Time’s a Tickin’!!!

ae04055c25c4cb08f6cf25e9b157fff2I have two weeks fall break in front of me. So I’ve been thinking about how I need to use this extra time. I’ve been praying that God would give me discernment about how to use this time wisely and at the end of it, He would be pleased and I wouldn’t have regrets.

As I thought about projects I’ve wanted to get done for some time now, I realized my list is much longer than will fit into a mere two weeks. It didn’t take long before I began feeling overwhelmed.

While pondering all this, I asked my son, Nathan, What would I need to change to keep a clean, organized house? He quickly responded. Seemingly without even thinking he said,

First of all, you would have to quit doing as much for other people. Then, you would have to kick Abigail and me out of the house.

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Nathan, Abigail, and me enjoying some frozen yogurt! May 2016

After I finished laughing and really began reflecting on that answer, I realized there was some  truth in it.  Although Nathan and Abigail definitely carry their weight around here, there wouldn’t be as much laundry or grocery shopping if they weren’t here.  BUT, I’ll take it any day considering the alternative! I love my family and friends.

Suddenly, I was just fine with some mess scattered around, dust on the furniture, and a pile of dirty laundry.  In light of eternity, none of that matters….at all!

I’m not implying that a clean house is a bad thing.  I am sincerely happy for those who have a system that keeps everything neat and orderly.  I’m sure it can be done while effectively ministering to others. I just haven’t figured it out yet. I know I need to make some changes.  Please share your tips with me!

We all make decisions everyday about how we spend our time and we all have the same amount of time.  The hard truth is, we find time to do what we want to do. It’s wise to be conscious of the brevity of time.  We don’t have an unlimited amount.

In Psalm 39:4, David said,

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LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as a handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity (like a vapor). Selah

I like what The Message says in Ephesians 5:11-16.

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see.  Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.  Wake up from your sleep.  Climb out of your coffins. Christ will show you the  light!  So watch your step.  Use your head.  Make the most of every chance you get.  These are desperate times!  Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly.  Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

I hope your day is blessed as you walk with the Master redeeming the time.

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

 

 

 

How Desperate are You?

IMG_20160107_223429Yesterday I asked God for a few very specific things.  Things that I knew were His desires too. Things I knew He could do and eventually would do.  What I wasn’t expecting was for Him to do it so quickly!  Within hours I saw Him do just as I had requested.

Afterwards I stood amazed… and then ashamed that I was so surprised.  So as I pondered this miracle, I thought, “Why would He not do this?” If it is something God also wants, doesn’t He want me to ask for Him to intervene? And the better question is, “Why is He not doing more of this in my life?” I quickly realized it is because I’m not asking Him and seeking His will enough.

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Sunday, I was sobered when the preacher asked, “How desperate are you for God?” Hmmm. Well, I can say this past year I’ve been more desperate by far than I ever have  been in my life. I’ve been desperate for God’s guidance. Desperate for His comfort. Desperate to see and feel His presence in my life. Desperate to know He is right here with me….. and it has been a good thing.

There have been more times that I can count where I could barely communicate my need for Him. Like Peter, when he began to sink, all I could say was, “Lord, save me!” or “Help!” In my sorrow, my prayers have often been boiled down to, “I need you God. I can’t make it without You. I HAVE to have You, now!” But I’m still not where I could be or should be spiritually.

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In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus spoke a parable about a widow who persistently came before the judge asking him to intervene in her life. The judge admitted that he didn’t fear God or really care about the lady, but he helped her because she wouldn’t give up coming to him. She wore him down.

Jesus said if an ungodly judge would intervene, won’t God do the same or better for His children whom He loves? Absolutely!

The preacher made some valid points about what it takes to be close to God.  If we want Him in our lives,

  • Our pride has to go!

We have to want God’s way more than our own way. We have to be willing to let God be the pilot.  Having God as a co-pilot won’t work. He must be in the driver’s seat.

  •  The Word of God (the Bible) must be central in our lives.

We won’t see God working, if we don’t know Him or how He operates. The preacher said,

“If we stay ignorant to His teachings, we will be oblivious to His actions!”

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  • We must be praying often

Praying is more than talking to God.  It is listening to Him. It is slowing down long enough to be quiet before Him. It is listening for that still small voice when the cares of the world are continually screaming loudly.

  • We have to get our priorities right.

What is coming between God and me and my time with Him? If our relationship with God is of utmost importance, our time with Him should reflect that. We must set aside time to commune with Him.

  • We can’t presume that we can live any way we want to and experience God’s blessings.

I feel like this is something our country as a whole doesn’t understand. It doesn’t work to say, “God bless America!” when, as a nation and often individually, we are repeatedly and habitually violating so many of the laws found in His Word. God not only calls sinners to repentance (a sorrow and a turning away from sin), but He also calls Christ-followers to repentance. Sin separates us from God. It creates barriers  between us and God and stifles our relationship with Him and others.

So basically, we have as much of God as we want in our lives. He is there capable, willing, and ready to be all we need Him to be for us. But we have a responsibility as to how often and to what degree He is welcomed to be involved in our lives. He is a gentleman. He won’t force Himself upon us.  Let’s welcome Him in today.

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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P.S.  I like birds!