Saturday October 14, 2017 Transformed

Posted October 14, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Romans 12:2

I am constantly aware of the importance of renewal and seeking to make changes in my life that will allow me to move forward.  I want to evolve and be closer to God in everything I do.  The patterns of the world are not conducive to that.  There are so many distractions and “should” that seem to take priority.  I seem to stumble along, some days blending with the ones before.

Reading and constantly seeking to refresh my mind with new ideas has been an important part of my life.  Continuous learning is a goal for me so that I can keep evolving but time seems to be winning the battle and I find myself frustrated with not being able to keep up.  The struggle has taken its toll on my body and my relationships because I do not wear frustration well.  I apologize to Gary, my daughters, and friends too often.  I laugh at myself because the only times that I was able to press the RESET button on my life is when I moved.  When I was forced by job changes to move to a new city and there I would begin with a clean slate.  It would not take me long to fill up my calendar again so that I would find once more that I was not able to renew myself.

Finally, five years ago, I created a retreat for people like me who need renewal of their mind but could NOT seem to make the time for themselves.  I have learned that there are many people who are like me and have realized that saying NO to self is not a good thing.  The constant YESES to others removes potential and creativity that wears down the spirit.  St Paul knew the importance of renewal.  He preached it!

Lord, I am ready to step off the merry-go-round and I ask your help to continue to be a non-conformist and seek to renew my mind.  I know that it is only when I seek time to color outside the lines that I am able to conceive and achieve what You are calling me to be, do and have. 

Advertisements

Friday October 13, 2017 Called

Posted October 13, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John.  You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).  John 1: 42

It happened often throughout Scripture that people were given new names: Abram became Abraham “father of multitudes”; Jacob became Israel “price of God”; Joseph was called Barnabas “son of encouragement” just to name a few. I have been renamed from Roberta to Bobbi which definitely fits my personality much better.  I have also been called… MOM, Grandma, Sis, Aunt, and Honey.  Each name connotes a relationship to who I am and often my relationship with those who address me.  I often wonder what Jesus would call me if we met on the street today.

I was invited to do the Invocation at a Women’s Luncheon and the Host asked me what title would I like to have listed in the program.  I have a lot to choose from…  but I chose my work one as those who are attending likely don’t care that I am mom to two, grandma to six, sister to eight, wife to one, or even that I am a Commissioned Lay Minister, coach or Blog writer.  They probably won’t really care what my title is, as long as what I say is short but meaningful as I am standing between them and their food.

What name describes you as a follower of Christ?  Are you like Barnabas an encourager?  Are you like Peter, a rock?  Are you a patriarch of an extended family… do people come to you for advice and sound counsel?  It is good to know who and what we are as it makes preparing for each day easier.  If I am going to be meeting with those who need prayer, I approach the situation differently than if I am going to a movie.  Preparation and putting on the mind of Christ helps me to be ready for every situation, no matter who I am called to be.  I ask God to help me be a willing servant and I guess that is what I would like to be named.

Lord, I bring myself before You, sinful and broken but willing to be at Your service.  Help me to be ready to step forward when I hear You call.  Help me to recognize my name! 

Thursday October 12, 2017 Flowers

Posted October 12, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.  Matthew 6:28-29

There are references to the beauty of flowers in both old and new testament.  Isaiah 40:8 compares our lives to grass and flowers that fade but God’s word endures.  God gave me both of these scriptures to contemplate this morning.  As fleeting as life is, it is beautiful just like the flowers that cultivated brighten a garden, along the roadside growing wild delight the motorist and in a vase on the altar at church draw us closer to God.   Their presence in each moment force us to appreciate the gift of beauty and appreciate that we have NO control over their contribution to our lives.

I have friends with a beautiful rose bush and some years it is heavy with blooms and another there are few.  The gift is appreciated each time they cut one for a bouquet or simply watch the bees visit.  Nothing compares with the aroma or the colors of flowers and yet they are only with us a few days before they fade and are gone forever.  God encourages me with these verses because I know He loves and cares for me much more than the beautiful flowers.

I have always taken as my motto, “Bloom where you are planted.”  I have moved often and left behind family and friends which was oh so difficult but God brings me to a place and expects me to grow wherever I live.  He waters and feeds my spirit with opportunities to stretch and take on new colors with the soil and moisture available in each new place.  Life has taken on the “Good News” of forever by each new person and situation that I have faced.

God is never going to let His faithful people suffer for any longer than it takes to give birth to something new.  Pushing out of the soil toward the Son is a part of the process.

Lord give me strength to continue to bloom where I am planted.  Help me overcome the factors that hold me back.  I know that You are by my side.  It makes the goal worthwhile and the steps to arrive attainable.   

 

Wednesday October 11, 2017 Voice

Posted October 11, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.  John 10:4

Have you ever stood in a playground and heard a child cry and knew it was your child?  Have you recognized a person speaking on the phone before they identified themselves?  Jesus uses the example of a shepherd but each of us can relate to “KNOWING” a person by their voice.  He is teaching His disciples how important it is to stay true to the voice of God.

There are so many distracting noises in the world.  I think this morning of walking thru the Carnival with all the barkers trying to attract me and others walking along to come to their booth and attempt to win.  If I am honest, too often I succumb to those voices calling me to fritter my attention and be less than I could be.  Shiny Object Syndrome is a very common problem today.  Discerning the true voice and the one that I need to hear and keep my focus on is crucial to my existence on earth but even more important to my eternity.

Hearing and heeding the VOICE of Christ in my life keeps me on the right path.  I know that I can be easily distracted so the only way is to pray and study scripture so I recognize my God.  Just like a child hears her mom calling her to come in for dinner… so too I must learn His inflections and separate His tones from all the others who call to me.  Living on this planet, provides me with so many opportunities… prayerful discernment and attention to the truth is the only way to God.

Lord, Let me hear Your voice today.  I am listening and I truly want to be faithful.  Help me choose Your words to heed.  Open my ears and my heart.  Your truth sets me free. 

Tuesday October 10, 2017 Wake Up!

Posted October 10, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Wake Up!  Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of God.  Revelation 3:2

Revelations was written to the seven churches in Asia but the words apply today.  Jesus also challenged His followers to wake up, watch and pray, and to realize that repentance is necessary…  NOW!

One of my favorite insightful activities is to answer three questions.

  1. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  2. What would you do if you were given Five Million Dollars tax free?
  3. What would you do if you knew you would be dead in SIX months?

These questions give me perspective and always help me to realize what is truly important in my life.  I wake up to what I have let slide and get serious about what I value.  The boxes that are left unchecked always haunt me more than the things that I accomplish.  I learn to prioritize by using the three questions and often discontinue things that may be urgent but NOT important in my life mission.

I am working to create a book of these daily reflections called Awakening to Scripture.  366 daily devotionals to read each morning.  I have realized how very important it is to start my own day with prayer and reflection and I hope to encourage others to do the same.

Life and my commitment to what God has given me to do must remain front and center in my life.  When I find that His deeds are unfinished, I hear the Wake Up call and need to revamp how my days are spent.  God is patient and forgiving BUT time will run out.

Lord, I truly want to live my life…  AWAKE and ALERT to all You have for me to be, do and have.  I ask daily for You to Wake me and help me to stay that way.  It is too easy to be distracted and follow the shiny light or listen attentively to the siren’s song.  Help me to focus!  Help me to know the deeds that You want completed and give me the strength to run the race to the end, culminating with YOU. 

Monday October 9, 2017 Pardon Me

Posted October 9, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

“Pardon me, my Lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?  Where are all His wonders that our ancestors told us about?” Judges 6:13

Gideon was a brave or a stupid man.  He asked God to prove His love and questioned him with his “Pardon Me” plea as well as tests to PROVE what the Lord promised would happen.  Moses did not get to enter into the Promised Land for striking the rock twice… whew, he was taking a risk in not trusting.  Life as I know it requires that I trust God but Gideon shows that it is okay to question.  God is BIG enough to handle my small mind that cannot wrap around all that is going on around me.

Gideon was favored with two signs from God before he would believe that he was destined to lead the uprising against the Midianites that would allow the Israelites to again live in peace for forty years.  The signs he requested were not large flashes in the sky but simple things for God that only Gideon was privy to see.  The essence of the “tests” helped Gideon to move past his fear.  The simple strength of God would show forth in the manner that God defeats the Midianites through Gideon as well.  Not with hundreds of thousands of warriors but with a few men.  God wanted to be sure Gideon knew that the victory was HIS alone.

Today, I know I will face challenges and I simply need to say, “Pardon Me Father” can You please help me!  Believe, and He will give me my answer.   God is a very present help in times of trouble.  Throughout history til today.

Lord, I am grateful for Your love and constant care.  Help me confidently come before You, seeking Your aid.  Gratefully I acknowledge that You hear me and will answer me.

Sunday October 8, 2017 Understanding

Posted October 8, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinions.  Proverbs 18:2

I am guilty as the next person of rushing to judgement.  Why is that child so mean?  Can’t those parents keep that child under control?  Why does she take so long to make up her mind… just make a decision?  I learn that the child is mean because his parents is going through a terrible divorce where he is the pawn.  That toddler who is running up and down the aisles has just gotten out of the hospital and is full of pent up energy.  The woman at the meat counter has just enough money for one meal and is carefully figuring the cost.

How much a fool, am I?

Each time I rush to judgment… I am humbled to learn more about the situation and stand with egg on my face and my foot in my mouth.   God alone instructs the foolish and His wisdom enlightens and cuts through to the soul.  As I have aged, and hopefully grown in wisdom, I have let patience and understanding become a part of how I look at most situations.  I still fail when I am tired or too focused on something to see the big picture but realization usually kicks me in the pants and I apologize for my faux pas.

If the Lord had spoken to the woman at the well in anything less than complete candor, she might have not understood.  If He had not knocked Paul from his horse would we have been blessed with our greatest evangelizer?  Sometimes God needs to talk straight and get attention… calling us foolish or a sinner.  Change only happens when the error of our ways is revealed.  I have been embarrassed into humility and kindness.  Sad to say, it was required and has taught me to seek to understand before I speak.

Lord I pray never to never be foolish.  We both know that is not possible, so I pray that I will be ever open to Your correction and change into the person that You would have me be.  Please save me from being hurtful.