Saturday, January 31, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Have you ever felt this way? I read this just recently and found it helpful.
So, next time you are tired and feel as though you have nothing to give to God in worship, know that you are right. There is nothing we can bring before Him that He hasn’t first given to us. And on those hard days, we must confess that we don’t want to worship Him but we want to want to worship Him. Over time, He will cultivate that desire in our hearts and souls to say, with the great psalmist, “I will bless the Lord at all times.” (Ps. 34) - Laura Story in the Worship Corner
Full article HERE
What an amazing Psalm in hard times! This verse grabbed me this morning:
For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. - verse 24
We need hope today. Christ is hope. He is hearing our cries.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Have you ever wanted to memorize the order of all the books in Bible? I had the same problem and I wanted my kids to learn them as well. So, I wrote a couple of songs that I thought might be helpful. They are meant for kids, but I've found that adults find them useful as well. Who needs Bible tabs? We don't need no stinking tabs!
You can download the songs for free HERE. Let me know if they work for you. God bless.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
On this historic day, where the peaceful passing of power takes place. Where a person who would not have had full voting rights 60 years ago, now is our President. It seems right that we should pray. Here is my prayer for our next president:
Lord God, maker of heaven and earth, set up your kingdom in the midst of Barack Obama. I pray that he would have courage and wisdom to make decisions that would honor You. I pray for strength for the journey and integrity to live without regret. That his responsibilities as leader of our nation do not overwhelm him to the point of taking care of his family.
I pray for Michelle, Father. That her character and strength would only further her husband's resolve to live a Godly life. That she, herself, would make a huge difference in this world and thus encouraging other women to do the same. I pray for their daughters, Malia Ann and Sasha. That they would be able to live lives still as children. Though it will be different, I pray that they are shielded from some of the harsh realities of the world. I pray protection over this family. May they listen as you guide their every step.
I pray for the people around our President. That they would be people of integrity and that their counsel would be valuable. I pray for great discernment during times when the path seems unclear and great understanding of the deeper issues that are at hand. I pray for a soft heart for him, Lord. May he keep humility deep in his soul. Your word says that no leader is placed in power apart from your will. I trust that you will use this man to allow the Church to be the Church. The hope of the world. He has said it himself that government is not the hope of our world. I pray that he sees a strong Church in the coming years. A Church willing to humble themselves and pray and so doing, see the healing of our land. And beyond that the healing of the world.
Jesus, forgive him when he sins. Just as you forgive each of us. May his conscience quickly convict him of wrong and bring about repentance. Holy Spirit, you are in the business of renewal. You know that our country needs it. So I humbly ask, that you would renew the Obama family. Each day provide them new mercies. Bless them richly with your favor. God, I do ask that You bless our country - not in some selfish way that we would hoard what we have and oppress the rest of the world. That we would, due in part to President Obama's leadership, be a blessing to this world. That Your kingdom would come and Your will would be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
This I pray in the mighty name of Jesus. The strong Son of God. Amen.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Does anyone else LOVE this game? I waited 3 Christmases to get this one. My daughter, Sophie, and I love playing Rush Hour.
I like it because:
- It's simple. No complex rules - Have you ever played the new version of Life? Oh my!
- It's lasting. You can play it over and over again with the same cards and it's still fun. It doesn't get boring quick.
- It's smart. It stretches your mind while having fun.
Just found the online version here. Happy driving.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Have you ever been in a situation where you are at a table for coffee with a friend and they get a "tweet" on their phone and they take the time to answer it? Or that cell phone call that interrupts dinner? Or that email that "bings" on the computer that has to be taken care of before bed?
3 areas of concern for me:
- Tact. There seems to be a breakdown in social "tact" that just isn't right. The twitter or facebook that "must" be tended to says something about value in a relationship. At the cost of "cheating" the person who is present, a person will answer a text or tweet. Something is not right. Watch out for how many times we say "I've gotta take this."
- Availability. We're just too available to people. Though cells and instant email is good in many ways, we've got to learn to set limits. As people who lead people, are we available ALL THE TIME? I hope not. At a certain point in the night, we should "put the phone down and walk away. Just walk away." Emails answered at 2AM give the impression that we do and should be working ALL THE TIME!
- Identity. It scares me that a whole generation of people are being raised up that believe that their worth can somehow tie into how many hits or comments they receive on a blog/facebook/twitter. It also scares me that I can easily fall into this trap as well.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Apple just announced that iTunes is now available on both Wi-Fi and now it's cellular network. This is good news when you're out and about using the Shazam app and want to download the song you are hearing in Mall bathroom. Um... Is that a little too much info?
Monday, January 12, 2009
The five members of our Senior Management Team from Granger Community Church are going on a multi-day retreat this week to pray, plan and strategize for the coming year/years of ministry.
My friend, and teammate, Adam Callender came up with this idea:
For the 5 leaders of our church, pray 5 minutes at 5pm for this entire week.
I love to see the pastoral heart of Adam in this. Here was his email to our staff:
I don’t think I need to convince anyone that this is a very important time for Granger, not because of budget, but because we have a whole community, country, and world that needs to know Jesus TODAY, all while we face challenges like we have never faced before. Because of that significance I’d like to ask you to join me by praying for them this week. I will be praying for our 5 pastors for 5 minutes at 5pm everyday this week. With that here are the five things I’ll be praying for:
· Their families—that God protect them and show them love and peace while they are away
· Wisdom and Discernment to make sense of our current situation
· Unity—that God grows them together as one during this time
· Strength—to persevere for the 5 days of meetings and conversations
· Courage—Mark (and I believe God) made it very clear to us last year what his One Prayer is for His church and I don’t think that has changed today. Pray for courage for them to lead boldly not cautiously, so we can be a courageous church that gives glory to God.
Again, this is what I’m doing. You may choose to do more or less but I do encourage you to do something special this week.
I'm with him. If you'd like to join us, please do.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I had the great chance yesterday to serve at the Food Drop '09 where we feed literally thousands of people in one day! Unloading boxes of food and personal care items from Feed the Children and then getting them to people and food pantries across Michiana. What a privilege! What an honor to be the hands and feet of Christ.
I got to do this with my family. This is our first year of actually going to the apartments where we could deliver the food face to face. I think it was a great experience for my girls; putting a face on the boxes that we had loaded in years past. We are praying for the people we delivered the love of Jesus to. For Wes who lost his job 5 months ago. For Sky who wants understanding in her family. For Paul who wants to move forward and not stay stuck in a rut. Our family is praying for these people.
Friday, January 09, 2009
A few nights ago, our family did what we call "special night time stuff" (catchy, huh?). This is a time where about 20 minutes is spent one parent to one child where we ask each other questions and we tell true stories. (We tried the make believe stuff, but it didn't fly.) They like to hear about our pasts. Adventures when we went to camp, how we were when we were their age, vacation stories from when we were young. We try to do this every week 2x so that each kid gets contact with each parent.
So the other night, my oldest , asked me, "Dad, are you going to do anything different this next year?" Earlier that morning I had some prayer time with God and got the impression that I needed to spend "special morning time stuff" with God. I have been pretty consistent for about 5 months of each day getting up and reading my Bible. Part of the process has been looking for a word/verse to share with my other blog OneThought.net. What this has been doing is it has been taking my focus off what I need to hear from God and focusing on what I think others need to hear. My morning routine has become a bit longer because of this, but I can already sense the benefits to my walk with Christ.
As leaders of others, we need to protect that which is most central to us - Christ. It's kind of the put your own air mask on first before you try to help others. I think once we shift into "output only" mode, it is there that stale religion and obligation can take root.