Friday, April 29, 2011

Prayers Part 6

"Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be." Matthew 6:22-23
Place your hands over your eyes and pray that you would have the strength to only look at things which are good and pure.

Prayers Part 5

The Bible also says that "if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." We know that God throws our sin "as far as the east is from the west." Now that you've confessed, stand with your arms stretched in front of you and your palms up. Picture yourself letting go of a heavy load and thank God for forgiving you.

Prayers Part 4

The Bible says that "all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard." In other words we all mess up. think through the last week and find the moment where you messed up the worst. Think through your conversations, the things you've done with friends, the things you've done while alone, your thoughts, and your actions. When you've found the moment you're most ashamed of, kneel and spend 45 seconds apologizing to God.

Prayers Part 3

In the Old Testament God is often known as the great "I AM." He is the one who always was, who always is, and who is to come. He is Lord of the past, present, and future. Stand up and face the back of the room. Let this symbolize you facing your past. Think through moments where you have seen God work in the past. Pray to God with sentences which start with "God, I saw you working when..." After you have remembered the times when you have known him to be faithful in the past, ask him to continue to be faithful in the future.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Prayers Part 2

Close your right hand into a fist. Then think of five things you are thankful for. As you think of each, raise a finger until your entire hand is open. Then spend 30 seconds saying thank you to God.

Prayers part 1

Tonight we are doing something called "Prayer Experience" with our students so I thought over the next few days or week I would share some of those prayers here.

Dear Jesus, send your Spirit on us so that we will be taught to pray. Prayer is hard, requiring great effort, but when done, effortless. I confess I  have never liked to pray. Prayer is too much like begging. So I have to pray that your generous Spirit will teach me to beg. I beg you to help all of us discover that our lives are constituted by prayer, so that we may be in your world one mighty, joyous prayer. Make us so rested by such prayer, so content to be your people, that we kill no more. Amen (Stanley Hauerwas)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I had a conversation with a friend yesterday talking about being a minimalist in possessions so that we can give more to God and to the Kingdom. I must confess as I looked at shoes yesterday, I desperately need a few new pairs, I found myself wanting to by one of everything I could wear(a challenge since my foot is a size 14 4E). Then I read this from Ecclesiastes this morning, "Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless--like chasing the wind."

Sometimes it's humbling to be reminded that God knows my heart and thoughts better than I do.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What Makes This Week Holy? | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Great article by Timothy George on Holy Week.
What Makes This Week Holy? | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Some Thoughts for Holy Week 2011

I started reading Leonard Hodgson's The Doctrine of the Atonement sorta as preparation for Easter. He states, "The doctrine of the atonement is concerned with God's answer to the problem of evil, with the action taken by God in the history of this world in order to rescue His creation from the evil with which it has become infected" (17).  Thanks be to God for his action in human history!

Prayer after Mass by the Missionaries of Charity (founded by Mother Teresa)

Dear Jesus, help us to spread Your fragrance everywhere we go. 
Flood our souls with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives 
may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through us, and be so in us that every soul we come in contact with 
may feel your presence in our souls.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus!
Stay with us, and then we shall shine as you shine;
so to shine as to be a light to others. 
The light, O Jesus, will be all from You, none of it will be ours; 
it will be You shining on others through us. 
Let us preach you without preaching, not by words but by our
example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what we do, 
the evident fullness of the love of our hearts bear to You. Amen

Saturday, April 16, 2011


"Religious laws speak of how to behave; theology and doctrine speak of how to understand and what to believe; but stories appeal to the imagination, to that place within us where our images of reality, life, and ourselves reside. The great stories of the Bible image what the religious life is about." Marcus Borg

Friday, April 15, 2011

Change and Grace

I came across this quote from the great fiction writer, Flannery O' Connor.

"All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful."

It's true isn't it! Grace catches us off guard, we don't know how to handle it or what to do in response to it. Change is never easy. Change in routine, hair style, church home, job/career. The simple choice is to resist change like the plague and go about our merry way, but that is the antithesis to the Gospel. God's grace changes us and even though we want that ultimately, it's still difficult. Perhaps we have things to cushy in life and so the change in life that grace initially brings and continues to foster seems like God is asking too much...but Jesus thought we were worth it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to read a book (and not miss the point) | The Christian Century

Wise thoughts on reading non-fiction books.
How to read a book (and not miss the point) | The Christian Century

Cloth of Life

Great song by Bill Mallonee that has been stuck in my head for the past week as I've taken inventory of life, faith and ministry as I wait for God's guidance and direction.

Missional Lifestyle

Proverbs 31:8-9 (New Living Translation)

 8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
      ensure justice for those being crushed.
 9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
      and see that they get justice.

This past week we had 60 adults and students from our community who put these verses into practice as the served and met needs by building wheelchair ramps, painting, spending time ministering to apartment complexes, scrubbing graffiti and praying for the people they came in contact with through a Kingdom Builder's Spring Break Project. It's good for us to be reminded that the cause of the "poor and helpless" is something that God cares about...and so should we.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pubs?! Dying?! Church?! Dying?!

I came across two thoughts from very different thinkers on pubs...that's right pubs (as in the English version of your local neighborhood watering hole, bar, etc.).
James Emery White offered some interesting thoughts, penned in the pub he mentions no less.
Walter B. Shurden, Minister at Large, Mercer University included some comments about this article on the death of pubs in The Economist, in his most recent edition of his preaching journal. To the article's comments Shurden added, What a definition of the church:"The preserve of a flower arranging few." God help us! What a definition of a pub: "the beating heart of a community."

Oh, that the church would cease to be the preservative of life and ministry of years gone by and increasingly become a place of community that finds it's center in the Christ event of Good Friday and Easter Sunday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Mind Awake

I recently worked my way through an anthology of C.S. Lewis entitled, A Mind Awake. Lewis is the elder statesman of much of current evangelical thought on life, faith, and doctrine. Curiously, Lewis was not a theologian by training so he doesn't get everything right in my opinion, but he offers so much wisdom and depth and insight into a life that is lived in the light of the risen Savior.

Two excerpts I want to share with you on the matter of love...

You cannot love a fellow-creature fully until you love God.  The Great Divorce

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
The Four Loves