One of my favorite things to do is sit and think and plan the next week on Sunday night. Then I make a big todo list of every thing I want to get done for the week. The list includes ministry responsibilities and appointments, as well as home projects and hobbies. Everything that has a date and time attached to it I put in a calendar for the week and the rest I put in a list next to the calendar. I put things on the list in order of importance so if I don’t get everything checked off the less important things can move to the next week. This week Patty and I are flying to Anchorage, Alaska where I will be speaking at a conference for Missionaries in Canada and Alaska, the ones that are back in the bush. We leave early Wednesday and get back on Saturday afternoon just in time for our Saturday service. So my todo list is just for Monday and Tuesday, and it is a long list. A lot of people when they think about what they need to do in their head feel overwhelmed and super busy. Putting things on paper or in my iPad in my case really helps make everything seem doable. Trying to figure,out what you are going to do next, all week long, tends to be a huge time waster and an emotional and mental energy drain. I shift my brain into planning/deciding mode Sunday evening while sitting in my recliner and spend 30 minutes planning the week and I don’t have to revisit it again except in a few instances when circumstances require some flexibility. 30 minutes of planning on Sunday night is a huge factor in getting a lot done and bearing much fruit for God. It isn’t hard, or complicated, but very few will do it for some reason.
Not right away, maybe. I have no clue what the day is for me or how, but it is getting closer every day I live. I have been thinking about the day I will die a lot lately. Wondering when, how, what it will feel like, what will be my first impression. It is a great unknown in that we don’t know what it will feel like or any of the particulars. The Bible teaches that we ought to be free from any fear of death and dying, but most are not. I think the key is thinking about and anticipating it like an amazing trip to Disney Land or Hawaii. We get a new body that will be amazing, we will see God, it is incomprehensible all that God has prepared for us. I am anticipating all that I will be able to do before I go, but when that day comes it will be wonderful to cease from all my working.
How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!
You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man;
You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
I have memorized these verses and think about them, meditate on them, and claim them as my own every day. With all the crazy stuff going on in our country and the world it is so easy to get angry, intimidated, confused, and depressed often all at once. God lets the world do what they want rejecting Him, but those who fear Him, trust Him, who take refuge in Him, and who love Him He will hide them in the secret place of His presence from the conspiracies of men, from the strife of tongues. That sounds so nice, “the secret place of Your presence”.
God said that a key time to experience Him is when we gather together as a church family. Regular church attendance is God’s idea, and He blesses those who follow Him, seek Him, and draw near to Him. It is the world’s idea to do away with church and we see where it is going. Make regular church attendance a key part of your life by commitment and see what happens.
Most people believe in God and give lip service to Him, but very few people have a close and an intimate relationship with Him. The reason is that if you are going to be really close to God you must be committed to obeying Him as God. Most have a “parallel relationship” with God, that is they are going in the same general direction as God, but they want to keep their distance from Him at the same time, like two railroad tracks, going the same direction but apart. Why would that be so prevalent in people in general, it is like we are hard wired to be fiercely independent even rebellious at times from infinite, almighty, all wise God. One of the amazing benefits of seeking a closer and closer walk with Him is the gift of joy that He gives to those who honor Him, seek Him, and obey Him. It is a joy that rises above circumstances and events, it is a supernatural joy that thrives in the midst of trials, disappointment and pain. It is a simple matter of choosing, making the commitment,
Just got back from a three day rafting trip down the Roque River. We went through a bunch of rapids, and a number of them with names like Blossom Bar, and Coffee Pot were pretty intense. We camped on the river, ate great camp cooking, and had super fellowship as the 6 of us enjoyed the adventure together. The scenery of the river with it’s high rock walls, boiling water over the rocks and falls, and the basic wilderness of it all was amazing. I am so fortunate to be able to do things like this, and have friends who include me in their adventures. Pastor Mike Dedera, JBC’s associate pastor ran the raft I was on, and all I had to do was sit in the front, hang on and enjoy the trip and the scenery, which I did. The next time I do this I am going to get a Go Pro camera and mount it on my life jacket and have a nice video made from the footage.
i am going to go with 5 other guys from JBC white water rafting down the Rogue River for the next three days. This is a new adventure for me and I am looking forward to it. I probably won’t have cell service so you won’t see a blog from me until Wednesday evening. That first blog after floating three days should have some good stories in it. As I said in my bicycle blog I like for things to be exciting and I don’t enjoy boring, A little boring is ok but a lot boring is not. It looks like the weather is going to be great and the best cook I know is part of the trip so I will gain a pound or two on this 3 day adventure.
There are a lot of very sad people in the world right now. There are a lot of cynical people as well. There are also a whole lot of bitter and angry people, also the number of depressed and those who are in deep despair seems to be growing rapidly. The political scene, the economic debt, the constant news of people getting their heads cut off. We do live in depressing times for sure, and it is probably going to continue to get worse. I am incredibly happy, filled with joy and hope, looking forward to each day with great anticipation. Some people when they hear me say that doubt my sincerity, but I am being very real when I say that I don’t think I could be more happy than I am right now. You might ask, “Why?” What has happened to make you so full of joy? My answer; nothing has happened that has impacted my level of joy, I am happy because I am choosing to think about my wonderful gift of eternal life with Jesus that can never be taken away from me. I can choose to be a happy person by choosing what I dwell on mentally, and I refuse to let the circumstances of the world control my level of happiness. I am not a victim of events and circumstances that I have no control over. I am a child of God headed for heaven forever and I choose to think about that.