Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bolivia or Bust

So this is it.

On Tuesday I fly to Bolivia for two weeks. I will be visiting three cities - Santa Cruz (June 19 - 23) Cochabamba (June 23 - 30) and La Paz (June 30 - July 3).

This trip is huge. The main purpose is for me to discern exactly which city I feel God calling me to live in and exactly which ministry I feel God calling me to partner with.

It will be a very busy two weeks but if I get an opportunity to send a blog your way I will be sure to do so. If not - I will post a blog when I get back letting you know how the trip went and hopefully letting you know where I will be living and working for the next few years of my life...

If you are the praying kind, please pray that God will give me clear direction during this trip as to where He wants me to be.

Stay Sweet.

Monday, June 11, 2007

2 years, $15,000 in debt and a God who keeps His promises

Call me a blog nerd but I keep a file on my computer called “Blog Ideas”. It is just ideas that come to me that I want to write about sometime. This post has been in the hopper for awhile now.

It is just a shout out to my amazing God.

Two years ago I was sitting in my room stewing over my $15,000 in credit card/car loan debt. I was talking to God and wishing I could have these debts paid off by the time I was 30. (This coming October by the way) I was also a new Christian and I was wrestling with the whole concept of tithing. I was hearing over and over again that in order to be a fully devoted follower of Christ I needed to have my finances in order, which I SO did not.

I was struggling to give 10% of my income back to God’s kingdom when I really felt like I needed to get out of debt as fast as humanly possible. I mean – not giving the 10% to God would have helped this “get out of debt” process go by much faster. But I know now that while the process could have gone quicker, I would have missed out on countless blessings.

Well, let me just say that two years ago while still in a good amount of debt I started to give God 10% anyway. Just because He is God. Just because He deserves so much more. And just because it is all His anyway. And I honestly cannot express the joy that I have in my heart knowing that within the next month the final portion of the $15,000 debt above will be retired.

I went out on a limb, trusted God with my finances and he has gotten me to the financial place where I wanted to be with five months to spare. He has blessed me so much I can’t even tell you.

It started by getting my car paid off, then I continued to gain more and more momentum and now I am getting ready to retire it all. And you know what? God took care of me through the whole process. Over these past two years I have always had the funds to meet the needs that I had. I have never had so much financial margin in my life.

And I am more content than I have ever been in my entire life. It all started with me being generous with my money. My own generosity broke the power of discontent in my life. And in a culture where every day I am reminded of what I DON’T have, I think contentment is a tremendous blessing, don’t you?

In fact, to my knowledge, the area of tithing is one of the only areas where I can find God asking us to test Him. Check these verses out…

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, “ says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3: 8-10

When was the last time you read Malachi? I know, I can’t remember the last time I read it either. But there is some good stuff there.

Let me tell you from my own experience that God will honor this promise.

Test God on this one. And then watch out for the floodgates.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

“Florida’s Best Kept Secret”

At least that’s what the sign said when we prepared to cross over the bridge to Navarre beach last week.

Well…we had a blast. Even worked it out where we could stay an extra day. We stayed in Navarre but we hit Ft. Walton once and Destin a few times.

It was great to just relax and settle in to a nice little routine:

Wake up around 10 a.m.
Go to the beach
Stop and eat lunch at 2 p.m.
Go back to the beach
Nap/movie time from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Go out, eat dinner and hit a few nightspots from 8 p.m. on

We repeated this cycle for several days in a row. It was very sweet.

Also, I love going to beach because I am always in awe of God’s creation. I mean. I just look out over the water and watch the sunset and it just confirms to me that God is so amazing.

And it was great to rest up for my upcoming Bolivia placement trip. I leave for Bolivia in ten days and I am very excited. I will give you a heads up before I hop on that jet to go south but in the mean time, here are a few photos that I snapped this past week at the beach with my new digital camera…enjoy.

That sign I mentioned earlier

The crew

Apparently they like Nascar also

View from our balcony

Pic I took while strolling along the beach

Our home for a few days

Another view from the balcony