Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28,2011 Slow Down To The Speed of Life:


Hi……do you find yourself barely skimming through these words?…. wait a sec….take a breath .….just lean back…. smile…..and now read on after emptying your mind of anything else for the next few minutes…what you are about to read just might change your life!
Scene 1:
Is this you? Jumping out of bed you begin your morning rush to the bathroom ,put on the first thing that you pull out of the cupboard, pick up your briefcase & quickly grab a fruit  to chew on as you race against time to catch your train/bus ,wishing you had just woken up at the first call of your alarm clock?...Reaching your office, you throw your half chewed apple into the trash can, gulp down your morning coffee and walk towards the Conference Room. You enter with a smile, open your briefcase, shuffle your papers, clear your throat and begin the Presentation you had sat up all night drafting…..just a moment….in the midst of the wild rush…Had you spared a few moments to catch your breath and thank the Lord for a fresh morning and ask Him for strength to face the day’s challenges? “NO TIME” ….. I hear you answer….
Think this is any different for the stay at home parent? Yes?...... Well, think again…

Scene 2:

You wake up to the noise of your crying infant… your body doesn’t budge, your mind screams GET UP. You stand up groggily, still tired after barely 5 hours of interrupted sleep. You paste a smile on your face as you carry your two year old and drag your other two kids out of bed greeting them Good Morning. You then begin your morning battles of brushing teeth, dressing them up, searching for matching socks, packing lunchboxes & school bags, filling water bottles, tying shoelaces. You kiss your kids Goodbye and whisper “Lord take care of them” as you watch your kids race each other to the bus stop. The bus arrives and you heave a sigh of relief that they made it just in time. Suddenly you feel a tug, you look down to see your little infant looking up at you in shiny-eyed wonder; you carry him and then begin the routines and rituals of food, play, bath, toilet and sleep. Finally you sneak out quietly stealing a quick kiss from your sleeping angel and rush to attend to the unending duties beckoning you, the pots & pans waiting for their scrub, the clothes waiting to be washed, dried, ironed & folded, the rooms to be tidied up and the soon arriving hungry stomachs you will have to cook healthy meals for. You take a bite into your sandwich as you pick up the toys strewn all over the room. You long for a quiet moment with the Lord, you long for a shower to escape the summer heat and how you long for a few more hours of uninterrupted SLEEP…. but that you cannot afford, the luxury here is time…. as the moments tick by, you look up in anguish at the undone chores on your never ending To Do list…your back aches and you look up to heaven and pray for grace, but your crying infant draws your attention to more immediate needs. His diaper needs to be changed and as you rush to pick him up, your incomplete prayer touches Heaven, any doubt now as to why you have no strength for the day?
This is just a peek into a normal day of most of our lives. Whether at home or at work, we are all running the deadly race against time every part of us wishing that a day had a few more hours to offer, our hearts longing for time with God. What if I tell you that spending time with God will actually save time for you? Eagerly you ask me how….well this is HOW.

This week’s Blog post is NO TIME FOR GOD, KNOW GOD FOR TIME!

Bible mentions in Lev 23:9-14 that Israel was commanded to give God their first fruits. By doing so, they acknowledged that all good things come from God and that everything belongs to God. It was also a way of expressing trust in God's provision; just as He provided the first fruits, so He would provide the rest of the crops that were needed.

The same thing is applicable to us today. When we give God our first fruits, we give Him the best of everything we have to offer. Prov 3:9-10: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Tithing is a different topic altogether; I am touching here only on how essential it is that we give Lord the first fruits of our time and how that will turn out to be a blessing for our lives. Let me ask you, how much of the first fruits of our 86,400 seconds/day are we able to offer to the Almighty Creator? And we complain that we don’t have time?

We slog & work our heads off ….then why don’t we get the fruits of our labor? That is because all labor is in vain if we don’t have God’s blessing. Psalms 127:1-2: Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for He grants sleep to those He loves.  When we give God our time, He gives us supernatural wisdom, undeserved favor, divine connections and He puts us in the right place at the right time so that things just fall into place without any extra effort on our part. People look at us in wonder at how something they have been trying for many years you have easily managed to acquire within a week! Little do they know the truth - that we ourselves look in the mirror and wonder how it all happened! When God takes charge, He never ceases to amaze us with how He causes us to accomplish the impossible with unexplainable ease. We are then always in a position of strength because we are now depending on God who has abundant resources (“The whole world is His”: Psalms 24:1) & unending possibilities (“With God all things are possible”: Mathew 19:26).


1)Start Your Day With Prayer:

It is best that you spend time early in the morning to speak to God before speaking to anyone else. Other than a mandatory Quiet Time in the morning, it is also good to look for small pockets of time throughout the day to seek His will and pray for His guidance and protection. The best way for the busiest of people is to make Prayer your life style.

Prayer as A Life Style:  This means to talk to God constantly wherever you are, whatever you are doing & whenever you can: for instance as you sweep the room ask that He sweep away all sin from your life/as you drive to work ask Him to hold the steering wheel of your life/as you cook  food ask Him to flavor your life with His love/when in a difficult position ask for Wisdom /when in a queue/ stuck in traffic pray for patience/when someone hurts you ask God to teach you forgiveness/when you reach home, thank Him for His protection. So you see how easy it is to connect with Him wherever we are. When you see God in the everyday events of your life, life ceases to be drudgery and you will actually look forward to getting up early every morning to spend time with Him. The results will be order, discipline, peace, joy and abundance in every area of your life. There will be no room for stress or worry as you will have laid all the tensions of the day into His hands before they even come to you. You will be healthier and happier!


Look for a personal place which is quiet and comfortable where you will be less likely to be distracted or interrupted. Jesus has advised in Mathew 6:6 “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”


There is no hard and fast rule for prayer. Prayer is conversation with God. You speak to Him and then listen to what He has to say to you. As C. S. Lewis says, ‘A concentrated mind and sitting body make for better prayer than a kneeling body and a mind half asleep.”It is not how you pray but what you pray and the heart that matters to God.


The 4 Main Elements of Prayer can be remembered by the Acronym ACTS : Adoration,  Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.

a) Adoration  This means Praising and Worshipping God for who He is (His Attributes :
Eg. Faithfulness  (Psalms 36:5,2 Tim 2:13), Holiness(Hab 1:13,Rev 15:4), Sovereignty(Isa 46:8-10,Eph 1:11), Love (Jer 31:3,John 3:16) etc and for what He does (His works).You can also sing songs of Praise & Worship.

b) Confession: We then look into our life and see whether there is anything displeasing in the eyes of God and ask Him to forgive us. We then claim the holy blood of Jesus as Atonement and reaffirm our desire to live fully within His will. (Isa 59:1-2, I John 1:9-10)

c) Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving is expressing our gratitude to the Lord for His abundant blessings in our life. A Gratitude Journal (mentioned in my post Attitude of Gratitude) can help you with this.

d) Supplication: refers to our petitions /prayer requests made to God. Intercession means speaking to God about the needs and concerns of others.(1Tim 2:1-3,Heb 5:7) Keeping a written record of prayer requests and ticking them off as the Lord answers them can be a great source of encouragement in our prayer life.

2) Spend Time for Bible Study & Meditation of Scriptures:

For regular study, you may either follow a Read through the Bible in 1 year card/a Daily devotional book or meditate on the Bible portion mentioned for the day. Meditation means reading the verses slowly and trying to understand what God is telling us through that portion. Try and apply the Word received in the situations you encounter that day. That will keep you positive and give you the right perspective and prevent you from wasting minutes worrying about what to do or speaking on the phone about our problems.

3) Keep the Sabbath Holy:
The Lord commands us to set apart one day for Rest and worship(Exodus 20:10)It is essential that we attend worship and fellowship with believers on this day set apart as it will encourage us in our spiritual walk and gives us the fuel we require for the week.

4) Get Tidy:

It is good to have a place for everything and everything in its place. That way we can avoid wasting the time we spend searching for misplaced things (For instance, having a key stand near the door can save us the many minutes we usually lose in searching for the keys.)   


5) Jotters for TO- DO Lists & Post It Notes for Calls & Emails:

 JOTTERS WITH TO DO LISTS, Goals, grocery lists etc are intelligent ways to remember to get things done. Also have telephone numbers & email ids stored in your Address book/Mobile. Don’t forget to keep reminders for appointments and important dates a day or two in advance so that you can plan your Schedule accordingly.


Instead of picking up the phone and making calls every now and then, keep 3 colored post it notes (say yellow for morning calls/pink for late afternoon calls/blue for evening calls) giving each color a time limit of say twenty minutes. Jot down the telephone numbers you intend to make as you progress during the day. Use the assigned time only for making/ returning calls. Keep conversation to the point, simple and brief. The same applies to checking /replying to emails. This is a very effective Time management technique that can be applied anywhere.

CAUTION! A warning here, especially for highly organized people (and I make this mistake often!) Don’t get so caught up in your To Do List that you forget that the List is made for you and you are not made for the List. In other words remember to Enjoy Life while crossing off the things on your checklist.

6) Prioritize:

 Prioritizing things and Filing on the basis of Urgency & Importance helps in eliminating the unimportant and not urgent and to ensure that the urgent and important get done on time. Use different colored markers/highlighters and label everything so that without opening the File itself you will know what it contains. It is however important to remember that the key is not to prioritize what is on our schedule, but to schedule our priorities. The picture below will well explain this point.

 7) Be Punctual:

PUNCTUALITY is showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time
  Always be on Time. Being punctual tells the other person that you respect their time and expect them to do the same. People usually are careful and try to follow time when meeting a person with a reputation for being on time.

8) Be Prepared:

 (a) Reconfirm Appointments :

As nothing is 100% certain, it is always best to reconfirm appointments and timings.

(b)Try to kill as many birds with a single stone:

Plan to finish all the tasks you can on the way to your destination. For E.g. if you are on the way to the Dentist, shop for Grocery from the Supermarket nearby instead of driving all the way to the usual one.

(c)Always carry an Emergency Kit:

 Be ready for emergencies or unexpected delays by carrying some water, loose change, tissues, hand sanitizer, biscuits, a good book, mobile & charger, plastic packet and of course your Things To Do Jotter and pen.

9) Know your limitations & Learn to Say No:

 It is okay to say “No” when you are sure you cannot fit something into your schedule. People will then trust you when you say you will do something. However Say “No” politely to the project, not the person. Understand that you cannot do everything everyone asks you to do. Always say we will look into the matter later.
10) Ask for help:
When you feel there is someone who can help you with information, ideas or support that will enable you get your task done quicker, never hesitate to approach them. We can never underestimate the power of Team work.

Thus you see how easily you can save the seconds and watch the hours take care of themselves! Always remember it always starts with Knowing God. Mathew 6:33:“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Next time you find yourself saying “NO Time”, understand that it’s TIME To Know God!

Wish you a blessed week!

Take Care, God bless,

Sparky Laurie
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