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    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Redeem Your Time!

    In talking with people about prayer time, reading time and time for their devotions (whether student or adult) the response is always the same: I just don't have the time.

      Time is money.  Time is important.  Time is something I think we wish we all had more of.  More time to sleep.  More time to read.  More time to eat.  More time to be with the family.  More time with God.  More time, simply just more time.
    I find myself making the time excuse about exercise...because deep down I really don't want to exercise. Do we sometimes make the "time" excuse because what we say we want to do but can't because there is no time is actually something we deep down don't want to do?  Just ponder that for a second and ask yourself the hard question of "Is that true for me?"

      I know sometimes for me it is true...I don't do my devotions because I didn't have time.  I don't do them because quite frankly I didn't feel like it.

      Sometimes however, we do find ourselves in busy times of life where we really can't break away.  Times where the demands of family start as soon as you walk in the door from work and don't end until you hit the pillow.  I fear that as a Daddy to a toddler and a newborn I'm in one of those stages.  Yet, God has been gracious to me and I have still been able to read, write and continue my master's course...but without ignoring my family (OK, maybe sometimes).

      I preface all of this not to say "I'm the man" or "I have this time thing figured out" because I am not the man, nor do  I even think I have it all figured out.  However, God has shown me a simply task of redeeming my time.  We all have moments in our day where our time can be redeemed where we can read, write and pray.  Let me show you a few of the ways I've discovered (and there are many more, believe me).

    #1 The Car- Here is a golden opportunity that I began to take advantage of about 4 years ago.  I drive very little compared to most people, but I used to drive more.  What I discovered was that I was wasting my time just driving.  I may have had the music going, or an occasional phone call but everything else was silence.  I started listening to sermons that I could download to my iTunes.  I realized that I could either rip them onto CD's or put them on my iPod and connect it to my stereo in my car and listen to sermons while I drive. In the last 4 years truly this has been my biggest advantage to having a better understanding of God's Word.  I can truly say that I have been discipled through this process by several pastors and they don't even know me.  After 4 years I have listened to well over 40 hours of sermons.  This I found has redeemed my time tremendously!  You can also listen to books on CD or your iPod, you can do this easily now with the availability of iTunes and audio books.  I challenge you to take advantage of your drive time...no matter how little.

    #2 The Toilet- Here some may feel I am being crass, I am simply being honest. The stats show that the average person spends anywhere from 6 months to 3 years of their life on the toilet!  Here is another golden opportunity to redeem your time.  Most people just sit there doing their business.  Some people read stupid magazines that actually depreciate their brain.  Others spend time on their phone catching up on facebook...this time can be redeemed!!  Here's how I read 80 books a year...and I'm not joking.  Every time I head to the bathroom for what I know will be a long time, I bring the book I am currently reading.  This has expedited my reading by a very large margin.  People ask me how I have time to read so much.  This is about 1/3 of my answer.  No one bothers you while you're in the toilet.  No one will bug you too much for "taking a little longer".  Again, I'm sure some of you think this is inappropriate...I'm just being honest.  A year ago I almost started a campaign which I was going to title: "Redeem Your Poops" to challenge people to do this very thing...that would've been inappropriate.

      I have several other thoughts on certain ways we can all redeem our time spending time with the Lord, or reading.  I won't belabor these ones, but here they are.

    #3 On a Plane- you're just sitting there after all.  Skip the in flight movie and read, write or spend time with Jesus.

    #4 Down time- Don't spend so much time playing video games, browsing the internet aimlessly or watching tv when you find you have some down time.  Redeem that time!

    #5 Right Before Bed- Everyone is sleeping, you are not yet tired.  Read, write or spend sometime with Jesus.

      Please feel free to add some other ideas that can help redeem our time, because I still need more!  I think it's important that we keep trying to learn, and grow in our faith.  There is always some space of time we can utilize for these things...we just have to want to, see those moments and take them!  Hope this list helps.  We are all on the journey of growth together, let's enjoy the ride!