Archive for the ‘Walk with God’ category

WALK with God Today

June 2, 2009

Here’s notes from my journaling, jotting from my WALK with the Lord this morning. Try the model. You might like it. Devotional Tools

W-Word of God

Gal 1:6-10

A-Attention to Detail

Paul was “astonished” by the thought, fact that some Galatians were turning from the faith to “another gospel; really God Himself. He warns the Galatians that those who preach another gospel are accursed. His bringing the issue up seems to be motivated by God. 

L-Life Application

There will be some in my culture who turn from the gospel. Some will teach another gospel. Christians must not be seduced by  another “better” gospel. They need to know truth and trust it.

K-Keep Close

Pray–“Lord, motivate me to “know” the authentic gospel, not a fake.

Obey–I will take a stand for the gospel in the face of popular cultural gospels.I will seek God’s approval, not man’s.  

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Live Praying

April 16, 2009

I love it when someone at a conference I can’t go to “live blogs” the event or even better, “Twitters” the event. Live blogging is popular for those in the 21st century who use media to get information. Live blogging allows a live event to be made available to those who can’t “be there” live.

What about “live praying?” Live prayer is praying to the Father on the spot for this that happen before your very eyes.”  We live in a religious culture that likes to try to measure prayer. The measurement for that is in the eyes of the one measuring. It’s often not the “only right” measurement. How about this statement on prayer: 

“Biblical vision of prayer . .. not ‘How much did I pray today?’ but ‘Did I ever stop praying today?'” Bob Gelinas, Finding the Groove, 153. 

Love that quote!

What are the benefits of live praying or “praying without ceasing?” (1 Thess 5:17)

1. Constant communication deepens relationship

2. Praying on the spot ensures you are praying

3. Live praying generally is focused on others, not you.

4. You will look for prayer requests more often.

5. You will meet more needs because you look for them and then do them.

Examples: 

1. Praying for your server at a restaurant.

2. When someone asks you to pray for something, always pray then, not later.

3. When you think of it, pray for it.

4. Pray for those about you without them knowing it and look for answered prayers. 

5. Pray for your pastor as he preaches. 

6. Ask of every situation, “Lord, what do you want me to do here?”

What do you think? Are you praying consistently?

Things That Make Us Pray

April 9, 2009

prayer-2What are things that make us pray?

Pray is hard work, but it does seem we are more prone to do it at certain times. When are those times? One of the hardest things to do in the Christian walk is to develop and maintain a vibrant prayer life. Some of the things that make us pray are funny and ironic. I’m going to post on prayer in the next few days and will interested in hearing from you about how we do prayer in the church. 

1. When your wife is driving.

“God help me, my wife is driving.”

2. When your bank account is low.

“Dear God, please let them be slow in cashing that check.” 

3. Turbulence on a plane.

“Dear God, I’ll do anything if you allow this plane to land.”

4. Tests of any kind, especially school. 

“God I know I didn’t study, but please….”

5. Possible layoff.

“Dear God, I know everyone needs a job, but don’t let ME get laid off.” 

6. Your “need gas” light comes on.

“Please God, let us coast to the next gas station.”

7. Teenager driving.

“Lord, I don’t know how to pray…”

8. Long lines of any kind. 

“Lord, please help this line to move faster.” (and forgive my attitude)

9. Teenager driving. 

Forget prayer, get out of the car.

10. Co-workers.

“Lord, I’m going to hurt this person if you don’t change them.” (Just kidding)

11. Aggravating family. 

“Lord, give me the ability to not say what I want to say.” 

12. Bill collectors or paying the bills. 

“Lord, I ask you to stretch this money.” 

What are some things that you can think of that make us pray?

21 Years of Marriage Today

January 24, 2009

I want to thank my wife, Jeana, for 21 great years of marriage. When I met Jeana I was in the Army. We met in Germany. Our first date was on the “Rhein a Flame” boat cruise. I drank alcohol a lot, did a little weed, and was sexually immoral. But God was moving. I was not a transformed creature yet, but Jeana hung in there with me. And I am thankful. Jeana has stuck with me through thick and thin. Eleven years in the Army, especially in combat arms units, can do a marriage in. Yet Jeana was right there with me even through the 101st Airborne assignment. Then she went with me to seminary. Six years + and now through a DMIN at GCTS. Four churches have been on our path too. All wasn’t easy, but it is “all good.” 

I love this woman for life.img_0856 She is a precious person who nows how to live life. She is also an excellent Christian who nows how to reproduce herself in others. She’s able to make disciples.

She is a great mom. She knows how to raise a daughter to be a godly young woman and servant of God.

She is a great lover. (No explanation)

She is a great house keeper. Knows how to make things cosy. 

She is the wife “extraordinaire.” And I’m thankful God used her to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ into my life.

Thanks for 21 years Jeana!

The Hardest Thing in the Christian Life

August 27, 2008

I’ve been a Christian for 20 years. When I think back to the beginning, I have a hard time remembering how I learn the basics of the Christian life. Rick Warren’s Discovery 101 was not big then. I never really got into the “Survival Kit.” Do you remember that study for new Christians? If you were going to boil all the Christian life down to its most simple, most important nutrients, what would that answer be? What would you tell a new believer to do?

Would you tell the person to go to church? Well, that would be correct and good. Would you tell the person to get involved in a ministry? That would be correct and good. Would you tell the person to tithe? Witness? Where would a person learn to do those things? 

I learned to serve by watching the example of others. I learned to witness, not in the WIN soul winning workshop, but in the example of my father-in-law. He took and showed me how it was done in a living room. My wife taught me how to tithe. All of these things are important. But….

The hardest thing in the Christian life is developing and maintaining a devotional life. Walking with God in personal Bible study and prayer is the hardest thing to do. Why? Because we all get busy. Yet if I don’t spend at least some time with God in the morning of each day, my day is clearly different.

My job as a leader has many facets. I must do the things I’m required to do. The one thing I strive to do as a leader is to teach people how to walk with God. Recently, a student in my small group sent me a message in Facebook. He said, “Can you email me once a week to remind me to spend time with God?” When I read that I said, “Yes, he’s getting it.” The most important, yet most difficult is for him is to maintain his walk with God.

If I can get people to walk with God, the other things, the outward things, they will come. Ministry and missions are usually done by the people who have a walk with God in Bible study and prayer. 

What does your walk with God look like? If it’s not easy or looking as good as you want, don’t worry. The hardest thing in the Christian life is to maintain your walk with God. It’s hard to keep it up even though it seems dried up and dull. God’s saying nothing fresh. But you wait and obey in your walk. Why? You know God will show up if you wait.

Right now, I’m using “My Utmost for His Highest” in my devotions. I’m using an “Operation Andrew” prayer list. Yet it’s still hard at times. 

Where does a person learn to walk with God? Where did you learn how to do it? In a class? Or someone mentored you? What’s your opinion on this “walk with God” stuff.

Social Media and 21st Century Ministry

August 22, 2008

In the last year I have been following a friend of mine, Pastor Kerry Mackey, in his use of Social Media as a means of community, communication, and commitment to making disciples. Kerry’s site is www.streettotheseat.com. Check it out. Kerry’s an expert at social media and assimilation. I’ve found social media to very gratifying and effective for communicating with younger people especially. There are many social media outlets out there and they can be addicting. So, if you should jump in, be careful not to spend all of your time doing it. However, effective use of these technological mediums can bring great benefits to your ministry and family. Ignoring the power of social media is a mistake. In one sense you don’t have to have it. In another sense, you cannot live without it.

MySpace is for mainly for teenagers. If you want to reach into the world of younger students, this is a must. You will have to setup a free account, but be ready to do some set up work. My advice is for you to set up for a few weeks before actually jumping into the online community. I had a MySpace account, but get rid of it recently. The reason I got rid of it was two-fold. First, I wasn’t keeping up with it. Second, it has some rather appealing adds. They are not pornographic, but are seductive. The adds are at the same level as you TV commercials, so don’t panic. But you will have to make a decision to be careful for the sake of reaching into “their world.” Young people are using MySpace as an alternate community. They either don’t have any real, healthy community, or they want to have a community where their parents are not looking in. If you can get into their community, there’s a respect and interaction that will build confidence and respect. You will want to interact, but not preach or condemn them for what’s on their sites. This will be hard, but it’s worth it. After a while, you will be able to make headway with them.

Facebook is used by young adults. It’s an online community that’s not as seductive, but still has adds that are not what you want on your face book site. Tony Morgan has a great post on why he left face book here. It’s something to consider. One way I’ve benefitted from Facebook is that 90% of my young adult small group  Sunday School class is in the Facebook community. I’ve gotten into their community. It’s allowed me to learn a lot about them and it shows them I care about their world and them as individuals. If you get into Facebook (or MySpace), I suggest if your married, have a page with your spouse. Don’t do it alone. If you’re single, it’s all good.

Twitter is a kind of micro-blogging. I have just begun to use it, but I love it. It’s simple. It can be run through your phone or from your computer. It creates a community based on the question, “What are you doing?” It’s a place where you can communicate ideas and let friends in on what you’re doing through the day. It allows you to follow some people who you may not ever get access to. I’m presently following Ed Stetzer and Dave Furguson. I’m learning a lot from just following their “tweeting.” I’m trying to get my friends to join Twitter. Twitter, like MySpace and Facebook, is free if you have an unlimited text messaging. If you don’t, Twitter is not for you, at least via phone. If you have iPhone, you can use Twitteriffic. It’s pretty cool.

I was slow to acknowledge the power of social media. I’m now catching up and passing some by using Twitter. What’s next? I don’t know. Maybe nothing. What I know is a good blog or website is crucial for churches and ministry leaders. Pastors should have a blog link on the front page of the church website. Link a weekly question to the previous or upcoming weekend message. I know of some churches that have internet campuses and have hired “Internet Campus Pastor’s.” At Christ Fellowship they have an online chat after the service. If someone cannot attend the service, they are challenged to watch online and participate and interact within the church community online. I love that! One other medium I’ve used to communicate with my Sunday School Class is “mass email.” I use a “Connection Card” to update constantly. I ask if the person is MySpace, Facebook, and get email address with birth date. I send an email to my class twice a week to encourage them to keep up their “walk with God.” It helps keep community during the week and helps them remember to come to class (I send one email on Saturday).

How are you using social media to create and enhance biblical community for the unreached and reached within your church?

The Power of Acts 2:42

July 29, 2008

I’ve been a Christian for 20 years and I’ve been in leadership in ministry for 15 years. What is the bottom line of walking with God?

Bible and prayer. There are many other things, but Bible and prayer are the foundation.

If I were going to ask Christians to do things here’s what I would ask them to do first:

“They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers.” Acts 2:42

You show me a person who practices the four things above and I will show you a person who does ministry and missions.

There are churches built on this kind of model. consider www.242communitychurch.com. Notice the video on the front page. Hello! They have got it right. What do you think of Acts 2:42 as a guide for spiritual maturity?