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Bitten By The Clutter Bug

Ok, I am here to admit it. I think my house has gotten the better of me. It’s time for things to go. So it begins. I have decided to take charge, and de-clutter my house again. Clutter seems to exist everywhere I look. I love to live by the philosophy: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” However, I must say that putting it into practice of late has been a struggle. My sweet friend is having a yard sale in two weeks, and she encouraged me to join in the fun with her. I heartily agreed. So I have found the perfect opportunity to rid the house of the clutter I have accumulated.

I must say that I thrive in a yard sale environment. I love them. If I see a yard sale sign, I will stop if it is at all possible. My husband may think that I have extra sensitive radar where yard sales are concerned, and He would be right. My problem, however, is that I often purchase things because they are a good deal, or I think I can repurpose them in some way. Often I will take stuff home that I don’t need (if that is even possible ūüôā ), and my clutter is increased. I must be very careful to choose only things that I can truly use to make my household run smoother, or to make my home a more comfortable place to be.

In my spiritual walk, I often pass by mounds of clutter that I have let accumulate in my heart. These things are not necessarily bad things, but they shift my focus from the things that need to take priority in my life. We all take on the extra little things. These things can accumulate until there is so much to do that it overwhelms us. We find ourselves focusing more on doing things rather than being who God wants us to be. The Bible relates to burdens several times. One that comes to mind is Matthew 11:

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

How often do we take on burdens that were not meant for us to bear. This is the clutter that I am referring to. God has specific tasks for each individual to perform. This is part of ministering in His Kingdom. Do we have so much clutter built up around us that we can’t see clearly the ministry to which He has called us? Are we overwhelmed with stuff, when we should be overwhelmed with God and His goodness?

It’s time to squash the clutter bug, and begin again fresh! Let’s remove the things in our lives that are causing us to falter in our walk, and renew our commitment to serve the Lord more faithfully. If anyone can help us remove the piles of clutter, God can. He can help us to see what our focus needs to be on, and carry out His kingdom work with a renewed heart.

God bless you in your journey!

Watch Out, Spider!

In my effort to get to work on time the other day, I, as usual, went flying out the front door and raced with my purse, foam “guzzler” of iced tea and bagel. Clay chose to fly out the door after me and ¬†reminded me that he had seen a spider in the door of the car that we needed to take care of. I didn’t want to disappoint him the pleasure of killing a spider, but if I identified it quickly enough I could proceed down the road and reach my destination on time. My plan was to put Clay at ease and take care of it Iater that day. I¬†opened the back door and asked him where he had seen the offender. This spider had built a web between the doors that you could only see if you opened the back or front door on the driver’s side. All I could see was two egg sacks and a complex web. Clay pointed it out as it was hiding up under the hinge that holds the door in place. The way the spider was hiding I could not identify it so with a stick I removed part of the web and the egg sacks and “squashed” them. I didn’t want them hatching and taking over my car. It is a small four door and there wouldn’t be room for all of us. ūüôā Anyway, because I couldn’t see very well I closed the back door and opened the front door to see if I could get a better view. I did. It was a black spider so I was immediately concerned I asked Clay to run inside and get the bug spray. When he returned, I armed myself with bug spray in one hand and a stick in the other.¬† I sprayed it good and as it slowly descended on a silky strand of web with legs curling I saw the red hour-glass shape on it. It was a black widow. I got chills as I “squashed” it when I realized that it had been there for quite some time. At any moment, it could have chosen to hop out on me or one the boys and hurt us.¬† I praise the Lord for his hand of protection on our family.

As I went throughout my day, I could not stop thinking about the near miss we had and God’s protecting hand. Then my thoughts lead me to realize that¬†temptation and sin¬†is there lurking, waiting for just the right moment to¬†strike.¬†It waits patiently for the opportunity to catch me with¬†my guard down and in the place where I am the weakest. At every turn in this life, sin is all around us. We are faced with it in the media,¬†in the places we go, and sometimes in strangers we come in contact with. We need to be ever mindful that there is one that would love to see us fail and bring down the name of Christ. It is so important for us to watch out for these opportunities, and “squash” them as we would a poisonous spider.

It is not easy to turn from temptation and sin, but we have the Holy Spirit inside of us and a Savior who overcame the very essence of sin and death on the cross.¬† It is God who provides a way of escape for us so we do not have to give in to the temptation.¬† In 1 Corinthians 10:13, we read, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will no suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”¬† We are going to be tempted to do the wrong thing. Satan does not want us to succeed in the Christian life, and if he can keep us defeated, he most certainly will. My favorite line in this verse is “God is faithful.” He is here with us and we can rely on his strength when we are weak. When we became a Christian, we trusted Him with our very soul. In the same way, we can trust God for our daily keeping also. He can help us to resist temptation and guard against the attacks of those who would harm us.

It is time for you and me to keep our eyes open and watch for potential danger, temptation and sin. We know we have a friend who has endured such temptation and become a victor over it. We must turn in Jesus in our need. Jesus is our hope and He is ever faithful.

Grab the Broom 2

 Spiders and I have an understanding in our household. We do not co-exist. I have shouted out a warning in my home to all spiders. If you show your creepy, crawly little bodies, I am going to grab my broom, shoe, newspaper, or anything handy and whack the fire out of you. 

Hopefully we have all grabbed¬†our brooms and have acknowledged “the spider”.¬† We¬† are now ready to continue the “Spring Cleaning” process of our hearts.

Step one was to acknowledge our sin. We are to look at it from God’s perspective, his point of view.¬†We have identified¬†the sin that it is against God. Now we need to confess it and forsake it as it says to do in ¬†1 John 1:9.¬† Now here is the point where we might have the tendency to push the spider toward the front door¬†rather then whack it over the head with our broom.¬† What I mean by this is we throw out a general prayer, “Lord, forgive me of all my sins.” Throughout the Bible, God is specific¬†in naming sin. He tells us what it is, and not to do it. I think he wants us to be specific with Him as well. Why else would He go to all the trouble to name all of the sins he wants us to avoid?

Let me clarify, we do not need to go around aloud telling everyone we meet about each sin we have ever committed. Instead for our own benefit, We need to be specific with naming our sin to God.  This is not so He will know which sin we are talking about. He knows all things. Being specific is part of the acknowledging process.

It also causes us to be humble before God.¬† Pride can get in the way of our being specific with our sin.¬† We start to look at it saying, “This sin is really not as bad as I thought”, or “There are a lot more sins that are worse than this one.”¬†In 2 Corinthians 10:12, we read, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they, measuring themselves by¬†themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves,¬†are not wise.”¬†We must squash pride right away by telling God exactly what sin we have committed and ask for forgiveness.

God is always ready to forgive anyone who comes humbly to Him and follows his steps of cleansing.  He is faithful to forgive. We do not need to push our sin around or try to cover it up.

We need to grab the Broom and whack it on the head!

Grab The Broom

With the best of¬†intentions a gentlemen in a week of revival services came to the alter. The first night he prayed out loud, “Lord, remove the cobwebs of sin in my life.” On the next night, he prayed again out loud, “Lord, remove the cobwebs of sin in my life.” On the third and fourth night, he prayed the same prayer. On the fifth night after his prayer, the pastor stood up and exclaimed, “Lord, forget the cobwebs! Grab a broom and kill the spider!”

When we begin the “spring cleaning” and “decluttering” process in our heart and life, we may come across unconfessed sin that we have failed to confess and forsake.¬†¬† We often¬†treat the sin in our life the same way this gentleman did? We try to find a way to treat the symptoms of our sin rather than to attack the sin itself.

We find numerous Scriptures in the Bible calling on us to “be holy as he is holy”. I know that I can not do this apart from Christ it is only through Him that I can accomplish anything, yet he calls me to be clean before him. This is something I can do. When I sin, he has shown me in his Word the steps I must take to be clean.¬†

The first step is to acknowledge the sin we have committed. Psalm 51:3 reads, “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” David is at the point where the conviction of¬†his sin is causing him to focus on it so much he can’t get away from it. Does our sin bother us like David’s sin bothered him?¬† If it doesn’t, this could be an indication that we are focusing on the symptoms rather than the sin.¬†

Do we really look at our sin the way that God does? To often we want to call our sin a mistake,a slip up, or even a¬†lapse in judgment rather than a sin. We need to remember our sin is something that goes against the very nature of God.¬† Jesus came and suffered and died for the very sins we want to excuse or ignore in our life. It is time to call sin what it is and confess it and forsake it as we are told to do in¬† 1 John 1:9. The Bible says in 1 John that if we do¬†confess, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I want to be clean before God. The first step is to see my sin the way God does. Grabbing the broom and doing housecleaning in my heart requires work and a willingness to get into all the corners, cracks and crevices. We will see how dirty we are when this happens, but God is faithful to clean us up if we ask. But first we must…

Grab the broom and kill the spider.

Yard Sale Mania

I have come to that wonderful time a year when I get bit by the “clutter bug”.¬† It begins to¬†itch, so¬†I scratch by¬†throwing things in boxes to have a yard sale. I don’t know about you, but I love a good yard sale. I always feel so much better after a good “spring cleaning” also. These two things go hand in hand for me.¬†

I am what my husband considers a yard¬†sale enthusiast. I love them. If he sees a sign up somewhere before I do, He drives faster thinking maybe I will miss it. It doesn’t work! (to my knowledge anyway.¬† lol.) His favorite joke is “my idea of heaven on earth is¬†a yard sale in the dairy queen parking lot.” ¬†He knows me all too well.¬† I love to have them. The reason is to clear up some space, and¬†add a little “jingle” in my pocket. The word “cha-ching” comes to mind, so I have it set for next Saturday. I am so excited.

At this time of the year in many of our churches, we have our spring revivals.¬†It is a time to do a little “spring cleaning” of the heart.¬†It is so easy¬†for us to get on the fast track and we start cramming more and more into our already crowded lives.¬† It’s time to “declutter”.¬† It’s time to take stock of why we do what we do.¬† The “it” of what we do is something each of us must ask ourselves.¬†“It” may be something different for you¬†than “it” is for me.¬†

  • Do we do it because if we didn’t do it, it¬†wouldn’t get done?
  • Do we do it because¬† no one else can do it as well as we can do it?
  • Do we do it because we were pressured into doing¬†it by someone else we couldn’t say “No” to?¬†
  • Do we do it because we truly feel it is something God wants us to do?

In my own life I need to constantly be on guard against clutter.¬† The more clutter there is the more I tend to get bogged down in it. When I become bogged down, I¬†lose my effectiveness in God’s kingdom. Because more often than not my focus will be shifted¬†to the clutter¬†rather¬†than¬†where it should be which is on Christ and his purpose for me.

In Psalm 123:1-2 read, “Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwelleth in the heavens.¬† Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait ¬†upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.”¬† Look to Christ and ask Him to show you what needs to go in your life. The things that you are doing right now may not be bad things. They may even be considered noble, but are the things that God wants you to be doing.¬†Pray and ask Him to help you declutter your life.¬† Now is¬†the time to throw some things in a box and tote them outside so someone else may get a blessing and use out of them. Pass up what is not in God’s will for you to do.

Yard Sale anyone? I’m excited already! ūüôā