Happy May!

We have officially arrived in a new month!  Because so many things are going on right now in our world, it’s hard to keep track of time, at least for me.

Most of us have semi adjusted to a new routine.  The biggest adjustment has probably been for those who still work outside the home and have now lost that income.  That brings the dilemma of how to pay the bills and put food on the table.  I pray for these people all the time and help where I can.

Those in the healthcare profession may be working every hour they can stay awake and meanwhile have had to set aside seeing their families in order to protect them from everything they are exposed to continuously.  First responder’s lives haven’t had a chance to slow down either and they see, and touch it all.  The people who make sure that we are supplied with as much as they can keep stocked, work steadily, despite having to put up with the likes of us.  There are others who put themselves in jeopardy for those who need help in various ways.  As far as I’m concerned, they are all heroes.

And then, there is me, and maybe some more of you, who doesn’t like the fact that our apple cart has been upset because we like to do what we like to do?

My life has been upset because (especially due to pollen) I am in the house more and I love to cook, so I cook.  That is well and good except if I cook it, I will probably eat it and for me, that’s not a good thing.  What are my idols?  I am trying to exercise as much as possible but I can’t exercise nearly as much now as I can when I can go to the pool.  And I really LOVE my water exercise!  What are my idols?  I love just going to the stores and checking out new fashions, new décor, new anything.  What are my idols?  My idols are exactly what I allow them to be…

On a different note, I practice my dulcimer more.  I probably will never be good, I can’t read music and I don’t have the best finger dexterity but you know what?  I really enjoy it.  It is relaxing and challenges me to keep trying.

There is really nothing worth watching on the television but we are reading more, we are studying our Bibles more and keeping up with our Bible Study classes even when they don’t meet.  I have learned to just relax and see what God has for me on any given day.  Maybe we have a few too many idols and don’t even realize it.

A pandemic is a bad thing, but maybe God wants us to take this time to reorganize our priorities and take the idols off the shelf and get rid of them, once and for all.

Be safe and Pray Unceasingly!!

Lois

 

Is Something Other Than Christ Controlling Your Life?

Rick Warren

 ‘‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.”

1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)

The Bible is full of wisdom for decision-making. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul says, “‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything” (ESV).

When deciding whether to allow something into your life, you can think of this as the Independence Test.

Ask yourself: Could this begin to control and dominate my life? Could it become addicting to me? Could I become dependent on it?

No matter how fun something is, it’s bad for you if it becomes an addiction.

Why is this so important? Because whatever dominates your life eventually becomes your god. The first of God’s Ten Commandments—says, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3 NIV).

God knew how easily you could slip into worshiping other things. He knew you could get addicted to your idols.

What are idols? You likely think of idols as something in the past—maybe little stone statues that people put on a shelf and worshiped. But people still have idols today. Maybe you worship the maker of your car, the label in your clothing, or the corner office in your building.

That’s not to mention all of the things you can become addicted to: Work. Sex. Money. The Internet. The list is endless.

How do you know if you’ve fallen into an addiction? How do you know if something is starting to dominate your life—when you no longer are independent of it? Ask yourself: What do I think about the most? When I’m alone, where does my mind go?

For most of us, it’s hard to be honest about the things that dominate our lives. If you’re thinking, “This is not what I’m addicted to. It couldn’t be that.” Guess what? It’s probably that. That’s probably the thing you’re struggling with.

In another translation of 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul says, “I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to” (TLB).

Paul decided not to let anything—other than Christ—control his life. Jesus is the only one that’s worthy of that place in your life, too. Anything else that you put in that place will eventually dominate and ruin your life. But when Christ is in control, he encourages, enables, and empowers you.

The next time you’re deciding whether something is in its proper place in your life, use the Independence Test. Christ is the only one who deserves your dependence.

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