2016: Page 286

Page 286 was day 5 of limiting my social media exposure by not viewing the public newsfeeds and keeping my involvement limited to the pages I manage and birthday greetings to friends.  It has been refreshing to have such a source of anger removed from my life.  When God tells us to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, the instruction is not meant as a punitive restriction but rather as a source of benefit to our well-being.  By guarding my heart and mind from the negativity and anger that has taken over much of the social media scene during this political season, I find my level of inner peace being restored.  The sad part is that I hadn’t even realized how much damage was being done until I stepped away from the negative source and began to feel the cloud lift away.

The day began early as I was awake well before the alarm went off and actually felt rested — I guess cutting wood during the day leads to a more productive sawing of logs at night. 🙂  The first part of the day was almost a repeat of yesterday but with more focus on the prep for the evening lesson.  After the building was ready for the day and I was comfortable with my lesson prep, it was back outside to spend some time cutting wood, clearing brush, and opening up another section of trail.  As I worked today, most of the time I found myself singing hymns and songs of worship.  My soul and spirit were filled with a desire to worship so the songs poured out accompanied by the sounds of a chainsaw and tractor — probably not the instruments you would choose to use for a church service worship band, but when I’m singing I need loud accompaniment so that God is the only one who can hear. 🙂

By early afternoon, the temperature had begun to climb and the mosquitoes began to be active so I put all my equipment away and headed to lunch.  While on my lunch break, I made a quick stop at Potato Creek to take a few photos but mostly just to sit with God.  As I was sitting on one of the piers, I shot today’s photo of a few leaves floating on the surface of the dark, still water.  Each one is from a different type of tree and they each possess their own style and beauty.  The variety actually adds something beautiful to the photo that would be completely missed if all the leaves were identical.  Each one of us is on this journey of life and we have this moment to either make a difference or blend in.  We make a difference by being who God created us to be.  We are God’s handiwork, fashioned together by God Himself in the womb of our mother before we were even born.  We were created to be worshipers of God who would bring Him glory by the way we live life.  We blend in when we decide to be like someone else rather than who we were created to be.  When we choose to model ourselves after another person rather than after God’s design for us, we fail to worship God because in reality we are worshiping that person we are trying to be like.

My lunch break at the park got rained out so I headed back to work where I spent time in prayer going back over the lesson material for my 1st through 3rd grade class.  Tonight’s lesson was about Adam and Eve disobeying God, but also about God’s promise to make a way for that sin, and our sin, to be covered by sending His Son, Jesus.  After class I’m cleaning the building, mopping floors, and taking short writing breaks to work on this page as I finish up the day.

I pray that you and I would pay attention to the things that are robbing us of the peace that God desires for us to have.  I pray that we would guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus at all times.  I pray that we would do whatever it takes to avoid the foolish talk and useless arguments that seem so prevalent in our society.  I pray that we would be worshipers of God in all we do.  I pray that we would learn to rejoice in the way God has made us and honor Him as we seek to reflect Christ in everything we say and do.  I pray that we would hold fast to the promise of God to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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