Posts Tagged ‘spiritual disicplines’


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

A lot of people think that connecting with God is like connecting with someone through Facebook. You do a search and find God’s Facebook page. Then request Him as a friend. Facebook sends God an email asking Him whether or not He’ll accept you or not. You presume that He will. But you don’t know. He might block you and you’re never really sure if he’s going to block you or not.

God’s not like Facebook. He’s more like Twitter. You find his Twitter page and start following Him. There’s no waiting for approval. We automatically start hearing from Him as He sends out tweets. He Tweets regularly through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. He’s always communicating, always sharing. We can log on and read His tweets or ignore them.

That’s the way most people treat twitter and the way most people treat God. We log on when we’re bored. Check out what’s going on. Or we just tweet incessantly and ignore what everyone else is saying. We talk at God and call it prayer but don’t take time to listen to Him and hear what He has to say. Like Twitter, to really appreciate God you’ve got to take some time to stop tweeting and start reading, stop talking and start listening.

Take some time today and make a point to listen to God. He’s got a lot to say to you.

I Can’t Keep Quiet

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I got a bad case of laryngitis yesterday. In a sick way I was kind of happy about it. I was looking forward to blogging about all the great spiritual insights I gained by spending a day unable to talk. I wanted to have a cool, deep, spiritual post like the ones I often read. The only thing I learned is that I can’t keep quiet. Even without a voice I had to talk.

Yet for me, that is a spiritual insight. I admire the people that have great spiritual depth. I admire the people that have stories of deep spiritual experiences. I admire the people that can spend hours in silence alone with God and learn deep fascinating things.

But I’m not one of those people. My experience with God will never be like theirs. Nor should it. I need to focus on growing closer to God by accepting and embracing who I am. I am a communicator and I need people. I need to connect with people. I see God in my interactions with others. I see God in people. I see God in his image that he has placed in others.

I don’t know how you best connect with God. I don’t know when it is that you see him but remember, you are uniquely created in the image of God and however you connect with God is the right way for you. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Become all that God has created you to be through that connection.

Where do you most often see God?

Why I don’t Use Bible Reading Plans

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Last month there was a lot of talk about Bible reading plans.  I didn’t say anything at the time because I didn’t want to be perceived as attacking the people encouraging us to use them.  In fact, I appreciate what they were doing.  If you encouraged us in that way, thank you.Yet, I want to share why I don’t use one.  I have used them in the past.

Before I share why, I need to share something about myself.  I’m a rule follower.  It’s not my nature to challenge authority.  I don’t believe rules are made to be broken.  If a rule doesn’t make sense to me, I investigate the reason for the rule.  If the reasoning is faulty, I try to get the rule changed.  But, I don’t wantonly break rules.  Blame it on my military background if you like (I was raised by an Army officer and now serve in the Air National Guard), but I don’t break rules, I follow them.My rule following nature is the foundation my decision not to use Bible reading plans.

First, I don’t use them because I tend to feel like a failure when I try.  I have a hard time keeping up with the schedule.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the aggressive B90X or through the Bible in three years.  I have a hard time keeping up.  Because I’m a person that follows rules, I feel like a failure when I fall behind.

Second, I can be a little Pharisaical.  Usually people think that means hypocrite.  That was true of the Pharisees and can be true of me.  But, I don’t think that was the Pharisees greatest flaw, or mine.  The Pharisees greatest flaw, and one of my greatest weaknesses, was worshipping the Law instead of the Lawgiver.  Read the Gospel of Matthew again if you don’t believe me.  Anyway, the second reason I choose not to use a reading plan is that when I am faithful to the plan I find myself valuing my faithfulness to the plan more than my faithfulness to God.  I start to look at my time in the Bible as a task for which I earn favor with God rather than quality time with my Father in heaven.

So, I don’t use a Bible reading plan.  I schedule regular time with God in the morning.  I read the Bible in different ways.  I look to God to guide my reading.

This doesn’t make me any more spiritual or closer to God than those who choose to use Bible reading plans.  I choose not to out of weakness, not out of strength.  The use of a reading plan isn’t the issue.  The goal is time with God.

What do you think about Bible reading plans?

Letting Go Is Hard to Do Part 3

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

It is impossible to let someone else be in control if we’re not listening to what they say. It is impossible to let God be in control if you’re not listening to what he says. If you’re not reading Scripture you’re not letting God be in control. You’re merely saying that you are.

Now, you’re probably thinking. Doesn’t God speak to us in other ways such as through prayer, circumstances, and other people?

Yes, he does. But that is not his primary mode of communication. Since Moses, God has chosen the written word as his primary vehicle of communicating with his people. Read through Scripture if you don’t believe me. When God chose to speak directly to or through people, that was something different from the norm. That was something unexpected. God’s primary vehicle for communicating to us is through Scripture. If you want to give control over to God, you need to consistently read the Bible.

For me, I find morning is the best time, either before everyone else gets up of after everyone else has left the house. I need time alone with God. I need all distractions away from me.

I’ve also found that You Version is a great tool for this time. I open my computer and log on to You Version. It opens the Bible to the last passage I read in the last translation I had open. You Version also has a journal application in the program that allows me to journal online and take my journal wherever I have wifi access.

That’s what works for me. I don’t know what works for you but whatever it is; it won’t work if you’re not reading His Word. You need to be in Scripture if you want to give control over to God.

Letting Go is Hard to Do Part 2

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Prayer is vital to letting go of control and giving it to God. Prayer is a physical activity that reminds us of our dependence on God and opens us to hear from him.

For many people prayer comes naturally. They pray all the time. I’m not one of those people. Prayer, for me, is a discipline. I have to schedule it or I won’t do it. I’ve scheduled in my day three times of consistent prayer. They’re not marathon prayer sessions. Just specific times that I consciously acknowledge God and talk to him. I’ve found that since I’ve been disciplining myself pray regularly spontaneous prayer has become more natural and I pray more often. When I get out of my routine, the spontaneous prayer becomes less common as well.

As I pray more consistently, my attitude shifts and I rely on God more consistently and work harder at being connected to him and less hard at being in control.

Letting Go is Hard to Do

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

If you’ve spent any time in church or around Christ-followers, you’ve heard that we need to give God control of our lives. “Let go and let God.” I’ve heard that over and over again and often wondered, what does that mean and how do I do it? I’m certainly no expert but I’ll share a few thoughts.

Letting go is more of an attitude than an action. God does not call us to be passive, to sit back and wait. God provides us everything we need to become the tool he is going to use. We, however, need to have an attitude of submission and obedience. We need to allow God to guide our actions rather than act and ask God to bless our actions.
Here are a couple of tips that help me submit to God’s control:

1. Pray. I know it’s the obvious answer, but it’s vital. Prayer is a physical activity that helps remind us of our dependence on God.

2. Read Scripture. Another, obvious answer. Yet, God has given us his Word to guide us.

3. Act. God isn’t looking for people to warm the bench. He’s looking for people to get in the game.

Letting go is hard. Trying to control things you can’t is harder. Listen to God. Take that next step. He’ll guide you to where you need to be.

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:


Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut lately. For the past couple of years I’ve been journaling devotional thoughts about the passage of Scripture that I read that morning. That has gotten a little stale for me. It’s become too much of a mental excercise. I’m trying to liven things up a bit. The past two days I’ve written out a prayer as if it were a letter to God. It’s been a much more positive experience. Anyone have any other thoughts regarding journaling?