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.

 

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Judging a Book by Its Cover

As a pastor’s wife, you run into lots of people from various cultures. We have a young lady that started attending church months ago. Her dad is Puerto Rican, her mom is African American with parents from Louisiana – Creole in heritage. Such a beautiful girl. She says strangers can’t decide if she’s Hispanic or African American with light skin or from India or other far away countries, then she laughs with a delightful sound.

I ran into someone else today who had to go to court and she was dressed in a pretty black dress with a multi-colored necklace and shiny silver shoes. The only thing out of the ordinary is an exotic hair style. The person that wanted her in court to press their case wore a man’s big sports t-shirt, sloppy shoes, baggy slacks, and a really short haircut. She usually eats poorly and sleeps erratic hours, so there’s dark circles under her eyes.

I told the first one she looked pretty. Then I asked how the other person appeared. She said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

I said, “In this case you can.”

The court case didn’t go the way the finely dressed girl wanted it to, but it went the way she expected it to. She had been trying to help a friend and the judge said if the person doesn’t want assistance it’s time to stop. The one receiving care wanted to speak badly about the other. The judge raised her hand and stopped any comments. We’re not here for a discussion.

She ruled on the case and then turned to the lady in the dress. “Thank you for all that you’ve done.”

Friendly Female Judge Cartoon Clipart

(photo from clip art)

 

 

 

Then to the one that brought the case to court, she instructed her to get her act together and she wanted to see proof that the girl carried out the correct behavior. “No one will call you or set up appointments with professionals for you, but you will be required to carry through or face consequences.”

It was more than the pretty dress and clean appearance that caused Her Honor to praise the one girl and her husband. The judge saw a couple who truly cared and had stepped in when someone was floundering. Unfortunately, other influences occurred and voices spoke that stopped the positive direction. It’s not easy to change and sometimes people don’t want their friends or family to walk away from activities even if it’s the absolute best for them.

So I’m praying for all the parties involved. I’ve seen God answer prayers in amazing ways that seemed convoluted at the time. Yet, every twist and turn set the path for the proper ending. There are times when it’s appropriate to let go and wait and see how things work out. Especially if a judge says, “Thanks for trying, but it’s out of your hands now.”

That is exactly what God does when He gives us free choice. He gives people the opportunity to seek Him and find Him and learn from Him. He gives folks the chance to try other faiths or atheism. He tells of the benefits of following Him and He tells of the consequences of rejecting Him. I’ve been reading in 2 Chronicles and sometimes it’s long and not interesting and other places it’s absolutely riveting. When the kings stopped honoring God and obeying Him, their choices became absolutely demonic. I marked my Bible with that word outside the printing at 2 Chronicles 28:3 – demonic.

It’s such a relief when the chapter begins with the new king and the Word says this one did what was right in the sight of the Lord as his father David did. These kings were descendants of King David generations down the line.

We’ve been getting so much rain in Upstate, NY. Being a gray day didn’t help the emotions of the young girl summoned to court but God answered our prayers. I prayed that no weapon formed against her or her husband would prosper. That’s a promise from Isa_54:17 , (KJV): “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,” saith the LORD.

She prayed that they would be careful to speak with wisdom. God answered our prayers and He knows all about both young ladies and the situation. We can rest in His provision and control, just as King David trusted in God to protect Him in difficult situations.

I try not to judge people by appearances because sometimes scam artists dress very fine and clean up really nice. God knows all about everybody. I’m glad Christians kept after me even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear. One girl spoke gently and intriguingly to me every day at school for months. Then I would go home and ponder. She was not the only Christian I ran into in those days. Somehow it finally made sense to me.

May God bless you.

 

 

 

What’s Going On?

 

It amazes me what God does for me and for others. I’ve seen so many answers to prayer.

Yet, sometimes it’s the little things that capture my attention and appreciation. There are times when I write or sew at night because I’ve been busy throughout the day. Last night I started to put the stitching across the top of a curtain. I added extra stitches to the end to reinforce it on one side. As I continued, the thread broke. No matter what I tried, the thread kept breaking.

Finally I remembered how I’d had manuscript submissions get stuck because the e-mail account wouldn’t send. After trying everything I knew to do, including getting help from others, I’d give up. Then, I’d notice a typo or realize the article was missing pertinent information. Once I fixed it, I’d attach the piece and then hit send. Off it went to the editor!

So last night I looked closely at the second section of the curtain set. I needed to flip the curtain over to sew the top on the other side. I tore out the stitches that had made it half way across. Then I pinned the fabric the correct way and decided to quit for the night. Somehow I knew my machine would work perfectly today. And so it did.

I moved on to the next window’s fabric and worked on it until I started losing energy. My husband asked a good question, “Isn’t it when you’re tired that you start making mistakes?”

I’d been debating over doing one inch side hems around the circle of the valance and then sewing the top seams for the ruffle and the rod pocket. I may need to remove a few stitches so it lays flat, now that I think about it. Anyway, I decided tomorrow is another day.

If someone doesn’t believe in God, they may think good things happening are only a coincidence. I believe it’s God because in the book of James it says all good things and perfect things come from heaven above, from the Father of lights. (James 1:17)

I believe in God because as a young girl when I first learned of God, it resonated deep within.

Some people believe Jesus was God because others walked and talked with Him and saw Him perform miracles. These “others” went to their deaths instead of recanting their eye witness accounts. Why would anyone die to support a lie?

More Christians are being persecuted for their faith today than ever before.

I believe Satan knows his time is short and he’s fulfilling what Jesus said about him in John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but I have come to give life and that abundantly.”

When life gets hard on earth, I find comfort in the Bible with its many promises. My mother-in-law’s favorite Bible verses were in Psalm 91 and I have a friend that tells me she prayed Psalm 91 over me today. That always makes me smile.

Psalm 91 (Webster):

Psa 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psa 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Psa 91:3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

Psa 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psa 91:5  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Psa 91:6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon-day.

Psa 91:7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Psa 91:8  Only with thy eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Psa 91:9  Because thou hast made the LORD who is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation;

Psa 91:10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

Psa 91:11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Psa 91:12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Psa 91:13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Psa 91:14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

Psa 91:15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.

Psa 91:16  With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

May God bless you!

Easter – Resurrection Sunday

Hi! I wrote this for our church’s April newsletter. I’m copying it here because I love what Jesus did for everyone and because I’ve had a stomach bug three times in March and so I’m catching up on things as I carry on in life. God bless. I intend to share comments made on the blog on how to find the “right” spouse later this week.

Consider the love of God, which never fails. Romans 8:38,39 (KJV) says: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I remember going to Catholic Church as a young girl seeing the Stations of the Cross, as they were called, miniature three dimensional carvings of the steps Jesus took on the way to the crucifixion – ending with His dead body being held by loved ones as they began to place him in a stone hewn resting place.

As I got older, on Good Friday at noon, I read the Bible’s account of Jesus’ betrayal and then His journey to the cross and to His death to my Mom. It was our tradition. I wasn’t born again yet, but the sacrifice Jesus made for my sin touched me deeply.

Resurrection means to be revived from death. After hearing that Jesus’ choice to endure the suffering and agony at Golgotha would enable me to be in a right relationship with God, I eventually understood salvation and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior!

He rose from the dead after three days in the tomb. My flesh came alive to the Spirit of God after many years of hearing His Word and many months of listening to an evangelical friend that didn’t give up on me. She prayed for me, she gave me nuggets of truth five school days of the week.

There are so many lies about Jesus – He’s not God, He’s just a prophet, a child of God like we are. Satan loves to deceive people; ensnare people with hurts, offenses, addictions; kill people with lies about suicide offering a peaceful alternative to this world.

Jesus said in John 10:10 (KJV), “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly.”

It’s never too late to experience God’s love, His deliverance, His protection, His provision, His still small voice welcoming you to get to know Him better.

Positioned with Christ

We had a guest speaker at our church two Sundays ago; Pastor Al Craig and his wife, Sue, visiting from North Carolina. He asked my husband to sit on a chair at the front of the main aisle. If you looked way over his head, you would see a huge wooden cross. Empty of the living Savior.

Pastor Al told us that God is our provider.

One of the most important things God provided us with was the gift of grace. If we will just believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, repent of our sins and ask Him to be the boss, the Lord of our lives, He promises to be our grace giver, the Savior.

I’ve heard it said, “When the time comes to stand before God, the Father, Jesus says, ‘This is a child of ours, Look at this one through My sacrifice.'”

Jesus died after He took on all the sins of the world. He gave Himself, the perfect god/man as payment for our sins so mankind could be free from judgment. Once we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, He tells us that He is in us and we are in Him, a great mystery of the faith. Pastor Al said, “Being in Him places us in heavenly places, according to the letter of Colossians.”

So, as an object lesson, we saw my husband sitting in a chair. As long as he sat in the chair, in Christ, He’s seated at the right hand of the Father. He’s sitting high above evil. If he should get off the chair, walk up the stairs, take the nails off the cross and choose to live in the flesh, he chooses to become lower than the heavenly places. He’s a Christian choosing to not sit in heavenly places and become subject to being in the world and turning his back on God’s provision and protection and power.

“Never mind, God, I’ll handle my life on my own. I don’t want to bother You. I want to live with bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart. I want to get drunk tonight, I want to live with someone outside of marriage for a while, I want to hurt them as bad as they hurt me,” etc., etc.

There’s more to this sermon, and this is a distillation of my notes, which missed some of what Pastor Al preached. But, being alive in Christ feels like a fresh fire to me after service on that Sunday. We need each other, believers, to stir up the gifts that God has given us. Today Is A Fresh Start. Jesus will let people repent and start over again, but He knows our heart. If we’re fooling around, playing at being a Christian, we may harden our hearts against God, and never get back on that heavenly chair. The enemy of our souls wants that to happen, since we remind him of God and he hates God.

We are made in the image and likeness of God and we will never be the holy and perfect God, but He treasures us. If we keep our relationship with God, He gives us position with Him. He promises us many things as joint heirs with Christ, and nothing beats the love of Christ and of the Father and of the Holy Spirit.