Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

Archive for the tag “Prayer”

How To Live A Focused Life

What is focus? One definition of focus is ” a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding”. Another definition is simply direction. I know so many people who are drifting through life without any focus or direction. they are not living, they are just existing. there is no excitement or fulfillment in their lives I have experienced those times myself. I am now trying to find my direction in life. I’m 54 years old. You are never to young or too old to develop focus in your life.

Michael Hyatt in his eBook,  Creating Your Personal Life Plan, said ” I have met few people who have a plan for their lives. Most are passive spectators, watching their lives unfold a day at a time.” That’s the first two sentences in the book. I came to realize that I too had no focus, no plan for my lie. I was just trying to survive each day.

Let me give you three things that I am using in my life to help me regain my focus. They are:

1. Read the Bible every day

2. Pray often

3. Read books that help you regain focus

I try to read my Bible every morning when my mind is fresh. Before I read I pray and ask God to speak to me through the words that I read. I also ask him to show me His plans for my life. I ask Him to show me things I need to change in my life. I used to do this often, but I realized that I had gotten “busy” and gotten away from an everyday routine of reading. I believe that is part of the reason I lost focus.

I try to pray often. Sometimes I just talk to God out loud.  Sometimes I write my prayers in a journal. It depends on the situation and where I am as to the form this prayer time takes as I go through my day. Praying keeps me focused on the goal, which is the “prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”, Philippians 4:13 NKJV.

Finally, I have begun to read other good books to help my regain my focus. These are not only books by Pastors and Bible Teachers, but also books written by everyday people who have focused their lives and risen above a life of just getting by.

I’m certain there are many other ideas that some of you have used to regain your focus. Please share those below in the comments section.

 

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His Love Never Stops!

I was reading Psalm 136 and God began speaking to me about thanksgiving. Not the day, but the act of giving thanks. Verse 1 of this Psalm says:

“Give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good,

  for His steadfast love endures forever.”  ESV

I like the way the Message paraphrases that last part of the verse. It says: ” His love never quits.”

The Psalmist then goes on to list several reasons why Israel was to give thanks to God. For instance, they were to give thanks because God is the one true God. Also He is the creator of all things, verses 4-9. He is the deliverer of Israel, verses 10-21. Finally He is their provider and sustainer, verses 22-26.

As I read and God dealt with me I began to see that many times I run in to spend a couple of minutes with God in the morning before my day starts. I pick up my Bible, or sometimes use the Bible app on my smartphone, read a few verses and think about what I’ve read for just a couple of minutes. I then say a quick prayer asking for a few things like protection for my family, and success on the job that day, if I even pray at all. Boy that was hard to write. Then I jump up and head off to my job and my days activities.

God was showing me through this Psalm,  which is actually more like a responsive reading, that He expects us to give thanks to Him for all things of life. I spend too much time when I do pray asking and not enough time giving thanks for the things God has given me or that He has done both in my life and the lives of those around me.

I realized that I had become too  busy. I had allowed the world around me to squeeze me into its mold instead of focusing on God who gave me this life. I am trying to look for different times in my day when I can spend some time in  the Bible and prayer. It’s hard to rearrange my life and slow down after doing it this way for so long, but I’m making progress.

I’m also trying to become more thankful; taking fewer things for granted. One thing we are doing at church on Wednesday night when we take prayer requests is that we take praises as well as requests. When my wife prints the bulletin for Sunday services, she lists the praises first, then the prayer requests. It has amazed me to watch God work in the lives of our people at church just like He’s been working on me. We are becoming a more thankful people. another amazing thing is the praise section of the bulletin is almost as big as the request section and is growing. Having the bulletin with me for a week gives me something to focus both my praises and my requests.

GOD is good! All the time! His love never stops!

 

 

 

It’s Time For Some Changes

This is not the usual post, but I’ve been  praying about some changes to this blog. You’ll probably start seeing some small changes over the next several weeks. Some will be little things like maybe changing background themes or other changes like that. Others may be more significant, like changing the name of the blog itself. I’ve got several ideas that I’m currently praying about to make this blog more reflective of the type writing I do most of the time. It’s just going to take some time to sort through the ideas and make some decisions.

In the mean time, my prayer is that you will continue to find something to read at this site that will challenge you or help you in some way. I have found on this journey with Christ that many of us share the same fears and failures. If we learn to share more with one another, maybe this journey can be better for all of us.

Oh, and by the way. Any suggestions for improvements to this site will be appreciated and prayerfully considered. I started this site more as a hobby than anything else, but I am beginning to feel like it is more important than just a hobby to me. A writer friend of mine told me that would probably happen.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your suggestions.

 

Mike

 

It’s Time For A Change

I have to admit. I haven’t been to interested in the 2012 Republican Presidential race so far. It has just seemed like it is too early to get overly exited about it. However, I feel now that the time has come for us as followers of Christ to prayerfully make a choice and let our voices be heard. We cannot stand any more of the garbage that goes on in Washington and in our State houses. We must take a stand!

Four years ago President Obama ran a campaign about change. This was to be a radical change from the norm. For the last four years it has been traditional Washington tax and spend government! A government that has run roughshod over everyone both rich and poor, both sick and healthy, both young and old. We need a change!

Don’t get all exited, ready to type a fiery comment back in response to this post, because I am not about to spend this precious gift of your time just to espouse the benefits of one candidate over another. The kind of change I’m talking about is the kind that will only come when we as Christs followers realize that the best way for us to make a difference is to get on our knees and pray for this country!

The kind of change I’m talking about is the kind of change that only comes from God above. God told Solomon in the Old Testament,” If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. If we want to see real change, if we want to see candidates for office who will stand on convictions based from the Bible, and not just give lip service to those convictions to get our votes, then we must pray!

I’m not talking about praying little “now I lay me down to sleep” prayers. I’m also not talking about just showing up for your local prayer rally once a year. What I am proposing is for God’s people to get on their knees and pray fervently for God to restore our nation. WE must confess our sins, not just our personal sins, but the sins of the nation as well much like Nehemiah did in chapter 1 of his book in the Bible.

If we really want change in our country, we have to be willing to pay the price of getting on our faces before God Almighty and staying there until He answers and brings change and real revival to this land.

Please understand. I am not promoting any candidate or any candidates views. God is neither Democrat or Republican. Washington cannot solve our problems! God is the only one who can! It’s time for a change. Real change that we CAN believe in!

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