Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Like most everyone I know, life has become crowded with so many things. Work, family, friends, church, sporting events (for those with children), tv, computers, dating....take your pick. There is a veritable buffet of items one can pick and choose from to fill those waking moments of the day. Of course, every one of them are an essential part of our lives. I mean, what would we do without work, which allows us to spend time with our families...and then go to church, hang out with friends, minister to those in need...and don't forget watching the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy or, heaven forbid, Desperate Housewives?
Things. Time consumers. Some of them definite necessities. The others just things we enjoy.
And then something happens to make you look at all of these "things" more closely.
The brother of a former classmate was killed this week. That is a story in itself, but I don't want to write about that here. What I want to write about is the fact that it usually takes something as dramatic as this to make one stop and evaluate life. At the funeral home tonight, one of the conversations I was privy to was about this very thing: "Life is so fast these days. We need to stop and spend time with those we love."..."We work hard and try to provide the kids with nice things, but what is all that stuff really worth?" It makes you stop and think why do I go about life the way I do? What is my purpose and reason for existing?
As a person who loves God and strives to live my life for Him, an event like this really makes me stop and consider all the people I know and have known that face these questions without any idea of the answer. Yes...there is an answer. God created us and has a purpose for each of us. Collectively, He created us all to love and worship Him of our own accord. Individually, He has given each of us gifts and talents to be used to bring Him glory. Everything we do should be for Him.
What is life without Him anyway? You can turn on any news channel and see the results of lives lived without God...of people who try to live and have a purpose that they conjure up and fabricate...borne out of their own strength and ideas. James 4:14 says:
You don't even know what tomorrow will bring--what your life will be! For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
What is it that really matters most?
This is a question I have been asking myself recently...even before the tragedy of this week. I say God is most important to me and sharing that with others is important to me too, but what do my actions really say? I have allowed too many "things" to crowd my time and my focus.
I wonder if anyone ever shared Christ with the guy who was killed. I wonder if there was someone in his life who may have been able to relate the truth of God's word to him and challenge him to apply it to his life. Certainly, I don't know the condition of his heart at the moment of his death, but the life he was living seemed to be far apart from God. That thought made tonight very difficult for me.
I hope I never lose my focus on what matters most and as a result, miss an opportunity to share with someone the One who matters most - Jesus.
Time is short. Let's not waste it.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
There is a fantastic ad campaign that has been developed to help change the image of Mississippi. I'm always amazed at how uninformed people outside of our state are about us. Sadly, there are those within this state who are uninformed as well, and that's what makes this campaign so great. We (the people of our state) will be able to project a better image once we know who we are. We have much to be proud about, but I think the real picture of who we are was best presented in this ad:
In case you have a hard time reading the small print, this is what it says:
And the last shall be first. We always hear about Mississippi being last. Last in this, last in that. Well, at last, Mississippi is first. And what a first place to hold … in generosity. For eight years in a row, our generosity has won out over every other state in the nation. Per capita, we give more in relation to income than any other state. Any other state. Mississippi. Yes, our hands are out. And our hearts are open.
What a state!! :)
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I have come to realize (and admit to myself) that I have not been focused. One quote I've heard many times in FCA is, "let's keep the main thing, the main thing." I have been keeping the main "things" the main thing. It is time for a change.
God brought this home to me in a conversation I had with a friend this weekend. I have been spread too thin (and I've known this for a while) and God's grace for doing all the things I'm doing is going to run out. He's telling me I need to focus on what it is He's called me to do. I think I've been running from it because it requires a lot. Shame on me.
I'm not sure how it will all pan out, but I believe as I begin to weed the things out of my life that I have been "filling in" for, God is going to open some doors for me that I can't even imagine. I'm reminded of the scriptures that tell us His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 58:8)....or how about the one that says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)
The fact is, I want to be closer to my Lord and Savior so I will hear His voice clearly. I don't want any interference...especially interference I've put there. How sad would it be to be too busy "doing" so that I miss "being" with Him?
So, here begins the process....weeding out the things He tells me to and digging in more where He tells me. It is scary and yet very exciting.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!
You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
I need to do that much more often. I'm realizing I let myself stay much too busy and don't give time for God to really speak to me. I'm not taking time to listen....but I need to.
This weekend, I'm at a College Getaway, way out in the middle of nowhere....deep in a forest in Mississippi. We're at a beautiful campground - the facilities are nice, the food is pretty good, the fellowship with all these athletes, coaches and fellow staff members is wonderful - I'm having a great time!
But today, I was walking around during our free time, going from activity to activity taking pictures, and the sound of the wind blowing through the tops of the trees just overwhelmed me. It was such a calming and soothing yet powerful and majestic sound. I could imagine the voice of God sounding something like that...there was such power in it because these huge pine trees were swaying from the effects of the wind. The rustling of the branches and leaves (or pine needles on the pine trees!) was their response to the impact of the wind. It caused me to just begin to praise God for who He is, and what He has done in my life.
I also realized, that if I don't allow myself to be touched by the voice of God, I won't have an opportunity to respond to it. I need to be like those pine trees and stand still long enough that His presence can blow in, out, over, around and through me. I want my life to be a response to His presence, to His work in me and His voice.
Get away. That's what I need to do more frequently. I need to get lost in His word, in His presence....in Him.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I knew this year was going to be different...2006 just seems to be the year for many things: new stuff popping up and old stuff going away or being resolved.
Don't get too excited, it's not like I'm engaged or anything (dangit!)...I'm no where close to that (since it requires dating a guy)...but anyway....there are other things happening.
One thing in particular: I've been asking God to show me the "more" of being a Christian. Don't get me wrong...I've been a Christian for 18 years now and it has been anything but dull...but in the back of my mind and deep in my spirit, I've known that there is more to be had. So I asked..and keep asking...for God to show me the "more" that He has for me. Here it is, only 17 days into the new year, and already things are happening at a swift pace!!!
I have made some new friends through a Bible study. The first time I met with them (last week) my heart was instantly joined with theirs. The Holy Spirit is amazing in how He does that! So tonight, I went to an intercessory prayer meeting with them. I've felt that God is calling me to be more of a prayer warrior and intercessor this year. Funny how He does that...prayer is not my strongest area. :( But I know I have to get better at it if I am going to hear God's voice....and that is really what I've been praying for.
I want to know His voice amidst all the clamor of my daily life. Just like a sheep grazing on the hillside, I want to be able to hear my Shepherd's voice from a distance and come running to Him to see what He is saying....to be under His protection. I want to be walking so close to Him, that as He is speaking, I am already acting on His words. This may not make sense to some of you who are reading this...but I wish it did! There is so much joy in knowing God's voice. The times I've heard Him clearly in my life have been incredible...not always easy...but incredible just the same.
As I said...we're only 17 days into the new year, but man...what a ride already! I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!