Ducky Quack-Quack!

224598_7042Whenever anything bad happens the first thought to go through my head is, “Why me?”  “What did I do to deserve this?”  “How did I tick God off this time?”  “Things were going so well, why now"?”  Here is what I have become convinced of.  It’s hard to focus on God when He’s blessing me.  Sounds dumb I know.  It is however, true.  When He is blessing me, when things are going well, when life is ducky quack-quack, God tends to be put on the back burner. 

Oswald Chambers said it this way- “Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere.”  Here, here Mr. Chambers.  I see that happen to me all the time.  When life sucks, I’m talking to Jesus.  When life is going well, I’m talking to everyone but Him.  My prayer this morning was “What have I been doing?  Why am I playing at being a Christ-Follower again?  Why hasn’t my walk at work matched my walk at home?  Why haven’t I really talked to you in a while God?”  Then He answered me, “Because life is going well right now.  Life is good and you’re taking me for granted.” 

 5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
   don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
   he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
   Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
   your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
   give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
   your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
   don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
   a father’s delight is behind all this. (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message)

I am NOT a prosperity preacher type guy.  (see 1 Timothy 6:6-10)  I think most of that is garbage.  Just my personal opinion but I can’t back up the belief that God wants me to have a Corvette or a Benz.  However God does bless us tangibly and intangibly, but rarely in the way we want.  He may give us peace in a dark time or help us pay for groceries when money is tight, but as far as I can see He isn’t going to give me a Corvette when  what I need is a mini-van.  God gives us what we need to serve Him, not what we want to serve our egos.  But no matter what the blessing is, tangible or intangible, it still tends to make us forget God. 

Maybe you are more spiritually disciplined than I am, if so- you are awesome.  But I imagine that 99.9% of us, if we really looked at, and I mean put a 500 watt quartz light bulb in the lamp in the living room of our heart and looked in the corners and under the love seat I bet what you will find is that, like me, you slack off when things are ducky quack-quack.  Your relationship gets stale.  Your prayers are shorter with way less emotion.  Bible reading is boring and nothing seems to be jumping out at you. 

If this is happening, be careful because the next step is for God to do something or allow something to happen that will get your attention.  Why?  Because He knows the longer you take Him for granted, the farther you get from Him.  The more comfortable you get with not praying or reading, the easier it is to ignore Him.  No one likes to be ignored, God definitely shouldn’t be ignored.  But we do.  I know I do. 

This morning He gently reminded me that I have been ignoring Him.  Hopefully I listen, because usually the reminders get a little more intense each time. 

1195551_what_not_to_do_3 Sometimes I hear my wife but I don’t listen.  I know she is talking, I hear her voice but I’m not listening to her words.  Usually a few minutes later a pillow or something comes whizzing at my head.  If I still don’t listen the object gets bigger and harder.  Ouch!!!  “What honey, I’m ready to listen!” 

 

 

God’s discipline (see last few verses above)  tends to start gentle and get a little harder each time as well.

“I hear you God, please help me to listen.”

 

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It’s all about Him,

Shawn

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Sometimes Life Stinks

Life has been the opposite of good for a while now. The church that my Dad and I started has not taken off like we had believed it would. We are 6 months old and we only have about 20 people. 10 of those are family. The building we are in is not kid friendly and we have lost a few families because of that. We are reaching mostly unchurched people so our offerings are not very good. Most give $5 or so a week. Hard to pay the rent and purchase supplies on that amount of money. We were hoping to be running 100 or more each week in attendance by now. So the vision Dad and I had for a church to meet needs in our community is slow going to the point of not moving.

Our whole family has been sick the last few months. My oldest has had, bronchitis, walking pneumonia, and strep, he was almost hospitalized. My oldest daughter has had bronchitis, upper respiratory infections and now she has strep. My youngest got pre-pneumonia and was almost hospitalized as well. I have had bronchitis for the last 3 weeks. My wife developed a 1/2″ kidney stone that required surgery to break up. My mom has been sick and last Saturday my dad had a medium heart attack and was in ICU. My van broke down and so did mom and dad’s truck. We are behind on our bills due to the doctor and medicine bills. And to top it all off God has been silent in my daily prayer and Bible time.

Where is God? Why are we going through this? I have narrowed it down to three possibilities.

1. We are on the right track, fulfilling God’s Purpose and the devil (yes I believe the devil exists) is fighting like crazy to stop us.

2. We are on the wrong track and God is trying to get our attention to stop and do something else.

3. There is no god and this is all a colossal waste of time and energy.

Since I believe in God and know that He is there it must be 1 or 2. So which one is it? Are we on the right road or did we get off at the wrong exit and God, like the G.P.S. in cars, is telling us to make a “U-TURN”.

Today I was reading a book in my “Currently Reading” list on the right called God.net. I read while, um, using the facilities (on the john). I read a chapter and he was talking about all this stuff going wrong in his life on what he calls “The Journey of Believe”. I was thinking that it sounded like us. I finished the chapter and finished my visit with “john” and went to get a cup of coffee. OK, I know this is kind of gross but bear with me. Before I could pour my coffee I realized I was not done conversing with “john”, so back I went. I sat down and began the next chapter, and thats where my view of this season in my life changed.

….to be continued.