Tag Archives: time

Day #22 – Time to Spend with Others, Time to Pray.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 14, 2015

one another word cloud

Day #22 – Time to Spend with Others, Time to Pray.

As I read today’s suggestion for #40acts, one of the first people I thought of was a good friend of mine who lives a distance from here. In other words, I can’t just run over and see her on a whim. At the drop of a hat. No, since I need to drive a few hours to where she lives, I need to set aside a block of time. Intentionally. Happily, I was able to do exactly that, in December! And, I hope to spend some time with her again, soon.

I enjoy people! I enjoy spending time with them, going places, having good times. But—this takes time. I have some important responsibilities, and—sadly—I have less time to devote to my good friends. (Like this particular good friend I have in mind.)

I know that many people center their relationship with God around money. How much they give—their treasure, and how God can use it. I agree with the author of today’s #40acts post when he emphasizes that time is also an integral part of the relationship with God. How much time an individual spends with God, or for God, or thinking about God is a telling part of how much God means in that individual’s life. And heart.

Spending time with friends and loved ones can be a meaningful way to keep in touch. To show people you care. To express love to others as well as to God.

Yes, both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke state “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This can be true, in terms of money. But as we treasure our time, and hoard up our time, and parcel out our time—this verse takes on a whole new meaning if we think of it in more than in terms of treasure, tithing and mere money.

We can be free and open-handed with our time just as much as we can be free and open-handed with money. Thanks, God, that I already have my mind oriented towards giving You time. For a while, that was mostly what I had to give! Help me to set aside time on a regular basis. This precious commodity. My time. Our time.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Day #8 – A Question of Time. Help Me, I Pray!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, February 25, 2015

clock - pocket watch

Day #8 – A Question of Time. On Time. Help Me, I Pray!

I try to be on time. I really do. Sometimes, I even succeed.

Especially in my current position, as pastor of a church, I have been consistently striving to be early for events. Meetings. Services. And, for the most part, I have succeeded.

Now, if I could just be as successful in the rest of my life . . .

I am serious. Today’s suggestion from #40acts was like a punch in the gut. A serious punch, because I knew that God was talking to me. God forgive me, but I am sometimes late. (I have improved, though! Several gold stars for me, on my forehead!)

I used to work with a person who was chronically, unbelievably late. I was impeccably on time, compared to my co-worker. I am not sure, but I suspect my increasing, improving tendency to get places on time may very well have been affected by the co-worker’s chronic tardiness. What the heck, LATE. VERY LATE.

Goodness knows, I was regularly kept waiting for fifteen, twenty minutes, half an hour. And sometimes, I would receive a call. But, sometimes not. Talk about incredibly frustrating! (And, talk about a pervasive attitude that told me my co-worker thought themselves so much more important than I was. Or anyone else, for that matter. But—we won’t go there.)

In order to show respect for others, I do want to make a special effort—on a regular basis—to strive to be on time. Yes, and I have been on the receiving end of this poor effort/even non-effort to be on time. As the #40acts post told me, by extending myself to be on time, or even, early (!!), I am letting people know that they matter. They are important, to me, to others and to God.

Excuses don’t cut it. (Except in extraordinary circumstances, like when I was talking on the phone to a senior about their seriously ill relative in the hospital. As a result, I was late for a meeting at church.) A bonus? Being on time can reveal my integrity. Doing what I say I am going to do.

As for today’s suggestion from #40acts? I needed to be at two appointments today. Even though the temperature was below freezing and the weather snowy and windy, I left in time to be a few minutes early, to both meetings. Thank You, God!

I can be true to my word, and rigorously honest, to boot. God, help me, on a continuing basis. Please.

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

A Time for Everything? Including Prayer.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 6, 2015

all things made beautiful Eccl 3-11

A Time for Everything? Including Prayer.


Out of time, wasting time, on a time schedule. We can talk about taking or making more time with a time machine, a time turner, even traveling in a Delorean or a TARDIS.

Ecclesiasties 3 calls all these kinds of times beautiful—“in Your time.”

People make time and schedule time for other, important things: like a class at school, or a doctor’s appointment, work meeting, or exercise group. Movie date, social club, or dinner engagement. Things that are important to them.

I make time for friendships, for my family, for my marriage. If my relationship with God is as important as I say/think/tell myself it is, why not make time for God?

I need to commit time to God. Make time for prayer.

If I am truthful to myself, all the time I have is really God’s time. I am living on—not borrowed, but—freely given time. Time is a gift given to me. What I do with it, how I spend it, even how I waste it is all my doing. Oh, and the people I am responsible to.

One more thing: concerning those with whom I am in relationship? I not only can have meaningful times with my family and friends, but also with God.

God, I know I’m sometimes far from You. I often miss our times together. Sometimes I don’t think I have any time to pray. But You’re always there for me, even when my time is taken up with other things. You don’t leave me by myself. Thank you, God.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Practice Makes Perfect? Following Lenten Practices

matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lenten word cloud

Practice Makes Perfect? Doing Lenten Practices

Lenten disciplines can be a blessing! But I find Lenten disciplines also take time and effort. And sometimes, diligence. I’m pretty good at the time-part. Yes, I’ll willingly spend time doing a set spiritual practice. I’m also fairly good at the effort-part. God knows I am willing to serve, to lend a hand, to lift someone or something up in prayer. And, I certainly pitch in to write a bible study or sermon if needed.

However—it’s that diligence-part that frightens me. Well, not exactly frighten, but diligence makes me hesitate. Take a deep breath, and consider. The thought of diligence causes me to take a step backwards. Maybe two steps. As two of my children used to say when they were toddlers and preschoolers, I’m shy of diligence. I could say that I’m a chicken, at heart. (Chicken-hearted, perhaps? No, that doesn’t sound good, either.)

It’s a good thing that there are so many helps today. Bible studies, Scripture verses-of-the-day, prayers that come straight to a smart phone or as tweets on Twitter. These helpful tools make things a good deal easier than they were even as few as twenty or thirty years ago. Even then (when I first made my baby-steps toward spiritual disciplines and practices), there were booklets or even books of Lenten devotions. Also Lenten prayer calendars, similar to my 40 Days & Ways to Serve.

(Shameless plug: if you haven’t signed up for the calendar of service, it’s not too late! You can sign up now at the right of this very blog post, and I’ll rush it straight to your email box!)

As a part of my Lenten practice, I am using one of these devotional booklets, a selection of snippets from the collected writings of Fr. Henri Nouwen. I find it helpful. Inspiring. But then, Nouwen’s books have been amongst my absolute favorites for many years.

But let’s turn back to diligence—even though I wish we wouldn’t. I get uneasy when I consider diligence too long. I went to Webster’s Dictionary to find out exactly why, and I turned to a related word: “diligent.” Not surprisingly, the meaning makes me duck down in my seat. “Perseveringly attentive. Industrious.” God, the definition of this word makes me shrink. And perhaps, even want to hide myself under the blankets. True, not all the time. But enough to make me wonder. (Light bulb moment: maybe this is something to bring up with my spiritual director next time we meet! Food for thought.) My Lenten practices are going pretty well, considering. I hope and pray yours are, as well.

Speaking of prayer, let’s pray! Dear God, thank You for practices to help each of us get closer to You. Thank You for this time of preparation before Easter. Forgive us when we fall short, or fall asleep, or fall away from You—and bring us back. Hold us close, and help each one know how special each of us is to You. In Your mercy and by Your grace, Amen.


My time? Or God’s time?

matterofprayer blog post for Saturday, November 16, 2013

I am sometimes late. Not too late, just rushing out the door. Or running in a minute or two before things get started. Truthfully, I am better than I was in the past. However, I still cut things close, sometimes.

The concept of time is an interesting one. Am I saving time? Wasting time? Is time a valuable commodity, or does time lie heavy on my hands? Is time my time, or my employer’s time? Time for work, for study, for play. Time to do nothing. Time to care for others. Time to care for myself. Time to worship, time to pray.

I must make a confession. I almost always think of the abstract concept of time as my time. True, I work hard. I try my best, to the best of my ability. But is it really my time I’m playing with? And right now, God, the most important question for me is: do I begrudge the time I spend with You?

God, I read some verses from Ecclesiastes 3 recently. I saw the poetic way the writer deals with the concept of time. In verse 11, the verse states that You placed the concept, or the sense, of past and future within each member of the human race.

God, I think that my puny idea of time as being my time is fundamentally flawed. I need to realize that ALL time is Your time. You give each of us blessings. Each day is a gift, and I can joyfully receive it from You. You graciously give me Your time to use, one day at a time. Thanks. For everything.

Let’s pray. Dear God, I know I often don’t take the time to be with You, to pray with You. Forgive me, God. Help me to do better. Help me to be the person You want me to be. Give me Your eyes, Your ears and Your heart, so I will always be willing to take the time for others as well as for myself. Thank You for each day You give me, and help me to use the time wisely and well. Thanks, God!