Monday, October 7, 2019

Monday Meditations - Bible

Bible


Books are some of my very favorite things. I am rarely without a book nearby. If I have a few moments to spare, I indulge and allow myself to escape reality.

And then there is the Bible. That is the Ultimate Book. When I get lost in the pages of the Bible, I see miracles, I learn more about God and Who He is, I grow closer in my relationship with Him.

Reading the Bible is one of the ways in which God communicates with me. But, do I pick up the Bible enough? Do I spend enough time searching the Scriptures looking for answers to my prayers and questions and finding out how He wants me to live my life?

The answer is probably no. We can never spend enough to too much time in the Word. I remember the Christmas I received my first grown-up Bible. I spent the afternoon reading through the first chapters of Genesis.

That is definitely one of the things I need to be working on.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday Meditations - Persistent


Persistence

Children may not know the meaning of the word persistent, but they have the concept down pat.

"Can I have a snack?"

"No."

"Can I have a snack?"

"No."

"Can I have a snack?"

"No."

This is a typical conversation with one of the little people I babysit, only the conversation lasts a lot longer. I don't have a problem with snacks, but I do limit them to no more than 20 per day. She'd like more. She's persistent.

As a child, I was persistent. Not for snacks, but for salvation. Every night I would pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart. I was afraid that maybe I didn't do it right or something. God was more than willing to listen to the persistent please of a child.

Now, as a writer, persistence is key in my life. I have to send out a lot of articles and stories if I want to receive paychecks. You know that old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." That definitely applies to the life of a writer.

What about your life? Where do you need to be a little more persistent? Is there a relationship you should persist in pursuing or renewing? Wherever it is, find that area of your life that need a little more effort and go for it. Give it your all and see what happens.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Monday Meditations - Reliable



Reliable

We all want to be friends with that person who is reliable. Reliable people are the ones you can depend on. They are the ones you can call on when you're in a pinch and need a helping hand. Reliable people get things done. I had a great example of reliability in my parents. If they made a promise to do something, it would be done, and it would be done well. That's something I'm still working on.

A friend of mine falls into the category of reliable. She is always the first in line to fix a meal, bring a treat, or take care of any job that needs doing. I want to be like her when I grow up.

A few years back I was convicted about my own reliability. A friend of mine desperately needed some help. She didn't call on me at that time, but I had to think about what I would have done if she had called me. Would I have told her I was too busy? Would I have dropped everything and ran to her immediately? I honestly can't answer about what I would have done that night, but it sure has made me aware of what I will do should I ever get that "I need help" call from a friend in the future.

I want to be reliable. I want to be there for those who need me. I want to be the light of Christ. But, the only way I know I can be reliable is when God is at work through me. I want to work on being more reliable this week and in all the weeks to come.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Monday Meditations - Dedication


Dedication

Dedication is something I think is seriously lacking in today's society. So many people aren't dedicated to anything. Young people get a job and find out it isn't as much fun as they thought it should be so they quit, or better yet, they just stopped showing up. They have grandiose ideas about jobs they love with huge paychecks. There isn't anything wrong with enjoying the job or looking forward to payday, but the reality is that jobs aren't always what we expect them to be.

Another reality is that companies aren't exactly dedicated to their employees anymore either. People would often take a job and plan on being there into retirement. My grandfather started working for the railroad when he was a teenager and stayed until he stopped working altogether. If someone wants to do that today, companies make it very difficult, if not impossible.

But it isn't just the workforce where this is true. People say they'll work in an area at church or volunteer with a local organization, but often forget to show up.

Friendships have a hard time surviving when there's dedication on only one side.

Marriages fall apart every day because of a lack of 100% dedication from both parties. It's easy to get a divorce, especially if there are no children and its uncontested.

We need to be dedicated when we promise to do something. We need to see it through whatever it is – job, friendship, marriage, any place where we have made promises.

What areas of your life could use a little more of your dedication? Think about that and then put forth the effort. Don't leave things, or people, hanging and waiting for you.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday Meditations - Patience



Patience

Years ago I had to make a trip to the DMV. Since I homeschooled my kids, they pretty much went everywhere with me, including the dreaded DMV. This was back before we could do most everything conveniently online. That day my little boy learned the word "patient." I thought he understood the meaning, but I learned the next day that I was wrong.

I had to go to the fabric store – one of my favorite places, but not his. Again – homeschoolers – kids went everywhere with me. I had put The Boy in the cart so my hands were free. He wasn't happy and pleaded with me to let him out, "I will be patient!"

A fellow customer standing nearby burst out laughing.

So, he hadn't learned what patience was after all. 

It takes all of us time to develop that  P word. Patience is not a natural human trait. We must learn and practice it. As we mature spiritually we will develop patience. It's one of the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5.

While we may struggle with patience,  has no problem with it. All you have to do is read about the Israelites to see that. But don't be too quick to judge them. Take a look at your own life to see where God has been patient with you. God's patience is thankfully immeasurable.


Patience sometimes requires us to look at a situation from someone else's perspective. We don't all see things the same and we won't all react the same. A little patience can go a long way. 

So, this week, when you're tempted to be impatient, look for the positives instead of the negatives, extend a little patience and along with it a little grace, to those around us – our spouses, our children, our parents, other drivers, and even the exceptionally slow cashier at Walmart.

Here's a little song on patience from my childhood for you to enjoy!

          

Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday Meditations - Believe


Believe


Here's a question for you: what do you believe? I know, it's a rather broad question. What do you believe…about what?

I believe it's going to be a beautiful day.
I believe I'm going to cross things off my to do list today.

But…

What do you believe about God?

Some of my favorite times of the week when my kids were still all at home were Sunday afternoons. We would have Sunday dinner and sit at the table for a couple of hours talking. Those were the best conversations.

These discussions don't happen as much anymore since the kids are all grown and have their own lives, but once in a while they do. One happened the other night with my son and his girlfriend. She was commenting on an article she had read about a Christian celebrity. The point he wanted to make was that we got so caught up in so many different things about worship and spirituality, people have a tendency to push the actual Word of God aside. People are more concerned about the style of music, which version of the Bible is used, and even their own feelings and opinions and trying to make God's Word say what they want to to, to match their agendas.

So many people read book after book by Christian authors. People soak up every word of some authors, while at the same time pushing the Bible aside.

Let me back up and say there are some amazing authors out there. Reading their books is not a bad thing, but when we use them to supplant God's Word, that is when they can become detrimental. However, not every author with the Christian label is, for lack of a better word, good. Some lead readers to believe things that go against God's Word. The only way we can protect act ourselves is by staying in the Word. Test what the author you're reading right now says against the Word of God. Is what they want you to believe questionable? Are they taking verses out of context and giving them a completely different meaning?

A couple years ago a friend gave me a book that she said I just had to read. I didn't get very far into it before I was questioning some of the doctrine. I wondered if I was alone in my beliefs because so many people were gaga over this author. I went to good old Amazon and read the one star reviews. I discovered I was not alone. One reviewer had taken

quotes from the book – many of the same ones I had struggled with – and refuted them with Scripture.

It was good to know I wasn't alone, is but I was also sad by the thousands of people the author had tricked into believing untruths.

We can learn a lot from other people's experiences and what they have to say, but you need to make sure their words match up with God's Words.

Don't believe everything you see, hear, or read, unless it comes straight from the Bible.



“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” - Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Monday, August 26, 2019

Monday Meditations - Captivating

Captivating


Captivating is defined as "to capture and hold our attention." Think about what captivates you. Movies we watch can certainly captivate and hold our attention. I read a lot and have friends who read a lot. We often share titles that sucked us in and wouldn't let us go. 

But what about God? Are we captivated by Him? Does He hold our attention? In a world where attention spans have a limit of about 30 seconds, there is not a whole lot that keeps us interested for any length of time. I as a person am not captivating, but I want my books to be. I want them to draw readers in and captivate them with the presence and holiness of God working in the lives of ordinary people.

If you are a believer and keep your eyes open to see the hand of God at work, you know it's an amazing thing that can capture and keep your attention. Even those who have ADD attention spans, every time you turn your head to look in a different direction, you can see God at work.

I have been captivated by God when a sunset caught my eye.

I have been captivated by God when a dying baby was miraculously healed.

I have been captivated by God when I saw Him at work in my children and their relationships with others.

I have been captivated by God in final conversations with loved ones who weren't afraid to leave this earth and go to their real home.

I could go on forever, but I think you get the point. Books, movies, conversations, anything that captures and holds our attention can all be good things, but make sure it's God that is most captivating in your life.