Tag Archives: Romans

A little message of hope

10 Jul

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

Jen

God knows better than I do

10 Apr

Do you ever feel like your prayers go unanswered? Have you ever thought that maybe God has something else for you other than what you’ve been asking for? Something that will answer your prayers, but not the way you want him to? Perhaps that’s because he’s got even better plans for your life than what you could imagine.

I’ve experienced this multiple times within the last few years, and even within the last few weeks. In one instance, I’d prayed for so long that God would make something happen in my life that I thought would be simply perfect.

Turns out, it wouldn’t have been so perfect. He answered my prayer loud and clear, saying, “No.” But then I continued to listen. And he began to reveal to me that he had something else…something better, and something that would bring him glory. But it requires trust. Why? Because I have no idea what his plans are for my future, yet I must know that they will be for my good because that’s what his Word says (how many times can a girl reference Romans 8:28-29a before it becomes redundant? I’m thinking about three billion sounds good).

So anyway, here’s another example of how this has happened very recently: I’ve been out of full-time work since November 2011. For the first month, I was perfectly okay with that because I needed to focus on finishing up my last semester of college. But then I graduated, and four more months passed. Still no job. I was applying, I was praying, I was asking around…and yet, nothing. I wanted to be the girl who graduated and starting working full time right away. I wanted things to go smoothly and perfect.

But God knew what he was doing. He knew I was going to be facing a trial after the new year, and that I would need the first three months of this year to focus on my spiritual life and my relationship with him…without any distractions.

But my favorite part was this: he didn’t leave me penniless in the meantime. In fact, he provided all kinds of side work, freelance jobs and babysitting that has carried me through, paid my bills and even allowed me to set aside $800 so far for a new laptop (since I murdered my old MacBook with a glass of water. Dino, may you rest in peace). This time of working from home, babysitting a little and being frugal with spending has taught me complete dependence on God–a dependence I had not yet known.

It’s been beautiful. Even though I could look at this situation and say, “I’ve been praying for a job for almost six months, why is this happening, God?!” I know that he knew better!

So…in sharing all of this, I must also share that yesterday I got a phone call. I got a job. It’s only part time, but it’s my first step toward working full time again and it’s in my field! And I’ve got another interview on Thursday for a potential second job for the summer. He knows what he’s doing! He knows I’m ready and he will equip me as I dive back into “the real world.”

So let me ask you, are you struggling with trusting God today? Are you experiencing a time of unanswered prayers? Let me encourage you to continue to present your need to God, but then do your best to listen. Ask him to give you strength to follow his will and trust him no matter what the answer is to your prayers!

Jen

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Be humble on purpose

3 Apr

The real issue here is not if pride exists in your heart; it’s where pride exists and how pride is being expressed in your life. Scripture shows us that pride is strongly and dangerously rooted in our lives, far more than most of us care to admit or even think about. C.J. Mahaney

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I just had something happen to me that smacked me right in the face and said, “Jen, you’re not perfect. In fact, you’ve just acted really stupid.” And it reminded me to keep a close eye on my pride, which can so easily sneak up on me and hurt me.

Of course, I know I’m not perfect. But, being human, I have the tendency to be prideful and think that I am perfect. Don’t we all? I don’t think I’m alone in that. (And if I am…well, a pat on the back to you all! :))

And sometimes it happens accidentally. My pride can seemingly come out of nowhere, and I may not even realize it. It can happen in a number of ways, but here’s an example: I’ll make a comment about something I see on TV and, without even thinking, I’ll say something really opinionated that could actually hurt someone else’s feelings, even though the TV doesn’t have feelings and can’t hear me.

How many times, ladies, have you seen someone wearing something you thought was just awful and felt the urge to laugh at them behind their back by whispering, “Oh my gosh, look at her!” to your friend? Guys, how many times have you joked about revoking your friend’s “man card”? The truth is this: regardless of whether or not the person we’re laughing at knows we’re making fun of them, what we are doing is still unkind. And in a way, it shows our pride.

You see, I relate this type of action to pride because it says, “I know better than that person”–which automatically seems to sound a lot like, “I am better than that person.” That’s pride.

And by the way–no, we’re not. We’re not at all better than anyone.

We’re all sinners, and we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). He who exalts himself will be made humble (Luke 14:11). And we are actually called to prefer one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10).

It’s hard, but I am challenging myself (and praying HARD) to remember each day to be humble. If I don’t want my pride to sneak up on me on accident, I need to be humble on purpose.

Who’s with me?!

Jen

“Financial Peace” is for everyone

7 Mar

Just a couple of thoughts I had yesterday…

Why is it that young people are so easily persuaded to buy so much “stuff”? I’m guilty of wanting to have the latest iPhone and cute clothes, but I’ve come to a point where spending money hurts. Not because I don’t have any money to spend, but because I hate checking my bank account and thinking, “wow, there could’ve been a lot more in there if I hadn’t gone shopping today.” I start thinking about my future and the money I spent starts to make me feel guilty.

Nearly three years ago I enrolled in “Financial Peace University” by Dave Ramsey. While a lot of the things he teaches don’t apply to me (such as what to do when you’re thousands of dollars into credit card debt or what kind of mortgage to get, etc), I have found that many of his teachings have stuck with me over the past few years.

For example, yesterday I was craving an iced caramel macchiato from Starbucks–my new favorite drink! But I thought to myself, “$4 isn’t that much money, right?” Well, right now, that’s how much a gallon of gas costs. Yep. And if I want to save money AND drive around town at the same time at these skyrocketing prices, I need to keep as much money in my bank account as possible. I even slowed down on remodeling my bedroom because I want to be wise with my money and actually budget for my new curtains and comforter instead of spending my most recent nannying paycheck on all of it at once.

All of this makes me think we forget way too often that every dollar we make is a blessing from the Lord. We forget to give back to him and we forget that we can honor him with our finances (and not just by tithing!). We’re not supposed to owe people money (Romans 13:8)! But our culture tells me that I need to lease a 2012 Chevy Cruze and throw away a down payment and $129/month on something that’s not even mine. Nope, I’m perfectly fine with my 2005 Saturn Ion, which I bought in June 2011 and will have paid off in April of this year (and which also has a lovely dent in the bumper by a hit-and-run last week…sigh…).

I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna start thinking twice (or even three times!) before spending money from now on, even if it’s only $4 at Starbucks. Right now I’m looking for a full-time job and I’m only working part-time at the moment, so it can be SO easy to think, “well, I’m not making much, so why try to save anything anyway?” But I’m about to prove myself wrong.

Check out these scriptures about money from Dave Ramsey’s website…it might change your perspective on spending today!!

Jen