Archives

It’s Foundational

At the beginning of this month, I was part of another Three-Day Challenge.

This one was about “Creating a Devotional Lifestyle with God”.

At some point in each challenge there are what are called “Activation Questions”.

These questions help the participant to “work through” what has just been taught to them.

There are also specific “keys” to help us along the way.

The key that stuck to me the most was key #3;

You can’t get to the new you from the old you.

In this particular lesson, we were told that we are not responsible for fixing our “old life”.

Instead, we are responsible to receive what God tells us, and then focus on “being” with Him, and not particularly on “doing” everything there is to be done.

I want to share with you a couple of the “Activation Questions”, and my answer to them.

I am positive that the answers will not be the end of my thoughts, but that they will continue to simmer in my heart and mind until the process is complete.

It has been my experience that the process should simply be allowed to flow, and not be rushed.

I hope this will encourage you to consider some things in your life that you may not have thought of before.

  Question #1; Based on what you have heard, what do you think you may need to “Unlearn?”. Any old habits, perceptions or mindsets about devotional life with God that you may want to lay aside?

Mostly, I need to keep learning, and relearning that I am not doing it wrong.

There really is no wrong way to have a devotional lifestyle.

From the physical place, or posture that I take for prayer, to the words, that I speak.

A heart that is tuned to Him, will most certainly get it right.

Question #2; What new perspectives of God’s thoughts towards you, and your freedom, from striving and performance, do you want to choose instead?

I need to continue to learn again and again, that the way I; am, look, think, relate, is not defective.

I am just how God created me, and that in itself will make my devotional life different than anyone else’s.

The purpose He has for me and my devotional life is constantly growing.

Line upon line. Precept upon precept. Little by little.

Last years projects, troubles, joys, slip ups, stand stills, happiness’s, and woes, and how I handled them in my devotional life, are simply foundational for what comes next.

What I have learned has not been made irrelevant.

It may not even be used at this time, but instead, is foundational to whatever comes next.

Tall buildings need deep foundations, made from strong materials.

While digging these foundations, time can drag on slowly, and at times even seem to stop all together.

We may have to wait for inclement weather to pass by.

We may have to fix broken tools, or learn different skill sets.

Perhaps new materials are to be delivered, and all we can do is wait.

These things take time. Building strength and quality cannot be rushed.

I look forward to a quality product, and even a considerably larger devotional life.

2020 has given me the tools to be able to wait with out angst.

God’s timing is perfect.

Would your answer to these questions echo mine?

Or would they look completely different?

I would love it if you’d share a thought or two with me.

Until next time …

Be Encouraged

These encouragements have been rolling around in my heart and mind for several weeks.

Very strongly since the beginning of 2021.

I thought I would share them with you here.

Do not let your heart be troubled neither, let it be afraid. John 14:27

Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27b

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. Psalms 119:165

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Refrain:

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.

Written by Rev. Edward Mote 1834.

Until next time …

On Joy

Many choose a “Word of the Year”.

The word I chose for last years “Word of the Year” was strong.

Little did I, or anyone else for that matter, realize how much our strength would be put to the test.

Not just our physical strength, but also our strength of character, and our emotional strength.

Even the strength that we have acquired over the years in our spiritual lives has been severely put to the test.

For my part, I had done fairly well, up until about October, which I talked about →here←.

I have been working on making some different daily choices, talked about →here←.

I have made some observations about my strength and where it comes from, along with some observations about some things that drain my strength.

I will mention just a few of those here in this post.

Perhaps you will see some of yourself in these lines as well, and we can trade some of our wisdom with each other.

Observation #1; the “Word of the Year” for 2019 started out as “Joy”, and quickly changed to “Peace”. I had observed that having joy could be difficult if my heart were not at peace. The year was spent reading scriptures about peace, finding music that helped to create a peaceful atmosphere, and using that atmosphere to practice peace. I noted that practicing peace, sounds simple enough. But is quite difficult because our natural way of being, at least mine, is to become distracted by squirrels, clouds, tasks at hand, and other shiny things. However, by the end of the year, I felt I had attained a level of peace that I could live with.

Observation #2; The “Word of the Year” for 2020, as I said earlier, was “Strength”. I had no idea why I had chosen that word, since I was not feeling particularly weak. (No more than the usual tired, not being a spring chicken anymore)

Then came the pandemic. What I really think about the pandemic is for another time, but for right now, I will speak to that peace level. I was never freaked out about it. I think freaking out about stuff is a waste of good energy. We can use our energy for things that have a more positive effect.

Inversely, what seemed to happen, is that not only did nothing going on around me, or out in the world, bother me, or surprise me, but I began to feel really nothing at all. That was a tad scary. I began to think that my peacefulness was becoming so peaceful, as to be almost comatose. That cannot be right, right?

Once noted, it seemed the first emotion to come back was anger. Now anger as an emotion is not bad. It can signal areas where we need to be alert, but it can also take our thought life to places where it ought not to be. (In my case, dislike and judgement of others – a trait I find most unappealing) Scripture says clearly in Psalm 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah.

(Pause and consider this)

I felt this was clearly something I wanted to take care of. I always want to be in control of my thought life. It is imperative to that peace that I so want to live in. 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. And let’s face it, I need Him with me.

Observation #3; For the year 2020 the word I chose, again, is joy. My experience with peace, and the ability to attain peace in a hurry, was a good pre-cursor to having real joy. I believe happiness is what I feel when everything is going well. I also believe that joy is an inside job; one that is a frame of being, and not dependent on things occurring around me. Joy being an inside job, is not dependent on my circumstances, but rather it is a quality that is in my heart regardless of your circumstances; yes, even in spite of them.

So here I am, with you in the second full week of 2021, concentrating on joy.

Concentrating on what’s in my heart and mind.

Guarding my thoughts, and Counting it all joy.  

James 1:2-4 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (Especially Joy!)

Until next time …