Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's About Time

                I am a planner, organizer, administrator. It’s my hobby and what I do well. I love reading and learning from organizational and time management books. My pantry shelves have a specific place for breakfast items, baking items, snacks, and staples. My spices hang on the door in alphabetical order.  Excel spreadsheets are my hobby. Time management is fun to plan, but it’s a never ending struggle to execute.
                I’ve heard it said that you can’t manage time because it passes and never returns whether you are productive or not. We can, however, manage what we do with our time. The past has passed and cannot be reclaimed, although it can be redeemed. That’s another blog.
                So how do we manage what we do with our time? The first thing is to figure out how we are currently spending our time. Think first about communication. How much time do you spend talking to your husband every day? What about your children? How much time do you spend on the phone with friends? How much time to you spend in social conversation with coworkers each day? How much time do you spend talking to God? Is it a two-way conversation?
                It’s worth your time to take a few days and track how you spend your time to see how much you give to God? Your financial resources must be spent to live, but hopefully you also give financially to God through your church or other ministries. In the same way, our time must be spent making a living and caring for our family. Hopefully you are also giving a percentage of your time to God.
                The challenge is to see how much time God is getting. I’m not talking about things done “for” God, but time spent “with” God. You might be surprised to discover the percentage of your time spent or not spent with God.
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed
and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You Are What You Wear

You’ve heard it said that you are what you eat. I believe you are what you wear. Society places stereotypes on what kinds of people wear certain styles of clothing. You might say one shouldn’t be judged for their taste in fashion. This is true, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. People see you through the eyes of fashion or your lack of it.

All this aside, I’m not really talking about physical fashion. We are what we wear on the outside as far as it projects from the inside. It doesn’t really matter what clothing we wear on the outside if we have filled our spiritual jewelry box first. Filling this box is all about having something available to wear. Do you wear your pearls of prayer or your diamonds of faith? Do you wear your rubies of love and your emeralds of hope?

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings for evil things” (Matthew 12:35).

The next time someone cuts you off on the highway or is rude to you in line at the store, wave your spiritual charm bracelet at them exercising love, patience, and self-control. When you have a mountain to climb, pull out your diamonds of faith. When someone is hard to love, wear your rubies of love. All of these are available for your spiritual jewelry box if you seek them from God’s Word.

Above all else, wear your prayer pearls every day. “Continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Romans 12:12). What’s in your spiritual jewelry box?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nearsighted vs Godsighted

                This morning I had an appointment with a dermatologist for an allergic reaction around my eyes. I wanted her to see the rash clearly, so I didn’t wear any makeup, and I didn’t wear my contacts. My vision without contacts isn’t terrible, but I am nearsighted. I wore my glasses so I didn’t run over anyone on the way.
                I remember the first time I started wearing glasses. I was in my twenties before I needed them. It didn’t seem like the glasses made that much difference until someone brought my attention to the leaves on the trees. I looked out the window of my office at some trees across the parking lot. No problem. I could see those trees clearly. I could even see the leaves. Then I put on my glasses and looked at the same trees. I was amazed. Not only could I see the leaves, I could see the individual leaves. I can’t describe the difference, and my eyes weren’t really that bad. It was like someone turned on a light and magnified the leaves.
                As I think about that initial pair of glasses, I also think about how I now walk around the house without my glasses when I’m not wearing my contacts. I can see; but when I put on my glasses, I am still amazed at the difference in clarity.
                The same thing is true with the way we see our lives and the world around us. It’s true of the decisions we make. We think we see things as they are. We think we are making the right decisions. We think we know, and then we open the Bible. God’s Word makes everything clear. It brings to light the truth. It shines a light on the circumstances around us and makes everything clear. Reading the Bible is like putting on glasses and really seeing the leaves on the trees for the first time.
                I challenge you to read God’s Word today and look at the world around you through His eyes. You might be surprised what you see.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's a New You!

This morning the thought “He Makes All Things New” kept going through my mind. As I pondered this thought, I realized how much it applies to us right where we are. I thought about the verse that says His mercies are new every morning. Not only does each morning bring us a new day, but every hour, every minute, and every second are new. Revelation 21:5 says “Behold, I am making all things new.”  When Christ returns, all things will be new.

Even today, He continually makes all things new.
Psalm 40:3, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”
2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Ephesians 4:23-24, “be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Unhappy in your job? Give it to God, and let Him make it NEW.
Unhappy with your marriage? You don’t need a different spouse; you just need to let God make the one you have NEW.
Unhappy with certain habits? Let God make them NEW.
If you don’t like your life, let God make it NEW.

Renew your mind and renew your life.
Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Isaiah 40:31, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to soar like an eagle and run and not be weary.

Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.”
Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
2 Cor. 4:16, “Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

Immerse yourself in God’s Word renewing your mind to what He says, and let Him make you New.
It’s a New Year. It’s a New You. In what areas do you need to be renewed?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Beginnings

               I love beginnings. I love setting goals and making the plans needed to meet those goals; whether it is dieting, meal planning, house cleaning, budgeting, work projects, writing, or taking a vacation. So with the beginning of a new year comes the time for making resolutions. A great resource and a book I highly recommend is The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer. She gives 13 great resolutions that I will definitely review in my reading this year.
                What is a resolution? It’s the resolve or determination to do something. Daniel 1:8 in the ESV says, “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.” In the NKJV it says, “Daniel purposed in his heart.” I believe a true resolution is something serious enough to purpose in your heart.
                I will begin this year setting goals in several areas of my life; but if I had to make only one resolution, I decided it would be to glorify God in all I do. As I reviewed this decision, I wasn’t sure I really knew exactly what that meant. So in light of new beginnings, I am going to begin studying what it means to glorify God in everything I do.
                Have you made a resolution for 2013? Is it something you have purposed in your heart to do? Feel free to share with me and others. Sometimes a little accountability goes a long way.