Everyday God: Order Up!

everydayBecause of the Games We Play with God, we’re digging into a new series this month to explore ways we can know God in the everyday of our lives. Today’s daily task? Order Up!

Starbucks claims to offer 87,000 drink combinations. Sonic claims over 398,000. With the various ingredients at Subway, nearly 2,000,000 customized sandwich orders are available. Most of us would say, “Really? Who needs that many options?” Yet we wouldn’t be very happy if the option we prefer, even if it’s a basic one, was eliminated. Whether you prefer to order the same thing and have it made the same way every time at a restaurant, customize your order because you prefer not to include certain ingredients or have extra of others, or try something new every time you visit a restaurant, you’re relying on your right to exercise choice.

It’s time to simplify your choices.

Take each opportunity of expressing your choice today to rely on God for guidance in every choice. Pay attention to how often you make choices without considering what God thinks about the choice versus how often you let him sift the choice before responding. I know, it’s easy to think God doesn’t care about the details. After all, what does it matter whether you get chipotle mayo or hot mustard sauce? First, God pays attention to details. Recognizing he’s in the details of your life acknowledges him as who he is: the Almighty, Sovereign God. Second, while the specific details (mayo or mustard) might not be of paramount importance, the process of sending everything through his hands is essential. The more often you neglect relying on God, the less intimate your relationship with him is. The more deeply you trust every crevice of your life to him, the better you know him.

Knowing God equals hearing and obeying God.

Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)

Choose well today.

Everyday God: Clean Up

everydayBecause of the Games We Play with God, we’re digging into a new series this month to explore ways we can know God in the everyday of our lives. Today’s daily task? Clean Up!

Whether you’re a clean freak, hoarder, or somewhere in between, you do something every day that moves one thing to another location. You might be picking up dirt or adding to the pile. With all the “stuff” in your daily life, you have plenty of opportunities to choose between clean and dirty, organization and mess, now and later.

Consider these Scriptures as you clean house, committing to cleaning yourself as well. (You might even want to write these verses on various cleaning supplies as consistent reminders.)

So then, rid yourselves of all evil, all lying, hypocrisy, jealousy, and evil speech. (1 Peter 2:1)

 

Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. (Psalm 51:10)

 

Let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)

 

And every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

 

Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Everyday God: Facebook Time

everydayBecause of the Games We Play with God, we’re digging into a new series this month to explore ways we can know God in the everyday of our lives. Today’s daily task? Facebook Time!

Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, or any other online service, you have an opportunity to glorify God through your habits. I’m not going to ask you to refrain from all social networks or drastically change your habits. I’m simply encouraging you to ask God to meet you where you are. As you post, comment, like, follow, and share, consider the following.

Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. (Philippians 4:8)

Replace your thoughts with God’s thoughts. What would God post, comment, like, follow, and share? Use your social networking time as a God-connection time. A growing relationship with God will always lead to obedience, not because of a driving legalism but because of the intimacy that comes with knowing God. Replace your News Feed-focus, Twitter Feed-focus, RSS-focus, and Pin or Board-focus with a God-focus.

Do what you learned and received from me, what I told you, and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

Everyday God: Taking Care of the Kids

everydayBecause of the Games We Play with God, we’re digging into a new series this month to explore ways we can know God in the everyday of our lives. Today’s daily task? Taking Care of the Kids!

My daughters are grown, but I remember the days of exhausted motherhood well. I loved being a stay-at-home mom, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but whether you’re home all day with your kids or balance outside work with motherhood, there are times when you feel as if cloning yourself into multiple mommies still wouldn’t be able to get done what needs to get done. Someone needs food. Someone needs a bandage. Someone needs a book read. Someone needs a hug. Someone needs a bath. Someone needs a doctor’s visit. Someone needs clothes changed. And you need to pick up the toys that keep throwing themselves in your path just when you need to get somewhere quickly. You need to find the keys you’re sure you hung on the hook. You need to change the clothes you’re not even sure how long you’ve been wearing. And a bubble bath, five seconds of alone time, and a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee would definitely be a bonus!

Not to mention that when all this is going on, many well-intentioned women are smiling and assuring you these are the best years of your life and they go by too quickly, so don’t blink. Blink? You want more than a blink! You need a long nap!

[Insert deep breath here.]

You know you’re supposed to be thankful, because we all know there are many women struggling to have children and mourning the loss of children. We don’t want to seem ungrateful, but the truth is, our days and heads are spinning so quickly, we don’t know how to begin to be grateful. Motherhood can seem overwhelming–so much so that even praying about it seems overwhelming. There’s no doubt you’re thankful for your kids. You’re thankful to be a mom. But you can be more specific. Find gratitude in the details of your day.

  • Thank God for the little toes that help balance your little one. Ask God to guide you as you balance your life as he intends.
  • Thank God for the trust of your children as you kiss boo-boos. Ask God to meet you in the middle of your hurts and help you heal in his ways and timing.
  • Thank God for the messiest of diapers. God cleans up the biggest messes of life. Quit walking around in an uncomfortable, stinky mess. Let him clean you up.
  • Thank God in the consistency of meal times. God prepares the kind of food you need. Commit to trusting his nourishment instead of trying to prepare your own.
  • Thank God for the quiet times. They don’t come often, just like in our lives. God gives us peace among the chaos of faithful living. Know God regardless of the situation. He doesn’t change.

Everyday God: Grocery Shopping

everydayBecause of the Games We Play with God, we’re digging into a new series this month to explore ways we can know God in the everyday of our lives. Today’s daily task? Grocery Shopping!

Grocery shopping can bring many things to mind: crowded stores, overwhelming choices, a necessary but unenjoyable task, high prices, grumpy cashiers, forgotten items, and the list grows. Yet grocery shopping also brings many opportunities for knowing God.

  • Thank God for the nourishment he provides. Then make good choices at the store.
  • Thank God for the resources to buy what you need, which is more important than what you want.
  • Thank God for teaching you lessons in sacrifice–financially, physically, and spiritually.
  • Thank God for the variety in your life, and ask him to guide you in choosing what he intends for you.
  • Thank God for the opportunities to connect with other people even when you prefer to stay on your own schedule.

Despite how busy the process of preparing for, completing, and unpacking grocery shopping might seem to you, commit to using it as a time to talk with God, trusting him for peace even in the chaotic moments and listening to his guidance in the mundane.

Everyday God: Change Your Clothes

everydayBecause of the Games We Play with God, we’re digging into a new series this month to explore ways we can know God in the everyday of our lives. Today’s daily task? Change Your Clothes!

What do you consider when you choose your clothes for the day? Impressing others? What’s clean? What’s comfortable? What’s the weather? What fits?

Sometimes, the more choices we have, the more difficulty we have choosing. Our closets are so full, it’s difficult to decide what to wear, and our reasons for choosing what to wear become cluttered with options. Focus your choices. Choose to know God as you change your clothes today. Choose what you’re wearing based on his standards.

God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful.Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. (Colossians 3:12-17)

Everyday God: Brushing Your Teeth

everydayBecause of the Games We Play with God, we’re digging into a new series this month to explore ways we can know God in the everyday of our lives. Today’s daily task? Brushing Your Teeth!

Hopefully, not much time passes between the time you open your eyes in the morning and when you brush your pearly whites. And hopefully, you brush your teeth throughout the day, so today’s challenge invites multiple daily opportunities!

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control their whole bodies. Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship, making it go wherever the pilot wants. It is the same with the tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it brags about great things.

A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. And the tongue is like a fire. It is a whole world of evil among the parts of our bodies. The tongue spreads its evil through the whole body. The tongue is set on fire by hell, and it starts a fire that influences all of life.People can tame every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, and fish, and they have tamed them,but no one can tame the tongue. It is wild and evil and full of deadly poison. We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. Do good and bad water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! And a well full of salty water cannot give good water. (James 3:3-12)

The mouth is certainly powerful in our lives, and every opportunity we can take to commit our tongues to glorify God is worthwhile. As you brush your teeth today, commit to using your mouth only for God’s glory. If what you’re going to say isn’t going to glorify God, keep it shut. Keep in mind sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it. If you need extra motivation, commit to brushing your teeth every time throughout the day when you speak in an unglorifying way (or tighten the reins and include moments you even consider speaking in unglorfying ways). It’s a clean mouth sort of day!