The Amazing Power of Generosity


The amazing power of generosity. . .heals. 

Has a friend generously listened to you? Who has noticed that you need a helping hand? Or, when you show generosity to a friend or stranger? Perhaps you sent a Get Well card to a relative or wished Happy Birthday to a Facebook friend.

Your generosity matters. It helps to heal the hurting. Here’s an amazing story of generosity. Read on.

Homeless. Need Food. Please Help. 

Pulling up to a red light, Kate noticed a young man clutching a sign. It read, “HOMELESS. NEED FOOD. PLEASE HELP.” The icy wind reddened his hands. She knew what she had to do, even though it inconvenienced her.

She drove to a store, bought men’s gloves and returned to the sign holder. She rolled down her window and handed them to him.

And she prayed for his mother.

Kate has a grown son too. Addicted to drugs. Sleeping somewhere. She couldn’t warm her own child but she could show Jesus to a stranger.

Debbie Macomber shares this true story in her book One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity. A sister in Christ and fiction author, she understands the need to give love. She’s dyslexic and her third grade teacher told her mother, “She’ll never do well in school.” And she didn’t.

But her love of words and her parent’s encouragement, and later her husband’s, gave her the boost to sign up for a writers’ conference in New York, and — to use a cliche — the rest is history.

Finding Hope Through Generosity

This post isn’t about Debbie or Kate. It’s about you and overcoming your struggles in Jesus’ power. I want you to find hope and healing. One thing I learned:

Sometimes to find healing you need to reach out to a hurting soul and help her.

Here’s an example: A woman I counseled by Skype — whom I’ll call Sandy — spied a lady dumpster-diving for food scraps behind a fast-food joint. She maneuvered her car from the drive-thru lane and into a parking spot. Sandy had bought two lunches, one for herself and one for the lady. She handed one bag of food to the lady. She said, “I don’t want your food. I don’t take no charity.”

Sandy put the bag of food just inside the dumpster and walked back to her car, glancing backward to see what the lady would do.

She took the food.

Now Sandy and the lady made a game of sorts. Sandy places food by the dumpster when she sees the lady and the lady eats. Sandy feels she is making a difference. She feels less alone.

Generosity Reveals Jesus to a Hurting World

This simple act of generosity reveals Jesus to a lady and to a hurting world.

You can show Jesus too, like Kate, like Sandy, like the little boy who gave his little lunch to a big Jesus who multiplied it and fed 5,000 men and probably as many women and children. The boy willingly gave what he had and received so much more.

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”  Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. (John 6:9-10, NIV)

This boy’s generosity is forever told worldwide. How blessed he is.

When you and I are kind to others, we are blessed too.

The take-away:

Be generous. Show Jesus. Give thanks. You belong to Someone big who cares. Your generosity takes your eyes off yourself and on Him.

Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16, NIV).

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,


Jesus Prays for You!

jesus prays

Did you know the Jesus prays for you — yes, you — at all times? Nothing can separate you from God’s love! Once loved, you can now deeply love others!

When Satan accuses one of the saints – that’s you, me, and every believer – Jesus tells our Heavenly Father, “I got her covered. She’s mine.” Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus sees your sorrows and your joys, your trials and your triumphs. . .and he prays tor you? and protects you?

Jesus prays for you when you. . .

  • fret over a loved one’s poor health
  • your husband fails to communicate
  • are lonely or scared
  • call yourself ugly names

What difficulty are you facing now? Do you know Jesus’ followers are forever loved by him and that absolutely nothing “wlll be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39)?

Jesus Prays with Power

Listen to the gospel — the Good News — in the Apostle Paul’s words to the Christians in Rome,

Jesus Christ, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Rom. 8:34-35, NIV).

Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified, buried, and rose again on the third day, defeating Death and guaranteeing eternal life to those who love him.

Even more, when you have trouble praying, the Holy Spirit prays for you.

The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (Rom. 8:26, 27, NIV).

Isn’t amazing that the God of the universe would bother to even to take note of us? He made man from dust. Our lives are a mist. But he is all-sufficient, all-knowing, all-good. How unlike God are you and me!

 He doesn’t need me.

 Or you.

 Or anyone else.

He is God. He is love.

Jesus Prays with Love

God invites you and me to know him deeply, experience his love, and follow him. When you know you are forever loved by Jesus, don’t you desire to love others? Even the “unlovables.”

Among today’s unlovables are gangbangers, the homeless, Syrian refugees, and many more. Who comes to your mind? The lady at church who gossips? Maybe your onery neighbor?

Some people find themselves living in a home that’s unloving. What can they do? What can you do?  If this describes you, would you take this challenge?

Prayer Challenge

For three months (or any time frame you choose) in the morning prayerfully yourself two questions:

  1. Who in my home needs my love right now?
  2. How can I show love to him or her love?

Then pray and ask God to help you follow through. The goal is not to get others in your home to love you back. It’s to love others and pray for them.

Did you know that in Jesus, you have all the love you need?

An Offer or Two

First, if life is hard now, may I encourage you to contact me so we can talk about the possibility of counseling? I counsel by Skype around the world and in person in greater Chicago. Contact me and request a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.

Second, are you enjoying my blog posts? Please sign up with receive them in your inbox along with my “Transform Your Thoughts Journal.” Thanks!


Sharing Hope with Your Heart,


Self Care Isn’t Selfish

self care

With self care, a woman flourishes. Yet we women often stumble into a dangerous trap: self neglect. 

A while back, I counseled a woman who felll into self-neglect after months of caring for ill relatives, one after another. She ran their errands, took them to the doctor, cooked and cleaned and cared for them. Then she hit extreme exhaustion that brought of depression. Her adult son cared for her!

When you neglect yourself, it’s tough to be the mom-friend-worker-wife God desires. You may become anxious, angry, moody, and self-absorbed. You may also become physically and spiritually weak. Self care is taking care of yourself emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually. It is whole health wellness.

In this short article, you’ll discover:

  1. Self care is not selfish.
  2. 7 signs of self-neglect.

Self Care Is NOT Selfishness

There’s a Grand Canyon-sized difference between selfishness and self care.

As mentioned, self care is taking care of your emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs with a heart motivation of loving God and loving others. Wouldn’t you agree healthy self care is good since your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20, ESV

On the flip side, selfishness is putting yourself above everyone else. Your needs, your wants, your everything prevails. This is neither healthy nor caring.

Jesus prioritized the most important attitudes and actions:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:25-28, NIV

7 Signs of Self Neglect

Neglecting self care may signal a need to show greater care of the temple of the Holy Spirit, and in turn, God. Are any of these true of you?

1. You want to lose excess weight.

2. You have fatigue because you lack sleep and exercise.

3. Your emotions are frazzled.

4. You lack laughter.

5. You spend little meaningful time with friends in real life.

6. Your financial budget spells stress stress and more stress.

7. You think God doesn’t love you or care or is too busy elsewhere.

If you’ve gotten off track, you can choose self care out of love for God. You can lose weight, get great sleep, start walking, have better emotions, laugh again, spend time with friends, get financial peace, and know that God loves you.

God promises to change your heart. Why not choose selfless self-care?

Just for You

Downlself careoad: Get this New Priorities and Planning download.

Counseling: Would you like biblical help in making better choices–emotional or spiritual? Contact me and we’ll set up a time to talk in person or by Skype.

Free journal: Sign up here to receive your “Transform Your Throughts Journal.” 


Sharing Hope with Your Heart,




5 Reasons You Desperately Need Your Bible

Bible reading is important. . .but why?
And what is the urgency of it? “5 Reasons You Desperately Need Your Bible” by bible teacher Kristen Wetheral appeared first here on Unlocking the Bible. It is used with permission.

heartWhy is Bible reading important? Most Christians know they should read their Bibles. But often, our Bible reading can feel dry and insignificant. Why is it so important for us to read this book? What’s the urgency of it?

Meet Ruth and Naomi

Ruth and Naomi’s story in the Old Testament reveals some urgent truths through illustration about why we need our Bibles right now and every single day.

We should not bypass these truths because they are the difference between spiritual life and death; between conviction and apathy; between joy, peace, and strength and discontentment, anxiety, and fear; between knowing some things about Jesus and knowing Jesus intimately.

Here are five reasons that you desperately need your Bible, as illustrated in the book of Ruth.

1. Your Soul Is Nourished

Threat of starvation loomed before Ruth and her mother-in-law. They had moved back to Bethlehem after their husbands and sons died, leaving them without male protection or provision. So the women had to find a way to keep themselves alive.

Ruth decides to glean in the fields of family members, “in whose sight [she] shall find favor” (Ruth 2:2), with her sights set on Boaz’s part of the field.

Boaz takes note of her hunger and determination. He asks his servant about Ruth, who replies,

She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, “Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.” So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest. (vv. 6-7)

Ruth gleans for dear life, and for Naomi’s dear life. She knows she will find favor here, that she can come and will be received, and that gleaning from this field will save both she and her mother-in-law from physical starvation.

Similarly, you and I need God’s Word right now and every day because, without it, we will spiritually starve. As the grain kept Ruth and Naomi alive, so God gives us his breathed-out truth, his very words, to keep our faith in him vibrant and growing. A good, solid meal strengthens the body and mind, but “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We need the Bible so our souls do not starve.

2. You Look for Life in the Right Places

What Boaz says to Ruth next is important for us to hear:

Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. (v. 9)

What a beautiful picture of looking for life in all the right places! Because Ruth found favor with Boaz and his crew, she is free to glean all she needs from his field. She doesn’t need to look elsewhere. His abundance is now hers because the owner has given it freely.

God gives each of his children direct access to his will, promises, and works through his Word. The Bible is sufficient for us to know God, believe in his Son, and walk by his Spirit. Nothing and no one else can give life the way God does through the Bible.

Yet, the human heart wanders easily and is deceitful above all things. Because this is true, we need to regularly anchor our hearts in God’s Word. If we don’t do this, the heart will “go to glean in another field,” looking for nourishment, life, and satisfaction in places that can never provide these things. So we make intentional plans to “keep close” to his Word, so that the eyes of our hearts “be on the field they are reaping” throughout our days and moments.

3. You’re Reminded of the True Gospel

Then [Ruth] said, ‘I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants” (v. 13).

Every time we read God’s precious Word, we are reminded of how we’ve found favor in God’s eyes through Jesus Christ. We are comforted by the depths of the gospel: Though we were once unfit to receive God’s kindness, he has “spoken kindly” to us through his mercy and grace.

Just as Ruth found favor to glean in Boaz’s field, so we have found favor through Jesus Christ to the presence and promises of God. We did nothing to earn this access, but through the gospel, God invites us into his undeserved favor and kindness.

Ruth was not one of Boaz’s servants, nor were we servants of God, but instead slaves to sin. And just as Ruth is made a servant and gleaner of Boaz’s field, so we are made servants of God and gleaners of his rich, fulfilling, gospel-saturated Word through Christ. Reading the Bible each day reminds us of this miraculous reality.

4. You Love and Serve Others Well

And [Ruth] ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over….Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. (vv. 14, 18)

God’s Word provides an abundance of life-giving truth for us, which we then bring out and give to others. Ruth feasted on the fruit of Boaz’s field “until she was satisfied.” Not only this, but “she had some left over,” which she shared freely with Naomi.

The depth and devotion of our love and service to other people will directly correlate to the depth and devotion of our time in God’s Word. We cannot give to others what we’ve not sought or experienced ourselves.

Who in your life needs to hear the life-giving truth of the gospel for the first time?

Who might need help applying the gospel to a specific situation? Who might need a friend to serve them or pray for them?

Praise God that when we spend time eating his Word, he equips us with an abundance of satisfying truth to bring out and give to others. As Naomi “saw what [Ruth] had gleaned,” so the fruit of your time in God’s Word will also be clearly perceived by others.

5. You Keep Close to God

And Ruth the Moabite said, “Besides, [Boaz] said to me, ‘You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’” (v. 21)

God promises to complete the work he begins in all his children. He ignites faith through the hearing of the Word of Christ, and then he sustains faith to the finish. And how is faith sustained? The primary fuel of enduring faith is the Word of Christ.

Boaz declares to Ruth the necessity of sticking close to the harvest until it is finished. So we stay close to our Lord Jesus through God’s Word until he calls us home and faith turns to sight. Until our race is finished, we glean from him, day in and day out. We nourish our souls so we do not starve; we anchor our hearts in truth so we do not veer; we root ourselves in the gospel; and we bring God’s abundant words to others.

We desperately need our Bibles. Thanks be to God that this is a need he is pleased to meet.

May I Pray for You?

Heavenly Father,

I pray that the women who just read Kristen’s article on the Bible’s nourishment to our soul will right now know you are near. Your desire is that we might find out delight in Jesus. Sometimes this seems hard, even unreachable, when our hearts hurt. Help us. Thank you. Amen.

Sign up for your free printables that help you renew your mind.


Sharing Hope with Your Heart,



5 Simple Ways to Slow Down

slow down

When you slow down, you will feel calmer and have time to spend with Jesus.

You remember one of the Lord’s most famous invitations to rest, don’t you?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Jesus says “will give you rest.” This means it’s a God-given promise. He spoke it to Jews burdened by their own spiritual bankruptcy and by their hope to save themselves by keeping the Mosaic Law.

But salvation doesn’t come not works. Rather, salvation comes through faith by grace. You can do nothing to earn it. It’s a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Once a believer is saved, God sanctifies her, making her more like Jesus and calling her–and you and me–to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way” (Colossians 1:10).

In this article, you’ll hear five simple ways to slow down. Today’s age of distration tempts you to update your Facebook status every other minute, doesn’t it? Then you’ll hear a plan to implement a new habit of slowing down.

5 Simple Ways to Slow Down

1. In every way imaginable, SLOW DOWN: Walk slower. Drive slower. Think before you speak. James 1:19 says,

Be quick to listen, slow to speak.

2. SCHEDULE FREE TIME. On purpose have nothing to do for a half-hour here and a half-hour there. Use this free time to watch birds or play tic-tac-toe with your child or read Scripture or draw.

3. Take time to ANTICIPATE. You can anticipate special events like birthdays or a daytrip to the lake or the city when you space them out. If you jam your calendar, you run from one activity to the next. You have no time to anticipate.

4. CHAT with a neighbor or co-worker about little things: her children or grandchildren, the latest book she read, her favorite hobby, and so on. As you deepen your relationship with your neighbor or coworker, you show love to her.

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39)

5. UNPLUG from television, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media for a week. Is a week too long? How about a single day?

What would you add to these slow-down suggestions? What has worked for you?

Plan to Slow Down

Forming a new habit to slow down takes thought and planning. God plans. When you plan, you imitate him.

Sadly, many Christians today don’t know how to put their faith into practice. Let’s say godly parents want their preteen to consistently put away her shoes when she comes indoors, but she leaves them them in the kitchen day after day. What would you recommend they do? And why? (I’ll tackle this topic in a future blog post.)

Let’s start with a two concepts for slowing down or any new habit: goals and scheduling.

  1. What is the long-range goal of slowing down? What are short-term goals (or objectives) that help you meet your long-range goal?
  2. Did you know that without a schedule of how you’ll attain your goals, your efforts will most likely faill?

You can sense God’s goal-setting in Galatians 4:4-5: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” The goal? Redemption. The schedule? When the time had fully come.

Design Your Plan

First, prayerfully and biblically define your goal. Your long-range goal might be, “Spend my time wisely,” based on this verse:

“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” Ephesians 5:15-16

Second, determine your short-term goals. This might include study a bible passage each morning at 7 a.m., turn off the cell phone at all meals and after 8 p.m., and take a walk or work in the garden daily, weather permitting.

Third, before you implement your goal, jot down everything you do and their start and end times for a week (or at least 3 days). Use a small spiral notebook that you can easily keep with you,.

Fourth, review your time use. Identify possible obstacles and solutions to meeting your short-term goals. For example, a possible obstacle to studying a bible passage at 7 a.m. may be hectic mornings at your home. A possible solution: study the passage at during part of your lunch break.

Lastly, try out your slow-down plan and review it in a week. Make adjustments as needed. And celebrate your success in slowing down!

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,