Do Everything Without Complaining or Arguing

Twice in the last few days I have been reminded of the scripture:  “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” (Philippians 2:14).  I wish it was because I have mastered the art of the “doing” without the “complaining” or “arguing,” but that is not the case.  Normally I don’t complain out loud…just to myself…but it is complaining nonetheless.  Apparently, it is an area God is still working on in my life.

A couple of days ago I had to perform a rather simple task.  It didn’t require a lot of me, just my time.  I, however, felt like someone else should be doing what I was doing, so I was kind of stewing a little bit about it.  Then I had Philippians 2:14 go through my mind.  Felt like God was reminding me to not complain, so I tried to be a little more mindful of that through the weekend.

Today, I did a little backsliding on the whole “complaining or arguing” area of my life.  There was something I expected to happen today.  It wasn’t an overly difficult task (at least I felt that way) and it didn’t happen when I thought it should.  It was something I expected, it didn’t occur, so I kind of stewed a little bit more.

While I was stewing about what I expected, something unexpected happened.  Something was brought to me that I wasn’t anticipating.  It was both thoughtful and appreciated and triggered that thought in my head that I had gone back into the “complaining or arguing” mode.  Again, God had to get my attention and remind me that I don’t have that area of my life quite mastered.

Interestingly enough, to kind of top things off, the expected thing I thought should be done, got done.  My complaining to myself about it didn’t make it happen and reminded me again how little complaining accomplishes in my life.

While it is cool how God uses things like that to teach us, it also reminds me that I still need to be taught.  I may not complain the rest of the day, but I need to be aware of its potential in my life.  God is still working on us and I certainly can’t complain about that.

Primal Review

I had the opportunity to read Primal as part of Mark Batterson’s blog tour.  I became acquainted with his writing when I read In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.  It was a good read on a pretty obscure passage of scripture.  When I heard about his new book, I wanted to check it out and the blog tour was an added bonus.

In his new offering Batterson explores the Great Commandment (to love God with all your Heart, Soul, Mind & Strength).  He says as Christ followers we are not great at the Great Commandment; in fact, most days we are not very good at it.  He asserts that we need to get back to the basics of Christianity, to rediscover what is primal.  His book does an excellent job of doing just that.

What I found engaging about the book was his mix of personal discoveries, practical suggestions and great illustrations, especially from the realm of science.  Sprinkled throughout his writing are various facts and insights from the world of science that reminded me why I didn’t pursue that as a profession.  Facts about how the human body works, about sound waves and other aspects of our universe  are used to point us back to God as Creator and to marvel again at what God has done.  As we know more and more about God, revealed through His word and His creation, we love Him more, which is the heartbeat of Primal.

Batterson develops his premise that what we need to rediscover what it means to love God with a heart of compassion, a soul of wonder, a mind of curiosity and with strength of energy.  He develops each one of these aspects well in the chapters throughout the book and challenges the reader to seek to do each one of those things.  I not only enjoyed the book, but drew some specific things I need to implement in my own walk with God.

Primal definitely gets my recommendation to be on your reading list in 2010.  It would not only be helpful to an individual; it would provide great discussions in a small group format.

Waterbook Multnomah  http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601421319

You can also get information about this book and Mark Batterson’s other writings at his blog:  www.evotional.com

God-aware

I have been trying to be more God-aware (if that is a real phrase) in just the daily happenings of life.  I have been challenged by some authors I have read this year to see/hear/experience God within our daily activities.  God wants to speak to us; He does speak to us…we just have to listen.  I don’t always do real well with that, but I am trying.

He is always showing up – or at least, I think He is trying to show up – in our lives.  Through a prompting in our hearts to do something, an encouraging comment left by someone on Facebook (can God really use Facebook to speak??), through unexpected gifts and various other means.  I do want to be more God-aware.

This past week I was doing something quite mundane – ironing my shirt (I don’t like wrinkles) – and felt like God impressed something on my heart.  Trying to be more God-aware, I’ve been trying to sort through what exactly He is trying to say.  It’s both challenging and cool at the same time.  Imagine, GOD – the God of the universe- is trying to get our attention.  Are we aware?