Thursday, February 28, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 28

Strengthening Each Others' Faith

          "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted,
          strengthen thy brethren." ~Luke 22:32

I know there have been times in my life when I have felt like I could barely hold on to hope.  I am grateful to all those who have kept the faith for me at times when my faith has been weak.  My hope is that as my faith strengthens, I can help others the same way that I have been helped.

Several years ago I went on a weekend trip with a really good friend of mine, Sigrid.  We had made the 10 hour drive between Utah and California several times and we had a routine down.  We would start with a full tank of gas, drive 4-5 hours to St. George, gas up and switch drivers.  Then we would drive a couple hours to Las Vegas and gas up, and then we would drive into Los Angeles.

One weekend I wasn't feeling well so Sigrid took the first driving shift.  Because I hadn't been feeling well, I decided not to top off the tank of gas (we had plenty of gas to make it to St. George).  As we were getting close to St. George, Sigrid woke me up.  She told me we were making great timing and asked me if my car could make it to Las Vegas.  I still wasn't feeling well so it didn't register with me that we hadn't started with a full tank of gas and I assured her that my car could make it to Las Vegas on one tank of gas and went back to sleep.

About 20 miles north of Las Vegas Sigrid woke me up, concerned that we were not going to make it to a gas station in time.  About 14 miles north of Las Vegas the inevitable happened and we ran out of gas.  Two single girls.  On a Friday night.  With hundreds of gas stations lighting up the sky, but barely out of our reach.

We prayed.  The car started back up.  We felt so blessed.  We made it a few more miles and the car stopped again.  It wouldn't start again.  So we started pushing.  We pushed for as long and hard as we could and then we would pray again.  The car would start up and take us part of the way, and then we would need to get out again.  We continued this all the way until we got to an exit -- an hour later.  We had come as far as we could.  Just when we couldn't go any further, a couple stopped and helped us get gas for our car.

What I learned:
~Always start with a full tank of gas!  Don't ever think things are going so well that you don't need to pray today, or read your scriptures today, or go to church... You never know when you are going to need that FULL tank of gas!

~Life is a lot more fun with a friend!  Sigrid and I were able to keep faith and perspective throughout the entire ordeal.  It would have been pretty miserable to go through that with a complainer or someone who wasn't willing to push their share of the load.

~When we first ran out of gas and could see all the Las Vegas lights, we thought there couldn't be anything worse than running out of gas with so many gas stations in sight, but out of our reach!  After an hour of pushing and praying, we realized how blessed we were that we only had to go 14 miles to reach a gas station.  Sometimes when things aren't going well for us we think there isn't anything worse than being surrounded by happy, cheerful people with their full tanks.  In truth, it is a blessing to be surrounded by these people who can help refill our tank and help us regain a positive perspective!

~The Lord helped us when we couldn't help ourselves. But when we could do a little more, he expected us to push.  Then when we couldn't push anymore, he let us drive a few miles -- like a reprieve in the middle of our trial.

~The Lord increased our capacity. The man who helped us didn't believe that two young girls such as ourselves had pushed that car without help.  When God is our partner, any of us can do the impossible.

This journey isn't easy for any of us!  We all run out of gas at some point!  Let's all try to be the kind of person who is constantly refueling those around us.  Let's find the good in every person we meet, and help them see that good for themselves.  Let's be a light, not a judge.  It's not enough to love another person, we need to make sure that we are showing our love in a way that they feel it.

Extra Challenge:  Compliment at least three people today, and notice how you feel when you help lift another person up!


Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 28 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 27

Nurturing the Seed - Part 2

Yesterday we made sure we had a good seed and that we got it planted in good soil.  But plants need more than a seed and good soil to grow... they also need air, sunshine, and water!

Air.  
Just like plants, we grow best in a clean environment.  Faith is as essential to our goals and dreams as air is to breathing!  Now that you have a good seed growing in good ground, you must nourish it with faith for it to grow and bear fruit!


Sunshine.
The sunlight is our passion and enthusiasm.  It gives light to our dream and keeps it growing in a healthy, positive way.  We need to beware of clouds that eclipse the sunshine. These clouds are most often recognized as doubt, fear, worry, frustration, stress and anxiety.  And while there will always be clouds, if the clouds stay too long they will keep the much-needed sunshine from getting through!


Water.
We need to water our seed daily so it will continue growing.  The water is the consistent, daily, empowering actions we take that will keep our dreams growing.
          "The person who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
          ~Chinese Proverb

The best way to water a plant is consistent watering... a little at a time.  If you are leaving to go on a vacation, you wouldn't feed your plant extra water and then expect it to survive for a few weeks without water.  Just like a plant needs to be consistently fed water or it will die, you need to be constantly taking consistent action towards your dream, or your dream will die.  Massive actions followed by periods of inactivity will not sustain your dream.

Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 27 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 26

Nurturing the Seed - Part 1


I am going to  talk about the Parable of the Sower (found in Matthew 13) in reference to how we can accomplish great things using faith to nurture our dreams or our goals.

          3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold a sower
          went forth to sow;
          4 And when he sowed, some feeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came
          and devoured them up;
          5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith
          they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
          6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no
          root, they withered away.
          7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
          8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold,
          some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Plant a Good Seed.
Because we reap what we sow, we need to make sure we are planting a good seed.  On Day 5 we talked about what makes a worthy goal.  Make sure you are coming from a place of faith and love, and not ego (wanting more than another person, wanting to become something, wanting to have something... wanting, wanting, wanting).  Try to pick a dream or goal that will really make a difference in your quality of your life over the next year, five years, or twenty years.

Remember that a seed that is not planted cannot grow (so go ahead and dream!), and a seed that is not nourished will wither and die.  A seed needs to stay in the ground for a period of time while it gather all the nutrients it needs to become a healthy, fruit-bearing plant.  So be patient while the unseen is happening - if you try to dig up your seed to see if it's growing it won't be able to put down its roots.



Plant in Good Soil.
We also want to plant in good soil.  There are four types of soil talked about here: the way side, stony places, thorns, and good ground.  We are going to talk about the differences of each one:

1.  The way side and the fowls devoured them -- these are the people who were sidetracked before they even started!  They never had a worthy dream to begin with, and their dreams were easily devoured by the dream-stealers (fowls).

2.  Stony places where they had not much earth and because they had no root, they withered away - these are the people who are living in the past and allowing their past failures to prevent them from believing success is even possible! Because they harbor negative emotions about past failure, their subconscious mind equates that dream with negative emotions and pain.  Our brains are wired to move us away from pain and so we move away from that dream and the pain we associate with that dream.

3.  Thorny places where the thorns spring up and choke them - these are the people who are caught up in the cares of the world instead of looking toward God with faith!  Doubt, fear, worry, frustration, stress and anxiety are common thorns that will cut off our supply of faith and choke our dream!
          "When there is stress, it is usually a sign that the ego has returned, and you are
          cutting yourself off from the creative power of the universe."
          ~Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth

4.  Good ground and brought forth fruit, some hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold - these are the people who have an open and curious mind and look to God in faith!  When we are open to new ways of thinking, we maintain positive, empowering feelings about our dream and we move toward our dream. We ask empowering questions ("How can I...?") and we get empowering answers. We have faith and believe we can succeed! We recognize that all the help and resources we need to achieve our worthy goal will be give to us in the exact moment we are prepared and ready to receive them. We are positive and filled with passion, excitement, and enthusiasm so there is no confusion in our brain (we are not leaving any room for doubt, fear, worry, or ego to take over). Then we take the necessary and CONSISTENT action to product the results we are seeking!


Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 26 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

Monday, February 25, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 25

Faith is a Principle of Action and Power 



“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” ~James 2:17-18

Faith is more than a theoretical belief in God; faith is a principle of action.  To have faith in God means changing your life for the better.  It means taking a step into the darkness, with confidence that God will show His light.  It means holding onto hope when you are in a dark tunnel with no light in sight -- knowing that He is guiding you to a greater light.

Would a farmer plant seeds if he didn’t believe he would reap a harvest?  Likewise, you are not going to take those actions that will produce the results you are seeking unless you first have a belief – or at least a hope – that you can achieve your desired outcome.

Beyond a principle of action, faith is also a principle of power.  

          "There is a level of faith that not only governs our behavior but also 
          empowers us to change what is and to make things happen that otherwise 
          would not happen."  ~D. Todd Christofferson

In Hebrews 11 we learn some of the things that have been accomplished through the power of faith:

Abel (v.4) - offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, and obtained witness that he was righteous.

Enoch (v. 5) - was translated [And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. ~Genesis 5:24] that he should not see death and had a testimony that he pleased God.

Noah (v. 7) - was warned of God of things not seen as yet, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, and became heir of the righteousness.

Sarah (v. 11) - received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age.

Abraham (v. 17) - offered up Isaac

Moses (v. 23-29) - was hid by his parents as a baby; when he was older refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; forsook Egypt; kept the passover; passed through the Red Sea as by dry land.

We also read in the Bible of many people who were healed of disease and their sins because of their faith:

          "But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of 
          good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made 
          whole from that hour." ~Matthew 9:22 - the woman with the issue of blood

          "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And
          immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way."
          ~Mark 10:52 - the blind man

          "And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."
          ~Luke 7:50 - the woman who anointed Christ's feet

          "And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the 
          nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 
          And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."
          ~Luke 17:17-19 - the healed leper

While these are remarkable things which have been accomplished by faith, they are no greater than overcoming an addiction or any obstacle that prevents us from seeking and/or following God's will for us.  Have faith.  Have the level of faith that will empower you to daily seek God's will and to steadily move forward (baby steps are great; we don't have to constantly take huge leaps of faith) on the path that He has laid out for us.



Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 25 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 24



Faith in God


We have been talking about faith in general, and today I want to specifically talk about Faith in God. The faith that leads to salvation must be centered in Jesus Christ.  If man did not believe God to be so great, then doubt would replace faith and we would be constantly doubting our salvation.  To have this kind of faith in Jesus Christ these three things are necessary:

1. An assurance that He exists
When man was created he stood in the presence of God and had perfect knowledge of his existence.
          "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool
          of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the
          Lord amongst the trees of the garden." ~Genesis 3:8


2. A correct idea of His character
Here are some Bible verses that teach us about God's character:
          Exodus 34:6 - God is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth
          Psalm 103:8 - God is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, plenteous in mercy
          Numbers 23:19 - God of truth and cannot lie
          1 John 4:8 - God is love
          Acts 10:34 - God is no respecter of persons

          "If we believe that God knows all things, is loving, and is merciful, we will be
          able to put our trust in Him for our salvation without wavering. Faith in Christ
          will change our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that are not in harmony with
          God's will."  ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

3. A knowledge that you are striving to do His will 
We need to know that the course which we pursue is according to His mind and will.

          "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" ~Paul, Acts 9:6

One of my husband’s favorite sayings is: “God can’t steer a parked car!”  The best way to know we are pursuing the course God wants us to, is to just start pursuing!  If the intentions of your heart are to do God’s will, then God can -- and will -- correct you if you are on the wrong course.  

A remarkable example of this is Saul in the New Testament.  Saul's reputation as a persecutor of Christians was so great that many of the Christians fled Jerusalem in the hope of escaping his anger. On his way to Damascus, to persecute the Christians there, a bright light shone about him and he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"

Saul asked, "Who art thou, Lord?" And the Lord said, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." 

And Saul, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"  The Lord answered him, "Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do."

Throughout his life, Saul showed complete dedication to his convictions; he was just on the wrong path. And Saul the feared persecutor become Paul the fearless proselytizer and defender of the truth.  

Like Saul/Paul, we need to ask, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" and then follow the inspiration we receive.  Our course correction won't be nearly as dramatic as Saul's, but it will strengthen our faith just as surely as his experience strengthened his.



Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 24 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 23

Faith to Receive


"Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you." ~Matthew 9:29

According to our faith, we can receive spiritual healing, physical healing, temporal blessings... it all depends on our asking and then having the faith to receive. 

I had an interesting experience happen to me a couple of years ago that helped me understand this better:

Fred (name has been changed) is a friend of my husband's from high school who has several disabilities. He lives on a very limited income.  He called my husband a couple of years ago and said that he had been diagnosed with diabetes and needed an exercise bike so he could get some exercise to help with the diabetes.  Because of his limited income, he couldn't afford the bike.  So he was calling all of his friends and asking them if they would pitch in some money (he said $5-20, but he would also be grateful for $1). He said some people were mad at him for asking so he wanted to be sure my husband wasn't mad at him.  My husband assured him that he was not mad and that we would be happy to help him buy the bike.

When my husband told me about the call, I felt impressed and excited to help Fred buy the bike! I told my husband that we should offer to buy the bike outright for Fred.  I felt like Fred really needed the bike and he needed it right away, and we had been blessed with the means to provide it for him.  (Plus it was "seed" money so I knew that whatever we paid for the bike would come back to us tenfold).

So my husband called Fred back, but Fred told us just to send the amount that we were comfortable sending.  So we sent him a check (we would have been willing to double the amount on the check if he just would have asked us). 

A few weeks later Fred called us to let us know that he had purchased the bike and was excited about it, and that he had started using it!  He said the money we had sent him had really helped and that he was really grateful for it.  But then he told me that we had sent him too much money and that he was going to return some of it.

I assured him that we sent him the money for his birthday and we really wanted him to have it!  It took quite a bit of convincing to persuade him that we still wanted him to keep the money (even though there was money left over after buying the bike) and that he could go out to dinner or something to celebrate his birthday!

It was interesting to be on the other side of the "ask" equation - to be the generous giver. When we ask, we need to be specific about what we are asking for.  Because we are not specific enough we may get a smaller gift than the one God wanted to give us. (Remember we would have sent more than twice what we sent Fred) ...OR... sometimes we feel like God has given us too much and we need to give some of it back!  When really what God wants is for us to receive His gift and ask for MORE! 


Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 23 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mountains to Climb


Finding faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will help us have 
the power to endure and overcome challenges in life 

I just watched this video and was really touched by it.  So I wanted to share it!

"Acting on even a twig of faith allows God to grow it."


30 Day Course on Faith - Day 22

Faith to Ask

          "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be 
          opened unto you;" ~Matthew 7:7

Ask - Petition God in prayer.  Ask in faith; you need to have a level of belief that you can attain what you are asking for.
          "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe
          that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." ~Mark 11:24

Seek - Be sure you are asking for the right things, and above all that you are seeking for those things that will invite God to be with you.  To me, seeking good means that I am seeking what God wants for me.  It also means that I am staying focused on what I am asking for, and I'm going to stay focused until I receive what I am seeking.
          "Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall 
          be with you, as ye have spoken." ~Amos 5:14

Knock - To me, knock denotes that there is some physical action taking place.
          "The answer to your prayer is not according to your faith while you are talking,
          but according to your faith while you are working." ~Wallace D. Wattles

So you are going to ask in faith for that which is God's Will, and then you are going to go to work to accomplish it!

We are told over and over again in the scriptures to ask!  I believe that God has so many blessings in store for us that he is waiting for us to request.  He is waiting to open the windows of heaven and pour blessings down on us!  Why aren't we asking?

~We don't understand the true nature of God.  God is generous and has so many blessings for us!  When we understand this about God, we will not be afraid to ask, ask, ask!  Sometimes we are afraid to ask because we've asked for something before and someone has become angry at us, and so we assume that God will be angry at us, also.  His answer may be no or not yet, but he will never be angry with us for asking!  Our view is so limited that it is hard for us to imagine a Being who has so much to give and is so generous with it!

~We believe that we will be spoiled if we have too much.  You can't be spoiled and grateful at the same time! As we become more grateful and recognize God's hand in our lives, we will in turn look for ways to bless other people more!  EVERYTHING that comes from God is GOOD!!!

~We believe that money is the root of all evil!  In truth, money is not good or evil; it is an accelerator, meaning it accelerates the direction we are already going.  If greed is our general nature, then more money will in fact make us more greedy (or will show our greed to the world).  On the other hand, if generosity is our general nature then money will show our generosity to the world! When we try to take money that doesn't belong to us from someone else, then that is evil and wrong.  But when we receive the blessings that God is giving to us, then we are blessed! Nothing that comes from God can ever be evil!

~We don't believe we will receive what we are asking for anyway!  Or we don't feel worthy to receive it so we don't ask for it.  We can choose to believe that God is generous and has great blessings waiting for us.  This will prompt us to ASK, believing that we will receive! And because we know these blessings come from God, we will automatically seek to know what he wants us to do with these blessings!  God loves us and wants to bless us, even when we make mistakes!  We are NEVER undeserving of God's love -- it's a gift He freely gives and there is nothing we can do to turn His love away from us!

~We don't know what to ask for -- ask for anything that is good and that you stand in need of!  Ask for physical blessings, emotional blessings, mental blessings, and spiritual blessings.  Ask for knowledge, understanding, discernment... anything you need!  BUT, ask in faith!
          "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally,
          and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing
          wavering." ~James 1:5-6

My Story

When we bought our last house we knew it was a fixer-upper, but we loved the neighborhood, the yard, and the floor plan so we bought it!  What we didn't know was that replacing the carpet, air conditioning, and roof would be so expensive that we would have to wait a while to make some of the other changes!

Gradually we started making the cosmetic changes, and it was time to get granite countertops.  I had a budget I was working with and so I was trying to keep it as cheap as possible.  I had someone come and give me a quote.  He loved doing granite and marble work, and had over 20 years of experience so he was able to help me expand my vision a little!  On his way out the door to bring samples to my house (and measure my countertops) he grabbed a piece of brown/black granite that matched my floor perfectly! He suggested a travertine tile backsplash with granite accents in it!  I hadn't even thought to ask for that because of my budget.  The amazing part -- it was all within my budget!

I was amazed and humbled and reminded that God is a very, very, very generous supplier!  He expands our vision in small things like countertops, and in big things like what we can do with our lives!

What are some things that you could ask for that you aren't asking for?  What can you do to increase your faith so that you can ask, seek, and knock -- and have heaven's blessings opened up to you!


Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 22 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 21


Faith vs. Doubt

We have been talking a lot about how doubts kill faith.  Obviously, faith trumps doubt every time.

But you need to increase your faith so it can trump your doubts...
But you can't increase your faith until you get rid of your doubts...
But you can't get rid of your doubts until your faith increases...

Have you ever been caught in this vicious cycle? I know I have!  Lots of times!

Doubt, fear, and worry (and really any negative emotion) get their power from us.  When we resist them -- or feed them -- we are giving them the very power they need to exist.  So to get rid of the doubts, we need to starve them and transform them into faith, love, and gratitude!

Here are a few ideas to get started:

~Journal!  I am pretty convinced that journaling is the answer to almost everything!  Learn what your doubts are trying to teach you.  Write "I am doubting because..." or "I am worrying about ____ because..." If you are having a hard time knowing what to write about then write "I am having a hard time knowing what to write about because..." or "If I had any doubts then they might be..."  The important thing is to open the flow and start writing!

~Ask great questions!  We often get in a cycle of beating ourselves up which is not helpful to us.  Instead of judging yourself - or anyone else - try getting into a place of curiosity.  Ask yourself:
          Isn't it interesting that I'm feeling all this doubt (or fear or worry) about _______?  I wonder why...
          How can I transform this doubt, fear and worry into faith, love and gratitude?

~Be positive!  Find what works for you -- meditations, walks in nature, affirmations, deep breathing, happy dances, doing the daily challenge outlined below, etc.  and do it over and over and over and over (you get the idea...)!

~EFT is a great resource to get rid of doubts (and cravings and sadness and anything you would ever want to get rid of)!  EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and is essentially an emotional version of acupuncture (don't worry -- no needles are involved)!  It is easy (and free!) to learn, and anyone can do this!  You can learn more about EFT here.

In fact, there is a whole training course you can take here.

I have had great success using a method called Faster EFT, and you can learn more about it by visiting here or you can watch this video where Robert Smith teaches you how to do the Faster EFT method (he also teaches you how you can do it in a discreet way while in public;).

Tips for having success with EFT:
1) TRY IT!!!  Even if it seems a little wacky to you (it only seems wacky because it's new... once you start experiencing it you will realize how brilliant it is), try it out!  Do it privately at first -- you don't even have to tell anyone you are doing it!  Experiment with it to see if it really works!

2) Do it CONSISTENTLY!!!  Sometimes you can do one round of EFT and a problem will go away, but I find that for those persistent problems it helps me to do it for 30 days in a row to change a habit or belief!

Be brave... try out EFT and let me know how it goes!  I'd love to hear your story!


Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 21 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!
You've now been doing this for three whole weeks!  Woo! Hoo!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 20


Faith and Money - Part 3

It's easy to have faith and gratitude when money is coming in, but what happens when there is a decrease of money coming in at the same time there is a rise in costs of living?

In June 2008, when scary talk about a recession was all the rage, I received a postcard in the mail from Vic & Lisa Johnson that said, "Because we're making so much money, we've decided not to participate in the current recession."  I loved getting that in the mail - it totally changed the way I saw the recession!  I showed the postcard to my husband and we decided not to participate in the recession either!

When we get so focused on everything that is wrong, and when we allow fear to guide our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions, then we are missing out on so many opportunities and blessings!

You don't believe me?  Go here to watch a video that shows how we can miss something really obvious when we are focusing on something else: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo


We may be so focused on rising prices and dropping incomes that we have taken our focus off of God and how generous and giving He is. Several years ago when gas prices first went up to $4/gallon, everyone was talking about it -- and not in a positive way!  I decided that I was going to feel gratitude that God is such a perfect and generous supplier.  I fully believed that no matter how high gas prices went (or grocery prices or any other prices), God would always provide me with more than enough money to meet the rising costs.

In fact, God's rate of increase is way higher than the rate of inflation!  It is such a powerful feeling to know that no government, no economy, no person can stop the blessings of the Lord! The Lord can ease burdens, and can ultimately liberate us from financial stress!

I have noticed a pattern for being free from debt (or any type of bondage)
~We are in bondage
~We call on God
~God eases our burdens
~We completely submit to God's Will
~God delivers us from bondage
~We give thanks
~We are free from bondage

What if instead of responding with fear we responded with faith and gratitude?  Feeling gratitude and acting in faith will elevate us to a place where we can see the solutions to our problems!


Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 20 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 19


Faith and Money - Part 2

Seed Money

          "There is a distinct difference between the tithe and Seed Money. The tithe 
          is a gift AFTER you have made the income. Seed Money is a gift in order 
          to claim a TENFOLD RETURN." ~John Hoshor

About 3 years ago I read the book "Seed Money in Action" by Jon P. Speller; in fact, I read through it several times (it's a short book).  I had never heard of the concept of seed money, and I got really excited about what I was learning!

In a nutshell, The Law of Seed Money is that when giving money to a charitable organization or person intended to bless and aid your fellow beings, you have the right, privilege, and duty of claiming a tenfold return from God.

~Give the money with faith (give it cheerfully, boldly, generously, fully believing that God will bless your contribution) to a person or organization who you feel truly inspired to bless!  We don't receive until after we demonstrate faith (see 1 Kings 17:10-16).  Remove all doubt because doubt will keep your increase from coming!

~Immediately thank God for the tenfold return; constantly staying in a place of gratitude will speed up the process!  Be grateful for all the good you can do with the increase that is on its way!

~Start giving at a modest level - if you pick a level that is too high for you, it will be too easy to give in to doubt and disbelief.  Plant no more than you can picture yourself receiving in return (as your faith increases, you can have fun with this!)

~Give in private -- Remember that God who sees in private, rewards openly (and generously!)

~Recognize that it is as important to freely receive as it is to freely give! (Don't make this hard!)  Remember that God is a generous provider, so why not be a generous receiver?

~Forgive anyone who owes you money, and forgive yourself for any money that you owe

~Remember that a tenfold return can come in a form other than money. Do not worry where the increase will come from, only believe that it will come!

What seed money is NOT:
~Seed Money is NOT gambling -- If you don't believe that God will bless you tenfold, then you are seeding without faith, and it really isn't different from gambling - just throwing money out and hoping you get a great return with no effort.

~Seed Money is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme -- Seeding money is an act of faith and if your faith is lacking then you will be waiting and waiting for the return until your faith is sufficient to receive!  (And if you have been following this 30-day course on faith you know that increasing and exercising faith takes a lot of effort and discipline!!!)

My Story
I really wanted to test the principles in this book, but we didn't have any extra money to "seed."  I let God know that I really desired to test this principle, but I didn't know how.  I didn't know where the money would come from, and I wasn't sure who to seed the money to.  I shared my desire with God and then let it go.

About an hour later I received a phone call from my husband at work.  He said I was going to think he was crazy, but he felt like we should sell the truck (we had an extra vehicle at the time) for $____ and use that money to help out _____ and ______ (he named an organization and a family in need).  He asked me what I thought about that and I responded: "I think you just answered my prayer!"

We sold the truck and gave that money away -- or "seeded" it!  Whenever we feel like we should give money, we give it willingly, lovingly, and excitedly!  Often I will feel like we should send a specific amount of money to a specific person or organization and I always do it!  When we started this practice of seeding money, it felt like the heavens just opened up and started pouring money on us!  Besides the fact that it feels really, really good to give and to be the means of blessing another person's life, it also feels really, really good to receive blessings from a generous and loving God!!!

"A lost opportunity to give is a lost opportunity to receive!"


Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 19 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

Monday, February 18, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 18


Faith and Money - Part 1


Law of Tithing

The principle of tithing, or voluntarily giving one tenth of one's income to God's work, has been known since Old Testament times.  Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20)

Tithing is how the Lord funds His work here on the earth:

          8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
          9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
          10 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 blessings, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

          "Tithing is not so much a matter of dollars as it is a matter of faith.
           It becomes a privilege and an opportunity, not a burden."
           ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Remember, that the Lord will open the windows of heaven according to our need, and not according to our greed.  Here are some blessings we can expect to receive as we pay our tithing:

~Blessings poured out on us, sometimes spiritual and sometimes temporal.  They are given in God's own time and according to what He knows is best for us.
~An increase in faith as we recognize God as the source of everything good in our lives.
~Gratitude for all He gives us -- and that He only asks for 10% in return.
~Greater confidence in asking God for what we need, and confidence in what the future holds because we know there are great blessings in store for us.
~Peace knowing we are doing what God has asked of us, and that we are helping His work move forward.
~Increase in our love of God and of all His children, especially as we understand how God uses the tithes we offer to bless people throughout the world.

A few reminders from the Bible about paying our tithing:

~Don't pay tithing so that others will think well of you:
          "That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." ~Matthew 6:4

~Don't pay tithing with a begrudging heart; pay tithing with great love (for God and your fellow men):
          "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor... and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." ~1 Corinthians 13:3

When your hand is opened to give (or to tithe), it is also open and able to receive!

Do you have any experiences with paying tithing?  Comment below and share your personal experiences with tithing!



Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 18 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!



Sunday, February 17, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 17

Faith and Love

There are volumes and volumes that could be written on this subject.  Love is the very essence of who we are.  Here are just a few thoughts about love to ponder...

Matthew 22:36-40
          36 Master which is the great commandment in the law?
          37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
               and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
          38 This is the first and great commandment.
          39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
          40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Because love is the great commandment, it should be at the center of everything we do -- it should be the very core of who we are.  We should spend all our time making love a habit and increasing our ability to love.

We often think of love and hate as opposites.  The kind of love that can turn to hate is conditional and is based in pride.  True love is unconditional and cannot turn to hate because of its pure motive and forgiving nature.  True love grows into greater love, and increases our capacity to love.  As our capacity to love grows and our love becomes more unconditional, we experience inner joy.

In the verses above, Jesus teaches us about 3 different types of love.  I once had a teacher who laid it out this way:
           J - Jesus/God
          O - Others
          Y - You

Joy comes as we develop unconditional love for God, for others, and for ourselves!

Love for God
          "If ye love me, keep my commandments." ~John 14:15

How do we show our love for God?  We keep his commandments!  We follow Him.  We try to be more like Him.  We get rid of anything ungodly that is in our lives!

Love for Others

How do we show our love for others?  We serve them!  We find ways to help lighten their load!

          "Life is like a game of tennis. The player who serves well seldom loses." 
            ~Author Unknown


It's easy to love those who love us first, but Jesus also taught us to love our enemies:
          "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do 
          good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, 
          and persecute you;" ~Matthew 5:44

          "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend." 
          ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

          "Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it." 
          ~Swedish Proverb

Is there someone you are having a difficult time loving? Try this experiment:
          1. Mentally picture the person
          2. Think a kind thought about them
          3. Pray for them
          4. Repeat for at least 30 days

Love for Self

I have found that the more loving and accepting I am of myself, the more capacity I have to love and accept others!

         "You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love 
           and affection." ~Buddha

Where Do I Get This Love?

You pray to God with all energy of heart to be filled with this love!  All energy of heart means there is no room for anything negative - no fear, no jealousy, no frustration, no anger!

Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch Christian whose family helped hide Jews from the Nazis.  They were discovered and she and her sister, Betsie, became prisoners of war. (I highly, highly recommend her book "The Hiding Place.")  Her sister Betsie died while a prisoner of war, and Corrie was released in December 1944 because of a clerical error (all the women her age were killed the following week).  After the war she traveled to 60 different countries preaching the message that God forgives.  In Germany in 1947 she was talking to a group of people, and afterwards a man approached her.  She immediately recognized him as one of her captors while she was a prisoner of war.  He did not recognize her, but admitted to her that he had been a guard at Ravensbruck (where she had been held captive), but since the war had become a Christian.  He held his hand out to her and this is what happened in her own words:

          “It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to 
          me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.

          “For I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: 
          that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ 
          Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’

          “...I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an 
          emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function 
          regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my 
          hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’

          “And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. 
          And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced 
          down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to 
          flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.

          “ ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’

          “For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former 
          prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then”

I love this example of how to love those who are difficult to love!  We can't do it on our own!  But if we will do what we can (for her it was lifting her hand), then God will supply the rest!!!  He not only gives us the command to love, but he also gives us the love itself that we need!  We need to do what we can, pray to him with all the energy of our heart, and then trust that he will provide the very love we need!

It's easy to love someone who loves us, but it's godly to love someone who doesn't love us in return!


Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 17 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 16

Faith and Forgiveness


What is forgiveness?

I’ve heard it called a gift, a miracle, an obligation, and a law – whichever way you look at it, we all need forgiveness and we all need to forgive.  The simple definition of forgiveness is “the act of excusing a mistake or offense.”  Anyone who has loved and forgiven knows that forgiveness is so much more than that.


          "We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. 
          People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this 
          mortal life it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must 
          let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to 
          learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord's way. 
          Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in 
          common: They are forgiven. And they forgive." 
          ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Forgiveness is a choice we make in our heart to release the negativity and blocks that are keeping us from attracting more good in our lives.  Forgiveness is getting rid of poison in our mind and body, which left unchecked would turn into hatred and bitterness.


Chinese philosopher Confucius said, "To be wronged or robbed is nothing unless you continue to remember it."  When bitten by a rattlesnake, there are two courses of action that can be followed: pursuing the creature and killing it in anger or vengefulness - or quickly getting the venom out of our system.  One course of action puts us in great danger; the other course of action heals us. 


Why forgive?

When you forgive someone who has wronged you, you take away their power over you.  You free up vital space in your mind that can now be used to create joy in your life.  You also lighten your load.  It has been said, “One of the heaviest loads a man can carry is a grudge.”  We become a better person as we forgive, and we all deserve greatness.


Studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments.  Less forgiving people report a greater number of health problems.  We are starting to realize that forgiveness is helpful to our physical health as well as our emotional well-being.  Negativity of any kind prevents good things from entering your life and can cause serious damage to your health. 

On October 2, 2006, a shooting occurred at the West Nickel Mines School, an Amish one-room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania.  The gunman, a 32-year-old milkman who lived in the community but was not Amish, shot ten girls, killing five of them and then killing himself.

What was surprising was the way the Amish community responded.  They forgave immediately.  Within hours, they reached out to the gunman's family to comfort them.  They attended the gunman's funeral.  They invited his family to attend the funeral services of the girls who had been killed. 

Letting go of grudges is a deeply rooted value in Amish culture.  The Amish willingness to forgo vengeance doesn't undo the tragedy or pardon the wrong, but constitutes a first step toward a future that is more hopeful.

"Forgiveness comes more readily when, like the Amish, we have faith in God and trust in His word. Such faith "enables people to withstand the worst of humanity. It also enables people to look beyond themselves. More importantly, it enables them to forgive." ~Marjorie Cortez - "Amish Response to Tragedy Is Lesson in Faith, Forgiveness," Deseret Morning News, Jan. 2, 2007, p. A13.)



Daily Challenge:
 Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 16 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!