REFUEL your relationship with God

I’m reading the book Refuel by Doug Fields…
And I am enjoying this help and practical book.

I love how Doug writes the same way that he speaks. His personality is the same even in his writing, not a lot of authors can (or even try) to express the same sense of humor in writing that they use in their real verbal life.

So far the book has been very helpful. It has confirmed a lot of thinks I have been thinking about, doing, and teaching about myself personally. I hope Doug does not mind me spilling the beans, but the approach to connecting with God is really simple. First we must STOP, then BE QUIET, and MAKE A CONNECTION WITH GOD.

There are a lot of things in our lives that we live that keep us busy, a lot of times we use this busyness as an excuse for not finding time for God. The issue is not our busyness but it is easy to use that as the excuse really our priorities are flawed or we are not managing our time properly to truly live out our priorities.

So Doug tells us to STOP…even for just a few minuets or seconds through-out the day and recognizing God as Lord. Put Him first, seek Him, pray, and read the Word of God….

but the first step of STOPPING can be difficult because of the lives that we live. Stopping does not mean giving God the left overs, we must STOP because if we really want to make a connection with God we must surrender all of our attention to Him. He uses an illustration of getting gas. We cannot fill our car up with gas while it is still moving or even running….we have to STOP the car before we can connect to the pump.

Advertisements

An area lacking

A part of my life that I miss is music.
During most of my life I have played in a band. Not always the same band but continually in a group nonetheless.
I recorded an album of myself for fun last year.
Now I occasionally write songs but this area of my life is lacking and not as active as it has been in the past and I miss that.

It is not only my own music playing and ability but music in general…
I have 30GBs of music on my computer but much of it is forgotten.
It is great music (old and new) but I just haven’t got the time to just listen to music like I used to.

It is strange how all this occurring, I love music and it has always been a part of my life but right not it is not as big of my life as usual. I miss that…

so here is to a random day off of me playing guitar and forgetting about the rest of my life…it was fun

Teach Truth in love

My pastor and I were having a conversation about teaching. It is great to teach truth from the Bible, that is essential, but if you teach truth without love, without agonizing in love with and for the flock then your teaching breaches legalism. We must teach in love. We must not teach love only without the Bible and truth, that leads to liberalism. (And a bunch of other way off base cults, post-modern relativism, etc…)

There is a balance. You must teach truth, but we must teach with love.

It got me thinking, I am passionate about truth and the Word of God, I love God, but am I being legalistic? Am I agonizing over my learners and students? I love my church and my students but am I putting the two together? Am I agonizing for my students? Am I teaching them only because it is truth and it is right? Or am I teaching them because I love them and know that this truth is what is best for them?

A lot of great stuff to ponder today

AWOL

A Week Of Links

So one of my friends randomly does this about once a month…he posts cool, relevant (to his life), weird, interesting, or just random websites that he has visited recently.

I am going to try doing this once a week or ever so often, especially if I do not have much other content. Because 1. I do not blog as much as I would like to and this is an easy weekly post and 2. I am already visiting cool, weird, relevant, interesting, and random websites on a regular basis, but I usually post them on Facebook. Now I will also post them here…(like I said this will be easy):

1. My main source of Facebook link post is POP URLs. Pop Urls is a really cool website. Simply put it is a genuine aggregator. It takes all the buzz from all of the top news websites (like Digg, delicious, reddit, yahoo, metafilter, technorati, youtube, google, newsvine, nytimes, and much much more) all on one updated page!

THis week:

Practicing His Presence

Ok
so you probably have heard this term before, “practicing His Presence”

But I had not heard of it until today when my pastor mentioned it to me….

It is a good process of thinking. Basically, you practice God’s presence in your life when you

acknowledge that He is present and there in your life.

Once you acknowledge that God is present in your life

you inevitably would live differently. Imagine God is watching your every move…

This way of thinking is an interesting one and a good one.

It should change sinful behavior.

Anyways, just a thought.

I’ve been thinkin a lot about….

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to be an American, how fortunate I am to have spendable money, own toys, have drinking water, own a car, type on this laptop that is mine….

Gosh, God has blessed me more than I know. Ever since I was a teenager I have thought about what it might be like to have grown up in a third world country. I had thought that it was sort of unfair. Although God has reasons for putting me here. I want to do whatever it is that HE wants me to do. I want to serve Him.

Sometimes it is easy to live in my world. To be so focused on me and what I want, what I think I need. I think about the next purchase I want to make, my agenda for tomorrow, my next task or test…I plan my own world. I try to figure it all out. It is easy to be so wrapped up in me thinking that I miss God and what He wants. I miss opportunities to serve Him. I forget about the lost. I forget about those who are less fortunate than me.
I think that I can do something for those who are less fortunate than me. I see how I rule my own life. I see all the money and food I waste. I realize that I have a lot more than many many many others in this world. I realize though that I can do something. 
I want to do something. I feel a desire to do something more. I feel called to help other people. I am not sure exactly how or what that will look like…
I do not know why I feel compelled to even type this, but at a young age I felt called to ministry, at one point I felt that I might even be called to be a missionary…but God is still working the plans. I am not sure where the path is leading right now. I am still learning, growing and training. 
One of the lessons that I have also spent much time contemplating recently is just how much time and energy I (we, as a nation) spend building our own kingdoms….building our own barns, collecting toys, growing our bank accounts, etc…it is very selfish. 

Think about it, none of these things are eternal. Nothing is going to Heaven with us. The only thing that stands forever is the Word of God and God himself. 

Maybe I am different than most people. But I feel the need to spend less time conquering my greedy American dreams and more time helping the less fortunate. 
Another thought that piles on to the equation is this one, “Are you ready if Jesus comes back?”
I don’t mean to sound religiously bigoted or better than anyone, cause I am not. I waste a lot of time and money. I am greedy sometimes. I am working on all of these things in my own personal life, that is probably why I am typing all of this….

But think about it, chasing our American dreams sometimes gets in the way of what we are called or might be called to do by God. God wants us to share our faith and help the less fortunate. God commands us to make disciples. The early church was a
lot more 
eschatological in their thinking then we are, wheter they knew it or not… they knew Jesus was coming back and they lived ready for His return! Are we doing these things? Are we in love with our first love? Are we sharing our faith enough? Are we giving to the poor and helping the widows and children? Are we living like Christ? Is this how the early Church followed Christ? 

I am not saying we cannot have good things and we should not live with the things God has blessed us with…nor am I accusing anyone, but myself of a bad faith or a lost love… But these are things to consider…these are thoughts from my head…. 

follow me

In His sermon this week, my pastor spoke about Jesus and the disciples. Jesus chose fisherman to be his disciples, regular fishermen. The fishermen “immediately” left their boats and followed. “immediately” left their father and their fishing business to follow a man whom they had just seen for the first time!

The Greek Word “euyewv” is used for straightway, forthwith, or best fitting for modern English “immediately.” aka- quickly, shortly, without hesitation, at once or soon, as soon as possible.

This hits home with me ,because the very first disciples laid down a pure example of what faith can look like. These men did not know Jesus well when they met him, when all he said was “follow me.” But they left all that they knew and followed.

Ever since the first disciples and even today, that is all it takes to follow Jesus. It is not necessary to know everything about Him in order to believe and to follow Him. I am not saying that people shouldn’t look into Jesus and learn about Him before they make any kind of decision. Please do the research, Jesus speaks for Himself and the more you know about Him the better.

But for the point of this post and just pure reflection, it is an interesting thought. The first disciples simply followed. There wasn’t any skepticism. My point really is that this still happens today. Look at my salvation story, for example: I was very young when I came to know Christ. At eight years of age, I only knew the basics…Jesus died for my sins. Sure I grew up in a Christian home, but I was not trained on epistemology, hermeneutics, and Christology, not as an eight year old. My mom asked me if I would follow Him. I kind of understood that I was a sinner. But I wanted whatever it was that my mom had and was talking about. So I followed Him. That is it! I was saved without knowing very much at all about Jesus.

Today as my faith has matured a lot, I enjoy studying those deeper things I referred to. And if you read the Gospels and then read Acts, you see how Peter and the disciples’ faith mature quite a bit too. They knew very little and then over time and in their relationship with God they began to understand more deeply.

It is really basic observation but truly amazing, Jesus is for everyone!