How Can I Have More God Moments?

ImageI found something really fascinating this morning when I was reading my Bible. Don’t you love it when that happens! In the introduction in the book of Luke, the first paragraph of verses is an introduction that is dedicated to Theophilus as he is describing his own witness  of the events of his time. This is what Luke says, “it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”

I must have read those verses hundreds of time in my spiritual pilgrimage but they hit me differently this morning. I realized that Luke may very well be making a case here for some kind of journalling. That might be a bit of a stretch but even in the first verse he mentions that others have actually written accounts of what had happened among them as a community. Now before you tune me out, read along just a bit further and do your best to track with me. I should tell you by now that I am an out loud processor which sometimes isn’t great for writers but this is a blog, so here goes.

Here is where these thoughts connect for me, last week Jordan our middle son preached a message at his church called “Why Remember?” It was amazing, I know he’s my kid, but really and truly, it was brilliant. It left me with the reminder of how important spiritual markers are in our lives. He talked about Red Sea moments and why remembering those God-moments often helps catapault us into our future. When we get in the mud and mire with all the negative–the difficult circumstances, people stuff and just how life bogs us down, sometimes our eyes move away from remembering all the incredible miracles God downloads personally to increase our faith. In fact, that’s exactly what he said that those Red Sea moments accomplish, they cause faith to rise up inside of us, so like Luke shared with his friend Theo, let’s write them down!

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have at the end of 2013 a book full of those God moments? I love how Luke makes his case for writing it down, “so that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” I think he could be talking about being certain about our faith, what do you think? He also mentions, “writing an orderly account.” The book of Luke is an orderly account of the life and ministry of Jesus and the Kingdom of God coming to earth-reading it infuses my faith.  We might take the phrase, ‘writing an orderly account’ and transfer that in today’s language as keeping those God moments in one place so you and I can “remember” allowing our faith then to “rise up within us” to quote my very wise son. I am choosing to write them down in a journalling bible I bought for 2013, so I could have my God moments in one place. I bought it before I even thought this all the way through, I wanted to combine seeing God’s word on a page with journalling this year.

You might go out and find a journal with a cover that reflects your personality. TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Winners, Chapters or Barnes and Nobles all have fabulous blank journals. If you are on a tighter budget, stores like TJ Maxx you can get one for under $10.00 leather and all, many times under $5.00. Another idea would be to use 3×5 cards and put them on a ring. That probably is a $2.00 project from the dollar store. Be creative and find a way to record your God moments.

Now you might be saying, I am just not a journaller. That’s okay, you don’t have to be an official one of those types who wake up everyday just dying to write in their journal. This is about keeping a collection of your God moments in one place to rehearse when you need a faith-builder. Let’s face it, none of us really knows what 2013 will bring. I am planning to read my God moments because I know that there will be days I am going to need my faith built up. Can I be so bold to ask you join me? Let me know your thoughts and how you plan to record your God moments to increase your faith in 2013.

Where is the Road Leading in 2013?

Back in September Kevin and I were at a marriage retreat in Colorado. It was intense. It was a difficult season and the retreat felt like an endless road of rehearsing, repairing and rebuilding. But it was good. It was necessary to crack the layers and shake off hardened habits to get to the rewards — loving deeper and giving more grace to get on a stronger path towards relational wellness. On our day off we ventured away from the lodge to head into town for a break. Actually it was Sunday and we wanted to go to church. We were late, not because we didn’t leave in time but because there was a crowd on the road stretching for miles. A sheep convention of sorts, at least that is what it looked like! They were leading and we were following, it was the only way out of Dodge! So we crawled at a snails pace waiting for the dogs and the modern sheepherder, an ATV rider to come along and move the sheep to the side of the road so we could pass carefully.

We had to do a couple of things in order to keep calm and not incur any casualties both with the sheep and the vehicle. First, we had to keep our eyes focused on the road and not the sheep. Sheep are distracting, they goof around when they are in a herd, there is no order and no rhyme or reason–they play, they prance in front of you, they turn back and walk straight into objects and don’t seem to have a clue that the goal is to move forward to get to the destination.  Second, we had to use caution and match our pace so that we wouldn’t bump into them and wait patiently for the obstacles to clear out of the way to move ahead. At first it seemed rather comical and then it was annoying because they seemed to stretch for miles! At last we were rescued as the ATV rider herded them successfully to the side of the road. Yeah! We could finally move ahead and get on with the plan.

As I think about the start of the New Year and the possibilities that are ahead, I can’t help but relive that Sunday morning as I think about planning for 2013. The past few years I’ve had my share of obstacles in the road with goofy sheep and I just want to “get on with the plan.”  I don’t know about you but I get excited about starting fresh and get anxious to move into a new season. So…. I bought a new journal to write in, a few devotionals, purchased a journalling bible and made my list of books I want to read and outlined a plan of how I wanted to grow with Jesus in 2013. I started making my list of goals and then I read today in Proverbs 16:3,9; “Commit your work to the LORD and your plans will be established…the heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Hmmmm, as I reflected my mind was spinning, what does this mean? Then it hit me as I looked at the picture from that Sunday morning, my heart can make a plan, but God very well may have placed sheep in the road to remind me to keep my eyes focused on Him and not get in too much of a hurry. God moves us by steps not by miles, another translation says “God directs his steps.” Sometimes the obstacles are there for a reason, if not for the simple reason to refocus and not rush ahead. It was a stark reminder that God is the one who will direct my steps or at least at the right time, clear the herd to the other side so I can take another step to move ahead. So in the meantime, as I start 2013 this is my prayer, “God help me to walk out what I believe you have placed in my heart for this year, help me to keep my eyes on you and trust that if obstacles appear to not get discouraged but that you will help me either get over them or drive by them as I keep my eyes fixed on the path ahead.”  Image