There are sooooo many blog posts to catch up on. Luckily I have an Earth Science final to procrastinate for.
I was away celebrating an early Chinese New Year. Of course it's next week, but we'll be in Utah. On Saturday I went to a friend's Bat Mitzvah and in the evening I went to a Chinese New Year party at my church. Atina was there and we did a quick SW book swap. I gave her back Triple Zero and Battle of Teth and she lent me True Colors and a book from a series I have never heard of before(called Secret Missions or something like that.)
On Sunday, we went to LA for a day. And my grandma had all six Star Wars DVD's that she had never watched. So she gave them to us. :) They're the really nice special editions, too,
Okay, so on to the post.
I have always tried to have a constant quiet time with God. But it's always been so hard. I get distracted, or I don't know what to read, or I don't know what to pray about. But this weekend at church my pastor gave a really good sermon that would help, and I thought I would share it with you. :)
The most important time of the day is your time alone with God.
It sets the mood for the rest of the day. God tells you handy advice that will help you handle whatever life has to throw at you. The best way to prepare for life's ups and downs is to spend time with him every morning. But you have to know how to do it, or else you won't be changed by it.
Find a quiet place to do it. Read outside, in a quiet room, in a closet, anywhere.
Don't read in bed. You'll fall asleep or be tempted to read Republic Commando instead.
So every morning, you should:
-Read God's Word
Don't start the Bible at the beginning. You'll run smack into all the rules and genealogies. Start reading Proverbs and John, a chapter a day, starting tomorrow.Proverbs offers countless wisdom, and John is about Jesus. After this I plan to go on to Romans and the Epistles.
-Be quiet before God
Think about what you've read.
-Talk with God
More on how to do that below. But you have to remember to listen to God too. Don't just talk and talk and talk.
-Review my daily goals with him.
How to talk to God? Do I just pray, ask him what I need, or what?
Well, the Bible actually tells us how to pray! Pretty nice, huh?
You have to do a bit of deciphering though.(Which I thought my pastor did pretty well.)
The Lord's Prayer(s): A Template for Daily Change
If you want to change your life, you need to pray this every day.
Matthew 6:7-9 says:
7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9 Pray like this:
What follows is The Lord's Prayer.Now, notice that it says "pray LIKE this." Not "pray this exact prayer." So how do you pray like the Lord's Prayer?
Think about how much God loves me.
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..."
That should be the first thing you do. Think about how God created you in HIS image. A masterpiece. If you think you are a mistake, remember that God doesn't MAKE mistakes. God will never love you any more or any less. You can't earn or lose God's love, because God's love isn't based on what you DO, but who HE is.
Offer all my life to be used for his purpose today.
"May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
This is one of the hardest for me. I want to take control of my own life and am frustrated when my plans fail. I worry and worry and worry.
So I have to stop including God in my plans, and ask to be included in HIS plans. His plans are perfect. They are always successful. I won't need to worry, because I'm on God's side. And God certainly never loses.
Tell God I'm expecting him to meet all my needs.
"Give us this day our daily bread"
God likes it when we trust him.
Receive God's forgiveness and release others.
"And forgive us our sins as we also forgive those who sinned against us."
Ask God for strength to reach my goal.
"Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil"
Satan will tempt you to do anything but reach your goals. The second you make a goal, Satan starts planning all sorts of cheerful temptations and traps to turn you from it. (Want to edit your novel? Well too bad. You're going to Utah and you have finals and oh, did I mention your copies of The Joiner King and The Unseen Queen and The Last Olympian came?)
Thank God for ultimate victory
"For YOURS is the kingdom and the glory and power FOREVER AND EVER! Amen."
No matter what happens today, we win in the end. No matter WHAT, someday we'll live without pain or sorrow or regret. A perfect world, the way God intended it. And it lasts FOREVER. Our trials today can't even begin to compare with the joys we will have later. And nothing, nothing can take that away. And that is why we can be joyful even when things go wrong.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And that's where I ended my quiet time today. I loved that sermon.