Posted in Christian Living

Scheduling God In

In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to manage our time. There are only so many hours in a day, and it’s oftentimes hard to find time to do all the things that we want to do while still seeing to our responsibilities. That’s when prioritization comes in.

Priorities Affect Scheduling

Because we have limited time, we must pick and choose what takes precedence. Those of us who have to work usually prioritize that first. We must get up every morning and go to work. Those who have certain medications to take make it a priority to schedule time for taking them. Parents who have to see their children off to school make sure they schedule time for that. The list of responsibilities goes on.

Time Management Requires Sacrifice

I am not always the best person at managing my time. There are so many books I want to read that I haven’t gotten around to yet. I have unopened DVDs with the plastic still on them waiting to be watched. I have videos that friends have sent me that I still haven’t found time to watch. I have so many unwritten story ideas sitting in the Notes app on my iPhone. I have craft supplies that I bought and haven’t gotten a chance to use yet. However, there is a reason for that. I haven’t scheduled time for those activities yet because there are other ones that take precedence over them. I usually have some days where I  have some down time, and then I’ll pick some of these extracurricular activities to engage in on those days.

Yesterday’s InTouch devotion really struck home with me on making time for God.

img_1762.jpg

God has allotted us 24 hours in a day. It is up to us to prioritize time to spend with Him each day because each day is a gift from Him. He understands our physical limitations in that we need sleep, food, shelter and so on because He made us. If it wasn’t possible for us to do everything that we need to do and still  have time for Him in 24 hours, then I believe He would have given us more time.

Scheduling Time for God is a Responsibility

I’ve always been bad about not reading the Bible every day, and the reason why was because I wasn’t making it a priority and scheduling time for it. I was placing it at the end like it was an extracurricular activity, an elective, when really I should have been treating it like what it should be: a responsibility.

When you come to think of reading the Bible and praying as responsibilities, it will help you schedule time for them. There are certain activities that you make sure you do every day. Add these to those, and then you’ll begin to grow closer to God and stay closer to Him.

The way that I scheduled Bible reading in is by adding it to my morning wakeup routine. I always have to have cup of coffee in the morning. I usually check emails and scroll through Facebook a bit while sipping my coffee. I also write my Poem of the Day (usually every morning…I’ve missed a few lately). I made a conscious decision to add Bible reading/devotional reading and morning prayers to my routine, and I cannot tell you how much it has helped me. I cut back on the amount of time spent scrolling through Facebook, and I do my reading and prayers before I do my poem writing or anything else. It helps me start my day out right and apply what I’ve read to that day.

However, everyone’s schedule is different. You might not be able or willing to schedule extra time in the morning for Bible reading. Maybe your time would be better at night right before you go to bed, during a break at work or even when you get home from work. It doesn’t matter when you do it, so long as you do it.

Multitasking is great skill for when you don’t have any empty time slots. Read while you’re eating lunch, while you’re taking a bath, while you’re walking or whenever. Even reading just a couple of scriptures and meditating on them throughout the day can make a huge difference in your outlook on life.

Pencil God into your day. It’s a responsibility that we should prioritize as much as (actually even more so) than work.

Do you have a dedicated Bible reading time? Please feel free to share how you schedule God into your day in the comments section below.

 

Posted in Christian Living, Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursday: I’m Thankful For My Gifts

spiritual-gifts-feature.png

God gives us all different gifts, as we’ve talked about in other posts on this blog. One of my gifts is writing. Another is forgiveness in that I tend to forgive easily. Another is kindness. Yet another is compassion.

You might have an artistic or creative gift, or you might have a number of types of spiritual gifts. Maybe you’re a speaker or a leader. Maybe you’re a listener. Maybe you have a beautiful singing voice. Sit down and try to make a list of all the gifts you believe you possess.

Regardless of what our gifts are I think it’s important for us to be thankful for them and to try to utilize them to the best of our abilities to serve the Lord, so today that is what I am thankful for: my gifts.

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Posted in Christian Living

What’s Your Spiritual Gift?

As some of you know, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read Charles Stanley’s daily devotions every day. Part of why I love them is because they’re short and get to the point of teaching a great lesson. If you’re someone who has a busy schedule, these are really easy to fit into your routine. Plus, they’re free. You can read them online via InTouch Ministries Daily Devotions, or you can subscribe to get them delivered directly to your email or home. I personally like to have a physical copy of the booklets, so I get them sent to my home, but you can do whichever you prefer.

Anyhoo, on to the point of today’s blog. Spiritual gifts. Today’s devotion was about how spiritual gifts work together. We all have spiritual gifts – whether we realize it or not, and your spiritual gift might not be the same as someone else’s. Also, your spiritual gift could simply be something you’re good at, even if you don’t use it spiritually yet.

For instance, my gift is writing. It’s always come easy to me. Of course, there are plenty of other writers out there, and all writers don’t use their gifts for spiritual purposes, but that, I believe, was why our gifts were ultimately granted us – to serve our Creator with.

Maybe your gift is singing, speaking or painting. Then again, maybe your gift isn’t something quite as noticeable as something you can base a profession on. Many of us have spiritual gifts that aren’t as outwardly noticeable, yet they are just as important as some the gifts that are more outwardly prominent.

For instance, if you’ll read the snippet from Stanley’s devotion below, you’ll see how he mentions mercy as a spiritual gift. Maybe you have the spiritual gift to feel great mercy and compassion. Maybe you have a gift of prophecy in that you have dreams that often tend to come true. Maybe you have the gift of teaching in that it’s easy for you to explain things and teach them to others. Maybe you’re a leader who’s good at rallying people to your cause.

Oftentimes, we have several gifts. For instance, you might have the gifts of teaching and mercy. You might also have the gift of service in that you willingly serve and take care of others.

Regardless of what your gifts are, you can use them for the glory of God. How do you use your spiritual gifts? Just use them to honor God. Follow God’s teachings, and ask Him to use you for His purposes. I’ve found that if you apply the following verse to every situation, it can help you make the right move:

261777_ceb92728067ab546025024c2ccfda49a

When I started reading my Bible with dedication, I started wanting to do things for God, so I asked Him to let me know what to do, and then suddenly I got the idea to create the Christian Living section of my blog. It doesn’t always seem like much to me, and I don’t always post on it every day. Rather, I wait for God to put thoughts and ideas in my head, and then I wait until He tells me to post them.

You might ask: How does He put thoughts in your head, and how does He tell you when to post? It is difficult to explain. I will just suddenly have a thought or idea out of the blue, and it usually comes at a time when I’m not even thinking about writing. I might be doing the laundry, and there it is, unbidden. Then, I’ll just have this certainty inside – this feeling that lets me know it’s from Him. The same thing about when I’m supposed to post it. Sometimes I’m meant to write it up right away and post it. Sometimes He allows obstacles to get in my way to prevent me from posting it until He is ready. It is truly an amazing experience, and I take such joy in doing it. There is no greater pleasure than knowing that you’ve done what God told you to do. (But keep in mind that just because God communicates to me this way doesn’t mean that’s how he will communicate to you. Just as we all have different spiritual gifts, so do we have different ways of hearing God. Some people claim that they’ve actually heard the voice of God on occasion. Sometimes He’ll send you a message through another person.)

When you realize your gifts and talents and allow God to guide you in using them for the good of His kingdom, then you’ll start to see amazing things happen in your life. You’ll see prayers answered and demonstrations of God’s power and mercy, and you’ll be a happier individual overall.

So what are your spiritual gifts? As always, feel free to share below in comments.