I bet you just wish God would push the like button on your Facebook page! If so, how often would you be glued to your Facebook notifications checking countless times to see if God “liked” your activity?

Yes, you want to please God, but if you’re doing it to score brownie points – you won’t get any. Why? Because you don’t need any! He doesn’t give em. His son did enough for you.

Here’s Why you might have a hard time understanding why you get God’s grace when you don’t deserve it.

It’s because the world is primarily set up to give you things only when you deserve them.

  • You work = you get a paycheck
  • You work hard, harder than the rest = you get a promotion
  • Be good – Santa will be good to you, bring you what’s on your wish list
  • You behave well = you get brownie points with mom and dad
  • Your kids clean their rooms – you let them have a friend over.
  • Your toddler goes potty like a big kid – he gets a sticker.
  • You clean your house = nuff said!

We’re condition by rewards. It’s in our blood. It’s all we know. And that is why you need to trade your blood for Christ’s. He shed his blood so you no longer have to give yours. Trying to please God with your Blood sweet and tears? Drop that idea. It’s no longer needed.

How did we become conditioned by a rewards system? It’s because Bible starts out that way back in the Old Testament. If you lived by the law, you received God’s salvation and blessings…

If you gave a sacrifice = your sins were forgiven.

But all that changed when Jesus paid for our sins by becoming our sacrifice. Since then, our sacrifice in anyway, shape or form is unnecessary to access the grace of God. What does this grace buy you?

Forgiveness. Salvation. Blessings.

It’s hard for you to wrap your head around this, I know. It was hard for me too. Hard to believe that the things I do, don’t count toward my salvation, nor do they count toward my blessings. It’s all free. Free and clear. And that just doesn’t seem right. But it’s right in God’s economy.

It’s right when we accept what Christ did is far superior that what we could ever do on our own to access grace.

Romans 4:5-8 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

God is not into paying you for what you deserve. Get that in your head…and you’ll have MORE than you deserve!

If you like this post, you’ll love this week’s podcast where I go even deeper with this! Join me in iTunes or click here for the episode: “Soul Fitness Made Easy”

Podcast Soul Fitness Image3

 

Making The Most of Every Moment

My best friend, Dr. Kathy Harkema, has said to me many times, “Let’s just live in the moment.” That’s tough for me! I’m the kind of gal who can get so busy planning the future moments that it snuffs the life out of this moment. You too?  Let me give you a reason to take her advice…

Linda & Kathy, Michigan 2010

Linda & Kathy, Michigan 2010

  • Do you know how many times I drove to work thinking about all the things I had to do at work instead of enjoying the ride to work?
  • Do you know how many times I’ve been with people on the phone rehearsing my next remark instead of concentrating on what they were saying?
  • Do you know how many times I sat through dinner with my family thinking about what I had to do after dinner instead of savoring dinner with them?
  • Do you know how many times I took a walk with my husband, my hand in his, yet my thoughts were on what we still had to tackle in our lives and ministry instead of enjoying that moment with him?
  • Do you know how many times I chose to respond to a text message that could have waited instead of being fully present and engaged with the person I was with face to face?
  • Do you know how many times I was with my friends thinking about what I was wearing instead of enjoying their conversation?

Do you know many times you have……instead of……? Yep, fill in your own blank!

Why Living in the Moment Is So Important

The moments I have with you, the moments I have with my kids, the moments I have with the people I’m ministering or coaching or consulting or the moments I have with whoever is in the room ARE more important than what comes NEXT.

So many times I’ve asked my friend, Kathy, “What was the best part of your day today?” And she always says, “Right now!” I love that response. It shows she’s totally with me.

Linda & Kathy

Linda & Kathy

My challenge and yours…my commitment and hopefully yours…let’s just live in the moment. Because when we look back, we won’t get back the moments we wasted thinking about what comes next. Let’s make the most of the moment we are in now.

Savor it.

Suck every bit of life out of every moment you have. Enjoy it fully. 

Yes, plan, but don’t think so much about what’s going to happen next. It’s going to happen anyway. If you obsess over it, you’re wasting energy that you can’t retrieve and you miss out on what is now. The most important moment is the moment you are in now.

Savor this piece of advice from the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 MSG

There’s a Right Time for Everything

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,

A right time to plant and another to reap,

A right time to kill and another to heal,

A right time to destroy and another to construct,

A right time to cry and another to laugh,

A right time to lament and another to cheer,

A right time to make love and another to abstain,

A right time to embrace and another to part,

A right time to search and another to count your losses,

A right time to hold on and another to let go,

A right time to rip out and another to mend,

A right time to shut up and another to speak up,

A right time to love and another to hate,

A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do––busywork, mostly.

True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time––but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going.

I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it––eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.

Did you catch that? Now – the present – is God’s gift. Let’s let go of our obsessions about what’s next so we can enjoy what’s now. You with me?

Podcast Soul Fitness Image3I’ve got something new for you! I created something to help you get your soul fit – the easy way! It’s a podcast that may just throw you off your holy rocker!

If Christianity sometimes seems hard and complex because of all things you’re expected to do….let’s cut you some slack.

  • If you feel like God isn’t on your side because you’ve made too many mistakes…you’ll feel his favor again.
  • If you’ve grown up feeling like you have to perform for God in order to get God to like you, love you, or listen to you…you’ll learn how to beak free.
  • If you’re confused about what God wants to give you as a believer…you’ll discover what’s rightfully yours.
  • If you want to grow in the Lord but it just seems too hard…you’ll discover an easier God-approved way!
  • If you’re worn out from going to church and serving and it’s just not fun anymore…you’ll get that fire back.
  • If you’re thinking God’s not interested in making your dreams come true or bringing you that miracle you’ve been waiting for…you’ll realize your breakthrough is closer than you think.
  • If you’re tired of feeling condemned…there’s a breath of fresh grace waiting for you.

You need this!

But I want to warn you: This is NOT your Mama’s religion! No rules. Just righteousness. How you say? It’s powered by grace. Grace TRAINS us to live right.

If you’re tired of Christianity’s so-called rules and regulations, if religion makes you want to gag, tune in to the “Soul Fitness – Made Easy” Podcast. It’s available in iTunes or you can listen now by clicking here.

Each week I’ll offer you little nuggets, I call em Podbites. They’re a little something to savor as you go about your day. They will fuel you, encourage you, and help you pick up the curve balls that life has thrown at you.

Listen to them as you’re getting ready in the morning, listen in the car, or as you’re buzzing around the house in your sweats and slippers. They’re short, they’re fun, and they’re geared to inspire you and give you hope.

Here are some of the podcast episodes I’ve created that you can listen to right now:

  • Why We Need More Hypocrites in The Church (It’s not what you think!)
  • If You’re Feeling Far Away From God, Here’s How to Get Back
  • Don’t Be Fooled By Your Scars – Here’s What They Reveal About You
  • Does God Think You’re Good Enough to Get Into Heaven & Receive His Blessings

And here are some upcoming podcasts you can look forward to:

  • The Sweetest 5 minute Daily Bible Reading Plan You’ll Ever Use
  • How to Keep Fighting When You’re a Bloody Mess
  • 7 Steps to Dealing With the Jerks in Your Life & How to Get Revenge Too
  • Surprising Fact: Christians Don’t Need to Confess – What They Ought to Do Instead
  • The Key to Knowing if It’s God’s Will to Heal
  • The No Fail Guide to Making Your Dreams Come True

Join me! Tune into the Soul Fitness Made Easy Podcast. Munch on them, and share. You’ll be pushing toward a faith that’s freeing beyond belief!

Click here to listen in iTunes. Or click here to listen right now: Soul Fitness Made Easy. And if you’re over there in iTunes land, please leave a review, it would be mighty helpful to me…I want to know what you think.

Talk to you inside!

That devil…he's always trying to get one over on you, isn't he? Want to know the one instance where he has to pay you back? And not only pay you back, but pay you back in a BIG way?!

I was supposed to be flying out to Pennsylvania this week. This is the second week of September and on my calendar I have the dates of Sept. 12-15 blocked off to speak at a woman's conference. I was speaking Thurs, Fri, Sat, then at a church Sunday morning.

But guess what? It's not happening! And yes…I'm ticked!

It breaks my heart knowing that this church split. Yep, it fell apart. Some people went this way, some that way. The pastor is in a whirlwind and doesn't know what to do. My heart is breaking for those people. The devil is messing with them. And it saddens and maddens me.

Lives Were Going to Change

I know that God was going to do something amazing in the lives of the women who were going to attend that conference. Those who are sick and tired of life, as they know it, were going to experience a heap of hope.

They were going to receive a freshening of God's Spirit to conquer the challenges in their lives. They were going to discover how to get out of their ruts.

My team and I planned it over a year ago. Stage props were constructed, decorations were purchased, power points were created, powerful messages prepped…all for nothing.

Are you feeling my pain?

I'm sure you are. I bet you've experienced changes in your calendar, or plans that have dropped. You too have experienced something stolen, something taken, and something eaten right out of your hand. You too, have seen things that made your heart ache when the devil messed with your stuff.

But I want to show you that it ain't over!

First, you have to know, this is so fun for the devil – trying to wreck havoc in your life:

John 10:10 NIV:The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The Bible tells us that it's the enemy's intention to steal from us. But, if you know what you’re entitled to, you can make him pay you back. And here is where it gets fun for us…because when a thief steals…

Proverbs 6:31 NLTBut if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole…

Catch Him

Did you catch that? You have to catch him. He only pays you back if you catch him. So, wake up…it's not that you've been diagnosed with cancer like millions of others…it didn't just happen. The enemy is trying to steal your life. It's not that you and your spouse just got a divorce; the enemy stole your marriage from you. Are you tracking me?

Make Him Pay You Back

Know what I've been doing for the past week? Telling the devil what he's got to do for me. I've been reminding him of this scripture. I've been quoting it so he knows I know what I'm entitled to.

I'm entitled to have Satan replace that one speaking engagement that he stole with seven more! It's mine. The Bible says so. And guess what? Satan is at work right now creating opportunities for me to speak and change lives. How cool is that?!

Let the Enemy Know – That You Know

If you've had something stolen from you, let him know, you know, it ain't over! You're entitled to get paid back. Not just once either. Seven times. That's right – you take what you lost – and you multiply it by SEVEN. Hear me? Go for it!

What You Lost X's 7

Here's what I'd like for you to do. Email me and let me know what the devil is going to pay back in your life x's 7!!! Here's my personal email address: @Drlinda@lindatravelute.com. I can't wait to hear about what he's got to do for you! And I'm going to pray along with you that he restores everything he's taken from you…and more!

And, if you'd like to help me get one up on the devil and give him a one-two punch he wasn't expecting…help me fill my calendar with more speaking dates. I've got a message that will help people kick their faith into high gear and give them hope for their mess.

Help me not only recover that one speaking engagement but gain seven more! We can be in this together.

Here's how you can help:
1. Post this video (LINK) on your facebook, twitter, and other social media outlets: http://youtu.be/o1cnnVoHObA

2. Email this video to your pastor or event planner. You could simply cut and paste this: I know this amazing speaker who has a knack for helping people get their soul's fit. She has a message of hope – helping people survive, revive, & thrive! She's Dr. Linda Travelute, she's an author and she's available to speak at church services, conferences, and retreats. Check out her short video and info on her website: http://lindatravelute.com/speaking/

Let's make him pay! Hope to see you soon!

 

Many years ago a man conned his way into an orchestra although he could not play a note.  He would hold his flute against his lips, pretend to play but not make a sound. Then one day the leader requested a solo from each musician.

The man was panic-stricken.

On the day of his solo performance, he took poison and killed himself.

The explanation of his suicide led to a phrase that found its way into the English language:  “He refused to face the music.”

My question for you is simply this: 

Are you afraid to face the music?

Or, maybe I could ask… Are you panic-stricken?

Believers are killing themselves, in every area of their lives, simply because they refuse to face the music.

Don’t be one of them.

See, there are Christian believers dying of cancer. They are loosing their homes. They are busting up their marriages. Simply because they won’t stand and take their God given authority and face the music. They’d rather roll over and die. They are poisoning themselves with the lies of the enemy.

If this is you…if the devil is eating your lunch or hey, maybe he’s eating you…

Face the music.

How?

Grab your Bible, get reading, and start saying the things you read.

Yes, it’s simple. Say what you read. Just like when you were in school. Pretend if it helps, that you are in your little oral reading group. Read. Out loud. Listen to what you are reading.

Read your Bible till it gets down into your spirit and you start believing it. Read your Bible so the devil knows your getting a dose of truth to tackle his lies.

Get Your Facts Straight:

You do not have to die of cancer. You do not need to lose your home. Your marriage doesn’t have to bust up. You’re going to get this figured out. God’s going to help you. You’re a conqueror. Start acting like one.

Conquerors face the music.

Romans 8:37 AMP

Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

As you read God’s promises out loud, it will put confidence in your spirit, fear in the enemy, and you will see things change. 

For example, take the scripture above. Read it out loud. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

…Did you read it? Good. Now, make that scripture personal. Like this: “Yet amid all these things, I am more than a conqueror and I am gaining a surpassing victory through Him Who loves me.” Nice, huh?

Read it again. No joke. Read it out loud. Again. And again. Read it until you memorize it. Repeat it. Think it. Repeat it again.

Get a little crazy and write it on a post-it note or index card and tape it to your mirror. Say it every time you go to the bathroom. Out loud. Every-time. Why?

Because sooner or later you’re going to begin to believe it. And when you do, you’ll see things change.

Ready?

I know you are. Get out there and face the music.
I’m rooting for ya!

Speaking & Booking

Faith. If you’ve got it… it pleases God. If you don’t…well, let’s just say your dead in the water. When it comes to your strength as a Christian, the most important ingredient is faith. So if you feel a little “stuck” in the faith department, look no further. I’m going to show you a way to understand what faith is and how you can get more of it.

I was reading the most quoted verse in the Bible on faith, Hebrews 11:1. And to be honest, this is a hard verse to swallow. Come on, God’s asking us to believe in something we can’t see. Trust, sometimes when there’s no evidence. And stay hopeful in the midst of desperate times. Not easy, is it?

In order to make the verse easier to digest, I picked it apart. Word by word. Line by line. I wanted to figure it out. So here’s what I did with this famous verse on faith – I used a mindmaping app on my iPad to diagram it. I’m sharing the diagram and my results with you.

Picking this verse apart gave me a fresh new way to look at faith. My faith is stronger and I have a better idea of the kind of faith God wants me to have. Take a peek at the diagram by clicking below, it’ll help you get a better grip on your faith too. (Oh, and be sure to look all the way down to the blue cloud on the bottom…it’s the clincher!)

MindMapPic

Click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next time you get stuck on a verse and it just doesn’t make sense, try diagraming it. Picking it apart word by word is a great tool. Kinda like taking one bite of the Bible at a time. Your faith will ramp up and you’ll add a little spice to your Bible reading time. Enjoy!

Feeling like your walk with God is bone-dry? If you’re feeling parched, like you can’t swallow spiritually, then you need a drink my friend. Let me pour you one.

There is a story of a farmer who owned an orchard in a valley full of orchards. One year the drought was harsher than all the previous years. Yet his trees were more fruitful than the surrounding ones. The other farmers’ trees were brown while his were still green. They gathered one day to ask his secret.

He replied, “My trees can go another four weeks without water. You see, when they were young, I often withheld water from them so that their roots were forced to drill deeper to find water. So while other trees are dying, mine are drinking from a much deeper source.”

The world around you can suck you dry. When this happens…

Drill down, and get your water from a deeper source.

Erma Bombeck understood that other people’s fears, skepticism, and negativity could be as contagious as the flu. And unless you’ve built up your immune system, some people can knock you for a loop — especially when the people doing the nay-saying are right in your own backyard, the cubical next to yours, or on your “friends” list.

You have one choice.

Don’t look for support from people whose spiritual life has not

prepared them to stand in faith fully. 

Instead…

Drill down, and get your water from a deeper source… God’s Word.

Just as a tree gets nourishment from the roots tapping into the water below, believers get their nourishment from reading the Bible.

A very simple way to begin is to start with the book of Proverbs.

This book has 31 chapters. And like taking a one-a-day multivitamin, you read a chapter a day. Match the day to the chapter, so if it is the tenth of the month, simply read Proverbs 10.

Choose one or two verses that the Holy Spirit seems to highlight just for you. Then using the acrostic, SOAP, write what you get out of it in a notebook.

– Stands for scripture – Write the scripture out.
– Observation – Write down what it is saying to you. It can be just a few sentences.
– Application – Make an application to your life. How will you be different today because of what you have just read? Let it change you.
– Prayer – Write down something you are asking God to help you with. Pray the scripture over your life.

Drill down and get your water from a deeper source! Then even if everyone around you is withering, you’ll flourish and survive.

Speaking & Booking

If You Lost Your Toes Like This Guy Did, What Would You Think of God’s Grace?

Warning: This is a bit graphic, but it’s a true story…

I visited a guy in the hospital who had the toes on his right foot sawed off. Amputated to be exact. Same thing really. They’re gone. And according to him, they were just hacked off. What’s worse is that by this time next week the surgeon will be loping off his entire foot and leg right up to his knee. Not a happy day.

He’s wondering what he did to deserve this. He’s wondering why God didn’t value the fact that he’s a good man and does good things for others. He’s wondering why God doesn’t see how hard he’s worked all of his life to be a good dad and husband.

He gave to those in need. He helped with his hands. He has been a good man. But apparently it wasn’t enough for God.

Is it ever? 

Why do we get sucked into believing it comes down to what we’ve done? How is it we have been brainwashed into thinking that if we live right and holy lives God will be good to us and bless our socks off?

Tell that to the man who will only wear one sock. Yeah, this guy who will only have one foot. He’ll only wear one shoe. And he’ll either walk with a prosthetic or not at all.

Where does his deeds come into play? Shouldn’t that be enough insurance in God’s eyes to save his toes, foot, and his fingers too?

That’s were you have it wrong.

It’s not about what you do. It’s about what Christ did for you.

As I sat beside this man’s hospital bed, he shared he was petrified that the doctors and nurses were out to kill him. He began to wonder if God was too.

He said to me, “God brought you here. Now, you can help me. You can give me peace.” I hated to argue with him. But he thought I was the one who was going to make it right for him.

You Can’t Borrow Someone Else’s “Good”

See, since he couldn’t rely on his own good deeds to rescue him, he was trying to rely on mine. No can do. That still won’t work. We can’t borrow anyone’s good and apply it to our situation.

The only good we can borrow is Christ’s. Again and again the NT tells us that it’s not by our works that save us. It’s not our good intentions that bring us God’s grace. It’s through Christ.

I had a tough time trying to help this man understand this. The grace and healing he needed was there for the taking. It was free but he insisted on paying for it. And when he couldn’t produce what he thought were enough works to pay for what he needed, he tried to access mine.

But, I couldn’t pay for what he needed either. 

Over and over again I kept explaining, I can’t believe for you. You have to believe. That’s all it takes. Believe in what Christ has done for you. That is the only thing you need to grab the gift of grace is faith. It’s free if you will believe.

Galatians 3:3-6 NLT

How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vein, was it?

I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.

In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.

No one pays for it but Christ.

The problem is that if we try to pay for it, we will be stuck in that system of payment. Sadly we will never have enough to pay for what we need. That’s why we don’t get the blessings of God IF we’re still trying to pay for it ourselves.

So stop working to buy your miracle.

You can’t do enough to pay for the grace you need.

If you keep trying to buy it yourself, you’ll never get it.

You can’t afford it, that’s why Christ had to buy it for you.

When you finally realize salvation and miracles are free, you’ll get the grace and mercy you need.

Are You Using Your Words Like This…
images-2Tyler, my 19-year-old son just came in from a run. He’s a tall guy, 6 foot, 4 inches and wears size 14 1/2 running shoes. Because he’s a big guy with even bigger feet, not much shakes him. But he came in the house huffing and puffing. As he was catching his breath, he said, “I sure did a lot of sprinting today….cause I had a dog chasing me!

I asked him, did he catch you? He said, “No, he was about to, but when I realized he was faster than I was, I turned around, looked at him and…used my words!”

“What words did you say?”

“STOP!”

“So what did the dog do?”

“He stopped. I didn’t have to worry about him again. He stayed put.”

That’s one smart guy! Why? Because Tyler’s been taught to say what he wants to see. He knows the power of words. And that’s because he knows his words have authority.

Authority, you might ask? Yes, Tyler knows he’s been given authority over things on this earth. And he’s not alone. If you’re a believer in Christ, you do too. You have authority.

Where does this authority come from?

Jesus Christ. His father, God, gave him authority and he’s passed it on to us.

Ephesians  1:19-22 NLT

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things.

Ephesians 2:6 NLT

For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

You and I, Tyler and every believer out there have the same authority, if we choose to use it. We are sitting in the place of authority.

How do you use it? Like Tyler did…

Use your words!

Tyler wanted to see that dog stop. So that’s what he said: “Stop!”

Using Your Words…

What do you want to stop? A divorce? A debt? A sickness? Open your mouth and say what you want to see.

  • Instead of talking about your bleak future, start using your words: “I am finding my purpose, everything I do is a success. I have hope because of Christ.”
  • Instead of complaining about a broken relationship, start using your words: “This relationship is being healed, it will be better than ever. God is helping us to mend the hurts.”
  • Instead of staring at your empty bank account. Start using your words: “Money is coming into my accounts. God is showing me how to prosper and be a success. I have more than enough to meet my needs and to help others.”

Want to stop the beast from nipping at your heals like that dog did to Tyler?

Use your words!

If you’ve enjoyed this post and it has inspired you to use your words, pass it on to a friend. Use the social media buttons for easy sharing! They’ll thank you!

imagesIn case you haven’t heard, Google Reader is saying goodbye. Yep, the folks at Google are shutting her down July 1. How could that affect you? If you use Google Reader to view this blog or any other blog feeds, you will no longer get them. And that would be sad because you’ll miss all of the great content from LindaTravelute.com. But, hooray! There’s a fast fix! Here are two options: 1. You can simply sign up to recieve posts and updates by email. It’s fast and easy. All you have to do is pop your email into the box after you click on this link: Easy Email Updates. 2. You can switch to a different RSS reader. Feedly is a great choice and they have a simple one-click Google Reader import. If you want to use Feedly and would like more information, click here: Tips for Google reader users migrating to feedly. If you’d like some other RSS options, here are 12 Google Reader Alternatives. Either way, you only have until July 1st so you’ll want to move fast. Times a tickin and I know you want to stay in the loop receiving great content. I pray you have a great week. And as always, email me with your prayer requests. I’m here for you, keeping you in prayer. Dr. Linda Helping you TRANSFORM your life, one God-thought at a time!