Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guest Blogger - Susan J. Reinhardt

I'm excited to welcome special guest blogger Susan J. Reinhardt. Susan and I connected online (yes, over something writing related!) and have been friends ever since.

She's a great source of wisdom and encouragement, and a talented writer too.  Lest I risk giving her the big head, here is her post...



Time Management – Jesus Style            

“Oh, no, I’ve got to be in Galilee by Tuesday at 10:00 A.M. I’m running late.”

These words don’t appear in the Bible. When Jesus walked this earth, He was bound by the limitations of time. He had the same 24-hour days allotted to us. Yet, He never seemed rushed or stressed out.

People might argue that things were different back then. After all, they didn’t have the Internet, TV, cell phones, computers, or a thousand other modern conveniences. While that observation is true, they faced other time pressures. Getting the crops in on time and harvesting without the help of farm machinery required back-breaking labor. Travel presented dangers still seen in many areas of the world today. I’m sure the issue of time management isn’t exclusive to the 21st century.

Throughout the gospels, mention is made or inferred that Jesus spent time in prayer. His relationship with the Father took priority over every other area of life. Often He got away by Himself, with no disciples around and no crowds. When people demanded His attention and He could not get away, He still remained attuned to the Father’s voice.

Every day, we face choices of how to spend our time. Some might follow a rigid schedule. Others field the events that come their way like Lucy did, trying to keep up with the candy conveyor belt and not doing a very good job. A "kick back and not deal with anything" approach appeals to another group. None of these options work well and carry consequences for our spirit, soul, and body.

So, how can we learn from Jesus in the area of time management? Let’s take a look.

1. He knew where to find guidance for His daily activities…in constant communication with His Father.

2. He kept His priorities in order. He knew from the time He was a young boy, conversing in the temple with the elders, He must be about His Father’s business.

3. With a clear purpose and knowledge of time constraints, He prioritized. He didn’t fall prey to the “I can have it all mentality.”

4. He knew how to delegate authority. He trained others to do the work of the ministry, instilling in them the importance of obedience to God and serving others.

5. The clock or the urgency of a situation did not rule His life. When he was on his way to heal a man’s little girl, the touch of the woman with the issue of blood caused a delay. He was flexible when so-called interruptions postponed his plans.

As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, he reveals more and more of Himself to us. We become sensitive and attuned to his voice, and the Word of God becomes alive in our heart. When we follow through with obedience in the small areas and see the results, our spiritual muscles get stronger. We’re able to discern between something good and something Godly.

Our task lists will be written by him, not us.

Thank you for sharing with us, Susan! If you have a minute, stop by Susan's blog, Christian Writer/Reader Connection. She'd love to see you!

What roadblocks do you hit while writing? What time management tips do you have? Please share!

Happy weekend my friends,
Karen

Photo credit: Silent Fury http://www.sxc.hu/photo/800846

33 comments :

  1. Karen,
    Thank you for this enjoyable post. I am usually very organzied but lately I feel scattered because market searching seems to occupy more of my time than writing. Have a blessed day.
    http://lindaoconnell.blogspot.com/

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  2. May, I say AMEN?!!

    I love this post. So many of my friends and associates are absolutely lovely people, but find it "fashionable" to be late, and can't understand why it makes me a little "frustrated", if you will. Time is a gift from God and should be managed like other resources. Thanks so much for shedding some "light". :-)

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  3. OOps, excuse the misplaced comma in the sentence above. :-)

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  4. Hi Karen -

    Thanks for having me guest blog today. The eternal editor is on duty and saw a few glitches. My apologies.

    More and more, I've been seeking answers to the time management dilemma from scripture. I hope this post helps your readers.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  5. Hi Linda -

    Thanks for commenting. Many of us can share your frustration.

    Awhile back, I did a post on putting the big rocks in the jar first. It helps to prioritize tasks according to importance. If we do all the small stuff first, there's no time left for the big projects.

    For example, I had a deadline this week. Getting the articles polished and submitted was my top priority. After checking that off my list, I was able to concentrate on the smaller items.

    I'll pop over to your blog in a little bit.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  6. Hi Jennifer -

    Thank you. Our time is precious, and we'll have to give an account on how we used it.

    See you at your blog. :)

    Blessings,
    Susan

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  7. Hey Karen -

    I forgot to thank you for the picture. You remembered the Black-eyed Susan is my signature flower. :)

    Blessings,
    Susan

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  8. Hi Susan! Hi Karen! And Karen, thanks for hosting Susan. Very nice post with lots of good analogies. Take care you two little sweeties and have a super day. Susan

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  9. Great post with helpful analogies, Susan. I also think of the folks who would badger Jesus to do showy miracles and he just said no. He knew what his mission was about and what would detract and distract. Oh for the wisdom to discern that in our own lives!

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  10. Great post:) Learning to be flexible down here.

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  11. Love you and think you both are the greatest! Always great wisdom to impart. :O)

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  12. Hi Susan - I'll see you at your blog. :)

    Hi Laurel - Excellent point! We get so distracted meeting everyone's demands. Jesus knew how to say, "no."

    Hi Terri - My former pastor had a saying for those going on the mission field: "flashlight, flip flops and flexibility." :) Your comment reminded me of his words.

    Hi Diane - Aww, thanks for your sweet words.

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  13. Thank you Karen and Susan for a great post! My 'secret' is dedicating one day a week to God, the sabbath, so he can bless the rest, like He does when we give him part of our income! It works, all the time!

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  14. Hi, Susan. Hi, Karen. I needed to hear these points. They make sense to me. I need to revisit the big stones in the jar exercise.

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  15. Karen: Thanks for having Susan today. She is full of wisdom, that girl!

    I liked the one about delgating. That's always worked well for me, whether I was teaching, mothering or managing employees. But not so much with my own self, when I need to exercise or do housework!

    Excellent post, Susan!

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  16. Wow, what a wonderful response! You all are treasures, thanks so much for stopping to see Susan and I! :)
    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  17. Hi Marja - We all need to make time to rest and re-charge. Thanks for commenting.

    Hi Quiet Spirit - I find I need a refresher course every now and then on the basics. How easily we forget our lessons.

    Hi Jen - Yes, getting our families onboard with chores, etc. eases the burden. Of course, there are things no one else can do for us like spending time with the Lord or exercising. :)

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  18. Absolutely wonderful way of connecting Jesus with our lives today. Thanks, Karen and Susan. Loved it.

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  19. What a great post from Susan! Thank you for sharing it with us. I sometimes find that my writing gets in the way of my quiet time with the Lord. I'm trying to be aware of that and remember to put Him first.

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  20. Thanks for the reminder. When things get crazy, it can be easy to push my prayer time aside for the chaos of the world. I have to remember that the only way I can deal with the chaos is to keep that prayer life as the priority.

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  21. Hi all,
    Susan is indeed full of wisdom and encouragement, isn't she? Thanks to all for your input. Great conversation going here!
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  22. Hi Joylene - Nice to meet you! I'll pop over to see you.

    Hi Jean - Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Hi Kathryn - My day always goes smoother when I spend time with the Lord. I don't limit my time to my devotions, but speak with Him throughout the day.

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  23. Jesus also did not allow himself to be distracted. And scribes and pharisees sure tried to do that every chance they could by trapping him with questions they thought would make him look foolish regardless how he answered. Shed off those distractions!

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  24. Very, very good, Susan! My mainstay is a prayer I pray nearly every day, "Lord, ordain all of my appointments." It has transformed my way of looking at "interruptions" and gives Him control of my schedule. It's an exciting way to live.

    That said, I still have plenty of work that needs to be done in this area.

    Love you both!

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  25. Great post, Susan! Jesus gave us the ultimate example of proper time management. Giving the Lord top priority helps everything else fall into place. Thanks for the wonderful reminder! Have a blessed weekend Susan & Karen! :)

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  26. Hi Susan and Karen,

    I love this post!

    Jesus is the best example. How can I go wrong! :)

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  27. I have to agree with all of you! This post makes you think and reminds us what is important. Thanks to all for stopping, and thanks again, Susan, for joining us!
    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  28. Hi Stephen - Ah yes, the distractions and time stealers try to derail us. Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Rhonda - Pray goes a long way to keeping me on track. We all need work in this area of our lives.

    Hi Maria - Good to see you. Your blog helps keep me focused on Him.

    Hi Evelyn - Nice to meet you. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I stop in to see you at your place. :)

    Karen, my friend - Thanks for your hospitality and allowing me to share. You've done a wonderful job with this blog. I wouldn't dream of missing it in my travels. :)

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  29. Hi Karen and Susan .. thanks so much for this enlightening post - so interesting to look at time in this way & how true .. your rocks in the jar first - endorses the time we allocate - our priorities of life .. we can achieve more little things once our project for the day is accomplished.

    Great post - thanks .. Hilary

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  30. Susan, I so needed to hear this! Thank you for blessing my day.

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  31. Another source of amazing resources. You keep good company, Karen!

    And Susan ... I love this: "When we follow through with obedience in the small areas and see the results, our spiritual muscles get stronger." It - obedience - ensures we never get trapped by the tyranny of the urgent!

    What a blessing to hear from both of you all at once.

    Kathleen

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  32. Thanks ladies! Always love it when you stop by. Thanks so much for weighing in!
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  33. Susan, this is a great post. I wish I had thought of this one! I often feel the urgency of the clock, when I should be feeling the urgency of the call of God. Thanks for this realigning of priorities. Good article, and thanks for posting, Karen.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!