Tag Archives: food for thought

A Puritan Prayer

Joel and I love “The Valley of Vision” which is the Puritan Prayer book. Here’s one of the beautiful prayers I have been meditating on recently…

Freedom

O Holy Father, thou hast freely given thy Son,

O Divine Son, though has freely paid my debt,

O Eternal Spirit, thought has freely bid me come,

O Triune God, thou dost freely grace me with salvation.

Prayers and tears could not suffice to pardon my sins, nor anything less than atoning blood, but my believing is my receiving, for a thankful acceptance is no paying of the debt.

What didst thou see in me? That I a poor, diseased, despised sinner should be clothed in thy bright glory? That a creeping worm should be advanced to this high state? That one lately groaning, weeping, dying, should be as full of joy as my heart can hold? That a being of dust and darkness should be taken like Mordecai from captivity, and set next to the king? Should be lifted like Daniel from a den and be made ruler of princes an d provinces?

Who can fathom immesurable love?

As far as the rational soul exceeds the senses, so does the spirit exceed the rational in its knowledge of thee.

I marvel that the finite can know the Infinite, here a little, afterwards in full-orbed truth; Now I know but a small portion of what I shall know, here in part, there in perfection, here a glimpse, there a glory.

To enjoy thee is life eternal, and to enjoy is to know.

Keep me in the freedom of experiencing thy salvation continually!

Personal Planning

Thanks for all the b-day wishes! It was a great–and hilarious day–more on that soon.

With a new year and a new perspective, I love to evaluate and plan for the next year…at least in theory.

I really enjoy the devotional material from Revive Our Heart Ministry and their “First Things First” series has been amazing. Here are my highlights. I am gonna try and journal through some of this today…amidst the sound of walls falling down in my house…more on that to come!

  • “Lord, what is Your agenda for my life this day? This season? This period of my life? The truth that sets me free is that there is time in every 24 hour day to do everything that is on God’s “to do” list for my life, for that day. What would you say is the number one priority in your life?
  • What would others say is the number one priority in your life?
  • Based on what you love to talk about, on the way you spend your time, what you do when you have free time, what is the number one priority in your life?

Is it your relationship with the Lord? And what’s the evidence? How is that demonstrated?

I want to encourage you to think through your current schedule, this current season of life, and to identify any activities that may be hindering you from adequately prioritizing your relationship with the Lord. There may be some obvious clutter in your life that you just need to purpose—look, we’re clearing that out. There’s not time for that right now.

We ask tough questions like:

  • Am I living out God’s priorities for my life?
  • Am I fulfilling God’s priorities for my life?
  • Are there any priorities or responsibilities that I’m neglecting?

Let me suggest two practical exercises at this point that have been helpful to me at different seasons of my life.

Number one: Make a list of all your current responsibilities. Put on there everything that you’re doing at this season of life—everything that is on your “to do” list.

Another little exercise that will be helpful to take inventory is to keep a time log for a week. Keep track of what you are actually doing with your time—in 15- or 30-minute increments at the most. Now, if you’re a mom, maybe use three-minute increments because it may change that often! But in some small measure of time, keep track for a week of what you are actually doing with your time.

What you find may surprise you. You may think that you are spending most of your time in certain areas of responsibility and find out that, really, you’re spending more time in areas you didn’t realize.

Now, as you do these exercises, as you have this list in front of you of your responsibilities—your “to do” list—and the way that you’ve actually been utilizing your time, then you can begin to evaluate. You’re taking inventory; you’re evaluating. Based on how you’re using your time, what are your real priorities? Are they the right ones? Or do you need to make some adjustments?

Ask yourself as you look at your list: How is each of these activities contributing to, or helping me fulfill, the priorities that God has established for my life and for our family?

We talked about the priorities of the relationship with the Lord, your relationship with your husband, your relationship with your children, and then being a keeper of your home. How are each of these responsibilities—these things on my “to do” list—helping me to fulfill those priorities, or whatever are the priorities are at your season of life?

Then ask yourself as you look at this list—ask yourself about everything on that list: Is this something that God wants me, or that God wants our family, to be doing at this season of life? It may be something that is okay at a different season of life, but something that is not appropriate or best or necessary for this season of life.

Ask yourself as you look at the things on that list: Am I involved in any activities currently that are not on God’s agenda for this season of my life? Have I accepted any responsibilities that I just said “yes” to, but I didn’t check with the Lord first? I didn’t inquire of the Lord to find out if it is what He wanted me to do.

Maybe there are some things on my list that are good things, but things that God intends for someone else to do. By the way, if you fulfill someone else’s job description, not only will you be frustrated, but they won’t be able to fulfill the purpose for which God made them.

Ask yourself: Am I doing these things for the right reasons?

  • Why am I doing each of these activities?
  • What are my motives?
  • Am I doing this out of guilt?
  • Am I doing this out of peer pressure because every other mother says, “This is what you are supposed to do with your children”?
  • Is it performance—trying to win God’s favor, trying to impress someone else, or trying to please people rather than God?
  • Is it comparison?
  • Foolish people live for the moment without thinking about the future, but wise people are always making decisions in light of eternity, in light of the long run. Will this matter five years from now? Will this matter in eternity?
  • Foolish people live for themselves, but wise people live for the glory of God and for others. Foolish people are careless with their time—they’re just reacting to life, but wise people are thoughtful and intentional and purposeful in how they use their time.

That’s why you have to know—what is the season of life, and how can I take advantage of the moments God has given to me in that life?

For the full version, click on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5