What Does the Bible Say About Money?

money-2384530_960_720What does the Bible say about money? You might be surprised to find the answers to that question. While you might think of TV preachers or giving money to a church, there’s actually lots of helpful advice about money in the Bible. The stereotype…

 

Book Review – The Louder Song by Aubrey Sampson

978-1-63146-902-2.jpg

Have you ever been at a point in your life when you asked God “Why is this happening?”

If you’ve been filled with grief over a tragic event and you can’t understand why God would allow such disappointment, Aubrey Sampson understands. Such a point in life she refers to as lament. Lament can happen over a job loss, diagnosis of an illness, death, or a difficulty in a marital relationship. In her new book The Louder Song, she talks about her own journey of lament and weaves it with the lament stories that you might have heard in the Bible (or may not have, given that Christians are so often told to put on a happy face).

Aubrey Sampson is honest in telling her story. She knows that on the journey of grief, you can’t just get a how-to-do-grief book, and go on your merry way. You can’t just fix it neatly for yourself or someone else. You have to go through it. You have to feel the hurt and pass through it. There are no shortcuts for grief. She affirms every Christian who has asked the tough questions – why did this happen? How could God do this to me? Why don’t I have answers? She affirms that you are not a weak Christian for asking the questions and not having answers. Faith and questioning can and should co-exist in times of trials.

If you want a book that’s honest about grief, I highly recommend this book. Sampson is honest with her raw emotions and about her questions of God; I really liked her vulnerability.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

BLOG-NETWORK-BADGE

Encouragement for Singles this Valentine’s Day

Time-Heals-All-Wounds-Courage-Improvement-Encourage-3130248.jpg

How are you feeling today, Christian single? Maybe you’re doing pretty good most days with the Christian life. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need a little encouragement as a Christian single. Just between you and me, I’ll take off my “strong Christian single” mask and get real with you. While I do believe there are some benefits of singleness, and I do enjoy these benefits, sometimes I also get discouraged. Sometimes I just need a big, huge dose of encouragement related to the relationship department. Do you know where I’m coming from, friend?

Here’s some encouragement I’ve dug up for myself that I hope can help you too.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”

220px-MontreGousset001

In this well-known passage, the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that there’s a time for everything. War and peace, death and life, mourning and dancing. We can even see this in nature – there’s dark and light, high tide and low tide, winter and summer. Some seasons are more pleasant than others, and it’s natural to want the hard seasons to be over, but that’s just not how things work.

What about your hard season of hurt? Maybe you’re asking questions after a tough break-up. That sucks, but it won’t last forever. Your hard season of feeling hurt because you got rejected? Those feelings won’t last forever. Your loneliness wondering where “The One” is? Everybody who has a heartbeat who has found the one they waited for can probably attest that the wait was worth it if they truly found their someone. Waiting is hard, but we can’t escape it. We can, however, try to keep it in perspective, and acknowledge that it’s ok to grieve when we want to.

Psalm 88:1-2 “Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.”

3d80fed473b7d35eba9407d3087585b7.jpg

The Psalms are full of words of trouble and they’re relevant to us because sometimes we find ourselves in trouble too! What I love about the Psalms is that they show no matter how much we may wail, cry, moan, complain, agonize, question, or wonder, God is still present. We may not get the answer we want – or any answers at all – but God is still there. If you’re questioning things that have gone on in a relationship that ended or a relationship that hasn’t materialized, God may not give you the answers you want – or any answers at all – but He can be the listening ear for you that will never get tired of listening. This concept applies to not just relationship troubles but any troubles we face in life.

Proverbs 15:14 “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”

board-597190_960_720.jpg

It’s important to know the truth about who you want to date. Is this person a good person? Is he or she a Christian? Let’s go back to something even more basic – is this person a single person? It’s unfortunate that such a basic question even has to be asked, but we have to be discerning and know that there are people who have no business dating at all that might make themselves available to you. Be wise and know this! Avoid trouble and be discerning!

Be discerning as you go about your quest to find the right relationship. Using the good judgement and wisdom that God is willing to give us can save us a lot of heartache. While feelings can place us on an emotional high, they can put us in a place of being attracted to people who are not good for us. Feelings are not bad but discernment can help us so much more. Discernment can help us separate truth from reality and discernment can help us place appropriate boundaries between people who may not have our best in mind. Some people are takers that will take endlessly with nothing but selfishness in mind. Use discernment to filter these people out of your dating pool.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own  understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

d1211cc96568af19546f7c74ef2215ce

Relationships can be messy, right? Maybe you’ve been through a break-up and analyzed it all. Maybe it wasn’t you but them that caused the trouble. Or maybe it wasn’t either of you but just a mismatch. No matter how much we may try to use good judgement and wisdom, there can still be unanswered questions that we have to leave in God’s hands. God is so gracious and full of love towards us, and He can use these messy situations to steer us away from people that would be the wrong match for us. God can use these disappointments to steer us onto a better path, even if we can’t see it at first.

Today, no matter what you may be feeling, keep in mind how much God loves you and that you are His treasured child!

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All views are the author’s own and content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

Singles, How to Make the Most of the Time

alarm-clock-2831834_960_720

Have you ever thought about what it means to “redeem the time”? In Ephesians 5:16, we’re told to “redeem the time” (or, as some versions read, “make the most of the time”). Have you ever thought about how this could apply to your life if you’re a Christian single with a desire for marriage?

Waiting is hard. It can be painful, filled with hurt and discomfort. It can be filled with ambiguity. There can be tension in waiting. As Christians, we’re encouraged to “trust in the LORD” with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5-6), yet nowhere in the Bible are we given the promise of a future spouse. So, with confident expectation, we can do our part, and we can pray, but there’s that other part – the faith part- that means we have to hand over the reins and trust God that He will help with all the other parts in the process that we can’t control.

So what’s that got to do with our time, with redeeming the time or making the most of the time?

It’s my opinion that there’s a lot we can do while we’re waiting. If you’re praying and asking God to bring you a husband or a wife, or you’re asking God to heal your broken heart, I can’t make your prayers come true or fix your broken heart. However, I do think that waiting can be viewed as a time of preparation, rather than desperation. This can give us hope.

Waiting can be viewed as a chance to prepare for what we want – a future season of marriage. If you hope and want for marriage, you can take the opportunities now for making your single life the best that it can be. Don’t settle for dating people who don’t respect you, just because you’re alone. Don’t buy the idea that you are “less than” because you’re not in a relationship. Don’t accept the idea that you have to be in a relationship – you don’t.

You can give yourself some power if you feel uncomfortable with the unknown. I think that being single can give great opportunities for positive change. Focusing on these things while you’re single can allow you to experience blessings in your own life. And, if you get the marriage you’re praying for, the results of these changes could bless your future spouse as well. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Redeeming the Time Financially

If you’re single, why not consider the state of your financial house? If you don’t have financial goals that you’ve thought about, now’s the time to think on it and go for it! Big goals like saving for a house, paying down student debt, building an emergency fund, or being able to give to a charity you have a soft spot for – these are all things you can enjoy doing while you’re single. While you don’t have to stop these things when you get married, being solo means that you’re number one with no one else to answer to. Since I’m single, I expect that if I ever get married, that kind of “Me Only” mentality that I have with my finances would not make for a successful partnership. Having a husband would mean the game would have to change from “me” to “we”.

Redeeming the Time, At Work

Some girls have only one goal in life: get married, have kids, and be a stay-at-home mom. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having that goal. Motherhood is a high and noble calling. Partnerships of families where the mother is home with her young kids, and the kids feel safe and secure – these partnerships can create good kids who grow up to be good people. If this is your goal as a woman – to find a partner, get married, and be a homemaker – how can you redeem the time to that end? I don’t think that eliminates doing your best at a job outside the home. Being able to contribute financially can be an asset to your future household. Ruth, in the Bible, is an excellent example of this. Her second husband, Boaz, would never have met her had he not seen her work ethic displayed when she was gathering food.

Being single can be a great time to accomplish goals and acquire skills that can serve your family, regardless of your parenting plans. I probably never would have been able to finish my college education had I not been single when I was going to school. If I was a working mother with kids to care for, it would have been impossible. I couldn’t have done it; it would have been too much.

For men and women, being single is the perfect time to tackle time-consuming goals. What might you accomplish? Have you been thinking about going back to school, getting an extra certification, learning a new language, or going for a promotion at work? Being single gives you more time to take the steps you might need in order to advance your career before your family needs more of your attention.

Redeeming the Time, Just for Fun

Not everything has to be serious! Some things can be just for fun. Have you thought about starting a side hustle, going mountain biking, starting a website, or learning how to cook? Have you binge watched anything stupid lately, ate breakfast in bed, or re-decorated your bedroom? Would you enjoy doing a service project or clearing out some clutter, Kon-Mari style? Not everything has to have a goal – some things can be just for fun – and when you’re single, you get to be the boss!

I hope that wherever you are in your life, you can find a way to make the most of the time and enjoy it! You’re worth it!

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All views are the author’s own and content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

 

What is Hospitality?

What is hospitality? You might find yourself re-defining the word if you think like me. You can read my guest post from the Community of Christ Daily Bread blog here.