Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

Archive for the tag “Religion and Spirituality”

Monday Mornings

I don’t know why, but Mondays are rough. I’m usually still tired  from Sunday even though I get a good nights sleep.

Sunday is one of my busiest days of the week. Between serving on the Worship Team at church, teaching a class, and chasing grandkids in the afternoon. It makes for along day. Especially if you tack on a couple of meeting s during the day on
Sunday.

However, it how I choose to spend my day. I love music especially God’s music. It’s a joy to serve in my church even if it means having meeting to attend. And I love spending time with my grandsons!

When Monday rolls around, it usually takes me until middle of the morning to get going. I just feel like I’m walking in quicksand. After I get through that, however, I make it pretty good through the day.

I just have to get through Mondays!

Join the conversation! Share your Monday morning stories in the comments!

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It’s Hard To Slow Down

Saturday with Friends and Family  028

I’ve been trying to slow down. Between work, church, and other activities I have  found it very difficult to do this. Even though I have felt that God was leading me to do this for my own good, I have found it difficult to do.

However, I have to slow down now. I have battled the Shingles for about a week now. The pain is bad enough, but the fatigue has been horrible. I have slowed down this week.

Since I work from home, I am able to leave the office several times a day and get some rest. I had gotten to the point where I would work all day, help my wife fix diner,  then after dinner go back into the office and work until 8:30 or 9:00 at night.

Now I leave my office in the back of the house at 4:30 and I don’t go back to it unless there is a deadline on a job that I am about to miss.

I actually take time to rest now and I don’t work on Saturday, which used to be an every Saturday occurrence.

We live in a society where many people are driven to excel to the point of pushing themselves to exhaustion. I have done this for a couple of years.

Through these experiences, there are a couple of things I am learning to do.

1. I have to learn to say NO!

Learning to say no in a nice way is important. When I get several thing pulling me in different directions, I have to learn to set priorities and say no to the others.

2. Make extra time during the day and the week to rest.

God took 6 days to create this universe and then rested on the 7th day. This wasn’t because God was tired, He was setting the example for all of us to follow. Our society moves so fast, and stays so busy that it is difficult to make time to rest. I know some people who claim they cannot just sit around and do nothing. I would suggest a hobby that is not stressful to do. I have found hobbies to be very restful.

Maybe some of you have other suggestions on how to slow down your life? Please leave a comment with your suggestions.

I Need Your Help With A Project-Part 1

A modern Western worship team leading a contem...

I need your help. I am working on a series of post about worship, both private and public worship. I have served for several years as worship leader, some of you call it song leader, at North Ripley Baptist Church in Ripley, MS. As I work on preparing this series, I am planning on writing several of these posts over the next couple of weeks. Each post will have at least one question, some may have more. Each question will be about some aspect of worship. You can  take part in the discussion by responding to the question in the comment section below.

I would love to have responses from many denominations and beliefs to get a broader perspective on the subject.

 

Today’s Question:

In your own words, define worship.

Or, What is worship?

 

Thanks for your help,

Mike Turner

Middle Age Ramblings

 

 

Old Bibles

I was looking at an old Bible that I used several years ago the other day. I noticed as I thumbed through, that I had underlined several verses and even whole passages in that Bible.

As I read, I noticed something. The passages I had underlined were all good, but they were also very positive . I read some of the passages I didn’t underline and ouch! That hurt! I realized that the passages I had not underlined were more convicting than the passages that I had underlined.

I guess I need to be more careful when I underline passages in my Bible. Maybe I should ask myself the question, Why am I underlining this passage? In what way does it speak to me or in what way does it attract my attention.

Is there a promise to claim? Is the passage pointing out some sin in my life that I need to correct? I came away from the experience with a different attitude about underlining verses in my Bible. I still underline, but I make sure that it’s nit just the good stuff I underline, but also the stuff that points out things I need to correct.

 

If you’re a person who underlines or marks verses in their Bibles as they read, have you paid close attention to the verses you are underlining?

 

 

 

It’s Been A Crazy Week

Well it has been a crazy week. It all started last Friday afternoon when I got a call from my wife about three in the afternoon, which is odd for her. She told me she had just been laid-off from her job. That could have bummed me out, but all of a sudden a peace came over me and I knew in my heart that everything was going to be okay.

Things were pretty normal over the weekend. I still was not in crisis mode over this change that had come to our lives. My wife had a job interview on Monday, and we were very hopeful.

Then the bottom fell out as far as my work. Deadlines were looming and I couldn’t get anything accomplished. Then the computer system went down! This went on for two days! I was stressed out!

I have read all of this stuff about turning your problems over to the Lord. Let Him handle your problems, your stress and , your crisis. Let me tell you, that’s easier said than done.

The tough part was trying to not allow my wife to worry. In the meantime, she got a call offering her the job she had interviewed for earlier in the week. That was great! it took some of the load off my mind, but I still had not been really worried about her work situation. I knew it was under control. Nothing else was working right.

This has been an exhausting week. I’m glad it’s over. I’m also glad I made it through and didn’t hurt anybody. You see life happens and when life happens to a follower of Christ, we are automatically under the microscope. Everybody wants to see how we’ll handle the situation.

I didn’t do so good this week. Don’t be so surprised. If more of us who follow Christ were honest and open about our sins, maybe, just maybe the world could see less of us and more of the Jesus who saved us, and who continually picks us up and cleans the mud off of us when we fall.

Please share your experiences below.

 

The Calm After The Storm

I’m sitting here in my office at home, looking out the window because it is a slow day, I noticed something.It’s quiet around here today! Normally, I have the radio playing here in the office, but not today. I mean it is quiet around here. Not just in my house, but outside as well.

What’s so important about the quiet today? Yesterday was much different. It was stormy where I live in North Mississippi. I’m talking high winds, lots of rain, thunder, lightning, you get the idea. Not today!

Today the sun is shining, there is very little wind, it’s just an AMAZING day! When I look at the beautiful day God has given today and I remember how stormy it was yesterday, it reminds me of how God watches over us. How even in the darkest of times in our lives, there is always a time of refreshing. A time to draw near to Him and be refreshed from our struggles. I believe it is important for us to take advantage of these times to refresh and recharge ourselves for two reasons.

First, it is important for us to recharge physically. Most people I know don’t take enough time to rest their physical bodies. I’ve known of many people and you probably do to, who do not get enough rest for their physical bodies. there is a whole library full of examples of what happens to our bodies without ample rest.

Second it is important for us to recharge spiritually and mentally. I group these two together rather than separately because I feel they go together. That’s part of the way God designed the human body at creation. There are several instances in the Bible where Jesus goes up the mountain, or to some other place to pray. These were times of spiritual and mental recharging that prepared Him for what lay ahead of Him.

I believe we all need to make it a point to get adequate rest, both physical rest as well as mental and spiritual rest.

What are your thoughts? What are some ways you rest? Do you feel it is important to have times of refreshing?

Change Is A Good Thing- Sometimes

I have finally quit procrastinating and made some changes to this blog! Well nothing drastic. I just changed themes. I got tired of all the dark colors and wanted something light and bright. Something that will be easier to read. I’m probably not finished with the changes, but one thing that is not going to change is my subject.

It has been so long since I posted anything that this is going to be just like starting over. I’m certain that many of you have forgotten about this blog and my attempt at writing. That’s okay. I brought most of that on myself by not posting regularly.

I also have to be honest and say that I ran away for a while. I received some negative feedback that I was not ready for and so I set my blogging aside for a time.

Now that I’ve returned to this hobby, I will still be my opinionated self. If that bothers some of you,  I apologize, but I won’t back down on what I believe. I will also continue to share things from the Scriptures that God shows me as I read. I am not a theologian however and sometimes I may not interpret a passage theologically correct. I will however be true to that basic principles of the faith.

If you disagree with what I write, your comments and opinions are welcome and I will read them all. I reserve the right to choose to stay quiet and not respond sometimes. My purpose is not to get into arguments with those who disagree with me, but only to make everyone think.  It is my hop that as you read in the future, that you will be encouraged, challenged, and prompted to think about the life going on around us.

Life is a journey. We all have different paths we must take on that journey. This is a record of my journey. Join me on this journey.

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

 

Time to Clean Up!

It was a beautiful day here in Northeast Mississippi! I got outside in my yard for the first time since last fall and decided to do some yard work.

It has been unusually warm for this time of year so the grass has already been growing fast. Really fast!

Before I could start to mow, I had to do some clean up work. There was limbs in the yard, my fault for letting them pile up. And there were a lot of dead leaves, again my fault for letting them pile up.

After I got all the limbs pick up and carried to the street for the city to pick up I was worn out! I had not even started to mow yet!

Later, after I had finished the yard and was cleaning up myself the thought occurred to me that so many times I  put off cleaning up my life as well as my yard.

The yard is easy, it’s just a matter of doing it. I must make up my mind that I am going to get it done so our home will look clean on the outside. Sometimes it’s not so easy in my life. For instance it’s easy sometimes to put off dealing with the sin in our lives.

It’s not just the wrong things that we do that  displeases God, but also the things that we forget to do. the things that God asks us to do. Sometimes I find that I have more problem with those than the “bad” stuff.

It’s so easy to get in a hurry in the mornings and forget to pray or read my Bible. There are other things that I struggle with as well that I’m not going to list here, but you get the idea.

It’s true that Satan does everything he can to get us off the path that God had placed in front of us, but it’s our responsibility to make sure that when we get off the path, we go to God, confess our sins, and ask for His forgiveness.

Our Father is so good to us! He is always ready to forgive us and cleans us if we will ask Him to. God’s grace really is amazing!

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9 NKJV

Father thank you for your marvellous grace that you so freely give to us without question. Thank you for your love that you express to me daily even when I’m dirty and need to clean up. In Jesus name amen!

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