Thursday, March 6, 2014

Status of dfree® blog

On January 1, 2014 I embarked upon the mission of creating a daily devotional for those seeking Biblical inspiration. Many people subscribed to the devotional and I received very valuable feedback from my readers. If you were one of those people, thank you very much.

On February 21 I posted my last devotional. The reason that I stopped was due to technology issues that caused me to explore options that I am now preparing to execute. So in the next few weeks I will be changing platforms for this blog and using a new service for staying connected to my subscribers.

The good news is that I will be completing one year worth devotions during the next few months. These devotionals will be published as books in monthly installments. My January postings are being edited now and will be published as Book #1. The books will be available in ebook and paperback formats.

Thank you for your prayers, support and continued interest. I will keep you posted on our transition of digital platforms. All of my subscribers will get a free copy of Book #1 as soon as it is released.

God bless you.

Friday, February 21, 2014

February 21 - dfree® Devotions for Financial Freedom

The men of Judah then said to the Simeonites their fellow Israelites, “Come up with us into the territory allotted to us, to fight against the Canaanites. We in turn will go with you into yours.” So the Simeonites went with them." Judges 1:3 NIV

One need not know anything about the Judahites or the Simeonites to see the beauty of their alliance. The men of Judah understood that they were more likely to succeed if they had a reciprocal relationship with the men of another tribe. They understood the power of collaboration.

No one succeeds alone. Everyone needs someone else to become who they are attempting to become and to achieve success. The pathway to success is paved by partnerships.

But collaboration and partnerships must be reciprocal. One way relationships are unfair, unjust and unsuccessful. It's important to have mutually beneficial relationships that benefit both parties. But successes on an individual or institutional level require integral and productive collaboration.

Whether you are looking for a job, attempting to build a business, or leading an organization, strategic relationships are critical. If you do not have a viable partnership, you will want to form one. If you do have one, be faithful to the relationship. We are only as successful as the strength of our relationships.

"God, give me the right people with whom I can associate. Amen."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 19 - dfree® Devotions for Financial Freedom

So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you? Joshua 18:3 NIV

Joshua was confused. After all of the challenges to which the people had been exposed, all of the disappointments they had experienced, all of the battles they had fought and all of the complaints they had spoken about their journey, now that they were in the land of promise they had not yet gotten around to taking possession of their inherited land. Joshua wondered aloud what they were waiting for.

It's one thing to be denied access and opportunity. But when doors are opened that had been closed, one would think that the person who had been excluded would walk through the doors. When rights are granted that had been previously denied, one would like to believe that the new rights would be appreciated and used by those who had been denied those rights. When freedom is granted to those that had been oppressed, one would expect those who had been freed to take advantage of their freedom. When this behavior does not occur, it is reasonable to ask the question "What is your problem now?"

Perhaps opportunity and victory can be so incredible that it is unbelievable. Maybe the people had been traveling and struggling so long that they could not believe they were finally where they had been trying to be for 40 years. But they were there. Now it was time for them to claim there prize and live as inheritors of their blessing.

Don't let yesterday's struggle stop you from receiving tomorrow's blessing. Take possession of what is yours.

"God, thank you for my inheritance. Amen"

February 20 - dfree® Devotions for Financial Freedom

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 NIV

Everyone is influenced by others. The challenge that we all have is to think for ourselves and limit the amount of influence that others have on our decisions. Too often we do what others think we ought to do rather than what we know we should do. It can happen to the best of us.

Joshua's last major piece of advice for his people was to avoid being influenced by the people and groups that surrounded them. Just because everyone was doing a particular thing did not make it right. Joshua had decided that it didn't matter to him what anyone else did - he and his household were going to serve the Lord.

We read about people regularly that get caught committing some infraction of the law. Often these people use as their defense that they simply did what others always do. When other people's behavior becomes the standard by which we determine our own behavior, we risk losing everything we have worked to have and accomplish. It is always best to have the highest possible standards and to hold ourselves accountable to those standards. Even when we are the only ones who do it.

"God, I will serve you and only you despite what others do. Amen"

February 18 - dfree® Devotions for Financial Freedom

The people of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you given us only one allotment and one portion for an inheritance? We are a numerous people, and the Lord has blessed us abundantly.” “If you are so numerous,” Joshua answered, “and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites." Joshua 17:14&15

Life is not fair. Despite the fact that we have laws that protect us from exploitation and abuse - notwithstanding the idea that most people have the best of intentions - we will never realize complete fairness in every situation in which we find ourselves. Even in athletics where there are explicit rules and referees whose roles are to insure that the rules are kept there are times when something happens that everyone admits is just absolutely wrong!

This is not pessimism - it is just reality. The only question is what to do in response to the inherent unfairness that comes with life. Joshua's answer for the descendants of Joseph who felt that they had been treated unfairly was for them to use their resources to go after what they thought they deserved. In other words they had two choices: 1. They could use their energy complaining about what they did not have; 2. They could muster their strength and get the portion of land that they believed rightfully belonged to them.

We often have those same two options. And sometimes it is imperative that we pause and fight the good fight by advocating for what is fair. But even when we do that, we still must do something to claim what is ours even after the fairness fight is over. More often than not our resources are best spent on the creation of our own solutions and the development of our own futures. If we don't like what we have, then we should go out and get more.

"God, give me the audacity to go beyond unfair treatment and to get myself to the next level on my own strength. Amen."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 17 - dfree® Devotions for Financial Freedom

Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Joshua 14:10&11 NIV

Joshua was 85 years old and his testimony was that he was just as strong and vigorous as he was when he was 45 years old. Amazing! But this is not an impossible fete to accomplish. It requires hard work. It means taking care of one's body. It means eating nutritious food, getting plenty of exercise, drinking lots of water, and having proper amounts of rest. It means taking control of our bodies and our health in ways that many of us fail to do.

Too many people believe that it costs too much money to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In fact the truth is exactly the opposite of such thinking: it costs much more to be unhealthy than it does to be healthy.

I met a fellow once whose car always looked like it had just rolled off of the new car lot. The car was spotless and it had a flawless waxing all the time. The rims on the wheels glistened in the sunlight and sparkled as he drove down the street. This car was at least 10 years old when I first saw it. But it looked brand new. I could not imagine the amount of time the owner of the car spent keeping the car in such immaculate condition. The tragedy was that the owner died while in his mid-thirties from a preventable disease that was made worse by the food he chose to eat.

It makes no sense to take better care of our possessions than we do our bodies. Joshua did not just end up as a strong, 85 year old man. He had to work on making that happen. And so do we.

"God, give me the discipline that I need to take care of my body and my health. Amen"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 16 - dfree® Devotions for Financial Freedom

There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel. Joshua 10:14 NIV

Every so often we have a picture perfect day. It does not happen frequently. But from time to time we enjoy a day when it seems like nothing can go wrong and we can do no wrong. These are the days we wish would never end. And they are the days we assume will never be repeated again.

These days don't just happen. They representing the reaping of seeds that have been sown in the past - perhaps during an entire lifetime. And then God provides an unusual harvest. For Joshua the highlight of his day was commanding the sun and the moon to stand still. Of course science teaches that the sun always stands still. So if the sun was described as having stood still, what actually happened was that the miraculous victory was so profound that it felt as if the earth had stood still. All of this after Joshua won a battle that included five enemies that had coalesced against him.

What Joshua accomplished in defeating his adversaries was so amazing that his victory was described poetically as being like the sun and the moon actually pausing to honor the victory. That is a huge victory.

We often face formidable forces that do not want us to succeed. But even if they team up against you, God can organize a victory that can so tremendous that it will be like planets changing their behavior in agreement with God's blessing. That kind of victory does not happen every day. But when it does you should never forget it.

"God, I am ready for a day that is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Amen."