"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, September 06, 2010

Simplifying - the journey begins

After my last column about simplifying my life, quite a number of folks have mentioned that they could use the same thing and were interested in how it was going for me. In some ways, the process is going quite well; in other ways, not so much. For those who have shown interest, I thought I would give some ideas on the steps I’m following and the progression thus far.

Tip #1. If you want to make your lifestyle simpler, then you have to go back to the basics. For me, and for other believers, that is to remember where you started. Remember the (mistakenly labeled) children’s song: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, I am weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.” Then there is also the scripture verse found in John that says, “God loves the world so much that He sent His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not die for eternity, but live forever in heaven.”

For me, the following sums up my beginning….the basics for Jimmy. “Love God, love others, and let your actions show it.” In my personal walk, I had gotten away from these basics and cluttered my mind with the writings and thoughts of so many different people. I do not mean to imply that these writers and speakers are not sound in their thoughts, because many are, however; I tended to forget what they expressed were their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. I would measure my personal feelings against these people and find myself at odds, then questioning, all the while forgetting about reading from the source of sound doctrine – The Holy Bible.

I also had become indoctrinated by what the world expects in a church instead of what Christ may want from a church. Does He want arguments between believers about drums and electric guitars? Hymns or contemporary praise songs? Organs or keyboard synthesizers? Pews or comfy theater chairs? My personal avenue of worship is music. I have been a church pianist/keyboardist for over 40 years and have seen many changes and many arguments. Folks, simply put, God doesn’t care how His word is spread just as long as it is spread. Keep Him in the center of your worship style, and all is cool. If you aren’t comfortable with it, then find somewhere that you are able to worship. Don’t get in a personal mess about it.

As I began to realize that my life and walk with God was seemingly out of kazzip, and I knew that I had to slow it all down, my first step was to find my basics. How am I doing it? Enjoying morning time on the deck with a cup of coffee watching the birds and other critters. Leaving the television off, listening to more music, and reading my Bible and personal study books (along with the Stephanie Plum novels). Talking to God more during the day and asking Him for a calming and renewal of my spirit. And to be make a more concerted effort to do the above, “love God, love others, and to let my actions show it.”

My journey continues, but it is working for me. I encourage each of you to look for your basics and use that as a startin

g point. Just take a few minutes during the day to relax, breathe, and enjoy the day.
And for today my friends, this is the gospel according to Jimmy.