Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Galatians 6:9

Pushing a hay bay

It’s Time to Move It

Person running

Coasting only got us so far before we rolled to a stop.
There was only so much of a workout we could do in our basement. We started well, getting up and trying to keep a routine, but after the first few weeks, our exercises shortened, energy lessened, and commitment dropped. As soon as the state of Massachusetts allowed gyms to open, my husband signed us up for Crossfit. After being at home, Crossfit was a jump from level 1 to level 20. It requires a different kind of person, and it’s not me. I was sore every day for over four months. I still ache, but oddly, I’m starting to appreciate it because if I’m not pushing my body, my muscles become weak.

Writing can be the same way. The first blog I wrote took me a full three days to write, and it was only a half-page in length. It was a painful process, filled with self-doubt. Thankfully, I’ve become faster and more confident in my writing. Many novelists spend a year or more writing their first manuscripts only to toss them in a drawer or lock them away in their computer. I didn’t understand how they could sacrifice their hard work until I did it. Those first novels weren’t a waste. I think of them as boot camp training where I developed my writing muscles.

To change, we have to move.
It means making sacrifices and pushing through the temptation to give up. Change in the right direction will make us stronger. If we stay still, we atrophy. The same goes for our spiritual muscles. It weakens when we aren’t around other Christians, praying regularly, or attending church. We not only have to fight atrophy, but we also have to fight Newton’s law which states that objects at rest tend to stay at rest. It’s more work to get a flywheel started than it is to keep it moving. It’s easier to stay at home or stay in bed. Evil wants to keep our lives small, but God wants us to live with a grand purpose.

Pushing a hay bale

Change isn’t easy.
As soon as we set things in motion, opposition steps in. It tells us we’re out of shape, we don’t have Juwhat it takes, or to let someone more capable step up. Even Gideon tried to talk God out of changing him. An angel of the Lord found him hiding in a winepress to thresh his wheat and called him out. “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you.” Gideon probably looked over his shoulder to see if someone was standing behind him or if he was being punked by Candid Camera. He probably pointed to his chest and said, “Who me?” Judges 6:15 says Gideon replied, “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

Covid-19 brought the world to a stop.
Many churches are talking about having to rebuild. It’s time to give the world a nudge or a push to take a step in faith. Let’s get some momentum moving in our favor. Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” It’s time to get up and move.

It won’t be easy, but if we move, God will move. As He demonstrated with Gideon, if we stretch our faith muscle, God will show up, and He’ll show off.

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Hand holding a young plant

If a Seed can Bloom 30,000 Years Later, Hope Remains.

Biologists found a fossilized seed of the narrow-leafed campion plant dating back Narrow-leaf campion bloomed 30,000 years laterfrom the Ice Age. It lay frozen in a squirrel burrow in the Siberian permafrost. Using growth hormones, scientists were able to revitalize the plant, and it bloomed over 30,000 years later in the future of today.

We have a small garden in our backyard. My family loves to plant corn, not only because they enjoy the fruit (or vegetable), but because the green shoots appear soon after planting them. Initially, the kids are all excited to plant the garden. They get out the trowel and the seed packets and start digging. The soil is patted down and watered with great care for the next few days. Then, the wait gets to them, and they lose interest. That’s usually when the corn shoots begin to pop up, and their excitement is renewed. Unfortunately, not all seeds are like corn. Some take longer than others, and it’s harder to keep up the enthusiasm when it appears like nothing is happening.

In this day and age, everything is instant. Did you know that there are microwave directions for Pop Tarts? As if the two minutes in the toaster takes much too long. When my children were younger, I had the realization of how on-demand our society had become when my kids would yell from the other room, “Mama, commercials,” so I could fast forward to their cartoon.

I’ll admit, patience is not my strong suit. I’m an amazon prime member so I can get two-day delivery. I love to use the drive-thru, I rent on-demand movies, and I don’t know what I’d do without my smartphone with its instant access to the internet, contact lists, email, music, google maps, etc. It’s made me much more efficient. Yet some things in God’s kingdom are not like the corn seed. It takes a lot of love, care, and great perseverance before it will come to pass.

Sowing takes effort, but reaping takes patience. I always think about the father of the prodigal son. How many days did he go out into that field? How long did he stare off into the horizon hoping to see his son’s figure trudging over the hill?

Hand holding a young plantJust because we can’t see anything happening doesn’t mean it won’t. You can’t see the seed taking root once it’s planted. Some people are like corn and germinate quickly. Others take longer (hopefully not as long as the narrow-leafed campion). Sometimes God is still preparing their hearts. Sometimes our prayers, displays of love, or testimonies are needed to cultivate the soil. Sometimes, God hasn’t released His spirit, but when He does, it will do more than we can possibly imagine. It says in Galatians 6:7b “You will always harvest what you plant” and in 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Whatever plants, dreams, hopes, and people you are waiting to bloom, do not give up. Do not get discouraged. Keep praying, keep cultivating the soil. Wait patiently for the harvest for it will be bountiful.

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To Do List: 1. So..... 2. Many.... 3. Things...

Sorry, I’m Busy

We’re late! Get in the car. We have to go! My mouth utters these words far too often. To Do List: 1. So..... 2. Many.... 3. Things...This year we moved straight from basketball season into lacrosse season. I thought we’d get a week off in between but the boys just finished playoff games, and tonight we have our first practice for lacrosse. With work, kids, a hungry hubby, serving, and writing, often I’m running around with blinders on only thinking of the next moment and what I need to accomplish to get through it. Next thing I know, the day is over and then the week.

I don’t want to live this way.

There’s a saying, if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. When my head is filled with a task list a mile long, and I’m focused on checking off the next item, I miss the needs of others around me. Several years ago, I was in the middle of making dinner. The phone was ringing, and I had paint on my hands from an art project I needed to finish as an example for my art students. My youngest tugged on the bottom of my sweater as I finagled the phone out of my purse and tried to answer it with my elbow.  He wailed above the din of the ringtone and the sizzle of the frying pan with tears gleaming in his eyes, “Mom, you’re not listening to me! You never listen to me!”

I’d like to say that all the noises faded into the background. That I scooped him up into my arms, focusing all my attention on his sweet little face, and listened to what he had to say. Truthfully, I can’t remember what I did, but I do know that moment stuck with me. My busyness was hurting the people I loved.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

When we’re busy, it’s hard to focus on the people who need us. We miss the opportunities where we can bless somebody. Darley and Batson performed a behavioral study on helping others called From Jerusalem to Jericho. They took 67 seminary students and asked them to give a sermon on the Good Samaritan, in another school building. Half of the students were put into a hurried situation by being told they were already late. On their way to the next building, all of the test subjects encountered a man slumped in a doorway moaning. Only 10% of the hurried students stopped to aid the man. Meanwhile, 63% of the unhurried students paused to offer help in some form.

All this time, idleness has taken the blame for being the devil’s playground, but as it turns out busyness is responsible also. So, how can we combat the busyness that hinders us from doing good?

  • Stop and take a breath.
  • Take a moment to look around you and identify needs.
  • Prioritize things by their importance not always by their deadline.
  • Realize work will still be there for you to do tomorrow. You won’t die if things don’t get completed today (at least in most cases. If so, see prioritizing above).

When you look back, do you want to remember being busy or being a blessing?

“Don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” – Galatians 6:9

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