3 Money Myths Christian Women Believe

moneyMoney: Don’t believe these three myths and begin enjoying financial freedom.

Years ago a family member racked up four-digit credit card debt on vacations, birthday gifts, and eating out. She paid only the minimum amount due on her credit cards. Then she made a plan to buy only what she needed using cash. Living within her means, she paid the balances within a year.

How this Christian woman loved financial freedom!

Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12:15, NIV

Here are 3 money myths that trick Christian women and nearly everyone!

Myth 1: Godly Christians Are Financially Wealthy

Truth: Godliness is not a means to financial gain as some health-and-wealth gurus suggest. The apostle Paul tells his young friend Timothy: False teachers. . .”who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (1 Timothy 6:5).

Ask yourself what money symbolizes to you

Security?

Love?

Pleasure?

Read Matthew 6:19-20 and consider what Jesus says about earthly treasure:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

Myth 2: Money Is Evil

Truth: Money does great good when handled as God intends — as a means to show love to one’s neighbor, especially widows, orphans, and the poor, and to take care of your immediate family.

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. (1 Timothy 5:4)

The Bible warns against the love of money is “the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

Myth 3: Money Satisifies

Truth: Money lovers always want bigger bank accounts, a nicer car, a fancier vacation, a larger house. Solomon who asked God for wisdom put it this way:

Whoever loves money never has money enough;

whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.

(Ecclesiastes 5:10)

The antidote is recognizing who owns everything in the world including every dollar, euro, peso, and ruble: God! He says,

The world is mine, and all that is in it. (Psalm 50:12)

And, after recognizing that God owns everything, give thanks for what he has given you. Jotting down reason for thanks daily helps you develop an attitude of gratitude.

One-Minute Money Makeover

Consider these questions. Then plan your makeover:

  1. Do you have a budget? If not, make one. Here’s a free Money Map at Crown Financial.
  2. Are finances tight? Get creative save money and make money. Check Pinterest for gift-making ideas. Turn your hobby into cash. For instance, one of my friends has a full-time position and refurbishes furniture for resale. Another friend sells books on Amazon. I occasionally edit books. What is something you like to do that bring into extra cash?
  3. Do you have extra cash from a bonus or an inheritance? Put it in your emergency fund, or set it aside for retirement or your kids’ college tuition, or share with financially-strapped families in your church (most churches have a Benevolence Fund) or with a charity that helps the hurting in your community or overseas. My husband and I sponsor a child through World Vision, and there are other excellent Christian charities.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart, 

lucy-signature-blue

 

Parenting Teens: Tips from a HS Counselor (part 3)

teensTEENS: Parenting teens means trusting God and showing them you care. These tips from Leia Joseph — a crisis counselor, high school music teacher, and mother — appeared first here on The Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is used with permission. This is part three of a 3-part series on parenting teens.–LAM

I have had the privilege of spending the last 13 years working as a music teacher and crisis counselor for teens. The following six tips represent a handful of lessons I have learned along the way. If you are the parent of a teenager or pre-teen, I pray that you find this helpful.

Here are part 1 and part 2 in this parenting teens series.

5. Drop Everything to Show You Care

But care about other things too.

There is nothing like the knowledge that someone will be there for you no matter what. The simple understanding that a parent will walk out of an important meeting at work or cancel a night out with friends because his or her child is in need insurmountably communicates love and provides security to that child.

However, your teen is growing more and more independent. Teens know when they are your whole world. They can tell if there is nothing else fueling excitement, creativity, and purpose in your life apart from them. This brings its own set of pressures and vices.

Practical Help

Explore the passions God has given you. Take care of your own well-being. Seek the Lord about whom you can serve and minister. Always be willing to put these things aside for your own child.

6. Trust God’s Plans

God’s plans ultimately outshine your dreams.

teensI have only just begun the parenting journey and already know the gut-wrenching reality that my son’s pain is my pain tenfold. You love your children more than anything in the world. You would even give your life in order for them to live if necessary.

Still, good parents don’t equal good kids. Despite all that you pour into your teens with love, prayer, and opportunity, they may still push it all away. Even still, persevere in loving, praying, and trusting that God loves your teens even more than you do.

As my pastor, Mark Dever, often says, “Where there is life, there is hope.”

They may graduate from high school and find themselves entrenched in sin, but their story isn’t over yet. Be faithful by loving and caring for them today. And trust that the Lord will ultimately write a better story for your child than you could ever imagine.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

Parenting Teens: Tips from a HS Counselor (part 2)

teensTEENS: Parenting teenagers means understanding technology and how is shapes their world. Expect success and failure too. It’s a part of parenting teens! These tips from Leia Joseph — a crisis counselor, high school music teacher, and mother — appeared first here on The Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is used with permission. This is part two of a 3-part series on parenting teens.–LAM

I have had the privilege of spending the last 13 years working as a music teacher and crisis counselor for teens. The following six tips represent a handful of lessons I have learned along the way. If you are the parent of a teenager or pre-teen, I pray that you find this helpful. Read part one here.

3. Technology Really Changes Everything

Technology has drastically propelled time forward as we watch culture changing at a faster pace than ever before. Parents who have fond memories from high school naturally desire for their children to have the same wonderful experiences. However, your memories of sports, student government, dating, or football games are more dissimilar to your child’s than you could probably imagine.

The mere fact that smart phones, email, and the internet didn’t exist during your childhood radically changes things. When one of my friends wanted to talk, he or she called my house on the landline. My parents could pick up the phone at any point and listen in. Other than face-to-face interaction and handwritten letters, that was the only way to interact with peers.

Fast forward to 2017 and students can interact on screens via FaceTime, Google Chat, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, and Yik Yak simultaneously–and all in the privacy of their own bedrooms at night while their parents sleep.

Practical Help

Let your mind wander about the myriad of technology’s effects to get a better understanding of your teen’s world. It is much harder for a child to talk to parents about sexting or cyberstalking if parents don’t have even a basic understanding of how the technology works.

Aggressively seek to learn and understand apps, modes of communication, and its mountains of temptations. Then you will better understand the world through the eyes of your teenager.

Furthermore, as you begin to understand how pervasive technology is in their lives, you can then begin to help them learn a healthy stewardship, which will hopefully carry them through college and beyond.

Whether specifying a nightly time that your teen turns in his or her electronics or monitoring their usage through Covenant Eyes or some other protective accountability program, teens need your help navigating the challenges that face them as a result of technolteensogy, particularly in the area of discipline . Remember the undeveloped prefrontal cortex.

Technology is here to stay and invades your teen’s world at every turn. Taking it away or preventing usage is not a long-term option. Learn it and help your teen build a foundation of using technology for good and not for evil.

4. Expect Failure and Sucess

Teens want to know that you are their biggest fan and that you believe they can “reach for the stars.” But it’s equally important that you actively see them for who they are: a human being living in a fallen world, just like you.

Lord-willing, they will leave the world a better place, but they will also make some bad decisions and mistakes along the way. Let them fail, and expect them to fail.

Avoid a helicopter parenting mentality that always swoops in to save the day. Most success is a result of learning from past mistakes. Further, in expecting them to struggle, don’t forget that this includes sin. Don’t act shocked by sin, no matter how harmful or harmless our culture has labeled it to be. Don’t excuse it either.

The biggest roadblock to a teen’s willingness to share his or her struggles is the parent acting uncomfortable or mortified with what he or she shares.

  1. Begin to invite your child into your own world of struggles.
  2. Share why you so desperately want them to avoid sin because you know that it will ultimately destroy them.
  3. Let them know you understand how hard it is. Tell them you are there with them in the fight each and every day.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

 

Parenting Teens: Tips from a HS Counselor

teensTEENS: Parenting teens is challenging and fun too. These tips from Leia Joseph — a crisis counselor, high school music teacher, and mother — appeared first here on The Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is used with permission. This is part one of a 3-part series on parenting teens.–LAM

I have had the privilege of spending the last 13 years working as a music teacher and crisis counselor for teens. The following six tips represent a handful of lessons I have learned along the way. If you are the parent of a teenager or pre-teen, I pray that you find this helpful.

1. Be Relational but Not a ‘Best Friend’

Parenting two boys under the age of three is physically exhausting. I can’t remember the last time I felt truly rested. In fact, one of my daily dilemmas is figuring out when I can shower while still keeping both of my rambunctious little boys safe from harm.

But I know that all this changes when kids grow up: The emotional expenditure overrides the physical, to which any parent of older children can attest.

And one thing is clear: God has created us as relational beings, which means that no matter the temperament of your children, they want you to know them. There is not one student that I have met with over the past decade who does not deeply desire a healthy relationship with his or her parent.

But teen years are hard. Over the course of the high school years, students are transitioning from childhood to adulthood.

At the same time, hormones are raging and fluctuating, and the prefrontal cortex of the brain (responsible for time management, good judgment, organization, controlling impulses, goal setting, and an understanding of long-term consequences) is still developing. Plus, both parents and teens are simultaneously navigating new waters and new roles.

Practical Help

Implement basic counseling principles into your parenting during these years. Ask lots of questions, but also study body language and mood (remember the raging hormones). Realize that sometimes simply your presence and listening ear are all that is required. At other times you will find golden opportunities for conversation.

When does your teen seem to be the most talkative? Notice patterns and create space for those times if at all possible. For instance, if your child talks more at night than on the ride home from school, make it a point to start making chocolate chip cookies right around primetime.

In the teenage years, your child needs you more than ever before, whether or not they communicate it.

And they nteenseed you to just be there for when they’re ready to talk. When they do open up, make sure to listen, observe, and wait.

They don’t want you to treat them like a best friend; they need you to be their parent. However, they need a different kind of parent than when they were 10 years old. Go on a grace hunt in their lives and make sure you are encouraging and cheerleading far more than nagging and reminding each day. In short, constantly pray for wisdom about when to let them fail, leave their problems unfixed, confront, or just patiently pray as you slowly prepare them to leave the nest.

2. Communicate Enjoyment

We all know the striking contrast of duty and delight. Teens usually know deep down that you love them, but be sure they also know you enjoy them.

Whether you’re going to the grocery store or making dinner, communicate how much you enjoy being in their presence. One primary way to accomplish this is to enter fully into their hobbies, interests, and what delights them. Whether it be photography, gaming, horseback riding, or baking, get enthralled with what they love.

The best relationships develop and blossom out of mutually enjoyed activities. Learn and enjoy alongside them, and the quality time and strong bond that ensues just might surprise you!

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

 

5 Reasons the Resurrection Brings Hope

ressurection imageAs Easter Sunday approaches, have you wondered about the resurrection of Jesus Christ? How does the resurrection bring you hope?

Hope is something God knows all of us needs. Aren’t we in a world of hurt? From hearing of terrorist bombings to learning of a neighbor’s divorce, you and I are tempted to become discouraged, aren’t we?

If the hurt is close to home, we may respond with sadness, anger, fear, or other emotions.

Thank God for Easter and the hope the resurrection brings!  

While Holy Thursday recalls the Last Supper and Good Friday remembers the crucifixion and death of Christ, Easter Sunday celebrates his resurrection.

We have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom we have gained

access by faith 

into this grace

in which we now stand.

Romans 5:1-2

Here are 5 reasons the resurrrection brings hope to followers of Jesus.

1. The Resurrection Means…We’re Justified

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.  (Romans 4:25)

Incredible, isn’t it? To imagine that Jesus dare to die and rise again. . .ffor us. . .me. . .you.

By his resurrection, we who follow Christ are justified. Justification is a Bible word that means to “to be put right with.” According to Scripture, all of us are “objects of wrath” because we break God’s law and thus deserve eternal death. But God has a glorious and gracious plan of redemption.

Jesus!

God laid our punishment on Jesus on the cross. Why? So we could be justified before him. The resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for sin.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentence.

Luke 5:32

2. The Resurrection Defeated Death

For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. (Romans 6:9)

Truly free.

Yes, death is the just punishment for sin. But wonderfully, Jesus rose from the dead because the grave could not hold him. Death had no mastery over him. Therefore, you and I need not fear death. We also do not need to fear eternal punishment.

Truly loved.

Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:25

3. The Resurrection Means…Union with Jesus 

 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Romans 6:8)

God loves us higher and wider and deeper than we can possibly imagine.

By our faith, you and I received the righteousness of Christ because we are united to him. This means that when God looks at us, he does not see our unrighteousness, but the righteousness of Christ.

Now, as new creations in Christ indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we can walk in the way of love.

His grace was given us in Christ Jesus

before the beginning of time. 

2 Timothy 1:9

4. The Resurrection Gives…Living Hope

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

We Christ followers have great hope. Not a false hope. Not well wishes. Rather, we have a trustworthy hope based on faith. We have been justified before God. We are no longer his enemies headed for hell.

We are blessed, chosen, forgiven, redeemed, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing eternal life. Also, we can now live according to our identity as children of God. As the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Colossae,

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life,appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

And God is able to make all grace abound to you. 2 Corinthians 9:8

5. The Resurrection Means…We’ll Be Raised Too

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor.15:21-22)

Jesus is described in Scripture as the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead. This signals that his resurrection is a precursor to that of all believers.

Christians will enjoy the resurrected life just like Christ did, with glorified bodies raised in power (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). We suffer in this life with pain and illnesses. Indeed, in the counseling office, we comfort those who have been sinned against as well as the grieving.

But in the life to come, you and I will not suffer. Truly we will enjoy our life in Christ forever and ever.

I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)

He has risen. He has risen indeed.

Amen and then some.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

Get this 64 page ebook FREE when you sign up for my blog!

 

5 AMAZING NAMES GOD CALLS YOU!

Blessed, Daughter, Saint, and more!

In this delightful, four-color ebook, you’ll discover the precious names God calls you. Today so many Christian women don’t fully know their wonderful identity in Christ. Isn’t a time to know yours? Filled with scripture, photography, personal stories, and encouragement!

You have Successfully Subscribed!