FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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A God Break

In my state, North Carolina, the Wage and Hour Act does not require mandatory rest or meal breaks for employees over the age of 16.  Additionally, there is no law requiring employers to give smoking breaks.

However, most wage and hour employers offer such.

Not once, but at least a couple of times during the day if an individual works eight or more hours.  And most do not require employees to “clock out” or “go off the clock” for these breaks.  Bottom line – most employers give their employees breaks and pay them to take them!

Why?  Because most companies realize that for one to do his or her best work, he/she needs periodic mental and physical breaks – even if just for a few minutes.  The same is true for stressful and salaried jobs.  Long-distance truck drivers must document their breaks.  Likewise airline pilots and air traffic control employees.  Surgeons’ work hours versus off-work hours are routinely monitored.

But some of us are “Energizer Bunnies” going from sun up to sun down 24-7.

Not good!

Research shows that breaks are critical not only to our productivity but also to our health and our happiness.

Scripture shows breaks are critical to our spiritual health and growth!  That is if we take a God Break!

Look at the example of Jesus:

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there” (Mark 1:35 NASB).

“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone” (Matthew 14:23 NASB).

“But Jesus Himself would often slip away…and pray” (Luke 5:16 NASB).

Habitually.

And this is a practice that needs to become habit for us, too.

If we want to fulfill God’s vision for our lives, we must continually hear from God. If we want to be more like Jesus, we must spend time with Him.  If we want to be all that God calls us to be, we must feed regularly at His table.

In the book named after him, The Prophet Habakkuk wrote (v2:1 NLT), “I will climb into my watchtower ….” meaning that he would go to a place away from distractions, away from people, away from busyness, away from his own thoughts.  And this is what we need to do – find a quiet place away from the distractions of life and take a God Break.

This Week:  Begin making it a habit to press the pause button and take a God Break.  Psalm 46:10 teaches, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Take time to “be still” before God and alone with God.  Use this time to align your heart and mind back to God – to His Word and to His plan for you.  You may need to begin with a reminder –  a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, an alarm on your cell phone, a note penciled in your day planner.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be a LONG break, but it needs to be an intentional, focused and private break – just between the two of you..

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Asking for Directions (Part 2)

Today let’s just dive in.

We established in our last blog entry the importance of seeking God’s direction before we begin each daily journey.  That means we embrace the examples of Psalm 63 1(a) – “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee…” (KJV) and (less we be uncertain what early means) Mark 1:35 “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (KJV)

But how do you seek God early?  Look back at Mark, and pick that Scripture apart.  Jesus:

  • Rose before day
  • Went out
  • Departed into a solitary place
  • Prayed

Do you have to get up before the sun? No. Your “early” may occur later in the morning but BEFORE you begin your day in earnest. Remember, you want to seek God before you begin to encounter the world (your children, your spouse, morning traffic, your work place, etc.)

Do you have to leave home (go out)? No. But you do need to go somewhere that is a solitary, quiet place. If you’re home alone – no problem. If your household is overrun with children, animals, extended family…, you need to find a quiet place.   Back porch? Basement? Garden? Bathroom? (Hey, He is everywhere, and a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do to get some solitude.”)

Do you have to pray? Yes! Do you have to pray lofty liturgies? No. Just talk with God.   I say with because it is a conversation in that you are talking and listening. I encourage you also to read the Scriptures, meditate and journal, but mainly I encourage you to personalize this time. Christianity is NOT a legal relationship; it is a love relationship, and just as you personalize your time with those you love, personalize this time with Christ.

POSSIBLE RESOURCES

How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time

Love Worth Finding (Adrian Rogers)

http://www.lwf.org/site/News2?id=10545

 

How to Have a Quiet Time

In Touch Ministries (Charles Stanley)

http://www.intouch.org/you/quiet-time-toolbox/content/topic/how_do_i_have_a_quiet_time_qt

 

How to Have a Quiet Time According to Martin Luther

Christianity Today

http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/advice/faithqa/whats-quiet-time.html

 

Quiet Time: 7 Minutes with God

Precept Austin

http://preceptaustin.org/quiet_time_seven_minutes_with_god.htm