To get to where you need to go, with what you need to have, so you can say or do what needs to be said or done, you most likely use a cue or two. These come in different forms, fashions, and shapes. They can be as simple as an alarm clock to nudge you out of bed, a sticky note to budge your memory, or an inspirational quote to encourage your daily trudge on the treadmill.
Whether it’s a day planner, an app on your smart phone, or something as simple as a string tied around your finger, these reminders help you develop the habits that lead to a productive life. Some of these are as simple as ABCD, and they will help you grow in your relationship with Jesus:
- A—Always pray. Instead of prayer being an after-thought, make it a priority. Paul instructed believers to “pray without ceasing,” and to not “worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).”
- B—Take time to read your Bible: “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true (Acts 17:11).”
- C—Make the commitment to trust God: “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass; and, he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday (Psalm 37:4-6).”
- D—Learn to discern: “For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).”
The underlying principle of these steps is the need to trust God, and Solomon outlines the process:
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Proverbs 3:5-7 ~The Message
They do more than just give birth to dirty little smudges. Your fingerprints are unique to you, and they are the means by which you are identified. With the advance of technology, fingerprints are now being used as replacements for computer passwords and to unlock gadgets such as your smart phone.
The Office of Personnel Management has reported that in a recent cyber-attack, 5.6 million people’s fingerprints were stolen. The Washington Post reported on the significance of this data theft: “Breaches involving biometric data like fingerprints are particularly concerning to privacy experts because of their permanence: Unlike passwords and even Social Security numbers, fingerprints cannot be changed. So those affected by this breach may find themselves grappling with the fallout for years.”
Just as your fingerprints can’t be changed, neither can your spiritual identity once you join the family of God. Have you ever given much thought about who you are in Jesus?
- Ephesians 1:4: He has chosen you in Him and you are without blame before Him in love.
- Ephesians 1:7: In Him you have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
- Ephesians 1:11: You have an inheritance in Him.
- Ephesians 3:12: You have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
- Colossians 2:7: You are rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.
- Colossians 2:10: You are complete in Him.
The words of the Psalmist are a fitting conclusion to this discussion: “You are blessed because you have put your trust in Him (2:12).”
In the world of information technology the term icon is about as outdated as a dial phone. In the not so distant past, the images on the screen of your computer were called “ICONS.” From a religious perceptive, the word means “a window to heaven.” From the viewpoint of technology “ICON” was used in reference to a window to an application.
The ICON has been buried in the bone yard of outdated computer technology and replaced by the APP. The birth of the APP has walked in step with the proliferation of smartphones.
A story in US News & World Report has examined a study on the correlation between finger and thumb dexterity and the development of the sensory processing component of your brain while using a smartphone. Each part of your body, from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, “has a corresponding ‘processing area’ in the emotional center of the brain, a region known as the somatosensory cortex.”
This function of the brain is often referred to as “sensory processing,” and it is the ability of the brain to interpret the information it has received, so it can prioritize and emphasize the components of the data; decide how to understand what is going on; and, decide what you will do based on the information received and processed.
Researchers used an EEG to study the brain activity of 37 people while they were using their cell phones:
- 26 were using touch-screen smartphones
- 11 were sing traditional cellphones with keypads
The study was able to distinguish between the length of time the subject had owned a smartphone and the frequency with it had been used. The change in the brain was associated more with how frequently the smartphone was used over a 10 day period than just owning the phone and using it periodically.
Here’s a thought or two to keep you thinking:
- How can these findings be applied to your life?
- Is it more important to pray for a long time every now and then or to have short frequent prayers every day?
- How does your prayer life mold and reshape the sensory processing region of your brain?
Perhaps this is one of the reasons Paul instructed the Christian to “pray without ceasing.”