The Gift of Giving

Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

This is often taken to mean, “Only give, don’t ever receive.” But I think Jesus is just describing the beginning of the giving and receiving cycle. It is more blessed to give than to receive because giving is how everything starts.

Dr. Tony Evans says, “Whatever you want to receive, start giving that.” It’s the principle of sowing and reaping. What you sow, you will reap. And the amount you reap will depend on your sparingly or generously you sow.

A few experiences brought these lessons home for me several years ago.

My husband and I were always faithful tithers, but some years ago we went through a very financially lean time and I just couldn’t see how we could give the full tithe. Around that time two things happened to cause me to commit to tithing, no matter what. Continue reading “The Gift of Giving”

When The Gift Is YOU

The one kind of “abundant gift” I most resist, yet often becomes the most precious, is what I call “disguised gifts.”

These are the things in our lives that we don’t welcome because they involve suffering of some kind, but afterward when we look back, we see that in fact, it was a gift.

Such was the case for Dr. David Wolf, a prominent doctor whose life was dramatically altered from an accident as he was indulging his passionate hobby, adult go-cart racing.

The story of the many ways that accident became a “disguised abundant gift” will inspire you.

I also believe it will open up your own heart to allowing God to take whatever “hard stuff” is in your life and turn it into something beautiful.

Please click the book cover or http://abundantgiftsblog.com/giftisyou today and order a copy from Amazon.com. Read it, and pass it on to a friend who also needs encouragement and inspiration. Or get one or more for other loved ones.

The way God worked in Dr. Wolf’s life is unique, but that God can do the same kind of amazing things through your troubles is certain.

Whether your “disguised gift” is a financial issue, a relationship issue, a work problem, or a health challenge, God is able to use it in such a way that you can look back and say, “Wow, look what God did with THAT trial!” But that transformation from trial to gift is not automatic.

This book will show you how that transformation can happen. Read it and live into your own version of it. When you do that, the gift will be YOU.

In God’s Providential Care

I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the LORD was watching over me.
–Psalm 3:5m NLT

A good friend of mine, Cathy, had a near brush with death a few months ago. Here is her story.

On October 25, 2011 I had a heart attack.

The problem was, I didn’t know it was a heart attack.  Women, pay attention!  It’s true that our symptoms can be VERY different.  I woke up somewhere around 2:00 AM with ‘discomfort’ in the middle of my chest.  It was so minor that I told myself to go back to sleep.  I couldn’t.  So I got up and went to the living room wondering what it could be.  It was not pain, pressure, indigestion – just an uncomfortable ‘sensation’.

Here is the Angel part.  I decided to call a good friend who lives close to me.  I dialed her number and it rang twice and I got a fast busy signal.  Hmmm – I tried again, paying particular attention to the digits I was dialing.  I got a busy signal.  I thought about it a bit more and decided to dial 911.  I didn’t even know what I was going to say but when the dispatcher answered I told him I THOUGHT I MIGHT be having a heart attack.  Where did those words come from?  They were not in my consciousness before I said them.  When I got to the hospital I asked them to call my friend and they got right through.  She looked later and I didn’t even show up on her caller id!

IF I had gotten her on the phone, we would have talked about it some, then she would have gotten up, put on some clothes and came here.  By the time that would have taken, I was in the ambulance (they took 5 minutes to get here from the time I was talking to the dispatcher) and I already had an EKG, nitro, aspirin and an IV and we were flying, lights and sirens, to the hospital.  I was furious that I could not get her but later realized that it might have saved my life that I could NOT get her on the phone.  Thank you God!

Be encouraged; the heavenly Father and his angels are not only watching over Cathy, but you as well.

If you have a story of God’s care or a miracle, feel free to share it below or send it to diane at abundant-gifts.com.

Good Friday Message (On Parenting)

One day in church–it was  Good Friday, actually– I was sitting in the back of the church and a dad was quietly explaining what was going on to his young son. I thought, “I never did that with my kids. No wonder they say they don’t believe in God now.” I felt guilty, and confessed my failure as a parent.

God’s reaction took me by surprise. Very distinctly in my spirit, I sensed him say, nonplussed, “Of course you failed.”

He added, “I don’t expect anything else. That’s why I died. And remember, I rose, and it’s all okay, because I’M the one who makes it okay.

“You are forgiven….”

So I know we’ll survive, and it’s my own perfectionism (and pride) that thinks I can be anything but a failure. It’s not that I’m beating myself up about it; quite the opposite.

I’m free to fail, as a parent or in any other way, because I am a sinner and Jesus is the one who took care of sin, once and for all. So now I’m forgiven and can stand in the truth that he can redeem anything.

If only I believe … but even then, if I don’t believe “enough,” that’s okay, because I can’t do that either, and Jesus believes for me.

Isn’t Jesus wonderful?

That was my personal Good Friday sermon.

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Lessons in Seeing

“I can’t find my boots! Where are my BOOTS?”

This was, of course, a crisis because we were dealing with a 15-year-old daughter who absolutely needed her boots RIGHT THEN because at the football game, they were supposed to dress as “cowboys or Indians.” And of course her ride was about to pick her up any minute.

I told her where the boots should be in the basement. She couldn’t find them, of course.

I looked where I thought they should be, on the shelf in the “boiler room” as we call it.

There was a small box there, which I passed over. Surely that couldn’t contain boots, since I knew mine were with hers. That much I remembered.

I ended up clearing out a lot of junk in the basement trying to find those boots. (God’s grace and sense of humor. I did need to clear out all that junk months ago. Guess God knew Continue reading “Lessons in Seeing”

The Center of the Bible

Do you know what the central verse in the Bible is?

I didn’t.

Now I do, and if you can extrapolate that perhaps the central verse of the whole Bible might be the one thing God wants us to “get,” then it’s worth knowing, even memorizing.

Enjoy!

What God’s Doing in His World …

When you’re tired and overwhelmed by the news and all the havoc human being are wreaking in the world, come back here and view this. Be reminded that this is God’s world, and indeed, where he’s at work, “It’s a Wonderful World.”

Let the images and song linger … and become a mental break after listening to the news.


Love in the Cracks of Life’s Road

Love int the Cracks of the road of lfieThe roads were icy, so I looked down as I trudged along on my usual morning walk.

Our roads are a mess here. Many cracks, many potholes. This snowy, icy winter has added even more damage.

As I walked, I suddenly stopped.  Something caught my eye.

The shape of a particular crack arrested me. It looked just like …  a heart!

Our newspaper recently did a photo story on heart shapes in nature. God’s hidden messages–hidden except for those with the eyes to see.

Here was another heart shape, symbol of love. But not in the natural world. In the world humans made, in the road made up of asphalt and dirt and salt.

It’s not so difficult to believe God’s love shows up in the natural realm. But in the world so marred by both human and natural affliction–can we expect to find God’s stamp of love?

Yet, here it is. Here in the broken road is a symbol of love.

It made me think of a verse in Jeremiah 18. “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s hour, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him” (verses 1-4).

Here we are, going along the road of life, and Continue reading “Love in the Cracks of Life’s Road”

What to Expect in the New Year

Happy New Year!

One of the highlights of Christmas this year also sheds a little light on what I think we can expect from God in the coming year.

It was my son’s gift to his sister.

David loves to give gifts. I’m sure it’s his “language of love.” For Mother’s Day, he bought me a wonderful digital camera. This Christmas, he bought Christine an ipod.

I think what he loves most of all is the look of surprised joy when the recipient opens the present: “You bought this for ME?!”

That’s probably why he wrapped Christine’s ipod in a very special way. Knowing she would immediately guess if he just wrapped the package it came in, he put it in a bigger box. Wrapped it. Then he put that into a very large box and wrapped it (all by himself, I might add).

Yes, she was surprised–and joyful.

I can’t help but think that God likes to Continue reading “What to Expect in the New Year”

Holiday Blessings … and a Christmas Story Audio

lighted christmas tree

I love this season, with all the celebrations that lend meaning to our lives!

So here’s a quick note to wish you a most blessed holiday season:

  • A Hanukkah full of new light that continues to illuminate your world …
  • A Christmas overflowing with the gifts only the Savior can give …
  • A new year blessed with all the things that make your heart sing …

And I invite you to sit back and listen to one of my favorite Christmas stories from my book,  Abundant Gifts. It’s called “The Lord’s Presence Passing By” and I think you’ll like it.