What is Time?

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

The introduction to my Church’s upcoming sermon series hit home this week.  The Pastor’s message was entitled, “It’s Time!”  He spoke about how time is the great equalizer, there is a finite amount of time…How are you spending yours?

What a question, how AM I spending my time?  Is what I’m doing really making a difference? Does it really matter?  If I take a look at my life, as a whole…beginning to end, does what I’m doing now on a daily basis truly matter?  I had to honestly answer, “No.”

What do you do with that?  I felt, well…yucky.  The life I am currently living, when I take an honest Christian look at it is not currently benefiting anyone, let alone Jesus.  How does one turn that around, how do I make my answer a “Yes”?

Moving dirt back and forth

The Pastor used the example of an Army private given the task of digging a hole, putting the dirt into sacs, then moving it to another location to dump it out, and repeating it over and over.  Once the hole was dug, he was told to go to the dirt pile, fill the sac, and empty it into the hole.  In the end he is just moving dirt back and forth.  The whole thing was meaningless.

Am I just moving dirt back and forth?  Perhaps a better question is:  Why AM I just moving dirt back and forth?  God put us on this earth for a purpose…I highly doubt that purpose is to move dirt back and forth!  As Christians it is our obligation to bring meaning to our time, to do the things that are important.

Time management

Psalm 90:1-12 talks about how important it is to live each day as if it is numbered.  It reminds us that our life is short:

“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10, NIV)

How short 70 or 80 years are when compared to eternity.  We have such a short time to show God what we are really made of, what he put us on this earth to accomplish.  How do we spend it?  I know I am guilty of sitting in front of the television, computer, or smart phone.  Pinning away projects I will never accomplish, articles I will never read.

What meaning is that bringing to my time here on earth as a Christian?  What meaning is that bringing to my life as a mother?  I can tell you, not a whole lot.  And I know it is not what God put me here on earth to do.  I think all of us need to remember that life has no real fulfillment outside of Christ.  “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

It is time to refocus

To me, the fall feels like the perfect time to reevaluate life and priorities.  Nature is getting rid of the old, and getting ready for the new.  The old leaves fall away, and over the winter the tree prepares itself for the new ones to grow. LifeLifeBeyondYourself

It is time for a refocus in my life.  To find the things that really matter in life, both to God and to me.  To find the things that make God and, in turn, me happy.  It is time for me to be a little more like Jesus, it’s time for me to reach out to others like Jesus, and it’s time to find out for myself who Jesus is to me.

Sermon Series: Jesus {Who is this man?}

My Church has begun a sermon series entitled:  Jesus {Who is this man?}.  Asking the question billions of people have asked themselves and others for thousands of years.  This is a question that each of us must answer for ourselves as we walk this earth.  Jesus himself has asked the question, “Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29).

I want to share this series with you and form an online “small group,” in order to go deeper into this question.  As a mother of two small children, I know that finding time in your schedule to attend small groups in person.  It is my hope that this blog can serve as a small group of sorts, helping those who want to be involved in the conversation do so.

There are study materials available at Hope Lutheran’s website.  There are also links to the sermons the Pastors will be preaching regarding the questions in the study materials.

It is my intention to post on this topic every Wednesday.  I hope you will join me for the conversation!

Exploring Alpha

After attending Church regularly for a few weeks, and feeling as though God was trying to tell me something, I decided I really should find out more.  But where does one go about finding out more??  I had no clue…and God knew it.  That very next Sunday it was announced they were going to put on another Alpha Course in a few weeks and the sign up table was in the lobby.  This course would be covering “the basics.”

“Ok God, I’m listening,” I thought.  After the service was done I stepped into the hall and signed up for Alpha…My first Bible Study, and I was going alone!  Oh the nerves!!

At my Church, we are lucky enough to have our Pastors lead the Alpha Course, however the weekly lessons are available on YouTube.  I think it is worth it to find a local Alpha Course.  Being able to discuss your thoughts and questions with fellow Christians in a small group setting is what it’s all about.

After week 3 ended, I was hooked, God had once again pointed me in the right direction.  Small Groups are not nearly as scary as they sound, it really will be a rewarding experience!  Since I completed my Alpha Course last fall, I have participated in 3 Church sponsored bible studies.  I am also taking the time to explore some studies on my own.

Please check out the Alpha Course information, and find one near you.  I will be attending my Church sponsored Alpha Course again in the fall of 2013.  I challenge you to do the same.

All Christians are not created equal

When you hear the word Christian being used to describe someone, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  I need to be honest, prior to beginning my walk with Christ, when I visualized a “Christian” it looked something like this:

An individual(s) going door to door asking if you have been saved.  Those people who approach random people they see at the mall and ask them to follow Jesus.  Those intolerant people who damn you for your sin and seemingly threaten you with hell if you do not follow Jesus today.

Oh my, I had NO desire to be one of “those people.”  I fully admit, I had formed a stereotype in my head without creditable any information to base it on.  I made assumptions based on the attitudes and opinions of those around me, without gathering the facts.

Your Christian Personality

The reality:  Some Christians are similar to the stereotype, but thankfully most are not.  There are several different “personalities” when it comes to being Christian, which is a good thing in more ways than one.

When started going to Church regularly, and I began my journey, I took the time to do some proper research.  I found out being a Christian and a follower of Christ has nothing to do with going door to door in the attempt to save people.  I can honestly say I was relieved, running up to random people is not my style!  More power to those Christians who can share their faith that way!  You truly have a gift.  But God did not make me that way, and He did it on purpose.

Each of us has a special function

Romans 12:4-5(NLT)

4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

Not every Christian can, or should, be the same.  God did not intend us to be that way.  If all of us were the hands of Christ we would get nowhere without the feet to take us there.  If all of us were the voice of Christ, we could not act on the spoken words.  All of us are special God’s eyes, each in our own way.  I think that is why he made such a wide variety of us.  What a waste it would be if all of mankind were the same!

We all belong to each other

Another part of this Scripture that stands out to me is in Verse 5 – “and we all belong to each other.”  God does not intend for us to go through this life on our own.  You can find this theme in all kinds of sayings and clichés:  opposites attract, two peas in a pod, you complete me, two are better than one, the three amigos, etc.  While I don’t think one person can “complete” another person, I do believe that God put people in our lives to balance each other out.

I have a fiery personality…I tend to be sensitive over-react, and do it quickly.  I get anxious about things that are not a big deal, and I tend to be fussy about things.  My husband on the other hand generally stays as cool as a cucumber in most situations.  It takes a lot to get him mad, I know…I’ve tried.

I think God brought the two of us together because we balance each other out.  I flip out, he stays calm.  I yell and carry on, he is calm and collected.  There are areas I help him out in too.  He prefers to be a home body, I help him get out and socialize.  It’s all about finding that healthy balance, sometimes we need help to do that.

God made each one of us with a special gift he wants us to use to spread his Word and share it with other people.  Sometimes, and probably most of the time, we will need to work with fellow Christians to do this.  I believe I have found the way he wants me to share the message of Jesus.  Have you found yours?

The Journey Begins

Hello my name is Katie, and I am a Christian.  I am also a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend.  But first and foremost, I am a Christian and a follower of Jesus, and my journey is just beginning.

Now please don’t click away and cross the proverbial street to avoid eye contact, my purpose is not to be one of “those people” who go door to door asking you if you have been saved.  To be honest with you, a year ago that was my assumption of what “Christians” were.  I had no desire to join the “club” and run up to random people and proclaim my faith.  I found that in reality, it is a small percentage of Christians who are feel called to share their faith in that way.  More power to them, but that is not my style.  And I am happy to have found most others share my view.

My journey began when I enrolled my oldest daughter in Sunday School.  Being raised in a loosely Lutheran home, I went through the typical Sunday School, Confirmation, etc. but I didn’t feel the pull of God to become a “regular” at Church.  I decided when I enrolled my oldest in Sunday School, I was going to set a good example for her and attend Church…I had to go there anyway to drop her off, why not.  God had a plan.

Our Church had started the sermon series called The Letters, going through the New Testament Letters written to the early churches. The first sermon challenged me to find out “What is God up to in my life, and what am I doing about it?”  God was hinting to pay attention.  The next few sermons, God was still hinting.  It wasn’t until the sermon on the topic of getting rid of your baggage that I truly got the message.

At this time I was in a place where I was not at all happy about life.  The world was against me, I was battling the depression demon and not fairing well.  Friends and family were getting concerned, I was just not pleasant to be around.  I was carrying so much junk with me I couldn’t see where I was going.  I was not balancing being a wife, mother, employee, and self.  I was completely lost.

Pastor Paul was to give the sermon that Sunday, and there was a large pile of luggage up front…interesting I thought.  He then gave a sermon based on the Baggage Skit from The Skit Guys.  Please take the time to watch it, the skit is truly life changing.

Letting go has been very freeing to let God take it, but I have still found it a daily struggle.  I am growing into the woman God intended me to be.  Every day I get a little bit closer, every day life gets a little bit easier, every day God reminds me how luck I am, and every day I thank Him for everything he has given me.

Please join me in your own Walk of Prayer in this journey called life.  I am looking forward to finding where God leads me, are you?