Archive for April, 2010

Are you feeding your soul?

Posted: April 30, 2010 in Get Close to God

 

Twenty-sixth in the series Get close to God

 

  “The Bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”  (John 6:33)

 

When there was nothing to eat in the dessert, God rained down manna from heaven every morning to sustain his people.  What was gathered only lasted for one day because it would turn bad overnight.  They had to get more the next morning to survive another day. 

What a beautiful example the Lord provided for our spiritual nourishment!  Just as our bodies need a good breakfast every morning, our souls require a consistent and continual intake of the Bread of Life-feasting on God’s Word and abiding in him.  Not just once a week, or before meals, or in a crisis, but every day.

Oh, no, not another article on quiet times!  You’ve heard it all before, right?  Then why am I bothering to write a post about it?  Because I’m convinced it is an absolutely crucial  ingredient for a successful Christian life.  If you’re able to keep in constant communion with the Lord all day long without starting out with time alone with him in the morning, then please, read no more.  Instead, reply to this post and share with the rest of us how you do it.

If Jesus had to get up early in the morning to find a quiet place to be with his Father, do you think we can get by without it?  Since there are so many things for us to do and so many people pulling us from all directions, when we crawl out of bed our feet don’t even hit the floor before our minds start getting into action on how to attack our day.  Before we know it, the day is over, we collapse into bed and realize that we never took the Lord with us, much less followed him.  Battered and beaten, it dawns on us-we left the house this morning without our spiritual breakfast, and went out without first putting on the armor of God, oblivious to our vulnerability.  We may have accomplished some things, but working for God is not half as fun or satisfying as working with him.

_____________________________________

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. ”  (Psalm 34:8)

__________________________________ 

While it’s true that the morning devotion is just a start and it’s best to take our journey throughout the day with the Lord, it’s a lot easier to catch the train before it leaves the station than to try and hop on once it’s moving!

I’m not trying to be legalistic, just realistic.  Compared to other religions, we Christians as a whole do not take ours very seriously.  Church membership is becoming more of a title than anything else, kind of like belonging to a gym but never going there to work out.  If our lives could be illustrated as a box, the time we spend praying,  reading, and thinking about God would be represented as a small sacred box within our big secular box of life.  Other religions, such as Islam, have God as their main box, with their secular activities as a smaller box within.  I heard that analogy in church one day where I also heard that the most important thing about you is what you think about God.  And your god is what you think about the most.  If the Lord isn’t getting very many hits on the web site of your mind, then perhaps you’ve never taken the time to really get to know him.  He’s more than a character in a book.  He’s more than an ancient religion.  He’s real and he wants us to know him. 

_______________________________________

“I am the bread of life… He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”  (John 6:48, 56)
_____________________
______________

So, how can we begin to get close to God?  How do you get close to anyone?  By spending time with that person.  If we dedicated just 15 minutes to the Lord each day, that’s less than 2% of our waking hours!  Boost it up to 30 minutes and it will still cost you less than 4%.  This small, but wise investment of our time will return great dividends, both in this life and our heavenly retirement!

There are many ways to do a quiet time but it basically boils down to reading scripture and prayer, which includes confession, praise, thanksgiving, and intercession for others and yourself as well as being still and listening to the Lord, consecrating your day to him.  For more specific suggestions on how to meditate and reflect on his Word, you can check out a previous article in this series: Do you get heartburn when you read your Bible?

It has been proven that if you can do something every day for 30 days it will become a habit.  Don’t get discouraged and give up when you miss a quiet time.  When you skip a meal, you don’t quit eating, do you?  Do I ever let life get in the way or not get up early enough to meet with the Lord?  Sure, but not so much anymore.  I used to experiment occasionally with the morning watch, but I’m addicted to it now and go through withdrawal when I skip one.  Not with guilt, mind you-I just miss it, and my whole day suffers for it.

Have you heard of “The Extra Degree”?  Here’s my take on it: doing your best without God is like turning up the heat but only getting hot water.  Even at 211 degrees that’s all you have.  Kick in just a little more effort with consistent time with God and you’ll reach one more degree to make it 212.  Then you’ll be boiling over with steam and nothing will be impossible for you!

_____________________________________________________

To leave a reply, click on the Comment link

 

Click here for the entire Get Close to God series

Advertisements

Unconditional Surrender

Posted: April 24, 2010 in Candle Lights

 candle_lights_heading21

The Declaration of Independence states:  “…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Unalienable means that these rights are incapable of being surrendered or transferred.  By implication, we have the right to live our lives as we choose, we are free to do what we please, and we can pursue happiness in any way that we desire.  When we feel that our “God-given” rights are being threatened, we start sounding the battle cries of “It’s my life!”, “I have rights too!”, and “If it makes me happy, it is okay.”  We are ready to fight.  Under no circumstances do we intend to relinquish our rights!

Most of us are proud to be Americans and proud of our forefathers for taking a stand, but there is a time when we must unconditionally surrender our rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.  There is a time when we must surrender our “unalienable” rights and transfer them to another.

When we make our Declaration of Dependence on Jesus Christ, we must surrender our right to live as we choose, our right to do what we please, and our right to pursue happiness any way that we desire.  We are to live our lives as He directs and do what is pleasing to Him, and in so doing, we will find true happiness (Psalm 146:5).

Psalm 112:1 “Praise ye the Lord.  Blessed [Happy] is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.”

Diane Padgett

3/25/2010

To leave a reply, click on the Comment link

 

Click here to see all the Candle Lights posts

Our Bumblebee Exterminators!

Posted: April 13, 2010 in Videos

We have been hit with a plague of wasps and bumblebees lately, causing all the stores to run out of wasp spray.  So we have resorted to using Stephanie’s dogs to help control the population!  Sharon shot the video and Stephanie came up with the idea of using “The flight of the bumblebee” for the soundtrack.