True Fasting

8 08 2008

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True Fasting

One of my favorite writers is a man by the name of Brennan Manning. He has a powerful testimony but what I appreciate most about him is his ability to tap into the Nature of God our Father. He has a devotional that I enjoy immensely entitled “Refections For Ragamuffins”. The following is a devotion entitled “True Fasting”.

For the full article click here.





Advance

6 08 2008

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Our church is starting 58 days of prayer and fasting. We believe that we can do nothing apart from prayer. We are passionate about reaching people far from God. In order to do what we feel God calling us to do we need to take some time and dedicate it to prayer and fasting. During this time we will be focusing on three areas:
1.) Praying for our children and youth
2.) Praying that God will give us wisdom and favor in reaching people who don’t yet know Him
3.) Our Fall Outreach

We will be doing most of this prayer and fasting on a personal level however every Thursday night we will meet together as a church to believe God together.

There is a great blog up specifically for this 58 day period. Make sure you check it out.

See you there!





Caiaphas

13 03 2008

caiaphasI read this in my devotional yesterday it really spoke to me.

The Careful Choice

A terrible thing has happened to Caiaphas. Religion has left the realm of respect for person, immediate concern for the individual, for communion. For Caiaphas, sacredness has become institutions, structures, abstractions. Caiaphas is dedicated to the “people.” Therefore, individual, flesh-and-blood men, real people are expendable. Caiaphas is dedicated to the “nataion.” But the nation does not bleed like Jesus. Caiaphas is dedicated to the “Temple,” a mere building, impersonal brick and mortar. Caiaphas becomes impersonal himself, no longer a warm human being but a robot, as fixed and rigid as his own unchanging world.

The choice usually presented to Christian is not between Jesus and Barabbas. No one wants to appear an obvious murderer. The choice we have to be careful about is between Jesus and Caiaphas. And Caiaphas can fool us. He is a very “religious” man.





Things that effect our perspective.

10 03 2008

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I found this article “10 ways we get the odds wrong.” It so perfect states how we focus on the wrong things. I think one of the main reasons that we focus on the wrong things is because we have to much information.
Based on what is going on in the world or in our political scene determines where we get a summer talking about what politician will make the worse president, or global warming will destroy our planet by 2020, or if 2.4 million people will be killed by man eating sharks.

I think that many times church leaders don’t do things that they have never done because they are receiving wrong information. If you do that this will happen….

Fear is a very real and very powerful thing. I think that many times church leaders can motivate people with fear, which holds people back from doing what God has. Fear of failure, fear of losing, fear of not accomplishing.

As church leaders and Christ followers we need to have God’s perspective. We need to fear the right things and revere the right things.

Is our fear of risk real or produced by the environment we have created?

Below is a quiz they included in the article for the answers click on the link below the questions.

Mortal Threats

How good is your grasp of risk?

1. What’s more common in the United States, (a) suicide or (b) homicide?
2. What’s the more frequent cause of death in the United States, (a) pool drowning or (b) falling out of bed?
3. What are the top five causes of accidental death in America, following motor-vehicle accidents, and which is the biggest one?
4. Of the top two causes of nonaccidental death in America, (a) cancer and (b) heart disease, which kills more women?
5. What are the next three causes of nonaccidental death in the United States?
6. Which has killed more Americans, bird flu or mad cow disease?
7. How many Americans die from AIDS every year, (a) 12,995, (b) 129,950, or (c) 1,299,500?
8. How many Americans die from diabetes every year? (a) 72,820, (b) 728,200, or (c) 7,282,000?
9. Which kills more Americans, (a) appendicitis or (b) salmonella?
10. Which kills more Americans, (a) pregnancy and childbirth or (b) malnutrition?

Link with the article and answers to the above questions.





How to Deal (Talking to kids about death)

12 02 2008

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One of the harder moments in the tragic day I referred to yesterday was going with the father to tell the siblings that their brother had died. I went back to the house with the father I was with him when he told the 8 year old sister 10 and 3 year old brothers. It was so sad, I was very proud of the father he told them strait up what happened was compassionate and factual. I had never been faced with something like this before. I had no idea that this was the beginning of a journey. On the car ride to the house I began thinking how do you talk to kids about death? I think there is things we can do to prepare our kids because the sad fact of life is people we love at some point will die. Here is my list so far.

Pointers on talking to kids about death

1. Don’t LIE tell them the truth. It is so easy for us to make things up that may even sound plausible don’t do it. For example grandpa is “on vacation in florida”. Don’t do it.

2. Use moments to teach. When a pet dies use that opportunity to walk your child through the steps of healthy grief.

3. Pay close attention to what kids say and don’t say.

4. Don’t give pat answers because they are kids. If you don’t know say you don’t know. The 10 year old brother to the boy who died asked me this “God can do anything pray for my brother to come back to life. God can do it because he can do anything.”

5. Seek appropriate help from books and professionals

6. Use plain age appropriate language.





How to Deal (dealing with grief)

11 02 2008

hands_depression_grief1What has lead me to think, talk and now blog about grief. Well one year ago this week one of the kids from our children’s church died suddenly from the flu. It was incredibly tragic. I still remember walking into the hospital totally unprepared for how much my life was going to be effected.

I have been to many wakes and even recently my Grandfathers funeral. But this was in a completely different league. I walked in and the young boy had just passed away. It was one of the hardest if not hardest things for me personally. I can’t tell you why I was so profoundly effected. Even today as I write this post I am very emotional.

What made this death so disturbing was that he was a healthy boy, who had a great family who loved him cared for him. He was only 5 years old and his parents did EVERYTHING a parent could, would and should do. But he still died. What made this so difficult to deal with is that none of my built in pat answers fit, “he lived a long good life”, “he is out of his suffering now”. I had no way to tell myself there was a reason in all of this. Which lead me to ask over and over Why God. If you can do anything Why?

It has been a rough year. I have asked many hard questions of myself and others. I have been asked many questions I don’t know the answers to and don’t think I ever will. I have even doubted at times God’s ability to be greater than my doubt, circumstances, and fears. But in my doubt I believe that God is building an even greater faith. A faith based on position more than condition.





Super thoughts on Regular Wednesday.

6 02 2008

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Well yesterday was “Super Tuesday” the day in American politics that is supposed to choose the leader of each of our two parties for the upcoming november election. I didn’t vote. Before you freak out let me just say that I am a registered independent and can’t vote in my states primary. If I was a registered Republican I would have voted for Huckabee if I was a Democrat I would have voted for Obama.

I don’t make it a practice to blog about politics but regular Wednesday following Super Tuesday seems like the best time to blog about politics.

In the last 6 years I have slowly come to this realization. The church is to involved in politics. We need to vote as citizens I truly believe that. I think that far to many churches believe that electing the right guy or gal will equal God’s favor in and on our country. We even get intoxicated by the often made evangelical voting block references in the todays media. I have come to a realization over the past 6 years or so and it is this, Politics Will Not Change America. Having a Christian in the oval office will not bring a renaissance of Christian values. I must trust more in God and his ability to use whoever to answers the prayers I pray.

I will vote this fall, even though there is not one Republican or Democrat that share my views and will do what I believe needs to be done to keep our country moving in the right direction. I vote because I am a citizen of a great country not as a evangelical trying to achieve a Religious awakening via politics in America, that I believe will come if you and I love God more and love others more.