Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for July, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 322 My Heart Remembers the Goodness of God

1God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.       Selah

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  5God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.  7The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.       Selah

Now about this life we’ve been granted to live by the Lord of heaven’s army. Everything He made was good. (Genesis 1:31) Indeed this includes you and me. (Psalm 119:73) In this life we sometimes experience pain, great pain and deep sorrow. Through sadness and sorrow, death and destruction, decay and deterioration who can praise Him beyond the cutting-in of the pain? Those of us who are convinced His mercy endures forever, and those who have seen the provision of His hand, who know the protection beneath the tabernacle of His wings. In the midst of all the suffering and trouble we are not consumed. In the darkest hour we are not afraid.

When I consider the works of God’s hands and the excellent greatness of His glorious strength, I fall to my knees and honor the One who created heaven and earth. I tremble in awe of His awesome power. When it seems that evil prevails, and the unexplained brokenness of your heart’s mourning core is discovered, be reminded that it is in Him that we find unending grace that redeems our soul from utter destruction.  Life is but a vapor, but this life for sure is a precious gift given by God.

Organizing the Inside – Day 321 Difficult People Can’t Be Avoided

Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Proverbs 25:26 (NIV)

Decide how to deal with difficult people before you encounter them. Keep yourself free from irritation and resentment by clarifying how you plan to handle things. Difficult people are out there, and there is no way to avoid them. Difficult people can be a true blessing; they will either help you grow or wear you down, but the choice of which one depends on you. Never allow them to overwhelm and frustrate you. Approach things from a place of ministry. Is this someone who needs to experience the love of God through you?

To save you from the mental and emotional clutter they bring, I thought I’d share a few tips to help keep you internally organized when dealing with them.

Not all bad, she just tends to rub you the wrong way. She loves playing devil’s advocate and will choose the opposing side just to muddle you. You want to go the other way when you see her coming, yet you also know dealing with her, in the end will only make you better. Yes, you can stand to learn a lot from the controllers, border blockers, spammers (always wanting to share something of little value) know-it-alls, and manipulators. Try this the next time you are faced with having to work with one of those difficult people:

  1. Approach things from a loving perspective. (1 Peter 4:8) You never know what they’ve been through that is reflected in their behavior.
  2. Make sure you aren’t harboring any unforgiveness or resentment. (Colossians 3:13)
  3. Earnestly pray for them; don’t try to change them, leave that to God. (Revelation 22:11, 12)

Of course God knows all about it. Prayer releases you from having to spend extra time or energy trying to manage hard feeling or to get along. God understands how difficult people are wired and He can give you special insight into what to do differently. The most important thing is not that you’re no longer irritated by their demanding personality. A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) What’s important is that you let God use you and your unexplainable patience and compassion to help win them over to Christ. Deal with difficult people by showing them Christ in you.

Organizing the Inside – Day 320 Give Time More Consideration

15See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15, 16 (NLT)

Utilizing your time wisely starts with putting God first. Give God the best of what you have to give of your busy day. Time is more than a continuous collection of moments strung together to create minutes and hours in a day. Time is a precious gift and the use of it will either lead your life to prosperity or poverty.  The wisdom to know what to do with the time you have comes from the Lord. This present life is limited to the time you have to fulfill your purpose here on earth, and it is something of great value. As stewards over this gift from God, we have a responsibility to be wise and look to God for guidance about how to best use our time. Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

How does one put God first and honor Him with their time?  One way to honor God is by showing respect for the time of others. Start appointments on time and end meetings on time. If the church bulletin says service begins at 10:00, then 10:15 puts God’s reputation at stake. Honor God’s ordained cycles of time.  Six days we are given to work, and resting on the seventh will cause your life to be far more productive. The natural sleep, rest and work cycle brings greater efficiency to the work you do. Try working when you are tired or haven’t had much rest. Are you at your peak performance levels? Take time to plan how you will use the gift of time. It can easily be wasted, but the wise woman makes every minute relevant to completing the purpose and plan of God. Utilize your time and you’ll add value to the gift of life God has blessed you with.

For more ways to better manage your time download these FREE tips.

Organizing the Inside – Day 319 What Can I Do To Help You?

Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. Psalm 86:11 (NLT)

How does one measure success? For me success is when I can help those around me to grow and stretch and dig deeper to reach their potential in Christ. Success is not measured by the return you receive on today’s investments, but by the return others receive (10, 20 years from now) from the investment you make in their lives today. Greatness in the kingdom of God is serving others from a heart of love and compassion.

What can I do for you? How can you help someone else reach her best? By taking an interest in the life and goals of others you not only help support collaboration in the body of Christ, you also help build unity. Competition and compensation must not be at the forefront of every decision you make. If I help my sisters in Christ achieve their goals, am I not helping the entire body? Who’s to say that the very gift you encourage your sister to develop, is not the same gift that God will one day use to change your own life. We are interdependent on one another. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

I want to encourage you to seek God ordained opportunities to invest in the lives of others. How can you serve Christ by serving your sisters?  How can your gift help your sisters? What gifts do you have?  Is God ready for you to offer them in service? Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.  2 Timothy 1:6 (NLT)  May God lead you down the plain paths of truth, and give you great clarity regarding His will for your life, for His name’s sake.

Organizing the Inside – Day 318 Her Light Does Not Go Out

17She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. Proverbs 31:17, 18 (NIV)

Are you passionate about God’s gifts and calling? Are you excited to wake up early each day and make progress toward fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for your life? The truth is that many Christian women never live up to their God-given potential in Christ. Many never tap into the drive and commitment it takes to follow their dreams. Oh yes! I believe without a doubt, your dreams, potential, talents, abilities, gifts and skills are each locked in as part of God’s big picture plan for your life.

What keeps your light from going out at night? What drives you? In the still of the night, what does your heart want to know and do? Are you determined to say yes to God’s plan?  Are you enthusiastic about the vision He gave? Your light not going out at night is not about exchanging needed sleep for a few more hours of work, not really. Your light not going out at night is more about the desire that keeps you productive as you live out the will of God for your life. Even through the night, the excitement and enthusiasm for God fills your life with hope and direction. Productive and profitable, God wants your work to glorify Him. Starting today, embrace your purpose in a way that keeps your light burning through the night. There is an entire body of believers who need exactly what you have been given to share.

Organizing the Inside – Day 317 Take Heart; You Are Not In This Alone

7Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 8Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith… 10In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11All power to him forever! Amen. 1 Peter 5-9a-11 (NLT)

No one believes we should be picking berries and Gerber daisies all day long. Of course because we live in a fallen world, things are not easy or perfect and they simply won’t be until Christ returns. Meanwhile, those of us who are here must realize that there is definitely a great deal of work to do. Nevertheless, God’s will for our life is not based upon some long list of arduous tasks and rituals. When you choose to live a godly life it’s not something that ought to bring you grief. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3 (KJV) What motivates you to keep going and to keep pursuing righteous living in the face of opposition? For me and for many others, “… the joy of the LORD is our strength.”  I believe it is that joy that brings us to a place of personal contentment, even if it seems so many others choose not to follow the same path.

Your choice to live holy is contrary to everything this world has to offer. Although the world resists the ways of God and laughs at your beliefs, take heart, your suffering is nothing new. …Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1 Peter 5:9b (NLT) When faced with opposing forces on an everyday basis, the fight can sometimes wear you down, especially if you attempt to fight in your own strength. Challenges will come, so stay alert as you seek to live a life of righteous pursuits. The one thing to remember is that you are not alone in your desire to live right before God. It’s hard sometimes to find people who really seem determined to live for God. Many may say so, but you later find that they too seem to love the world more than they love God. But you have chosen to live for Christ; for you, there is no turning back. Draw near to God and the people of God, and you will find greater strength and protection. God will most certainly honor your commitment and see you through until the end.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 316 Exercising Confident Judgment

4Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. 5She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment. 6One day she sent for Barak …. She said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. 7And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.” 8Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.” Judges 3:4-8 (NLT)

Deborah was a strong woman whose heart trusted God entirely. She never seemed to waver and found great strength in her faith. Her inner assurance that God would grant victory made her a great judge and a wonderful example of a strong godly woman.

As women we often feel as though we must first become strong before we can serve God. I believe the message God wants us to understand is that when we are in Him, then we are strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10) Indeed preparation is important in fulfilling the plan of God in our lives, but many times we make preparing the one obstacle that keeps us from actually pursuing our purpose. Go ahead, move forward with the same strong confidence that Deborah had. She relied upon God as she went about conducting business for Him. Even men looked up to her because of her unwavering certainty and trust in the God.

What kind of faith does your life show? Does it show a simple and unyielding faith in your creator, or does it show a trembling mass of uncertainty every time you must make a decision? Deborah was a confident judge who was respected by the people. She took her job as a judge seriously, but it seems clear that as she sat under the palm trees and rendered decision after decision she was not afraid of making mistakes, because she trusted the internal wisdom of the God she served.

Being confident is not about having pride in your abilities or gifts, the contrary is true. True confidence requires us to trust in the One who called us and is far greater. Be confident when faced with decisions, and reject the fear of failure. We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:4, 5 (NLT) Don’t allow your role as a woman to create a preconceived notion against the plan of God. Yes, Deborah was a great leader and she did it while being married. Know that just as God used Deborah’s gifts and abilities, as she led Israel to victory, He will also use your gifts to give victory over life’s battles, as you trust Him. Resist the temptation to be indecisive under the weight of responsibility. It’s easier to say, it’s all just too much, and look for the first rock to hide beneath! Remember, the greater one lives in you and has already won the victory. (1 John 4:4) The pressure is not on you to perform; that sort of thinking will only lead to defeat. Instead, trust God and rest (under the palm tree) confidently in His ability to do great things in and through you.

Trust God to minister to you and strengthen you, precisely when you need it most. Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” Daniel 10:18, 19 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 315 Just Let It Out

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah Psalm 4:4 (NIV)

Allow God to renew your mind, but make sure you also release the unhealthy stress and pressure at the end of your day. I’m a firm believer that we should never take it home, but that is easier said than done.  Carrying around the frustration, or anger, embarrassment or anxiety that resulted from an intense business meeting or a highly emotional exchange is unhealthy. Perhaps this is why God’s Word tells us, “…and don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.”  Ephesians 4:26 (NLT) I think this can also be applied to other strong emotions that we experience in our everyday interactions with others. There is nothing abnormal about stress and anger, but when it comes we must not let it linger. Who among us has never been angry? Anger is likely not the problem, it’s how we deal with it and the reasons why it exists to begin with that is usually the problem.

Talking about it can sometimes help. Studies show that people who have a support system and share their feelings with a trusted friend add years to their life expectancy. It is said that people who have more close friends tend to live longer. The point is this; there is clear guidance in the Word of God about dealing with our emotions and not stuffing them down in an attempt to ignore the obvious. When you feel things are building up, as if you might go into complete emotional failure, do something about it. Be proactive when you feel frustration building. There is nothing ungodly about letting off steam, as long as you aren’t exploding in a way that hurts or offends those around you.

Keep God as your first line of defense against built up anger or stress. Telling Him how you feel and taking time to talk it through with the Lord will give you the release you need to keep your heart free. God and I have had many conversations that began in anger and ended with me laughing. I’ll ask Him things like, “Did you see how she acted?” and “Did you hear what they said?” The delayed realization that my trusted Friend and Savior is also omnipresent, has often provided a bit of comic relief. Once I get it all out I’m reminded, that of course He knows what happened. Find comfort by reminding yourself that not only does He see, our God sees and cares. Certain strong emotions and stress when left unchecked can cause problems down the road. Keeping a journal of your feelings is also another way to let it go. Whichever outlet you choose, a friend, prayer, or writing, just remember that your anger will never achieve God righteous purpose. (James 1:20) When it’s called for repent and ask for forgiveness.  (Psalm 139:1, 2) Keep stress and anger in its place; it belongs far away from your heart. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit; deal with your strong emotions when they occur.

How do you handle the end of a long and stressful day?

Here is a simple and straight forward article about anger.

Organizing the Inside – Day 314 Coming to the End of Myself

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Psalm 37:25, 28a (NIV)

Have you ever found yourself wandering on the road of self-sufficiency? That place where everything is rolling along just fine. No extreme highs or lows, but you feel you’ve figured out a few of life’s tougher questions. Things seem secure and while your future brings a certain degree of uncertainty you’ve assured yourself that the winter months won’t overtake you. You feel secure and prepared for the future. What gives you this sense of security that many never find? Have you made for yourself a palace with high walls where your financial portfolio stands guard, keeping what you’ve managed to build running quite well? You get by, right?

What if tomorrow there were none? No retirement check, no pay check, no annuity or dividends, no nothing? Your plan B cannot be found. What happens when all you thought you had securing your future no longer exist? You look to tap into final resources and exhaust all you know to do. Phone calls, backup systems, each of your lifeline connections, one-by-one are all used up. Empty handed and broken you have finally come to the end of yourself. Destined to wander, you’ve relied on all those false external things that the world found comfort in. When retirement accounts, and savings accounts are empty you see what was in some ways obscure before; you find the grace and truth of God.

If you’ve ever found the end of yourself, surely you know the sustaining grace of the only sure and true source of security. When forced to rely on Him and Him alone, yes if you’re ever there…you too have found the end of yourself. To know the love and sustenance of an omnipotent God who promised to, “supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” is to experience the fullness of His salvation.  To yield to Him as your single source, is to find something quite enriching, really refreshing, and honestly life changing.  When you find the total end of yourself I assure you, you’ll also find Jehovahjireh.

Have you ever found the end of yourself?

Organizing the Inside – Day 313 Let God Arise!

1May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. 3But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. 4Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds his name is the Lord and rejoice before him. Psalm 68::1, 3, 4 (NIV)

Rejoice! God is great.
Who would dare go against His majestic, awesome power? The foolish, which are lost in the way… those who have decided to take their own way and have ignored His precepts, statutes and commands. There is no one in heaven or earth greater than our God.

The Almighty stands Lord over His word.
God’s word is our compass, showing, guiding and keeping us on track.  If today you feel like maybe you have gotten off course, take a moment and ask God to help you get back on track.  He is always there; ready to meet your needs, ready to help in the time of trouble. He will always keep His promise.

Let’s be glad and rejoice in the power of His salvation!
There is no one greater than our God, therefore we can declare victory. Let God arise and may His enemies be scattered.