How Cutting Corners Comes with a Heavenly Price Tag
I heard about a guy who is a great Christian. Loves God with all of his heart. Well, sort of. You see, at first glance he loves God with all of his heart. But take a second glance and you’ll see how he cuts corners. See if you’re in anyway like him.

This guy doesn’t like seat belts. They save lives, yes? Of course. And he knows that. But he chooses to not wear his. But what about that little dinging sound that would be a constant irritant if he didn’t buckle up when he got in his vehicle? Oh, no problem. He found a work around for that.

He went to the junkyard and bought a seatbelt. Brought it home and cut the belt part off of the buckle part. Took the junkyard buckle piece and snapped it into the buckle part in his truck. No dinging sound does he get even if he doesn’t buckle up because he fooled his truck into thinking he’s buckled up.

For now, he’s found a way to beat the system. Only if a cop stops him, will he have some explaining to do. And who knows, by not doing as directed, he may just loose his life. Cause, you know, seat belts do save lives!

Let’s take this into the realm of Godly living. There are folks who will do exactly the same thing with what they read in God’s Word. For some reason, they think it’s ok for them to cut corners.

Not feeling the 10 commandments today? No sweat. As long as you can find a way to cut the corner without sounding an alarm, you’re good. Not feeling like honoring your mother or father today? No biggie, you can do that under the radar too. Not feeling the whole idea of paying Caesar what belongs to Caesar (aka Uncle Sam)? Ok, as long as no one at the IRS finds out, your secret is safe! Not feeling the idea of telling your spouse where you really were last night? Hey, as long as it doesn’t hurt your marriage, and no one mentions it, your good, right?

Not so fast.

Scripture says to be doers of the word and not just hearers of the word.

God’s System Can’t Be Beat

You can’t fool God into thinking you’ve buckled up when you haven’t.  You may look all tidy and compliant from the outside of the car. But God sees the real you on the inside. And you may not hear the chime go off when you don’t do what’s right, but God does. And let’s be clear, we’re not just talking about seatbelts here. Paul lays it out in Romans 12:1-2 where he says:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering…Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it… (Message)

And then as far as who sees…

2 Chronicles 16:9 says…
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to them. (NLT)

Buckle up your spirit man and do what’s right even when no one’s looking. Because in case you haven’t noticed, God’s always looking even when man isn’t. And he’s dishing out strength to those who do right.

The Heavenly Price Tag:

Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. (Revelation 22:12 NLT)

 

Enough said? Yep. Buckle up baby!

That’s righteousness. When you buckle up on the inside, you’ll buckle up on the outside. And you’ll be safe in God’s eyes. Play it right. And you’ll be all-right.

Prayer Booster: God I really want to do what’s right in your eyes, even when no one else is looking but you. Help me to do what’s right simply because it’s the right thing to do. I am deciding today to honor you in all areas of my life. Amen.

Where have you been challenged to cut corners in your life? Share with us in the comment section.


How Just One Minute in the Word Can Make a Huge Difference in Your Day

You may not always have gobs and gobs of time to read the Bible every day. But let me share how even just one little minute reading your Bible can make a big difference in your day.

Consider the Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Hearing the scream, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the computer screen:

Dearest wife,

Just checked in. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

The absence of just one little thing can make a big difference, can’t it?! So can the addition of one little thing. My friend was telling me how she didn’t have much time the other morning to read her Bible. She only had a minute. So she took one minute in the Word. That’s all it took. That one little minute set her day up – the right way.

She shared how one tiny bite of the Word is like a tiny bite of food. Think about it, even just a small bite of food contributes to our well-being. It nourishes. It tastes good. It delivers vitamins to our body. The same happens with just one bite of scripture.

God’s Word is so powerful that even just one tiny bite has value. It’s nutrition-packed! So the next time you’re tempted to beat yourself up because you don’t have time to read a whole section or a whole chapter in your Bible. Don’t! Just take a bite.

That one little bite can encourage you, lift you up, set you up, and keep you going. Just one word. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Here are a few ideas on how to sneak in a bite of the Word:

  • If you have one minute to spare before you get to work, grab your smart phone
    and grab a bite. (YouVersion Bible app is my favorite Smartphone app.)

  • Got a pocket Bible? Stash it in your purse, briefcase, or backpack before you head out the door.
    Then you will be prepared to take advantage of a break in your day when you can munch on the Word.

  • Have a few minutes while your waiting in line picking the kids up? Grab a bite.
  • Waiting on your next appointment, your doctor, or in line at the grocery store? Grab a bite.
  • Standing over the stove cooking dinner? Grab a bite before you grab a bite!
  • If all else fails, and you’ve found yourself at the end of the day ready to plop into bed and you
    still haven’t had a bite of scripture that day…take just 60 seconds and grab a bite!

    One bite is better than no bite at all. Even just one tiny bite of the Bible will do your body good!

    Anywhere. Anytime. Grab a bite of scripture.

    Bon Appétit!

    How has just one tiny bite of your Bible make a difference in your day? What are some ways you can come up with to sneak in a bite of scripture?  Let us know in the comment section!

    (Story credit: LOL Text: Daily Funny Texts and Jokes, Appstore. Image of food: Google Images)


One Thing That May Make Your Reward Instantly Vanish Before Your Eyes!

You give and you’re promised a reward, right? Not so fast! A reward is something you can opt-out of and not even know it. Listen to how it can unfold so you don’t do the same…

A rush of emotions poured over me. I saw a person make a huge donation to an organization that’s feeding hungry children and orphans all over the world.

I was blown away! Ecstatic might be a good word too. I was excited about how his gift was going to impact these kids. And too, I was excited for this individual knowing that a truck load of rewards were going to be dumped into his lap.

But then I gasped!

I wanted to run up to him and say, “STOP! Stop speaking. You’re blowing it!”

Blowing what?

His reward.

He just let it fly out the window. Because his mouth revealed what he gave.

Bummer.

Really big bummer.

Because this was a really BIG gift!

The Real Reason Behind the Giving

At first I thought, this is really cool that he has learned the joy of unbridled giving. But then when he opened his mouth and began to tell people what he had done it became very apparent why he had given. It was to be seen. It was to feed his ego. It was to inflate his self-esteem.

And guess what? He may have gained those things. But he lost the reward that would have come from above. What a thought, the mother-load sacrificed for a tiny slice of “Good job!” Those momentary feelings he received, the at-a-boy pat on his back…that’s it! That’s all he gets for his generosity. Sad. Because God had arranged more.

This is what the Bible says about it in Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT):

Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth; they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

The Acid Giving Test:

If you can pull it off in secret, most likely your motives for giving are good. But if you’re doing it to be seen – that’s not good.

If you want credit for it here, you’ll sacrifice credit for it there. Where? Heaven, where the rewards are much weightier.

Here’s what you can do to check yourself the next time you feel like giving:

• Are you giving to someone else so you can give to yourself (via self-esteem, accolades, recognition, etc.) If so, then you’re not giving to God.

• Have you ever talked about the money you gave away?

• Do you tell others about your good deeds?

• Have you ever Tweeted or Facebooked your status after helping someone out?

If so, enjoy. Cause that’s all the reward you’re gonna get. Bask in it while it lasts. Or, you can wait for the praise from God and have it forever!

How much of a reward do you want? Do you want a little here? Or do you want it forever there? Shut your trap so it doesn’t shut down your reward!

Be a top-secret giver and enjoy the rewards forever.

 
Prayer Booster: “God I want to give with a pure  heart and for the right reasons. The next time I give, let my motive be to bless others – not myself. Help me to squash the desire to make it in anyway about me. I choose to wait for my reward and to give with no strings attached. Amen.”

What say you? Have you ever lost your reward? How would the redo look if it were possible? How will you give next time? Leave your thoughts in the comment section. 


If You’re On the Verge of Giving Up On One of Your Prayers, Hang On and Read This…

Do you have a prayer that’s still in “wait mode”? Oh, me too!

I love the story in Luke 18:1 about the persistent widow. She pretty much said, “Jesus, I’m not leaving you alone until you give in!” She did not let up until he healed her. That takes guts, that takes boldness, and that takes determination.

And guess what? Jesus rewards that kind of gumption.

If you and I could develop that kind of persistence, we’d get a lot more prayers answered.

I’ve been guilty a time or two of giving up when I didn’t see God answer my prayer. You too?

But here’s the deal.

During the waiting, we need to keep praying.

Had the persistent widow quit being persistent, she wouldn’t have recieved what she had been asking for. Keep asking and you’ll eventually get an answer. Quit and you will never get an answer.

So I want to encourage you…

Don’t give up until God answers.

He may say yes.

He may say no.

He may say wait.

During the waiting, keep praying.

How do you deal with prayers that are still in wait mode? Share with us, the comment section is waiting for you!


How You Can Grab God’s Attention
Ever feel like God is out to lunch when you are praying?  Does he really hear you? Maybe he’s sipping on a tall vanilla latte at Starbucks and he really doesn’t have time to listen to you today? Or maybe he doesn’t even want to! Ouch!

How often have you bombarded heaven’s door  only to feel like your prayer bounced back into your lap? So, let me ask…Are you frustrated in any way with your prayer life? Or embarrassed because you really don’t have one?  Maybe you’re disappointed because only some prayers have been answered. Or you’re looking at others who have gotten exactly what they prayed for and your feeling shortchanged.

I’ve been there. I totally know what ALL that feels like. And let me tell you…

Help is on the way!

I asked 100’s of people what their most pressing questions were about prayer. I went into chat rooms and forums and noted the most frequently discussed prayer dilemmas. Then I went to work answering those questions. Through years of study and 20 years experience as a pastor, I have learned a lot about prayer and I want to help answer those questions for you.

I have discovered that people really do want to pray, but sometimes they don’t know how. And they don’t always believe that their prayers make a difference. Many give up. That’s exactly what the enemy would want. Do you feel like that could be you?

This is why I have written a book to address some of the most common questions and frustrations about prayer. It’s called, Grabbing God’s Attention – The Art of Praying Like a Pro. It’s available on Amazon in the Kindle edition or as a PDF that can be printed.  The PDF option is great because it allows you to write in the “Taking-Action” sections so you can immediately put to use what you have been reading. Grab it today and start digging in!

You Can Be a Prayer-Ninja!

If a person would want to change the world, all he needs to do is teach people to pray. Well, I’m looking to change the world. Want to help me do that? If you can learn how to Grab God’s ear, you will change your world and the world around you. Talk about a prayer-ninja!

This book will help you learn how to approach God boldly. This book will give you assurance that he wants to talk to you just as badly as you want to talk to him. I’ll offer you guidance and tips that will take you from feeling like prayer is a duty to feeling like prayer is one of the most satisfying activities of your daily life. It is so amazing to have a great conversations with God and to know when you speak, he hears!

By the time you are done with this book, you will see that prayer is as natural as talking to your friend or companion. No fear, no worries.

God is waiting for you to come and tell him what’s on your mind. Get the book that will help you Grab God’s Attention. Soon you will be praying like a pro!

Click here for the Amazon Kindle version. Or click here for the PDF version that you can print.

Grab the book so you can Grab God’s Attention!!

Dr. Linda Travelute


The Secret Cure for Disappointment
Disappointed.

You’re ticked aren’t ya?

I don’t blame you.

You had it all figured out.

You thought it would be better than this.

This stinks. It’s ok that you are mad. I’d be mad too.

Let me show you how you can keep disappointment from ever touching you again.

That’s a bold statement, huh?

Try me. This works.

You can have your money back if it doesn’t.

Oh, wait, you’re getting this advice for free. Good, then you have nothing to lose. Come with me for a minute. Let’s discuss the CURE for disappointment. It will be well worth your time.

Ready to Eat?

Imagine I invite you over for dinner. I seat you at my table decked out in the finest my dish closet has to offer. I place a napkin in your lap and explain that you are about to enjoy a delicious seven-course meal. Backwards.

That’s right. We start with dessert. From there we make our way backwards toward the main course, salad, hors d’oeuvres, and everything in-between.

Dessert first! Cool! But by the time you get to the main course you are so full you can’t enjoy the caviar. So you’re a little miffed. And you’re disappointed with my way of doing things.

This didn’t go the way you thought it would. It started out ok. It sure looked like fine dining according to plan. But hey, things got out of order. And looking at it in reverse, with an upset stomach, leaves you an unhappy camper. And an unhappy diner. Hold on, I’ll get you some Rolaids.

Here’s another scenario.

The man or woman of your dreams sent your heart a pitter-pattering. First came courtship. Marriage. And oh, count ‘em, three baby carriages.

Years later your heart takes a dip. It plunges to the lowest place on earth. The spouse of your dreams morphs into the spouse you hate. It started with the affair. You were cheated on, not once, but twice. No way! You didn’t sign up for that. Your soul mate ripped your soul out and your heart is in shreds.

Disappointed. No one can imagine. This is not the marriage you had in mind. You’re irate. You’ve been rejected. The pain is like an avalanche that snows you under.

Let’s go back to the table.

Remember, you’re the guest at MY table. What I say goes. We do the meal as I have designed, not how you have imagined.

Let me ask, “What other table do you belly up to?” Did I hear you say, “God’s?” You eat from His table? Here’s the difference between my table, your table, and God’s table.

If you’re the guest at your own table, you can do the meal as you please. But here’s the rub. When you’re sitting at God’s table, He’s boss. And guess what? You’re not excused until the meal is over. You have to eat whatever God puts in front of you. Even if you don’t think you can stomach it. Even if the meal is too long. You have no choice. God’s the chief cook and bottle washer here.

So what do you do to ensure disappointment isn’t the feast at your table? Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the cure for disappointment:

Revamp your expectations!

Sometimes we expect unrealistic things. Things that were never in the plan for us.

How do you know if your expectation is unrealistic? Answer: If it doesn’t become real.

Now, I’m not saying you need to throw away the promises of God. Not at all. God will make good on His
promises. But sometimes we get what God promises mixed up with what we want God to promise us.

So then, we need to revamp our expectations. If we adjust our expectations, we will save ourselves disappointment. It’s that simple. Not easy. But it will save you heartache.

How do you revamp your expectations?

Shoot for something lower? No, just be open to things not going according to how you planned.

So how do you revamp your expectations and still have faith?

Expect the best. Hope for the best. FAITH for the best.

But know sometimes you will be shortchanged in your eyes. Only because you don’t always know what’s best. Therefore, we expect what we think is best, not what God thinks is best. Only God knows, and He doesn’t always tell. Sometimes God serves hors d’oeuvres and the salad last.

And wouldn’t it be easier to trust that if God starts out with dessert, it would be a good thing? Whatever whacked way He does things is gonna be to your benefit.

How do I know? Because “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” (Psalm 84:11b NLT)

God is not holding out on you.

Even if the order is messed up.

Even if what He puts on your plate tastes crappy.

Even if He serves up something you don’t like.

God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6 NLT). Seek Him, and you will be feasting on the exact course for your life at the right time, even if you don’t realize it at that moment.

Even if you’re confused about the dish that’s in front of you, you can feast on what you didn’t expect without being disappointed.

How? Because you have revamped your expectations. Which means you will no longer be disappointed.

That’s it. You’re cured.

You’ll be ok. God said so.

Give me your feedback. Let’s talk about this. Leave your comments in the reply section. Talk to you soon!


Why God Hates it When You Trash Talk YOURSELF
Imagine this…You forget to unplug the iron, it falls and burns a big ol’ hole in your ironing board cover. Rats! Thank God, it didn’t catch the house on fire. Still, you feel like an loser.

Or get this, You’re late and your whipping in and out of traffic like Jeff Gordon. All of the sudden your car slows down and it’s not because you let your foot off the accelerator. It’s because your gas tank has gone bone dry. You forgot to get gas this morning. Grrrrrr!….You think, “I’m such a dork!”

Or you bounce a check…again. In fact, it’s the third check you’ve bounced this month. Not intentional. Just happened. You were juggling things – trying to make it all work. Fail. Fail. Fail. What slips out of your mouth? I’m such a failure!

When you goof up, what’s the first thought that races through your mind?

I am so stupid!

Really?

Is that the best you can come up with?

Or try this on for size…

“Gosh, I just can’t get it right.”

“I am so forgetful.”

“I’m an irresponsible dim whit.”

“I’m such a goof!”

“Nice job, bozo!”

“I’m such a fool, will I ever learn?”

“I will never get ahead!”

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Wonder how God stomachs all of our insane, self-inflicting comments when we start letting them roll.

Right now, I’m picturing God sitting on His throne, listening to someone tear you, someone He loves, into shreds. Doesn’t matter that the same person who’s spouting off the name-calling is also the recipient. When you start getting down on yourself, you’re hurting someone God loves.

And that’s wrong. Stop.

Know what? God would never call you names. Regardless of your mistakes! And God would never ask you to do anything He doesn’t do himself. If He asks us to think about the good in other people, then He’s thinking about the good things in us too.

Let’s take it a step further. God asks you to think Philippians 4:8 about yourself.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phil 4:8 (NLT)

What about you is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable?

Think on that! But don’t just think on that, FIX your thoughts on that. In other words, those thoughts about the good in you should consume the majority of your thoughts. When you “fix” something in your mind, your thoughts don’t move. They stay. They stay on the good.

Rather than trash yourself, treasure yourself.

Cause you are good stuff to think about and you’re good stuff talk about.

Let me know if this post has connected with you. Tell me about your struggle and your success in the area of talking about yourself. Pop your thoughts into the comment section! 


Find Your Smile When Life is Hard in Just 30 Minutes!
Do you feel like life has smacked the smile off of your face? I have too. But I’ve learn how to get my smile back. And I want to help you do it too. Let me show you how you can be flipping into peace mode, even when life is difficult!

If you’ve got  half an hour, you’ve got the time it takes to discover how you can find your smile in hard times. Yep, even in the midst of the darkness, you can find relief from your pain.

My new mini-book, Finding Your Smile in Hard Times, is a quick little read that will quickly change your life! Read it on your lunch break, before dinner, or as you’re winding down for bed. In my mini-book, I will show you how I got my smile back after walking through difficult challenges and how you can to. Life can be a booger, but let’s not let it steal our happiness!

Get the mini-book here. Click and it will take you right to the Amazon link where you can download it. Even if you don’t have a Kindle or if you have never read an ebook before, don’t fret. All you do is grab your smart-phone, iPad, or Computer – (Yes, any computer will do!). Go to Amazon.com, download the free Kindle app. Set up your Amazon account, and go to the Kindle store to get the book. Or you can click on the book link below and you will zoom over to Amazon  in seconds.

Here’s what people are saying about the book:

“This book was right on time for me, as I had been finding it hard to smile lately with all the happenings of life. It’s great that it is so down to earth, and so easy to read. While reading it, I could actually hear Dr Travelute speaking those words, in only the way she could. I loved the scripture quotes, and will use them often. Never thought of distraction as a way to ease the pain. Great book by an awesome woman of GOD! Everyone can benefit by the encouragement and hope written on the pages of this book. Thanks!” – Rob

“Dr. Linda Travelute has written a wonderful resource for anyone struggling with depression or the pains and hardships of this world. I can personally testify that by meditating on God’s Word, you will become “distracted” from life’s problems. A great read to recommend to family and friends, and as Pastor Linda reminds me after every conversation, dig into the Word everyday and let it move you! Well done Pastor Linda!” – Wammons

“Don’t let the length of this book fool you- Dr. Travelute reveals in 27 pages what people spend years in therapy trying to discover. She gives two key ways how someone who is going through a hard situation can successfully make it to the other side with a smile on their face. The scriptures Dr. Travelute offers for meditation are incredible resources. This is a go-to manual for anyone who is navigating a hard situation to use to find peace and live in victory. If you’re facing a mountain, experiencing depression, or wondering how to cope with life’s curve balls, sit down with this book for 30 minutes, put her words into practice, and see what happens in your life as a result.”  – Singingintheshadow

This book was designed for people who don’t have time to read lengthy full sized books. In just a fraction of the time, you will have all you need to know to get that smile back on your face when life is difficult. Click now, your smile is waiting!

Dig in!

Dr. Linda Travelute