Four Cups – A Giveaway

What if God has had a plan for your life since the very beginning? Not just the beginning of your life, but from the foundations of faith itself? In Four Cups, pastor and New York Times best-selling author Chris Hodges shares an astonishing truth: The key to your spiritual fulfillment is found in four promises that God first spoke to His people in the Old Testament, and that are still at the core of his heart and his plans for you today. God wants to rescue you; to deliver you from whatever holds you back; for you to live out His plan for your life; and for you to be part of a family that is making a difference. Steeped in Jewish history and tradition, yet breathing the transforming hope of Christ on every page, Four Cups will help you move forward on your spiritual journey. You’ll understand the four stages of faith, believe the promises of God for your life . . . and discover what it means to be truly fulfilled.

I’m giving away one copy of Four Cups today. I am a bit biased since Chris Hodges is my church’s senior pastor, but it’s definitely a book worth reading. Four Cups refers to the four cups from the Jewish Seder connecting the four cups of Passover to four important aspects of Christianity: freedom, deliverance, purpose, and fulfillment.

To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment below. Open to U.S. residents only.

I was not provided a copy of this book to review or giveaway.

Don’t Believe the Lies

“What makes you think you can do this?”

“You will never be good enough to succeed at this.”

“She is so much better at this.”

We all hear those voices that plant doubt. Some of the voices come from those who are just being funny or sarcastic. Some may even come from those love us. Most, though, come from the enemy, planted in our minds to keep us from living out the purpose God has given us. No matter where the voices come from they are used by the enemy.

And it is incredibly easy to believe those voices. They may be whispers, but they are loud.

“The voices that whisper to us are telling lies. They have to whisper because they have no confidence.” - Stephen Brewster

Why do those voices have no confidence?

They are not Elohim. Those voices are not the voice of the Creator. They are not spoken from the Voice who calls even the stars by name.

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalms 147:4

They are not Yahweh Yireh. They are not the voice of the One who cares for even the flowers in the fields. They are not the voice of our provider.

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?” – Matthew 6:28-30

They are not the voice of Yahweh Ropha. They are not the voice of the One who heals.

‘For I will restore you to health And I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the LORD, - Jeremiah 30:17a

I’m learning (well at least most of the time) to stop those voices that pepper my thoughts with lies. It takes time to train your mind to recognize the lies of the enemy when they begin. But when you train your mind to recognize the lies, those voices will retreat. When the enemy sends a voice telling you that you are not good enough, push it back with truth. Take captive those thoughts that seek to destroy your confidence in the One who made you.

Your Creator will not give you words of despair. He will only give you words of life. He will only give words that lead you to the purpose for which He has created you.

What lies are you struggling not to believe?

What I’m Replacing

I was dropping off a bottle of Purification for someone a few days ago to her husband. When he paid me he commented, “That’s an expensive little bottle.” I laughed it off and replied, “Oh that’s the good stuff.” 

But it got me thinking. At first it does seem essential oils are expensive. I get it. When I first started learning and researching them I thought the same thing. Why would I pay over $20 for one little bottle? 
Except now I realize what all one little bottle of 250 drops can replace. So I thought I would do a post and share everything I use Purification for and compare what it has replaced.
Febreeze – $5.00
Antiseptic – $4.00 – $5.00
OTC Acne Medication – $7.00 +
Wart Removal – $7.00
Bug Spray – $10.00 +
OTC Sore Throat Medication – $8.00 +
Yes one bottle has replaced not just one of those, but all of those and then some, and I would still have plenty left in the bottle. I also use it in stinky shoes & sweaty laundry. Over $40 which does not even include tax. With 250 drops of one essential oil blend, I can treat my family without chemicals for less than if I bought just those 5 things.
If you are considering essential oils, do your research and see how you can use just one oil. You will be amazed at how versatile essential oils are. 

My Camera

Courtesy of: SnapKnot

A Code You Can Live By

Gibb’s rules: One of my favorite parts of NCIS although I don’t necessarily agree with all of them.

Do you know Gibb’s rules? If you watch NCIS, you know Leroy Jethro Gibbs has rules for life. The characters always wonder and ask where he gets his rules, but he never answers them. Then in an episode he flashes back to the first time he meets his now deceased wife and the viewer realizes the rules came from her. “Everyone needs a code they can live by,” she tells him.

Lately, I’ve been reminding myself of several things. Let’s face it. Life is complicated and our insecure minds can read into things that just aren’t there. So I’ve been making my own code of sorts.

Don’t Compare

1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

God didn’t create us to be exactly like anyone else so why do we constantly feel the need to compare ourselves to others? There are a thousand quotes I could share about the comparison trap. And that’s what it is. A trap.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. – John 10:10

The enemy wants nothing more than for us to become discouraged and steal our joy by comparing ourselves to others so we can’t fulfill the purpose God has for us.

Assume Nothing

2. Don’t assume anything.

It’s so easy to read something on social media and assume the friend on Facebook is talking about us or assume we know who that tweet or blog is referring to when in reality we are not inside a person’s mind and we aren’t there in person to understand their tone or body language. Really, just don’t make assumptions. We all type before we think without realizing how those words may sound or come across, but it’s still better not to assume we know what the person is thinking or what they may be experiencing.

As one of my mass communications professors always said, “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it might not be a duck.” It was his reminder to not always believe what’s on the surface, to dig deeper and get all sides. In other words not to assume we have all the information.

You Aren’t the Holy Spirit

3. We aren’t another person’s Holy Spirit.

Joy Bennett said this in a post at one time, and it has stuck with me. I admit I can be critical. Every time I see someone share something from certain well known names I want to ask them how they can be influenced by that person. Yes there are times when we should share the truth in love, but we need to be close enough to that person and have their permission to speak into their life in that way. There will be times as a leader you have to confront something. In most of life though we do not need be the avenue of a guilt trip and point out to a person how they messed up or argue that our view is better or right.

Avoid Generalizations

4. Don’t make generalizations.

Making a sweeping generalization does nothing to build anyone up. It only serves to tear people down and fails to acknowledge the uniqueness of each person.

So these are a few of my own rules I’m learning to live by. What are some of your own?