Friday, October 16, 2009

My Attitude Adjustment

My week began with the realization of the fact that I had a stinky attitude. It had gotten bad enough that it was interfering with my life. So I finally decided it was time to address the issue.

I took it to God in prayer hoping for a nice motivational scripture or two and a clever action plan that I could put into effect to solve the spiritual slump I was experiencing.

Over the journey of the last week I have heard from God. But no "steps to success" were given to me.

Instead I was offered three simple invitations from my patient Father.

1. Drink from the Living Water~ allow Me to cleanse you, wash away the hurt and pain, and renew your soul.

2. Come away with Me~ be still, be with me, be alone in my Presence so you can hear my voice.

3. Let My Spirit lead you~ don't try so hard or plan so much, follow Me, enjoy Me, embrace each moment of adventure I have planned for you.

On Monday I came to God frustrated, tired, and broken. I wanted Him to give me a plan so I could fix myself. He didn't answer that prayer. Instead He simply invited me to lay it all down at His feet and be healed.

Today I sit on top of a mountain at New Life Ranch (appropriate don't you think). The leaves are turning amber and gold. The gentle breeze blows them and they dance. In the valley below a white steepled church sits beside a lazy stream. The skies are blue, the sun shines bright, and my heart sings!

For I am chosen. I am loved. I am His.
And that, for now and through all of eternity, is all I will ever need.

New Life Ranch

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Attitude Adjustment continues...

I tend to get stuck in a rut. Mark Batterson (Wild Goose Chase- you should read it) would say I'm in the Cage of Routine. You know, autopilot.

It's not that my life isn't exciting. It is. My job is amazing. My kids are awesome. My marriage is wonderful. I'm involved in some really cool ministry stuff. But, I'm bored. I'm in a routine. I'm stuck.

Every morning the alarm goes off at the same time, and I navigate through the next 18 hours or so without thinking. (yes, I'm averaging less than 6 hours of sleep a night, but that's for another post)

Nothing changes. Nothing excites me. Nothing brings joy.

And so.... my attitude stinks.

I'm supposed to have the same attitude of Jesus. His attitude was never stinky.

He was never really in a routine either. I mean, He did a lot of the same things from day to day. But, I don't see His daily existence as boring. Every day was an adventure. Why?

Because He was led, not by routine, but by the Spirit. Jesus wasn't bound by a list of things to accomplish, but by a Voice to follow. And in following that Voice, He found adventure. It's probably pretty hard to complain about things when you never know what miracle the next moment holds.

The thing about miracles though... is that you have to make room for them. Miracles are very rarely found in schedules and routines. They are found in unexpected places, unplanned conversations, and unintended circumstances.

Miracles occur when we stop to enjoy a sunset, dance in the rain, cry with a friend, bring groceries to a neighbor, finger paint with a child, cuddle with a loved one before a roaring fire. Miracles are found in the silence of solitude, the roar of laughter, the whisper of a contented sigh.

We were created not for routine, but for miracles. Not for schedules, but for moments. Moments that take our breath away and remind us of a Holy God.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More adjusting...

Jesus was a man.

I know, I know- you’re aware of this fact. But think about it for just a minute. Jesus was human.

He was…







So am I.

So what’s the difference between Jesus and me? A lot!

For one thing He never grumbled and complained about the circumstances He was in or the emotion He was feeling.

So what did He do when He was tired, or sad, or frustrated? He withdrew to a quite place to pray.

Imagine that… the Son of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords required regular times of prayer and peace in God’s presence.

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places
and prayed. Luke 5:16




and Prayed

If the Creator and Sustainer of all things needed quiet time in prayer, how much more so do I?

Today…. I will turn off the distractions. I will put aside the to do list. I will be quiet. I will pray. I will enjoy His presence.

Will you join me?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Attitude Adjustment Begins here...

My mom moved recently. They downsized. Selling their almost 400 acres of rolling farm land and moving into a beautiful home nestled on 40 wooded acres. We were out there recently, the kids and I, and mom wanted to show me her newest discovery on the property. Two pear trees laden with fruit.
As the kids and I were admiring the trees one of the kids noticed the small pond near the fruit trees. It’s pretty nasty, for a pond. The water’s completely green. It even smells funky. I tuned out the conversation as Grandma patiently explained to the kids the reason for the ponds yuckiness.

I remember their old pond. It was a glorious pond, as far as ponds go. It was quite big. They had built a dock that we loved fishing off of. There was a small paddle boat that the kids (and grown-ups) loved to jump in and float lazily around the pond in. Then there were the non-human inhabitants of the pond. Fish galore… sunfish, catfish, and, on a good day, some pretty big bass. Geese and ducks were regular visitors to the pond. Year after year as they migrated south they would stop and spend a few weeks at the pond. The dogs loved it, the horses loved it, the deer were crazy about it. Like I said, it was a glorious pond.

But the pond at the new house… yuck. I would never dream of spending a relaxing afternoon along its banks. I’m sure there are animal inhabitants in the new pond. We haven’t seen many, but we’ve heard them. Frogs mostly. Not that there’s anything wrong with frogs…

Lately my attitude seems more like the scummy pond, than the big beautiful pond.

This morning I remembered something my mom said that day by the pear trees. She said the pond was yucky because it didn’t have a source of fresh water.
The pond at the farm was spring fed. The spring fed not only the pond, but the house and farm as well. It was the only source of fresh water on the nearly 400 acres. And it never once ran dry.
But the new pond had no spring. Nothing fresh was coming in. It just sat there. Collecting algae and scum.

Perhaps that’s my problem too. Maybe I need a good spring. Cool refreshing water pouring over my soul, washing away the scum and stink. Living Water found only in Christ Jesus.

Maybe then my attitude will begin to change and life will return to this stagnant soul.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I need an attitude adjustment...

Saturday I read a list of Chuck Swindoll’s Top 10 Leadership Lessons. It was a good list. Things that I’ve heard at countless conferences and leadership seminars. I quickly skimmed it then went about my day.

But I was distracted. There was a gentle voice in my head. “Did you read the list? Did you see #7?”

It was a typical Saturday, filled with many things to do, and the voice in my head was causing me to be distracted. I tried to ignore the voice and continue on throughout my day.

But the voice was persistent. Always soft, always gentle. But persistent. “Did you read this list? Did you see #7?”

“Yes Father, I read the list. No, I don’t remember #7.”

“Read it again”, the voice whispered.

#7. My attitude is more important than my actions


Well, yeah sure. Attitude is important Lord. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a million things to do.

I walked away from the list, and on to my “to do” list. But then I started noticing something. Another voice was interrupting my day. This voice wasn’t soft and gentle. This voice was harsh.

“Why can’t you pick up after yourself?”

“I’m so sick of having to cook dinner. No one appreciates it anyway.”

“I don’t have time for this.”

“I’m exhausted.”

“Can’t we have any peace and quiet around here?”

No, this voice wasn’t gentle. But it was persistent. And it made me sick. I didn’t want to hear what that voice had to say anymore. I wanted the other voice. I wanted my voice to sound like His.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my attitude since Saturday. What it is. What it should be. I know I need an attitude adjustment.

So this morning I decided to do what I always do when I’m stumped by a problem. I’d go to the Word of God and see what it has to say.

I was surprised to see there were only a very small handful of verses that popped up when I typed “attitude” into my favorite on-line Bible site. Surprised, but relieved. At least there wasn’t a lot to study. I’d read the verses, apply some truth and get back to my day.

I started reading and found that all the verses were in reference to some King’s attitude against the Israelites. Good, I’m off the hook, only 1 more verse then I can move on.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Phil. 2:5


What am I supposed to do with that?

I haven’t figured it out yet. But I have a feeling when I do; my voice will sound a bit more like His.

OK, Lord. Bring on the attitude adjustment. I'm ready. I think.