Just One Day…Beth Farley

meditating

Why is it that people make comments like, “It’s not good to be alone; or, you need to get out more often?” What is the matter with being a hermit? What is the matter with not wanting to get out into the cold dark night or dreary, drizzly, day just to say, “I got out today!”

I can never get lonely in the Lord’s presence. I call it my “Hidden life with God.” It’s a place where in my solidarity I feel alive and well. It’s a time where I can enjoy the monastic life such as the monks, well, not quite that extreme. It’s my time to dine with Jesus. It’s my time where I seek my spiritual path and listen to Him. I can sing, read, or simply be still.  I bet there are people mingling at restaurants or around the bars who are very lonely. Heck, they may be the people who are sitting in our church pews. Maybe you are one of them?crying-woman1

I would like to see an increase in what I would call a modern-day-hermit movement. We are called, every one of us, to be still and pray, especially now because of the danger that lurks around us. Maybe we are!!! Maybe we are finally seeing more and more need for God to bring this nation back to its roots? Maybe it’s also indicative of the loss of religious order? We should all be spending more time in solitude, praying for our country, our leaders and our men and women who are fighting for our freedom.

Could you imagine how effective we could be if we just took some time to stop and get alone with God and pray? Prayer is incredibly effective but not if we’re not doing our part by being alone with the Great Jehovah Jireh: The Lord who provides. (Gen. 15:1-6;Gen.21:1-6)

How about putting down the TV remote, fold down the lap top, turn your cell phone on silent, throw the newspaper into the recycling bin and get alone with God. Christ put down everything for you when he went off for 40 days in the desert to be in solitude and prayed.(Luke 4:2)

What do you think?  If you had the opportunity to have just one day to yourself, how would you spend it? Or even a couple of hours; would you at least dedicate some time to pray for our leadership in this country, or  peace for this country? Think about it…What would you do if you had a day to yourself? Come and join us at livingbygrace for a conversation. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Get Up You Lazy Bones

 

bones                         The human skeleton is very fascinating!

When my kids were young and we were homeschooling, we used a skeleton that hung from a hook while learning the skeletal system. My son named it, “Bone Daddy.” It was important to remind them of God’s awesome love for them; He knit their bones together to create a fantastic body. Having Bone Daddy hanging in front of them was a good visual to grasp that concept; God created them, bones and all.

When I think of my own body, I know there have been times I have cursed my bones. I often get angry with them when they do something they should not have done or don’t work hard enough to spread the love of God.  Our bones have so many stories to share.

There is a story in the Bible about a man named Ezekiel. Ezekiel found himself in a desert valley surrounded by dry bones. Well, he didn’t just get up one morning and think, “I know, I’ll go looking for a place that is full of bones!” No, according to the Bible, Ezekiel was sort of teleported into a barren valley full of bones. He was scared and lonely. How would you feel if you were alone with a bunch of dried up bones in a barren land?

But God asked Ezekiel a question. “Ezekiel, can these old dry bones live?” Ezekiel didn’t know what to say, “Only you know the answer to that.” God told him to speak into the bones and say to them, “Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD!” God said, “ Look! I am going to put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and you will come to life. Finally, the winds came and filled the bodies with breath and they came alive! The winds came and there was life.” If God could perform this miracle with Ezekiel, then He most certainly can help us get our lazy bones off the couch and do more for His kingdom.

Can you image speaking into your bones, Get out of bed you lazy bones. Go exercise you lazy bones! Help that lady cross the street you lazy bones! Be the one to welcome others at church you lazy bones! Oh there are times that I just want to speak into my bones to make them do more work for God but sometimes they are just plain ol lazy. Know what I’m saying?

I’m not one to preach on getting out there and doing more of God’s work because I’m very inadequate in areas of service and realize that it’s not my place to tell anyone how to serve God. However, when I feel I’m filled with His Spirit to serve, I know that I need to get  my lazy bones in gear and scatter myself in the areas e has called me to. How about you? Been acting lazy lately? Are you too tired, too cold or too distracted to get your bones moving?

Lord, I know that I have a destiny here on this earth and that You’ve knit my bones together for many reasons that I don’t quite know. Help me to be of better service to you today.

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Shannon/Chris/Emma

Sharing Christmas Traditions

christmas kids

It’s kinda fun to listen to the different holiday traditions people have and how they make every effort to keep them alive year after year. For instance, although I’ve been divorced and my three grown kids live very far away, my one my daughter that can get home for Christmas asked, “Mom can we dip the pretzels and make our popcorn dish? Oh and mom, don’t forget to make your famous chip-dip on Christmas Eve.”

I look back and reminisce about the day’s on the farm in Kansas when my kids got goats for their first Christmas there. I think of when we lived in the city and how they all got shiny bikes for Christmas. So many memories flood my mind as I age, but, lately, I wonder what they remember and treasure?

Do they think of all of the candle-light Christmas Eve services I took them to? Do they remember opening the Christmas Advent boxes I hung on a tree? Inside I tucked inside a scripture and piece of candy? Do they remember being in church musicals, singing Christmas carols, partaking in youth Christmas parties and do they remember the blessing of the wreaths?

Each one of them have grown up into such good, loving individuals. They’ve learned to endure big hardships and carry on with their lives. They’ve become very supportive of their mom’s silly antics and talk to me like best friends do; sharing secrets and giggling. Oh and the best part…When they do get to come and see me, they don’t hesitate to jump onto my bed with me and sip some coffee and gab.

This Christmas season, don’t forget to continue your traditions. Don’t forget to share your stories with your family. Try to let go of the ugly relationships you might have and become friends again. Savor the season…before you know it, the gifts will have been opened, the paper will be picked up, the roast beef will have been eaten and the sadness will settle in…UNLESS you remember to keep Jesus alive in your heart every day until the next Christmas rolls around.

Shannon, Chris and Emma, I love you more than anything and am blessed to have you so involved in my life. You have all made me very proud. Mom