Why would you read the Bible? Bus adventures

 

So, sitting on the bus today reading my kindle and this lady comes and sits next to me. She starts chatting away which I don’t mind and we ended up talking about a lot of stuff. It was really nice. Then she looks at my kindle and asks,

what are you reading?

I answer :”The Bible“.

She looked at me with surprise in her eyes, looking like she was trying to figure out if I was joking but when she saw that I was serious

she asked “why would you do that?”

I said because “It teaches me about Jesus and it helps me in life. It’s kind of like a life manual, you can find many answers in it”

“Oh” was her only response.

She fell silent for the rest of the journey (prolly thinking that I’m a nutter, like some do…)so, I just prayed for her. I don’t care what people think, I care about how God thinks of me.

 

Making God your number 1

You shall have no other gods before me ~~ Exodus 20:3 (ESV)

I’ve been at home for some weeks now due to my back. I’ve been enjoying this restful ME-time. In the morning once the kids and hubby have left the house, I’ve tried to make it a habit to have God time first. You know, have a cup of tea and read the bible. I actually use the ESV program online and turn on the narrator because lately my attention span is left for wanting and so the narrator helps me to concentrate. I use the daily bible ready tool. Two chapters in the OT, a couple of verses in Psalms now and then two chapters in the NT. Once I’m done with that, I read up on my daily devotions subscriptions and then I feel like I’ve done what I needed to do today. There you go God, now it’s me time. Talk to later, before I go to bed.

That sounds wrong, doesn’t it? That’s not the only thing wrong in my routine lately because, instead of first ‘God time’, I’m doing ‘web surfing’ time. I first read the newspapers online (I’m a news freak) while the kids are having breakfast, then I mosy on over to Facebook to see what’s happening there, then I wish everyone a good morning on Twitter and then of course I have to read all the tweets. Then I see an interesting an headline “Murder by starvation” A Victorian depiction of the gang’s cruelty causing the death of Harriet Staunton and her son Tommy…and so of course I HAVE to google all I can find out about that story, because I am a history nerd as well, then wikipedia..and on and on and on!

Does this sound familiar? Or am I a nutt case, lol. Anyway, that’s what was going on this morning when God reminded me of His presence. If I tell you how, you will definitely think of me as a nutt case, so I’m keeping that for myself, for now. But let’s just say that I have become finely attuned to when God is trying to say something.

I’m not going to lecture people on how and when then should have God time, I just want to point out that God wants us to put Him first, that’s why He said in Exodus that we shall not have any other gods. Meaning that we shall not have other idols. Idols ? Yeah, things that keep your focus off of God. Usually it’s things you think you can’t do without. Addictions, those are idols. A person, that can be an idol too. Money? Wanting more and more to whatever cost? Definitely an idol. For me, one of my idols, because I have many that I try to repent of, is the internet. I’m addicted. I need to have my iPhone, iPad or laptop somewhere in the vicinity. Travelling to Canada this summer is already making me nervous because of the lack of WiFi on the plane (yes, I looked it up). So, when God nudge me this morning, I turned again to prayer. Wow, two days in the row that God has humbled me and shown me the points I need to improve. He is to be our number-one priority, with no exceptions. That means that God is over me.  His wishes come before mine.  I must choose to go His way, not my own.

Why is it wrong to worship God AND another idol? Well, just see what the bible has to say about serving two masters in Matthew 6:24 and in Luke 16:13.

Crazy, right? Sounds unfair, right? Sounds selfish of God, right? Well, it might sound like that but it is biblical. Jesus did it, so if Jesus did, you know, the guy who died on the cross for us, well if He did it, then I choose to follow His example because friends, God wants to know that we love Him. I believe that when we make physical idols our number one priority, we are neglecting Him. The proof is in the text of John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

So today the house will be filled with worship music and I have finally gotten down to making ‘table talk conversations’ for our family. Subjects : Teen stuff, Pre-Teen stuff, Funny Stuff, and of course, Godly stuff. I can’t wait to use it this evening. God will be the centre of our home.

My Table Talk Starters

Dear Father God,

Help me today to make to focus on you Lord,  just you, with no worries and other things bewildering my train of thoughts. Thank You for Your amazing grace. I hope I show it with every conversation I have and with everything that I do today. But when I blow it, thanks for giving me an extra measure of grace and letting me know. You rock!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What idols have you placed before God?

How are you planning on making God your number 1 today?

Want to know more about idols? Or just about God and Jesus. Then you should definitely check out the ‘Got Questions‘ website, very very useful.

My husband’s personal prayer warrior

I’m feeling a little hormonal this morning, so I’m apologizing in advance for what may be the end result of this post. My intentions are good however, so fingers crossed. I’m going to share with you why I’ve decided to become my husband’s personal prayer warrior.

I’m one of those people who love to work on themselves. Self improvement! I read loads of books and how to better your life and I pray daily to God that He would give me grace when my teens are acting up or to help me get my butt to the gym more often. Me, me, me!

So, when I see other people (husband) not growing spiritually as fast as I would like them (him) too, well, then I get pretty frustrated and self righteous I guess. Bad bad me.

The mornings are the worst, it seems like the little evil side of me tends to show itself after a bad night’s rest and my husband, unfortunately, has to be the victim of my whining then.

We were being very childish in saying goodbye this morning and so when he left I marched up to my computer and was drafting up an email with all of my complaints. Yep, I was going to send my husband hate mail.

That’s when God thankfully stopped me. I was thinking to myself, what am I doing? Is this how I’m helping my husband? Is this by any way building up our relationship together and with God?

I tend to forget the Proverbs 31 woman. There was a time in my life that I would even laugh and think it impossible and unfair to be such a woman. But growing in faith has helped me see that God has given His instructions so that we could have a full life.

Proverbs woman

Instead of whining and nagging my husband, I should pray more for him instead of asking God to help me eat healthier (please make me thin again God).

I sometimes lack faith in all that He can do, even though He has done miracles in our lives before and still does.

So I’ve decided to make it my mission to be become my husband’s personal prayer warrior. Ta-da-la-da!

What will I be praying for? It won’t be for God to put it on my husband’s heart to take out the trash without me having to tell him. Because this would be a `me´ issue again, not that praying for yourself is a bad thing, heavens no. But it shouldn’t be our main focus either. Right?

So what should we pray for? We should pray for anything that God has put onto our heart when we are in prayer first of all, then we should pray for that our husbands faith will grow and that he will become the spiritual leader God want’s Him to be. We need to pray for that our relationship will grow strong and need to ask God to help us be more like that Proverbs 31 woman He wants us to be.

I use a bookmark that you can download over at imoms and I find it very useful when I’m feeling at a loss for words. You can click on the image and it should take you there.

But right now, I’m just really thankful that God has stopped me before I sent out anything more hurtful and damaging to our marriage. Instead, I surrendered into prayer.

 

Father God,

I want to please You by the way that I love my family. Today, I choose to see my husband through your eyes of love and mercy. I will wage peace in my marriage. I will be quick to forgive and slow to condemn. I will encourage my husband with my words, my prayers, my love and my time. Sometimes I can get so caught up in my silly little lists that I lose perspective of the true meaning of life. Help me to live my days glorifying You with every breath that I take and step that I make. I want my home to be a safe place filled with kindness and compassion, a place that illustrates Your presence and power. Today, I choose to trust my marriage and family to you God.
In Jesus’ name, A-M-E-N !

 

Taking it easy is hard

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

~ Psalm 23 : 2-3

I’m tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m tired from no sleep. I’m tired of trying so hard to function. I’m frustrated. I’m weak. I’m what Isaiah calls “weary.” Weird, considering that I’ve been on “vacation” since last Monday. Yet, I still get up early in the morning  and feel exhausted by 7 pm. Sometimes, I lie awake making out my to-do list in my mind. In the morning, I wake up as tired as when I went to bed. The real problem is I didn’t get enough sleep.

Being on vacation doesn’t mean I can just sit down and rest, it just means I don’t have to go to work. I still have to clean, mother, cook and do stuff I usually don’t have enough time doing whilst having to work.Doctor appointments, shopping for the kids summer clothing, clean the windows…arrgghhh!

So, I sort of was neglecting God, by the time I had “me time” in the evening I would just drop myself onto my bed like a sack of potatoes (not that I would drop them into bed ,but you get the picture)-I’m wanting to drift off to dreamland rather than to grab my bible and read. I try to pray and I end up by doing it eventually, but I must say I’m pretty embarrassed at how lazy my prayers have become. Either I’ll just mumble “I lay my head down to sleep”  . No fuss there or I’ll just say something like ” Thank you Lord for this day, please bless my family and me…” I’m just so tired and I just can’t concentrate.

I really try to, but then I hear the cars on the road -our house is situated on a pretty busy street. Or our mama cat will be miauwing like crazy. She just had kittens and the’re walking around, this seems to make her feel uncomfortable. But what usually happens is that when I’m praying, my brain takes me, pulls me away from God. Result of this is that I just couldn’t feel near to God anymore the last couple of weeks, I couldn’t seem to enter into his presence.

But now I’ve realized the reason why I wasn’t feeling God’s presence lately is because I wasn’t making any time for Him. I just gave Him the bits of time I choose to give, thinking, ahhh, He’ll understand, He knows that I’m exhausted!

Then the Lord showed me that I wasn’t putting Him first. I was putting everything else before Him and He ended up with what was left. How terrible does that sound?

So this morning I got up as early as usual, happy to be the only one up. I can have a cup of coffee and some time for myself and for God. I prayed, not just a quicky, but a heartfelt prayer and took my bible and spent some time with Him. I finally felt Him near me again.

Even David felt the pressure of life. He protected, guided, and tended to his sheep. How did David manage? He looked to his Good Shepherd for rest and the Lord provided. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:2-3).

So from now on , my green pasture will b  the cool early mornings, when no one else is up and I can just sit alone in silence with my cup of coffee and my bible. The secret is stealing away with God to places of unending rest.

Everyday people cartoons by Cathy Thorne


Dear Lord, I’m sorry that I’ve become so selfish and have choosen to put you aside and put myself first. You never give us more than we can handle and You want us to come to You and rest. Help me to rest. Guard my time and help me manage my responsibilities so that I can renew myself emotionally, spiritually, and psychically each day.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



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