Dancing with Simplicity

Simple Living, Walking by Faith
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Tangles of Weeds: Can I Conquer Life’s Clutter?

  • January 25, 2020 9:47 am

Conquering Life’s Clutter

Tangles of Weeds: Can I Conquer Life’s Clutter?

Every year I say I am going to …de clutter my house, journal,
read more, bake, learn a new craft, and organize paper clutter in my office.
Sound familiar? You too? And every year it does not happen. Well, not most of
it anyway. It’s like the view from my kitchen window. Our window looks out on
our long, narrow yard. Our dogs have seen to it that no grass remains. Instead,
we have a lot of odd trees and weeds that like to keep coming back every year. A
tangled, hot mess. One year we finally paid to have the overgrowth removed. Everything
was pretty, though still not grassy. The yard cleaned up nicely. My view from
the kitchen window revealed a conquered yard! Despite the lack of much greenery,
it was something to behold… for a season. A very short season. Yard clutter.

So it is with our yearly, weekly, daily, goals, and plans. The
space is cleared. We make room in our homes, our schedules our lives, for all
sorts of things (including some me time.) Unfortunately, before we know it the
whole mess has grown back again. Weeds start filling the schedule, our
thoughts, our plans, choking out our attempts to dream some big
dreams. Bottom line, our attempts to simplify, declutter, get rid of the weeds,
are thwarted every time. Life clutter.

Now you might think this is a bad thing, but it really is no
surprise to God. He knows we have no good thing in us, and He knows our sin
entangles. A manicured yard doesn’t last long in a fallen world. The weeds will
come back. Cluttering tangled messes like anxiety, addictions, stress, depression,
pride, stubbornness, disobedience. Notice these are not all blatantly sinful things.
Sometimes, they are time robbers. Sometimes they simply drain you and zap your
energy. They grow in like those weeds, quickly, subtly, unnoticed. Just like in
my backyard. Creeping clutter.

Maybe, it’s time to
remember the weeds and clutter are simply going to be there. Instead of
being caught off guard, pluck them up and move on. If they grow back, tear them
down again. If it takes some repentance and confession, so be it Let
God’s presence fill up the overgrown messy weedy places. You may find
opposition coming back, and taking over. Opposition to your plans, dreams, and
choices comes in all sorts of forms. Though it is a battle you may deal with
every single day for the rest of your life, in the end He has conquered it all.
For now, try planting His Word in the barren yard. Do not let the yard take you
by surprise. Recognize it, expect it, and conquer it. Tear it down. Deal with
it when it grows and better yet, let Him be the gardener. Simplify your
life, by anticipating the opposition. Be prepared for it, and keep moving
forward. Behold the view from the window. He is making all things new.

II Cor 4:16 (MSG) So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the
outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside,
where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.

Suggested Online Christmas Services

  • December 22, 2019 1:24 pm

If you have no plans or places to go for Christmas services, may I suggest:

https://www.viewpointchurch.org/

Viewpoint Church.  Author/pastor Becky Tirabassi’s church from Southern CA, USA. Becky has long been a  mentor. I have used her Change Your Life Daily Bible and other resources for years, and now she and husband Roger pastor a church. Visit her church site or find her on Facebook. More resources:  http://www.changeyourlifedaily.com/. Coming in January, read through the Bible in one year…with Becky on Instagram.

 

Saddleback Church, Pastor Rick Warren from CA.  https://saddleback.com/

I’m a member of the online community on Facebook, and serve on the online prayer team. You will find many online Christmas services and a new church-wide event begins in January 2020. Watch live, watch the archive or You Tube services. The Worship team has to be one of my favorites, from just anywhere!

Retinopathy Perspective, Diabetes Anniversary

  • August 27, 2019 1:16 pm

August 2019:  It’s my 49’th anniversary of my diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. I’m currently facing some challenges with retinopathy. Having had two hemorrhages since November, and two injections and some laser…well, nothing much has improved. I’ve recently won two art classes and these I hope to make use of, vision or not! Retinopathy is not fun to deal with, and in my case does not ever resolve quickly. When the laser failed this time around, I was sent for Avastin injections. Those have not worked well either. I can’t really drive and I have numerous things I need to be out doing.

My 49’th Anniversary? Wow! A lot has changed since my diagnosis in 1970. No more urine testing, injections (I use an Omni Pod insulin delivery system), and much more technology. If you are dealing with diabetes and its complications, feel free to leave a comment. And blessings to all of you!

© Tracie Koziura | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Easter Hope

  • April 19, 2019 1:27 pm

© Tracie Koziura | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I often think about one Easter spent in Georgia, somewhere back in the 60’s. My Dad spread blue fur around our hotel room. I’m assuming the Easter bunny was blue. I think that is what Dad was suggesting. He (Mr. Bunny) always took a nice bite out of the carrots I left for him. I believe he did on that occasion as well. Easter was blue fur and bunnies, and carrots with tooth marks in them. And who can forget Easter egg hunts, and being dressed up in patent leather shoes and your finest church clothes?

Those days however, are long gone. What used to be a holiday filled with candy and toys, has now become something much more to me. The Easter story brings hope. Hope of life eternal and grace beyond measure. Hope that streams from putting our faith in the one whose crucifixion we remember. When I decided to become a Christian, to follow Christ, I began to see how the Bible message as a whole became a reason for celebration. The Easter message was there in much of the Scriptures. Scripture was worth studying, memorizing, and above all following.

I would also discover that the most quoted Easter verses did not provide the whole picture. Suffering had to come before joy, fear before worship and God’s plan had to move forward into a message for others to hear. The message of Easter can be found in both Old and New Testament verses. It’s been said; that the message of the New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament. The message of hope therefore isn’t limited to just the standard Easter Scriptures. It is woven through the entire canon of Scripture. Bible verses specific to our Easter celebrations, stand as promises and bring us hope while Old Testament symbolism points to something much more.

It may not sound very hopeful to look at the suffering the Cross carried with it yet Psalm 22 reminds us of the suffering necessary to bring us future hope. Christ’s very words ” My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1, NIV) reminds us that the pain was a necessary part of the process. The whole Psalm bears witness of this. I have always marveled that the words uttered on the Cross (Matthew 27:46, NIV) were recorded in that Psalm long before. We cannot possibly fathom this suffering yet it reminds us of why we have our Easter celebrations at all. His suffering had to come before the triumph. His friends, family and followers had to endure great pain, before unspeakable joy. Though they pale in comparison, sometimes our trials precede our victories. We have to deal with pain in our lives, often before we see the glory on the other side. Entombed in our heart are many trials, many days of suffering and pain.  But Resurrection power bursts through as our heart is renewed and filled with hope and joy.

The four gospel books contain various accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. In Matthew 28 an angel explains to Mary Magdalene and ‘another Mary’ that Jesus’ body is no longer in the tomb.

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:8-10, NIV.)

Our worship should flow out of this very scene. Because of what He did for us, these Bible verses that celebrate Easter, can be personalized. We can worship at the feet of the Lord, because of the very fact that the tomb is empty. The. tomb. is. empty. He has risen. Our fear of any situation can be replaced with joy. The joy invokes worship at His feet.

In Luke Jesus left us this word “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24:44, NIV). The New Testament hope is concealed in the Old Testament Scriptures. Our Easter celebration is not made up of blue fur, and bunnies. Rather it is a celebration of hope. Hope based on a God who kept His promises, and fulfilled His word. I can live in light of the ‘everything’ that must be fulfilled.

This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44, NIV).

The Biblical celebration of Easter has to encompass the Cross of suffering, the joy of an empty tomb and the fulfillment of Scripture, past and future. From our own corner of the world we can preach the Easter message to others. We can share Easter verses of encouragement and hope. We can turn our fear to joy, and share that joy with those who need to hear. Be blessed and encouraged this Easter. Our world grows increasingly more troubled day by day. This Easter, embrace your Biblical hope as you live out your day to day life. Take your suffering and turn it to celebration, over the life that was given, and the life that now lives and intercedes on our behalf.

 

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