When Things Change

God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.        (Psalm 46:1-2)

     Things are changing. Remodeling a bathroom changes everything. Workers run throughout my house like ants. The contents of closets and cupboards are emptied, boxed up and stacked about the house. I have lost my routine, I have lost all calmness in my home. Dust and noise haunt my dreams.

     Sometimes God remodels our lives. Jobs, finances, relationships, homes, or churches can change or be altered. We feel emptied, we feel lost. The routines that brought us calm are disrupted.

     When the workers are done, my house will not be the same. I hope it will be better. God is steadfast and when changes occur in the world around me I will not be the same, I hope I will be better. IMG_1204

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Strengthen Me

So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.             (Psalm 41:10 NIV)

I led worship one Sunday and after the service a gentleman stopped me. He explained that surgery had been scheduled and he needed prayers. “I am worried I will not have the strength to face this, I mean people here look to me and my faith as an example and I don’t want to let them down, I don’t want to lose my faith.” His concern was not for physical strength, but for spiritual strength.

There are many times in our lives when know we need more strength. Five things we can do to feel God’s strength:

  1. Prayer. There is not substitute for time alone with God.
  2. Read Scripture. Especially read stories of God’s healing power: body, mind, soul and strength.
  3. Pray with friends. Praying with others has its own special power.
  4. Ask others to pray for you. Being the recipient of the prayer willIMG_1209 gives strength.
  5. Follow God’s advice to Gideon:Go in the strength you have.” (Judges 6:14) Be confident that God will give you just the strength you need for that time and place.

 

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Stumble and Fall

If you want to live well, make sure you understand all of this. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll learn this from the inside out. God’s paths get you where you want to go. Right-living people walk them easily; Wrong-living people are always tripping and stumbling. (Hosea 14:9 Message Bible)

Stumble means to lose your balance–to fall, and that can hurt, even lead to injury. Learning to live a life that is physically, mentally, emotionally and spritiually fulfilling and rewarding means learning to keep your life in balance.

Many times in my life I thought I could handle it all; work, family obligaitons , church, writing deadlines, bookkeeping, continuing ed classes, home responsibilities, the todo list. I thought I was handling it all. I was wrong, but I took too many shortcuts with my health and well-being. I was exhausted and did not know how to make changes.

I tried to keep up appearances. I was the guy from the Ed Sullivan show who kept all the plates spinning on tall poles, except my plates were falling and crashing to the floor. I felt like I was falling and crashing. That is when God grabbed me by the collar and said, “Sit down, we need to talk.” That is when I canceled everything, no meetings, no classes, no appointments, no deadlines.

My story is of how God taught me to have more balance in my life. Future posts will share my insights and strategies into how I was able to find better balance, beginning with a solid base–quiet time with God. Feeling God’s presence, listening to God’s guidance and experiencing a new sense of hope and joy.

I invite you to go to the page with prayer, and begin by asking God for his help.

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Psalm 18-Who is God

 Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name. (Matthew 6:9 NIV)

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he began with praise and honor for our Heavenly Father. To begin prayer with praise of who God is reminds us of whom we are talking to.

This morning I read from the Psalms and was delighted to fine this passage, filled with words of praise. What  beautiful reminders of who God is to us.

“I love you, LORD, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:1-2 NIV)

You Lord are:

Strength-you are the source of power and perseverance                                                         Rock- you are unmoving                                                                                                            Fortress- you are my protector                                                                                                Deliverer- you are my redeemer                                                                                                  Refuge- you are my safe place                                                                                                        Shield- you cover me                                                                                                                           Horn of my salvation-you are my Savior                                                                                                                           Stronghold- you are unwavering therefore I can trust in you

Praise God for this wonderful reminder-that brings gladness to our hearts.

 

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Psalm 103: A Psalm for Balance

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mimd and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30 NIV)

     Christ reminds us that we are to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically connected as the person God created and called us to be. Psalm 103:1-5  gives us another example. This scripture also  addresses all four areas of balance. Each area of balance has been noted in brackets.

  1. “Praise the Lord, O my soul; [Spiritually]

All my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2. Praise the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all his benefits—[Mentally]

  1. Who forgives all your sins

And heals all your diseases, [Physically]

  1. Who redeems your life from the pit

And crowns you with love and compassion, [Emotionally]

  1. Who satisfies your desires

With good things

So that your youth is

Renewed like the eagle’s.”

My next post will define each area and how it relates back to God.

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God’s Design: Created for Balance

As long as the earth endures seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. Genesis 8:22 NIV

God created us and the world in balance. Seeking that balance provides for optimal living. Scripture has many convicting truths regarding God’s intention for balance in the world.

The Creation Story reminds us that the earth was created from the beginning in balance: night and day, earth and sky, sun and moon, male and female. Genesis 1-2

When the flood waters receded in Noah’s day, God promised a return to equilibrium in the days and seasons as in the above  Genesis quote.

The writer of Ecclesiastes teaches us that life has a natural rhythm and balance. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

The most convincing for me is when Jesus explains that we are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 NIV

We are to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically the person God created us to be. We are given one body, one mind, and one spirit and only one. Doesn’t it therefore, make sense that we should value and care for ourselves? And when we do, wouldn’t the logical result be that we are able to better care for those we love and to accomplish more of what God has called us to do? Therefore, if we are really going to learn how to find the balance that God designed for our lives, doesn’t it stand to reason that spending time with the creator, time in his presence,  best way to learn how to bring about that balance. IMG_0972

Quiet time with God is the first positive step toward a more joyful and hopeful life, a life in balance. Stay with me as we discover together God’s design for a balanced lifestyle.

 

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The Beginning and a Conversation with God

                            But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed. (Job 4:5 NIV)

     No one sets out to create a life that falls out of balance. It happens slowly. Disease. The word itself helps to define the problem. “Dis” is the prefix and means “not,” followed by the syllable “ease.” Perhaps it begins with a crises or many little problems that add up.

I did not feel ease. I had experienced too much in too short of time.  I continued to keep up my responsibilites as book keeper for our family business and working as a part time pastor at a small rural church.  I took seminary classes.  I read books on creativity. I tried new things. I wrote a family cookbook. I began my new role as empty nester.

Physically,  emotionally and spritiually depleted I began looking for answers. I saw physicians, looking for medical reasons and tried medications. Most importantly, though, I  sat down each night, opened my Bible and prayer journal and began a serious conversation with God. The result was a book on seeking balance. Now I am sharing devotions that others can use to help find balance.

 

 

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A New Thing

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isa 43:19

Beginning a devotional website is a new thing for me. The blogging world is a desert to me, and I fear a wasteland, but I pray that the Lord will lead me and something new will spring up.

 

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