Tag Archives: spirituality

To Do or To Be? That is the Question.

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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.

 

 

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Do I Love God More Than Pleasure?

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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

 

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With a Thankful Heart

 

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S – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

O/A – Let the word of Christ abundantly live in you. His word should fill my heart to overflowing. When His word fills my heart, I can teach and admonish others with wisdom as they teach and admonish me. To admonish is to warn, exhort, or caution. When His word fills us then we are able to teach others with wisdom. At the same time singing praise to Him, singing the Psalms and being filled with thankfulness in our hearts. My heart should be filled with thankfulness, not worry, complaints, judgments etc.

I need to let His word abundantly fill me and live in me.
I need to teach and exhort others.
I need to sing psalms and hymns continually in my heart.
My heart needs to be filled with thankfulness to God.

P – Jesus, please help me live this way. Help me make your word an absolute priority in my life so that it fills my mind and heart and comes out in exhortation and song and thankfulness. Thank you that you are so incredibly patient with me. I love you Lord.

SOAP Bible Study

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What is Christianity?

So many think Christianity is about rules, church,

pleasing people (the pastor, youth minister, parents)

or a list of don’ts.

 Do you know what it is?

Being saved means:

I am starving and Jesus says,

“I am the bread of life.”

 I am stumbling around in total darkness and Jesus says,

“I am the light.”

 I am lost in a forest and Jesus says,

 “I am the way.”

 I am sick and Jesus says,

 “I am the great healer.”

 I am deceived and trapped by lies and Jesus says,

“I am the truth.”

 I am a dead woman and Jesus says,

“I am the life.”

That is what salvation means.

 Not keeping rules, but a dead man finding life.

Not playing a part, but a starving woman finding food.

 Not pleasing people, but a person lost in the darkness finding light.

  “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” John 6:51 (Jesus Christ)

Excerpt from “Butterflies, Biscuits and Rain” by Susan Aken. Available as a free e-book at:

(http://www.lulu.com/shop/susan-aken/butterflies-biscuits-and-rain/ebook/product-17544507.html)

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Build or Tear Down?

If I want to build well, I will

have a plan,

lay a foundation,

choose good materials,

get the best tools,

do my best work,

get advice,

ask for help,

follow the plan,

take my time,

create beauty,

and always build with love and care.

If I want to tear down,

I don’t need a plan.

I just start ripping,

pounding,

throwing away,

pulling apart.

I can tear it apart

piece by piece

or I can blow it up.

It does not take

love, care or patience.

In my family,

when I build well,

I will lay the foundation

of faith in Jesus Christ,

I will follow the plan

laid out in His Holy Word.

I will choose the good

materials of love, joy, peace, patience,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

gentleness and self-control.

I will use the best tool available

by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.

I will get advice from God’s word,

seeking Him in prayer and godly people.

I will seek to create beauty

by loving my family as myself,

by choosing words that give life

and by asking for forgiveness when I fail.

I will ask Him everyday to help me build

with love and care.

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

Proverbs 14:1

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She Doesn’t Like You….

A whisper came to me this morning.

She doesn’t like you.

Then it starts to take root.

Maybe that is why she said this or did that.

Oh, and this other person, she doesn’t like you either.

Then panic.

What if it is true?

There I am.

On the edge ready to slip into self-pity.

Into the “Oh, poor me. They don’t like me.”

My heart begins to accept it as truth and feel the pain.

Then I remember.

What is true?

And I sing,

“I am His and He is mine. His banner over me is love.”

A song from the past about my Father’s love for me.

The LORD God Almighty loves me!

Jesus died for me!

I am His beloved.

Does it really matter if they like me?

Even if they don’t I have everything I need in Him!

And the whispers fade away.

He gives me joy.

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Finding What I am Looking For

My heart longs for so many things

but whatever I may call it,

it is always Jesus.

My heart longs for significance

and I look for it in accomplishments,

praise, right actions, reactions of others,

success, achievement and recognition…

but ultimately, it only comes from Jesus.

My heart longs for happiness

and I look for it in pleasures,

meals, entertainment, comfort,

material goods, distractions, health…

but ultimately, it only comes from Jesus.

My heart longs for love

and I look for it from marriage,

children, family, friends, and self

but it is only when I turn to Him I find

the love my heart is truly looking for.

Everything else is just a shadow

of the real thing.

My LORD brings the only true significance,

the only lasting happiness,

the only unconditional love,

the only security that cannot be shaken,

He is what my heart seeks.

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