22,000 Steps

Today, I set a new personal record for steps taken in a day. According to my Fitbit, I put in 22,874 steps totaling 10.15 miles and burning 3,195 calories in the process.

No wonder I feel so tired.

But those steps represent activity.  Those steps mean that I didn’t just sit on my rear and binge-watch Netflix all day (which is a good thing every now and then but not every day).

I participated in Serving Saturday with The Church at Avenue South. The group I was with served at the Room in the Inn headquarters on Drexel Street. For my part, I helped clean up the cafe where they serve the meal to the homeless men who come through on a daily basis.

It still feels good to serve like that and do something you know is contributing (even in a small way) toward people finding the grace and mercy of Jesus.

Every day you take steps toward or away from who you want to be. Every day you make choices and decisions that move you closer or further away from who and where God is calling you.

I won’t lie and say that every day I choose right. I’m thankful that the security of my salvation lies in the strong hand of my Savior rather than in my own strength. Otherwise I’d be screwed.

Everyday you must choose all over again whom you will serve, as Joshua reminded the Israelites way back in ye Old Testament times. You don’t choose Jesus once and then set your spiritual cruise control. You have to choose again and again with each new morning that you will follow Jesus and not every other competing voice that calls you in a contrary direction.

I ended up the night in Franklin for the Main Street Festival. I saw quite a few people that I knew and got in a lot more of my steps. I also had a fantastic hamburger which probably offset all those calories I burned in the entire day.

Oh well. It was worth it.

 

Lessons from Lent

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This may be old hat for you or not. I’m not sure. But stop me if you’ve heard some or all of this before: last year, I gave up only Facebook for Lent. This year, I decided to give up all social media. It turned out to be one of my best decisions ever. Although if I’m honest, I was being obedient to what I felt God was calling me to do. It really wasn’t my decision at all.

I don’t regret for one single second going without social media for those 46 days. I got in more prayer time, I read my Bible more, I read more books in general. Plus, I had a greater sense of peace from not being tied down to Facebook or Twitter.

I think sometimes in order to appreciate something more, you need to step away from it for a while. That was the case for me. I did sometimes feel out of the loop after missing all the news from Facebook. But I can always catch up on that.

Lent is more than just giving up. It’s replacing it with something better. It’s no good to give up social media if you’re going to fill up the time with television. Hopefully, you spend your extra free time in learning to hear God’s voice and hear His heartbeat and feel His love for you. Obviously, the best way to do that is through His Word.

I don’t claim that I was anywhere near perfect in that regard. I wasted too much of the time I had away from social media. But I’m not beating myself up about it. Instead I choose to focus on the fact that I was more discipline in regard to prayer and Bible reading than I’ve been in a long time.

I hope to be able to participate in Lent again next year. I hope that I can be free enough to walk away from anything that enslaves me and takes my eyes off Jesus, whether that be social media or TV or anything else.

Like I said before, it’s really not about giving up stuff or sacrificing what you love. More than that, it’s about prioritizing your life and making sure that Jesus and His Kingdom really and truly are first. Then everything else will line up and fall into proper place.

Amazed by God again!

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“The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

I was not prepared for what happened to me tonight. I went to Set Free Nashville tonight hoping to do more than take up space and be a warm body. I had no idea what to expect, only that God would be there. And was He!

I ended up having a really good conversation with one of the homeless men. He shared his life story with me and I listened, which is an accomplishment for an ADDer like me. I ended up receiving the blessing that I thought I would give. The guy I talked to and I are not that different– in fact, the only difference is a couple of bad decisions on his part. Apart from the grace of God, I very easily could have done worse.

I ended up praying with him and as he walked away, I whispered a silent prayer of thanks to God for this conversation. I think my frozen heart is finally starting to thaw and I am just beginning to learn what it means to love with the love of Christ. I know now that what God wants is simply my availability and flexibility. He wants me to show up and wait for Him to really show up! He did.

I didn’t do anything. God did it all. I like to close this blog with very appropriate lyrics from a Sara Groves song:

“Something changed inside me broke wide open all spilled out
Till I had no doubt that something changed
Never would have believed it till I felt it in my own heart
In the deepest part the healing came
And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can’t afford it
But it’s mine
Something so amazing in a heart so dark and dim
When a wall falls down and the light comes in
And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can’t afford it
But it’s mine”

That is exactly what happened tonight. All praise to the God who can use anybody anytime anywhere to reach out to anyone!