Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's All In The Preparation

I love Christmas.  I don’t mean I think it’s a cool time of year and I enjoy it, I mean I L.O.V.E. CHRISTMAS.  The sights, smells, music, weather, lights, food – you name it, I love it.
Love it.
Right about now, I start getting my house ready to be consumed by the joyous day.  I wash my mom’s china and pack it away to make room for my Christmas china (yes, I have Christmas china!).  All of my normal chatski stuff is given a good dusting/cleaning and put away until January 1.  I clean, wash, rearrange, condense, make lists, check those websites that leak the Black Friday ads, start playing Christmas music (actually that started November 1) and basically spend the middle two weeks of November getting ready to usher in the most wonderful time of the year.
Love it, I tell ya!
This morning as I was trying to squeeze 1 more minute of packing my mom’s china away before I had to stop to have my quiet time, it hit me… I spend more time PREPARING to decorate my house for Christmas than I do PREPARING to fellowship with my Lord.  My preparation is usually something like this, “Father God, forgive me of my sins.  Give me….. Bless me… Help me… Amen.”
Excuse me?
Over the past week I’ve read in several places by a few different authors the importance of us Christians confessing, by name, our sins to God daily before we talk to him about anything else.  Those very sins are what hurts our fellowship with our Father.  And by just saying, “Forgive me of  my sins,” does that really make us cognizant of WHAT sins we’re doing or does it just allow us to kinda gloss over what we’re doing so that we’re REALLY not admitting that we’re sinning?  Taking the time to confess my sins, one by one, is part of the preparation I need to do to in order to experience true fellowship with God.
It’s kind of like trying to spend good, quality time with a dear friend when one of you has offended the other.  Until that offense is cleared up, and have genuinely forgiven or been forgiven, any time you spend together seems empty because there’s that THING between you.
On Sunday I had the pleasure of hearing my friend Tommy Bolger preach at his new church, Friend Church – Florence.  He challenged each of us to not just go to God asking for things, but instead to ask God to use us to bless others.  Huh…  He said that we come away far more blessed than if we just keep asking God to bless us (MAJOR paraphrase of what he said!).
So here’s where I’ve landed… preparation for ANYTHING is GOOD - ESPECIALLY when it comes to talking to God.  If I spent even a FRACTION of the time preparing my heart to talk with Him, IMAGINE what He could do!!  PREPARATION for most things is NECESSARY especially when it comes to going before my Father and humbly asking for anything.
It’s good to be back, friends!  Now, I must prepare to write something tomorrow!!

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