Wednesday, February 02, 2011
I've been at a conference for pastors over the last few days, the subject was prayer. As Christians we don't think of prayer merely as an activity or duty or a way to get things from God. We see it as a way of walking with God, communing with him, living all of our lives with him. The Bible says, "Pray without ceasing," in other words, pray as often as you breathe. This implies that prayer is more than something that happens at designated times or in preconceived ways, but that it's a normal part of every part of life.
By the might and mercy of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and was raised from death for what the Bible calls our justification (being made right with God), everyone who believes in Jesus gains the right to be called a child of God and therefore has the privilege of walking with Almighty God as a Father--a close, loving, interested, involved, wise, discerning, honest, generous Father.
This way of living life is what prayer is all about. Yes, genuine prayer happens in designated times and in preconceived ways--like kneeling or closing one's eyes or what have you. But a life of prayer is much more than that, it's much more relational than that.
My heart and soul and mind have been soaking in these kinds of thoughts for days now and as a way of giving closure to, and fulfilling, what we meditated on this week, my wife and I just spent about an hour or so praying with a good friend of ours and I must say that I just feel so at peace in Christ right now.
This is not a surprise to me but it's very satisfying. It's fulfilling. Being near to God in prayer gives one the feeling, "This is what I was made for--communing with God." And when you feel like you've discovered the purpose for your being, well you're at peace. This, by the way, is the purpose of everyone's being. We were made by God for communion with God and when we enter into that communion we find true meaning and purpose in life.
The reason this is not surprising, though, is because the Bible makes this promise to all who pray according to the will of God: "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God that passes understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:4-6).
Right this moment, as with so many moments, my life is living proof that this promise is true. So I encourage you to read the Bible (start with the New Testament book called John), to believe the words of God such that you act on what you read, to pray in such a way as to simply express to God who you really are and what you really think and feel, and in this way to know the peace that's as real as the air you breathe but is not easy to explain.
Thanks for reading, I pray that the Lord will use my weak words to make a difference in your life today.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
One of the great privileges of my life is that I get to pastor a little church in Elk River MN called Glory of Christ Fellowship. Today my wife, our good friend Alexandra, and I are at a conference in Minneapolis designed to feed and bless pastors. The theme is prayer and the timing is wonderful, it's just what I need to hear. So if you think of it pray for us and know that I'll surely return the favor!
God bless, and have a great day!
Monday, January 31, 2011
A couple weeks ago I completed week 5 and started week 6 of the "Couch Potato to 5K" plan, or so I thought. As it turns out I messed up the plan on both weeks and thus decided to go back and do it right. Yesterday I completed the final run of week 5: warm up, jog for 20 min, cool down. For me this was a big deal, mostly a mental hurdle, and was the longest, by far, I've run since middle school! I can ride my bike forever, it seems, but running has just never been my thing.
So with that under my belt, and a rising sense of joy and confidence in running (jogging really), I start week 6 today: warm up, run 5, walk 3, run 8, walk 3, run 5, cool down. Normally I wouldn't do the runs on consecutive days but I'm going to a conference this week and won't be able to get to the gym again until Thursday.
Thanks for reading, make it a great day!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Today's my honey's b-day she's somewhere between 20 and older than 20! It's been my privilege to be her best friend for 21 years and her husband for 19 and I'm so grateful that the Lord Jesus saw fit to let us live our lives together--so grateful.
We went to lunch today to celebrate but that's about it. We're not big b-day people but I must say that I'm so glad she was born!
Have a great day!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Last night my wife and I were scheduled to be at a friend's house but we didn't get the memo that dinner was involved. So we went out to eat and had a wonderful time, even though we were very tired, and headed on over. Boy were we surprised to see the spread they had laid out and we just couldn't stand the thought of telling them, "Thanks for going through all the pain but we're not hungry!" So we ate. And we got very full!
Oh well, the things you do for love. At least today is an exercise day for me and I'll burn off those extra cals no problem. But I think I'll stick to one meal per meal today!
Have a great day!
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