Friday, January 29, 2010


"We take up our prayer with flighty thoughts, willy-nilly, and rush to get it over with, as if it were an incidental, though unavoidable, bother--- and not the center of our life, as it should be"
Theophan the Recluse

This is convicting and I must admit that I am often guilty as charged.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Come away from rush and hurry
To the stillness of God's peace
From our vain ambition's worry
Come to Christ to find release
Come away from noise and clamor
Life's demands and frenzied pace
Come to join the people gathered
Here to seek and find God's face
This is the first verse to a hymn written by Marva J. Dawn.

We live in a fast paced time.  Our country is a nation that expects and demands busyness.  Working hard is a good thing and an important part of holistically living for God.

But for many, we have denied our need to rest.  We struggle to stop.

In the Old Testament, God instituted the Sabbath which comes from the root meaning "to cease".  Yet today we often act like there is no need to stop.  We wear terms like tired, exhausted, or drained as badges of honor to validate our worth or even our spiritual life.

Yet the fact that these terms exist should be reminders in themselves that we have limits and need to honor God by honoring those human limitations.

Could I suggest that stopping might be an honorable thing? Would it be stretching to propose that resting can be a spiritual act of service to God?  Am I being outrageous to say, that being too busy is actually a boast of pride against the sufficiency of God Himself?

Do you need to cease?  Have you taken time to stop lately?  When do you regularly rest?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Striving to live for God

Asceticism is "an austere, simple way of life in which persons renounce material pleasures and devote their energy to moral or religious purpose".  Many today think of giving things up that they enjoy as a bad thing.   Most don't have enough concern for personal spiritual growth to consider releasing some of their own pleasures.

Bradley Holt suggests that "a biblical asceticism leads to a healthy sense of being able to say no to a good thing for the sake of a better or higher one; it gives self-confidence while enabling people to serve others."

Is there anything that God is leading you to forsake for the purpose of knowing Him more?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Time to follow Jesus

Any human tragedy is hard.  For those who are poor, tragedy can be overwhelming. 

All of us our aware of the devastation that the earthquake in Haiti has caused.  As has been widely reported, this country is extremely poor.  This makes matters even worse.  Think of the slow response to a disaster like Katrina and that happened in America with our endless resources. 

It is time to follow Jesus.  The people of God need to be involved.  It is wrong to ignore such a tragedy.  We must start by caring.  Sometime it is hard to even have compassion with the 24/7 bombardment with crime, death, disaster, etc.  But this is huge and God's people will be known for our compassion for the poor. 

Everyone must do something.  Give if you can.  I give through World Relief, but there are many good options.  Pray.  Even if you feel that you cannot give you can prayer.  Go?  Maybe God is calling you to be a part of a group to go and serve the people of Haiti.

It is time to follow Jesus.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Forsaking our independence

Our country was founded partially because of a document called the Declaration of Independence.  I find it interesting that as Americans this could almost be our national motto now.

Americans are known for individualism and freedom.  We love it.  We are caught up in the idea of our own rights.  We love freedom.  We love opportunity.  We love independence and so we declare independence.

But God has called the people of God to be different.  We are citizens of the kingdom of God first and secondly to the USA.  As a result, we are to declare our dependence instead of our independence. 

We are dependent on God.  We are dependent on others.

God calls His people to forsake individualism and embrace community.  This is what makes the church distinct.  People living life together.  People making decisions together.  People care for the need of others together.  I could say: people spending their own  money to provide food or healthcare for others, but then you might think that I am getting political.

This is not about politics.  This is about the church putting a proper value on community.  We have bought into the lie of indivualism.  We have made our declaration of independence.   We need to repent and declare that we are dependent.

Are you caught up in the American value of independence?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lecrae's testimony

Here is a link to Lecrae sharing his testimony on the 700 club.  I thank God for stories of God's grace in peoples lives.