Monthly Archives: July 2017

To Do or To Be? That is the Question.

to-do-list or to be-749304_1920

I like having a “To Do” list. Following the list instead of getting overwhelmed thinking about all there is to do is encouraging. I check things off as I go and see my progress. And a completed list feels good! But is a “To Do” list the most important? There are lots of tasks that demand my attention. Vacuum the house, do laundry, go to the bank, buy groceries, and the list can go on forever.

What about my “To Be” list? Do I think about that? When I wake up in the morning, my to do list is already in my head. Do I wake up thinking about what I’m to be?

If I made a “To Be” list for today, what would it look like?

To Be:

Be patient on the road, in the grocery aisle, waiting in line.

Be loving to those who wait on me today, to those who crowd the aisles, to those who “interrupt” my tasks.

Be kind and gentle with each person who crosses my path even when they irritate me or block my way.

Be self-controlled not over indulging with food and drink, not giving in to temper fits, not being lazy.

Be joyful walking in praise and thanksgiving to my Father who has given me this day of life.

Be faithful to Him. Putting Him first. Listening to and following His Spirit.

Be prayerful. Praying without ceasing.

Don’t forget to put on compassion and humility!

What if by following my “To Be” list, I can’t accomplish all that is on my “To Do” list?

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

How do I put my “To Be” list before my “To Do” list?

Begin the day with Jesus.

Slow Down.

Listen.

Follow.

Take a breath and pray before each task.

Open my eyes and see.

When I don’t focus on what I’m to be, I rush into my day working on my list, ignoring people who wait on me, getting irritated with those who get in my way, showing impatience to those who are “slow”, and acting prideful as if I’m the only one who matters.

It matters much more to God that I show patience to the checker than if I arrive home on time. He is more concerned about me giving someone a smile then how long it takes me to accomplish my task. He doesn’t care how long it takes me to do my list. He cares how I treat others as I go. Ouch! That hits home with me.

Jesus, please open my eyes to see those around me. Help me to remember what matters. You said if I seek you first above all that you would add the rest. Help me to make loving you and loving others my utmost priority and to trust you with everything else. I can’t do this in my strength. I confess that I am weak. Please Holy Spirit, move through me to show others your love.

I first published this at Internet Cafe Devotions.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Devotional, Listening to God, relationships

Do I Love God More Than Pleasure?

water 2 Tim3-1330252_1920

S – “…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people….always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:4b-5,7

O – Paul is telling Timothy what it will be like in the last days.

A – I don’t want to love pleasure more than God! We have so much pleasure in our culture. It’s so easy to get caught up in good food, nice homes, vacations, clothes, entertainment, so much is right at our fingertips. The more we give our flesh, the more it wants. We can easily, I easily, slip into living for the next meal, the next fun event, the next “comfort”, the next purchase. But what’s that? Those are all temporary distractions. None of that means anything in eternity. Loving God is primary, loving God is supreme, loving God is for eternity. I don’t want to “appear” godly but have no power of the Spirit in my life or to always be learning but never really encounter the truth.

P – Please Jesus, help me to keep my love for you primary in my life. Help me know how to live in the world without living for the world and its pleasures. The pleasures aren’t sinful necessarily but they can turn my eyes from you. Please help me live in balance. Please Lord, help me live in the power of the Spirit, help me know truth.

SOAP Bible Study

 

2 Comments

Filed under Bible Study, SOAP

A Beautifully Woven Story

el-salvador-1363847_1920

35380240._SR1200,630_ healing love

I enjoy romantic fiction. Even better is when a romance has meaning and purpose to the story. Jennifer Slattery’s new book, Healing Love is one of those stories. Brooke is a career minded young woman who is focused on becoming a broadcast journalist. She finds herself side-tracked when she feels forced to go on a mission trip to El Salvador to chaperone her younger sister. She’s not prepared for the emotional impact the trip will have on her heart.

Looking hungry orphans in the eye, seeing the poverty children live in, and comparing that to the life of affluence back home causes her to re-examine her priorities. She finds herself drawn to the handsome translator, Ubaldo, who is their guide and driver for the trip. Ubaldo has pre-conceived ideas about visitors from North America and his prejudices are challenged when he meets Brooke and sees that she has true compassion. We also meet 12-year-old Fatima and her younger sister who end up homeless in order to avoid a painful and dangerous situation.

Can a group of affluent teens from America make a difference in El Salvador? Brooke and Ubaldo are attracted to each other but they live thousands of miles apart and come from different worlds. How could they ever have a relationship? Will Fatima and Dinora survive on the streets without food and water? Ubaldo is trying to help his people find a way out of poverty while he himself struggles to find a place to live.

Jennifer takes all these threads and weaves them into a beautiful story. She paints a clear picture of life in El Salvador and challenges us to consider reaching out beyond ourselves to help others. This book is written with humor, truth, and hope. It includes romance, faith, and gives us a glimpse into another culture. If you enjoy a fiction story that challenges you as well as giving you an entertaining story, you will like this book. I highly recommend Healing Love.

3 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews

Encouragement is the Word

IMG_1851butterfly 1 Thess 5

S – “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

O – Paul writes to assure us that all who believe in Jesus will be with Him forever. We will either be with Him when we die or if we are alive when He comes back, we will join Him in the air. Either way, we are with Him forever. Our job is to encourage each other with this truth and build each other up.

A – Am I doing my job? Am I encouraging others daily? Reminding them that whether we are awake or asleep, we will always be with the Lord?
P – Jesus, thank you that you will return one day. Thank you that I am yours forever and nothing can take that away. Help me live to encourage others and remind them of this truth. Help me to encourage someone today. I love you Lord.

SOAP Bible Study

2 Comments

Filed under Bible Study, Eternity, Faith, relationships, SOAP