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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Do-over Days

I woke up this morning thinking about how nice it would be if we had 'do-over' days. If rough days, like yesterday for my daughter Lauren, could be relived with the knowledge we have now, we would certainly make different choices! For her, it would have probably been to skip that soccer practice...But we don't get do-over days. However we live today, whatever we do, goes straight into the record books.  

Live your life today with the leading of God's Spirit. He knows what today holds. Live it right the first time, because we don't have a second chance at some things. 

IF you mess up, and we will some days, learn from it and move forward. If you sin, repent. If you break a bone at a practice that hardly anyone else even showed up for, you'll heal with the knowledge that you were doing your best and you were faithful. Keep going. 

We don't get do-over days, but hey, that's what 'new days' are for. Start today with yesterday's knowledge and go forward. Better days are ahead for you if you just keep going. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Simplify - What a Complicated Word!

Nothing is ever easy it seems, and we are all too busy. Clearly, most of us need to simplify our lives...  But, simplify - what a complicated word!

Summer is always a busy time and if you are like me, you want to take in every day to the fullest.  As a church, I enjoy our going into the community to serve, church picnics, cookouts and Sunday Services. Personally, I love the warm temps, the fresh garden foods, soccer games, family time, and vacations.  I even enjoy the time I spend at home on my riding lawn mower.  Yet, I don't love being so busy that it seems I'm always behind on something, or more accurately, everything.

One thing I love most about winter, and those things are relatively few, is that things slow down in the winter.  Even then though, if we aren't careful, we'll be too busy even then.

We, honestly, try to squeeze too much into too little time.  We over commit, we're over worked, we're overly entertained and we allow our lives to be overly complicated. I believe it is a sign of the times we live in, but I also believe its a trick of the enemy to keep us focused on 'the now', rather than on eternity. If we aren't careful, we'll focus on what's pressing at the expense of what's precious. We need to stop for a moment and see what it is that is has brought us to such busy complicated lives.

I left my phone at home today. It wasn't intentional, but I didn't have time to go back and get it so I've done without it.  Guess what? I have had a much more productive day and life hasn't felt quite so complicated.

Modern conveniences like the smart phone, lap top computer, tablet, or even the microwave, may make things faster but they often serve to only make us busier. A smart phone, for instance, can be used as a communication device, a calendar, a camera, an MP3 player, a GPS, a game station and so much more.  Why then does it make us busier?  Because the shortcut it offers, gives us a few more minutes of free time so we try to pack more and more into those extra minutes.  Instead of a helping us to be more efficient, it often becomes a time trap.

Am I saying that these things are evil? Of course not.  The gadgets really aren't the problem.  The problem comes when we allow our priorities to become clouded.

If we want to simplify our lives, and many of us would benefit from that, then how can we do it? Must we get rid of the phones, computers, and other modern conveniences?  No. If we want to simplify, we just have to choose to intentionally de-clutter our lives. That may look like watching less T.V., listening to less radio, putting the phone away, or any number of things, but really it's about priorities.

Focus on the important things, and put aside some of the less important things, and you'll probably find your life will be more enjoyable and less complicated.  Sounds easy doesn't it?  But even when we  know how to simplify, it's still very complicated.