Genuine Kindness



Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times. 

Something happened at TLC last week that just made me smile!

I preached a message on purses. I talked about the stuff we carry in our purses, what is necessary and what isn’t.  I grabbed the purses in my closet and went to church and set them up. There were 8 of them. Four of them are going to be cleaned up to donate to the RMA thrift store and four of them I keep for sentimental value. A purse that my husband bought me on our first Christmas, one which was handmade in Africa, one that is from the 40’s that I use for decorative purposes, and one which was a splurge.

One of the women of TLC asked, “Susan are those all your purses?”

I said yes and then held my breath……..

I love clothes and shoes and purses and as a woman in ministry it is often a place of criticism. I had a Pastor’s wife come up to me once and say, “Just how many pairs of boots does one woman need? Don’t you know there are people who have no shoes?” I do in fact know that, and I do in fact, give to many missions projects but this type of judgment happens all of the time, not just to me, I’m not special. I once heard a person say, Bill Gates wasn’t being generous when he gave a gift of $100,000.00 to a project. They said, “$100,000 is like me giving $10. Bill Gates could afford to give more. Only, to me, $100,000 is not like $10, it’s like $100,000. Bill Gates could have given nothing at all.

So why did I hold my breath?

The comments. The people who are ready to pounce with condemnation. I held my breath because even though I work through the comment,  it still makes me sad that I live in a space where it even matters. I realize that the comments are not my problem. 

The response surprised me.

“Susan, we need to trade purses sometime. You have some I like.”

YAY! There was no negative comment or judgment. I loved it. It made me happy.

I went home and told my husband.

I told a few close friends this past week, each time with a smile on my face.

So I asked her which of the purses she liked the most? She liked an animal print one I had. You know something?  I was going to give her whichever one she chose, sentimental one or not. Someone who was genuinely happy. I shared it at TLC last night and there were lots of smiles! It felt good not to be on the hot seat. It felt really, really good!

God is working on me. I pray he is working on you as well this week. May you experience little moments of happiness as you cross hurdles into your most excellent future.



Dead or Alive?

Luke 24: 1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

I woke up with the sentence in my head :

Why do you seek the living among the dead? 


Why do we seek the approval of man instead of Jesus?

Why do we uplift others opinions as fact rather than the words that Jesus spoke over us?

Why do we find our identity in who are friends are?

Why do we seek to glorify ourselves?

Why do we offer up our bodies as sacrifice to artificial love?

Why do we care more about people on Facebook than God?

Why do we care so much about our filtered image on Instagram when this flesh is just a tent?

Why do we speak death instead of life?

Why do we yoke up with worry?

Why do we yoke up with disdain?

Why do we yoke up with gossip?

Why don’t we pray when things are good?

Why don’t we care more?

Why do we not know what is going on in the world?

Why are we not concerned with the political arena?

Why do we dismiss dominion and embrace bondage?

Why do we dismiss self control and embrace victimization?

Why do we make excuses to continue to move, and breathe, and have our being in dead carcasses and not live in a breathing, moving Holy Spirit?

Why not look again into a mirror and see the reflection that can bring us a life worth living eternally?


As in a mirror

Why do we continue to seek the living among the dead? 



When Does It Become A Disservice?


I read this today and thought about how hard this decision is to make. On the one hand, you want to help those in need. On the other hand, when it becomes a perpetual thing you tend to get resentful. I think there are some clear cut boundaries that need to be set in place. I also know that these types of posts make people angry and so it won’t be popular. You see, most people think you need to be generous with your money, but they should get to spend theirs any way they choose. It’s human nature. I get it.

So when is it mismanaging your money to loan money to misbehavior?

When you begin to enable the person to live frivolously.


I remember a story of a brother who made two to three times as much as his brother. The brother who made more didn’t control his spending and when it came time to pay for rent, he would hit the modest means brother up for cash. It made the modest means brother feel puffed up that yes, yes, despite his brother’s success, he was still more successful.

How does the loaning of money to a person who mismanages make you feel? If you’re honest and generous by nature, you feel pretty good. There’s a measure of satisfaction in it. They need your help and you’re in a position to help. There is a danger in these feelings in that you become their source. They no longer look to God for provision they look to you. You begin to build an idol of yourself.

What happens when it’s month after month? A feeling of resentfulness creeps in. You begin to count their money as if it is yours. You begin to judge their spending habits. It also begins to form a wedge in your relationship because both of you begin to feel awkward.

Proverbs 22:7 says

the borrower is servant to the lender.


The lender begins to demand repayment, or secretly seethes, and the borrower doesn’t like the pressure and begins to withdraw. It makes the borrower look ungrateful and dodgy and it furthers the wedge. This is where offense so easily comes in and before you know it, people are not speaking, judging is taking place, and teams are being set up depending on whose story is going to be believed. It becomes a mess.

So what boundaries need to be put in place?

1. Don’t lend money if you can’t afford to lose it. If you can’t be at peace with giving it and never seeing it again, then don’t loan it. There is a chance that the borrower may not pay it back.

2. It’s okay to say no. If you don’t feel right about loaning it then don’t. Don’t however, be a miser. Generosity is a privilege and you should do what you can. This is heart check time. Examine why you don’t want to lend it.

3. It’s okay to go buy groceries for a person rather than give them money if you are unclear how it’s going to be spent.

4. Watch patterns and behaviors. Sometimes a person is going to need to take on extra hours at work or a second job for a season to make ends meet. If they are unwilling then you need to think about your role. Conversely, if they have learned to depend on overtime, they need to cut back their spending. Overtime is not salary. It’s extra. It should be saved actually but that’s another post.

5. If they are wasteful spenders be careful. This doesn’t have to be lavish but what if they don’t have money for food and gas but when they received a few hundred dollars extra they went and got a gym membership rather than catch up? Don’t fault them for buying essentials. If they received a few hundred dollars and bought shoes and clothes for their kids, I don’t in any way consider this wasteful. If they caught up on bills, or made an extra payment on a bill I don’t consider that wasteful. Be careful how you are judging.

6. If they are consistently borrowing, get them in front of a financial planner. Sometimes, the best money you can help with is some professional help. If they refuse then so do you refuse to be part of their mismanagement.

7. If they don’t know where their money is going, they won’t know where yours is going either. Every dollar should have a name. If they are people who live broke then that is their lifestyle, be aware of that going in.

Disservice by definition is a harmful action. Use wisdom. Some people get used to being rescued and it becomes an expectation.




How Do I Serve You?

I watched you as you walked into church today.
Your spirit was low, and a slight smile hit your lips but your eyes are vacant.
Everyone says that if I knew you before I wouldn’t recognize you.
You were a carefree person who was outgoing and kind.
What is clear is that something happened.

From my vantage point of outside of your life I see some nice things.
Money, a spouse, and some crazy little kids.
Isn’t that what we all want and work so hard to get?
What has you so distraught?
Then I see it loud and clear.

How do I serve you best?
Is it any of my business because you haven’t asked for help?
I realize that my place is to pray.
And then I need to pray some more.
Find your voice again. Please find your voice again.

Words. You don’t have to beat someone to wound them deep.
You don’t have to leave external marks to do serious damage.
You just have to consistently drum a cadence of words that kill a spirit.
You just have to get them to agree with the wounding words to kill them.
Forever is a long time to be in an abusive relationship.

I wish I could put my strength to work in you.
Only it doesn’t work that way does it?
I have to begin to purposefully speak life to you.
Every. Single. Time. I. Engage. You.
Every time we meet.

My heart went out to you today and I don’t think it was a mistake.
I think the Lord showed me what a broken spirit looks like.
I think the Lord gave me compassion for you.
I think the Lord will make a way.
I think the Lord is sending your healing.

I pray He is.
I certainly pray He is.
Lord give me words to speak.