Thursday, August 23, 2012

"3 Minutes for 3 Weeks" Challenge!!!

        Last night I couldn't sleep. I was laying in bed; my body was tired, my eyes was tired but my mind would NOT shut off!! This is not uncommon for me, which explains why I am so tired in the mornings.  I have been wanting to adjust my sleeping patterns so that I can enjoy (yes I said enjoy) the mornings with my husband.  He gets up in the mornings.  I love it when I get up so we can drink coffee and do bible study together. So I THOUGHT... I thought of anything and everything, as my mind as a tendency to wonder even in the day time!! (smile)
As I was laying there I thought of A song of ascents in the book of Psalm

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
 3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

 7 The Lord will keep you from all harm
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. 
Particularly verse 3 "He who watches over you will not slumber"  So I prayed that I could rest in the presence of God and allow him to take my thoughts, worries & anxieties to give me a peaceful night of sleep.. I started to pray for friends, family, my husband and myself.  I couldn't help but think of yet another thought.  I started wondering why I felt I didn't have enough time in the day to accomplish the things that I set out to do. The thought crossed my mind about idols and how anything that we spend a lot of time on could be an idol
Ex 20:3-4 (NIV) "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."

It May Be an Idol if . . .
Sandy Quandt

God made it perfectly clear how he feels about anything we place before him in our lives.
When he gave Moses the first commandment on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20), God said nothing was to be placed before him. Nothing. Yet even while God was telling Moses, "You shall have no other gods before me," the Israelites were busy in the camp crafting an idol made of gold. The following day, the Israelites offered sacrifices to their newly made golden calf. They exalted the idol as the god who brought them out of Egypt (Exodus 32).
How we spend our time and resources are good indicators of who, or what, we worship. An idol is described as any person or thing that dominates our life. It is anything we place before God. Anything we worship. An image.
You may be worshipping an idol if . . .
you spend more time trying to improve your golf game than you spend trying to improve your spiritual life.
You may be worshipping an idol if . . .
you’re more concerned about your outward appearance than your inner person.
You may be worshipping an idol if . . .
you spend more time on the computer connecting with "Friends" than you spend in God’s Word connecting with your one true friend.

A statue. A person. Idols in today’s world may be less obvious to spot than a golden calf.

What Their Fingers Have Made
The land was full of idols when Isaiah prophesied. The people bowed down to objects they made with their own hands. They worshipped objects made of wood and other materials. In doing so, they did not consider the Creator of those materials as someone worthy to be praised.
When a craftsman cut down a tree to get wood to make his idol, he gave no thought to the one who created the tree in the first place. He fashioned a god out of wood and worshipped, warmed himself, and cooked his supper all from the same piece of wood. Never once did he stop to think, "Shall I bow down to a block of wood?" (Isaiah 44:9-20).
Silly, we might think. But are we guilty of doing the same thing? What about that new car? The new boat? The job promotion at the expense of time spent with family? What about the pride we display when showcasing our talent while neglecting to honor God through our talent? Have we allowed any habit, hobby, person, or preoccupation to be placed next to, or even above, God? Are we looking to something or someone other than God to give our lives meaning? Significance? Self-worth? Our worth is not found in the temporal things of this world. Our worth is found in the fact that we are children of the King.
Idols do not satisfy. Only God can satisfy. Idols create a desire within us to want a bigger, better model. God gives joy and peace to those who desire him. Idols disappoint and let us down. God never disappoints.

Idol, or Not?
Could you be unaware of the idols in your life? Are there idols you’re unwilling to name, for fear you might need to change or give them up? As God points out, all idols are worthless. They are less than nothing. They cannot help us in fearful or difficult situations. Idols cannot give eternal salvation. They cannot forgive sins. Only God can.
When we are tempted to place anyone or anything on a pedestal and worship it, when we are tempted to spend our time on something that steals our time away from God, when our acts of worship teeter on being idolatrous, perhaps we need to go back and read Isaiah 40.

 So the question is.... What occupies your time?  For me, I would have to say FACEBOOK!!
I thought about how much time I am occupied in the facebook world wondering what is going on in the lives of others.  I justify it by saying "I am concerned for others" Which leads me to my next question.... Do we even know each others email addresses? Better yet our house addresses?  I started taking back steps to what "once was" When people emailed each other, or better yet sent snail mail to each other..AND EVEN better yet, remember when we didn't need to know someones address because we knew where they lived and you just SHOWED up to VISIT?????? You didn't have to get on some computer screen to wonder about someones life because you could sit on the porch, rocking in the chair, drinking the coffee and asking personally the questions that would get to the root of each others matters.. I know this was so long ago, but I want a piece of this history... MY door is ALWAYS open for anyone who needs some time out of their busy schedules for a cup of coffee.. I may not have a rocking chair but I do have a small porch and I have an imagination to PRETEND we have a rocking chair.... (laugh)
Back to me laying in bed last night (see, I told you!!) My final thought was this....
Could I go without FACEBOOK for a while???  As I thought about that I started to feel a wave of emotions..
Panic... How will I know what's going on?
Worry..... Will others stay connected with me?
Shame.... As I teeter on idolatry?
Repentance..... For placing "something" on a pedestal
Excitement...... To overcome a challenge
The CHALLENGE.... For the next THREE WEEKS I will CHALLENGE myself to a limitation of only THREE MINUTES a DAY on FACEBOOK!!!!
Why? I feel facebook is extremely useful; but there needs to be a balance. For me, I feel I have spent more time then I would like to mention on something that is not useful or productive after gathering information, staying connected with photos, encouraging one other or offering inspiration to one another... I feel sometimes I utilize facebook more than I should for the wrong motives and reasons.. I will take the extra time to dive into God's word, to develop friendships, spend quality time with my family, BLOG,  and to remember to use the EMAIL..... So please send me your email addresses and don't forget to email me... ( I still want to feel connected) And remember My door is ALWAYS open for a cup of coffee......

*Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. By Tim Kreider


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