Now a days, it's so easy to lose focus on what you're supposed to be doing, or what you had set out to do.
There are so many things that pull our attention away from the central focus of what we have to do "next" and well, I am not surprised that people seem to have such short attention spans. What motivates our minds, what moves our hearts to move in one direction can be seriously compromised by the lure of the "next best thing" coming along down the road.
I thought about my eyes the other day. What are they staying focused on? All of the craziness of life, with my family, my friends, and troubles of this world?
I have to say yes, I have been focusing on the things of this world more than concentrating on what God has in store for me. Oh sure, I talk to God, probably a hundred times a day, but...had I forgot to listen?
Honestly, I haven't heard His voice in a while because I've been too focused on speaking my own concerns and deciding my own steps throughout my daily routine.
So today, I'm going to remember to focus on Him and His plans for my life. I'm going to sit back and actually focus on what He wants to say to me, and I know that my vision will get so much clearer by the minute.
And maybe I'll realize that when I feel empty, alone, or just unsure, it's because I'm longing for his presence, having lost track of Him by failing to focus on His great love.Psalm 84:2
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart
and my flesh cry out for the living God. NIV
Today, this moment, is all we have promised.
I think that's a big help in living each moment, to remember that, this is it, this is the day. If I don't do "it" now...I may never have the chance to do "it" later.
Oh, believe me, I didn't always think like this. I used to think, ah, I'll do it later. One day. Some day. Soon.
Now I think-- do it NOW! It needs to be done! Don't procrastinate any more. How precious time is to me now. Well, I've always appreciated it, but always thought I had millions of tomorrows.
Hey, do it now.
This is the day.
It is very clear that in these days, people are not very interested in the truth, although almost everyone claims to be truthful.
There's a song out there that says, "I'm a liar who's always seeking the truth." I would have to say that includes many of us in this world.
Seeking truth is what waylays some people in life. They head out looking for truth and end up getting caught up in lies.
But why is that, is the ultimate destination is The Truth?
I submit to you that it is because they start their journey for truth without an instrument that is capable of measuring it correctly.
By what ruler do you measure the truth? One of my Bible college professors, Keith Hosea, asked that of his students one day. We sat looking at him and wondered what the heck he meant. But once he explained it, it all made sense.
Basically, if you measure the truth with something outside of the Bible, then your measuring instrument is faulty...inaccurately inaccurate.
So, when you realize that people who think they've encountered truth are so wrong, realize that they are using the wrong measuring stick.
Today, take a moment to check your calculations on your measuring stick for truth.
I will be attending a new ladies' Bible study today, a study on the book of James.
I've always liked James. He seemed kind of stern, and just laid out the truth for folks. At the same time, I always pictured him as the guy with the starched white shirt and tie at church. He was nice but really a little too much gung-ho sometimes, you know what I mean?
So as I've read through just a few of the beginning scriptures, I've realized that James is really committed to Jesus and what He stands for. James ain't messing around in his faith, and what it takes to pull other people in to see the truth.
He is a "slave" to the gospel. He is a "slave" to the story of his brother Jesus. And I don't mean a fake 'slave'-- he is completely, totally, sold out for Christ.
And it's easy to see I'm not very much like that.
This will be an interesting study; I will be challenging myself to step up, step out and sell out, all for the sake of the One who died for me.
I had the best lunch today: cold meatloaf sandwich, BBQ potato chips, a half a piece of chocolate cake and milk.
Now, I have to tell you, I made the meatloaf last night, and everyone gobbled it up. It smelled wonderful as it was cooking, and when it came out of the oven, it was a source of delight for those who partook of it, along with the red
mashed potatoes I'd made to accompany the meat. Everyone liked it, but I just ate a little bit, and then waited 'til today. Because I like my meatloaf cold. On bread. To me, it is my favorite meal and I love it more than being taken out to dinner. I know that sounds weird, but it's true.
Maybe it's the memories that the meatloaf has for me. My mom used to make a little one pound meatloaf with little burnt edges, all slathered with ketchup. She'd set it on the table like it was a Thanksgiving turkey. Her, my dad and my brother would all sit together and eat, and well, I thought it was heaven...all except for the burnt edges, of course.
But I never did like it hot. I wanted it cold, and would nibble at a small piece and wait for the next morning to pull the leftovers out of the refrigerator.
As I ate my cold meatloaf today I thought about the term "comfort food". Food items that bring us comfort because of the loving memories attached to them.
Like my cold meatloaf, I have a few comfort foods.
But my real comfort comes only from Jesus. I have had trials and troubles and sometimes I forget the Great Comforter that He left me...the Holy Spirit. But, what a wonderful thing when I remembering this great blessing, and listen to His sweet comfort! What an amazing thing, this Holy Spirit, this blanket of comfort from on high!
Just a suggestion; re-read the 14th Chapter of John and reconnect with the Holy Spirit today...a little comfort never hurt anyone....and a lot of comfort changes life.
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For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord.
1 I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.
2 In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
3 The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.
I have always been concerned about my spiritual state, ever since I can remember. Most of the time, I would beat myself up for not being 'perfect' or for doing something I shouldn't have...and most of the time, my walk with Christ is centered around me.
But today, I am troubled in my heart by the wicked of this world. I discovered a website for 'ex-Christians' and spent a while reading posts on their forums. It was a group of people who had banded together to share their relief of having left the faith, and there were celebrations and diatribes over how free they felt having left the burden of following Christ behind them.
They called those of us who still seek Him things like 'brainwashed', 'under the delusion' and 'stupid'. As I sat reading the words, I was stunned to realize that once someone found Christ, they would ever leave Him. I had never felt so brilliant as I did the moment I prayed the sinner's prayer, and to be called stupid for it seemed...well...incredibly sad. How was it that the people making those comments felt free without the love of Jesus to keep them free from sin and death? How had they reduced my Savior, and me, to such pitiful relics of the past? I couldn't comprehend it, and my heart grieved for them.
Then I noticed an article about a group of students who just recently walked out on a speaker who was Bible-bashing and who had turned his venomous, hurtful words towards all Christians. Believe it or not, he was speaking as part of a campaign against bullying! When the young people walked out of his speech, he hurled profanity at them, mocking them and challenging them to return to listen to other parts of his speech, laced with sexual innuendo and graphic references to his live in lover. I wanted to stand up and yell "BRAVO!" to the young people who walked out and never returned to the display of "free speech" about bullying.
Standing up for God is hard sometimes. How clearly we forget that, living here in the United States. But it does seem to be getting harder for Christians to practice their faith as others turn and point the finger at our beliefs and blame us for every problem in the world.
My heart is ill at ease, and I have confidence in my God that He is an ever present help in our times of troubles. I have to turn my attention around from me, me, me, and start paying attention more to the wicked ways of this world.
I have to pray that God will help me reach out to evangelize more, to touch the lives of those who do not agree with my beliefs, and to reach those who have never heard why I walk with Jesus before. I need to pray for the wicked, and ask God to change their hearts from hard to loving.
Today remember that there is someone in need of your prayers for their repentance from evil. Pray for the wicked.
Tonight is prom night at our house. My youngest daughter will be attending her Senior class prom and I can't tell you how many hours have already gone into preparation for this. Dress shopping, shoe shopping, watching YouTube videos about hair styles, trying out different makeup and nail polish. Curling hair, uncurling hair. Whew. I'm already exhausted and I haven't begun to fight.
I've been sitting here in the quiet before the onslaught of family and friends who are coming over to help her get ready thinking about how little we prepare for prom night with God.
We love this life here on earth so much we forget that any moment...in a twinkling of an eye, we will be in His presence and as His bride, shouldn't we be ready, you know, all decked out in a beautiful dress, smelling good and looking forward to seeing Him face to face?
My daughter is excited about seeing her boyfriend in his tuxedo. He's going to shave his beard into a new snazzy design, and he's even going to fix his hair differently than he normally wears his mop of curls. Although, truly, she will be the belle of the ball in her over the top Quincenera style dress, she is still looking forward to seeing her beau all dolled up, too.
I think we should be looking forward to seeing God face to face the way we look forward to special events like that on this side of glory. We should be 'puttin' on the ritz', at least in our hearts, getting ready to meet our one and only, knowing that our joy is more than a lifetime, it's an eternal thing.
So, for today, when all of the fussing and busy work is done...when all of the hair and eyelashes are curled and she fights her way into the car with that big hoop underneath that gorgeous dress....when they drive off to enjoy their night, I will be reminded of the prom I will attend one day with my Heavenly Father. And I will do my best to keep wearing my beautiful gown in anticipation of seeing His wonderful face.
Happy Prom, Y'all!
This morning the rain woke me up. I listened to it for a while and I'm glad it's not like the heavy rainfall we had a few days ago, with the gusty winds that seemed to tear right through you.
It's a peaceful, almost melancholy rain.
When I was a little girl, my mother was drawn to walk outside when it rained. She would tell me it reminded her of home, and she put on her raincoat and rain bonnet and take off walking in the rain to who knows where.
She told me of the time she had a mental breakdown and had left home walking. 780 miles later she was found in another state walking in the rain. She couldn't explain how she had gotten so far in just a day. They took her away to a mental institution, where she stayed for a whole year.
Even with her broken condition, she sought the rain, somehow feeling cleansed by it falling on her shoulders.
When I hear the rain, I always think about Jesus talking about being the Living Water. Water is something all humans are made up of. There's nothing like a cool drink of water to refresh your spirit, and well, standing under a nice shower of water when you're all tired and dirty can sure revive you. Matter of fact, there are sometimes you're standing under a warm shower wondering if you ever have to get out from underneath it.
It's interesting that Jesus would call himself Living Water. Certainly, our lives would not be the same without Him replenishing our spirits, the same water does. His Word quenches our thirst for the questions Why? in our lives, just like water quenches our parched throats.
Jesus said, "Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water
will flow from within them." in John 7:38
That means that we need to be like the rain outside. Refreshing, renewing, bringing life to a parched land.
Today, let your living water rise up. Refresh someone's spirit, renew their belief in Jesus Christ, bring life to their parched and wounded spirit.
Bandit came to live with us a few months ago. He lived with my daughter Dani before that,
but she discovered that when you're pregnant, the smells attached to a cat, alongside smells attached to almost every food in the world, was too much to handle on a daily basis. So Bandit came to live at Gramma's house.
Bandit is like every other cat in the world. He eats and sleeps whenever he feels like it. He does whatever he wants to, and goes wherever he wants to, and lives the vida loca in my house while surveying all the humans that live inside with him.
Now, Bandit isn't the most friendly cat in the world. As you can see from the picture above, he pretty much has that "Ohhhhh Mommmmmm" teenager look down pretty well. Whenever I try to admonish him, or even get his attention, he responds with that look to make sure that I know that he knows that I have no real control over whatever he does. He kind of smacks his lips in distain whenever I reach out my hand, wiggling fingers and all, to tempt him into my arms. And then he turns his back on me to let me know that I really could go jump in the lake and of course, his furry self would not even care one bit.
Bandit keeps a safe distance from us, watching our daily activities at about 2 feet away. We've realized that he's set that up as a parameter of comfort for him. If we walk his way, he runs away to a safer distance and then turns around to check where we are before he stops and pretends he doesn't really care where we are anyway.
Now, understand, this behavior goes on all day....until....Bandit WANTS our attention. Then things are different.
The other night around 3:00am, Bandit decided it was time for me to pay attention to him. As I lay sleeping, Bandit jumped up on my bed and began headbutting me with the fervor of an MMA fighter. As I tried to recover from blow after blow to my unprotected skull, he began to stick his cold slimey nose into the palms of my hands and rubbing his face back and forth in my hand as if to say, "Hey, dummy! I want to be petted right now!"
With eyes closed, I began to rub dear Bandit, and he finally began purring and settled down. As I fell back to sleep, he went to the bottom of my covers and slipped between my feet. Waiting until he was sure I was sound asleep, he would bite my toes until I woke up. Then he would wait until I fell asleep again and then he would start chewing all over again. I have to admit, I'd try to kick him off the bed, but he would take that "2 feet away" stance and I never had a chance to really touch him. Silly me, I would think he was gone, fall asleep, and then wake up to kitty teeth chomping on my cold little piggies over and over.
I finally gave up and went in the front room, where Bandit sat on my lap as I stroked his long silky hair and listened to him purr. When he had his fill of human companionship, he jumped off my lap and disappeared into the dark recesses of the house to chase pretend mice. I went back to bed.
I got to thinking, that there are a lot of us who have a Bandit relationship with God.
We kind of keep our distance from God, trying to keep him at a few feet away from what we say or do. We eat and sleep and go and do whatever we want without asking God to direct our steps each day because we figure he really has no control over us or what we say or do.
Sometimes we really don't want God's input about anything but when we do, we go at Him like a boxer full of tenacity, begging for whatever it is we want Him to do for us. We pray and pray and pray and yell, "HEY! Listen to me NOW!" Even when we're asleep, if we wake up we remember to bug God if we want something & keep nibbling at his toes over and over until we get an answer to our prayer. And then we go back to the 2 foot stance, making sure God leaves us alone and we keep a close eye on him over there.
So today I'm going to try and give up my Bandit behavior. I'm going to work to remember to put God first and foremost in everything I do. I'm not going to keep Him at arm's length, not even by accidentally forgetting to pray to start my day with His direction. And I'm certainly not going to wait until 3:00am to wake up and bug Him for something.
I'm going to thank Him all day long. Praise Him at every moment, even for little things. Tell Him how much I love Him and appreciate His sacrifice at Calvary for me, too. Unlike Bandit, I don't think I'll ever get my fill of His companionship....and that's just 'purrrrrrrfect'.