Archive for August, 2013

The last two years on this day – the first day of school for my kids – I have written a post about prayer on the first day of school (you can read the one from last year here).  As I think about the importance of prayer and the importance that school plays in the lives and development of our kids, I am reminded that we should make prayer for our kids a daily practice.

I am also reminded of how limited, important and sacred our time with our kids really is.  When you look at the hours in a week and you deduct the hours spent sleeping and then you deduct the hours spent at school, you are left with a limited number of hours that you have with your kids.  When you do the math, depending on their involvement in other activities, you probably have between 20 and 25 hours in a given week (Monday through Friday) to mold and shape your kids – roughly half of the time that we turn them over to the school.

The time moves quickly.  It seems that one week you are taking your kids to kindergarten and the next you are packing the car to head off to college.

Make the most of your time with your kids.  Spend time with them.  Listen to them.  Guide them.  And yes, pray for them – everyday.

If God has entrusted you with children, how will you make their lives better today?

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I have a project for you.

I am starting a new series this week – Why You Should Come To My Church.

I am going to be talking about the things we find, or should find, in our churches that make being a part of the church something that is indispensable in a person’s life.  What is it about church that a person is just not going to have in his or her life if he or she is not tied to a community of believers?

So here is the project for you – text me, email me, Facebook me, call me or simply reply right here with the answer to this question.

Why is your church indispensable to you?

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Be blessed today!

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Rest For the Weary

I often cling to the verse in Matthew that offers a promise for those who need a break. In Matthew 11, we find that Jesus offers anyone who is tired and overloaded much needed rest. He tells us that all we have to do is turn to him and we will find the rest we need.

What kind of rest are we talking about here? Are we talking about sleep? Because I don’t know about you but over the past few weeks it seems I have been missing some of that. I am not sure Jesus was saying that if we turn to him we will have the opportunity to sleep more. But I do believe that when we turn to him and rest in him, our sleep will be more restful.

What Jesus was talking about was rest from the constant busyness and stress that is life.

Summer is coming to a close which is signaled by the beginning of school. As this week progresses, teachers are in meetings and preparing their classrooms. Parents are pulling together school supplies. Kids are trying to make the most of their last days of “freedom.” Things are piling up at the office. The yard needs to be mowed. Bills need to be paid. That stubborn door that opens only by force needs to be repaired. The car is on its last leg. Things at church are gearing up and that means that persuasive and persistent minister is going to be looking to sign you up for some area of service.

It all starts getting very heavy. It’s hard to run at full speed when you are dragging a boat anchor with you everywhere you go. But as the weight of the world presses down, that is what you feel like – you are dragging around a heavy load.

That is what Jesus was talking about. He offers relief. He offers peace. He offers rest.

Sit back and rest in him today. Rest in the peace that comes in knowing that he is in control. Take a deep breath in remembering that there is nothing so pressing, so important or so urgent that Jesus cannot see you through it.

Simply rest!

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Over the last three weeks, I have been leading our church family through a series dedicated to remind us of the importance of putting practices in place to help us have encounters with God – encounters that will open us up to be transformed by God into people who make a difference for the kingdom.

The first week we talked about fasting and creating time and space in our lives in order to focus on our relationship with God.  I challenged our folks to pick a day and set something aside in order to focus more intentionally on God.

The second week I challenged our folks to set aside 10 minutes on 3 different days in order to pray.

This past Sunday I challenged our folks to set aside 10 minutes on 3 different days to spend in God’s word.  I firmly believe that the best way to grow in our faith and understanding is to spend time with God pouring ourselves into the Bible.  It should be the road map and guide that we turn to for instruction and hope.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that all scripture is God-breathed (you can read it here).  Think about that for a second.  God breathed truth into man who wrote it down and passed it on to us.  How close did God have to be to those writing that truth down in order to breath that truth into them?  What an amazing picture Paul gives us of how in tune those original authors of our Bible were with the very heart of God.

And God still breaths truth into us today – in many ways.  One of the most concrete ways this happens is through the Bible.

But it only happens if we read it and spend time meditating on the truth we find there.  And then transformation begins to occur when we actually put into practice the truth God breaths.

So I challenge you, as I did our church family on Sunday, spend time in God’s word this week.  Set time aside and read.  Read not to finish.  Read to hear from God.

You will be amazed at what you find in the living word of God!

Be blessed!

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To Do List

Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day?  You take a look at your calendar and there is not an empty space for the day and then you look at your To Do list and the first 20 items on the list need to be done by noon and it’s already 9 am – and the panic sets in.

It is in a moment like this that God gently calls out, “Spend time with me – rest in me.”

And in our panic and frustration we think, “There is no way!  I can’t stop and spend time now.  I will do that later – when things slow down.”

That is just what the enemy wants us to think.  If we can stay so caught up in our responsibilities that we put off taking time for God, then tomorrow, God’s voice becomes  faint – drowned out by the obligations and responsibilities of that day.  Over time, we don’t even think of spending time with God any longer.  And that’s how it happens.

Becoming more like Jesus takes time spent with God and it takes discipline.  It doesn’t just happen.  We have to be intentional.

And the reality is that none those things on the To Do list, none of those appointments, not one of those phone calls – none of it will matter if not done as worship to God.  You see, everything we do should be worship.  Our work and effort should be an offering to God.  An offering of our best using the talents, gifts and passions that God has given us.

So I challenge you today to set the calendar and To Do list aside for just a minute and stop long enough to spend a few minutes with the creator.

It might just give you a better perspective on the day.

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