"Get up sleepy heads...it's time to rise and shine!"
Those words echo in my head...words my father would shout out every morning to get us four girls "up and at 'em" for the day.
I think of them this morning...my parents were just here and their presence is still felt. Maybe I should have asked my father to bang on my bedroom door and shout those words out one more time, just for old time's sake.
'Cause I sure could use some "up and at 'em" this morning!
You see, I have been trying to wean myself off the little blue pills that have helped me sleep during the past couple months of busyness. With a compromised immune system, I have to sleep or I pay a price...and all those around me pay a price. And it is not always pretty.
So I have decided to go cold turkey and make myself sleep without them...I figure eventually I'll be so tired I'll have to sleep!
All this to say that as I was tossing and turning last night, sans blue pills, I told the Lord I sure could use a word or two from Him...you know, one of those "I am here my child, and this is what I want you to hear" times...
Times that require stillness and listening.
Well, today I am about as still as I can get! The house has been cleaned, the shopping done, gardens are well watered due to some timely rain, and the birds are dancing with joy over their overflowing feeders this morning.
It's just me and God and my coffee....a glorious combination!
So I picked up a book I have been longing to read, "Letters to Laodicea: A Call to Repentance for Evangelical America" (John E. Hartman)...and that's where God met me...
"The world is constantly trying to shape our thinking as we swim in a sea of voices coming from every direction and in multimedia form, advocating for a world without God.
Day after day they speak, some softly, some stridently, some in words,
many in music and penetrating images.
Like streams of water flowing over rocks, their message has worn us down
and reshaped us unawares.
In spiritual slumber we have joined those thirsty for the satisfaction of the self while losing the taste for righteous living and fellowship with God."
And then it goes on...
"...we have a form or shadow of godliness but deny its power by living a life centered on ourselves, rather than God...our weakness is evident to those on the outside.
We have lost their respect because we live much as they do, absent the more extreme excesses and acts of disobedience, characteristic of our day."
And now the zinger...
"How can we speak to immorality when our people are morally compromised? How can we challenge the thinking of modernity and post-modernity when we know little of Scripture and its teaching?
How can we counter what we have unknowingly absorbed?"
Like it says in the movie, Larger Than Life, "Fair question!"
This ties in with what I have been thinking a lot about lately...the idea of integrity.
I love Webster's 1828 dictionary definition...
"The entire, unimpaired state of anything, particularly of the mind; moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty."
Well said, Noah!
I think all of this goes back to my parents just being here...my ever-constant longing for my father to come to know and love Christ...my ever-present desire to honor and glorify God by all I say and do.
Am I always successful? No way! Only Jesus has carried that out!
But there's nothing like spending time with unbelievers to open our eyes to His need for us to live lives of integrity.
So the title of this blog, Mostly small choices, goes where I want to go with this...
And that is, that everyday our lives are filled with small choices...little things that point ourselves and others to move toward one kingdom or the other...the world, ruled by Satan, or the kingdom of God.
It's the little things that matter...taking something of little value that you feel entitled to, taking an opportunity and justifying it by saying that "it won't hurt anyone"...little words, little acts...that all shout loudly.
Things that God sees.
And that others notice.
I don't know about you, but I want God to search my heart, to give me eyes to see what He sees in me.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day while we were traveling..."Be the Change You Want to See In Others" and it has stuck with me.
I can't change others and neither can you...only God can...from the inside out.
But with God's help I can be changed...cleansed...purified.
So that my life can shine before men and glorify my Father in Heaven...that I can be a vessel fit for the Master's use and joy.
So this is my prayer this day as I strive for integrity in all things...taken from Philippians 3...
"Lord, what things were gain to me, I count as loss for Christ.
I count all things but loss except for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
I want to be found in You, not having my own righteousness
but the righteousness which is of God by faith.
I want to know You, and the power of Your resurrection, and the fellowship of Your sufferings,
being made conformable unto Your death.
Lord, I know I am not perfect, but I will follow hard after You...
Forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching for the those things that are before me.
I will press toward the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Because I love you. And I long to see others love You also.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55527193@N05/22632707605">Gravity</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>