Tag Archives: focus

Before My Feet Hit the Floor

Father, today has been a full day. We didn’t go out a do a lot of stuff, we just stayed at home, kept the fire going in the stove, watched the snow come down. I worked on things for church; Karen crocheted – no pressure, no hurrying about – just a full day of each other and You were in the midst of it all. Thank You for the gift.

Matthew 6:16-18 (<<click green)

You speak of fasting here. Lord, but you also speak in regards to the condition of our hearts. Traditionally fasting is denying ourselves food so as to focus on You. We don’t eat but instead spend time in prayer, and I would dare say it’s a time, not to throw out our wish list, but to listen to what You would say to us.

And what You are saying here is that when we do things that are meant to draw us closer to You that we should not do things that draw attention to ourselves.

In texting my sister-in-law a few days ago, she shared with me a passage from the latter part of Isaiah 66:2 – and this is You speaking.

“But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

Lord, I think that fits here pretty well.

When I step behind the pulpit each Sunday morning – for that matter when I climb out of bed every morning – where is my heart? What is my goal? To draw attention to myself? Or to draw attention to You?

Hm….in this “all about me” world, that can be a challenge. To put You first – to put others before myself that takes some concentration. I know it is impossible on my own.

I fall at Your feet, Lord, enable me to seek You out before my feet even hit the floor. May I find You. May I be filled with You. May my life point to You. Amen.

Jan 24th, 2018, Wed, 11:03 pm

Focus

Good evening, Father! Thank you for such a wonderful day with Karen! You enabled us to get away for some much needed time together. The day together was truly a blessing. Thank You, especially for her, I could ask for no better companion for this life’s journey. Bless her, Father!

1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (<<click here)

Lord, a serious question I must ask of myself this morning is: What do people think of You from watching me? Am I a good or a poor reflection of You? Do You shake Your head at my antics?

In this morning’s passage, Paul points out several things that will help me to better focus my reflection of You in my life. First, I am called to act as a child. Now my study Bible* points out that this doesn’t mean I am to be “immature or untrained. Rather…like children” I am to be “honest, straightforward, and without guile” in presenting the Good News through my life. Lord, help me to live a life of transparency  –  that people never have to guess what I am up to but know that what they see is who I am. And may You continue to buff and sand off all the rough edges in me so I will become more and more like You.

Secondly, Lord, help me to be diligent – giving my best effort throughout my daily walk with You. Be it at work or home or church, may I always be “devout and honest and faultless toward” others. I am like everyone else – I get weary, I get apathetic. But Lord, again, help me to keep my focus in the right place – on You! You deserve my all, not half or three-quarters. You deserve my best! If I strive to please You in all I do, others will be taken care of, too!

Lastly, then, if I live as I should, I will be able to encourage others to do the same. We will all then be able to live our lives in ways worthy of You! Amen – so be it!

July 12th,  2015, Sun, 6:20 am

*New Living Translation Application Study Bible

Stop the Nibbling!

Father, there are not enough words to express how grateful I am for Your love. And as I have said many, many times, Your love is longsuffering. The word longsuffering says so much more than patient in my heart and mind. You have suffered long but You are ever faithful, every loving. Thank You for never giving up on me, for always believing in me.

Matthew 5:4-6 (<<click the green)

I tell you, it is just as easy for me as an adult as it was as a kid…to spoil my appetite with things I probably shouldn’t have before I eat a good solid meal. I get the munchies and snack on a little of this and a little of that and then it’s time to meet Karen for lunch. It’s not good for me, but I still do it.

Lord, You proclaim in verse 6,

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, [righteousness] for they will be satisfied.”

That’s from the New Living Translation. Now from the Amplified Bible,

“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.” (emphasis mine)

My nibbling doesn’t satisfy my hunger – neither does filling my life with tidbits from the world satisfy my “hunger and thirst for righteousness”. Honestly, it only brings me trouble.

Lord, I think we all have that hunger and thirst. Before we know You, we try satisfying those desires with all kinds of things. But everything lacks the ability to completely satisfy our appetites. Even after we enter into a relationship with You, we still have cravings for the things of which we used to partake. Even though we know they aren’t good for us, even though we know they will leave us empty and spiritually malnourished.

It brings to mind a portion of Hebrews 12:1,

“…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

In writing, my mind keyed on the word weight in this passage. What happens when we eat too much of the things we shouldn’t? We put on weight, right? Sin does the same thing, it weighs us down.

So, Lord, as You have been speaking to me over the last several days, help me to continue to cut out the nibbling…and I’m not talking food. Enable me to keep my focus on You.

Paul gives a good conclusion,

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

Amen to that!

Oct 10th, Tues, 7:58 pm

Truly Worthy

Morning has come, Father, and You have so graciously awoken me. You know how important our time together is and I am eager to do so no matter how much my bed may call out to me. Bless our time together, Father. Amen.

Revelation 4:6-11 (<<click the green)

Lord, there is much symbolism here. Just reading it is overwhelming and I can only imagine how the Apostle John felt. Just trying to visualize the “four living beings” in my in mind sends it reeling. But reading my study Bible* notes enables me to focus.

The entirety of Revelation points to You, Lord – who You are, what You have done and are doing and what You will do. You are the creator of everything that is – regardless of what we try to say. You are the sovereign Lord of it all and if we acknowledge it now or not there will come a day when we all will do so for there will be no room for denial.

These “four living beings”? They symbolize Your attributes – Your qualities and character. They lead us in worshipping You by proclaiming Your holiness. The lion symbolizes majesty and power, the ox symbolizes faithfulness, the human symbolizes intelligence, and the eagle sovereignty.

They and the “twenty-four elders” show us “where, why, and how to praise God.” We stop focusing on ourselves and focus on You – our perspectives are lifted from the “earthly to the heavenly.”

May these words guide me to praise You as well,

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
    the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” vs8

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.” vs11

Amen.

Aug 14th, Mon, 6:26 am

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Plate Spinners

Father, it was wonderful having Massey home for almost a month! We cherished our time together. But as those times often do, schedules get scrambled. We were up later than usual which usually means we got up later than usual. Thank You, Father, for great moments together and for answered prayers for a safe journey home. As we all step back into normal routines help me to be driven to sitting down and spending time with You, each and every day. Amen.

1 Peter 3:10-12 (<<click here)

Using a quote from Psalm 34 Peter drives home the point of avoiding evil and seeking out peace. As my study Bible* alludes to, finding and maintaining peace is not an easy task. Peace is elusive and even when we do find it, even in the best of circumstances it is a delicate balance to maintain.

The idea of maintaining peace brings to mind entertainers who spin plates on poles. Each plate must be kept spinning or it will fall to the floor and break. One is not such a big deal once you get the hang of it but four? six? a dozen? The Guinness World record is 108! I can’t even imagine!

But how many times is keeping the peace the same challenge? Keeping everybody happy, not rocking the boat, not saying the wrong thing, doing all the right things, not doing the wrong things – it’s maddening! But as Christians, it is part of what we are to do.

Lord, this day may I be the best “plate spinner” possible. May I focus on people today, may I love them as You do. It quite often is a balancing act but may I be a man of peace in a world of craziness. And may I do so with Your wisdom, love, and strength. Amen.

*Live Application Study Bible, New Living Translation

Jan 13th, Fri, 7:09 am