Hope for your financial life and beyond

God Is Doing This For You Today (Psalm 23)

psalm 23Perhaps no passage of Scripture is more familiar than Psalm 23. Here, I’ll get you started – “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” Here’s the rest.

What follows below is not my attempt to improve on God’s written Word. I think He did a pretty good job without my help. Rather, it’s just what went through my mind as I read this passage again recently. Perhaps today, we can stop and consider all that God has and is currently doing for us.

My Reflections on Psalm 23

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Snickers Isn’t the Only Thing That Satisfies

Around 3:00 pm this Thursday afternoon, I expect to be settling down into the leather reclining love seat in my living room for my annual post Thanksgiving Day meal ritual. Kids will be running around the house, there will be the noise of dishes getting cleaned in the kitchen and the CBS football analysts will probably be dissecting a helmet-to-helmet personal foul call.

Yes, there will be a lot of noise, but it won’t matter. I’ll have a really satisfied feeling. My body will need to allocate more energy towards food digestion which means less blood flowing to other parts of the body, including the central nervous system. With blood flow to the CNS decreased, I can foresee only one possible outcome…nap time.

We love food that satisfies. In fact, Mars, Incorporated in the 1980s developed an entire add campaign for one of their candy bars around this theme. C’mon…you know the tune. Sing it with me. “Snickers satisfies you!”

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God is Not a Cosmic Killjoy

cosmic killjoyAmong the many false opinions that have developed concerning the nature of God, lies one that speaks about God’s goodness. Many people envision God as a cosmic killjoy, like a cop standing in the middle of all the world’s traffic. He’s ready to blow His whistle when one car veers slightly to the left or right.

People who have this view of God would basically see Him as the spoiler of all their fun.

“Stop that!” “You can’t go there!” “You don’t need those nice things!” “One more time doing that and I am going to zap you!” “Don’t you dare cross that line!”

At the heart of this belief people are really asking the question, “Does God really want to bless me and meet my needs?”  In other words, “Can I truly believe that God wants to provide for me?” Well, the answer from the Bible is that He does in more ways than we can imagine.

Cosmic Killjoy or Not?

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God Places Us For A Purpose

Are you sick and tired of your job? Wish you could win the Mega-Millions Jackpot and escape to paradise, never to work again? If so, maybe some reflection and a new perspective is in order. Humans were endowed with the nature to work from the very beginning and they could not escape it, not even in paradise.

In Genesis chapters 1-2, we are told of God’s spectacular creation of the universe and all that it contains – the heavens, planets, stars, plants, animals and human beings. God was very pleased with his creation and when he was finished he commanded mankind saying, “…have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). And then God did something awesome. He created a garden of paradise – in a place called Eden.

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“Hey Jesus…You Hungry?”

What if you could have anything you ever wanted? What if you could click your fingers and have your needs satisfied, your wants realized and your desires fulfilled? This would be your very own genie-in-a-bottle scenario without the three-wish restriction.

This sounds really enticing, to have everything your heart desires, whenever you want it. Think about it…food…fame…love…power…riches…peace. From your most basic needs to your most extravagant, nothing would be beyond your reach. And the best part is, you could provide that all by yourself just by wishing it to happen.

All right…pinch yourself…dreamtime is over. Of course, this is not reality for us. It will never happen. But there was one man in history that had the ability to make this happen. Thank God he chose not to.

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God’s Provision (Part II): Our Attitude Plays a Role

We saw in part one how God provided for Elijah during a terrible drought in Israel. I Kings 17:6 tells us that ravens brought him bread and meat each day and he drank water from the brook.  Everything was going fine for him, that is until the brook dried up because of the drought. “What now God?” Elijah is surely thinking. “How will I survive without water?”

God wasn’t through showing his miraculous powers to Elijah. No more water…no problem for God. He next instructs Elijah to go to the city Zarephath. When Elijah arrives at the city gate, he meets a woman gathering sticks. This is their interaction in verses 10-13:

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God’s Provision (Part I): “You’re Feeding Me How?”

“I’m starving,” the little girl said as she walked into the kitchen after school. It would be another hour before dinner was ready and the thought of going that long without something to eat was too much for her. “Please daddy,” she pleaded…“just a little something, I feel like I’m going to die!”

The father knowing how overdramatic his 8-yr. old daughter was being, thought about launching into a discussion about what “starving” truly meant. Or maybe he could explain the intricacies of the human body and how God had designed it to go on for days without needing food, only water. Or maybe just a “No!” would do.

Then he looked at his daughter, with those cute curls and big eyes looking up at him.

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The Earth Is God’s and I Am His Steward

seagulls saying "Mine, Mine!"

This is the first post in the “Core Concept” series.

My wife and I have the privilege of raising four great kids. At the time of this writing they range in age from pre-kindergarten to 6th grade. So, for all you parents out there, you can imagine the kid dynamics that take place in our home.

Through my years of parenting, it has been interesting to watch how the children form relationships with each other (and others), get into and solve conflicts, play together, handle disappointment and react to the demands of their parents’ life. Each one is so different from the other it makes it hard to believe they came from the same set of parents. I have noticed, however, they do have at least one thing in common…

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