Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Living in Glass Houses

…for if someone does not know how to manage his own household,
how will he care for God’s church?

I Timothy 3:5

She listed numerous reasons she didn’t attend “certain” congregations and in the middle was a comment that, as the parent of a "preacher's kid", paralyzed me. One congregation had been nixed because the pastor’s children were "unruly." And, although she wasn’t a parent herself, she was certain that if the pastor’s children were “out of control” leadership of the church would produce the same results.

I’ve often wondered what would be Paul’s “tone” if he were writing to churches in the 21st century. Even in a cursory reading Paul’s teachings are distinct and clear cut. There is no wiggle room. In the early church there needed to be clear definitions of the faith to set it apart from all the other gods that were clamoring for attention. Is our society any different? Are we not living in a world that is clamoring to divert our attention away from Jesus Christ?

Pastors and their families live in this 21st world. And, there is no debate—pastors are held and should be held to Paul’s high standard. Christianity has suffered its share of hits by pastors who have crashed and burned due to sexual misconduct, financial abuse and familial distractions. But, Paul addresses almost every one of these traits even in 62 AD.

As a pastor’s wife I would like to point out the role a congregation has in helping its pastor be all that Paul requires. And it’s not functioning in a hyper critical mode! We all are faulty humans, but, unlike their congregations, pastors and their families live in glass houses. They are on full display, targets of an abundance of opinions and criticisms.

So, today, would you put down any stones you're tempted to throw and replace it with a prayer for your pastor? They would be most grateful.

Jesus, forgive me when I expect perfection in my pastor.
My own sins I keep well hidden but often I’m quick to notice the sins of others.
Today I pray that my pastor will be encouraged
by Your presence and confident in Your call.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Inner Workings

…when each part is working properly,
makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Ephesians 4:16c

When my car doesn't function properly, I get totally frustrated! The bane of my driving experience was a car that looked great on the outside but whose inner workings were in constant conflict. Once, while in the fast lane of a Los Angeles freeway, without warning the alternator stopped doing its job. The battery tried to keep up but I ended up sitting still while cars, whose alternators were doing their jobs, careened around me!

The importance of working together is nothing new, but a little reminder is sometimes helpful. From friendships to families to marriages to businesses to churches if an individual goes on strike the entire “system” is affected. There is an alarming statistic when it comes to church members who stop doing their job. The average time period that a pastor stays with a congregation, across all denominations, is eighteen months. Studies have discovered that five or fewer people in a church, deciding to not work properly, cause so much disruption that pastors and congregations quickly find themselves broken down.

Each part working properly makes a difference in the life of a church. If you are part of a Christian community, remember that you have a unique design. You are part of the community’s success or failure. A single “strike” can be the cause of everything coming to a screeching halt.

Jesus, You encouraged us to be in community.
Forgive me when I try to do the job designed for others.
Help me to know how I can be a proper working part
helping my church to build itself up in love.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Good Jealousy

I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.

Romans 11:13c-14

It’s an odd way to evangelize, making someone jealous. Jealousy is usually a feeling to be excised out of our lives for the reason that it causes only pain and misery. One definition of jealousy, however, makes Paul’s use of the word rather poignant when it comes to faith--painfully desirous of another’s advantages.

If we were to think about following Jesus as being a cause for jealousy it could be pretty radical! More often than not when we think about evangelism, the act of telling another about one’s passion, we become paralyzed by the thought of having to string together enough words that adequately defines our faith. But, what if we were to throw theological caution to the wind and magnify our Jesus life in a way that whoever heard our story would be painfully desirous of the life we live?

There remains one crucial element. In order to magnify our life we have to believe the life story we’ve been given. Understanding the Bible is a life long adventure but being a Jesus follower is a daily process. If we are open to it, we can experience and acknowledge ways in which God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit make a difference in our lives.

Everyone has God questions. Some you’ll be able to answer, others will prompt you to deeper Bible study. But if you want to be radical and make someone jealous and painfully desirous tell them your Jesus story. It’s a story you’ll know how to tell.

Jesus, thank you for the growing life story,
As You give me each day, help me to speak with passion,
without reservation, about what you have done and are doing in my life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Life Together

Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:10

One year my husband challenged our congregation at the time to take on the challenge of memorizing several verses from Romans chapter twelve. It was not an easy task requiring commitment, concentration and courage, especially if one's "memory" brain cells are diminished! The goal was to memorize Romans 12:9-21 but perhaps the more important goal was to focus on becoming a congregation that reflected our memory verses. Verse ten was only the beginning of what prayerfully would become a way of life for us. We found, however, that as difficult as it is to memorize Scripture, it is ten times more difficult to live it out. It's not easy being in "community" together!

In his book Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflected on the pitfalls that can plague a Christian community. The following was written over 60 years ago and yet is pertinent for today's Jesus followers who want to be in community together and yet find it difficult.

The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others and by himself. He enters the community of Christians with his demands, his own law, and judges the brethren and himself accordingly. He acts as if he is the creator of the community, as if it is his dream which holds the community together. When things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure. When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash. So he becomes first an accuser of his brethren, then God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Being Vulnerable

I pray that this quote below will stimulate the brain waves for you. On first reading it sounds "nice" but read it several times and you may discover, as I have, the difficulty of being truly vulnerable. I'm twisting in my seat!

From Ronald Rolheiser, The Restless Heart

It is because of the refusal to be vulnerable that, far too often, instead of enjoying friendship and intimacy with those around us, we find ourselves fencing with each other, using our talents, achievements and strengths as weapons.

To be vulnerable is to be strong enough to be able to present ourselves without false props, without an artificial display of our credentials. In brief, to be vulnerable is to be strong enough to be honest and tender. Like Jesus, the person who is vulnerable is a person who cares enough to let himself be weak, precisely because he does care.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Created Order

God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

Genesis 1:1c (The Message)

In the beginning, there was water. Along with oxygen, it is a crucial element to living. We take it for granted until there isn’t enough or there is too much. I live where there isn’t enough water and watch news clips as the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers swell over their banks with an excess.

There are scientific reasons for floods based on weather patterns, but experts are also saying that part of the problem is man. For centuries we have yearned to tame our landscape, often upsetting the balance of God’s creation. There is a reason why the soil is so fertile in those flood states. At one time the rivers were unhindered, free to run over their banks, washing the earth with rich nutrients.

God created order, not chaos.

Of course, the world has gotten older and more crowded, increasing the demands on God’s creation. We see land under water that could be used for our benefit and build levees to hold back its powerful weight. Then we plant and grow and build, attempting to supply the ever growing demand of the world’s citizens.

When God’s Spirit brooded like a bird over the waters I wonder what He envisioned. Surely he knew what would transpire once the watery abyss was divided and man would seek to control what God had set in motion. God doesn’t cause floods. But, they do remind us that in the beginning God designed his intricate creation with details meant to work together, harmoniously. Our mistake with the earth, as in many areas of our lives, is that we try to seize control and end up creating chaos.

God, thank you for creating the world to work in balance.
You created order!
Forgive me when I create chaos by attempting to seize control
of the happenings of my life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Feeling Lonely

For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of man.
Lamentations 3:31-32

A quote from Ronald Rolheiser, The Restless Heart

To be human is to be lonely. To be human, however, is also to respond. The human person has always responded to this pain.

Sometimes it has moved us to greater depth of openness towards God and others, to fuller life, and sometimes it has led us to jump off bridges, to end life; sometimes it has given us a glimpse of heaven, sometimes it has given us a glimpse of hell, sometimes it has made the human spirit, sometimes it has broken it; always it has affected it. For loneliness is one of the deepest, most universal, and most profound experiences that we have.

Even if you are a relatively happy person who relates easily to others and who has many close friends, you are probably still lonely at times. If you are a very sensitive person, the type who feels things deeply, you are probably, to some degree, lonely all the time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Trust? Absolutely!

A couple of years ago I focused on memorizing Bible verses that revolved around trusting God. One of these verses was Psalm 37:4--

Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in him and he will act.

It's a simple verse to memorize but it packs a punch when applying it to one's personal life. It had been a particularly poignant verse for me that year. Responding to God's call to move and begin ministering in a new town, in a new state, we had put our house up for sale just at the time the house market was tanking. While “they” say that buying a home is a good investment, we’ve always been in the buy high, sell low category!

From the beginning of this change I wanted to be faithful, waiting for God to work. My prayer had been, "God, you know we need to sell the house so, I am trusting you to bring the right buyer." Every day it took a conscious effort to commit my way to God and not become anxious!

And then one morning, while elbow deep in pastry dough, ten pie plates lined up in a row, my husband called with the news that, despite the dire economic trend, a buyer had made an offer on our home. Miracles happen at the most unexpected times! In trusting God from the beginning I was able to enjoy seeing him act!

Various times in my life I have griped and whined about our “unfortunate” circumstances and wailed about God's “inaction”. Then, when events turned around I found myself somewhat sheepishly facing God, murmuring my thanks. But on that day, standing in the kitchen, I completely enjoyed and appreciated God's action because I had committed my way and trusted Him to do what he would do.

It was an amazing morning and through the rest of the pie baking, the errands, the "musts" of the day I sang praises, thankful that God had acted so faithfully. But, I also thanked him for helping me to again know that God is worthy to be trusted.

Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in him and he will act. It's an absolute truth.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lessons from a Small Town

Tuesday, 1:22 p.m. - Someone reported there was a freqeunt problem with people drinking alcohol in public and harassing bicyclists at River Park. An hour later, someone called to report five people were drinking in River Park. Police responded and determined they had open bottles of root beer. Someone called an hour later to report that an individual who looked like a mountain man was drinking in the park. Police responded and determined the man was drinking Sprite.

Burbling with laughter I called out to my husband, "Listen to this one in the police blotter!" But, almost immediately my laughter stopped. Living in a small town frequently provides moments of life clarity and this was quickly becoming one.

Someone in our town had spotted these "people" and reported what they thought they saw. What a "mountain man" looks like I haven't the slightest idea but it got me thinking about how we make assumptions based on looks.

I wondered if Jesus was sitting in the park as well with these root beer, Sprite drinking hippies. Repeatedly we read in the gospels that he is caught eating with people who don't "look" like they're appropriate and so I imagine that this group, reported to the police, were probably exactly the type of crowd he would enjoy!

It's gotten me thinking again how I make assumptions without knowing, without discovering, without caring. Once a young woman showed up at my door. She looked the part of the alternative lifestyle I had grown familiar with in another one of our small towns. If anyone had seen us talking they may well have thought she was asking for a handout.

This woman, however, had a passion--sustainable energy. She spoke clearly and respectfully and looked directly at me. She was confident but not belligerant and knew what she needed to exact from me. She was looking to the future and believed that significant changes needed to be made today.

Signing her petition and affirming her passion I prayed that she went away feeling encouraged. I could have been her mother, perhaps the very image that she desperately wanted to avoid. But, for a brief moment our worlds touched and a lesson was reinforced that what is seen with the eyes definitely isn't the whole story.

Jesus would have loved the moment. Hey! Perhaps Jesus was the "mountain man" drinking Sprite!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Toast to Martha

But Martha was distracted with much serving...
Luke 10:40a

Martha gets a bad rap most of the time; at least that is my opinion! Preachers use Martha to illustrate a woman who makes a choice to be busy over spending time with Jesus. Jesus himself says that Martha shouldn't be "anxious and troubled" about food. But, I believe that Jesus was keeping to his typical teaching style--using Martha's situation to illustrate a larger point. He wasn't putting down Martha's efforts in the kitchen. He was challenging her to not make too much fuss over the meal! He didn't need a big spread, just something simple. After all, spending time with Jesus is important.

While getting ready for a dinner party one afternoon it struck me that food and Jesus are a good combination. After teaching thousands of people for three days Jesus hears their growling stomachs and makes a simple meal. He catered this four digit miracle at least twice! Plus think about all of those conversations with the disciples while they were at “the table.”

There are lots of Marys in the world. They go to retreats and conferences in a desire to learn more about Jesus. But, you know what? At every “spiritual” retreat, every “knowing God” conference there will be some Marthas in the kitchen, not "anxious or troubled" about the meals, but open and willing, doing their part in the Kingdom to encourage and support the yearning Marys.

Here’s a thought! Without Marthas at camps, retreats, conferences and church dinners, a whole lot of Marys would perhaps be so ravenous that they wouldn’t be able to focus on their heart’s desire! So, here's a toast to Martha!

Jesus, thank you for loving Martha.
Though sometimes she became overly focused on the
“presentation” she was also one of the first who really knew
Your power to heal and restore.
Help my own "Martha" spirit to make time to spend with you.

Image--this is a great "Marthat" web site!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Living With Enemies

If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31b

This is the truth: in this world you will have enemies. Now, the Christian community finds it particularly uncomfortable to recognize certain personalities as “enemies.” After all, we are supposed to love our enemies! I’m not saying that all difficult personalities are “enemies” however, there will be people in our lives who are our “enemies” and for our own spiritual well being we would do best to recognize them as such.

At one point in our ministry my husband and I experienced a very difficult personality. Rifts within our Christian community by all manner of disinformation, gossip and slander were caused by one individual. We prayed, we talked with wiser Jesus followers, we searched our hearts and we sought reconciliation yet nothing changed the assaults being lobbed. We had an “enemy.”

Throughout the time of seeking God’s guidance, we were continually reminded of the numerous times Jesus was verbally assaulted during his ministry. Jesus never held back his opinion on the actions of those doing the undermining, but, he also didn’t waste time trying to get them to like him. They were against him so he let them go because God was for him.

We discovered, in a new way, through our “enemy” what it meant to have God for us. Having done everything we were called to do as Jesus followers, we claimed the truth that our “enemy” was miniscule compared to the Person shadowing us. Despite the gossip, slander and innuendos we had nothing to fear—God was for us.

Father, thank you for being for me and showing me
through your Son, Jesus Christ, how to stand strong in your Presence.
With you for me, I have nothing to fear.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Good Bones

You are God’s field, God’s building.

I Corinthians 3:9 (The Message)

Once, a friend of mine described a house as having “good bones.” It’s a phrase that has stuck with me because of its no nonsense, dirt level quality. Now when I look at a building, a home, a new structure I ask, “Am I seeing a good bone structure?” Sometimes I’m surprised that what initially appeared to me as distinctive when looked at more intently, ends up to not have “good bones.”

Being distinctive, having “good bones” sets one apart. And, being God’s creation means that everyone has “good bones!” But the best part is God’s creativity—none of us have the same bone structure! We are each uniquely created.

In some way we all want to be remembered as unique. Perhaps our achievements are an inspiration, the way we respond to a stranger, our wisdom or the way we handle adversity. Whatever it may be, uniqueness is a good thing.

To be God’s building is the ultimate in living a life that reflects the Architect. It is an awesome responsibility. To be the living example of God’s creative genius means that when people see us they will know that we have been built with “good bones” and that somehow our very “bone” structure causes us to live our life differently.

I have been built by a master Architect. By being God’s building I am a physical reality of what he is able to do with anyone’s life. Whoever sees me should be able to recognize and remember my “good bones” and perhaps allow God to build “good bones” in them as well.

Jesus, I want to be a living example of God’s creative genius in my life.
Help me to see myself as God’s building to everyone that I meet.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Breaking the Tape

...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...

Hebrews 12:1b

There is only one winner in each of the track events at any Summer Olympics. It’s the nature of competition. Every individual athlete, however, will have invested thousands of hours in preparation, with the goal of finishing the race with a personal record. They will think only of the race that is before them; not finishing isn’t an option.

I have a spiritual race to run. And as difficult as it is for me, I have to ask myself, have I invested the hours into training for my spiritual race such that I will be able to break the tape at the end. Just as with the Olympic athlete, the race I am called to run is an individual one. While I may find myself in a “pack” there will also be those times when I’m behind or ahead. There is a significant difference, however, in that my spiritual race is not a competition between other Jesus followers. God calls me to run the race that He has worked out, just for me.

My challenge is staying focused. So, here is where the analogy of the athlete again connects. An Olympic runner, while aware of the presence and location of the other athletes, remains focused on his own race. Well trained, this athlete resists the temptation to run the race like someone else even if they are ahead.

Endurance is built over time. I can’t run a race of endurance without building up some stamina. What is my training schedule for today?

Jesus, help me to be disciplined in my spiritual training
so that I will be able to run with endurance the race you have set before me.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Counter Cultural Residents

. . .take up his cross and follow Me.

Matthew 16:24c

At one point in our lives, we lived in a city where a congregation believed in taking up the cross of Jesus. . .literally. The cross they took up was “sized proportionately” to the one Christ bore with a notable exception; their cross included a sturdy, rubber wheel at the bottom making the “dragging” smoother. Each year, at Easter, they faithfully wheeled the cross around the 100 mile city circumference, often with amused media in tow.

Perhaps if Rome had added a rubber wheel to the cross of Christ, he wouldn’t have needed Simon’s assistance! But putting all dark humor aside, taking up the cross of Christ is challenging because of its intent. To take up our cross is to live life in the Jesus way - in other words, living in the world as a counter cultural resident.

The church members in my resident city were counter cultural at one level—their actions were considered odd. But, simply being “odd” isn’t what Jesus was after. Instead, with every conversation, every interaction, every reaction individuals and crowds were left with the sensation of their outward and inward cores shifting.

A common “culture” is non-existent in our present society. As quickly as the fringe adopts a new persona it’s sucked up by the main. There are, however, cultural traits of humanity—greed, selfishness, gluttony, arrogance, snobbishness, gossip, fear to name just a few—that never change. These demand that I take up my cross, follow Jesus, and live counter to these cultural norms.

Living this way I will always be “at odds” with the world, but hopefully my life will give a higher definition picture of what it means to be a Jesus follower.

Jesus, reveal to me the areas in my life
where I live like the culture.
Help me, to live the Jesus way, as a counter cultural resident.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cookbook Testing

Test everything.
Hold on to the good.

I Thessalonians 5:21

One of my kitchen cupboards is crammed with cookbooks. They represent years of collecting. Several times I have taken down one book only to put it back because I remembered that I didn’t like any of the recipes. Quite frankly there are too many on my overstocked shelves that fit into this category! Yet, for some reason, I continue to hang on to what I know isn’t good. I know they’re not good because I’ve tested them! Now I have other cookbooks with covers falling off because of their frequent use! So, why, I ask myself, don’t I just throw away the old-but-no-good others? And the answer usually comes back to me, given enough time, that I can surely find something good!

Discovering, discerning God’s will are frequent words we hear as we grow in our faith walk. But testing in our spiritual lives isn’t nearly as concrete as testing out a recipe from a cookbook. However, there are similarities in that testing takes time and involves other people. A good cookbook author doesn’t rely on their own taste buds when deciding to include a recipe. Those worn books on my shelves are the ones where the recipes have been tested by individuals, small groups and large parties, repeatedly.

Prayer is one of the markers of testing in our discerning God’s will. But going the next step of the cookbook author—involving others—has some “cred” as well. Involving and listening to others within our community of faith helps us discover what we may or may not be discerning. Their insights may not always be “tasty” but they could be helpful in making sure that the final decision is something worth holding on to.

Jesus, help me to discern Your will
through listening to You but also
to those You send my way.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Long and Winding Road

For those of you who receive OCK by e-mail you will notice that a duplicate posting was made for today. Well, that is the result of living through the weekend with an abscessed tooth, a swollen face and pain! The posting below is an old one but I hope you will enjoy it. Sorry for the confusion and now I'm off to see another dentist!

You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you.

Deuteronomy 5:33a

I confidently told my daughter not to worry about my transportation for the day. After my appointment my plan was to catch the bus home. I miscalculated however. No buses went in my direction. Realizing that I had no other choice I began walking the three mile route home--grumbling. This had not been my plan; I was wearing only flip flops.

After one complaining mile it occurred to me that the time could be better used and so began thoughts on walking. . .with God. Much like my unexpected walk home, walking with God is full of the unexpected. We make plans of how we want to live, when we want to marry, have children, engage in careers, establish financial milestones, leaping ahead we set goals for retirement. Then suddenly the career goes bust, a spouse dies or infertility stops the family dream—our plans suddenly become flimsy flip flops.

Walking with God is a mystery. It’s a winding country road—you don’t know what’s ahead until you get there. It would be nice if we could have a ten mile visual. But, if we did we might take off running, leaving our walking Companion, because we could see the way by ourselves. God doesn’t want to lose us as a walking companion. The route may be different than what we planned but the companionship along the way will make it worthwhile.

I finished the remaining two miles talking with my Companion and my feet felt just fine when I got home!

Jesus, you walked for miles talking to people about the
Kingdom and your Father. Help me to stop trying to plan a life route
and instead enjoy your companionship.

Friday, June 4, 2010

No posting today! Enjoying the beautiful weather in Colorado. Hope you are enjoying this beautiful gift of God as well.

Blessings, see you on Monday!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Talk Less Listen Often

Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 (NIV)

Weird as it may seem these days, I grew up in a home where we sat down to breakfast every morning. But, before we could eat, my dad would pray. . .for everything under God’s created sun! As a little girl my only prayer at breakfast was, “please let Daddy stop before my scrambled eggs get cold!” Dad was and remains to this day a “prayer warrior.” But on a recent visit I discovered that age had mellowed him. His verbal prayers aren’t any shorter but, they also include deep silences.

Recently I read about an interview that a reporter had with Mother Teresa during her ministry. He asked Mother Teresa, How do you pray? Her response, I listen. And what does God say, responded the reporter. He listens too, came her reply.

Praying is part of our spiritual development. An essential food group for our soul. But I believe that Mother Teresa understood the core of praying - listening. When I reflect on my own prayer life I realize how much of it is spent with me talking. Yes, I give God praise. I thank Him. I confess and I lay out my concerns and my desires. But, so much of it is done with words. To not be quick with your mouth, to let your words be few calls for being content in quietness. It is in these deep silences that I truly discover God’s heart, God’s desire.

Unfortunately, much of what we think are God directives come as a result of our talking so much that we believe our own self promotion. The exercise of letting our words be few is one that requires a daily discipline; practicing periods of silence, simply being silent in God’s presence, allowing Him to get His word into our hearts, our souls, our minds.

Jesus, I am listening -
Ready to hear You speak.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fear Not!

God said, I will be with you.

Exodus 3:12

This was God's response to Moses when, in fear, Moses wails, "How am I supposed to go before Pharoah and ask for the release of Your people?" God was asking Moses to do a job that seemed far beyond his ability and Moses, in no uncertain terms, was letting God know. God's answer to the doubt and fear of Moses - I will be with you.

Once when I was a VBS song leader, several times during each day, I was to keep repeating to the kids--God is with us and they would shout back Fear Not! Night after night I found their energy, their spirit contagious and somewhere in the middle of the week I became keenly aware of how quickly I lose the trust of a child that in God's presence I have nothing to fear. Age brings wisdom but it drags along doubt, fear, mistrust. It’s these companions that bring me temporary deafness and I can’t hear God's voice, I will be with you and so miss the opportunity to shout back with confidence, defying all that would cause me to faint, FEAR NOT!

Jesus thank you--I have nothing to fear.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Payment is Due

Pay to all what is owed to them.

Romans 13:7

A clear conscience is like feeling feather light. When my desk is piled high with bills, sitting down and paying them usually gives me a sense of order. But when times are tough paying bills can throw me into full blown anxiety. I’m still breathing which means bills are my reality. This means I cut back on expenses and prioritize my needs versus my wants because “payment due” always demands prompt attention!

By establishing a budget that coincides with my needs, I prioritize ahead of time for the payments that will be required. Consequently, I really shouldn’t be too surprised when a bill arrives! Nevertheless I hate parting with my hard earned money.

Paying what is owed to God isn’t all that different. Scheduled days, overflowing calendars, circled dates are what makes up most of our lives. And while we wouldn’t think about not paying our bills, giving God some time doesn’t always make it to the top of the priority list. And yet, at the sun’s rising a daily bill is presented with “payment due” stamped on our lives. The payment is being in conversation with Him.

Forgetting to pay a bill may result in no electricity. Forgetting to give God one’s time could also leave one without power. When we make conversing with God a priority nothing comes as a surprise. We are prepared and ready for anything because we’ve prioritized being in God’s presence.

Father, you created me in your image.
Jesus, you show me how to live.
Holy Spirit, you bring me comfort and guidance.
I owe you my life.
Today and every day my priority is to spend time in your presence.