The Sweet Stuff Ministry

Monday, March 31, 2014

The battle is not ours

2 Chronicles 20:15 "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."

Even though we cannot always see or understand our enemies, we truly only have one enemy: Satan. He is the evil one who seeks to devour us in every way. He uses people to accomplish his evil deeds. There are times when it seems like a huge army with thousands of people is camped at our doorstep.

When we are dealt injustices, hurts and dirty deeds, it is difficult for us to understand why. It is so hard not to take the injustices personally. This is an opportunity for the seeds of bitterness to sprout and grow.

Spiritual warfare is important to comprehend yet difficult to accept. Basically, it boils down to this: the war is between God and Satan; we are on the battlefield but the battle is not ours.

Our best defense against spiritual warfare is a deep, intimate relationship with God. When this is in place, He will fight our battles and keep the devil off our backs.      

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Forgivness requires death

John 3:16   For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

True forgiveness requires death.   The ultimate death was Jesus Christ who lived and died to offer us forgiveness of our sins.   His death was so that we may have life. 

Forgiveness between us as fellow believers also requires death.  When we forgive, we must allow our pride to die.  When self righteous pride lives within us, forgiveness is not an easy accomplishment.  Anger, grudges and the desire for vengeance must also die in order for forgiveness to occur and for our relationships with one another to live and thrive. 

Is there someone that you need to forgive?  Maybe the incident was small but emotions and pride have caused a grudge to escalate in your heart and bitterness has grown.  Allow the death of self righteous pride and let the anger die.  It will free your heart for love and joy.                          

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stand in the face of your Goliath

1 Samuel 17:32  David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."

David was a small, young boy full of determination and a desire to serve God.  He volunteered to fight a Philistine giant over 9 feet tall with nothing but a slingshot and some rocks while the giant stood before him with a large sword capable of decapitating him.  As I think of this, I visualize David likely being waist-high to Goliath.  The giant must have looked like a sky scraper to such a little boy. 

1 Samuel 17:38   Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic.  He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.  

David was dressed in armor for the battle.  Man-made protection with shields and helmets and a sword was available to him to take to the fight.   However, David said he could not function in the armor because he was not used to it.  So he took it all off.  He went to the battle line dressed in his shepherd's clothing with only a slingshot and a hand full of smooth stones that he picked up in a stream.  Smooth is a key word describing the stones; they were not sharp nor were they large such as you would think necessary to kill someone. 

1 Samuel 17:48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  David was filled with courage and was not intimidated by the giant. 

As Goliath ran toward David in battle mode, David ran toward the Goliath.
No fear.   No second guessing.  Full of faith.  Totally confident.  Bring it on!

David's sling and rocks were ORDINARY.  What was extraordinary was David's mind when he threw the stone.  David's mind was filled with trust in God and faith that God would provide him with the strength to slay the giant Philistine.   With one small stone, the first one that he hurled at Goliath, he killed him.   One little rock to the forehead pronated the over 9 feet tall giant.  Flat on his face,  "deader than a doornail".   (1 Samuel 17:49)

What are the Goliaths in your life?  What gigantic obstacles do you face each day when your feet hit the floor?

Fear?  Addiction?  Financial trouble?  Depression?  Bitterness?   

Stand in the face of your Goliath!!!!  Do not run.  Do not hide behind man-made shields and masks.  Sling your rocks with faith and trust in God.  He will provide you with the strength to slay ALL the  giants in your life.  Run to the battle line.  Take God with you.  He will provide the armor and weapons that you need.                                           

Monday, March 24, 2014

From doubt to faith

Habakkuk   1:3-4      Why do you make me look at injustice?    Why do you tolerate wrong?  Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.  Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails.  The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.

Is there any good news anymore?  It seems as though the news if filled with evil acts, injustices and perversion.   Death, destruction and wrongdoing are all around us.  Like Habakkuk, at times we may wonder if God sees all that is around us and why he allows such to go on.  We complain about the evil things that we see and hear of.   It is not wrong to wonder why evil things happen around us, however it is wrong if the questions lead us to doubt God or rebel against him because of injustices in our lives or the lives of others. 

Do not be mistaken-God is fully aware of each and every act of evil, injustice and perversion.   He sees.  He knows.  His heart breaks much more deeply than ours.   God understands all that we see, feel and experience.  The main obstacle in our faith is that we lack a deep understanding of God.   We fail to understand his sovereignty.   We fall short in understanding and accepting his promises.  

We are called to be humble-a true and genuine humility in order to understand and accept the seemingly unbearable circumstances around us.  With true humility, our faith does not waiver and we are able to leave the answers to God and await his timing. 

In Habakkuk 2:3, God responds to Habakkuk's complaint by saying, "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false."  This verse should lead us from doubt to faith.  We must realize that God sees and  knows all and that he promises that all will be well. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Baggage

Philippians 3:13  No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:  Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

How many of you have ever over packed for a trip?   The more you pack, the more bags and luggage you must move from the car to the airport, hotel or cruise ship, etc.  Bags on wheels, bags on top of bags and bags over your shoulders.  By the time you get to the destination, you are exhausted from dealing with baggage. 

Many of us are exhausted on a daily basis with moving baggage around and we are not even going on vacation.  When we drag around personal baggage, we become extremely tired emotionally.  Just like the excessive baggage that we take on vacation, most of which we never wear, we do not need the emotional baggage that we pack around.  It is useless; as a matter of fact it can be harmful.

What exactly is "baggage" that we carry in our minds?  It comes in many forms, some of which are:
-guilt
-insecurity
-fear
-rejection
-unresolved anger
-bitterness
-lack of salvation

Some pieces of baggage stem from things we have done, words we have said or thoughts we have had.  Other types of baggage arise from ways in which someone else has treated us or words that have been spoken to us.   Whatever the type, baggage is "DRAGGAGE".  It wears us down and gets in the way of joy and peace.  Carrying heavy baggage can feel like a ball and chain around our legs.

God expects us to unpack the excessive baggage.  He wants us to rid of the guilt, fear, insecurities and bitterness.  How do we unpack?  First, if you are not saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, seek that relationship with him.   If you are saved and are carrying baggage, ask God to bring the issues before you and to help you deal with each of them.  Many times we tend to deny that we have issues, therefore, we never address improvements.  Deal with each issue, put it into its place and declare that you are not going to lug the baggage around any longer.   Confide in a loving friend that you trust.  It helps a great deal to talk things through and friends often offer a different perspective on situations.   Continue to pray that God will unpack your useless baggage.  

Emotional boundaries offer protection from unnecessary items in your mind's suitcase.  Emotional boundaries offer self control of "draggage".  Emotional fortitude can be found in God's truths.  Use His word to repeat the truths and promises that he offers.  Remove from your mind the feelings that the world imposes upon you.

God's truths are simple and pure.  They are all we need to carry around in our emotional luggage.  Pack your bags with those truths and unpack all the untruths that you do not need.  Carry only those thoughts in your mind which are beneficial.  The load will be lighter when we rid of all the unnecessary baggage.     



                                                 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Look beyond the STRUGGLE

Romans 5:3-5    More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

The struggles that each of us face do not usually cause us to feel like rejoicing.  In fact the struggles of life most of the time cause us to feel at our lowest.  When we are facing difficulties and trials we are often tempted to focus on the "struggle" portion.  It is easy to become burdened with the negativity of the situation and loaded with worry about how we will make it through the hard times.   Illnesses may cause us to think we will never be well again.  Financial struggles may lead us to think that we will never be in a secure place.  Relationship struggles may cause us to feel as if we will never have peace among people. 

Look beyond the "struggle" in difficult situations.  Look at the struggles as endurance training for the marathon of life.   Look ahead and focus on the character development that suffering offers us.   Look the struggle in the eye and find the love that God has to offer you no matter how small or large the situation.  Allow God to pour his love into your heart and let him wrestle the "struggle" for you.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This is a rerun of a post from last year.  We all can use reminders of how important support and encouragement are.  If you know someone facing fear and discouragement in life, please come along beside him/her, encourage, be a cheerleader or just hold their hand.

Philemon 1:7     “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”
My heart was refreshed this weekend.  It was refreshed by encouragement, not for me, but for my youngest daughter.   Stage fright, or any type of fear, is a terrible thing and when you are eleven years old, it can seem as if the world might end. 
It was her first “Big” horse show.  She is not new to riding and at 23 years old, neither is her horse.  However, she is new to showing horses and this was a BIG deal, big arena, and big jumps-BIG deal.  She breezed through the first of her classes in the show with multiple awards and ribbons.  Then came the jumping class.   It consisted of a series of four consecutive jumps to be repeated for a total of eight jumps.
Outside the arena as she waited to go in for a “practice” session, stage fright mounted the horse.  Discouragement crept in. 
Tears began to roll.
The horse sensed her fear and became antsy.
“I’m not doing it”, she said and she meant it.  “I can’t she exclaimed!”  “The horse is acting up, I’m getting off.”   “Tell them to scratch me from the show.”  She said all this without drawing a breath.  In a matter of seconds, she had gone from total confidence and a huge smile to falling apart and being invaded by fear.   

I felt for her.  Been scared before myself, many times.  However, I wanted her to work past this fear.  To overcome.  To regain her confidence.   I knew she could do it and the horse, totally capable since he has jumped with a child on his back all his life.  I talked her into staying in the saddle and going into the ring.   She was still afraid.  

Keep in mind that all the aforementioned happened out of sight of the ring stewards and fans in the crowd.  They had no idea that she wanted to back out.  When she entered the ring, the horse balked.  Again.  Again.  And again.  (A horse can sense fear in a rider and he knew she really did not want him to go over the jump.) I saw it on her face-that “I knew this was going to happen” look.  All of a sudden there were two teens beside her in the ring.  Veteran riders.  Both girls have ridden for several years with my older daughter.  Instantly, they were coaching my daughter, encouraging her to keep pushing through the situation, instructing her step-by-step.   My oldest daughter came from the grandstands to coach her from the rail.  Spectators were encouraging her from their seats.  It seemed that God had whispered to everyone there, “Hey, she needs some encouragement.”  After several tries, horse and rider were over the jumps.  She was smiling again.   

Now it was time for the real ride, the jumps would be judged this time.  As they entered the ring, my daughter rode with the confidence of an Olympic champion.  She sat high in the saddle.  Game on!!!  As she circled and headed toward the first jump, the horse, without a hitch, leaped over the first jump.  The fans in the stands erupted in cheer and encouragement, which is highly unusual at a horse show (the crowd is expected to stay quiet to keep from spooking horses).  My heart swelled!   When the awards were announced, my daughter won the Olympics (ok, so it was a red ribbon at a district horse show).  She was not interested in the ribbon she won.   For her this was a personal “WIN”.  She won over her fear and discouragement.  She won in her own mind!  She TOTALLY won in my opinion. A huge part of winning is in the eye of the beholder.   

She wasn’t the only winner in that ring.  The teens that showed up and took the time to offer her encouragement were also winners.  They won because they showed love and in God’s eyes, that is what matters. My heart was refreshed, filled with joy and Sweet Stuff.  I challenge you to offer love and encouragement when you are shown that it is needed, and there are times when we all need it.   Love and encouragement have the potential to produce great winners!

 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Healing Wounds

"Every body's got a story to tell. 
Every body's got a wound to be healed"    Plumb

The details of every one's wounds are often different:  maybe the loss of a loved one;  often involves the betrayal of a friend or family member;  wounds caused by job loss, finances, sickness.  Stories of different flavors.  Wounds of various depths, yet pain and hurt are all the same.  Hurts and wounds rob us of peace and happiness if left untreated and gaping open.

In medicine, physical wounds and diseases are caused by many different mechanisms.  The injury or pathology can be in various locations of the body.  However, healing and repairing the matter involves the same basic approaches:
           -stop any bleeding
           -remove any diseased or non-functioning tissue
           -restore or reshape the body part to its original structure and function

The repairs (surgeries) and procedures will employ instruments and practitioners with the design and skill to address the problem. 
 
When we have emotional wounds, the same approaches to healing and repair apply.  Any bleeding of the heart and spirit needs to stop.  The diseased tissue needs to be removed.  The emotions and spirit of the person need to be restored so that it can function the way God intended.  God will utilize different tools and techniques to offer healing to each of us.  He will use people in our lives, send new people into our lives and show us healing through growth in our relationship with him. 

Whatever your wounds, be assured that God wants you to heal.  Jeremiah 33:6  "Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it;  I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security."                                                             #TSS

Monday, March 17, 2014

Allow the Savior to stand between you and the storm

Matthew 14: 22-33   In this passage of scripture, the disciples were in a boat crossing  the Sea of Galilee.   When the turbulent winds began to rock the boat, fear overcame all the disciples.  Jesus walked on the sea toward the boat and calmed the wind and the water in order for the disciples to be safe.  

Storms will come throughout our lives.  When turbulent winds rock our boats, we become afraid of being in the deep waters and drowning.  The storms in our lives may come in the form of unexpected illness or disease, an accident, financial distress, loss of a loved one, betrayal of a friendship, or even disappointments.  Storms in our lives are marked by large waves that toss our faith to and fro.  During the storms we may feel as if we are about to fall overboard without a life jacket.  Storms may cause us to falter in our belief that God can handle any tornado or hurricane that blows our way. 

However small or large the storms in our lives, no matter how forceful the winds may blow and rock our boats, we must allow the Savior to stand between us and the storm.  We must stop trying to row our own boats and allow Jesus to calm the waves and take control of our lives.  It is important for us to not only allow Jesus to calm the storms, but it is also important for us to worship him in the midst of the storm and recognize his sovereignty in each and every situation that we face. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jonah   4:11    "Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals.  Shouldn't I feel sorry for such a great city?"

God's mercies are found throughout the book of Jonah.  He spared the sailors in the boat when they cried out to him in the turbulent waters.  He saved Jonah when he prayed from the inside of the fish and he saved the people of Nineveh when they responded to Jonah's preaching.  God will answer the prayers of all that call upon him and he desires for everyone to call upon him.

Your town may not be as large as Nineveh but, without doubt, there are unsaved people living amongst you.    Is God call calling upon you to share him with the people in your town so that they might experience his grace and mercy?   Pray for a clear discernment of how you may obey what God is calling you to do. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Worthless idols

Jonah 2:8  Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

We tend to think of worthless idols or false gods as being objects from false religions such as statues or figurines that call for worship instead of worshiping God.    While those are indeed false gods, they are not the only false gods that we as humans can fall prey to in this world.   There are many worthless idols that we cling to and spend our time with.  If we do not guard our time and our hearts, we damage our relationship with God. 

A worthless idol (false god) is any object of our devotion that replaces God, takes away our time with God or causes us to avoid obedience to God.   Many times these idols are subtleties in our lives of which we do not realize the harm.   Worthless idols are not necessarily events or things that are illegal or immoral, but cam simply include effects or belongings in our lives that stand in the way of our relationship, worship and obedience with God.

I will give you an example of a worthless idol in my life a few years ago.  I was a board member for a local preservation project.  The board met at least once per month and required duties of each member such as obtaining bids, planning events, contacting media and groups of people.   Don't misunderstand, I am not saying that this board nor the purpose were worthless.  I enjoyed every minute of serving on the board.  I loved the fellow board members, I had a passion for the project and I thoroughly enjoyed the community service.  However, the time that I spent with the projects caused me to forfeit some of my time with God and seeking what he wanted me to do.  God plainly increased my awareness that his will for me was different than my decision to serve on the board.  There were other things that he needed me to attend to at that particular time.  I now see the importance of what he wanted me to do.

God expects us to participate in our communities and to serve others.  He does not expect anything in this world to take his rightful place in our lives.  In whatever you participate, seek his will and purpose so that you do not forfeit any of his graces and blessings.    Confirm that each project, community service event, committee, sport or activity is what he would have you do.  Check to see if there are worthless idols standing the way of what God has for you.  He may have other things in mind for you.                                                            #TSS

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

You can run but you can't hide

Jonah chapter 1

Jonah ran from God, avoiding obedience because he did not want to do what God had asked of him.  Jonah had grown up hating the Assyrians and because of these feelings, he did not want them to receive God's mercies.  He found the tasks that God asked of him to be distasteful.  You see, he judged the importance of his calling instead of agreeing to do whatever God required of him. 

Jonah was agreeable to being obedient to God if he could select what he obeyed.  How many of us want to choose our obedience?   Are there certain tasks or roles that we would agree to while running from others.  All of us are not called to work for God in the spotlights of television or mega churches.  We are not all called to author books on the New York Times best seller list.   Some of us are asked to work for God in places that we may never receive worldly recognition.

What if God asked you to go into a low income section of town regularly and witness to people or teach the children about the Bible?  What if he asks you to serve food at a shelter for the homeless and abused instead of having one of your holiday meals in the comfort of your own home?  What if he is calling you into a ministry that is completely out of your comfort zone?

We can learn from Jonah that immediate obedience is best.   Is God asking you to do something specific?  Are you running out of fear or stubbornness?   I encourage you to submit to obedience.  God knows what he is doing.   We can all run and run and run but none of us can hide from what God is calling us to do.                                                         #TSS

Monday, March 10, 2014

In the belly of a whale


Jonah 1:3  But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.  He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port.  After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. 

There have been several times in my life that I averted obeying what God was asking me to.  It seemed as if I waited until I was "in the belly of a whale" in order to submit to obedience, even when I knew exactly what God was asking me to do.  One particular time in my life reminds me a great deal of the first few verses of Jonah.  By changing some of the details, it tells my story exactly.

I spent 3 years in the belly of a whale.  Each morning long before daylight I boarded my ship, which happened to be a 1991 Lincoln Continental (yes, it was the size of a ship) and I sailed for one hour to a town north of home.  Jonah 1:4 Then the Lord send a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.  Each morning the turbulent winds rocked my boat.  I knew what God was calling me to do.  I wanted so much to obey what he was asking of met but I had an argument about why I should not/could not do this.  God was calling me home-not in the eternal sense but he was calling me to "the house" as we say in the country.  Our first daughter was born in 1995 and I knew while I was on maternity leave that God had called me to stay at home and be a full time wife and mother.

I ran.  I sailed.  I argued. 

My argument listed the following as reasons why I should continue to go to work:
   -This is my dream career.  I worked long and hard and waited for over one year for the opportunity to have this position.
   -I love what I do and I love my co-workers.
   -Can I afford to be unemployed?  What will I be required to sacrifice?
   -Everyone I know works.  Who stays home anymore?  Will I have any friends?
   -I carry all the insurance for the family.
   -I am vested in the retirement system.  I don't want to lose that.
   -If I leave my long awaited career, I may never have the opportunity for this position again.

This argument with God went in full force for over two years and then I became pregnant with baby number two.   The turbulent winds flipped me out of my boat.  Jonah 1:11 & 17  The sea was getting rougher and rougher.   But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.   I was in the big fish.  The digestive juices inside there were eroding me.  The lack of oxygen made it difficult to breathe.  It was dark and lonely in there.  

By the third year, much like Jonah, I cried out to God and said, "I am ready to obey.  I am sea sick and weary from riding on the turbulent waves."  (Jonah 2:1-6)  So, I resigned and started my journey as a full time wife and mother.    Fear, lack of faith, worry, doubt, and lack of obedience kept me in the belly of that great fish for three years.  Far too long! 

Allow me to catch you up, eighteen years later.   God has sustained us with everything we have needed.  There were sacrifices, but I have not kept a list because God sustained us.  I have made soooooo many new friends-many of which answered the same call to obedience to become full time wives and mothers.  I did not grieve the loss of my career.   As a matter of fact, a few years ago, I was offered the opportunity to go back to the same job and work part time with the same "favorite" co-workers as before.  God saved that for me.   Perfect timing.  Perfect schedule.  God takes care of us.  

Most of all I have such a long list of blessings that came from obeying what God asked of me, that my heart overflows.  Time together, experiences and memories that only come around once in life time fill my mind.  When we moved the first born to college,  all I could think of the entire trip was, "Thank you Lord for rocking my boat and calling me home!"   My cup runneth over!  As we prepare to send the second born to college this fall, I am reminded that my cup continues to runneth over.  God knows best-ALWAYS!

Is God calling you to something from which you are running?  Do you get on a boat and sail in another direction in order to flee his calling?  Maybe He is calling you for things much different than my story.  He has a different purpose for each of us.  Perhaps it is the same calling and you have sweet babies at home that He with which he wants you to be a full time mother.

Whatever the call, whatever the task, do not wait until you are in the deep waters or in the belly of whale to answer.  He will continue to rock your boat until He gets your attention.  There is a reason and purpose for his call and He knows the importance of that purpose even when we cannot see the end result.  OBEY and allow his purpose to unfold within your life.                                                             


  

Friday, March 7, 2014




1 John 1:9       God forgives you for who you have been.

1 John 3:1       He loves you for who you are.

Isaiah 40:31     He looks forward to helping you be all that you can be.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Same things are in the dark as in the day"

John 8:12   Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world.  If you follow me, you won't have to walk in the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

I remember when my children were small, they were afraid of the dark.  If we were all in the family room and they needed to go into another room alone, they would say, "will you come with me Mama?  It is dark in there".   I had this phrase that I would say to them,  "the same things are in the dark as in the day."   We talked about how nothing extra was in the rooms at night that had not been there in the day.   I often heard them repeating that phrase as a reminder or a pep talk to muster up the courage to go into the dark room. 

The real reason for fear of the dark is that we cannot see as well in the dark.  We think that there are "unknowns" in the dark.  As humans, we fear that which we cannot see.  In reality, we face darkness every day.  Uncertainties of tomorrow or farther into the future can bring about paralyzing fear and insecurity.  Worries about the outcomes of various situations can induce apprehension that distracts us from living in peace.

Fear of the dark, both literally and figuratively, is about faith.  Letting go of our fears is a matter of placing trust in Jesus Christ to light the way through our lives.  He will first and foremost provide us with an eternal light through salvation.  He will also light up the darkness so that we can have peace and security in every situation in life.   

We have the choice of living in the darkness with fear and worry or we can walk in the light by following Jesus.  His light leads the way through all the darkness that we may face.   He is in the dark times of our lives just as he is when the sun shines upon us.                         

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The List

Romans 12:2   Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. 

My eleven year old daughter came to me last week with a list.   Lists are not a new thing with her; many times she lists her daily "to-dos" and birthday wishes, plans for the week,  etc.  But this list was different.  It contained the names of every eleven and twelve year old that she knew who has an I-phone.   It was quite a long list, I might add.   This list was her justification and evidence to present to me that supported her "need" for an I-phone.  In talking with her about why she needs an I-phone (bear in mind that this child is rarely ever out of my presence), she said that an I-phone will help her to be "cool" and to be like everyone else.   Needless to say, a long talk about self worth followed along with my list of reasons why she does not need an I-phone.  What a burden for a child to feel like he/she is not liked due to the lack of a piece of electronics!!!

Children begin at such a young age to equate their importance and self worth with material possessions and comparing themselves to others.   When importance is placed on material possessions and when the world suggests that we "need" things in order to be "cool", then we lose focus on how God views our worth. 

As parents, we must firmly plant in our children's minds that I-phones, cars, nor any other material possessions do not determine a person's worth or importance in any way, shape or form.  We must teach our children to be content without things and that any contentment that comes from material things is short lived and not eternal.                                  #TSS