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Perspective From the Cross

Read it! John 19

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

(vs26&27)

Think it through

I can’t read through the Gospel of John, thinking about perspectives, without pondering Jesus’ perspective from the cross.

He looked down. He saw his mother, his disciples, his friends, and his loved ones. He cared for them. He saw his killers, and he asked God for their forgiveness.

He looked to either side. He saw two criminals. He encouraged the one who would let him: “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

He looked up. He talked to His Father, who I believe heard and loved his son despite the separation brought on by burden of sin he bore.   Then he surrendered his spirit into the Father’s hands.

And through it all, he had the perspective of heaven. Even though he was experiencing things beyond my imagining, he knew the people perpetrating it had no power over him (verse 11). He knew that everything had now been finished so that the scriptures would be fulfilled (verse 28).

He knew that God would win in the end.

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Because Your Momma Said So!

Read it! John 2

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

(vs4&5)

Think it through

I’ve always been a fascinated by this little exchange.

In modern times, for Jesus to start with “Woman!” seems a bit funny. And then Mary totally ignores his protests and assumes he’ll do it anyway, because she said so.

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How to Heal a Spiritual Bruise

I’m sporting quite a bruise on my shin today.  It’s a whopper—yellow in the middle fading into a greenish brown, with a lovely pink and purple bottom edge and a sizable bump. It’s almost pretty actually.

I have no idea how I got it.

You’d think I’d remember this one… did I bark my shin on something? Fall down? Bang it with a weight when I was exercising? (Sadly, I do that a lot.) I don’t know why it’s there.

In the same way, I’ll often bump into spiritual clutter that bruises my soul… worries and anxieties that get me down, even though I don’t know why they’re there.

 

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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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Reduce Your Anxiety with Jesus

When you get right down to it, clearing out spiritual clutter is all about reducing anxiety.  The Lord tells us to “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).  That’s why I began this ministry in the first place!

God took my four-year battle with a clinical anxiety disorder and used it for His glory.  Without that experience I never would have written a book or started a public speaking ministry, even though it’s not directly what I talk or write about.

Well, until now.  So many women who have read the Organizing You books or have heard me speak share their anxiety struggles with me—from their everyday worries to clinical anxiety to panic attacks.  In order to help, I’d like to share with you a few specific ways that I’ve learned to seek peace in my anxious moments.

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Are You Grown Up?

Read it! I Thessalonians 5

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you though and though.

May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless

at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(vs 23)

Think it through

I don’t want my kids to think I have it all figured out. I don’t.

I try my best to apologize when I’m wrong. I admit it when I don’t know all the answers. I fess up when I’m in a cranky mood and trying to turn it around.

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Wanting More and More and More…

Read it! Psalm 42

As the deer longs for streams of water,

So I long for You, O God.

(vs 1)

Think it through

The scrapbook I purchased had a “nature” theme (for those of you who are wondering, it’s a K&Company Smash I purchased at Michaels, my veeeeerrrrry favorite store). What sold me on that particular book was that one of the pages had a deer on it. Perfect for Psalm 42:1—and I’d already decided that I definitely wanted to include that verse!

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Way Better than a “Like”

Read it! Ruth 4:1-12

Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so.

(vs2)

Think it through

Boaz was such a fantastic, up-and-up man. Not only does he approach the next man in line for a prize he would like to claim for himself, he does it in the presence of ten witnesses. These men bore witness to the offer, the refusal, the passing of the sandal (another little weird-ism in this story that I love!), and Boaz’s legal redemption of Ruth.

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How Not to Parent

Read it!: II Samuel 13

Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur.

But King David mourned for his son every day.

(vs 37)

Think it through:

II Samuel 13 describes a history of absolutely miserable family dysfunction: the sons and daughters of King David committing terrible crimes against one another, from rape to murder. It’s a sad chapter to read, and must have been an infinitely sadder chapter to live as King David. As brave as he was against Goliath and other military foes, David was completely unable (or unwilling) to deal with his family.

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How To Ask for More (in a Good Way)

Read it!: II Samuel 12

He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept.

I thought, “Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.”

(vs 22)

Think it through:

In II Samuel 12, David’s sin is brought into the open. He is judged and punished in several terrible ways, the worst of which is the death of his son.

How horrible it must have been for David to know that his son’s illness was a direct consequence of his actions. And yet he asked the Lord for grace that he knew he didn’t deserve. He pleaded and fasted and slept on the ground, hoping.

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