Hobbies and habits

What if I were to make my husband my hobby? I could love and pay attention to him when the hustle and bustle of life allowed me the time. Whenever I could find a hour or two I could squeeze him in to receive my undivided attention. As life’s pace picked up I’d put him on the back burner until things slow down a bit again. Oh but throughout my days I am sure I’ll be dreaming of a perfect life where my giving him my undivided attention, love and time, would pay the bills and put food on the table.

How long I wonder would I be married? How long would it take for my husband to feel like I would always be too busy for him? Even if he loved me with all his heart could he really stick around to be my favorite hobby?
What about my kids? How would they fare if I made them my hobby? Whenever time allowed I could give them my time and attention. Of course they would have to sit on that back burner when life got busy, but, just until it slowed down a bit then I could give them two or three hours a week. How long until child protective services would come to investigate?

Chances are if I were to make my husband and kids mere hobbies it wouldn’t be long before I find myself alone. Relationships that we really want to have in life, take time, effort, patience and sacrifice. They need nurtured and cared for.

There is comfort in a hobby. Some even call hobbies they’re coping mechanisms. A place we leave the outside world; outside, and we go to enjoy something we like to do. A time some find rest, relaxation, even happiness and joy. Then, when time is up, we then set it down and return to reality, to the outside world.


We may think about this hobby often. We may sneak in time for it, an hour or two when we shuffle around our busy schedule. We may even long for the time to enjoy this hobby more. Life, however, seems to become more and more busy and because our hobby, doesn’t seem to pay the bills or put food on the table, it is the thing that takes the back burner position.

We may sometimes find time for it, but for the most part, we just hold on to our dream of a life where our hobby would, in fact, pay the bills and put food on the table, so we could then really love and enjoy our lives.

Although God loves every minute we devote to Him in our lives, He doesn’t want to be our much loved hobby any more than our spouses and kids do. We shouldn’t forget, to imagine ourselves in that hobby role also, as we would not like being somebody’s favorite hobby either.

Matthew 22:37-38 NLT — Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

God won’t just be our hobby. He seeks intimacy a real tangible relationship with us. Whatever we wouldn’t do to our spouse or our kids we shouldn’t do to Him and whatever we would do for our kids and our spouse we should do for Him.

Relationship with Father God isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Just like when we first get married, we learn to live as a couple, and again when we have our first baby, we have to learn how to operate with each new edition into our lives. So it is when we accept Jesus as our Lord and personal Savior. We must learn how to operate in relationship with Him. Jesus isn’t a ghost who haunts the church we attend Sunday mornings. He is not left at church until our next Sunday or midweek visit.

Just like the comfort we seem to find from our hobbies, we can find comfort also in a habit. A feeling of safety, kind of like a routine, we know what to expect, no surprises, basically always the same. We really don’t have to put much effort into thinking, as our body kind of learns to go with the motion, on a subconscious like level. It’s almost memorized to the point if we try to change it we will feel; off, physically, mentally and emotionally.


As long as we keep the habit, we stay calm and un-stressed as it takes no brain work. Some habits we don’t even notice we are doing until someone points them out.

God won’t live in a habitual Box. Habitual behavior requires little to no faith as there isn’t any risk. Emotions die off to almost no feeling left at all, and there is no real change or chance of personal growth. Even if one gets the Blue Ribbon or gold medal, for being the best at maintaining good habits, spiritually there is stagnation.

When God becomes a habit we start unconsciously going through the motions, emotionlessly doing what we know we should. There is no real enthusiasm or feeling behind what we’re doing.

Has God become our beloved, favorite, hobby that we can’t wait to get back to whenever life’s not busy? Has God become our habit that we can almost do blindfolded and without really thinking?

God is not a hobby or a habit or a routine, God is a lifestyle.

Matthew 6:33 NLT — Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Father God spoke This perspective to my spirit,
He said “ Those things you think your husband should do for you, those things you believe prove or disprove his true feelings of love for you, are the very same things I crave from you.”

He told me, “those things like he should know your likes and dislikes, he should be able to tell when someone lies about your character and stand up for you, he should be able to finish you sentences, he should want to know your interest, what’s on your mind and in your heart. He should remember things you both talked about and make an effort to know when you need help.’
‘Oh, daughter, cant you see, who your describing, who your looking for, is…. Me. This is how I,… love.… you.”

Psalm 139:1-4 NLT — O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.

Psalm 56:8 NLT — You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

He then pointed out to me, that all the times I have cried and been upset, when I feel neglected by my husband, that He understands completely. He said He can empathize with how I feel when I’m feeling neglected by my husband, because of how it makes Him feel when His children are not spending time with Him.

He is asking for the kind of relationship and intimacy with us, that we give to those we care about here, in this life, He only asks, that we seek Him so we will find Him. Then we will find that He is not a distant far away God. He is right here, everyday, ready to communicate with, and love, every one of His children.

Hebrews 13:8 NLT — Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He walks with us and talks with us just as we read He did in His Word. We need only give Him His proper place in our lives and focus on hearing His voice. We should be so determined to hear from Him that we, like Jacob, will wrestle with Him all night for Him to acknowledge us.

If we aren’t anxiously watching, waiting for Jesus return, chances are, we still don’t understand who we are in Christ and where we’re heading. Lies of the enemy cloud all around us but, truth will set us free, truth only found when in an intimate relationship with our Creator God! This friend’s, is what we were created for!

Until next time, may God bless you and keep you, as you seek Him with your whole heart.

Giant Faith

1 Samuel 17:23-37 NLT — As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks. Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel. As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying taxes!” David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” And these men gave David the same reply. They said, “Yes, that is the reward for killing him.”

Instead of running away from what we say or think we cannot handle, we need to call upon His strength, wisdom, and resources.

When we run, we are doing the same as Saul and the entire Israelite army. We whine like them, helping each other justify our wallowing in self pity and confusion. We gossip and waste time, talking about our lack in abilities. We concentrate on and speak of, our weaknesses individually and as a whole, then, feeding on each other’s growing fear, we enlarge our enemy with in our minds.

We trap ourselves in the mountains of no way, no chance, no future, no help, no hope.

Then just like they did to young David, if someone comes along asking why we’re acting like this, we shut them down and try to put them in their place, trying to make them feel as small as we are acting.

But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” “What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a question!” He walked over to some others and asked them the same thing and received the same answer. Then David’s question was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him. “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the LORD be with you!”

Unwittingly, we block the faith we need to remove our giants. We don’t just block either,  No, we do our best Wto knock it down, stomp it into a pancake, pick it up, and whisk it away like a Frisbee. Who are you to tell me, we say, as we puff out our chest and tower over the help God sent to take away the giant we helped create.

Why do we choose to be defeated and keep company with others who choose defeat, while mocking and jealously making a joke out of those who choose not to ever give up. Those who choose faith over forfeit.

1 Samuel 17:40-49 NLT — He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine. Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!” As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.

Our giant may not be a Philistine giant named Goliath, maybe it’s the lack of patience, for an unruly child, who is always disrespectful and mean, or, it could be giving ourselves  over to self-pity, as the sting of life’s lemons, catch us off guard, seaping into our sores, from watching the lazy get handed what we work so hard for, on a silver platter.

It could be that the giant we face is called self-righteousness or pride. Maybe our lack of self control, when we cannot bring ourselves to submit to the authority of someone who knows so much less than we do, by a long shot.

Sometimes our giant is trying to defend ourselves from the lies of those who falsely testify against us.

No matter what name our giants may go by, when we try to battle them on our own, we come out defeated, tired, confused, and sore. Because of the hell we go through, and the battle scars we obtain, from going out to battle on our own, we often get angry when confronted with the Truth of God’s word and we reject it, run from it, twist it or turn it while at the same time, shoot with the intent to kill the messenger.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT — Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

We neglect to realize, God knows we are not capable of handling our own giants, much less anyone else’s, still we are called to battle both. We just weren’t called to battle them, with our own strength.

Exodus 14:14 NLT — The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Until next time, may God-bless you and keep you, as you seek him, with your whole heart.

Specks n Logs

Matthew 7:1-3 NLT — “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?


Where human eyes see greed in another, maybe Father God sees the precursors hopelessness and desperation that led to the greed we now judge. 
Where were we in the hopelessness? Where were we in the desperation? Did we take the time to notice to hear the cry for help? Were we too busy with our own troubles? Maybe so, yet now we justify standing in judgment of the greed we couldn’t be bothered to help prevent? 
Where is our justification?


We too walked in greed, as we concentrated on ourselves so much we couldn’t stop to notice, we could have set aside our worries, to care for someone on the brink of destruction. 
And now, we think we can justify our right to abandon them, now that greed has taken root in them and we shouldn’t have to be bothered by it? Which side of the fence do we truly stand on in such a situation? Selfishness or selflessness? 


Though we can surely make a defensive argument make sense to ourselves and others, we know the truth as it can be felt in our gut. We don’t want to be the person pictured here so we battle even the idea of it, as that’s not who we are. 
Perhaps it’s truly not who we are, yet avoiding the truth of the situation, to justify our behavior, turns one selfish act (the spec) into a self-righteous attitude (the log) that’s near impossible to escape once it takes root. 
What may have started as a “speck” in our eye, then becomes a “log” and now, we have become that person depicted because we refused to take responsibility for a mistake moment.


Romans 12:9-16 NLT — Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!


Only God knows the truth within each human life. We can be so blind by our own troubles, that we never see the pain and suffering others around us might be struggling to survive. We don’t know what hides under the attitudes and actions of those around us. 
God knows what hides beneath the surface. When His word tells us how to treat people, He didn’t give us these instructions meant to work for only those who lived in the bible times, no His Word is timeless as He is timeless. He knew then, just as He knows now, what hurting, misunderstood, barely surviving people would need from those of us willing to be obedient to Him and with a joyful heart serve others. 


I have heard it said that in heaven the highest, most honorable, second in greatness only to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, position is… servant. I repeat, in heaven they say the greatest position is servant. Everyone serves everyone.. No more being bogged down with the weight of selfishness, self pity and self righteousness.


It can feel like it takes a lot of faith to believe God will fight our battles, while we follow His instructions, and love on the very people we are battling, especially the people that seem to drive us  crazy. Oh but the reward that comes, once we allow Holy Spirit to love them through us!! We start to see the echo of Christ’s behavior within ourselves. Character of heaven shaping and molding us from the inside out.. 
As we grow in character through the utilization of God’s word and the fruit of His Spirit, we can start to see others as He sees them. What once we saw as someone just being greedy, can be seen with new compassionate eyes toward the painful struggle they’ve endured, causing the symptom of greed to manifest.  


Leaving judgement up to God we can then love them in their process of divine shaping and molding. 


Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.  


My favorite things

For the last few years I believe Father God spoke to my spirit on various occasions about giving away something of mine to bless others. If I was to admit a small complaint, it would be that each time He asked me to give something away, it just happened to be one of my favorite things.

One such time I procrastinated for two weeks before I finally gave in and did what Father God was asking. My only copy of my favorite devotional was the item in question. That devotional meant so much to me because it got me through an extremely hard time in my life. I often told people that I highly recommend it as it saved my life. It took two weeks to open up and allow the Holy Spirit to convince me it truly was God requesting I give that devotional away.

The day I decided to finally be obedient, no sooner did I pull into the driveway, when the person to whom I was to give the book to, walked right by my car. I called out to her. As she approached my window I handed her the book and told her “ God wanted me to give this to you.” She looked at it and with a lit up face she smiled and said to me, “oh grandma just gave me this same book a few days ago.”

 As she handed the book back through my window, I knew in my spirit, grandma got my blessing. God first gave the job to me and not once did he push me or threaten me about it. No as a matter of fact he allowed me all the time I needed to settle my emotional ties to this worldly object. He was patient, understanding and gentle with me, but because the job needed done in the right timing, His timing, He asked Grandma whom happened to be mom to me, Mom then went obediently right out to do the job. As I sit in my car thinking about this, I couldn’t help but smile and tell the Lord okay I get it, I see what’s happened, I missed an opportunity to be blessed because of my emotional attachment to that book. I also chuckled with the realization that Father God worked it out so that I would see clearly that blessing was given to my mom because she acted immediately.

He was showing me that to be effective for Him it’s crucial to listen and act as quickly as I can as some jobs are time sensitive. He wouldn’t push me into obedience and He will always give me the space I need to heal or let go but at the same time the job needed done so He made sure it was. He didn’t rub it in my face, He didn’t tell me I failed, He never condemned me. He didn’t even seem slightly disappointed in me. Instead he got overjoyed along with me once the concept truly set in and I finally understood. Less than a week later someone else needed my book and that time I didn’t hesitate. That book led me closer to Father God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. During major hardship in my life I knew that book help me get to know God on a whole different level than ever before. I never thought God would want me to part with it. Oh sentimental soul that I am. The prize is the new level of relationship I gained with Father God not the book the book was just the tool God used to draw me into this new level. I unwittingly placed the value on the wrong thing.

The true value was never the book itself, but it was found in what the book brought into my life. A close, intimate, relationship with Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

The Lord is showing me how easily I can find reasons to become attached to things of this world. How  occasionally  I convince myself that my attachment is justifiable. Because of this He had been asking for my favorite things to be given to someone else.

I find the more I act in obedience giving away my favorite possessions, the easier it gets. I won’t pretend not to hesitate, or whine, or pull a Jonah kinda move hoping to avoid it all together, because I do.. I’m still a work in progress after all.

Matthew 6:19-21 NLT — “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

One of the things I have learned through all of this is, those things I have in this world that I try so hard to hold onto, once I’ve let them go, truly let them go joyfully and willingly, the weight that came off of me had been so heavy, I had no idea I carried such weight until it was lifted off me. I never noticed it until I was free of it.

This world has many treasures. It was after all designed by The Master Designer, whom  thought it, spoke it, and it was.. All for His good pleasure and as a blessing unto us. Sometimes we need a reminder that all things here are on loan, we cannot take them with us.

The enemy will help us find any and all possible reason to hold onto treasure here in order to stop us from longing for home. If he can cause us to become emotionally bound to our relationships and worldly possessions, it’s less likely for us to yearn for heaven when our hearts, everything we love, is here.

The enemy tricks us with treasures equivalent to less than a penny in comparison to the home Jesus has prepared for us once we are called home. Life doesn’t end here. This life isn’t even the dress rehearsal of eternity. It’s more like roll choosing.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NLT — Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

This life and what we do with it will determine our place in heavens society. This less than a millisecond of time is our schooling for life in the kingdom of Almighty God!

What we do with what Father God  gives us whether in abundance or small portion, including the time we are allotted here on Earth, determines what we will be in eternity.  

Friends, God does all the work for us and gives us the opportunity to be heroes for His glory. All we need to do is let go of this world and with all our heart seek Him, love Him and worship Him.

Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.

 

 

Puzzle pieces

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about puzzles. More specifically a 40,000 piece puzzle that is the Guinness book of world records largest puzzle in the world. This puzzle is the largest in both the amount of pieces and it’s overall size. The part of this puzzle that has me thinking though, is the number of pieces. 40,000 pieces needing to find their place in the big picture.

With that many pieces one might entertain the thought that one or two pieces aren’t such a big deal if they happened to go missing.. keeping track of 40,000 pieces sounds almost overtime payish.

One piece of a puzzle won’t even give someone an idea of what the picture will be once all the pieces are put together.  Having just one piece of the whole puzzle is useless really as it cannot be the whole puzzle even if it wanted to be.  That piece has its one place within the whole, where it is vital to the whole.  If that one piece decided to go it’s own way getting lost, thinking it’s no big deal or unimportant, would ruin the masterpiece for without it the whole would be void in the spot that piece was to take up. Furthermore that piece is not replaceable either. No other piece can or will fit into it’s rightful place.

As I ponder this I am drawn to the idea, what if life was like this. What if God has this masterpiece in mind as He creates each and every piece to fit together, each having it’s own unique shape and each being equally important to the finished project. He’s skillfully and masterfully knit every single human together while in the womb, giving to each a uniqueness that only they can contribute and nobody can take the place of.

We are all just pieces to the whole puzzle. We are meant to fit together, each in our own unique way.

This is not really a new thought, in scripture Paul puts it this way,

1 Corinthians 12:14-27 NLT — Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

Selfishness, self-pity, self-righteousness, all focus on self.  So long as the focus is on self, it cannot also be on service.

The world has made popular the idea that we should be focused on self, like self improvement, self-confidence, self-help, self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-love, etc. All examples of the worldly idea that we need to focus on ourselves.

All around us are the messages, feeding into our minds and hearts, causing us to believe this concentration on self is right.   We are all searching for inner peace, love, and a place to just rest. When focus is on self, no matter what side of the scale, from self-pity to self-righteousness, we are in a constant state of restlessness, anxiety, always standing ready to defend.  We build up walls inside ourselves as part of our defense readiness, having no idea, the walls, once built, won’t allow the bad in, but won’t allow the good in either.   We starve ourselves of the very thing we are seeking, all because we have given into the feel-good, worldly, idea that we should concentrate on ourselves.

The problem is, we were not created for this.   Self, is lonely, isolating, non-community, it’s all take and little to no give.  We were created in the image of  All Mighty God, to be parts of a whole, to fit like puzzle pieces together.  

The enemy doesn’t want us to know we are but one simple piece.  He wants to destroy the puzzle, of course he will most deceptively, by the use of our emotions and lack of true wisdom, give us every reason to continue believing we, individually, are the whole.

We seem to all try to fit ourselves into spots that make us like those we admire or like those we respect. We work hard to prove ourselves worthy of the spots we desire to fit into. The truth is only one might actually fit in that spot. The rest are faking, camouflaged, mimicking, etc.

We all go through this life trying to find our place, a place with people like us, where we feel like we fit in. We look for like-mindedness, hobbies in common, similar interests and ways of living.

We then pass judgement in one form or another upon those who are not living up to our standards. Some may try to use religion or Christian principles as justification for being able to point out wrong doing in others.

We try to hide our true selves just in case we won’t be accepted.

The truth is instead of searching for what makes us the same as, or at least makes us resemble others, we should search for what makes us unique, different, special. We should be looking for our place in the big picture. At the same time we should be encouraging others to find their uniqueness also.

Instead of shunning people that may be different we should be accepting, learning, encouraging, celebrating what makes us individuals.

If we are to mimic Jesus, we need to learn how to serve and accept others regardless of what society and the world try to tell us.

We are all just one piece to the whole puzzle. All equal in significance, all having our own special, uniqueness to contribute to the whole.

Find your unique, be it, own it, show it off because you are special, important, fearfully and wonderfully made, most of all, you are dearly loved by your Creator!

Until next time may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.