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Eighth Day of the Week

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
John 9:4, KJV

When my husband and I pulled into the driveway after our workout at the gym, I noticed the ivy around the garage window needed to be cut back. Since I’d mentioned it to him several times before I said, “Maybe it’s time for us to move to a smaller place.”

His quick response was, “I think it would be easier to cut the ivy.”

Thomas Jefferson said, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”  That’s wise advice, but I must confess I’ve put off following it. The stark reality of my philosophy resembles that of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind: “I can’t think about that right now. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

God gave the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the twelve tribes of Israel. Over a year later, seven tribes had not entered the land to receive their inheritance. In their eyes, the enemy was too great. It was easier for them to remain in their comfort zone on the opposite side of the Jordan River. In exasperation Joshua asked, “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” (Joshua 18:3).

Before we judge the Israelites too harshly, perhaps we should take inventory of our own lives. What has God asked you to do? What has he asked of me?

Procrastination is a thief. It not only robs us of time—a precious commodity we can’t retrieve—it robs us of the blessings of obedience. God gives us seven days a week to get things done, but for many of us the eighth day―Someday―is our most heavily scheduled day.

Scripture tells us, “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap” (Ecclesiastes 11:4). If we wait for perfect conditions to begin our tasks, we’ll never get anything done. We’ll simply put things off time and again.

Is there something you’ve been putting off?  If you want to make an easy job seem hard, keep putting it off. Today is the day to make that phone call. Start your diet. Find a church. Write a letter. Say I’m sorry. Join the gym. Clean your fridge. Lunch with a friend. Write your book, or simply say, “I love you.”

Don’t press God to say, “How long will you wait?”  Make today your Someday.

-Starr Ayers

Compassion

“The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? Jesus replied with a story: ‘A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.”
Luke 10:29-33 (NLT)

ground-rescue-1552688-639x936In this passage, we are introduced to the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus uses this illustration to teach and communicate several valuable lessons that we can incorporate into our into our daily lives. First, unlike the Priest and the Temple Assistant, who chose to pass by the Jewish man in need, it is important for us to understand that we are not better than those we are serving. The Bible tells us that we have ALL sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As the parable continues, we read that the “despised Samaritan” felt compassion for the man and did what he could to help him. As Christians, our hearts should be full of compassion for those in need, and it is our responsibility as the hands and feet of Christ to serve them as the Holy Spirit leads.

Today, pray that God would give us compassion for those we are serving, and ask Him to break our hearts over the things that break His. Then pray that He would use us like the Good Samaritan to help those who are hurting, lost, and in need.

Prayerfully,

Madison

 

photo credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/beuford00-38525

Captured

“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”
Psalm 25:15, NIV

dsc02771I’m a third-generation artist, and for an artist, a camera is an indispensable tool. My introduction to serious photography began in college. I’m not sure how many cameras I’ve owned since then, but I sport my camera like a wristwatch―not wanting to miss a single moment of God’s spontaneous entries on the pages of my life.

Even now as I write, a butterfly has flown into a spider’s web outside the window only inches from my desk. Because my camera is within reach, I’m able to capture another divinely orchestrated moment. This unassuming creature is oblivious to the fact that it’s held captive by not one, but two predators―a spider and the unrelenting lens of my camera.

The butterfly sits motionless as if to assess its unexpected turn of events. I too am still. It flutters, but only for a split second. It exhibits no panic or frantic display of energy, simply one brief effort to see if indeed it is caught. Powerless to fly, it submits to its tethered state.  I continue to maintain my vigil. Then a sudden burst of wind shakes the web. Its captive is set free.

When life throws unexpected difficulties our way, we often spend countless hours and energy trying to free ourselves from the discomfort. Perhaps, like the butterfly, we’d spend less time in captivity—and with minimal aftereffects—if we’d choose to be still and allow God to intervene. Our unyielding efforts only ensnare us further and cause us to miss what God wants us to see.

God desires for us to know him. He desires to capture our hearts through any means, at any place, and at any time. He wants to manifest himself not only through the obvious but through what, upon first glance, we perceive as ordinary.

Take a second look at your surroundings and allow life to come clearly into focus. Look beyond the obvious for God to speak, and wait expectantly. He longs to capture your heart.

“I draw my greatest pleasure, not from capturing the moment, but from the moment capturing me.”

―Starr Ayers