About this podcast
About this podcast
Sometimes when you’re wanting to spend some time with God, and you want to focus it’s very distracting when you have all the noise that’s in our world jammin into your head. I mean not even just the TV’s, and the radios and the iPods and stuff, but just the noise of our lives, sometimes the to-dos that we have or the stupid things that we do…
Right now in our Christian community we’re taking time to study the disciplines. We’re talking about these ancient practices that church folks have done like study and prayer and silence and service that they’ve done all through the ages, and the reason that people do these things and believers have practiced these things is because it’s so easy to forget the story that we’re part of…
When a person goes out in the woods and sort of gets off the trail its pretty easy to get disoriented because you’re in unfamiliar territory. That’s where one of these little puppies come in handy. It’s a compass because a compass helps you to get your orientation. It helps you to really find where true north is, and sort of calibrate where it is you’re headed towards and where it is you’ve come from.
Prayer is one of those issues that kind of messes with your head. When I first started this journey I would hear about the fact that you're supposed to pray and that Jesus would call us to pray, and it was hard for me to get my mind around it. I didn't know how much I was supposed to pray. But Jesus says prayer is less about the words we say and more about orienting our heart towards God.
I think we focus on the wrong thing when we focus on expressing our faith and walking with Jesus. I think we want everything to be exactly right and exactly perfect. But I'm not sure Christianity is about that... I think it's more of a story of a people who are a little bit messed up, but somehow God got involved in their lives and begins to tell the story of redemption and freedom.
When the bible talks about the idea of time it talks a lot about right now. Paul says, now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6). This whole idea of now is very critical in God’s mind, because it’s the place that’s He is creating...He’s still creating the “now” moment...
Something that I think causes faith to get a little sick is something called the "borg® disease." It's the idea that we have to be a part of one mind, one "collective" in order to be accepted in Christian faith. Some feel that holines is an external thing and that Christian behavior should all look the same and we should all act the same. I think that true faith- faith that keeps you vibrant and alive is when you're being yourself...
When a person crosses the threshold of faith, it's always wonderful. There's a truckload of freedom, energy and hope for the future. But we humans have a way of messing up whatever God gives us. He gave us Eden; we got thrown out. He gives us grace and forgiveness; we flip it into crushing legalism. I remember the hour I first believed. It was sweet. It was innocent. It was charged with life and hope. I don’t think God ever intended that to change. Yet for many it has. Religiously Transmitted Diseases talks about why I think that is true. It talks about why people get tired in their faith. Why they lose energy. Why they lose their sense of purpose and get jammed with a sense of dread. (more...)
The bible is clear that we have an enemy against our souls that is always trying to get us off track. The scripture says our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against these principalities and powers and dominions. It actually says that Satan has plans and schemes to get us off the track that God has intended for us to be on. The other part of it is even if Satan can’t get you off track by temptation and sin he tries to get us so driven in the good stuff like prayer and going to church and studying. He’ll try to get you to be so driven in your humanness that you get racing down the track of life so that whenever circumstances begin to change in your life you shoot off the track like a runaway train into disaster. God wants you to learn how to live well. That’s God’s dream.
When God created the world He created it from chaos into order. There’s something about his heart that always wants to bring order to things. In His created order there are season, days and nights. And in our lives there should be predictable stable things in that context. It’s no different in our relationship with God...
the gift of pain
“Whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” 1 Timothy 4:2 I play guitar. I’m not very good and I will go for months without even picking one up. However, every once in a while I get this inspiration to pick one up again. Initially, my finger tips get sore and tender and warn me not to play the guitar any more. But I know that if I just hang in there for a while my finger tips will become calloused and the pain and discomfort will leave. The calloused finger no longer warns against guitars.
lots of faith
“Will the Father not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” -Jesus In Matthew 6, Jesus was instructing his followers on how to trust God. He basically said this world is a safe place to be when God is your Father. He said we don’t have to worry and fret like people who have no connection with God (pagans) and that God is ready and eager to care for those who belong to him by supplying the simple, daily things – stuff to eat and drink, and clothes to wear. But Jesus knew that trusting God like this would not be easy. In fact, he said it would take lots of faith to buy into the idea that God was present enough and caring enough to watch our back on the daily stuff of life. He said we evidence “little faith” when we don’t accept that.
"Believe it or not, the Bible claims that each of us is ON PURPOSE—in other words, God knew we were coming and he planned for our arrival here. If this is true, it means we matter. It means God dreamed of our arrival before our parents knew we were coming (in that sense, we are a-dream-come-true for God). This idea hits directly against the feeling that so many struggle with—that we are just a number in a sea of humanity. The Bible claims that you and I are on purpose—that there was INTENTION for our existence..."
too much religion
It seems like it is so easy to reduce our relationship with God to a bunch of do’s and don’ts. Without much effort we can work ourselves into a frenzy trying to “get it all right” for God. The problem is, all our “doing” often gets in the way of God’s working in our lives – which is what faith is really about. What really matters is what God has done, what God is doing and what God will do – not what we come up with. That’s the problem with religion; it’s human centered.
It seems to me that the most difficult thing about Christianity is the whole trust piece—we are called to trust God. But that means we have to be comfortable with leaving control of things that directly impact our lives in the hands of someone else. Something in us recoils from that enterprise. We know better. No one in our lives has ever proven totally trustworthy...
changing the world - part 2
Last time I suggested that if we are going to fulfill the Great Commission from Matthew 28 in America we need to do everything we can to keep people out of full-time ministry and keep as many people as possible away from making the church calendar the center of their universe. Why would I make such a statement?