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Take Time to be Bored
Two Hundred Pounds of Junk
How Big Is Your God?

Jesus Makes House Calls

 

Take Time to be Bored

The apostles gathered themselves to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.

And Jesus said to them, "Come aside into a deserted place and rest a little."
Mark 6.30-31a

For many of us, it is virtually impossible to relax without feeling guilty. Someone once said, “People are no longer human beings. We should be called human doings.”

But I would like to propose this: Occasional boredom can actually be good for you. Why would I say this? When you allow yourself to be bored, even for an hour – or less – and don’t fight it, the feelings of boredom will be replaced with feelings of peace. And soon after, you’ll learn to relax.

I’ve been trying to do this. At first, it was hard. I began to feel guilty as if I wasn’t “redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:16). But little by little, I slowly got use to the idea of not doing anything and actually enjoyed it. Now of course, I’m not talking about hours of idle time and laziness, but simply learning how to relax and learning to “be” rather than learning to “do” for a few minutes each day.

I have also found that when I do this, I actually come away with a fresher mind, a revived spirit, and renewed physical energy. The beauty of doing this teaches us to clear our minds and relax. Sometimes my mind can go on overload and I begin to put out stuff that’s non-creative and stale.

When I allow myself to be bored, it takes a lot of pressure off of me to be performing and doing something every second of the day. For example, believe it or not, but I used to feel guilty spending time going to watch a movie. I would often tell myself that I was wasting valuable time. But in actuality, I was coming away feeling more refreshed and my work would get done faster and it had become easier for me to do.

I'm reminded of this cute story:

Doctor: Take the green pill with a glass of water when you get up.Take the blue pill with a glass of water after lunch.Then just before going to bed, take the red pill with another glass of water.
Patient: Exactly what's my problem, doc?
Doctor: You're not drinking enough water.

God sometimes tells you to rest more by giving subtle hints. If you ignore God's hints, your body may break down, or your stress level might zoom out of control. You might even ruin relationships by being irritated and frustrated with others for no apparent reason other than you haven’t taken the time to rest and be bored.

Take time to relax -- ESPECIALLY when you don't have time for it.

 

Two Hundred Pounds of Junk

A story is told of a missionary family in China who was forced to leave the country sometime after the communists took over. One day a band of soldiers knocked on the door and told this missionary, his wife, and children that they had two hours to pack up before these troops would escort them to the train station. They would be permitted to take with them only two hundred pounds of stuff.

Thus began two hours of family wrangling and bickering -- what should they take? What about this vase? It's a family heirloom, so we've got to take the vase. Well, maybe so, but this typewriter is brand new and we're not about to leave that behind. What about some books? Got to take a few of them along. On and on it went, putting stuff on the bathroom scale and taking it off until finally they had a pile of possessions that totaled two hundred pounds on the dot. At the appointed hour, the soldiers returned.

"Are you ready?" they asked this missionary family.

"Yes."

"Did you weigh your stuff?"

"Yes, we did."

"Two hundred pounds?"

"Yes, two hundred pounds on the dot."

"Did you weigh the kids?"

"Um, ...no."

"Weigh the kids!"

And in an instant the vase, the typewriter, and the books all became trash. None of it meant anything compared to the surpassing value of the children.

We often need to be reminded of what (or I should say, “Who”) is important to us. What’s worth more, your kid or your computer? Admittedly that’s an easy one. But how can we flesh out the importance of this? One sure way is through the use of our time and presence.

TIME and PRESENCE are the two most important gifts we can give to those we value in this life. My time and presence to my family means more than a new TV or computer to them. Some nights I’ll be reading a good book that I just started and my daughter will come to me and want to talk about her school, her crazy friends and some of her weird teachers. I’m thinking, “I got this good book and I am finding scores of information and illustrations for tomorrow night’s Bible study. This is going to good stuff.” But the Lord gently reminds me that what’s more important is sitting in front of me. So I listen, laugh and ask questions – one hour goes by. It’s time to go to bed.

Was my time wasted? Not at all! It was invested. I got a lot out of that time. My daughter and I out of spontaneity connected and enjoyed each other’s TIME and PRESENCE. And you know what? I still found enough food for the Bible study. God always provides!

If you fail to control the events in your life, the events in your life will control you. This is why we must make time for life’s essentials and offer as a gift our time and presence. Don't view interruptions as such.

This is so hard especially for us men who rationalize that more time at the office means more for the family. Granted, providing for our family’s needs is a responsibility that we all take seriously. However, over the years, I’ve learned not to measure my success by how high I climb but how high I bounce when I hit bottom. We all fall now and then trying to be a good Christian and trying to be a good parent. But when the fall occurs, how high does the person bounce back? When you think about this, it will give you an idea of how high one has fallen.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Instead of having one candle lit, there are now two. When I choose to invest my time and presence into members of my family and others God has brought into my life, I am not losing anything in the process, but actually propagating more of Jesus through me onto others. This is an investment that pays huge dividends.

Over the course of our walk with Christ, we never know when our disappointment will be His appointment. So, don’t let those precious family moments disappear as a loss opportunity. What you think as an interruption into your busy schedule, may actually turn out to be God’s invitation to join Him in performing a great and honorable task.

The greatest gifts you have to give to others you already have – your time and presence. Now go and light another candle.
 

How Big Is Your God?

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So Moses looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn."

When the LORD saw that Moses turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."

Then God said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."
Exodus 3.1-5

I strongly believe that the way we choose to live is a consequence of the size of our perception of God. Our most nagging problem is that our perception of God is too small. We are not fully convinced that we are absolutely safe in the hands of an all-powerful, all-wise, all-knowing God.

Take just a moment and dwell carefully on the following two questions...

  • First - Why does God insist that you worship Him?
  • Second - Why does God insist that you trust Him?

Question #1 - Why does God insist that you worship Him?
I mean, this is a fair question, isn’t it? At home, I must confess, I’m sort of a ham. I’m always seeking attention one way or another. I want my family to notice me, say something nice about me, praise me for something good I’ve done, or give me a little accolade. You know what? They seldom do. It seems that my two kids as well as my wise wife know that you do not reinforce someone’s ego needs by telling him how wonderful and great he is.

Well then, why does God insist that you do the same for Him? Simply put: You praise and magnify God for your benefit -- NOT His!

When I was attending Bible College in Phoenix, Arizona, I went with several other students to visit the Grand Canyon. When we arrived, our jaws dropped. It was a sight this Waianae boy had never seen before. We oooooohhhhed and aaaaaaahhhhed as our hearts were filled with rapture and astonishment. We had to – it was for our benefit in order to experience the most out of that moment.

Likewise with Moses. When Moses saw a bush on fire, but not consumed, he had to do what a person in his shoes could only do – turn aside and look at it in utter amazement. (Ex 3.3) Shortly after, God spoke and said, “Take your shoes off when you come near Me. You’re now standing on holy ground.” (Ex 3.5)

You see, when you worship God, it is for your benefit and not for His. How so? It keeps God in your perception, BIG, rather than being reduced in size due to your lack of worship.

Question # 2 - Why does God insist that you trust Him?
The answer to this question is very similar to the answer to question #1. Namely, when you take a step of faith into the unknown [as Moses did by walking up to Pharaoh and demanding him to release the Jews] you once again keep God as He is supposed to be before your eyes – BIG!

The stronger your faith is, the bigger will be your perception of God. The bigger your perception of God is, the stronger will be your faith. It's a glorious circle, don't you see?

Remember Peter getting out of the boat and walking toward Jesus on the water? The closer Peter got to Jesus, the bigger He looked. But it’s climbing out of the boat in the first place that is the hard part. So what if you might sink? Do it anyway! God won't let you drown. The only thing you have to lose is your perception of a small God.

 

Jesus Makes House Calls

Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and they told Jesus about her at once. So Jesus came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. Mark 1.30-31
This is an interesting and rare peep into the house of Simon Peter. Immediately we are confronted with the reality that no home is free from sickness. As great as Peter was to become, illness still managed to affect those under his roof.

Only God knows the reasons why we at times come under the control of an illness. But will you notice that when it does come – and it most certainly will – it furnishes an opportunity to share Christ. Therefore, illnesses can very well be a golden opportunity for teaching, witnessing and personal reflection.

This brings to mind the need to take time – better yet – make time to visit friends, family or others God places on our agenda in the hospital. It is when one is on his back and immobile, that speaking about Jesus may be a better medicine than what has been given.

And will you note the word “immediately.” They didn’t waste any time. When you have someone as precious and important as Jesus Himself, you certainly rush to make the time.

Peter's house was probably a poor fisherman's hut, but the Lord of Glory entered it, lodged in it, and brought forth a miracle in it. Would I be wrong to suggest that Jesus is perhaps more in little huts than in huge palaces? It’s in those little humble huts that people will look to God for healing.

I know this is not always practical. But when I’m sick in bed, It would be a welcome change to have the doctor come to me rather than me coming to him. Not so with Jesus. He always comes to the aid of those who are sick when asked to do so. He doesn’t expect the sick to get up, get dress, jump in the car and drive to his office. Jesus makes house calls.

One more thing: Peter’s mother-in-law merely had a fever. Drink lots of liquid, take two aspirin and stay in bed. In a few days, you’ll come out of it. People do all the time. But Jesus tackled this as if she had an incurable illness.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a cold or cancer, Jesus wants to be your great Physician. Granted, the Lord may not choose to remove the illness all at once from those we love, but one thing we known for certain: Prayer for the sick is far more likely to be followed by restoration than anything else the world has to offer.

Anyone in your home sick? Anyone in need of the Great Physician? Jesus always carries with Him His pager, and it never fails to beep when it is activated by prayer.

In Amazing Grace,

Rich

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