I am recycling old stuff to refresh, remind, and renew my distracted, disorganized, and dystopic thinking about priorities and principles.
Bear with me. Sort and sift.
Use what you can and discard the rest.
Nothing is polished here. It jumps out at me from my online journal of what I was thinking writing, and reflecting upon on this day in various years.
We begin with a prayer.
Father ... I am a "dis-tractable" soul. You know that and I know that and I am amazed how You have accommodated that in me and taught me to manage within the margins of my "dis-tractability" to find a tract within which I can live and seek you and find traction for my journey.
I don't slip as much as one might expect. I don't wander as far as I might. I don't fall off as many cliffs as I might fear and I don't lose sight of You as much as I would were it not for Your hand upon me.
I live by grace, in grace, and with much grace poured over me.
I swim in it, drink of it, and am refreshed daily by it.
Grace, grace, God's grace.
Father, You know why I am up so early. I need not be commended. I need this to survive.
It looks like I am doing many things .,. many things ... many distractions creeping in ... but in fact, I am up for One Thing.
I am here to meet You.
And I do.
Around every corner, You are there. In the thoughts and words of friends, You are there. In the prayer requests that tumble down into my lap. the scriptures that emerge constantly, the thoughts that come and go, the words that linger and are recorded, You are there!
You are there and I get to spend this time with You and some of it with some of my dear and precious friends who, I pray, will share in this blessing.
You are HERE! You are in this space, this large space that I must make for meeting you, this block of time, this TRACT where I can find some TRACTION because I am so dis-TRACT-able.
Keep me on tract today, Lord.
I am Yours.
In Jesus' Name.
Life as it is ... "Let us face life as it is, not as we feel it ought to be, for it never will be what it ought to be until the kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ. --Oswald Chambers
Fire Out of Hand
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! - James 3:5
There is a negative fire that the tongue can ignite. It is the destructive fire of gossip, malice, slander, and discord.
Keep plenty of water on hand when there is much talk. There is likely to be an inferno arising. Satan will fan the flames and itchy ears will provide the fuel. Before long, lives will be left to ruin and churches will be turned to ashes in the name of speech that might even masquerade itself as prayer requests, concerns, and opinions.
Watch your speech. You may not be able to tame your tongue, but you can give it to God. You can ask Him to catch you before you go too far and to season your words with grace, mercy, and love. You can practice the art of complimenting, edifying, and uplifting in your words. If you are always speaking words of truth in love, you’ll have no time for gossip and negative whispering.
Be more critical of yourself than you are of others. Seek accountability. Ask someone to help you “catch yourself.” Put a rubber band on your arm and snap it every time you are tempted to say something that would not be pleasing to God or nurturing to His people.
Ask yourself, “Does this really need to be said and, if it does, would it be better spoken to God?”
If someone wants to gossip, criticize others, or speak ill of God’s servants in your presence, graciously change the subject. If they persist, say something like, “Call me after you have prayed and spoken to John (or Sally) directly about this. If you still feel this way, we can go to him (or her) together. Until then, I think it is best that we not discuss this.
Stop the fire before it starts.
Psalm 82A Psalm of Asaph.
God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods.Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable.I said, You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.