Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Giving

Organizing the Inside – Day 364 Leading Lady

1The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. ~Psalm 23:1-3

She chose the role of martyr again.
You’ve done it again. You’re sacrificing something else in order to do for another. You often feel like you’re being pulled in ten different directions and you try to pretend you don’t know how you got here again. Everybody wants a piece of you and you tend to feel obliged to break off just a bit more. No one seems to be concerned with what you need, not even you. In spite of the frustration you are experiencing you play the leading lady as though the role was created and scripted just for you. Give yourself a much-needed break, before you are completely emptied of the little you have left to give.

The thought of saying “no” or “no thanks” goes against your grain.
Why must you typecast yourself when actually you have options?  You can choose to say no. Yes, I said it you can choose. Although, if you are a caregiver you are particularly prone to taking on this role and you do it with great honor. I’m not making light of your sometimes consuming responsibilities. I realize what you do is meaningful and a blessing to you and those you care for. I am however suggesting that just because there are people in your life who demand time and attention, you are by no means required by anyone (but you) to always give 100 percent. Giving until you can’t give anymore is likely not the most prudent way to go about serving. People have a tendency to call upon you to come to their aid. They’ve taken on more commitments than they can handle, and now they want your help. Suddenly you’re not only responsible for your own commitments; you’ve found a way to also be responsible for theirs. You probably have the gift of helps or service and maybe mercy too. Those gifts are perfect gifts for you, but you have to practice balancing your gifts to stay fit for service.

Stand up for you and give yourself respect and honor.
I don’t want you to neglect your responsibilities, but I do want you to find a way to take care of you.  Keep in mind you choose to do what you do. Whether you’re assuming the role of martyr by default because there is no one else, or you just really love all the work you do for others, either way you have a choice. Try to find a way to do something to break the routine. Do something you enjoy and allow God to refresh your spirit. Chances are the unending lists of tasks and commitments will still be there when you return.

God sees your heart and all that you do for everyone else. Now, allow Him to do something just for you.  Announce your plans to all parties involved. Keep it sweet, kindhearted and simple, but let them know this time is for you. Slip away, and as God renews you on the inside you’ll be better prepared to play whatever role your busy life has to cast. Take time for renewal and allow God to give you the rest you need.

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Organizing the Inside – Day 303 Keeping In Step With the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV)

In order to keep in step with God we must be fit. A runner can in no way keep up in a race when they are out of shape and unfit. Ask any runner and they will tell you that diet is one of the keys to getting fit for an upcoming race. Nutrition for our physical body comes from food; it’s considered the primary source of energy. Some have said, “You are what you eat.” I say, “I’ll show you who I am, by the fruit that I bear.” I like to consider the fruits of the Spirit as a type of systems check for our spiritual fitness in life. “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. Matthew 12:33 (NLT)

What is your current state of fitness? Are you ready to keep in step with the Spirit? A good place to start is by checking out your fruit. Is your basket full of fresh luscious and healthy fruit? Do you share your nutritional delights with others? I suspect if you are like most of us your fruit basket is not always bursting with a perfectly ripened assortment, which offers great nutritional support for everyone’s soul. However if you’re good in the spiritual fruit department, there’s no need to read any further. If you aren’t there yet, this post could change your life forever.  When shown from the heart, kindness changes lives and blesses others often unexpectedly. The word “blessing” tends to take on a new meaning as people experience the love of God shown through Christians.  When you receive kindness it has a way of inspiring you to extend more kindness.

This week’s challenge!
Make sure you are properly dressed every day. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 (NLT)

Practice at least one random act of kindness daily. This is not, another something to add on your “to do” lists; I’m sure that’s long enough. This is not a previous commitment or obligation. This act of kindness is unpredicted, unexpected and unwarranted. This is not necessarily given to someone you know. Perfect strangers make great recipients. Prepare yourself to receive the following:
a. Funny surprised stares.
b. Suspicious expressions of disbelief.
c. More good energy and gratefulness in your heart.
d. A deeper appreciation for the power of God’s love.
e. More blessing than you will have room to receive. (Luke 6:38)

Here is a great list of RAOK just to get your juices flowing.
ENJOY!

Please share your ideas for random acts of kindness.

Organizing the Inside – Day 238 Love Deeply, Give Generously

You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. 1 Peter 1:22 (NLT)

If you don’t know say so.
If you are unsure admit that too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. No man is an island unto himself and often it’s our pride that causes us to make up excuses why we’d rather not ask someone for help. Many women in the body of Christ are afraid to ask their sisters in Christ for a helping hand. Often times we put up facades that make us seem unassuming or simply too busy to care or offer help. God is NOT pleased when sisters are so often opposed to providing support or being supported. Allowing your weaknesses to be seen by someone other than your spouse is really okay. If we can’t love, support and trust those in the household of faith, than who can we trust?

If you need help, ask for it.
Conversely, if you know of a sister who could use your help or expertise, offer it. If you take your gifts and hide them under a basket, what good are they doing for the body of Christ? You do well to use your gifts in your own private household; but that’s not where your giving should end. We know that the church is composed of many members, all with a different function and all adding great value. Don’t hide your gifts or special abilities! Perhaps you’re shy or just lazy, neither will be an excuse that is able to justify why you didn’t do the good you knew you could do when it was in your power to do so. Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it. Proverbs 3:27 (KJV) Not every opportunity to give is the right one for you, but be open as the Spirit leads.

God sees your needs and He adequately meets them.
A sister mentioned how she was in need of prayer. Great she wanted help, and she asked for it. The Holy Spirit immediately brought to mind a scripture. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. James 5:16a,b (KJV) We should pray for, help and lift up one another. Be determined to no longer have your hand in the pot only to take, but also to add something of value. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 153 Willing to Give All She Had

41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth a fraction of a penny.

43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
~Mark 12:41-44

Jesus watched for a teachable moment.
Jesus intentionally sat near the temple treasury to observe each contributor’s giving; as He waited for what He knew would be a teachable moment. The woman who gave all she had captured His attention, and He called His disciples over to learn from the widow’s example. What a huge lesson about giving.

Jesus doesn’t look at how much we give.
I think Jesus is more concerned with how much, our giving costs us. What does your giving cost? Do you give sacrificially, or do you give only limited amounts out of the abundance of all that you have? Some measure their giving right down to a set percentage and stop there. I suggest, there is a more excellent way.  It’s clear that the condition of our heart toward giving is what matters most to God. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

The widow showed a deep level of belief.
She gave all that she had to live on. I suspect she wasn’t sad and brokenhearted or worried over where her next meal would come from. I believe her giving shows a deep trust and commitment. This kind of giving shows a level of trust that challenges me in my life as a Christian. When I hold back in my giving and I know I’m not giving as much as a could, I wonder why. I can only face up to the fact that my giving represents a much deeper level of commitment. Do I hold back from God, or am I fully invested in His kingdom?  Sacrificial giving begins in one’s heart. It’s a sincere commitment to correctly prioritize values. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17

Are you willing to give all that you have to live on?
What does it mean for you to give all that you have to live on? Do you trust God enough to meet your needs if you put Him first? This question goes far beyond looking at our own willingness to give of our financial income. God wants us to have a willingness to give up all we have in time, resources, energy and wealth. Giving up all you have requires a great deal of trust and faith in God’s ability to provide. A Christian who is willing to relinquish their wants, desires and selfish ambitions to seek the will of God for their life, will then find fulfillment. Reaching for dreams and setting goals are only worth the effort once you’ve determined your goals are directly connected to the dream that God has given. Giving up what I want in exchange for whatever God has for me indeed may require a great amount of faith and patience, but the rewards of my obedience are far greater than I can imagine.

3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3, 4