Sunday, January 25, 2009


Something I learned at New Direction from their most-wise owner is that a talented person can be good at many things, but someone who wants to be great at something can only do one thing. I've been talking with God lately, and I realized that He is worthy of greatness. I want to be great for Him.

So here are some thoughts about the future going on in my head. Though I have a multitude of options in my head, I realize that there is one passion that rules them all. I want to work with students. And in that, I want to provide for them male role models to help them grow, and I want to help students make a difference in the world. That is a multiple part single desire.

Now the question that is leftover is "How?" I have no idea. So for this week, could you comment on what kinds of suggestions you've got. Any ideas?

Picture Perfect Prayer

How does prayer work?

This question has baffled me for years, and remains the most confusing, yet important question in my life. I have gone back and forth hundreds of times and continue to struggle with this seemingly simple question. God even gave us an instructional video of what a prayer is supposed to look like to "Our Father in heaven" in Matthew 6. But I still don't get it. Check out these promises: "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you" Matthew 7:7. "He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you'" Matthew 17:20.

How does a Christian take ahold of these promises?

Here's a clip of a message I sent to Kayla about what I know about prayer.

"Ok... Prayer... definitely something that we learn and get better at. I think it's one of the neatest things we do because it's a mixture of talking to someone who wants to be your best friend and your Creator. You can be both intimate and yet scared of Him. It's really cool! I don't think you need to worry about which "way" to pray. Just pray like He's your best friend, but remember He could kill you at a moments notice if He wanted. He's the greatest person in the universe, but loves you like a daughter! It's awesome that way.

"As for "doing things you enjoy" together. Think of some of the things you enjoy... How bout in this scenario we'll talk about something I do for fun. I love to run down a hill as fast as I can and feel the wind hit my whole body. I love that feeling, and when I do it, I can't help but get excited about the sun, the wind, the laws of physics that God set in place, the feeling in my gut as I go down, all things He created. I think about the feeling of joy that I get and know that God created joy so that I could feel it. He made joy for my pleasure. How cool is He? You can do anything with Him. Anything that you think is fun, just draw it back to Him. I like to play basketball, and I think about how God made me so that I could play. He allowed us to invent basketball. I also do the things I'm not good at with him. I'm terrible at chess, so when I play chess, and lose, I think that God made people who are good at this stupid game. I don't know why... it's such a stupid and frustrating game, but God made people with a mind that works this way, that can do this math and plan their moves out in advance. What a cool gift to have. God made people that way. So no matter what I do, I can do it with Him if I intentionally draw a line to Him. And when I do that, I grow to love Him more. Does that make sense?"

Prayer is the most amazing privelege we have as Christians. There is so much intimacy and realness.

But then there is still those pesky promises. I want to believe them, but I don't know how. God answers and doesn't answer. He is absolutely unpredictable. It's so frustrating. I'm tired of all the standard answers. How does a person really connect with God and take hold of His promises. That is my question for today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sense of Urgency

Somebody asked me the other day what it was like to wake-up every morning thinking someone wanted to blow me up. I generally avoid topics like this, but today I'm going to manipulate the emotion involved with my current situation to make a point.

Don't get me wrong, being in Iraq most of the time is no different from living in downtown Chicago. You know the places to not go and what type of people to avoid, and the rest is "up to God."

I've only had one real experience where I thought I was just about to get blown up. It was really odd feeling, really. I knew that I needed to take ownership of the situation, because it was either me, or four of my guys if this was to go bad. I got a funky feeling in my whole body and froze for about 5 seconds, and when I unfroze, I sized up the situation, walked over and just did what was supposed to be done. Nothing physical ended up coming out of it. But it made me think.

It's really neat to be in a position where you physically know that God could take your life. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you could die at any moment. It's nice to be in a spot where I am reminded of how short our time on earth is, and how important it is to seize the day and make the most of it.

Have you thought about that lately? You could die today, right now. What should you be doing? What are the most valuable things in the world to you? What can you change about yourself right now in case Jesus comes back tomorrow? Living with eternity in mind is an awesome way to live! God is the God of yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever. But we are the people only guaranteed today and eternity. What are you going to do with today!?

Fear is a powerful motivator, and I don't want you to get this idea confused with "be scared and do right." And I don't want you to feel bad for Bobby. But please, for the love of God, utilize your fear to bring about a sense of urgency and change!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Noticing the unnoticed.

I was reading a book by C.H. Spurgeon this week called "Morning and Evening."

Wait, that is a really bad way to start this post. I'm pretty sure that if a person starts off their post by telling how they read a book, that half of the readers just now clicked the X on the top corner.

Oh well, I have something I want to share, and reading a book is how it started. So suck it up.

The first morning, the verse that Spurgeon picked out was Joshua 5:12 "and that year the people ate of the land of Canaan." He pointed out how big of a verse that is for the people of Israel, and how that verse was the fulfillment of a thousand years of promises.

You know what stuck out to me? Spurgeon had a great point (like he always does), but I was struck by the fact that I've read that verse before a bunch of times and never noticed it. How can I read the Bible and not notice the verse that points out that God fulfilled His promise!?

More importantly, how often do I miss what God has done in my life? Do my doubts really come from God not moving, or do they come from my not paying attention to God moving.

I don't make a lot of New Year's Resolutions, because Resolutions are just made to be broken. But this year my prayer is to notice God. I want to be roasted, ground, brewed, and stimulated by a cup of God coffee every day.

I love you guys, thanks for sticking it through my book reading message.