Category Archives: Abundant Life Series

Clearing Your Spiritual Desktop

 

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I once heard of a corporate CEO who had a table for a desk at his office, an outbox and a notebook with a pen. He had a computer but it was tucked out of sight and he delegated everything that would potentially waste his time, like signing checks, filing, sorting or stapling. He just didn’t do any of that because he knew what the goal was, to grow his company. He couldn’t do that if he was running all the little errands and keeping track of all the zillion details.

Here are a few keys to managing a spiritual desktop.

Sort your time from big priorities to small.

What are the most important things on your spiritual desk this year? Growth is always a huge one for me. But how?

It starts with the 5 basics for spiritual growth. There five keys laid out in the Bible to HUGE growth. Commit to doing them everyday and making them a habit. I wrote a book on this very subject. If you Google “5 Basics for Growth” or click on this link, you can down load it off Amazon to your kindle, or iphone for $2.99. It can tell you in a quick read where to begin and what the five amazing habits are. This book is loaded with insights on how to grow your walk through the
basics.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Clear off the Harmful Clutter Don’t just Hide It From ViewClean_desk

We very seldom look at clutter and think it could hurt us. That’s where we are wrong. Especially, when it comes to spiritual. What is spiritual clutter? Spiritual clutter is a grudge, or bitterness, or hate, strife or envy.

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16

Spiritual clutter kinks the hose of God’s blessing in our life. We want Him to bless us and we want that hose to be wide open, but spiritual clutter really shuts it down. How do we know if we have spiritual clutter? It’s really not that hard, just think about someone you don’t like, or someone who has hurt you in the past. If you are still upset, that’s clutter. Those kind of hurts can cause spiritual wounds and weakness, even loss of connection with God. I don’t know about you but being out of fellowship with God sucks the joy out of my life faster than anything. How do you get back in fellowship over these issues?

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, (broken fellowship) and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 

Just own it. God doesn’t want you to go on and on about it, just admit that you were thinking wrong and let Him help you get past all the hurt about it. This simple verse can be very hard to practice. Especially when they are big things you’re still mad about. Hey, I don’t care if you agree, it’s your hose of blessing.  And by the way, I have to do the Word too ya know, I don’t get out of this either. Ha! And this one is a bugger.

Someone told me once that they like to clear the clutter everyday. They make it a habit to go to God immediately when things come up and get them taken care of. That habit pattern saved him from years of heart ache and bitterness. A big claim, but wow! Imagine having a new year and a fresh clean slate like that and then keeping it everyday.

Victory is only a thought away.

Now that we have the clutter off, and we have an idea of where to start our growth with the 5 basics, where do we go from here?

It’s time to start building a More than Abundant Life!

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

What does a more than abundant life look like? Well, let’s put this in perspective from God’s point of view. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, He is love, love never fails. God embodies the 15 characteristics of love listed in 1 Cor. 13, so He believes in us, He never calculates or concludes evil against us, He never envy’s, He rejoices in the truth. He Loves US. He, the maker of all things in the universe, and knows all things. He looks over our life to find where He can be kind by tenderly reaching out to bless us whether we deserve it or not. He pumps blessing into every nook and cranny of our life, imagine being so full of blessing in every area that we practically pop at the seams! Every time we talk, a little love and blessing spills out. Every time we do something it is laced with God’s wisdom and mercy. Every decision we’ve made has been carefully and prayerfully filled with righteousness, (right believing) wow! Can you imagine that?

Then, when we win, we won because of Him. We are protected from the adversary on all fronts and prospering from within. That is what a more than abundant life looks like. There are no worries or fears living there. Only faith and hope and love. We walk tall and proud knowing God walks with us and is for us in every situation.

Then, at the end, when we stand waiting for the awards in heaven they pull up with a cart full of crowns and medals for a life of good living and right believing. You beam with joy and pride of ownership because you are a good and faithful one.

From that perspective, is it worth the discomfort of clearing the clutter? Mama Mia! Yes! Is it worth forming healthy habits? YES!

In the physical there is no lasting rewards, but in the spiritual, your rewards last for eternity!

God bless you today!

3 Kinds of Hard Times and 1 Way to Prosper

At some point in your life you hear this phrase. “Tough times build your character.”

Then you think, “Okay, I have enough character!”

God promised us the more abundant life. Should that be enough to set us on the right track? After twenty some years studying the Word and bumbling through mistake after mistake myself, I’ve narrowed it down to three possible ways a person can fall on hard times, and but there’s only one way to prosper.

Winning the race-001


 

We Get Hit With Temptations or Pressures by the Devil and Fall into Hard Times.

Our bodies and minds are very frail sometimes. We get tricked into thinking something is a good way to react to a pressure, or temptation and YAMMOAHH we are down for the count. Diseases, sickness, pleasures and temptations come crashing in and we are tossed around like a rag doll.

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” Ephesians 4:14

I had a time in my life in my late teens, early twenties when I’d go party with my friends. After a few beers you forget which one is the designated driver and things went down hill fast. This lifestyle can be a habit. Habits are hard to break. We can make a habit out of having hard times, but it really bites.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

In the end, the wages of sin is death. This is a principle. Death as in “corrosion”. It corrodes our heart, our mind, our life, our finances and our motivation. Life on this rock without abundance, blessings upon blessings and the wealth of understanding or growth that comes from getting God’s wisdom and input.  The next way is…

We’ve heard the Word, but not enough to Believe on It

God has done a really huge thing for us. He gave us salvation but then he also asks us to renew our mind. God never does anything for us that He asked us to do for ourselves. It is on us to search out His wisdom. It is on us to learn His ways, His Word and His Will. He never forces it on us. It’s a personal choice to seek God and His truth.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16

What I’ve seen people do is this. God exposes them to a better way to live their life, a smoother way to operate or a “correction”. Some of you who are sensitive to these little corrections catch on quicker, but some of us slow ones need a few reminders.  Let’s take these quick verses as an example.

“Be  ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;” Ephesians 5:1

The word followers is the Greek word “mimētēs” which means to mimick. So we are supposed to love like God loves, act like God acts. How do we find that out?

We go over to 1 Corinthians 13. This probably the most memorized and read section of scripture in the whole world. Keep in mind that God is LOVE.

“Charity (Love or Agape) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity (Love) vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh (calculates and records) no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

This is a list of 15 characteristics of the love of God. God who is love is always longsuffering and kind. It or rather, God, is not easily provoked, nor does He calculate and record all our evil against us. If this is how He acts and we are supposed to be imitators of Him, it stands to reason that we should learn everything we can about these characteristics and try to incorporate them into our life.

When we know how we are supposed to act, but don’t do it. That’s on us. So we have to keep working on us. And really what would it hurt to work hard and do it? It’s not like we have to bleed and die on a cross or anything. Jesus Christ already did the hard part. We have the easy part! Lol…

Those kind of hard times make our prayer life a hit miss target practice. Our results are patchy and there are looming problems on the horizon.

The third way and the most dangerous way to mess up is…

We’ve heard enough of the Truth to believe, but choose not.

“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” Matthew 10:33

God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t judge based on what our status is at church or how long we’ve been a deacon. He sees if we have fulfilled the conditions of the promises in His Word. Of course there is mercy and grace by the tons. But when our actions are deliberate, conscious and against truth, we have tied His hands of blessing.

Reproof is the correction of error that has become a habit pattern or a doctrine in our lives.

Here’s the facts, we can’t possibly know everything about God. Either He is all-knowing and all-wise, or He isn’t and He fits in our man-made boxes of religion. I was told once that it takes a huge amount of spiritual maturity just to believe that God is good always. Ha! Imagine that one for starters. God is ALWAYS good. If that is true, we can’t blame Him for all the sickness and death in the world, we have to blame someone else.

There is only one right way to prosper, to seek Him.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Seek and keep seeking. I know now that I have a long way to go before I get there. I’m always adjusting. In fact, just this morning I asked God who I need to apologize to and change my attitude towards. THERE was a LIST! Ha!

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10

I think that’s why humility is such a big deal to God.

On that note, God bless you today!

Create Your Own Sunshine

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We each have the ability to create our own sunshine. We can do that for others too if they accept it. How exciting is it to pour love and hope and blessing into another’s life and see the sunshine spread? It is so contagious!

 

Yesterday, I took a long beautiful drive. I turned off all the noise and reduced the sounds to my tires rolling over the asphalt. The sun had not come up when I started out, so by the time I reached mountains, it was peaking over the hills behind me. It lit the path in front of me with a golden swath and took my breath away at the beauty. It turned purple mountains pink, blue skies to deep yellow, and warmed the low hanging fog banks still clinging to the river’s edge.

I smiled when I thought of how certain people add that same effect to my life. It’s like they radiate God’s love.

A friend of mine, Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty International, says, We should always look for ways to add value to others.

My husband, Bill Porta, Owner of EXIT Realty Yellowstone, says “Give when the pressure is on.”

These two statements are ways to create our own sunshine.

They get us out of our own head-space and into a place where God can truly bless us. It’s so easy to get lost in the condemnation game or the feel like we aren’t good enough. But all those thoughts dwindle when you give. Try it sometime.

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12 :19-21

Give out a little sunshine. God is watching and blessed every time you do.

God bless you today!

What Does God Respect?

Test Your Respect

You are standing outside a fancy restaurant and a young man (total stranger) in his late twenties,  who is very good-looking, pulls up in a red Maserati. His leggy, female passengers step out in pumps and lip gloss laughing loudly. The attendant grabs his keys for the valet and the three of them, one girl under each arm, walk past you into the restaurant. The smell of expensive cologne and alcohol hit you like a tidal wave.

fancy car

What can you conclude about this young man? In this day of hasty impressions and false pretenses, that we can draw a quick conclusion and under 30 seconds, make a judgment. We take in the information based on our five senses, what we heard, saw, smelled, touched or tasted of their life.

Now, wait a second Terri.

God gives us these senses as tools so we can make snap judgments. Its’ one of the ways we human beings can protect ourselves. Even in the early days of humanity we had nothing to rely on outside these instinctual protocol tools. For the safety of our clan, our family, our herds or our crops we had to be quick. Do we need to still use them? Yes, definitely! But we must also know how God applies favor or respect, shouldn’t we?

How does God Decide Who Deserves Respect?

What does God look at when making a move to bless or protect? Does he look at how many times we “said” we loved Him, or how many times we promised to read our Bible? Does He look at what He can deduce based on seeing us?

“For there is no respect of persons (status, looks, condition, color, race, prestige, position, promises, power, or pedigree) with God.” Romans 2:11

“But God, I’m a really great believer. I go to church all the time, I know you are merciful and love me. I am a good person.”

When you think about our five senses we are actually outrageously handicap in our ability to see the motivation, intent and thought life of a man or woman. There is no way for us to know that the young man in his twenties with the leggy ladies, was battling cancer and received, as a prize, an extravagant one night on the town with anyone he wanted. He chose his girlfriend and his little sister and he plans to live it up because he’s been diagnosed as a terminal patient.

That’s why God never places any deference, extra blessing, protection or respect upon a person because of who they are. You just can’t be a super star and get God’s attention.  Darn it, I guess that counts me out. Lol…

You see it’s actually brilliant the way He does give deference. He knows how limited five-senses judgements are. So how does He, God, the maker of all humanity judge a person? How does He decide who to give out His benevolence? He

Conditions

We have to meet the conditions. First one is, Romans 10:9-10.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

There are two steps or conditions here for the human to meet before the incredible gift of salvation can come to pass. They must confess, believe in their heart. That is the condition each of us has to meet. Whoa… So that means anyone of a sound mind who hears these verses and believes on them can be saved, no matter their position in life. The condition in question becomes one of the heart and mind. It’s an inside job folks.

 

What about God’s money, blessing or protection? There’s a process or condition to meet there as well.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10

Do you see the condition? Tithing. What a simple one! Ha! Anyone can do this! Even a small child! We make things so complicated in this world but do you see how brilliant and yet how simple and easy this is? When someone does not meet these simple conditions, they simply do not receive the promised blessing. It’s like any procedure we have in this world. We go to the store, we give them our money, we walk away with the items in our cart. It’s simple procedure!

What is does God respect?

Conditions. God is a respecter of conditions because they reveal by “action” what is inside a person’s heart and mind. It’s like being around someone who is all talk and no action. Don’t you know immediately what that person is like? So does God. We can’t just say, God hand over the blessings, I’m your kid and I want it now. We must fulfill the condition.

Think about it from His standpoint.

God has billions of people to work with. How could we comprehend the difficulty of that process? God has a very efficient and effective way of getting blessings and protection to His people. He just watches for whoever fulfills His commands. That tells Him everything. What would He know if you followed this next one?

 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” Proverbs 3:5-7

This truth should relieve you. It should bring you great comfort and joy! How easy is it to just trust in Him, just ask Him? The process itself is really very simple.

God bless you today!

Its a Good Day to Have a Good Day

Here are 8 perspectives to help you make today a good day.

1 Corinthians 2 9-001

 1. Look at the sun coming up… the warmth and life it gives to everything it touches. It brightens it pierces the shadows it gives way to nothing! Be somebody’s sunshine today.

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” Proverbs 3:27

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” Psalms 84:11

2. All around you people are going through hardships. They long for a friend who will be there for them and remind them that God is Good always. Be someone’s reminder.

“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” Luke 18:19

3. You were chosen before the overthrown of the cosmos to be God’s child and to do good works. That’s a lot of planning and that’s a lot more love for you. Embrace that. You can’t deny it, you can’t change it, so just embrace it. God loves you more than you’ll ever know.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” Ephesians 1:3-5

4. Our works and our service don’t get us anywhere with God. He gave salvation to us by grace. That made us holy and blameless before Him in love. We didn’t earn it. We can’t undo it. We just received it as soon as we believed Romans 10:9-10. Do you know what that means? You could never fall so low that God couldn’t lift you back up.

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” 2 Timothy 1:9

5. Our works don’t get us salvation, but they do get us rewards during our eternal life. I don’t think that means some of us will have indoor plumbing in Heaven, I think it’s bigger than that. I think it has to do with authority and honor. What is a crown for after all?

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1;12

6. Have you ever kept a bless journal? This is a record of all the known blessings in your life. Start one today, but keep in mind that there are so many that God has not made known to you. Like the time He had angels protect you from a car wreck, or from a different catastrophe. Or the blessings He put in motion years ago and because you stay faithful you will receive them in the coming days. Your life is a giant kaleidoscope of His blessings if you know where to look. Now, just be thankful.

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

7. The fruit of the spirit is blessings that come in waves. It happens every time you operate your gift of holy spirit. If I were you, and I’m me so I’ll get right on this, I’d do it all the time. Now there’s the makings for a really great day.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5: 23-24

8. And finally, imagine your dearest and nearest friend telling you something edifying and special about yourself.  Something only they could know and something so perfectly timed that it brings you to a new place of understanding about your life and who you are. That is what talking to God and fellow-shipping with Him is like. It’s sweet. So sweet and precious that your most inner dreams of the heart is nourished and  strengthened. He never plays games. He is all-loving. He is your Father. He only wants the very best for you. He also is all-knowing and all-powerful so He uses that power and knowledge to help us and to add wonder and goodness to our lives and to our days. Imagine how a day could be so much better after spending an hour every morning with Him?

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalms 37:3-7

God Bless You Today!

Today is Your Day One

Have you ever wanted to just start over? Were your dreams stolen, your joy pummeled and your heart crushed?

Well today is your day one then. How can I just say that? I mean, let’s be realistic. All that crazy stuff that happened before today, yeah, we know, it really did happen. But today is your day to start over, today is when you draw the line in the sand behind you and start again.

There is a promise in the Word of God about this.  It’s buried in a beautiful chapter of encouragement.

See if you can find it.

2 Corinthians 4:

1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

8 [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present [us] with you. 15 For all things [are] for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.”

Today is day one. Today we have a chance to speak encouraging words into someone’s life. Today we have a chance to forget those things which are behind and press on towards the mark for the higher calling. Today, this moment, this chance, is ours to take. We can only gain a new perspective and move on. Press into your calling. Press into your ministry. ACTION CURES FEAR. LIGHT DISPELS DARKNESS! Just move.

summer-beach

Call that friend whose on your heart. Reach out and lift those around you.  I take that back. Just do what God asks you to do and let the results be left up to Him. You see it is your ministry, your calling, but He who gave you the JOB. Who do you work for and what does He want? Find that out and then do it. Leave everything else up to Him. Let Him be the judge.

Just be true to Him.

“6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 8. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8

Watch your thoughts and their integrity. Then move on. Move, cuz this life is wayyyy too short.

Today is day one. Make your day one a tremendous day!

 

 

SGW Podcast Radio Show….Okay, it’s really just me talking again.

Hi Everybody!

I recorded our meeting on Wednesday, put some music to it, and now we’ve got a podcast. Yehaw! There is a video at the end of it that the sound doesn’t play too well on, so I added that to this post below. I talk a little more afterward, but here’s the video that I played for the group.

So what the heck am I rambling on about? I don’t want to just say….you’ll see. I think you need some forewarning here.

In this meeting, I go over something kind of cray cray! I had asked myself, what am I doing this for? Why should I care? Then in the quiet of my private thoughts and office at home, the answer came. It wasn’t just a gentle little, “Ah, you’ll be okay. Cheer up kiddo.” From God like I sometimes get. It was a “WHOOP WHOOP!”  And a, “I know! Pick me, pick me!” Then, the next thing I know, I’m listening to this old song I have and dancing around the room. YUP, kind a cray cray.

Whether you get or believe what I’m about to teach here or not, it gives a ton of hope. And there isn’t anything in this world as restorative as hope. So come back here and watch the video when you’re done, cuz then it’s gonna all make more sense.

God Bless You Today!

“We Are Bema Bound!”

 

Watch this video afterwards. (If you want…lol)