Hit by a car

Yes, it finally happened.  I was hit by a car, a small black one.

Well, maybe I am pushing it a bit, but I did hit it enough to make a thud on his hood and shock the driver.  When running in town, I’ve read and learned that you must always pay attention to your surroundings and sure enough, my eyes quickly caught the young college student who pulled up to the stop sign as he exited his apartment complex.  I was approaching on his right while he was looking left.  As I have done hundreds of times before on my runs, I passed in front of the car, wondering, “Does he know I’m here?”  In a split second I got my answer.  The driver didn’t see me, only an open turning lane.  Sure enough, the car rolled forward while my left hand reached out and landed on his hood.  With the speed of a trained CIA agent, I gingerly and athletically cleared the front of this high-end sports car.  (Ok, may not.)  Luckily my legs brushed the far corner as I quicken my step and cleared the vehicle.  With my heart racing and the loud apologies from the scared driver coming through the closed window, I continued on and finished my run.

I wish the attacks of Satan were just as clear as a threatening black car on a run, but unfortunately the tricks of the devil are much harder to recognize.  Peter reminds us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)  As we walk through life, staying alert and recognizing how the devil can easily tempt us to sin is a practice that must be drilled into our thinking.  Too often it is that split second awareness that makes all the difference in the world, the difference between sustaining serious injury and jumping clear, the difference between breaking the heart of God with our sin and taking 1 Cor. 10:13 to heart and knowing there is a way of escape every time sin crouches at the door.

Stay alert!

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Planning Your Time With God – Part 2

In Luke 11:1, one of Jesus’ disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” It was obvious that Jesus’ strength came from His time in prayer.  Yet, we tend to find strength in everything else but prayer. 

So what is prayer?  I like to define it simply as a conversation between you and God.  Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”  Just think of trying to cope with your problems if there were no way to communicate with God. Job, in the Bible, is a perfect example of one who made it through tremendous trials because he had God. God was his strength!

Remember, God created us for a RELATIONSHIP, so He desires that we learn to spend time with Him in prayer.

Why don’t we pray?

I think we often convince ourselves that we can make it through the day without praying.  We find ourselves believing that we can lean on our own understanding rather than trusting God’s leading and direction (Prov. 3:5-6).

Some pointers on how to pray…
1) Be yourself. Be honest and open with with God.  (Psalm 24:3-4)
2) Talk to God as you would a friend. “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.”  (Exodus 33:11a NAS)
3) Pray with conviction, not with worry.  (Luke 18:1)  Someone once said, worry is “taking responsbility for something God never intended us to.”
4) Pray specifically. Pray generally and you’ll never know.  Pray specifically and you’ll see God at work.  Consider this quote: “We too often pray for things that would probably happen anyway.” (Miller)

My wife tells me I am notorious for praying the same thing at dinner time over and over.  If you struggle with originality, your mind and heart are probably not into your conservation with God.  Try one of these easy-to-remember acronyms when you pray next time to help bring focus and meaning to your prayers:

A.C.T.S.
Adoration – adoring God, worshipping Him, ascribing worth to Him
Confession – agreeing with God about the things you’ve done that He hates
Thanksgiving – giving thanks to God
Supplication/Intercession – coming to God with our need

S.H.A.P.E.
S … Is there sin you need to confess?
H … Is there some habit you need to correct?
A … Is there an attitude you need to change?
P … Is there a promise you have not claimed?
E … Are you an example for others to copy?

My goal this week: to spend quality time with God by 1) daily interacting with Him, 2) putting aside one afternoon this week in long mediation with Him.

Leave a comment and share how about your time with God this week!

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