Friday, September 28, 2012

What REALLY Matters?

The month of September 2012 will probably go down in my personal history book as the most extraordinary month of my life.   Un-bee-leev-ah-bul!   Hubby crashed his motorcycle at the beginning of the month; the bike is fine, the hubster was life-flighted to a DC-area hospital and ended up with five broken ribs, a broken scapula and a lacerated spleen.  Owweee!   

Ten days later, our youngest son and his girlfriend were side-swiped in a hit-n-run (the cops caught the guy!); the car was totaled, the son had amnesia, the girlfriend whiplash. 

Five days later, we learned that Hubby might be out of a job once his disability time runs out. 

And the month isn't quite over as a I write this blog post. you can imagine...I've been feeling just a bit overwhelmed--with a recuperating hubby at home who is chomping at the bit over this enforced "down time"--and I've added a few extra hours to my work schedule to help with the finances.

On top of homeschooling my youngest daughter and my son's girlfriend, I work as a virtual executive assistant to a CEO in Austin, Texas.   The  main thing I do is read all his email and set up tasks for him based on the emails.   Oh.  And I file his emails all neat and tidy.   Every day--not one single email left in his inbox.  
So, you might think "Wow, she's so organized!"   And I am.  Except with my own "personal" email.   A few months ago, I tasked myself to be as ruthless with my own inbox as I am with the Boss.   

And I was actually making headway.   Until September hit.  Then there was all this OTHER stuff going on.  

Guess what?   I didn't feel overwhelmed so much by the 100-mile trips to the hospital to visit Hubster--altho' DC traffic can be daunting!  Nor was I overwhelmed by the all-nighter in the ER with my son and his girlfriend.   Nope.  Because I know that God has our times in His hands.   

Where I feel stupidly overwhelmed is in the little things that have fallen by the wayside, and my email is like this big NEON sign:  PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

And technically <wink!> I know that email is waaaay down on the list of things that really matter.  But it bugs me.    Mainly because I've always enjoyed correspondence, writing letters and greeting cards.   And letting things sit and simmer is just NOT my personality.

All THAT to share with you a Reminder List that arrived in today's email.   As I was reading through it, I felt this weight lifting--it was such a good reminder to me of "What Really Matters." is the list--with a few tweaks and edits to personalize for moi and to make it Titus Two Friends friendly.  

Remember What Is Really Important

1. Pray continuously.
2. Read my Bible daily.
3. Go to bed and quit falling asleep on the couch.
4. Get up on time so I can start my day un-rushed.
5. Say "No" to projects that don't/won't fit into my time schedule.  Even if it's something "fun."  Get OFF the computer.

6. Delegate tasks to capable others.  Train the kids!  Let them do it their way.
7. Simplify and un-clutter my life.  New stuff in? = Old stuff out!
8. Allow extra time to get things done.  Quit missing deadlines & making excuses!  It's so lame.  I'm NOT a lame person.  Plan ahead!

9. Allow extra time to get to places.  No more being late!  Five minutes is usually all it takes.  Geeze!
10. Spread out changes and projects over time (break into smaller chunks).  Baby steps!
11. Take one day at a time.  God has Tomorrow handled.  And Yesterday, too, for that matter.

12. Separate worries from concerns. Read my Bible and pray.  God will make it clear.  If I can't do something about a situation, then forget it.
13. Live within our budget.  

14. Have a backup plan and important "extras" like a car key tucked in my wallet, a house key in the garden, extra stamps, cash on hand, package of toilet paper, see?
15. Keep my big mouth shut!  Having the last word or being "right" isn't always the most important thing.  Listen more!
16. Do something fun everyday - look forward to it!  Motivation, too!

17. Carry a book to read while waiting in line or stuck in traffic.
18. Eat right. Eat more veggies.  Don't be tempted to bring junk food home from the store!
Write down thoughts and inspirations.  Have a "capture" book handy. 
20. Listen to uplifting books or music while driving or exercising or working.
21. Get organized so everything has its place.  Set aside time daily, weekly, monthly and seasonally.
22. Make friends with Godly people.  Stay in touch with them.
23. Keep a notebook of favorite scriptures on hand.
24. Laugh.
  Often.  Heart-felt.  Uproariously.   Giggle.  Smirk.  Chuckle.
25. Take my work seriously - but myself not so much!

26. Most people are doing the best that they can.  Be more forgiving.  Let it go.
27. Be kind to unkind people.  My children see what I'm doing and are learning from my example. 
28. Sit on my ego.  I don't need to brag.  My life is visible to others.
29. S-l-o-w down. Waaaay down.  I am NOT the general manager of the universe.
30. Every night before bed, think of one thing I'm grateful for that I've never been grateful for before.  Thank GOD!

"Now may the Lord of peace himself 

give you peace 

at all times and in every way.  

The Lord be with all of  you."   

2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV

Check out Titus Two Friends on Facebook

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Exercising on a Slippery Slope

I have a lovely young friend who is a strong Christian, a good wife and mother, and she is very big into healthy living and exercise.  In fact, she used to be so into exercise that she became a yoga instructor.   That is, until she started digging deeper into the philosophical ramifications of yoga.   She recently asked her Facebook friends to follow a link to a Q/A article about Christians participating in yoga.      

Many friends left comments.  The really interesting (to me) comments came from "Christian" friends attempting to defend their participation in and enjoyment of yoga.  Their explanations included "there's nothing wrong with yoga as long as you steer clear of the religious aspects." Others theorized that instead of meditating or emptying their minds, they focus instead on a Bible passage or "only" do yoga for the healthful aspects of good exercise. 

My friend was right, and she was out-numbered.   And you know me well enough by now.    I HAD to get into the discussion.  So.

Here is the (slightly edited) response I added to discussion.   My dear friend told me she would like to give me a TRIPLE "like"--because my response hit home.   Others were offended.    I do come off pretty strongly, I'll admit that, but then I believe St. Paul came off pretty strongly in some of his letters, too, and I'm betting that God gave him a TRIPLE "like" too.   

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Dear People,

If you are a Christian and if you know your Bible, then you know that we are told to FLEE from all things that are not OF GOD. We are also told that we are IN the world but not to be OF the world.

ANYTHING--N. E. THING!!!--that is NOT directly from God is from the world. Don't get trapped in thinking, "Well, this is an 

People, we're not talking about women being ushers or what color the altar paraments should be.

Hello? How is yoga and the practice thereof an adiaphoron--negotiable? So what if it is "good exercise"?  Sex outside of marriage feels good, too.   Since when does "it makes me feel good" or "it seems harmless" hold weight with a Christian?

God is clear in His word that the
road to Hell is wide and heavily traveled.   The road to Heaven is narrow and sparsely populated.

Spin this any way you like, but we Christians -- Christ followers -- should abstain from, resist and tear ourselves away from ANYTHING that cannot stand up under God's scrutiny.

You don't get a pass because YOU say, "hey, this is an adiaphoron." 

NO, IT'S NOT!!! This is an Eastern religion, humanistic, and mystical.

Why would you want to test such things? Why would you take the chance that you are leading your children astray with the things you are involved in? Why would you callously disregard what Jesus said, did and died for (on YOUR behalf), when God's Word is clear that we are to have
NOTHING TO DO with the sinful world?

So, yeah. Toss out the trick-r-treating. Give your kids a bag of candy. Let them dress up in play clothes and pretend to be pirates or whatever without participating in something that glorifies Satan.

Toss out Santa Claus and every holiday decoration or tradition that reeks of the gimme-greedee stuff--focus on CHRIST's birth instead--totally.   Get rid of the Easter Bunny, too, and remember the sorrow of Christ's death and the joy of His resurrection.   Your faith will grow so much when you get rid of the GARBAGE that drags you down.  

When  Christians participate in these sorts of holiday festivities--which do NOT give glory to God--we are WORSE than unbelievers because we KNOW BETTER!!!! And our participation can lead someone of weaker faith to the wide and paved road that leads to Hell. Do you think THAT is not a sin?

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

St. Paul's letters are LOADED with many warnings.  He reminds us that as we grow, our faith should mature, and that we should leave behind the things of the world.   Remember, too, that as our faith matures we carry more responsibility for the way we live our life.     

Rid your life of the things that are not GOD-pleasing! We have a commandment--it's the first one. LOVE GOD above everything else. If you STILL think there's nothing wrong with participating in Yoga because your faith is just so strong you can resist temptation, and you don't "get into" all the religious aspects, then you are ignoring your own sinful nature AND --more importantly-- you are DILUTING the rest of your Christian witness. 

Other people--with weaker faith--are watching you...and when YOU (supposedly a "strong" Christian) delve into something KNOWN to be un-godly, then YOU, my dear friend, have a millstone chain already wrapped around your neck. You just haven't been tossed overboard yet. 
Unwrap that chain which Satan is looping around your neck, one link at a time. You are SILLY to think that YOU--somehow--have SUCH a strong faith, that you couldn't stumble. WORSE, you, by your pride, are perhaps leading WEAKER ones to believe that "a little bit is okay."

Still not sure?  Check out this