Archive for February, 2009

How Twitter is Helping Me Grow Closer to God

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Yes, you read that right. Twitter is having a significant positive impact on my spiritual journey. No one is more surprised by that than me. I kind of got dragged into Twitter. I checked it out a couple of months ago and thought it was a complete waste of time. No one cares what I’m doing right now and I really don’t care what they’re doing either. Well… that was how I felt then. I opened the account and ignored it. I was following one person who never posted a tweet. Then a couple of my friends started following me. I felt pressure to start putting something up for them to follow.

Then I discovered that there are people in Twitterworld that actually had something worth saying. I started following more an more people. Then I found this little application called Alert Thingy. Now everyone’s tweets and facebook statuses pop up almost as soon as they’re posted. That made Twitter much more accessible. Throughout the day I started seeing people post prayer reqests or not even requests but information that was worth praying over. The I started following @StJohnChrysostum. I’m still not sure why a dead guy needs Twitter. Okay, actually @StJohnChrysostum is a ministry that tweets one line prayers originally attributed to John Chrysostum every hour. A nice little reminder throughout the day. Then I started following ministries like International Justice Mission or the Not For Sale Campaign among others. They tweet different things both praise worthy and in need of intercession. I found myself praying for them as well. I’d like to say that I’ve gotten to the point that I “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17 TNIV), thanks to Twitter. I’m not there, but I do pray more now. It’s cool how God works when you pray. The more you pray, the more you believe that God is there and actually listening to your prayers. The more you believe God is there and listening to your prayers the more you pray. It’s an awesome vicious circle.

If you’re not on Twitter, you should check it out. If you are on Twitter, let me know about your experience and try following:

Change Without Compromise

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

If you’re a leader in a church in any capacity you’ve got to be a part of this. You will be challenged, encouraged, and above all excited and inspired to see your church rising.

Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

If all you know about Valentine’s Day is from the adds on TV and Facebook then you think Valentine’s Day is all about sex. Now as important as sex is in a healthy marriage relationship, our culture has put the cart before the horse. Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. Sex isn’t love. In marriage, sex is a healthy expression of the love that exists between a husband and a wife.

So, today let’s take the focus off sex and put the focus on love. Let’s not look to Valentine’s Day as a day where we focus on what we want out of our relationships. Let’s spend today focused on what we want to give to our relationship. Let’s focus on sacrificing our self for the one we love. That, after all, is what true love is; giving of yourself sacrificially to another. That’s what Jesus did when he came to earth for us.

Invest yourself in your marriage today. Start by taking at least 15 minutes to thank God for the person he gave you in marriage. Make sure it’s at least 15 minutes. That will help you to be specific about all the things that you are thankful for. It will help you focus on them rather than one yourself. It will help you stop taking them for granted and to see the wonderful gift that God has given you. Then confess to God your sins in your marriage. Confess to God the times that you’ve been selfish and seeking to be fulfilled in your marriage rather than fulfill your spouse. After that, pray that God will help you to be a better husband or wife. Pray that God will show you how to better invest in that relationship. Finally, think of at least one creative way to express your love for your spouse today. Enjoy each other today and allow this celebration of love to be a catalytic experience that draws you closer to each other in a more vibrant and fulfilling marriage.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

shameless plug

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Here’s a shameless plug because I like free stuff. I rationalize it saying it’s good stewardship.

Bible Study Magazine and Mars Hill are giving away 20 copies of Mark Driscoll’s new book, Vintage Church. Not only that, but they are also giving away five subscriptions to Bible Study Magazine and a copy of their Bible Study Library software! Enter to win on the Bible Study Magazine Mark Driscoll page, then take a look at all the cool tools they have to take your Bible study to the next level!

what do you think about your wife/husband

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

In my last post I talked about the effects that thoughts have on experience. Today I want to apply that specifically to marriage. It’s an incredibly disturbing trend to me to see the number of marriages failing today. It’s a shame that the relationship that God designed to, in my opinion, most reflect Him often reflects Him the least. I think that the way we think about our spouses has a huge part to play in that. Take a moment and think about the thoughts you’ve had recently about your husband or wife. What have those thoughts been? Have you thought intentionally about them or have you let your mind wander? Have you thought about them at all when they weren’t present with you? A couple days ago I took some time to intentionally think about how much I love my wife and the things I love about her. It was incredibly fulfilling. It was almost like I fell in love with her all over again. Sadly, I don’t intentionally think about her or anything enough. Far too often I allow my mind to wander. I have a challenge for you. Take some time in the next 24 hours and think intentionaly about the person that means most to you. If your married I hope that person is you spouse. If not, think about your spouse anyway. It will be good for your marriage. Think about how they enrich your life. Spend some time intentionally reflecting on the importance your spouse, or if you’re not married the most important person in your life. After that 24 hour period journal or post here your thoughts and experiences. I think you’ll be pleased in the way such an action improves your relationship.

Think on these things

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Have you ever thought about what you think about? Okay, I know that sounds like some pseudo-zen question out of a bad kung-fu movie but stick with me on this one. Our thoughts color our experiences. If you’re at all like me when you expect something negative to happen that becomes the focus of your thoughts. Those thoughts then govern your experience. I think this is particularly true in the context of marriage. How we think about our spouses colors our experience of them. That’s neither good nor bad. That’s just true. Here’s the problem. We don’t think about what we think about. We don’t think intentionally we let our minds wander. Our experience then becomes controlled by the capriciousness of our thoughts. This doesn’t have to be our experience. We have a choice, we can control our thoughts or our thoughts can control us. Which would you prefer? Imagine if rather than allowing your mind to wander you took Paul’s advice in Phillipians 4:8 and intentionally thought about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. What would your experience be then? Try it and let me know what happens. I’ll share my experience later as well.