That’s It! I’m Grounded!

messy deskYes, I am grounded.  I’ve had it!  I am grounded until I clean off my desk and get myself organized!  As you can see, I have been on the run for many weeks!  You can always tell how busy I am by how my desk looks.  However, if I am doing an office job, I make it a point to make sure every day before I leave, my piles are tucked away neatly and organized for the next day.  On the contrary, at home in my office…I’m a slob!  You know what they say…the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem!

I was thinking about why I’m a messy at home and not in the office?  Other than the fact that I have been working non-stop and organizing paperwork hasn’t been my priority, I really don’t have an excuse. Even though I have no good explanation, I know God was speaking to me through the mess this week.  You see, as Christians, we often go out into the world and appear to have it all together…you know, clean desks so to speak.  In fact, at work, I am a tidy desk Nazi at the end of the day.  You wouldn’t dream that my desk at home would look anything like this if you knew me at work.

As God worked on my heart this week, I was reminded of the times that I have gone to church or work and put on a good front that all was well.  No one would know looking at me that I was going through a traumatic time in my life.  In fact, I have learned to emit confidence no matter what lurks in my life at any given time.  I try to have a smile on my face as to not spread doom and gloom to those who aren’t having a bad day.  I’m an encourager, not a discourager at heart.  Isn’t that what I should do?  Isn’t it a good thing to be positive?  I think that it is noble not to be a whiner; but rather, try to live victoriously through my struggles.  However, as I have mentioned before in my writings, if the world is looking at Christians as someone that has to be perfect; I don’t think anyone would ever want to be one.  Being perfect is hard.  As a matter of fact, it is a recipe for failure as none of us have the capability in this life of perfection.  We all fail from time to time even when we are living a good Christian life.  I have learned recently that we don’t want to become complainers; but I think it is a good thing for Christians to let the world see their struggles.

For example, we are in a class at church and last week’s lesson was on healing.  I get a little angry sometimes when I think about God healing one person and not the other.   I know that’s not a real reasonable emotion but I’m sure most of us have questioned why at one point or another in our lives.  The whole idea about the lesson was that God makes decisions on to heal or not to heal related to the greatest glory to Him.  Obviously, in miraculous healing situations, He is given much praise and glory.  However, there are times in ones’s life that God can get greater glory by not healing an individual.  Did you ever think about that?  Have you ever watched someone suffer and not get healed but in the process they brought glory to God?  Perhaps they already knew Jesus as their Savior and they were able to minister to others who were also suffering with the same problem or to caregivers who watched them trust Jesus with their daily issues.  Others that didn’t know Jesus before they got sick, may have gotten to a point in their illness that for the first time in their life, they sought Jesus as their Savior.  If God would’ve healed them, they may have never recognized their need for Jesus.

Did you ever look at suffering and illness like that?  Did you ever go through a messy desk time in your life and wonder how God will be glorified through your actions?  I think it is a great way to think about it the next time you are going through a trial.  Maybe appearing to have a clean desk at church or work is not really giving God glory in your situation.  Perhaps as Christians, we should invite some company over and allow them to look inside our lives—and see our cluttered and somewhat out of control desks so to speak—to see that perhaps things are not as they appear.  As followers of Christ, we are called to trust God and be joyful through tribulations.  However, I think it is also glorifying to God to allow others to watch us  as we put our trust in God along the way and show some of the messiness that comes with the situation.  For when we are real, we can reach many for Christ.

Ahhhh!  What joy there is in an uncluttered life!  I am free!
Ahhhh! What joy there is in an uncluttered life! I am free!

How’s your desk look at work or church vs. how it looks at home?  Are you being real?  What about that person sitting next to you in church that you know is going through a hard time but you don’t get involved as everything on the outside appears to be fine.  It’s less messy that way, for sure.  Is there someone that God has laid on your heart to help clean up their mess or just show them you have one, too?  I pray that you take the time this week to reflect on the trials God has allowed to come into your life and ask Him, “How can I glorify You the most through this situation, Lord?”  For when we take the focus off of ourselves and put our focus on God, life seems to be so much less cluttered.  For in our trials we find purpose…actually the ONE purpose we have been given in this life…TO GLORIFY GOD.   Be blessed…and don’t forget to be a blessing!

Acts 1:8 (NIV)  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

1 Peter 4:12-13   Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.


2013 Roars In Like a Lion!

2013I am not the only one who has been hanging onto their hat since 2013 rounded the corner!  It seems like there is so much unrest with everyone.  Some might be worried about jobs or finances, what the fiscal cliff means to them and other political matters, gun control or no gun control, while others are struggling with health issues, relationship problems, etc.  I know this because I am the one that stands in the line at the supermarket while everyone around me including the cashier tells me about their problems.  I don’t know why it is but people just feel safe telling me stuff!

If you know me at all, you know that I am typically not a worrier and most always upbeat even when things are not perfect.  However, since I got the flu before Christmas, I am really struggling to get back on top of things.  The flu has been gone a long time now but its residual effects linger.  I don’t have a lot of energy and just yesterday had to start another round of antibiotics to try to get rid of the crud accumulating in my lungs.  Jim got sick this week too so between the two of us we are one lethargic couple!  Then today I found out that I might have breast cancer and am going to have a biopsy on Wednesday.  About an hour after receiving that news another doctor’s office called and said my cholesterol is sky high and I need to get on meds immediately as well as a low cholesterol diet!  I told him I would get right on that.  So that’s been my week, how has yours been?  I guess these are the perils of cramming all of your last minute doctor appointments and tests into the end of the year because your deductible for the year was already met!  Amidst it all, I’m trying desperately to be my positive upbeat self and stay focused on the important things even though 2013 has been total chaos thus far.

All of that aside, as I’ve been praying about the new year and what God might want from me in 2013, I have been impressed with a couple of things.  The first thing is that I feel God is calling me to pray harder this year.  I’ve always been a prayer warrior but I can almost feel Him saying, “Put on your full armor…be prepared for battle.”  Being the encourager that I am, this seems a bit negative for me to have those thoughts.  I’ve really been struggling with that.  I kept praying and thinking, really?  Does He really want me to tell people this for 2013?  Maybe I’m just overwhelmed with our sickness and it’s really not going to be that bad.

The second thing impressed on my mind has become my prayer to God.  I told Him I want to go deeper with Him this year.  I want to know Him more intimately and speak His messages more clearly for others to come to know Him as well.   I know that of course by praying more I will automatically become closer to Him as I commune with Him each day.  Since 2013 has begun I am beginning to wonder if by going deeper with Him that I may also have to experience more pain.  You know the sayings… “No pain, no gain and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Then the Bible reminds me in 1Peter 5:8-11 (NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you…

I don’t want to bring a message of doom and gloom and say, “This year is going to stink!  I can feel it!”  However, I think God is telling us to pay attention.  Get on our knees and resist the evil that is roaring around us like a lion seeking to devour us.  There are also times when God uses our suffering and pain to draw us closer to Him.  The good news is there is hope in the suffering that when it is over we will be perfected, established, strengthened and settled according to His Word.

So I personally declare this year the year of prayer and vigilance for me.  I am putting on my full armor and it’s not coming off until my Lord takes me home.  Just a few closing thoughts for you to ponder…Nothing in this world is going to change without our vigilance in the battle and fervent prayer against the enemy.  Nothing in this world as evil as it may seem is too big for God to handle.  A world without prayer will continue to spiral out of control.  A world filled with prayer will someday be restored.  Will you join God’s praying army with me today and put on your full armor?  Are you willing to get into the battle and get a little dirty knowing that when it is over you will be blessed?  How is God speaking to you in 2013?  Be blessed and don’t forget…go be a blessing!

What a Compassionate God I Serve!

I have had a lot going on since my last writing as I got a purchase contract on my current home.  This caused me to spend the entire last week scouring our area up and down the highway for my next home.  I was beginning to think we were going to be living in our cars soon, but we were able to find another home in enough time that they both should be able to close in the same day.  This is great since we have to move out of our current home the day before closing.

With all of this on my mind, I haven’t slept most of the as my mind raced with all of the things I have to do before we can move.  I am a realtor and handled our listing for our home as well as wrote the contract for our new home.  So besides being the realtor for both transactions, I am also a buyer and a seller all at the same time.  There have been problems with this and that throughout the process and typically as a realtor, I’d be calm, cool and collected.  However, this week, I haven’t been very calm in light of my circumstances.

All this being said, I began to think about how helpful this situation has been to remind me of what my real estate clients are experiencing when they are buying and/or selling their homes.  Buying and selling homes is very emotional.  I think the experience will certainly make me more sensitive to the needs of those I serve as their real estate agent in the days and years ahead.   Even though I’ve bought and sold houses before, it has been a good reminder.   Let’s say it’s been somewhat of a continuing education or refresher course.

As I have reflected on this past week, I think about how God chose to come to earth through His Son, Jesus.  He could have chosen to stay in His heavenly places and dictate from above.  However, He chose to come to earth and live as a man to show us how this life should be lived and to experience our pains and sufferings first-hand.  Knowing He walked this earth as a man, helps me to understand what a compassionate and loving God I serve.  He’s God and knows all; however, that wasn’t good enough.  He took the time to come here, live real life human experiences, and now He not only has the head knowledge, but He has felt how it is to live as a human.

So just as I have experienced first-hand similar trials of those I serve; God took the time to experience similar trials in this life as well.  I find it fascinating that He would want to do that.  I would much rather be the realtor in my transactions than the buyer and/or seller. It’s much easier advising others versus actually living it!   This life is hard here on earth.  I wouldn’t want to come live here if my home were heaven; however, He is God and He did.  What an amazing God I serve.  He truly does care for me.  When I pray and tell Him my problems, He really does understand!

To end the week’s saga, our buyers backed out of the purchase so we’re not moving after all.  I’m OK with that though because I know that God has my best interest at heart.  He already knows when and where we’re going next and I’m willing to wait on His timing and not mine.  I’m willing to wait because I know I serve a compassionate and caring God who understands my greatest hopes and desires and is waiting to bless me with good things ahead!

Colossians 2: 9-10 (NKJV) 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.