Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life

15 Minutes

15 minutes

Fifteen minutes. 15.

What do “15 minutes” mean to you?

Fifteen minutes isn’t that much time, is it? Most people have longer commutes than that. Take longer showers than that. Spend more time on social media and gaming than that.

Fifteen minutes.

So what can 15 minutes well-spent at the front end of your day mean to your remaining 23 hours and 45 minutes?

What if I told you that those 15 minutes would:

  • Give you a better perspective on the events you would face that day
  • Help you approach conflict with more grace and open-mindedness
  • Help restore and refresh your heart and mind
  • Give you more joy, hope, and peace

Would you be willing to adjust your morning routine to give you that time? Would you put off looking at social media, email, and notifications on your phone until later? Would you be willing to sacrifice a little sleep and get up 15 minutes earlier?

Fifteen minutes.

A few weeks ago one of my heroes crossed the finish line into heaven, leaving behind a vast and daunting legacy. However, Tom didn’t want his legacy to be memorialized, enshrined, or revered. His desire was for it to be carried on; perpetually handed off like a baton in a relay race. (Read Tom Moore’s story here)

24_1_1525cb45-5687-41ba-af5a-cf6502923f6e_1024x1024For those of you who never had the privilege and joy of knowing Tom, you’re probably looking at the baton in your hand wondering, what am I supposed to do with this?

I have one word for you…

RUN!

Grip it tight and run!

Run the race God has given you to His glory and honor.

Run and share the Good News of the Gospel with those who you know and meet.

RUN!

But wait, what does this baton and Tom’s story have to do with the before mentioned 15 minutes?

Everything.

Tom was passionate about people. He valued pouring into the lives of others—it gave him energy and joy. He was also passionate about Jesus—Jesus gave his life meaning and purpose. And it was his 15 minutes of well-invested time every morning that united these passions into one ardent mission—connecting people with Jesus and Jesus with people.

What did he do?

Before breakfast each morning, Tom read his Bible for 15 minutes. He opened his heart, soul, and mind to God’s Word. And the Spirit filled him to overflowing.

Beloved, Tom was committed to nourishing his soul before he nourished his body.

In his many years as an athlete and coach, Tom learned the value of being well nourished and its effect on your ability to run with excellence. Without a lifestyle that provides quality nourishment, you’ll crash. You won’t have the necessary energy reserves to sustain you for the entire race. You will start out fine, but as soon as you hit the rough patches, you’ll peter out. You won’t be able to finish.

The same is true in our spiritual life.

Here is a link to Tom’s testimony.

(I tried to get it to attached directly to this post, but it wasn’t working. This 4 minute video changed my life, my husband’s life, and the lives of many who celebrated Tom’s Homecoming. I am confident it will bless and change you too.)

Our church recorded this video several years before Tom entered the home stretch of his race here on earth. I don’t remember the sermon point it illustrated or the message series we were on. But I do remember watching it. I thought it was a great story, but I was “already digging in deep.” I was studying to teach. I didn’t need to spend 15 more minutes “just to read.” At that time I thought this video was good for everyone else. But it wasn’t for me.

I WAS WRONG!

Those of us who celebrated his homecoming had a chance to see it again. And God changed my thinking. He made the baton Tom passed me burn in my hands.

Fifteen minutes. That’s all.

Do you understand why I wanted you to hear Tom’s story? To see this video?

Despite the fact, I love Tom and his story. Despite the fact, I appreciate the chance to remember his vitality, humility, compassion, and quiet strength. Despite the fact, I miss the sound of his voice…

I wanted you to see this video because of the value, the treasure, the mystery that’s captured in it is yours!

Tom’s commitment to nourishing his soul for 15 minutes every morning before he nourished his body changed his life! It provided the sustenance he needed to run his race well. Every. Single. Day.

The baton in your hands? It starts here. It starts with 15 minutes. Every morning.

Just so you know, I wouldn’t lay down a challenge without first taking it on.

Some of you know I have been studying the Bible for years. I find everything about God’s Word to be thrilling. Exciting. I love reading it, breaking it down, analyzing it, and digging into the original language with my lexical aids. I enjoy pouring over my commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and encyclopedias and learning new things. I’m always amazed by how the hours slip past when I am up to my elbows in books studying.

IMG_5831But reading.

Reading, not just studying, God’s Word has changed my life.

I’m not breaking it down. Not looking up the original meaning of this word or that. Not searching for the cultural context. Not even taking notes in a notebook. I’m just letting God’s love letter, God’s story, flood my heart, mind, and soul. Nourishing me. Filling me. Changing me.

I have laughed and cried. I have been challenged and called out. I have been blessed and whacked up-side the head by The Holy 2×4. And I love it. I look forward to it.

Beloved, I crave it! I anticipate those 15 minutes!

Fifteen minutes.

Fire and BibleReading God’s Word has brought a beautiful simplicity to my quiet time and sets the stage for the rest of my day. My eyes are opened to things I’ve never seen before—all the clutter is gone. It’s just Jesus and me. His heart pouring into mine. His mind opening and instructing mine.

There is no pressure to teach. To make it relatable. It is like the Spirit is saying, “Finally! You’ve slowed down. Let me teach you.” And teach He has.

This banquet feast like nothing I’ve ever enjoyed before. Every day I am amazed and thrilled by what I’m learning and understanding. I’m humbled by how the Spirit opens my heart and mind and pours in. Ancient Scriptural Truths explode off the page, making them more Vibrantly Relevant than they had been before.

Every day I step away with a fresh thrill surging through me, and I want to share what I’ve learned with everyone around me. I can hardly contain myself!

It took me a few days to realize I had made a mistake. I assumed my studying the word to write and teach doubled as my “quiet time.” I was wrong. And Tom reminded me of that in his video.

Don’t get me wrong; in-depth Bible study is still crucial to our spiritual growth and development. Digging deep into God’s Word is how you are going to find the most precious, most abundant treasure and be stretched.

But there is something about the simplicity of just reading and letting the Spirit work to start your day. There’s just something about choosing to stand on the Rock first thing in the morning to be sure your footing is secure amidst all the uncertainty we encounter every day. There is something about those few moments to fall in love with your Savior all over again before heading out the door.

Don’t believe me?

Give it a month.

I would love to hear how this practice changes you.

I’m confident it will.

Why?

Because God promises His Word never comes back void…

As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands.

Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,

and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.

This will be for the Lord ’s renown,

for an everlasting sign,

that will endure forever.

Isaiah 55:10-13

Attitude, Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life

Attitude, Part 2–Nuts, Guts, Heart, and Mind

img_3828Attitude. It’s a choice. Your choice. And it takes grit.

Did you know we’re commanded to have the same attitude Jesus Christ, The Lion of Judah, had (Philippians 2:5)?

In part 1, I identified where our crappy, sour, negative attitudes come from and the eternal consequences they can have. Then I stated, to have the same attitude as Christ, we need to repent of our selfishness and pride and “let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23).

As I was preparing for this series, one of Tyler’s wrestling coaches, Tim Hartung, sent out one of his motivational writings. As I read it, I was tickled by how his words perfectly aligned with my outline and with his permission, I get to share some of his thoughts with you. Continue reading “Attitude, Part 2–Nuts, Guts, Heart, and Mind”

Devotionals

We Have A Winner

Congratulations Christy! I will contact you on how to best get this amazing devotional to you! I’m so excited for you to learn at Kristin’s feet! She is an amazing teacher.

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story, Reflect

Our Best For Him–Even when You Don’t Feel Your Best

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Being sick sucks!

Wouldn’t you agree?

It takes more than it gives and when it’s over, you have to play catch-up.

For two weeks now a virus has had its way with my family. We’ve dropped one-by-one, like dominos falling in slow motion. Continue reading “Our Best For Him–Even when You Don’t Feel Your Best”

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story

Some Days Don’t Go As Planned…

coffee cup

My last several days have not gone as planned. Do you ever have that?

I know you know what I’m saying. I see your hands raised. I hear you shout, “Same!”

You lay out your plans; you create your to-do lists, you set your schedules, and get everything in order to make it all past-tense…and then— Continue reading “Some Days Don’t Go As Planned…”

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, Psalm 100

Psalm 100, Part 5: COME!

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Come.

What does that word stir-up inside you? What does it make you think? What does it make you feel?

Come.

This word is either a directive or an invitation. Continue reading “Psalm 100, Part 5: COME!”

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, Psalm 100

Psalm 100, Part 4: Serving Others

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What if I told you serving others in the name of Jesus Christ is a form of worship AND can be instrumental in your healing? Would you believe me? Continue reading “Psalm 100, Part 4: Serving Others”

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story, Psalm 100

Welcome To The Holiday Season

Holiday Season

Welcome to the Holiday Season.

The world’s on fast forward, and I feel like I’m standing still.

There’s a blur of activity around me, and I’m going in slow motion. I know I’m moving. I know I’m making progress. I know I’m getting stuff done…right?

Balance is a mirage in the distance. The pressures are unending and unrelenting. The tasks relentlessly demand to be seen, heard, and completed. I search for something to eliminate, anything to lighten my load, but I’m afraid everything will come crashing down like Jenga blocks if I pull one more thing out. Continue reading “Welcome To The Holiday Season”

Devotionals, My Story, Psalm 100

Psalm 100, Part 3: SHOUT!

Psalm 100.1

There were a solid 10 years I dreaded Thanksgiving. Not because I didn’t have something to be thankful for, but because there was (and still is) an emptiness. A void. An estrangement. That emptiness was like a vacuum, sucking out all the joy of the holiday and my life. But a few years ago, after a lot of healing, I decided I didn’t want that to be my reality anymore. I wanted something more. Continue reading “Psalm 100, Part 3: SHOUT!”

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, Psalm 100, Why We Should Thank God

Psalm 100, Part 2: Our God, Our Redeemer

Eph 28

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!

Worship the Lord with gladness.

Come before him, singing with joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!

He made us, and we are his.

We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

go into his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good.

His unfailing love continues forever,

and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Psalms 100:1-5 NLT

 

GOD IS OUR REDEEMER!

This is the second reason WHY we should give our thanks to God, Continue reading “Psalm 100, Part 2: Our God, Our Redeemer”