Summer is in full swing. Families are packing up the car and heading to the beach, river, or amusement park. If that trip is any distance from your home, you will make sure that your car is in tip-top shape. You check the oil, radiator fluid, and you always make sure the tank gauge reads Full. You would not pull out of the driveway without making sure your vehicle will make the trip to wherever your destination is.
Something’s Gotta Give
Imagine what would happen if you did none of that. How would you know you’d make it to where you were going? If a car does not have oil, water, or fuel, it will eventually leave you stranded. Yes, you will make it out of town, maybe fifty or sixty miles. You may even make it there, but what about the trip home? Eventually, something has got to give. Your engine will seize up, overheat, or die out from lack of go-go juice.
Your life works the same way. When you neglect the important things, and you don’t check under the hood, your life will seize up, overheat, or die out. Of course, you will never go all day without eating. Eventually, your body will tell you that you are hungry. When it does, you stop what you are doing and eat. Same thing with thirst. When you are parched, you grab something to drink. Your body gives you the same signals when your soul is hungry for God; we just do not know how to recognize it.
Elissa Learns Thankfulness
What's better than a snail that prays?
That curious snail Elissa is at it again... and she learns a valuable lesson about thankfulness and being happy about who you and what you are!
Inspired by the Christian ideal of being thankful for all that you have, Elissa Learns About Thankfulness is a beautifully written, fantastically illustrated book about our favorite characters Francine and Elissa learning a valuable lesson about being thankful for who and what we are. In this fourth edition in the Elissa the Curious Snail Series we meet some of Francine’s family and again see the familiar cast of characters in the yard. At first, Elissa isn’t happy that birds can fly and cats can run – she’s unhappy being a snail and wants those experiences for self. But being a snail is helpful because her small size and slithering nature let Elissa save the day by finding a lost ring. In the end, Elissa realizes she is thankful for who God made her and what she is.
Crafted for children ages 0-1000, this timeless story is sure to be an instant classic, at home in the hands of anyone looking for the perfect reminder of just how thankful we all should be. No faithful home should be without a copy.
Your Hungry Spirit
The truth is we do know. We find ourselves in one of those blah moods. We simply do not associate it with a lack of God. We sum it up to what we ate, lack of sleep, or just one of those days. It’s when we make the connection of a blah mood with a hungry spirit that we can finally do something about it. The main thing we can do to help a hungry spirit is to pray.
“But Jeff, you don’t understand. I am so busy, I don’t have the time to pray.”
That is fair. I know you are busy. So am I. And I will be upfront. I struggle with prayer. So, I am writing this for myself as much as I am writing it for you. Consider this, in our intro we talked about going on a road trip and checking fluids. Are you ever too busy to go to the gas station to fuel up? I have seen many people who were too busy to fill their cars with gas; I see them walking on the side of the road with a gas can in their hand. How does that walk of shame fit in with a busy schedule?
Prayer is like having a gassed-up car. It will go as long as the lever stays above E. Your spirit needs feeding. That comes with spiritual eating. There are three things our spirit longs for: God’s Word, communication with God, and fellowship with other believers. Communication with God is an important part of this trifecta, and that communication comes through prayer.
Setting the Tone of Your Day
Morning payer sets the tone of your day. It puts your mind on the possibilities, not the responsibilities. It may seem unimportant to ask God to bless your day or for his guidance. But prayer is not intended to get things from God; it is to place us in a mindset that He is in control of it all. When we pray, we are putting everything in His hands. When we relinquish control like that we are taking off the burden that we must do it all.
People often think of prayer time as get up at 3 am, get down on your knees, and moan and wail for hours until you hear the voice of God saying it’s okay to get up. Prayer is not like that. Okay, if God is calling you to do that, then by all means, that is what you need to do, but real communication with God does not have to be so convoluted. What is important is that some time is set aside to talk with Him. He will listen, every time. Think of it this way, when your child is trying to talk with you, are you going to brush them aside? No, you are going to answer them. God is the same way. He is not going to push his precious child aside.
Will prayer take time out of your day, of course it will. But the few minutes you spend in prayer will multiply the minutes you are not. You don’t have to have a mile-long checklist to pray over. You don’t have to pray for everyone from your Uncle Joe to your pet Fluffy. What you need to do is to remember who is in control of it all and acknowledge that you cannot fully succeed with your day unless He is with you. A simple prayer of blessing over your day and for his guidance. If something is weighing on your heart be sure to mention that. Prayer is not to be a cumbersome task. It is an opportunity to talk with your Creator and it opens the door to Him in your life.
Thank you, Lord, for those who are reading this. I pray for your spirit to fill them and help them realize their need for you. I pray they will recognize that the weariness they feel is really a hungry spirit. Help each of them to take a moment in their mornings to acknowledge you, the creator of everything. Guide them on what they should pray and give them assurance they are heard. Most of all I pray that they will commit at least a few moments in their mornings to talk with You and bless the time they give. I ask these things in your name, Lord. Amen.