August ambitions

August is never my favorite month of the year.  One of my life lessons from this past summer, however, is the idea that we should never wish away time.  Every day should be fully lived and fully enjoyed as much as possible.  But it is hot in August.  The summer television programming is really awful.  There are still 867 baseball games left to watch and complain about if your team is in a summer slump.  (Remind me again why there isn’t a domed stadium for the Texas Rangers?  It is Texas!  I’d be in a slump too if I had to play baseball outside in this heat.)  August is not a month most people list as their favorite.  The phrase “dog days of summer” will be heard around the water coolers at the office.  So, what can a person do to make the month of August more enjoyable?

My first thought would be a vacation to the mountains.  If that isn’t possible there are other ways to handle the August angst. 

1.  Escape with a great book that is so well written you can’t put it down.  I have read some good books lately, but not a great one.  If you have a GREAT book for Christian people to read – share the title in the comment section below.  (Yes, I know those little letters are annoying – but we have to do that to keep the website secure.  Hang in there, it gets easier with practice.)

2.  Make some plans for the Fall.  A friend once said that the best time to plan a vacation or a few days off is on the way home from the vacation you are currently taking.  He was in ministry and he told us it was important to always have the next break planned so we could look forward to it the rest of the time.  THIS was great advice…especially when we were raising the boys.  If you are dreading the “Back to School” chaos – plan a couple days off for sometime in October.  The kids will be used to the routine by then and you can take a short break.  If you don’t plan the time off now – there won’t be time to take off then.  Do you know a great place to spend a couple of days?  (Share it in the comment section – but only after you have made your own reservations.  I have a lot of readers!)

3.  Make some Fall plans/goals for yourself.  August is a great month to look forward to the next one.  If you don’t have a Bible study to attend you should think about finding one.  If you work and don’t have time to attend a weekly Bible study, consider working through one on your own or with a few people from the office.  I love Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby, Beth Moore has good studies.  Anything by Anne Graham Lotz is amazing.  I will load 24 lessons from the book of Matthew onto my website in the next few weeks.  They will be available free of charge, on my website,  Bible study is my highest priority for ministry – you might say it is my calling.  I want people to understand Scripture.  The best help I can offer someone is to know the Bible so that they can obey its teaching.  King Solomon said it like this, “Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  A good Bible study will help you live your best, and blessed, life.

4.  Finally, use August to prepare yourself and your kids for the “rush” of Fall.  If August was the month we strengthened our souls each year – August would become our favorite month.  What do you do to draw nearer to God?  To seek his face and his Presence at a high and personal level?  How do you prepare your children for the classroom – so they can trust your teaching about biblical morality and science versus creation theories.  How do help them respect teachers, even when they have a different point of view?  How do you prepare your children to spiritually handle the social aspects of school?  How can you encourage them to find the high roads and walk them well?    I would love for you to share your personal spiritual disciplines and your parenting ideas in the comment section as well.  We can learn a lot from one another. 

It is August.  We can look forward to September without wasting a single moment in the month ahead.  “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).  Grab a great book, the Bible, and a glass of iced tea – and have a blessed day.  August joy is a great lesson to teach others this month!

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