Archive for June, 2008

Best of the Week

June 30, 2008

Want to share with you what I’ve found great this week – well some of it:

Read today:

Wisdom: He Said What?

IT: Internet Security at Work

Relationships: Standard Features

From this week, interesting enough to follow up on:

Telling the Truth in Love

Downloading from YouTube

Quotes

Photoshop Tips – Fun, Fast and but Language

Blessings!

The Spider on My Window

June 30, 2008

A spider joined me for my morning commute this morning. Even in the hot sun it marched around at proud as you please. After briefly considering Twittering the experience, I chose to watch and find out what God wanted to teach me.

The spider traversed my windshield and dashboard then suddenly, disappeared! It was gone!!! “Where did it go?” (I have a tendency to talk aloud to God and/or myself when alone.)

“I think it went into the dark shadow between the windshield and the dashboard”

“Hmmm. Wonder what I’m supposed to be learning.”

That’s when God stepped in. “That’s sin.” That is all He said. (Not out loud.)

I could see instantly what He was saying. Sin is easily identified when it is in His light – but it “disappears” in the unlit areas of my life.

Just like unidentified cancer can grow unchecked, sin can grow if it isn’t found early. The sun was illuminating my whole window and dashboard, but here was one little crevice where ‘sin’ could hide. I decided to set aside time today for a ‘spiritual checkup,’ to ask God to examine the crevices of my life for ‘growths’ that need to be removed.

Out of the Huddle

June 29, 2008

Pastor Tony spoke this morning. The part that I took away was his analogy about football – nobody pays to watch the guys get in the huddle. It would be really boring to watch them huddle and then return to the bench – huddle, bench, huddle bench. But in our Christian lives, many people do just that – they ‘huddle’ at church, and then bench themselves the rest of the week – instead of getting into the field and taking the hits.

Aha! I thought. That is why my family is so different – some days, we are walking wounded – taking hits! I need to get better at helping my kids in the family huddle – coaching them through the plays. Praying for the kids they are walking with.

I read this blog today about Low Hanging Fruit. So many people want desperately for God to make sense. They are coming to church, but they are having trouble with the ‘connection’ M-F. They are what Seth calls the 10 mpg folks. If we could help them make that connection – to get off the bench and to get into the game – we would see our churches and their worlds change fast.

Where are you in the game?

Being with…

June 27, 2008

Have you ever thought about God with us?  What about Jesus saying in John 14 – greater things that what I have done you will do?

Today, I saw a great example in this blog:

Patio Parties

Have you had a chance to be with someone recently?  Share it with us here.  It helps encourage us all.

High Places

June 26, 2008

Today God has been talking to me about High Places.

In the OT, you find that almost all the kings after David that ‘did right in the sight of God’ still have one mark against them. “The high places, however were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.”

High places were where Abraham first worshiped God. They were a legitimate place of worship – until the time when God established a place of worship. Then they became a way that people were worshiping God in the way they wanted to – not in the way He had asked.

So, I asked on twitter (and facebook) today – what are our high places. God has been showing me – often I look for answers to my problems through books or common wisdom instead of taking my problems to Him first.

Sometimes I whine for Him to fix my issues instead of taking the time to take my concerns to Him with an open hand, wait, and ask for His answers.

God, help us to remove all those high places of self and serve you wholly with everything we have.

Spiritual Conversations

June 25, 2008

My family and I find that God uses us in an interesting way. People just open up to us and share their life story. Once, in the emergency room with pneumonia – a nurse told me deep things you wouldn’t tell your best friend.

This year a 1st grader opened up to my youngest on the bus. “I don’t like my life” he said.

In the grocery store, at the gas station – people just tell us things where the only proper response seems to be “can I pray for you?”

However, last night, my 12 year old had an amazing conversation with a friend online. This was the kind of conversation that is so cool it needs to be celebrated:

“Yeah, I’m going to church camp”

“Really? You Catholic?”

“no, I’m Christian.”

“Can you talk to God?”

“Yeah, through prayer and worship. We are encouraged to talk to God like I would to to anyone else.”

“Really? What’s God like?”

So they went on and she told him what God is like to her – his paradigm of who God totally changed in one conversation. Isn’t that cool???

Can you talk God? What’s God like? (full disclosure – they didn’t capitalize God, I did)

Vision Talking Points

June 25, 2008

Today I read “Making Vision Stick” by Andy Stanley. Here are the main points that jumped out to me:

  • Vision has to be memorable – people have to understand it and be able to remember it.
  • Define the problem, offer the solution, give the reason and explain why NOW is the time.
  • Then repeat the vision regularly.
  • Also, vision can slip. It is normal. Look for slippage and be honest about it – first in yourself, then in your organization. You just have to keep your priorities the same and realign your life to match. (Andy explains it like when you suddenly realize you have no non-Christian friends, even though that is a priority.) Just admit you aren’t meeting your own expectations and get back on target.
  • Last, find God’s grace in the process.

What I liked best about the book? I read it in one night and it was a great refresher on some points. My favorite point was the NOW point – why is NOW important. I’ve had lots of great ideas over the years that I’ve realized weren’t for now, so I’ve let them go. Why is this vision important for now?

So… how does this apply to you?

When God is Absent – Filling the Void

June 23, 2008

The June 16th Newsweek has an interesting article on food as a path to enlightenment (page 48). After talking about the search for an experience to satisfy the soul, the article says: “sating physical hunger is an easier task than satisfying deeper appetites.”

I’ve been considering the ways we fill our ‘void’. In Exodus 32, the children of Israel had been in the desert for a year. Moses was up on the mountain with God, Aaron and the Israelites were down in the valley – and Moses was gone a long time. The Israelites (much like you and I when we think God has abandoned us) started looking for something stable to grasp onto. The only thing they had was what seemed familiar to them from their past – ‘before God’. So they made the golden calf. Big mistake, big trouble, many died, God saved, they turned back to leaning on Him.

When we feel a void, what familiar things do we turn to? What satisfies our soul? Do we focus on waiting for God, or do we have old things that we still pull out that damage us and those around us?

How do you deal with life when God seems absent?

Christianity isn’t Dying, Just Changing Shape

June 21, 2008

This morning the Telegraph is reporting that many expect Christianity to die in the next 100 years. But then, Dave Ferguson, one of the great bloggers I follow also put out a post about a woman finding her way back to Jesus. (For those of you who are new to reading online stuff, if you click on the highlighted words, it will take you to the article and blog I just mentioned, respectively.)

I think that Christianity is changing shape. We are going from a formal religion to an organic relationship. Think about it. Would you rather be part of an official set of rules, or in a relationship with the maker of all creation who wants you to be part of what He is doing?

Okay, so I would argue that this was God’s idea all along, but now, we are getting it. In every generation, a few have gotten it, but now, many are getting it.  It might be the post-modern mindset, it might be the endtimes, it might be the revelation God is giving to the church for this day and age.  Whatever the reason, it is cool and great and awesome. We are in a time of great opportunity.

Five Ways High Gas Prices Help Focus Life

June 20, 2008

This morning I woke up thinking about the benefits of high gas prices. I know it’s weird, but consider the streamlining effects of these conservation methods:

1. Only make one trip to the grocery store a week. Every trip costs you extra. Also, less trips = less gas.

2. “55 stay alive” was also about gas conservation. Slower = Calmer.

3. Exercise. Walking is a good option for appointments within a mile of home or work. Breathe, Calm, Relax.

4. Bicycling. I have a friend who often bicycles from home to work – several miles. She is a hero to me! Someday I will accomplish such a task. You can view her blog here.

5. Planned days, planned trips. This is huge. No running around back and forth. Focus – Calm – Planning.

I did a search on the word ‘consider’ on biblegateway.com today. The bible tells us to consider our path – we need to focus on God and His commands – and to consider the lilies of the field – to NOT fret and worry about where our provision is coming from.

Wow! Focus, Calm, Planning, Slower, Breathe, Relax, Consider, and leaning on God for provision. What a joy it is to have God be in control!

What can you add?


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