Friday, January 7, 2011

Life's Bunches

If you are like me, you prefer an ordered and consistent life.  I don't mind the spontaneous as long as I can schedule it!  But I've noticed that life does not move on my timetable, especially as it relates to "trouble."  Trouble can take so many different forms in terms of health, finances, spiritual, and legal.  Even when we are not overwhelmed with trouble, the schedules and demands of legitimate activities can still be too much.  In my life it seems that life comes in bunches.

I am a multi-tasker so taking on two or three projects at a time does concern me at all.  But over the past few years, I seen that things often come in fives, sixes, or even more.  Instead of being able to effectively address each issue and solve them, sometimes I must lay them all aside and spend some time in prayer and meditation.  Just recently I was the victim of identity theft.  While I was able to clear it up, it took several hours on the phone and creating affidavits and working with a variety of agencies to get it initially rectified.  There will still be fallout to address later.

I've hear mothers plead for a place to escape when all their 4-6 children need attention at the same time.  Pastors get multiple calls for assistance and prayer.  Especially at holiday times those calls can upset an already full schedule.  While I seldom get times when there is "nothing to do," there are times when the demands are less. Right now I have 14 projects that need immediate attention--without adding "troubles."  To keep focus, I maintain several daily routines:  Bible reading, Bible study, prayer, exercising and writing.  I sort through the projects and make a prioritized list and work on them one at a time.

God does not expect us to do more than we can, although grace enablement can enhance our productivity.  I also have to daily remind myself to stay focused on what God has assigned me to do, and not on all the things I would like to do, or on what others expect me to do.  My hunches are that you have bunches.  One project at a time, one day at a time, one person at a time.  Only God completed His work.  What I don't get done today, I let Him keep overnight.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Faith, Hope, or Both

Here in the first week of 2011 AD, we see a few making New Year's resolutions, although most are simply going on day by day.  The circumstances in our nation put us into a precarious situation.  Can the government right itself in the economic morass?  Can the nation recover quick enough to present a wholesale meltdown?
Will political clashes continue to produce gridlock?

Perhaps you have encountered personal sickness, bereavement, antagonistic relationships, or other major crises. Your church might be in decline, and a whole host of issues are confronting you.  What should your response be as a dynamic Christian?

Hope exists as long as we can "see" that things will eventually get better.  If we can endure the pain (sometimes by gritting our teeth) and focus on a better future, we can sustain ourselves with hope.  But when all hope is gone, our only sustaining power is faith.  Hope sees what has been, what is, and what could be based on our assessment of available resources.  But it takes faith to see beyond the limitations.  In fact, hope can completely die, and we can still be excited when we have faith.  Faith sees what no human eye can.  When a person has neither faith nor hope, they often opt for suicide (physically, spiritually, and other dimensions).  With faith we are sustained.  With hope, we plod on.  With both, we flourish.

God is the only source for faith.  Get connected and draw on His reservoir to overflow yours.  2011 can be the greatest year of your life!