G40D, Day 11

I label the day as “assessment” because it held no other distinct qualities. When you do not set a course for your swim, you spend your time responding to the current. That was the case today. It was very different than the day that I had anticipated even 24 hours prior.
*Jonathan had requested to spend the previous evening with me, so he did. This altered my evening and subsequently my morning.
*Jonathan pulled out his loose tooth in the evening, which affected my actions when I awoke at 1am.
*I was asked to work, which altered my agenda for the day.
*The timing of snow in the morning affected my Internet usage as I tried to determine if school was closed.
*I received paperwork to complete for Joshua, which affected my use of quiet time.
*The questions in the paperwork made me think of Joshua’s friendships, and I invited a good friend of his to visit us.
*Joshua needed to stay after school so the timing of our arrival home was affected.
*The timing and location for meeting up with Joshua’s friend affected our dinner plans.

At the end of the day, I felt exhausted. There are certainly some reasonable explanations for that: repeatedly waking during the night this week, two days of weather that affected my travel, working mornings without down time in the evenings. But, as I traversed the waters of this day, this day with different plans than my own, there seemed to be one recurring theme affecting my energy: failure to be.
To be still. To be where I am. To be who I am. There is a constant working within me, a voice that prompts to do, to accomplish, to seek, to chase. But to be? No. The avoidance of resting while awake goes back to the point that was discussed this week at Bible study – we do not like to be alone. And we don’t like to admit that we can be very alone even when surrounded by others. Whether married or single, childless or child-full, introverted or extroverted, employed or not, there is one person you cannot escape – yourself. And it is in the silence, in the resting, that you bump into yourself.
There is both comfort and frustration that I gain from the wisdom of my elders at Bible study. When I am told that dying to self is a lifelong process, I am comforted to know that there is no pressure to arrive. It is not a task I must rush to have “done,” so I should enjoy the journey. And there is the frustration: dying to self will happen all along the way. It is not an easy task; it is not a task at all. It is the working out of relationship.
When I am constantly on the go, constantly doing, I am not being. To do seems more familiar than to be. More familiar is more comfortable. But what, then, am I missing? I am missing the comfort of being known. I am missing the peace of being loved. Missing the comfort of rest. Dying to self is not simply sacrifice, it is transformation. When there is less of us there can be more Christ. When our agenda is set aside, his moves in. When our discomfort is exchanged for his, we have peace.
The growing sense over the past few days is that I cannot simply establish parameters. I cannot simply sacrifice. I must also strengthen. And, in my assessment, I recognize that the best way to strengthen will be to spend some time being. A few weeks ago I wrote about my realization that the challenge to “spend a day with Jesus” seems difficult. Difficult because we do not do well – I do not do well – at setting down my agenda. Maybe I can in moments, but not for a day. But I also understand that if I do not set aside my agenda for a day, I will miss the time of Christ telling me what he wants to say. I may miss the truth that he wants to tell me.
Yes, I believe that Christ is with me always by the indwelling off the Spirit. But I also recognize that my spirit is louder than I’d like. Do, do, do, keeps me from the simple act of be. Be with Christ. Be loved. Be still. I cannot turn that into a task to do; I must allow that to be a desire of my heart.


G40D, Day 10

Media fast: 12 hours with no facebook nor Instagram posts
Physical fast: One meal
Spiritual discipline: Silence before the Lord

Media fast
Although I am finding it better to exercise the self-control, and to operate responsibility within this area than to eliminate; I am also sensing a need to silence them altogether for a period.

Physical fast
Reducing meals to one per day, even with some fruit and snacks, reminds me again of dependence. It allows for hunger without completely denying myself of food. As with the media, it seems to be a process for retraining and ultimately for restoration of intake.

Spiritual discipline
For those who know me well, a common question lately has been to ask me, “So what are you doing now?” A fair question, and one that I have answered several different ways. I do continue to work in my chaplaincy role but, for the first time since I have held that role, these past two months have been the only period where that is all that I have done. All that I have definitively done. In other words, I have been stripped of other titles, so I struggle to define what it is that I “do.” Only in writing this now do I see that this has been a season where I can allow that role to be my primary point of defining, my singular purpose.
I have always done “chaplaincy and..” or “______ and chaplaincy.” What I can and perhaps should be answering now is, “Chaplaincy.” Period. Ministry. Period. It can be hard to drop titles. Titles are part of the proverbial leaves that we use to cover ourselves. We want people to understand the value we have by who we are, by what we do, or by the relationships we claim. We do not like to allow ourselves to simply “be” who we are.
I have been reading the book Cross Roads, by Wm. Paul Young. Young, the author of The Shack, uses many similar features and styles in this second novel. The main character meets the person(s) of God and engages in a transformative relationship of his heart. There is a point where he first encounters the person of the Holy Spirit, who initially appears in a role of “Grandmother.” The person, Tony, fumbles to ask Grandmother about her very simple and rustic dwelling, so he asks her where she lives. “I live everywhere I am,” Grandmother replied. I like that. A lot.
Relinquishing titles, letting go of poorly-held reins, or simply shutting up can all be very difficult journeys. Difficult in the sense that we love titles, hold tightly to reins, and love to explain our purpose and destination. In many ways, God is teaching me about all three in this season. The truth is that I have been surprisingly at peace during this time, this time that seems to lack definition. In fact, those things that make me uncomfortable with this season are the questions of others that suggest I should be concerned. It makes me think of how I would respond if I saw someone in the beginning stages if flight: “Umm, excuse me…did you know your feet are off the ground? You did? Ok, well..what if you fall?”
The truth is that we need ourselves a whole lot less than we think we do. And, the more tightly that we choose to grip the ground beneath us, the more likely we are to forget that God said we could soar. It is not me who has provided all of this time, but God. I just like to claim credit. And by “all of this time,” I mean the last twenty-plus years that I have earned income. Earning income and establishing “independence” are frightfully dangerous things.
In the line of work I do, there are often reports that require the adults to report on a child’s “Independent Living Skills.” Nothing wrong with that exactly; it is good to know how to cook, look for work, find housing, etc. Nothing wrong with that except for the approach – we should be teaching Dependent Living Skills. We take such pride in being able to do without others that we entirely forget that we were designed to live in relationship with others.
Both written works by Young make that point strongly: God is in relationship and we are designed the same. There is another great line from the character Grandmother in Cross Roads: When the main character first met Grandmother, he was flustered by her silence and then with her explanation that she was praying. He demanded to know who she was praying to, and she told him, “Not praying ‘to,’ praying with.” She was praying with the main character, Tony, which completely perplexed him. But Grandmother understood that she was with Tony, even though Tony felt completely separate from her.
When we are with God, we don’t always do well at being silent. Part of that may be because we see ourselves as separate, apart from God, so we think we have to keep getting his attention. Many people would say I am a quiet person, which is true in many ways. But, if you knew my brain, you would think that I never shut up. That may be why I awoke at 3:25am yesterday, and now at 1:07am today. My brain believes it has a lot to say. That is why my dear sister-friend often reminds me to “shut up.” I am trying.
Last night Jonathan wanted for us to watch the movie “Up.” One of my favorite things about movies by Pixar is their ability to tell a story without words. It truly sets them apart. When I first saw “Up” with my boys in the theater, I was moved nearly to tears as the story of the main character’s life was told by images. In fact, as we watched it again last night, I noticed that I knew almost everything I needed to know about Carl’s life in the first few minutes of the movie, and the only word his character had uttered was, “Wow!” I think that is more than sufficient for us also.
We could and should encounter God and simply say, “Wow!” Then we could shut up. That is what I am learning in my attempt to be silent before the Lord. I am learning, and will be for the rest of my life. There is a second part in that movie that moves powerfully without words; it is the pivotal point in the movie. Carl looks through his dear Ellie’s “Adventure Book” and looks again at her page titled, “Stuff I’m Going to Do.” It was followed by blank pages in her youth, waiting to be filled with wonderful adventures. Now, after her death, Carl still believed that those pages were blank, a reflection of dreams unfulfilled, of adventures never lived. Then he noticed something – a picture. And more pictures. Ellie had filled the pages with pictures of her life with Carl. She had learned that her adventure was happening all along the way, not waiting for her.
I am learning. I still want to see what is around the corner, and even down the block, but I am learning to live with. I am learning to live wherever I am. I am learning that that is enough. There was another powerful video that I saw yesterday. It told the story of a teenage boy who is terminally ill, but he has embraced his remaining days with his love for music. At one point his mother reflected on the anticipated outcome: “We do think about the future,” she said, “but we just choose not to live there.”
I am learning, learning to be with and learning silence. For it is in learning that lesson, learning to be silent, that I can see the adventure already happening. I am learning to recognize it as it happens.

G40D, Day 9

Media fast: No facebook or Instagram from 8am-8pm
Physical fast: One meal between 7am-7pm
Prayer: Surrender

Media fast
The less that I say, the less I am concerned with what others say.

Physical fast
The interesting piece about establishing boundaries is finding that my flesh enters immediate revolt. Had I simply only eaten one meal by circumstance would have been easier than to tell my body “no.” I did not eat breakfast body almost immediately rebelled at these boundaries. (I did allow myself half of an awesome brownie in the morning and half in the afternoon. It helped me to not be woefully grumpy in the process.) One of the key gains in exercising self-control is to prepare for future challenges. Along the way I am discovering what is working well and not so well. I am moving closer toward a certain type of routine, a manner of strengthening strengths and addressing weaknesses.
Today I was able to envision reflecting upon these days next year or even sooner. I envisioned tweaking my approach to see and hear even more from God. But in order to quiet our hearts and minds before Him, we must first engage the practice of pushing back against our flesh.

I would not say that I planned this type of prayer. A planned surrender really is not a surrender at all. I would say that I was quicker to turn to God than I would have been had I not been open to His voice. I often fail to surrender when I still feel as if I have an answer. But, as I was reminded last week, God knows exactly which people to use to work His will in our lives.
It could be for that reason that some of the most challenging people in our lives are so very important. They can make us into the person God envisions. They wear away our rough edges, they confront our flaws and failures. And we can either forge ahead foolishly, or surrender to the shaping sword in our Master’s hands.
Today I engaged, gave my all, and fell wonderfully short. I had no choice. I had to surrender. And in those fervent moments of prayer, God took my words and turned them around to show me exactly what to say. That is precisely how He operates. His strength shows up in our weakness so that our weakness can reveal His strength. The words I was given to say are truth. There are no better weapons to use than truth held in the hands of love.
Try it. Surrender a struggle. That truth of “I need you, God,” held in His loving hands, will bring about some incredible results.

G40D, Day 8

Spiritual discipline: Obedience

It is far from the most glamorous thing to do, and most people will not even know that you are, but obedience is vital to your life. Obedience to what? Well, obedience to the prompts. Obedience to the questions. Obedience to the plans that you do not even claim as your own.
I did not even realize that this was a thread to my day until I reflected upon it. The truth of the matter is that obedience, for me, is a fairly recent phenomenon. For long stretches of my life I lived far too rigidly to be able to adapt. Gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles might allow you to drive in a straight line, but little else.
There have been some key milestones along the way that have helped me to loosen the grip. My trip to Nicaragua a few years ago had a huge impact. I first went to the meetings because of the man from church directly asking me, and me being terrible at saying “no.” I had never traveled outside of the States before, save for trips to Canada with my family in my youth. As I attended the meetings, I watched potential travelers drop off one by one. And I still went. I made myself go. Partly because I felt I should, partly because I cannot say “no.”
By the time of the trip, it was down to two people: myself and the wife of the man who had asked me to go. The trip worked on my white-knuckle grip on life. We flew to Atlanta and had a layover overnight. We stayed with a friend of my trip partner, and I had to simply be where I was. I still don’t do that well. I have a desire to do, not be.
When we landed in Nicaragua we still did not have exact details for the week. We had an idea, but we had to rely on the people we met to flesh out the plans, to drive us, to translate. God kept loosening my grip. The long and short of it is that it was one of the most incredible and memorable weeks of my life. Simply amazing at the way God worked out all the details for the week. You see, I had often failed to realize that I am only equipped to navigate roads that I have previously seen. In uncharted territory, I need someone familiar with the area. Maybe God? Yes God!
It is still not easy, but I am doing better. If you need help in this area, have someone pray for your obedience. That becomes a grip that is pretty difficult to escape. That is a season I am in, and it has been amazing to experience God’s peace and provision. I still fall short often, but I pop up faster now. I had a framework in mind for this day, but it was God who filled in the details. When I reflected upon it, I saw that He had done these things:
*Because God woke me up early, I was able to get ready for work, drive my sons to school on icy roads, and feel relatively stress-free.
*Because I was obedient to the prompt, my son filled the request to pray for safety before we drove.
*Because I had said “yes” to a request to work, I drove and was singing praise songs. (Again, because of when God woke me, this 20mph crawl of a drive was quite stress-free, even when two different cars foolishly cut in front of me.)
*Because I showed up for work, a coworker was prompted to ask me for a story I had written and promised to share.
*Because I followed a prompt to enter the Wellness Center, I ended up in a healthy discussion of racism, the diverse characteristics of my sons, and was given another idea for a worship service.
*Because I obeyed a prompt to ask for help, friends provided wonderful Scripture references to support a lesson plan.
*Because I obeyed a prompt, I was able to engage in a wonderful discussion on death and dying.
*Because there was a meeting scheduled for a trip to Honduras, I left work with enough time to drive safely there. (I chuckle at it now, but because of the weather, I was certain that the trip leader had simply forgotten to call me and share that the meeting was canceled. I answered a phone call on the drive because I thought it was her. I arrived exactly on time, only to see that almost everyone else had already arrived. The trip leader shared that if she had heard enough concern about the weather, she would have rescheduled. Sometimes we are most obedient when we simply shut up.)
*Because of obedience to a prompt, I was able to engage in wonderful discussions to better know the team members of the trip.
*Because I was obedient to go to Nicaragua, I am now able to see the possibility of me not only going on future trips, but also leading them.

Obedience is far from easy. It is far from glamorous. No one would know of these events except for those involved. And, to them, they are likely not memorable. But they are impactful. Each event here (as well as everything not listed) has threads which will now play out in more directions. We cannot see what the Weaver is weaving. But, if we desire to be part of something wonderful and beautiful, we must allow times when we are woven.

G40D, Day 7

Prayer: Intercessory

I learned an important lesson today: I cannot do as I wish in other areas and expect that I can suddenly turn it all off later in a vain attempt to make room for God. When a dam is breeched, you will not hold back the water with your pinky finger.
We enjoyed the day. I did not have to work, the boys did not have school, and we enjoyed it. Making meals together, watched a movie together, a walk together. But I let a leak go unattended. Facebook had come back. Instagram had come back. Texts returned. And my desire to pray continued to be asked to “Wait.” In other words, when I made the decision to pray “when I had time,” I ran out of time. Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it.
Conversation at Bible study confirmed that. Unless we set out to intentionally clear out space for the Spirit, we will still be full. Not full of goodness, not full of the Spirit, but merely full. We do not like to feel empty. We do not like to feel alone. So we fill it because emptiness and aloneness scare us. But what does God need to fill if we have already stuffed ourselves? Adam and Eve chose more than what God had given. We can do the same. If the “needs” take too long to arrive, there are always “wants” nearby to fill the space.
Read Genesis 24. My favorite five words of the chapter start verse 15: “Before he had finished praying.” The servant wasn’t even done and God’s response was right there! Why? Because the servant had placed himself in a position of surrender, of total dependence upon God.
Maybe the reason that we do not see God show up in that manner more is because we have allowed ourselves to treat God like a want – if He takes too long to show up, we have other options. That’s frightening. But that’s what I have done. I hope that, if you choose Intercessory prayer today, that you make it your focus and not your side order. I, for one, realized I cannot have it both ways. I need to put the boundaries back up.

G40D, Day 6

Scriptural discipline: Mark it
Media fast: No news, initiate no text messages
Worship discipline: Rejoice
Physical discipline: Rest
Physical discipline: Dessert for breakfast

Scriptural discipline
Growing up I learned to view the Bible as holy. It is. You can even find a Bible that tells you that, a “Holy Bible.” But somehow I stated to equate “holy” with “perfect.” So yes, I knew the Bible should be read, but the book itself never received a blemish. Didn’t crinkle a page, didn’t drop the book, and certainly didn’t mark it up. The meaning “set apart” became easier to follow if I “set aside” the Bible. The easiest way to keep a Bible holy was to not use it, then I would not damage it; the don’t-try-so-you-don’t-make-a-mistake approach.
At some point in my early adulthood I heard this expression: If your Bible isn’t falling apart, maybe you are. That certainly challenged my thinking: You mean it would be okay if my Bible was in less-than-perfect condition? Yes. I was placing value on the book, but not on the Book. But it still took me a long time before I could mark my Bible. Oh sure, I could highlight verses. That meant those verses were “important.” But to mark it? With a pen? No…..but yes!
My son Jonathan and I have had discussions about the Bible as “alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12). I have tried to impress upon him that the message of the Bible is alive unlike any other book. Because of this, I have taken to marking my Bible often. I underline, draw arrows, write notes, pose questions. All of this is merely an exercise in wrestling with the truth, seeking to know and understand. Not everyone would agree that this should be done, but I do this with my study Bible – it is how I study. And I want my sons to learn to do the same. My oldest son will be 13 next month, and I decided to give him his own study Bible – all marked up. I am transcribing my notes directly into his new Bible. I got the idea when I saw that a friend of mine was given a Bible with all of the notes her parents had made over the years. I do not want to pass on only a Bible, but a hunger for the Word. It was a difficult thing for me to place that first stroke of ink in his brand-new Bible. Difficult but necessary. I want him to know that the Bible holds the questions and answers that he seeks. I want him to know that he will have his own questions and thoughts. I want him to know that “set apart” does not mean “set aside.”
If you have a study Bible, I encourage you to dig in and mark it. It is meant to be a conversation, not a presentation. Pose your questions, add your understanding, and hunger for more.

Media fast
I felt a pull to check out ESPN today, but I survived without it. You will notice that the Facebook and Instagram pieces were not part of today, but it was my birthday. I allowed myself one post and one picture.

Worship discipline
I like to sing, and singing together with others is an expression of joy for me. I have found a new cd that I enjoy and it has been good to sing as I drive. But better than that for me is to sing with others. I had the privilege of singing, clapping, and rejoicing together with others in our worship service today. When you have the opportunity to do so, sing! Especially if you can do it with others, but even if you cannot, rejoice! Even in the midst of difficulty – especially in the midst of difficulty – lift your voice in praise.

Physical discipline
There are times when we need to set aside our agenda in order to rest. I had a mental list for the day, but found a point where I was simply tired. So I rested. And I am learning how to spiritually rest as well. I am learning to stop operating in the past, neither in the future, but to simply be right where I am.

Physical discipline
Why cheesecake for breakfast? To remind myself to change my direct object. A direct object is that person or thing which receives an action. I did not eat cereal, I ate cheesecake. What’s the point? I’m glad you asked.
I recently came across an album by Montell Jordan. You may or may not recognize that name as an R&B artist of the 90s, most famous for his hit “This Is How We Do It.” Chances are you have heard it. Well, he now has a praise and worship album, and I find it fascinating. My favorite song is “Shake Heaven,” which has these lyrics in the refrain:
I’m gonna shake heaven,
Joining together;
This is how we do it;
We’re taking back the music.

His voice and musical style are the same, and he even uses the line that made him famous, but his direct object has changed. God is now the recipient of this man’s praise. That makes all the difference. I attended a training last week that reminded me that the most difficult youth can become the most powerful and influential leaders for good. How? When their direct object changes. A good friend of mine has pointed out that worship happens everywhere, but most of it misses the mark.
By many standards, I had one of the most mundane birthdays to date. Intentionally. I worked twice as long as I slept, I spent several hours to myself, and finished the day watching a video with my sons. I fought against my desire to spend or elaborately celebrate. In that struggle, I recognized this truth: I desired to add some sort of value to an event I had no control over. I did not cause my birthday. I was an unwilling participant in the day of my birth. So how have I managed to make myself the direct object of this day? It would be no different than if I walked around claiming that I had earned grace.
I am not opposed to celebrations; they are wonderful. I simply want to share what I learned. Initially, the significance of a birthday holds more weight for parents. Parents rightfully celebrate the miracle that is the life of their child. But somewhere along the way, unless intentionally taught otherwise, the child starts to think it is all about them. It took for me to intentionally do nothing before I saw and remembered that it is not all about me. How could I add any value to the day? I had nothing to do with it! If anything, I should celebrate my parents on my birthday. They are the reason I am here; they are the ones who shaped me. And even more so, I must celebrate God.
A cd that I have been singing along with lately has a song with the words, “You deserve it.” We hear those words a lot. Unfortunately, we make ourselves the direct object. We cannot bear that weight. All action verbs have a recipient, and I assure you that we are not designed to bear the weight of praise. Thankfully this song gets it right: the “you” refers to God, the only one worthy of our praise.
Do something to change your direct object. Evaluate where your actions are pointed. Work toward giving it all to God.

G40D, Day 5

Relational discipline: Fellowship of the saints
Prayer: Corporate prayer
Scriptural discipline: Memorization
Media fast: No news, no facebook status, no Instagram posts, no texts initiated
Physical fast: Four consecutive waking hours of intentional silence

Relational discipline
There is no substitute for the fellowship of the saints. I have been blessed to be a part of a men’s Bible study and the men’s ministry of our church. To eat together, share together, read Scripture together, pray together, sing together…there is nothing else like it. God has always shown up in the obedience of His children meeting together, and I have always come away feeling blessed and encouraged.
If you have not found a church home or a small group to regularly attend, I encourage you to ask your friends about it. To worship and attend a church is one thing, but to share deeply and deeply receive from others who walk the same faith journey, that is a rich blessing. Seek out where you can fellowship with the saints.

One of the rich blessings of a fellowship with others is corporate prayer. Several times during our gathering together, we were prompted to pray. I have found it to be truly rich to be able to pray with others in a small group. For all to acknowledge God, to submit our lives before Him and seek His face; it blocks out all other things. God becomes the crystal-clear center as He ought to be.
I have been blessed to work in places where prayer is welcomed and accepted. That may not be the case for you, but that does not mean that there is no one around you who prays. Perhaps you have to be the first for someone else to notice. But when you pray, others will join. Seek out opportunities to pray with fellow believers.

Scriptural discipline
Another passage rich in meaning was shared today that I would like to commit to memory: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” Jeremiah 1:5a. The man who shared this verse also shared how this verse had puzzled him: “What ‘me’ did you know?” he wondered. He then went on to share that he began to see and understand that God places the exact right people in our lives. The people in our lives are the ones that He uses to reach us, to shape us, transform us, and bring us back around to the one He knew before we were born. God is at work in all facets of our life.

Media fast
This is getting easier. I am enjoying not checking the news. I will note, however, that in our gathering for the morning, we did pray for someone who had been mentioned on the news. It was good to be reminded of God’s redemptive reach. It is not that the news or the media I have fasted from are bad in and of themselves, but I must determine what is the best way for me to respond. There is no formula for how to utilize the media around you, so pray and listen for how God would have you walk.

Physical fast
This actually incorporated a physical and media fast, and it was harder than I expected. I chose to be silent, to not eat or drink, to use no electronic media, and to stay awake for four hours. Any one of those elements standing alone would have been very manageable. In the grand scheme of things, I was still not asking much of myself. But this is why I did it: I was home, and I wanted to establish control over the vices that distract me.
I chose silence because the first thing that I seek when I am alone is some type of conversation. This is in part why I have chosen to not initiate any text messages over the past two days. Apart from greeting three people when I walked my dog, I remained silent. I did not fill the emptiness with music nor conversation.
I chose no food or drink because I have noted that I will use food as a comfort when I am at home. It is something to do, something to satisfy. Food and drink can relax and soothe us if we let it, but one should be able to go four hours without them. Although I found this difficult after three hours, I was successful.
I chose no electronic media. The winter months make me susceptible to movie watching, to fill the empty space. Internet, music, and phones can do the same. Today I went four hours without them, and some parts of my house are very clean because of that. I also chose to stay awake because sleep can be a way to escape the emptiness around us. This may not sound that difficult, but after only four hours of sleep the night before, and in an empty, quiet house, this was my first temptation. Walking my dog halfway through the time helped me, and I did stay awake.
I recognize that this one can be more difficult to duplicate depending on the day and your opportunity to carve out the time. This worked out for me today, and I am glad that it did. Even fifteen minutes in I was asking myself, “What is the point?” After all, everything that I had just made up my mind to do was all self-imposed. I was still free to eat if I chose. I could have watched a movie. I could have returned my mother’s phone call. Why impose restrictions? Only later did I remember a message that I heard at a conference last December: we talk about taking dominion in this realm or that realm, but we have failed to take dominion over ourselves.
This is true of me. Why should I wonder about mediocre results if I am giving mediocre effort? Again, as with the media, I did not set aside anyting “evil.” But I did exert control over vices that have crept into my life, comforts that keep me from experiencing more of what God would have for me.
What are your vices? What do you turn to when you have moments that are uncomfortable or difficult? How easily are you able to control them? Today was difficult for me only because I have not been practicing control in the way that I should. Now that I have established what I can do, I can more easily strengthen my resolve in these arenas.