Monthly Archives: August 2012

I didn’t have time today.

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How many times have we all said those words?  I didn’t have time to…

…make breakfast, so I grabbed fast-food

…excercise

…brush my teeth (gross)

…tell my kids I love them

…sit together with the family for dinner

…spend 15 minutes with Jesus this morning

Lately, I’ve been catching myself starting to say  “I didn’t have time to fill in the blank.”  You know what I’ve found?  I can easily swap out the word ‘have‘ for ‘make‘ and the statement becomes more accurate….every time!  Of course, the difficulty is being humble and brutally honest with ourself.  Take a look at this verse.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.   Ecclesiastes 3:1

You see, its a lie that we don’t have time.  We really do.  Admit it.  You and I have the same amount of time to work with every day.  Its a delicate matter of stewardship, and there are 3 keys which drive this expense account.

Priorities – For me, waking up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to spend some much needed time in God’s Word was a decision I had to make for myself.  The trade-off was worth losing that small amount of sleep.  Its healthy to regularly re-examine our priorities and look at why we are giving one particular time expense more importance than something else.

Determination – The ability to say ‘NO’ is critical when dealing with time management.  I recall a recent author who said that we must learn the art of saying NO to many good things in order that we are able to say YES to a few great things.

Accountability – To really be intentional about making every minute of your day count, build accountability into it.  Make a couple small changes at first.  Then, tell a co-worker, small group, spouse, or friend about those items and ask them to simply ask you regularly how you’re doing.

I’ve given you an easy way to remember these.  PDA is commonly known as Public Displays of Affection.  Ironically, if we are able to put into practice healthy Priorities, Determination, and Accountability….the results may very well be observed as forms of Public Displays of Affection.

Do any of your priorities need rearranging?  What great things have you said NO to in the past 6 months?  Who can be (or is) your accountability safety net?

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Prayer Week – Tuesday

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Monday  scripture focus:

May your Kingdom come soon.  May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.   Matthew 6:10

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.  Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   Philippians 2:9-11

Consequent prayers:

“Your will often brings me anxiety, Lord.  Help me want to want your will in my life.”

“Help me to think as you think, not as the world thinks.”

“Your greatness is impossible to accurately proclaim…..but let us try.”

“I pray that I would desire to know you more than I desire to know your plans for me.”

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Reflections on Prayer Week

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I’m so thankful to be serving at a church that honors a ‘purposeful‘ Week of Prayer.  Personally, I’ve been to some prayer services at other churches over the years that made you feel more needy and drained afterward than when you arrived!  Can I say…that’s not the case at Christ Community.  We worship together, move into a time of ‘guided’ prayer we call Crave, and then close with an opportunity to share what God has placed on our hearts.  Simply put….we really do experience Him.

Monday  scripture focus:

Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.  Matthew 6:9

Honor the LORD for the glory of his name.  Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.  Psalm 29:2

The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.  Proverbs 18:10

And these names of God: Yahweh-Nissi (The Lord is my banner), Yahweh-Jireh (The Lord will provide)

What God was saying to me:

“Daily acknowledge me in your life…I AM Holy!”

“My name is everything I say it is.”

“There is safety in knowing me.”

“Its O.K….I want you to tell others about how I have provided for you.  How else will they know?”

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Don’t Worship Your Faith

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A thought occurred to me recently.  We all know that taking our eyes off of Jesus is something most believers battle against.  When we’re being mindful of this, however, we are usually focusing on bad things.  You know….greed, lust, hate, envy, etc.  But try this one on for size.  Worship of our faith.  Might I suggest that we can almost slip into an area of ‘Idol Worship’ when it comes to our faith.  Check out this passage and I’ll explain.

‘For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ…’  1 Thessalonians 5:9a  (NLT)

The means to our salvation is Jesus via the Father’s love and grace for you and I.  Salvation is a free gift, and we should definitely be thankful for it.

BUT…

…there’s more to living the Christian life than salvation.  Its the beginning of our journey with Christ.  It is through our faith in Him that we receive salvation.   Its the foundation.  Its the initial stroke of paint on the Picasso of our new life with Him.  Now for the caution!  Let us not become selfish and complacent with our daily living.  God calls us all to more.  He has more to offer you.  Our faith is not ours to hoard.  Simply stated (and not as simply carried out), Jesus longs for us to learn more about Him…and take others along with us.  THIS is Christian community.

How are you living beyond your faith?  What have you learned from others around you who do this well?  Share your comments below with others.

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Trade Traffic for Jesus!

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As I read the ‘verse of the day’ posted by YouVersion this morning, it made me think of a discipleship class I’m currently writing for the upcoming session of what our church calls LifeSchool.  The Spiritual Disciplines are the topic, which all (at varying degrees) really do require setting aside time to be in the presence of Jesus.  Here it is…

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!   Psalm 84:10a (NLT)

The irony of this verse is simply, “Why would we then consider a day NOT in His presence?”  Think about that for a second.

When you are at work, dealing with agitated family, stuck in slow traffic, etc…..think of a place you would rather be at that moment.  Maybe basking in the sun at the beach…chilling with a cup of coffee at Starbucks…or even vacationing at Disney World with your kids (ok…maybe the kids are at grandma’s house).  Here’s the point I’m trying to make.  No matter how wonderful a trade you could make from a bad day to a better environment, the uncomplicated ability to just sit and enjoy quality time in very close proximity to Jesus cannot be compared!

I encourage you to share your experiences.  What methods have you found to work well for spending regular time in the company of your Savior?

 

 

 

 

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