Dusty Distractions

My favorite quiet time spot in the house is actually our living room sofa, around 11pm, after everyone including the hubby have gone to sleep.  Overhead lights off, lamp on in the corner, just me, God and the Word.  Sometimes Alexa streams Christian music softly, sometimes not, it just depends on the mood of the day.

The only hard part is the “11pm and everyone asleep.”  Livi still doesn’t sleep through the night so usually during this would-be-quiet-time she’s strolling through the living room half awake needing a drink of water.  The two dogs are just getting their second wind and don’t understand why I can’t pet them and read the bible at the same time.  (And what’s super funny is it is 11:10pm and I hear someone coming around the corner now!!)

So, post interruption, where was I again?  As I stare off trying to refocus on where God and I left off, my eye catches a fuzzy growth in the distance.  What in the world?  (Livi has now gotten up twice at this point.)

Back to God, or rather the fuzzy growth on the lamp at the end of the sofa.  I struggle to focus with distractions present.  Sure enough, upon closer inspection there is a mound of dust on the lamp.  How in the world could this heap of mess have piled up right before my eyes, day after day and night after night?  How could I have missed this?

Areas of sin in our life are much like the dust on the lamp.  We get so distracted by the busyness of life that we don’t stop to clean house in our hearts.  Habits of apathy and distraction settle in and slowly but surely sin creeps in and starts to settle.  Before you know it you have a messy fuzzy growth of sin you didn’t even realize was there.

If we weren’t a mess, we’d have no need of a savior.  Today I’m thankful for my dust because it gives me a greater dependence on Him.  When the Lord reveals these areas of sin to you recognize it as an opportunity to grow with Him.  It’s a chance to confess, clean house, purge, and then start afresh walking in fullness of joy with the Lord.

PS:  The picture is my actual lamp and my actual dust.  I am not perfect.  I am a mess.  My house is messy and my heart is too.

Psalm 119:133 – Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

Psalm 51:1-2 – Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Romans 3:20 – Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Winning The Lottery

Note, winning, not playing.  No one plays the lottery without having at least a tiny shred of hope of winning.  My kinds have way more than a tiny shred of hope, let me tell you.  They genuinely think each time they scratch off a scratch off they are going to win a million dollars.

My interest in scratch off tickets started when I was a kid.  My grandparents lived in Uvalde, Texas which is roughly 45 minutes from San Antonio.  We used to make the drive with my grandparents from Uvalde to San Antonio and boredom was a frequent companion.  My resourceful grandmother found a fun way to entertain us on the drive with scratch off lottery tickets.  She would buy my sister and I each $20 worth of $1 scratch offs.  Amy and I would scratch our hearts out and were through the roof excited each time we won.  During the drive, after we’d scratched our $20 worth, my grandparents would stop at a gas station and let Amy and I cash in our winning tickets for more $1 tickets.  The road trip would resume and so would the scratching.  We would keep scratching, stopping, cashing in, then scratching, stopping, cashing in until there were no more winning tickets.  My grandparents would craftily spread out the stops to ensure the excitement lasted the entire trip.  I’ve had fond memories of scratch offs, and road trips, ever since.

There’s been a huge, massive, at least 12 inches by 12 inches scratch off in my gym bag for the last month.  Totally and completely random place to have it, agreed, but nonetheless that’s where it is.  I’d never seen one this large before therefore I had to get it.  I’m not sure if it is fear of winning, fear of losing, or just being too busy, but regardless it hasn’t been scratched off yet.  On the contrary in the console of my car there in a small, normal sized $1 winning scratch off that was long ago scratched off but yet never cashed in.

This post makes it sound like I actually play the lottery frequently but I promise I don’t.  I have a low threshold for losing money, promise!

As Christians we’ve already won the lottery.  We have an inheritance that is larger than we could ever imagine.  It’s up to us not to squander it though.  Don’t let your time and talents sit stagnant.  We have to be responsible in how we use our gifts, time and talents to ensure they are used for God’s glory.  Discovering new gifts, new talents, and new ways of glorifying God can be just as thrilling as scratching off a lottery ticket.  God absolutely gives us new callings and new spiritual gifts as we continue on our journey of growth in Him.

How are you using your time for God?  What is your calling for using your talents for His kingdom?  Today is the day to scratch off that ticket, with the excitement of a child winning the lottery, and proclaim your inheritance in Him.  Expect joy and spread it through the whole world.

Romans 8:17 – and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

1 Peter 4:10-11 – As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.

Hebrews 9:15 – For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

1 Corinthians 12:4-8 – Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, …  verse 11: All these are empowered by the one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

Galatians 3:29 – And if you belong to Chris, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.