Monday, May 13, 2013

An Alarm Sounds. Do you hear it?

All members of my family of 5 are sleeping soundly, until the alarm by the bedside of one of these family members sounds.  The alarm persists, unattended, the need for turning it off unmet and ever more persistent until someone from another bedroom wakes, rises, and treks through the darkness of a 2am house to turn it off.

As I (yes, it was the mother) made my way back to bed, I was struck as to how this little piece of my life relates to where I feel I am at spiritually.

When a call to serve the LORD is put out, are you the one to answer that call?

In this instance with the bedside alarm, there were a few different people involved:

1. The person who did not hear the alarm’s call and did not awake to answer that call.  That would be the youngest child, and the deepest sleeping one.  She totally slept through it all.

2. The person who the alarm was specifically for, but did not awake to the call (or did, and ignored it).  It may be beside the point that my son inadvertently set the alarm for the wee hours of the morning, but the fact remains that the alarm was for him and he did not rise to the occasion to turn it off.  He should have, but did not.

3. The person who was sleeping in the same room as the the person for whom the alarm was specifically for, and decided it was up to the alarm setter to answer the call.  Maybe he heard it, maybe he didn’t. But knowing this child, he would totally decide it was up to the alarm setter to turn off the alarm: ain’t no way he was going to turn it off when he could set his mind to ignore it.

4. The person who heard the alarm, tried to ignore it but couldn’t, and finally got up to turn the alarm off.  This was me, the mom.  I’m sure some of you can relate.  When something needs doing and is persistent and effecting me(sometimes I claim these things are yelling at me), it is actually painful to have it continue unaddressed.  Sometimes it is just easier to do it myself rather than ignore it further (because I just can’t) or to get someone else to do it.  And let’s face it, even I don’t always know the right person to ask or have the most effective method of persuasion in these matters!  I’m also not sure I want to persuade the wrong person to do the task: that’s the LORD’s business.

5. The person who never heard the alarm, but heard about it from person #4 and didn’t rise to turn it off because it wasn’t bothering them.  This would be my husband, who truly did not hear the alarm, even when I alerted him to it. He did not hear it, it did not effect him, so he did not respond to the call.

Whether we are discussing the bedside alarm of a child, or a call to serve the LORD in some way, which person are you?

Are you not answering the call because it is not for you and you don’t hear it?  Are you not answering because you are ignoring it, even though you know it is for you?  Do you assume the call is for someone else and not you, so you then find ways to ignore it?  Do you hear the call, know it is not for you, but can’t stand that the need to answer it is not being met, so you do it anyway? Or have you heard about the need, but ignore it because you truly cannot hear it and so it does not bother you?  Or perhaps you hear the alarm, realize it's for you, and happily respond accordingly.

This 2am experience left me wide awake and pondering where I am at and what I am doing in my life.  Am I in the center of the LORD’s will in all that I am doing?  Am I doing too much in some areas, and am I doing too little in other areas?  Are there areas in my life that I need to, rather than begrudgingly “answering the call” that is not truly for me, gently let others know the alarm is sounding (or simply let it sound and pray others hear it) so that they can be made aware of it and possibly rise to the occasion?

Where are you in your Christian walk? Which person are you? What do you feel Christ calling you to do in your life?  What do you feel Him calling you not to do?  Examine yourself and respond to the LORD’s calling in your life.  He will not let you down!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Who are we trying to please?

As we each walk through life, as followers of Christ we need to ask ourselves this question in all that we do: Who am I trying to please?

In Galatians 1, Paul is speaking to the churches of Galatia.  There had been others distorting the Gospel of Christ, leading the people astray.

Galatians 1:10 says,  "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

When we start trying to please people, whether ourselves, our friends,  our enemies, the world in general, we need to question whether we are pleasing God with our actions.  Are we stepping back a bit from a Scriptural stance on an issue in order to win someone over on our side?  Are we distorting the Gospel of Christ as those in Galatia were?

Our first thought in assessing any situation in our lives should be Is this pleasing to God? Would Jesus be doing this like I am thinking about doing it? Does this line up with what He says to do?  Does it line up with Scripture?

This principle can be applied to our personal lives, our church lives, our political viewpoints and more.

So ask yourself.....who are you trying to please?

Lord, help us to seek to please You first and foremost in all we do.

And when we stumble and mess up? Lord, please forgive us and help us to do better in representing You to others. In Your name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Goals for 2013

I've been giving this some thought and have come up with a few things I want to focus on this year.

Here's my personal list:

1. Read through the Bible.  I purchased The One Year Chronological Bible in the NLT translation in hopes that the new approach might help me get through better. 

2. Encourage Gratitude. I want to either(or both) keep a gratitude journal open on a table, or have a monthly sheet hanging on the wall for anyone to write in what they want to share that they are thankful for. I have a gratitude journal already, and am looking at A Holy Experience for a printout I can hang on the wall...

3. More Music. Particularly music based on Scripture.  Pandora has been really helpful since I don't have the resources to purchase music, and it exposes me to other music I might not otherwise discover.

4. Simplify Life. This would include checking out my surroundings and culling what is not necessary or used or even loved. It includes deciding to cut back on the mail I have control over coming into the house.  It also includes cleaning up my inboxes and getting rid of the junk that fills my inbox and mercilessly begs for my money and time. All those emails I keep and never read yet never delete that my husband makes fun of me for ("You have 149 unread messages?!? Bwahahahaha!"). Delete. Unsubscribe. Mark as Spam.

There are other goals I have for parenting/raising our kids and other facets of life, but I might share those another time...

What's on your list for 2013?