Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Do You Measure Up?


 
                What has God saved you from? What if you were saved before you needed saving? Don’t get me wrong, we are all sinners and need a Savior. But do you ever feel like once you are a Christian, you can’t let anyone know you might still make mistakes? Especially, big ones? 
                I got “saved” at age 6. I asked Christ into my life to be my Lord and Savior. So how is it that once I grew up, I made some bad choices? How is it that there were times I did things my way? Why haven’t I always listened to God’s voice? Even though I was saved, there have been times I needed saving.
                If you are a Christian and have made mistakes, you are not alone. We all have problems in our lives and have all made poor decisions. I used to look at other people’s lives and think I was the only one. But I’m not, and you aren’t either. We don’t need to compare ourselves to others. We don’t have to measure up, because none of us would.
                The only measure that counts is that of God’s, and Jesus Christ paid the price for each of us to measure up through His perfect life by paying the price for our poor choices, our sins. Even after we have been saved, we can’t measure up on our own. We have to rely on Him. 
                I John 1:9 is written to Christians. It tells us to confess our sins, and He will forgive us. Each day is a new day. You can begin again. Where are you in your walk with Christ? It’s never too late to get back on the path of righteousness. Take His hand and step out in faith. Measure up by walking with Him.
                Let me know how I can pray for you.     

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Living for Tomorrow


I am a planner. I am always planning for the next trip or the next event. I have a list prepared for what to do tonight, what to do this weekend, when to pay which bill, etc. I look forward to when the next task is accomplished and then look forward to what I can plan next. I love calendars and lists and spreadsheets.
Some people are much more laid back. They are happy-go lucky and are just waiting for 5:00 each day or for the weekend. They look forward to the next slot of free time to relax and be carefree. They look forward to a time without responsibility, or they long for retirement.
It’s great to plan, to look forward to your next accomplishment, and to have free time to relax. Weekends are a great time to recover from a week of responsibilities. HOWEVER (you knew it was coming), what about today? In all of our living for tomorrow or next week or next month or next year, we can forget about today. When we forget about today, we LOSE today.  
Do you remember wishing you were in high school? Do you remember waiting for the day you could drive? Can you remember a time when you couldn’t wait for your child to stand up alone or walk? Was there a time you couldn’t wait for them to drive themselves to activities? What about the teenage years when you couldn’t wait for them to graduate? What about looking forward to college graduation and that pay raise you get when your children find a job and start supporting themselves?
In all of our longing for the next steps, did we remember to enjoy holding those babies before they were scrambling to get out of our arms and walk on their own? Did we enjoy watching our children dance, play sports, play in the band, work on a science project, or just eat pizza at a slumber party in our living room? Did we enjoy the conversations in the car when we were the taxi driver?
Don’t just live for tomorrow. Live for today. Time goes by too fast. Don’t miss it. Tomorrow it is guaranteed that the sun will rise, but you are only guaranteed this moment. Don’t let it pass you by.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who Are You?


I have had many identities in my life. I have been one of the Wilson girls (the youngest), an employee of whatever company I worked for, Katie’s mom, Jimmy’s mom, divorced, a single mom, David’s wife, and many more. These titles and the circumstances surrounding them do not dictate who I am or what I can achieve? I am not defined by the circumstances of life.
                Scripture tells us that Gideon’s family was the weakest in Manasseh and Gideon was the least in his father’s house, yet God called him a mighty man of valor. Saul was handsome and taller than anyone else, but he was also from the tribe of Benjamin, the least of the tribes of Israel. His family was the humblest of all of their tribe. Yet God called him to be the first king if the Israelites.
When Samuel was sent to anoint David as king, God told him not to look on the appearance or the height of his stature. What a contrast David must have been to that of Saul’s appearance. When Samuel came to see Jesse and his sons, they didn’t even introduce him to David. He was just the younger brother out keeping the sheep. Yet David was anointed king and later called a man after God’s own heart.
                God has a plan for each of us. Our circumstances and the labels assigned to us by this world make no difference in His plan. We can be from a family of poverty or wealth. We can be short or tall, plain or beautiful, unknown or well known. It doesn’t matter. What matters is who we are in Christ and our obedience to the purpose and call God has on our lives.
                Who are you? Who am I? As the song says, “I’m a child of the one true King.”

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School

It’s time to go back to school. It’s time to buy those school supplies and get organized. Every child needs new pencils, pens, notebooks, glue sticks, a backpack, a lunch box, and clothes. What about you? My kids are grown and out of school, but I find myself missing some of the back to school organization and new supplies.
I have an answer for this. Let’s go back to school ourselves by going back to the basics. Make a list. What do you need? What about new pencils, fancy pens, highlighters, bookmarks, stickers, sticky notes, notepads, notecards, journals, carryall, coffee cup, devotional, and maybe even a new Bible? While you’re at it, pick up a new necklace and a T-shirt. Make your list, gather your supplies, and find a place to call your own.
Short on cash after purchasing everything for your children? Look around your house for some type of container to carry supplies. Find a pen, make a pretty bookmark out of last year’s school supplies, recycle what your kids don’t use, pull out a coffee mug from the back of the cabinet that you haven’t used in years, grab a devotional book from your church resources, and open the Bible you already have.
If you need accountability, call a friend and challenge them to do this with you. Or you could purchase poster board, stickers, and glitter and make a chart just like you do for your children. Whatever works.
Most important! Set a time to call your own. You won’t find the time. You have to set it. Make an appointment with yourself and a commitment to God. Put on your new T-shirt, make a cup of coffee for your new mug, organize your supplies, open your Bible, and GO!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Our Spiritual 5K

                My daughter has decided she wants to run a 5K, so she started the Couch to 5K Running Plan. This plan transforms you in nine weeks from sitting on the couch to running a 5K. It starts with walking and then slowly alternates walking and jogging until you build up to running 3 miles. My daughter downloaded an app on her phone that tells her when to walk and when to start running.
                The other day her little boy wanted to go with her, so she fastened him in the stroller and set off. When the app told her to start running, he said, “Get with it, mom.” He knew what she was supposed to do, but he had the luxury of riding along and letting her do all the work.
                What about a spiritual development plan to get in shape spiritually; a plan where we stop riding along and start doing some of the work. What would that look like for you?
                Based on the philosophy of the Couch to 5K Running Plan, here is my recommendation for a Snooze to Blessing spiritual workout. Instead of hitting the snooze button, you are transformed with blessings. This is a 7 week program.
Every day:
Start your day with 5 minutes in prayer.
Praise God – It’s all about Him.
Express thanks – What has He done for you?
Acknowledge God – Get right with God, confess sin, restore your relationship, ask for an attitude check-up.
Release – Give God your burdens. Do you have needs and a heavy heart? Give it all to Him.
Listen – Get quiet and spend time listening for God’s voice. Ask Him to speak to you through His Word.
Three times a week:
Start your day with 5 minutes in prayer as above.
Read eight verses in Psalm 119.
                Read two chapters in the book of John.
                Journal notes on anything that speaks to you personally.
                End with 5 minutes in prayer as above.
                If you decide to try this plan, please let me know how it goes. Don’t get discouraged. If you miss a day, jump right back in where you left off.
“But to You I have cried out, O LORD, And in the morning my prayer comes before You” (Psalm 88:13).
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hopeless


This morning I read the following in Jeremiah 18:11-12. “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”’” And they said, “That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.”
My first thought was how could they blatantly decide to reject God and follow their own ways? They were intentionally walking away from God. But then as I read further and also read in other passages, God opened my eyes. This is us. In this passage, they felt it was “hopeless”. How many times do we feel like a situation is “hopeless”? Things are so bad that not even God can fix them. And even if He can, why would He? We must take matters into our hands and figure it out and solve the problem ourselves. After all, it is “hopeless” unless we do it ourselves and follow our own hearts.
This reminded me again what I have heard so many times before: Let go, and let God. We aren’t that different today than the disobedient Israelites in the Old Testament.
Do you have a “hopeless” situation? Take that step of faith, and let God handle it. Sometimes He is just waiting for us to get out of the way.