Before You Get Up, Lay Down

Before I make my coffee, before I plan my day, before I check my phone, even before I get out of bed, I talk to God.

Before I get up, I lay down. Not literally. But I lay down my day before the Lord. I ask him to have his will in my life and to guide my day. I ask him to make me more like him. I ask him to strengthen me for whatever lies ahead. I ask for diligence and patience and kindness. I ask for favor.

It only takes a minute or so, but this minute helps me to ground myself and focus for the day. It helps me to recognize where my strength comes from. You don’t have to wake up at 4:30 am, light candles and spend hours on a calming morning routine. You can if you want! But I find giving God these first few minutes every day sets my day off in the right direction.

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭121:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Free Indeed

It was a Monday morning, June 19, 1865. Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived on the island of Galveston, Texas with a proclamation: All enslaved people were now emancipated and free to leave the tyranny of slavery.

It is estimated that at this time, there were over 250,000 enslaved Black Americans living in Texas. This day, known as Juneteenth, has been celebrated for over 150 years, in remembrance of the end of slavery in Texas.

As a Black American, I have always found this day to be bitter sweet. For centuries, blacks were violated, treated as property, separated from their families, and forced to work and live in uninhabitable conditions. The end of slavery is definetly an occasion to celebrate. But what saddens me is that this news of emancipation came 2 years, 5 months, and 18 days after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect on January 1, 1863. 

For almost two and a half years, blacks in Texas continued in the lifestyle of slavery simply because they had no idea they had been freed. They experienced two and a half years of physical and mental mistreatment; two and a half years of families being separated; two and a half years of unlivable, unsanitary conditions. So if you see me looking a bit distraught at a Juneteenth barbeque, this is why.

I’d like to say I can’t imagine living in slavery while I was actually free, but I don’t have to imagine it; I lived it. For years, I lived in slavery. I wasn’t being beaten and forced to work without pay, but I was being held bondage by chains I didn’t even know I had. I was in bondage to my sinful nature. I was being held by chains of defeat and destruction, but the worst part was that I knew I could have freedom. I knew about the freedom that was available through Jesus but I was choosing to stay enslaved.

I don’t have any statistical data or research for this next point, but I stand by it. When a person is not experiencing freedom when it has been made available to them, I believe it’s for one of two reasons: They are not aware of their freedom or they have chosen to remain in bondage.

Unlike me, the over 250,000 enslaved blacks in Texas had no idea that the invisible chains their “owners” used to keep them in bondage had been broken with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. They had no clue they were free.

Today as we celebrate Juneteenth, I’m reminded of not only of the freedom of my ancestors but also of the freedom I have in Christ. The chains that once bound me have been broken.

Staying Consistent in Conflict

“Successful people do consistently what others do occasionally.” -Craig Groeschel

There are more quotes about consistency than I could throw a stick at but this is one of my favorites. Whether we want to write a book, lose a few pounds, or get our house in order, consistency is the key. We don’t have to overhaul everything about ourselves to become the person we want to be; we just need to consistently do the actions that will get us there.

The problem is many of us fall off the wagon the moment a wrench is thrown into our plans. Most of us would agree that the past year has definitely frustrated the plans for many of us. I found that some of my good habits suffered severely while others continued out of necessity. But once I set myself realistic goals and grew to be disciplined in accomplishing them, I began to see my life start coming back together.

King Hezekiah was one of the many kings chronicled in the book of Kings who had a major setback almost throw his life into chaos. He had served God faithfully by destroying articles of idol worship that led the Israelites astray and he faithfully kept the commands of the Lord. He sought the Lord when he was in trouble and did things by the book. The Bible even said there was no king like him in Judah, neither before or after. Talk about a great resume!

Everything looked to be going Hezekiah’s way until one day he got sick. Some people don’t miss a beat when they get sick. I am not one of those people. When I get sick, I can’t walk or talk and I milk every ounce of help I can get out of my family. 

Hezekiah must have been doing pretty badly because the prophet Isaiah shows up and tells him to get his life organized because he was going to die from his illness. I wonder if this news surprised Hezekiah. When we think of prophets, we often think they must be coming with a good word from God. I’m sure he expected to hear a “Get up and walk” or “You’ve been made whole.” But that was not the word God had for him.

After serving God faithfully and even helping the Israelites to return to serving God faithfully, you would think things would work out well for him. There’s a strange misunderstanding that as Christians, we will never go through a hardship or trial once we accept the Lord Jesus as our savior. That somehow, magically, all misfortune will avoid our lives to allow us to live blessed and highly favored. While I do believe we have a once unattainable favor and grace in our lives when we get saved, I don’t believe we are placed inside of a Christian bubble wrap that keeps all bad things away from us. That’s just life. People get sick. People get hurt. People die. Christians included. 

But the difference is, as children of God, we have access to someone who has the ability to change our situations. And Hezekiah knew this. Hezekiah went back to a habit that he practiced consistently his entire life. He prayed. The Bible says that when the prophet Isaiah left, Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and reminded God of all he had done to walk right before him. Look at his prayer:

“Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” (‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭20:2-3). For those who think that our tears don’t move God, I have to disagree. Who, as a parent, sees their child crying out in pain and turns a blind eye? God, as our heavenly Father and creator, cares about the things that concern us. That’s why we’re encouraged to cast our cares upon him, because he cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7). ‬ 

Hezekiah had always gone to the Lord in times of distress. In times of threats, he went to God. In times of battle, he went to God. So this conflict had no different strategy. He went to God. It seems so simple, right? I’m not trying to oversimplify anything you might be going through, but I want to encourage you to stay consistent in seeking God. 

If you haven’t been consistent in your time with God, today is a good day to start. Sometimes we treat our spiritual health like our physical health. “Wow! Is that scale accurate? Do I need my eyes checked or are those late night snacks catching up to me!? I’m going to start working out this Monday. I’m going to run 3 miles and drink a gallon of water and eat only salads for lunch! But Monday is the 17th so maybe I’ll wait until the 1st of next month so I can get everything together.” 

We put things off, waiting for an ideal time to start. We want to wait until everything is perfect, the weather is perfect, the budget is perfect before we start making changes. But we can begin to be consistent now. Right now! Take out your Bible and read one verse. I’ll wait!

Okay. Now do the same thing tomorrow. Take out your Bible and read one verse. Do the same thing until reading a verse everyday becomes consistent. Then add another verse and let it become consistent. Perfection and consistency are not roommates. In fact, perfectionism is the upstairs neighbor that plays his music too loud and walks too hard to be living on the 3rd floor! 

Discipline yourself to remain consistent even in conflict. When the storm has passed, you will be much further along than if you had waited for clear skies before even starting.

Go and Make, Not Come and Take

I talk to everyone about everything. If we are standing in line at Target next to each other, I will know your life story and we will connect on Facebook before you leave.

I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people, even if just for a few minutes before our lives separate for eternity. Or will they?

While I need to reinstate this practice more regularly, I often end my conversations with strangers by asking this question: IF THERE WAS ONE THING I COULD PRAY FOR YOU, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I’m not embarrassed to ask this either. I’ve seen so many Christians break into a full sweat when they are asked to pray. We aren’t afraid to share shopping deals, political opinions or criticisms but sharing the good news?! We’d rather just secretly give them a glossy invitation to visit our church and run back into the black of night.

I’m not against inviting people to church. But what if they don’t come? I was invited to church for 8 months straight, every week. I always had excuse. Plans with friends. Plans with drinks. Plans with the cat. Anything to get out of going to church. That’s where the hypocrites are!!

People will turn down invitations but they will rarely turn down prayer. In fact, NO ONE has every said to me, “Actually everything in my life is working out perfectly. My kids, my money, my health, my job, my relatives are all exactly like I want it. Find someone else to pray for.”

In fact, I often end up praying for very dire situations and ending up hugging a crying stranger in aisle 9 of Walmart. We don’t know what people need at first glance, but God does.

This interaction allows me to ask them the most important question they will hear in their lives: Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Prayer is a wonderful gateway to show people you don’t just care about them visiting your church or coming to an event, but that you care about their life and eternity.

Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 28:18, a verse known as the Great Commission, to go and make disciples. A commission is an authority to act for, in behalf of, or in place of another. Jesus basically told us to keep doing what he was doing since he was leaving.

Cue the rant!! (Don’t act surprised; you know I like a good rant!) It’s time to leave the comforts of our cozy churches and events. It’s time to get serious about presenting the gospel to people. We can’t wait for the stray visitor we don’t recognize that probably came from another church to come through our doors.

There are people dying and they don’t know Jesus. They are going to hell. Yes, HELL! It’s a real place and if we aren’t vocal in inviting people to know Christ, they will end up there.

I had a dream this week that I was being raptured. Well, I think was being raptured. I began floating off of earth and proceeded to low earth orbit (LEO for my fellow space nerds) then on to deeper space. I started freaking out because I had no type of protective gear. How was I even alive! I figured I had to be on my way to heaven but when I looked around I was alone.

That’s all I remember of the dream. But it made me question: How many of us are going to heaven alone? Are our families coming? Coworkers? Friends? Neighbors? I have friends that aren’t coming and it makes me sad. I’ve cried many times at the thought of it, asking God to open their eyes to the free gift of salvation I’ve shared with them.

I think we (the church) have misrepresented the gospel. We encourage nonbelievers and believers alike to come and take. “Come to Jesus and you’ll get everything you ever wanted! New car, nice house, vacations! Just come to our church and we’ll show you how!”

I’m definitely a believer and supporter of the message of prosperity and abundance but that’s just half of it. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

God isn’t opening the windows of heaven to shower us with blessings just for us. They are for every good work! And the best work we can do is the one he commissioned for us to do: Go and make.

Find your Faith

I live in a smaller city in Southeast Wisconsin and get on the freeway maybe once a month or so. It’s a far less busy pace than the larger Texan cities I was raised in! So when I started learning more about using my telescope, I learned very quickly that living in the city really added limitations to what I could see with my telescope. 

I thought I’d be better off because I didn’t live in a large city but discovered that even being located between the two big cities of Chicago and Milwaukee caused my experience with the night sky to be hindered. Light pollution is a term used in astronomy to describe the brightening of the night sky caused by street lights and other man-made sources, which has a disruptive effect on natural cycles and inhibits the observation of stars and planets.

In 2001, a scale was created by John Bortle to help amateur astronomers evaluate the darkness of an observation site that measured the night sky’s brightness in a particular location. The Bortle scale is a nine-level numeric scale that ranges from Class 1, the darkest skies available on Earth, through Class 9, inner-city skies. So the farther away you are from big cities and lights, the more you can observe the sky without interference.  

Just like in astronomy, location is everything when operating in faith! Our world is filled with all kinds of pollution that will hinder us from seeing the future God has for us. We’re bombarded with advertisements that tell us we can have the best car for 6 years of financing, causing financial freedom to be harder to see. We’re told our old phones need to be upgraded, creating further distance between us and contentment. We can scroll for hours, looking into the lives of others, liking the pictures of the vacation we wish we went on or the child’s birthday party we wish we’d thrown.

Sometimes, I miss the days when you only knew what was in your house and maybe a few friends. Now we have access to the homes and lives of people from a wide spectrum of income categories, varying degrees of debt and EVERYONE’s opinion! I promise, I’m not going on a rant about the downward spiral of humanity and our increasing dependence on technology that is creating a culture of discontent, overly informed individuals. I’m not! But I will say that where we position ourselves spiritually, mentally, physically, and financially, will have a major effect on what we can expect to see in our lives.

We have to be intentional about positioning ourselves in a place where we can find our faith and be able to live it out everyday. I’m not telling you to move to a ranch in Wyoming far from civilization and live a life of solitude so you can be closer to God. But I am saying that we must position ourselves in the optimal place to be able to use our faith most effectively. 

I’m reminded of a person in the Bible who made a decision to change her position and it resulted in her becoming the ancestor of one Israel’s most famous kings. In the book of Ruth, we meet a young Moabite woman who is faced with a tough decision of whether to return to her home and people after the death of her husband or relocate to an unknown land with her mother-in-law. 

Now here’s the part where you expect a mean mother in law joke, but I’m sorry to disappoint you! I actually love my mother in law and we have a great relationship! Ruth must have had a good relationship with her mother in law, Naomi, because she went on to Israel with her. 

We learn that upon arriving to Naomi‘s home in Israel, Ruth ends up working in the field of one of their close relatives to make ends meet. She is greeted with kindness and favor from Boaz, the owner of the field and close relative, who makes sure that she is taken care of as she worked in the fields. 

Over the course of time, Boaz and Ruth marry, and she becomes the mother of a son named Obed. Obed becomes the father of a son, Jesse and Jesse becomes the father of a young, shepherd boy who would grow to be Israel’s most famous king and the writer of much of the book of Psalms, King David. 

Because of her decision to change her location, Ruth became the great grandmother of a king. What impact could you have on the outcome of your legacy by positioning yourself today to operate in great faith? 

Are you believing by faith that you will enjoy financial freedom? Position yourself around individuals who have accomplished financial freedom and can help guide you along the way. Are you believing that you will be healed of an illness? Position yourself next to someone who God has healed so that you stay encouraged when it gets tough. 

When you find the right position, it’s amazing what you will see. Goals and dreams you thought were unreachable become clear. Unspoken aspirations find the freedom to breathe and grow, and you can trust God to fill the gap of the impossible as you position yourself in his presence and in His word.

BOOT CAMP: Wk 5 Worship

Check out this week’s podcast on Anchor!

In March 2006, I pulled up to a nice looking brick church. The parking lot was almost empty so I knew I was early. I just sat in the car for a while and watched people begin to arrive and go inside. They looked nice enough and some even smiled at me through the glass, as if they knew the hesitancy I felt about joining them. I finally went in but I sat in the last row so I could leave if I got uncomfortable. An older man came up and encouraged me to sit closer. After I ran out of excuses as to why I’d rather sit in the back, I gave in and moved to the 3rd or 4th row.

The lights went down and a young Hispanic guy with thick black hair came up and began to sing and play the keyboard. He could have been singing in another language as far as I was concerned. I hadn’t ever heard these songs and honestly, they didn’t make sense to me. “I am a friend of God?” But I thought God was mean! “I worship you because of who you are?” What does that even mean! Well, at least the keyboard player was hot! (It’s ok, he’s my husband now! I can say that!)

As I stood there, surrounded by people with their eyes closed and arms lifted up, my heart began to burn. Literally. It’s hard to put into words what I felt inside. When I think about it now, I’m reminded of the story in Luke when two men were walking on the road to Emmaus after Jesus had been crucified. Jesus appeared to them, but they didn’t know who he was. Jesus went on to walk with them, talk with them and even eat with them, but it wasn’t until he disappeared from their sight that they realized they had been with the Lord. One said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)

That’s what I felt. A burning, an urging. I was in the presence of God, and even though I didn’t understand what was happening, I knew enough to know that I needed him. I asked Jesus into my life, right during praise and worship. With tears flowing down my face, I sat down when the music ended, knowing something was different. I looked up to see the same older man who encouraged me to move closer begin to teach, realizing now that he was the pastor of the church! At the end of the service, he asked if anyone wanted a new life in Christ, and I basically ran to the front of the church!

This is why worship is so important to me personally. I met Jesus in worship. I hadn’t heard a sermon or powerful teaching. I met Jesus as my heart softened and worship filled the room. I’ve heard testimonies of people being healed during praise and worship. In the Old Testament, the army of Israel sent the worshippers out first before battle!

There are any ways to worship God, but I am talking specifically about praise and worship in regards to music. I sing on the praise team at my church and have been involved in leading worship for over 15 years. I would say I’m a bit more charismatic and demonstrative during worship, but when you come from where I came from, you’d understand.

Worship is an outward expression of an inward revelation. When we understand who God is and all that he has done and constantly does for us, our response would be nothing but gratitude. Setting the atmosphere is such a vital part of our weekly worship of God.

Worship cannot be something we do only on Sunday morning. I ran a half marathon in 2019 and am training for a marathon now. I remember during the half marathon seeing people limping and crying towards the end. You can tell they hadn’t trained and prepared properly. I can tell Sunday mornings who hasn’t trained as well!

I make it a point during the week to spend time worshipping God in my house. When I get to church Sunday morning, I’ve already meditated on how good he is. I’ve already thanked him for salvation and delivering me from my sin. I’ve already welcomed his presence into my day.

This week, focus on making praise and worship a part of your week. It’s better than focusing on problems and worrying! We can make the decision everyday to fill our mouths and homes with praise!

BOOT CAMP: Wk 4 Prayer

Check out this week’s podcast on https://anchor.fm/jasmine-lozano4/episodes/Boot-Camp-The-Importance-of-Prayer-e114hgr!

Have you ever gotten a friend request on social media from someone and you had no idea who they were? Maybe you share a few mutual friends or live in the same city, but you just have no idea how you know them? I have 787 friends on facebook to date. Of those 787 people who like my posts and pictures, I probably talk to less than 10 on a semi regular basis. Most of them don’t even have my phone number and if they called me, I wouldn’t answer because my phone has a spam setting for unknown numbers.

In the age we live in, the title of friend has definitely expanded to include people we would have called acquaintances in times past. The mom I talked to at the park for one hour 4 years ago is now my friend for life. The lady at the grocery store who gave me a coupon will see pictures of my kids when they graduate college in a decade. That’s actually kind of creepy; I’m going to go unfriend her now! The truth is, according to numerous polls and studies, most people have less than 5 close friends. 

It’s strange for many people to think of God as a friend, but He is the most trustworthy and faithful friend you will ever have. James 2:23 tells us that Abraham was called a friend of God. Could God say that about us? That our relationship is beyond that of an acquaintance but has depth and history. There is an amazing conversation between two friends, God and Abraham found in Genesis. 

In Genesis 18, Abraham and Sarah have just been visited by three visitors who shared the good news that she would be a mother in her old age. But God didn’t only have good news to share with them, but also a heads up. The visitors inform Abraham that God will soon destroy the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin. Why wouldn’t this be great news, you ask? Punishing the wicked and making room for the righteous sounds like a win-win! But the problem is that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who came with him from Haran was living in Sodom. Naturally, Abraham becomes worried for his family. But because he has developed a relationship with God, he does something that we have the ability to do anytime: He asked God a few questions. He asks God if he would spare the city if he found 50 righteous people. When God agrees, Abraham continues to lower the number until it’s down to ten people.

Did you know it was okay to ask God questions? People have told me my entire life not to question God, but the most successful people in the Bible, asked God questions. Moses asked God how to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. David asked God if he should attack the army that plundered and carried away his family and the families of his soldiers. Gideon asked why had all of the bad things happened to Israel if God was with them. James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

I’ve always found it interesting that it was God’s decision to let Abraham in on his plans to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Could you imagine having that close of a relationship with God that He wants to let you know what he has in mind to do? God doesn’t have to consult with us before making any decision, but because of his relationship and covenant with Abraham, he didn’t want him left in the dark.

Faith is not a huge mystery that we have to stumble through, hoping to bump into God’s will and plan for our lives. God doesn’t want his children left in the dark. The Bible says that we have been taken out of the kingdom of darkness and placed into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Our position in faith gives us access to come to him wherever we are and whenever we need answers. Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Our faith is strengthened and we develop our relationship with him by prioritizing our time spent talking with him.

Word to a Mother

Here in the US we are celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend. While typically, I am very conspiratorial about most holidays being ploys from Big Business to push an agenda that causes millions to spend wastefully on knick knacks and overpriced greeting cards, now that I’m a mom, I’ll lay aside my tin cap for this day.

I want to use today’s post to brag about a particular mom who sits a little higher than the rest. I know what you’re think and thanks! It’s not me, but that’s what I’m aiming for; it’s my mom.

For most of my childhood it was just me, my sister and my mom. As a single parent, my mom raised two girls who were a few months shy of being Irish twins. She moved us from New York to Ohio to finally landing in Texas, always seeking something better for us.

We moved a lot when I was little, but it was always fun going away in the summer to my grandparents and coming back to see what our new apartment would look like.

There were times that we didn’t have a car, but I actually enjoyed the stories she told at the bus stop and counting Volkswagen Beetles on the way to school.

My mom could and still can make a game out of anything. And I mean ANYTHING! Now that we live in a different state, my daughter and her play a guessing game on FaceTime where one has to guess what the other is holding closely to the camera. It reminds me of hours of playing “Find the Sock” on the weekends.

I’ve learned so many things from my mom over the years. I learned that life doesn’t always give you want you want, but you can decide to work with what you have and do it with joy. She taught me the benefits of playing as an adult. Playing with your kids is as much for you as it is for them. Forget the laundry for a minute and play a few rounds of UNO. I promise it is well worth your time.

My childhood wasn’t always roses and sunshine, but when I think back, I only remember the good times. I remember library days and kids eat free meals at Golden Corral where’d we stuff ourselves to blindness. My mom would scare us and tell us she didn’t know if she could drive us home because she couldn’t see.

Now that I’m a mother, that is my hope for my kids. I want them to remember the fort we made that took up the entire living room and had their dad bring up a box fan as air conditioning for it. I want them to remember our long summer days and ending the night looking at the stars through my telescope.

As mothers, we don’t always have all of the answers, but we can give all of the love. We can show our kids how to be kind. If you are reading this and haven’t heard it today, you are a great mother.

BOOT CAMP: Wk 3 Finances

Check out this week’s podcast @ https://anchor.fm/jasmine-lozano4/episodes/Boot-Camp-The-Importance-of-Giving-and-Money-Management-evms05

I know, I know! No one wants to hear or talk about money. And I think that speaks volumes as to why so many people struggle with it. Money, giving, tithing, saving, investing, and debt has become an off limit subject for many people, both in and outside the four walls of the church.

For years, money issues have been listed as one of the top reasons married couples divorced for both Christians and non-Christians. The majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and wouldn’t be able to handle a $500 emergency without using credit. In the last 5 years, over 2.5 million people have filed bankruptcy.

But it’s not just individuals and families who are struggling financially. According to ChristianityToday.com, more churches close their doors every year because they are unable to pay their bills than for any other reason. 

I find it surprising that even though about 40% of Jesus’ parables dealt with money, the people of God struggle with finances in the same manner as the people of the world. I’m not pointing the finger. I only recently have been able to become debt free through God’s provision and grace.

When I became a Christian in 2006, my church offered both a new members class and a class for new Christians that introduced me to the principle of tithing. I’ll be honest; it sounded crazy at first. Giving 10% of “my” hard earned money to a church that seemed to be doing okay seemed counterintuitive. 

But something happened when I gave my life to Jesus. I decided I would believe what he said. If he said it was more blessed to give than receive, I believed it. If he said I should give and it would be given to me, I believed it. I was taught in these classes that tithing was more about a person’s heart than a person’s money. 

Jesus said that our heart was where our treasure was. In plain English, how and where you spend your money shows what matters to you most. For some people, recreation, vacation or entertainment is their priority. For some, it may be their children’s activities or personal hobbies. I spend money on all of these things, but not before I return to God what belongs to him already.

The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 8:18 that it is God who gives us the ability to get wealth. It’s because of him we can wake up, physically move our limbs, and even have the particular set of skills we need to allow us to provide for our families. And yes, I’m aware I quoted Liam Neeson.

Once we understand that everything belongs to him, it becomes less difficult to actually trust him with all we have. Tithing is simply a measure to show God not only are we thankful for what he’s blessed us with, but that we trust him in handling it as well. 

When my family was getting out of debt, I was amazed at the supernatural increase we experienced and remembered something God promised in the book of Malachi. 

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” (Malachi 3:10-11 emphasis added)

I shouldn’t have been as surprised because God did exactly what he said he would do in His word. Because we had been faithful for years in tithing and giving, God was true to his word and poured out a blessing we couldn’t keep to ourselves. I’ll go into more detail in this week’s podcast with my special guest!

I encourage you to listen to my podcast this week as I dig deeper on the issue of finances. My guest and I will talk more about giving, saving, debt and other areas that God wants us to be successful in.

PODCAST SHOW NOTES: WEEK 3 – FINANCES W/ PRINCESS WOMACK

This Week’s Blog Post: JasmineLozano.com

Listen to this episode of the podcast! https://anchor.fm/jasmine-lozano4/episodes/Boot-Camp-The-Importance-of-Giving-and-Money-Management-evms05

Money is one of the most talked about subjects in the Bible. God talks about it. Jesus talks about it. And so should we.

My guest today is someone who I’ve spent hours upon hours with talking about finances. Join me and my guest (and best friend!) Princess Womack as we have a conversation about giving, debt, and God’s blessing. 

Princess is a mother of 3, a life group leader in her local church, an entrepreneur, realtor and the list goes on! Not only is she passionate about helping others win in their finances, she also holds a degree in the same field!

The majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and wouldn’t be able to handle a $500 emergency without using credit. In the last 5 years, over 2.5 million people have filed bankruptcy.

Why are so many Christians struggling in their finances?

People believe they are good stewards of their money, but are usually mistaken.

They don’t budget or assign their money for a purpose.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Also, we live in an age where we are connected with people on a more intimate level than ever before. We see their vacations, new homes, new cars, but we don’t know the whole story. People end up comparing and competing with people who make 3x as much as they do or are drowning in so much debt, they’re barely staying afloat. 

Princess and her family became debt free in the matter of 30 days when she began donating and then selling masks during the coronavirus pandemic. One could think this was a fluke occurrence or stroke of luck, but Princess and her family had spent years cultivating the gift of generosity, and it was only a matter of time before they would be on the receiving end.

The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 8:18 that it is God who gives us the ability to get wealth. Once we understand that everything belongs to him, it becomes less difficult to actually trust him with all we have. Tithing is simply a measure to show God not only are we thankful for what he’s blessed us with, but that we trust him in handling it as well. 

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” (Malachi 3:10-11 emphasis added)

Tips to winning in your finances:

  1. KNOW WHAT YOU OWE
  2. GET ON THE SAME PAGE IF YOU’RE MARRIED
  3. MAKE A PLAN/BUDGET

Connect with Princess!! 

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