Reading through Jefferson Bethke’s book, “Jesus>Religion”, I was struck by his comment that too many Christians say “safe” prayers. Let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean by “safe” prayers. When we pray for missionaries or those facing persecution, we tend to pray for their safety. Pastors pray for the safety of those with them before doing an outreach event in some more dangerous parts of town. The problem is I never see Jesus, His disciples, or anyone in the early church praying for safety. Where did we get this model? I propose we start praying different prayers, prayers that are more aligned to what Jesus taught, and prayers that are far more relevant and powerful.
Archives for December 2013
By far the most common question I receive from readers is, “How do I know what gifts and passions I have?” Since it is such a recurring theme, I want to take a bit of a different turn with this blog post and try to help you answer that question. In my coaching business, I run programs of six weeks and six months to help people dive into this question, so covering this in 500 words here will not provide a complete solution, but I hope it will give you a framework to get started. It’s important to understand that God has given each of us a unique set of skills, gifts, and passions. You did not get left out; they are within you.
Growing up, I remember Christmas as a very magical time. Like most families, we had many traditions. Putting up nativity scenes, daily gatherings around an advent calendar, reading the Christmas story, and listening to classic Christmas music all promoted an air of something special. I remember most every room in the house having some sort of decoration and my mother painstakingly hanging tinsel (the old kind made of lead) strand by strand on a real Christmas tree. The smell of the Douglas fir and a seemingly endless array of fresh baked cookies only enhanced the magic of the days. As children we obviously were giddy about what we might receive on Christmas morning, but in my house at least, it was always tempered with a healthy recognition of the reason we were celebrating. [Read more…] about Rediscover the Joy
Sometimes I get impatient. It seems like the current season of my life is moving too slow. I see the season of life that others are in and get a little jealous, wishing I was in that season. I’m also overly anxious to move into the next season as soon as I enter a new one. It’s no secret the attention span of our world is diminishing every day. We have instant everything. News is delivered in 30 second sound bites and 140 characters at a time. No wonder we have become an impatient generation. We are becoming more selfish by the hour. We want what we want, and we want it now!
I love the story of Queen Esther in the Bible. All the circumstances in her life led up to her ultimately being used by God to save an entire nation. While the circumstances and results in our own lives may be significantly less dramatic, the same principle holds true for us. Everything we have ever experienced has prepared us for the moment in which we now live. Beyond that, everything we are going through right now is conditioning us for future moments in our life. Nothing is ever wasted. Every experience has a purpose. This should significantly alter how we react to trial and hardship.