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Why I’m Cutting Back on Social Media

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

Psalm 37:7-9

 

Since I started this ministry back in 2011, I know that I’ve been doing social media all wrong.

I made a “business page” on Facebook because I heard that you weren’t supposed to use a personal page for a sole proprietor business (or ministry, in this case). Wrong! I eventually had to make a personal page just so I could use the existing business page, which is confusing to some who want to “friend” me.

And I post the “wrong” things on Facebook, including doing a terrible job of sharing other people’s stuff. In fact, according to social media folks, I do a terrible job of sharing my own stuff. I absolutely know they’re right.

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The Myth of the Gentle and Quiet Spirit

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4

 

As I write this, it’s pouring down rain on the construction site/trash pit that is my lawn.

It’s a very, very long story, but let’s just say that the “simple” covered deck project we commissioned, the one that we believed would be completed in 5 to 7 days, is about 30% completed—and well into Week 4.

My heart is not feeling gentle or quiet—it’s way too cluttered with anxious thoughts.

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Then I Will.

Read it! Psalm 61

Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.

(vs. 8)

Think it through

Two weeks ago we decided to love the law. Last week we decided to obey it. Now let’s acknowledge that we can’t do either on our own.

True confession: I am bad at group projects. In school, I always wanted to be the group leader so I could do the work as it should be done (ahem, perfectionist), and get the A.

You know the old saying about how there is no “I” in “team”?  

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“Sing it in Chinese”

Today I want to share with you these words that I wrote a couple of months ago with a really heavy heart. I wasn’t sure I was going to post it… it’s a little longer than my normal post, a story within a story, but I think the end is worth it.  Already Jesus is healing my soul, and I feel better than I did when I wrote this.  But I’m still asking for the song…

 

One of my dreams died today. Not with a big bang, but with the small “Pfhut” of a candle being blown out by a soft breath. My spirit is cluttered with disappointment and heartache.

But before I get into that, let me tell you a cute little story. (I always try to be positive.)

I like to entertain Oliver while I do boring things, like wipe the kitchen counters or run errands with him, by singing. Now that he’s reached the wise old age of 6, he’s becoming less than enthused about this. Recently I decided to impress him by singing one of his favorite songs with a lot of gusto, really belting it out and hamming it up as he ate his lunch and I folded laundry on our kitchen table.

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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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Get Organized? Or Let Jesus Handle the Mess?

Read it! John 13

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

(vs7)

Think it through

I love Peter. Peter who walked on the water toward Jesus, told Jesus exactly what he was thinking, and jumped out of the fishing boat to swim to Jesus even faster. Poor Peter who’s frequently documented as getting it wrong.

Even after Jesus says, “You don’t understand what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later,” (that’s The Message version, very direct), Peter says, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!” Passionate Peter.

He meant well, but he wasn’t listening. He saw the Lord with a towel around his waist, kneeling at his feet, and closed his ears. He closed himself to the perspective Jesus was trying to give him, a perspective of trust in The Master.

So often I see the “messy” areas of my life and I think I know better. Like Peter, I’m passionate for the Lord, jumping into the deep water of this ministry and telling the Lord exactly what’s on my mind. But also like Peter, I get it wrong. I want things to move faster and go differently—it seems so obvious to me how things should be!

I imagine that Jesus is patiently saying, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

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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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When it’s Hard to Wait

Read it! Psalm 33

We wait in hope for the Lord, He is our strength and our shield.

In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust His holy name.

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in You.

(vs 20-22)

Think it through

When you’re a kid, it’s hard to wait. To wait for dinner, to wait in line, or to wait for Christmas.

When you’re an adult, it’s harder to wait. To wait to make that purchase. To wait for that call from the doctor’s office. To wait for dreams to come true and hopes to be fulfilled.

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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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Are You Ripe for the Picking?

Read it! Amos 8

“What do you see, Amos?” he asked.

“A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered.

Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel;

I will spare them no longer.”

(vs 1&2)

 

Think it through

I was disappointed by my pears this week. Two days ago I cut one open and it was hard as a rock, like eating an apple. Today, I picked one up and could tell by the feel that it was overripe. Obviously, the day to eat my pear was yesterday, and I missed it.

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