The Sinner in Me

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Who Am I?

I have been writing for over a year now, but today I find myself in deep examination of who I am.  God has placed me between two verses of scripture.  I have had a glimpse into the darkness and ugliness inside of me, and I fear I am a hypocrite.  I study His Word and share His Love in my life, yet I hid from others.  I lie about who I am, I lie to those close to me by pretending I am someone I am not.

I Am a Sinner

Yes, I am a sinner and have always known that but when God placed this verse he fully reminded me of my sinfulness before I had to face my sins.

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Funny, I shared this verse out of social media because it touched me and had lots of responses and reactions to it which now is just a reminder to me of our sinful nature and how haunting it is just as God opened my eyes and exposed my own.  I am thankful and grateful for his love in opening my eyes, but I so struggle with the Why?  Why? am I hiding my sins knowing the pain it could cause.  How did I let this happen?

A Simple Prayer

I pray that God will some how bless these words from a sinner.  I don’t usually stop and pray in my writing, but I feel strongly that I need to stop and pray now.

Father, give me the wisdom and strength to shine light on my sinful nature, my lies, and the pain I have caused.  Bless these words that from within healing will come and that the truth will cleanse and make whole that which is broken through your grace and love.  Amen

Saying this prayer brings the verse that God brought to me today:

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I cling to this verse now as a goal for my life.  I am headed toward this cleansing by publicly and personally committing to cleaning myself of my flesh and moving toward more holiness.  A path I should have already taken in my life.  I will walk to this scripture knowing that God promises in Romans 8:28, “We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him.  They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose,”  I cling to these words that I am a child of God and long for Christ in my heart.

Ethics

Oh the irony of sitting in a class on Ethics and reading this quote today by George Santayana, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  A stabbing reminder of my ethical sins.  As I become overwhelmed and humbled by my unworthiness, I can only fall before the throne and beg for forgiveness for my reckless sins and the hurt these have caused.  I am hiding behind God instead of him living within me.  The irony continues to drip in this class as I examine my own ethics. How have I been fraudulent to those around me?  The words are painful but necessary.  I see a sinner and liar in the mirror today but tomorrow I want to see Christ.  The only way to see Christ is to seek the truth.  As I close I want to share something I really learned in this class today and that is not to just apply the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12, “Treat others as you want them to treat you.”  but maybe just maybe we should treat others the way they need to be treated in that moment.  I need to stop and see how my sins affect others around me.  Then maybe then I can truly call myself a Christian and feel like one.  Sin is hard to bear.

Closing:  (Prayer)  My Father, may you place the words of truth on my lips and guide me to share my sin of not choosing to follow you but my flesh.  Cleanse me and bring Your Glory.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen

Challenge:  When the devil and the angel sit on your shoulders, listen to the angel – Listen to God.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11.

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This verse has always been one of my favorite verses and now I am leaning on these words from God more than ever as a new season of my life is beginning.  I look back over so many years of my life, so many good times, and I know that this will just be another great chapter.  As always a new season brings apprehension and uncertainty.  As I sit at this juncture and look back at the past chapters and how God has worked then I know that he will walk with me once again through this time.  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105.

Walking back through God’s plan for my life 

 

I guess my adult story begins with meeting my husband.  God placed a great man in my life.  As I continue to walk through life with him, I pray that I am the mate that he always wanted because I am more than thankful and blessed to have him.  Our story began in May of 1989.   “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.  When we reflect on this time in our life now, we wonder how we made it.  Sometimes being young makes you more resilient.  Although we struggled as a young couple, we endured and entered that next phase of our life in November of 1991 when our first daughter came into our lives, and again in November of 1994 with the birth of our second daughter.

 

Babies

November 1991 and 1994 our family grew and changed me so that I was no longer just a wife but a mother.  God blessed us with two beautiful daughters who to this day we are so proud of.  They are now strong independent woman.  “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 2:6.  Learning to be parents as a young married couple is both challenging and rewarding.  We learned many years later the reward was they left our home while we were still young enough to enjoy life and each other.  Life continued to change as they grew up, entered school, played sports, danced, etc.  While they were still young, I took the steps to receive my Masters in Library and Information Studies.  Leaving the classroom for the school library was a big step but one that has made my career a special place.  I have loved my job.

Next Phase for Everyone

Sometimes their busy lives consumed ours and as they entered high school, my husband and I realized we needed to find each other again.  No regrets on our children and our time with them, but we needed to reconnect.  This became easier as they were older and heading toward high school graduation.  During this time we added Harley to our lives, a new puppy.  Our daughters had lived on a farm with dogs and horses, but never experienced a puppy.  We all fell in love fast!

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Each transition in losing a child from the home was bittersweet, but we reveled in watching them soar on God’s wings.  “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.  High school graduation came for them both and off to college they went.  Both in different directions to different types of schools.

 

We began enjoying the life as empty nesters and learning to enjoy each other again.  This chapter of our lives was watching our daughters grow into adults and soar while reconnecting with each other and enjoying life to the fullest!  College graduations came and went.

 

 

Our oldest daughter married and entered graduate school while working full time.  Our youngest entered graduate school working full time and Mom and Dad are just not as needed in their lives anymore.

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Next Step

Now, here I stand again at a major life change and a new chapter to write.  But as I wrote these few memories and dug out these pictures, I was able to revisit so many memories from horses to motorcycles, Myrtle Beach to the Caribbean trips, and all those special memories from Christmas to soccer tournaments and golf state qualifications.  We have had so much fun.  Then the memories of my career.  Remember above I spoke of entering the school library and becoming a school librarian.  This career is deeply planted in my soul.   I love the kids, literacy, research, and the learning that happens in a school library, but it is time for me to write another chapter of my life.  I am ready to  hand over these reigns and enjoy day to day life with my husband.

I am planning retirement….

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Yes, I am excited about the future, but torn with the deep love of my job.  I didn’t know it would be this hard to let go, so I lean on my verse again.  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11.   I know that God has plans for my future and has already written these chapters.  I trust in him as I walk this new path.  I trust in him as I venture into the unknown.  I trust in him to show me his glory and that I might have opportunities on this new adventure to share his love and grace with others.

Closing Verse:

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Challenge:  God knows the plans he has for you.  Walk in his Word.

Searching For a New Heart

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Recently, I started looking back at some of my post and find this random 4 part series on the heart back in 2013.  I was not writing regularly back then so decided to repost this series over the next few weeks with some edits.  (First posted on March 13, 2013)

Open My Eyes to My Heart

kablam_glossy_heartSometimes I sit in awe of the Lord and how he leads us and draws us near to him.  Recently I have been praying and asking God to help me let go of some things which were causing me to become a person I did not want to be.    It is funny sometimes how something you have always known just really comes to light and you have to accept it for what it is.  I guess the finality of acceptance is something we as humans try to avoid.  I know that I have in many areas of my life.  As God recently opened my eyes to this ugly person I did not want to be, he sent me searching through scripture and everywhere I turned he introduced me to my heart.  Not this heart that I can be proud of but the real heart inside of me.  I will get to that.  I feel lead to share where God is leading me on this in-depth discovery of the heart.  I long for the new heart the scriptures speak of but to have that heart I must understand the heart as a whole.

Good vs Evil

The heart can be root of both Good and Evil, but more often the heart will lead us down the easiest road and usually that is not where we truly want to go.  As I read various scriptures, I decided to turn to Strong’s Commentary for some guidance and here I found a plethora of verses that speak of what is seeded in the heart.  I was lead to all this because I was not right and I quietly and silently began really listening to God.  He began to show me so many things about myself as I read the scripture.  Everything kept leading toward the heart and that caught my attention.  Specifically I began a 6 day devotional study on Love & Marriage I found and guess what Day 1 was on – you guess it – the Heart.  This first devotion is the initial cause of my digging.  I felt God calling me to the scriptures for more.  One of the verses shared in the study on day 1 was Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” I felt completely and utterly a failure because following my heart without God would always lead to wickedness because the heart is wicked.  Who can know our heart?  The simple answer is only God and he knows all our wickedness.  So begins this journey to know my heart.

Following Scripture

I have been visiting verses lately that speak of what is rooted in the heart.  These verses can sometimes seem good but if you really look at what can come from the heart you see the wickedness.  The first verse from Jesus in Matthew 5: 28 “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  So our sin before it is revealed has already been committed in our heart.  But what of lust as I noticed a verse was listed that spoke specifically to this word found in Romans 1:24 “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.”  So God pulled away and their hearts took over which lead back to Matthew 5:28.  What of our desires?  Romans 10:1 says “…my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”  At first read, this sounds good but looking deeper I see that we have to have control of what our heart desires.  Left alone we become the heart in Matthew 5 and Romans 1.  As I sit speechless and pray that the Lord will help me find my new heart with him.  I am almost afraid to continue on but the draw is powerful to read more.  What more words did Jesus have to say about the heart?

Mark 11:23 reads in the words of Jesus, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”  This verse sounds so awesome, but to have this faith.  It is so easy to say yes Lord I have this much faith when really my heart doubts.  Jesus says in John 14:1 ” Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”  I must not let trouble and doubt fill my heart just the Lord so my faith can overcome the wickedness my heart desires.  These words are similar to those from Isaiah 35: 4 “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with a vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”  With such words from our Lord why do I let me heart be my guide?

Time to meditate on these words from scripture.  Putting this puzzle together is encouraging but also brings me to my knees in need of prayer.  Before seeking more it is time for prayer.  Time to start seeking my new heart.

Closing Verse: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Challenge:  My prayer is that God will be my guide and work in my heart. May he also be yours.

 

 

Security Blankets

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What Is My Security Blanket?

Harley and I flew again this week and as I did my usual preparations for the flight, I watched Harley crawl into the safety of her crate with her blanket.  “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:4.  Something about watching her at the airport and on the plane in the safety of her “special place” sent me to thinking about my own security blankets. Security blankets can be a great thing to have, but sometimes I feel I can’t let go of my blankets.  I am going to bet we all have some.  You know those things or “that thing” you just can’t let go of in life.  You think it is your safety net and what you need to keep your life complete.  But then you sit around and dream all those big dreams, so at moments like this I ask myself why am I not living some of those dreams.  Why don’t I trust that if God is putting the dream in my heart that maybe he just might open the doors and pave the path for those dreams.  Why am I holding on so tight to my security blankets?  Obviously, I am longing to feel secure but finding that security in the wrong places, when the only place I need to look is in His Word and to His Son.  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8.

What Should Be My Security Blanket?

I know that my humanness has me holding on so tight to what I know, to what is easy, yet my heart is willing to dream and walk with God.  “My humanness” makes things messy while God makes them simple.  The only real security blanket I need has already been provided to me.  ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.  God gave me His Son.  He sacrificed him to protect me from myself.  He promises he has me secure, so that I can let go of my security blankets and dream, and live, and service him even more.  “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45.

Closing Verse:  “But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7.

Challenge:  Let go of your security blankets and serve the Lord.

 

 

 

Count Your Blessings

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I haven’t spent as much time in the car listening to the radio this summer and since I have been working this past week once again my drive includes listening to KLove.  I have these moments when listening to music sometimes and it goes like this, What is the name of this song?  Who sings this song?  I really love the message of this song!  I need to Shazam this song?  So today I am sharing a new song for me and the impact while driving to work as I thought about the meaning.
Count Your Blessing
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I was blind, now I’m seeing in color
I was dead, now I’m living forever
I had failed, but you were my redeemer
I’ve been blessed beyond all measure

Blessed

If there is one thing I have fully determined this summer, it is that I am blessed.  God has given me the time to disconnect from the world and focus on Him and what he has given me.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  James 1:17.  I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters who are hard working and independent.  I have been blessed with a loving husband who has loved me now over 30 years with all my faults and failures.  I have been blessed with a career that touches children and (I pray) I have changed some of their lives.  God is Good, but this summer He asked me to really look and appreciate the beauty he created and blessed me with.  Although, I understand the words I was blind and now I see in color as being saved, the past month showed me that color in 3D.  I really see the colors now, Lord.  I see what is important.  I am living and want to continue to live both here and forever with you.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” 1 Peter 5:6.

Treasure

I was lost, now I’m found by the father
I’ve been changed from a ruin to treasure
I’ve been given a hope and a future
I’ve been blessed beyond all measure
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Letting go and trusting when I cannot see
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Surely every season you are good to me
Oh, you are good to me
Oh, you are good to me
God is showing me the treasures he has stored up for me.  “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” Luke 12:33.  I want to focus more on trying to live out this verse.  Sell, share, and live with less in order to experience God more.  He is allowing me to taste heaven here on earth, and I am thirsty for more.  I want to experience more of his beauty and grace.  I want to not just count my blessing but enjoy my blessings.  I want to enjoy a future that is full of both my Father in heaven and my remaining days here on earth.   Luke 12:34 states it best, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Strength

You were there in the valley of shadows
You were there in the depth of my sorrows
You’re my strength, my hope for tomorrow
I’ve been blessed beyond all measure
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Letting go and trusting when I cannot see
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Surely every season you are good to me
Oh, you are good to me
Oh, you are good to me
I have walked through valleys and across mountain tops and I know that my life will be filled with both.  Yet, I have hope in God’s strength, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13.  As I walk through the life God is giving me and count the many blessings, I know that I continue to need his strength to make the decisions and walk his path.  I know that the only strength I can rely on is that which the Lord provides.  Driving and listening to this song, I feel my Lord’s strength which I will need and promised to me in  1 Chronicles 16:11, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
Surely your goodness pursues me
Surely your heart is still for me
I will remember your mercies all my days
Through every storm and gale
Closing Verse: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.
Challenge:  Take the time today to stop and count your blessings and lean on the Lord’s strength for your life.

 

Songwriters: Gareth Gilkeson / Chris Llewellyn / Bridget Herron / Ali Gilkeson / Will Herron / Steve Mitchell / Patrick Thompson
Counting Every Blessing lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

 

“50”

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Happy Birthday

50 Birthdays

Today is a weird day not because it is my birthday but because it is my 50th birthday.  Wow, I can remember as a child thinking “50” was really old, but it really does not feel that old now that I have arrived.  Actually, I might like it!  My daughter told me just yesterday that i don’t look “50” and how happy she is that her dad and I are seeking our dreams earlier in life rather than later.

So with a cold beer, I sit on the back of our new home on my 50th birthday seeking my dream.  I pause to stare down the seagull that has dropped by to challenge me for my sandwich.  He is a daily visitor to the pole behind our boat.  Although, he is pesky, I stop and look up close at him and he is a reminder me of all the delicate workings in God’s creation.  All the simple things I long to see.  “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?’ Matthew 6:26.

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God’s Creation

In the evenings we watch the osprey drive into the water for dinner.  Just a few days ago one sat fishing off the boat next to us without a care in the world.  He watched us but was not alarmed by us.  Watching his majestic body work and move is just an awesome site and another piece of this world I long to have the time to just sit and watch like I did that day.  The feeling of being awe struck  as our eyes met each other.  God’s handiwork is exquisite.  “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

 

I have seen dolphins, manatees, tarpon, and rays from this seat.  Now, I am ready for a bigger adventure and a deeper discovery of God’s world.  Yes, I am turning “50” and it makes me a little queasy because my body is getting older and I feel it, but reaching this birthday was a marker for me of what is to come – what God has planned.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.

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Closing Verse:  “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Challenge:  Seek God Now!

Next week, I will share an entry from from a new blog.  A sneak peak at the adventure my husband and I are seeking together.  You will find that post here so stay tuned.

Time…Part 2

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Wasting Time

As I write this I am in one of those situations where I stop and think this thought:  (I am losing four hours of my life that I can not get back!). As I endure the slow passage of time, I write and ponder how much time I waste in my life.  “Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”, Ephesians 5:16-17.  Sometimes I am responsible for my own loss of time.  My bad choices lead to wasting time when better use of my time was in order.  Then again, sometimes I am just stuck in a situation out of my control where my time gets wasted!  Both are frustrating, and I call to God to show me how to manage and control time better in my life.  Yet, no matter what I lean including scriptures like Romans 8:28, ” And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

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Social Media (Connect to Part 1)

A few weeks ago I posted another blog on time where social media was a focus.  Since that post the conversations I have had about social media and wasting time have been quite eye opening for both myself and others.  I have found myself wasting time multiple times this way.  This piece really hit home for many people.  One discussion was about how social media effects our children and their time and learning.  Something to ponder.  “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” 2Timothy #:16.   What I can say is that I have become much more conscientious of my time and social media use.  I actually believe I am finding some more time in my life!  Here is my reminder put the phone down and live life a little more.

Time for Good

One definite change I learned from my first post is that God needed more time from my life, so I made some changes.  I am getting up earlier sometimes going to bed later, while reorganizing and restructuring my time.  Although, I still have to think specifically about my new routines until they become more habitual, yet I know I am headed in the right direction.  My time is turning more to good and God.  I must be conscientious and specific with my time, and planning some social media fasting in my future.  How About You?  “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16.

Closing Verse:  “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” Colossians 3:23.

Challenge:  How much time do you waste in a day?  How much time do you lose from your life?

#WatchGod

This past week my prayers have changed to ask the Lord to help this person through some struggles that have come into his/her life.  Although, the weekend brought fun times and family the struggle for the family was still there.  I know that he/she is leaning on the Lord and my prayers are that his arms are felt.  I pray for more smiles in the week to come.  I have finished up my 30 days but this person will find a permanent spot in my prayer life.  May God Bless!

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#ITSPERSONAL

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Personal

My family is a family of educators.  Our history is full of educators, but I will not bore you with all the extended details.  “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Colossians 3:20.  I do want to share my direct line:

My Grandmother (Father’s Mother):  Swanee

My Father:  Alfred

Me:  Allie

My Daughter:  Hannah

We are a lineage of public educators and I can remember some of my parent’s struggles growing up, but I know there was nothing else my father should have been doing except loving students.  He  was a middle school physical education teacher, a coach, and an administrator at all levels.  People to this day continue to tell stories about his love for his job, other educators, and students.  I followed his footsteps as a high school English teacher and finally as a middle school school library media coordinator.  I found my passion!  I love this age!

Now, as I near the end of my career, I pass the passion torch to my daughter who chose a harder yet fulfilling path.  She loves her students deeply as she walks each day through the doors of a low performing school with low income students.  She loves and cares for sometimes their physical needs, sometimes their mental needs.  She celebrates their successes often and cries with them when they struggle.  So yes, Public Education is personal.

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#RedForEd

Last week the country watched a unified effort as North Carolina educators stood up for their students.  I am sad to see how others view educators.  I know the evening news shows the bad most of the time in education, but the majority of educators come to work and love their “kids”.

I have seen teachers:

  • Buy clothes and sew clothes for students
  • Buy formal wear
  • Buy food
  • Provide snacks, breakfast, and lunch money
  • Get students medical services
  • Tutor on their own time after school or at the public library
  • Buy school supplies not just for their classroom but individual students.
  • Be parent stand-ins
  • Travel to watch and support student’s passions

These are just a few of the things I know teachers have done for their students. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.  Honestly, schools nor educators are financially able to meet the needs of some of our students.  I firmly believe the majority of educators want better for their students and classroom before themselves, but even educators deserve better.  Yet, why don’t we want better for students and their teachers.  ”

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11.

I pray our “elected leaders” in both parties are doing more than listening because as our family motto goes, “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”.  Act for our students and the educators who love them.”

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,”  Proverbs 1:5.

My Favorite Teacher

Jesus was our great teacher.  “This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”” John 3:2.  His example is one I see in so many teachers.  Think about your favorite teacher, I know that when I compare mine to Christ, I see clearly God’s work.  When I think of some of the great teachers who touched my life, I remember characteristics such as service, discipline, loving, passionate, and caring.  All of these are characteristics of Jesus Christ, My Savior and Great Teacher.  Yes, I believe teachers are the some of the strongest people I know.

Closing Verse:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”  Matthew 28:19.

Challenge: Volunteer in your local school.  They really need you in the coming weeks.  Go and see God’s work.  There is nothing better than touching a child’s life.

#WatchGod

God continues to show his grace.  God continues to bless.  God continues to allow this person to shine.  My prayers continue for God to bless and show his love in this person’s life.

Time…

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Importance of Time

“We all start out in life with one thing in common; We all have the same amount of time. It’s just a matter of what we do with it.”  This quote by Harvey Mackay has me thinking some about the importance of time and how I use my time.  Each day, week , and month, I find myself often wondering where time went, so I decided to analyze my time for one typical day.  Many of these items overlap but it is still eye-opening.  “Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”  Ephesians 5:16.

 

 

What I do? How much Time I spend?
Quiet Time with God 25 mins
Me Time 15 mins
Family (including screen time) 4 hrs 20 mins
Work without Screen Time 3 hrs and 45 mins
Work with Screen Time 12 hrs and 20 mins
Social Media 2 hrs and 10 mins
Exercise 50 mins

*All times are rounded off and generalized.

What do I see?  I work too much and spend too much time in front of a screen whether work or personal.  What I say is important just does not look that important in my life.  An obvious adjustment would be to disconnect from devices.  So my question to anyone reading this is how important is time and how should our time be distributed.  Take some time to analyze your day.

Social Media

Although, I can honestly say that I am not an overly active social media user.  I do spend time scrolling, some might call it “trolling”, social media.  Most of my online activity is on Twitter and blogging.  Otherwise I am just scrolling and viewing others.  Now that I type this it seems sad because it really is a waste of my time to scroll social media apps.  Could I do without it?  My immediate answer is yes!  “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”  James 4:14.

Taking the time to analyze how I use my time really makes me realize how using social media and/or other various apps can become an addiction.  I started thinking about my time after finding this video on Facebook of all places.  Yet, It has caused me to think about my time and what my mind and life could be without so much influence and addition.

 

This video causes me to wonder whether screen time is an idol in our society.  At what point does using social media and other apps move from productive to addictive and fall into idol status. “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.” Jonah 2:8.

What Does the Bible Say About Time?

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.       
I need to use my time living life not watching it pass by…
Closing Verse:  “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalms 90:12
Challenge:  I definitely want to challenge you to take on the challenge of becoming social media free for a determined amount of time.  I am definitely accepting the challenge from the video in June!
#WatchGod:  This week my prayers continue to provide a work environment where things are booming.  Viewing social media, how ironic!, I see this person is spending more time with friends and nature.  I pray this is a calling from God and he is speaking more deeply in his/her life.

Celebration in Heaven

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Saying Good Bye

Over the past week or so, I have watched the country say good-bye to a man who believed in the walk to Heaven.  He has preached to Louis Zamperini and was known as the Pastor to the Presidents, as he prayed and advised many.  He has loved so many people and so many have been touched by his passing.  Even as he made his last trip from Montreat, NC to Charlotte, NC, the roads were lined with so many people who needed to say goodbye.  I struggled to watch news report about him because for some reason losing him has brought forth in me so much emotion.  I did not know him or his family, but he was just a person who seems to easily connect with people – thousands and thousands of people.  This past Sunday night, I watch the short documentary and just cried, but I know that living or dead, Billy Graham belongs to God.  “For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”  Romans 14:8.  It feels like the world has lost something good. Someone who found the good when there seems to be so much hate.  Rev. Billy Graham personally touched me at a trying time in my young life with his words, and for that I am thankful.

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Zola

In November of 1987, I said another goodbye that caused more pain than I had felt in my 19 years of life.  My grandmother, Zola Williams White, passed away.  She was such a role model for me, and I saw and knew her love for Christ.  What she and I failed to do was talk about death and her not being in my life one day. What would that be like?  I was a Sophomore in College, I needed to know where she was or if she was.  Seems strange to tell this story now, but back then without a laptop, smart phone, etc to do simple research, I began a journey to find some answers. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Hebrews 11:6

(my grandmother)

Heaven

This journey began by finding Christian bookstores and visiting each looking for answers about Heaven.  I looked at so much material.  I read many, but we all  know that there is not really an answer to be found.  I have to stand in my faith just as she had done for some many years.  I know looking back she was not afraid, but where I found my comfort was in a book written by Rev. Billy Graham.  Facing Death and the Life After was published in 1987 released just about the time of her death.  I feel like it was written for me, and reading this book began a turning point for me to walk in faith after being so angry with God about losing her. I realized that Heaven is a place that Christ promised us while on Earth.  “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?”  John 14:2.  I long to be there.

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Goodbye is not Forever

So watching the funeral and events leading up the funeral have been painful knowing that a great man of God is not among us anymore, but how happy heaven must be to have Billy Graham home.  One day I pray that I meet Billy Graham in heaven standing along side my grandmother who I know is loving both Christ and Billy today.  How do I know?  God’s Word Tells Me -“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  Psalm 119″105.

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Closing Verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Challenge:  Christ is challenging us to follow him and walk by faith.