The Quiet

Have you ever noticed it is really hard to find a quiet place to be with God? There always seems to be some level of sound; the furnace fan, the hum from an electronic device, a drip, drip, drip from a faucet, or a bird chirping. Sometimes our minds have a difficult time finding quiet because so many things call for our attention and we mentally run through to-do lists. Distractions are everywhere but are reduced significantly if we at least find a quiet place.

Not too long ago, there was a time when stores weren’t open on Sunday. Youth sports events were never held on Sundays. Families stayed home and had a day of quiet. Sunday was a day of Sabbath rest.  How quickly it happens that every moment we have is filled with busy-ness and noise. Are we so busy that we don’t have time to take a break?

Let me encourage you to take some time today to be still with God. Just you and God and your Bible. It is hard to steal away those moments, but it can be such a time of refreshment, honesty, insight, and peace. Let God speak to you through His Word. Let Him shed a new light on your circumstance and breath His Spirit into your soul.

Remember, we are human beings, not human doings….take time to be with God! Be refreshed, renewed, and encouraged. Take refuge in Him!

Psalm 16 is a great Psalm to ponder!

Copy Cat

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5: 1-2

The term “copy cat” isn’t typically a compliment, but I know things would run much more smoothly in my home if I would walk in the way of love and imitate God instead of reacting to the circumstances and attitudes around me.

When I think about walking in Jesus’ love, of course I want to be an imitator of Jesus for the people I love in my life. But I can’t give what I don’t have so I must first allow Jesus’ love, sacrifice, and forgiveness extend to me. Sometimes that takes a while to sink in as deep as it needs to.

God always gives me an opportunity to practice what He wants me to learn. The more I “copy” Him, the more natural His type of actions will become. I want to copy the way God loves, cares, encourages, blesses, sees, sacrifices, etc. So I must read and study His examples of that behavior. Digging into Scripture is a great way to really see God’s love in action.

If you have children in your life, tell them you want them to be a ‘copy cat’. See how they respond to that statement. If they are in school or have any siblings, I bet they already have a negative impression of that term.  Ask them if there is ever a good time to copy someone. Who could they copy and be doing the right thing? Make a list of things you can do to copy God’s love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, etc.  Be a Copy Cat!!!

Cicus loves to sit on our copier/printer!!!

 

 

Rubik’s Cube®

The Rubik’s Cube is a 3-D mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. We were pretty excited at our house when it first came out because we are 100% Hungarian.  It wasn’t until recently that I wondered if there were some correlations between this cube and my life.

  • While getting one side to be all one color is impressive, it isn’t considered “solving the puzzle”.
  • Life Correlation: Just because I look put together in one area doesn’t mean I have all of life figured out. Check out all the sides.
  • One wrong turn can lead to several and that can lead to a mess.
  • Life Correlation: One wrong turn is rarely ever just one wrong turn. It is often the start of a series of bad moves.
  • Trying to put the puzzle back to its original shape takes time, patience, and practice.
  • Life Correlation: Trying to pick up the pieces in my life and put it back to its ‘original shape’ is impossible. I am so thankful for God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness!
  • No matter how messed up it looks right now, there is someone who can put my confused Rubik’s Cube®  back into a complete and perfect, original shape.
  • Life Correlation: No matter how messed up my life looks right now, God can take all of the wrongs I have done and the wrongs done to me and transform them for ministry moments in this broken and hurting world.

My prayer is that you allow God to work His healing and wholeness into every area of your life. As your healing progresses, do not be surprised if He asks you to share your story (His-story) to bless another fellow traveler on the path.

Growth Spurts

Kids and growth spurts! It seems like overnight they can add six inches to their height! It’s all a part of who they are becoming. How do you measure your growth?

Have you had any spiritual growth spurts lately? A time that might not yet seem outwardly productive but inside God has been molding and pressing and shaping you to become who He wants you to be? He undoubtedly wants us to be His ~ heart, soul, and mind. And while He works with our unique personality, Christians do have many similar characteristics. In Galatians 5, God mentions the Fruits of the Spirit:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-Control

God wants to grow some fruits in our lives and allows us many experiences in order to produce a bumper crop! Anyone who grows plants knows there are some Godly truths found in the process and procedure of tending to greenery. May God give you eyes to see the growth in others as well as the perspective to view your life experiences in terms of growth for His purposes!

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3


 

Spirograph® 2

I have been pondering Spirographs® lately. You can too, and come up with your own connections.

If my faith-life was represented with a Spirograph® flower, it would have a large overall diameter representing both the times I have walked closely with God and the times that I have strayed away.

How about you?  Are there times in your life you have been more connected to God’s Word than others? Have there been times when you have traveled down some difficult roads because you have decided to ‘blaze your own trail’? Are you hesitant to confess and seek His forgiveness because you think your sin is unforgivable?

God can and does use all of our experiences to shape us into vessels He can use to share the Good News about His love, sacrifice, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Allow Him to cleanse, redeem, forgive and renew you!!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

My prayer is that you know the love of our Heavenly Father and center your path around His Word. May the Holy Spirit guard and empower you!

 

Spirograph® Designs and Faith

At some point you have probably messed around with or at least seen a Spirograph® set. They can make some pretty cool designs. But recently I wondered how a Spirograph® can be a springboard for a conversation about faith.

We often crab about restrictions on our lives. Really, who likes rules and regulations? I am one who has often stepped out of line. I resented restrictions. But honestly, the times I walked over the line were the ones that brought heartache into my life.

Think about the large ring on the Spirograph®. It creates a boundary where the smaller wheels or gears can move and create incredibly beautiful patterns within the ring. Think of God’s laws or commandments as the large ring: fixed and dependable, providing structure and stability for the gear to move freely within the boundaries.

There are many ways to create beautiful patterns with a Spirograph®. Working within God’s boundaries can be freeing and refreshing. There is safety within His boundaries.

Are your fighting the boundaries that God has in place for your protection?

Muzzles

Scripture is so real!

I love how I can relate to it–even when the imagery makes me laugh. And His Spirit convicts me.

1 I said, “I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence.” Psalm 39

Oh the many days I should have done that.

I also think it is amazing when I am in the midst of the conviction process and things that don’t actually point to my sin point me to my sin. It is almost as if I am being boxed in until I really come to see it and confess and turn away from it. God may use Scripture but He is not limited to getting our attention that way. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and God’s care for me.

Lord, there are so many times that I sin with my words without even thinking beyond the moment. Help me to consider my words before they are spoken. Give me Your wisdom in conversation and Your insight into my various relationships. Help all I say and do reflect You and Your glory. In Your Son’s Name, Amen.