Showing posts with the label Time

Spent as he sees fit

Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. (Amos 5:14-15) We all face the enemy, but he doesn't always use the same attack for each of us. His attacks are all aimed at the same thing - getting us to turn our backs on righteousness. James 4:7 reminds us to "...humble ourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from us." Amos tells us to actually run from evil - either way, we are supposed to put some distance between us and our enemy! It is this 'distance' that can give us the time to regain right perspective in the midst of the battle. Without the 'distance', we could be overcome by the chaos of the attack! How do we 'create distance' in our lives? If we are always livi

The clock is ticking

Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time. (Theodore Roosevelt) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. ...Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11) How do we use our time? Is it wisely, or a little too frivolously? Colossians 4:5 reminds us to make 'wise use of our time' - influencing all those who are 'outsiders' to the faith. Grace isn't something this world is accustomed to receiving, so when we reveal grace in and through our lives, we are being a positive influence on this hurting world. James reminds us we don't know what tomorrow will bring, so we had best be doing what God asks of us today, for none of us is assured a tomorrow. For everything there is a season. What season is upon you right now? I think God wants us to learn to take every activity, submit

Are you getting the most out of it?

I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. (Galatians 5:4-6) I bet no one will be surprised to know that I spent a great deal of time trying to be holy by completing various religious 'plans' and 'projects'. I'd fast for a day, not really knowing why I was doing it, but someone told me it would 'make me closer to God'. I'd read a certain number of chapters in the Bible every day, not really getting much out of it, all because someone told me I needed to make a 'plan' for reading through the Bible every year. I'd go to church every Sunday morning, Sunday even

A life healed and whole

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. (I Peter 1:3) This was one of those verses I'd remind mom of anytime she'd worry over her many aches and tremendously haunting neuropathic pain. We'd just sit for a bit and imagine her walking upright, without pain, able to see perfectly once again. She had a hard time imagining it, but she held onto that promise time and time again - life healed and whole. Sometimes all we have is the hope - we cannot let go of it no matter how long the answer may be delayed - because the day is surely coming! I don't know what you delay may be, but trust me on this one, the day is coming! Too many times we think the 

Take some time

The best time of year to enjoy some of the fruits of the season varies, doesn't it? The melons are juicy and sweet in summer, but almost non-existent in winter. The grapes are colorful and tasty right from the vines during summer. The strawberries boast luscious enjoyment and a sweet scent, but come fall and winter, they just don't taste the same. Fruit has a way of satisfying our senses - both internally (our taste buds) and externally (sight and smell). There is another kind of fruit we might enjoy a little better if we realized we might just "eat it" at a later time! The fruit I refer to is our words - they can be satisfying in season, not so sweet out of season, and sometimes totally non-existent! Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose. (Proverbs 18:20-21) Good talk - fruit for our souls, nourishment for our minds, and h

The reward is in the time

It is easy to get distracted when it comes to anything like a little quiet time with God. Taking time with my best friend is hard enough, but time alone with God is sometimes harder. Why is that? I think it might just be because the enemy of our souls knows exactly what happens when time is spent together with our mighty Savior! He knows the power that is given and the settling of uncertainty that comes. He doesn't want either to occur, so he puts up as many smoke screens and mirrors to distract us from this exchange as much as possible. Create the right environment and you can eliminate a few distracting forces. Allow the wrong ones and you will find time alone with God becomes harder and harder. "When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don't make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won't make you a saint. If you 'go into training' inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and co

Meet my true need

As you  serve  the Lord, work hard and don’t be lazy. Be excited about serving him!   (Romans 12:11 ERV) The late Peter Marshall said, "The measure of life is not its duration, but its donation." Let that one take hold for just a moment, then ask yourself what it is you have "donated" to the lives around you this week. What are you "giving" of yourself in the relationships you have around you? How are you meeting the needs of those who rely upon you or look to you for assistance? Some will answer that they went to work, provided food on the table, and gave them a roof over their heads. Others will say they wrote a check, made a donation, or joined an organization that supports a cause. I'd have to ask if we are really making that much of a donation in our relationships or toward our "causes", though. There is nothing more important than you giving of yourself - not just your funds. Doesn't our passage tell us to work hard and not b

Time isn't everything - timing is

Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. ( Psalm 90:2,4   NLT ) Most of us don't really understand how a thousand years can be like a day to God - as brief as a few night hours. In fact, if you have ever spent a sleepless night, awakened by some noise, then unable to fall back to sleep again, you know how "slowly" those hours pass! The important thing for us to remember is that God's time-continuum is different than ours - his economy of scale is huge compared to ours. This is so very valuable for us to learn, because we tend to think in the here and now, with maybe a little look into the future now and again, but God sees the bigger picture long before it ever happens! The above passage begins with, "Lord, through all the generations you have been our home." This is the pivotal point of all the psalmi

Let the skies declare...

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.  Romans 1:20   NLT I was up this morning in time to gaze into the pre-dawn sky with my oldest grandson in search of the Lyriad meteor shower. We captured two brief moments of shooting stars, but not much more. Needless to say, the time with him was what mattered, not so much that we were dazzled by shooting stars or meteors in the sky. As we repositioned from time to time to catch a different glimpse of the sky, I was amazed at how much this thirteen year old boy has not only grown in height, but in intelligence! He has this awesome app on his phone, points it toward the sky, takes note of the key stars in the constellation and speaks of the stars and their path across the night sky as they moved from horizon at sunset to their present position high abov

It is later than we think...

As I was driving by a local funeral home the other day, I took notice of this large clock and thermometer display sign they have. I don't usually travel this way t work, but took this route as an alternative since I was running a little later than usual and it would help me avoid some traffic. I was struck by the time on the sign as it said it was later than I perceived it to be. Now, at first, this provoked a little reordering of thought and recalculate on in my path to work, but when I noticed the smaller clock on the dashboard, that time was closer to the time I believed it to actually be.  I think there are times in life when we perceive it to be one time, but may not realize it is later than we think! Maybe this was the message from the funeral home...consider the time, for it may be later than you think. For everything there is a season, a time to every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. (Ecclesiastical 3:1-

Time is...

Henry Van Dyke is quoted as saying, " Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity ." There is a lot of wisdom in those words of this author and clergyman! This is taken from his poem, "Time Is", and has often been the selection to be read at some funerals, inscribed on plaques in remembrance of those lost in battle, and simply shared in a moment of tender reflection with one we might love.  I have seen the kinds of tasks God has given each of us to do to keep one busy, and I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity; we look back on the past and ponder over the future, yet we cannot understand the doings of God. I know there is nothing better for us than to be joyful and to do good throughout our lives; to eat and drink and see the good in all of our hard work is a gift

Time is not in a bottle...

Nelson Mandela fought against apartheid in South Africa - the mission of his term in office as their President focusing strongly on racial reconciliation in their country. One of the quotes he is known for is also one of my favorites: " We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right ."  Time is a fleeting thing - it is easy for it to get away from us, like water passing under a bridge, we often don't recognize the millions of seconds just frittered away. The time is always "ripe" to do right - there is no "wrong time" for doing right.  It is quite possible that what may be accomplished in this day may never be regained - so we must learn to appreciate the moment, embrace it, and then "do" what needs to be done in that moment. Don’t you know that as long as you do what is right, then I accept you? But if you do not do what is right, watch out, because sin is crouching at the door, ready to pounce

More than an app....

I saw this cute quip on Facebook this morning: "There is no app to replace your lap - read to your child." It was a sign prominently displayed over the doorway to a bookstore, so it made all the sense in the world to me. It also spoke to me of something even more important - the idea of coming fully into God's lap and allowing him to open his Word to us. Sometimes I think we kind of want to replace the "time" just nuzzling close to each other with whatever can be found in the "Bible Verse of the Day" delivered to your email or Twitter feed. No app will ever replace the moments had on the lap! Sorry, but it is the cold, hard truth and I just thought I'd put that out there! Immerse them in the truth, the truth Your voice speaks. (John 17:17 VOICE) Jesus is about to be taken from this earth, leaving those who were called his disciples and followers in a place of potential harm.  He knew the only way to protect them was to leave them

Give me some space and time, here!

Do you ever overlook the obvious - believing instead there must be something more to what you are seeing or hearing?  I guess this is human nature - we see or hear one thing, then immediately jump to the conclusion there must be some other meaning - either because we don't think things can be THAT simple, or we believe others just could not MEAN what they are doing / saying.  I think this is some defense mechanism on our part - protecting us from some things we just don't want to deal with right now, or attempting to believe the best about another just because we don't want to think it possible they could behave that way.  In some respects, this is what we do with God at times - we overlook the obvious.  He spends time revealing himself to us in  a particular manner, then we try to analyze what he is doing so much we overlook the extremely "obvious" in his actions!  The problem is - we NEED the obvious to make the "obscure" clearer! Don’t overlook the

Not another budget talk!!!!

Spend:  To use up, consume or exhaust.  The other night, I heard something in a movie I was watching which caught my attention.  The actress was being asked how she wanted to spend her life.  She made some mention of using the term "spend your life" as though life was a commodity of sorts.  In just that one fleeting moment in the movie, I began to take pause to consider the idea of "spending our life" and how we actually do this.  In fact, I began to see the idea of "using up" or "exhausting" our "resources" much quicker than we might actually imagine.  We treat life as though it has endless renewable resources, but I wonder if we ever realize the source of those resources?   Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  (Matthew 6:33 MSG) As I considered this idea of "spending our lives" in some pursuit or another,