Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Don't change that channel..."

Remote controls, that one tiny little device somewhere in your living room, near the tv, or under the couch, in the cushions of the chair, are the modern day "septors" of our world. They're great. Not only do you have in the palm of your hand, the ability to change between hundreds of channels, but you can control any aspect of your tv from volume, brightness, tint, color, stereo. Some remotes also allow you to control your VCR, your Tivo, your DVD player, stereo, lights, etc. You have the absolute control of your electronic devices within the palm of your hand.
Most people like myself at one time or another had individual remotes. One for the tv, one for the VCR, one for the DVD player, and another for the stereo. These came in all shapes and sizes and the one remote that you always needed was never to be found until you didn't need it any longer. A funny gift that I received one time was two hands that would hold up to 3 or 4 remotes in each hand. It was great. They never got lost.
I love tv. I love watching movies, sports, DVD's etc. It is truly a weakness that I have but there isn't anything better than sitting on the couch with Steph my wife next to me, and Maggie our dog on the floor near us, watching either a show on TV or a movie. Its together time that we enjoy.
One thing is for sure, regardless of what we are watching, the remote control is always near. Either she has it and is in control, or I have it and I am in control. This way, if we are watching something we have recorded, we can go past the commercials or skip boring parts of the movie. We can go back and see our favorite parts again or change what we are watching all together.
We are in control.
Yesterday, a buddy of mine was talking with me about control. Not control of his television but control of his life. How he wants God to be in control of everything.
It got me to thinking....

Why can everyone not let God have complete and total control of their lives?
What events in our lives do we let impact us daily?

Then it hit me. I can't answer these questions for everyone. I can only answer them for myself.
The real question is, who is REALLY in control of my life?

As bad as it sounded, I realized that God isn't in control. I let too many things of this world affect my witness and my walk with Christ. I let too many things of this world, take the remote control of my life, and change the channels as it wants to. Sure, I can always say I want to read my bible more and grow stronger in Christ, but am I willing to turn off the TV and make it happen? That's when I started answering my own questions:
We are not in control of our lives, the world is. We may say we give God the control, but do we REALLY? Everything impacts us daily. How the impact affects us is up to us.
So now the question is why. Why do we not let God have the complete and total control?

The cost.

If you could get closer to God by not watching TV on Sunday nights, would you? Sure, that's easy.
If you could get closer to God by giving up chocolate, peanut butter, and home cooked breakfast would you? Well that's getting a little tougher but I guess I could.
What about your computer, the internet, your car, or watching your favorite team? Getting tougher all the time, but yes, if I had to.
What about your job, your family, your wife? What if the only way to get closer to God was to give up your children?........................................................................................................
Could you really say, without blinking, that if God told you, to give up your wife and kids, and follow Him, that you would?...............................................................................
Its easy to say that God would never ask you to do that.

He has before....

He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. He told Abraham to make an alter and to put Isaac upon it and offer him up to God. Abraham did exactly as God instructed and just before he took his son's life, God stopped him. He then gave him blessings beyond his imagination because Abraham followed God. He made Abraham the father of many descendants including a carpenter's son born in Bethlehem on Christmas that goes by the name of Jesus.

So again, why do we not let God have total control when we know He would bless us if we let Him control our lives?

We live for now. We live for cable tv, for movies on demand, for working late to make that extra dollar, for nights out on the town, for doing unto others before they can do to us. We don't go out of our way to help our neighbor, we look for ways to avoid them in case they needed something. We don't spend time with family, we let arguments and disagreements come between us and stop talking to them all together. We don't encourage our build up our coworkers, we cut them down and stab them in the back when they aren't looking in order for us to get ahead. We aren't happy with what we have, we want something bigger and better than what our neighbor has.

We have lost sight of where everything comes from. We have forgotten who is in control. We have forgotten that this world, and everything in it, is just temporary. Its just a stopping point on our way to a full life with Christ. Nothing here matters. God has given us everything that we need in our lives. He has not given us any adversity that we cannot overcome, if we let Him have the remote.

I just hope He has His finger on the volume button of my remote, instead of the power button....

Dear God,
Please take control of my life again. Make me usable for You. Let me see when I let things of the world come in and take over control of my daily life. Help me to see that I am not working for now, I am serving for later.

Keith

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"For only 3 payments of $19.95..."

People live their lives looking for the get rich quick idea. Some have made it while others have not. I mean there are some really good ideas that people use every day. Someone came up with the idea of the paper clip, the post it note, the dvd recorder, the ipod, the pda, etc. etc. etc. These are just things on my desk that somewhere someone has made a mint off of because of their popularity with the world today.
I too, have come up with a product that will definately make me one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Now you are probably asking yourself, how could I possibly know that this product will make me so rich? Its very easy. Its something every person in the whole world wants. Every company needs more of this. Every person needs more of this. The demand will completely out weigh, the supply of this product so I will be able to charge what ever I want for this product.
The only problems with this product is that its very expensive and its depletable so once its gone, its gone. There is no returns on this item.
So now you are thinking, what is this product and where can I pre-order mine of Amazon. com?

Its.........Time.

We can put a man on the moon, build skyscrapers hundreds of floors in the air, fly around the world but yet we cant add a single second more to a day.

This weekend, Steph and I went to see her family in Franklin, TN. We got to spend TIME away from the house, TIME away from our responsibilities of Maggie and TIME away from day to day worries. Sunday morning, we went with her family to Brentwood Baptist Church. God reminded me that He can speak to you any TIME, even when you are out of town.
The pastor, who I have never met, never seen, never heard of and I have never been to this church before, spoke directly at me like he had been reading my email and my blog.
He spoke about being connected to God and that when you are connected the the power source that God is, your light will shine.
Lately, I have been so consumed with work, keeping busy at home and how bad my work environment is, and not understanding why God has me where I am, that, as the pastor said, I have become disconnected from the power source. My light, has gone dim. I have taken my focus off of God, and put it into what can I do for me.
Sunday was a huge reminder that there is a God, and He has a reason for having me right where I am. Yes, my job isnt the best place in the world for a christian, but maybe thats why God has me right where He does, to use me. The problem as I was reminded Sunday, is that I am disconnected from the source and my light isnt shining. I have let too much come between me and God, that I dont have the power. I let too many things consume my TIME when I should be using that time to read more, to study God's word more, to grow stronger so that no matter how dark it is in my office, I will be that light that others see.
TIME is available, its just expensive. Expensive, not in a monetary sort of way, but in a sacrifice way. In order for us to "Have More Time," we have to "Free Up Time." Instead of watching TV every night, maybe I could watch less and have a quiet time. Instead of working from home on the internet, maybe I could update my journal. While I am getting ready in the morning, instead of waiting on the weather, maybe I could put in a CD to put me in a worship state of mind. Instead of complaining about my job, I could pray more and be thankful that I have a job, when others do not.
So, I will grow stronger. I will use my TIME for this purpose. I will have the power that no matter what adversity or darkness comes over me, I will have the power of God, to shine through me.

"When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father You are King over the flood
I will be still and know You are God" - Still by Hillsong

Dear God,
What an incredible weekend. What an incredible feeling to know that even when I am not close to home, You are close to me. You reach me whenever You need and regardless of wherever I am. Thank you for reminding me that no matter how dim I feel right now, the power is "Still" there. Regardless of how bad my day goes or how much stress is put on me, You are in control and You only want the best for me.

Keith