Friday, July 23, 2010

Prayer, More than Just a Bunch of Words

Over these past few years, I've leard a lot about what prayer is, and also what it is not. So many times I've prayed for specific things, specific issues to be solved and such, and the requests seem to go unanswered. Now, Our Father never wants to see His children suffer, but I'm beginning to truly believe that He has our best interest in mind, and when he says "wait" or "no my child, you don't need that," He's not punishing us, but growing us. Prayer to me has become more of a way to reflect and align my heart with God's. I've discovered that He is always there to hear my rantings or sorrows. But I've also realized I've fallen quite short in thanking and praising Him.

I'm not big on cheesy acronyms, but my pastor used the acronym ACTS to express how our prayer life should look like: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Note, that the first two and last two go hand in hand. The first two express who He is, and who we are not (our need for Him); and the last two express gratefulness over what He has done and faith in what He will do. In praying this way, we maintain a proper focus on who God is in relation to us, and trust in His constant Providence.

What a blessing it is that we can prayer directly to the Father, because of the sacrifice of His Son and interceding of the Holy Spirit!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Are We Really Connected?!

Technology is a funny thing. We are always "connected," always "available" and generally easy to "get hold of," but what does that all mean? We have free time to chat for hours on facebook with our neighbor down the street, instead of getting off the couch and seeing them in person? And texting... is an awesome way to keep people in the loop with short messages, but is it really necessary to text people all day long to feel like you are "in the know"? It's sad. Technology is slowly and surely taking the personal touch out of communication. Things are said much easier virtually, than in reality. It seems to me that we're approaching the point where we will no longer know how to read or use body language (or correct English grammar for that matter). It's no wonder people cannot spell since "u," "cya," "brb," and "rly" have taken over. Daniel Webster would truly be rolling over in his grave. So please, people, use technology as a catalyst to make events happen, stay in touch with long distance people, and share your pictures with others if you must, but PLEASE don't forget the art of one-on-one conversation and correct English spelling. Ok, I think I'm done venting now...

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm not of this world...slightly extraterrestial (you are too, admit it)

I was musing, as I tend to do, about our life here on Earth. I find myself expecting so much: for things to be easy, friends to always be there, and basically have my cake and eat it too. But that's not the way things tend to be. Good efforts fall through, living for God is hard, and pain and trials are frequent. But why should we be surprised? As followers and friends of Jesus Christ, we should identify with Him more than this present culture and our state on earth. In John 17:14, Jesus prays to the Father on behalf of His followers and states that "they are not of the world, any more than I am of the world."

Wow. So how comfortable are we on earth? Probably too comfortable. We should see ourselves more as aliens in a foreign land, passing through, but spreading His love and making it our goal to take as many people with us when He returns. Check this passage, Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." We must stand out, remembering that we are strangers in a foreign land passing through, not letting the customs and norms of this world influence who we are, what we do, and what we live for. So, my fellow aliens, keep pressing on until our Savior returns!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Early (really early) Morning Musings about Candles

I have a thing for candles. So last night when I couldn't sleep, I lit my nearby candle and just watched its steady glow. Watching it, I began to think about how something as simple as a candle could relate to our spiritual lives. Christ says our lives should shine bright for others to see, and not be hidden (think of the kid's song..."Hide it under a bushel...NO! I'm gonna let it shine!") and that we are the salt and light. I began to see the candle though as a representation of our lives. God breathes His breath into us as Christians and new creations, and life begins. We continue glowing and shining for Him, releasing a sweet aroma of obedience, faithfulness, and sacrifice that is pleasing to our Savior (without faith, it is impossible to please God). Our light should illuminate our daily surroundings and give off the warmth of our Savior's love. So, in a metaphorical way, I charge you (and myself) to think of yourself as a candle this week. Shine for Him!