One of the blogs I have been following lately, is Kem Meyer’s. She is an author, and is actually going to speak at a leadership conference my church is sponsoring next month, called Spur Leadership. www.spurleadership.org Anyway…she blogged about the same verse I talked about in Matthew 6, verse 21. Here is her post from today, in case you are interested. I love reading her blog. She’s funny, entertaining and talks about a lot of important topics. http://kemmeyer.typepad.com/less_clutter_noise/2009/09/dont-talk-about-money.html
As a Professional Organizer I help people get rid of clutter. And I love going through my own house and getting rid of things we no longer use. I think my husband is a little nervous that he may come home one day and I will have given away or sold everything but our bed.
I just do not see any need to keep things that we do not use, love, or reference. Clearing our lives of clutter, and stuff we don’t use, is so important!
If we have a lot of “stuff”, then its easier for us to focus on the stuff and give it more importance than it deserves. Jesus teaches us this about our money and our stuff….”Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. That is so true. If we get more and more “stuff”, then we just want more, don’t we? Would it ever be enough? I don’t think so. I don’t know many people who have acquired a lot of “things” that would say…”I’ve got enough now, I’m done buying anything new”.
No, the fascination with “stuff” is that you only want more and more stuff. It can take over. And believe me when I say….it really can take over! I’ve seen it. I’ve seen people with so much stuff they don’t know what to do with it. It has taken over their homes and their lives. It’s sad. They’ve allowed the stuff to take over their focus. And now they are overwhelmed because they have too much of it and don’t know what to do with it. Also, when you have a lot of stuff, you spend a LOT of time working around it, moving it, cleaning it, rearranging it, putting it back, and digging through it looking for something else. It’s a lot of work.
Now think for a moment about that. If they’ve put their treasure into all their “stuff”, and it has become overwhelming….then their heart is overwhelmed too. There is not a sense of peace within their hearts. If on the other hand, they put all of their energy into God, do you think they would still feel overwhelmed? Do you think we can somehow get too much of God? No way. That could never happened….more of God only brings more peace and joy. Wow, sign me up!
Take a look around at all your “stuff” and really think about what it adds to your life. Slowly start giving things away, and see how you feel. I’m addicted to cleaning out. My goal is to live simply. To live with only those things I use, love or reference regularly. That’s it. Then I am free to spend more time focused on what really matters…God, my husband, my kids, and the interests God has given me.
Do you ever wish you were more like someone else? Maybe they are more patient than you are, or they speak better than you do, or maybe they cook better than you do. Man, if we could only be better at whatever it is, and be more like that person.
But God never intended you to be like anyone else. He would’ve made you like them if he did. He has the power to do that. No, he created you JUST as you are, for a reason. You have your own list of strengths and talents. You have a unique personality that he designed just for you. And he wants you to use all the things he gave you, to glorify Him.
If you have children, think about your kids for a second. If they come home from school and say how much they wish they were like so-and-so, doesn’t that make you sad? You tell them, “No, honey…you don’t need to be like anyone else, you are so special just the way you are!” Then you may go onto list for them all the great things about them. You would never want them to want to be someone else. You want them to be proud of who they are and flourish within their own strengths and abilities, right? And what if you gave your child one of the best gifts ever, something that others would envy, and once you gave it to them….they just never even picked it up, looked at it, or used it in any way. Would’nt you be disappointed….?
Well…God feels the same way about us! Remember, God doesn’ t make mistakes. He has given you gifts he wants you to USE! And you are, the way you are ,for a reason. Find out what it is…
What do yo LOVE to do? What things are easy for you to do? What do people tell you that you are good at? Maybe you should do more of these things. Maybe give it a try this week, or this month. Enjoy who you are, and how God made you. And use all the gifts he gave you!
Over the summer I took a Bible Study called “Me, Myself and Lies” by Jennifer Rothschild. It was a study focused on our thoughts and how easily they can become negative about ourselves. We tend to be our toughest critics.
Through the study she reminds us of how God sees us, and references many places in the Bible to support this. She has us write our negative thoughts and then compare that to what God thinks of us.
It was a great study, it tought me to stop the negative thoughts before they start and to remind myself of how God sees me.
I think this goes along with fear. Whe we let fear and doubt about ourselves get in the way, we are keeping ourselves from growing. We are blocking God from all the wonderful things he has in store for us!
Start today by paying more attention to what you say to yourself…is it what God would say to you?
Can you believe it’s been 8 years ago that 911 occurred? We will all remember where we were when we heard the news. It was unbelievable, uncomprehensible….how could this be?
At the time, I was not a Christian, I had not accepted Christ as my Savior. I now have such a different view of tragic events. I have hope and peace and faith that God will always turn evil into good somehow. So many lives were changed that day, but those that were Christians still had hope and they had God to comfort them. Some may have turned to God for the first time during the events of 911. In that, there is hope.
I look back at how sad I was watching all the news coverage. I had just moved back to San Antonio and did not have a job yet, so I just sat in front of my TV sobbing. I did not have hope, nor did I have peace at the time. I had no place to find comfort, so to me, it was devastating.
I am so thankful that God pursued me, so that I can now pursue Him everyday, and find the hope, peace, love and faith I need to get through each day.
I prayed for all of those affected by 911. I prayed that they would be comforted by God, and that they do have faith in him.
One thing I do on occasion, is ask myself….if I had no fear at all, what decision would I make? I can almost say that all of my decisions are swayed by fear. And the Bible tells us “do not fear” more than any other command. Do you think it could possibly be because God really knows us? He knows we need to be reminded…oh, about every other minute….to not let fear get in our way. He never intended for us to feel fear or to be held back by fear.
If Jesus commanded us to not be fearful, why can’t we listen? Why is it so prevalent in our lives? Maybe because we let it?
I want to propose a challenge to you, and I will be doing it with you. For one week, stop and think about every decision you are making and ask yourself if you would come to a different conclusion if you took fear out of the equation. If you would, then do it. Make the decision you would make without fear. Isn’t that what Jesus commanded us to do anyway? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to choose to listen to Jesus. Even with all of the things he faced, he did not let fear stop him in any way. Now, you could say that it was easier for him because he knew heaven already and he knew God’s abilities and his ultimate love for us. Well, isn’t that an inspiration to us? If he knew those things first hand, and wasn’t fearful…why should we be?
Look back over your life the past 10 years and I bet y0u could come up with at least 5 big decisions that were based on fear, and at least 2-3 of them held you back from something you love. Let’s stop that cycle….God never intended for us to hold ourselves back!
Start today and stop and ponder your decisions….take a look at what role fear is playing. Tell fear to take a hike and see what happens
I once had a mentor that told me to do something that scared me, everyday! What a thought. That will be our next goal…but for now, try your hardest to take fear out of your decision making. Don’t invite it to the meeting….only invite hope, peace, faith and trust!
What a great word. Fearless. If only we all were…….fearless. This book is another wonderful, well-written book by Max Lucado. I’ve read about 4-5 of his books and this one is my favorite. It probably helps that this is such a great subject, one that most of us are struggling with on a daily, even hourly basis right now. God has great timing.
Max’s style of writing is so easy to read. He gives so many good analogies, stories, and quotes to support his points. He also becomes very transparent at times, which only makes him more relatable. In this book, we are reminded over and over, that if we just focus on God, our fears will subside. We were never intended to have fear.
I will be ordering a few extra copies of this book to give to friends and family. It is a great book with excellent scriptures to drive home what God wants us to remember. Max allowed God to speak so eloquently through him in this book.
Everyone should read this book….do not let fear hold you back from the life God intended for you to live!