Saturday, January 26, 2013

Time to Make a Change

Time for a Change
Time for a Change

It's time, time to make a change,
we are the people who can do it.

It's time, time to make a change,
we are His people, we can do it.

I know we can do it,
somebody asked me why
do we have to go through it?

It's just a test of our faith,
what we're living day to day,
we don't know where, we don't know when,
but He's coming back again.
(written by Bernard Bell and Marvin Winans, Carvin Winans, and Teddy Riley)

"And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years," (Genesis 1:14, NIV)

Everything in life pertaining to change involves time. Time is so important that we often take it for granted. That kettle of lentil/sausage soup requires a precisly timed moment when all the ingredients have merged together to produce an aroma and taste that makes me smile. Catching the bus requires that precise moment when the bus and I are both at the same location. I can't think of any change in my life which doesn't involve time. Can you?

Circumstances change, people change; even time changes, but nothing in this world changes without the presence of time. God established time in the beginning He created the sun, moon and stars. I see this for our good that God created time. He certainly doesn't need time; God is timeless, from everlasting to everlasting.

During a recent trip to Chicago, I learned a childhood friend died. I thought about childhood and some of the things I did. I'm glad that my life changed from what I was into who I am. I know it would not have been possible without the grace of God. Whenever God influences change in my life, it has been paired with time; time to change, time for a change, time I changed. Here are some examples from scripture:

"All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time." (Psalm 104:27, NIV)

The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15, NIV)

Time to eat, a time to sleep, a time to change.

It is only when I'm ready for spiritual change that time appears perfectly in synch with me. Of course there's a difference between "wanting to change" and "ready to change". Many want change but lack the commitment needed to actually change. We humans have the tendency to postpone and delay; we procrastinate. We may want to change but the same question haunts me: "why change?"

When I'm ready for spiritual change, I commit to a purpose which calls me. I surrender my independence for dependence; literally asking God for His help. Knowing that God hears, assures me that change will occur. There's a moment in time when you just know, everything is in synch; all things working together. You sense that peace of God in and around you, anxiety has lost its foothold and you have replaced it with contentment.

Right now, somewhere in this world, change is taking place in someone's life. A world of anxiety, shame and pain is being transformed by the power of God's grace to peace, joy and healing. When the love of God inspires you to change, embrace it because, it's time.

written by MTJ


A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why Change?

Why Change?
Why Change?

It's so easy to take life for granted; to assume that tomorrow, my life will be no different than today. How often do you read the same story in the newspaper, day after day? Life would become quite boring without change. Yet, for many, change is often met with resistance. Last night, I was listening to Jonathan Butler sing, “Falling in Love with Jesus” and remembering some of the early changes that occurred in my life.

In our country, we focus on winning, sometimes, winning means, no matter what the cost. We celebrate winners, and we denigrate losers. In competition, the mantra is, “What have you done for me lately?” In other words, if there isn't a recognizable change, you're gonna be out of work. Coaches get fired, players get cut and businesses close down. There are always reasons for this, but often, it may be tied to an inability to change. It's a thin line between success and failure but for some, the line is so blurred, it's never seen until it's too late.

I learned very early in my professional career that those “why questions” were irrelevant. Why I must write software instructions a certain way is not as important as how I write those instructions or what to write. For me, the answers became “How or What-centric”.

Often, a person will want an answer concerning God that is based on the question of “Why?

Why did God.....?

Why would God....?

Why has God.....?

Do you know why a car starts when you put the key in the ignition?” -- Do you know how to start a car?

Do you know why you get a dial tone when you pick up the telephone?” -- Do you know how to dial a number?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart...

Why, What or How? Which answer benefits me most?

As a Christian, the simplest answers are not those posed by the question why? The jailer in the city of Philippi asked Paul and Silas:

…what must I do to be saved?

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…

Jesus asked His disciples:

Who do you say I am?

You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

The question isn’t, why change but (1) what needs to change, (2) how do I change and (3) who will help me change.

Once I have the answers to these questions, I’m ready for change to take place in my life.

MTJ

A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays

Friday, January 11, 2013

Change is Coming

Change is Coming
Change is Coming

It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
'Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Songwriters: Tom White, and Alex White

Very often in life, we are faced with the possibility of change, but at times, we are ill prepared for it. Some changes are good, some necessary, and some unwanted. No matter the reason, change will come in our life.

It’s not only predicated upon how I handle change, but more importantly, my attitude before, during and after the change occurs.

The seasons are a vivid reminder of coming change. Fall turns into winter, winter changes to spring and spring becomes summer. I have often reminded myself that being human, allows me to adapt to changes in weather.

But how often have I remembered this when my change doesn’t involve the weather.

Sometimes, I need to change, but I simply refuse.

Why do I need to change?

My attitude, my words, and my behavior all affect how I respond to change.

I think there are instances when an intervention is a wakeup call for change.

You decide to meet friends for Happy Hour, have a few drinks and on the way home, a policeman stops you because you’re driving erratically. That is an intervention of sorts that perhaps you need a behavioral change.

You pride yourself on saying exactly what needs to be said, no matter what. “I just tell it like it is! I’m just being real!” This time, you went a little too far and now, someone is crushed because you decided being real was more important than relationships.

Unlike most people, you’re gifted to see every dark cloud behind the silver lining. You know whenever something good happens, Murphy’s Law is initiated. You know that bad things happen to people because they did something to deserve it. So when your wife loses her job due to layoffs, you struggle with thoughts that it was something she did to deserve it; instead of being encouraging, supportive and loving.

No matter how many times I read the book of Job, I am always blown away by his attitude. He lost everything that most would say: mattered. Yet, I have to believe that Job was not indifferent to what happened in his life. He lost his wealth, his children and his health but he accepted these changes as adversities which he had no control over. To him, it was important to honor the Lord in the midst of these changes. He even said,

If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes.

When I struggle, am I willing to wait until my change comes?

Job speaks of the resurrection when he asks, “If a man dies, will he live again?” It’s as if he is saying, whether the change comes in this life or not, I know the change will happen in the resurrection!

Paul once wrote:

…but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

So when I am struggling with changing circumstances, I will hope. I may be knocked to the ground but I will hope. Some may tell me to give up but I will hope.

Why?

…I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

Christ lives! No matter what happens in my life, that truth gives me hope for change.

MTJ

A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Season of Change

Season of Change
Season of Change

The holidays have passed and we've ushered in a new year. For many 2013 will bring about change. Change can mean something far different to each of us but we all hope our individual change is for the better. I remember hearing Edwin Louis Cole once say:

Everything is subject to change.

It's so true; change affects every one of us. I mentioned to someone that in the stock market, for everyone who wins on a trade, someone else must lose. There is a kind of counter balance that prevents things from tipping too far in one direction. Plants exchange CO2 for oxygen while we exchange oxygen for CO2.

Some may believe that they cannot change, they are too old to change or it's too late to change. Some will oppose change, criticize change or blame change.

Why are we so resistant to change?

Sometimes we're aware of coming changes, and then there are those times when change comes as a complete surprise.

As a people, the Jews were enslaved in Egypt and cried out for change. Yet, when God secured their freedom from slavery, they blamed Him for their inability to change. They came to believe that it would be better to go back to Egypt and be slaves! There is irony in this as well as a lesson for those of us praying for change:

Learn to embrace change.

Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." and "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:11-12, NIV)

What was the secret of being content?

Paul learned that he was incapable of handling changing circumstances and situations; he learned the value of depending on Christ.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NIV)

Let's consider this for a moment. To be content is to be satisfied, happy, pleased or gratified. It is the exact opposite of dissatisfied, unhappy, displeased or ungratified.

You walk into the store select the items you want to purchase, go to the counter and immediately you become displeased because the line is too long.

Is it so much harder to thank God that you have the means to purchase what you selected?

Let’s use this New Year to embrace the goodness of God and to be content with the blessings we have because of His love for us.

MTJ

A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays