Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Petrified Believers

Have you ever seen a piece of petrified wood? It looks more like stone than wood. I have only seen a couple of pieces of the wood. It looks cool but it is just there. Hard as a brick and not living. Our spiritual life can be this way. I visited with a friend of mine the other day and he talked about wanting to grow more in his faith. This guy is serving part time in a church and feels as though it has all become routine for him. His walk with the Lord seems stale and old. There is very little life in him and he feels as though something is missing. I hate this for him, because I know I can't give an answer that will fix it. Closeness with God is not fixed with an answer or merely manufactured over coffee. I offered support and prayer. I told him that I believed in him and that I believed he was on the right path. It may take time, but the Lord will speak to him as he seeks Him.

Have you ever felt petrified? Kind of like you are shell of your former self? You may look alive but there is nothing in the tank. You look like you have things together but secretly you know stuff is a mess. Others think your life is good but you know it to be a struggle. I am sure you have felt this way at some point in your life, but God walks us through these times to deeper places of trust. Our life with God is ever flowing and never the same. I think what we need is to grasp what Eugene Peterson called, "A Long Obedience in The Same Direction". We must learn to persevere and to continually run to the Lord as we live out the moments entrusted to us.

I am not sure where you are right now, but take some time and draw aside to seek him. Place yourself in a position for God to work. Allow the Lord the space to move in your life. Abide in Him and you will bear fruit. (John 15:5) The Lord will restore your joy and give you a sense of the refreshing life He longs for you to have.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Redirected Focus

I have been tired of my little pickup for awhile now. I have had it for the past 14 years. Honestly, I really do like my truck and will keep it even when I do get something else. But my recent travels to Africa gave me an adjustment on my attitude. I was able to take a long a look at the things that matter and don't matter in this life. I was able to revisit how my life should be lived. I want to live my life in a way that is counter-cultural. This means that I will not give in to materialism when it rears it's wicked head in my life. My truck runs fine but the newER car I was looking at runs much better and the air conditioning works all the time. But even still, I don't feel that I need to have a new vehicle right now, rather I need to focus my life on other matters of greater importance.

I am thankful for our trip to Africa, but it ruffles my materialistic feathers, and man that is hard. I need to hear God's voice of discipline even though it is still painful. God will lead us and will guide us in the way of life, but we must be ready, this journey is not for the faint of heart.

Walking with the Jesus is not easy, but it is the best.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Considerations and Consternations

Over the next few posts I plan to give some thoughts on our trip to Guinea. It is a great privilege of mine to lead students on mission trips around the world. From these experiences I have been impacted in so many ways. I am most grateful to have seen the Lord at work in many contexts. I leave invigorated and challenged.

I love seeing how God does His unbelievable work in other contexts. It is sad that we forget about the Lord working in our "home base" until we are exposed to his fresh work around the world. We get so used to our life and settling for the status quo, that we need to be shaken out of the dull-drums in order to "see" his work through the eyes of faith. The Lord is present and at work all over this beautiful planet. God is bigger and his arms reach beyond our imagination.

So let me ask you? Have you gotten lost in the day to day of your life? Have you forgotten that God is always present and at work in your life and the community where you live? You need not travel thousands of miles to be reminded that the Lord is always at work. Sure it can help, but it is not necessary to see God's faithful hand at work.

What can you and I do? Ask the Lord to open your eyes. Ask the Lord to take you to a place where you see his work through faith. Today do something for the Lord that you have never done before. This will break up the routine you are in and get you off the comfort seat in your faith.

God is at work. The question is, do we see it and are we going to join him?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Africa - Missions - Etc.

Our team of 10 will be leaving tomorrow for our second trip to Guinea. We are most excited about the opportunity to go back and work with these wonderful people. The Lord has given us an opportunity to work with some of the most amazing missionaries. They have given their lives(19 years of work) to touch the lives of those far from God. Last year we had such a great experience and we expect to have another wonderful experience again this year. Please pray for us as we go serve in the name of Christ.

We must not treat missions as a trip, rather we must see it as way of life. If missions were just a trip, then we could easily compartmentalize it and go on with business as usual. But the truth is we have to live our lives in way that lives out the Gospel of Jesus Christ daily. We can't take the weekend off or go to work without having the eyes of Jesus Christ lead us. No we must be shaped by Christ in all we do.

"Press on..." The Apostle Paul to the Phillipian Christians