Tag Archives: patience

Consistent Practice

In the quiet of this morning hour, Father, may I hear You speak to me. May Your words resonate with my soul and may they be branded upon my heart to carry with me for the rest of my life.

Titus 2:1-2 (<<click here)

Lord, I may be leaning a bit more into the “older men” category of which Paul speaks but these are all traits that everyone should be emulating, “self-control…worthy of respect…live wisely…sound faith…filled with love and patience.” v2

As my study Bible* alludes to this “whole teaching” leads us to combine “correct knowledge and understanding with consistent practice.” Your Word, Lord, should be our source of “correct knowledge” and time spent with You in contemplating Your Word will bring “understanding.” Consistently practicing doing these things will greatly impact us and the world around us.

Why are we so reluctant to invest energy and effort into reading our Bibles and talking with You, Lord? I realize that some things in life cannot be avoided – work, family, home, etc. but all of us have a certain amount of time to do with as we wish. And we fill that time with all kinds of things – some more honorable than others. If we want a relationship to grow, we invest in it. If we want our relationship with You to grow it is no different. When we do so the results are innumerable! Our lives are changed for the better – they’re literally impacted eternally! AND we impact others! Paul’s list of characteristics for “older men” are things that can bear a wonderfully positive influence on others both in this life and in our lives beyond this time on earth!

Lord, continue to draw me to Your side – more and more may it become a passion of mine!

Jan 23rd, Sat, 7:18 am

*New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible

Swept Under the Rug

Father, I am so sorry that I allow little things to build up to the point that I am spiritually off balance and fall. I know You are there for me. Early on I listen closely and swat down even the slightest thought that would lure me from You. Then over time my swat time lags, they I don’t swat at all – my indiscretions are small and seemingly insignificant…but over time they multiply and begin to pile up. Why I don’t just stop and call for Your help to sweep them all out, I don’t know. That would make sense. I continue to sweep my random thoughts under the rug. But over time there are more and more of them and some are bigger than others. I try to ignore them but that rug starts to get lumpy – so much so that I stumble on occasion – I don’t fall mind You, I just stumble. And I continue on in my self-imposed “ignorance.” Again, why don’t I just stop and ask for Your help? It’s not difficult. I know You want me to. But I convince myself that I can handle it. I’m good. I’ve got it under control…but I don’t. And You watch as more and more gets thrown under the rug, calling for me to allow You to help me but I’m distracted – focused on all kinds of things and not the matters that really matter. And then it happens, it’s just too much, I stumble…I try to keep my balance but I fall. Maybe I don’t fall as hard as I have in the past but I still fall – flat on my face. And why? It makes no sense! It is all my fault… I have no one else to blame…

But You are still there. You have not forsaken me. You have not given up on me. I yield once again (for the gazillionth time?) to Your loving hand. You reach down and help me up. I consent to pulling back the rug and am swept clear once more.

Thank You, Lord, for Your patience. Thank You for Your unfathomable love. Where would I be without Your mercy. I fall into Your mighty arms. I pray that You will help me. I am stronger than I once was but I willingly acknowledge that I am utterly incapable of anything close to success on my own. I am dependent upon You. Help me to respond to Your guidance. Help me to yield to You. Help me to sweep things out of my life and not under the rug.

It’s not easy writing these things down, knowing someone else is going to read them. But I know that we all have things that we sweep under our own rugs – things we battle against but sometimes they pile up. Maybe its gossip, or laziness, or food or sex or backbiting or selfishness or self-loathing… the list goes on but Christ is there – more than willing and more than able to help us. All we must do is to call out and He is there. He is for me… and he is for you, too.

Nov 12th, Fri, 5:00 am

I Have Issues!

Father, as this day begins, I want to consciously hand it over to You. You have truly – miraculously – changed many things in me for the better. But we both know that You are not finished with me. Father, please help me be the person You want me to be. My brain cannot process all the why’s in regards to my anger issues but Father, You and I know they need to be dealt with! I am incapable of dealing with them but, Father, You are not! Help me address them and help me to love others as You do. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:15-17 (<<click here)

Lord, it was difficult writing out today’s prayer. None of us like to announce, “I have issues!” But as Paul proclaims in v.15, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’- and I am the worst of them all.” And I like Paul, can say, “But God had mercy on me…” v.16a

I am, by no means, perfect. I truly strive to be obedient to Your call on my life as a follower of You, Lord. But it is no secret that I fail. I say things I shouldn’t say – hurtful things. I do things I shouldn’t do – my anger spews forth and I don’t stop it. I think things unbecoming a child of God – perverse things, hateful things. “But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.” v.16

“Great patience…” O, Lord, where would I be without Your “great patience.” Once again I join Paul in proclaiming “All honor and glory to God forever and ever!… Amen.” v.17

Without You I would surely be lost. Only because of You am I found. Yes, I most assuredly have a multitude of things to work on but, thanks be to God, I’m not on my own! Lord, You are with me, You love me more than I will ever truly comprehend on this side of eternity and You, the Creator of all that is, You want me to succeed! I will be victorious!…but only because of You. Amen!

August 25th, Tue, 5:57 am

Tough Love

Father, I need Your help this morning. Things in life are crowding into my mind. Help me to give them over to You. My rehashing over them is accomplishing nothing. This is our time. Lead me down the paths You would have me go.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (<<click here)

Lord, this verse truly shows Paul to be a proponent of tough love. In my mind’s eye I see him as a tough nut, not one to put up with much foolishness but also one who literally give you the robe of his back. He was a man of great love but also one who would not back down on the truth. Of course, he was just as human as I am but he truly strove to be like You in all he did.

Lord, help me, too, to be like You in all I do! This verse pulls out one small snippet of life but shows clearly how we must respond to life. Life is all about discerning situations, responding in love and patience, for myself and others to do the very best we can, even if there is some pushing involved.

Way too often we go the easiest route. We don’t warn the lazy – it’s easier to complain behind their back. It’s just too much work to change them. But if that is our response, nothing improves. Things don’t get done. We are frustrated. We think poorly of others and tear them down. Warnings with patience! Love is best.

Sometimes we respond the same way to those who are timid, though their lack of activity may be due to shyness or fear of doing something wrong. Again encouraging them with love and patience will move everyone farther down the desired path.

The path of least resistance may be easy, but unfortunately it doesn’t really get us anywhere. Tasks don’t get done with efficiency but more importantly we miss opportunities to love and lift each other up.

Lord, help me to invest in people with love and patience.

July 30th, Thurs, 7:46 am

Seeing Through Your Eyes

Father, this morning, as I think back over the past few months, I once again acknowledge that I owe everything I am to You. This time that we have together was at one point only something I longed for, then it became something with which I struggled. Only because of You was I able to overcome things that were holding me back, things that were constantly entangling me! Thank You, Father! Life is not perfect, I still have my struggles but it is different now. In Your strength alone am I victorious. Praise Your holy Name!

Colossians 4:3-4 (<<click here)

Lord, You would think that being Your follower for all these years, that being a minister for so long, that this would be a normal activity in my life – but it isn’t. There may be factors but for too long they were basically just excuses…

In these verses Paul asks that the Colossians pray that God will give he and those with him many opportunities to share God’s “mysterious” plan concerning Christ. His objective was to make sure that it was no longer a mystery for he wanted all to realize Christ’s Good News of salvation from sin. He then asks for prayer that he will proclaim this Good News as clearly as he should.

Lord Jesus, You have been working with me in this area. On this front I am still a newbie but You are patiently working with me. Please forgive my failings to take advantage of opportunities given – my hesitancy, as well. Please continue to bolster my confidence in You. In my own strength and wisdom I am doomed to failure! Only through Your strength and wisdom will success be found! I would ask that more and more I would see others as You see them. I know You are at work in my life. When my preconceived mindsets kick in I feel You pulling up on the reigns and You encourage me to stop, and think. Then help me to act as You would act.

Thank You for the opportunity and the courage to act this past week at work. I did not know the gentleman in our break room, I had seen him before but had not spoken to him. When he sat down and began to eat, I really didn’t think much about it, but as time passed I believe You allowed me to see him through Your eyes. He said nothing but he communicated despair, heartache, loneliness. He did not weep but the way he touched his face and combed his fingers through his thinning hair spoke to me; seeing what You saw almost brought me to tears! And then You clearly spoke to me and boy did I struggle! You said, “Speak to him.” My mind raced! There are other peoples in here – what would they think, what am I supposed to say?! ‘Hey, you look like you’re in despair. Want to talk?” I tried to fend it off but You pushed on.  I packed up my things and put them away and before I left, I say across from him and introduced myself. He was a men’s clothing rep who was in the store regularly. I shared my appreciation for reps and all they do and that was it. I broke the ice – I had made contact. It scared me to death but Lord, You helped me! Afterwards, I sincerely prayed that I would see him again, soon, and that You will use me to touch him. Lord, help me to “proclaim [Your] message as clearly as I should” with him and others You bring my way.

Thanks You Lord for Your loving patience!

July 3, Fri 5:27 am

This video does a great job of communicating this mindset!