my wife even after I marry her. Pursuing my wife shouldn’t stop just because we both said, “I do.” Way too many times do I see relationships stop growing because people stop taking the initiative to pursue one another.

Dating is a time where you get to learn about someone in a special and unique way. Why would you want that to ever stop? It shouldn’t. Those butterflies you got on the first date shouldn’t stop just because the years have passed. Wake up each day and pursue your spouse as if you are still on your first few dates. You will see a drastic change for the better in your relationship.

When it comes to any relationship, communication and the action of constant pursuit is key. Nobody wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to pursue them whole-heartedly.

I encourage you to date your spouse, pursue them whole-heartedly, and understand that dating shouldn’t end just because you said, “I do.”

– Jarrid Wilson

~credit to http://www.viralnova.com/married-and-dating/

The Power of Assumptions

nice_flowers_2-wide~picture isn’t mine.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Assumption, we all do it all the time and it’s costly.

The assumption battle is one I have fought most of my life. I’ve questioned friends’ motives, assuming they were against me. To avoid being hurt, I’ve detached from relationships with no valid reasons.

Perhaps you’ve fought the same battle?

Your friend didn’t sit with you in Bible study like she usually does; she must be upset with you, so you avoid her at your weekly meetings. Another friend is invited to several parties you aren’t; obviously the two of you are drifting apart, so you don’t reach out any more. Your sister hasn’t responded to your text and phone messages; she must have found another friend in whom to confide, so you stop calling her.

It’s easy to assume others are upset, have “more important” friends, or are too busy for us when their behavior changes. Anger and hurt can well up in our hearts and we may pull away from friendships in order to protect ourselves. There is a danger in assumptions: they can destroy relationships.

Before we know it, even without proof, what we assume becomes our truth. Our misguided feelings lead to misguided thoughts, which cause misguided responses. The result: ruined relationships.

Living under the havoc of assumptions isn’t the way God intended it though. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). Looking at the last part of this verse, we see God gives us the ability to think, reason, and understand.

Through Christ, we have a mind that is well balanced and considers things in context. Our sound mind is stronger than our feelings, but we have to give our thoughts time to catch up with our emotions. A good way to do this is to pause and think clearly about the conclusions we’ve made.

When an assumption rears its ugly head, simply take a moment to ask if this assumption is consistent with your friend’s normal behavior. If it isn’t, this would be a good time to ask a few more questions: Is my friend okay? Have I done anything to hurt her? How can I pray for her? Do I believe the best before assuming the worst?

Repeat the pause until the assumption passes. The result: positive relationships.

Ruined relationships can be prevented and assumptions can be put to rest when we stop and focus on our thoughts. God has blessed us with a sound mind to surrender to the truth and not allow our imaginations to run wild.

Before the power of assumptions ruins a relationship in your life, pause. Settle your emotions and consider what you know to be true about your friend. Take a moment to pray for her and plan how to reach out to her. She might just be struggling with her own assumptions that you could help her clear up!

Dear Lord, thank You for empowering me to overpower assumptions. I commit to believe the best before assuming the worst, and to not allow my emotions to jump to conclusions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Would you like to bring the message of this devotion to the women of your church? Click here to find out more about considering Wendy Pope as your next retreat / key note speaker. And be sure to visit Wendy’s blog today as she shares how she overcame the power assumptions had on her life.

Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow Bible Study by Wendy Pope, available in a printable download, Kindle, Nook, and hardcopy.

The I Am His medallion necklace is a great reminder that we belong to Christ and His truths are ours to hold on to! Click here for more information.

Reflect and Respond:
What power have assumptions had on your life?

Reach out and make an attempt to reconcile with someone with whom you made an assumption.

Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)

Philippians 2:4, “Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.” (GW)

~Credit to Proverbs 31 Ministries

Love for the enemy

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      When Jesus tells us to love our enemies, He Himself gives us the love that He demands from us.

   In Africa I visited the cell of a young man who was sentenced to death. His hands were chained and his dark skin had many red wounds, caused by lashes. Behind me stood three soldiers. The cell was absolutely empty; only a plank on the floor and high up in the wall a very little window. The prisoner looked very healthy and strong. The tragedy that this man had to die overwhelmed me.

I sat down beside him and prayed for a word from the Lord. “Have you ever heard of the cross of Jesus Christ, where He carried the sins of the whole world, also your sins?” He nodded. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, that He will be your Savior too?”

“Yes, I love Him, but I have not always been faithful. Politics have taken up my time and attention completely, but now I have brought all my sins to Jesus. He has forgiven me. If I may live any longer, then I will serve Him with all my life.”

“Have you forgiven the people that have brought you here, who have your death on their conscience?”

“No, I hate them.”

“I can understand that. I will tell you one of my experiences. During the war in Holland, I helped to save Jewish people, because Hitler wanted to kill them. One day a man came to me who told me that his wife had also helped the Jews and that now she had been arrested. ‘She is in the police station and probably she will be put to death. Now there is a policeman who is willing to let her escape, if we pay him six hundred guilders, but I have no money,’ he told me. ‘I can help you,’ I said. ‘Come back in an hour.’ In the meantime I collected all the money from my friends and all I had myself, and it was exactly six hundred guilders. I gave it to him to save the life of his wife. But he was a betrayer. His wife was not arrested at all. The enemy had told him to find out whether I helped Jewish people. So this man thought that at the same time he could make some money out of this situation. He went home with six hundred guilders in his pocket. But five minutes later the enemy came and my whole family was arrested. Later, when I heard that this man had betrayed us, hatred came into my heart, just at it happened with you. I had given him the last money that I had. But then I read in the Bible that hatred is really murder in God’s eyes (Matthew 5:21-22).

“How glad I was that I knew what I could do against hatred. ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin…If we confess our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:7,9). I brought my hatred to Jesus. He forgave me and cleansed my heart with His blood. After the war this betrayer was sentenced to death. I wrote to him: ‘What you have done through your betrayal caused the death of my 84 year old father, my brother, his son, and my sister in prison. I myself have terribly suffered through your fault, but I have forgiven you everything. This is just a very little example of the forgiveness and love of Jesus. He lives in my heart; that is why I can forgive you. Jesus will also come into your heart and will make you a child of God. Confess your sins to Him. On the cross of Calvary He has finished all for your sins and mine.’ Later he wrote me: ‘I have prayed: “Jesus, when You can give such a love for the enemy in the heart of someone who follows You, then there is hope for me.” I have indeed confessed my sins to Him. Now I know that I am a child of God, cleansed by the blood of Jesus.’

“So you you see that Jesus used me to save the soul of this same man I had hated so much. Do you know that if you do not forgive, you yourself do not receive forgiveness? Jesus said: ‘For if you forgive other people their failures, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you will not forgive other people, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you your failures’ (Matthew 6:14-16). You cannot do that, neither can I, but Jesus can!” That same day, the prisoner sent a message to his wife: “Forgive my murderers. You are not able to do it, I am not able, but Jesus is able. If we are not willing, then we ourselves do not receive forgiveness.”

When Jesus comes and we have bitterness, yes, even hatred in our hearts, then we are not ready to meet Him with a clean heart: “Everyone who has at heart a hope like that keeps himself pure, for he knows how pure Christ is.” (1 John 3:3).

In the time of the final battle, many will be filled with hatred, then we do not stand on victory ground. It is very easy to belong to the masses of people. It is one of the laws of the kingdom of God that men receive peace only if they are always ready to forgive unreservedly. We never touch the love of God so much as when we love our enemies. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). He does the job. Hallelujah!

~Corrie ten Boom

What if you lost everything

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This morning on my way to work, I was challenged by Pastor Chuck Swindoll, a pastor who airs his sermon on the KKLA 99.5 FM Christian radio station: What if you lost everything today? What if suddenly, you lost your health, your job and everything that matters most to you and you don’t know what to do. Everything, completely everything is gone in just a few seconds. What then? What now? What will you do? Who will you blame? Who will you curse? And how will you move beyond this devastation?

And so, here I go, I start to play an image in my head of HR showing up at my work place with a pink slip addressed in my name and a small Office Depot box to pack my belongings and quit the premises or else. Then, I started thinking of all my bills that will be left unpaid, the half-empty fridge that needs to be fed, my newly renewed cell phone contract because I wanted a new phone, not being able to tithe for church, Christmas presents that I won’t be able to buy this year and the list continues on and on for days.

I was like, “Oh, Lord, that’s a lot to think about.” I ask God, “What am I supposed to do and what will happen to me?” I started to panic and over think things that were unfounded and not true. Immediately, God stepped in into my thinking brain and halted all the crazy thoughts that were swimming in my head by whispering into my ears and saying, “Sue, in this life, nothing is for certain. Just keep doing what you’re supposed to do in My name, and I will continue to bless you.” I kid you not, I was a little scared that He spoke so loud and clearly in my ears. But I calmed down, stayed still and started praying. I surrendered all my fears and anxieties to Him in my prayers and accepted the promises that were spoken to me. Then, once I moved past my fears, God gave me His peace. His supernatural peace calmed my jumpy spirit and helped soothe my anxiety of not knowing what to do about my “what if’s.”

Encouragement for today:

Continue to praise God and keep doing what you’re doing that pleases Him. Be in constant fellowship with Him because only He is consistent and forever because our life can be snuffed out in any moment. Nothing is guaranteed in this world. Nothing is forever in this world. Only the Word of God and His promises are forever. Praise Him for thoroughness, for his provision and for His unexplainable peace that washes over us.

Love,

Sue

A truly thankful person

thankful defined

 

The truly thankful person is a truly peaceful person. They have made a habit no matter what, to notice, pause, and choose.

Noticing something for which to be thankful no matter their circumstance.

Pausing to acknowledge this something as a reminder of God’s presence.

Choosing to focus on God’s presence until His powerful peace is unleashed.

Will we be a noticer? A pauser? A chooser? A person of thanksgiving no matter what circumstance we’re facing?

I find this truth about the power of thanksgiving over and over in Scripture. What was the prayer Daniel prayed right before being thrown in the lion’s den and witnessing God miraculously shutting the lion’s mouths? Thanksgiving.

After three days in the belly of a fish, what was the cry of Jonah’s heart right before he was finally delivered onto dry land? Thanksgiving.

How are we instructed to pray in Philippians 4:6 when we feel anxious? With thanksgiving.

And what is the outcome of each of these situations where thanksgiving is proclaimed? Peace.

Powerful, unexplainable, uncontainable peace.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).

One of Webster’s official definitions of thanksgiving is: “a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness.”

I wonder how we might celebrate God’s divine goodness today.

I wonder what might happen if we decide in the midst of our circumstances today to notice, pause, and choose something for which we can truly be thankful.

Are you thankful today?

You can start today with this prayer: Dear Lord, will You help me notice things for which I can be thankful in each circumstance I face today? Will You help me remember to pause and acknowledge this as evidence of Your presence? And will You help me remember to choose to focus on Your presence until Your powerful peace rushes into my heart and helps me see everything more clearly? Thank You for the reality that being thankful changes everything. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

~credit to Proverbs 31 Ministry

Staying Free

DebtorsPrison

~i’m passionate about staying and being debt-free. this is a great article for those who needs that Biblical motivation to not be slaves to the lenders. enjoy. 🙂 [Picture is not mine]

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Proverbs 22:7

Recommended Reading
1 Timothy 6:6-10

If a new “toy” caught your eye — boat, car, a recreational vehicle of some sort — but the cost was beyond your reach, how would you respond to this offer from the salesman: “I can work out a way for you to make the purchase, with only one stipulation: You and your family will become my slaves for the duration of the six-year loan. It won’t be that bad. It just means you’ll have to get my permission before you spend any money — even a penny — for the next six years.”

What would you do? Without thinking, we enslave ourselves every time we borrow money to buy something we actually can’t afford — if we believe Proverbs 22:7 (NIV), that is: “the borrower is slave to the lender.” We wouldn’t think of letting someone enslave our family, but Proverbs 25:28 suggests how it happens: “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” Lack of self-control in any area invites others to enslave us. Without self-control, we buy what we can’t afford. With the resulting debt, we enslave ourselves to the lender.

Ask God today for the protection of self-control when it comes to spending, and for the resulting freedom to be no one’s servant except His.

The alternative to discipline is disaster. 
Vance Havner

Not planning to buy health insurance? Here’s what going to happen to you:

8 Steps to Prepare for Obamacare

A great article for those who has decided to skip buying health insurance come January 2014. I hope you find this article helpful. Let’s not live in ignorance and get all of our facts straight. I’m quite sure that God wants the best for you in ALL things. He wants you to have an abundant life, not a life trapped in medical debts.

Article By 

It may seem like a clever idea to save yourself cash by not purchasing health insurance, but with Obama-care kicking in, you’ll have penalties to pay, which could cost you big bucks in the long run.

Not only are you playing financial Russian roulette – you could be forking out tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re injured in an accident or become seriously ill – you’ll also have to pay a penalty to the federal government for flouting the law, costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars more.

A wiser decision if you’re uninsured is to start shopping on your state health exchange, which opened Tuesday — with glitches – as a key part of health care reform.

It’s OK if you feel at a loss about the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obama-care. You’re not alone. A newly released survey by the Commonwealth Fund found that only 4 in 10 adults were aware of the health exchanges and the financial subsidies available to help cover costs when you buy insurance there, and only one-third of those without insurance were aware of the new way to shop for health insurance.

In the first quarter of the year, 46 million Americans didn’t have health insurance, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The establishment of the state health exchanges, or insurance marketplaces, is designed to reduce the number of uninsured.

Who needs insurance?

Starting next year, almost everyone will need to be insured. You can purchase that insurance on your own or through the exchange, have it through your employer, or have it provided by government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, TRICARE and veterans health insurance programs.

There are some limited exceptions, such as for those who earn a very low income or are members of certain religious groups, as shown in this graphic by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

While you can start shopping for insurance on a state exchange now, the policies don’t take effect until Jan. 1.

What if I don’t buy insurance?

If you skip the insurance, you’ll pay a penalty. For 2014 the fine is $95 for an individual or 1 percent of your income, whichever is greater, along with $47.50 per uninsured child, maxing out at $285 for the year.

But by 2016, an individual would pay $695 or 2.5 percent of your income.

The TurboTax website has a calculator to help you determine how high a penalty you’d pay.

Without insurance, you’d also face a double whammy. By 2016 you’d be forking over almost $700 to the federal government and having nothing to show for it, and still have to pay your own medical bills if you’re injured or become ill.

What will insurance cost?

The exchanges will sell four levels of policies – platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Bronze plans will have the lowest premiums, but cover only 60 percent of costs. Platinum, on the other hand, will have the highest premiums, but cover 90 percent of costs.

If you earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($45,960 for an individual and $94,200 for a family of four this year) you’ll be eligible for a subsidy, which will come in the form of a tax credit. Subsidies are based on your family size and your earnings. The less you earn, the higher the subsidy.

With the subsidies, more than half of Americans should be able to find health insurance for less than $100 a month, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, although you might choose to pay more.

There also will be caps on out-of-pocket costs. Typically, the maximum an individual will pay in co-payments and deductibles next year is $6,350, and a family’s costs will be capped at $12,700.

What if you delay?

Because you can’t be turned down for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if you have a pre-existing condition, you might be tempted to dawdle and see if you actually get sick before purchasing insurance.

But that strategy could easily backfire.

You’ll only be able to buy insurance on your state health exchange through March 31, 2014. After that, the open enrollment period will run from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year.

There are exceptions that allow you to purchase insurance on the exchange at any time of the year if you experience a life-changing event, such as moving to a new state, getting married, getting divorced, or having a baby.

While you can purchase insurance outside the exchange at any time, you won’t be eligible for a government subsidy, which is one of the cornerstones of health reform.

Bottom line: Ponying up for health insurance now can potentially save you from astronomical costs down the road.

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Read more at http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/10/04/skipping-health-insurance-could-cost-you-big-bucks/#yczSVB7M3WfYdrEv.99

7 Types of People Keeping You in Debt

fall-wedding with bible verse

~picture is not mine

A great article for those who are trying to beat the odds by winning the battle of becoming debt-free. That’s one of my goals in life: to be debt-free. I hope you find this article helpful and enjoyable. 🙂

 

People. Sometimes you love ’em, and sometimes you don’t want to be anywhere near ’em.

When it comes to your money, people can be a wonderful influence—like Dave Ramsey or your grandmother who never took out a loan her entire life, even for those overpriced dentures she bought.

But people can also drag you down. They might look at you trying to improve your life and do everything they can to rain on your parade or make you feel stupid and out of touch.

You know those people. And while you might love them and care a lot for them, their negativity can eventually wear you down.

So who are the types of people you’re looking out for?

Some examples:

1. Your broke brother-in-law

He leases a new car every two years. He’s tried to pull you into some wacky multi-level scheme at least three times. He somehow convinced you that your couch in the basement would be a perfect place for him and your sister to stay “for just a couple of months” while he looked for a job.

That was a year ago. And he’s still looking.

2. Your parents

If it’s normal to be in debt, then that sadly means that a lot of parents are passing along bad money advice to their kids. If your dad encouraged you to sign up for a credit card the day you turned 18—to make sure you “build your credit”—then you should be extremely cautious about your dad’s financial advice for a long time.

If your parents don’t understand why you’re working so hard to get out of debt, then it’s best to just avoid the topic of money at Thanksgiving dinner.

3. Your adult kids

On the flip side, few things in life are as irritating as a “boomerang kid” who’s 27 and unemployed and has permanently taken up residence on your couch. You know what a boomerang kid’s financial advice might be? “Hey mom! Give me a money!”

These “kids” are like overgrown financial leeches who thrive on video games, Dr Pepper and living off your income. Look, we know you love your kid. But love them enough to push them off the couch and into a job. Give them a time limit to find their own place and stop mooching off mom and dad.

4. Your show-off friends

Did you read our recent article about Facebook envy? You know, all the friends who love to tell you about all their adventures in dining and vacations?

You’d be surprised at how many of those friends are going into debt to have all that fun. They’ll be paying later while your fun is just getting started.

5. Your college professor from 10 years ago (or now)

You can just hear his Ben Stein-ish voice right now, can’t you? He might have told you about adjustable rate mortgages or car leases or whole life insurance.

You bought that advice at first. You were young and naive. But now you should know better. When you hear that voice telling you how much sense it makes to take out an adjustable rate mortgage (“the interest rates are great!”), think about Dave Ramsey saying, “Don’t be stupid!”

6. Your government

If anyone takes the government’s advice on how to manage money, God bless their soul.Have you looked at our national debt lately? But every day, you’ll hear a politician go on and on about balancing the budget, paying off the national debt, and being more responsible with money.

The only thing that grows faster than our national debt is our national spending. So when you hear someone in D.C. give money advice, press the mute button.

7. Marketers

Look, there’s nothing wrong with marketers. We have a lot of them here on Dave’s team. But if you aren’t responsible with your money, good marketers can talk you into buying anything.

That’s why credit card companies make billions of dollars. They are extremely smart, and they know what they’re doing. If you stick to only buying what you can afford, then marketers will never get the best of you.

Now, ultimately, your debt is your responsibility.

You can’t blame anyone other than yourself if debt is weighing you down. The point here is that you can be influenced by other people, and it’s a good idea to keep a healthy perspective.

As you work toward being debt-free, keep an eye out for these people.

Join an inspiring community of like-minded people looking to get out of debt, find a Financial Peace University (FPU) class and sign up today! Who are some other people keeping you in debt? 

~ credit to daveramsey.com