Time Management

Time Management

Psalm 90:12 (ESV) So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

The holidays are finally over. It is now time to get back to “normal” life. The junk food is cleared out of the refrigerator. Guests have all gone back home. The house is somewhat in order. Kids are getting ready to go back to school. Work days fall back into Monday through Friday each day with its own schedule and routine. There is comfort in the known. Life goes on.

Will 2018 be like every other year? Will I make of list of good intentions? Will I follow through? I am a planner who finds solace in the mundane routine. Not much for surprises, I enjoy knowing what comes next and preparing for it. I am a budgeter of everything. My life. My time. Our finances. Everything. Order makes my life controlled. However, as I read this verse today, I wonder if there is something missing in the projection of my life. Have I considered all the factors? Or at the end of my life, will I miss what mattered most? I want to live an intentional life. The security I have in the natural must be transferred to the supernatural.

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may get heart wisdom.” I am a Child of God. He created me and ordered my life from the beginning. (Psalm 139) Nothing in my life is a secret or surprise to the Lord. My sin, faults, failures and weaknesses were all considered when Jesus died on the Cross. Otherwise, there would not be sufficiency in His Grace. God’s Plan for me includes a future and hope. Christ has set me free from all penalties to choose the life that I will live. Why are we so quick to fault God with our bad choices? Lack of obedience? Small faith? Flourishing unbelief? All the things that keep us from radically pursuing the Living God yet we blame Him when things don’t work out the way He said the way that we planned. We need a change of perspective.

Timelessness of God

Psalm 90:2-4 (ESV) Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

I have never watched the movie, “Titanic”. People are often shocked and tell me to watch it. I have no interest in doing so because I know how it ends. The ship sinks. Men, women and children perish in frigid waters. It does not have a happy ending. The film is historical. It is a sensationalized cinematic version of the events leading up to the fateful day. I know the end from the beginning. God knows the beginning and end of our natural life. He knows the potential hidden along with eternity and faith in our heart. It is up to us to decide if we will participate.

The Lord is good. He has promises scripted into the future and hope provided in Jeremiah 29. The only thing required is to seek Him wholeheartedly. To live life intentionally pursuing the Living God means understanding who He is. Intimate knowledge of God comes from the Word and through His Spirit. True worshippers will do so in Spirit and in Truth. Why is this so important? Intimacy with God is offered through Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save us, heal us, deliver us, protect us and prosper us in THIS life called the land of the living. The consistency of my commitment to Christ allows me to know Him more. When you know someone, you know is true and what is not true. I know my husband. We have been together almost two decades. We live together and communicate every single day. He loves me. I know that. I know him intimately. I know His Character – faults and all. So if someone were to tell me something untrue about him – it would be obvious to me. So it goes in our relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

To know the Word is to know Jesus. To understand who He is there is no substitution for knowledge and wisdom. Otherwise, your information is secondhand. People can tell me who He is to them, but I will only be confident in the One I know. God is timeless. He is everlasting. He knows the end from the beginning. He has carefully detailed the steps of my life to fulfillment. While I look for success in the seventy or so promised on the earth, the Lord takes it one step further into a fathomless forever. I must expand my consciousness of Him from the here and now to the forever or for some from the forever to the here and now.

The Word of God tells us that God does not lie or change His Mind. The blessing on our life stands forever. He is working every detail of our life for good. He pursues us unfailing love, mercy, and His Goodness every single day. There is nothing that can separate me from His Love. It is my absolute inability and weakness that allows His Power to manifest in my life. All of this is true. God perfects all that concerns me.

Brevity of Our Natural Life

Psalm 39:4-5 (ESV) “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! 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

Make me know my end and what is the measure of my days…this is not a message of gloom and doom. It is a change of perspective that many of us would benefit from myself included. People get sucked in by life. The enemy uses busyness to steal precious moments from us. Time is priceless because it can never be recaptured once it has past. Every human being has twenty four hours in a day, sixty minutes in each hour and sixty seconds in a minute. Busyness is a personal choice of how one chooses to use their commodity called time. We establish the pursuits in our life. God didn’t tell you to work hard and stay motivated in order to find success. We choose the pathway and our perception of success. If all our time is sown into other things, we will reap what we sow. It is only those endeavors blessed by the Lord that produce no sorrow with them. Your job is a blessing from the Lord. If you take that job and make it your idol, it may become a barren field or you may only gain what your hand has sown.

Godly prosperity begins in our soul. If our soul does not prosper, we will never find contentment or completion in Jesus Christ. We must become conscious of the brevity of life. To understand the need for heart wisdom that prospers our heart and mind. Changes us by producing godly character. As the fruit of God’s Spirit is cultivated in us, it grows into the very offering of our life. It is time to slow down and consider our days. The number of them. The quality of them. The wasted moments. The priority of our life is evident in the dispensation of time. To sow seeds of faith and hope in our natural life requires a consciousness of our time and the timelessness of God. Where you sow – you reap. To sow only for this life will leave you well supplied today but what about forever?

Proverbs 3:1-4 (ESV) My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

In Ecclesiastes 3 it is established that God has ordained a time for every activity in life. He promises that in His Time – He makes all things beautiful. He placed eternity in our hearts because that is the true definition of success. To become a new creation and extend our life from the natural to supernatural realm. Intentional Christianity requires integrating the timelessness of God and our natural timeline. We cannot make time but we can certainly portion our time. When faith is sown in our heart, it connects us with the eternity that is hidden there. God gave us everything needed to live a godly life. We must choose to use our time intentionally. He even promises that it will add length of days and year of life and peace. Not only that – “you will find favor and good success TODAY in the sight of God and man.” There is never a more influential Christian then the one who is prosperous in all things pertaining to life and godliness.

Time Integration

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

God doesn’t need you or me to do anything. He doesn’t want anything from us. He just wants us. The Lord wants and desires an intimate relationship with us. Will you trust the Lord today with all of your heart? Time management and distribution is telling of where our trust really is in life. If it is fully consumed by worldly pursuits waiting for more time for godly pursuits – these are wasted moments. To successfully integrate God’s Timing and our timelines means giving up my way to have His Way. God will never change His Timing for us. He is perfect in ALL of His Ways. Those who do not lean on human understanding and choose to trust God with their time will find that He adds to it days and years that would have otherwise been consumed by busyness and peace to the fearful and insecure heart.

The Lord wants to live life with you and through you. He will complete the work begun in us but we must give Him our time and attention so He can do it. We must trust that the Lord will do exactly what He says enough to stop trying to do it all ourselves. Let the Holy Spirit be the Master of your time today. Give the Lord your schedule and let Him reprioritize it according to His Will and His Way. How can we trust the Lord with forever if we do not trust Him for this day?

Psalm 16:11 (ESV) You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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Make Up Your Mind

Make Up Your Mind

Colossians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Every morning my husband and I make our bed before heading out for the day. We were taught as children to do so and it has carried over into adulthood. According to Hunch.com, in a survey of 68.000 people – 59% of people do not make their beds and only 27% do. About 12% pay a housekeeper to make it…lucky them. Of those who made their bed, 71% considered themselves happy but 62% of non-bed makers admit being unhappy. Bed makers were found more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly and fell well rested, but those who did not make their bed indicated that they hated their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired each day. Overall those who took the time to make their bed each day were happier and more successful overall.

 

How does making your bed improve your life? Apparently, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment, it creates a positive state of mind, lowers stress, prevents embarrassment and leads to other good habits. Who knew? I made my bed as a child because my mother asked me to. I make it now because it is a habit. According to Time magazine, it is one of the top 12 things extremely successful people do along with waking up early, exercise, spending quality time with family, connect with spouses, and pursue passion. Success is a mindset. We develop the habits and routines that define our ability to be productive in life. How can something as simple as making your bed better your life? It has nothing to do with a piece of furniture covered in sheets sitting in the center of your bedroom. It is all about that much smaller space located in between our ears and the lobe of thinking mass called our brain.

I believe the secret to success in the natural and spiritual realm is achieved by having a made up mind every single day. When we awaken in the morning after hitting the snooze button one, two, three or more times, precious time is lost in our morning that could be committed to a made up mind. It sets the course of our day. I am not a morning person. I try not to speak that in the natural anymore because I know now that my words hold power. I use them here simply so one may relate. I find sleep deprivation to be the biggest challenge for me at times. I require a certain amount of sleep to function properly. However, I used to be a night owl staying up all hours of the night to early morning. I had to begin going to bed at 10:00 PM disregarding if I was tired or not, but just doing it so that I could get up earlier and spend time with the Lord each day. I get up around 4:45 AM on the average during the week and around 7:30 AM on the weekends. It is my routine. When I get up, I head straight to my prayer closet and spend time with the Lord. I want Him to tell me something new about Him. I want Him to reveal something in me. Anything is fine. It can be something good or something I need to work on. It really doesn’t matter just as long as He is here.

 

What I have noticed over the years is that as I have taken control of my schedule, established a new routine, and developed better habits – my life is more successful. My flesh still fights some of the changes even though my mind is aware of the benefit. I must make up my mind each day who is in control. It begins by reconciling my thoughts to Jesus Christ. I must set my mind on things above, not on things on the earth. My life is hidden in Christ. I must make up my mind to find my life in Jesus.

Hebrews 10:23 (NKJV)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

This morning when I woke up, this verse was circulating in my mind. The Holy Spirit was clearing up and running before I opened my eyes. It is not unusual to be stirred by the Lord in our sleep. I think God wakes us up at 3:00 AM sometimes because it is the only time that He is able to get undivided attention. If we give Him time in each day, maybe there would be fewer times that we cannot sleep at night. Hold fast the confession of hope without wavering. The Lord is clearly telling me that I must make up my mind about something. I am pretty sure what that is but maybe you have something you are wavering about?

To waver means to sway to and fro. It is to become unstable. To begin to fail or give way. To shake. It is to feel or show doubt. We must have a made up mind in Jesus Christ. Every day there is a battle in our mind for control. Will we give in to our flesh or maintain our new life according to the Spirit of God within us? It really is up to the individual. You control who or what has power and authority in your life. It is all part of the freedom given to us in our new life in Christ. The devil cannot make you do anything. He only has dominion over you to the extent allowed by you. No weapon against you can prosper. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Jesus overcame the world. Do you believe it? This is the presiding question in each new day.

The Power of God and His Promises are not dictated by our faith in Him but His Faithfulness alone. When we come to the Lord by faith with confidence in the hope, it will produce success in our life simply because we trust the Lord. Trust is destroyed the moment doubt is present. Doubt is a detriment to our life and sin that requires repentance. (James 4:8) James 1:6-7 tells us that a doubleminded man is unstable. Doubt represents a lack of faith. Faith is required to please God. Are you holding fast today? I am getting a grip for sure.

Romans 4:19-21 (NKJV)

And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Around this time two years ago, our son was still battling cancer. The “experimental” treatment had been denied and I was waiting on their final answer. When it came back as “no”, I was absolutely rocked to my core. The world had decided the price of life too high at roughly $350K. It is a great deal of money. My son is priceless. I remember thinking and praying during that time envisioning Abraham going up the mountain with Isaac. His son, his promise, his future determined to give the Lord exactly what He asked. I kept recalling God’s Word that our boy would live and not die. I dissected His Word over and over. Finally, I could see my feet digging into the side of the mountain as I made my ascent dragging our son with me. I had decided that God would do a miracle if we made it to the top. If I had to drag his lifeless body all the way up Mount Zion, God would do what He said. Giving up and giving in was not an option. God said it. I believe it. That settled it. No matter what the world said, I would have to hear God tell me different to stop me.

 

Many are in the valley of decision today. In Joel 3:14, it declares that “multitudes” upon multitudes are in such a place as the Day of the Lord draws near. Are you? Am I? It is a place of indecision when we do not have a made up mind. When anyone or anything can dissuade us from our faith in God and trust in His Ability, we are in the valley again.

Romans 8:5-8 (NKJV)

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Just as it is proven in many studies that successful people demonstrate certain habits and behaviors consistently, so it is with successful believers. The secret to spiritual success is not habitual although changing our habits will aid in the process. It begins with a choice. Will I serve my flesh today or will I walk in the Spirit? Will I be carnally minded believing what I see and reacting to it? Or will I walk by faith not by sight and respond to the Love of God that I have found? These are two profoundly different pursuits. It requires a choice. We decide who we live for today. There are only two choices. We live for the Kingdom of God or this world. There is no gray area so we must make up our mind.

Jesus has given us the freedom to choose. (Romans 1:28-32) If we do not choose to follow Jesus, there is only one other choice left. You cannot come to the Lord halfheartedly and completion. It is with our whole heart that we experience His Love firsthand. We must steady our anxious thoughts. Stop worrying about what God has already provided. He has supplied all our needs according to His Riches in Glory. He is doing more than we could even think to ask for. We only have to make up our mind and live pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly. Our mind must be continually renewed day by day to have a transformed life. (Romans 12:2) We must have a willing heart and mind committed to finishing every good work that the Lord begins in us seeing it through to fulfilment because God is faithful to finish what He starts. (2 Corinthians 8:10-12) We should be committed to doing the same. Every thought, idea, emotion and feeling must be made up into a sound mind as we reconcile our entire existence to Christ. (Colossians 1:19-23)

Philippians 3:12-16 (NKJV)

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

I have made my bed for many, many years now. I have instructed my children to do the same. It was only recently that I discovered it to be psychologically beneficial in the studies I found on line. I had no idea that it might potentially lead to other successful habits and routines in life. It is discipline. I began doing it because my mother made me. I continued to do it because it is a habit. It is only now that I realize it potentially has led to my success through discipline. See the Word of God doesn’t always make sense, but when we are obedient – it leads to success. As we praise God in His Faithfulness, looking back we can see how it all worked together for our good but during the process many times it seemed like failure was imminent. God’s Ways are not like our ways. There are many things that we are instructed to do in the Word of God AND from the pulpits in this world. I encourage you today to allow Jesus to renew your mind with His Word and His Spirit until it is set on the mark of your high calling. So that you can safely discern if the word you are being fed by mankind is in alignment with that Calling according to Jesus Christ. We must know. We live in a day and age of mixed religion, diluted doctrine, convoluted grace and inaccurate portrayals of God’s Kingdom, His Truth and His Way. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4) Without a deliberately and disciplined made up mind…one might be deceived and risk everything on a lie.

We have the Mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:13-16) Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in flesh who gives us His Spirit to help us understand and guide us through this life safely into Eternity. Any thought or idea contrary to God’s Word, Will or Way is enmity against God. It is literally hostile to the Lord and His Purpose in our life. Doubt is a faith killer. Negativity is a dream crusher. The thoughts in our head produce the words that come out of our mouth that hold life-giving power or doom and despair. We must make up our mind today…while it still is today who we will serve body, mind and spirit which is to the benefit of our soul. We do not know what today holds. God does and He prepared everything we need to be successful and prosper. God is good. He is for me never against me. He will never leave me or forsake me. He pursues me with His Unfailing Love from which nothing can separate me. All these thoughts and ideas are true and must become the foundation of my life and faith in Christ.

Am I willing to make up my mind each day? To sacrifice my mind, thoughts, ideas and emotions to the Lord as a living sacrifice? Do I want what He wants for me? A doubleminded man or woman is unstable. Those who waver do not get the promise. We must make the decision each day as we make up our bed to make up our mind. Be strong in our commitment to follow Jesus and trust His Way. Lord, help me have a made up mind today. I give every thought and idea to you for spiritual filtration and fulfillment in Jesus Name.

Psalm 26:1-2 (NKJV)

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.

Death by Distraction

Death by Distraction

Luke 10:39-42 (NIV)

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Thriving on schedule and routine, one of my greatest struggles is maintaining my attitude when this is not maintained. It is how I keep from becoming overwhelmed. I thrive in order. There are many reasons that I will not bore you with from childhood to adulthood that have made me this way. The prioritization of life ends procrastination and promotes progress. I am very driven by it to the point that when it becomes interrupted that I cannot see the forest for the trees. For a week now, my husband has been out of town which has changed our morning routine. The rhythm established that keeps our house moving has been left up to me. Second distraction. Every Thursday, I clean my house. On rare occasions, this is moved to Fridays but that pushes grocery shopping to Saturday which is inconvenient. So when plans changed last night, I could feel myself getting all stirred up. Our routine was interrupted by a midweek event that though it was an obligation I really wanted to back out to keep order in my life. It would not have been the right decision but one to pacify my flesh. Now all the mole hills in my life were slowly building into mountains. When you add the Daniel Fast which makes meal preparation and planning a little more challenging and add to it the fact that my body is now rallying against me…well, you get the picture. I am a bit distracted. My house is not clean. My grocery list is not done. My husband is coming home which makes the first two very important to me. I could add the list of “things” but you have one of your own. Walking into my prayer closet this morning, getting into the Word, the Lord whispered in my ear, “Lori, Lori, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.”

“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” The challenge within in. Every day, I want to live on purpose. My purpose is to serve the Lord. However, sometimes I get distracted by all the ways that I think honor Him when really He is after only one thing. Jesus wants my heart. When He has my whole heart, it gets my attention. When I step into His Presence leaving all of those “things” and “preparations” behind I see that He is all I need. Are you distracted today? Do you keep your phone by your side at all times? Do you lose it when your schedule is interrupted? Does chaos undo you in a vain attempt to keep a firm grip on your life? Do not get me wrong. I am not in any way condone a life lived randomly. To serve the Lord with each moment will require a certain schedule and order to be obedient with our time and talents. The life of faith is not random but intention as we take control of flesh and lead it to the Cross each day in submission to the Word, Will and Way of Jesus Christ. We must live an ordered live for a lack of control and firm grip will lead us from wilderness to wilderness. However, we cannot get lost in the doing and forget who we are.

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”

The mindset of religion is doing something for God. The heart of the church should be the pursuit of Christ. I know a lot of worn our ministers of the Gospel on every level who are wearied by the work of the church and distracted by it. When I came to the Lord this morning, I was reminded that the only way I see the lack of proper prioritization in my life is when my routine is interrupted, schedule messed up or experience a change of plans – this takes me from my agenda back to God’s Plan and Presence in my life. To depend on Christ fully means that every detail of my life belongs in His Hands. It begins with this prayer each day. “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” How many times do we ask the Lord to help us get everything “we” need to get done today rather than entering His Presence with our life in our hands saying, “Here Jesus, you work it out today just tell me what to do.” I know…I know… it sounds unrealistic. Who is going to work to pay the bills? Take the kids to school? Clean the house? Prepare the meals? Serve in church? Lead Sunday School? Do those things only “I” can do? The enemy is subtle in his attack. He knows that you are in tune to the Jesus in you so he has to sneak in. If he hit you with something big, satan knows you would run home to Daddy. So he comes in via pride, the kind that says, “I have to do this” rather than “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” The struggle is real. The Truth of the matter is that everything I need to be successful today is found in the Presence of the Lord. I cannot get there in my own way with my agenda and goals to be successful my heart and mind must align with His Will and His Way with a heart fully committed to living close to Jesus.

Galatians 6:7-9 (NIV)

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Am I sowing in the Spirit today? OR am I sowing in my flesh? Everything I do should be as unto the Lord and to glorify my Father in Heaven. Who am I working for today? Who am I living for today? Is it me? Or is it Jesus? Think about it. I am. We “do” a lot of things in the Name of the Lord but are we doing it for Him or to pacify us and our own need for order. When we ask the Lord for help in doing, we are sowing in the flesh. See God has already everything we need to live a godly life so all we have to do is step into His Presence, ask for it, and according to His Will it is a given. It is when we enter His Presence desiring Him change our situation here on earth, to help “us” work out our problem or meet our need that is a definite sign that we have become distracted. When come to the Lord for the assistance of others rather than asking for His Help, we have designated that person as the one who has higher authority and power over our life than the Lord. It is when we enter His Presence with Thanksgiving and Praise no matter what is going on around us and even when all our plans have ended in frustration that we know our faith is secure and hope is confident in Christ alone. It is a subtle transference. Trusting Christ alone is our mission relying on Him alone is our goal.

Hebrews 6:19-21 (NIV)

People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

People have good intentions. The promises made most do with the purpose to keep but then things happen. Life happens. In that moment of disorder, what is your response? I must admit mine is not very good most of the time. I deal with the busyness of life by given everything a proper place. The problem is I create natural comfort that when disrupted distracts me from my true calling and life purpose of serving the Lord in all things. Good is not served by my purpose but when I live for His Glory. That means if He has an assignment for me of greater priority than the one I have established for this day or moment that I am confident and secure enough in His Word that I will walk in obedience not only in my actions but in my attitude as well. It is good to plan. Routine is not the enemy. Scheduling will indeed set the course for a day and even make time for important things like spending time with the Lord. It is when our plans fail and human expectations not met that we see who or what was the driving force behind our plans and purpose.

If it is true that God does not lie or change His Mind, He has it all worked out already. Everything even the smallest seemingly insignificant detail will work for my good according to His Word. Do I trust Him is the question enough to give up control when life throws me a curveball, or will I take my toys and go home? I hear it all the time. How do you find time to write? I get up two hours earlier each day. Oh I can’t do that I need my sleep. I am too busy to pray. Turn off your phone and spend some time with God alone. Oh, I can’t I have to work it’s how I pay my bills. I am tired and need rest. Make time to enter His Presence. Oh you don’t understand, I have kids. We prioritize our life. We choose our Provider. He promised to supply all our needs according to His Riches in Glory. He will not force us to have it but invites us to come. If you want to work yourself to death, He will allow you to its called freedom. If you want to get all worked up, so be it. If you want to wear yourself out until there is nothing left to give until you come crawling back to Him – Jesus will always be there waiting to provide everything you need. He has been waiting to give it you. You (and I) were too distracted in our preparations, plan and purpose to see. We choose the path that we will go in each day with each moment. To fully trust in the Lord means relinquishing control of our mind, will and emotions to Jesus, stepping into His Presence and closing the door on the world. Work and responsibilities outside of the Will and Way of God will only yield human results which will be reflected in our outcomes. The Favor and Goodness of God is reserved for the Marys in life who choose first to live in His Presence and then go conquer the world. Today I am a Martha who needs to join Mary.

Matthew 25:10-13 (NIV)

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

When the bridegroom returned the virgins were “on their way to buy oil.” Five of them brought oil with them and waited on the Lord. The other five were “distracted” and did not bring any oil to trim their lamp. So when he finally came, they were out making preparation and missed it. When they came to him, he said, “I don’t know you.” Keep watch for you do not know the day or hour is the warning in this parable of Jesus. Are we working for the natural or waiting for Jesus to come? Our life means nothing outside of knowing Jesus Christ and living according to that sweet knowledge and understanding that He is really all we need. When Jesus truly is the Lord of our life, our doing is nothing compared to what He is doing. Yes, we should work as unto the Lord. But He is our Provider of all things that make our life fruitful and prosperous because we know Him, spend time with Him and finally trust Him with our life. It is human nature to take God’s Plan and try to run with it. It is not always are job to “do”. Our blessing is not the result of anything we do but strictly our relationship and proximity to Christ. In the end, when it really counts only one thing will allow us to enter Eternity with the Lord, does He know you? I want Him to know me. I don’t want to be the casual acquaintance who calls only in the time of need. I want to have an intimate and thriving relationship with Jesus which means my priority list and his must become the same.

James 2:21-24 (NIV)

Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

Abraham believed God. It was credited to him as righteousness and he was called God’s Friend. I love that. I want to be friends with the Lord. Yes, I can come to Him when I am overwhelmed, weak or weary and HE will restore me, renew me and revive me. He will set the order of my life for His Plan and Purpose when I choose to seek Him wholeheartedly. The sacrifice will be my schedule, routine and plan for success. It will yield results but only natural ones. To take my plan and surrender it to the Lord while accepting His Plan will turn my outcomes from ordinary to extraordinary. Will I keep planning? Of course. Will I keep a schedule? Yes. Will we observe a daily routine? Absolutely. The key is being caught up in Jesus and not our plans that are subject to change in the Light of His Love. It means when all these things are interrupted, I will not become distracted but rather go deeper in His Love. Amen and amen.

Philippians 3:8-9 (NIV)

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Spooling

Spooling

Proverbs 20:9-10 (NLT)

Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”? False weights and unequal measures—the Lord detests double standards of every kind.

For a couple of days, the cursor on the computer screen would spin endlessly with the pointer flashing. Trying to focus on the Word of God, it was a distraction. I don’t know why it became such a problem for me visually but I could not dig in because I was too annoyed that it would not stop going round and round. Finally do aggravated to continue, I decided to “Google” some help boards to see if other people had found a way to kill the cursed cursor. Thank goodness for all the geeks out there willing to share with those of us who are profoundly challenged in the technology realm. Opening the task manager, I went down the endless list of programs and process that my computer was engaged in. It was overwhelming to see all the things it was doing behind the scenes coupled with ignorance that I might end the wrong task and shutdown my computer for good.

The help board contributor explained that my computer was “spooling”. Spooling is an acronym for “simultaneous peripheral operations online. Basically, while I was going about my business, it had certain tasks waiting in the buffer until they could be fully executed. My computer has a buffer that allows commands to circulate until the device needed can complete the operation. I do not have the laptop hooked up or linked in to our printer, so someone probably had sent something to print and it was waiting in the buffer until the printer was online to finish the job. Finally, finding “spool.exe” I was able to end the task. Once I restarted the computer, no more spinning cursor. Feeling quite smug with my new knowledge, I went on about my business until a few days later it happened again. Now sometimes in my life, the Lord will use something in the natural to point out something that He is spiritually working on in my life. Bingo! My spinning cursor on the screen was pointing to a problem in my person.

I am not easily distracted but task-oriented. A dreamer who is constantly driven to put leg and feet to produce movement, I seldom do not have something going on in my head. In fact, I like it that way. I love to make a list and cross off every item. I have even been known to write things I just did on my list to cross it off. This can be a distraction, too. I am a doer who sometimes forgets to live in the midst of the chaos. I think it is my comfort zone as weird as that sounds. I will make up stuff to do just to stay busy, Lord help me. I am most content when overloaded which is not a godly trait. It has been my escape for a long time. Today, God is calling me on it. The Lord detests double standards of every kind. False weights and unequal measures of every kind… What does this mean? My time with the Lord is more important that time spent doing anything else. There are times daily living finds its way into my prayer closet even His Presence. God is not as interested in what I am doing as what He is doing in my life. He is looking at my heart to see where my interest lies and where my faith is in that moment. When it is focused on me, what I want to do, or the many responsibilities that I have placed on myself, I am double minded. My heart has been infiltrated by the world rather than overcome by grace. Lord, help me stop the spinning cursor and flashing arrow telling me that I must do this, be this, say this and sit in your Presence today.

Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

 

The person I am today is not who I was as a young person. Follow through challenged me greatly. I would get distracted and never get anything done. However, when I discovered the self-satisfaction of doing and discipline, I became addicted. Being a task master has its flaws, most of the time such people become so engrossed in achieving their goal that they do not see the people in their midst. Success overtakes the place of sincerity. Though our motives begin purely, they become polluted by self. The Lord is reminding me today of my dear friend, Martha. Though we lived in different times, we were challenged with the same heart. Overwhelmed by our roles as people, it is easy to become consumed with life and forget that it is not our responsibility. We are called to do one thing. It is by grace that we are saved to accomplish our only task. The enemy of our soul wants us to think our relationship with the Lord depends on self-discipline, dedication and doing but really it is all about the intentions of our heart. Our primary goal in any given day must be to step into the Presence of God and fight to remain there. With all the “things” in life trying to pull us away, vying for our attention and calling us to be on task, the Lord whispers I am here waiting for you to come and talk with me, spend time with me, and I will relieve those burdens that were never yours to bear.

Matthew 11:27-30 (NLT)

“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

During our son’s battle with cancer, I had a lot of thinking time. Though I was by his side, there was nothing I could do except help when needed and pray a lot. I was helpless. I couldn’t save his life or administer treatment. My schedule and routine were completely interrupted. In the long hours while he slept, I would literally pace the hospital room looking for something anything to do. I couldn’t really work. Run my house. Take care of my other children or even be much of a wife during that time. I did not realize until right now what the Lord was doing. He took the opportunity to undo me. The “me” I made that was a workaholic, “momaholic”, and “wifeaholic”. I had become addicted to doing and not being who the Lord formed and fashioned me to be. My role in life is not defined by the responsibilities that I have been given. I am a Child of the Living God. This is my primary role in life.

God has entrusted EVERYTHING in the Hands of Jesus. He has all power and authority over my life because I gave it to Him in exchange for the new life that the Lord has promised. There is not a single detail, big or small, that needs my attention other than placing more faith in Jesus and building confident hope. The Lord invites us to come to Him especially those who are weary and carry heavy burdens in exchange for rest. When we take on His Yoke as His People, He assumes full responsibility for our life and everything in it. While we surrender stuff, the enemy keeps trying to heap more stuff on us. For example, when you came to Jesus giving Him your sin and shame, the enemy came back with your past and guilt. If you assume responsibility for those things again, you get weighed down by them again. Or if you decide that there is something you must “do” to gain God’s Approval, yep, again you take responsibility for your life rather than keeping it at the Cross. Jesus promises that His Yoke is easy and His Burden light, so if we have become overwhelmed or overburdened with life there is good chance we have taken over the controls again. Time to lay it all down at His Feet, again. There is a reason we need endurance. We cannot live successfully in the Presence of God without paying close attention to the distractions and getting rid of them on the spot before they create delays and detours in our life.

Micah 6:8 (NLT)

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

 

When our son went into remission, getting back to normal life was all I wanted. I went back to work. I went back home. I tried to start making the usual list. Doing all the same things. But as I try to recreate my life as it was before our son got sick, I made a startling revelation. Something had changed. I had changed. My priorities had changed. I didn’t have the heart for my old job that demanded too much of my life. I didn’t want to be a supervisor in a large office. It was a position that went beyond eight to four everyday but wanted my nights and weekends, too. I wanted to spend time with my family and get back to serving in the church again. My goals for success and worldly ambition just weren’t there. The Lord had changed my heart. In the breaking of my heart and undoing of my life, I found what was most important to me all over again. Now I have a job that puts my family first, not only in crisis, but all of the time. I work with people who genuinely care about one another. I am able to leave each day and pick up my baby girl from middle school. That’s just one of many ways, “Martha” is being transformed into “Mary”.

Lately, I have felt that all too familiar feeling again of distractions. The Lord made me aware in the computer problem I was having that inevitably was pointing to my own heart. The most important task I have in each day is to love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and body. Taking all that I am and placing it in His Hands. I discovered Micah 6:8 in a song one day and have learned to strive to be that person. I want to do what is right in God’s Eyes which is always wrapped in love. I want to love mercy. The mercy that has been given me and the mercy I am called to extend to others. Finally, to walk humbly with God. The Lord loves me. He wants to share each day with me. This goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden when God would come to walk with His People in the coolness of each afternoon…until the day that sin came between them. Jesus opened the gate to this relationship again and I intend to end the tasks spooling in my head including all those things I think I have to get done to be with the Lord. He wants to be with me. Jesus died to be with me. To have a loving relationship where He does all the work and I just exist in His Love. Who wouldn’t want that? I for one do. Lord, show me those things that are trying to come between us and vying for my attention. I want only You – Jesus!

Psalm 27:4 (NLT)

The one thing I ask of the Lord the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

All for Naught – A Devotion

Hebrews 12:14-17 (Message)

Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.

 

There was a family who was perfect. Designed perfectly with a father, mother, son and daughter, they lived the perfect life. Though it began a little rough as most marriages do as people adjust to living as one, the family did all the right things. The father became prosperous in business and they moved to a large property. As the children grew and married, they each built houses in this perfect little community. The family was secure in their own place with everything they needed. They were prominent in the local church singing in the choir, attending faithfully, teaching classes while developing a very close friendship with the pastor of the very large church. Soon the family welcomed the next generation and their blessing grew. These young people would have the finest education in a Christian school to continue the legacy of Christ woven through this family. From the outside looking in one could not help but envy this family and wish to be part of it. Through the years, the family recognized its blessing and shared the Lord with others. However, one day things became to fall apart. The little things that once were ignored for all the grander things God was doing began to surface and it became clear that this family put on a pedestal did not belong there. Not because they were not the perfect family but because no family is – only Jesus is. The carefully constructed façade of a religious family is now crumbling after years of relying on hearts convinced they knew their God – now confused and disenchanted. Their finish does not resemble the start. Bitterness is destroying their garden as the faith that once bloomed is now withering in the midst of adversity and pain of deception. God did not change and His Word remained true. However all is for naught.

 

Religion will not make your life perfect. Relationships will not complete you. Routine will build consistency and discipline but repentance is the perfect turnaround. It is an interruption of self for something better. Many families are working this very moment to build the perfect life. A father who spends every working day at work or thinking about it with the good intention of providing for his family. A mother who longs to have close relationships with her husband and children but is doubled over under the weight of the world’s expectation to contribute to the income while establishing the perfect home confused as to why there is nothing left at the end of the day struggling in two roles. Children with hectic routines emphasizing higher education and the pursuit of academia while participating in every sport and activity to help pay for this endeavor. Children are raising themselves because dad and mom are too busy with the world constantly knocking on their heart asking to be let in. The “perfect” families of this world who live this life Monday through Saturday and squeeze in the Lord on Sunday to complete the mix are struggling under the pressure of religion not sure what is happening to their relationships are living on the verge of regret. Will it all be for naught? I have heard many people voice their regrets about missed opportunities and broken relationships but I have never heard anyone agonize over relief from an overburdened routine and stressed out schedule once it is gone. It is time to look at our life from the inside out and determine whether we live in a love relationship with God or a perfect religion. At the end of your life, a relationship with God that extends to your family, friends and even your enemies will never lead to remorse or regret but religion will leave you empty, bitter and confused.

 

Mark 14:3-7 (NLT)

Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating,a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. “It could have been sold for a year’s wagesand the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly. But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.

 

The woman who anointed Jesus is significant in our decision to live in a religion or relationship. The contents of the alabaster jar that she carried represented her natural worth. It was reminiscent of her effort in life and the things she worked for. Judging from its description, this woman had saved her money to purchase this item and it was of value to her. It represented how she spent her time and commitment in life. When she encountered Jesus Christ, it became worthless to her. The routine of her life changed in the magnificence of God’s Son. She recognized the Messiah and the importance of her relationship with Him. Suddenly the things of this life became less important and knowing the Lord and honoring Him with her life became her everything. She understood the Lord’s perfection and the imperfection of the things in this world. Life has a way of distracting us from the Lord and our relationship with Him just as it does our personal and familial relationships. The enemy of your soul begins with your family and friends to work his way into separating you from the Love of God. Your love for God binds you to others. Without it, you will be separated from everyone even when living a life crowded with significant people in your life. Religion had captured the hearts of Jesus’ disciples dimming their eyes to the Messiah and focusing on the religious duties instead. This is dangerous and common in today’s world. Believers who forget about relationships and choose religion and routine in life, it is time to take what has become more precious to us than our time with the Lord and return it to Him. Repentance will mess up your routine and religion but is imperative to restore our relationships with God and man. Others will never understand that the goodness and grace in the life of every believer comes from Jesus until we live in relationships once more.

 

John 13:34-35 (NLT)

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

 

The “perfect” life is only lived through a relationship with Jesus Christ. He adds the perfect part to every situation. Human efforts at such a life always fall short. Jesus has indicated that this existence we are seeking can be found in our love for each other. Love does not produce regret. It does not make you feel remorse. It leads to repentance in order to make it stronger and more fulfilling. God loves you. Jesus loves you. His Spirit loves you and lives in you to produce this kind of love in every relationship that you endeavor. Love is precious and valuable. Why strive for anything else in life but the Love of God? It will all be for naught!

Break the Habit – A Devotion

Isaiah 1:11-16 (NLT)

“What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting—they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings. I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways.”

 

According to research, it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. In just three weeks, you can change those things in life that have become routine and compulsive. The first step obviously is to identify the offense in the first place. In our family, we have conquered many of these problems over the years. Nail biting is a bad habit that is quite common in our group. It is a constant struggle within our family. Personally, I believe leaving clothes on the floor and drawers halfway open to be annoying habits as well while others may disagree including my children. Identification is important to overcoming those things in life that require change. One cannot change and will not change that which is acceptable in life. Just because something fits nicely into a routine or schedule does not make it effective and necessary. For highly organized people this can be an issue just as for the disorganized order poses a problem. Even good things can become bad habits. To an obsessive compulsive person, handwashing becomes dangerous when repeated one hundred times a day without cause. Anything and everything in life is subject to becoming a habit or ritual even our worship. God expressed His Extreme Distaste for the ritualistic religion that His People had turned to in Isaiah’s time. God was sick of the offerings. He was over the sacrifice. The ceremony did not impress Him. God found it all meaningless. Pointless were the days of celebration. The gather of His People became burdensome to the Lord. God began to turn His Head from the very things they thought they were doing in His Name. God’s People had missed the point. They were participating in a religion but forsaking the relationship. Following a model of worship but never entering into the Presence of God. God desired a face-to-face relationship with His Children but they had chosen to meet Him from afar. God was over it. The habits of His People were driving Him away. Sadly, the Body of Jesus Christ has not changed their rebellious ways. Worship has become a habit. Church is ceremonious. Prayer is no longer personal and has become almost professional. Fasting is an appointment. The Hands of God’s People are covered with the blood of the innocent ones who came to find a God who would inhabit their life only to find a habit and routine. It’s time to break the habit.

 

Isaiah 1:17 (NLT)

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

 

Church has become a habit. A relationship has turned into a religion. Don’t believe me? If you show up at any church building around 10:00 AM on any given Sunday, you will find people in the midst of a ceremony designed to honor God. Depending on when you show up, you generally know what to expect because they all operate with essentially the same schedule. However, show up at 10:00 AM on any other given day and you may not be so lucky. Encounter the same people in the grocery store line, traffic or at a local business and they are no longer worshipping God but engaged in the routine of life. The person who greeted you at the church building is not necessarily who you will encounter again. It is because as part of the routine, we have developed a ritual or habit of behaving a certain way in the midst of believers in the religiosity of organized worship that is forgotten in life. God despises religion. He does not have time for routine worship or scheduled ceremonies. God desires people who constantly live in worship. Those who learn to do good every day not just on Sunday. It doesn’t impress God but in fact, repulses Him the duplicity of His Own Followers. A relationship with Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven requires a daily commitment to break the habit of religion and forge our way into a committed relationship. We must strive to meet God in life and not just a certain building. God would like nothing more than to spend every moment of every day in a loving relationship with you. He does not want to be the object of your affection but the source of everything. He loves you with intensity and passion that does not abandon you despite your sin. He wants to mess up the routine and mundane life you are living and present you with supernatural opportunities that are only found in His Presence. Are you ready for such a life and love? Get ready. You are about to break some traditions and habits that have molded the image of God in your life in exchange for a whole new side of God’s Identity. God is personal and real to those who do not put Him in a box or on a stand to worship at will. He will change you from the inside out when you allow His Spirit to disrupt your carefully ordered life and allow the magnitude of God’s Glory to fill it. Your habit of worship will become a Holy Habitation of God!

 

Psalm 89:15-17 (NLT)

Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord. They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation. They exult in your righteousness. You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong.

 

Tired of religion? God is too. Tired of weak worship and worthless faith? God is as well. You are called to a life of worship. It is not scheduled or routine as these are manmade in design to control that which is spiritual. The Presence of God cannot be contained and He does not desire a fancy show. He is looking for those who require His Presence all day, every day. He longs for followers who crave righteousness in the midst of their inability to achieve it. God is not impressed with a good show, successful programs, dressed up people and pious meetings. God wants you! In all your mess, God wants to inhabit your life. He desires to be with you on the good days and even more on the bad ones. He longs to see you at you best but insists on meeting you at your worst. God is real and will settle for nothing less than genuine and authentic faith in His People. The call to worship is every moment of every day. Those who hear it will be happy despite the problems they are facing or the failures that are endured. People who are true worshippers rejoice in all things just because they know the Lord. They prosper in His Righteousness becoming righteous themselves. Weakness is a requirement. You cannot have it all together and benefit from God’s Strength. God wants you to be you. He abhors fake. He inhabits reality. Break the religious habit today and live in the Light of God’s Love. It will break the mold of the mundane and allow the Glory of God to fill your life. What are you waiting for? Try God for the next 21 days…every day meet Him in His Presence. It will change your life. You will break the religious habit. You will develop a life-changing relationship with the One who loves you most!

Perfect Timing – A Devotion

Daniel 2:20-22 (NKJV)

Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with Him.

 

Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” His simple observation became a proverb of life. Mr. Franklin was an inventor and refiner of sorts always looking for solutions to life’s little problems and inconveniences. On a visit to Europe, he wrote a letter to the Parisians suggesting that by rising earlier to take advantage of sunlight they would actually conserve candles in the process. Though he did not suggest daylight savings time, Mr. Franklin was certainly a progressive thinker. A gentleman by the name of George Vernon Hudson is who we have to thank for time change we experience each spring and fall. “Spring ahead and fall back” was suggested by this entomologist who realized through his employment as a shift worker gave him leisure time to collect bugs making Hudson aware of the value of after-hours sunlight. The idea caught on and in 1916 people started using daylight savings time to increase the hours of sunlight in each day.

There are many pros to having “extra hours” in one’s day but I must be the first to admit that daylight savings time is not my favorite. Though I love the blessing of longer days of sunshine the time change allows me to enjoy some daylight outside of the fluorescent flooded chamber that is my office. However, the time change messes up the perfectly aligned schedule developed to manage a family, job and life. It takes a revolutionized routine and turns it into chaos. The carefully aligned body clock now cannot decide what time it is and fights as though fasting. The spring time change is always the most difficult for in order to gain precious hours of daylight one must endure the loss of an hour of valuable sleep. Now everyone must readjust to the change and make new schedules and new routines. What a perfect time to change the way we run our lives and make room for more time with the Lord? Maybe God knew that it was good for man to change their lives on a routine basis and in the disruption find more time with Him? Could it be our Father created this concept to reach the hearts of His Children?

Everything God does is with the heart of His Child in mind. Children take time changes the hardest because most parents rely on routine to meet the needs of their children. God routinely desires to bless you! He is a good Daddy, who is constantly trying to win the attention and affection of His Kids. Disruptions cause disorder. Disorder requires reorganization. Reorganization offers an opportunity to make some changes in the way that we do things. This time change could open the door to miracles in your life if you are willing to accept the change and make new choices. The hour of sleep that we lose during daylight savings time I truly miss. I mourn it before it is gone. Fret about it the night it leaves and often grieve it for days after it is sacrificed. Am I really upset over one hour? After having five children, it is safe to say that I know the meaning of sleep deprivation and I am clearly no longer deprived now that they are all beyond infancy, yet I want to blame my loss as the culprit of my moodiness when it is not. Like other people, it is the disruption of my carefully constructed plans for life that I am miffed about. My schedule worked for me but does it work for God? Does it allow for prayerful conversations between the two of us? Does it allow for the study of His Word to gain the knowledge and wisdom that will make a difference in my life? God wants to reveal His Secrets to me! How mind blowing is the concept that the God of the Universe longs to have a connection to me! He feels the exact same way about you, too. Could this whole concept of daylight savings time be just another thought injected in the mind of man by God in an attempt to get our attention because He wants us to know Him more? It is highly possible and completely probable since time is of no essence to the One who lives in Eternity and means everything to His Children here on earth.

I Corinthians 15:51-53 (NKJV)

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

 

For those of you like me who are mourning your loss today, don’t despair. The time change is a wonderful opportunity to make more room for the Lord in your life. For those who embrace the time change, do not forget to add Jesus to your long to-do list reserved for these longer days. God longs to be with you both now and forever. This is the perfect time to make time for the Lord in your life. Your schedule is disrupted so what do you have to lose? Your routine is wrecked so make a new one with ample time for your Father? Why not add a family devotion to your afternoon routine neatly tucked between dinner and bath time? Family prayer with your loved ones can change the course of the coming days. Lend your ear to the secrets of God reserved just for you. He will unfold His Mysteries before you and prepare you to live in His Sonshine forever.