If you can’t sleep at night…

I haven’t been sleeping too good lately.  I don’t have problems getting to sleep.  But at the strike of 3AM I wake up.  So what do I do at 3 AM?  I walk around a bit… typically eating something.  Last night I watched FOX News as I ate raw chocolate chip cookie dough with a cold glass of milk.  YUM… YUM!!!

I can’t figure out why I am waking up at odd hours of the night.  I was telling Lori about it this morning.  She asked, “What do you do at 3 AM?”  I told her my story.  Lori fired back a response, “Sounds to me like you should be praying!”

Well, she didn’t have to hit me so hard!  She’s right.  I have had several people on my mind to be praying for.  I have also had a desire to be with God and to hear him in the silence.  James (a good friend of mine) recently told me that the best time to pray is between the hours of 2 and 3 AM.

I had forgotten Lori told me that this morning until I read Oswald Chambers a few moments ago.

Then don’t worry anymore about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ has said, in essence, “Pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints of God, and pray for all men.” My Utmost for His Highest, June 21.

I have had several people on my mind recently who I need to be praying for.  The next time I can’t sleep at night I will be taking the advice of The Warrior and adding them to my cookie dough and milk.

Perspective from the porch

I enjoy my time I spend on Saturday mornings so much.  It’s been a great morning on the front porch.  I have seen my friendly little rabbit and a truck load of squirrel’s!  No deer today – how sad!  I have a squirrel fussing at me right now… it’s starting to get on my nerves… Lori just came outside and scared it off.

There is so much I have learned and/or gained over the course of the past week.  I’ve decided each Saturday morning I will begin recapping those things each week in “Perspective from the porch.”

After looking over the past week there are several things that I have stood out to me:

  1. My life is filled with great pleasing things to God.  It is also smudged with the history of sin.  Yet, God has chosen to call me to be one of His… for His glory.
  2. Life is not about me.  My FOCUS is to be on God. 
  3. Pray for my friends.  “When Job prayed for his friends…”
  4. I have great friends!!
  5. God seeks out those who belong to Him to give them strength. 2 Chronicles 16:9.
  6. Don’t let the trash pile up!  Guess I will be heading back to the dump today.

Down on the farm

On several occasions I have alluded to where I live as the “Bishop Compound”.  If you are wondering what these cows are looking at… they are watching me work in the yard.  I guess they find me amusing.

Living out here in the “country” has a lot that is extremely appealing.  It’s finally Friday and I look forward to tomorrow morning out on the front porch.  I will be looking at the corn field and hopefully a few deer, rabbits, and squirrels. 

Well, this evening was not as pleasant.  It’s hot!  It’s dry and we need rain!! 

I thoroughly enjoy driving my Jeep Grand Cherokee.  But today – I wish I had a Ford F-150 4X4 full cab truck! 

Where I live I don’t have garbage pick up.  That means I have to go to the dump.  And today it was in my Jeep.  I haven’t been to the dump in a long time.  The trash that’s actually in the garbage can has been there for a long time.  WAY TOO LONG!!!  I put my two cans in the back of the Jeep and down the road I went with the most horrible smell on the planet.  Did I mention that half of my windows do not roll down and the Air-Conditioner doesn’t work?

I made it back home without puking.  I went to clean out the cans.  I removed the tops and the smell that was in there was so bad… you guessed it – let the puking begin!

 

Breaking the Silence Pt 2

I admire anyone who steps up to the plate of faith and LIVES it OUT LOUD.  Today, I have been thinking about the trouble that is often times associated with faith-filled living.  Each one of us has “our” cross to carry.  Sometimes the silence experienced in life is a welcomed retreat… the kind I am longing for this weekend.  Then there are those times of silence when one is walking by faith and in desperate need to hear from God.  That’s the kind of silence none of us likes.those days tend to be some of the lonliest!

While reading this morning, Job 42:10 leaped off the pages:

“When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.  In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!”

Again in the pages of the Bible, we discover that life is not about ourselves.  If anyone has a “right” to complain it would be Job – In my humble opinion.  Despite our personal turmoil we are called to pray for and with other people.  “When Job prayed for his friends…”

Our FOCUS must be on the purposes of God and not those “things” we want to be blessed with.  In silence, we must humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord.  Let Him lift us out of our despair.  Anything we do on our own will be just that… on our own!  So in trouble do what you were created to do and don’t give up!  Listen to the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:12 – 18.

12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

 13It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[a]With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

Breaking the Silence

Has God spoken to you?  Seriously, has God spoken to you about what you are doing today?  Are you a believer, brother, and follower of Christ?  If so, I would bet what you are doing in your life is in direct response to God speaking to you. 

2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”  Are you fully committed to Him?  The Lord is looking over you – seeking you out with the purpose of strengthening you.  All of this to fulfill His purpose in you so that He may be glorified. 

Take it from me – being obedient to God is not an easy thing.  Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”  There is a price to pay.  The price is different for each of us.  I’ve lost and given up a lot of “things” while following.  The cost has been much more than possessions but rather pride.  I have been humbled so much over the years.  

Most of the time once we hear the voice of God and respond in obedience we have to face the waves of doubt and fear.  It is through this dark time of belief that we need to stay focused on Jesus.  Don’t lose sight of him in the midst of the storm. 

The words of Oswald Chambers are noteworthy on this subject:

Let your actual circumstances be what they may, but keep recognizing Jesus, maintaining complete reliance upon Him.

If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, “Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?” Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all. My Utmost for His Highest, June 18.

Are you going through a time of trial and testing?  Are you second guessing a decision made? Are the waves crashing in on you?  Seek God through the storm… listen for Him in the silence.  Once he has worked out that which has not been surrendered – He will break the silence and everyone around you will hear what He has to say.

 

WOW meter hit 10 today

I don’t know why… but it happened today.  Another glimpse into God.

I was at my early morning Wednesday group down at the Bridges Agency.  (Sorry guys I was a little late!!)  I just barely beat Tim getting there by about 2 minutes.  It’s typically not that difficult to beat Tim – I was almost shown up today!

On time or a bit behind on the time – Tim always has a good word.  Today he brought up 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”

When Joel read that my WOW meter hit 10!  I never heard that verse like this before.  God’s eyes are searching the earth for those that he can strengthen… those whose hearts are fully committed to him!  I guess it was the visual I got as that was being read.  The Spirit of God roaming the earth ministering to those who belong to him.

Are you fully committed to him?

Silence Pt. 2

I am looking forward to the next early morning rendezvous with God on my front porch.  It’s a great time of being quiet and hearing the silence.  It is through these quiet times I want to get to know God.

If I’m not careful seeking silence can take precedence over seeking God.  If this becomes my focus I will miss God altogether.  As the Sherambler pointed out, the Psalmist writes in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” 

To seek anything other than God is to live life in the natural.  God wants us to live supernaturally by faith. Oswald Chambers puts it this way, “Everything our Lord asks us to do is naturally impossible to us.” (The Love of God, 49).  Are you accomplishing things that you can do? (Or) Are you doing those things only He can accomplish through you?

As believers in Christ, can we get to a place where our hunger for souls saved outweighs our hunger for God?  Our first thoughts, passions, and hunger needs to be for God.  Matthew 6:33 states, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV).

I’m looking foward to a time of silence.  I am looking forward to getting to know God more in that silence.  In whatever your heart desires… seek Him first!