Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Deep Cleaning~ June 3, 2014

820e0f4dfdfbd41f120fbff6652c23e4I am one of those peculiar people who thoroughly enjoys cleaning.  I realize this makes me a bit of a freak, but it’s the way God made me so I’ve come to accept my weirdness as should you.

There’s just something about taking a dirty mess and using my two hands to make it shine. Don’t even get me started on the awesomeness that is carpet shampooing.  It’s like an adrenaline rush!  First the water being sucked in is filthy & cloudy but as I continue to go over the same spot, the water becomes clean & clear.  These are the things that bring me joy.

Last night, we fixed breakfast for dinner which creates a mess of epic proportions.  Three different types of grease mingled together on our black stovetop.  Not our wisest decorating decision as it shows everything, including the egg goo that morphs into super glue when it comes in contact with a hot surface.  Let the scrubbing commence!  As I began to spray & wipe, I watched as layer by layer, my mess dissolved.  I started to feel a sense of accomplishment when it dawned on me that this must be how the Lord feels.

He sees us where we are at, a hot mess, and begins to work on us.  He cleanses our rough places over and over again until the blemish is removed.  Just as the dirty water in a shampooer eventually turns clean with enough repetition, so it is when we allow God to continually clean up the junk in our lives.  Or like the sticky grease on my stove, God removes our sin and stumbling blocks one grimy layer at a time.  His is a cleansing that goes deep below the surface, altering our insides to show transformation on the outside.  All we need to do is invite Him in and allow Him to do the tough stuff.  It’s a pretty good deal when you think about it.  God does the work yet we reap the benefits while He sits on His throne in Heaven pleased by the work of His hands.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV)

 

~Integrity in Business~ March 4, 2014

“A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.” (Proverbs 22:16 NLT)

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I don’t know too many people who don’t desire to have more money.  Most of what we want and need requires moolah.  The problem lies with those who put financial gain over all else, including morality.

There are some who will stop at nothing in order to achieve wealth, even if it means crushing someone under their heels to reach their goals.  We’ve all seen cases where the rich get richer by taking advantage of the unsuspecting.  Most of what we hear of are those who have been caught, but what about the smaller scale schemers that are slipping under the radar?

There are many ways that one can be guilty of dishonest gain.  It is not exclusive to the big wigs who use their positions in finance to rob you blind.

  • The used car dealer with in-house financing who jacks up the price of a sub par vehicle because he knows you’re desperate for transportation but your credit prevents you from getting a better deal.
  • How about the electrician who claimed to rewire your entire house when in reality he only replaced that which you could see and charged you more than double for labor he didn’t complete?
  • Ladies, have you ever been dupped by a mechanic who assumed since your were a woman you would take their word for it and have unnecessary work done?
  • Then there is the small business owner who gives generous discounts to the “upper-class” while showing no mercy to the one who could use the break because the former has more clout than the latter.

“If you must choose, take a good name rather than great riches; for to be held in loving esteem is better than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1 TLB)

If only everyone would embrace this message for truth.  The good news is that most of the time, those who are unjust in business will eventually be found out.  Living in a small town, I can attest to the power of word-of-mouth.  Those who do right by their customers are far more likely to receive repeat business and referrals because they value their integrity over their wallets.

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~Double Standard~ July 9, 2013

men women scalesIf you grew up with a sibling of the opposite sex, then you are familiar with the term double standard.  My brother is 7 years younger than me, so I was out of the teen years before he even got started.  I remember on several occasions saying things to my mom like, “you would never have let me do that!”  She would say, “it’s different with boys.  It’s not fair, but it is true.”  Not cool, Mom, not cool.  Evan got to go places I was never allowed to go, stay out later and have a little less supervision when we traveled.  As I got older, my momma explained to me that she never had to worry that someone would snatch Evan…and if they did, they’d bring him back, (sorry Ev, but she was right).  There was no danger of him turning up pregnant.  There was no worry in the clothes he wore drawing the wrong kind of attention.  Now that I have kids of my own, I understand what she meant.  What I don’t understand is what we are teaching our children when we as adults have a different set of rules depending on gender.

Why is it that certain behaviors and actions are considered okay for women but detestable when the same things are done by men OR vice versa?  I have listed just a few instances where gender may play a part in determining right from wrong.

A group of friends hits the strip club or hires a “private dancer” for a special occasion.  Ladies participate and it’s all in good fun.  Guys do it, and they are pigs for viewing naked women as entertainment.  The same can be said for “non-live” versions of the same entertainment, (including reading materials & movie choices).

Mom and Dad are divorced: Mom has custody & Dad’s not paying child support and the courts throw the book at him regardless of why he’s holding out.  Switch the scenario and Momma is the one neglecting to support her kids and all her lame excuses are accepted without batting an eye.

How about the young people in your life using “potty language?”  You overhear a group of boys talking trash and it’s just boys being boys.  Now let’s say it is pretty little girls saying the exact same things, they’re said to have poor upbringing.

Double Standards.  The urban dictionary defines it as “When a situation is desirable for one group but deplorable for another.”  I would like to present the challenge that wrong is just wrong.  It doesn’t differentiate between genders.  If it’s unacceptable behavior for one, then it’s equally unacceptable for the other.  What worries me is that our generation seems to be blurring the lines.  We use the fact that so-and-so is doing it so it must be okay for us to do it too.

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. …”

(2Timothy 3:1-17)

Don’t allow the fact that we are living in a different day & age affect your moral standards.  Don’t attempt to justify certain behaviors because “everyone else is doing it”…what would your momma say?!  Don’t sit back and accept things simply because society tells you it’s okay.  Stand up for good and live righteously with the help of the Holy Spirit.  And when it comes to making choices, especially ones prone to the old double standard, ask yourself two questions:

  1.  How would I feel if my husband/wife or son/daughter did this? I say this because chances are, if you’re doing it, they will too because you won’t have a leg to stand on to tell them not to.
  2.  Would I do or say this if Jesus were standing right in front of me?  I’m going to let you in on a little secret….He is standing right there watching you and He hears every word you say & every thought you think.