WOW! Can you believe it is already September! This is the month in which Roshashanah is celebrated. That is the Hebrew New Year! It is also considered The Day of Atonement. In the Hebrew tradition that Jesus grew up in it would be a day of prayer and a time for asking for forgiveness from anyone you may have sinned against. I think we should celebrate the Day of Atonement as Christians too. We have all, at one time or another wronged someone or sinned against someone we know. How nice it would be to ask for their forgiveness and also forgive those who have sinned against us. We pray that in the Lord's Prayer. Wouldn't it be nice?
Well, anyway, on to my point for today. It seems like the older I get the faster and faster the days go by. When I was 18 years old an older friend of mine told me that the days would seem like they went by faster the older I got and I told him he was full of beans and nothing could make the days seem to go any faster than they were right then, when I was eighteen. Well, I was wrong, and he was very right! Back in the day, as they say now, it seemed like I had all the time in the world. I was working two jobs, taking classes and still was able to find time to go fishing with friends or go and shoot some hoops with buddies. When my step children were in school and doing different things, having to be chauffeured here and there for track or baseball, T-ball, football or whatever it seemed like there was time to do all of that and still have some time for myself and my "fun things". I wonder what makes the difference? There are still only 24 hours in a day. Still only 7 days in a week, sixty minutes in an hour! Is it our "energy level". I know I had more energy back then. But still there were chores to be done, wood to be chopped, split and stacked. Lawns to be mowed, fields to be plowed, meals to be cooked, household chores top be done. Still with all of that, I was able to find time to hit the rivers or streams for a few hours of fishing, or time to go hunting with friends or my step-son. Maybe it is because now that I am retired there is not the press for time as there was back then. I had to manage my time more closely to be able to get all of the "got to's" done and that left more time for the "want to's". I don't really know . . . but I do know it seems like I have less time to get things done than I used to. Any way, the point of all of that is to get to this realization that I had about spending time with God. "Back in the day"; I would get up at 4:00 or 4:30am and spend at least an hour with my Bible and with my prayers. Now I kind of fit it in whenever I can and that is not fair to me or to God. What I have decided is that from now on I am going to set aside a special time for God, the Bible and my prayers. For me morning has always been my best time. It is usually quiet and peaceful early in the morning and what better way to start the day than with my Lord and Savior, my Bible and my prayers. I will still set aside my Saturday evening prayer time at 8:00 central time to do my Prayer Warrior devotions and prayers. That is the time we all agreed upon to spend in prayer so that all of us would be praying at the same time. When two or more are agreed in prayer ". . .It shall be done!" The real point is that we ALL need a special time to reflect on life, God, prayer, service to others and especially on the people who really mean the most to us. One of the things I figured out a long time ago was that if I just read a couple of chapters in the Old Testament and a few chapters in the New Testament it wouldn't take long to get the whole Bible read cover to cover! I have done that many times in my life and I plan on doing it many more times. There is so much wisdom in the Bible that you realize that there really is "nothing new under the sun", and that just about any situation you come up against in life is already written about in the "Good Book". I have found that the Holy Spirit gives me a new understanding of the scriptures at different times! I have read a passage and had it speak to me about a certain situation in a certain way, and read the same passage at a different time and had it speak to me about a completely different situation and in a completely different way; and for both of those "understandings" to be right on the money EVERY TIME! I'm not exactly sure why or how, but the Bible is truly the "Living Word of God". I have heard many people criticize scriptures and say that it is too "confusing" or too "contradictory" and friends I have to say there was a time when I thought the same thing! You know what the difference is? It is the power of the Holy Spirit! Once you give you life over to God and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit fills your heart and understanding it makes ALL the difference in the world! We are all human and we all stumble and fall away from the Lord at times, BUT if you are truly responsive to the Holy Spirit and to the Biblical "Truths" of God's Holy Word; and if you truly try to live your life according to His commandments the Bible is alive and speaks directly to you and your heart. Every time I read it I find something NEW! Some new truth that I can hold on to that helps me make it through another day. Life is hard there is no doubt; and it is NOT fair sometimes. But with God, the Bible and prayer we can face all things and defeat all of life's foes and woes. One of my mom's favorite verses and it is also one of mine is: Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ which strengthenest me." or as it says in the NIV version of the New Testament "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." With God nothing is impossible. Romans 8:31 ". . .If God is for us who can be against us. " I want to leave you with this thought: Pray, pray alone, pray with others, pray in your church and most of all pray in your own special quiet place. I would also like to tell you all to read Romans 8 the whole chapter. There is much in there for you to discern. Read it prayerfully and with your heart open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. You won't be sorry!