Archive for August, 2009

I was reminded yesterday just how blessed I am.  I follow @serenawoods on Twitter.  She is writing as a guest blogger here.  As I have read her posts over the past two days I have been moved as to how God has worked in her life.  I have also realized just how God has protected me my entire life.  I am humbled to see all that God has brought Serena through – I look forward to tomorrow’s post to get the rest of the story.

I am reminded, through Serena’s story, that God is sufficient.  In all that she has gone through, God has been there to support her and guide her through.

So no matter what you are facing today, remember:  God’s grace is sufficient.  God’s love is sufficient.  God’s peace is sufficient.

Be blessed!

Read Full Post »

I hit my Pandora radio limit yesterday – and it was only the middle of the month.  Pandora is an online music site that allows you to set up an account and then set up different “stations” based on the genre of music you like.  Last month they announced that they were going to limit the amount of time you could stream music.  Once you hit your limit, you could pay $.99 for the remainder of the month and keep listening.  So what did I do?  I did what any music lover would do in that situation – I opened iTunes, clicked on the radio button and went back to listening some stations I used to listen to before I discovered Pandora (Club 977 the 80’s channel was the choice of the day).

As I listened to the station, I was reminded that they play good music too.  I had just moved on to newer, cooler options – but the old faithful was still there.

In our spiritual lives we are always looking for new and fresh – creative ways to grow spiritually – to “be fed.”  But I want to challenge you today.  There are old, tried and true practices that still lead us to the heart of God.

How many of you, when I mention centering prayer, meditation, the Jesus prayer or Lectio Divina think “Oh yeah, I forgot about those things?”  Most of us on the Protestant side of things are somewhat unfamiliar with these practices.  In fact, some may even cause you to raise an eyebrow of suspicion thinking these practices might be an infiltration of “new age” meditation practices.

But in reality, these practices are as old as Christianity itself.  The desert fathers and mothers used these hundreds of years ago.  So new and fresh isn’t always the ticket.

I am not knocking contemporary trends, in fact, I love them.  But I am saying that we also need to look at age old practices that work.  The good thing is that we have been away from them for so long, for most of us they are new and fresh – now isn’t that interesting!

Please comment and / or contact me if you would like more information on spiritual practices and disciplines – there is a whole new (old) world out there.

Read Full Post »

Sunrise over Levelland

This morning I did something out of the ordinary, even for me.  I got to church early and felt compelled to spend some alone time with God (that part is not that out of the ordinary).  But today I climbed up on the roof of the church and sat right on the ridge of the auditorium and watched the sun come up (yes, that is the picture here – camera phones are great).

As I sat there in the cool morning air and watched God show off a bit, I listened and watched.  I heard all the sounds of early morning – birds chirping, cars driving past with people heading into their daily routines – all of what one would normally expect.  And in the sky was the sun, or rather clouds blocking the sun.  But it was easy to know the sun was there because of the rays coming through the holes in the clouds.

What a beautiful image of life and Jesus.  We stay so busy with our lives that we often fail to look, but there in the midst of it all, larger than life is Jesus, streaming through the breaks in the clouds.  We may not see him directly but we know that he is there because of the rays that come through, overpowering the darkness.

Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the “radiance of God’s glory.”  The radiance of God’s glory!  Wow, just like the rays of the sun emanating from the source through the clouds this morning.  Jesus is the visible and tangible human experience of God.

I pray that today Jesus the Son will be as real to you as the sun in the sky.  Have a great day!

Read Full Post »

Motivation is the Key

I woke up last night and could not go back to sleep.  I tossed and turned for about 2 hours and finally gave up and just got up.  I think part of my problem was all the things running through my head – all the plans and ideas I have to do great things for God’s Kingdom.  But as I lay there thinking and praying, I began to question my motivation.  I tend to be a dreamer in some regards which is not a bad thing but one of the things I am always cautious of is the motivation behind my dreams and aspirations.

Motivation is an important, if not crucial, element to life – any life.  Without motivation we would not get out of bed in the morning.  There would be no sense of purpose.  Now understand, motivation can be external – someone else telling us “You better do this or that.”  Or it can come from within.  It is this inner motivation I am talking about.

It is vitally important to make sure, as a follower of Jesus, that our motivation to do great things comes from a desire to serve Jesus and others and not ourselves.  As long as our motivation is purely and humbly grounded in serving Jesus and pleasing God, then all the other things we are concerned about will either be taken care of or merely fade into irrelevance.

So what motivates you today?  I challenge you to pray for God to search your heart – that place so deep inside that only you and God know it – ask God to search you there and reveal to you areas that may not be operating out of pure motives.  The Kingdom will be furthered and you will be blessed in the process.

Read Full Post »

Broken MirrorAbout a week ago I was backing out of the garage, it was early (very early) and I was not fully awake.  Some of the men from our church get together for a prayer breakfast at 6 am.  I have told them that I am not sure God is up at that hour and so I don’t think I should be either but that has not swayed them.  But back to the story, as I backed out of the garage at that early hour, I realized quite abruptly that due to the rain overnight, the opening in the garage had shrunk and my mirror would no longer make it through the opening.  Ok, I admit, the garage had not shrunk, I was just not paying attention and nearly took the mirror completely off the passenger side of the vehicle!  That is a sickening feeling to know that you have just done damage to your vehicle and there is no one to blame but yourself.

At any rate, the mirror housing was fine but the mirror itself was smashed into 40 or 50 pieces and dangling from the housing by a wire.  I was able to pop the plastic back together but I was left with a mirror that not only made objects appear farther than they actually are but now there were 40 or 50 objects to choose from.  The problem is that all the pieces give just a little different perspective – there is no clear picture in the mirror anymore.  Without clear focus, the mirror is completely useless.

Leadership is like that – with no clear focus, can we even really call it leadership?  When light is focused in the right way, it can be used to cut steel (or burn ants if you grew up in my neighborhood).

Good intentions, good ideas, passion, talents and enthusiasm can change the world when focused correctly.

So I have two questions for you: 1) How focused are your gifts and talents and passions toward your goals?  and 2) Anyone know where I can get that mirror fixed?

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Read Full Post »

Now That’s Risky

Most if not all of us are leaders on some level.  Some of you may lead major organizations, some may lead a family owned business, some may lead a Sunday School class and some may lead a family, but all are leaders on some level.

In thinking about what it takes to be a great leader, I am convinced that it takes vision – seeing what could be and even what should be.  But anytime we think about what could and should be, it comes with an element of risk.

Tacitus, a Roman historian in the first century is credited for saying this, “The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.”  In other words, our desire to play it safe and not take a little risk from time to time might just be what holds us back from being the leaders we need to be.

What do you need to risk today?

Read Full Post »

Intelligence or Depth?

One of my favorite authors is Richard Foster.  He has written extensively in the area of spiritual formation.   His most recognized work was a book entitled, Celebration of Discipline.  In that book he made this statement:  “The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but deep people.”

Now he wrote this book about 30 years ago but this statement is still as true today as it was then.  Our culture has a tendency to move at the speed of light and the result is people who can get things done and move on to the next thing – successful people.

But at the core of most of what we see there is little depth.  When there is no depth, there is little passion and direction.  We are simply living day to day, from demand to demand.  How much better would our lives be – how much better would our world be – if we all had a spiritual depth that birthed true, God-centered direction and passion.

I would like to live that life – I would like to live in that world!

What do you think?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »