Thursday, July 21, 2011

Time Gets Away

Well, it has been entirely too long since I wrote last. Here's the deal- I was cranking out some blogs on a near daily basis before we went on vacation back in June. I was in a routine and I felt really good about it. Well then we went on vacation and it was sort of tough to jump back in to the routine. Then a couple weeks later, I found out I was expecting baby 3!!! Totally unplanned, totally unexpected, but we're totally happy about it! So then the whole tired-nauseous-pregnant struggle started and the last thing I wanted to do was share happy thoughts on my blog, because I had few happy thoughts to share in those weeks. But today, I am so grateful that I am feeling well and have a little spare energy to burn. So I want to share (briefly, mind you) some thoughts I had as I read Psalm 39 last night before bed starting in verse 4.

4 “O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
11 When you discipline a man
with rebukes for sin,
you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
surely all mankind is a mere breath! 

Verse 4 really got my attention. It really goes well with a devotion I just wrote for LCC for next week about making your days count. Just like I wrote about with getting out of the habit of blogging- days of not writing turned into weeks and weeks into a month! Time gets away from us really fast!

I was reminded of this again the other day at my son Silas' well-check for Pre-school. The doctor was amazed by how tall he has grown in the past year. I guess I knew he was tall, but the time goes so fast and the growth happened so fast, that I didn't realize just how tall he had grown until someone stopped me and showed me a chart and then I realized- wow! He did get really tall this year! And smart and funny and he's turning more and more into a little man instead of my little baby. Time gets away.

So maybe you should stop today and think about where time is taking you these days.

Further away from, or closer to God?
Time spent without, or time spent in His Word?
Weakening in prayer or deepening in prayer?
Running away from, or running toward the work of the Kingdom?

Because time gets away from us. We think we'll last on this earth forever, but then passages like Psalm 39 remind us that our time is but a breath here on earth. We've got to make life count for something greater than ourselves before it's gone.

I am praying that God will continue to use me and to help me make better use of my hours, days, weeks, months, years, and life. I am praying the same for you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Who Do We Say that He Is?

Lots of questions today and not many answers... take some time to reflect.

Who do we say that God is...

...With our words?
      Do we choose carefully the things that we say? Are we talking about God on a regular basis with friends and family? If He is truly the priority of our lives, we should be talking about Him. A lot. 

Start up a conversation with your kids or your spouse today about what God is doing in your life right now. 

...With our generosity?
     Luke 12:34 says, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So how are we showing that God is our treasure and that He rules over our hearts? Our money, our time, our abilities-they all belong to Him anyway. Are you giving at least 10% of your income as a tithe as the scriptures tell us to do? Are you using your abilities to help others and spread the Kingdom? Are you sharing the resources you've been blessed with to help others less fortunate? 

Give. Donate some time as a volunteer at your church, a hospital, a food bank, a school. Find someone with a need and meet it, no matter how small. 

...With our lives? 
     Your actions speak louder than words. Little eyes are watching your every move. I know from having kids and seeing them imitate not only me, but each other proves this fact. Everything God made, from the stars, to the flowers of the field, to the fish swimming in the ocean, to the tiny intricate bugs that crawl on the ground were made to reflect His glory and His involvement in our world. You are also a reflection of Him- how well are you reflecting Him today? 

Think about your character and your life choices. Are there any areas that are not meeting God's standard? He doesn't demand perfection, but He wants us to surrender ourselves to His ways: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Ask God to help you display His character, make a plan to work on any weak areas in your life and live a life that imitates His. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Creator

Well it's been a while friends! I've been a busy lady, blessed with loads of family time over the past few weeks. We've been to the beach. We've camped under the humid sticky July sky. And this weekend? Who knows! We just left the camping gear out this time since we'll be pulling it all out again on Friday for yet another adventure. I think this weekend will find us heading to the cool mountains of West Virginia where we'll be immersed in the beauty of the wilderness (aka I won't have access to a shower or flushing toilets for several days). But it's fun. It's memorable. It's a time to pause and consider who I am and what I am doing. It's a time to be still. 

What I love to think about when I'm visiting places away from home is how creative God is. All the different ecosystems- all the different animals, bugs, birds, flowers. From the murky swamp to the clear ocean waters, our God is a creative God! I love to think about the creation account in Genesis and the joy and excitement that must have surely welled up in the heart of God as He rolled up His sleeves, looking at the blank canvas before Him saying, "Let's do this."  

My devotion that I read this morning was Psalm 33. 33:6-9 says, 

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
   their starry host by the breath of His mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars
   He puts the deep into storehouses. 

Let all the earth fear the LORD;
   let all the people of the world revere Him.
For He spoke, and it came to be;
   He commanded, and it stood firm.

Imagine that kind of power! To be able to speak things into existence! And not just any old "things" either- an entire world spoken into existence! Light created where before there was nothing at all! And Psalm 139 tells us that in much the same way, God created each of us, carefully knitting us together in the darkness of our Mother's wombs! The Psalms show us that from the giant details of the universe to the intricate forming of a baby, God's power and creativity extend to the smallest of details. God speaks and things happen. His hands can create anything and everything. He is amazing. 

When we consider creation, we should be in awe of the grand scale of the universe and our world. But we should also recognize the intimate connection we have with our Creator. He has created all things in a very purposed, orderly way. His main goal is that His glory would be revealed. All of creation is certainly doing it's part to reveal His greatness and today my prayer is that we, as His people, would be purposed to do the same.