Posts Tagged ‘ Attention ’

Look Up!

As houses and buildings light up with Christmas displays, it’s easy to get distracted trying to take it all in. But there is something even more amazing and beautiful that deserves our full attention. Lift Up

Yes, the King of kings is coming! So don’t just look at Christmas lights. Lift up your head and look for King Jesus. He is truly the Light of the world!


Why Listen?

My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of day and years life and abundant welfare they will give you. Proverbs 3:1-2 NRSV

Much of what you have read here this week has centered on giving our full attention to the Lord. Learning to sharpen our mental focus on God is a critical piece to growing in our faith and deepening our relationship with Jesus Christ. But  giving attention is only half the equation. The other half is knowing why we want to pay closer attention to God. Knowing why is called intention. Intention is critical, because it helps turn our attention into action!

MP900422592[1]When I had my first psychology  course, the instructor let us know that as a Christian psychologist, he believed all human problems could be dealt with by confessing sin and accepting the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Maybe I was just naive, but the way he talked about faith in Jesus Christ made it sound like it was a magic cure for the ills of human existence.

Of course entering into a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ is critical, but in my  experience it is not a magic bullet. Faith is a starting point. For our faith relationship with Jesus Christ to deepen and transform our lives, we have to intend to listen to our Savior’s teachings, and to the instruction and leading of the Holy Spirit.

That tells me faith in Jesus has to be accompanied by a change in attitude toward him. I believe in Jesus, and I listen to him because I want to love him more dearly and serve him more nearly. I listen because I want to become more like him. That intention opens the door to developing a closer walk day by day.

During his earthly ministry, some followed Jesus  because they wanted to hear God’s word and have a closer walk. Others listened just to trip Jesus up and prove him wrong. Then there were those who listened to gather evidence against him, so they could condemn and destroy him.Happy senior

But those who love Jesus and believe in him, have a different kind of intention. They listen to learn, to grow and to draw closer to God!

All this tells me that it is not just believing in Jesus that changes my life. The other  key is my intention, my attitude toward what Jesus says and is doing in my life. That shapes how I respond to Jesus’ word, and to his Spirit at work in me.

In a way my psychology instructor was right. Faith holds the answer. But faith is not magic. Faith puts us in a relationship with Jesus Christ. What we intend to do in that relationship influences how powerfully Jesus’ words  impact us, and how effectively the Holy Spirit works in us and through us!

So as you listen to Jesus and explore his teachings, take a moment to ask yourself, “Why?” Why are you trusting Jesus and listening to him? What are you hoping to get out of the faith relationship? What is your intention?

MP900448444[1]If you believe because you want to learn from your Savior’s example and follow in your Lord’s footsteps, then your faith will open your ears to his truth, fan the flames of your devotion and lead you to an abundant and victorious life!


A Focused Faith

 Having faith is good.

Having a focused faith is even better.

Putting all your faith in God is the best idea of all!

A faith that is tightly focused on the Lord avoids distractions, is less vulnerable to temptation, and is more responsive to God’s direction.

That is the kind of faith I want. What about you?


The Multitasking Myth

This may surprise you, but recent research indicates that human beings can’t multitask. In fact, I would go so far as to say that multitasking is a myth!

So what about those who claim to be great multitaskers?  I think it would be more accurate to call them, multiswitchers!

MP900341390[1] Our brains can process many different things at once. Just going for a walk requires an incredible level of coordination between different sensory and muscular systems. But when it comes to attention, our brain appears  to prefer one thing at a time.

This makes perfect sense to me because I get easily frustrated trying to do two or three things at once. I like to finish one thing, and then move onto the next.MC900198208

Those known for their multitasking abilities are really not doing two things at once. They are quickly switching attention back and forth between tasks. Their quick switching gives them the illusion of doing two or things at once.

Quick switchers are generally quite productive. They can do more in less time. That’s great, but there is a problem. Quickly switching attention sometimes means information is missed or lost. So I may be cooking dinner while talking on the phone and watching the news. It is likely that I will miss something in the conversation I am having, burn some food or miss an important headline.

Of course missing a few words of a conversation or a news report isn’t necessarily a big problem. But when it comes to our time with God, multitasking could keep us from getting all that God wants to give.

The more our attention is divided, the more switching that has to occur, the less depth and breadth we can get from our experience. I don’t know about you, but when I am praying, reading the Bible, worshipping or just meditating, I want to get everything I can out of the experience. I want to have God’s truth fill my mind. I want the presence of God to fill my heart. I want the peace that passes all understanding to permeate my being. I want it all!MP900422324[1]

What brain science is telling us is that if we want it all, we must give our  all. We have to fully focus our attention. Then our faith will become more real, our walk with Jesus closer, and our understanding of God’s will for our lives more clear!

There is nothing wrong with multitasking or mutiswitching. But when it comes to our faith, let’s set other things aside and give God everything we have to give!

Your FULL Attention!

Listen to your heavenly Father’s instruction. Give God your full attention. Proverbs 4:1 adapted

MP900443361[1] Besides the normal waking, working and playing we all do, many of us are also phoning, texting, surfing, blogging, social networking and cloud computing!

I wonder, with all that going on, how much time is left for praying, praising, worshipping, studying, meditating, listening and believing?

With our attention split off in 10 different directions, how much are we really giving God? Is God just getting a few scraps we have left at the end of each day?MP900431721[1]

A dynamic faith and joyful relationship with God is no accident. It  grows in those who tend and nurture it. It develops in those who give God the most precious gift they have to give, their attention!

The good news is that the more you give, the more you get. Giving God more of your time and attention opens the door to God being able to work in more powerful ways in your life!

So think about turning off the phone, logging off the computer and tuning into God. It will grow your faith, deepen your relationship with your living Lord and transform your life!