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Monday, January 2, 2012

Stewarding Our Lives: 3 Principles of Growth

I am really excited about this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing some real growth in our lives.  My goal is to be a blessing to folks, specifically by bringing the wisdom of the older women into the world of the younger women, and putting help where people can reach it.  I have some topics and interviews planned that I think will be a real encouragement to those of you seeking to live for God this year.

Our theme this year is Stewarding Life.  God has given us this life, and now it is our duty to live it for Him.  We can show our appreciation for His gift of life by taking care of it, and that starts at home, with us.  So in January, we’re going to focus on Stewarding Ourselves: Our Bodies, Our Hearts, Our Time.  Along with the regular posts, I plan on giving various tips I’ve picked up along the way from the real “experts” – those who have successfully raised godly children.  It will be quite a treat.

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Sandy was given a big responsibility: the teen girls’ Sunday school class.  She was really pumped about it, desiring to be a help to the young ladies, but she made a terrible error.  Since the only other class she had ever taught were 2 & 3 year olds, she simply read Bible stories to the girls and used her flannelgraphs!  Before she knew it, girls were whispering during class, texting, or even worse, sleeping!  One Sunday afternoon found Sandy in her room in tears, wondering what had happened. 

What did Sandy do wrong?  Wasn’t she earnest enough?  Did she have enough Bible knowledge?  Was something wrong with the Word of God?  Was she a bad teacher?

No, Sandy was not a bad teacher, and she definitely had a passion for the Word of God.  Certainly, nothing is wrong with the Scriptures.  Sandy’s problem was that she didn’t take natural laws into account.  By ignoring the Natural Laws of Learning, Sandy’s efforts became useless.

What I’m going to do is take some natural laws, and apply them to our lives.  We will find that we will no longer stagnate, but grow!

NATURAL LAW #1 – STEADY PRESSURE! Slow and steady, steady and slow, that’s the way we always grow!

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The first principle of growth: do a little bit every day.  I’m amazed at folks who exercise once every two weeks!  Though it’s better than nothing, it would be better to do a little every day than exercise sporadically.  Reading our Bibles every day  is a must for growth, and in marriage, there needs to be some communication on a daily basis, or the marriage will wither and die.

NATURAL LAW #2 – INTENSITY!  Slow and steady gets me ready, but working harder gets me farther!

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While a lot of growth occurs slowly and steadily, employ short, intense sessions to expand your horizons quite a bit!  In the physical realm, it is imperative to “stress your body” (exercise) in a controlled manner, so that if (or when!) there is an emergency situation, you are able to handle the stress.  Spiritually, our hearts need regular “exercise” of memorizing Scripture, witnessing, and the sharpening action of godly fellowship.  In marriage, the embers burn steadily all the time, but flare up in intense expressions of passion.  Intensity is an integral principle for growth!

NATURAL LAW #3 – VARIETY!  To kick it up, change it up! 

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While it’s imperative to have a steady stream of input, and that there be times of greater intensity, it is also imperative that we vary things up a bit sometimes.  Physically, our bodies become quickly accustomed to whatever level of activity we have, and so become unchallenged.  Boredom sets in, and variety is necessary.  Spiritually, it becomes quite easy to get in a rut of reading the same amount every day; variation helps prevent monotony.  And in marriage, if we’re always doing the same ol’ thing at the same ol’ time in the same ol’ place, it gets very droll indeed.  A little variety can spice things up a lot!

So now we’re set to Steward our Lives!  By God’s grace and with his help, we can make some serious strides in becoming “Fit For the Master’s Use!”

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