Finding God in Finances

By  Karen O’Connor:

Finding God in finances can be challenging if you feel the Lord has not given you all you need or want.

money image used at Finding God Daily

Money, money!  Cunning, conniving, confusing! Like food, we can’t live without it, but it sure can be hard to live with it.

Advertisers lure us with every conceivable message and image: “You deserve it.” “Buy now, pay later,”  “You can have it all.”

They cast the line even further to catch the new student graduate or the retiree.

How about this one? “Your house wants to give you a vacation,” followed by an invitation to take cash from a home equity line and sail off to the Bahamas!  No mention of the fact that you’d be borrowing from yourself, taking from your future, and setting yourself up for another payment plan.

“Prosperity,” according to financial coach, Jerry Gellis, “is living easily and happily in the real world, whether you have money or not.”

Getting a grip on your finances while keeping a grip on yourself is not easy, but you can do it. It takes strength of character, a sound mind, and a willingness to stay rooted in Christ’s teachings.

“Better one hand with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind” (Ecc. 4:6).

To get off the merry-go-round of spending and debt, and to begin finding God in your finances, take a look at this inspiring YouTube video on seven Biblical principles for managing your money.

©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor  

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Find God in Soul Food

By  Karen O’Connor:

 

Image by digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is there a soothing, comfort food you turn to when you’re feeling lonely, sad, uncertain, or even happy and satisfied? Perhaps it triggers warm memories of the family table and good times with friends and relatives. Such food not only nourishes the body but does the soul a whole lot of good too,

In the United States today, the term “soul food” refers to African-American cuisine, including such mouth-watering delectables such as yams, sorghum, watermelon, pumpkin, okra, and leafy greens, wild lemons, oranges, dates and figs. When the aroma of soul food wafts through a neighborhood, everyone knows there’s a big pot on the stove somewhere and they gather ’round.

Image byJennifer Woodard Maderazo

Image byJennifer Woodard Maderazo

In my family of origin there were many delicacies particular to my Irish heritage, beginning with Mom’s apple slices drizzled with a light frosting made from a mixture of water and powdered sugar, corned beef and cabbage, especially on St. Patrick’s Day, and plenty of hot stews with more vegetables than I liked at the time I was growing up.

In my home now, soul food is potato-carrot soup, pumpkin custard, and toasted English muffins spread with fresh hummus and topped with thin slices of onion, tomato, and avocado.

Musing about the kind of soul food one can eat, got me thinking about another kind––soul food without calories––the kind that nourishes the human spirit. The food that matters for eternity.

Find God in soul food: feasting not just on family fare but also on the word of God.

I believe it’s important to enjoy earthly foods that keep us healthy, functioning, and alert. But such foods should never take the place of a daily helping of true soul food: conversation with God, rest in Him, Scripture reading, journal-writing, listening prayer, and repentance when we overstep his authority and will for our lives. This rich buffet of nourishing choices provides the balance we all need.

Bible image

This week as you linger over a cup of tea and your favorite cookie or sit down to a lovely meal, enjoy every bite and sip, keeping in mind that these will one day pass––but the food you feed your soul, will––like the words of Jesus–– never pass away. Find God in soul food and you’ll never be hungry again.

Be inspired by this YouTube video from Quiet Hour Ministries on food for your soul.

©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor  

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Finding God Through Skinny Jeans

By Heidi McLaughlin:

What does finding God have to do with skinny jeans?

Sounds like a bit of a stretch, doesn’t it?

 

Finding God Daily: Finding God Through Skinny Jeans

We can learn a faith lesson by thinking about fleeting fads — including skinny jeans.

When I was in Paris in 2008 I saw my first pair of skinny jeans. I stopped, blinked twice and thought, “Whoa…how did you squeeze into those?”

Of course most Parisian people don’t have an ounce of fat on them, and I must say they looked pretty good. Europe is usually about years ahead of Canada in fashions but hang on; the skinny jeans have arrived to your home town.  The crunch and squeeze is on. The scales are out morning and evening and there’s a lot of squeezing and comparing going on.

I had an opportunity to sit in the shopping mall a few days ago while I was waiting for my husband to come out of a book store. I keenly surveyed the fashion kingdom and let me say up front, some of us should NOT be wearing skinny jeans. Just because it’s the latest and greatest style doesn’t mean it is for everyone. Hollywood, TV, magazines and the skinny sixteen year old do not determine how you and I are going to dress each morning. Sure I love to look great, and I enjoy the creativity of dressing each morning, but if it doesn’t look good, I need to forget about it.

Skinny jeans are only a fad and will be in and out before you know it. It hasn’t been too long since I threw out the big, wide bell bottom pants. They were the coolest, the greatest and when I wore them I fit in and belonged. When I compared myself against the younger Fashionistas; I made the grade. I appeared young, cool and it looked like I knew what I was doing.

I am old enough to say, “Fads are fickle; they come and go and leave a mess of unworn clothes in our basements.”

Before we know it we’re going to be hunting for the bell bottom pants with the two foot hems. So why not get back into those comfy, stretchy pants and pursue something more powerful and lasting like FINDING FREEDOM.

Freedom to be yourself! How do we do this paradigm shift?  This may take the rest of our lives but it is a journey of discovery that not only helps us find freedom, but it ends up in unimaginable JOY. While we are trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans two sizes too small for us, sometimes we forget that Jesus died to save us from trying to be something we’re not. Jesus died to give us freedom. What does some of that look like? Here’s what I see:

  1. Freedom from shame. When I know my sins are forgiven, and all my ugly mistakes have been forgotten, I can walk with my head held high and I am not cowering in shame.
  2. Freedom from condemnation. This goes hand in hand with #1. When we are free from shame we no longer have to condemn ourselves when we mess up, feel stupid or feel like we have no worth.
  3. Freedom from comparison. When I believe the fact that I am unique…a “masterpiece” that God created for this time and place of all eternity; I don’t have to waste energy and pain in comparing myself to others and squeezing into something that may not be right for me.
  4. Freedom from trying to be perfect. I love it that I don’t have to be perfect; I just have to be me. I am “made perfect through Christ” which an ongoing process of appropriating the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life. This is not something where I have to work harder to be better; I need to give the Holy Spirit more access to every area of my life.
  5. Freedom from “people-pleasing.” Sometimes I wonder why we spend so much time trying to please people, when we realize this is simply another fickle slippery road that has no end. Why not put my energy into obeying and pleasing my Creator God, with whom I will spend all eternity with.

Also, please don’t forget that there are marketing people sitting around in rooms with M.R.I. machines testing our brains to see which marketing tips will make us run out and buy the latest jeans. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be manipulated like that.

I’m not saying that Jesus died so that I won’t feel bad about not wearing able to wear skinny jeans. I am saying Jesus died to set me free from all the hooks, demands and fickle fads that come and go and have no lasting value.

I want to invest my time and energy into things that bring me lasting joy and above all… fabulous freedom.

© Heidi McLaughlin. For over two decades Heidi has taught women how to become “beautiful from the inside out”, applying God’s powerful truths via bible studies, mentoring, and Heidi’s own poignant stories.  Visit Heidi at www.heartconnection.ca, or  her blog. Follow Heidi on Twitter: @heidiheart

 

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