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Home » CHFWeb Libraries » Bible Issues Library » Scheduled QT or not  (5) 2 Vote(s)
Scheduled QT or not [message #601622] Sat, 09 January 2010 13:55 Go to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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This was being discussed on another board.

I see two main types of people - those who cherish, need, live by, are filled by that regularly scheduled daily (usually same time each day) time with God and in the Word and those who are more lax, maybe not daily, maybe driven more by life happenings but equally "Godly" and wise Christians.

I've been on both sides of this over my 30+ years as a Christian. And I've seen failures on both sides. When it works the daily structured people are excited and want to share this with brothers and sisters. Sometimes that comes across as preachy, judgmental or other. I don't think that is ever the intent. The intent is to share something that has worked for them and they feel it would "work" for everyone. I've also seen very structured Christians who (in my opinion) are not growing one wit. Instead they are leaning on their structure and their "look" of the faithful. Those would be the legalistic.

On the other hand I've seen some who are so lax and rejecting of structure and conformity that they are not growing. They spend much of their energy in defense of their choice to letting the spirit lead. ??? This seems to be its own idol.

I try to appreciate where each person is in their Christian walk and not judge their structure nor their casual approach. We can read too much into these things.

What are your thoughts on this?


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601647 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 15:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
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You are right, Janice, I think so much is centered in your personality and what brings you life and what brings you lifelessness.

I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. I am not a list maker (or when I do make them, I lose them promptly), I am not organized and I am very spontaneous (or I used to be before 8 children). This flexibility has strengths and weaknesses. And I have been on both sides of this issue. I have been in times when God brought me to develop discipline in my life in terms of designated (as in certain time each day) times with Him, and I have been in times when I found myself plagued with guilt if I wasn't able to "meet" with God at my assigned time - usually for very real needs elsewhere.

I am finding more and more in my life that to "seek after God" is the heart of my walk with Him. At times, that seeking after God still takes the form of regular, daily, scheduled times with Him, especially if I find the rest of my life falling apart around my ears. At those times it is important for me to know that SOMETHING is solid and a routine I can count on. And still, at other times, that seeking after God takes the form of very frequent (often many times throughout the day frequent) 'dips' into the Word and praying throughout the day as I go. By 'dips' I mean meditating on a verse God brings to my mind, or reading a verse I've put on the wall, or keeping my bible open on the table and reading something as I pass to make lunch, or listening to scripture on a CD as I drop off to a nap.

But again, this seeking after God will also take the form of perhaps designating a day to spend many hours in the Word; to take a big long deep drink, if you will. The 'dips' keep me from dehydrating, but they are not enough to fully satisfy my thirst for long and I must take a long deep drink of His Word and spend lots of time ruminating it over with Him.

So much has to do with our seasons in our lives as well as our personality types and styles. But you are ABSOLUTELY right, that each 'style' has its own strengths and weaknesses. For us to assume that we will never fall into legalism (and even judgement toward others) if we are Scheduling kind of people is foolish. Or to think that we will never find ourselves cold and separate from God only to realize we haven't spent time with Him in prayer or scripture for months is also foolish. We need to evaluate the struggles we can fall into and SET OUR HEARTS TO SEEK AFTER GOD. To me, that is the key to the entire issue. Setting our hearts to seek after God.


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601648 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 15:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
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Kevin took an hour writing a long (and very good) post, but when he went to post it, it was lost in cyberspace. GRRRRR! He may rewrite it, but knowing him, probably not. (if anyone wants to know what he thought, urge him to rewrite it! Wink )


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601659 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 16:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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I agree with you both---there are strengths and weaknesses to both approaches. Smile

Would love to hear what Kevin has to say. I always learn something from his posts.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601666 is a reply to message #601648 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 16:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara K (NC)
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Kate, please convey to Kevin that I would truly love to hear his thoughts on this subject....or most any subject he feels like writing about.


Barbara K (NC)

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor 9:8


Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601669 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 17:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mary Jo  is currently offline Mary Jo
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I would love to hear what Kevin has to say but I know how difficult it can be to get time to write out a long post so I understand if he can't " )

My husband has a habit of praying every morning for an hour. It is very important to him to get that hour in first thing in the morning and it works for him.

I tend to get my time in when I can. I had to do it that way as a young mother and I never have gone back to a fixed hour.
I kind of pray all day if you know what I mean. I wash the dishes or clean up and talk to the Lord during that time.
In some ways I feel like I need to get back to spending special time with the Lord and not just random times that I can fit in.
If he is my first love I feel like I should treat him that way and not put everything else first.

I do spend time with the Lord everyday but sometimes it is not super quality unless I close the door, turn off the phone and hide form everybody.

I have so much going on with the girls home right next door that time alone is something I don't get a lot!

Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601685 is a reply to message #601669 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 18:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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Thanks for the wise responses.

And Kevin --- I really want to hear yours. (please)


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601699 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 19:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charity  is currently offline Charity
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Janice T. wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 12:55

letting the spirit lead. ??? This seems to be its own idol.



Wow...am a bit speechless. The Spirit IS God. Fully equal with the other members of the Godhead. Would you say that letting God or Jesus lead is an idol? Who should lead instead? Us?

Not being a smart-alec. Just more than a bit stunned.

Charity
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601700 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 19:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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I've been on both sides of this fence - I've imprisoned myself in legalistic "have to" attitudes AND I've gone to the other extreme and not opened my Bible for months. Both sides have their issues. At this point in my life with young children I really struggle to have a regular scheduled QT so I find I am seeking after God in other ways and at different times. Also, the life lessons of caring for young children is teaching me more about "service" than any Bible reading ever did! Talk about having to prefer the needs of others over your own! Wink

And another vote for hearing what Kevin has to say!


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601701 is a reply to message #601699 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 19:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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Charity wrote on Sun, 10 January 2010 11:04

Janice T. wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 12:55

letting the spirit lead. ??? This seems to be its own idol.



Wow...am a bit speechless. The Spirit IS God. Fully equal with the other members of the Godhead. Would you say that letting God or Jesus lead is an idol? Who should lead instead? Us?

Not being a smart-alec. Just more than a bit stunned.

Charity



I suspect what Janice is talking about is making an idol of the *idea* of being Spirit led, and seeing any kind of routine/planning or non-spontaneous spirituality as being not as good.

Not the *actuality* of being Spirit-led, which I think we would all agree is a good thing!


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601702 is a reply to message #601699 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 19:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara K (NC)
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Charity wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 19:04

Janice T. wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 12:55

letting the spirit lead. ??? This seems to be its own idol.



Wow...am a bit speechless. The Spirit IS God. Fully equal with the other members of the Godhead. Would you say that letting God or Jesus lead is an idol? Who should lead instead? Us?

Not being a smart-alec. Just more than a bit stunned.

Charity




Charity, the context to me looks as if Janice is saying that the CHOICE is what seems to be an idol sometimes. Here's the paragraph:

On the other hand I've seen some who are so lax and rejecting of structure and conformity that they are not growing. They spend much of their energy in defense of their choice to letting the spirit lead. ??? This seems to be its own idol.

I don't think she's saying that it's an idol to let the spirit lead. I also know people who seem to be proud of their choice to have no structure or discipline and just always go with the flow. I'm not sure that the lack of structure and form is necessarily wrong, but the pride probably is. And I think that it's possible to elevate our own CHOICES to a position of idolatry.

Of course, I might be reading Janice's post incorrectly. I'm sure she'll clarify.


Barbara K (NC)

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor 9:8


Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601703 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 19:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charity  is currently offline Charity
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I would still be confused. You mean the choice to be Spirit led is an idol? How do you take any action without choice being involved first? If you decide to read your Bible every morning at 8 am you have made a choice. Would that be an idol? If you decide to read your Bible as prompted by the Holy Spirit, you have made a choice to do so. I don't understand how choice is an idol? It's impossible not to choose a methodology.

Charity
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601714 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 19:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mary Jo  is currently offline Mary Jo
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The right word might have been people become prideful or boastful about their idea of how things should be done.

For example: You say, I have a scheduled time with the Lord every day and if you don't you are doing it the wrong way!

Or: I am led by the spirit which is the right way and scheduling God is wrong! We must flow with the spirit. Your way is wrong mine is right.

I think Janice is saying people become prideful and make an idol out of their way of doing things.


Yikes, I feel like I understand it but can't explain it.
Th word choice was maybe not quite in sink with what she meant?

[Updated on: Sat, 09 January 2010 19:45]

Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601719 is a reply to message #601702 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 19:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
denise d
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No Message Body

[Updated on: Sat, 09 January 2010 20:18]


God is Love.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601720 is a reply to message #601714 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 19:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara K (NC)
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Mary Jo wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 19:44

The right word might have been people become prideful or boastful about their idea of how things should be done.

For example: You say, I have a scheduled time with the Lord every day and if you don't you are doing it the wrong way!

Or: I am led by the spirit which is the right way and scheduling God is wrong! We must flow with the spirit. Your way is wrong mine is right.

I think Janice is saying people become prideful and make an idol out of their way of doing things.


Yikes, I feel like I understand it but can't explain it.
Th word choice was maybe not quite in sink with what she meant?


Thank you, MJ. That is what I was trying to say and not succeeding at all.


Barbara K (NC)

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor 9:8


Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601722 is a reply to message #601714 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 20:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
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Mary Jo wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 18:44

The right word might have been people become prideful or boastful about their idea of how things should be done.

For example: You say, I have a scheduled time with the Lord every day and if you don't you are doing it the wrong way!

Or: I am led by the spirit which is the right way and scheduling God is wrong! We must flow with the spirit. Your way is wrong mine is right.

I think Janice is saying people become prideful and make an idol out of their way of doing things.


Yikes, I feel like I understand it but can't explain it.
Th word choice was maybe not quite in sink with what she meant?

Mary Jo, I think you got it right.

Charity, it isn't that letting the Spirit lead is an idol...MAY IT NEVER BE!!! But I have known folks who place themselves on a spiritual pedestal by saying THEY are Spirit-led because they make no plans, and assuming anyone who has been led by the Spirit to build a spiritual discipline CANNOT POSSIBLY be led by the Spirit. It it the assumption that THEY have a corner on truth from God and that THEIR way is the ONLY way that becomes the idol.


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601739 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 21:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charity  is currently offline Charity
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Okay....Smile This is what I think. I don't think these two ways are incompatible at all. I don't think the Spirit is going to lead us to neglect God's Word or be careless in our study. After all, it was the Spirit's inspiration that led Paul to encourage Timothy to study to show himself approved. I don't think it's an either/or proposition. I think when we are obedient to God, He is going to lead us to lives of consistency and self-discipline.

Charity
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601758 is a reply to message #601739 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 21:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kevin Megill  is currently offline Kevin Megill
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Here are my thoughts. Rewritten. This is completely different than the first version by the way. Just as long though Smile

The *character qualities* of diligence and discipline are very important, no matter what your temperament or personality.

Being saturated in the Word and being faithful in prayer are very important, no matter what your temperament or personality.

The Holy Spirit will often lead us to practice various *spiritual disciplines* in a structured way, which can be very helpful in our Christian growth. Furthermore, if lots of wonderful Christian men and women have seen God do wonderful things in their lives through the practice of a specific spiritual discipline, I want to be as open as I can to learning from them.

A person’s temperament affects what kinds of spiritual disciplines will be useful to him or her. Some people naturally thrive on structure; others do not. By temperament I mean the way God *designed us to function*; I do *not* mean simply making excuses for sin or laziness by saying “that’s just the way I am”. I, for one, do not thrive on structure, but that’s actually a good thing in my case because it’s the flip side of a strength.

In the first few years of my Christian life, God had me focus on getting consistent in my time in the Word and prayer. It was a struggle, but a worthwhile one. Along the way, though, I assembled this idealistic picture of what my spiritual walk should look like: at some point in the future, when I had arrived spiritually, I would get up every day before sunrise and spend at least an hour with God, half of it in intensive study of the Word, and half of it wrestling in intercessory prayer. Eventually God began to show me that the kind of thing I was imagining was not something he was calling me to, although the *purposes behind it* (saturation in the Word and prayer) were important. This was very freeing to me.

One reason I am not ever going to have that kind of walk with God is that I don’t function best when I am following the same routine every day. I function best when I am immersing myself in something new.

There is a statement I was taught for years: “If you can do something every day for just 30 days, it’ll be yours for life.” This statement is *not true* for me. I can follow a routine every day for a year, and the next day it’ll still be a struggle to do it. I realize many people are drawn to structure, to routine. If they can build something *into* that routine, then it becomes natural for them. It makes sense that they would find this statement to be true. For me, if something is routine, it’s harder to stick with it, not easier.

The other statement I often heard was “Don’t do [whatever] all at once. If you try too much at first, you’ll get discouraged and quit. It’s much better to just get consistent with it, doing a little bit every day.” Again, this is usually *not true* for me. I learn things by obsessing over them for a while until they transform me. After that I may drop them but it doesn’t matter so much. Breaking things into bite-size pieces, for me, completely breaks the momentum. That’s an almost sure-fire way to be certain I won’t follow through later.

Realizing this has made me more productive in the last few years, as a community college teacher for example. I used to schedule a small amount of time each day for each class (i.e., for grading, preparation, etc). I’ve discovered it works better if I reserve a whole day for a single class, and then move on to another class another day.

The thing is, it’s not only easier for me to focus on one thing for a long time, it’s very, very productive. You’ve heard people speak of getting into “the zone”; that is what happens to me. It takes me at least half an hour to get up to speed on whatever project I’m working on, but once I’m there the ideas and the energy start flowing – unless I keep switching tasks every hour or so.

The same thing is true for me where time with God is concerned. I do actually try to spend time each day in the Word, but not for the purpose of getting to know the Word better. *That* I achieve by spending several hours at a time every so often, or especially by picking a passage to think about and then obsessing over it for several days until I get it.

Similarly for prayer. Structure-people (no offense meant by that term, I love and admire you all!) seem to create prayer lists and then pray every day through all the things on their list. I tried that for years and just could not seem to stick with it, or to find any sense of meaningful connection with God when I did it. What I do instead is let a particular prayer need build up urgency in my heart until I finally boil over and have to spend three to four hours hashing that issue through with God.

However – and this is a big however -- I do actually try to spend time every day with God. It’s very important to me. The difference is *why* I do it and that affects what I actually do. The reason I spend daily time with God is to cultivate my relationship with him. I need to spend time every day just “being with God”.

When I read Scripture during these daily times with God, I don’t study intensively, I don’t break the Scripture down piece by piece until I understand every nuance. Instead, I ask God “What is the obvious, main point that you are making in this passage, and what are you saying to me today in it?”

When I pray during these times, I don’t run spend much time in intercessory prayer, I just try to clean house a little. I confess sin if I need to; I let go of resentment if I need to; I re-acknowledge that I need God in everything I do that day.

The main thing I am doing is getting my heart right with God. I am making sure that at least sometime during the day I am setting aside my own agenda and letting God redirect me if he wants.

While it has been very freeing for me to realize God is not asking me to become Mr. Structure, I’ve also sought to understand what the benefits of structure are. I don’t want to miss out on them just because they don’t come naturally.

First, regular, scheduled times are a great way to protect ourselves from the tyranny of the urgent. You know what I mean – you know it’s important to spend some time with God soon, but there’s no time *right now* … and then two months later you realize you haven’t really sat down and looked at the Word in all that time. Maybe that doesn’t happen for my more structured brothers and sisters.

I’ve found that if I don’t want that to happen, I have to keep close tabs on my spiritual state. I am frequently taking my own spiritual temperature. If it’s been several days since I’ve been in the word, I’ll know it, and I’ll start getting antsy until I get back to it. So I think if you don’t do structure, you’ve got to at least do honest and frequent self-evaluation.

Second, I’ve realized that there is a big place in my life for temporary, Spirit-led spiritual disciplines. Sometimes during a specific season in my life – often in response to a specific trial or temptation – I pray for something I can do that will help me change faster. At times I will realize that a specific spiritual discipline – memorizing a certain passage, fasting, praying through a specific list of things every day, whatever it might be – will be a great tool to shape the way I respond to life and to God. If I see these disciplines as the goal, I generally fail in them; but if I see them as temporary tools to reach the goal, they can be fruitful for me.

OK, that’s all I have to say for now! I love you all, my brothers and sisters in Christ (well, I don’t even *know* most of you, but you know what I mean!), and I love that God shows his grace through us all when we are all so different and have such different experiences!

In Him,
Kevin


In Him,
Kevin Megill

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601772 is a reply to message #601758 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 23:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jen E.  is currently offline Jen E.
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Wow. Very insightful, very edifying, very challenging. Thank you so much, Kevin.
Kevin - [message #601775 is a reply to message #601758 ] Sat, 09 January 2010 23:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
denise d
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I want you to know that you just validated my personality. Thank you.

[Updated on: Sun, 10 January 2010 09:41]


God is Love.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601778 is a reply to message #601739 ] Sun, 10 January 2010 00:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
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Charity wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 20:07

Okay....Smile This is what I think. I don't think these two ways are incompatible at all. I don't think the Spirit is going to lead us to neglect God's Word or be careless in our study. After all, it was the Spirit's inspiration that led Paul to encourage Timothy to study to show himself approved. I don't think it's an either/or proposition. I think when we are obedient to God, He is going to lead us to lives of consistency and self-discipline.

Charity

ABSOLUTELY!

The problem *I* struggle with Embarassed is that I don't always walk in the Spirit. When I walk in the flesh I become careless or legalistic. Which is why I think it is helpful to continually reassess my life and my relationship with God and my time cultivating that relationship.

[Updated on: Sun, 10 January 2010 00:10]


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601790 is a reply to message #601622 ] Sun, 10 January 2010 06:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Terri in NY  is currently offline Terri in NY
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Kevin, thank you so much! I've had these thoughts bouncing around my head for the past few days and you've put words to them. I'm somewhere in the middles - highly structured on some things and more like you on others. This was so clear and well-written!

Thank you for taking the time to re-write all that.


"Blessed is the woman who has a smile in her voice, a sparkle in her eyes, a song on her lips; a spring in her step, a warmth in her touch, a depth to her beauty, a purpose for her life, a joy in her faith, a hope in her breast and a love in her heart."
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601879 is a reply to message #601790 ] Sun, 10 January 2010 15:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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Just getting back to this. Charity, I meant what the other gals say I meant (how's that for a lazy answer?) I find that a lot of times I mean one thing, think I type it out here, then find no one got what I meant. In this case I hope they clarified my point. Smile


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601885 is a reply to message #601879 ] Sun, 10 January 2010 15:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michele (Queen of Cheap)  is currently offline Michele (Queen of Cheap)
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Kate said,

"I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. I am not a list maker (or when I do make them, I lose them promptly), I am not organized and I am very spontaneous "

I am the opposite. I am a list maker. I am very organized and not spontaneous at all. I have my life pretty much planned out every day Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy I know that this doesn't answer your question but I just thought it was funny that Kate and I are so opposite Very Happy


Now to the question... I prefer a consistent, regular time every day to read my Bible. If something interferes with that then I get a little out of sorts, sort of scatterbrained. I pray and talk to God all the day long (in my head). I don't really have a time set aside for that. I pray in my car, I pray when I am bed, I pray when I am in the shower. I pray when the urge comes upon me Smile Smile Smile

[Updated on: Sun, 10 January 2010 15:36]


Michele, The Organic Queen of Cheap!
(aka Shelly the Swamp Frog)

Happily posting on CHF since 1995


Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601917 is a reply to message #601885 ] Sun, 10 January 2010 18:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
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Michele (Queen of Cheap) wrote on Sun, 10 January 2010 14:34

I know that this doesn't answer your question but I just thought it was funny that Kate and I are so opposite Very Happy

And that we LOVE one another so much!!! Ain't God GREAT???


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601944 is a reply to message #601885 ] Sun, 10 January 2010 21:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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Michele (Queen of Cheap) wrote on Sun, 10 January 2010 14:34

I am the opposite. I am a list maker. I am very organized and not spontaneous at all. I have my life pretty much planned out every day Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy I know that this doesn't answer your question but I just thought it was funny that Kate and I are so opposite Very Happy


Which explains why you have accomplished so much in your life. I really need some of this Michele. Confused Confused

I'm much more unstructured.



TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601952 is a reply to message #601944 ] Sun, 10 January 2010 21:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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Very thought-provoking thread.

This sentence by Kevin:

>First, regular, scheduled times are a great way to protect ourselves from the tyranny of the urgent<

...struck me as interesting.

Kevin, if you were a homeschooled high schooler, you'd probably do best on what I've heard called "Colorado Plan", where you immerse yourself in a subject each day.


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #601956 is a reply to message #601758 ] Sun, 10 January 2010 22:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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Kevin Megill wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 20:53

In the first few years of my Christian life, God had me focus on getting consistent in my time in the Word and prayer. It was a struggle, but a worthwhile one. Along the way, though, I assembled this idealistic picture of what my spiritual walk should look like: at some point in the future, when I had arrived spiritually.


With me this stayed with me and I really didn’t recognize that God was leading me in another direction so I beat myself up over my growing lack of structure and fought learning in a different way. I considered myself a failure for several years.

Quote:

One reason I am not ever going to have that kind of walk with God is that I don’t function best when I am following the same routine every day. I function best when I am immersing myself in something new.


This is something I relate to. Periods of time in complete saturation into whatever I’m currently learning. This could be reading several books at a time, of course studying the bible in relation to what I learn, going to classes and talking the death out of the topic (just ask Richard Wink ). These usually last from weeks to years for me.

Quote:

The other statement I often heard was “Don’t do [whatever] all at once. If you try too much at first, you’ll get discouraged and quit. It’s much better to just get consistent with it, doing a little bit every day.” Again, this is usually *not true* for me. I learn things by obsessing over them for a while until they transform me. After that I may drop them but it doesn’t matter so much. Breaking things into bite-size pieces, for me, completely breaks the momentum. That’s an almost sure-fire way to be certain I won’t follow through later. The thing is, it’s not only easier for me to focus on one thing for a long time, it’s very, very productive. You’ve heard people speak of getting into “the zone”; that is what happens to me.


Ditto.

Quote:

The main thing I am doing is getting my heart right with God. I am making sure that at least sometime during the day I am setting aside my own agenda and letting God redirect me if he wants.


I do see that ‘touching base’ everyday is optimal – in addition to the obsessive learning periods. It’s a learning time yes but more than that, for me, it’s a reminder that God is my focus. Therefore returning to “something” daily is my goal this year.

Quote:

Second, I’ve realized that there is a big place in my life for temporary, Spirit-led spiritual disciplines. Sometimes during a specific season in my life – often in response to a specific trial or temptation – I pray for something I can do that will help me change faster. At times I will realize that a specific spiritual discipline – memorizing a certain passage, fasting, praying through a specific list of things every day, whatever it might be – will be a great tool to shape the way I respond to life and to God. If I see these disciplines as the goal, I generally fail in them; but if I see them as temporary tools to reach the goal, they can be fruitful for me.


Something for me to really think about.

Thank you Kevin. I really appreciate your time and heart investment in your posts.


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #602277 is a reply to message #601666 ] Tue, 12 January 2010 07:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sue C  is currently offline Sue C
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And William, too. Smile

Sue
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #602278 is a reply to message #601669 ] Tue, 12 January 2010 07:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Mary Jo wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 17:00

In some ways I feel like I need to get back to spending special time with the Lord and not just random times that I can fit in.
If he is my first love I feel like I should treat him that way and not put everything else first.


Me, too, Mary Jo.

Sue
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #602281 is a reply to message #601703 ] Tue, 12 January 2010 07:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Charity wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 19:15

I would still be confused. You mean the choice to be Spirit led is an idol? How do you take any action without choice being involved first? If you decide to read your Bible every morning at 8 am you have made a choice. Would that be an idol? If you decide to read your Bible as prompted by the Holy Spirit, you have made a choice to do so. I don't understand how choice is an idol? It's impossible not to choose a methodology.

Charity


I'm agreeing with you, Charity. (It feels good to be on the same page!)

I tend to see "being structured" as an idol...

Sue
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #602283 is a reply to message #601739 ] Tue, 12 January 2010 07:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sue C  is currently offline Sue C
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Charity wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 21:07

I don't think the Spirit is going to lead us to neglect God's Word or be careless in our study.

...

I think when we are obedient to God, He is going to lead us to lives of consistency and self-discipline.


Yes, this is my belief, too.

Sue
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #602284 is a reply to message #601758 ] Tue, 12 January 2010 08:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sue C  is currently offline Sue C
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Kevin Megill wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 21:53

Breaking things into bite-size pieces, for me, completely breaks the momentum. That’s an almost sure-fire way to be certain I won’t follow through later.


Me, too.

Sue
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #602302 is a reply to message #601703 ] Tue, 12 January 2010 08:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Charity wrote on Sat, 09 January 2010 19:15

I would still be confused. You mean the choice to be Spirit led is an idol? How do you take any action without choice being involved first? If you decide to read your Bible every morning at 8 am you have made a choice. Would that be an idol? If you decide to read your Bible as prompted by the Holy Spirit, you have made a choice to do so. I don't understand how choice is an idol? It's impossible not to choose a methodology.

Charity



Not sure if the rest of the thread clarified, but I *think* Janice was getting at the attitude beneath the choices. Suppose I fee convicted that I should have a quiet time with the Lord every morning at 8:00 and during that time I'm going to sing a hymn and read three chapters and write in my prayer journal so that I have structure...and I start growing and this is really working for me (whether or not it was a fleshly choice or Spirit-led choice initially).

Then I look at you and you're praying on the go while driving kids to various activities and on Monday may grab a few minutes in the Word before going to bed, but on Wed. it happens in the morning before carpool and you don't even keep a journal. If at that point, I start thinking I'm more spiritual than you because I'm more committed to a regular time with the Lord and time with Him is obviously more important to me than it is to you, THEN my structure has become an idol to me, and I've missed the point.

And of course, the reverse. If I'm the one "on the go" and digging into the Word as the Spirit leads, and it's a different time each day...but I feel very attuned to the Spirit and am really growing in the times I'm spending, and then I look at you and think how very dependent you are on ths structure of meeting at 8:00 a.m. every day, etc. If I begin to think I'm more spiritual than you because I don't have to have that structure because I'm so very attuned to the Spirit...then again, I've made my way sort of an idol, and again, missed the point.

I *think* it's more the heart attitude that Janice was referring to when she said "This seems to be its own idol," rather than the methods (or lack thereof) themselves.

For the record, I totally agree with your point about both ways being perfectly compatible, etc.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #602419 is a reply to message #602302 ] Tue, 12 January 2010 13:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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And along those lines Kevin said: "In the first few years of my Christian life, God had me focus on getting consistent in my time in the Word and prayer. It was a struggle, but a worthwhile one. Along the way, though, I assembled this idealistic picture of what my spiritual walk should look like: at some point in the future, when I had arrived spiritually."

I relate to this thinking - I did this too. In fact, I tried to incorporated the verse, "Matthew 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." into my life. I was saturating myself with scripture, building always to the 'next level' and after learning one thing from God expecting myself to keep climbing towards that perfection. I felt that this process was an idol. I took my eyes off Jesus and put them on my performance. I didn't realize I was doing this and I don't believe God was displeased with me. I was just immature and learning. God is patient. It took going through a personal crisis that pulled me way down to realize that I needed only to focus on Christ. How that looks is not my god - He is my God.

And likewise, I would never take a stand on not being structured. My method of spending time with the Lord should never be my standard - nor should I impose it on others.

I probably confused the issue more but hope not. Smile

[Updated on: Tue, 12 January 2010 13:33]


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Scheduled QT or not [message #602450 is a reply to message #602419 ] Tue, 12 January 2010 15:05 Go to previous message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Ahh...that makes sense. I was looking at it a bit skewed as well.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
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