When will l learn?

“Do it now, don’t delay,

Don’t put it for another day.IMG_7886

Go ahead begin it, right this very minute,

You better DO IT NOW!!”

For you wonderfully blessed people who grew up with Patch the Pirate singing words of wisdom in the background, you will recognize that little ditty.  So much truth!!  Are you a procrastinator? Some of the best advice I ever received was this:

If it takes less than two minutes to do, do it now!

BECAUSE, if you do then…

  • You don’t have to use up precious brain power to remember to do it later
  • It’s done!
  • You won’t have to suffer the possible consequences of putting it off until later.

As you can see by the photo, my procrastination involved my bird feeders. I know a lot of bird feeders (people :)) stop feeding the little fellas once spring is here. Once the flowers appear and the snow is gone, there’s food for them to eat.  But spring is also the time when a lot of migrating birds pass through.  It’s the season when I have the most variety of birds, so I choose to bring my feeders in at night; and for the past few weeks, I’ve been telling myself to do just that!  Facebook even reminded me by showing the same scenario two years ago almost to the date!  Even last night’s conversation was a reminder:

“Do you really have a lot of bears in this area?” asked Ivy.

“Oh, yes.  I don’t always see them, but I see the results of their prowling!”

Now, I’m out a feeder. What is the cost of your procrastination? You can get a finch feeder for under $10, and believe me, I get the cheapest one I can find! But what if my procrastination is of a more serious sort: I keep putting off building the habit of daily Bible reading. I keep meaning to build the habit of prayer, but there are so many demands on my time.  I would really like to be faithful to church, but… I know I shouldn’t use that language, but the kids drive me to it! I know I should discipline my children, but I’m so tired.

What does it cost us when procrastination invades our spiritual walk? God is eternal and we are as well, but there will be a day when this life is over. DONE! Then, as I stand before my Lord and Savior, all my lame excuses will crumble into meaningless dust.

Is procrastination keeping you from becoming the wife, mother, sister, daughter, child of God that you long to be? What can you do about it? One thing…

Once again, writing this post has been a blessing to my heart!  When I searched for the phrase “one thing,” seventeen verses came up.  Some were unrelated, but look at the following sweet nuggets:

And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. Joshua 23:14

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Mark 10:21

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13,14

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2Peter 3:8

There’s so many blessing in these verses, but we’re trying to focus on fixing our procrastination problem.  Philippians 3:13,14 are the verses that I go to for help. Choose that one area, habit, character trait that you really need to fix.  One thing!  Make it a priority! Do it NOW! Ask for the Lord’s help.  Now, beware: if your problem is impatience, He may send you a “patience-building” exercise which may seem like the opposite of what you think you need! But remember, God is the Master builder.Believe me, I am struggling myself with some of God’s learning building-blocks, but, once again, I fall back on His Word which reminds me that His way is perfect.  Psalm 18:30

And then, be encouraged by the other verses: Joshua reminds us that God keeps everyIMG_7887 one of his promises. David tells us that his “one thing” was to be in God’s house (a worthy goal!); Jesus puts his finger right on the pulse of the rich young ruler and said, “Your ‘one thing’ which stands in the way of truly worshipping me, is your money.” Paul urges us to press on, and Peter gives us an eternal perspective!

Look at your schedule. How did you spend your time? Did “filthy lucre” come in the way of worship? Did self precede family? Did perfection trump precious moments with a child?  Consider the cost of procrastination!

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Proverbs 31:28

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Diet or Life Style?

You know the scenario: you step gingerly on the scales, hoping for a good reading, only to have your hopes dashed to pieces.  Not only did you not lose any weight, you’ve gained!  So, you decide you are really going to get serious THIS time, and you go on a diet.

My life has been a trail of diets:  those times when I count the calories, cut the portion sizes, etc.  I’ve never been one for fad diets – I learned early on that they are just temporary fixes.

Usually a diet is brought on by the above situation or perhaps an upcoming event: a wedding, a reunion, Christmas.  Then we diet, somewhat meet the goal, and then go back to living the way we always did; and before we know it – the pounds are back again.  The same old cycle is replayed over and over again, just with different circumstances and different clothing sizes!

I think I finally get what they are talking about when they say, “Life style, not diet.”  It frightened me a bit.  What!  No more cookies or pizza?  No way! I LOVE to cook.  I didn’t want to change; however, as my body changes, I realize that it’s time for a life style change.  For me, that meant jump starting it with a diet.  If I don’t keep the calories under 1200, I will not lose weight.  (Don’t worry, Mom, I’m keeping it balanced nutritionally!)  So for several weeks I just kept counting and weighing and counting and weighing with little success!  Talk about disappointment! But this time I was determined to stick with it.  Praise the Lord for my husband and kids who kept encouraging me, and I didn’t even have to pay them!  And now it’s happening: I’m not as hungry, in fact the hunger pains are encouraging, AND the pounds are coming off!  Wow!  I’m ready for the plateau that I know will come when the pounds will not come off, but with the help of my family and friends, and most importantly by precious God and Savior and Friend I WILL keep at it!

Do you see the parallel?  Do you have similar roller coaster rides in your walk with God?  Do you have seasons of “dieting” when you purpose to spend more time reading your Bible, praying, getting involved at church?  For a time, you see results, but soon you’re back at the world again and life seems to be falling apart.  You don’t even want to get near the “scales” which happens to be the godly people in your life – you know you’re life isn’t “weighing in” well!

Is it time for a life style change?  The only way we will ever be serious about our walk with God is to have a passion for Him, His Word and His people.  That has to come from within.  I’m determined to lose the weight.  Why?  I’m not really sure, something kicked in to gear and I’m ready for the change.  That is all physical talk; however a godly life style change is a spiritual matter, and praise God we have His Spirit within us, as born-again Christians, to encourage us like no family or friend can!

Are there benefits to my new eating life style?  Absolutely!  You know them:  the clothes fit better, I feel better, I look better.

And the benefits of a new spiritual life style?  They are too numerous to name!  Peace with God, harmony in the home, vision and focus for God’s will in my life; better understanding of Who God is and what His Word says; Joy unspeakable; a better witness which will lead to a passion for souls which will lead to opportunities to share your faith which will lead to the thrill of all thrills: planting, watering and leading a soul to Jesus; Oh, and the best blessing of all:  when I stand before my Savior, He will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  It doesn’t get any better than that!

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  Phil 4:13

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” 1Pe 1:8

Leave it Alone!

My grandson is ten months old.  He can crawl to any destination he desires.  One of his favorite spots is the dog’s dish.  His parents wisely moved some things out of his reach – choose your battles – but the dog dish remains in place to teach him one simple word: no.

When he touches the dog’s dish, Daddy or Mommy says no.  He understands their meaning, but sometimes CHOOSES to touch the dog’s dish anyway.  That’s when his cute little patty gets a little smack.  It does hurt him; there are no bruises – the only thing that is bruised is his sin nature.

So what happens as he nears the dog’s dish the next time?  He stops.  His little hand reaches out and then he pulls it back.  He reaches again, wavering – you can almost see the thought processes!  “I want to touch that dish, but I know Mommy and Daddy don’t like it, and the action will cause me pain.”  Does he understand why they don’t like it?  No.  Does he understand germs?  No.  He only understands that his little patty hurts and his parents do not want him to touch it!

Why are the things that God has placed in the “do not” category entice us so?  Why are we drawn to those things that God has labeled “sin”?  Why do we wrestle so much with deciding what is sin and what is not?  Let’s blame Eve! 🙂 Do you see her hand hovering over the forbidden fruit as she makes her choice?  God and Adam have said ‘no’.  Satan, disguised as her favorite pet, says ‘yes’.  We read about her choice and suffer the consequences.

Dear Christian, are you wrestling with sin?  Has Satan tempted you into doubting God?  I just read an article written by a gay man who attended BJU.  It broke my heart.  He experienced all the dark sides of that institution and others; and many gray areas were tainted because of his mindset.  If only we could see where our sin will take us – it is NEVER closer to God!  Sin will always cost more than you want to pay and take you further than you want to go.  (Thank you Rand Hummel!)  Keep your hands out of the dog’s dish!

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7: 24,25

The Power of Consistency

          Ah, is there anything more delicious than a spoonful of rich, creamy, smooth-as-silk chocolate pudding?  Well, perhaps it’s a chunk of velvety  melt-in-you-mouth chocolate fudge.  Rich, creamy, smooth, velvety – these are all adjectives describing the consistency of pudding or fudge, and the consistency can make or break our enjoyment of the treat.  This truth was brought home to me last month when I tried to make fudge for our son who is away at college. I goofed the recipe, and although it tasted delicious, the grainy consistency spoiled the effect.

          What can consistency do for you? Where are you consistent, and where is your inconsistency spoiling your effect on others – mainly, your family?  Consistency – always behaving or happening in a similar way – brings results.  I consistently water my plants and they grow.  I consistently “water” my soul with God’s Word and I grow. I consistently brush my teeth and my teeth stay healthy.  I consistently refresh my spirit every time the doors of the church are open, and I stay healthy spiritually.  It’s the law!

          Unfortunately, the adverse is also true: I don’t water my plants, they wilt.  I don’t read my Bible consistently: I wither.  I don’t brush: my teeth rot; I am inconsistent in church attendance, and my life gets clogged with all the fruit of the unholy spirit!  AND, my example sends a different message to my children than the one I am speaking.

          Oh, the power of consistency!  God spoke of Abraham’s consistency: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD,” (Gen. 18:19) He knew he could count on Abraham to teach his children and his household to “keep the way of the LORD.”  The question is: can God count on me…or you?

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15: 58

          As I watch my Bible Club students recite this verse with motions every week, I wonder, will they get it?  Will they remain consistent and steadfast – ALWAYS abounding?  Or will they forget and go their own way, ruining their lives with wrong choices and inconsistencies; and, will they find themselves living with the consequences of inconsistency?   It’s not hard to understand.  Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said it best: “Do right though the stars fall!”