Posts Tagged With: Christian

Busyness

Stop Glorifying Busy

We live in a culture where busyness is glorified. Whenever we ask someone how they are, often instead of answering with how they are feeling, they tell you how busy they are. We fill every minute of every day with things to do. Our to do lists grow and grow, but does it come at the cost of growing in our faith?

The antidote to busyness is stillness. No where in Scripture does it tell us to be busy, but it does tell us to be still.

Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”

In order for us to come to know God, we need to be still. We cannot hear what He has to say to us if we are constantly in motion. We will miss what He has for us if we don’t spend time with Him.

Being still is a challenge for us. We don’t even wait without doing something. What do you do when you find yourself waiting in line, waiting at a doctor’s office or waiting for someone to arrive? Do you allow yourself the gift of a few minutes of stillness or do you fill those minutes by looking at your email, Facebook, Twitter, or playing a game on your phone or other electronic device?

Perhaps if we took those opportunities when we find ourselves waiting to be still before the Lord, we might grow closer to Him. Waiting requires patience, and patience is not something that comes naturally to us. The Lord calls us to be still and to wait patiently.

Psalm 37:7

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;…

Pay attention to how often you say you are busy or hear from others how busy they are this week. Maybe you need to take advantage of the moments of quiet you have and simply be still before the Lord and wait for Him to speak to you, minister to you and reveal to you how He is working in your life.

Combatting the busyness of life is easy – simply be still. Let’s stop glorifying busyness and start glorifying the Lord!

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Are you Content?

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It is easy for us to feel discontent in our circumstances. When we do, how can we turn our discontent into content? The answer has nothing to do with the circumstances themselves and everything to do with our relationship with the Lord.

Even if you are struggling financially or not where you would like to be financially, you can be content. You may not be making the money you want to be making in your job, yet Scripture tells us to be content.

Luke 3:14

 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

Often we find ourselves looking at what others have and wanting more. Any time we find ourselves comparing any part of our lives with another’s we will either be proud about having more or being better off than the other person or discontent and wanting what they have. Comparison always breads discontentment. Yet, the Word of God says we  to be content with what we have.

Hebrews 13:5

 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Sometimes our discontentment doesn’t have anything to do with money. It has to do with a situation we find ourselves in or how we feel we are being treated by others. Again, Scripture speaks clearly about this.

2 Corinthians 12:10

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So, if we are to be content regardless of our financial situation and regardless of what circumstances we are facing, how do we do it? Well, we don’t, at least not on our own. We allow the Spirit of God that dwells within us to minister to us. This doesn’t mean our circumstances will change, but it means we won’t be facing them alone. We will be comforted, equipped and strengthened by the His Spirit. Through submitting to His Spirit and allowing Him to work in us, we can be content.

Philippians 4:11

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

In what areas of your life are you feeling discontent? Submit those areas to the Lord and ask Him to help you feel His presence and see where He is working. Ask the Lord to comfort and strengthen you. May we all find the contentment Paul found in the Spirit of God.

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Be Inspired

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I was reading a Facebook post of a dear friend last week. I was inspired by what she wrote. The anniversary of her husband’s successful liver transplant was upon them and while she praised God for this miracle, she did something even more amazing. She asked for everyone to pray for the family of the person who donated the organ to her husband. As her family was celebrating an anniversary of joy and blessing, she knew on that same day another family was suffering and remembering the loss of a loved one.

This post inspired me because it was such a great reminder to think of others more than ourselves. Throughout her husband’s illness and long wait on the transplant list while his health declined, she clung to her faith in God. She placed her complete trust in the Lord and chose to see where He was working in the midst of a very challenging time.

She was a constant inspiration to all who walked through this journey with their family because she chose to trust God, look for where He was working and share with others what He was doing. Sometimes it was something as simple as a smile or a gentle hand on her shoulder. It is amazing what a smile or gentle touch can do to show someone you care. Because she was bold enough in her faith to share what God was doing and how He was using others to minister to her and her family during this time, others were inspired and encouraged and their faith was strengthened.

In a time when you would think she and her family needed inspiration and encouragement, they provided it for others because of their amazing faith in God. It is not easy or natural to inspire others when you are suffering but if you are able to put your faith and trust in God and allow Him to work in and through you, you will bear fruit that will benefit others.

In the midst of the waiting she had an encounter with the Lord. One night as she was praying for her husband, the Lord impressed upon her to pray for the donor and his/her family. It was a moment that forever changed her perspective and the perspective of those around her. It was an immediate change of focus from herself, her husband and what they were facing to earnestly pray for the one’s who would be providing the answer to their prayers.

I vividly remember talking to her late one night about this and was immediately convicted myself for not looking beyond my friend and her situation. The Lord put a burden on my heart to pray for the family that would be providing the answer to the prayer. Many began to fervently pray for this family and the sacrifice they would be making, the suffering they would be facing and ultimately the blessing they would be providing.

The friend has had no contact with the donor family but still prays for them and praises the Lord for their willingness to give the gift of life through their sacrifice. She prays the Lord will continue to comfort them and give them peace and most of all that they would know and love him the way she does.

It would have been natural to celebrate the anniversary of a successful transplant and only focus on the good that came from it, but instead my friend decided to focus on those who made the ultimate sacrifice for her husband. Take some time today to look around and put someone else’s needs above your own. Pray for someone, encourage them and ask the Lord to work in and through you so you might inspire someone else.

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

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A Time of Preparation

Corrie Ten Boom Quote

There are times in our lives when we know we are preparing for something, i.e. we go to college to prepare for a career, we begin jogging to prepare to run a race, we date in preparation for marriage. However, there are other times when we don’t recognize our circumstances or the people God puts in our lives as preparations for His plan for us.

When my husband and I bought our first house, we had no idea that our lives would be drastically changed by our neighbors. We were one of the first people on the street and a pastor and his family moved in next door to us. Down the street a woman who became a dear friend and across the street another dear friend, both of whom were women of faith. 

All of these people planted seeds that led me to come to know the Lord. The pastor’s wife invited me to work with her in children’s ministry. Who would have known that was the beginning of a life in ministry? I certainly wouldn’t have expected that, but God did. He knew exactly who would be living on my street and knew He would be using several of them to draw me into a personal relationship with Him.

Each ministry experience, working in children’s and youth ministry and later in women’s ministry were preparations for me to become a deacon. I am currently in the process of becoming a deacon and I can’t imagine being in this process without the variety of ministry experience I have had.

Those are some beautiful examples of how God sees our future and guides us to it by bringing people into our lives to support and encourage us and providing us with experiences that serve as training ground for our future. However, not all of the people who come into our lives nor all of our experiences are so positive.

There have been people who have come into my life over the years and really challenged me because we didn’t get along or see eye to eye. They aren’t the ones encouraging and supporting me; they are the ones frustrating, angering and hurting me. But God is still God and He still has a plan. When I look back at some of the more painful interactions I have had, I can see in hindsight that they were preparing me for the ministry I am doing today. It is these difficult relationships that have helped soften my heart, forced me to see others through the eyes of Christ, and made me tap into the power of the Holy Spirit so I could bear good fruit.

There have also been some circumstances that on the outset didn’t seem very positive. Moving to the MIddle East with my husband and two preteen daughters was never part of my plan, but God knew it would prepare me for His plan. Nothing is the same in a different culture and we lovingly referred to Doha, Qatar as the “land of almost or not quite right”. It was this time in the Middle East that I learned to put my complete trust in the Lord and learned to practice patience in abundance.

Regardless of what relationships you find yourself in today or what circumstances you are in, know that the Lord is sovereign and knows exactly where you are and what you are going through. Sometimes the most challenging relationships are what soften the rough edges in us and the most difficult circumstances strengthen our dependence upon the Lord. What we need to remember in the midst of difficult times and tough relationships is the Lord has a plan and He will use everyone in our lives and every circumstance to prepare us for the life He created us to live.

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

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Don’t Forget

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A friend posted this Scripture on her Facbeook page yesterday and it has stuck with me ever since.

Jeremiah 2:32

Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
    or a bride her attire?
Yet my people have forgotten me
    days without number.

The Lord was telling the people how easily they forgot Him. He used the example of a women forgetting her jewelry or a bride forgetting her wedding dress to show how absurd it is that His people would forget him.

I wear my wedding ring and a watch everyday. If I leave the house without one of them on, I am constantly aware that I am missing them. Today I think people would miss their cell phones. If you left the house without your cell phone, would you constantly be aware that it was missing?

What about spending time with the Lord? If you don’t have quiet time with the Lord in the morning, do you miss it? Are you constantly reminded that you missed that time with Him? How easily we can put the Lord on the back burner or in the back of our minds rather than in the forefront.

Our relationship with the Lord should be so intimate that we miss spending time with Him. Rather than something to check off of our to do list, it should be essential. Spending time with the Lord in prayer and in His Word should be something we feel lost without. Which would be easier for you to go without for a day or a week – your cell phone or time with the Lord?

If we want to live the lives He created us to live, we need to spend time with Him. He has plans for us, but if we don’t spend time with HIm, we won’t know what those plans are.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

We need to be connected to the Lord, because without Him, we can’t do anything.

John 15:5

 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Spend some time today reflecting on how connected to the vine you are. Is your connection to Christ as important as your connection to your cell phone? Perhaps we all need to put down our cell phones, ipads, computers, etc. and spend some time in prayer and in His Word today. Who knows, you might just miss Him and feel lost without Him more than you would your electronic devices.

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