The Gift of Time

clockI recently attended a youth rally/youth worker seminar and jotted down this statement: “Influence is the product of trust.” The preacher who quoted this observation was someone who had twenty-plus years of experience working with young people, which added to the authenticity of his message. Each illustration that he used reflected the central theme of giving one self’s time to another. It was easy to make the connection between establishing relationships, building trust and being influential as a result of that time invested.

Let’s face it; we can spend a lot of time on the computer, making virtual friendships, and accumulating a significant number of Facebook “friends” but are they really deep, secure and ever-lasting? It’s fun to keep in touch but where would you turn if you needed advice or a shoulder to cry on? Anyone can tweet on Twitter and gain a large following; however, the needs of a true relationship aren’t actually being met that way either. Others can catch a quick glimpse at your on-goings, but are they there to uplift a grieving spirit or help you deal with disappointment?

Sitting down with a cup of coffee (or mocha, latte, tea, cocoa, etc.,) and sharing openly the emotions, concerns and dreams that are dear to one’s heart, is still the best form of communication! Sure, it requires sacrifice–the “to-do” list is always going to be there–but when we seize the moment and take the time to build up someone who is discouraged, hurting or lonely….well, there’s just nothing else comparable to it!

In Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11, the word “time” is mentioned 30 times! Verse one introduces the chapter with this: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Time is fleeting; we would all agree–how quickly our children grow up, how fast the time marches on…..some days seem to drag along, but overall, the minutes turn into hours, hours into days, days into weeks and so on….

Don’t let an opportunity to have quality time with someone pass you by! There is a God-driven purpose behind every situation we encounter. Go, make good use of your time…now!

Designed to Shine

Psalm 97:6, “The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.”

cosmos 2 pic

The Greek word used for modest is kosmos, and it infers that something has been placed in an orderly arrangement or in proper order. Our English cosmos, which symbolizes the heavens and/or the universe, is derived from kosmos. It is also the root word from which the word “cosmetology” comes from.

At least three times in the Bible, it is specifically stated that “the heavens declare.” Think of the deliberation and careful detail that God utilized when he created our world! Its breath-taking beauty reflects the glorious character of our heavenly Father. The evidence is everywhere, but it is extra-ordinarily seen in the heavens, in the atmosphere all around us.

 There is a purpose involved in fashioning an appearance….especially in regard to modesty. It is designed to mirror the image of God’s holiness. Do others see this likeness when they see you?

I have often heard (young) women complain about a dress standard which is being imposed, possibly in a youth group or church setting. The issue isn’t about having limitations on what to where or what not to wear–it’s about presenting oneself in an orderly manner. Our inner spirits can possess the very essence of modesty, brilliantly displaying outwardly that which is honorable and pleasing. It’s a declaration of God’s mastery!

Perhaps it’s not always the most comfortable or convenient instruction to follow, but when we look at the bigger picture (universally-speaking), our choice to shine forth God’s glory is no small feat.