D.L. Moody once said, “Give me a man who says, ‘This one thing I do’ not ‘these fifty things I dabble in.’”
He was highlighting the incredible power of focus. The only difference between a flashlight that emits a flickering glow and a laser that can cut through steel is focus.
Successful Christian living demands that we consecrate (set ourselves apart for our purpose) and then concentrate with an unshakable focus.
Living a focused life doesn’t mean that we’re ultra serious about everything and never enjoy any hobbies or activities. It simply means that we’ve identified our priorities and we don’t deviate very far from them. We may have a wide array of interests and passions, but we know where we ultimately need to hone in with a laser-like intensity.
We don’t need to be a laser in every area. Flashlights serve a definite purpose, and it definitely wouldn’t do well to shine a laser in to the eyes of a stumbling camper at night; however, to succeed where it matters most in life requires focus.
It’s been said that if we chase two rabbits, both will get away. Let’s not chase distracting trivia. Let’s be like the Apostle Paul who said, “One thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
English: Mavericks Surf Contest 2010. Français : Édition 2010 du concours de surf de Mavericks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
How many times have you heard someone say, “We need a vacation to recover from our vacation”? How many times have YOU said that? Certainly there are reports of the perfect vacation where the time away exceeded expectations; however, it’s more common to try to cram a year’s worth of fun in to a couple of weeks, and then end up experiencing a mixture of stress and disappointment, while vowing to do it differently the next time around.
Here are a few suggestions on how to not be disappointed on a vacation:
- Don’t suspend your daily devotions—the biblical purpose of times of rest is to restore our connection to God.
- Set realistic expectations—your visit with the kids and the in-laws won’t be a repeat of that time you were alone in Mexico…
- Don’t pack too much in—leave a little margin to catch your breath on either side of your days away.
- Don’t suspend the routines that bring happiness to your every day life—if you’re a morning person who loves to jog, then wake up early and enjoy your run.
- Try to integrate “vacation” in to your every day life—if we can maintain a rhythm of worship, work, rest, and play in our daily lives, then our vacations are less likely to be rushed attempts at recovering what we’ve lost throughout the year.
- Surf. Enough said.
Have you noticed that time keeps passing by, regardless of what we do with it?
Image by Wasabi Bob via Flickr
In the middle of this crazy, fast-paced world of ours, I seldom hear people expressing gratitude and respect for the gift of time. More often than not, time seems to represent something that we are fighting against or that we have too little of. We’re stressed because we’re out of time, or we’re fighting to make the most of our time.
I get all of that—I am huge in to time-management principles, and, having lost a loved one in her childhood, I am all too aware of how fleeting our time here on earth really is. Even so, I sometimes think that we approach the concept of time all wrong.
Time is our friend.
- It allows our failures to fade in to the sunset, and it gives us the hope of redeeming things that have been lost.
- If we squander it today, a fresh twenty-four hours will greet us tomorrow, and we’ll have a chance to spend it more carefully than we did the day before.
- If we use it wisely today, it will compound and pay great dividends in the future (in MANY more areas than just finances).
When Bill Philips, author of Body for Life, is urging people to take his twelve-week physical fitness challenge, he says: “At the end of twelve weeks will you say, ‘I wish I would have’ or ‘I’m glad I did’?”
What will we say at the end of our life? Right now, time is our friend. Let’s treat it as such so that when it’s over we won’t be wishing we “would have,” but instead will hear the words “well done” coming down to us from heaven (Matthew 25:21).
You should see her. Her blue eyes twinkle, her lips part in a mischievous smile, and she turns her body slightly so I can’t quite see what she’s drawing. She’s cleared the table and given herself plenty of room to spread out her crayons, markers, and pencil sharpener. I asked her what she was going to draw and her only response was a knowing smirk—I’m not even sure she’s decided yet. She’s just glorying in all of the potential of a clean, unspoiled, blank page.
Image via Wikipedia
Madelyn’s paper is a lot like a New Year—a chance to start over and allow God to begin writing out His goals and aspirations for our lives. I wonder what He will do with us this year? I wonder who we’ll meet? I wonder if this will be the year that some of our dreams come true? Maybe some of our deepest prayers have been post-marked for 2012! We can’t control what God will write on the pages of this New Year—but we can decide on several things:
- We can decide to give Him the pen
- We can commit to follow whatever marching orders He writes out for us
- And we can choose to look away from the wrinkly, smudged pages of last year and start hoping and believing for His good plans to be accomplished in 2012!
God bless you seek God’s plan and purpose for you during this holiday season and beyond!
Image via Wikipedia
They’re the three most powerful words of your life.
They signify a fresh beginning, and they herald a brand new day.
They let us know that we are no longer bound by our past, and even if we still have to pay on some negative consequences from our past, they assure us that a new era has begun, and this new era can be different from the last one.
From now on. These three little words can do a lot. They can close out yesterday, and they can set the stage for tomorrow.
Jesus used them to provide hope for a woman who had been caught in the very act of adultery. He told her, “From now on…sin no more.” He used them to commission Peter when Peter felt unqualified to follow the Lord. He said, “Peter, from now on…you will be a fisher of men.”
What could these words signify for YOU? What hurtful doors from yesterday could be locked and bolted shut? What negative memories could loosen their grip and fade in to the distant past? What adventure might await you on the other side of them?
From now on _________________________________. You fill in the blank.
What in our lives might change because of what we decide to do “from now on”?