Biblical Reference: Genesis 15-21
Archives for June 2016
Listen, I love nice things, like really nice things. I have no idea how I developed such exquisite taste for luxury.
The BIGGEST problem that I face with liking nice things is, my Thousandaire reality doesn’t always lineup with my Trillionaire desires. But
today’s your lucky day this is about to bless you, because I’m going to share how you too can dabble in the Trillionaire lifestyle while still living in a Thousandaire reality.
1. Be Flexible.
Whenever I get the best rates on plane tickets, it’s because I leave my travel dates open and search the entire month for ticket prices. I have noticed that the least expensive days to travel are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, so these are typically the days I travel when my dates are flexible. That’s not to say that you can’t find good prices on other days, but these are the days that I have observed to consistently have good prices.
2. Know when to buy.
Typically, most flights tend to increase closer towards the end of the week, for a couple of reasons: 1) this is when most people tend to travel; 2) this is when most people get paid. So quite naturally, when the demand is high, so are the prices. If you can, try to purchase your airfare earlier in the week to avoid price increases. Disclaimer: In no way am I an Economist, just a Common Senseist.
3. Work, Work, Work, Work, Work, Work!
Nothing in life is free, and for a good price on travel, you gotta be willing to be like Rihana and do some work. When searching for flights, I typically start off at Google Flights or one of the other bulk travel sites, like Expedia or Orbitz. *Southwest and other discount airlines, don’t advertise on these sites, so you have to go directly to their sites to check prices.*
Don’t be opposed to purchasing two one way tickets or even tickets from two different carriers. Listen, we’re trying to keep our coint; and that may mean being unconventional so we can get to Seychelles.
4. Strike when the iron is hot!
God has truly blessed me to be able to take advantage of some pretty SWEET deals. But that was because I was prepared to get tickets as soon as the deal was available.
My #1 travel destination has always been to visit UAE, specifically Dubai, and last year, I was blessed with the opportunity to go, for a whooping $214 RT. Etihad Airways had an error fare on Christmas Day 2014, and I had already
planned thought about buying myself a ticket to Dubai for Christmas. And because my God can do exceedingly abundantly above, all I could ever ask or think, I have family and friends that live in the UAE so I was able to lodge for the $free.99. He’ll bless ya if you let Him!
Extra Nugget: The majority of my international travel is to places that I have friends and family, so I can stay with them and not have to worry about lodging expenses. Plus, you get to experience the area as the locals do!
5. Create An Account.
If you don’t already, I would suggest creating a traveling account. Deposit a couple $$ in there every week or so until you have at least $500. You would be surprised where you could go for $500 on a sweet travel deal!
I smile because I get to keep my coins!
What about you? Have you traveled lately? What are your summer travel plans?
After you have saved some moolah on airfare, check out these lovely ladies for the perfect vacation fashion ideas, Enjoy!
Lauren at Style Elixir
Allison at Two Thousand Five Designs
Debonita at Elegantly Fashionable
Bible Reading: Matthew 7:7-11
It had been a LONG day. I was finishing up a project I had been working on for five days and was ready to submit. After switching back and forth between a few different Excel documents, closing the ones I no longer needed, the unthinkable happened. My work was gone! I must have accidentally closed the wrong document thinking it was something else. I went to the folder on my desktop that I had been working out of just to verify. Sure enough, five days of work was gone. What I was I going to do? It was already after 5:30pm. There was no way I was going to be able to meet the deadline, everything was gone.
I needed a break. I walked to the restroom and didn’t speak a word to anyone on the way. I was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get everything completed within the next 30 minutes. I didn’t have any more time to devote to this project; another one awaited.
While in the restroom, I started to think of a plan of how I could recreate the information. “I would have to pull from different sources, but there’s no guarantee that all the needed information would be available. I would have to work fast if I wanted to get home at a decent hour. Maybe I could do the majority of the work now and then finish up the rest tomorrow morning. I will just have to let them know about the mistake.” Then came the frustrated heavy sigh…
“Ok, God, here’s the deal, I can’t even begin to tell You what happened to all that work and honestly at this point that doesn’t even matter. You know how hard I worked on getting everything together to meet this deadline and You also know what else I have to complete. I have looked everywhere for the work and I don’t have any more time to devote to this project. Please God, I ask that You recover all of the work I did. I don’t know how You are going to do it but I know that You can. In Your son Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!”
I walked back to my desk and open up two different files. The first one was completely empty. The second one I opened had all of my work; everything that I was working on just 15 minutes ago was all there. I didn’t know how, but I definitely knew who.
What have your prayers looked like lately? Have you been specific about the things that you need God to work out on your behalf? Have you been accepting whatever comes your way, trying to figure out how you will make it work? Or have you specifically told God exactly what you need Him to do on your behalf?
God is well aware of everything that we need, so we don’t pray to inform Him of our needs. But we pray to express our inability to do anything without Him. Prayer says, “God I can’t, but I know You can. So that’s why I’m coming to You.” The only way we can undoubtedly know God answers our prays is when we are specific with out request.
What are you going to pray specifically about today? What is it that you really need God to do on your behalf? Specifically lay out everything that you need God to do in your life and watch how He preforms.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for reminding me that You delight in answering my prayers. You take pleasure in addressing the specific concerns of my heart. Help me to remember that specific prayers yield specific results and allows me to see just how powerful You really are. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Focus Scripture: Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. Proverbs 18:21 (MSG)
What are you telling yourself? What are you letting other say about you? What have you started to believe about who you are? If it’s anything other than the word of God, no matter how you feel, it’s not true. I pray this video reminds you of who you are and all of your capabilities in Christ Jesus. Enjoy!
Bible Reading: So is My word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)
When you are walking with Christ, be on alert. The very moment you decide to step out on faith and take actions to show God that you are ready and prepared for the promise He declared, the enemy starts to attack.
However, we are not ignorant to the tricks of the enemy. What has been done will be done again, according to Ecclesiastes 1:9. Some of the enemy’s tactics include:
- Persuading you to discredit or question what God has spoken to you. See Genesis 3:4-5. If he can accomplish this, you could potentially feel the need to have to question everything God ever spoke to you. Have confident in knowing that you know the voice of God. John 10:27
- Convincing you that God doesn’t care. Potentially causing you to isolate yourself, believing that you are alone. Romans 5:8; Galatians 6:2
- Tricking you to believe that you have to figure out the, “how”, “when”, “what”, and “why”. This is an attempt to keep you distracted from what you should be doing to focus on something you could never do. God never commanded you to figure it out, only trust and obey. Proverbs 3:5; John 14:15
The bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, “your adversary the devil walks about LIKE a roaring lion.” If we are not alert and cautious, we can get this confused and think that he IS a roaring lion. Causing us to be paralyzed by his attacks. Attacks come when there is a perceived threat.
Choose today that you won’t let the enemy’s threats keep you from moving forward to accomplish and achieve the purpose set forth before you.
Prayer: Father, I realize the only reason the enemy attacks me is because he recognizes I am a threat to him. Help me to not be paralyzed by his attempts to keep me from moving forward. I know that he has no power, but all the power belongs to You. I will stand on Your word and believe that Your promises will not return to You without them being accomplished successfully. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Bible Reading: Psalm 91
Focus Scripture: For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11
I was on a plane headed back home after a day filled with travel. It was late, I was tired and just wanted to get home. Thankfully I was about to do just that. I was safely buckled in my seat, listening to my music waiting for the plane to take off so I could choose what movie I would watch until I fell asleep and it watched me. We were taxing to the runway when I smelled some gas. I recalled seeing a few aircraft technicians working on something at the back of the plane when I first got on, but I didn’t think anything of it. I’m sure it wasn’t major.
“Allow us to get home safely Father.” I quickly prayed as I continued to let Hillsong minister to me. A few times, I heard the engine rev up as if we were about to take off, but eventually, it throttled back to neutral again. This wasn’t unusual, planes do that sometimes as they are preparing to take off. However, it was taking us an unusually longer time than normal to take off. I just assumed there were multiple aircrafts scheduled in front of us and we were waiting our turn in line. But then the unusual did happen. The plane came to a stop and everything shutdown. I looked out of the window and we were back at our gate. The pilot came on the speakers and informed us that would have to switch planes because we were having engine problems.
Have you ever thought about just how much God protects you; how He has you covered? Just for a moment, think about the things that He protected you from just this past week. How many did you come up with? Now, see if you can think about the things He protected you from that you will never know anything about. Those things that He deemed unnecessary to inform you of, but He still protected you nonetheless. Impossible right?
Psalms 91:11 says He will command His angels to protect you in ALL your ways. Some of those ways you will never know anything about. I have heard may people say, “God will protect you from dangers seen and unseen.” Verse 11 confirms that. I encourage you today to take a moment to thank God for protecting you from those things you will never know anything about.
Prayer: God, Your protection is unfailing. Thank You for commanding Your angels to protect me in all my ways. Especially those things I can’t specifically speak of because they are unknown to me. This just further validates Your sovereignty. Thank You for being the true and loving God. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Guest Writer: Jennifer A. Jenkins
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16
Recently I have been in a weird head and spiritual space. I attribute some of it to the fact that I enrolled in seminary and am being forced to think in a completely different way, but I know that it is also because I am waiting on and expecting God to make good on some promises He set into motion almost a decade ago. Prayers were prayed, fasting engaged in, and obedience practiced, and yet I have not seen the manifestation of what was promised.
I got to the point where I was just…done. I was sick of begging God for what He told me He would provide and just stopped everything. I stopped praying, I stopped reading, I stopped fellowshipping, I…stopped. I did not stop as an ultimatum or as a ploy to get God to do what I wanted Him to do (what He promised to do), I stopped because I was tired, because I was sick of being tired, and honestly because my belief was lacking. I was in a space where I was unsure of how to continue to press forward, where I was sick of being talked about and messed with when all I was doing was what God had called me to do, and most of all sick of putting in work and not reaping any of what I had sown. Have you been there? My faith was faltering and I had absolutely no idea what to do.
I was not in a dark space per se but it was definitely dim. Then, I sat on my couch one evening after a long day. I had the lights out, it was dark outside, my scented wax was melting in my glass candle/oil burner, and I looked up at the ceiling and saw something I had never seen before. The letters of the word “Faith” that were fashioned on the lip of the candle warmer were reflected into shadow on the ceiling and so letters that were no more than 2 inches large on the warmer, showed up at least 1-2 feet large on my ceiling. As I sat in the dark, the word “Faith” shone clear as day on the ceiling and something within me clicked. The scripture that tells us to stay equipped with the shield of faith (Eph 6:16) came to mind in the midst of my ‘aha’ moment and I realized why I was in the weird space I was; I had allowed my shield to lower because I so badly wanted to see what was in front of me and it was as I was in the midst of lowering my shield that I also allowed my faith to falter.
See in ancient battle, the shield was the one piece of armor that was to be held up at all times and it was only lowered in order for the bearer of the shield to attack the opponent. If the shield-bearer was not moving to strike, there was no reason for them to lower or move the shield to see what was ahead of them, they simply allowed the horse to carry them until opposition was met. Ancient Roman soldiers even dipped their shields in water in order to extinguish the flaming arrows the enemy often shot (hence the wording of Ephesians 6:16). Our issue, as modern-day Christians, is that we often desire to see what is ahead of us because we believe that if we know what it is coming, we can move to avoid it and therefore avoid any of the harm/danger that comes along with it; this is especially true when we feel as though God has gone silent. The greatest issue with all of this is that we are wrong. The answer is not to lower the shield to get a look at what is happening, the answer is to continue to walk, to continue to ride, and to continue to work according to the word that was delivered long ago.
But Jenn, how do I walk according to what God said even when it seems as though He has gone silent and the very thing on which He spoke looks dead?
Honest answer? You just do.
There is no magic formula or established set of steps that you follow in order to continue moving forward, you just do. You muddle through the craziness, you work through the mess, and you walk regardless of whatever else it is you want to do. It is difficult and it does not come easy but it is necessary. How do you keep walking? You look to Ephesians 6:16 and you:
- Pick up your faith. All too often we put down our faith in favor of what we see or what others say. By picking up your faith you are taking a clear and proactive stand against the enemy in which you state that you refuse to believe what you see over what God has said; that you choose to stand believing that the word spoken to you is truth and is just waiting to be manifest on Earth.
- Dip your shield in water. Not the water you get out of the tap, but in the LIVING water. Your douse your faith with WORD. Whatever you are believing God for, match it with scripture and speak (pray) God’s Word back to Him. Remind God, and yourself, of what God said He has in store for you (Isaiah 62:6-7).
- Extinguish the enemy’s arrows. Time to go to battle. This is a reminder that faith requires WORK (James 2:14-26). You cannot just say that you believe, you have to put some action behind that belief. Go to work living out your purpose, pursuing your passions, and operating in your calling. Allow God’s grace, mercy, love and greatness to shine through you so that others might see and above all live in purpose.
Do not allow your desire to see what is ahead override your belief in God’s ability to do what He said He would do. Even I have to be reminded that He is not a genie that will grant your every request nor is He a magician where things will pop up right as he says the “magic” words. Some things take time and in that time people and things grow and mature. Use this time to be fashioned into a greater version of yourself; He will show Himself faithful if you allow Him the opportunity to do so.
Connect with Jennifer jenniferajenkins.com
Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:7-9
Focus Scripture: By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Ephesians 3:7 (NLT)
Being a disciple of Christ and serving in His kingdom is a privilege. Often times, I have heard individuals, including myself, speak of it as a burden. “Ugh, I have to prepare to minister this weekend…” or “The ministry is having an event, I don’t feel like…”
I remember, back in April, when I first started sending out devotionals, I would start to get anxious as the day was coming to a close. On my drive home from work some days I would think, “OMG another devotional has to go out in the morning, what am I going to say?” But, once I would start writing, everything would flow. The Holy Spirit would give me everything I needed.
Additionally, I remember when I was just thinking about writing devotionals, I would get that same anxious feeling. One morning, I thought, how am I going to have something to write EVERYDAY? Not too long after going back and forth, the Holy Spirit said, “you have everything you need, just write.” Today is a testament to the truth of what was spoken.
After a few days of feeling burdened by this calling, I did have to question where the overwhelming feelings stemmed from. How did I go from viewing writing devotionals as a privilege to a burden, in such a short time?
It didn’t take long for the answer to be revealed. I simply was involved in way too much. My schedule was jammed pack. What once excited me and I felt like I got a chance to do, now felt like something I had to do.
Once I started re-evaluating what was important and what God had called me to, things started to change regarding how I felt about serving Him.
How have you been viewing your service in ministry? Have you begun to consider it a burden? Has God called you to every ministry you are involved in? What does your schedule look like? Is it jammed packed and you are always on the move? Maybe you should reevaluate your involvement and see what God is speaking to you about where He has called you to. Even if He did, at one time, call you to every ministry you are involved in, everything has a season. Could the season be up for some of the things you are involved in? Our attitude should be, I don’t have to serve in God’s Kingdom, I get to serve in God’s Kingdom.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to see the truth. Often times I feel overwhelmed because I am doing way too much. You never call Your children to serve to the point of exhaustion. Reveal to me everything You would have me to be involved in and allow me to walk away from everything else. God, I pray You would provide laborers to fill in the gaps where there is a need. Thank You that I get the serve in Your Kingdom. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen!
Bible Reading: Luke 6:27-36
I used to HATE my father. I know, you may say, “hate” is a strong word to use. But really, it’s how I felt. However, I am so glad God had delivered me from those ill feelings.
My father and I are very similar, we are both strong willed and don’t have problems with addressing conflict. In the past, my father felt like he was right about EVERYTHING. He wouldn’t hesitate with giving his advise on what he KNEW you needed to do in a situation, and would get upset if you didn’t do what he said!
Thankfully, I have seen God change his heart tremendously in this area.
There have been times that my father and I were having a heated discussion and he was flat out wrong! But because I knew if I kept silent and didn’t point out his wrong, it would keep the peace between us, I chose to do so. See James 1:19-20. Afterwards I would pray about the situation and that God would reveal the truth to both of us, just in case I was wrong, I didn’t want to remain ignorant. The Bible teaches us in Hosea 4:6, that we set ourselves up for destruction when we reject knowledge. I had confidence that if I honored and respect my earthly father, Ephesians 20:12, my heavenly Father would work it out.
This was VERY humbling and difficult because I was used to always saying something or having a rebuttal. There were times that I was in tears after having a conversation with him, because I was so angry, mainly with myself because I didn’t say what I felt I should have.
While going through this process, I was constantly reminded of these two things:
1) The process was not going to be easy or quick, but embrace it and remember to celebrate every victory, big or small.
2) Our ability to respond in a way that honors Christ has to be based on a decision we make beforehand, rather then a feeling we have in the moment.
I am grateful to say, I can’t remember the last time my father and I have had an argument. Not because I have been avoiding them, but because God has truly worked on the both of us by changing our hearts to honor Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for knowing my heart. Honestly, It is not always easy to respond in ways that I know honor You. Forgive me for allowing my emotions to control how I respond to difficult people. I do desire to honor You. Help me to allow my response to be based on a decision of obedience and not how I feel. I know that when I honor You with my responses, You will be glorified and work everything out for my good. It’s in Your son, Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!