TAP IN — #1 (T)IME

**OVER THE NEXT WEEK I’LL BE SHARING A 5 PART SERIES CALLED “TAP IN”. THIS DEVOTIONAL SERIES IS DESIGNED TO RE-IGNITE YOUR DESIRE TO SEEK GOD CONSISTENTLY AND INTENTIONALLY.
BY USING EACH LETTER IN THE PHRASE “TAP IN”, WE’LL TAKE A LOOK AT VARYING ELEMENTS THAT PLAY A KEY PART IN EVALUATING WHERE WE STAND IN OUR PERSONAL PURSUIT OF KNOWING JESUS.
AFTER READING EACH POST AND IMPLEMENTING EACH ELEMENT, FEEL FREE TO POST ON INSTAGRAM WITH THE HASHTAG #TAPIN AND CONNECT WITH OTHERS WHO ARE MAKING A DECISION TO GET REALIGNED WITH CHRIST, INCREASE THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD, OR ACTIVATE THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS BY TAKING THIS CHALLENGE. **
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One of the things I have to be willing to admit is that while I love to read – the older I get and the more I have on my mind , the harder it is to comprehend.

As I look back over the last 2 years, the things that have stuck with me, the things that have taken root in my spirit and transformed my perspective or understanding have been the things that I studied instead of just reading.

I read “Scary Close” by Donald Miller earlier this year. It was an incredible book! In fact , I sent a text to no less than 10 people after reading it declaring, “This is the best book I’ve read in years.”

And it was….it was a great book, with so many “aha” moments and opportunities to reflect and confront my own inconsistencies when it comes to relating to others. The sad part is I can only remember a few points from the book, and most of what I remember is a general theme, not specific points.

I read Toni Braxton’s memoir just 3 weeks ago and I can spout of facts about her life like an excerpt from wikipedia. I like Toni Braxton, but I’m not a super fan or fanatic. So what about Toni’s life story made it easier for me to comprehend and carry with me when Donald’s book was actually the better book?

(T)IME.

I read Toni’s memoir in less than 2 days. I didn’t put it down until I finished. I made time to read it. I allowed the story of her rise and fall to captivate me. I accepted the fact that her story had the ability to inspire and educate me in regards to my involvement in the music business, so I read it until I was finished.

It took me 3.5 weeks to finish Donald’s book. I’d sit down to read it and take notes . But, I picked it up and put it down often. And although I was underlining various passages in the book, I wasn’t spending time with that book. I was simply reading.

I find myself in the same predicament when it comes to the Word of God. I read it regularly. Almost every day. But, rarely do I sit with the bible in my hands for 30, 40 , 60 minutes. And when I look back over the last 2 years and the moments when revelation and confidence in the Word of God was building and increasing in my life, I also notice that the time I spent in the Word ranged from an hour to 2 hours ….every. day.

Sure, I have a new baby now and she requires a great deal of attention.
Having another person in the house also means I average 2 more loads of laundry per week. ( As if the Mount Everest piles I had prior to weren’t demanding and time consuming enough. It’s a wonder I have time to do anything else other than laundry)

What about getting up an hour earlier while she’s still asleep and the house is quiet?

Why can’t I forego checking instagram and twitter 35 times in 35 minutes and use that time to get in the Word?

Perhaps I need to stop skipping around the bible via various devotionals and stick to one book of the bible at a time? (This just works best for ME – do what works best for you)

The transformation that took place in my heart was rooted in the TIME I spent in the Word of God. Too often we’re hesitant to admit or pursue persistent prayer, God talk and in depth bible study because it may cause us to appear “deep” . But, I’m convinced that part of the problem with the Body of Christ is that we’re (as a whole) too shallow. We know more FACTS about God, rather than living and breathing out the love of God that can only come from being consistently intimate with Him.

Join me in making a decision to make TIME for the Word of God. Not time to read OVER it, time to INDULGE in it.

Write it down in your planner.

Set an alarm on your phone.

Put a post it on your bathroom mirror.

Let’s do. Let’s make TIME to get in God’s Word.

We WILL be transformed.

Blurred Vision

We made it.

It’s a new year, a new season, a new day.

Some of us have no doubt made resolutions, set goals and created lists to assist us in keeping on task this year. Others may have prayed specific, detailed prayers entrusting their direction and endeavors to the Lord. In our house we’ve done a bit of both.

Last week when driving back from visiting family, I purposely took a back road , out of the way route through Worthington/Delaware, Ohio. I’ve fallen in love with  stretch of narrow road that runs along the Olentangy River. There are homes that span across acres of land, housing horses, stables, farm animals, country churches and roadside markets. If I could pick an area in which to build a home, this would be it.

As I was driving the rain began to come down a bit more steady than it had in the previous hours of my drive. To the right side of my car, the Olentangy River rushed at an enchanting speed, carrying the tempo of a bass-line driven melody. The river had risen significantly since I’d driven this same road just days prior. So much so, that one home sitting on the water’s edge, was covered in water up to it’s yard, and inching towards it’s front porch.

I couldn’t look away.

Before I could think about how much danger I was putting myself in, I looked in front and behind me to make sure there were no cars coming or following me. Then…I did it.

I snapped this picture.

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What you cannot see is that just beyond this lining of trees (on the right) is the raging Olentangy River.

When I initially shot (or so I thought I shot) this picture, my windshield was clear of rain. But in just that short amount of time, my view was blurred.

Blurred vision.

One of the greatest obstacles to achieving our goals : no matter how great or small , is a lack of vision or in some cases blurred vision.

Blurred vision is when we keep in our eye’s view the issues or problems that we contend with, rather than focusing on the supernatural ability and clarity that comes with knowing, abiding in and seeking Christ.

When I pray for others I like to use scripture. God’s word is alive and active. Often when we don;t know the words to say, God’s word will speak through and for us. Since He and His word are one, I believe it’s like literally making room for God to make His word real and tangible in our lives.

This scripture is one that I use regularly when praying for others.

“I ask – ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength! ” (Ephesians 1:16-19) message translation

SAY WHHHHHAAAAATTT?

I love that this passage is CLEAR about the fact that God has the ability to make us INTELLIGENT, DISCERNING & FOCUSED!!! So often we rely on 5 hour energy drinks, coffee (errr’yyy day y’all) , and anti-depressants (let’s keep it real) to keep us balanced or focused. (Listen, if it works for you…bravo, hear? Do what works for you.) But, SOMETIMES our lack of focus and direction is birthed from our continual reliance on everything but the Holy Spirit, the word of God, and His presence. Do you truly believe that the answer to every need, desire, issue you could ever have IS and will always be JESUS???

As we begin this new year and season, let us all take a moment to reflect on this passage. It’s the perfect time to make an appointment and get our “eyes” checked.

As Paul says (in the ESV) version “may the eyes of your understanding be enlightened”.

That is my prayer for us all.