Category Archives: Time With God

Rise -n- Shine

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests

before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)

It’s quiet in my house as I begin to write down these thoughts.  Too quiet almost, my wife headed off to a scrapbook weekend, my oldest son is working late tonight, and my two youngest kids went to grandpa’s cabin for the weekend.   It’s just me all alone and hoping I’m to get in some good 1:1 time with my Father.  That would not have always been my priority if I was to find myself all alone for an extended period of time.  I reckon sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll was my focus in life at one time.  Not to mention gambling, theft… I’ll stop here for now since I’m not quite sure of the statute of limitations for some of the things I’ve done.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own

doing; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)

“Saving” is what God does.  He changed me and I’m no longer ashamed of the man I once was because I know that I have a new life in Christ.  He has forgiven and blessed me immeasurably beyond what I ever deserve.  I know this to be true, yet find it so hard most of the time to make any attempt to show my thankfulness through my actions, thoughts, and life as a whole.  Much of my time is spent worrying about all kind of things, mostly things that “might” be a problem and the fact that I simply want more “things.”

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor

about your body, what you will put on….  Instead, seek his kingdom, and

these things will be added to you. (Luke 12:22; 31)

How many times do we end up worrying about something that never even happens?  Stress and anxiety are our enemy.  How are we to experience the joy of the Lord and reflect this into a dying world when our minds are always preoccupied with negative thoughts?  I often think of the “Seek first His kingdom” aspect of Luke 12:31.  On the surface it is clear that we are to first seek what God desires to accomplish in and through us.  I’d suggest that this is impossible to accomplish without beginning every day by assuring that we begin each day by spending time with God.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

The verse above describe the very actions of Jesus.  I have no proof that He did this every morning but personally I believe that He did.  It is a great example for us, one that I’ve often failed to consistently replicate.  Does anyone dare try to make a convincing argument that there is something better for us to do than spend at least the first few minutes of every day in the presence of God?  No Christian would be so foolish as to debate that matter, however we’d likely be very surprised at how few of us make this a habitual practice in our lives.

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are

my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16)

I’m trying to consistently dedicate at least the first few minutes of everyday to God.  I want to challenge you to do the same.  When I first start waking up, BEFORE I even place a foot on the floor or think of anything else in my life… I begin thanking and praising God for things in my life and who He is.  I’m still half asleep but this begins to prepare my heart for the day ahead.  I ask God to guide my steps before I’ve even taken that first step.  The next thing I do is purposely refuse to look at my phone or computer before I actually get to spend some time in the Word and/or prayer.  Establishing this habit may not be easy at first but God blesses this time and you’ll know it is what He desires.  I challenge you brothers… Sanctify and dedicate those first few minutes and all your thoughts of each day to God.  It is hard to say we seek His kingdom first if the first thing we seek each day is not the King Himself.  Blessed is Best!!

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

When To Just Snuggle

images When to read, when to pray, when to worship, when to just snuggle. Our God is infinitely more than our minds can even begin to comprehend.  I believe we need to be careful that we not confine Him to our boundaries and habits.  It is easy to place Him in the box of what we are comfortable with and therefore routinely do.  We can get ourselves into patterns of ritualistic habit.  A pattern can be healthy if it assures we are setting time aside to be with God, a routine however, can cause us to close our hearts to something else He’d desire from us at that particular moment.

There are many ways to spend time with God.  I’d never say there is a bad time to read His Word or pray, as there is never a bad time to worship or just soak in His presence.  As a teacher, I’m unable to truly teach until I’ve been able to get the classroom settled and focused.  Attempts to just push through the lesson before students are ready only assures that little is learned since they are not yet ready to receive what it is I’m trying to say.  It further complicates matters if I feel that I must adhere to an inflexible schedule which does not allow room for further explanation or opportunities for enrichment.  I expect the same to be true when desiring that our Father instruct us.  May we be open to being flexible in how we will spend our special times with God.  Let us make sure we are ready to receive before seeking knowledge and/or instruction.

I cherish the fact that my own children love to spend time with me.  Anything we do together makes me happy.  However, there are times to play, times to wrestle, times to listen, and times to snuggle.  May we be sensitive to how He desires to spend time with us. He knows what we need more than we do.  Just ask, listen for the gentle whisper. Whispers however, are most easily heard in silence.

“…Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Don’t be afraid to take the time to still your mind through worship, prayer, or just soaking in his presence. Sometimes I just want my kids to talk to me, other times a long snuggle is what they need.  Experience shows me that it is during and after these times that they are best prepared to receive from me.  A favorite song can be wonderful in helping us snuggle and prepare our hearts for what the Father would like to share.  Here are a few of my personal favorites.  Be Blessed.