Money Stress Reduction.

Mel:

This is definitely a great article – on values we should hold with regards to… “Money”, how we see it and how we use it! Loved every single word in this article. (Big BIGGG call!). I also have a post “Be Authentic, Live Simply” which is along the lines of this article. Really hope you can check out Joe’s Blog: Choose Happiness too, great stuff!!!

Originally posted on choose happiness:

I love this guy’s article on Money Stress Reduction. 9 Stress Reducing Truths about Money.

Joshua Becker has a blog, Becoming Minimalist. He’s great. Check out his blog. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

My comment to Joshua:

Great points about money. I was blessed by marrying a saver-not-spender wife. She changed my life. I was a spender. Now, 16 years later, we paid off student loans, paid down our home mortgage principal (as much as we decided to and invested the rest). While the kids were little, my wife could work part time and spend more time with the kids. We’re blessed to have conquered debt and live mostly money-stress free. After paying off all the debt, I almost fell into the traps of the wealthy that you mentioned. I was worried about making more, and protecting it, and not spoiling my kids. I agree with all our points. money is…

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Prayer for Guidance..

God, thank You for this morning, that I can come before You with an open heart.
How is it Lord, that when things are finally going ‘well’, it’s so easy to forget You?
I ask for Your forgiveness, for my distracted-ness.. looking and pursuing other things
Not pursuing You and yet when things don’t go well, that’s when I come running to You.

My desire Lord is to Know You more, to know Your heart.. and to hear Your voice.
Thank You for meeting me this morning. Let my eyes focus only to You Lord.. help me to
fix my eyes and stand on Your Truth, uncompromisingly.

Lord, Your word says that to those who Seek You wholeheartedly.. they will find You.
Thank you for Your favor and grace especially regarding work, I ask Lord, that You will help me to
be a good representation of You Lord, to be salt and light wherever I am.
Speak to me Lord, help me to discern between what is right, and what is foolish. Help me to walk
according to Your ways each day. Even when it can be difficult at times… I know Lord, that Your
Ways are not my ways, Your thoughts are not my thoughts..

So I ask that You will impress upon my heart and align my thoughts to YOUR thoughts and ways.
I ask for Your guidance in every aspect of our lives.. Jase and mine’s.. his work and decisions
that he has to make. I pray that YOUR WILL, not our will be done… be our Lord, and
take the ‘driver’s seat’ in our lives. Thank You Lord, You know what’s best.. please speak to both of us,
and please direct our steps.

In Your precious Name, Jesus, I pray and believe that You straighten our paths, thank You.

AMEN.

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What makes a friendship ‘SPECIAL’?

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True Friends are real treasures. You can have all the money in the world, yet if you don’t have a true friend – one whom you can trust and share everything without fear of being judged… One who just “gets” you… One who can impart words of wisdom and able to tell you not just what you want to hear, but out of love will stop you from making foolish mistakes.. That friend is a keeper for life.

I thank God for Dimple. Yep, that is her real name! Dimple and I are similar in many ways.. perhaps that is why we just get along so well.. but more than that, both of us have a desire for God sooo much that it just is always refreshing and encouraging whenever we speak on the phone or meet up. I truly Thank God for her. There have been times when I took her for granted, but truly I pray that I will never take her for granted again.

I made an acronym on the “F.A.C.T.S” of Friendship awhile ago. The essential ingredients to building deep friendships:

F- Forgiveness
This is key to building any deep friendships! We are bound to rub off on each other the wrong way unintentionally, so forgiveness and letting go is essential for growth and a deeper relationship! Seeing challenging times during our relationships as opportunity to strengthen it more!

A- Acceptance
This is knowing that no one is perfect. Everyone have character flaws. Yes, there are times when we need to help one another be better people, but there are also times when simply, must accept the other person as they are!

C- Community / Compassion
This is being empathetic. Supportive of one another, rejoicing in each others’ successes, being with one another when there are challenges.

T- Truth
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely.. If there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8)

S- Sincerity
This is being authentic with each other- nothing to prove, nothing to lose, nothing to hide!

I notice something though, that makes my friendship with Dimple extra special… our authenticity and freedom to be ourselves with each other. Yes she can say things that may hurt my feelings, that happens.. but she never intends to hurt me :) it’s just her being spontaneously honest :) and I need to hear it sometimes!! ;) but true friendships will blossom and flourish when we just love one another, wish the very best for each other, put the other first (not be self-seeking).. and when we are sincere. Nothing to prove, nothing to lose.. and nothing to hide!

There is a verse in the Bible that actually says this:

“..but there is a man that sticks closer than a brother”..

Sometimes, friends can be closer than our natural family members! Our spouse, significant other, parents, sibblings are often ones we trust the most. It is rare to be able to trust ‘an outsider’.. (well, at least for me).. to truly trust someone outside of my ‘inner circle’ so to say.. but yes, I really thank God for Dimple. She’s indeed a treasure. Love you sis. :)

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Any vegetarians in the house?

I used to get sick a lot – so, I got sick of being sick!

Interesting thing was that I was eating quite healthily too.. lots of brown breads, wholemeal pasta, very little to no ‘refined white’ foods. I ate a lot more protein, mainly lean chicken and fish plus A LOT of vegetables and fresh fruit! Sounds good right?

Still, I often get stomach pains (not just aches), bloating, felt lethargic, skin problems and EVERYDAY I was constipated (I am not exaggerating) and it was sooo Painful!!

Yes, my diet was healthy, however turns out after eliminating certain foods I discovered accidentally that I am actually lactose intolerant and really, really sensitive to gluten! All along!!!

Initially I was sad I can’t eat wholemeal and those yummy fruit breads or cereals (absolutely loovvee my bread and cereals – can eat cereals for breakfast, lunch & dinner!) and can’t have cheese anymore!! At least I wasn’t allergic to nuts!!! Woo! I loovee nuts!

Then recently I did a fast and eliminated meat. Surprisingly, I felt healthier and I’m still surprised that it seems like I’ve more energy (despite not eating meat at all and the good energy-giving wholemeal bread)..

I don’t know how, but the vegetarian, gluten free and lactose free diet seems to work for my body!! Also, I haven’t been sick AT ALL.. and, I’m able to ‘eliminate waste’ EVERYDAY now!!

So I’ve decided to go gluten and dairy-free but also vegetarian! Wow, it seems quite impossible doesn’t?

My family is a bit concerned. Especially with iron intake and vitamin B (which you get from eating meat, poultry)…

So, for iron, I would have to consume lots of iron rich vegetables (Kale, Spinach, Broccoli) with Vitamin C rich foods! Discovered that only when combined with Vitamin C rich foods, iron from these sources are more absorbable!

Anyone here a Vegetarian? Did you ever miss meat? I don’t know.. But I think I might miss my fish…

This was what I had for breakfast this morning:

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A green juice with Kale, Spinach, Lemon, Ginger, Celery, Cucumber, Parsley and… Chia seeds! Surprisingly, it was palatable!

For lunch.. I decided to get a little creative, vegetarian sushi with quinoa and tahini dressing!

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I had avocado, kale, cucumber, carrot, spinach and quinoa wrapped in nori seaweed sheets. It actually tasted really good!

So yeah… Lets see how I go.. :p

When Facing a Problem…

Sometimes our paths are ‘crooked’.. And I believe that this is OK and at times, necessary- it is God’s way to gently remind us that He is bigger than all our circumstances, He allows the good and bad things to happen in our lives but no matter what, it is so that His Name will be glorified. That out of the things we encounter and experience, we will grow stronger in our faith and personal walk with Him.

He is Soverign, Good, Wise, Still in Control and He will bring IT to Pass.

I choose to Focus on the following, questions when faced with challenging problems in my life:

1) WHAT HAS GOD DONE IN THE PAST
2) WHAT GOD CAN DO
3) WHO GOD IS

A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE
These 3 questions really help me to shift the focus away from troubles to my God- How He is able to bring me through it! To Focus on How Big and Great my God is!!

As a Christ-follower, I do meditate. Not in the way that some of the religions of this world advocate meditation though. It is not about emptying the mind, rather, filling the mind with truth, mulling over it and thinking about this truth throughout the day.

Lets do a practical exercise on meditating the “Christ-follower” way:

There’s a Proverbs in the Bible which goes like this:
“Trust in The Lord
With all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways
Acknowledge Him
And He shall make your paths straight”
(proverbs 3:5)

1) I would write down on my journal (or blog)… What does the word “Trust” mean??

When I think of trust.. The first image / person that came to mind is my dad. This makes it easier to understand what trust ‘looks like’. I have full confidence in my earthly father so
To Trust is to have FULL CONFIDENCE in that person, that that person will do me no harm but only what is GOOD.

I will then think about this- the Bible says to Trust IN The Lord, with ALL my heart. This means I am to have full confidence not just in my dad, or my husband – rather, to have full confidence in my God wholly. Even though I cannot see him with my physical eyes, I will put my HOPE and CONFIDENCE IN My Great God.

2) “And lean not on your own understanding?”

What does this look like? Having full confidence in my God at times is ‘nerve wrecking’ and also a challenge, because He does speak- but when He speaks at times it really seems not logical, or not the idea we thought of initially –

Well, His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts… He can open a door, He can also close a door- no matter what, to RELY ON HIS WISDOM!

3) “In all your ways to acknowledge Him”..

What does this mean? What does this look like?

To acknowledge Him is the same as how we acknowledge others who have done great things.. how we thank others who have influenced us and helped us become who we are today.

Think about someone receiving an award (the Oscars, achievement at work) that person may give a speech and acknowledge the individuals who have helped and supported them.

The same with God- only He doesn’t just want us to acknowledge Him at the end, but even while we are going through difficult things, we must shift our focus on to Him and remember Him as a way to Acknowledge Him.

It is an Act of Faith.

Since, we are trusting, following, listening and acknowledging Him while the path is ‘crooked’… BUT He promises us that when we do this,

“AND He shall make your paths STRAIGHT”

Now I love my tea. So if someone makes tea and just dip in the teabag quickly then takes it out, I’ll be “whoa none of that please!” I like my tea strong and dark! Otherwise it is just like hot water with a bit of colour in it!

The same goes with meditating in the Word. You can’t just dip in here and there quickly.. We need to let ourselves SOAK in every word, really study the meaning, context of the verse we are reading and LET His Word TRANSFORM us!

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Beauty for Ashes!

Originally posted on B is for Blessed!:

“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified,” Isaiah 61:3 NKJV

Isaiah 61 is probably one of the most comforting chapters in the Bible. The very first verse begins with good news preaching “good tidings to the poor,” speaks of   heal the broken-hearted,” and proclaims “liberty to the captives.”

We have all at one time or another been in need of good tidings, healing or freedom from bondage. This chapter provides hope of change or rather an exchange of what we have for what our God is willing to give us instead.

God’s love for us allows us the opportunity to give Him those things that are painful and…

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Have you met someone “wise”?

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I’d have to say that one the wisest individuals in my world would have to be my husband. :) no, I’m not being biased.. to a passer-by Jase is pretty ordinary- he has nothing “impressive” attached to his name. But let me say, he is definitely “wise” because his focus and heart is set on following God completely and that’s why I married him in the first place!

I want to share to you about one of my favorite passages in the Bible which is from Psalm 103. For me it sums up how King David (the author) could be called by God as a “man after God’s heart” and the “key” to living wisely.

So King David wrote:

“Bless The Lord O my soul; and all that is within me bless His Holy Name”

Why is David a man after God’s heart?

When I read this verse- just a couple of lines, yet I could sense that David just worships The Lord WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

Why would he do that? He goes on to say:

“Bless The Lord O my soul and Forget not all His benefits! Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction…”

David could worship God wholeheartedly because he was GRATEFUL!

He knew God. He did not want to forget that God is One who forgives, heals, redeems His people from destruction..

“Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good thing, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s

Can you see how passionate David was about his Creator King? I do believe that’s why he’s been called as a man after God’s heart. God loves and delights in us just absolutely and unashamedly pursuing after Him wholeheartedly!

David goes on to praise God’s Mercy for His people..

“So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him (who is committed to follow His ways ).. As a father pities (this is translated from the original hebrew word which means: showing mercy) his children, So The Lord pities (shows mercy and grace) to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust

Now I LOVE this passage (also from Psalm 103)- it offers a different perspective on life and helps to keep me grounded. Get ready for it.

“As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more”

Wow! You know we came into this world with nothing.. And we leave this world also with nothing.

That puts life into perspective ain’t? It begs me to question myself, what am I living for? What am I striving for??

Did you notice that David kept talking about those who “fear The Lord” that they will receive God’s mercy?

“But the MERCY of The Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. On those who fear Him… To those who Keep His covenant AND to those who REMEMBER His commandments and does them”

What does “fearing God” mean? Doesn’t that make Him a little ‘intimidating’?!?

The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is walking in the way of God, living lives that follows His heart, His ways and in complete obedience. Yes, GOD does ask for our whole heart, our complete surrender. However, we are not obeying some tyrant or a God that isn’t alive! When we obey Him and pursue after Him daily, His mercies, love and presence will fulfill our deepest longings and..

“The Lord IS my Shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1)

Which means, He is fully capable of taking care every single detail of our lives. Why worry and be anxious, why strive and live this life our own way? For when we Fear Him = Live our lives with Him in the FOREFRONT and reflecting Who He is, He will be Glorified!

That is why, a wise person does not seek for his/her own glory, his/her own name to be esteemed.. Rather,

someone who just loves to delight in God. So much so that they CANNOT bring themselves to live lives foolishly [or in vain] trying to “satisfy” themselves (to no avail)… Instead, out of such deep conviction and gratitude to God, this person chooses to live the life given to him to bring His Maker most pleasure, Glory and Honor.

So the key I believe to being wise is to KNOW who God is! So that we can follow after Him Wholeheartedly and truly make Him as The Lord of our lives.

God Is..

1) SOVEREIGN
2) GOOD
3) WISE
4) IS STILL IN CONTROL
5) FAITHFUL – He will bring IT (His Purposes) to pass
6) HOLY
7) LOVE
8) HEALER
9) FULL OF MERCY
10) DELIVERER

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Living In Glass Houses

Mel:

This story touched my heart deeply. It is more common than we can ever imagine.. Makes me think of this verse:
.. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. (Luke 12:48). I pray for complete freedom and wholeness for the hurting girls and women in our world today.

Originally posted on Our Dot On The Map :

My name is Anna. I live in a glass house. I may be 23 but I feel as if I have achieved my dreams; however, I know I must still tread lightly and carefully to keep my dream. My house is beautiful, captivating and has everything that I want in it; I only have to make sure each day that everything is running top notch and sparkling clean. I live the retired person’s life, filling my time and days sitting outside in the warm tropical breeze playing Candy Crush on my iPhone. I have everything I have always dreamed of. 

Except security.

I should be happy but I am not. I smile a lot on the outside, I have a lively, bubbly personality and get along with most of the people I meet and know. Yet, no one really knows how I truly feel. They know, but they pretend not…

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Who is God?

His Love is truth and pure
Hard to grasp yet given
Logic cannot be sure
As the wind, it’s unseen

His presence lights my way
And peace I’ve come to know
His Love is here today
No dark can rid its glow

The Love which sets me free
Is the One on that Cross
Savior He’s come to be
All else, I count as loss

- by melinda

Jesus says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)

Something Unexpected on Valentine’s Day

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I went out on a mother-daughter lunch date today with my beloved mum to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We had a lovely time together of sharing and just hanging out :)

On our way out to the carpark, a guy was playing the flute. I play the flute too and appreciated his playing so I gave a small smile. He stopped me as I walked passed him and said “Excuse me.. Just wanted to say you’re beautiful, really beautiful” ehhh.. That has NEVER happened to me before in my life where a random stranger just said that not knowing me at all. So I suppose this guy may say this to every girl that walks past haha :D

Nevertheless, being Valentine’s Day and a female.. who would not be appreciative of that? A little surprised, I only said “thank you”. Looking back, I wished I said something about his playing or at least “God bless you”.. *sigh*

My point is: husbands, fathers, brothers, friends- your words do matter :) encourage your daughters, wife, sister, girlfriend and let them know that they are beautiful (sincerely). It does wonders to a woman’s soul and heart.

By the way, “beauty” isn’t just based on a woman’s outward appearance.. The Bible actually says: “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears The Lord (who seeks after God in all her ways) is to be praised”

As for us women, the best thing we can do for humankind is to draw our beauty from being in the Presence of our Creator God. Our self-worth should not be based on how we look, our achievements.. etc etc BUT based on this realization: God loves me, He’s forgiven and made me clean, He sees me as someone with a right standing and He sees me as incredibly amazing! This is the truth!

I went through some awful times a while back. Being a very sensitive person, it would be easy for me to become bitter, angry, mean, depressed looking and just a negative person overall. However, God saved me just in time.

So I want to encourage the women reading this- know that Your Creator Loves you. Your may have experienced terrible things or you may have done things you’re not proud of.. GOD LOVES YOU AND HE HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE! Can you seek Him?

“Trust in The Lord with All your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your paths Straight” (Proverbs 3:5)

Wishing you a meaningful Valentine’s Day :)

~ Mel