Something is in the air . . . do you feel it? Warm breezes are a balm to the soul. Where will those breezes find you this summer? Vacation plans provide a break (however brief) from the hectic routines of school/work. Will your plans honor God?
We all need a break from time to time. How we choose to use our free time really depends on needs and values. However, what we need to do and what we want to do are two very different approaches to planning free time.
Have you ever gone on a vacation and felt like you needed another vacation when you returned home? Busier is not always better. Expensive is not always better. Traveling far away is not always better.
Whatever you choose to do this summer, I encourage you to make a difference to increase the Kingdom and honor our Lord. Volunteer, share, support, help, guide . . . in short, take a Christ-like approach to your free time. You will be refreshed and inspired. Be that tree planted by the water. The Psalm says that "whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Churches and worship centers have all sorts of opportunities for involvement on a local level in the summer. Vacation Bible schools, revivals, conferences, concerts, etc. are just some of the activities that are available. If you are in Sevier County, you can find a list of events and announcements on our Pastors' Coalition & Events page.
Summer is a time of celebrations, including our Independence Day. There is no more critical time to be praying for our nation and celebrating our freedoms.
I wish you a safe and meaningful summer.
President and Founder
Garlands of Grace Ministries International
Thursday, July 14, 2016
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
JULY 14-17 - WASHINGTON, DC
Thanks to generous Facebook friends and other contributors, we are pleased to announce that Joann and Byron Jordan will attend the National Prayer Summit. They will try to visit all the tents, especially David's Tent. If you would like more information about David's Tent, watch the YouTube below.
There is time enough for everything God wants us to do.
Oh yeah? Not in my life. I had too much to do. I felt discouraged with busy days, multiple responsibilities, and not enough time to finish it all.
You may feel the same ― stressed, tired, worn out, and can’t figure out what’s wrong. Maybe it seems impossible to complete your To Do list. The work never ends and you want to please God, yet you don’t know how.
Something was missing in my life and I wanted to find out what.
Too Much to Do
My list had more on it than I could accomplish in one day, or even a week or month. I ran from activity to activity and responsibility to responsibility wearing myself out. I felt angry, frustrated, tired, and unhappy. Did God want me to do all this stuff?
I had housework, home school for our two sons, three Bible studies, church responsibilities and expectations as the music minister’s wife. We had military functions, swim team practice on week nights, and swim meets several weekends a month.
Time Management ― Not Enough
I read time management books looking for answers to accomplish more each day and found all kinds of ideas. Several books provided helpful tips on planning and organization, but others sounded ridiculous. They described how to squeeze additional work into an hour, or suggested I get up at 4 AM, or plan my workload by two-minute increments. I didn’t need to know how to do more, I needed less to do.
Let Me Teach You
As I read my Bible, God drew my attention to Mathew 11: 28-29 and my confusion left. He showed me where my thoughts didn’t match His and let me discover the answers I needed.
He said, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” This was me ― stressed, tired, and weary. I struggled with a constant work load that seemed heavier than I could carry.
God said, “I will give you rest.” What a promise ― rest. How I craved the needed respite.
“Take My yoke upon you.” Taking God’s yoke meant managing my life His way. It involved focusing on His desires and completing each task in His timing, not mine.
“Learn of Me.” Some versions say, “Let Me teach you.” He wanted to answer my questions and would help me learn.
God promised “rest unto your souls.” I wanted the deep sense of inner calm, peace, and time to recuperate.
Then it says that God’s “yoke is easy.” Easy didn’t describe my life at all. Was I not yoked with God, but trying to live my life my way instead of His?
It concludes by saying, “My burden is light.” God’s plans included a load I could manage with His guiding hand. His desires would feel light and provide the time I needed to rest.
One morning as I prayed, I heard the word “priorities.” I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote the list God gave me. It was slightly different from other priority lists I’d seen and yet I knew in my spirit the list came from the Lord.
God completes everything He plans for His day. He never gets too busy. He’s never late nor leaves a project unfinished. He knows when to start and when to stop. God understands what needs to happen, what can wait, and what we ought to drop. God only asks us to tackle what we can accomplish with His help.
That morning God revealed who the most important people were in my life and grouped my activities into several categories. He showed me what order to tackle each task sorting them by His priorities.
We have a choice. Will we walk in the yoke with God and follow His lead or will we choose our way and suffer the consequences? Daily we must decide. Will we live God’s way or ours?
~About the Author
Joyce Zook is the author of the award winning book,12 Keys for Marriage Success and
Priorities for Life study guide. She is an international speaker, board certified biblical counselor, and professional life coach. For the last twenty year she has spoken, taught, and mentored women, encouraging them to apply biblical principles in their everyday lives. She and her husband, Aaron, live in central Texas. They have two married sons and three beautiful grandchildren. Learn more about how to apply God’s priorities in your life with the Priorities for Life study guide, video, and audio series at