Deadlines: Ours or God’s?

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Courtesy of Pixabay

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 2 Peter 3:10

Today, I’m battling deadlines. In our world, we have the advantage of knowing the deadlines. Usually, I’m on top of things. I don’t like the rush at the last hour, so I tend to plan well and meet the finish line without adding to my grey hairs. Usually.

Not today. Today, I’m struggling to keep up because this week went off-kilter and never got back on track.

What about your Christian life? Are you off-kilter, trying to get back on track. The verse above might create fear in your heart, but I hope you’ll rest in the truth of His word and find peace instead of fear.

The verses prior to this warning say:

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9

The Lord wants all to come to repentance. He’s more forgiving than the deadlines I’m dealing with, but I give my deadlines more attention than the most important one: the day when the Lord returns.

What about you? Are you fighting the world’s deadlines and forgetting His? If so, I hope you pause and focus on the most important one. Seek Him first, find His love, His will, and the others should fall into place.

The List: The Cornerstone of My Speaking Ministry

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Spreading our wings to fly!

The cornerstone of my blog posts comes from a list I created early in my speaking career.  This list helped me tell about my life in a candid and straightforward manner. My story isn’t fun or pretty, but in the midst of life’s messes, I found faith and salvation. So, I’ve tried to use what God has given me in a way to inspire and motivate others to stretch their potential and reach for the pinnacle of success.

The handout I created and nicknamed “The List” is patterned after a stress assessment I used while teaching stress and anger management workshops to corporate clients. During speaking events, I gave the list to each member of the audience and told them it was a stress assessment. After they finished checking off the items they’d experienced, I’d ask each person to tell me how many they checked. The average answer was 10. There are fifty items on the list.

Then, I would say:

What if I told you every one of these things has happened to me? This is my list.

Responses to this question vary, but it opens the door for me to speak to people about the grace of God and His ever-enduring love. I created this list because I felt prompted by God to share my story, to show people that you can come out on the winning side even with so many trials in your past.

Fast forward to a few years ago, and The List became the launching pad for my blog posts. I have not addressed all of the items on the list at this point, but many of them do appear in some shape or form  under a The Journey tag (see Tags on the right).

I still speak about these topics and many others. I pull from a diverse background in training, development, and communications in order to customize a special experience for your retreat needs. Please check out my One Sheet if you’re interested.

When we reach beyond ourselves, we’re closest to spreading our wings to fly!

Stressed or Blessed? Which Are You?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What if a long, lost relative came to you today and told you that he would deposit $86,400 in your bank account at midnight? That sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it?

But there is a catch.  You must spend the entire $86,400 within a twenty-four hour period.  Any money not spent will be taken back.  Oh, and one last point, you can NOT invest it.  You must spend all of it.

So, how would you spend it?

We’re asked this question each and every day.  There are 86,400 seconds in a day.  If we don’t use them wisely, they’re still gone.  We can’t invest them.  We can’t grow time.

 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.  Mark 3:20

Jesus faced this problem every day of his ministry.  How many passages show the crowds finding him, no matter where he went?  He finds time to slip away and pray, but Jesus never turns the people away. Passover is coming and with it, his time as a man on this earth is over.

If you’re like me, you find yourself running and never quite getting it all done.  We have overflowing schedules.  We’re out of breath, eating in our car, not sleeping enough, forgetting things, and feeling a bit haggard.

The thing is, no matter how much we try, we can’t create more time.  We must plan to use it well.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

How are you using our time?  Do your activities fit into these familiar verses or are you running around never quite getting anywhere?

How would you have spent $86,400?

Did you use it to the glory of God or to your own comfort?  Did you use it for something that will allow you to spend your time wisely or foolishly?  It’s fun to dream about what we might do with so much money, but we have that much given to us free of charge every single day. Maybe it’s time to sit back and look at our overflowing schedules and ask how Jesus would have spent the time if he were in our shoes.

NOTE:  I wrote this post a few months ago for our church women’s retreat.  This week, these words resonate with me, though, because I’m trying to get back on track after a few weeks of family “relaxation.” I know when I feel rushed, everyone around me begins to feel my stress. It’s not pretty, so this is as much for me as it is for you.

How are you doing with your 86,400 seconds?