The God of peace orders my day

Ever had one of those particularly chaotic days when it seems like everything that can go wrong, will? Water on the floor, no milk for your cereal, a nasty computer virus, and a maddening drip SOMEWHERE in your house. Before you know it, you have no computer, several holes in your walls, and a broken pipe that’s been gushing water into your basement – for weeks or months without your knowledge. And there’s still no milk for your cereal.

When my littles were newborns, I was so dizzy with emotion and hormones that I literally couldn’t see through the haze of sleeplessness, neediness, loneliness, and confusion. My days were unordered and frightening. It’s a wonder I didn’t burn my house down or forget to feed someone. (Actually, I think there were several evenings I forgot to make dinner and once or twice I forgot to feed the dog. Thank goodness for my forgiving husband and Chick-fil-a. And a truly great dog.)

Today’s confession soothes my frazzled nerves. “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” 1 Corinthians 14:33. Knowing that my God works with reason, order, and peace helps me to slow down and turn control over to Him. I don’t have to know everything or do everything. I just have to trust Him and let His peace order my day.

The God of peace orders my day.

Because, truthfully, if He can the universe from a formless and empty space, He can surely organize my day.

Is chaos the norm for you, or have you managed that delicate balance between busy-ness and peace?

I trust in the Lord

My husband came home this week and told me work will be slow, possibly for months, and he won’t get full-time hours. Bills loom, little ones fuss for food, and our cars (and computers) need repairs. My first response is to panic, but something keeps my emotions in check. Barely. I remind myself that much of the world can relate – and even has a more dire situation than ours. Who can get us out of this mess?

With the national unemployment rate hovering at just over 9%, the jobs crisis continues. Headlines report the world economy is on the brink of crashing as hundreds of thousands of people pull their money out of national banks. The United States of America watches televised debates of potential presidential candidates and scratches their heads, wondering who can be trusted, who can get us out of this mess.

I’ve learned something in writing this blog. Whatever the situation looks like, I don’t need to panic. I don’t need to be afraid. Because I trust in the Lord.

Today’s confession comes from Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

When panic threatened to take me out at the knees, I chose instead to listen to the Truth. Yes, I’ve had to repeat this confession several times, but the effects are amazing. The more I say it, the more I believe it.

He loves you, dear one. He won’t let you out of His control. Who can we trust? Who can get us out of this mess? Only the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator of the universe. If there’s anyone you can trust, it’s Him. So say today’s confession out loud or say it in the recesses of your heart. But believe it.

I trust in the Lord.

What does your situation look like? Do you trust in the Lord with all your heart?

I have overwhelming victory

There’s no easy way to begin today’s confession. It smacks one of the most pervasive temporal experiences about life right in the face. This culture, this economy, the lifestyle we live, and the people surrounding us attest to the lack of truth in our lives.

It was much too recently that I rocked a 13 month old baby in my lap, five months pregnant with another, weeping with fatigue, hopelessness, helplessness, and post-partum depression. My husband worked out of town four nights a week, leaving me with an unruly teenager and an infant and all of the daily hardships I couldn’t handle. I couldn’t find paying work in spite of sending out over 100 resumes and job inquiries in a six-week time frame. We couldn’t afford our mortgage payment. We barely got meals on the table. Every one of my five senses told me there was no hope. No God. No end to the struggle.

Thank goodness there’s more to life than what we can see and feel.

While my struggles – and yours – are real to life today, they are not the biggest and most important truth. They are lies meant to cripple you, to take your faith and your vitality and ultimately your life. I felt weak and powerless as I walked through this hardship. Valueless. Alone. Victimized.

To believe any of the lies this world casts on you all day is to accept far less than what you are meant to be. I am not a victim. I am not alone. I am not powerless, and you aren’t either. You have great value. Because our strength and power comes from the timeless Creator of the world, it is limitless and possible of infinite creativity.

Today’s confession might seem difficult and unrealistic in the face of your struggles, but that makes it even more important to look in the mirror and say it out loud.

Despite life’s struggles, I have overwhelming victory through Christ who loves me. Romans 8:37

What are you struggling with today? How does this confession change the way you see it?

Marketing with Emotion

Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

Okay, stop singing to the tune in your head and think about the last big item you bought. Was it a computer? A car? A house?

Here’s another one: Have you donated to a certain charity recently? What made you choose it and the dollar amount to donate?

One more to think about: Have you read any junk mail letters that made you pull out your credit card for something you absolutely don’t need? (It happened to me with the VitaMix machine. My husband stepped in before I could make the call. Drat!)

Whether you bought the item or not, do you remember what exactly caught your attention? Chances are, your decision was based largely on emotion. It’s a common practice in marketing to sell to the buyer’s heart, not to his head. We buy based on desire and justify the purchase later. Case in point: I loved how the VitaMix made me feel healthier and smarter for not wasting foods. Plus, it allowed me to make soup, ice cream, dips, smoothies, and on and on.

See the emotion and the justification? The copywriter for this ad went for my desire to live a healthy lifestyle, and my justification to spend $500 was that it would actually save us money (by not wasting foods) AND we’d have a wide range of menu options. Clever.

When you write ad copy or promotional material, make sure you’re not acting in an unethical manner by manipulating your readers’ emotions. Evaluate your product, idea, or service. Is it a legitimate need? Can it improve lives? Are you putting an unrealistic and unnecessary price point on it just to rake in cash?

What emotions can you target to trigger a sale and still sleep at night? Try some of these:

  • Love
  • Generosity
  • Compassion
  • Healthy living
  • Knowledge
  • Good stewardship

Just remember to offer a quality product so your buyer can justify the decision to invest in you.