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Putting Myself in Timeout

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

 “Will you hold me, Mommy?” Eli said.

“Sure, come here.”

“I can’t. I’m in timeout.” Eli made a pouty face and looked at his grandfather.

Mommy looked up at her dad. “Can he get down now?”

Grandfather shrugged. “I’m not the one who put him in timeout. He put himself on the chair.”

Eli had misbehaved. Anticipating the typical response to his behavior, he climbed up on the chair, putting himself in timeout. This wasn’t the first time he had done so. He knows when he ignores instructions and continues to do what he’s don’t supposed to do, he eventually receives timeout as his reward. So to save us all from the aggravation of scolding and sitting him on a chair, he does it himself. The funny thing is, he often does so when we (the adults in charge) have no intentions of giving him timeout.

This little routine taught me a lesson about being a child of God. Occasionally, I do things that most likely don’t … perhaps don’t … well, okay, definitely don’t line up to my Father’s standards. Take procrastinating for example. I know He has specific tasks for me to do and guidelines for me to follow everyday. But I get sidetracked. I do things my way. I don’t get the tasks completed.

Then my guilt steps up to confuse the issue, allowing the enemy a foothold. The enemy tells me I’m lazy and unworthy of the task. So I put myself in timeout … procrastinating all the more.

Eventually, I confess to the Father that I’ve been worthless, unfaithful, and deserve to be punished. Do you know how He answers me? He answers by bring to mind the Scripture above–“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” He also says, “I have not put you in timeout. Now get up and get busy doing the work I have called you to do.”

How about you? What’s keeping you from doing the work the Father has called you to do?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Purity is What You Think

Spiritual Warfare

Part 16

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:5 NIV)

Double-Minded 3In high school, I had a friend who proved somewhat less than trustworthy. She’d start a conversation about another girl, and I willingly added my thoughts. I might mention the other girl and I liked the same young man. The “friend,” in turn, took my comments back to the other girl. It didn’t take me long to realize what she was doing and refuse to talk to her about my feelings. Back then, we called people who pretended to be a friend only to get something two-faced. Sometimes we added liar to that label.

Along the same lines, in old western movies, the Native Americans said white men spoke with forked tongues. Time has not changed the way people treat one another, certainly not in politics. In government, the color of the skin makes no difference. They all speak with forked tongues.

I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to trust those who speak with forked tongues.

Apparently, God’s not too thrilled about two-faced people either. He calls them liars. He commands that they purify their hearts.

But before I get to self-righteous, I need to …

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Next Week:

We’ll begin to study the enemy’s tactics. Prepare by reading, pondering, and praying about 1 Peter 5:8.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

I is for Importance

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…(1 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).

Prioritize

Prioritize

Those things which are most important to us, we are mindful of and do.

For real? We do what we want to do. But sometimes, we maintain a mixed-up set of priorities. For whatever reason, we put the trivial, pleasurable, even useless tasks ahead of the more important jobs we have to do.

Before I completed preparing my income tax return, I spent hours playing word games online. I did what I wanted to do, but definitely NOT what was important. I loathe doing tax returns. I like playing word games. My priorities always get twisted during tax season.

But it doesn’t end there. Read More

Next Week:

O is for Options. Prepare by reading and thinking about Deuteronomy 30:19-20.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

T is for Time

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1Peter 5:6 NIV).

Skunka Tony Stu 2012 Time is of the essence. And the older we get the more painfully aware we become of the essence of time.

In my twenties, I drifted through life full of delight of early-motherhood. I had the hope of the years to come. In my thirties, I busied myself with my children and my in-house business. Age had no bearing on my decisions. In my forties, I embarked on a band-new venture—writing for publication. I took the time to learn the craft. As I stood on the fifty mark, I realized I was at the top looking down. And downhill always goes faster than the uphill climb.

Now stepping past the sixty flag, I wonder how much time is left for me to do what God has prepared for me. While the “sands of the hour glass” are falling at an incredibly fast pace, so much work remains undone. I don’t seem any closer to the goals He has bet before me than when I began. Yet Read More

Next Week: 

I is for Importance. Prepare by reading and thinking about 1 Corinthians 1:3-4

See you in a twinkling

Brenda K. Hendricks

R is for Renewal

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

Praise 3A matter of mind over matter, is that all there is to renewing the mind?

I’m a habitual procrastinator. There I said, or rather, and more incriminatingly, I wrote it. I know putting urgent and even not-so-urgent chores off leads to problems. I have made New Year resolutions year after year to correct my nasty habit. And every year, I end with a list of tasks I should have done months before the holidays.

We all have bad habits which compel us to make New Year’s Resolutions year after year. And year after year, we fail to overcome those bad habits. Why?

Beyond Mind over Matter

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Next week’s theme: E is for Endurance. Read Colossians 1:11-12 and pray for perseverance.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Procrastination

ProcrastinationDelay

Put off until later

SHILLYSHALLY

Dismay

Drag my feet to “bait ‘er”

DILLYDALLY

My way

 

For many years I lived under the sign:

“I’ve only just begun to procrastinate.”

I slip into procrastination unawares. I write a sentence or two, then find myself checking my email, which leads to my yahoo email account, which leads to facebook, which leads to twitter, which leads to blogs, which means I’ve wasted the afternoon on bunny trails.

Evening arrives and I vow to get 1000 words written before bedtime. “Blink” My daughters are both contacting me on AIM. We chat. I write…  one sentence in 6 ½ minutes. “Ring” a friend is on the phone to inquire about a problem she’s having with Word. We arrive at a solution in record time of five minutes, but our conversation covers what we had for supper, our grandchildren’s first words to their high school graduation. Ninety minutes later, I’m back to my story and notice that both my daughters are still waiting a response to their questions from an hour ago. Now, I’m back on AIM. It’s bedtime and I’ve written a grand total of 37 words.

I decide to stay up another hour or so to at least put a dent in my 1000 word goal. My stomach growls. I scoop up a small dish of ice cream return to the computer and as though plotting the next scene, I stare at the screen while the peanut butter swirl slides down my throat.  I place the empty dish on my printer and my fingers on the keyboard. Clickety click…I awake with a stiff neck and head to bed.

Procrastination strikes again! Drats!

Just Do It 2Recently, I determined to change my sign to “Just Do It!” And I’m making some progress. Whenever I see something that needs attention and I’m tempted to delay the inevitable, I hear a small voice in my head “Just Do It!” So I’ve been making a point to heed that voice and do it immediately. It’s working I’m catching up on the little things like paying bills, the laundry, and vacuuming. But, what about my writing?

Here’s the thing: other things still work their way into my schedule, which limit my writing time. The phone still rings. AIM still blinks. Emails still launch me into cyberspace. Even household chores become means of procrastination.

Ah, but God is not pleased when we procrastinate.

He says there is time for everything worthwhile. He even gives us time for relaxation. Creating a schedule is the plan…day by day, hour by hour. Sticking to it with an element of flexibility is the key to overcoming procrastination.

Some say the devil made them do it. I say he’s keeping me from doing it. I hear the Lord’s words to Moses and Joshua ringing in my own ears, “Why are you crying to Me? Why are you on your knees? Get up! Deal with it now. You are equipped. Do as I have showed you, commissioned you. Quit procrastinating.” (Exodus 14:15 and Joshua 7:10)

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks