THE JOY OF THE CHOCOLATE BUNNY
Never met anyone who did not like a creamy, milk chocolate bunny for Easter. Large, small; it doesn’t matter what size as long as it is sweet and melts in the mouth.
Easter morning is a lot like that delectable chocolate bunny. It is sweet and it brings great joy (without adding more pounds from the sugar). We dress up in our finest and we enjoy the fellowship of others who have done just as we’ve done. We pull out all of the “stops” in our worship of God, joyfully singing, praising Him and spending time in His Word.
So, why can’t we, don’t we, continue this sweetness and joy for the rest of the year? Maybe it’s because it is just too hard to keep this level of joy going. Perhaps what happens is that we just slip back into the problems of this sin-broken world often without realizing that we’ve done so. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily needs and pressures of life. We often run out of energy before we run out of day.
There is a solution to this problem that can be just as sweet as that chocolate Easter bunny. Why not turn over those things that weigh us done. Turn over to Him what you can’t, or don’t want, to handle. Ask Him to strengthen you, to give you patience, and for help in placing the priorities of your life where He would have them be.
Scripture: Psalm 16:11
The New Year
By now the Thanksgiving turkey is gone, the Christmas presents have been unwrapped, and you’re running on “empty.” If Thanksgiving and Christmas were not enough of a drain on your energy reserves, after the New Years celebrations your tank may well be dry.
The holidays, however, are worth the energy that they demand. You’ve had an opportunity to give thanks for what you have, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and welcome in the new year.
As you’re resting, it’s a good opportunity to think about what you’d like to get accomplished in the coming year. Will this year be just a copy of the last, or will you make changes?
Here’s a suggestion as to how to approach the question. Take a look at your priorities. Do they reflect God’s plan: Him first, your family next, your friends and then everything else.
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3
Happy New Year
How Large Is Your Plate?
A question that each person must constantly ask is: how large is my “plate” not in terms of that amount of food that the dinner plate can hold but in terms of how I can use my time and talents.
It’s not uncommon to take on too much in the way of commitments. After all its just a little request, and I can tough it out for a while. We tend to forget at times that we need to prioritized our resources in order to remain healthy.
If we don’t, or are unwilling to do so, then something has to give way. All-to-often its relationships with family, loved ones, and God. We allow one, or more, of our relationships to suffer thinking that we can go back later and repair the damage; but do we?
The solution is a simple one – reduce the size of your plate. Prioritize what needs to be there and be selective as to what can, or should, be added. Allow nothing on that will result in something more important to be pushed off.
Need help in doing this? Go to God in prayer.
Scripture: Exodus 20:1-17 (noting the order in which He presents His commandments.
There’s nothing more quieting than to just sit and look out over the lushness of God’s creation. It’s good to just get away and think. And, no matter what the season, if you’re patient God will unfold before you all of the majesty of His creation.
If you’re very quiet you might even hear the birds begin to serenade you with their song. Notice that they go about their business without a single sign of worry or concern, for God has provided all that they need.
Why is it that unlike these birds, we spend so much time worrying about what we can’t control when everything that we need is close at hand. God takes care of the least of His creatures so doesn’t it stand to reason that He will take care of you as well.
Scripture: Matt. 6:25-34
We live in a time when living together without the benefit of marriage has become more the norm than the exception that it once was. Why is that?
One argument that is often heard is that we need to “test drive” the relationship to see if we’re compatible before we commit to marriage. Data shows that this “testing” does not improve the relationship in the long-run and in fact, can actually harm it.
The more important argument against living together before marriage, however, is that it is not what God envisioned for you. God calls for one man to be wed to one woman in a public setting with a public commitment to each other to remain in the relationship until death separates them.
Scripture: Genesis 3:24; John 4:16-18
Gifts from God
Your kids are God’s gifts to you – even when at times, they seem more like a curse than a gift. In our youth, they brought great joy into our lives as infants and toddlers. As we’ve aged, we’ve experienced a great sense of satisfaction as we watched them encounter and then overcome the challenges in their lives. In our older years they bring a sense of security, knowing that now, they are there to care for us.
This can only happen, however, when we love them as God loves us – unconditionally, from their first day to our last.
Will they break your heart at times? You had better believe that they will. But just as quickly, they can mend that tear with nothing more than a kiss and a hug. We are blessed by these gifts, so take care of them, appreciate them, and love them unconditionally.
Scripture: Psalm 127
Time For Your Children
When was the last time that you took the afternoon off to spend with your kids? Been a while has it!
As important as your work is, spending time with your kids is by far more important. We need to play with them, to read to them, and to show them what is important to us. We call this teaching and it’s important because if you don’t teach them, who will? If you don’t teach your kids, there are those who are more than willing to do so; most likely with lessons that you do not want them to learn and over which you have no control.
Jesus took time as a part of His public ministry to be with His disciples. Indeed, these were important times in His ministry. It was during these times that the disciples came to know Him, not just as a Rabbi, but as a fellow human being. They came to know what was important and what was not, what was acceptable and what was not.
He was investing in the future of His Church by investing time in these twelve men. Isn’t this what we do when we take time away from work to be with our children? Aren’t we investing in their future as well as ours?
Scripture: Proverbs 5:7; 7:24; 22:6
A One Minute Devotional for the week of August 5th
For The Ladies
Who taught you to be the woman that you are today – perhaps you are a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, or a friend? Chances are that it was another, older woman. Perhaps it was your mother, or an aunt, or a friend, or perhaps a teacher. Whoever it was, it was someone who took an interest in you because she cared about you, loved you. Whoever it was, you owe her a lot for she taught you lessons of life that can only be passed-on in this manner.
Hopefully, that woman, or those women, taught you another lesson amidst the more obvious ones. Hopefully, she was able to be model for you, thus teaching you what it means to be a Christian woman.
Scripture: Titus 2:3-5