Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...becoming a polished Christian!

Today I spent time polishing some silver. I polished some yesterday as well. Yesterday, I polished silverware that was used in a recent dinner party, however, when it was time to replace the silverware, the unused pieces looked yellow and tarnished next to the newly polished ones. So today I had to spend some time polishing ALL of the pieces.

Before I began polishing, the polishing pad looked so fresh and new...

But just after a few strokes of the tarnished pieces, the pad began to take on a different look. A dirty, nasty look...

It is no secret that in life if we rub shoulders with the wrong people, it is only a matter of time before their nasty habits will rub off on us. We can start out like that clean polishing pad, with the best of intentions, but after just one or two rubs of the sinful nature of those we hang around, we can become soiled.

The Bible says that "Iron sharps iron" (Prov. 27:17) That indicates that in order to become strong, I need to associate with strong people. In order to be encouraged, I need to be around encourager's. In order to grow in the Lord spiritually, I need to stick close to those who are seeking God.

It is so easy, as a Christian, to become discouraged. When I look around and see people who clearly are not putting God first but yet seem to have it all together, it frustrates me. I guess it is the same thing that was happening in the book of Malachi. (Malachi 3:14-18) Some of the Jews became discouraged and discontented when they saw others prospering and having great lives while being prideful, wicked and arrogant people.

"Is God just?" -the Jews wondered. But as I read on, I see that there is another group of people in this story that do not murmur or question God about these seemingly injustices. Instead they got together as a group and remained faithful to God and trusted Him.

MALACHI 3:16 "Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name."

Be encouraged today... God hears your cry! He sees your heart! And He is remembering all those who have been faithful to Him and those who have not. He knows who is prideful and who is not. He sees the injustices that have come against you. He is making note and remembering every act of malice against you and against Him.

In His eyes we are jewels. But it is important that we remain polished. Be alert and wise as to who you allow to rub up against you .... your choices may either polish you or soil you!

And this has been a piece of my heart today;

Monday, January 30, 2012

Outlook determines outcome

In Warren Wiersbe’s book "Be Mature," (a study of the book of James) it says:
"Outlook determines outcome, and attitude determines action."
God tells us to expect trials. It is not “if" you fall into various testings but “when" you fall into various testings. Jesus even warned His disciples, "In the world, you will have tribulation." (John 16:33) So why do we find ourselves so surprised when these trials and troubles come?

Most of the time we are caught off guard. Some people think that "it" will never happen to me. What is "it"? Cancer? Death? Divorce? No matter what name you label "it", some kind of trial or tribulation is bound to happen sooner or later.

Instead of being caught off guard, why not be prepared and start taking action NOW!

If the IRS notified you today that in 6 months there would be a tax lien placed on your home and you would have to take care of this immediately or risk losing your home, most likely you would begin to save some money now or put a plan into action of how you could pay this tax lien to save your house. If we can plan and take action to save our physical home, why do we not take the same preparations to save our spiritual homes?

My 1-2-3 preparation plan for such a time looks like this:     

1. PRAY. Begin praying now for those things that are ahead that you do not see. Pray for strength. For wisdom. For discernment. Don't wait until the trial hits to pray, pray now that WHEN it hits, that you will be prayed up and have trust and confidence in God to see you thru!

2. GIVE. It is easy to give money when you have plenty, but what about when you have little? Begin now, no matter what season you are in, to give. Not just monetarily, but of your talents and your time. If you are cheap in giving to God now, you will probably not be much better when trials and tribulations hit. Now is the sowing time. We will reap what we sow.

3. ATTITUDE. Your attitude is everything. If you are "woe is me", your attitude just may determine the outcome of your situation. Give praise in ALL things. Yes that means the good, the bad and the ugly. Instead of focusing on the "have nots", focus on God and trust in Him enough that He will provide a way of escape. Your outlook will certainly determine the outcome.

It is not everyday that we can look at troubled times as something beautiful, but even Warren Wiersbe points this very thing out in his study. The "stuff" that we go thru can be a time of growing and changing. A time of beauty. A time of His transforming us.

Beauty or disaster?
The outcome really just depends upon our outlook! Choose today to be prepared.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...day 26, how is it looking?

It is hard to believe that the end of January is already here. I have enjoyed seeing all of your grateful hearts this month as your TT host! It encourages me so much to see how God is working in all of your lifes.

As I look at the calendar I see that we are already 26 days into the new year. I wonder how you are doing with your new goals and aspirations? One thing that I always hated about making "resolutions" is that feeling of failure I often felt by the end of the first month when I realized that I had already failed at losing weight, or eating right or exercising more.

Often times, I think setting goals is much like taking a walk on the beach. Have you ever noticed that if you try to walk straight and then look back at your footprints in the sand that your steps will be anything but straight. However, if you would fix your attention on something straight ahead, your steps would probably point straight to that object you were aiming for.

Goals are crucial for all of us to have. The big goals. And the small goals. But if we stumble around without having a course to keep us inline, we will be like the steps on the beach. Goals with no purpose will most definetly leave us feeling like a failure. Even Jesus had goals, and His goals had purpose indeed. In fact, His primary goal was set way before time even began.

Can you imagine how things would be different for you and me today if Jesus did not set His eyes on His Fathers plan? Each step He took, each lesson He taught, each miracle He performed was leading Him (and others) to God's ultimate purpose...the power of the Cross!

I am so thankful that Jesus was goal-minded and that each of His steps were ordained by God. If you set some goals for the new year and find yourself not staying on track, ask God to help you to see His purpose and plan and then fix your attention on that plan.

PHILIPPIANS 3:13,14 "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Forget...reach...press on...receive! So how is day 26 looking for you? Keep on reaching, the prize awaits you!

We would love to hear what is on your grateful heart today, be sure to link up your post below in Mr. Linky. Next week Iris will be hosting TT, see you over there for the month of February!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...the serenity prayer

Have you read the "Serenity Prayer" lately?

For years this well known prayer has been around. Just this week I happened to come across an old copy that was tucked away in a box of old memories and pictures...

The Serenity Prayer
  God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Such a short but profound poem. It suggests that in life, there are things that will be beyond our control. A person can eat healthy and exercise daily but they may still get sick. A person can work diligently at becoming a good steward, but still fall onto hard financial times. A person can work really hard at becoming a good friend, but yet struggle with having good relationships.

Face it, there are just some things in life that leave us struggling to understand why certain things happen. I have had lots of things happen in my own life that quite honestly, I just don't understand. The more I try to figure things out, the more I get confused. It is fair to say that even though some things cannot be understood, there is still a perfect purpose for it.

PROVERBS 3:5-6  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

DEAR LORD: Today I choose to apply the Serenity Prayer to my life...to accept the things that I cannot change and to seek Your help in changing the things that I can. As I lean upon Your understanding, may I see purpose even in those things that I cannot control. I put my complete trust in You, especially for these things I do not understand. AMEN



Thursday, January 19, 2012


It's just the 3 of us now in the house, since the boys have all married and moved out you would think we would have less laundry around here. But that is not the case at all. Seems like the washer and dryer are going non-stop. I guess having a teen girl in the house has something to do with that! Ha-ha.

We can never have enough laundry soap. Not only that, but we need lots of Bounce too. Those little fabric sheets are wonderful. Have you ever noticed the difference they make? If you run out of them and try to dry a load of towels without it, you will notice the difference real quick. The static and electricity seems to rub off on everything else that your load of laundry comes in contact with.

I got thinking about that the other day when I was folding some towels. Isn't that how we are sometimes...we can rub off on other people wrong. We may not mean to, or maybe we have just had a bad day, or week and the vibes that we give off seem to be alittle electrifying. When our attitude is less than what it should be, it doesnt just affect us. Just like the laundry, the static from our spirit will affect all those around us, thus rubbing people the wrong way.

I guess what we all need in our lifes is alittle Bounce, not the dryer sheet kind, but the God kind. I find when I do not spend time with Him or in His Word, the bounce in my step is alittle less than what it could be.

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savourEph. 5:2

Without His sweet smelling savor, it is so easy for little things to creep in our heart and our spirit (like jealousy, bitterness, anger, resentment, discouragement, etc) and if we arent careful the static that comes with these things will not only affect us but it will affect those that we rub shoulders with.

What kind of static and electricity are you giving? I hope its the good kind. The sweet smelling kind. The kind that can bring hope, joy, peace, love and forgiveness to others. If not, you may need to get you some bounce in your walk, the spiritual kind that is!

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am so grateful for the freshness of God's Spirit. What an awesome outpouring of His Spirit when we come to Him with an open heart to receive all that He has for us. May we not only keep the laundry room stocked with dryer supplies but may we keep our hearts and spirits stocked with anticipation of His filling.
What are you grateful for today?
Please join us by linking up your TT post below! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...feeding time

One thing that I love about our dogs is that when it comes to feeding time, they are always ready to receive the goods. One of the reasons that they wait so patiently as I stir up their dishes is because they have done this before. They have gone thru the routine and they know exactly what is happening and what is about to happen.

When I pick up their bowls and go into the kitchen, they know what is about to take place. When I open up the dog food bin, they know what is about to take place. When they watch me stir it all up and pour it into their dish, they know what is about to take place. Something good is about to be dished out to them!

I wonder what kind of reaction I would get if instead of dishing out the good dog food, I gave them some generic food that had gone bad. I am confident that their reaction would not be the same. And most likely after one or two times of giving them some bad food, they would probably change their attitude when it came to feeding time. Perhaps their enthusiasm would diminish abit.

Spiritually speaking, people can be like dogs at feeding time. I am not suggesting that you are a "dog" but I am suggesting that when people throw out positive, encouraging, sweet aroma kind of words our way, it is much easier to digest than if all they gave us was discouraging, disheartening put-downs all of the time. Over a period of time, we would take on the character of the dog and our enthusiasm to be around such gloom and despair would most likely diminish also.

If you ever got around our dogs at feeding time, you would see very quickly which one is the dominant one. Jasmine is a 13 year old beagle and she has the liberty to go from one dog dish to another eating when she wants, as much as she wants. The other two dogs just get out of her way when she comes around. When she is thru feasting at their bowl, they then begin to eat what she has left behind.

I have been around some real life "dogs" in my lifetime. The kind that seem to take out the light in a bright and shiny room. The kind that have a need to control things or be the "dominate" one in the relationship. They have a aura about them that is less pleasing to ones appetite. They have a way to speak nothing good into peoples lives. It is heartbreaking that it is their voice that we so often listen to. Their negative leftovers is what we often feed upon.

It was once said that you could be in a room with ten people. 9 of those 10 can say wonderful things to you, while that other one can say something negative. It will not be the 9 positive things that you will remember, the only thing that will stand out is that one negative thing.

I don't know about you, but I am tired of feeding on the generic brand of humanity. No longer do I have to listen to what "they" say about me, all that matters is what Jesus says about me.  Jesus calls me His Own and He trusts me so much that He has entrusted me with His sheep...

JOHN 21:17 "The third time He said to him, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?...Lord, You know all things, You know I love You.' Jesus said 'Feed my sheep.' "

Jesus is asking us to feed one another, the same call as He gave Peter, He is charging us to go out and feed His lambs. Not with our second best but with our very, very best. May the food we offer be of His love, forgiveness and Grace. It is the kind of food that will not only be irresistible, but nourishing and life changing.

It's feeding time....time to turn your ear to hear what God has to say. Chew on that for awhile my friend!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Removing the eggshells!

This past week I have spoken to 3 different people who all seemed to be dealing with the same dilemma. Difficult people. All 3 people who spoke with me was in some form or fashion dealing with difficult people in their life.

With it being such a up and coming problem in so many of our lives, do I dare ask "How do you deal with difficult people?"

No matter who you are, it is only a matter of time before you yourself will have to work with a difficult person or attend church with a difficult person or even live with a difficult person. I don't like it as much as the next guy, but honestly, dealing with difficult people will either make you or break you. It will bring out the true colors of Christ in you or it will bring out the worst in you. Hopefully dealing with difficulty and strife will mold you into the image of Christ.

Matthew 5:44-48 “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”.

One of the greatest gifts one can have is being able to love the unlovable, being able to have patience with those that rub us wrong. Many times when we get around such a person, we tend to walk on eggshells. We might even try to avoid them so as to not have to deal with their outbursts. But quite to the contrary, these are the very ones that we should be embracing.

One of the greatest things that we can do to accomplish this is simply by removing the eggshells. You know that hard surface that seems to remain intact between you and that person.

Many times a person acts out or comes across difficult because they have some sort of unresolved issue in their life. It may be something they have tucked away deep inside stemming from neglect or abuse as a child or it just may simply be a need that is not being met in their life such as joy, happiness or content. My husband use to tell me all of the time, "hurting people hurt people."

Not always easy to swallow, especially when you are doing all that you can do to reach out to them. Its one thing if a friend or a co-worker is being difficult to be with, you can always change friends or change jobs but what if it is a family member? Its not like you can change families!

God gives us clear instructions in His Word on how to handle such difficulties. First and foremost in any broken relationship we should always strive for reconciliation. As Followers of Christ, it should be top priority to make amends and find peace with whoever we are having difficulty with.

MATTHEW 5:23, 24 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, (24) leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering."

This passage gives clear instructions on how to remove the eggshells. I always found it interesting that God is not suggesting that we go to our brother if we remember OUR offense, rather, "remember that your brother has something against YOU." True piety before God would mean that you and I are right with each other. God's Word implores us to not only make things right with our brother but to do it FIRST before bringing our gifts to Him.

To obtain such a reconciliation is going to require some humility. There is no room for pride if you are contending with a difficult person. Having unresolved issues with a brother or sister is not pleasing to God and I have to wonder, according to Matthew, if our offering will not be pleasing and acceptable to Him if we have unresolved issues with our brother? In this sense, brother is not always meaning our blood relative. Our brother can be our friends, our co-workers, our pastor, our Sunday school teacher, your child's teacher or anyone you rub shoulders with.

Do you have some eggshells that you have been avoiding? Maybe some difficult people in your life that have left some open wounds?...today is a good day to seek reconciliation and remove those eggshells in your life. If you do, please pray the following prayer with me:

Today is a day of reconciliation for me. I recognize that I have had some eggshells in my life. Difficult people are in my life and they drive me crazy. It is my hearts desire to forgive those who have offended me, and love them no matter how they treat me. God, at times I have been a difficult person, for that I ask for forgiveness and ask you to change me and as You change me, I know my attitude will also change. May others see that in me and cause them to want to change to be more like You. I am asking You now, please remove the eggshells in my life so that every area of my life that I offer up to You will be acceptable and pleasing!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...a lesson of patience

There are some things that can be learned by the textbook and then there are those other things that just cannot be learned except by first hand experience. PATIENCE is one of those qualities that can only be acquired by persistence, diligence and practice!

Doing a word search, I found one description of the word "PATIENCE" as "unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring." Just thinking about THAT definition of patience makes me realize that I am lacking especially during traffic jams or anything to do with driving.

Have you ever noticed how patient you can be ....except ....when it comes to other peoples driving skills?

The other day I found myself stopped at a red light. But just right ahead of the light was a train passing by, so the cars ahead of me had no other option except to sit thru the changing light. I got frustrated. So I did what every skilled driver would do...I inched my way up to the intersection and turned down another street to go a different way!

"Endurance without murmuring" ... how many times have I wasted an opportunity to learn patience. Instead of thumping my finger on the steering wheel, or thinking about how many minutes I am going to be late, could I not take a minute to give thanks to God for His patience with me?

(2 Peter 1:5-7) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Wow! Every time I read this passage I am reminded that one is leading to another. And with each stepping stone, we are being trained for a better understanding of godliness in our character. Having patience is the lesson and God is the teacher.

Today, on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I am so thankful that God does not have the same kind of patience as I do. I am so grateful that when I am slow to learn, that He does not try to turn away from me like I do in traffic. He is ever so patient with me, molding me, transforming me and loving me thru all of the lessons of life.

What are you grateful for today? Please share with us your Thankful Thursday post by linking up below. TT will be hosted here the month of January and over at Iris's in February. We are so glad to have each of you join us!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...excess baggage

Several years ago I went on a missions trip with our youth group. As we all got checked in at the airport, I will never forget how the youth pastor's suitcase was found to be overweight. I can still see him standing there in front of all of us with his luggage open and taking out anything he could to get the weight of his load down. He was dividing up as much as he could...giving shoes to someone to put in their luggage, sweaters to another, pants to another, on and on until he finally got the weight of his load correct.
I was thinking about that the other day when I was writing down some goals and aspirations for this new year that I find myself in. God gently reminded me about the overweight luggage, and how I am similar to that youth pastor. The airlines would not permit him to travel because he had too much baggage and here I am trying to go forward in my adventure that I call life but I too am carrying way too much baggage.

Before I can go forward, I have to stop and do what that youth pastor did....take some things out that are weighing me down. The problem that most of us have is that we don't really recognize the baggage that we have. Before we can get rid of it, we have to identify it. Last year, I surveyed my readers about what kind of burdens they carry, here is what they said:

#1 burden reported was GUILT. "Guilt" is refusing to allow past sins to be forgiven. You may be reluctant to forgive yourself, forgive others or allow God to forgive you. Either way, its a burden!

The #2 burden the voters said they had was GRUDGES. "Grudges" is refusing to forgive others for hurting you. Ouch...that will put you in overload.

The #3 burden was WORRY. "Worry" is simply refusing to trust God. If we trusted Him, we would not worry.

The #4 most often burden to have was STRESS! "Stress" is refusing to relinquish your worries to God.

I wonder if you struggle with any of these burdens? If you do, perhaps, you find that your baggage is alittle overweight. Too much to carry. It will be difficult to go forward in your walk with the Lord if you continue to hold on to these things. The best way to get rid of this excess baggage is to do what that youth pastor did on that mission trip...GET RID OF IT!

Instead of putting your burden on others though, why not just put that burden on God's shoulders and see what He can do with it. He never intended for us to go around with so much weight on shoulders that it would hinder us from doing His work. Think about it, if you would load up a bunch of boxes, crates and bags on your back and try to walk around and do your business, it would be extremely hard. You would be hunched over, your back would hurt, you might walk with a limp, certainly you would not be able to do your best with such excess weight on you. Spiritually speaking, it is exactly the same way!

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me . . . and you will find rest for your souls". (Matt. 11:28-30)

Let loose of those things that bind you. Don't let all of that excess baggage hold you back any longer!

And this has been a piece of my heart today;

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Welcome to the first THANKFUL THURSDAY of 2012! I don't know about you, but I never seem to run out of things to be thankful for. If I ever did though, all I would have to do is look around me or just open my Bible and see just how gracious and loving our God is!

Every new year alot of people make decisions or as they call it ...resolutions. They resolve that there are some things in their life that they can improve on.

One of the biggest resolutions made every new years is losing weight! Apparently, people are making a statement that they are not pleased with the way they look. Unfortunately, most Americans who make this resolve usually end up disappointing themselves when a month later they find themselves right back eating the same way they always have.

Spiritually speaking, there is a resolve that many, if not all of us can make and that is that we need to improve our spiritual diet. To do this though will mean to have more, not less. Most diets require you to eat less, but going on a spiritual diet will require you to eat MORE!

Feeding upon God's Word daily will require alittle more than just a new years resolve though. It will take commitment, faithfulness and maybe even some accountability. I have decided that the best thing that I can change about myself is to become closer to God. This week I have joined a "reading thru the Bible in 2012" group. Not only will I be deeper in His Word this year, but reading along with a group will give me accountability and encouragement as well.

Is there something  in your life that you would like to alter? I can't think of any better way to make changes then to spend more time with God, and then allow His Holy Spirit to transform you in His Image!

ROMANS 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is."

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I do not want to stay the same way that I am. But I cannot be strong without Your help. Help me each day to make You the most important part of my day. Help me to be dedicated to spending time with You and help me to open my mind, my heart and my spirit to receive what YOU have for me for that day. Transform me to be what You want me to be. Amen

Please join your grateful heart with ours by linking up what you are thankful for below in Mr. Linky. We are so happy to see each of you here this week!
If you would like to join in the Read Thru the Bible in 2012 group....go here!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My word for 2012 is PURSUIT!

If I could come up with a word that I would like to proclaim for this new year, I think it would be the word "PURSUIT". Pursuit is an awesome action word, look at what Webster says about it...

pur·suit [per so'ot] n:
act of chasing after something: the act of chasing after somebody or something in order to catch, attack, or overtake that person or thing. hobby: a pastime, hobby, or leisure activity. act of striving for something: the effort made to try to achieve or obtain something over a period of time.
In order to pursue something or someone, you have to be willing to chase after it. I don't know about you, but when I think about a chase scene it does not involve idleness. We cannot just sit around, doing nothing for God. In order to pursue Him and His ways, we must get up, put the pedal to the meddle and pursue Him with all that we have!

PSALM 63:8 "My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me."
If we don't pursue something, something will pursue us! I want to make sure that the things that I am pursuing are things that will make me a better wife, a better mom, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend and a better disciple. May I start this new year off running, chasing, not relenting until I have ALL of God!
2012...the year of pursuit!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The good, the bad and the ugly habits!

It is said that it takes just 21 days to break a bad habit. That's right, in just 3 weeks you can break those nasty things in your life that have become routine and compulsive! Of course, the first step to this 21 day recovery is acknowledging that something in your life needs to be dealt with.

Most of us think of only the bad and ugly things when we hear the word "habit" mentioned. But I am here to tell you that it isn't just the smoking, drinking and cursing that become bad habits that need to be rectified. Even though, these are just some of the habits that can be harmful to us, there are some habits that seemingly look less harmful but yet they are what they are....a BAD habit!

For instance, when I was younger I had a nasty, nasty habit. I bit my nails. For years, I tried to stop this nasty habit. I know what you are thinking... when lined up against smoking, it may not seem quite as bad but simply stated, IT was a bad habit! It was terrible for my teeth to be chewing on my nails all of the time. Not to mention, for a young lady, it just was plain unattractive.

Habits aren't just bad and ugly, some habits are actually good. I know that sounds like a oxy moron, how can a habit be good? Some things may seem ok to do. For one person, keeping clothes laying on the floor may seem ok, but to someone else, perhaps someone with alittle bit of ocd in them, the habit of not picking up clothes is not ok! So in this case, who is the one with the nasty habit? The one who doesn't pick up or the one who is overly ocd about it?

We struggle with this in our family. I am ocd. My family is not. So who has the habit that needs to be worked on? I would suggest we all do. In order to change, we need to identify what needs to be changed. Just because something fits comfortably in our routine, does not make it right or even necessary. Even good things can become bad habits. Washing your hair daily is a good thing. However, if you have a habit to wash your hair 4, 5 or 6 times a day...that becomes a problem. It won't take long at all for your hair to become dry, brittle and maybe fall out.

Everything in life is subject to become ritual or mundane or just merely a habit, even our worship. In Isaiah, God expresses His great disdain for meaningless worship...

What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! (Isaiah 1:11-15) NLT

I don't know how...but God's people had missed the point of meaningful worship. They were caught up in the act of religion and missing out on the relationship. You cannot just follow a model of worship without ever entering into the presence of God. God desires a face-to-face encounter with His children. Not just then, but now too. But we must be willing to make worship a habit.

Bad habits can be broken and good habits can be formed. It just takes 21 days. Worship is more than just what we do every Sunday at 10:45 am. Worship is an attitude of our heart. When we form the habit of praise and worship, it will be part of our relationship with Him.

In the new year, it is my desire to form some healthy habits while removing some that are not so healthy. May these first 21 days of January have purpose and meaning ....and become habit forming, in a healthy, spiritual, God driven kind of a way!