Category Archives: Priorities

Stuff is just Stuff

The above post is from a blog I’ve recently been reading.  Getting rid of “stuff” in our lives feels soooooo good — especially when you can pass it along to others!  With the recent moves we have made, I’ve had the opportunity to cull out the unused and unnecessary.  Passing clothes on to friends who will use them, or making a donation at the local Goodwill is just two ways we can all share the bountiful blessings God has provided.  To keep them when they aren’t even being used is just contrary to the life God has for us.

Look around you!  Is there something sitting in your closet that your neighbor or friend could benefit from?  Are there children you know that are just beneath the clothes and shoe sizes of your own?  Bless their parents with a commitment to pass down clothes each time your children grow out of them!  Help a single mother out with some furniture or unused appliances.  Trade in books, video games, and movies for a little extra cash to pay down your debts.  Host a garage sale and commit to use all the proceeds toward adoption costs for this family, or perhaps for another great cause.

When we take the time to declutter, the focus of our life turns back to God, His mission, and purposes.  Stuff is just stuff; people matter more.

Thinking Kids

Drowning in Stuff - Teaching Stewardship of Belongings - Danika Cooley at ThinkingKidsBlog.org

I’m just going to say it:  I’m a reformed hoarder.  I have owned more things in my lifetime than any woman my age has business owning in her lifetime.  In fact, in my younger years there was a nagging fear in the back of my mind that I might one day be buried somewhere under a pile of paper, old clothes, and strange kitchen appliances.  Thankfully, a few really brave friends stepped in to help before it was too late.  With their help, and some Scriptural perspective, I have overcome.  I no longer serve my stuff… it serves me.  At least, I think so.  There is the danger that I will look back at this post in four years and sadly shake my head, knowing that I had not yet mastered my own stewardship of belongings.  Actually, that’s a likelihood.  Thank God we keep growing!

View original post 623 more words

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Gifts, God, Life, Priorities, Stewardship

Life Altering Events and the Resulting Resolutions

Life has a way of molding and shaping both the good and the bad in a person.  For me, as I now am in the middle years of life, I look back and remember certain events, people, or things that have shaped Julie.  Each “lesson learned” listed below is the result of a specific battle or circumstance in my life thus far.  Now, I just have to figure out a way to convey them to my children in such a way that they will understand withOUT experiencing the events that led to the lessons…

…for as some say “Wisdom is best learned by heeding warnings from others, rather than learning from experience.

1.  Stay committed to my marriage, even when it is hardest.

2.  Never let a man hit me more than once.

3.  Never let my children be hit by a man….even once.

4.  Never leave my kids when they need me most.

5.  Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t do drugs.

6.  Say “I love you” as often as possible.

7.  Let my family know that I have a relationship with the Lord so that they don’t have to worry where I went when I go.

8.  Follow the speed limits — it’s not worth the risk.

9.  Don’t always believe everything I hear.

10.  Success is not measured in riches, big houses, titles or degrees.

11.  God is the Provider….It’s all His anyway.

12.  “Stuff” is just “stuff”.

13.  Sometimes I have to remove myself to gain perspective.

14.  The older I get, the less I know.

15.  The older I get, the more I realize I depend on God.

16.  The older I get, the more I realize how much God knows.

17.  A Christian eventually begins to view life through God’s eyes.  Priorities change dramatically when that happens.

18.  Kids need Grandparents.

19.  Kids need love.

20.  Kids need to play and be kids as long as possible.

21. Trust and honesty is really, really, really, really, really important.

22.  Sometimes I think too much.  It helps to just. not. think.

23.  Depression is best handled by laying it all in God’s hands.

24.  Plan a little, but live alot.

25.  Sometimes the “t’s” don’t have to be crossed, and the “i’s” don’t have to be dotted.  It’s ok to missspell a word occasionally too.

26.  Friends can be family.

27.  I love to be loved too.

28.  Some things are for me NOT to know.

29.  Don’t have high expectations of others.  Sometimes it’s best not to have any expectations at all.

30.  To be continued as life goes on….

3 Comments

Filed under God, Life, Priorities, Success, Trials, Wisdom

Confession is good for the soul

Today I read Proverbs 28.  It said in verse 13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”  The Lord began pointing out the need for confession so I decided to make it a day of confession. ..even wrote down all some of my shortcomings as the day progressed.

As a nice hot shower cleanses the body, so does a time of confession does for the soul.  It’s nice to look clean, AND smell clean!  I only smell that way, however, because I am bathed with the breath of Jesus.  His love and sacrifice became the mercy I needed for such a day as this. 

Because I try to be transparent, I don’t mind sharing my list with you.  This is me…the good and bad, loved and full of mercy, before God our Creator, as I am.  For those of you who might think I am always “rosey”, well…..let’s just say the Lord isn’t finished with me yet! 

Lord, help me to spend more time loving and caring for my husband!  I have been selfish, have given into depression at times, and allow worry and anxieties to fill my day.  I have been financially irresponsible lately, allowing the accumulation of some credit card debt for things we really didn’t need.  I enjoy eating a little too much!  Gluttony is sinful, and I should take better care of my “temple”. 

With worries and doubts and anxieties come lack of self control at times when I should be more focused.  Lack of motivation to be productive, keeping walking “forward”, and manage my household duties has been a problem at times. 

I have not stayed “in Him”.  I need more of His Word daily. 

My children suffer when I am down and depressed.  I sometimes only give them 1/2 of me…..1/2 of my attention, 1/2 of my best teaching during school, 1/2 of the love they need and deserve.

Sometimes I just. do. not. care.  I give in to bad times, bad days, and just don’t try. 

Drudgery of the “same old, same old” enters my mind as I rise in the morning, and again when I finally go to bed at night.

This week, I brought our dog indoors against my husband’s wishes!  I cook too much chicken and fish when the Hubby wants beef!  (Poor guy…..he just wants a steak, lol)

Lord help me to not give into despair.  Help me to give the anguish and hurt of the lack of some family relationships to You.

I need to better guard the eyes of my children.  Prime time television does not innocence make!  What enters our home through feet or through wires should meet godly standards.  Our children know when we make godly choices and when we don’t.  There used to be a day not so long ago, that I stood firmly against watching “Nemo” because one of the main character voices was from an openly homosexual lifestyle.  Lately, I have caught myself inwardly justifying watching a prime television show that is promoting the same thing.  What a hypocrite I am at times?!

I still struggle with letting “busy-ness” take over priorities.

Although I try to live in honesty and as much righteousness as possible, I need forgiveness for thinking I don’t have much to confess….even unintentional sin is sin.

I forgot to pray before lunch today.

…and the list will most likely go on and on.

Yes, I am low sometimes….a dirty, rotten, scoundrel as might be described in our western world.  I try to be good, but the “good that I would do, that I do not”! 

What is important, though, is that I am ABLE to confess, and I know the Lord HEARS and ANSWERS!  The next step is to “forsake” the sins I have confessed.  It is a struggle…..day to day, hour by hour, minute by minute….because of my weak flesh. 

Thankfully the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love!  I am wretched, but He is WORTHY of all praise. 

I write this to you with love, and while experiencing the forgiveness of God.  It feels good!  Now I look forward to starting tomorrow clean and fresh!   When is the last time you took time to confess and forsake?  God is waiting …..

1 Comment

Filed under Commitment, Confession, Faith, Family Relationships, God, Grace, Homeschool, homeschooling, Jesus, Love, Marriage, Mercy, Priorities, Sin

Acts, Chapter 2.

Verse 1

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”  Acts 2:1

There’s several things that jump out at me about this verse:  1)  The “Day of Pentecost”, 2) the words “fully come”, and 3) that they were all with “one accord”.

What was the “Day of Pentecost”?  From what I have read, it took place 50 days after the Feast of the Firsfruits.  According to J. Vernon McGee, the Feast of the Firstfruits speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one is his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”  1 Corinthians 20-26 

The Passover speaks of the death of Jesus Christ:  “…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  1Corinthians 5:7-8

The words “fully come”, again according to Dr. McGee, could be translated to mean “fulfilled”.  The Passover was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.  The Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Now, the Day of Pentecost, being “fully come” (aka fulfilled) means that it represented the fulfillment of something — the birth of the church, the day the church came into existence.

So, in order to understand the timeline…..

  1. Jesus was crucified.
  2. 3 days later, He was resurrected.
  3. For 40 days, He walked upon the earth, resurrected.  (Acts 1:3)
  4. He then ascended into heaven. (Acts. 1:9)
  5. 10 more days passed.
  6. On the 50th day (Pentecost) the church was born and the Holy Spirit arrived.

  Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Acts, Bible, Bible Study, Blogging, Christ, Church, Commitment, Contemporary, Evangelism, Faith, Family, Father, Friends, God, Grace, Holy Spirit, Identity, Joy, Life, Love, Missions, Obedience, old-fashioned, Prayer, Preparation, Priorities, Reaching the Lost, Resolutions, Traditional, Trials, Witness, Worship

Acts is a Verb.

The word, acts, is defined as:

  1. To play the part of; assume the dramatic role of.
  2. To perform on the stage
  3. To behave like or pose as; impersonate
  4. To behave as suitable for.

These definitions could assume a lot about the typical church goer.  Definition #1 often describes those who “play” church.  Unfortunately, many people make a point to go to church, but fail to truly connect.  They play the part of a dedicated Christian on worship day, they might even assume the dramatic role of a dedicated church member by fulfilling a needed task here or there.  However, “playing” church does not a church member make!  As for drama, there’s quite a bit of that evident in today’s churches as well.

Definition #2 could be compared to worship ministries in many churches.  Sadly, there are many men and women today who stand before the congregation, performing to the audience, rather than for God.  Speaking personally, I can relate with this one because there was a time in my life that God spoke abruptly and directly about leading worship.  Prior to that direction, the Sunday “specials” were only special to me, because I looked for the pat on the back or the praise from the congregation in order to boost my self confidence and reputation.  I realized that I wasn’t looking to lead others into worship toward God, but to show off the talents that God has so graciously given me.  What an eye opener it was for me!  In response to His direction, I forcefully pulled myself away from the music ministry all together until I could get the “big picture”.  Worship is for God, to be directed to God, and should be displayed in such a way as to only lead others to God.   Performances  should be left outside the church.

To impersonate, as definition #3 says, would say that the action is not real.  Need I say more?  God knows those who impersonate real Christianity.  He knows the very hearts of every man, woman, and child.  Appearing at church on Sunday, then living life without God during the week is nothing but impersonation.  I pray for all the impersonators who try to trick themselves into believing that they can do good for a day, and then share in eternal happiness.  They just don’t get it. 

Finally, definition #4 leads us to exhibit true Christianity in the church.  When we behave as suitable for a Christian, we are following the example of Christ.  The word, Christian, which even has His own name in it, means “Christ-like”.  We cannot BE a Christian without Christ.  A personal relationship with Him is the only way that we can be a true member of the church.  The only membership directory is that of the Lamb’s book of life.  The meeting place is the world in which He placed us.  The services are held 24/7, right in front of our faces where we encounter lost people day in and day out.  The mission is to tell them about Him.  When we are practicing these aspects of church membership, we are truly a church member.

Acts is a verb, requiring act-ion on the very ideas we proclaimed to believe when we said that we accepted Christ as Lord of our life.  It’s a verb.  What actions do you have planned for today?

5 Comments

Filed under Acts, Attitude, Bible, Bible Study, Christ, Church, Commitment, Evangelism, Faith, God, Grace, Missions, Priorities, Reaching the Lost, Worship

Duct Tape Doesn’t Stick.

” When you pass and come back to let me know that I am not on the list to get into heaven then I will have a problem with my life and do some things differently

Such heartbreaking words.  Heartbreaking because they were received by a sister in Christ, from her sister in the world.  Such bitter, angry, words…from the unknowing, from the natural, and the carnal.

We are all called to tell of the love of Christ.  We are to make concentrated, purposeful efforts to reach those around us. — Our friends, our neighbors, our daily contacts, but perhaps the hardest ears to hear continue to be our blood relatives.  Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Bible, Children, Church, Evangelism, Faith, Family, Family Relationships, God, Heaven, Life, Love, Prayer, Priorities, Reaching the Lost, Reputation, Wisdom, Witness

Who They Think They’d Like To Meet.

Name:  Julie
Age:  Wouldn’t you like to know?!
Status:  Married for 21 years
Education:  Still Learning
Who I’d Like to Meet I have already met:  God

In this techno-savvy age of computers, everyone has a “space”.  Both young and old seem to indulge in this form of communication, and at the height of the information board, the person’s “profile” that lists several things about them.

Name, age, location, education, favorite likes, dislikes, books, and other questions are boldly proclaimed across the world wide web.  There’s been much discussion about the safety concerns, or lack thereof in many cases, of sharing so much with the unknown.  Now, with private “friend” invitations, access can only be allowed to those we  “know”…so the communication waves continue, sharing photos, stories, lists, comments and so on.

In many cases, these web pages are much like blogging, minus the uncontrolled advertising.  However, I have to give a big sarcastic chuckle when I read a profile that says, “Who I’d Like to Meet:  God“, and yet their home page reeks of sinful indulgences.

Blaring rock music, lust-filled web design images, uncontrolled and innapropriate advertising banners, others listed as “friends” who boldly proclaim profanity, rebellion, and share stories of their latest sinful pleasures.

–And yet, they want to “meet God“?

I dare say they have not even begun to realize that the fulfillment of their wish might not be such a joyous occasion!

Why would God want to “hang” with pictures of drunken college kids who do little but lead others far from righteousness?  Why would God want to hear noise termed as “music” because that is what’s popular?  What would God say about the language that is being openly used and accepted as “cool”? Why is it that we’ve fooled ourselves into believing that it’s okay to overlook the obvious, all for the sake of fitting in? 

How would God react to these “adults”, who know better, and many of whom have professed a personal relationship with Him, when they are so weak in spirit and cannot resist the least temptation to participate with such evil?

They don’t want to meet God.  The one true God, that is. 

They meet their gods everyday, and enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin.  Their gods encourage them to stay away from what is right and good, and rejoice when another “little” step is taken further in the wrong direction.

Pretty soon, they are convinced that no harm can come from participating in unholy acts.  —Then…it becomes easier and easier and easier to ignore the wrong.  Eventually, the line is crossed, and there’s consequences too great to pay.

They don’t want to meet God. 

11 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Blogging, Children, Commitment, Ethics, Faith, Family, Friends, God, Life, Mercy, Morals, Obedience, Priorities, Reputation, Trials, Wisdom