Perfection is an Evil Taskmaster

Does perfection impede your progress and alienate you from others?

I used to work in an office with Griselda* who knew everything about everything. She scrutinized every single phone conversation I had, every document I created and every chart I filed – for my own good and the good of the office, of course.

And she didn’t just “supervise” her co-workers. One day, a single mom with two little kids came into the office. While the mom was doing her business, the children got curious and noisy in the waiting area. From her desk, Griselda sternly chastised them into cowering submission, mortifying the mom and the rest of us onlookers.

The cost of perfectionism.

I’m all about doing your best, but when perfection is the taskmaster, and you can’t measure up, it sucks the want-to right out of you. Being told by someone else (or yourself) you need to be perfect wears you out and keeps you from experiencing new things and new people. 

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Does God Listen to Your Prayers if You’re Naughty?

As a national Christian speaker, I hear the secret questions that women ponder. One that keeps women up at night is,
Does God listen to my prayers if I’m naughty?

There are those who will tell you that God does not listen to the prayers of sinful people. I’d have to disagree. If being naughty disqualified you from having God’s ear, no one would have it.

  • Especially not a murderer like Moses or Paul.
  • Hotheads like Peter and Samson would certainly be disqualified.
  • Rebels like Jonah and Abraham would never get God’s attention.

Priscilla Shirer says, “Do you really think God loved you enough to die for you but doesn’t love you enough to talk to you?”

Now it’s true that if you have a huge sin in your life, it could be an obstacle to hearing from God.

But, that’s on you. God doesn’t distance himself from us. Our shame and guilt keeps us from approaching himI recently had a falling out with a girlfriend. I hurt her feelings and there was a rift between us. Consequently, I did not go out of my way to see her or call her or run into her. I even avoided going to places where I knew she’d be! The disharmony between us made me want to avoid her. It wasn’t until I acknowledged my mistakes, said I was sorry and asked her to forgive me did I want to spend time with her again.

The same is true when I hurt God. When I am being naughty, or haven’t dealt with my sin, I do not want see him, or hear him or be with him … until I admit my misstep, say I’m sorry, and ask him to forgive me. Only then will I want to spend time with him. Only then will I feel worthy to approach him. 

If God didn’t listen to the prayers of naughty people like me … and maybe like you, he wouldn’t hear anyone’s prayers.

But he does. The Bible says so. Jer 33: 3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  God is on the edge of his throne waiting to hear from you. 

The Lord loves to hear from naughty people like me and you… so he can tell us that we’re forgiven and we’re loved, and that he has wonderful plans for us.

What’s holding you back from talking to God today? Drop a comment below and tell me what your prayer is today. 

Prayer: Lord God, I am so thankful that you are always at the ready to hear from me, guide and direct me, forgive me and reset me. Thank you for a do-over every time I need one. Your love sets me free. Amen. 

Are You Confused About Prayer?

I was very confused about prayer when I first started to follow Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I knew that I was supposed to pray but I wasn’t sure how … or even to whom I should address my prayer. I knew there were three persons of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but I wondered Which one do I pray to? I sure didn’t want to offend one person of God or bring down God’s wrath on myself for doing it wrong!

How could I get the answers I needed?

I was in a small Bible study group with some pillars of our church. When they prayed it sounded like they were reading from a hymnal! I wanted to pray like they did! However, I didn’t want anyone to know how ignorant I was! 

In the end, I had to ask for help. I screwed up my courage and asked the oldest and grayest of them to teach me about prayer.

She explained, “What one person of God knows, they all know. It doesn’t matter which person of God you address your prayers to.”

She suggested I start with a memorized prayer like the one in Matthew 6. I still pray the Lord’s prayer frequently, but since then I also developed a prayer model to help me keep my prayers fresh and fervent.

I call it the T.R.U.S.T. Prayer Model.

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Do You Wish God Still Wrote On Walls?

Do you have a big prayer concern?
Have you prayed and prayed and there has been
no answer or healing or breakthrough.

Don’t you wish God would just
write the answer on your wall?

Be careful what you wish for!

I dare say that if God’s hand appeared,
we’d still question and fuss
if not fall over in fear!

It is true.
We’d love to know what to do to stay in God’s will and experience his best for us.
So many of our questions are not specifically addressed in the Bible.
Is it God’s best for you to be married or single?
Is it God’s best for you to stay at your job or start your own biz?
Is it God’s best for your child to go to private or public school?
Is it God’s best for you serve in this ministry or that one?

Aside from writing on the wall,
how do you know when and how God answers your prayers?

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Are You Bound By Fears?

Are you missing out
on what God has for you because
you’re bound by fears?

My mom and dad are living their golden years
in a great neighborhood with tons of friends.
My mom, who is 76, walks 4 or 5 miles a day –
usually with her “Yoo Hoo” girlfriends.

(As the girls walk by her house, they call,
“Yoo hoooooo, are you walking today?”)
My dad, who is 85, still golfs
18 holes 3 or 4 times a week
under the blistering summer FL sun.

They live life large …
in a small radius.

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Missing on the Mountain

Fifteen years ago today, my husband Craig piloted our little airplane on a routine flight from Grand Rapids, MI to Lebanon, PA. He was supposed to pick up the pastor friend he’d dropped off the week prior. 

Craig never arrived at his destination.

airplane image (1)

 

A search ensued that lasted for weeks. 

Life was turned upside down and inside out.  

It was harrowing.

It was all-consuming. 

Not just for me, it imprisoned my children, my extended family, and all my friends.  

Life as we knew it just stopped.

In that time of suspended anticipation, our faith was tested and our prayer lives exploded.

Everyone wants to see a miracle. 

No one wants to need one.  

I needed one.

Did I get it?  

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