Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Try this!

Found this on Corey Mann's blog. I can't do it but it really makes me laugh.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Go know you want to

James Chapter 4 says a mouthful but what gets me is what he says in verse 8:

Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.
James 4:8 (NLT)

I know what it says but do I know what it means? Remember those Suzuki commericals where the kid is coloring and something is saying "stay within the lines" but the kid doesn't listen. I think it's more fun to color outside the lines but even more than that it's more creative. God made us that way. We are creative beings not intended to do the same thing over and over again. Variety in my relationship with God has been the best thing for me. I'm not sure I could handle the monotony of drawing close to him the same way everyday. I know that we must have some staples in our lives like healthy habits in order to connect like maybe a specific time of day or a particular place, but maybe it's time to explore some new ways to connect. Maybe it's showing up for a prayer meeting that you wouldn't normally go to or taking a walk through nature. I'm not sure what it is for you but for me I like to change it up and it works. So I'm going to keep getting creative and draw outside the lines a little more and watch God show up. Draw outside the lines.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stop braggin and get wise!

Dang, sometimes you can read a scripture a hundred times and miss something. I love that about God. He never ceases to amaze me! Our culture and people in general have learned the how to's of just about everything from losing weight to boiling a pot of water. Read the fine print! James said in chapter 3:

13 If you are wise and understand God's ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don't brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise!
James 3:13 (NLT)

Bam! You want wisdom go ahead and ask for it but here is the practical side of your prayer. This could be equated to the portion of us drawing close to Him. In black and white "live a life of steady goodness...and if you don't brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise!" Hot diggity Dog! I love when God's word just slams unto me like that! I've gotta keep this in mind for today.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mercy vs. Judgment

James chapter 2 prescribed to me this morning a healthy dose of mercy. Verse 13 says,
"because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."

That leaves me wondering, when am I not merciful? Than answer is when I forget my judgment. Stick with me. Recently I have found myself becoming a little frustrated sometimes with the students I minister to. They have so much great potential for God but they either don't see it or choose to ignore it. In moments of my frustration I want to jump up on my soap box and tell them what they are doing wrong and how to get it right. Can I stop right there for a second. That's where mercy escapes me. I've forgotten the fundamental thing I deserve, death. I'm flawed and always will be to some degree or another. I haven't arrived as much as I think I have. I'm not all that. But when I get around people that are flawed in areas that maybe I used to be but not so much anymore I get an unrealistic expectation that they should not have that flaw. Why is that? Do I think my flaws aren't as bad as theirs are? How dumb is that.

Mercy comes down to one word, awareness. If I am aware of how flawed I am and how much I need God's mercy in my life I will be more quick to extend the same mercy that I am so in need of. Father, may your mercy prevail over my life and may I become evermore aware of the judgment I deserve and yet the mercy you have given me. Help me to be filled with that mercy today. Amen.

Monday, January 21, 2008

James Ch. 1

What a Chapter! I think I could spend a month digesting it. But what stands out this morning is not what has hit me before. I know that life is more about addition than it is about subtraction. But at the same time it seems that Christianity is relegated to subtracting things from our lives. It's almost as though we sometimes measure holiness by how much sin we remove from our lives. For me it was easy to get caught in this trap. But today I'm challenging that thought in my life. While I know I have sin and I'm not attempting to remove the idea that I must stay away from it, I know that the Christian life can't be just about that. Where there is subtraction there must be addition. If someone wants to lose weight they subtract certain foods from there life but it can't stop there. I have seen that scenario so many times, I've even tried it, but it never works. Why? Because we forget the addition part. Lifestyle change. In order to have a real change than we must add something to our lives as well, exercise. I think we all know this but honestly I think it's harder to add than it is to subtract. Think about it, subtraction requires us to stop doing something but addition requires us change the way we do things.

All of this random thought because I read from James 1 this morning, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may become mature and complete, not lacking anything."

For me, I think I have spent too much of my life trying to subtract things from my life thinking that will bring holiness and keep me from trouble and make my life complete. But James tells us that a complete life and a mature life only comes from trials we face. It's not about how much sin I have subtracted from my life that will mature me. The complete life, the life lacking nothing is one that involves addition. Trials coming into our lives will do one of two things. It will either make us bitter or better. May I today count my trials as joy because the addition of perseverance in my life will mature me and leave me lacking nothing. That is my prayer today for all of my friends.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Dang, I'm 35 today! How did this happen? Life moves so fast that for some of us we live in regret. Doing the "I wish I had" or "If only". I made a promise to myself to never do that. The ride so far has not disappointed me. I can't wait to see what the next 35 years has to offer. Sorry for the long pause in my blogging.