Tag Archives: list making

Fixated

31 Aug

List

I am a list-maker.

Partly because my memory isn’t great, partly because I like to check off completed tasks. Mostly, though to clear my mind.

When I’m not able to write an idea down, my mind gets stuck. I fixate on that one thing and little else, because I’m afraid I will forget. Maybe I’m out there all by myself, but if I think of something I need to get at the store I’m going to, and I don’t tell Siri to make a note, I will either focus on that one thing so hard, which means I can’t daydream, or I will forget.

The forgetting part isn’t so bad (although it IS inconvenient), but the I-can’t-think-of-anything-else part frustrates me. I’m fairly certain that one of my spiritual gifts is daydreaming, thinking, and noticing… and then making new connections. I’m not sure what to call it. I don’t see it listed in 1 Cor 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, or 1 Peter 4. In any case, when there is one thing in my mind, I can’t move on and think about other, grander things.

The same thing happens in my spirit. When I get fixated on something, when I keep mulling something over in my heart, I get stuck there. I think God designed us this way on purpose. Because if we could carry it all in minds and souls with an infinite capacity, we wouldn’t need him.

He wants to carry the stuff that life throws at us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Pet 5:6-7

He is made to carry the heavy stuff. We are not.

Why are casting and humble in the same verse?

Because not casting  my cares on him is pride. When we take on what only God is meant to carry, we are sinning. It’s a trust issue. If I continue to hold onto stuff, working over it, fretting, rehearsing, and dwelling on it, I am saying, “This is too big for you, God. I can figure it out with a better solution than you could, so until I do, I’ll just keep on carrying it.”

And we all know that sin blocks our relationship with God. Even if it didn’t, however, we’d still be stuck – fixated on something without the capacity to enjoy God and the life he gave us.

Relationship is where this passage is headed: “because he cares for you.” No power struggle. No lecture. Not even any talk about pride and sin. Just a loving Father caring for his child by carrying the heavy stuff, so our arms are free to throw around his neck and hear  the “I love you” he whispers in our ear as he pulls us close.

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READY FOR SUNDAY

I have heard it often said in church that we should leave our stuff at the back door before we come in to worship him. There’s some good in that idea, but what if instead, we brought all the stuff we carry into church and offered it up to him? This isn’t a logistical adjustment, it’s a heart issue of control and pride – which is essentially idolatry! Besides, if we don’t give it over to him, we will be sorely tempted (I used that word on purpose) to pick everything up again as we leave. That means we are changed in the presence of God as we worship him, only to go back to the way we were before. This isn’t the transformation promised by the Gospel!

So… those of us who lead others into the means of grace during worship, what are we fixated on? What has our heart? Are we carrying what God should be carrying?

Or are we humbly trusting and allowing him to have and inhabit our being so he can flow through us unhindered?

[L]et us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… Heb 12:1-2

God-Boasting

6 Oct

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  Galatians 6:14

Our TV is old.  When the entire visual world went HD, it went bye-bye.  Even without a TV, however, I still hear a whole lot of boasting as the presidential election draws near.  (Actually, I prefer boasting to bashing.)  There are two problems with this self-focused look-at-me-I’m-wonderful obsession:

  1. Self-aggrandizement, drawing attention to oneself and one’s accomplishments, is repulsive. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.  (Proverbs 27:2)
  2. The only one truly worthy of our boasting is God.

Reading all the Bible verses that include the word boast is a very interesting  and worthwhile study.  As I read through the verses another pair of observations emerged:

  1. I am humbled as I remember my boasting and how insignificant my accomplishments are.
  2. The only one truly worthy of my boasting is God.

I’m not campaigning for president, but I’m no less guilty than the candidates of boasting in myself and stealing God’s glory.

As I read through the verses, my focus shifted from myself to my God.  And my heart filled with the worthiness of God!  I began ticking off his accomplishments, making a list-prayer of who he is – boasting in him and giving him all the glory!

That’s My King is my favorite* list of God-boasting.  Take six minutes to listen and boast in him.

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Ready for Sunday

I’m making a list of who God is.  All day today, I’ve been thinking about who he is relating to my day.  As I eat – He is Provider.  As I look at the beautiful sunshine and changing leaves outside – He is artful Creator.  As I read news blogs – He is the All-wise Alpha and Omega.  As I hear more election jargon – He is the King of kings.

My King was born King.
The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King.
He’s the King of the Jews – that’s an Ethnic King.
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that’s my King.

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*There are other versions of this video on-line that are more visually interesting, but I like this one the best because the crowd’s response is included in the audio.  Additionally, the full sermon is an hour well-spent!  “That’s My King” is near the end at the 55 minute mark.

Pastor S. M. Lockridge  (1913 – 2000) was  very appropriately named Shadrach Meshach after two of the three Hebrew captives who would worship only God even when faced with being thrown into a furnace of fire.  Lockridge was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, in San Diego, CA from 1953 to 1993.

Special thanks to Brandi Germana for the art above.  She has a wonderful artistic gift!  Check out her work.

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