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There are no Organizing Absolutes

…a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.

-Ecclesiastes 3:6

 

Recently I gave my Organizing Belongings talk (called “You and Your Stuff”) to a lovely church group. During the Q&A I heard many of the usual questions, gave my thoughts, and opened up the floor to hear the thoughts of the other participants.

A lovely young women described how she was keeping boxes and boxes of her deceased mother’s things, and others in the crowd encouraged her to keep some of the most sentimental things and let the rest go. She could still love and honor her mom without keeping all of the stuff.

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Is Alcohol Cluttering Your Spirit?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

-I Corinthians 10:31

 

OK, you may be wondering, why does an organizing lady feel the need to tackle this particular topic?

Because I’m all about clearing out spiritual clutter, and this issue (much like the R-rated movie topic I tackled when cleaning out my basement) may cause some.

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Sometimes it’s the Forgetting

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped.

-Psalm 130:3-4 (The Message)

 

Have you ever forgiven someone, but then had a hard time forgetting the pain?

I was reminded lately (by a Joyce Meyer devotional) that there are two hurtful situations that I’m having trouble forgetting. One particular situation will never be repeated, and so that person won’t have the chance to hurt me in the same way. I’m pretty far down the path toward forgiving and forgetting. The other person, though, could and quite possibly will hurt me again in exactly that way.

How do we guard our hearts without hurting our relationships?

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#PraiseHimAnyway

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

-Psalm 34:1

 

For the last couple of years, my little family has been making fun of all the hash-tagging.

This began when these symbol-led phrases started popping up on the bottom of our TV screen. I think I noticed it first on shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race. (Yes, we still love those two!) #TribalCouncil #Blindside #UTurn

It was just too easy to roll our eyes at those. Soon we were joking in hashtags.

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There’s No Substitute

Read it!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

-I Corinthians 6:19-20

Think it through

As I decided to give something up for Lent, I struggled a bit mentally. Starting with, There’s nothing wrong with a little chocolate. Ending with, I guess I can just have some Reece’s pieces instead. 

Well, now. The Bible says that we should glorify God with our bodies. How glorifying am I being if I switch from sneaking chocolate all day to eating other equally bad items?

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How to Avoid Pinterest Panic

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done,

and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”

— Galatians 6:4

 

I may have mentioned that I really love Pinterest.

I love recreating Pinterest activities with all three of my kids (even my very patient teenage boy—and my very, very patient husband!).  There are so many great faith-related pins… and hosting fun theme birthday parties is totally in my wheelhouse. All those ideas are just waiting to be discovered, and organized!

But Pinterest is getting a bad rap.

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The Sunday Conundrum

The Sunday Conundrum: Ode to Logic, Commitment to Lord

(Today I’m letting my math nerd self shine through!)

 

Most Sunday mornings, I face the conundrum. Sometimes I start wresting with my duality of mind on Saturday night—even as early as Friday afternoon.

It’s a dichotomous pondering: To work, or not to work.

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Why DID Jesus Cry?

Read it! John 11

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.

(vs33)

Think it through

At least that’s the version I’ve always read. As an old-school NIV girl, I’ve read over and over that Jesus was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” and assumed it meant he was incredibly sad, grieved. The NKJV reads similarly: “…he groaned in the spirit and was troubled.”

But I was surprised to find that two of the other versions in my side-by-side Bible (the NLT and The Message) used different words: “a deep anger welled up within him.” Both versions describe him as angry when he arrived at Lazarus’s tomb, as well.

Angry.

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Throwing Off Our Chains

Read it! John 8

“…and the truth will set you free.”

They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

(vs32&33)

Think it through

Viewing ourselves through the lens of truth is difficult.

Jesus told the Jews that his teachings, the truth, would set them free, but they just looked at one another and shrugged. They were living in a land where they were officially free—free to live and love and work and marry and worship their God. (Sound familiar?)

But Jesus explained that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Not free, but bound by the habit of repeating our mistakes and the consequences of each choice. And we often miss this crucial perspective altogether.

Here’s some truth I frequently fail to see:

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What Not to Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you…

-Isaiah 43:2

 

I took a hard look at my bad reactions to overwhelming circumstances when my friend Rachel Wojo gave me a copy of her new book, One More Step.

Rachel and I have similar ministry messages in a lot of ways. In One More Step, she takes the reader on journey through the different feelings we face in the midst of struggle and gives solid, faith-based ideas for how to handle those feelings. In my favorite chapter, Rachel talks about weeding out negative thoughts much like I talk about clearing out spiritual clutter! In another chapter, she had wonderful suggestions about steps to take and things to avoid when life becomes overwhelming.

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