Tag Archive - busyness

Don’t Blow It!

 SMSONG26 ABDOU RAINEY

 
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
 Luke 2:11 (NLT)
 

 

 

Late one Christmas Day, years ago, a resident of Hillsborough, California, accompanied by his wife and children, set out to sing Christmas carols for the neighbors.
As they were tuning up outside their first stop, the woman of the house came to the door, looking distraught. “Look fella,” she said, “I’m just too busy. The plumbing’s on the blink, I can’t get anybody to fix it, and there’s a mob coming for dinner. If you really feel like singing Christmas carols, come back about nine o’clock, okay?”
“Yes, ma’am,” replied Bing Crosby respectfully, as he herded his family elsewhere.
Talk about missed opportunities. A well known and very popular singer of the day shows up to sing at your door and you turn them away.
God seldom comes to us when it is convenient or expected. He shows up at times and in places and in faces we least expect. The Holy, Mighty God of the universe, who made mountains rumble and parted seas, shows up in a barn as a baby. A baby, I might add, that was born in a questionable time frame.

If God appeared on our doorstep, how would we respond? Would we be so busy that we wouldn’t recognize Him? Would we be so focused on getting every thing done that we would send Him away.

I wonder if the neighbor ever realized what she had done? Or was she so self-absorbed that she never comprehended what she had missed.

I wonder too, if one day it will dawn on us that God came to us one Christmas, wanting to sing for us, and we turned Him away because we were too busy.

Take a moment now. Take a few deep breaths. Listen to the Angel song. “The Savior has been born TODAY in Bethlehem!” (Luke 2:11)

Prayer:

Holy Father,

Forgive us when we get so busy we don’t recognize You. Slow us down. Open our eyes. Open our hearts. May we listen to You singing over us.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes

 child praying

As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20-21 (NLT)

Christmas Eve was a hectic day. Father was worried with bundles and burdens. Mother’s nerves reached the breaking point more than once. The little girl seemed to be in the way wherever she went. Finally, she was hustled up to bed. As she knelt to pray, the feverish excitement so flustered her, that when she prayed she said, “Forgive us our Christmases, as we forgive those who Christmas against us.”

Christmas is almost here and there is always a flurry of activity. There is so much to do and so little time. Decorating and cooking needs to be done. There are parties to plan and attend. We all have special programs at school and church. And, of course, there are gifts to buy and wrap. The list is endless. On we go, trying to cram a year of joy and peace into a few short days. “Oh Lord, forgive us our Christmases!”

Why is it so easy to lose sight of Christmas? Is it because we too often lose sight of the Christ Child. He becomes nothing more than an ornament on the coffee table with the rest of the nativity scene.

Pause for a few moments and think. Think of the moment that His love first became real to you. Remember the joy and the peace that you experienced. Remember the times in your life when, during a crisis or deep hurt, Christ whispered His grace to your heart. Remember the deep assurance that you felt. Christmas is when we remember that Christ came into our world just for those times.

Advent can be a time when we can experience afresh (or for the very first time) the love that God has for each of us. All we have to remember is that Christmas is not something that we do to each other. It is something that we receive from the hand of God.

Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father,

Forgive us when we get lost in all our busyness and forget You. Help us to remember Your love and why You sent Your Son.

In Your Son’s name, Amen.

The Gifts of Advent

advent wreath

 

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)

 

When asked to explain what the four candles of an Advent wreath represent, seven-year-old Luke began to explain, “There’s love, joy, peace, and…”

His six-year-old sister piped up, “I know!” She said excitedly, “Peace and quiet!”

If there is anything that Advent doesn’t bring to us it’s Peace and Quiet. We sing, “Silent Night,” but our hearts are far from being silent. We read the heavenly hosts’ words about peace on earth, but peace has escaped not only our lives, but our vocabulary.

What’s a person to do? There always seems to be two ways of thinking about the matter. First, just accept it. This is the way the Christmas season is. Just cope with it as best as you can. Or second, just forget it. Christmas is way too commercial. Let’s just get rid of all the hype and gaudy trappings.

Perhaps there is another way. I don’t believe we have to resign ourselves to the frenzy, nor do we have to trash all our Christmas decorations. Just as in our everyday lives, true peace comes not from a lack of activity around us, but from an abiding presence within us. It comes from having our hearts and minds focused on what is truly important. Don’t focus on the energy sapping, joy stealing hysteria of the world, but on Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Remember that Christmas is about Jesus and why He came to earth and lived in human flesh. Remember that Christmas is about sharing the love and joy that we have because of the love that was shown to us through Jesus Christ. Remember that all of the decorations and activities are pointless unless you have a reason to celebrate.

Do you want a little peace and quiet during the holidays? Think about Jesus and how much God must have loved you to send Him to earth. Do that a couple of times a day between now and Christmas. I think it will make a difference.

Prayer:
Dear God,
May our days of Advent be ruled by the Prince of Peace. May Your holy love and not our schedules control our hearts.
In the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Magnets

Electromagnet

Electromagnet


In the book, Arabian Nights, Sinbad the Sailor warns his shipmates about a great magnetic rock in the Indian Ocean that is so powerful that it draws all the nails and bolts out of passing ships. The ships literally fall apart and sink. Sinbad tells his shipmates that they were to steer clear of that rock lest they lose their lives.

This world has a magnetic pull on us as Christians. It draws us away from God’s heart. The world distracts and entices us. Gradually pulling us out of the circle of God’s loving embrace. It draws us away from Christian fellowship and from spending time with God. The influence of this world loosens the nails and bolts that holds our lives and our families together. Our lives are pulled apart.

However, there is another magnet. When Christ resides in our hearts, we have an internal magnet that can pull us together. That magnet is stronger than the pull of the world’s magnet, but it’s like an electromagnet. It has to have a power source. And worship is what powers that magnet.

The magnet powered by worship pulls all the pieces of our lives together. Public and private worship holds us together in a world that wants to pull us apart. Worship is not a waste of time. Worship is what makes the rest of our time make sense. It holds together all our loose ends of our fragmented lives.

Don’t let the world pull you apart. Spend time with God in worship and your life will hold together.

ARE YOU PUZZLED?

puzzlePiece All afternoon a little boy tried to put together a puzzle, his birthday gift from his father. Some of the pieces were bright, some dark; some seemed to go together, others seemed to fit nowhere. Finally, frustrated, tired and with nothing to show for his efforts, the boy gathered the pieces, put them in the box, and gave it to his dad. “I can’t do it,” he explained. “You try it.” To his amazement, his father assembled the entire puzzle in a few minutes.
“You see,” said the boy’s father, “I knew what the picture was like all the time. I saw the picture in the puzzle, but you saw only the pieces.”

Our lives are full of pieces. We have our work, our family responsibilities, our children’s activities, community activities, church and about a million other things that demand our time and energy. Life is demanding, exhausting, and can be very frustrating. Then, on top of all this comes the unexpected and the unplanned. The car breaks down, someone gets sick or tragedy happens.
I believe that the exhaustion and frustration of life come not from the busyness of life, but rather on our focus. We stare at the pieces: random and scattered. None of it makes sense because nothing looks like it goes together.
We need to realize that, just like the boy’s father, our Heavenly Father sees the whole picture. He understands how it all fits together. Trust in God is not just about going to Heaven. It’s also about making sense of the pieces of our lives.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28