Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where Does The Time Go?

Time. What more precious gift can we give than that of quality time; love manifested?

Alone time is needed to cultivate inner strength and reliance on God. But when we’re not spending time alone with God, we’re giving our time to or for something or someone. Perhaps it would be a good idea to pick up a pen and diagram where and to whom our time goes. Who or what are we giving our time to? We may see that more of our time goes to petty things that will pass, rather than to those we truly love.

It’s a great idea to be sure to thank those who invest their time in us.

When my husband and I started dating we found ‘our song’. It’s Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce. Next to God, spending time with Dave is my most favorite thing to do.   Time in a Bottle - Jim Croce

1 Peter 1:17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. (NIV)

Time For A Clock

Time to remember

Time to forget


Or lonely regret

Time that is wasted

Time on your hands

Time so elusive

Like hourglass sands

Time that stands still - as

Time marches on

Times of reflection

To ponder upon

Time heals all wounds -

A lie to our hearts

Time has no end

Nor a tangible start

Time has expired

Or we’ve too long to wait

Time can hold secrets

Delivered by fate

Time that you borrow -or

Time that you kill

Time is the order

God only, can fill.

~Helen Williams! 7/5/03

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Harder to Love?

Love is tough, but it has to be. I read a great blog post the other day, you can find it here: Hope Flinchbaugh

It challenged me. There are so many places I don’t really want to go. It’s not like God is going to send me to hard places because He’s mean and wants to see me squirm. But because He loves me so much, and wants to see me conform to His image and reflect His beauty in this world, He takes me places that require me to love like He does. I’ll be honest, there are times that I’m tempted to shirk that responsibility. He loves unconditionally. That’s not always a fun thing for me to do in this mortal body. There are people that know how to ‘push my buttons’ and get away with it.

I find myself wanting to challenge God with, ‘Does loving them mean I have to like them?’ Love the sinner, hate the sin. That’s the truth, but so often, a person’s sins follow them around and scream in your face as you’re trying to love through the hurt they’ve caused.

I don’t think I’ve met anyone that I cannot say I love, honestly. But there are people that try my patience and challenge my sanctification. Yet, I constantly feel the hand of my Father on my shoulder as He reminds me yet again that this is easier to do when I allow Him to love through me. And it’s easier to do when I let Him help me forgive. 7 x 70? (Matthew 18:21-22) Who keeps count? I don’t have time for that – besides, the point is to always forgive. Always.

Is someone having a hard time loving me today? Is someone struggling with forgiving me for something?

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. - Matthew 6:14-15 (KJV)

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. – Mark 11:25-26 (KJV)

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. – Luke 11:4 (KJV)

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. – Luke 23:34 (KJV)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fertilizing Our Garden

While talking to my cashier at the store yesterday, he put my most recent blog post in a better perspective for me. The other day I wrote about fertilizer, this will make more sense if you read it first – I quoted Paul in Philippians 3:7-10. I guess I’d never realized where Paul was really going with his statement.

My cashier pointed out that by accomplishing the things we do in life, but not giving God the glory, or by not doing them for God’s glory – they becomes dung, manure not even fit to be used for fertilizer.

Though I took a different train of thought, counting all my experiences, good and bad, as the fertilizer that grows the garden of my life, his comments struck a chord with me. What if I let all that fertilizer go to waste by not allowing my life to bring glory to God? My travails and triumphs should make me a better person, all for the glory of God – but if my fertilizer becomes sterile, my garden will be a barren wasteland.

I pondered this a while.

Does my life glorify God? Does the garden of my life produce the fruit of the Spirit?

Do I praise Him in the midst of my miseries? Do I thank Him in the midst of my daily blessings? Do I show Him to the lost and dying world around me – or am I too busy making fertilizer that I’m not using effectively?

‘All for the glory of God’ - what does that mean to you? Does what you’re going through from day to day count for anything?

Romans 4:20-21 ‘He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (KJV)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Manure Happens

My paraphrase for one of the famous passages Paul wrote in the book of Philippians goes like this: I consider it all fertilizer used in growing the garden of my life.

What he actually said, according to the King James rendition is: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith…’ (3:7-10)

So everything that counts for me as gain, or success or fame or fortune, I consider the growing experiences that make up the fertilizer that makes the garden of my life beautiful.

Furthermore, I count all my losses, my sorrows, my struggles and pain, my heartaches, my sicknesses and my frustrations as part of that fertilizer for this incredible garden as well.

The people I meet along the way and the experiences I go through all cultivate my life. Love drives it all, bringing it all together with a perfect harmony only my Father in heaven could pull-off.

Rain without sunshine would drown us, sunshine without rain would leave us parched and dying. There is a perfect balance in the peace of God, which exceeds our human understanding, but gives rest to the weary and empowers us for life.

The only way to obtain God’s peace is through His living Word. Our losses and gains are merely a wasted pile of manure without the peace of God. Engage with His Word today.