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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to be compassionate givers?


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You Might be Richer Than You Think

At church one Sunday here in Cambodia, a Christian Khmer woman encouraged us with how Matthew 6:25 has played out in her life, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear…” She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher…a month y’all, and he makes about the same as a Tuk Tuk driver.  It rains a lot here in Cambodia, but during a dry spell, all of the rain water in the cistern outside was gone.  She had no money to buy water for the family and she remembers standing over the cistern and praying for rain.

And it immediately started to rain.

As I sat there listening to her praise God for His unending love for her, I thought about how different her prayers are than mine…the prayer of the one who has instead of the one who has not. I already KNOW where my food, drink, and clothes are coming from.  I don’t beg God to send me the necessities of life because I have excess.

Instead of skimming over this beautiful verse in Matthew 6:25 because it doesn’t relate to my situation, maybe I should speak this verse as a prayer. To ask Father to lead me to the people who don’t have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear, and to help me be bold enough to be the answer to someone’s prayer.

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to be compassionate givers?

Many times we compare ourselves to others who have more, instead of the other way around.  Even the working poor in America have it better than most who are suffering with poverty in other countries.  American homeless populations even have options like shelters and food banks, whereas the poor and displaced in some foreign countries have no options but starvation and death.  What do you do if you lost both hands in an electrical accident, your wife leaves you with the children, and you no longer have a way to make a living in a third world country?   This is a true example of a local beggar living here in our Cambodian city.

You can’t really say you are a friend of Jesus unless you are helping the poor.  Take for example the sheep and the goats, a story with a warning from Jesus.   (fact check: Matthew 25:31-48)  The goats didn’t seem to  “get” Jesus.  They missed the kindness characteristic of the Holy Spirit. (fact check: Galatians 5:22) Maybe they thought about helping, but never had any follow through. At any rate, Jesus says, “When you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.”

So how can you help your children develop a desire to give?  You must first develop that desire yourself, then go forth together.  Start by praying that God will consume you with a BIG  kind of love for others.  Have you read Love Does by Bob Goff yet?  Each chapter tells a story from Bob’s life, then ends with a spiritual application.  The beginning of each chapter starts with “I used to think…but now I know…”  Join me on the Sanctified Tourist’s Facebook page in January while I share quotes from this book to encourage and inspire you.

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher.   How do you teach your children to give to those in need.

Next, search the Internet for ideas on projects you can do with your children and grandchildren.  Here is an idea for a project from  Story of This Life.   Good literature can also help.   The King’s Christmas List  takes Matthew 25:31-48 and teaches children that every act of compassion is a gift for Jesus.  Maybe you could write your own family giving book using a photo book company.

I will leave you with this video that shows a little girl overcome with compassion for a homeless man outside the restaurant where she was eating, and then DOING something about it. click here  Father, lead me to the people who don’t have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear, and to help me be bold enough to be the answer to someone’s prayer. (Matthew 6:25)

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to give to those in need.

Note:  all the scriptures I used today in my post were straight from Jesus)

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There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.


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How I set up a Gratitude Corner

God has blessed me so abundantly, and I have always felt my meager thank yous were just not enough to offer Him, especially when after agonizing in prayer, He comes up with a surprise solution, one much better than I could have ever planned.  Or, when having waited a particularly looooooooong time for God to move, at just the right time He creates a beautiful response.  The Israelites would offer up a gratitude sacrifice to the Lord and then have a feast.  In some ways this really appeals to me, to be able to do something physical for God to show my thankfulness.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

There is another aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.  After the Israelites were witnesses to many wonders and miracles, their children promptly forgot to talk about it when they were at home and when they were on the road, when they were going to bed and when they were getting up.     By the third generation, the children’s children were lost and worshiping idols.   I take these facts very seriously.  I genuinely  love my descendants, even though they have not been born yet.  I think about them all the time. After the crossing of the Jordan River into the promised land, Joshua had the people set up  memorial stones specifically to remind the generations to come about how God had been with them.

So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my home.  I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings.  There are many ways to represent our blessings, and I might decide to create something different later, but for now, I have decided to focus on different fonts of the alphabet, each letter representing the beginning word of something meaningful to our family.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

I mounted each letter on a 8×10 canvas found in packs of four at Hobby Lobby using a glue stick.  These turned out really big, so I will use the smaller sizes for additional letters. On the back of each letter will be a detailed description of the way God moved.  I am still working on this part of my project.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

The scripture canvas on top of my gratitude corner was first created on the free photo editor, PicMonkey using a black 8×10 design.  I added our family name into the scripture to make it more personal.  The white fonts I used were Black Jack and De Walpergen Pica.  Next I saved my JPG design on my computer.  I made sure there was plenty of margin all the way around for when the canvas was wrapped.  I ordered the 11×14 canvas from Walgreens and picked it up the same day at my local store.  With a coupon code it was around $20.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

I hope I have given you inspiration to make your own gratitude corner.  Be creative and make it reflect your family.

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Have you ever prayer for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father? Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil is coming to an end? A speck of hope?


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Is Your Endurance Inspired by Hope?

Have you ever prayed for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father?  Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil was coming to an end?  A speck of hope?  A crumb the Father sends to you to let you know things are not quite as desperate as once thought?  An endurance inspired by hope?  1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Have you ever prayer for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father?  Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil is coming to an end?  A speck of hope?

 

Hope

In the blindness of the dark, it is the feel of a hand on your back.

In the panic of falling, it is the open chute.

In the drifting sailboat, it is the kiss of a breeze.

In the confusion of lies, it is the whisper of truth.

In the isolation of self, it is the elbow in the ribs.

In the sadness of despair, it is the embrace of love.

Hope

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 NLT

And hope, when fully realized, brings a life of joy…even while you wait.

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A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.


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TO THE BILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY LOSERS

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

Jesus and Culture:  The Billion Dollar Lottery Frenzy

Dear Losers Winners,

I saw you at the corner store.  You stood in line right in front of me, while I waited to buy my ticket.  I could tell you were worn down by life, exhausted and full of pain.  Your two dollars gave you hope for a few hours.  For just a moment in time you had real plans.  But now, after the letdown, you are back to square one.  Plodding along.  Working hard.  Struggling with a car that keeps breaking down, doctor bills that keep coming to your mailbox, a house note that relentlessly siphons your wages.  And not only that, you are stuck in a dead-end job with no way up or out.  At the end of the day, when I saw you in line,  you were silently calculating your life and it was not adding up.  You prayed, as you opened your wallet, for God  to cut you some slack.

Hope.

Yes, hope…but it is not found in money and riches as the enemy would like you to think.  That same anticipation you felt when you gripped that ticket in your hand can be found in Jesus.  He alone can lift your head.  He alone can bring peace in the deep places.  He alone can energize and revive.  Hope is more powerful than the strongest medicine.   Hope can drag a widow out of bed in the morning,  and encourage the desperate to put one foot in front of the other.  It can cause the dying to laugh, and the rejected to love.  It can cause the loser to win.

Hope.

Seek Him and you will find it.  It is a promise.

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which he has called you, the RICHES of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  Ephesians 1:18-23 NIV

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Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.


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Three Attitudes to Beat the After Holiday Blues

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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Being a little down after the holiday season is perfectly normal.  We see family that we haven’t seen in a while and then they quickly go.  Divorce divides the children and leaves one parent alone.   This time of year forces us to look behind us at goals not met and a new year already upon us.  We feel our age, and wonder how time has escaped us.

It’s all mental.  Warfare of the mind.  There is only one way to fight this spiritual battle of the blues.  The Word of God.  Here are three positive attitudes found in scripture along with suggested mental exercises to help in banishing these painful thoughts.

Live in the NOW

Regrets can haunt.  The only thing that looking over your shoulder is good for is education.  Look back and learn, then train your eyes to see what is now.

Looking to the future can bring fear and dread.  The only thing good about looking to the future is education.  Look ahead and prepare, then train your eyes to see what is now.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34

 First Mental Exercise:  Use your phone to record yourself spontaneously  thanking God for everything you see as you walk around your environment.  Play it back for yourself.  Sometimes the best teacher for yourself is yourself.

Take Control

How easily it is for the mind to wander.  Today on my walk, someone’s naughty, little pooch stood just outside a dog-sized hole in her fence yipping at me.  She had squeezed through the gap, intent on wandering the neighborhood.

This is exactly what my mind does y’all when I don’t keep it contained, controlled, fenced in…thinking only  of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) … when I allow myself to squeeze through the culture-sized hole in the fence of my mind and wander away from safety, dwelling on things that crush my joy.

Second Mental Exercise:   Take a break from social media and listen to a Christian speaker on YouTube or maybe a little private praise with your favorite worship music.  Look on my Pinterest page for some ideas.

Hope

Sometimes lost hope creates a pity party.  The enemy loves to fill you with dark thoughts about yourself and the life you lead.    The Liar throws shadows on truth until all you want to do is watch TV and eat ice cream.

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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Satan urges you to forget that God is highly invested in you and has beautiful plans for your life.  Plans for you to do good works in His name.  Plans for you to live for Him, not for self.

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

Third Mental Exercise:  This is where the church comes in y’all.  It’s time to phone, email, or text a friend.   Find a believer who knows scripture and explain exactly how you are feeling.  Request scriptures and prayer.  Spend time looking at the scripture given to you as if it were sent from God.

It was.

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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One final scripture for you to meditation on…

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.  Colossians 2:7

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+  Picture taken outside of my classroom one morning on a foggy day

++ Picture taken at the Grand Canyon of me taking it all in…

+++Picture taken after at storm at the family ranch in Montana

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