Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Top 4 Ways I Save Time

Saving time. Kind of a weird thought. How does one "save" time... We all get the same amount. 24 hours in one day. Some of us are professional time wasters though.

Tick, tock, tick, tock... that sound makes me... nervous! I hate wasting time... I like the idea of saving time... or redeeming time... Ephesians 5:16 sums up the best way to save time: "Make the most of every opportunity..." Sounds simple doesn't it when it is put that way? Here are some ways I make the "most of every opportunity".

1. Shop online. What is one of the many things us moms HAVE TO do? Shop. Our family needs food... well, we do too. And laundry detergent. And vitamins. And... and... you get the idea. We need stuff. Lots of stuff. Every time you GO to the store you have to count the time it takes to get ready, get everyone in the car, drive to the store, shop in the store, pack everything and everyone back into the car, unload the car and put everything away... phew, makes me tired just typing it all out. I like to buy stuff online. Think of all the steps I just listed that get cut out when you do this! My favorite is to buy through and A lot of walmart's prices are hard to beat. If you spend over $50 online (easy to do) then you get free shipping. With amazon I love to use their "subscribe and save" program. Not only do you get free shipping but you also get an additional 15% off! I love to use this for items I use often (paper plates, diapers, dish detergent, emergen-c etc.). We are also prime members on amazon which gives us free two day shipping on almost everything. Totally worth the small fee.

2. Multitask. As. Much. As. Possible. So many of our modern day conviences enable us to multitask non-stop. You can dry a load of laundry while you sleep! Our ancestors would laugh to hear us say: "I just don't have time to do everything." Today I was vacuumming, while the popcorn was popping for the high school outreach, while the clothes were washing in the washer machine, while Ricky and Rhea were working on school work. Always be looking for ways to get more than one thing done at once. 

3. Stay home. A lot of us feeling like we don't have time is because we aren't at home enough. The more time you spend at home the more you get done at home which is our God ordained dominion. Titus 2:5 instructs women to "be busy at home." Again, I love the simplicity of the bible! That is where we are to be the busiest ladies! At home. This is hard because we have cars that can take us lots of places and then we are at all these places neglecting our homes and then we feel like we "just don't have enough time." Pray and ask the Lord to give you direction on if and when He would have you leave the home. My husband is a big help for me in this area, helping me decipher whether or not I should leave the house to do something else. Ask your man and see what he says.

4. Prioritize. How often do you find yourself on facebook before reading your bible? Are you calling a friend just to chat when your sink is full of dishes? Do you find yourself watching "just one more episode" when your kids have been asking you for weeks to play some board game with them? Remember, if you are married and a mother, your highest calling is to minister to your husband and children. Be in His Word first. Serve your family first. Do your "have tos" before your "want tos". Maybe you don't have time to do the important things because the less important things are sucking up all your time. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

God told me.....

I have been having a great discussion with ladies on a group page called "Sister to Sister" on facebook. I initially posted this article: warning my sisters in Christ about the direction Beth Moore seems to be going and received quite a bit of feedback on whether or not God speaks to us outside of His Word.

I have been having so many thoughts whirling around in my head because of this post and I knew I couldn't do a facebook post with a million words long so I decided to do a blog post as a response instead.

First, let me say why I think this topic is so important: God doesn't like people speaking for Him when He didn't speak. Not only does He not like it, it makes Him angry.

"A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape." Proverbs 19:5

"I have not sent them,' declares the LORD. 'They are prophesying lies in my name. Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish, both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.'"-Jeremiah 27:15

People prophesying lies in God's name is nothing new. When someone says: "God said...." when He did not say, they are prophesying lies in His name just like people did in Jeremiah's day. Look at God's response again: "Therefore I will banish you and you will perish, both you and the prophets who prophesy to you." Yikes. No thanks. God takes speaking for Him pretty seriously and so should we.

Many times I wonder if people are really just speaking the delusions of their own minds.

"Then the LORD said to me, 'The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and THE DELUSIONS OF THEIR OWN MINDS." Jeremiah 14:14

Whenever I hear a Christian say: "God said to me...." I shudder a bit... I wonder: "Do they know what they are really saying? Do they understand that they are speaking for God?"

I think the words: "God said.." are becoming too commonplace. People say it like they are speaking for their buddy or their neighbor, not the Creator of the universe.
Some things I do believe in: I believe God works through His Holy Spirit and His Word (the bible) to guide us, teach us and convict us. I also believe that God does not work the same as He did in the Old Testament and I believe Hebrews 1:1-2 explains this perfectly:

"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the Heir of all things, through whom also He created the world."

That seems pretty clear to me: God spoke in past times through His true prophets who could honestly say: "God said to me..." but in these days, we know, He spoke through His Son and the Word of God which John 1 describes as being one in the same.

Does this mean God CANNOT speak to us? Audibly even? NO. He can do WHATEVER He wants. Do I think it is as common as many make it out to be? Absolutely not. In fact, some of the things people claim that God is telling them is often just flat out silly. When God spoke in the Old Testament through His prophets it was with great purpose, it was clear and it was obviously from God.

God would have the same advice for us today that He did for those in Jeremiah's day:

"Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have." Jeremiah 29:8

Secondly, I think this is so important because of how it often shakes young believers and sometimes "older" believers' faith. "Why doesn't God talk to me like He does to 'so and so'?... Maybe I'm not saved... Maybe I don't really have a relationship with God since I never hear from Him."

Thirdly, how do you decipher from "God speaking" and your own mind or deceitful heart? Some of my most charismatic friends have quoted God saying many things that never came to pass or were just flat out lies. One friend told me: "God told me 'this is the man you are going to marry'" Well... that guy ended up marrying someone else. She also said: "God told me that I am going to die very soon." That was 12 years ago. Speaking falsely for the Lord can also be just flat out embarrassing when it is proven to be a lie!

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9.

Wouldn't you rather err on the side of caution/godly fear and not say "God told me"? Wouldn't you rather say I feel like this or that? Quoting God is a way bigger deal than quoting your friend
or even someone like the president. Unless you are sure, beyond the shadow of ANY doubt like Paul on the way to Damascus, I would never say: "God said..."

Lastly, people often talk about God speaking to people in the bible as if it was happening ALL the time. Not so. With the times in the Bible that record God speaking, we have to remember that they occur over the course of 4,000 years of human history. God speaking audibly is the exception, not the rule.

I appreciate's thoughts on God speaking today: "God does speak to people today. First, God speaks to us through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Isaiah 55:11 tells us, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” The Bible is God’s Word, everything we need to know in order to be saved and live the Christian life. Second Peter 1:3 declares, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness." God can also “speak” to us through events—i.e., He can guide us through arranging our circumstances. And God helps us to discern right from wrong through our consciences (1 Timothy 1:5;1 Peter 3:16). God is in the process of conforming our minds to think His thoughts (Romans 12:2). God allows events to occur in our lives to direct us, change us, and help us to grow spiritually (James 1:2–5;Hebrews 12:5–11). First Peter 1:6–7 reminds us, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." God may sometimes speak audibly to people. It is highly doubtful, though, that this occurs as often as some people claim it does."

My husband did two messages on this very thing a couple years ago! Please feel free to listen here and here.

I would like to conclude with these two loving warnings from the New Testament:

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction." 2 Peter 2:1

Saturday, March 1, 2014

One less thing....

I am sure you have heard of Elisabeth Elliot's phrase: "Do the next thing." Well, my new phrase is: "One less thing."

I recently stopped dying my hair. Seems like a simple, non-impressive thing to stop doing but it's one less thing to think about now. It's one less thing to buy. It's one less thing to take up space in my house. It's one less thing to think about. When we have "one less thing" to do we make room for one more beneficial thing to do. When we compile a list of "one less things" we suddenly find we have much more time for the greater things.

In my life right now I am all about: one less thing. Having four children six and under, homeschooling them, and being a pastor's wife (which involves many different things/events) means being pulled in many directions.

All of us probably feel like we are pulled in many directions. Remember, every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. I suppose the reverse could be true too. Every time you say no to something you are saying yes to something else.

By me saying "yes" to doing a blog post right now I am saying "no" to my kids. I cannot give them my full attention. That is why it is also good to evaluate what you choose to say yes to and WHEN you say yes to it. By choosing to blog when my kids are sleeping I am saying yes to blogging without saying no to my kids. Makes sense right?

What "one less thing" do you need in your life right now? What thing can you cut out from your life to say yes to something else? 

We have way too many things in our lives and when we are doing many things we are rarely doing a few things well. It is better to do a few things well than many things poorly.

One less thing will add more to your life. Before purchasing one more thing or before doing one more thing ask these questions: will this thing take more of my time? will I need to find some place to put it? will it require cleaning and upkeep? Does it cost money? If so, is it worth the cost? Is it something my husband would like me to do or to buy? Will this event make me a more godly wife, a better mother or a better homemaker?

By seriously considering what we say yes to we are seriously considering the Lord's will for our lives and how He would have us spend our time. After-all, even our time does not belong to us.  

"For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God." (1 Cor. 6:20)

Make a list right now of the "one less things" you can implement in your life and experience the freedom found in having and doing less!