Stop Racing in the Rat Race. Listen to God

 Before you read today’s post, I want to make an exciting announcement. We have a new book that will be given away in a drawing. The book is called, Eyes of Elisha, written by Brandilyn Collins. Brandilyn is argubaly the number one Christian mystery and suspense writer in today’s market for novels.

I was very fortunate to win this book in one of Brandilyn’s drawings for free books. I also won one of her books in an earlier drawing, but that one is under lock and key.

This is your chance to win a top selling book with the auther’s autograph in it. It will be a huge collectors item.

To have a chance to win this great book, go to the right side bar and click on the icon that talks about subscribing tom my free newsletter.

You will notice that you will also be able to download a free eBook called, The Top 25 Ways to Survive in a troubled World.

So….. you get a free newsletter that will have excerpts for my book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. 

You will also be in all future drawings for book with top selling authors that have their autographs in them.

AND you get a free eBook called, The Top 25 Ways to Survive in a troubled World.

Lots to gain and nothing to lose.

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  He Who Kneels Before God Can Stand Before Anyone

 

I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 17:6

 

It seems that everyone is on the fast track these days. You get passed by cars even though you are going the speed limit. The commuter trains are jammed full. Everyone you see has a cell phone up to their ear.

Some call it the “rat race.” However, even rats stop whenever they want to.

We feel like we need to climb the ladder of success. Some do it in such a way that anyone in their way will be stepped on. They don’t realize that each step on the ladder is made of paper, and although they may make it up to the top, the trip back down is very fast! You can be king of the mountain today, but you could be a has-been in the valley tomorrow.

I think back to a time when things weren’t so frantic—to a time when you could lie in your front yard and watch the clouds go by; a time when you could play with your dog; a time when you had a leisurely barbeque in the backyard and everyone in the neighborhood was there; a time when there was just your wife and you and no children.

Those were the days, my friend, and you thought they would never end. And they weren’t just the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer—much of life went at that pace. Then you noticed you didn’t have time to lie in the front yard. You were too busy mowing it and trying to keep it looking better than the neighbors’ lawn. You stopped having pets around because no one was home long enough to care for them. And the barbequewas long ago replaced by a quick waveto our neighbors and food from the drive-through. What’s a barbeque???

You now have three children—and they are very costly. Two are in college, and the other needs new equipment to be able to play on the school football team.

Are you on the fast track? Instead of a racing on an oval track, are you simply going in circles? Is there no end to the cycle?

Did you know that the oceans even stop to rest? They flow back and forth every day, but there is a short time when they reach their peak and do not flow anywhere. They stay still for about half an hour and then they start to flow the other direction. It is called high tide.

When you go crabbing (a sport, not an attitude!), you see the rope line to your trap going one direction and then at high tide the rope slacks and even disappears down into the water. Then when the ocean starts up again, the rope does a complete turn and heads the other direction.

I know how it is to feel we can’t take the time for even a short pause like the ocean does each day. It seems we feel we have to keep going no matter what. We feel driven—we are driven.

I know what that’s like. I’ve been there. I have wanted to be near the top. I have wanted to be more important. I have wanted; I have wanted; I have wanted.

Then one day I read this in the Bible: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). That hit me right between my “wanting to be important” eyes. God cares more about my spending quiet time with Him in prayer than He does about how important I am.

Think about this: A thousand years from now, will it matter how important you were in this world? Will it matter what title you were given? How hard you worked for that title? Nope. The meek (not the “top bananas”) will inherit the earth. Your success and your money do not go with you to the cemetery.

Instead of fame and fortune to pass on to our children, God wants our legacy to be a quiet and humble spirit that waits on Him.

When I really understood Psalm 46:10 for the first time, I realized that I needed to slow down, take time for prayer, and spend more time with God. I needed less time in the rat race.

“But I don’t know how to pray; I don’t know what to pray for,” is a common lament. Romans 8:26 says, “We do not know what we ought to pray for” and that “the Spirit himself intercedes for us.” Paul was talking about people who feel just like us. And in other places, Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6) and “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

You can pray for your children, your parents, your church and your neighbors (even the one with the dog who barks all day!). How about something unique? Pray for yourself. God doesn’t think we’re being selfish when we pray for ourselves. He wants to hear about our hurts and our concerns.

God doesn’t turn anyone away. He didn’t turn away Moses. He didn’t turn David away. He listened to Job. He listened to Sarah. He listened to Doug. He will listen to you.

God listened to me. I learned what a comforting feeling it was to have my heavenly Father listening to my cries. He spent hours with me helping me through some very tough times. The times I thought I wasn’t going to live to my next breath, He was there to help me through the storm.

Asking God to be on our side is like living in a muddy polluted river and suddenly having fresh water flow into it. It may take awhile for it to completely clear up, but with God’s help and our prayers, it can be a rich productive river again.

 

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Ephesians 6:18

 

Further Adventures

I remember when I first started coming out of the web of fear and anxiety I was stuck in for many years. The web kept pulling on me trying to keep me from getting away. I struggled because I wanted to finally be free. It was an exhausting, hard fought battle. Little by little I was able to get my arms free, and then my legs. Finally I was able finally able to leap into the loving arms of God. You can do the same thing. It will not be easy to rid the poisonous bite of the spider (Satan.) He will try to suck all the energy out of you even though you are struggling to free yourself. Turn to God, and let Him stamp the life out of the spider. Let Him put new loving blood flowing through you. Once you are free and strong again, He will be there to protect you from all enemies for the rest of your life on earth,

 

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny that the faster we go the more behind we get?

 

(Excerpt from Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. Chapter 18)

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Don’t Get Rid of Your Spouse. They are not the Enemy!

 Wait a minute!

Before today’s post I want to announce that the drawing for the book,  Moments This Good: The Softer Side of Alzheimer’s, by Bonnie Nester, has been completed. The winner will be notified.

Now I have exciting news:

I was sent an autographed book written by THE Brandilyn Collins, called, Eyes of  Elisha. It is one of her previous books she has written, but it is brand new.

I am very pumped about being able to give one of you this book by the arguably # 1  Christian fiction mystery writing author on the planet.

All you have to do to have a chance to win in the drawing is go to the right side bar and find the icon that talks about signing up for my free newsletter. While you are there you will notice you will alos get a free eBook for signing up as well.

So…… a free newsletter-free eBook, and a chance to win a free book written by one of the top selling authors in Christian fiction.

Can’t go wrong. You have nothing to lose and a great deal to gain.

_____________________________________________________

 

Not so Fast! Your Support is Right in Your House!

 

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife,

and likewise, the wife to her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3

 

In our daily lives we go about trying to just make it through the day. And we spend much of our time worrying about tomorrow. We do not know where to turn for comfort.

I learned through my own troubled times that I have one place I can always turn besides prayer and meditating on God. It is someplace (someone) right in my home. My wife. I’ve learned that a spouse should be your special place of refuge.

And I’ve learned that my wife Charlotte is not the enemy. There were times when I wondered about this, and struck back. Through counseling, I realized that she is my strength—and my friend. In the past I always tried to blame her for many of my problems. If I was depressed, it was her fault. If I failed at something, it was her fault.

Our personal counselor made us think and really look at each other. Each of us had to decide if the other really was on our side. Or was my spouse the enemy? This, of course, was an easy choice. Charlotte was not the enemy. She wants the best for me, and I want the best for her. So why do we spend so much time blaming our spouses for our problems?

They are the ones we should be going to for help with our problems. If there is an unresolved issue that has come between the two of you, sitting in silence only fuels the problem.

We need to consider the feelings of our spouses, and stop putting ourselves ahead of them. We need to clean up our inner feelings before we can attempt to help others. If we do this and really try to stick with that formula, the regret we feel should be because we haven’t done what we feel we should have done to uplift our spouses.

Think of your spouse as your sounding board, your place of refuge. You need to consider your spouse a place for you to share hurt, and a place where you can feel free to “unload,” without judgment or punishment.

Talk to your spouse and let him or her know that you do not think of them as your enemy, and also let them know that you are on their side and want to help them in any way as they go through their daily lives.

Your heavenly Father is, of course, not your enemy. Neither is your spouse, who is your earthly companion that you should always feel free to share your hurts with—just like you would with God.

 

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives,

and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you

of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

1 Peter 3:7

 

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,

and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:33

 

Further adventures

Sit down and list the good things you know about your spouse. Now write the things that you consider bad things. Look at each of them, and then throw the bad things in the garbage. Keep the good things and concentrate on them. There is a saying, “Write your hurts in the sand and your happiness in cement.” This way your hurts will wash away, and you can always see your happiness. This is the step toward a happier marriage. Don’t keep score of the bad feelings. Only count the good.

 

Something to ponder

Wouldn’t it be funny if Adam said to Eve, “Watch it; I have plenty of ribs where you came from”?

(Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. Chapter 11)

 

Doug

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