I am looking forward to the weekend. It’s been a busy work week and I need to unwind. Just as I started thinking about where I want to go for my pedicure, I remembered I am supposed to be preparing for a marathon!!! Marathons require planning on the part of the participant. You have to first sign up to enter the race then find the right training action plan for you. I’ve only been in one 5k race and I think I did ok. I would have done a lot better had I prepared and trained a little more for it. Do you know how to spiritually prepare for a marathon? This Christian journey is a race. It’s not a quick jog or sprint to the heavenly gates once you accept Christ. This joyful journey is a marathon of ups and downs, certainty and uncertainty, questions and answers. We must train our minds for this marathon with the spiritual preparation of daily devotion, fasting, believing prayer and increase our mileage for long haul faith. We have to build up our endurance to stay in the race. I’m learning the more I prepare and train for the marathon, the more willing I am to keep on running the race. My next race is a 5 Day Prayer Marathon from January 28-February 3rd. I’m preparing now to finish strong.
Prayer: Lord help us stay in the race. Give us strength to go another mile.
I want to be the kind of person that seeks first instead of trying to reap first. Seeking God first is a choice. When I’m trying to seek after material things I tend to neglect my responsibility to seek God. I must remind myself daily and say today I will choose God first over everything.
I don’t want to be so “thing centered” that I forget all about being God -centered.
Prayer: Lord help me seek you with all my heart because You have all that I need. Amen
Zero balance are two words that I love to hear when it comes to my credit card account. It’s a great feeling to know I have some freedom, I owe nothing and my account is in good standing. Zero balance is not necessarily what I want to hear when it comes to my prayer life’s bank account. No prayer, no power is what my former pastor used to say. It’s hard to experience any spiritual growth without making deposits and balancing things out daily. Some days you may feel you have lots of time and other days you don’t have as much, so we all have to make choices in our balancing acts. I am here to let you know, you can do it. You can keep an active lifestyle and maintain a healthy balance in prayer and devotion to God. Take five minutes today and make a deposit.
Thought: Today I choose to meditate and pray. I will be like a rock and just sit still.
Ecclesiastes 4:6 Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
Listening is a special art form. Good listeners are hard to come by these days. The world is noisy and it seems everybody has something to say as more and more people live out loud on social media. I have found people who don't listen never get what they want. The best relationships I've had are the ones where I listened and learned. They are often the ones where I chose wisdom over foolishness.
Here are a few scriptures to help remind me of the choices I make. I also use them to stay in tune and sharpen my listening skills.
Proverbs 12:15 (NASB) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
Psalm 81:11-14 But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices. Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! I would quickly subdue their enemies And turn My hand against their adversaries.
Proverbs 1:33 But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.
Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
Be encouraged and listen up because God is speaking. What's your favorite scripture on listening?
Have you ever felt angry or upset with God? Have you ever felt like God didn’t understand what you were going through? You pick up the phone and call a friend, then you proceed to tell them all about it. You forget to even check your knee mail because you’re so upset and overwhelmed. You don’t realize you have tons of messages waiting. Everybody can tell something’s wrong. Your joy has been cooked rare and your peace is medium rare. You really want a well done life. Life can be rough, turns can take twist and things can get a little crazy but God fully understands our feelings, frustrations and He knows exactly what we are going through. As we are quick to talk to others about our feelings or frustrations, it’s important to remind ourselves to talk to God about everything. God speaks your language and understands your emotions so why not talk to Him? God hears. God listens. Only God can say well done good and faithful servant. Trust Him today and do not doubt, then you’ll be able to say it is well with my soul.
Psalm 17:6 I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.
Sometime I have to just start over. I get off track, I lose focus and I don’t always stick to the goals I have planned. I have to constantly remind myself of the beginning whenever I’m trying to live healthy and eat healthy. I must focus on the genesis, that initial starting point. I start to remind myself of the commitment made, the desire to do better and take care of this temple God gave me. I remind myself of the promises of God. When we start to feel alone or stagnant we can always start over. God is with us and for us. I love how the Bible shows us that living on pitch is not a solo act. In reading Genesis, two words stood out in chapter 1 verse 26 then God said, “let us”. We need God, the Creator and Lord of all. He doesn’t need us. It starts with God and a “let us” mentality. Do you have a new beginnings prayer?
Here’s mine: Dear Lord I need You and I am totally relying on your help. I don’t want to do anything without you. Help us stay in tune and focused, let us start over, let us make the right choices to reach our goals and let us desire to please you. Amen.
I love flowers in the garden. I don’t have a physical garden in my home but I’ll admit sometimes I go to Home Depot just to walk through the garden section and see all the pretty colors blooming. I’ll see someone watering the plants and flowers to keep them alive and fresh. As I step in the garden I start to think, there’s hope for me if I just plant a seed. I may not have a green thumb but I have a garden of hope. You also can have a garden of hope. When we decide to plant seeds of hope, trust in God and water them regularly by reading God’s word we come alive. If we allow God to grow us up in faith, love, and truth we will see the beauty that surrounds us when we are in the garden.