Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Memorize Philippians!

Here is another worthy project to aid spiritual growth if you are looking for something worthwhile and helpful. This one has the added appeal of using a Moleskine Notebook which I already favor as my notebook of choice anyway.

This project focuses on memorizing Philippians which I see as a great choice for me personally. I am hoping the joy will rub off on 2011 as I am eager to put 2010 behind me.


New Year's Challenge

I don't know if this qualifies as a New Year's Resolution but I have recently read David Platt's book, Radical: Reclaiming Your Faith From The American Dream, and I have decided to accept his five challenges for the coming year.

If you have not read the book I highly recommend it. This book was definitely one of my top reads in 2010. It's the kind of book that acts like a swift wind to clear the smog of the world and help deliver a clear view for what needs to happen in our lives as believers. At least that was my experience.

Here are the five challenges (with my explanations in parenthesis):

1. Pray for the entire world
2. Read through the entire Word (use a systematic plan)
3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose (beyond your regular giving, give up something specific)
4. Spend your time in another context (think mission trip or more, get out of your comfort zone)
5. Commit your life to a multiplying community (whether small group or church, plug in and grow AND grow the group)

For details and the full deal see

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wanted: A Fresh Word

Just discovered I have a blog! Ok, so it has been a while. I wonder if anyone comes here anymore. I really need to at least post something interesting every once in a while so folks will know I am alive.
The awesome and I went, daughters in tow, to Catalyst in Atlanta the week before last. We came back fired up but also in "seeking mode" as in seeking God's will for how we should be engaged and plugged into ministry, church, work and community.
One of the speakers was Francis Chan, a Catalyst regular staple the last few years. I was struck with wonder at the humility he displayed in conveying what God is doing in his life. Here is a man who has resigned the growing church he planted in Southern California to go to Asia with an open call. The thing that grabbed me was that his humility and his calling are the result of the time he spends in the Word. I need that.
I remember what it used to be like when I spent more time in the Word just letting God speak to me. It was all so fresh. Over the years I have allowed myself to become callous to the freshness of God's Word. The fault lies not in His Word but in my heart. Let me explain.
I have learned a lot through God's Word. Following Christ 32 years plus a college and seminary degree sort of get you more immersed as well. There lies the problem. Now when I come to a passage I am typically aware of the context. I usually remember or have a quick awareness of the main message and I even remember a few Hebrew and Greek words now and then. I typically just jump right in and outline the passage, dig a little in some portion that I think seems the right spot an come up with a fair to good Bible study or message. Please don't get me wrong. I do not for a moment discount Holy Spirit's role in guiding and directing me. He does and I am thankful. The problem really is that I do not allow Him time to speak.
By jumping in armed with what I already know I often circumvent the process of starting with a blank page and letting Him fill it up.
I have lost my curiosity. I use the knowledge as a time saver or short cut to the finish line rather than a head start that will allow me to dig deeper and find the richer and more bountiful teachings of Scripture.
I need the resolve to let Him speak. I need the purposefulness to go before Him and stay in His Word like I am on a great adventure discovering new territory rather than plowing through like a horse headed to the barn.
My plan is to do two things. One, set aside more time to just be in the Word. I don't mean sitting down with a buffet of study Bibles and Logos at hand on the computer. I mean just take the Word, open it and read slowly and aloud if possible. I plan on stopping between the paragraphs or the chapters and making sure I am hearing and understanding. It needs to be like a trip where you are driving and actually do stop to read the historical markers!
Second, in Bible study or message preparation I need to "return to my first love". I need to zero in on the passage and let The Father speak to me before I dig out the study aids. I need to make sure the message is really connecting in my heart before I try to make it connect in others.
I'll keep you posted on how this goes. What about you? Is there anyone else who feels this way or has felt this way and if so what did you do about it?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Today at UHBC

Today I get to preach the riches of His great grace at University Heights in Huntsville. I can never forget what an honor it is to be called upon to deliver God's message to God's people. Pray that I will make much of The God Man Jesus today and that hearts will be opened and lives changed!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Greater Things at UHBC: The Step of Faith

We are going through a capital and spiritual emphasis at UHBC in Huntsville, TX, our home church. I have been impressed because it has been one of the best run campaigns I have ever seen. The problem is that it has brought me face to face with a problem I have been putting off for some time.

The answer is not simple but it is easy. I need to take a step of faith. The details of that step my be complex but the bottom line is easy: step out in faith.

So here I sit nice and scared. I am wondering what all God has in store for us over the next few days/weeks/years. Never have I needed more clarity and purpose than now. I may have divided "occupations" but there is no room for a divided heart.

Trying to remember which missionary it was but I am pretty sure it was William Carey who said "Expect great things from God ; attempt great things for God." Not bad advice right about now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book Review: The Truth About You: Your Secret To Success, Marcus Buckingham

I love books that help me get better at anything, especially when they bring out a fresh new perspective that I need to hear. It also helps when they are presented in a way that helps to build the lesson into me rather than simply present the information. Such is Buckingham’s work.

The whole kit comes with a book, 110 pages, a DVD that is integral to working with the book and a follow on notepad to use over the next few weeks in carrying out the observations and action plans described in the book. The book is snappy and light reading. Each concept has a “here’s what you’ve heard, here’s what you really need to do” feel to it. Then it has the instructions on what to do. My suggestion: do what it says.

There are several salient points in the work. Each person who follows the action plans will likely be affected differently. For me it was the idea that I needed to abandon the idea of being a “well rounded person” and get comfortable with my strengths. Then, lead with my strengths and get paid for that knowledge, experience and effectiveness.

I have the fortune of working in both the corporate environment and in the church. The thought of applying an action plan to what I do at church is a little scary. I may need an action plan to implement my action plan. I rate this one worth your time, especially if you are looking for a fresh, simple and effective way to get off center and on track to the success you hope to pursue.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Teenagers Add Fun and Perspective

Call me crazy but (OK, you were a little too quick with that!), as I was saying, call me crazy but I love having teenagers around. Well, young adults too. We have three extra tonight and the house is full of life. Please understand that our house is typically full of life anyway, especially with our star entertainers Christa and Charissa. Add three more, two Davis kids and Jonathan's fiance Marissa and we have a super sized allotment of fun.

I came home with a few minor but not overwhelming burdens from the day. They quickly melted in laughter and hugs and joking. Not only was I having fun but I was getting a fresh dose of perspective. The other stuff of life just does not compare to this!

Feeling down, burdened or distracted? Go borrow a couple of extra teenagers (or young adults). There, now don't you feel better?