Thursday, October 28, 2010


I have to admit that I am one of those “go-for-broke” visionary people in ministry.  I’m focused and always thinking about the next big thing. At times I find myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically stretched to my limits. Sometimes I fail to stop and appreciate the Spirit’s work that is being done right now. Gratitude for what God has done and will do, should be a natural and normal part of our life and ministry. The Psalms contain countless reminders to us to praise God for every conceivable thing. Gratitude transforms attitudes, inspires hearts, affirms our calling, and builds relationships. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said from his jail under Nazi rule, “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” We can learn from Dietrich.  He was able to focus on what he could give while sitting in a Nazi concentration prison.  During the time when life seemed hopeless, he was able  to stop and give thanks.  We can also.  There is so much more to be thankful for in our lives, even when we too feel hopeless.  Take some time to see all the good that God has done for you.  Take the time to give Him thanks and praise.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bless Others

Profound statements...I hear them, read them, see them.  I ponder on these profound statements and try to apply them in some way.  Not that I think they are the only thing in my life that I trust and follow, but I use them to help me have a better understanding of whose I am.  Well, another profound statement jumped out at me while finishing the book Velvet Elvis  by Rob Bell . 

I was reading the section on serving others...I was thinking that I should get this book done because I have  another one ready to go and  "it" hit.  "God chooses people to be used to bless other people".  Yes, it is true.  We are used to bless others in His name.  That is why we are here.  We are not here to exist for ourselves, but to bless others in His name.  It could be through the church.  It could be through our work.  It could be while sitting at Starbucks.  No matter what...we are here to bless others.  Our words, our actions, our thoughts are all for God.  If we keep the focus on what we are here for and the purpose God has for us, then the things we do will not only bless us, but also bless others.  This makes our life and others '  lives better.  I'm totally awed by how God uses people.  I see the  people that have been true blessings in my life by their words and actions.  I pray that I'm a true blessing in others'  lives by my words and actions.  To bless others...sometimes it can be hard to do, but as I work on remembering whose I am, then blessing others will be the outcome of serving God.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I am almost done with the book "Velvet Elvis".  It has been a powerful book to read but a very deep book with lots of thoughts to ponder.  I have found myself reading over and over again the same paragraph...just yesterday, I found myself reading the same sentence over and over again.  Yes, yesterday, I caught myself rereading the same stuck in my really made me think more and more.  The sentence..."I have learned that the real issue behind the Sabbath isn't which day of the week it is but how we live all the time."  (Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell)

The Sabbath is a day when we should slow down.  As Rob Bell puts it, we need to "let the engine come to an idle".  What a concept.  It is amazing what people tell me their schedule is like.  Mine is the same way at times.  We are running here and there.  We are the "super____________" (you can fill in the blank).  We have to do it all, be it all and fix it all. We are it all.  Even on Sunday, in worship, we aren't completely engulfed in worship...we are thinking about what has to happen, where we need to be, what are we going to eat.  We don't ever slow down and really have a Sabbath.  A Sabbath is a chance to slow down and take a good look at what God has done.  Take a look at all that is good and rejoice in it.  A Sabbath is a time for us to receive the grace and peace of God and to really know that it is there.  We all need to slow down.  We all need to live the Sabbath.  Not just on Sundays, but every day. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Powerfully Present

The pressures of ministry seem to be creeping up on me lately. I seem to have lost my “spark” for visioning for the future. That’s my gift, and it’s what I like to do. I see the big picture and I try to surround myself with people that can help catch the smaller details. Lately though I have been consumed by other “stuff”.  What happens when all the “stuff” of the world creeps in on you? What do you do? What do you do when you feel like you are giving your all but God isn’t showing up? What do you do when you cast vision but few seem inspired? What do you do when criticism comes at you left and right? What do you do in those times of your life when you feel like you are a hamster on a wheel? We all have those times. Last week during one of my low points I was searching scripture and came upon the story of Joseph.  I could identify with him. Bottom of a well? You bet! He was thrown in a well, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, and ultimately imprisoned. Ok, so I started feeling a little better about my situation. And yet, right there in the middle of this BIG story there’s these words, “And the Lord was with Joseph.” What? I thought when the Lord was with you things are supposed to be going well. Don’t you agree? Isn’t it interesting that when things aren’t going well we always default to feeling as though God has abandoned us. And yet the truth in Joseph’s story-which is our story- is that God is most powerfully present even when it seems He is most apparently absent. We don’t get to choose when bad things will happen to us, but we do get to choose how we will respond. Joseph’s response was one of faith, and in that choice lies an amazing amount of hope.