I’ve been reading With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray. Books on prayer always seem to vitalize my relationship with God.
The chapter from this morning was from Matthew 7:9-11 – that when we pray it’s like a child approaching a father; knowing he will always provide good things in return of a request.
Murray goes on to call this understanding the “secret to prayer,” and I believe he is right. It’s hard to conjure up new faith every day. If I could stay in right relationship and deeply connected – then I wouldn’t have to go looking for faith. My son never has to wonder if I’ll take him on new adventures, teach him new things, help him succeed at his favorites in life, or just otherwise provide. He doesn’t have to wonder because he lives with me, and knows me, and is therefore used to me doing it all the time.
There still is some yearning that goes into this. Although God is never far off, the lack of face-to-face relationship often forces me outside of my base knowledge of what I know relationships to be. With God, everything is faith.
How do you tell wrong people that they’re wrong without being wrong yourself?
I’m getting stuck there all the time. The world is not as it should be, and sometimes, somebody, ought to do something about it. It seems though that whenever I’m the one to speak up amidst the silent elephant of wrong in the room, I end up marked as the one in the wrong.
It’s true. Too bold and too soon doesn’t get received well. I guess correction isn’t the only pathway to change either.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” were the words of Jesus (Matthew 7:1). I think I have a lot to learn here still.
Approach is just as important as your goal. Communicating a change with your spouse for example, you may have the big idea of what they need to know, and you may have an application/result you’re hoping for, but if you get the wrong approach… you’ll end up apologizing!
You have to care about what people do with what you teach. 1 Corinthians 9 has Paul talking about how he came to win. He didn’t come to make a point, or to be right; he came to make a difference.
Thought this video was a fun synopsis of Ash Wednesday.
It’s a tradition I was late in understanding, but have come to love now.
Lakepoint Church is hosting an Ash Wednesday Experience in open-house format this evening at the Muskego Historic Settlement Center (W180S8100 Racine Ave, Muskego), open 6:00-7:30.
What’s your picture of a great day off?
I’ve got four things for me…
- Nap. More than food, I want my afternoon nap. I think I should have been born in Spain.
- People Time. I get tired of not having as much time for people as I’d like during the week. If someone can come over for dessert or watch a good sport event in my living room with me, that’s awesome. Family movie with the kids – just as good.
- Headlines. I don’t catch much news during the week, so 20 minutes with a magazine or headline articles gives me something fresh and current to pray with God for.
- Calendars. Before the day is over, I like to compare calendars with Melissa on the week ahead… while I’m still rested and got my head on straight.
That’s my four elements for a perfect day off. Most weeks, two out of four isn’t bad!
How about you?
Here’s three questions to help you build a perfect day off. Continue reading
You know you’ve made it when you no longer think about it.
Melissa and I spoke at the Elmbrook No Regrets Conference this past weekend. Together we did a workshop on “Keeping Romance Alive,” and then I did another on “Building a Church through Small Groups.”
It was fun. I certainly didn’t feel big-time; in fact I smiled at how small I felt as I mingled with all the great speakers at this great event. Then lunch happened.
Steve Sonderman is the leader of the event. He’s had a hard week. Crisis hit on multiple levels with his support team, he was grieving a death in his extended family, speaking several times at an event with 4,000 live and (I believe I heard) another 30,000 by extension sites, and had a cold to boot. There were tons of things Steve could have been doing with his margin that day. However, after grabbing his lunch in the speaker lounge in the middle of it all, he pulled a chair up by Melissa and I so he could ask how our kids were.
Who does that?
A great leader.
Always serving, always caring, no respecter of status, never too busy with his high profile life to extend some courtesies to those in front of him.
I was stunned… and inspired.
That’s the kind of leader I want to be someday.
Where should you start when you start reading the Bible?
Are you picking the Bible up for the first time?
Can you remember picking up the Bible for the first time?
If you’re reading the Bible, you probably take for granted how awkward it is to start. It’s a big book. It spans 2000+ years of history, dozens of authors, and a handful of literary genre’s.
I usually tell people to start in the middle, with stories of Jesus; but how weird is that? Most people start at the beginning of books; a few like skipping to the end; but who’s ever started in the middle?
All of the Bible is intelligible. Everyone can learn from it. But a little background on the section you’re in saves a lot of frustration.
Better than choosing the right place to start, is simply choosing to start. We got to get to all of it some time or another anyway!
My approach at Lakepoint Church right now is to teach how to best read a certain portion of the Bible, encourage them to try it out, and then after a few months try it all over again in a different spot. Little by little, I believe people can see reading the Bible as normal and helpful.