Showing posts with the label Preparation

Baby Steps

I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until he completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again. (Philippians 1:6) We can sometimes feel like we aren't going to get to where we hoped to get to, finish what we hoped to finish, or just accomplish that one big thing we set in our sights. What we do with those moments determines if we will ever direct our focus toward it long enough to see it completed. We cannot think of having to "rest" in between the spaces or seasons of "accomplishing stuff" as a negative thing. I think God purposefully gives us some seasons in our lives where we kind of "coast" for a while because he knows we'd be overwhelmed if he didn't. He knows our personality and our emotional make-up. Just because you need to step back for a moment, don't be defeated - God isn't finished! The seasons of emotional, physical, and spiritual frenzy would be our undoing if they continued on and on. Don

Take inventory

It was D.L. Moody who reminded us of 'heaven being a prepared place for a prepared people'. Jesus reminds us, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (Matthew 6:19-21) Heavenly-minded individuals are living today in preparation for heaven. That may look like one thing to me and another thing to you, but the end result is what matters. Are today's actions in accord with the principles taught in scripture? Did we take time to consider others as Jesus always did? Are we leaving behind goodness and kindness wherever we journey? To prepare here, we stay focused on the actions and attitude of Christ in all we do. Wherever your treasure is... To understand the 'where', we must first define the 'what'

I want to act better than this

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy." (I Peter 1:13-16) How do we keep from returning to a bad habit? Experts might suggest things like a 21-day commitment to the new one - advising that after those three weeks have passed, the new habit is ingrained into our current way of living. I am going to dispel that myth a bit because if that was the truth, why would we need to return to dieting time after time again, with rebound weight loss? Obviously, the 21-day commitment didn't 'take', did it? We found ourselves drifting back into eating a bit more tha

Perspective AND Preparation

Have you ever found yourself looking the wrong way when something great happens and you totally missed it? I have and it just bums me out when that happens because everyone who actually saw whatever it was proclaim over and over how awesome it was and how terrible it was that I missed it! It wasn't like I missed it on purpose, people! I just had my attention on something else. In today's world of 'rewind' and 'replay' features on almost everything, it is possible to 'go back' to catch what we miss in a video or even on live TV, but in real life those features are seldom at our disposal. You ever find yourself with your attention on 'something else' and wish you had a 'replay' button so you could 'catch up' with the rest of your friends? Ever wish you could just 'rewind' so you wouldn't miss out on all that stuff you wish now you never had missed? I think this is why God always asks us to keep our focus 'forward'

A little prep now makes sense

The training a soldier receives is for one purpose - to be prepared for the battle. Not to be prepared just in case there might be a battle someday in the distant future. It is training to be prepared - regardless of the battle, foe, or challenge. There is a great deal of attention that must be paid in "being prepared" - it involves mind being ready, body being physically prepared, and gear all being in solid working order. Another important part of the soldier's training is that of learning how to use the gear and when it is the appropriate time for each piece of gear. I was issued so much stuff - winter and summer gear - combat and survival gear. Each had a purpose and I had to learn how each piece functioned. If I didn't know how to dismantle my weapon and put it back together perfectly, it could mean the loss of life! Scripture describes the fact that we must learn how to apply the various weapons / pieces of armor we are provided in this Christian walk. It s some


There is something to be said about being prepared, but even the best preparations sometimes don’t bring the results we once hoped to realize. The benefits of preparation are that we have a plan for where we are going or what we are doing, the resources are laid aside or are immediately available, and we have a pretty good idea of what we’d like to see as the outcome. The downside to preparation is that our plans don’t always work out as we imagined, there are times the resources are just not sufficient for the things we are facing, and the outcome doesn’t always “match” what we imagined. God never discourages us from preparing or planning – he just reminds us that we need to rely upon him to guide us to the outcome which is best for us, even if it might not be the one we imagined! T herefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. Hebrews 7:25 NLT I got a call from my grandson last n

Let the discovery begin...

As I look around my "world" today, I see all manner of "things" God has prepared for my enjoyment.  I have a beautiful house, nice yard, reliable vehicle, tremendous relationships with friends and family.  ALL specifically placed in my life for my enjoyment - and for my growth!  Why do I think all things placed in my life are for my growth?  Have you tried to be mature and responsible for the many blessings you have received and observed how ridiculously hard it can be to "handle" what life throws your way at times?  The house helped me to grow and mature in a financial sense.  In short order I learned what it was like to have a financial "burden" in your life which was kind of "bigger" that any other financial burden I had ever known.  In rather short order, I had to grow up with respect to my use of money - learning to budget and take specific interest in reducing this debt year by year.  It is paid off ten years earlier than the mor

You preparing?

Prepared:  Properly expectant, organized, or equipped; ready; in fit condition for immediate use or action.  When scripture tells us to be prepared, the idea is that of being both equipped and ready for immediate action.  If you have ever had one of those games where you pull out one block after another, or perhaps attempt to lift an object out of a tiny space without setting off an alarm or seeing the tower of blocks tumble down, you know what being involved in the game entails.  There is a sense of urgency - or even a sense of being a little "on the edge of your seat" - all because you want to be successful in your endeavor.  Most of the time, preparation is made because we are planning for the inevitable.  As much as we try, we cannot control all the things in this life of ours, but we can prepare in every way possible to be ready for what comes our way.  When the bricks begin to tumble, or the alarms begin to sound, what we have done in preparation for those times makes

Empty jugs

The story begins this morning with a widow woman facing a debt she cannot repay.  She is worried that she will lose her two sons - simply because they would become the "means" of repaying her debt as they would become the slaves to the debtor if she could not repay the debt.  Her husband has been a prophet - a godly man.  I imagine she wonders why this catastrophe is upon her since she likely has lived pretty close to this guild of prophets and their "set apart" lifestyle for a good many years.  She comes to Elisha - one of the major prophets of the Old Testament - seeking his help.  She implores him to consider her plight.  In response, he begins to wonder what he might be able to do to assist.  In those days, prophets were rarely wealthy men or women - they lived by the standards of the day, occupying their time with the normal pursuits of the day such as farming, tending the animals, working with clay or wood, etc., I want us to focus on his answer

Having some "birth pains"?

Have you ever stopped to consider the miracle of birth?  Having birthed two children, I remember the first twitches of the "real" birth pains and all those times of "false labor" when we'd feel those false contractions.  The difference between the two is that one of them did not "advance" the birth process, but rather just made us aware it was nearing.  Those "false contractions" may not have seemed like much, but they indeed did more to alert us to the pending delivery than we might have imagined.  With God, he does not just allow us to enter "into" times of pain without also "birthing" something from those times.  Those painful "contractions" are designed to bring forth something new! In the same way I will not cause pain  without allowing something new to be born,” says the  Lord .  (Isaiah 66:9 NCV) In the weeks preceding the birth of my children, I experienced many of those "false contractions"

A Blossom for a Day

Don't be in any rush to become a   teacher , my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work.   Teacher s are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you'd have a perfect person, in perfect control of life. (James 3:1-3) I am blessed to have two beautiful hibiscus bushes in my front yard.  I worried that they were blighted by the frosts of this past winter and the dryness of this summer.  Yet, as I drive up almost every evening, there are the bright pink blossoms on full display!   The leaves are a rich green and the blossoms are full. Yet, as I consider these magnificent plants, I am caught by the majesty of their blossoming.  The work so hard to prepare that blossom, but it lasts only one day. As  came through Bible College, I had a very wise professor who spoke words into my life that I will never forget.  I was struggling with th

Invitation to be prepared

13-18 Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (Ephesians 6:13-18) We are in a battle - life is never easy.  Our passage today is best known as describing the weapons of our warfare.  In the Message Bible, the passage does not outline "putting on" or "taking up" these weapons / pieces of armor.  Instead, it gives us the reminder that there is a great deal of attention that must be paid in "being p