The situation in Iraq and Syria led by the militant group ISIS is terrible, tragic, unthinkable, unfathomable, inhuman even… you get the point. Militants killing people because of their faith in Christ, families being tortured, and children losing their heads as parents refuse to deny Jesus as their Messiah and the One true God! Still hard to believe that it’s really happening!
If you’re like me you want Justice.
If you’re like me you realize, you can do NOTHING to bring justice so you do the only thing you can do… PRAY!
Please pray, ask God to intervene… ask Him to bring this evil situation to an end, comfort those who mourn, ask Him to carry the burden of all that are involved in this ongoing situation, and pray that people all around the world are drawn to Jesus Christ because of the sacrifice these Christians are making for His name sake Jesus.
But then do something!
Do something in your community to bring justice to a broken world. Don’t let the feeling you have for justice fade because you can’t physically do something… you can! People may not become martyrs in your community today, but there are plenty of people who are in the middle of their own injustice and those nightmares are their reality and that reality is more than they can bare alone!
I went to visit someone in jail yesterday… and I realized I can do more to help those who are broken.
Join a church or a non-profit in your community in their endeavors to bring love and justice to a broken world… even if you don’t believe the same as they do… certainly you can believe in their desire for justice!
Don’t just say that it’s awful and thank God you live in America… please don’t just enjoy America’s freedom.
I’m motivated now more thane ever that my role as a pastor is meant for more than preaching on Sunday’s and raising up leaders in our church… our world needs love, and they need justice, and many in our communities are not walking in the doors of our churches anytime soon, so we must be the hands and feet of Jesus and bring them this love and justice instead of hoping our bait gets them “in the doors”.
Do Something this week, next week… find something that God is already doing and join the party.
Micah 6:8 (AMP)
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God”
The Sound of Silence… Everyone needs it, but few find it.
In a culture that increasingly finds ways to scream at us… most of us struggle to balance the screams with the necessary silence. In my college days I was privileged to go on a 3 day and a 7 day silent retreat. I know that sounds a little weird… who would choose to be silent for that long!
Actually, it’s not a put some tape over your mouth kind of retreat, so it’s not 100% silent. The idea is to spend as much time as you can in silence, listening, and praying for the sake of hearing God. There are brief moments of talking at meals, and at scheduled times of discussion for the faint at heart.
Last week I went on my first personal silent retreat… two days at the Huntsville, Utah Trappist Monastery. It was good to be quiet and alone, but I must confess…
I suck at being silent and alone!
I was bored at times, too tired at times, and scrambled for things to do because after all who can pray and listen all day!
But, it was in those moments of struggle that I was reminded how much I need to set aside more time to be quite, listen, and pray. The silent moments did my mind, body, and soul some serious good!
So I’ve decided (at the prompting of some good friends) to have a silent retreat August 29-31, and open it up to men who want to join me in a little silence. The monastery is limited in it’s capacity, but I figure if we have a great response we can figure out an alternative.
What a great problem this would be!
So, it’s simple… as many men that want to head up to Huntsville on Friday the 29th will go and get silent for a few days and we will head back on Sunday morning August 31st for our OCC Serve Our City Sunday.
Hit me up if you are interested so I can reserve your spot. We will have a lot of down time, quiet time, and a few times of discussion and dialogue to foster the ultimate dialogue between you and God.
In the meantime, may we all get better at sitting in the sound of silence.
Most of us live life on the run. Jumping from one job to another, one meeting to another, one practice to another, school, activities, etc… and many of us have all of these things going on in ONE life!
Have you ever said you will get to something (working out, eating right, spending more time with a loved one, etc) when life finally slows down?
How’s that going for you?
Life rarely slows down on it’s own, in fact most of life and all organisms drift toward complexity. I don’t know about you, but simplicity does not come easy for me… I have to be intentional about it.
Intentionally slowing down to make room for what matters!
Take some time this week to bring simplicity into your life. Slow down, take a breadth and enjoy the people around you. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers… whoever you find yourself around this week take in the God moments and see if maybe just maybe God wants to join you in the workings of your daily life.
I’m willing to bet if you intentionally take the time to SEE whats going on around you, HEAR what others are REALLY saying, FEEL what others are feeling you will find some moments to join in what God is already actively doing around you.
As spring approaches you hear a lot of people talking about the need to do some serious spring cleaning. Closets are full, lives are getting busier, and making room seems to be essential to the American way of life. You never know when you are going to need more room, right?
Spring is upon us, and even though in parts of the country it’s still snowing occasionally, the sun is out and life outside is becoming more and more of a reality.
I was speaking to some friends the other night and realized maybe we all need another form of spring cleaning… life tends to get more complex the more time we spend on this planet. All of life seems to drift toward complexity if we let it… Technology is supposed to make things easier, and it really hasn’t. More convenient yes, but life supported by technology is more complex really… not easier. So while we are cleaning out the closets to make room (seriously, how much more crap can we all cram into our houses!) maybe we need to consider cleaning out our schedules! Does life seem endlessly busy and more complex than you expected it? Are there things that can easily be moved around in your life to create more room in the schedule?
More room for the things that really matter? More room for the people that really matter, and need you in their lives?
I know for me the answer is YES! There is always more to be done… but there will not always be more time to be available to the people that God says need it most.
So join me in a little spring cleaning the next few weeks and let us put our focus on the people God is asking us to focus on instead of trying to cram it all into a week that has no room for more and not enough room for what is already in our time closet!
May we become people of focus and intentionality… even with our time!
1. If you are mocking his english, shame on you. It mostly comes from prejudice no matter what you think. He went to Stanford and graduated.
2. Minutes after one of the most emotional moments of his life, the guy went off on his arch rival in the NFL… most of us would hate to have a national spotlight on us in that moment.
3. Watch this video. You may not like that he is cocky… but ANYONE who has competed in sports at a higher level than rec ball knows if you don’t think you are the best, you will never be the best!