Take the Time!

burnoutwGod is always working in my life but sometimes I just have to slow down and pay attention. That is a part of why I like cycling, especially on a path. The freedom to ponder situations is so important for me. But it is also important to view things in light of Scripture and that means I have to be in God’s Word to get His perspective. I know that if I am unchecked by Scripture, I can muddle all sorts of things rather quickly.

The very moment I think my life is too complicated for contemplation I know I am desperately in need for some. Reflection always leads me to prayer and God adjusting my attitude towards a person or circumstance.

Feeling bogged down and out of time? Stop and pray for your perspective and the day. Don’t budge out the very thing that will give you precisely what you need to accomplish the task!

On the Road,

Liz

Where are you going?

WHERE are you going?

Where are YOU going?

Where are you GOING?

 

Emphasis makes a big difference in each of those questions. Sometimes we don’t necessarily have an end goal in mind–we are just out and about. Sometimes it’s ok to not know the destination because, truth be told, we often think we have a place where we will end up and we are really disappointed when we don’t ever get there. Or we don’t get there the way we imagined we would.

Sometimes we strive for a goal and find we never get there because we took the wrong path or we had a misinformed goal. For example, if one grows up in a family with a lot of tension or sadness due to money struggles, one might think that amassing a lot of money will lead us to “happiness”. It rarely works that way.

Where do you hope to be and how do you think you might get there?

It is always good to think about our life’s direction in general, but the Lenten season is a great time to consider if we have strayed off the path of forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, service, prayer, kindness, sacrifice, self-control, or [fill in the blank]. Drifting away a bit may not seem so bad when we can see the road but we can quickly lose sight of the road altogether. Sometimes we need to “reset”, get re-oriented, and start again.

GOD’S WORD informs our LIFE and impacts the decisions we make.

So let’s get informed! What does God have to say? Grab your Bible or download a Bible App on your phone. Look for a verse or two you might want to commit to memory during this Lenten season. Write it out on an index card, in your journal, or make a digital image so you can have it on your phone. I would love to see your verse and if you do anything creative with it. Of course, being creative isn’t the point but pondering it is! When we take the time to read God’s Word, ponder, and pray, He changes us. And, we likely will find a new perspective on our travels–both on  where we are going and where we have been.

So, where ‘ya headed?

~ Liz

Quick note: Don and I will be “on the road” and I will be posting things as we travel. We would appreciate your prayers for a safe journey!

 

 

 

PrayerPoints ~ March 10th, Thursday

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 95

“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”        Psalm 95:2

It is so important for me to start my day being thankful for what God has done for me. It helps my perspective and my focus and it helps me to be more loving to others, even on those days when I don’t get enough sleep. Whenever I read Psalm 95, I hear the song posted below in my mind, but it is also a part of the liturgy in LCMS (Lutheran Church ~ Missouri Synod) congregations so I am happy to have two reference points for it!

I know I have mentioned the power of music and Scripture memory before. If you are a part of a congregation that uses liturgy, you know that after sitting in church week after week and year after year that there is so much Scripture tucked away in your brain. You can be really young, and a non-reader to learn it and you can be challenged with vision issues and still participate. Music filled with Scripture can bridge ages and abilities and can be such a blessing to a congregation.

So, a little bit about this Psalm 95 posted below: John Michael Talbot is Catholic and I was introduced to him when I was about 13 (now I am 50, so this was quite a while ago). For me, this is an awesome “morning song” — a great way to get my mind headed in the right direction!

During Lent, the use of alleluia is often restricted in some church bodies. In the LCMS  there are some other practices Check out the article Keeping a Holy Lent ~ a post from the LCMS with some great explanations.

Trigger Warning: This song does have Alleluia in it. So if that is going to bug you, don’t listen until after Easter.

PrayerPoints ~ Thursday, March 3rd

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 37

“The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24

It is always good to look at David’s life. What a great reminder of the incredible highs and devastating lows of the life experience! And to watch David’s love for and devotion to God and then to see him sink to scheming schemes. On one hand I think, “How could he?” and then I recollect the many times I have done equally sinful things. It is amazing the short term memory I have. We are all sinners; each and every one!

Intentionally walking through Scripture on a regular basis certainly gives me perspective and helps me be more mindful of my opportunities to make better choices. It also helps me remember the love and forgiveness that God has for me. I am, after all, “a poor sinful being” but He also is a loving Father. He knows I will stumble but if I am away from God’s Word for a time I seem to stumble a little more. I stray a little further off the path. It may not seem like a big difference at first but the trajectory of “not quite on the right course” usually veers way off as time goes on.

Do you know what I mean?

Ever been kind of lost, refused to ask for directions because you are sure you are close only to find that the next 60 minutes (or 20 years) are spent trying to figure out how to get to where you were going only to find out it will take a lot to actually get back there now, or it is actually impossible?

Yep, this life is like that. And, God can redeem that stuff. He wastes nothing — there isn’t an experience that He cannot use, redeem, or heal. God knows we will stumble and still He loves us so!

“The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24

PrayerPoints ~ Sunday, February 28th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 62

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 62:1

Sometimes it is hard to find a moment of rest from either the things we are doing or the things others want us to do. I feel like the world expects me to be busy accomplishing something tangible all the time!

Do you struggle with that as well?

I am learning to intentionally pace myself. It isn’t that I can’t get in there and go “full speed ahead” when something requires time and energy but that is not how I want to live my every day. True “Soul Rest” can transcend our circumstances and is only found with God.

Have you intentionally carved out time for your soul to be rested and encouraged? Working your way through Scripture is one way. Weekly worship in a healthy congregation is another way. If you have fallen out of this habit, let me encourage you to get back into it. It is like having more life-giving oxygen in your day! The world has so many toxic pollutants that we absorb on a daily basis that it is even more important to breathe deeply of God’s life giving Word!

Blessings on your week!

Below is a song I have liked for a long time and the words are printed below. Enjoy!

Chorus
My stronghold my Savior
I shall not be afraid at all
My stronghold my Savior
I shall not be moved
Only in God is my soul at rest
In Him comes my salvation
Verse 1
Only in God is my soul at rest
In Him comes my salvation
He only is my Rock
My strength and my salvation
Verse 2
Only in God is found safety
When my enemy pursues me
Only in God is found glory
When I am found meek and found lowly

PrayerPoint ~ Forgiven ~ March 23

So often Satan whispers lies like:

“God couldn’t possibly forgive you for doing that!” or

“God couldn’t possibly have use for you now that you have done [insert your sin here]!” or

“How many times do you think He is willing to forgive [insert repeated offense here]?”

Maybe you have heard those same lies or maybe you’ve heard others. There are days when I get in a rut and I forget that I’m forgiven. That might sound crazy but it can happen after a tough day or a restless night.

How do you recall the promises of God’s forgiveness and restoration?

  • Scripture
  • Attending church where forgiveness is proclaimed following the confession of sins
  • Witnessing a Baptism
  • Rainstorms
  • Washing dishes
  • Washing clothes
  • Showers/Baths
  • Washing hands

Within the daily routine of our lives, we are always washing something. Take a moment to connect the wordly cleanliness you have set out to achieve and remember your Baptism! Let Him refresh and restore you with a reminder of His Grace! God wants you to remember His forgiveness and Satan would love for you to forget it. Don’t give Satan the edge!

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.  2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1-2 (read the whole Psalm!)

Thankful for His cleaning (though I don’t always like the scrubbing!!)

Liz

Boundaries

When I was younger, I loved to push the limit and see how close to the line I could come. I used to resent boundaries and consider them a challenge to overtake. Can you relate? Amazingly enough, I have kids who do the very same thing. It must be a part of that sinful, human nature.

I have learned many difficult lessons in life because I overstepped boundaries, didn’t enforce boundaries, and ignored boundaries. I am still learning, often the hard way. Boundaries are important in marriage, parenting, friendships, work relationships and are more than just a benefit.

Boundaries are a blessing.

Consider that God has placed boundaries around you for your protection–He tells you to stay away from certain things so you will be pure. God wants you to be safe from sin and danger and He helps you to do that by telling you things to avoid. He wants you to heed His words, for your blessing and benefit.

And wouldn’t it be great if we had no boundaries for God?
Allowed Him access to every dark corner of our lives?
Recognized that He supersedes physical boundaries by being omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent?

Psalm 16

1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.

5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

God’s boundaries are good!