Thursday, January 20, 2011

Changing Habits


Changing habits takes perserverance, doesn't it?

Two thousand and eleven’s refreshed goals have me reordering my day, aiming at a new rhythm for life but, honestly, I miss my cup of Turkish coffee first thing in the morning.

Devotions and coffee are getting pushed to a slightly later slot. I don't like it...yet... and realize more changes might be coming. You'd think a series of small shifts wouldn't be a big deal, but every morning I have to consciously choose the new over the old routine.

There seems to be a parallel with faith training.

Sometimes, the Lord calls us to reexamine ourselves to make us more aware of His presence. Instead of merely maintaining our daily routines (including our spiritual lives), the Perfecter of our faith occasionally presents us with a challenge to strengthen that faith.

It’s uncomfortable at first, often precipitated by trial, stress, or even the turning of a year.

Come to Me. Watch, learn and imitate Me. Focus on Me. (See Matthew 11:28-29 and Hebrews 12:1-3)

As I try to activate new spiritual disciplines, I wonder if my bumbling frustrates God like it does me. But thankfully, mercy is at work.

The Scriptures tell me that Jesus stands close by, His Spirit cheering me on to persevere. Come on, don’t give up. I’ve given you my Word and My Spirit. You aren’t alone. Give it all you have! I’ll help you choose a better way.

I desire all of you -- heart, soul, and mind.

And I, each day, relish God’s persevering love in the midst of changing habits.

Choose a passage and listen for the Spirit's nudges: Matthew 11:28-29; 22: 37-40; Luke 14:25-33; Hebrews 12: 1-13.

Have you been urged to develop a new habit? What might you need to do in order to activate your faith in your Faith Trainer?


kim said...

Ok...this is off the subject, but I have to know, "What is Turkish coffee?" How do you make it and how is it different from regular Starbucks type coffee??

Paula said...

Hi Kim,
It's made from a finely ground darkly roasted bean. Use approx a scant tsp sugar (I use brown, that's IF you use sugar - some don't) to a heaping tsp coffee. Wait till water is hot before adding sugar, then coffee. Lightly whip the surface as the grounds come up BEFORE boiling. A "cream" will surface. Skim and put into your demitasse (cup), then bring coffee just to a boil. Lightly whip surface again, then let settle.

Pour and enjoy. (Be careful towards end of cup not to drink dregs that may have been poured in!)
My coffee connoisseur daughter recommends Starbucks House Blend for this. You can also get Arabic Coffee (with or without cardamon) at a middleeastern grocery.
Blessings to you!

Paula said...

Via EMail:
"couldn't get my comment to I'll thank you this way for your reminder of God's gift of discipline, a gift I am appreciating more all the time, but have run from so often in the past. Your recommended bible passages were a gift to open and read just as I am leaving for Columbia City United Methodist Church to begin my newest venture of becoming a Stephens Minister. Hope your week is full of blessings.
Leslie Gamble"

Blessings, Leslie, as you move out to become a Stephen's Minister. I know God will use your personal disciplines to greatly bless others. May the Lord encourage your heart as you've encouraged mine.

colter7 said...

Several things have happened within a 48 hr period to clearly demonstrate that I can indeed adapt to the (possibly even not stress over) current changes God is leading me to. With your insights and direction and several women at the church, my load is lightened in this transformation. Still am meaning to get the book to you. Have a great Sunday!

Paula said...

Wow. Isn't the Body of Christ and the instruction/ nudging of the Holy Spirit wonderful? Your "load [has been] lightened in this transformation." Yes!! That's what God intends for us!!Proof that God is indeed loves us.