Tag Archives: helping others

Set for Life

Not long ago my husband was talking to a very wealthy man that he has known for a few years and during their conversation the man shared how hard he works and began to describe all of the hours he puts in every week to get where he is at.  How many Americans would say the same thing?   Many if not most are all working to accomplish that “American” dream.

Before my husband and I were called into ministry together we were very much a part of the American dream seekers.  While living out west we were married, had two children and during our time raising our family my husband went into business for himself.  We were on our way! Every year his business became more and more successful. Compared to most, we were rich! Before we left to go into ministry for the Lord we lived in a very well to do community. We owned a three car garage two story “builders” model mountain view home complete with four bedrooms on the 2nd level and an office on the first level. The “master” suite was quite roomy with a sitting room and fireplace. The master bath included a jacuzzi tub and a walk in shower with a mountain view. Our kitchen had a beautiful view of the pebble-tech in-ground swimming pool along with a built in water fall.  According to many we’d accomplished one of the most sought after lifestyles by men and women all over the world, and we did it well before the age of 50. But yet, something was missing.

If you’ve been led to believe that “money” makes you happy, I have some news for you: Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Don’t get me wrong, “having” money is not wrong, but the Bible does clearly say that “the LOVE of money is the ROOT of all evil” 1 Timothy 6;10.  When our goal of “making” money becomes more important than anything else that is when we find ourselves in danger of the “love” of money, it then becomes an idol.  When this happens, we are opening the door to a very unhappy and empty life. A life void of “real” happiness, joy and peace.  Loving money more than anything else can ruin a family and end a marriage.  It can even cause health issues.  So what is the “first” clue that making money is the most important goal in your life? Giving, or the lack of. You see when we “love” money we no longer see the importance of helping others we begin to be “afraid” of losing it,  so we keep it all for ourselves.  For those of us who attend church, it can keep us from obeying God when it comes to giving “Tithes” and offerings.  We begin to adopt the mindset of  “I work hard for my money!”  This same kind of thinking was recorded in the Bible even before Jesus was born: “I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy”  But God himself says to be “careful” with this kind of thinking: “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations and decree’s that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in,  and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. …He did this so you would never say to yourself, “I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.” Remember the Lord your God. HE IS THE ONE WHO GIVES YOU POWER TO BE SUCCESSFUL in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” Deuteronomy 8:11-18

One main point I am attempting to make here is this: It is NOT evil to make money. It is NOT evil to work hard and become rich! When we get in trouble is when we FORGET that God himself has given us that gift or talent to become wealthy! And that “wealth” is not only for you to be blessed but to bless others with it (not just your family).  God spoke to Abraham and said “I have blessed you so that you will be a blessing”  Abraham who was very wealthy paid “tithes” to Melchizedek, a priest of God recorded in Genesis 14:18-20 also in Hebrews 7:6. “And all that YOU have GIVEN me, I will surely GIVE A TENTH (tithe, meaning 10% of all you make or acquire) unto thee” is what Jacob promised to God in Genesis 28:22.  Later the Mosaic law spoke of the “tithe” in Leviticus 27:30-32.  “Honor the LORD with your substance (money, abundance) and the firstfruits of all your increase” Proverbs 3:9.

If what I’ve shared with you has gotten your attention and you’re seriously interested in learning more,  read about the “BLESSINGS” that follow those who choose to obey God recorded in Deuteronomy chapter 28.  You see there is a “law” in place. It’s very much like the laws of gravity: “What goes up, must come down” The law of “sowing and reaping” (giving and receiving) also apply: When you sow seed into the ground you will reap a harvest. When you “give” back what God has blessed you with, He makes sure that you get more.  One scripture says, “He that gives to the poor lends to the Lord and that which he has given, God will pay him back again.” Proverbs 19:17  He has not put his promises and commandments in His word to make us feel bad. He’s had them recorded for us to learn from them. To understand where our life, gifts, talents and the ability to make money come from: Him.  When we do this we will truly be “Set for Life!”
“...for then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success…” Joshua 1:8


Life After Tsunami

Amid the rubbish stands one of the most beautiful sites anyone will ever see: Springtime Sakura, better known as “cherry blossom” trees.  While preparing for my trip to Japan, I look at the hard work our friends in Otsuchi are doing by helping the people that have been devastated by the tsunami that swept through their town, taking lives and tearing down many of the structures that once stood strong.  But with all of the pain and suffering, there is something more powerful than death and destruction: Life!

Jesus says in the ancient scriptures “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come, that you might have Life and Life more abundantly” John 10:10.  You may say, “Where is this Life? How can Life be present when there is so much sorrow? ” When God raised Jesus from the dead he sent His Spirit to live inside every person who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. This Spirit demonstrates the love of the Father (God) when we love those around us.  As the people of God his Love empowers us to help a neighbor living just down the street or thousands of miles away bringing comfort to the hurting.  This kind of Love is expressed with more than words, it is accompanied with action,  “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we must also give up our lives for our brothers and our sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but show no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth.” 1John 3:16-18

Just like the Sakura trees showing off their display of life and beauty…the people of God are active all over the world  showing this  “Life”  through acts of love toward mankind.  “Let your lite  so shine that mankind will see your good deeds (acts of Love) and Glorify your Father which is in Heaven” Jesus words found in Mathew 5:16

Thank you for your prayers as I continue preparations for my upcoming trip to Japan. Below is Pastor Guna and Jey and members of their congregation returning from their first trip into Otsuchi.  They have recently returned with another team and are working to help clear anything damaged by the tsunami and cleaning the homes so the families (who are in shelters) can return to their homes. God bless them as they show the people of Otsuchi God’s love through their acts of kindness.

For more information regarding our call to Japan, read my blog titled, “Japan: Mission of Love” or go to our website at PonceChurch.com

Is God with You?

How would you  feel  if  members of your family were plotting to kill you? What do you think your reaction would be if someone close to you sold you into slavery? Or what if you were wrongfully accused and thrown into prison? Sounds like a CNN headliner right? What I am about to share with you is a TRUE story of a man named Joseph and how because of a dream, his brothers set out to kill him.  In this dream he saw his family bowing down to him just before he was about to help and save them and many others from a great famine. When he shared this dream his brothers they were so outraged and full of jealousy  toward Joseph.  Reuben, Josephs older brother influenced his brothers into not killing him but suggested they just throw Joseph in an empty cistern (Reuben’s plan was to later return Joseph to his father). Now instead of leaving Joseph to die in the dry well they decided to sell him to some local traders who were passing by.

With all of this devastation taking place in Josephs life, was God with him? Let’s see what the word of God says, “When Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders he was purchased by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Potiphar was captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH, so he succeeded in everything he did and served in the home of his Egyptian master.” The following is AMAZING!  Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar so he soon made Joseph his personal assistant.” (Genesis chapter 39:1-4 nlt) WOW! Talk about turning things around!

Not long after, Potiphars wife decided she wanted Joseph for herself, but Joseph refused to give in to her lure, so he fled from her. She was so outraged that she made up a lie about Joseph which led to his imprisonment. Right now you’re probably thinking “enough already, give the guy a break!” So what happened next? The scriptures tell us,The Lord was with Joseph and showed him His faithful Love How? “Before long the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to SUCCEED.

WHY WAS JOSEPH ABLE TO RISE ABOVE HIS PROBLEMS? He KNEW GOD was with him! Because of his connection with God he was able to master his emotions by refusing to allow anger, bitterness, unforgiveness and hatred toward his brothers overtake him. Joseph refused to judge his brothers and chose to show them mercy “But Joseph replied, ”Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but GOD intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people (there was a famine and Joseph was very powerful and had harvested grain to help feed others during the famine) No don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them”

Key: Learning to not blame others is the FIRST step to mastering our emotions. Joseph understood that God would turn his circumstances around IF he kept his heart from bitterness, anger and hatred. He knew that the ONLY WAY OUT would be for him to show mercy toward his brothers and because he did, GOD showed MERCY on Joseph and he will do the same for you and me.  Do you have family, friends or co-workers that have hurt you or committed wrongful acts against you? I encourage you to get connected with God right now if you want to see your present circumstances turn around in your favor. If you’re a Christian, ask God to help you show mercy as He has been merciful to you. If you are not a Christian, the Bible says “They that call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved” Ask God to forgive you and receive His Son Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus went to the cross in your place…taking your sins upon Himself. Believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. Take His gift of mercy and give out mercy. The Bible says that God shows His mercy to those who are merciful (forgiving) toward others.

The Lord IS with you my friend!  Don’t allow your present circumstances imprison you. Just like Joseph you can get rid of unforgiving thoughts and emotions toward those that have hurt you. Let it go and let God work it all out.  When you do this the Lord WILL work on your behalf just as He did Joseph’s.

http://www.poncechurch.com/ for Pastor Rick’s recent series on “Mastering Our Emotions”