Be in the moment

Jan Johnson writes in her book “Enjoying the Presence of God”, “Our problem is not lack of time, but failure to value the moments and to see God at work in it.”

Another great writer, the Apostle Paul writes, “Whatever you do do it all for the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31

Are we valuing our moments and seeing God at work in them? I enjoy moments and see God at work in them when I am just being me and letting the God in me show through me.

37 thoughts on “Be in the moment

  1. In another version of 1Cor. Paul says So whether you EAT OR DRINK whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I believe that goes for driving down the highway or teaching classes or talking on the phone. Or, as Sara mentioned yesterday, washing dishes. We can ask ourselves, ‘Am I glorifying God in this?’ Is what I am saying glorifying the Lord? Do these acts, deeds, actions bring glory to God? What is the purpose of what I am doing? Is it to glorify Him or me?
    I heard that dreaded Scripture this morning in Matthew when Jesus said, that many will come to Him in that day and say, “Lord we prophesied in Your name. We cast out demons. We preached in Your streets. We did many miracles in Your Name. But Jesus says, “Depart from Me you evil-doers! I NEVER KNEW YOU!”
    If we are not glorifying the Lord in our Christian walk then we are glorifying ourselves OR THE ENEMY OF OUR SOULS and the enemy of CHRIST.

  2. It would seem that to be able to value the moment you have to live in the present. Also, you would have to be grateful and content with what the moment brings.
    The apostle Paul must have been a moment liver. He said he had learned the secret of this contentment
    …”for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Phil 4:11

  3. Jan Johnson’s quote uses the words ‘value and see.’ When we value something we usually have emotions invested in it. We value our children, we are mostly pretty aware of what we invest in them as we sure can tell it to others a mile a minute. Do we see God at work in it? Hopefully, we do. Sure questionable at times! We value our jobs, do we see God at work in it? We think we do when we see our pay check.

    Conversation with a friend, how much value do we place in that? Do we see God in it? When we talk with a friend we are talking with God, aren’t we? Maybe not? Or we might say, hope not? I think the intent Jan and Paul are writing about is saying, in my words, “let there be no demarcation in anything we do when it comes to God!”

  4. Read with me the footnotes for verses 28-33 (1Corinthians 10). “Why should we be limited by another person’s conscience? Simply because we are to do all things for God’s glory, even our eating and drinking. Nothing we do should cause another believer to stumble. We do what is best for others, so that they might be saved. We should also be sensitive to the meaning of our actions to new Christians who are sorting out how to renounce sinful ways from the past and live for Christ. However, Christians should not make a career out of being the offended people with oversensitve consciences. Believers must not project their standards onto others. Many believers who have been Christians for years are still oversensitive and judmental of others. Instead of being the offended weaker brothers and sisters, they are no more than offended ‘Pharisees.’ Christian leaders and teachers should carefully teach about the freedom Christians have in matters not expressly forbidden by Scripture. New or weak Christians should not remain in a weak or sensitive state but should grow into maturity and discernment lest they prove to be an unnecessary burden on others’ freedom in Christ. Our actions must be motivated by God’s love so that all we do will be for his glory. Keep this as a guiding principle by asking. Is this action glorifying God? or How can I honor God through this action?

    Woe, some lessons for me! Thanks for the scriptures and quotes.

  5. In NLT Bible notes on I Corinthians, page 1945, I find this test!
    If I choose one course of action
    does it help my witness for Christ (9:19-22)
    am I motivated by a desire to help others know Christ? (9:23, 10:33)
    does it help me do my best? (9:25)
    is it against a specific command in Scripture and would thus cause me to sin?(10:12)
    is it the best and most beneficial course of action? (10:23, 33)
    am I thinking only of myself, or do I truly care about the other person? (10:24)
    am I acting lovingly or selfishly? (10:28-31)
    does it glorify God? (10-31)
    will it cause someone else to sin? (10:32)

    I think this test helps me live in the moment. When I feel a little discouraged by having to answer these questions, I quickly use, ‘does it help me do my best’ as my anchor.

    When I communicate with others either in person or writing I hope that our conversations met the standard of these questions. The writer of the questions prefaces them with ‘most choices (the hundreds we make each day) have no right or wrong attached to them-like what you wear or what you eat.” I laughed to keep from crying since wear and eat are the main topics of the day. I think I am understanding why? Doesn’t make us accountable for a thing according to these notes?

  6. I want to always remember if I am feeling overwhelmed and in the dark I don’t think that is God. Why? Because God is light not dark! The dark is the old man, the flesh that I at times want to drag around on my back so I can block the light.

    Light is the glory of the morning and the Joy that knocks on my hearts door to enter into a happy day with me.

  7. The old hymn says…
    “When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word
    What a glory He sheds on our way!”………

    So that must mean if we are obeying HIM, we have the light. The people asked Jesus for a sign. Well, the sign of a true Christian is one who is obedient to the the Lord and His Word. How can you tell? They’re the ones, walking in the Light. It shines on all they do. It shines in the way they approach life’s issues. It shines in the way they treat others. It shines in their wise decisions and counsels. It shines in their demeanor and their countenance. It shines in their selflessness. It shines in their generosity, in their compassion, in their sense of holy humor. It shines in their eyes. Most importantly, IT shines through their eyes and into the souls of those whose hearts they yearn for to come to Jesus. You can’t really miss them if you look closely. They’re the obedient ones. They’ll not stumble in the dark because they have the SHINING of the LIGHT of OBEDIENCE…like Moses who had to put a veil over his face because he’d been with the Lord . God told Moses to tell Aaron to affix the candleabra in the tabernacle so that the light would be cast forward. Sara wrote a book about that entitled..’Throwing Your Light Forward.’ Well, that’s what obedient ones do. They cast the light that they walk in, forward…and it illumines the world for them and for others in their presence.

  8. This scripture from I John 1:5-7 seems to describe the above on light.
    “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
    So it looks to me that passing the test Sara wrote about will tell us whether we are walking in the light or not. And thnking more about the food and clothes tip of conversation…makes you wonder whether what we are calling fellowship together really is true fellowship.

  9. “let there be no demarcation in anything we do when it comes to God!” from my comment above: I guess demarcation is there if we leave God out. God out would be the demarcation, right? I am wondering how many times a day I set boundaries that lets God know I have set a limit/boundary/demarcation on Him. Is this possible?

  10. Debi wrote…” And thnking more about the food and clothes tip of conversation…makes you wonder whether what we are calling fellowship together really is true fellowship.”

    What kind of conversations did Jesus have when he was eating and drinking with friends, family and/or enemies? I would think we could find some great examples for our daily etiquette if we looked into the Word and shared with others. Maybe not? Let’s see if anyone has this info?

  11. In looking through the gospels, I found many places where we are told that Jesus was eating with ‘friends, family and/or enemies’. His conversations were always purposeful teachings that were relevant to the current situation.
    In many accounts such as Luke 11:37-54; Luke 7:36-50; Luke 5:29-31; Mark 12:1-8 and Matt 9:10-13 Jesus’ conversations were about important Truths of the kingdom He wanted them to learn from. Often He told them stories or parables. In accounts such as Luke 14 and Matt 8:14-17, He performed healings. And often the healings became further subject matter for instruction and conversation. None of His words were ever pointless or wasteful.

  12. Gee, Debi, I sure would like to meet a friend like this? I think most people would! Now from the looks of Facebook and other social gathering websites I see most people say the reason they are on the web is to find new friends. Sure sounds like you know a friend that almost EVERYBODY is looking for. Wonder how they (we) could find such a friend?

  13. I believe I described, in my comments above, how to discern a person who walks in the Light of God’s Word. We meet many nice people who know about the Word, know about the Lord, but have a difficult time walking in the presence and walking in that Light and expressing and exchanging thougts and truths found in the Word of God. One can usually tell by their convesation, over a period of time, (and sometimes right away).
    A familiar quote on Human Qualities (and we might add on divine qualities, also.)
    “Great people talk about ideas..and I add, great ideals, great deeds, great writings and victories and triumphs of the human spirit.
    Average people talk about things.”Fret not about what you are going to wear, or what shall we eat for your Heavenly Father knows you need all these things.” (Matt. 6) Does that mean we can never talk about fun things like where to eat, or what shall we wear to a meeting or to work or to church? Of course not, as long as that is not ALL we even can talk about to our friends and our family members. Jesus said not to be anxious about all that. And if we have that on our minds every moment it is more difficult to communicate with a friend, like the friend that Sara so longs for and to exchange Biblical truths.
    Small people talk about other people.” (read into that ‘gossip’ rumor, innuendo, conjecture, assumption, presumption) all the sins of the lips, tongue and mouth.

  14. Leslie Vernick writes about how in the fifteenth century, people used to believe that the sun revolved around the earth When Copernicus discovered that wasn’t the case, it changed everything. It revolutionized the way scientist views the entire universe. No longer was the earth the center. She says, like the people in Copernicus’s time, in our culture, we think we see things as they really are, but our human perspective is limited and it sometimes borders on craziness. We have viewed ourselves at the center of our own universe. She tells about woman buying expensive purses and other hype items to try and surround themselves with meaningful and enduring things. She ask, “how could we think that an expensive purse provides those things? How foolish and blind we have become that we actually fall for the hype of Madison Avenue advertisers over God’s Word?” Lisa says, “don’t think for a moment that they (purses, clothes, etc.) will give you anything meaningful or enduring.”

    “You will find more meaning and enduring pleasure if you donated your extra $$$ to feed starving children, provide housing for orphans or help a missionary bring Bibles into a closed country.” And, then the hope comes with Lisa words, ‘when we see clearly, we understand that knowing God and loving Him isn’t boring or restrictive, it is beautiful and desirable and exceedingly good. It changes everything for what we need to find authentic happiness.”

    Now, that is a mouthful, isn’t it? To stop and think about what we are really believing and doing is a life full of ups and downs.

  15. Im not going to settle for just being saved….we should want to be saved..sanctified and full of the Holy Ghost…..we should want to be radically transformed for Jesus…we should be new creatures and do everything different……everything we encounter…..every place..every person we come in contact with…we should be looking for ways to impact the Kingdom!!!!!!!

  16. Thank you daily scholars of The Word of God. Love the studying and interacting with the gardeners, farmers, and artist of The Holy Bible that work on The Daily Lily. As we interact and live out His Word as our eyes our opened we become bouquets with fragrance for those around to enjoy and enhance their daily lives. And, we look beautiful!

    Brian, love that you are not going to settle for less than the fullness of God. As I wrote in the sentence before your comment, ‘believing and doing is a life full of ups and downs.” My down moment is to have my eyes opened but with obedience the daily ups are the soar of the eagle.

  17. I am one that can relate to the story of purses and clothes. As we all know both are good and acceptable for women and their daily lives. But, way too often I find myself more involved in the buying, caring and involvement of those things that I should be.

    I do wholeheartedly agree with Lisa that these things will NOT give me anything enduring and meaningful. One washing of new clothes tell me that real fast. Taking a purse around and sitting on a restaurant floor and dragging all over the place tells me what in the world are you doing, girl? My father-in-law, a philosopher and diplomat once said to me, “why do we have to wait until we are old to see how useless these things are and have been to us.”

    I sure can sing with truth in my heart, “Many years I spent in vanity and pride, caring not My Lord was crucify.” Forgive me O Lord, and help me, I pray.

  18. Now, I want to move forward and use my spiritual gifts and talents to the fullest. I want value to be in my moments and enjoy the presence of My Lord!

  19. A Christian friend of mine, Jean Callaghan, a social worker, once told me that money and time has a way of defining another . One may spend on clothes, while another houses, cars, boats, drugs, medical for beauty,spas, etc. It doesn’t matter what one spends it on it is what Lisa was trying to teach in the lesson above. “…like the people in Copernicus’s time, in our culture, we think we see things as they really are, but our human perspective is limited and it sometimes borders on craziness. We have viewed ourselves at the center of our own universe.”

    “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. I Timothy 6:10 NLT

    Jean, a social worker and Lisa a social worker, both are telling us we need the help of others to see…..

  20. It seems our priorities shape our perspective and also define us. Just as a focal point plant specimen in a landscape design helps define a space, so those things we are focused on and absorbed with fill the horizon of or vison even though there may be so much awaiting us beyond. When the Lord said ‘where your treasure is, there will your heart be also’, I think He was showing us how wide or how narrow our vision could be. If our treasure is the trinkets of this earth, our perspective will be limited. If our treasure is the Lord and His kingdom, our perspective will be so much broader and bigger than just ourselves and our trinkets.
    “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34

  21. I love color, design, fabric related to dress and home furnishings. I believe God has given me an extra ordinary talent to appreciate color and design. I believe I have learned the art of just that, it is a hobby, craft and joy for me to shop and design. The one thing is has taken me longer to learn is to not to let my artistic flare help another to sin. For Paul says in Romans 14:21 “It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.” I have seen many times a woman shopping to appease a longing for meaning and acceptance in her life. Trying to know how to handle this situation appropriately has been a life long task. You don’t want to judge another and their buying, debt, etc. Got to have one more thing attitude. Do it without counsel or advice. I just got to do it. And, on the other side you don’t want to think your gift/talent makes another jump in and buy and compete.

    I want to stay on the platform with Jan’s quote, value the moments and SEE GOD at work in them!

  22. I am thinking as I read the comments above, that doing things for the glory of God must be THE theme, the foundation in and of ALL things we do. Gary taught in the service that “God is not someone we ADD to our lives,” or in my words, reserved for the ‘GOD department’ in my life as opposed to every moment, every breath and every thought, word and deed. Because, that’s what Jesus taught….that we are to love the Lord God with our whole heart, whole mind, whole spirit and soul. Then, how do we keep in mind, for example, as we purchase each item, for what purpose is this or what purpose will this serve? If we buy a liter of milk and a loaf of bread, we know that this is to serve for nourishment for us and our family. That’s a ‘no-brainer’. If we buy a dress or a purse, we know that we need clothing and accessories to present a decent image to the world around us and those with whom we come in contact. Where does it begin to cross the line from necessities & niceties, to lavish, obsessive and finally, narcissistic?
    I think this has become a great worldly encumbrance and hindrance to the Body Of Christ. Not that I want to become scrupulous about this but if I ask myself the right questions, in my quest to stay in the Presence of Christ each waking moment, then I should learn the right questions to ask myself and of which to make myself aware before and during each deed, transaction, whether instructing children or purchasing groceries or buying shoes.
    Thank you Gary & Sara for the Church in which we receive these wake up calls and for the counsel on I pray for a new awareness even as I write this, even as I prepare to pray, even as I walk out the door to work. May the Holy Spirit, wholly enlighten us to this marvelous and exciting new/old perspective. It’s time!!!

  23. MG you asked, ‘Where does it begin to cross the line from necessities & niceties, to lavish, obsessive and finally, narcissistic?’ I keep thinking of this scripture from I Cor 6:12: “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.”
    I think as we understand our individual purpose in God’s plan and are sensitive and attentive to the daily requirements of it, the line gets clearer. From my viewpoint, certain clothes or shoes that are perfectly fine for someone else to buy and wear just are not beneficial for me to wear when doing many of the physical type jobs I feel God has called me to do. And it may be fine for one person to devote time to an activity that for me to engage in would not be beneficial but would distract me from a focus I feel God wants me to stay steady at.
    We do need to ask ourselves and foremost, ask the Lord to direct us. I think those guidelines questions Sara posted above from Corinthians are helpful in knowing what to purchase, where to go, and how to manage time and resources.

  24. Debi, excellent answer. All truth and even humorous! Gee, you could add a bit to your answer and get a job as a comedienne. Maybe another Tina Faye! All I could think about is your steel toe brown boots, costing $100 bucks and my bright color clogs costing $100 bucks. Yours are for your career in dirt. Brown dirt color either in boots or plants seem to be a bright color and beauty and needful for you. But, give me bright turquoises, pinks and lavenders and that makes me happy, joyful and serve for my work day.

    Yes, God made us all different and allowed us to express ourselves differently and freely. There are scriptures revealing freedom for us. God gives us real freedom and it is vital to search it out and understand the freedom He gives. Paul gave the frosting on the cake, “…but, I will not be mastered by anything.”

    Now, you go girl with your brown boots and I will enjoy my new turquoise clogs!

  25. Sara, your writing is as colorful as your shoes and sure does bring joy to read.
    And yes, I will go…in fact I have my brown boots on and ready to unload a truck of plants and am as happy about it as a pig in mud.

  26. hahahhehehe, way to funny for me Debi. You are a character in my book. “Pig in mud”, shoes in dirt. Ouch. I like to keep my shoes really clean and sparkly.

    “Fay Cooper Davenport passing along wisdom from church: Thank God for blooming flowers that uplift our souls..”

    Yep, it takes the dirt and the sun to give us those colorful flowers that Fay ‘s church spoke of yesterday! It seems to always come back to “Bloom where you’re planted.”

  27. I have enjoyed reading, on the lily this morning, as I have just returned, from some wonderful shopping, in Myrtle Beach, SC. Debi, I like the scripture in 1Corinthians, you shared. I read the footnotes for verse 12, and would like to share here. Read with me: “Apparently the church had been quoting and misapplying the words ‘I am allowed to do anything.’ Some Christians in Corinth were excusing their sins by saying that (1) Christ had taken away all sin, and so they had complete freedom to live as they pleased, or (2) what they were doing was not strictly forbidden by Scripture. Paul answered both these excuses: (1) While Christ has taken away our sin, this does not give us freedom to go on doing what we know is wrong. The New Testament specifically forbids many sins (see 6:9, 10) that were originally prohibited in the Old Testament (see Romans 1: 9-21, 13: 8-10). (2)Some actions are not sinful in themselves, but they are not appropriate because they can control our life and lead us away from God. (3) Some actions may hurt others. Anything we do that hurts rather than helps others is not right.”

  28. Hey Needles, Welcome Back! Now that is some serious shopping, ie going to the beach to shop. Did you and family get lots of pretty things? I understand this was your first trip to SC. How did you like it?

    Thanks for the footnotes, they always help us to keep our perspectives on issues.

  29. My children got some much needed shorts, as they have outgrown shorts, from last summer. Yes, this was my first trip to Myrtle Beach, SC, but we did not actually go to the “beach”, we just went to the shopping outlets there. It was really nice and would like to go back sometime.

  30. Oh, we didn’t just go all the way to Myrtle Beach, to shop for my children. We were invited to go along with my in-laws. It was their trip, and we got to “tag along”, what a blessing!

  31. Go Needles, now teach me how to get some invites to ‘tag along!’

    I have been to Myrtle Beach and love it but never knew about the outlet malls. I must look into this!

  32. Needles your footnote, “Some actions are not sinful in themselves, but they are not appropriate because they can control our life and lead us away from God” made me think about the action our tongues do. Some wag like a rudder out of control and take us and others off course (James 3:2-12 gives a good description). How can we be doing as the blog words Sara posted of Jan Johnson’s say… “Enjoying the Presence of God” if our tongues spew out nonsense, trivia, and a whole long list of negatives? In His presence is peace, order, wholesome life…everything He is.

    My dad used to have a couple of racehorses that for some reason had out of control tongues. Everytime they ran a race, their tongues got flapping in their mouths and cut off the air they needed to breathe, practically choking them. Even though they had great legs to run, they always lost the race. Finally, on the advice of some old pros, he would literally tie their tongues down in their mouths w/ a strap before the race so they couldn’t move. That did the trick and instead of energy going into tongue wagging, their energy went into winning the race.

  33. Debi, the story of your Father and the tongues of the horses is one of the most amazing things I have ever heard. That is wonderful! The Book of James, Chapter 3, verses 1-12, helps me understand this theory.

    “What are some examples of an untamed tongue? (Proverbs 12:18-19, 13:3, 16:27, 17:7, 18:8, 25:18, Matt 7:15, Eph 4:25, Philippians 2:14

    Gossip. Putting others down. Bragging. Manipulating. False teaching. Exaggerating. Complaining. Flattering. Lying. Boasting. Ridicule. Sarcasm. Praising evil deeds.”

    The more I read the Word of God the more I see your Dad was absolutely right and so were the old wise wisdom from the old pros. Stop wagging your tongue about things you don’t know or understand and using all your energy to hinder yourself and others. That is deceit!

    Good wisdom from Mr. Lee, Debi’s Dad. That is why he is in the hall of fame in W Va race track.

  34. Wow, what a lesson here, for us all. If we “wag our tongues” less, maybe we would have more energy for the “right things”?

  35. And, Debi, are you talking about the bit for the horse? “Tie the tongue of the horse is just beyond my imagination. Needles, is right, wag our tongues and our energy has been given to the wagging.” OMG, I sure want to find out more about this.

  36. Needles, I would agree and say yes. The Bible speaks in Matt 12:36 that we will have to give an account for every idle word we speak. Sounds like a wagging tongue is idling like a car sitting still, going nowhere, but still using up costly gas and emitting pollution in the air at the same time.

  37. No, Sara, tying a tonge with a strap and having a bit in the horse’s mouth are two separate things. Every thoroughbred race horse runs with a bit, though there are different kinds of bits for different purposes. Well-mannered horses that follow the pressure of the reins usually only require a simple bit. Horses that want to run away to the outside of the track have to wear ‘run-out’ bits. Other horses with ‘hard’ insensitive mouths need a stronger, more complex bit to control them. But the horse that has an uncontrollable tongue that ‘wags’ or goes back in the mouth to try to choke the horse requires a severe measure…tying it down with a strap.

    Here’s the definition from a horse racing glossary site. Tongue strap or tie: Cloth or rubber strap used to tie down a horse’s tongue to prevent it from choking in a race or workout.

    I saw my father, on several occasions as trainer, enter the paddock just before a race when he is saddling a horse, pull out a ‘tongue strap’ from his pocket, open that horses mouth and tie that strap over his tongue and under the ‘chin’ towards the back of the horses mouth.

    So, that said, you might be running in the right direction, guided by a bit, but choking on your wagging tongue as you run and finish dead last.

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