“only one thing is needed” luke 10:42

Multi-tasking: (Wikipedia) is the performance by an individual of appearing to handle more than one task at the same time. An example of multitasking is listening to a radio interview while typing an email. Some believe that multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention. Other research illustrates our brains are capable dealing with certain ‘dual multiple tasks’ at the same time.

My personal research indicates that I am not humanly capable of multi-tasking. When the phone rings and I am working at the computer, I find my words jumbling as I talk or I type the words that I am saying. My children like to remind me that I really should stick with doing one task at a time, especially when I am on the phone with them. I tend to agree but the urgent pace of life probably won’t stop me from doing it again.

Especially at this time of year, we find ourselves trying to do a balancing act with our homes, our families, our work, our down time. Even though I have so many things demanding my attention, I need time with Him over the busyness of the day.

As enticing as the many options we have during this season may be, everything that is shiny is not gold. And some are downright golden calves. Now, I’m not advocating skipping a wonderful turkey dinner or time with family, but when we have to choose between something that is good and something better, we want to choose well. God always has the better plan. Anything else falls hopelessly short. It becomes clear why every pursuit except God can be an empty idol, if it takes up space in our souls where God could reside. He is so much better.

Lord, we come to you broken by the rushed pace and demands of our lives. Help us to see clearly Your path and choose wisely. We are so grateful for all the many blessings that You give. May we be still long enough not to miss a single one. In Your glorious Name, Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving to you! And may you know the singleness of joy found solely in Him.

discipline or delight?

This year I have tried to tuck a few verses into my heart with Beth Moore’s blog and the Siestas. Though I have been remiss in much of it, we have completed 21 verses and are entering crunch time before the “test” in January.

The real tests and benefits of knowing God’s Word come each day. Whether it is an outward resolve to handle a situation in love or an inner calm that settles inside me, there is a delight in hiding ancient words of Life in my heart. There is wisdom. There is peace. If you have an extra few minutes, listen to John Piper extol the virtues of memorizing The Word of the Lord using memorized verses.

Psalm 119:24 “Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors.”

pray for Shirley Dobson

Shirley Dobson, wife of Dr. James Dobson, and founder of the National Day of Prayer, is giving a deposition today, November 10, from 8:30 to 4:30, defending her position to ask our nation’s President and legislature to pray for our country. She is being sued.

I ask you to join me today in earnest prayer for her and for our nation. Our liberty is at stake.

UPDATE: (My source was Kay Arthur’s Facebook status yesterday, Nov. 9, 2009:

Kay Arthur Dear precious faces – Shirley Dobson will be giving a deposition tomorrow from 8:30-4:30 PM. Because (as leader of National Day of Prayer) she asked the President and other political leaders to pray for our nation – an organization is now suing her. I prayed with her tonight and told her I would ask you to pray too. She is a valiant warrior…thanks.)

on the battlefield

There is a war raging in many of us that battles for control. It starts in our thoughts and it is often a bloody scene. We are told how to guard our hearts with peace, but we fight against the first thought, the carnal, and the bigger, unseen spiritual battle that entraps and snares us. Somehow we believe the lies instead of the Truth, and they become the deceptions that keep us weighted down in a daily onslaught of negativity combat.

We are taught to take every thought captive. (2 Cor 10:5) We are told to rejoice always, to be anxious for nothing, to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…anything excellent or praiseworthy–think about these things, and twice in one passage there is the promise of God’s peace which passes all understanding. (Phil. 4:4-9)

Joyce Meyer captures this concept so well in Daily Battles of the Mind: “Many of us have given in to deception at one time or another. How can these strongholds be torn down? We must be willing to receive the light of Truth in our minds. Our search for Truth begins in God’s Word, which says that the Truth will set us free (see John 8:32). This means we can be free from bondage, sin and strongholds in our minds. But just searching for Truth won’t set us free. We must be courageous enough to also believe the Truth.

Even when the Truth illuminates what’s inside of us, it’s sometimes hard to accept. It’s a painful process to face our deceptions and deal with them. It’s so easy to allow our past and how we were raised to negatively affect us for the rest of our lives. Our past may explain why we’re suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage. You may have some major strongholds in your life that need to be torn down. Let me encourage you by saying, “God is on your side.” There is a war going on, and your mind is the battlefield. But the good news is that God is fighting on your side!”

Press on. I don’t know if this was for anyone but me today, but I write to tell you this battle’s already been fought and won. There’s hope and a victory waiting.

monday morning quarterback

First of all, a disclaimer: This is not about football. This blog will never be about football because this writer knows nothing about the game. I am generously giving this post a pigskin-ish title due to a Monday morning reflection after a sermon that hit home with me. Sorry if I got your hopes up about the Super Bowl or something, but honestly, I rarely know who’s playing, much less enough to comment on it. At any rate if you are still reading, I hope you forgive the misnomer in the title long enough to derive a point from this rambling.

I generally take home one point from a sermon, even if it is very good, and it often is not the main one, probably because my mind or heart gets stuck on a place where God and I have some business to attend. We had a guest speaker from the International Missions Board yesterday. Dr. Bob Reccord spoke of “The Joy of a Clean Slate.” It was based on the Scripture including the Lord ’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-14. He spoke on forgiveness. Chances are I have gotten some of this out of context, and I will not go into the details, so if you want to go hear the sermon for clarity, check here.

The first point on what forgiveness is went something like “forgiveness is the cancellation of debt whether the wound is real or perceived.” That could be a post in itself, but the second one still has my full attention. He said that “authentic forgiveness includes restoring a view of worth to the offender.” Often, I believe I have forgiven someone, but I don’t know if I get to this point. I tend to put them in the “Other” category of people who could hurt you so watch out. I do it not as judgment so much as a perceived protection from being hurt again. It may be judgment, too, but it feels more like a fear of trust. It strikes me that I haven’t done the full business of forgiveness, and this is not how I want to be forgiven by the Lord, based on Matthew 6:14. I want full restoration, and yet I fail so often to extend it myself. Forgiveness from God is given not because we deserve it but because we need it to walk in relationship with Him. The final point Dr. Reccord made was that forgiveness is “ceasing to withhold the possibility of restored relationship.” Now, I’m stuck on point number two, but digest that if you can also. Just as God restores our relationship with Him, that is the kind of forgiveness I should be extending.

Lord, You know this heart needs much work, so I ask again. Help me to not only forgive but see others as You do, with restored value and worth, withholding nothing by Your Grace.

Give us generous hearts, Lord, to learn Grace from You and offer it as freely to others as You have unto us. Amen.