Monday, May 22, 2017

Another time

It's been quite a while since I've posted such a blatant place holder, but that's what I'm doing tonight.
It's the deadline day if I'm going to meet my self-imposed quota of at least one post every seven days.
And I've got nothing to share. No, that's not true. I have a lot to share, but I don't have time to think it out and put it into words.
Sometimes going to bed is the more important thing. This is one of those times.


Ecclesiastes 3
To Everything There is a Season
1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

To be continued ... 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Step after step after step

Last week I accomplished some things I had doubts about. I was grateful as the week went along and I felt my confidence growing that I would be able to follow through on a couple of goals. An area where I had struggled and struggled to even get started finally seemed reasonable to take some action on that might achieve a noticeable result. As I saw it happening, I prayed that it might become a foundation for continuing success at breaking through some of my inertia.

This week, I still have greater confidence than usual that I can achieve my goals, and I have already had some success. I also have to face the reality that I may have waited too long to start a couple of projects I hoped to complete this week but really don't even know how to do what I want to get done. So I'm having to assess and consider reprioritizing. It's too early to decide whether I need to go a different direction, but it's good for me to be aware of my options.

Words from last week's blog are worth me repeating today:

I keep wanting to know exactly what I'm supposed to do and how to do it effectively and efficiently, yes, even perfectly. In Your love, Lord, You seem to be telling me that's not Your plan for my life. Yes, You have a plan for my life, and yes, it involves sacrifice and service as well as blessings and honor. But it's not necessarily something that's going to be clear to me. I just have to have faith as I take step after step, seeking Your face and loving You and Yours always.

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Where distractions led today ....

I have no reason to think I'm dying anytime soon, and I definitely hope that is the case. But as I try to find motivation to FINALLY cut through years of clutter in my home and life, the best seems to be when I contemplate what's going to happen to my stuff when I'm gone from this Earth. (The other thing that gets me going is to realize that, someday, I will need to move from this house. How much easier it will be if I've already streamlined and simplified!)

And that's still as far as I get!!!! I just think it. I don't act on it.

I get distracted by questions of the best use of my time. Obviously, being stuck and doing nothing is not the best use.

Both of my daily devotionals today seemed to address this, one from the perspective of how I use my time, and the other on what I value.

The Upper Room Scripture today was Ephesians 5:15-16, part of which says: "Be careful . . . how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time ..."

Part of the devotion, written by Wendy Orellana of Venezuela, said: "When I find myself striving for success, I have to ask myself: Am I putting my time to good use? Am I really living as if this were my last day? These and other questions help transform my thinking. God, who is rich in mercy, gives us opportunities again and again to repent of our wrongdoings and foolishness. When we do so, we can feel reborn."

The day's First 15, written by Craig Denison, told of relationship with God as our greatest treasure.

He asked: "How strongly do you desire deeper relationship with him?" (Very strongly. I want to say very strongly. But I know my actions don't match that response.) "How much would you give up to know him?" (That's where I'm convicted. I feel like I strongly desire deeper relationship, but I'm not willing to give up much of myself, even as dissatisfied with myself as I often am.) "What do you seek fulfillment in during your free time?" (Family, health, music, being comfortable and inspired, food)

The discipline included meditation on the depth of God's love for me. Among the suggested Scriptures for meditation: “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)

A final step was to respond to God's love by loving God: "Spend time simply adoring him. Spend time in solitude sitting with him, encountering his heart, and giving him your own. He paid the highest price for you just to be able have a relationship with him. So take time and be the reward of his sacrifice."

(I keep wanting to know exactly what I'm supposed to do and how to do it effectively and efficiently, yes, even perfectly. In Your love, Lord, You seem to be telling me that's not Your plan for my life. Yes, You have a plan for my life, and yes, it involves sacrifice and service as well as blessings and honor. But it's not necessarily something that's going to be clear to me. I just have to have faith as I take step after step, seeking Your face and loving You and Yours always.)

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14)

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1/May 1?

I think I've done this before, but the similarity of May 1 and "may I?" brings me back to this theme.

On May 1 and always, may I:

be gracious.
be kind.
be loving.
seek to know and do God's will, to God's glory.
live one day at a time.
enjoy this moment, the present -- the gift of this moment.
pray, praise, trust and obey.