2017: Page 241

Page 241 was another good day with an early start of the usual prayer, cleaning, and building prep.  As I finished up the cleaning and took the trash out, the sky was lit up in a brilliant mix of color.  By the time I went back inside, got my camera, and came back outside, the color had mostly faded to gray.  I did manage a few photos with just a little bit of the sunrise colors, but it wasn’t long before all the color had been replaced by a blanket of gray clouds.  As I looked down the length of the ball field, a momma deer and her baby came out of the woods to see what I was up to.  They didn’t stay around long, but did pose for a few photos before heading back into the woods.  

After checking messages and taking care of a few minor tasks, I put on my accountant’s hat and spent the morning working on the church missions and prayer ministry records.  As I worked, the plans for Sunday’s sermon simmered in my mind as I allow God to boil it down and refine it into the finished product He would want served.  The focus that is simmering at the moment is Paul’s instruction to “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)  It is easy for me to become discouraged and then begin to wonder if anything I do really matters.  Satan wants to convince each of us that following Christ and doing the work He created in advance for us to do is a waste of our time and effort.  Our culture has done remarkably well at convincing us we need instant results or we’re just wasting our time.  God has a different message for us and that message is to keep at it, that we will reap a harvest in due time if we don’t give up.  We tend to plant the seed in the morning and want to harvest the produce by evening.  God’s design is that over the course of time one person plants, another one waters, and He gives the increase.

With a few pauses to take care of some IT work, the accounting was completed for the day and the sermon simmering put on hold by mid-afternoon so I could get some lunch.  I suppose a neat part of the way I work on sermons is that the simmering process never really takes a break — there are just times I’m more aware of it than at other times.  After lunch I headed home to relax a bit and made my way to the porch to take some photographs of the hummingbirds and flowers.  It was a comfortable evening outside and the air was starting to have a feeling of fall to it.  As I was waiting for the hummingbirds to show up, I shot today’s photo of these beautiful flowers blooming at my feet.  It is amazing what a little splash of color and brightness can do to brighten up an area.  And it’s not restricted to plants — you and I can be that splash of color and brightness in the lives of those around us if we choose to be.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • Life happens in moments — make the most of them while you can.
  • If you gaze too long on a moment that has passed, you may well miss the moment that is now.
  • Doing the work of the Lord isn’t limited to preachers, missionaries, or church staff — it is for everyone!
  • When you do your work as working for the Lord, you find that whatever you do is not done in vain.
  • Having a logical and analytical mind is great for accounting work but not so great for other things — and that’s okay.
  • When we “hide God’s Word in our heart” it should never really be hidden, it should take root and blossom into a beautiful thing.
  • A harvest takes time but always follows the planting and watering that needs to be done.
  • Even a little brightness and beauty can make a big difference in a dark culture — be the light that God has called you to be.

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