Feeling the need to dust some things off in my life. One of which is this blog. I find that taking time to be disciplined enough to write and ask questions here I am disciplined in other areas, my creativity goes up, and my over all functionality increases as well.
As a ‘soon to be’ church planter in Kenosha, WI. I have been praying and thinking a lot about impact (positive and negative) on peoples lives and a community. Here is a question I am pondering… leave your thoughts as well questions I should ponder…
Question: If you were given $10,000 to make an impact in the life of others/community what would you do
If you are in Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Parent Ministry… well ministry at all you need to check out Simply Youth Ministry’s 40.40.40 sale starting today!
For 40 hours, up to 40% off and 40 free backgrounds for your ministry go check it out!!! click here to spend your churches money or your tithe for the month
Tell um Brit sent you… not really it doesn’t matter just go check out these great deals!
I know I have been super quiet on here for some time now. Been a crazy season and it’s about to get even crazier (super excited for all this summer has in store and this next year).
I have been praying and thinking a lot about what God calls us to in life. How He equips us and encourages us to do things that ultimately build His Kingdom. I hear some folks say that when you know Gods call its easy, you just have to follow, just trust. A few days ago I was hit with a reminder of the story of Joshua, the general for Moses and the Israelites as they fled Egypt into the promised land. His story hit me as I began to think about calling and how ‘easy’ it is, how we love Joshua 1.9 “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go”. We find so much comfort in this verse. It gives us strength to carry on.
But when I think about the entire story of Joshua this verse, although the lynch pin, is but a flicker in the dark for what Joshua was called to do. What Joshua embarks through for us is 24 chapters, but for him a lifetime of battle, strategy, leading people, watching friends die, going to war, being hungry, dirty and tired.
I am fascinated by Joshua’s story as of late, the promise that God instilled in him was followed up by a call, a call to something difficult, something life changing, something life giving. Join me as we walk through the story of Joshua this next week.
- Joshua: A Promise
- Joshua: A Call
- Joshua: Moment in the Sun
- Joshua: Blood Sweat & Tears
- Friday Five: Joshua a man who never gave up.
We rarely get a chance to repeat ourselves. We live in a world of sound-bytes and quick quips. It feels like more and more people are becoming ‘great politicians’ with their speech. I believe it is because many are realizing that people here and react to what first comes out of our mouths.
We don’t give people much of a chance to explain, to unpack, to paint a better picture for us. We go with what first pops out of their mouth. When I was younger and first starting in ministry I recall many a time when I hadn’t fleshed out an idea that I would just take off and hope to land it at some point with out to much turbulence. I have learned that this style is a great way to lose ‘passengers’ in your conversation & teaching.
The more I spend time in Proverbs I see time and time again comments on our words, choosing the right words, not overly using words, not wasting words, sharing encouraging words and others. Our words are either Life or Death (Proverbs 18.21) not only to the listener but even to us as well. When we speak our words rarely get a second chance.
So why say all of this. choose your words wisely, be ever so slow to speak. Begin to see your words as an actually currency in your life and to others. Don’t be quick to bankrupt yourself and regret what you invested your words in later.
So as a parent learn to be slower with your words with your children so that you know you are encouraging and giving life to spur on your child
…to your spouse don’t be so eager to be ‘right’ all the time, you might find yourself wishing you could take back some words…
…in ministry be SUPER intentional with every word that is ever used. You are speaking the very gospel that saves and every word either draws near or pushes away. Don’t be careless cause you may never get a chance to share it again.
So instead of wishing you could take something back or wish you could say it over again, slow your speech and speak the words right and well to begin with.
Well it is time for Lent. That time of year where many protestant Christians partake in a time of sadness and ‘suffering’ sorts to enter into a reminder of what Jesus came, lived and did for us on the cross. The period of Lent goes from Ash Wednesday till the Saturday before Easter (46 days). It is a time where to reflect on Christ’s suffering leading into His triumph.
It is also a time where ‘faithful’ Christians take up their own practices of ‘suffering’ to draw them closer to Christ. A time remember our frailty and deep deep need for Gods love and grace in and over our lives. It is something that has been practiced for centuries. There are some incredible resources out there called spiritual disciplines that can really help draw closer to God and Christ like action in our lives.
What I have noticed over the past few years though is this sad truth of weak suffering. I have watched students and adults give up facebook, chocolate, twitter, soda and video games for 46 days. Now when I hear people camp this as a suffering my heart breaks. Many of us have reduced this time to a superficial time of ‘fasting’ from things that aren’t all that good to begin with. I watch as some folks give up these things but don’t add, prayer, reading their bible, acts of Christ-like service, practice of piety.
This is a time designed for us not simply give up our guilty pleasures but a time to delight in Gods pleasure and grandeur for us and over us. So beyond the suffering you may have added to your daily routine, what have you added, what are you practicing that will help you draw nearing to God this season?
Here are some things I have added to my Lenten practice…
- Getting up every morning at 6am to spend an hour in prayer and reading.
- Journaling my thoughts and prayers during this time
- Practicing a different Spiritual Discipline each week
- Attending to self-care ( taking care of my body better with what I eat and exercising 3-4 times each week)
Again, these are more practices for me. I’m not giving up anything really. I have seldom found very much pleasure and Joy through Christ in those moments (some have and praise God for that). This time of year is a perfect time to join 100′s of thousands if not millions around the world that will be participating in this season of Lent.
Don’t just give something up that brings you pleasure, draw near to your heavenly Father so he may delight in his child. The ultimate pleasure…
Stay tuned for ways of diving deep into your ‘suffering’ this lenten season.
As of late I have begun to realize and place a greater importance on my ‘soul’. That fuzzy, kinda hard to explain essence that is a part of who we are. Some say it directs us, some say it connects us with God, some say its the true essence of who we are called to be. I say… I’m figuring it out, but I know when my soul is out of whack and I need some help.
As I take time to figure out how to strengthen it, care for it more, I have come to the conclusion that my soul is fed by many interactions and thoughts I ‘ingest’ day in day out. I wanted to highlight 5 people who feed my soul in different ways, but all ways that help keep my soul nourished.
- Rick Lawrence Is editor and chief at Group Publishing in Loveland Colorado. He just authored Sifted, has another book coming out called Shrewd, leads an incredible track called Jesus Centered Youth Ministry at possibly one of the greatest youth ministry conferences in the world, Simply Youth Ministry Conference. Rick’s writings and teachings have been a huge blessing to me. Rick is a masterful story teller and ‘wordsmith’ of painting pictures that help you better understand attributes of God and situations. He is a man who is so transparent and open with what God is teaching him, through the hard things and the incredibly nourishing things. I get the pleasure of getting to have him speak into my life from time to time.
- Patrick Lencioni Is the found of Table Group, a consulting firm and writes leadership fables to help illustrate great leadership points for successful business and life moves. I have not had the pleasure of meeting Patrick other than at the Leadership Summit this last year. Patrick’s ability to tell fables is so inspiring to me not only in that it teaches me how to be a better leader but to strive to be a better story teller to help people connect to a greater story.
- Steven Furtick Is the senior pastor of Elevation Church in North Carolina. He is 31 years old, author of Sun Stand Still, husband, father, pastor, and anointed child of God. I have never met Steven, but as a young pastor myself I am inspired by Steven, his heart, his vision, his drive, his ministry, his marriage, his staff, his boldness & humility. I have heard him preach several sermons, speak at conferences and read his book. Steven is the reminder of Paul to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4.12 that let know one look down on you because of your youth. Steven encourages me in my walk because he reminds me that God is looking for those whom He can burn brightly in to show the world His love.
- Henri Nouwen was a beloved priest, author, humanitarian and man of God. He wrote over 40 books on the spiritual life. His books are short little snippets of thought all revolving around knowing God more and knowing self in order to know Him that much more. His books and thoughts are a constant refresher and place of nourishment for my soul. A constant pull of growing closer to Christ.
- Ben Mason a seminary student, interning at Hope Des Moines, best man in my wedding, and dear friend. Ben is a constant encourage in my leadership at Faith, in my marriage to stir me on to be a better husband, and to think beyond myself and grow closer to Christ. Ben is one of those life long friends that will do anything for you. He feeds my soul with friendship and accountability, as well as my belly as an amazing cook and ‘drink’ connoisseur.
Having people to feed your soul, whether you know them in person or through the kingdom through other means is a must to keep you soul fresh and healthy. Who are the people that feed your soul and why? Maybe you should let them know…