Archive for the ‘Staying Focused’ Category

Close to See

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Have you ever wondered why we close our eyes to kiss, meditate, or visualize? The answer is simple—we close so we can see. With our eyes closed, we are better able to focus and our sense of touch, smell, and hearing become more perceptive.

My cousin Kenny has an eye disease that is drastically decreasing his vision. Recently, he decided to seek radical training to learn Braille.

Since Kenny still has some sight, the instructor provided him with special goggles that sealed out all the light. He had to be blind to learn to rely totally on his other senses.

Kenny said that the classes included woodworking. And yes, that the instructors are blind!

His story of shutting out his limited vision to see in a new way, reminded me that this concept is also taught in the Scriptures. Shutting out the world around us is a relevant way of gaining greater spiritual clarity in prayer.

We can talk to God anytime, anywhere, with our eyes wide open or closed. However, there are new insights that we can gain by shutting out circumstances—that are overriding our thoughts—thus encouraging our inner spiritual discernment to take the lead.

Time spent in this place of solitude will be evidenced by our greater inner vision, confidence, and creativity. We can develop a lifestyle of relying on—and hearing from—God for direction.

Kenny needed sealed goggles to make the light go away. We too can create a block and break from daily distractions—and focus on—and experience life in a new and more fulfilling way.

Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you(Matthew 6:6 NASB)

Dis Distractions

Monday, April 7th, 2014

I have to keep my guard up every day to keep from getting side-tracked—or derailed completely—from my mission and goals. It’s just so easy to get pulled aside to work on projects that are good and need to be done but are not part of my top priorities. I am multi-talented and am tempted to try many new activities, but are they important enough to use my energy on? Distractions beckon around every curve. One more activity might be OK, or even fun, but I have to ask myself if I will be able finish strong that which I’ve prioritized and planned.

 

I love the spontaneous. There is a certain freedom in knowing that life isn’t so structured that things can’t be changed, tweaked, and enjoyed at a moment’s notice. I must know that I am not a slave to some printed schedule that has to be acted out in robot fashion.

 

But being in charge of the direction of our lives and ultimately making it to our destination means not succumbing to distractions that are unworthy of our time when they appear. I must know the difference between nice and necessary. 

 

My self-dialog and conversations with others have the ability to distract me from reaching my goals. Stopping to visit or check on a friend is encouraging and uplifting. But trash talking, gossip and arguing, drain creative energy and draw me aside from my schedule. I must maintain control over the words I speak and discern whether to engage in a confrontation. I don’t have time to waste trying to prove that I am right. I must conserve my energy to speak up when my voice needs to be heard because it is the right and relevant thing to do. 

 

Baby animals are led astray by just nibbling and following the next patch of desirable green grass. Boundary fences of safety are pushed over with the thought that the grass is greener on the other side. Most of the time it is not.

 

My prayer for today: God, give me wisdom to know what is real and relevant for today, enough common sense to know when to speak out or to shut up, and the confidence and integrity to be satisfied with being right and real—without having to prove it!

 

“And as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.” 2 Timothy 2:4 (NLT)

Let It Go

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Let it Go

The difference between great success and failure may be as simple as knowing what – and when – to let go.

I heard a story about how hunters in Africa catch monkeys. Monkeys are very smart and difficult to trap. So the hunters build a container with an opening large enough for the monkey to put its hand into, yet it’s too small for a clenched fist to be removed. Hunters then place tempting trinkets or food into the container. The monkey reaches in, grips the treasures, and is trapped by its own fist. It’s hard to believe that a monkey will stay trapped until the hunter returns and captures it – when all that was needed to be free was for it to let go.

We’re more intelligent than a monkey. Yet no matter how much we know, there are times when we struggle to just let go.

Do you want to know three words to make your life more successful?  “Let it go.”  Three simple words will make your life more successful. We must evaluate often those things that we are holding onto and understand why we might want to cling to them. Things that have fulfilled their job or no longer pulling us forward have to be released to make room for the new and relevant. It is a waste of precious time and energy to keep hammering away at issues that we are powerless to change. We can gain tremendous peace just by letting go of past hurts, bitterness, or things we just never could quite figure out. Relationships also have to be evaluated. People that I pull into my inner circle will either lift me up or pull me back. I must evaluate my circle of friends and choose to stay in close contact with those who value what I have to say, encourage new ideas, and share some goals in common. You, too, should let go of friends who merely tolerate you. This will make each day an uplifting celebration.

It may not be easy to let some things go. That time, relationship, or plan in your life became part of you.  It is normal to feel some temporary sadness when you let it go. That’s OK.

Push past the disappointments. Open your hand and release. There are new people, places, and experiences ahead for you. Move forward into the great plans God has for you.  Just let it go.

“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Phil 3:13,14 NLT

A Fresh Start

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

on the WINGS

uplift for your world

Yesterday, at a get together in our home, after most of the guests had said their goodbyes, we three girls gathered around the bar to chat.  We three girls were those closest to me, one ahead and one following on the road of life – Mom, me, and my daughter.  After sipping yet another flavor of coffee, and tasting just one more bite of cherry pie, we talked about life.  Mom wished she knew what she knew now when she was my daughter’s age.  My daughter thought this wonderful concept could be achieved if mom’s wealth of wisdom was just downloaded to her immediately. It was a great idea of how becoming wise as an elder while still being young, could indeed be accomplished.  We laughed knowing that wisdom principals can be taught, but each person must then know when and how to apply those principals in his/her daily life.  Each path has different twists and turns that have to be personally walked out.

I have sometimes thought that if I could start over I would do things differently.  But after starting over, after many bummer days, I’ve found that it wasn’t just a second chance that was needed, but wisdom. Sometimes the wisdom ingredient to success was additional planning. After not being on time or prepared yet again, it became evident that I must avoid the trap of procrastination on a daily basis, to be wise.

I also had to let go of the myth that today’s fresh-start-path would somehow be easier than yesterday. Sometimes life is hard whatever the path. But hard is not always bad. Sometimes our greatest victories and highest joys are only realized by pushing past our comfort zones.

To totally embrace a fresh start, make peace with things in your past that cannot be relived or redone. Forgive, let go, and untie negative people and circumstances of yesterday.

Write down your goals, dreams, and ambitions and keep them before you. Surround yourself with people you would be happy to become more like.

Today is the day for a fresh start, whether it is your second or hundredth chance to live how you would — if you could — do it over.  Be diligent to live by wisdom principals that will bring the results you want in your life.  Learn something new each day, love well, and enjoy those before, beside, and behind you on the path of life.

Would you like a fresh start in any area of your life?  If so, then I pray today that you will commit to searching for wisdom, going past your comfort zones, and planning ahead.  May the God of all wisdom be your guide as you spend time in reflective silence before Him today.

By Reba Wilson (c)2012

“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Pro 4:7 NKJV

24 Hours starts… Now

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Today I met with a very successful Pastor of a couple of large churches. He made the statement that being 55 he was now turning a lot of ministry over to those that were younger.  I was thrilled and excited about this awesome group of 20 and 30 year old leaders that will be able to reach even further.  Still mulling over the concept on the drive home I suddenly realized that I was still working to attain some of those goals from my younger years.  And, I became well aware that my birth date declares that I am now- 56.

There was a moment when I teetered between becoming depressed over the areas that I had not yet accomplished or motivated to work harder to catch up.

And, then I realized that today is the youngest I will ever, ever, ever be.  What I wish to accomplish in life is only attainable for me- from this day forward.  Today, I will seek those things that are ‘most important’ in my life.  Today, I seek to give the ‘important’ a higher priority.  We all have different abilities, knowledge, contacts, finances and family.

But, we all have only 24 hours each day.  My life destiny depends on what I do with my today.

Archive #205 – Staying Focused

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

The sun was shining as I welcomed the morning. In the midst of enjoying the beauty and promise of the day I heard a ‘thud-splat’ sound behind me. I ran toward the noise to find a motionless bird on the ground below the window. It had flown into the glass thinking it was an open door. One graceful wing was bent under her body, the other stretched stiff. One leg sprawled left and the other right. Tail feathers stuck straight into the air, like a skater’s split gone terribly wrong. A piece of dried grass slid out of its wide-open beak.

What a compromising position for a bird of the air!  The cold stare of the eyes were as unflinching as the lifeless body it was attached to.  The collision had turned its head completely around leaving glazed eyes coldly staring backwards towards the sunlit path it had last flown through.  I hoped and waited for some movement.  The first signs of life were the blinking of the eyes. Next the beak began to open and close. Slowly but surely, wings flexed and legs shakily drew under a body still flattened and heavy from being knocked out. I don’t know how long I sat wondering what would happen to a bird alive but with its head on backwards. Suddenly, the head began to rotate forward- notch by notch as though someone had placed a ratchet around the neck. When the head was aligned the whole body began to sit up and take on new life. With the first surge of energy the bird soared away, above the ground’s predator dangers.

Flying occurred only after it had gotten its head focused forward.

In that bird I saw us- you and me. It’s been a ‘knock you out in flight’ year of surprises.  Things haven’t looked the way we thought they would- things not thought of or imagined have happened.

It’s time to pray again, get our heads on straight and read God’s word.  There’s no flying as long as we’re looking backwards. We have a hope and a future. Let’s get up, set our eyes on Jesus and begin to soar again!

Archive # 176 – Faith and Belief

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

“Why are you downcast, oh my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (NIV Bible)

Our problem and grief bring out a belief crisis.

FOCUS ON THE CERTAINTY OF GOD.

If the problem looks bigger than what you know God was gonna do, you have a reached a belief crisis.

That is ok-for it is vital to face the limitation of our faith. It is no secret because God already knew what you believed…….

A trial can serve the purpose of letting you know what is in your heart. Those weaknesses can be corrected when we acknowledge them and ask for God’s divine grace. The prayer turns into Lord, I believe, just help my unbelief.

Faith and belief show us God and when we see Him, we humbly unite with His will and choose to yet praise and worship.

Sometimes it is the trial or grief that shows us ourselves but, faith shows us God. When we see God we transfer our hopes and dreams from our ability to our trust in Him. Praise comes from the broken heart and acceptance is found, resting in the assurance of who holds tomorrow.

Archive #163 – New is not Better

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

I would be happier and better off if I had a new job, relationship, house, or town. This thought has entered all our minds at some point in our lives. For some it is a daily plague making them miserable with everything they own or attempt to achieve. Depression becomes commonplace and the heart becomes ungrateful and unthankful.

Sometimes new is the only right answer.  But, first we need to take account of what we presently have. I heard of a lady who explained to a Real Estate agent the type of house she wished to purchase. After much detailed explanation of what was ideal, the agent pulled out a new listing description for her to look over.  The lady was very excited as she read detail after detail that was important to her. Awe gave way to shock as she realized this was her own house as seen through the Realtor’s eyes.

What was the difference?  The home owner had gotten so used to seeing all the inside defects and little annoyances and had failed to see the qualities that were important and very valuable.

Sometimes new is not better or even what we want or need.  Maybe we just need to see with new eyes and recognize what we already possess.