Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Go Again" by pastor Alistair Begg

The following devotional by pastor Alistair Begg, the leader of Truth For Life, is geared towards the Christian walk. However, the principles in this devovtional can apply to our journey for change.

Go Again

1 Kings 18:43 (ESV) - "And he said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." And he went up and looked and said, 'There is nothing.' And he said, 'Go again,' seven times."

Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of response, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are serious about a matter that concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God and never for a moment gave way to the fear that he would not be suited for Jehovah's courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but "Go again."

We must not dream of unbelief but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel's peak, and if nothing is seen, she sends again and again. So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is quickened to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled but not crushed: Her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: Deadly blows are then struck at our corruption, and the sinful images are cleansed. The great danger is that men should faint and miss the blessing.

Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue to watch and pray. At last the little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain; and even so with you, the token for good will surely be given, and you will rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man with passions just like us: His power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing persistence, and it will be with you according to your desire.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"I'm Letting Go" by Francesca Battistelli

These are the lyrics to Francesca Battistelli's song "I'm Letting Go". It kind of reminds me of how it feels to take on life changes...
I'm Letting Go - Lyrics

Album: My Paper Heart
Artist: Francesca Battistelli

My heart beats, standing on the edge
But my feet have finally left the ledge

Like an acrobat
There’s no turning back

I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I’m losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace
The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone


Giving in to your gravity
Knowing You are holding me
I’m not afraid


Feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
Feels like I’m falling and this is the life for me

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Perfectly Paralyzed" by Mary Hunt of EveryDay Cheapskate

The following is from Mary Hunt, the creator of the EveryDay Cheapskate.

Perfectly Paralyzed

I've never thought of myself as a perfectionist. One would only have to peer into my office to understand why.

My office has the appearance of chaos, confusion and disorder. "Appearance" is the operative word. I find the chaos to be completely functional. I rely on my own, unique organizational theory: It's better occasionally to waste time searching for items than regularly to waste time keeping the place tidy with everything meticulously filed.

I know what you're thinking. My mother didn't agree with my theory either.

I admit that I struggle with procrastination. But me, a perfectionist? Hardly. A perfectionist is someone who does everything perfectly. I only think about doing things perfectly.

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to hear what Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, had to say on this subject. A procrastinator, says Warren, is nothing more than a frustrated perfectionist.

A perfectionist is convinced she must prove her worth by being perfect. A perfectionist craves approval. Warren contends it's the fear of not being able to perform perfectly that leads to procrastination. And procrastination eventually leads to paralysis.

There are times I can stare into my computer screen for hours on end without completing a single sentence. Even though I have a clear-cut subject, a semi-brilliant conclusion and a general idea of how I plan to get there, until I perfect my first paragraph, I'm paralyzed.

Have you ever felt paralyzed by your procrastination? Perhaps perfectionism is at the root of the problem.

I hear from lots of you who say you just can't get going with your Rapid Debt-Repayment Plans (one element of Debt-Proof Living; learn more at DebtProofLiving.com). Could it be that you're so worried about making a mistake, you find yourself paralyzed? Are you holding yourself to an unattainable standard of perfection? That could be what's keeping you stuck right where you are.

Perfectionism can keep us from moving forward, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are antidotes for perfectionism.

1. Believe that no one is perfect. You will liberate yourself when you lower your expectations from perfect to realistic. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. You don't have to be perfect to be happy.

2. Let go and let God handle things. It takes a lot of faith to let go of those things over which we have no control.

3. Learn contentment. Life must be lived in less than perfect circumstances. Accept that. Love the moment, and enjoy the journey. Dump the pressure that says you must be perfect to be accepted.

It's time to break out of your prison of perfectionism. Identify what you need to do and take the first step. Even if you fall flat on your face, you will have gained at least five feet. Then take the second step, and the third. Before you know it, you will be making terrific progress. Not perfection, but progress!

©Copyright 2010 Mary Hunt
Everyday Cheapskate is a Registered Trademark

"So I realized then that the best thing we can do is enjoy what we have worked for. There is nothing else we can do..." (Ecclesiates 3:22 GNB)