Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts on Prayer

I'm working on reading a bunch of things I didn't get to in seminary, the "eschatological reading list" as one professor called it.  Right now, I'm reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Prayer offered in early morning is decisive for the day.  The wasted time we are ashamed of, the temptations we succumb to, the weakness and discouragement in our work, the disorder and lack of discipline in our thinking and in our dealings with other people--all these very frequently have their cause in our neglect of morning prayer.  The ordering and scheduling of our time will become more secure when it comes from prayer.

This rich quote invites us to reorder are day.  Sure, we could skip morning prayer in favor of some extra time to sleep, surf the web, watch tv, etc.  However doing this takes it's toll on our discipline in all areas of life.  The invitation is simply, when you desire things to be different, start with prayer.  Take time for prayer as you get out of bed in the morning, take time to read some scripture (perhaps a psalm) and hear God speak to you, take time to listen as God pulls us to do the divine will.  Perhaps that last one is most important.  To be silent, know God's presence and listen to the voice of the Almighty, whether loud and booming, or still and small.

If you aren't sure how do morning prayer, I recommend subscribing to the Moravian Daily Texts (go to  This is a free service that will send daily scripture readings to your eMail box.

The other recommendation is purchasing a book from the "40-Day Journey with _________"  series available at

Schedule an appoint between yourself and God daily, let me know how the journey goes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More thoughts on Mark 10:35-45

This past Sunday, we heard a familiar gospel in Mark 10:35-45.  The quick summary:  
On the way to Jerusalem the disciples ask Jesus to grant them seats of honor. Jesus responds by announcing that he and his followers will “rule” through self-giving service.

I still appreciate the way the Oakridge Boys portray this, you can view this at

Monday, October 19, 2009

A new way of thinking part III?

During a breakfast conversation with my mentor today, I was reminded that during the creation account, the day begins in the evening. How would this change your life if you viewed the relaxation you experience in the evening as the beginning of the day?

Imagine your day beginning around the dinner table with family with a slower pace versus the hectic eat and run breakfast. It's fun to ponder this concept.

Now, to find an online calender program that will let me live this way

Friday, October 9, 2009

I wonder

What would happen if we stopped using fear as a motivator? I'm tired of the 33% of (insert group here) will experience (insert disaster of your choice) on the evening news.

Why is it that we go so quickly towards the negative? I can't answer that today, and perhaps someday in the future I will understand the answer. Until that time, I'm resolving to reframe life in positive ways.

I believe this is what scripture says: " Don't worry! Don't panic! Live the trust you feel towards God in every moment of your life." Joel chapter 2 is filled with God's promise of restoration: "Don't be afraid, my people. Be glad now and rejoice for the Lord has done great things...once more the autumn rains will come as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high...The Lord says, I will give you back what you have lost..."

So when I hear "33% of (insert group here) will experience (insert disaster of your choice)", I will focus on 67% of people are okay not going to experience disaster in whatever form (illness, natural, crime, addiction, etc), and I'd like to work to increase that number to 100% people having the good stuff rather than 0% bad. Is it the same? Sure mathematically, but I believe in these times, hearing good news is essential.

The need for Good News is why Jesus declared: "So don't worry about these things, saying 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These thoughts dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs."

We belong to God, fear, love, and trust God the most.