Scented

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You don’t even have to round the corner to smell it; it almost assaults your senses as soon as you step out on to the small back porch. Confederate jasmine run amok…a neighbor’s gift to the previous owners untrimmed and unmitigated in the slightest for the four years or so that we’ve lived here.

It was tidy once, but no longer. It has taken over the small trellis meant to support it, reached on up for the branches of the maple tree at the corner, wound its way over to the roof…and…I’ll have to do something about it this year. I caught a few tendrils trying to reach in through the crack of a window sill casing.

Beautiful, abundant, breathtaking in both scent and beauty…and intrusive…or trying to be, anyway.

I love the scent of this beautiful invader but, to tell the absolute truth, when caught in the right wind, it can be downright overcoming. It will almost smother you with the goodness of it–some kind of aromatic cross between gardenias and honeysuckle and all here within reach and easy viewing.

It reminds me of something Paul wrote to the church at Corinth long ago, when he said,

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NIV)

I see this flowering vine and I’m reminded that as followers of Christ we, too, are called to be abundant in our production and reach those around us in ways that they can’t avoid noticing because we’re just that different. We’re supposed to “smell different” from those in the world…and act that way, too…because we’re called to BE DIFFERENT from the world.

Some people will love us for it and some will hate us. Others will just be annoyed. The one thing we shouldn’t be, though, is easily ignored. We are to put Christ on full display in our lives and turn Him lose to take over everything in His way. Another thing we shouldn’t be is so full of our own goodness that we fail to be approachable or willing to share our Jesus with those who may not look like it, but so desperately need Him.

In a world where it seems every news cycle is full to the brim with the latest misdeeds of those we should be able to trust, this is a hard thing. Who IS equal to the task? Certainly not me. Not on my own, anyway. Not you, either, I’d suspect. We’re often too full of ourselves and yet too aware of all of our own misdeeds…and that’s part of our problem. If we belong  to God and have asked for His forgiveness, we ought to be bold enough to celebrate the forgiveness–sweet, overwhelming, totally invasive forgiveness–that comes by asking the One who never sinned to cover ours. Once those have been covered, we need to make the choice to celebrate the Forgiver in no uncertain terms and live our lives in ways that honor and glorify Him. It may seem a little too corny for some in our “sophisticated” society, but I believe Chuck Swindoll had it down when he said,

“Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone – deep, non-hypocritical integrity.”

I love that quote and had it on my office wall for years to remind me that each interaction–whether patient or staff member, phone call or personal encounter–was an opportunity to live that out…and in so doing, live out what Christ had called me (and YOU!) to do for Him.

I want to be pleasing in His sight and I want to be an aroma of Christ before God. That will require both submission and pruning…and a willingness to let Him sort out which one is needed when and who needs to hear about His work in my life next. My job is to be available for either, let Him scent the air, and give Him free reign to make me equal to the task.

Grace and Peace!

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Response Time

I hate to admit it, but I might just be a little lazier than I used to be. I came to this momentous insight earlier today when my riding lawn mower suddenly decided to stop working as it should. I’m pretty sure it’s the fault of all of those nasty sweet gum balls that did it, but no matter what (or who, since I was driving!) is to blame, I have to say that my first thought was something along the lines of, “Well, maybe this just isn’t the day to do this!”

It was, though.  In fact, I was trying to get the back part where all of those sweet gum balls were mowed because I didn’t mow it the last time…and I had someone coming over later today and I wanted it all done so they could do what THEY needed to do without being obstructed by all of that higher grass back there, so I grabbed the push mower and went back to work. Once the guy was through with his job, I had to wait a little bit before I could be outside, so I took the time for an early lunch…and began to contemplate whether or not, the rest of the yard REALLY needed to be done today…and it did…so I filled up the push mower and started again.

I generally love mowing the yard. It’s pretty good prayer time as a rule, but today…wellllll…to be honest, I wasn’t really using that time to it’s fullest advantage. Oh, I was talking to God, alright, but it wasn’t all that constructive.

I was complaining…and at a pretty good pace, too.

It was hot. I was tired of things breaking down around here. I know it all belongs to You, God, but really?! It was incredibly dusty and the mask I wore made it even hotter. It was taking forever to do it this way. Why did this have to happen today? On and on it (I!) went. The only thing productive about the whole thing was that the grass was getting mowed…albeit at a much slower rate than I preferred.

About the second time my mower needed more gas, I finally remembered something: Yes, all those things I was complaining about were (are) true, but so is this: When one mower quit, I had another one to use. I had gas in the can and strong legs to push the mower around the yard. It would take longer than normal, but it would also mean I didn’t need to hit the treadmill later. The time I’ve been putting in on the treadmill lately has made me stronger for what I need to do today. That strength has also made it easier for me to handle the heat and God occasionally still allowed me some shade. Using the pushmower also meant I could get into some tighter places and wouldn’t need to do as much weed-eating later. That’s something to be grateful for, so I decided to change my behavior…and do what I ask others to do: I started telling God how grateful I was for all of the blessings I had listed and then I added to the list for several more rounds until my mower needed more gas and it was time for another break.

I also thanked Him for the opportunity to take a break when I need more gas (something I might have blown right past before He started teaching me about margin!), for the fact that Outshine makes an amazing mango popsicle that hits the spot perfectly when you’re hot and taking that break, that HE is God and I am not, for all those teachers I’ve had over the years that pointed me to Him and told me some of the very same things I tell others now. As I thought about that last one, I remembered some other things I know to be true:

  • God will take you seriously when you ask Him for something, and He also takes it seriously when He tells you to share Him with others and tell them that He can be trusted.
  • When you tell them He is your Healer, you may find yourself or someone you love in need of healing.
  • When you tell them He is your Provider, you may find yourself in need of provision.
  • When you tell them He is your Comforter, you may find yourself in need of comforting.
  • When you tell them He is the Source of all wisdom, you may find yourself in a place where nothing makes sense.

I think you get the point. When we share God with others, He will often put us in places so they can see US have the opportunity to have great need of Him. It will make the most powerful witness when we respond appropriately…and the worst kind of witness when we don’t. Though He may not answer our prayers in quite the way we think He ought to answer, He still has a plan and if we’ll get with it, He will be glorified, we will be blessed and others will get a front row seat to see it all. Just think, wherever you are and whatever you’re facing, you have the opportunity to become a person of influence…by just doing what you already know to do, and the best part of ALL of that is this: He will never leave you alone in the middle of any of that for a single solitary second. He has promised.

Today, He gave me the opportunity to live out what I teach. I’d imagine that He’s doing that wherever you are today, as well.

How will you respond?

As for me, my break is over and there’s still more grass to be mowed, more gas in the can, and more time to be spent in prayer. Funny how that mower quitting might just turn out to be one of my biggest blessings of the day…

Grace and Peace!

IMG_20180509_145744778_HDRP.S. If I’d been on the riding mower, I also might have missed the fact that one of my new iris blooms had fallen over and I’d have probably run right over it. Instead, I get to have THIS in my kitchen window for the next little bit. Now, tell me that’s not a blessing!

Found objects

I was really blessed this past week to have friends who stopped by and wandered around the yard with me. There’s always something else to do when you have a yard and mine is total proof of that statement! The autumn and end of last year was supposed to be a time of clean-up and prep for Spring, but that didn’t happen–at all!–so I’ve had plenty of tasks to keep me busy this Spring. Along the way, I’ve “found” several new delights.

IMG_20180428_133626944_HDRThe hydrangeas in the back that only gave me three blooms in season last year suddenly started blooming like mad in late December and continued right up through the first hard frost, so I never got them trimmed back. Right now they are loaded with blooms on the old wood and it is entirely possible that they may take over my house before the summer ends.

There are blueberries on almost every bush and I spotted some blackberries blooming near the edge of the woods. My newly planted herbs and tomatoes are setting up nicely and I am ever so glad to have the debris piles burned back…and now, started over!

IMG_20180502_170042955_HDRAs we wandered around to the front, my friend Jaybrena was entertained to see that I had decorated my front porch with an old iron floor grate. She said she had done her best to avoid those as a child and we laughed at how it had gone from something slightly scary to becoming an item of interest. I guess that’s the case with a lot of things in life. The more we grow, the more we know…and it’s always fun to see something in a different light and give it a new purpose, right?

IMG_20180503_193438992I think my favorite surprise out in the yard right now has to be the daffodils blooming–late, but beautifully!–out under a tree I can see from my kitchen window. The bulbs were a gift from my friend Audrey and intended to brighten my winter, but they never bloomed inside–or even sprouted greenery!  I honestly wasn’t certain if I was planting them or just burying them earlier this spring! Look at them now, though! They’re showing out and reminding me that my schedule isn’t God’s and that waiting on Him is always worth it.

If you’re waiting on something special today, I want to remind you to stick with it and not lose hope! God is on the move whether or not it seems evident to us and He loves you very much.

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14

In the meantime, do your part as well. Look for the good things, try to find a new way to use something you already own, and don’t forget hope even if you have to plant/bury those things that appear dead to you…you just might be in for the surprise of your life to see what beauty God can bring from them. As always, the following verse makes for a good plan while you wait:

“Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually.” Hosea 12:6

Imagine that! God has a plan…and it’s for your good!

Grace and Peace!

God-Margin: Is this for you?

Saturday morning was pretty busy for us as we dropped off a vehicle for repair, picked up a few essentials, and headed home to plant a few things in our container gardens. I put away the groceries, grabbed a mango popsicle (I am addicted to the Outshine ones!), and put my feet up to enjoy it. My cat soon joined me, since an open lap is apparently a sin as far as he is concerned. Almost immediately my phone buzzed–actually, the Minions giggled, because that just cracks me up–and a text came in from a dear friend who was attending a Priscilla Shirer simulcast. The text read:

“God is looking for people with MARGIN in their lives….who have left room for Him and His work and His gifts.”   ~Priscilla Shirer

Isn’t that the truth?! Preach, sister, PREACH!

I want that! I want to be that woman for God…and that desire has been a driving force behind my determination to clear out the things in my life and in my schedule that “I” (boldface, italics, quotation marks, and EVERY other emphasis indicator you can think of!) have too often loaded me up for…without asking Him if “that one” was for me or not. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excess (feel-good, praise, and public attention) that comes from saying “yes” and we can forget that the God of “yes” also created the “no” for our blessing, as well.

Please don’t miss my point. God DOES call us to the “yes” for Him and His people, but He does NOT call us as individuals to EVERY “yes” we’re encouraged to say. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in to speak of Jesus. That is the first “yes” we need hear and say. The other “yes” answers you’ll be called to say should always take their cue from that first one: what is the expressed will of the Father? That the whole world would come to know Him personally. Is that even possible if we’re too busy to stop and tell them about Him…or show them that they matter to Him and, as a result, to us?

What do you need to say “No” to today in order to be available to say “YES!” when God asks you to do so?

Societal values are cyclical and the cycle we’ve been in for a very long time (too long!) is one where “the busiest one wins.” Having that mindset makes it very difficult to hear the Holy Spirit speak Jesus in our ears because all we’ve learned to focus on is being the one who wins, the one who can be “depended on”, or the pride factor that comes from being the first one thought of and the last-minute savior of all things chaotic. When we get so caught up in all that WE can do, we forget to listen for HIS name, HIS voice, and HIS choices for us. There’s a very good reason that Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.”–and we often stop there as if that is the whole verse, but IT IS NOT!

The rest of that verse is critical to showing us the reason behind our need for quieter schedules. Read it with me:

“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”

Have you ever noticed that before? He didn’t say stay busy and loudly proclaim your busy-ness, and stay overworked trying to prove that there IS a God and that you belong to Him so that in the process YOU are exalted. He didn’t say that at all. Our quietness is so that HE can be exalted.

I’m just enough of a nut to believe that He was serious about the way He had it written…and I desperately want to live that way so that HE is the one exalted and heralded and known and not just build my own resume of good works. It didn’t use to be that way, but I am listening and I am still learning. One of the things I’ve learned is that saying “No” actually gives me the opportunity to say “Yes” when God calls my name–and sometimes, He has us say the “No” without telling us the WHY…at the time.

I write all of this on the 7th anniversary weekend of when God called me to one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done: herding Baptists who wanted to help in the wake of the massive E-5 tornado that swept Smithville, MS and much of the surrounding area clean. I thought I was simply going to a meeting to take notes, but one of my pastors at the time, Tommy Gillon from Fairview Baptist in Columbus, actually took me up there to roll up my sleeves and stay awhile. For almost 3 months, I had the daily privilege of using my organizational skills to serve God and His people alongside Pastor Allen Simpson and his wonderful staff and the amazing people of First Baptist Church in Amory, MS. In the wake of unimaginable loss for many of their nearby Smithville, MS neighbors, we sought to match skill sets from all over the United States with needs in North Mississippi, meet basic life needs for people who often no longer had possessions of any kind, encourage where possible, pray continuously, and keep a few ‘helpers’ from making it worse. (written with a very thankful heart…and very wry grin)

Along the way I met some of the most incredible people doing impossible things because God was showing up and showing out through them–because they deliberately made some margin for God to use them! I watched families take in families–that they didn’t know, homes and churches get rebuilt, groups of students de-trashed huge fields making them ready to be planted so farmers could make something to help their families, and so much more. Simple things were made more profound than can be acknowledged through the working of God’s people who had hearts for Him and their neighbors because they chose to say the “yes” –and the “no”!–for margin so they could be available when they were needed.

God-Margin…who needs it? We all do–either as givers or receivers. Which one are you today?

Grace and Peace!

Beautifully handmade for service

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris 

I am a self-confessed Pinterest photo-junkie/stalker. I couldn’t care less about making most of the things I find there (unless it is the food!), I just love looking at all of the beautiful photos. As a result of spending time there, I got one of those emails from Pinterest this morning suggesting that I check out some additional pics for one of my boards. Since that particular board is a collection of things that appeals to me “just because”…well, let’s just say that their selections were far-ranging. (ha!)

One of their suggestions actually led to a selection that made my board, but it took some time to find the article it was attached to and, though the photos were very nice, the premise of the article made me laugh a little. It was on how to make a shiny new kitchen look old–and that brought all KINDS of things to my imagination. (grin)

As I looked around my house, I saw some things that reminded me of my favorite William Morris quote and made me smile because they actually ARE old–not just made to look that way–and I am fast joining them as we gracefully age together! (insert chuckle here) In particular, there were two items that caught my eye: a small wooden stool and the wooden tray on my coffee table. (Nevermind that I needed help removing the dust DINOSAURS from around the stool before I could take that photo!–I can’t for the life of me figure out how they escaped the vacuum yesterday!?)IMG_20180426_063354990_LL

These two items are the first things I ever purchased just for me and “just because.” I bought them–and a handmade ornament that still hangs on my tree every year–at a Christmas craft fair while I was in college when money was beyond tight. (And I think that may be why I like taking my creations to Christmas arts and crafts fairs even now!) I can’t tell you how grown up I felt. I’m sure the vendor thought I would never make up my mind as I checked each item thoroughly and finally made my choices. It was important for me to get it right. Those few dollars had come to me dearly and I chose the spending of them to actually make them last.

IMG_20180426_063947191_LLIt worked. I still love—and use–these pieces regularly. The stool is held together with wooden pegs and made without any glue or even a single nail. It remains tight and sturdy after all this time and got dragged into service as a low coffee table the last time my sister-in-law needed a place to put her coffee cup. The tray has held everything from breakfast in bed to rocks shaped like hearts, drinks on the porch, and giant white seashells…and, obviously, my favorite red hymnal. Like the stool, it remains sturdy and ready for use at a moment’s notice.

I’ve often thought about painting these pieces and giving them a new look, but I always decide to leave them in the state that appealed to me originally: plain, servicable, and obviously handmade. They have a few dings here and there, but they still make me smile. They were a good investment for me then and I love them still.

They remind me that I, too, am handmade, bought with a price, and still able to serve in variety of ways. My Maker carefully crafted me–and you!–on purpose and carefully placed us for service and ministry to Him and those around us. He has a long-term plan for us that is for our good and, if we’ll cooperate, we get to bless others in the process.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

It’s time to quit talking and get busy walking now. There’s work to be done. Let’s make God smile today!!

Grace and peace!

(P.S. A quick shout-out to my Mississippi friends Craig and Tracy Wilson at Poplar Ridge Pottery for making the gorgeous–and very functional!–coffee mugs that I love so much! William Morris would be SO proud!)

Softened ground

web-close-upWe got a lot of rain today. It seemed to come in “spurts” as though a bucket was being upturned right over my house. Although the weather forecasters had it wrong today, since they assured me in their “hour by hour” app that it would be quite clear during most of the day, I’m quite sure God knew exactly what He was doing. As for me, I did errands and a little bit of weed-pulling in between the showers.

I’ve been working on clearing out the flower beds in the back. Kind of like me, it’s a work in process. I stop and pull a few weeds as I go back and forth to do other tasks. Some days the clean-out seems to go rather quickly and other days, it seems the weeds will win.

Today was a quick day for weed removal. Although the rain kept me off the lawn mower and out of the deepest parts of the yard, it softened up the ground in the flower beds and made pulling up the small trees (thank you very much, squirrels!–not!) and errant grasses with a mostly easy pull and just a little mud on the hands. Occasionally messy, but effective.

I laughed as I thought about how that can also be used to describe my own spiritual journey at times: occasionally messy, but effective. The messy part happens mainly when I forget that the dark and stormy days also serve their purpose and I rail at God for pulling at me where I’m already comfortable and settled. While I’ve yet to meet anyone who gets excited about those days of difficulty and frustration, they can serve to soften the ground and allow God to pull out some of those more deeply rooted things that would take over if allowed to grow unchecked and unremoved.

Things like pride, self-sufficiency, and a desire to be in control all sound like good things in our culture…right up until they get in the way of God growing some of His fruits of the Spirit. In His great mercy, I’ve seen God send some hard things my way to soften the ground so He can root out those uglier/harder things to make way for attributes that are more pleasing in His sight. To be sure, some of those good things often still appear to be in their seed form while others are beginning to show a little more promise.

Waiting on some of those good/God-things to grow is a lifelong process. The trick is to make use of the softened ground and make the most of the rainy days. They’re sent for more than just making things grow; they’re also good for rooting things out.

Here’s to knowing the difference and being willing to do the work. God always knows what we need.

“If you have a willing attitude and obey, then you will again eat the good crops of the land.” Isaiah 1:19

Grace and Peace!

Mastered by the masses?

A friend and I were messaging back and forth awhile back when she asked how I was doing.

“Good. Peaceful, I think…a byproduct of being more creative these days and feeling like that’s what God is not just allowing, but asking of me right now.”

That was several weeks ago and the “feeling” is still holding. I’ve been on a search for more margin in my life for the past several years, but over the past 6 months or so I have intensified the pursuit as a result of specific Bible study and a significant amount of prayer. Conversations with various friends in search of the same goals have also helped and provided plenty of encouragement.

I’m under no illusions that this will be a one-and-done thing. I suspect it will continue to be a lifelong pursuit. Having had a taste of margin, I find myself craving more, but not at the expense of what I’m called to do. Instead, I am finding that adding more margin to my life is actually energizing me to do a few things that haven’t really made my list before now…and they’re things that I should have been doing for quite some time.

As a part of my search for increased margin, I decided to practice the spiritual discipline of observing Lent again this year. This is only my third time to do this, since my denominational affiliation doesn’t typically do this, but I found myself wanting to make sure that I was particularly and personally focused on the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. Put that way, it would seem to require something deep and mysterious, doesn’t it? The truth is that even seemingly insignificant self-sacrifice, when done for the right reason, can have a profound impact. Such was the case for me again this year.

I chose to abstain from Facebook.

Don’t laugh. Oh, well. Go ahead and laugh; it is actually kind of funny.

A few weeks before the Lenten season began, I saw a post by a friend that announced her intention to give up Facebook for Lent. I laughed. She’s one of the most social media-intense people I’ve ever seen in my life. Even her DOG has an Instagram account! She posts for the dog, herself, and her town. My first thought was, “she’ll never make it.”

My next thought was, “hmmmmm…I wonder if I could do that.” Oddly enough, even that small thought made me uncomfortable. I’m not as active as she is, but I still post personally and for the Women’s Ministry of our church on a regular basis. I think it was the “uncomfortable” part that got my attention. Why in the world would that make me uncomfortable? I knew I had been spending a lot more time on social media, but why should stopping that one thing for 40 days be an issue? It was enough to sell me on the idea. Almost immediately, the following verse came to mind:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything.” I Corinthians 12:2 (NIV)

With that verse as my “confirmation” I made it official and told my husband, alerted the other Women’s Ministry FB page administrator that I would only be posting on Sundays  until Easter Sunday, and so it began. My blog posts are automatically posted there, so I didn’t have to take that into consideration, but I also decided to deliberately limit my blog posts as well during that time.

It was a lot harder than I had expected. I had no idea that reaching for my phone had become such an ingrained behavior, but I realized very quickly that this was, indeed, exactly what I was supposed to learn. I had been “mastered” by something larger than just being on Facebook: I was no longer “in the know” about what was going on in people’s lives, their opinions about everything from supper to super powers, and missing out on pictures of their grandbabies, life events, and vacation photos. AGAIN, it sounds really laughable, but I was amazed at the number of times I reached out for that information only to remember my Lenten vow and stop.

Unfortunately, knowing all of that information gave me little benefit in return for what came at a significant price of a most precious commodity: time! When viewed in that light and initially difficult to break in habit, the trade-off was substantially easier than the thought of continuing to trade large chunks of my LIFE for the “privilege” of “being in the know.” I decided that each time I was tempted to look, I would pray. I would tell God “Thank you!” for His massively larger sacrifice for me and I would ask Him to bless those who came to mind. It took a few days, but then I began to feel the liberation set in and with that, a great deal of peace.

All of the sudden, I had time for other projects that had been neglected or put on hold. The house got cleaner as I cleared out closets and made more donations. I made plans and took steps to bless the ladies in our Tuesday Morning Bible study with a time of fun and fellowship. I actually picked up the phone to hear VOICES of people I loved instead of just texting them–and I’m absolutely sure that deepened our relationships. I had more time for deeper–and sillier!–conversations with my husband. I laughed more. I had time and energy to get more work done for my business and I actually felt SO much more creative that I was astonished. Could it be that something this simple was making all this difference? Yes. I wasn’t just reducing the time spent online, but now I was also increasing the time I spent talking with the Creator of the Universe! OF course it made a difference! I was being inspired even as I spoke to the One who created me!

As my first Sunday approached, I couldn’t wait to get back online to check in on everything. It took me exactly 30 seconds to realize I hadn’t missed that much. In fact, I questioned if I had “missed” anything at all. I spent less than 5 minutes–just to make sure I had exhausted every avenue–but it seemed “my people” had also chosen to take a break that week. The next week, I was even more productive and my Sunday check-in was even shorter. That trend continued over the remaining Lenten season…and I was enormously surprised.

I found that I missed posting on the Women’s page most of all because although I wasn’t posting, I was still reading through content every day that was inspirational and I would would think, “Oh! that’s good! They will like/love/need to know THAT!” They didn’t…for the most part, anyway. In fact, I doubt they missed much at all. I was reminded that most of us post for ourselves. If someone actually responds to our birthday greetings, humor,  weather-related, or political commentary, it’s a bonus, but not really that necessary–we’ve had our “say” about whatever subject we’re considering…and honestly, how many of us have had our lives and minds truly changed about one of those topics as a result of Facebook interactions? I’m not saying they aren’t FUN, I’m just saying we won’t typically change with whole world with our Facebook posts. (even though we’re always right, well-informed, and we present cogent, thoroughly researched opinions to begin with, right?! Sure.)

While Lent has passed and I have returned to my “allowed” perusal of Facebook, it is not with the same intensity or time-involvement as before.  Facebook is a wonderful and entertaining tool to help keep me in touch with people and reach and teach them about God. I don’t take that lightly and I am determined to use it more wisely. My Facebook fast helped to realize some very important things about time management and what God is calling me to do with the time He’s giving me. I became more addicted to the peace, to the additional creativity, to the added depth of prayer time, and to the increased margin that came as a result of my practice of the Lenten fast this year. I found I would rather be more deeply “mastered” by the Master Creator than simply following along with the masses and seeing what “they” are up to these days.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything.” I Corinthians 12:2 (NIV)

May all of our choices be beneficial today!

Grace and Peace!