Monday, September 28, 2015

Putting God before money

In Dueteronomy chapter 5 we are told how the Israelites received the 10 commandments, what the 10 commandments are and what will happen if they are obeyed. 

Deuteronomy 5:1 Moses called all the people of Israel together and said, “Listen carefully, Israel. Hear the decrees and regulations I am giving you today, so you may learn them and obey them! 

Deuteronomy 5:7-9a “You must not have any other god but me. “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. 

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Because of the time we live in and precedence set for generations before us I'm going to boldly suggest that money has become like a false god or an idol to some of us. And it has happened without us even realising it! 

What is an idol? Google says... 
an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. 

What am I getting at? 

My point is that we can use our money/finance and the source of our finance in place of God. We give it a place of high importance. By doing that, it can become a false god or an idol in our lives or in a situation that we are facing. We automatically go to our finances or trust our finances or the source of our finance to make it through. 

Even if we don't have a lot of money or any at all it can still become a false god or an idol. How? We look for it. When you were a kid did you ever look for misplaced coins on the supermarket floor? By searching for it. By thinking it has great value. Is God not more valuable than money? 

We also work harder to get more money. From a young age while in school we are taught to work harder so we get better grades, to get a better platform for further education, so we can get a better job, so that we can have more money and a stable financial situation. Then we work hard in our job so that we can get a raise or a promotion. Now don't get me wrong. We do need to work hard at things. And we do need a vision. But is all that work for the right reasons? Is it completely money focused or is there a God purpose there too? Do we really trust Him to guide us? Do we trust God to provide? 

We think things like if I had more money. Have you ever played the game if had a $10 million I would? And then you mentally spend all those 10 million dollars. What about being faithful with the little? 

Luke 16:10-13 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” 

We go over our budgets trying to figure out where our income will be spent. And how to stretch every last dollar. Have you ever laid hands on your budget and prayed? Do you thank God for being your provider? 

Slowly the enemy plants seeds of doubt and worldly desire in our minds and hearts so that we can forgot who our real God is. When we forget who our first love is - something else is taking the place of god in our life. God Almightly. He should be our only focus. Our first love. The only God in our life. 

This is so important that it one of the 10 commandments. It is foundational. 
So now thinking specifically about our tithes and offerings. Our giving to God. Do you hold back? Be honest with yourself. 

Through the seasons money can seem more important or less important. Depending on where you're at. I believe it's in those seasons that you can prove to God what he means to you. 

Do not feel bad or judged in what you give. It is not the amount that is important. It's about the heart. God looks at the heart. 

Rejoice in the knowledge that you are choosing to worship the Lord God Almighty by not allowing money to be an idol in your life. By not allowing money to rule your thinking. 

Give to God out of worship for Him. Not from a place of what finance do I have. Or what can I spare. 



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Menu planing

I love food so making a menu plan is fun because I get to think up yummy meals for at least a whole week. 

Other reasons for choosing to menu plan are: 

1. It's cheaper for us to know in advance what we are eating (so I'm not tempted to get takeaway) and so I know what I need to buy at the supermarket 

2. When the kids ask me what's for dinner I actually know 

3. My days run smoother and are less hassle with a plan. I'm not running around looking for some recipe or ingredient at the end of the day 

4. We eat lots more healthy and nutritious food with a plan

5. I had another point. Darn baby brain! 

I have some constraints to work around: 
All meals must be dairy and soy free!
I don't have a stove top at the moment and I only have a small benchtop electric oven. The joy of renovating. Even with those things taken into account I can usually make the weeks meals work and taste yummy! 

This is what I've come up with for this week: 

Monday 
Schnitzel and roast veg 

Tuesday 
Gnocchi bolognaise 

Wednesday: Yom Kippur 
Roast turkey and veg, gravy, homemade dinner rolls and lemonade 

Thursday 
Sweet potato lasagne 

Friday 
Homemade pizzas 

Saturday 
Creamy chicken & corn pasta 

Sunday 
Chilli con carne on jacket potatoes 

Monday
Lemon chicken and rice 

Tuesday 
Cottage pie 

Wednesday 
Thousand island chicken and asparagus pie (homemade pastry) with steam veg

Thursday 
Tuna mornay 

I usually just jot down the meals I want to make next to a day of the week. If it's school holidays (like now) then I don't have to worry about the time it takes to cook but in school terms I schedule really easy meals on days that we have extra activities. And I try to use my slow cooker!! 

Have you got any other tips? Share with me please. 


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Like a thief in the night...

I think most people would agree that life has moments that we don't expect. Things that we just don't see coming. They can be good or not so good. 

I pray that all would not be surprised or caught off guard when the Son of God, Jesus Christ returns "unexpectedly" although it's been prophesied and written in Gods Word for many years. Get right with God now before it's too late. When you see Him (Jesus) coming in the clouds it will be too late! Besides life with Christ and living in the Spirit is like no other. Don't be kicking yourself later. Consider the consequences. 

1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape. 

John 3:16-19 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

End Times.

I've never thought before about writing a post like this. By this I mean 'end times'. I am not usually the type to worry or get easily sucked into any theories or a conspiracy of any kind. I think that as soon as people (especially Australian's) hear that two word phrase 'end times' they tend to tune out or immediately put you into a weirdo category. 

So why have I chosen to publicly open myself up to being placed in that weirdo category? Because of this verse right here... 

Matthew 25:23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ 

When Jesus (the master) comes again and asks me what I have done with what He entrusted to me, I want it to be more than I was given (eg; I don't want to keep the gospel to myself) and I want to hear 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.' 

So I'm writing this blog post to my brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Yes I personally believe that we are in the end times. Call me weird. I'm ok with that. I don't know if all of the people who follow my blog and my Christian Mummy Facebook page are being taught about the end times. So I feel entrusted with the gospel to responsibly share with you. Jesus shared with his followers so I will follow his example. 

What does the phrase the 'end times' actually refer to? It refers to the immediate or very last period of time leading up to the return of Jesus Christ. This includes the many signs and trials discussed in the scriptures. 

Straight up I'm going to address that the end times and the rapture is not a theory or a conspiracy. Let's look at Gods word which we know is infallible, has stood the test of time and is all truth. 

Daniel 12:1-3 “At that time Michael, the archangel who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued. Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever. 

And 

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. 

And 

Read all of Matthew chapter 24 and 25. In these chapters Jesus speaks to His disciples about the end times, the rapture and His final judgement. 

We can be sure that Jesus Christ will return to earth. 

I will not speculate, suggest or recommend any dates or hours. The Bible says in Matthew 24:36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 

Though the Bible does tell us that we can know the season. 

I don't want to discuss the signs and warnings. For more information about the end times and the signs of the end times see this page: 
http://areyouready.co.za/End-Times 

What I want to discuss is what should Christians do in the end times? 

1. Know what the end times and trials are and what they mean. 

Daniel 12:10 Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means. 

We can only know these things by God because God is wisdom and He reveals it to us. 

2. Be prepared and ready at all times. 

Matthew 24:44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. 

This means make sure you are right with God. I would suggest that if you don't know or have any doubt about where you stand with God, do it know! 

The Bible says: 

Romans 3:23-25 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. 

And 

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

So believe, repent and turn to God! 

3. Live holy, peaceful, pure, blameless (in His sight) and godly lives. 

2 Peter 3:11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 

And 

2 Peter 3:14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. 

Christian means Christ follower. And this is what we are meant to be. So follow His ways. Choose to live a holy, peaceful, pure, blameless (in His sight) and godly life. 

4. Look forward to the day. 

2 Peter 3:12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 

The fact that we are to look forward to it is proof that we should talk and think about it. Don't be afraid. If you have your life right with God it is exciting. We will get to be with Him!! :)

5. Be faithful in handling what He has given you. (I mentioned this above). 

Matthew 25:23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ 

And 

Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

Those two portions of scripture combined tell me what I have been entrusted with. Spreading the gospel, making new disciples, then baptising and teaching them. 

6. Grow! 

2 Peter 3:18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen. 

Do not become stagnate. Don't stop growing. Continue to bloom and grow. (Ooh that reminded me of a Sound of Music song, lol!) 

7. Pray! 

There are many scripture references for prayer and praying. But I've chosen this one which is playing over and over in my head... 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Never stop praying. 

Now I was going to pop down a specific point about priorities... I believe all the above are important and should all be our priority during the end times. I understand especially as a wife and mother that there is work to do and life to live. But when Christ returns he is not going to care about the cleanliness of your house, how much money you've made, a party you went to, the latest tv show, or what you read online. I'm not saying don't do these things. I'm just saying make sure you have time for what is really, eternally important. 

For those who don't know Christ as their Lord and Saviour here's something more to consider: 

John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.