Applying Rare Faith in the simple things

We moved into our new home last month, and we’ve been uncertain whether our beloved cat “Tom” would be able to go exploring without getting lost in the new environment. So we kept a careful watch on him for the first week, but eventually braved letting him out.

When he didn’t come back as quickly as usual, I began to feel worried. He finally showed up, but only after I went walking, calling for him up and down our street. I never saw him, but shortly after I gave up and came home, the kids discovered him at our door. He must have followed me there; I think he got our houses mixed up. After that, he never strayed far.

That was nearly six weeks ago. However, last week, after a night exploring, he came home looking like a wreck. We weren’t sure what happened, but his tail was matted and he walked with a limp.

We cleaned him up, and by morning he seemed to be himself again. Nevertheless, my kids decided that we should probably keep him inside from that point on. He’s getting older, and seems to be more forgetful. So one of my children put a sign on our front and back doors that said, “Don’t let Tom out”.

Last night, after the family was in bed, I noticed Tom sitting by the front door, longingly looking up at it. He seemed so sad and hopeful, waiting patiently for someone to notice and grant his freedom. He doesn’t make a noise, or try to get eye contact, he just looks up at the door and waits. Should I let him out? What if he doesn’t come home? What will the kids think if we lose him or if he gets hurt again because I “broke the rule”? I took a chance. I couldn’t stand to see him just waiting there, trusting someone would grant his wish without granting it, so out he went.

Usually when he goes out before bed, he’s waiting by the door again by morning. My son usually leaves for school first, so when I came downstairs, I assumed Tom was already somewhere in the house.

But I didn’t see him all morning, and after running my errands all day, I began to wonder if he ever made it home. Worried that I’d be in trouble with my family for letting him out, I hesitated to ask if anyone had seen him. Eventually I became concerned enough to ask each of the kids: “Have you seen Tom?”

No, no sign.

By 8:00 pm I was seriously concerned. Nobody had seen him to let him in again, and I knew he must be hungry, if he was still out there somewhere. So I went to a quiet place and offered up a prayer. I imagined my cat downstairs crunching his cat food. I imagined seeing him at the bottom of the stairs, and me saying, “Well, there you are!” And I imagined how grateful I would feel knowing he was safely home. Picturing him back in the home put a smile on my face, so I knew I was ready to begin. I spoke aloud:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I’m concerned about Tom. If it’s okay with you, will you please send some angels to go find him, and guide him home? I know you can hear me, and I know there are plenty of angels who are available, ready, and willing to help… [I imagined it again, and felt it again, as though it had happened] …thank you for bringing Tom home to us. He has been such a gift since he showed up 11 years ago.”

With that, I ended my prayer and chose not to worry. I imagined the angels on assignment looking for him. I also had a distinct thought, that they don’t magically wave their hand and – poof – he’s at the house, I thought maybe they didn’t immediately know where he was, either, and that they probably had to roam around a bit to find him. It made me think of the Law of Gestation. Maybe things take time, because the “unseen help” is, in many ways, just like us, and it can take time to do the things they’re trying to do. So I pictured them searching, and guiding him home, and even that put a smile on my face.

Fifteen minutes later I hear the front door open and my son yelled, “Tom’s back!”

That smile came back to my face, and I immediately knelt down and expressed my gratitude (again) for sending the help. These Rare Faith principles really do work, and they work – not just for the big things – but also for the simple, daily concerns like this one.

What if we approached our goals the way Tom approaches his? He doesn’t complain, he just focuses on his objective (literally, he just sits there looking at the door), and trusts that he’ll get the help he needs. Do you keep the image of what you want accomplished in view? Do you stay focused on it, with an expectant, trusting spirit? Or do you worry that your desires won’t be noticed? Do you beg and plead for them over and over again, while wondering what you’ll do if they aren’t met?

Try seeing your goal accomplished, and answer the question, “How will it feel when it is done?” But answer it with a feeling, not with words. Feel it. When you’ve done that, you’re ready to ask. Ask once. Then get back to your life and do what you can do for yourself. Trust that you’ve been heard. Trust that there is unseen help that cares about you, and is getting busy orchestrating the ideas, resources, and people you’ll need to accomplish it. Imagine that happening! And believe until it happens, even if it never does, don’t let YOU be the limiting factor. Your job is to believe. It will happen or it won’t. So what. Just make sure you did YOUR part.

I’d like to invite you to read more stories that help you build that belief. That’s what Portal to Genius was designed to do. Follow Richard and Felicity who are at the end of their financial rope, Morgan who needs a medical miracle for his son, and Ray who needs 4.5 million dollars by Wednesday. Be inspired as you see how each of them discover the key for themselves in Portal to Genius. (Read it FREE!)

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$6500 from nothing in just a few days

Here’s another installment in our collected chronicles of Tender Mercies.

Maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is.

But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life, sustaining you from day to day?

Have you been given just what you needed, when you needed it, even if it was small and simple? Think: a tiny droplet on a blade of grass. It might not be full-on rainfall, but as the dew distills from heaven, have you noticed what God has done for you today?

Today’s share comes from Vanessa Kay, Fundamentals Ecourse participant and professional photographer (www.vkayphoto.com). She writes:

August 2, 2018

It’s been such an interesting week, so full of ups and downs – more specifically downs followed by ups! July has been a very challenging month for many reasons, not the least some very tight financial situations. When creating our vision board for this year, we really wanted to have a family trip (we hadn’t been able to do anything like that together for a couple of years because of my husband’s illness) – and to be able to send Kate to EFY. Well, the second goal was accomplished early in the year when thanks to some very generous relatives and earning a scholarship, Kate’s EFY spot was funded for us! The available date was for the end of July/beginning of August at BYU in Utah, so we decided to try to plan our family trip around that, since we have lots of family to stay with there, and so many things we love to do, such as hiking, visiting the temples, spending time with cousins, etc. As the end of July approached, things were very tight, and I had barely enough money for gas to get to Utah. I had booked some photo sessions for while I was there to make it a “working” vacation that would pay for itself, so I knew once I got there we would have enough money to get back. But getting there was looking to be challenging.

My husband and I had felt prompted several times that we needed to pay our tithing this month. Since he has been too ill to work, paying tithing has been a lot more of a sacrifice, because there is ALWAYS more month than money at our home and rarely enough to cover even the necessities. But we still managed to stay current on it usually at the end of the year when I have the majority of my business and can figure out what my actual profit has been after deducting expenses. But I had just enough in the bank to pay tithing on the one big order I had gotten from a client and we decided together we would do that in faith and trust that things would work out.

Two days later, just a week before our planned trip, I got a phone call from my husband in distress that his medicine/supplements had run out so much faster and that he needed $240 right away to get some more or he would be sicker than ever. I had only $50 in the bank after paying our tithing and I tearfully told him that I couldn’t make it happen right now, but that I would try to figure something out. I didn’t realize that the gal who leases my horse and was helping me clean at the barn could hear bits of our conversation, and before she left for the day, she told me she was going to be out of town the next week and offered to pay for next month’s lease 2 weeks early. It was exactly the amount I needed to get my husband’s medication. I gratefully accepted and he was able to go without skipping any doses. Tender mercy #1.

We had planned to leave on Sunday after church so that we could drop Kate off Monday morning for EFY and then stay until time to pick her up and take her home. On friday, both of our family cars refused to start. On our van, which I was planning on taking to Utah, the key would not even go into the ignition, in spite of all of our efforts (and liberal application of WD-40). To make matters worse, it was parked in an area that was going to have street sweeping in the morning and would be towed if left there. So we had to have it towed across the street in front of our house. The same day, the smaller car in our family just refused to start. We thought it might be battery related but were really not sure. I had a photo session with one of my best clients that night and I had to borrow a friend’s rental car just to get to my session. It was quickly looking like the trip we had planned for and dreamed about was just not going to happen. I didn’t have enough to fix either car OR pay for a rental car. I had barely enough money for gas. Kate would be sorely disappointed to miss EFY -and the family member that had helped pay to get her the spot wouldn’t be too pleased if she didn’t show up!

I was in need of a miracle, and fast! This wasn’t the result I had hoped for after paying my tithing. But I remembered all of the times that great setbacks have been followed by even greater blessings in my life and I prayed. I knew that the solution to our current problems was just an idea away. After my prayer, my thoughts were immediately directed to the beautiful sample image box I had purchased for $350 at a photography trade show in March. I was saving it for the perfect client. I thought about my client for that very evening – a family visiting from Singapore. I had already photographed their family once this month and their company also but had not received any orders yet. The idea that came to me was to create a beautiful set of prints to go in this matted image box and bring it with me to the session and offer it for sale. I got right to work and spent hours putting it together, finishing it barely in time to have my friend drive me in her car to the session.

After the session, I nervously presented the family the box full of beautiful images. They loved it. Even with the high price tag of $4000 (including all of the digital files). But she had to think about it. If she was going to buy it, she wanted to have the images I had just taken that evening included as well. Given the timeline of hoping to be ready to leave town by the next day and I still hadn’t downloaded, culled or edited any images from this shoot it felt impossible. But I told her I would make it happen. They were leaving to go back to Singapore on Monday evening and it would need to be completed by then.

I got to work right away after our session, but realized there would be no way I could have it culled, edited -and have them select their favorites – retouched, and printed by the next day. I would need to work around the clock until they left on Monday. And Kate had to be there Monday morning. Hmmm….next idea. Ask for pre-payment for one of my sessions I had booked in Utah. Sent a text and got enough money from that to book a flight for Kate early Monday morning. Then I had the idea to contact a few of my other Utah clients offering free delivery in person and a discount on their order if they wanted to order prints from their sessions – the would just need to choose their images right away so I could get to work. Well two clients took me up on this and they paid me enough to get a rental car for the week and a little extra.

So I booked a flight for Kate and reserved a car and got to work hoping that if I did a great job editing images from the Friday session that the client would decide to purchase the $4000 box. I worked all night Friday, all day Saturday and then all night until the wee hours of Sunday morning editing files for the client. I took the day off of work on Sunday, with many prayers of gratitude for all the answers and help I had been given. Sunday night my client emailed that she loved the photos I had worked on all day Saturday and would purchase the box with all new images from the most recent shoot. I was ecstatic.

I got up super early Monday morning take Kate to the airport, and came back and got to work creating prints and folio boxes. I was able to finish her box just before she left to go back to Singapore. Not only did she love the box, but her husband decided to order a whole set of matted prints for their company to give as gifts to their employees from the corporate shoot for another $1000.

I now had to fill all of those other print orders I had added to bring to my Utah clients and that took all day Tuesday, but I was finally able to leave on our trip with $6500 coming in that hadn’t been anywhere on my radar just a few days earlier.

I worked right up until we loaded the car Tuesday evening and was exhausted heading out. Wednesday morning I woke up and checked my email and found that my ex-husband, who hasn’t paid child support since April (and I hadn’t been counting on receiving any at all this month as his payments are sporadic at best) had made a payment that day, and it even included some arrears. I was astounded. My thoughts turned immediately to Malachi 3:10. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

I am amazed and humbled by what has unfolded in the last few days. This vacation we had dreamed about as a family is now a reality, albeit a few days shorter. I went from barely being able to pay $100 in tithing on a $1000 order, and then having barely enough for gas to travel and nothing to pay for car repairs to bringing in more than $7000 in just a few short days. All of which came as blessings from the Lord and inspiration as to what actions to take and who to call. I have learned (again) that even when things seem at their most desperate and impossible, there is always hope that things can turn around very quickly! And that it often seems to get worse before it gets better, as when right after paying tithing I didn’t have enough money to pay for medicine and then both cars broke down on the same day when things were already tight! And yet always, mostly at the last possible moment, something comes through.

Two more scriptures came to mind to me today as I was writing. One is Luke 12:24-28

24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?

26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

And the other is Mathew 7:9-11

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Warmly,

Vanessa Kay
www.vkayphoto.com

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Thanks for sharing, Vanessa! This is a perfect example of how the little miracles can really begin to add up when you’re doing what you can to live the principles the best way you know how.

Could YOU use some help understanding the principles better? Even Mindset Mastery students come back to the Fundamentals Ecourse to fill in the gaps and increase their effectiveness. Click here to learn more about the Fundamentals Ecourse now, and let me help you build that better life from a stronger foundation!

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God multiplies things

Diana with her husband

Here is another installment in my Tender Mercies article series. Today’s story comes from Diana Johnson, who writes:

Leslie, I’m so grateful I met you about 7-8 months before my husband’s stroke. Reading your books increased my faith and helped put me in the frame of mind to experience so many miracles. With all my heart, I KNOW that God multiplies what we have when we share! He has already shown this to me.

Back in 2006, I gave my sister my share of profits from the sale of our parents’ home (about $10,000, because she was in dire need). We were in need as well; but I felt her need was greater. That, plus a loan of about $3,000, which I eventually forgave.

Ten years later, my husband suffered a massive stroke, and could no longer work. Miraculously, it happened when his Wal-Mart bus run was cancelled due to BYUI students leaving for Christmas. Otherwise, his stroke would have occurred while driving a busload of students!

And when our need was the greatest (after my husband’s stroke), the amount I gave my sister was returned to me, multiplied, in a miraculous, unexpected way:

I received a certified letter in the mail, which at first I ignored, thinking it was just another notice from the IRS. When I finally picked up the letter from the post office, I was informed that a previously unknown retirement was waiting for me from BYUI, where I had taught for 15 years. I had worked part-time, but was told that part time and adjunct instructors receive no retirement. Yet, here was a certified letter informing me of a lump sum which had been held for me for years, and growing without my knowledge. 

That unexpected retirement was close to $24,000, equivalent to one year’s salary that my husband made at a part-time job just before his stroke. And this has lasted us much longer than a year, due to other financial miracles: donations, an unexpected deposit from Social Security to our credit union account with a letter (which showed up later) informing us that they had not credited my husband properly for his military service!

While my husband was still in intensive care, I also received a call from DMBA (my retirement account), informing me that they had discovered another $5,000 plus that was owed me. This was exactly the extra amount I needed to pay for home medical equipment I had ordered, and didn’t know how I would pay for it! 

And then, when my husband suffered a relapse, putting him back in intensive care, my son tried to give us a thousand dollars to help pay the hospital bill.  They were expecting a new baby, so I told him to keep it until they had enough saved for their baby.  But two days later, I received a hospital bill discounted over $1000 (beyond the Medicare discounts)!!… 

…I have learned that when we live in LOVE, FAITH, and GENEROSITY, the Lord can return the same for us, in every time of need!

You can read more about Diana’s miracles here.

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What about you?

So, maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is.

But even so…

Have you seen God’s hand in your life, sustaining you from day to day?

I want to hear about it. Submit your stories here!

#RareFaithTenderMercies
#ModernMiracles

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