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I hate running (my apologies to the Apostle Paul)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?

Run in such a way as to get the prize.

I Corinthians 9:24

 

I can’t tell you much I hate running. Hence the reason this has never been my favorite Christian metaphor.

Back when I was Shannon Kelley the College Student, I had to take a gym class in order to get my math education degree. (Even after all these years, my heart cries, why?) I soon discovered that it was basically a running class led by a Drill Sergeant-type professor. During “class,” he ran and talked with the cool athletes up at the front of the pack, occasionally shouting mean things toward those of us at the back. I loathed every minute.

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Let’s Start Building Your House!

Way back in 2011, I realized that I’d written a mammoth book about how to organize life as a Christian.

I’d followed God’s clear call to “Write the Book” by writing all about personal, home, and family organizing for Jesus—and it was too much for one book! So I took the first half of the manuscript, added a conclusion, and called it Organizing You. That was the easy part.

The hard part was cutting out the second half of my dearly loved and prayed over content. I pasted it into a Word doc and saved it as “OY2.” But in my head, it was called “OY2??” I doubted whether anyone would ever read it.

Even now, it’s hard for me to believe that I’m able to share that content (and more!) with you in Building Your House!

 

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What Basketball, Books, and Jesus Have in Common

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

 

I had an interesting dream last week. My little Oliver, who is 5 years old, was at the park down the street. Someone had taped a white “x” on the blacktop underneath the basketball hoop. Oliver was standing on it, holding a basketball, looking up, ready to shoot.

Then suddenly I was looking at a different boy under a different hoop. Think Opie from Mayberry—it was clearly the 1950’s. Someone had marked an “x” in the dirt underneath the hoop (no, I’m not saying they didn’t have blacktop in the 1950’s—this was a dream, people). The boy was standing on it, holding a basketball, looking up, ready to shoot.

And I thought, Basketball hasn’t changed. He’ll either make it, or he won’t.

And I was so deeply comforted.

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Now or Later? When to Reach For Your Goals

Time management is by far my favorite kind of organization.  Nothing clears the clutter out of your spirit like the knowledge that you’re using your time wisely—doing what you want to do and living how you want to live!  If I could spend time with each of you individually, the first thing I’d do is challenge you to write your life goals and assess your priorities.  How do you want to spend your time?

It’s a wonderful exercise, but when we really sit down and think about everything we want to do—personal goals, relationship goals, family goals, activities, ministries, passions, and callings—we’re easily overwhelmed.  We start to hear voices in our heads, pieces of advice from loved ones combined with pop-culture snippets:

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9 Ways to Party Heart-y!

Spiritual clutter is usually a bad thing, but sometimes persistent, nagging thoughts are actually useful. 

Thoughts like We haven’t gotten together with them in ages or I’d really like to get to know her better can remind us to reach out to the people in our lives.  They could even be Holy Spirit Nudges, urging you to minister to others and deepen your relationships through hosting.

We can accomplish the Lord’s work and further the Kingdom of Heaven through the gift of our homes.  Romans 12:12-13 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.” 

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When Our Efforts to Serve God Don’t Pan Out

Read it!: II Samuel 7

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and he said:

Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family,

that you have brought me this far?

(vs 18)

Think it through:

David had a great idea. He wanted to build a beautiful, permanent temple for the Ark of the Covenant, which had been housed in a series of temporary dwellings. This idea seemed so right, so true, that he couldn’t wait to get started! But then Nathan, a prophet of God, told David that God said the job needed to wait. Building the temple wasn’t work for David, but for one of his sons.

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What’s Your Holy Spirit Specialty?

Read it! Acts 16

During the night Paul had a vision

of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him,

“Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision,

we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia,

concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

(vs 9&10)

 

Think it through

Acts 16 is a study of where Paul goes… and doesn’t go. He goes to Derbe and Lystra, Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit kept him out of Asia. His group tries to enter Bithynia but “the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t allow them to.” (I would love to know more about that! What was that like, to be blocked by the Spirit of Jesus?) Paul doesn’t leave a jail cell when released by an earthquake, nor does he leave the jailer’s home when released by the magistrates. But the last words of Acts 16 are, “Then they left”!

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