I Thought You Were Cleaning Today?

Colossians 3:23, (NKJV), “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the LORD and not to men,” is my focus this week.

 

I’ve come to realize something that I didn’t easily embrace today. When you schedule cleaning and tell your spouse, when he needs to shop near the mall and that entails a nice long drive together and usually lunch at a restaurant, the cleaning overrides the outing.

 

When I asked if he could wait for me after Bible study and a quick oil change, his response-“I thought you were cleaning today.”

 

“Yes, I am.”

Image result for lady cleaning house pictureshttp://www.dreamhomecleaners.info/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Cleaning-Lady.png

 

I remember meeting people for a meal after a meeting and one of the attendees, an organized gal, didn’t show up. I kept watching the door for her and finally she arrived just in time to place her order before the waitress left. “Where were you?” I asked.

 

“My car got filthy so I ran it through the car wash.”

 

I remember being surprised. She lives in a rural area with the nearest car wash twenty minutes away. Her house sets back from an unfinished road that gets stones applied when the town gets around to it. So, I understood but at the time it wouldn’t have occurred to me to take advantage of the gap in time.

 

Other times, I’ve invited her to go places with only a little forewarning and she sticks to her agenda no matter how enticing the opportunity. She keeps the results of her plans in mind and carries through.

 

When my youngest sister asked me to go to a play with her, years ago, her treat, I’d hesitate. She’d get frustrated when I’d say, “I’m not sure if I can make it.
Back then, I didn’t have a planner. I was aware of responsibilities hanging over my head that she didn’t understand. She was single. I needed to consider my husband’s and my kids’ schedules as well as my own.

 

“Just make a decision!”

 

So, with no chance to check with others, I missed more than one off-Broadway plays with her.

 

I like getting more organized, but it’s a shift in thoughts and actions. I watch YouTube videos with organizing tips on them and one night I said, “Enough!”

 

I looked over at my husband and his eyes were glazed over, poor guy.

 

Monday morning, I asked him a question about one of the organizers’ suggestions and he said, “I don’t want to talk about it, just do what you’re going to do.”

 

Later, I gave him more details and he said, “Don’t paint during the cold weather season, you hate the smell of paint.”

 

I know that about paint fumes, I just thought if we closed the door and avoided the room for a while, it wouldn’t be too bad.

 

Timing in communication in marriage is everything some days. Proverbs 25:11, (KJV), says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

 

I’m spending 15 minutes or more this week on one room that got messy and the organizer said to do it up nice as you de-clutter. That’s what got me thinking of painting one of the next rooms on my list. Every room has some clutter, but the one I’m working on got away from me. I plan to finish it by Saturday and the finishing touch will be to make curtains from fabric I bought in the past.

 

May God bless you!

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Prophesies for Now and the Future

Sundays tire me out sometimes, even though worshiping God and praying with other believers refreshes my spirit.

This afternoon, it caught up with me so I took a short nap and then I heard a sound alerting me to a message on the phone.

A friend wanted me to watch a YouTube video of Jonathan Cahn, warning America of 10-31-17, but the online site said it’s not available. So, I got on “Prophetic Warning to America 13 Oct, 2017 – Jonathan Cahn – The Apostasy of America [Friday 13th].”

Then my friend directed me to Kim Clement’s prophesies beginning in 2014 and they continued, one after another.

We, in America dedicated our country to God when the Puritan’s came to the eastern shore. When I was a child in the 1960’s, I literally saw values shifting as people acted out with drugs, less sexual restraints, rebellion towards adults and against authorities.

Now, I pray for revival in America because as an adult I am concerned for the next generations and for the welfare of this country.

Years ago, I prayed for God to send missionaries to us with accents because American’s love foreign accents and He answered my prayer. I’m praying for revival because when I read the Old Testament I see that when Israel turned from God, He sent judgments to get their attention so they wouldn’t end up depraved and eventually separated from Him for all of eternity.

America is choosing other gods, atheism, etc. and we are being punished by God. God’s word says if My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. That’s found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, (NKJV).

The Israelites worshiped Baal and put thousands of children through the fire. Americans have worshiped self and killed over 60 million babies. God forgive us!

 

 

Organize Your Day

I ordered an e-book from our library when I couldn’t get there, so I looked for one of my favorite topics – getting organized.

Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims wrote a book called Organize Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You, published by Revell Books, Grand Rapids, MI and copyrighted in 2009.

Organizing your day by Sandra Felton(photo from https://www.christianbook.com/organizing-management-techniques-that-will-work/sandra-felton/9780800733155/pd/733155?product_redirect=1&Ntt=733155&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP )

What I love about their books is their motto about taking “small” consistent steps to effect real change.

I tend to think that starting four habits when I want to make one alteration multiplies the results. Surely, more is better than less, but then reality sinks in. “I can’t do this!”

In this book, Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims give four styles of organizing charts. One that caught my attention was for a man with such a broad range of interests that he wrote sixteen things he wanted to do.

Of every two items, the man chose the most important and soon the list was down to eight. Once again-the most important whittled down to four.

It forces the planner to think-now it’s down to two. Final choice, what is the most significant thing to the individual? The man felt relief, one thing I can focus on until it’s done.

This morning as I read in the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Nashville, TN; Dallas, TX; Mexico City, in Mexico; and Rio De Janeiro, in Brazil; and copyrighted in 2011, there was a devotional page which I thought was from Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling.

Jesus Calling, was copyrighted in 2004 and published by HarperCollins Christian Publishers, Nashville, TN.

On page 1037 in the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, there’s an entry entitled “Protection” and it’s got a reference: “(From Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)” on the bottom of the page.

She reminds us that Jesus is with us in the good times and the bad times. When we’re struggling during times of affliction, He’s even closer than usual.

So, He hears our cries over a lack of control over clutter or gluttony or road rage or whatever tendencies which cause our hearts to hurt. The Scriptures the Bible gives at the bottom of this devotional are “Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 12:2, Psalm 23:4, and Psalm 18:35.”

Jesus is our protector if we ask Him to take control over our lives completely. He helps us to release the tight grip on our lives in a manner that we can deal with, if we really mean it. He’s not a mean task master in the sky. He’s a loving Father, beyond what any earthly dad could ever mirror with their behavior.

I hope you are well. May God bless you and protect you, lead you and guide you if you want Him to.

 

Writing Books

 

I like reference books. When I buy a writers’ book, I often begin working the examples. One of James Scott Bell’s pieces of advice suggested to read through the book once and highlight what grabs you. Then, read through it again and underline the thoughts that really stand out in red. I’ve done that. I began with his book, Plot & Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish.

 Front Cover

It was copyrighted in 2004, and published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio. The photo is from: https://books.google.com/books/about/Write_Great_Fiction_Plot_Structure.html?id=0arFsgEACAAJ&sorce=kp_cover

 

 

 

Another of his books I like is The Art of War for Writers: fiction writing strategies, tactics and exercises.   

Front Cover

This photo is from: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Art_of_War_for_Writers.html?id=9vwzOJFKtc8C&source=kp_cover

 

 

He copyrighted it in 2009, and Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH published it.

 

Yesterday. I mentioned that we are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore, we are creative beings. I read and implement strategies from a variety of published authors that move from fiction to writing non-fiction about what helped them in the craft. Each book is unique because we are all individuals.

 

I’ve enjoyed learning from so many writers over the years, whether in person at writer’s conferences or through their expertise on the written page via paper or electronic devices. What a privilege. After the learning comes the doing, putting words on paper or screen.

 

Where we differ from God: He creates and it’s perfect. We attempt artistry and if we leave it alone for a few days, when we read it, our masterpiece doesn’t make sense or present the image we pictured in our mind. Then the editing begins.

 

Also, we may face fear of ridicule or rejection. God’s Word tells us that perfect love casts out fear. God’s love is perfect because He is love. 1 John 4 talks about His love.

 

Apostle Paul wrote the Colossian believers and in the following verses he talks about Jesus:

Col 2:6  As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

Col 2:7  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Col 2:8  Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Col 2:9  For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

Col 2:10  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

 

From these verses and others in the Old Testament, I believe Jesus is God, the Son. I can’t say that He didn’t fear when He took off all His godly attributes and took on the form of man. Before the crucifixion, it says in the Gospels that He sweat blood because of the anguish He experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane during prayer.

 

In the book of Hebrews, it tells us that Jesus understands us completely because He became a man, but He was completely filled with the Spirit of God. As humans, we can experience an infilling of the Holy Spirit at times, but we have to seek God for more of the Spirit. It takes work because we’re in a spiritual battle and our flesh wants to do what the body wants to do.

 

It’s the same with writing as a career. I find that I can’t give up trying to learn more and trying to face down a tired mind and a weary body when I need to get something done for a client or a deadline. Also, keeping up with technological changes and industry standards and marketing takes stamina and using more brain cells.

 

To me, staying the course in Christianity and keeping on track for writing are worth the effort and bring me joy. The latter is a lesser joy, but if I give up there’s something within me that urges me back to the creative endeavor.

 

For a while in college and then for another seven years, I pushed God aside and lived as I saw fit. As a newlywed and a new mom, it should have been the happiest years of my life. Things and people satisfied for a short amount of time; selfishness caused discontentment and frustration and sorrow.

 

When we moved to another town, God allowed me to run into Christian neighbors and at first, I resented them. Then, they were so stinking nice. One said to me after I started to argue about a Christian public figure whom I knew nothing about, but I’d been hearing newscasters bashing him, “I thought you said you were a Christian? Can’t we agree to disagree?”

 

What could I say to that?

 

More than thirty years later, I’m still following Jesus and even in the hard times, I’d never turn back.  That’s my fervent prayer and hope. I don’t trust myself, but I’ve prayed, “God keep me.”

 

When I first read the Scriptures where Jesus said if they persecuted Him they’ll persecute His followers, I stopped and pondered that a while. I’d rather be persecuted here on earth for a short time than to be in hell, tormented forever.

 

Christians are persecuted more now than ever before in history.

 

I heard the stars and planets are lined up exactly as they were when Jesus came to earth. Some folks believe Jesus is coming back for His church on Saturday. My daughter said when they start saying the day and time, then we know that won’t be the day or time, because Jesus said we won’t know the day or hour.

 

With all the earthquakes and hurricanes and tumult in the world, it seems closer than ever. I guess we’ll wait and see.

 

May God bless you. I’m grateful for the opportunity to write. Thanks for reading this if you stuck around for the whole thing. I didn’t expect to say so much.

Independent or Not?

God Will Make a Way    -     By: Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
https://www.christianbook.com/god-will-make-a-way/henry-cloud/9781591454298/pd/454298

Have you ever been bombarded with the same information over and over again? I remember hearing preachers on Christian radio years ago and they all had the same message. I really didn’t think they got together and decided to put their unique spin on the exact topic. These pastors were from California and Texas and New York and maybe a Mid-western state. I asked a college professor if she thought God gave these various men and women the same idea to speak on. She thought they all got together and decided to talk about the similar passages.

Really?

In my biased opinion, the Holy Spirit gently led them to identical concepts. So what do I keep running into lately? Dependence on God. I heard it twice from two different pastors in church on Sunday–part of their sermons.

Then I read about it in Celebrate Recovery materials. Also, in a book I’ve owned for years and somehow didn’t read until lately: God Will Make a Way: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do. It’s written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Integrity Publishers, Nashville, TN published it in 2002 and the authors copyrighted it that year. Their dedication says, “TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR GOD AND THE WAY THAT HE PROVIDES FOR US.”

I like to think that I depend on God, but when I look at my life I realize that sometimes I depend on God. Other times, I set my mind to do a certain task, start out with gusto, and then begin to slow down, falter and end up put-putting like a little car in a cartoon running out of gasoline. Completely stalled and occasionally bewildered.

So, I keep running into the advice and even give it out, “Spend time with God first and then make your plans.”

I noticed today that I had a stinky attitude and then I started reading in the book of Job. Even though it can be a downer to read all of what Job went through, I felt so much better just having spent some time in God’s word.

I’ve picked up some new habits and my husband helps around the house, so my organizing is going better and the meetings for support help, but I’m losing enthusiasm. I’ve decided I need to ask God wholeheartedly to help me with this like I’ve done over the years for other situations when I knew I couldn’t change on my own. I just couldn’t. I’m totally dependent on God even when I don’t realize it or when I don’t want to acknowledge it. I need to get over the idea that I have control over anything. I don’t. Sigh. 🙂

Well, that’s it for tonight. God is good and He’s in control. May He bless you big time. 🙂

Exercising for Good

 

A few weeks ago, I joined a group of elderly ladies to exercise using stretch bands, two Frisbees to clap overhead or by our sides, a chair for balance, two foam-like squishy balls, and a room to walk around in. It didn’t seem like much, but we got an amazing amount of stretching and resistance workouts in.

This week I needed to see an expert in body movement and I received an assignment to do stretch and resistant activities to work neglected muscle groups. It’s taking about two hours per day for these additional actions, so I told the neighbor that invited me to the group not to expect me for a while.

Family Fitness provides a friendly neighborhood environment, combined ...http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=pictures+of+ladies+exercising+family+friendly&button=

She’s such a nice lady. “Join us again when you can,” she said.

So, it’s about time to call it a night and I just realized I neglected the second time to pull out the mat and the papers with the diagrams and instructions. So this is a short blog entry. I know my life is not my own, but I really feel it lately. J

“Keep leading me, Lord. Help me to follow You and not mess up. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

May God bless you, my friends.

Write Now!

 

Book & DVD   (these photos were copied from: http://www.theharbinger-jonathancahn.com)

I worked on the garden today adding perennials and watering because we’re headed for 90 degree days. One section of my body got hurting and I felt sure the Lord was saying to stop gardening. He wants me writing. So, I’ll have to hire someone or ask family to weed and water.

Tonight my husband and I listened to Jonathan Cahn on Right Now Media. He’s a Messianic Jewish author of Harbinger, published in 2011, copyrighted by Jonathan Cahn and published by Frontline, Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group, Lake Mary, FL. More recently, The Book of Mysteries was written by Jonathan Cahn and copyrighted by him in 2016, published by Frontline, Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group, Lake Mary, FL, www.charismahouse.com

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has a website: http://www.hopeoftheworld.org which looked intriguing. I started reading the Harbinger on

https://smile.amazon.com/Harbinger-Ancient-Mystery-Secret-Americas/dp/161638610X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497149720&sr=8-1&keywords=harbinger+by+jonathan+cahn

and it’s a story about prophecy and the future of America with reality in the prose.

On Right Now Media’s broadcast, Pastor Jonathan said if God is asking you to do something, do it now. Don’t wait! What might God be asking you to do?

May God bless you!

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” is a popular song written by Bob Merrill for the 1961 Broadway musical Carnival! (This is a quote from Wikipedia.)

This morning early in my day, I thought about life. Back in my childhood a saying got repeated, “Love makes the world go ’round.”

I didn’t know until a few moments ago that it was a song title. 🙂

My brother and sister-in-law uprooted themselves to help take care of her parents in their latter years. Love is not easy at times. They’re sacrificing for others, and yet they’re enjoying this precious time with family.

As a young mom, I learned to discipline my children in a consistent manner even when it broke my heart to see them cry. When they got older I wouldn’t let them watch violent movies or see R-rated or worse films. Sometimes my husband and I were too restrictive over other matters and we needed to learn to see things from their point of view.

Our children heard us say we’re sorry but I think they understood we were looking out for their best interests.

Love means saying no to the bad. My parents wouldn’t let us go see the 1961 movie, “West Side Story” when it came out in the theaters. I was maybe nine years old. Lots of the kids went. I stomped my foot and complained. “You’re too young,” my mom replied and that was that.West Side Story(photo from Wikipedia)

After more thoughts this morning, this came to mind, what shall I do today?

Part of the Scripture from Proverbs 6:6-8 (NASB), took root:

Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer, And gathers her provision in the harvest.

I, too, have no one barking commands at me. My husband gives suggestions occasionally and then he gets on with his day.

It’s not that I don’t like housework. I get bored. After lots of hours alone, I want to see people.

The point of cleaning and organizing beyond the removal of germs and bad smells and nerve-wracking messes is love. Love for others sharing the home, love of self, love for others stopping over, even love or respect for the neighbors shows up with a tidy place.

I thought, if that doesn’t motivate me to continue on with this organizing quest I’m on, nothing will.

When I start my day in God’s Word and in prayer, I’m centered and reminded that His love goes with me and upholds me.

When I feel I have too much to do I break it down to smaller steps. I’m trying to remember that I have time to continue and if people interrupt, people are more important.

Too much self-centeredness does not make the world go ‘round. When it’s all about me, joy and love get sucked away. I know. I’ve been there and done that and missed out on simple pleasures of life because of complaining and a stinking attitude.

God help me; I don’t want to go there.

May God bless you!

Meeting of the Minds

I went to a meeting today because a regular attendee couldn’t make it. I thought it would be good to be in the loop. The consultant asked who didn’t like a certain event and he told me that I should not be on that committee since I did like the event. He wants ways to improve it and if I’m happy with it, I won’t have ideas to change it for the better.

It occurs to me tonight that my reasons for attending were because of thoughts that my husband wanted me there, maybe I could be of help, and I’d enjoy it. He consistently said I was welcome if I chose to be there. He didn’t exactly want me there. I might have been of some help, but the leader needed to hear what we thought needed fixing. I probably did 50/50 of that and what was working. He only wanted a little of what was working. I enjoyed it, but a project I hoped to work on today got put aside until tonight when I was tired.

So, I’m going to attend the meetings I need to attend as a leader and pastor’s wife and leave the other meetings for the regular attendee to resume.

There are only so many hours in the day and the Lord did say in Ephesians  5:16, (KJV),

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Eph 5:17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Image result for clock with pictures instead of numbers

(I reached this from Google by clicking on clock with pictures on their list of entries.)

I know the Lord has me doing a few things that require me to be in a quiet mode which is impossible in a group setting. So, I only got half of what I wanted to get done when my husband came home. Then I switched to a book and notebook to jot down some notes while he was busy doing his thing across the room from me.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

Bits and Pieces

Today, I needed to wait for my husband at an appointment, so I decided to read the Bible. As I was reading, I thought the Lord was directing me to Ephesians 4 & 5. Then I read chapter 6 while I was at it. In chapter 4 it reminds Christians to walk worthy of the calling that God has given them.

After that, we went to a large grocery store to buy our lunch and then I’ve been busy doing this or that. I want to ponder the writing path God has for me. I have such a broad interest range and I’ve heard for years that a writer should have a niche. Possibly ten years back I felt sure that God wanted me to purchase a book at a bookstore in a mall by Peter Bowerman entitled, The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Freelance Writer in Six Months or Less, copyrighted in 2000 and published by Fanove Publishing, Atlanta, GA.

The image is from http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ordertwfw.shtml  

I read about 75 pages and then gave it to my daughter for a while. I began an online course a couple of years ago on copywriting, again at God’s leading. I may need it someday, and I do work professionally as a writer and the things I’ve learned have come in handy. The niche writing that I’m contemplating is for magazines or novels or non-fiction books or writing for the internet.

So, the reason I entitled this blog as “Bits and Pieces” is because that’s where my thoughts and my actions have been today:

  • Driving to a city I rarely get to early in the day
  • Reading Proverbs and then in Ephesians
  • Stopping for one item at a large store – a rarity for me
  • Stopping at another grocery store and getting one item again
  • Stopping at church to hand off copies I made of sheets of goal steps in the morning to some ladies and hardly staying at all – another rarity
  • Cleaning dishes
  • Watching television
  • Going to the library and mostly working the new puzzle
  • Getting home so I could ponder the writing path
  • Watching more television
  • Reading two teenage magazines that I’ve been considering to write for, and then
  • Moving to a different room so I could blog
  • Yelling at my computer and then admitting that that was not helping and to repeatedly do the same thing was not helping either.
  • I tried a different thing and it worked. Yay!

I’ve been wanting to take time to be quiet and to think and to jot down any insights that hopefully alight in my brain, but I’ve been procrastinating. So, I think I have about ten minutes before my husband notes the time and asks the inevitable question – “What time are you going to bed, anyway?”

I hope your day has not been as filled with a scattering of responsibilities and stress and leisure and procrastination as my day has been.

May God bless you.