Not of this World..

I just went to the movie theatre to watch Star Trek Beyond.  So if I sound a little spacey, you know why?

The movie starts as Captain Kirk finds himself adding to his log…

startrekbeyondposterCaptain’s Log, Stardate 2263.2. Today is our 966th day in deep space – A little under three years into our five year mission. The more time we spend out here, the harder it is to tell where one day ends and the next one begins. It can be a challenge to feel grounded, when even the gravity is artificial. But while we do what we can to make it feel like home. The crew, is always, continues to act admirably despite the rigors of our extended stay here in outer space.  The farther out we go, the more I find myself wondering what it is we are trying to accomplish.But if the universe is truly endless, then we are not striving for something forever out of reach.  Perhaps a break from routine will offer up some respite from the mysteries of the unknown.

I don’t know about those of you reading this, but when it comes to my spiritual life I sometimes sure can relate to what Captain Kirk is feeling.

We all go through periods when it seems like we are just going through the motions. Doing the same thing day after day. Wondering if we are making a difference. If you have been a Christian for any length of time and haven’t felt this way at least once, I applaud you. But stop lying.

I don’t think anything is wrong with us when this happens. Sometimes we just have to wait until it passes. Other times we simply need to change our routine. It doesn’t have to be some major change either.

Some suggestions:

  • Change what time of day you study or read the Bible. People will say that the morning is best. God doesn’t care about when. He cares about quality time, a time when you can give Him your best.
  • Change the location where you study, read, or pray. For me the outdoors is my best place for prayer. But the living room when no one else is home is where I study. That’s what works for me. It’s going to be different for everybody.

What really stuck out to me about Kirk’s log entry was his talking about trying to make the ship feel like home. And how at the end of the log he says “we are not striving for something forever out of reach.” The bible agrees with the second part but not on the first. The bible tells us:

For  this world is not our permanent home; we are looking for a home yet to come.  ~Hebrews 13:14

notofthisworld_slider2

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it.  Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.  Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices.  Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.  1 Peter 2:11-12

When we are feeling like we aren’t making a difference or simply feeling overwhelmed by all the tragedy in the world we need to remember this isn’t our home. I realize simply reading these scriptures isn’t going to magically snap someone out of their stagnation. But that’s what we have each other for.  The bible tells us to build each other up.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I’m leaving you with one more movie quote and a bible verse. I think they speak for themselves.

star-trek-beyond-idris-elba-krallKrall: Unity is not your strength. It is a weakness.

Captain James T. Kirk: I think you’re underestimating humanity.

But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. – 1 Corinthians 12:24b-26

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Falling Down, Getting Up, & God’s perfect timing

Have you ever noticed a time when God’s timing was absolutely perfect? God’s timing always is perfect but we don’t always see it. Of course, when things are going your way it’s easy to see His timing. It’s the times when it seems like everything is falling apart that we can’t see it.

Ring_TimerThis week I had the opportunity to clearly see His timing being perfect. One day I was really tempted to act on my addiction. To act on the unwanted thoughts in my head, my old behavior. I’m not exactly sure what triggered this but I’m sure if I thought about it I’d see it. That’s a different post and getting off track.

Anyway, when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore I received an email from a podcast I listen to about recovery from porn addiction (PornFreeRadio). I immediately opened the email. If I didn’t I would be writing a very different and humiliating post. The email was a video on relapse.

I started watching the 15-minute video. All the garbage in my head started to get quiet, and by the time the video was over those thoughts were gone. This happened because I took the way out promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

I don’t think this was things falling apart, but it could have cost me a lot if I didn’t take action to put my thoughts on a different path. Why throw away almost 7 months on momentary pleasure followed by shame?

kid-fall-off-bikeI’m sharing this moment of my life for two reasons. First, I don’t want to give the impression that after six months I am somehow cured. The struggle is no longer constant but it is still just that, a struggle. If I get complacent or cocky about the progress I’ve made then I’m in danger of relapsing.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8

The second reason I’m sharing this is for the benefit of other people struggling. And I don’t just mean addicts. It could be someone struggling with changing a behavior or struggling in their spiritual life. I want them to know that it’s a process. Change doesn’t happen overnight. You will have setbacks but that’s okay. What’s important is what you do after the setback. Get up and keep moving forward.

for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, – Proverbs 24:16a

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

I Suffer from Spiritual Bamboozlement!!

You heard it right.  I suffer from Spiritual Bamboozlement.  I just can’t seem to have the clear-headedness, the peacefulness, and the faith to put God first.

Why does it seem so difficult to put God first in our daily lives? In my daily life? I know for me, part of it has to do with my last post on procrastination. I let too many other things distract me. Two sentences ago, I got distracted thinking about something else that had to be done. Did it have to be done now? No.

Dug_the_Dog_REV-450x354-300x236People tend to do the same thing when it comes to spending time with God. We find ten million other things to do instead.  God ends up getting what’s left over of our time and energy if there is any left.

I’m going read the Bible. Oh, wait!  Let me watch the news. I have to know what’s going on in the world. Don’t I? Yep, people all over the world are still killing each other. Glad I didn’t miss that. Continue reading “I Suffer from Spiritual Bamboozlement!!”

Texting with a Pain in the Butt

 

Dwight thumbDWIGHT: Today is Wednesday and I have a blog post to write for Friday. I have to write it today so I can send it to Bob so he can add pictures and correct my spelling and terrible grammar.

Who’s Bob, you say? A friend, my poorly paid editor ($0), accountability partner, sounding board and generally a pain in the butt. Aren’t all good friends like that sometimes?

I have no idea what to write yet. I should have been writing yesterday. I should have started thinking of a topic three days ago. Look. He is already sending me Google chat messages.

Bob thumbBOB: Don’t wait til the last minute to write the blog this week.

Dwight thumbDWIGHT:  I really need to fight my procrastinating nature. The only idea I have will probably sound like complaining.

Bob thumbBOB: lol I can come up with several ideas for you.

Dwight thumbDWIGHT:  I’m sure you can.

Bob thumbBOB:  “My life is a monument to procrastination, to the art of putting things off until later, or much later, or possibly never.” ~ Craig Brown Continue reading “Texting with a Pain in the Butt”

Butterflies are Free!

One day, I was watching these two butterflies fly around and realized how quickly I forget the freedom I have in Christ. It’s so easy during difficult times to be so focused on our problems that we try to do it all by ourselves.Butterflies1

We do this while God is watching and asking, ” are you quite finished? Are you ready to let go and let me guide you? Just relax and trust me.”

Why do we keep trying to do things in our own power? I almost said, I wish I knew the answer to this question. But I think all Christians realize it is our sinful nature. I think deep down, we don’t really trust God to come through.r93_0_1109_675_w1200_h678_fmax

Even if He’s come through a thousand times, we forget. I know I do. Also, we humans can be very prideful. We want to be self-sufficient and not have to rely on anyone. This is especially true of us Americans. Continue reading “Butterflies are Free!”