“Wasted Years”

 

passing time

How can you turn back time? It’s a redemptive question we’ve all entertained. We as humans struggle to grasp the brevity of our time on this earth. Just as a highway offers mile markers to track our progress to the next landmark so our years track our progress and movement throughout life. They remind us we are going somewhere.

As children we sat impatiently in the backseat repeatedly questioning the our parents,“Are we there yet?”. We too question God about our progress and where He is taking us. Remember as children straining to see over the seat or climbing on our knees to see out the window as others yelled, “Wow! Did you see that!” only to be disappointed because we were simply too late. Life can bring moments that leave us feeling like we have just missed the biggest moment or opportunity of our lives.

Regret is a cruel taunter that enters our minds loudly telling us we can never get back the time we have wasted. During the last eight weeks of recovering from an ATV accident that left me with seven fractured ribs, a partially collapsed my lung, and damaged discs in my neck; I have struggled with these thoughts. I told my husband yesterday that the time since my accident has felt like one long day. My existence looming between the recliner in my living room and our bed. If I am not careful, I will lose the value of these still moments focusing too much on what I think I am missing.

I remember as a young mother in my early twenties still struggling with my own personal desires to pursue a music career. During the few months we lived in Blytheville, Arkansas I entered a nationally televised singing competition in Nashville that was much like what we how know to be “American Idol”. Voters cast votes by telephone call and I managed to finish 6th in the finals, but nothing changed. No doors opened and I went back to life as a stay at home mom. I felt life was passing me by and I could do nothing to change my course.

One morning I sat in an especially powerful worship service and God was moving in such a powerful way through the music and ministry of its leaders. I closed my eyes and in my mind and soul I could hear wind blowing. I began to hear the ticking of a clock and could see a book laid open. The wind was blowing its pages before my eyes. I was having what some would call an open vision. In this vision I found myself on a beach beside a vast ocean. My hands were filled with broken pieces that I knew were my dreams. I was desperately looking for a way to fix them, or better yet someone who could piece them all together. I heard the Spirit of God say to me, “Give me your dreams.” And again moments later, “Will you trust me with your dreams? Give me your dreams.” I reluctantly and carefully laid each precious piece on the sand before the Lord. Suddenly a wave came and washed my dreams into the ocean. I remember screaming, “Why God? Why did you take my dreams? It was all I had? The vision was over and I again heard the wind, the ticking clock, and the pages turning and I wept.

waiting by beach



Nothing Wasted

We live in a society of such unrestrained waste. We waste water, food, electricity, and the list goes on and on. In comparison with much of the rest of the world, we live as kings and queens in a land of excess. I will be the first in this group of wasters to stand and say, “I am guilty.” I am not a recycler who puts out bins by the side of the road on Thursdays like some of my other neighbors and I’m certain I could do more to leave less of a burden on the world my children will inherit. Although what I am writing today has everything to do with leaving more and wasting less it has much more to do with using valuables that are impossible to recycle or repossess.

I remember the day after I returned from my first medical missions trip in Honduras so clearly.  My husband and I set together at one of our favorite local restaurants, Rolandos, to share a meal and discuss my trip. The waitress sat a cold, clear, complimentary glass of water on our table and I felt emotion began to flood my heart. While in Honduras the value of that one glass of water had changed. The value of clean, readily available, drinkable water had escalated exponentially from my experience in a place that was lacking such luxury.

Water in Tegucigalpa, Honduras is precious. In order to provide “upside down foot washing” ,the act of treating children for head lice, water had to be delivered in barrels by truck. Every small bucket poured had great value and purpose. It was inexcusable to waste or play with water in Tegucigalpa, yet where I lived many showered it daily on their lawns to maintain green grasses. We all believed we had more than enough to waste.

This is the same dangerous way in which we “spend” many of our days. We improperly assess their value or falsely believing we have plenty to waste. We pour hours into entertainment, electronics, pleasure, and miss the value of real “face time” and in person connectivity. We all need our own “clear glass on the table” moment.  For myself, that most recent moment happened suddenly and without warning when I slammed my ATV into the side of a mountain in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In fact, every word I type right now is precious because it is done so with pain as I recover from seven fractured ribs, a partially collapsed lung, and an injured right arm.

While suffering in a Mexican intensive care unit with intense pain,that seemed unbearable even with pain meds; I prayed,”God, don’t let any of this pain or experience be wasted. Use all of it in some way to bring glory to you.” Now after five weeks of a slow, painful recovery I can now say God has given me a new insight which will be the basis of a new and first book for me. “Nothing Wasted”

DSC_0514

Leaving More, Wasting Less….

I hope you will encourage me, and help keep me on task until I finish my set course. The most valuable thing I have discovered through my accident is that God has encircled me with the most incredible, loving, caring family and friends anyone could every imagine. Thank you all for standing by me when I needed you most.
 
 
Pastor Bonnie Stewart Moore


Trust in The Lord

It's simple. It's short. Yet it's incredibly powerful. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible–with good reason. It sets forth a life-changing truth that is worthy of our attention. Spend three minutes reading this article, and see if you agree.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Let's break down this life-changing truth to make sure we understand it.

 

Trust in the Lord.

It starts with trust. Any real relationship has to start with some level of trust. It's the only way a friendship will endure. It's the only way a marriage will work out. It's the simple reason why an employer hires workers, or why the workers stay employed. It's all about trust. Trust in the Lord, however, takes on an entirely new dimension. This is our trust in an eternal, all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God. He is worthy of our trust. The trust is important, not just because of who God is, but because of the way in which we must trust him: with all your heart. It involves every fiber of your being. That's the kind of trust we can have in God–a complete, unshakable, deep, abiding trust.

If you are a Christian, you trusted God for salvation. You can trust Him with the rest of your life, too–every detail.

 

Read part 2, Don’t Lean On Your Understanding



Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding

Read part 1 first, Trust In The Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

Don't Lean on Your Understanding

The verse involves a positive–something you must do. But it also involves a negative–something you must not do. Don't lean on your own understanding. Basically, the verse is telling us that we ought not to be self-reliant. We cannot pursue a course of action, a financial decision, a business move, a relationship, or an educational choice, simply based on our own understanding. It must be founded in our trust in God.

Self-reliance is such a deceptive trap. We begin to pride ourselves in something–our savvy, our looks, our intellect, our spirituality, our family, whatever. And when we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord. It has become trust in self. The result is a dangerous compromise that will lead to destruction.

 

Instead, Acknowledge God. In Everything.

The antidote to this self-reliance is found in the first command of the verse. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Which is developed in the next verse: “In all your ways acknowledge him.” The word “acknowledge” isn't merely a polite tip of the hat to the Man Upstairs, or a few words of grace over your meal, or even perfunctory attendance at church to let Him know we're still cool with what He's doing. It's way more. It's allowing Him access, control, command, and involvement in all your ways.

What's the result of this? Will God ruin your life? Will he be a Sovereign Killjoy? Will He rob you of fun? The verse ends on a promise. What is it?

 

He will make your paths straight.

The promise is put in the form of a metaphor. What does it mean to have straight paths? Several things. First, paths lead toward an end–a destination, a goal. Thus, trusting God wholeheartedly in every area of life gives your life a sense of purpose and priority. Second, it indicates that there will be a clear understanding of where you are going and what you are doing. It makes daily decision-making an easier and less painful task. You realize you are trusting Him. He, in turn, is making your paths straight. Thus, the way ahead is more apparent. Third, “straight paths” suggests moral purity. It suggests a life that has less of sinful compromise and more of wholesome attitudes, actions, and behavior.

That's the kind of life that God promises. It's the kind of life that you can have. It begins with trust. It involves acknowledging God in every way.