Kathleen Hardaway

Tag - prayer

Why Will 2017 Be Any Different?

Have you made New Year’s resolutions in the past and they didn’t work? Are you looking for something that will work and that will help you move forward with accomplishing your goals?

What changes would you like to see happen in this New Year? Are you looking for CHANGE? Ask anyone, and most will begin giving you a list of things they would like to see changed.

What would you like to see happen? Have you given up on certain areas in your life? I want to encourage you, DON’T GIVE UP!

Have you ever wondered why change is so hard? I have. I think about it a lot. Certainly there are countless reasons why so many people fail at bringing about change. What about your finances; how are you doing in that area of your life? We have seen the Hollywood stars gain and lose their weight even when they know the world is watching. Change can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are countless books on weight loss, exercise, financial bondage, relationships, and reaching your dreams. These subjects seem to always find themselves on the Best Sellers list. We purchase these books because these things dramatically affect our lives.

I personally own books on all of these subjects and have found them helpful. But I have also found that all the knowledge in the world on a subject will not make you change. Why? Satan has one goal for your life:

“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy…” (John 10:10).

Satan desires to destroy your life in any way he can. He works hard at keeping you discouraged. He would like for you to continue to have thoughts like, I will never change; I’ve always been this way; this is as good as it gets; I’ll always be single; there’s no hope for my marriage, my children. On and on the lies flood your mind. Lies, all lies. Change these lies to, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Cling to this verse when the fiery darts come. Stand up to the fact that change is possible.

Change happens every day—with singles who find their mates, with broken marriages, with messed up teens and adolescents, and even with seniors. I have a good friend whose parents were dramatically changed and found the Lord very late in life. Change is possible for everyone and at any stage in life.

One key to change is to recognize when Satan begins to speak his lies to you. Do you ever hear yourself say, “I’m stuck; I’ve never been able to do this before; it’s just too hard”? Do you feel stuck and believe that change will never happen? Maybe you’ve never been able to make this change before; but remember, it’s never too late. We know “…with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). Making change can be hard but not impossible. You must believe this.

Look back over the past year. What changes have you made? What are some of the good things that happened in 2016? Thank God for all that He has blessed you with this past year.

What Will Make 2017 Any Different? Write a plan for the year. If you don’t set a target, most likely you won’t hit one.

  1. Begin in prayer. Set aside time to seek the Lord about what He would like to see you do over the next year. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Be sure and ask Him.
  2. Make a list of three things that you can accomplish in the next three months.
  3. Make a list of three things you would like to see accomplished in the next six months.
  4. Write your Dream Goal for 2017. (Write one Dream Goal and the plans for accomplishing it.)
  5. Put these lists on the refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, and in your Day-Timer or the calendar you use. If you place these goals in all three places, they will be constant reminders of the goals you desire to reach over the year.
  6. Start a support prayer group for the year. Meet at least once a month.
  7. Select the person who will be your accountability partner through this year. Give them your list of goals. Weekly go over the goals and have them help you reach your three-month goals, then your six-month list, and ultimately your Dream Goal.
  8. Celebrate each goal accomplished.
  9. Remember that each goal accomplished is important to God. It’s important to Him how we spend our time.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

When you set down to watch TV, ask yourself, Is this really the best use of my time? Certainly there is a time to relax and possibly watch television or spend time on social media. But watch out; hours can pass and what have you accomplished? Be very conscious of how you’re spending your time.

May the Lord bless you mightily this next year. Remember, He rejoices as you are walking in righteousness and as you are accomplishing goals that impact His Kingdom.

My friend, dare to believe God again!

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

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Husband and Home: Is It a Package Deal?

Quite often little girls grow up playing house, playing with Barbie and Ken, and playing with baby dolls.

It seems to be the nature of what most girls do. They think surely someday the toys would no longer be make believe, but become reality. How quickly time goes by and the young girls become teens and some become boy crazy beyond words. Boys, boys, boys. What else is there, what else really matters? And, before you know it, the boys are now men and you wonder what happened?

Days have turned into months, and months turned into years, and still no husband and no house. How could this be? Your dreams of being married and living in your dream home look like an impossibility. You’re still single, living in what appears to be a couple’s world. A world that asks the question, “Why aren’t you married?”

I certainly can relate to every bit of this. I was one boy crazy little girl, teenager and young woman. I use to think that a husband and a house was a package deal. I always thought the two went together. You get married, you buy a house. This is how it works, so I thought.

Was I ever wrong! Last year, single women purchased one of every five homes sold. That’s nearly 1.5 million, and if you’re counting that’s twice as many as single men bought, according to the National Association of Realtors. I made the jump and joined this group of home owners.

I never thought I would do this alone. I never really thought I could. I was a bit scared, freaked out, excited – all wrapped up in one. I took the big leap, and I’m so glad I did. I prayed hard. I sought the Lord’s guidance all along the way. My strongest prayer was “God, not my will but Yours. Close the doors if this is not what You have for me.” God confirmed it at every turn and, yes, it was a process.

This didn’t happen the first time I looked for a home. Nothing was right. It was not God’s timing. Waiting can be so hard, but it’s always worth it. This time around, the right house, at the right time, in the right neighborhood all fell into place. I wasn’t even looking for a house; it just happened.

Are you like I was – a little scared to make the jump? I’m not necessarily encouraging you to purchase a home. Many of you are way ahead of me, and you did this even in your twenties. You didn’t wait until you were in your forties to buy a home. If you have a strong desire to own your own home, begin praying about it. Mine was a very long wait, and then it happened fast.

Not only do you need to pray, but there are things you need to do on your end. Before you ever start the process of purchasing a house, be sure your finances are in order. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. How is your credit rating? The higher your score the better for you in every aspect of this important decision.
  2. Find out up front how much you can borrow, and get pre-qualified.
  3. Do you have high credit card debt? Work towards getting out of debt as much as possible.
  4. Consider the entire cost for the purchase. Taxes, home insurance, the mortgage rate, interest rates, a home inspection and the closing costs.
  5. Be sure you work with a realtor you can trust. I worked with my mother who is a realtor. Not everyone can be quite this fortunate.
  6. Consider everything you will need when you move. There will be things you probably will need to purchase, like a refrigerator, washer and dryer, furniture and lawn mower. I had to purchase all these things. I had some furniture, but not enough to fill up a house. And, think about the cost of the move.
  7. Consider using a mortgage company that will not sell your loan.
  8. There will be expenses such as putting in phone lines, possibly cable or satellite television. Do you want high-speed Internet or Internet access at all?
  9. You may decide you need an alarm system. Many singles won’t live without one. Typically there is an installation cost, and then the monthly bills.
  10. Your house may need to be treated for bugs. Not just once, but possibly on a regular basis.
  11. If you’re purchasing an older home there may be many hidden problems with the house. New or old, NEVER purchase a home without having a good quality home inspection.
  12. Pray, pray, pray.

These are just a few simple things I’ve learned along the way. There are many great Web sites and books on purchasing your first home. God knows your future. Be smart; don’t buy beyond your means. This may mean changing how you spend your money. You should live on a budget, if you don’t already. Don’t wait.

You may be thinking, with your salary, purchasing a home will never happen. Never say, “Never.” But no matter what happens, remember God has built our ultimate dream home, one beyond our wildest imagination, one that nothing here on earth will even begin to compare. Things may be very hard for you right now financially. Keep seeking the Lord for His provision. Do your part; take baby steps towards becoming smarter with your finances.

God has a plan; He has a purpose, He has a place that is perfect just for you. Keep pressing on. Keep believing His precepts, and He will bless you as you continue to walk in His ways and trusting Him with your life.

In my Father’s house are many mansions; and if it were not so, I would have told you. For I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. —John 14:2-3

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