Monday, October 29, 2012

Operation 15 minutes

I didn't prepare a lot of post to go while fall break was upon me.  I fell behind in my studies.  Kat's teacher wanted extra help in the classroom.  This all had me a little overwhelmed and doubting my God.  So, I spoke His truth, declared I trusted His calling, determined if I stay behind I will persevere to the end, because of His grace to do what He called. 

Just a few hours devoted to my lessons over the weekend helped me catch up mostly.  At least removed a lot of pressure I was placing on myself.

This has brought me to realize that my schedule for my life really hasn't been in place since Kat started first grade.  I need to get back there for most of my week, especially when it comes to cleaning.  I've been wanting to tackle my house and do a deep cleaning since the start of school.  Of course you may remember I tackled the garage, which was HUGE.  

On looking at my schedule I am not finding chunks of time to devote to cleaning one room - this includes dusting, purging clutter (anything we can do without), sweep, mop, clean windows, etc.  So this week I will give Flylady 15 minutes a shot again and see where I end up.  I may have time to devote a near whole day later this week, but we shall see.  

My plan is to do two 15 minute attacks a day.  These are for the extras and do not include what I do on a regular basis, such as laundry, sweeping, dishes, etc. 

Today session 1 began with dusting my great room.  I really need to go over some places with windex, but that will have to wait for another time.  It's amazing how much dust can collect in a few short months (or ten).  We won't even talk about the ceiling fan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Break Outing

Kat is enjoying her week of fall break.  We went on a short car trip to a town we used to live before Dale and I were married and Kat came into our lives.  We enjoyed our day, but that isn't what this post is about.

As we drove around the town, I was presented with a past life.  A life that was 99% focused on ME.  As we went from place to place in this wonderful little community, the one thing I remember were the restaurants.  This is a community that is made up of mostly engineers and factory workers.  Needless to say, the food choices were abounding.

I remember what I used to order and how often I would eat out.  No wonder during this time I moved up the weight scale until I settled on 50 pounds overweight.  It brought back to mind how much of an idol food was in my life.  How I would go with the current emotions and eat where ever.  How I knew the daily specials at the local dives that made comfort foods like no other.

“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both. 1 Cor 6:12-13

I was mastered by food.  I would starve myself for a day, then eat until no end the next - top it off with ice cream.  God did destroy both idols for me.  The idol of me and the idol of food.  It's not that the idols don't try to move back into my life.  I must be on watch, guard my heart, listen to God, be in His word and filled with Him.

 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.  Gen 4:7

Sin is waiting for me, waiting for a poor attitude to pounce on me, to get me focused on an idol instead of my God.  I must not be mastered by it.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Which is God

So they took the bull given them and prepared it.  Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling.  Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”  So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.  Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.  1 King 18:26-29

As I studied this passage, I had to wonder at the behavior of the Baal priests.  They danced; they shouted; they cut themselves; they became frantic.

But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

To serve a god that didn't answer.  How could they serve a god they didn't feel or see its majesty?  The work of its hand?  

If you look at this passage in context (1 Kings 16:29-19:21), the end of a three year drought is about to end.  This god hadn't sent rain.  They only thing it "did" was enable these priest to eat at Jezabel's table - meaning they had food, despite a nation that was probably starving.

We experienced a short drought in the Midwest this summer.  The crops didn't grow well.  The streams dried up.  Lakes lowered or disappeared.  People frustration were in their words with complaints of the heat and dieing landscapes.  I can only imagine what would happen if it had lasted three years!

Ahab in this story is concerned for himself and his possessions.  Instead of looking for water to help the people, he wanted to feed and water his animals.  Instead of repenting and seeing God's mighty hand in the drought, he continued to sacrifice to all gods and live for himself.

We can't forget that God didn't answer prayers with rain during this drought either.  However, He provided for Elijah, the 100 prophets and for any Isrealite that adhered to His decrees.  Although the Bible doesn't reference any, so I can't be sure of that one.  

The Isrealites had a history with God.  They knew what He had done leading their people to the promise land.   Yet this story does indicate that they served Baal and Asherah poles, just as Ahab did.

Perhaps Baal was a demon.  With Elijah's  presence on the mountain, God being with Elijah, Baal couldn't come there, couldn't be that close to God.  

The priest of Baal were weak with the bleeding.  After God showed up mightily and burned everything down to the ground, these weak priest were easily carried off and killed.  Ahab did nothing, for he still only served himself.

I'm called to look closer at idols.  How does it make me weak, easily carried off by the enemy?  How does it not do anything, yet has my full attention?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I posted yesterday about the chatter bug among me.  I need to confess I'm often on.  I'm not always "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,"  James 1:19.  It definitely happens more than I'd like.  

Each time it does, God gently reminds me.  Just this past week someone was speaking and I interrupted.  Now I know it can be Ok to do that in the natural course of things, however, this time it wasn't.  It sounds silly and perhaps to small a thing to be concerned with.  But then why is it in James?  It is important to God.  I didn't show this person proper respect (1 Peter 2:17a) to this person.

Bring on the practice.  With God in my side, who can stop me?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Life Mate

I had a wonderful weekend.  Dale and I spent nearly two days together.  It's been a while that we were alone without the constant chatter bug that we love.  We went to a football game on Sunday, thanks to Grandma who drove two hours each way to spend time with Kat. Then wonderful Columbus Day.  My husband works for the government, so he gets all these wonderful days off.  

The weekend was full.  Dale wore many hats.  Helping friends move into a new home in the pouring cold rain.  Did I mention it was cold?  He is a natural heater, so for him to come home cold means it was cold!  

He also helped me complete a couple projects that were on my list.  We have ornamental grass we no longer want to care for.  I'm done having welts from caring for this plant and Dale suffers more from it.  So, I attempted to dig it up last week, only to find I'm not stronger than the roots.  Did I mention that I had promised a few people they could have it for pick up over the weekend?  Fortunately they were patient and Dale dug it up and broke it up for me.  

The next thing he did for me was put dirt into a flower bed he created for me last year.  It's patiently been waiting to be completed.  It may sound simple, but it involved driving our old truck (what a blessing it is) to pick up the dirt and drive back with all the weight.  One load was just enough to fill the bed.  

These things he did in a short amount of time would have taken me a long time to do.  I really appreciate his help.  I totally enjoyed our time together yesterday working on these projects and having adult conversation.  I am blessed to have him as my partner.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Who Touched Me? Mark 5

24 So Jesus went with him.  A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”  Mark 5:24-34

This is a story that is found in Matthew and Luke as well.  It is one you may have read often.  I had heard/read this story this many times.  Yet this last time, something jumped off the page at me.

Jesus called out for who had touched Him.  He felt His power leave and wanted to know to whom it went.  Who among Him had the faith?  Such faith can't be hid.  He would not go on to the pressing matters of a young girl's health without knowing who had the faith.

The woman finally went forward, knowing she must.  She trembled with fear, yet did the right thing.  She came forward, declared her past, her faith and all the Jesus did for her.  Jesus in turns credits her faith and releases her from suffering, granting her peace.

The spirit turned to me.  See I like to write.  I have a novel written, several others outlined and started, just waiting for me to be brave enough to step out of the boat.  I have this blog that I've kept anonymous.  Here I am, calling on Jesus to share His power.  He's granted me the gift of story telling, yet, I choose to be part of the crowd.  He's waiting for me to come forward and declare me faith.

So here goes.  I will step forward.  I will share me faith, who I am and who my God is calling me to be.

I've updated my profile for who I am.

I'm sharing who I am with all around, including my writing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In Eden

Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9 

In my exploration of how to focus, God revealed more of what I do to me in Genesis. The trees of Life and Knowledge were in the middle of the garden. 

Two points to make to drive home my need to focus. 

  1. Which tree am I focused on? Am I focused on the knowledge of good and evil - the world? Or Life - which comes from Jesus? 
  2. In the middle of the garden the tree of Life grew. This tree of Life is a gift that comes from Jesus. Does He take up the middle of me? Is He at my center? 

It gives me much to think on, ponder and allow God to teach me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Look at the weeds!

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:3-8

I'm listening to a sermon series on Mark 4.  I had to come clean and be true to my actual position when it comes to the various places the seed is growing, meaning where I am.  For in other versions of the Bible, I learned the seed is the same, where it falls depends on how it grows.  The seed is God of course.  The soil is us.  

Are you stubborn and hard, not letting the seed even grow?  Are you not spending enough time with God that when the harsh circumstances come along the seed withers (not going deep in your relationship with God)?  Are you among the thorns, although you are growing, you are distracted by the weeds of the world?  Are you good soil?  How do you move from producing 30 x to 100 x?

In looking at these questions, I striped away all the "what the world should see" and came face to face with me, growing among the weeds.  It is hard to come forth and admit that I have an issue.  Of course my past post would indicate that.  God is tugging on my heart to get me to see.  

It's my lack of focus.  It's waking up and decided to not do what is schedule and do what I want to do - which isn't productive based on God standards.  It is another place where I compromise.  It's keeping from being fruitful for my God. 

So, how do I get out of the weeds.  How do I make the move to the good soil?  Be mindful of what goes in my head.  Stop thinking of me and what I want and think more about God and what He wants.  I have my gardening gloves on and I'm ready to change.  God will lead me to that change. 

Just tonight, I just didn't want to do what I had planned.  My mind just wasn't in a place to pay attention to get into what was planned.  My mind went over all the things I could do tonight.  Thankfully the Spirit breezed through to stop me.

I had to submit.  God, whatever you will have me do, regardless of how I "FEEL."  I'm quite tired of getting to the point where how "I feel" dictates what "I do".  And to follow that up, I asked that He enable me with the gumption to DO what He will have me do.  

So I'm here, writing.  It wasn't what I planned and that's OK.  It's what He wanted and it's wonderful.

God is so good!
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