The End is Near Part 3 (The S Word)

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

In 1 Peter 4:7 we read “the end of all things is near.” I blogged about how knowing the end is coming helps encourage me to finish well. You can find that post here. The phrase “the end of all things is near,” peaks my interest, I want to know more. However instead of telling us more, he tells us what to do in view of the end. He first says be clear minded which I blogged about in part two you can find it here….That one is difficult for me, but what is even more difficult is what he tells us to do next. 1 Peter 4:7 says, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled…”

Ugh!
Really?!
Self-controlled.

Don’t some people have it and others don’t? There are those who are neat and orderly and others who are not. I am part of the not group. My house is often a mess, a pig sty, a disaster. I am a pile-er. If I don’t know exactly what to do with it, but I can’t throw it away, I put it in a pile. I kick off my shoes and don’t put them away. I always thought I would do better in my own house, in my own space. What I have discovered is that I don’t have the gene that helps me stay neat and tidy. I would love it, I strive to be disciplined in that way, but I am not. However God never said being self-controlled was easy. In fact the last time I checked self-control was a fruit of the Spiritsee Galatians 5:22-23. Since self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, I can’t conjure it up on my own. Only God’s Spirit can produce that fruit in my life. So the bottom line is that self-control is a work of God’s power in my life. When we are motivated, we are often willing to discipline ourselves for our goal – be it running a marathon, having a clean house, losing weight. However, in order to achieve those goals, we become addicted to or chained to our goal. We run and ignore other important things. Our house must be spotless before we allow anyone in the door. Often our “discipline” is at the expense of other things in our lives. Self-control, on the other hand, is allowing God’s power in my life to work in such a way that all I do reflects His character. Does that mean I won’t ever mess up and sin? No, but it does mean that my life is under control from God’s divine power to show off His character in me. When I am self-controlled in the godly sense, I often find the piles are getting smaller and my attitude is much better. All because I can say no to my natural reactions, to my sinful me and say yes to God.

Oh Heavenly Father, forgive me for not being self-controlled. Help me to live in such a way that I am clear minded and self-controlled. Remind me that I am living in the end times. Help me to be an appropriate reflection of You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

What do you need to say, “no,” to so that you can say, “yes,” to God?

So Sorry…

October 21, 2010 § 3 Comments

Well, I have been neglecting my blog for the past week. It all started with an ear infection a week ago. Since then I have been battling some abdominal pain. We do not know why I have this pain, but we do know I don’t have an ovarian cyst or mass or anything like that. Now that I am no longer on narcotics, I thought I would let you all know I hadn’t forgotten you. I just wasn’t feeling well enough to blog. I hope I didn’t disappoint you all.

So I am sure you all are waiting with bated breath my next blog post… 😉

1,000 Gifts continued…

October 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Here is my continued list of things for which I am thankful…Let me also add I am continuing to pray for the Chilean mine rescue. They have got to be exhausted, but praise God that things are going so well. Please pray with me!

51. for older saints who help guide the way.
52. for different personalities they enrich my life and help me understand God better
53. for the crunch of fall leaves under my feet
54. for cool breezes (I may need a jacket soon)
55. for my children’s laughter
56. for compliments from my two year old, “You sweet mommy.”
57. when my kids implement what I have been modeling and speaking into their lives
58. for laughter
59. for Benedryl and how it helps fight allergic reactions
60. for my crazy type-A, but very cool under pressure personality (how did God do that?)
61. for my husband who balances me wonderfully well
62. for books
63. for God’s word my feast
64. for God’s intricate symphony that we call life. He is sovereign.
65. for God’s power and might. He is a force to be reckoned with.
66. for grace and mercy
67. for the fruits of the spirit, meaning it is the spirit that makes them grow in me and I don’t have to try to come up with the fruit myself.
68. for Pickle Ball (it is a fun sport to play with my family)
69. for a quiet house during nap time
70. for time to spend with only my dear husband
71. for time to spend with my girl friends
72. for fall decor. I just love it!
73. for pumpkin scented candles
74. that suffering has a purpose, to draw me closer to God and make me more like Him
75. that God is not finished with me yet.

Clear Minded…

October 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

The canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke &...

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You know how God has a way of using your words against you? My last post was on being clear minded…Well, I have been anything BUT clear minded lately. Let me give you an example…

Fall is the time I LOVE to burn candles. I don’t know why, but I do. So I lit several candles around my house this past weekend. In my haste to put them out, on two different occasions, I poured wax on myself and the surrounding area. UGH! The bottom line, if I had been thinking clearly, I never would have spilled wax every where. FYI, it was the cool burning wax so I managed to come away without third degree burns. Thank You God!

Why was I so distracted? Because I had not been spending my mornings with my Lord. Yes, I read my Bible every day this weekend, but not until the evening. All day long I ran on empty, attempting to fill my children, my husband, my friends with something I hadn’t filled up on myself. While on empty myself, everything distracted me; from my e-mail, to my wild children, to my messy house, to when my team was playing football next. I was unable to pray effectively and I was unable to get anything done. Seriously, my house remained a disaster. I cannot account for much of the time I spent in front of my computer yesterday because I didn’t get any work done. I was running in circles, on empty, completely distracted. UGH! Not the way, I want to spend my weekend.

Joshua 1:8 tells us to “..meditate on it [Book of the Law] day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything that is written in it…”

Day and night. Morning and evening. So I am dedicating myself to waking early every morning to spend time in God’s word. Not only that, but to spend time before I go to bed in His word as well. Who wants to join me? I will be including how I am doing on the morning/evening routine in each of my posts from here on out. Let’s pray each other through this challenge. So that we can be clear minded and so that as Joshua 1:8 concludes, “…then you will make your way prosperous and then you will find success.”

Father God, forgive us for ignoring Your Word and thus ignoring You. Help us to wake early each day to spend time with You. Help us to get to bed a bit early so we can spend time with You then as well. Keep us clear minded so we can pray and do what You have for us to do throughout the day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The End is Near Part 2

October 8, 2010 § 2 Comments

The canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke &...

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“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded…” 1 Peter 4:7

You can check out part one of this post here.

Since the end of all things is near – near in God’s sense of time, not ours – Peter gives us instructions. There first instruction is to be clear minded. Honestly that is one of the hardest things for me to be. Clear minded. He is not telling you to clear your  mind of all thought. Instead he is telling us to be sensible, use discretion, be sane. We are living in the end times. I see so much around me that distracts me. I can hardly remember to give my children allergy medicine in the morning without be distracted by dishes, lunches, my meal, etc. My mind is often not clear and the clutter keeps me from being sane and discerning. We are distracted by – things, people, ministry, etc. The bottom line is that there are lots of good things we can focus on and do, but if we are about the best things, the things God has for us to do, then we are no longer distracted. We are not clear minded.

Do you know why Peter tells us to be clear minded? He says at the end of 1 Peter 4:7, “…so that you can pray.”

We are so distracted that we cannot pray.

We are distracted by national politics, world politics, getting the next promotion, making sure our kids get the education they need, the lady who cut us off on the way to work, our boss who isn’t making wise choices, our money or lack of it, how clean or organized our houses are…Some of these things are good things to keep in mind. We are to manage some of these things, be knowledgeable about them, pray about them, but they can become all-consuming. Some of these things we need to just let go and move on. We have to find the things God has for us to be about. Otherwise we will be distracted and we will not be able to pray…

Father thank You that You are in control of the last times. Thank You that we can trust You to work out Your perfect will among the chaos of sin. Forgive us for being distracted by things that are not You. Help us to be clear minded in You. So that we can pray. In Jesus’ Name we pray Amen.

What are you distracted by? Let’s lay them down at Jesus’ feet, so we can pray.

1,000 Gifts Continued…

October 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

Here are some more things I am grateful for….

26. for my husband who encourages me
27. for the cooler fall weather
28. for the smell of smoke from burning leaves
29. for football (yes I am one of those girls)
30. that God does not leave us alone, but that He transforms us
31. for friends who are willing to let God use the hard things in their lives to bless othersI have the best husband ever!
32. for wind in my face as I ran this morning
33. for the sound of my feet hitting the pavement as I ran
34. for the little voice from the stroller I pushed as I ran asking me to get his finger
35. for a shower after the run
36. for my husband who is truly my best friend
37. for the opportunity to encourage others in their faith journey
38. for the beautiful flowers my husband brought home nearly two weeks ago that are still beautiful
39. that though I am broken, God uses me..He probably uses me because I am broken
40. for my parents who love God and passed that love to me
41. for my sisters and brother, I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for you all. I love you guys!
42. for college basketball (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!)
43. for my van with the month’s supply of cheerios crushed into the floor boards, the broken CD player, and the chipped paint above the windshield, it gets us around and it is paid for. (I finally vacuumed it out yesterday!)
44. for being debt free (except in the debt of love)
45. for God’s amazing sovereign hand in all the twists and turns in life.
46. for God’s faithfulness, He always keeps His word!
47. that God will avenge or stick up for me, I don’t have to do it myself. I just have to trust Him.
48. for the promise of heaven
49. for guidance and direction from God
50. for God’s calling that it stretches me and grows me.

What are you thankful for?

The End is Near Part 1

October 4, 2010 § 2 Comments

Woodcut for "Die Bibel in Bildern", ...

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“Almost there,” inwardly I cheer myself on as I near the end of my run. “This is the end, I can do it.”

Now don’t go thinking I run a marathon or anything. I have only recently began running again and towards the end of two miles I have to convince myself that I can make it to the end. As I am working out I love the cues that I am nearing the end. As long as I know it is just around the bend or near that next tree, then I know I can make it. When it comes to life, knowing that the end could be around the corner awakens me from the mind numbing monotony of day-to-day life. If I am not careful, I let dishes, laundry, bills, screaming kids, things that break get in the way of truly living life. Recently while reading 1 Peter, I was reminded that, “The end of all things is near.” 1 Peter 4:7

This is Peter’s wake-up call to us all.

His encouragement to end strong.

His call to arms.

Then he lays out instructions for what we are to do in view of the end. The end of all things. Now I realize this end was promised nearly 2,000 years ago. That doesn’t seem very “near” in our human understanding. The point is are you ready for the end? I want to be. I need to be. So I am going to hunker down in 1 Peter for a while. In the next four or so posts, we will look at what we are called to do in view of the end.

Oh Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not want us living in mind numbing monotony. Thank You that You have plans for us. Forgive us Lord, for living on auto-pilot not allowing You to change us. Help us Lord to live with the end in view. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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