Water Walking in a World Full of Distractions

IMG_1395Do you ever feel distracted? Like there are so many things going on around you that you lose your real focus? Work. Worry. Busyness. It’s not hard to do in a world with so many distractions.

In Matthew 14:22-33 we read about Jesus walking on the water. In verse 28, Peter says to Him…  “Lord, if it’s you – tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus replies to Peter saying, “Come.”  “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

I can relate to Peter. He wanted to get out there and walk on the water with Jesus… do something great! Walk boldly with Jesus! But he got distracted.            Colossians 3:2 tells us to, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Romans 8:5 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”

In a world full of busyness and distractions, how do we make sure our minds are on the things of the Spirit? How do we maintain our focus? How do we make sure our eyes are on Jesus and we don’t sink?

I’m reminded of the old hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus… look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

When our eyes are on Him we maintain our focus! That’s what Peter did when he first got out there on the water and started to walk! Can you imagine how exciting that would have been?

But what about all those distractions? Even Peter got distracted.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

It’s not always easy in a world of negative people, bad language, and worldliness – but when we let our minds dwell on those things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellence, and praiseworthy, instead of being distracted by things of the world, we get our focus back.

Remember, even Peter lost his focus for a time. Thankfully, when Peter realized he was sinking, he had enough sense to cry out to Jesus. That’s what we need to do. Cry out to Him. Talk to Him. Spend time with Him. Every day.

His Word shall not fail you, He promised;
Believe Him and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!



The Value of Family Mealtime

IMG_7052We all live busy lives. Most American families are on the go so much that it’s difficult to get everyone around the dinner table once a day to share a family meal. But family meals are important. Family meals are a powerful tradition that influences the whole family. Family meals give us an opportunity to connect, communicate, and come before God.

Think about all the memories you have built around meals. Most of us can recall the relationship building that has gone on over meals at Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays. When I look back at my childhood, I have a vivid image of the big round table in my parent’s kitchen and the bright orange swivel chairs where we sat. The valuable relationship building that went on there is forever burned into my mind. Sharing a family meal touches our sense of sight, touch, taste, smell and provides us with opportunities for laughter and conversation.

Family meals provide us with an opportunity to create a shared experience with our children, which provides them with a sense of belonging. It brings us together and unites us. Sharing a regular family meal give us an opportunity to pass on our values, offers us an opportunity for conversation, and an opportunity to slow down and spend quality time together.

Family meals allow parents an opportunity to learn about their child. Parents can monitor children’s moods, behavior and learn about their friends. Taking that time to share a meal also gives structure to a child’s day. Structure provides a sense of security and well-being. Not surprising, sharing a family meal can also make a positive impact on your child’s communication skills.

Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of the family meal, which is at the heart of all the other benefits, is that it gives us an opportunity to talk with our children about the Lord. As we sit down and ask the Lord’s blessing on our meal, we are welcoming Him to be a part of our table conversation. In Deuteronomy 11:18-19, God commands us to pass His Word on to our children. “You shall therefore lay up these words of Mine into your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Family mealtime provides us with a perfect setting to teach our children about Jesus. Either before or after the meal, while you are still gathered together, is an awesome opportunity to pull out your Bible and share a family devotion.

As busy as we can be, it is important that we not let that time of sharing a family meal slip from our schedule.