Too Much Is Not Good

February 27, 2012

I have too much going on inside my head. I have such a desire to learn more and grow my relationship with the Lord that I find myself looking everywhere and reading this blog, that blog, several daily devotionals in a day. It is pure exhausting and I am not being fulfilled the way I should be. Instead I feel all over the place! I am running with my feet off the ground!

Now don’t get me wrong I read many wonderful blogs with biblical truths and insights, but I realized that that is my problem. It is information overload and I am not focusing, not soaking in His Word allowing it to seep into my soul and I am definitely not growing. Instead, I have many thoughts and ideas swirling around the hurricane I created in my head!

This past week at bible study a conversation developed and my pastor asked, “What does the Bible say about reading books?” My interest peaked not only because I love to read, but because of the way I have been drowning myself in too much information. I thought to myself what does the Bible say about that? My guess was probably to not read other books because the Bible should be our main source.

Our lifeline.

Our daily bread.

That night after I tucked the kids into bed, I grabbed my Bible to find that scripture. I found it in Ecclesiastes.

“Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” Ecclesiastes 12:12 NIV

Now let’s look at it in context from The Message:
“9-10 Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth. 

 11 The words of the wise prod us to live well. 
   They're like nails hammered home, holding life together. 
   They are given by God, the one Shepherd.

12-13 But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There's no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you're no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:
   Fear God.
   Do what he tells you.

14 And that's it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it's good or evil.”

So, there it is - the living truth.

See, every morning I get comfy on the couch with my coffee and my smart phone. First I read through my emails, the blog posts that I have subscribed to. Then I read the bible on my phone, particularly the several plans I signed up for. Some days I pray as soon as I get comfy on the couch before reading anything. Those are the days when I can sneak downstairs while the boys are still sleeping. Since my oldest son is ‘my rooster’ those days are few and far between.  So most days I snuggle on the couch with my oldest (he is watching some TV) and I am reading the before mentioned emails and devotionals. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the bad habits I am creating not only for myself, but for my kids! We have definitely been not putting God first and foremost in our lives.

So, I created a new plan which begins today.
  
  1. Start our day off spending time with God FIRST. What does this mean? Beginning our day in prayer. Whether I am up first or my boys are up with me we talk to God BEFORE TV, BEFORE emails, and yes, even BEFORE coffee. 
  2. Reduce my daily devotionals from several to one or two. Let them speak to my heart, meditate on them, study them more.
  3. I will continue to read blogs, hey, I’m a blogger too ;-) but, it will be AFTER I have been filled with God’s Word FIRST. 

How about you? Have you found yourself overwhelmed by too much information? Have you gotten lost on the information highway? I would love to hear how you stay grounded and focused.

Have a blessed day!

Five Minute Friday: Grit

February 24, 2012

Oh happy happy Friday! I am linking up with The Gypsy Mama today, where we write for only 5 minutes. Okay, okay...I usually take a little longer ;-) Won't you join me?

GO.
Grit…hmm, what a small and funny sounding word.

I first think of a small object; sand, then more sand, sandpaper. Oh, that is grit-ty. Then I think of sandpaper people. You know the ones who always seem to rub on you the wrong way to the point of annoyance. We all have at least one in our lives. I certainly do. I have several and whenever I encounter them I intentionally must remind myself to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mark 12:31


Wow, never thought of it that way before.

The only way I know to be firm in mind and spirit and to have unyielding courage in any situation is with Jesus. So then is Jesus my grit?

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary uses an example of grit in a sentence, “Through resourcefulness and grit, the pioneers survived the winter.” Now what if I change that to:

“Through Jesus, I survived the hardship and danger.”

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1

“Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:11

“yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” 1 Corinthians 8:6

STOP.


Have a blessed day!

Are You Weary? Where is Your Hope?

February 19, 2012

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young mean stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40: 28-31

This is the time of the year when I start to get a bit anxious for the spring to come. Although, we didn't have much of a winter here I am finding myself eager for new things to come about. There is just an awesome anticipation for a much welcoming change. The sky seems bluer, the birds sing louder, new grass and flower buds sprout forth, even the air smells fresher! I marvel at how God crafted all these things, mysterious and beautiful. 

God, the All-Powerful, the Creator of all things not leaving anything forgotten down to the intricate unseen details of how we are made. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He does not grow tired or weary. He is everlasting! 

This passage comforts me in so many ways, just knowing God is who He says He is and I don't need to completely understand His ways because I could never fathom it in the flesh.  

As a single mom, I alone am responsible for child rearing, household chores, and work a full time job. There are days when I struggle to put one foot in front of the other. I know what weary feels like and I have stumbled and fallen many times! 

When I start to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders I call out to Him, "Please give me the strength!" and I must remember to put all my hope in Him. This scripture says we will get weary and we will fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength! Wow, I love the sound of that!

When we put our hope in the Lord, our perspective changes. We no longer focus on the things that make us weary. We are renewed with supernatural strength to persevere because our perspective is now focused on the eternal. So, when you are feeling weary, won't you join me in remembering to put your hope in the Lord? Let us let Him renew our spirits so we won't grow faint, but soar on wings like eagles! 

Have a blessed day!

My Yoke Fits Well

February 08, 2012

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Just imagine Jesus standing in front of you, motioning for you to come near while saying “Come to me”. I imagine myself looking around, me? He wants me to come to Him?!

Those words alone express so much love. I picture myself running to Jesus as He wraps His gentle loving arms around me. “Now, now it’s all going to be okay. Stay here and rest with me. Learn from me and I will give you all that you need.”

I can remember before I came to Christ how I would think there has to be more to life than this? There was that part of me that felt incomplete and mentally under-nourished. I was trying to figure life out all on my own with no substantial hope. Without Christ we look for outside things to make us happy. With Christ, He fills us up on the inside with joy and peace.

The Bible tells us Jesus was speaking to people who were desperately trying to find God and only knew of the law from the Old Testament. This law was impossible to keep. Trying to obey those commands was a burden to the people and only made them weary. What a comfort to hear Jesus’ words “I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

For me, this passage is not only for people who try to keep the old commandments or for unbelievers. This scripture brings peace to all of us no matter where we are in our walk with Christ. It is a reminder; a big hug from our Lord that His burden is light. His burden is of love, laid upon us with love; it fits well and is easy to carry.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 
1 Corinthians 13:13

God’s greatest commandment is to love. Love Him and to love others. With the Lord in our hearts this burden is light and will give us rest.

Today, let’s make sure we our wearing the yoke of Christ. It fits well! He made it specifically and uniquely for you. Come to Jesus when He calls. Let us sit at His feet daily and learn from Him. Let Him give you rest, give you peace.

Have a blessed day!

Book Review: The Very Heart of Worship

February 06, 2012


Listen in your heart as the Lord whispers to you, “All that you need…I AM.”

The Very Heart of Worship is a book and study guide that opens one’s heart and eyes to who God truly is. Using real life testimonies the author portrays twenty different names and characteristics of God by acknowledging His handiwork in everyday living. By presenting God in this way, this book has truly opened my heart, increased my faith and has drawn me closer to Him. I have a deeper understanding that we must believe and know God is who He says He is.

I was reminded that God’s word is the truth and what He promises will come to pass. We need to hold onto our hope in Him and persevere. God is all that we need. Some names the author focuses on are Counselor, Provider, Teacher and Guardian as well as God is Stable, God is Loyal, and God is Truth.

This book has opened my awareness to look for the ways God is all these things in my daily life. In doing this I feel closer to Him because He makes known that He is not only the Creator of all things, but He desires to be all these things for me!

The authors writing style is easy to read with passages right from God’s word. Throughout the book we are encouraged to meditate on each scripture and read them in different versions of the Bible. Each chapter ends with a prayer, thought provoking questions and a place to journal our personal insights. I especially liked the victory declaration towards the end of the book.

There were several parts in the book that personally touched me. One particular part is in the ‘God is My Counselor’ section. “Most often, when God wants to do something new in our lives He will start off first requesting we spend a season of quietness with just Him. During these seasons we need to take some time to just learn from Him and give Him a chance to come in and clean house – to let Him revamp some things in us, to restructure us, and most importantly, to heal or repair any needs in us before moving us forward.” P 88

This is a book I will definitely read again and recommend to everyone either as a personal study or within a group.

This book is absolutely a blessing!

Have a blessed day!
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