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Choices for First Things

By Belinda
A new month begins: November--the start of the "run up" to Christmas. I hesitate to use the words, "run up," but really; it is! The sign was outside  Dutch Treats last week, before October ended: CHOCOLATE LETTERS are in! Yes, the "run up" has begun, with this essential element of our celebrations, acknowledging the Dutch part of our family's heritage.

I am "preparing for the preparing," :) by building in margins of time; plotting days off into my schedule, and practicing doing things before the last minute in all aspects of my life.

Today is one of those days of margin. I began it with a generous, unhurried, soaking time in God's presence; orienting myself anew to his ways; his truths; his goodness--absorbing these gifts of his Life into my life;  putting First Things first.

I wonder why I ever allow myself to drift spiritually from this habit; why I allow the pressures and busyness of life to crowd out this "connection time" in which the glory of God is poured into a "jar of clay." And yet...I have ebbed and flowed, just like a wave on the shore of a land so beautiful that I ought to rush in one mighty, swelling breaker over the sandbar and safely into a landlocked pool! But that will be Heaven--one day.

For now, I have a harder daily choice to make than rushing in a moment's passion over a sandbar; the daily choice that says "no" to lingering late at night on the world wide web, so that I can say "yes" to an early morning connection more powerful than the internet! I am learning about every no being a yes to something better. More on that will no doubt come...blessings on your choices today!

Matthew 13:18-23

The Message (MSG)
The Meaning of the Harvest Story
 18-19"Study this story of the farmer planting seed. When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn't take it in, it just remains on the surface, and so the Evil One comes along and plucks it right out of that person's heart. This is the seed the farmer scatters on the road.
 20-21"The seed cast in the gravel—this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.
 22"The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it.
 23"The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams."
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